Friday, December 12, 2008

Liverpool Fever

16th Dec 2007, Liverpool 0-1 Man Utd
I know nothing about football but am still watching the game.
I want to understand this game.
I want to know all facts about English Premier League so that when I get married I can watch all the weekend Liverpool games with Kunal.

13th Sept 2008, Liverpool 2-1 Man Utd
My happiness knows no boundaries today and yes indeed! - I have become one of those people who stay glued to TV for 2 hours every weekend and never miss any game of their favourite club.

12th Dec 2008

It's very soon going to be exactly one year that I started watching EPL. I have watched almost all the Liverpool games this season and even if I have missed one that's coz I was traveling :). And my husband has taken care of how to stay updated no matter where you are - check this out!

Guess what! - I have even managed to watch other clubs' games just to see who's gonna stay on top of the table :D

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Toybank's in town!

Toybank's first toy collection drive is on!

I thought it's always nice to get started by creating awareness in the neighborhood first. Hence the first toy collection drive is happening in my society next weekend :)

Hope we get loads of toys from everyone. These toys will be segregated according to age groups of 1-3, 4-7, 8-12 and gift-wrapped. They'll be given to NGOs providing non formal education to kids in and around Pune. We have already identified a couple of them who have expressed interest in taking the toys.

Anyone in Pune who's interested in volunteering for Toybank or anybody who wish to donate toys, gift wrapping sheets or stationery required for gift-wrapping, please contact me on

Volunteers from Bangalore, please write in to us at and if you are in Mumbai write to us at

Watch this space for more!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Akanksha Literary Fest 2008 - Pune

Well finally, I think things have started to fall in place.
I had thought my volunteering stint had taken a back seat in 2008. No, not anymore!

The Akanksha Literary Fest took place at Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Range Hills, Pune on the 30th of August. Few of us from Tech Mahindra volunteered for this event through the CSR.

I had to leave for Bangalore the next day morning and I was so looking forward to an amazing drive with Kunal. So I packed all my stuff on Saturday itself! And then I headed for the event in SIMS at 2 30 a cloudy noon.

Akanksha is an NGO working with children on non formal education. Akanksha works primarily in the field of education, addressing non formal education through the various Akanksha centers in Mumbai and Pune and also formal education by initiating school reforms.

Children between level 1 and level 6 at Akanksha are taught English, Maths and value education. And children between level 7- 12 are taught career skills, leadership skills through programmes like Learning to Lead, Social Leadership and other empowerment programmes.

I had met Anupama and Reeves from Akanksha a month back when they’d visited one of the Tech Mahindra offices to let us know about mentoring opportunities in Akanksha. I was looking forward to meet them at the event as well!

I reached the venue by 3 PM. The event was scheduled to start at 4 PM but the volunteers were asked to be there earlier to help Akanksha arrange the event.

When I reached there, I saw a colorful display of various poems, stories, pictures and artworks written by kids from Akanksha hung up in one corner of the auditorium! I was smiling when I was reading through many of them :)

All the kids from various centers assembled at the auditorium at 4 PM. The event kicked off with a Drama which was about a Bookworm meeting various characters in a library :)

The exciting bookworm played by a member working at Akanksha thrilled the audience while meeting and explaining the characters like Birbal, Aladdin, Little Red Riding Hood etc who were all dressed up in the attires of the characters they played!

Bookworm also stressed the importance of a library and how we should ensure that we kept increasing the knowledge everyday.

This interesting drama was followed by poetry and drawing. Children were taken into the nearby 5 classrooms which were all named with different colors. The children were given various topics to start with their spot poetry. The volunteers helped the kids by giving them tips on writing and also by giving various ideas on the given topics.

After a 45 min poem writing session, there was Author’s chair where kids would read out few stories to the audience in their classrooms.

This was followed by the best bit of the event – the Lit Circles Skits, short for ‘the Literary Circles Skits’! A group of kids performed various skits like Wizard of Oz, Four friends, sending an important message on moral values that hard work & honesty are the only way to reap benefits.

After watching the wonderful skits performed by various groups, all the children came back to the auditorium. The wonderful literary fest ended with a story telling session by Sonali Adkar from Twist & Tales, Aundh, Pune.

Isn't it an amazing way to get back on track?
Pune...Here I come!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cruising through NH-4

Last week I and Kunal went on our first trip to Bangalore after our wedding. It was an amazing trip. All thanks to NH-4 and our new possession - a brand new Red Swift LDi :)!

We started off on a Sunday morning at around 5 30 AM. Kunal had all the essential R&D done about NH-4 for our drive from Pune to Bangalore. We made our way out of Pune in the early morning and hit the NH-4. Soon we drove through Satara & Kolhapur.

Reached the Karnataka border by 9 AM and then we came across a huge, wide reservoir near Nipani, Belgaum district. We stopped for breakfast for about half an hour and we were back on the road!

The Belgaum-Dharwad-Hubli stretch of NH-4 is awesome! It's a treat to cruise through this stretch at around 120 kmph. I was remembering the roads in Muscat for sometime :)

Like every good thing even NH-4 comes with its set of pros and cons. The bad part of NH-4 was here. This was from Haveri-Ranibennur-Davangere-Chitradurga. We saw some bad unfinished roads and too many diversions as well.

On this stretch we spotted huge number of windmills everywhere and sunflower fields adding to the lush green scenery with clouds in the background!

We stopped for lunch at Davangere and continued our drive hoping the road further on would be good! After a 3 hr drive, we stopped for coffee at Kamat, Hiriyur and yes the stretch till Bangalore was great!

We refrained from entering the Bangalore city through the usual route and instead tried the new Mysore Corridor and reached home at around 8 45 PM and our 15 hr journey came to an end!

Over all, this was truly one trip that I will remember for a long time now. With airfares being where they are and domestic air travel almost becoming out of reach, this experiment to try NH4 was definitely cool! All credit goes to my husband for making the smart move :)

After a 4 day vacation, we cruised through NH4 again and came back to home sweet home :). Its always good to be back home!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Say hello to Toybank Pune

Hey all!

How's everybody doing??

You must be wondering if Toybank shut down its Bangalore operations. We apologize for not being in action for close to 5 months! The last event in Bangalore was on 21st of Dec for kids from Annanya.

Time for a quick recap!

Coordinators for Toybank Bangalore:
Vinay D R and I are the coordinators for Toybank Bangalore. The Bangalore Chapter started on 18th Aug 2007.

The journey so far:
We had toy distribution events with Nele (18th Aug) and Makkala Jagriti (8th Sept), Swanthana , Suraksha Makkala Rakshane (2nd Dec) and amazing toy collection drives in Raheja Residency, Koramangala (22nd Sept) and Akme Harmony (5th Jan 2008) . We celebrated Children's Day with kids from Balajothi Centre for the Disabled, Benson Town. Also we had a fantastic time with kids from Annanya where we celebrated Christmas on the 21st of Dec!

A lot of changes have happened at Toybank Bangalore in the past 7 months.

I moved out of Bangalore in mid October last year to Mumbai and then to Pune in December. Since then I have been caught up with work and then there was my 'marriage':-). Now we are working on building up the Toybank Pune Chapter!

Vinay works for Motorola, Bangalore and has moved to Pre sales a year ago. His new role requires him to travel extensively abroad and hence he too isn't able to give a lot of time for arranging more events.

Till now we were using iVolunteer's Bangalore office for the gift wrapping sessions as we don't have an office in Bangalore. We thank Prarthana and iVolunteer immensely for giving us the space! Even now I guess there are a lot of toys lying around at their office :-)

We are now looking for active volunteers in Bangalore and also a couple of coordinators who would arrange toy collection drives/ toy gift wrapping sessions and toy distribution events.

If you are interested to coordinate or volunteer for Toybank Bangalore, please write to us on

Also volunteers interested in volunteering for Toybank Pune, please do write to us for volunteering opportunities and any queries at

Be the reason behind their smile.

To 'a happy beginning'

Yeah...finally am back! That was indeed a long break, completely away from the world of blogging.

But the bestest things happened to me in this long break. Many of the questions that haunted me a year ago have now been answered. Not by someone else but by 'myself'.

Though to a large extent still the way the world works wrt to marriage continues to be ridiculous, I answered few of those questions and I am so happy I answered them at the right time.

Enter 'Kunal Dua'. Into a life which was wondering what was going to happen in the years to come. In over a year and a half he was given a challenge of performing various roles. He has so far tried his hands at being a good friend at work- to being my love - and then currently he's doing the toughest job he would've ever done - being my husband :).

I am glad I met the 'right' person at the 'right' time.