Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Things to do in and around Mumbai

Tons of them in fact, have started compiling a list of “low cost – great fun” activities you can enjoy…Readers can share their list to be added as comments.
  • Star ,  Artificial Satellites, Solar-System Planets Gazing: -
Sky gazing is my favourite, since i discovered that it is so easy, and requires almost Zero Investment. Couple of my favourite sightings are.
  1. You can actually spot Our neighbouring planets as Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury easily with naked eyes.  Just download a free and reliable software from http://www.stellarium.org/, specify your location as mumbai/(or your City) in Settings.
  2. Also most of the star signs (Virgo, Scorpio, Leo are what i have manged to spot so far). ( Stellarium will help you with the same for all Zodiacs). You can try your luck to spot Polaris from a hill top.
  3. The Icing is the spotting of ISS . . Just register your location http://www.heavens-above.com/. ISS is the International Space Station. The Largest and possibly the best Space station made by Mankind till date. What is ISS
  4. With little efforts you can spot Iridium Flares. Check the same in http://www.heavens-above.com/. These are a group of Artificial Satellites, which produce a sparkle in the sky. A Timetable is available which shows when you can see bright flashes in the Sky. What is Iridium.
  5. Wanna Spot Meteor-Showers and other exotic events in Sky. Join for a Trek with an experienced group of Astronomers. Low cost, Great frills. http://www.khagolmandal.com/. Typical Treks are organized during Clear Sky days from Dec to May.
  • Kanheri Caves near Borivili. Great Place to See Budhist Caves, Trek, Swim in River. I spotted deers crossing the main road near the final steep climb to caves once. Go ahead try your luck.
  • Tungareshwar – Near Vasai. Lowest cost Treks during Monsoon.
  • Visit to Salt Pan – Bhyender East and other stations after Mira Road.
  • Haji Ali. Watch the spectacle of High-Tide and Low-Tide. Every 6 Hours, the Sea will cover the Bridge, and then open up after 6 hours. The Bridge opens twice in a day.
  • Warli Village – The 10th Century Art and Tribal Culture. Must see near Dhanu/Palghar. For group bookings. Check http://Grassroutes.co.in
  • Million Fireflies in June. You actually can see the complete Mountain range covered with millions of Fireflies. This wonder happens only in June. We call them Taare Zameen Par. Check out http://grassroutes.co.in
  • Nehru Science Centre & Planetarium : Must see for Kids over 10 years.
Readers can kindly leave comments with their favourite activities and places.

From Technology to Tourism

The Story so far….Transition from Technology to Tourism….

All the limits are of the Mind…There are infact no limits……Author Unknown…

One year, has passed since the move from Technology to Social Sector. Currently am working with an organization called Grassroutes. These good people (Inir, John and Darren) are experimenting to improve the Tribal Livelihoods through Rural Tourism. One good aspect in this organization is that we consciously avoid using the terms as “Reducing/Eliminating Poverty”. The key mindset is to enable the trials to improve their livelihoods by their own efforts. We do not believe in Donating money to any one. The poor want enabling environment, and then they blossom of their own efforts.

This blog is for my friends who want to know how different it is changing the field from IT to Social sector.
For me personally, there has not been much of a change in the kind of work i have been doing..This seems bit contradictory…let me explain.

1. I am still involved with Technology. We still use Excel for Business Plans, What If Scenarios. PPT’s for Village Communities, Investors. Internet for Marketing (Facebook and Google Ads).
2. We still have processes. Checklists, Review meetings, Post project analysis.
3. We have pilots. We experiment with new tools/techniques and then evaluate the projects.
4. We have Goals. We carry “Sales Targets”.
5. I still have to use Laptop and Reply to Emails….
6. The concept of Customer and Sales remain same. “Our Organization has to create value for Guests”. Now “This” is one of the “most critical thing” i have learn’t here. No Matter what business you are in IT or Tourism or any other thing. If you don’t add significant Value for the Customer, you have no right to stay in the business.
7. Here too we have Stakeholders (Investors, Media, Village Committees and Guests). Need to constantly have review and feedback discussions, keep all stakeholders updated.
8. We have time bound projects. Each theme is a project by itself, and undergoes conception, brain storming, planning, checklists, execution and evaluation phase. Wow.. Even the words we use are same as we use in IT.
So to summarize, from the outside it seems that i have changed my field, but at the core, i am still continuing the same stuff i was doing in Wipro.