Sunday, March 11, 2012

Race for the solar power

A natural need to wake up with bright sunshine and birds singing in the mornings is what I really need now. Alas, the aftershocks of winter knocks me down: grey melting snow, muddy streets, annoying non-personalised unfriendly sky.

Let's move to the south?

Monday, January 16, 2012


It's been quite a while since I blogged last time, and during this time I got a few requests from my international friends about my writings. "What the hell is going on with you? You've become less active on social media, you stopped blogging, are you OK?"

It's awesome and fantastic how nowadays friendships have evolved and how we "measure" them. One of my Nigerian friends used to say that people who are very active on different e-platforms seem to be very extrovert ... virtually. Whereas when you come to know them face-to-face they tend to stay in a shadow and they are pretty much introverts. I guess I would agree with him (and disagree at the same time) - just looking at myself I feel I can find a whole life there "in the web net", and still, I looooove interacting with awesome personalities whom I meet on the way. Plus, in 2011 I continued my lifetime friendship with Books :) I read books about everything and everywhere. Each morning next to my pillow I would find a pile of books that would make my mornings, keep me in tension till I get home, and some little brochures that I take to the office while loading web pages on my system.

So where was I these months, to be precise from Oct 2011 up to Jan 2012? Still here, in Holy India :) I've been roaming here and there, I've become more relaxed and explored new feelings and desires towards this !ncredible country, I cherished and enjoyed most of all those divine moments with my colleagues (aka friends), with ACErs across India. I kept on constant travelling: so I finally made it to Munnar which is a hill station covered in dozens of infinite green tea plantations. Elephant rides that we took there were topped with fun, laughter and awe-experience (did you know that an elephant peeps about 5l of urine and it looks like a tap water?!). Kochi with its warm sunsets and delicious Kerala food which we dreamt of once we were back to Chennai. Then a long awaited trip in November 2011 to one of the oldest holiest places in the whole world - Varanasi. The town or rather a holy place is one of the pilgrimage spots for Hindus and it gets most of the Hindu attraction during Diwali (one of the most respectful and significant Hindu celebrations across the world). However, on Diwali I stayed in Chennai and this time it was of no difference for me as it was a Diwali in 2010 I've seen in Hyderabad. In fact, it was continuously raining that day in Chennai, so I was not fond of going out, and most of my close Indian friends would leave Chennai for visiting their families in the Northern India. Surprisingly, I find Diwali similar to our New Years (in CIS region) - we pay as much attention and dedicate hours of preparation time for it as Indians (read Hindu) do for Diwali.

I also visited Mumbai in October due to work reasons, and it was a marvellous trip. Every time I get to Mumbai, I get this hyper-mode feeling that I can conquer the world :) What I mean is that Mumbai is so hectic, you rush for everything and nothing, you enjoy slow walks in the suburbs or dropping by shopping areas in Collaba, south of the city, actually awake in you a giant feeling of "The World is so AWEsome!" ... Mumbai, I am so weak in front of you!

December was quite. I decided I would not travel much in this month and spend it wisely for last minute things in Chennai. It was my last month and there would be plenty of things I had to do before leaving. My favourite spots such as Thiruvanmiyur beach or Ideal beach resort on the way to Mahabalipuram, where you lazily swing in a hummock, read a book, look at the sea and simply dream. Priceless moments.

Leaving Chennai was a mixture of enigmatic feelings. I've been stunned by so many confessions from different people, I've been made cry when my friends would leave or when I had to say "Bye and See you soon!", I've learnt a few Indian dishes which I am so proud of (by the time I come back home I am planning to host an Indian evening for my family/friends :), I've been falling in and out of love, I've been attracting and pushing people back and forth ... A lifetime experience in India was about to end, and Chennai was to close this outstanding chapter of my life. Chennai had guts to make me feel home. I actually could not believe these words when I said them outloud - I made my living in Chennai successful and full of fun and passion to life no matter if it was too filthy, too humid and hot, too spicy and oily, too inefficient and complacent, too much of whatever I hated it in the beginning!

I came to the same conclusion I've started my life in India - People are one of the most adaptable creatures the world has seen. And if you are willing enough to sacrifice some part of that comfort life you used to have somewhere out there, you will find a beauty of life even in the God's forgotten place like Chennai. After all, I've learnt a bit of one of the world's most complicated languages in the world- Tamil ;)

PS I fall in love with these bits and this voice every time I listen to it. Just thought the song has some close connection to what I am leaving behind me in Chennai ...

Life at the maximum!

Jan 5th, 2012. Chennai Domestic Airport. En route to Mumbai with 16kg excess luggage. How fancy is that?

The saddest part of this phase of boarding for Mumbai flight was that I had to get rid of some stuff. And since my heaviest stuff were perfect books I read during 2011, unfortunately I had to leave them (and some clothes) in the airport! I shed a tear when an airport assistant took the books off from me, but what to do?

On the plane. With my guitar and loads of bags. Empty hearted and ready to leave as soon as possible. Surprisingly, that evening Chennai pampered its visitors and inhabitants with a good weather. Usually, when I leave places "I wish I could stay a bit more", the weather does not welcome flight conditions and it is either heavily raining or snowfalls delay the flight, and then this is the most boring time in the airport!

I was damn exhausted, so I immediately was off on the plane. Even a veg snack they served on the plane did not taste that delicious the way it was supposed to be.

Mumbai, late evening. Chilly air, honking and Hindi speeches. Splendid. Alas, my heart was there in Thoraipakkam, Chennai with friends and closer to rough waves of the Bay of Bengal.

As always, my phone battery was about to die, and I made last calls to Mumbai friends to meet me. Half an hour later I was at their place. I felt safe. Strange, but this time coming to Mumbai resembled to me as if it was my first time travelling alone and as if I could not utter a word in any of the languages. I was absolutely numbed.

Friends made me feel home. We talked, we laughed, they offered me food and safety. You know that kind of safety that you need the most when you are thrown outside in the middle of nowhere in a very sever winter night, and then all of a sudden you are picked up by a stranger who gives you a shelter and says, "Relax. Everything will be alright." That was me and my condition.

Mumbai happened fast and loud. The way it should. I was warmed up by so many close friends and their love and affection made me feel home. I am home with my family - a bunch of self driven crazy travellers who come to India, leave India, cannot survive back home and come back to India again, who found their loves in the whole lifetime in India and they do not give a shit about how much you earn, what suit you are wearing and which accommodation you choose when you travel. Simple. It is so beautiful about them. I mean their attitudes to life. Simplicity and No Posh style at all. And they are smart. Damn smart. My friends. We are internationally linked with each other, and once we leave each other we fall sick. We lack each other.

Mumbai friends' meet up and Baddis' farewell

Jan 7th, Mumbai Domestic Airport. Flight Mumbai - Jodhpur is delayed by a few hours and Air India does not announce the delay to the passengers. My friend, Nisha and I are still optimistic about our perfectly planned trip to Rajasthan, western India. We will take off today and land for the camel safari ( which we did not book yet :D )

Two hours later we boarded for our flight.
Rajasthan, here we come!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Excel !

It's not a perfect representation of the thoughts I had on a more or less similar topic that you can see in this video. After all, only I know my thoughts. But it's good to know there is a digital movement happening in introducing Kazakhstan to the world arena.
I have a beautiful idea how to cutify a Kazakhstanodiscovery for future world nomads. I just need the right resources ( like professional software wizards :) Well, yeah, I may sound ambitious but not boasting about the topic :p

PS Sharing old still feelings

Saheb Biwi aur Gangster Experience

A very good friend of mine had a strong desire to watch a Hindi movie. Of course we decided to pamper ourselves and not to lose an opportunity to hear and see the beauty of Hindi. Granted that we live in the south India, in Tamil Nadu state, which is one of the most conservative states in India, Hindi movie was in a Must Watch list. Though it was my second Hindi movie, I booked tickets for the first movie that got most votes.

After I booked tickets for Saheb Biwi aur Gangster, I watched the trailer... and I was curious. Yes, a very teasing promotion. Yes, I got slightly shocked. Yes, I wanted to see another face of India. Face of modern India that is seldom discussed by my Indian friends/locals in general. Face of India that interests us, as internationals when we ask if there is any sex education for kids in the schools across the country. Finally face of India which was set in a small town in the northern India that provokes (maybe?) a new pattern of people's behaviour... publicly.

The trailer is accompanied by a vibrating Hindi song that immediately enables you to dance. Don't tell me it does not :)

Happy watching :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Thing About India

Live India with every heartbeat.
Live it and Love it. But only when you are Open for India.

These lessons I learnt throughout my 1 year of living and working in India.

On July 25th 2010 I landed at Mumbai airport at 3am hoping there would be somebody to pick me up.

I still remember that night with every tiny detail: loud crowds of short men,women and children staring at an Asian girl looking confused and frightened with her one luggage suit and a backpack. I remember the smell which Mumbai had welcomed me with : the same smell I sensed in summer 2008 in Delhi on my first arrival to India. I remember how I kept on asking locals to help me make a call to AIESEC Mumbai guys and find out where the taxi driver was. I remember that 6 hours later I met one of my future best friends, Ola, who has been so generous and helpful! I just could not understand why she had been so helpful to a stranger - just another intern in India. She would lend me money (I forgot to exchange US Dollars to Indian Rupees in the Mumbai airport), give all her Mumbai maps, encourage to take her cell phone and make necessary calls (in our first weeks of Mumbai madness). I remember I met with Dina on the same day and she had been a great guide and friend sharing hew viewpoints on India, the internship experience and Mumbai as such. I remember my fears, my tears, old and new friends, discoveries, small achievements I'd been proud of, monsoons (Oh My God! Mumbai!), love and hatred...

My inner body and mind remember every single beat of my Hyderabadi life. Meeting so many close friends at AIESEC International Congress 2010, regular travels, cultural cooking evenings, parties, latino dances, my guitar lessons and Toastmaster classes, my awesome colleagues and a big job dissatisfaction, strong support and encouragement of my Kondapur family - Carlos, Areli, Fadel(ina), Kasia, Veronica, ACE family... Lots of things ...

I remember and appreciate the times I had in working with amazing passionate and creative minds in the Global Support Team in AIESEC. We have walked with the team a beautiful leadership path, we have lived our lives being in so many places at the same time: Moldova, Denmark, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia, Cambodia, Bulgaria, India. The talks we had carry a lot of vital essence: do we really impact ourselves and our organisation? How do we create impact? What is a change and how to manage it?

Change management has been the key thought and action in India so far. I changed Hyderabad for Chennai, I changed Hyderabadi friends for Chennai folks, I changed charming Nizam city for enchanting beaches of the Bay of Bengal and hills of Tamil Nadu, I changed enlightening Kondapur family for a "silent" Canopy family, I changed my first project- Competency Development- to come to Training and HR Deployment and continue working with Competency Development area.

I changed a lot of things and places within one year but I have not changed one core thing yet: Love and Passion for a Great Living.
Closing my first year in India and opening another chapter I am celebrating my FIRST ( or ONE? ) YEAR in India with new friends and I am happy I can be a part of their lives.
I am also asking myself a simple question after this amazingly !ncredible year -

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

1+1 = infinity

The summer 2011 kicked off with travels. Tons of discoveries, FUNtastic moments, re-connections with friends I have not seen for a long time, and dancing with I love you, baby . Splendid!

Meanwhile, I was preparing for the ACE Conference. A plain thought of meeting all ACErs in the maximum city Mumbai in the beginning of July electrified me with a driving force, and I was getting online every time I had a chance to keep on working for it. The Conference team was a bunch of professionals: AIESEC did teach us a lot during our active years in AIESEC, and it was a big pleasure to work with such a dynamic flexible innovative team as the one that created the whole concept and fun.

Our Conference team was gender-balanced: current ACE coordinators- Feras, Iryna and Chinedu, Feras's successor, Magda ( lovely Polish! ) and Onur, one of the core idea-generators :) A truly international passionate team!

You know, when an opportunity comes to work with committed fun people I tend to jump not thinking too much of what investment of time and energy it will require for me. Just a plain thought excites me: creating new opportunities for somebody to see him/her shining and discovering while walking a leadership journey!

On June 21st I landed in Mumbai... I arrived at the same multi-opportunistic Mumbai like last year. This arrival was much more to the point: I knew the local language, I knew the routes, I felt more confident and the rickshaws could not rip me off. Right after landing I met with dear Mohamed in one of the coffee cafes, and some time later brave Oksana joined us. Delicious lunch of pasta, magnificent aromas in the cafe we stayed in and long awaited chats with old friends. What a marvellous day!

The next two weeks before the conference buzzed in the air I lived outstanding days with my friends in Powai, Mumbai. Feels like we all created a forgotten sense of home for each other. Dinners we cooked together and then laughter that would break Mumbai tiredness and madness, foolness we would play repeating 'Ba. Bu. My name is Babu" ( Babu in Hindi means something like Dude ), the care and love we would dedicate for each other ... The memories of those two touching my heart weeks have been precious!

Meanwhile, conference preparations cooked of the right ingredients of total dedication, passion, excellence, commitment and fun have energized the whole conference team day by day. A few of us were masters of wicked humor, and some others took notes of those jokes.

June 30th. Not a raining evening at all. ACErs keep arriving to the hotel. Old friends. New faces. Incredible excitement. Our first dinner altogether near the swimming pool. Indian food. Tons of meat that is immediately grabbed by hungry-for-meat ACErs. Yummy desserts. Shyness of somebody. A cautious eye of another one. Talents in engaging with a big crowd of people. Trust. Affection. Love. ACErs.

The next three days were like a roller- coaster. Too fast and too little.

I am extremely grateful to the ACE program for living such an incredible life in India. Grateful to the ACE Conference 2011 for walking a leadership journey together with my team and with the diverse 75 talents from 30 countries.

ACE Conference was a huge highlight of
- Love and Passion
- Commitment and Responsibility
- Creativity and Fun
- Purpose and Action
- Big Picture with tiny black dots
- Carpe Diem
- Confession and Acceptance
- Diversity and Unity
- Professionalism
- Leadership

If you are interested in the ACE program refer to the following links:

...When you love what you do and you do what you love, you create a room for absolute infinite happiness. I am grateful to a creative loud ACE Family that keeps growing and gets stronger day by day. Thank you all for an amazing opportunity to be a part of your lives! Thank you dear FACI team for all efforts you have put to highlight the most memorable moments of our life changing experience in the ACE programme!