The RaGing Bull..

Where do we start? If you’re a tennis fan and have watched the 5 hour 24 minutes blockbuster Australian Open 2022 Men’s singles Final, you would be still reeling under some sort of elation, part relief, part reverence like I do to one of the finest comebacks ever on a tennis court. Touted as match up between a 35 year old Spanish Raging Bull (Rafael Nadal) against 25 year old The Russian Evil Genius (Daniil Medvedev), odds were stacked against Rafael Nadal leading up to the final, more so after an hour of play in the first two sets of the final. Pre match, the win predictor favored Danil 64% over Rafa 36%. Midway through the match in the 3rd set, the AI predictor with all its learning from historic data; its permutations and combinations, favored Danill 96% over Rafa 4%. And Rafa with all his determination and resilience, fought and won against all odds in one of the dramatic comebacks which seemed unreal even for a sophisticated AI system.

Lets be honest, Daniil was the favorite to win. After Novak Djokovic’s dramatic ouster from Australia for failing a vaccination clause, he was the best hard court player on tour. Hard court is usually least preferable surface for Rafa’s game plan and his chances. More so, he was making a comeback after a 7 month gap from a career threatening injury. For God’s sake, Rafa was using crutches due to a foot injury, suffered from Covid delaying his recovery big time. He was not sure whether he was competing in the slam two months back. Just before the match started, someone on my Twitter timeline asked what is your prediction? I casually said result in favor of Rafa in 4 sets, and if Daniil wins say first 2 sets, then Rafa would give his all and win next 2 sets to take the match to 5th set. Even though it would end up as a 5 set thriller, never thought Rafa would endure like he always does and have a belief to compete until last point is scored. A master class and a triumph of his endurance, his resilience, tenacity & his belief which is a inspiration for many.

Picture courtesy: ATP Tour

Rafa first won in Rod Laver arena in 2009 against his arch rival Roger Federer moving him to tears after a hard fought final. In 2012, he competed and lost against Novak Djokovic in a 5 hour 53 minutes slugfest. Both were deserving given the kind of tennis quality they played for close to 6 hours straight, such was their endurance during the course of the match, that during presentation both couldn’t stand straight and had to take a support of a chair to sit during the felicitation. It was unreal tennis, longest tennis match played in Open Era, the result was cruel and kind of unfair to Rafa. In 2014, Rafa had to concede against Stan Wawrinka due to a back injury during the course of the final. He was unlucky on the day of the final after doing lot of hard work to reach the finals. In 2017, a mouth watering clash ended with Roger Federer finding his mojo in the 5th set decider after trailing some games initially. Roger was 35 back then and it was one of my favorite match featuring these champions, a visual treat. So, it was only fitting that he won the historic 21st slam in the Australian Open the way he did it the way he does best, fighting till the end.

If you dissect yesterday’s match, well what can one say- it has a perfect storyline where the hero triumphs against (the odds) in the end. If you think about a typical storyline and divide it into acts: Act 1- Exposition with inciting moments(pre-match, odds and the buzz), Act 2- Complication (losing first 2 sets), Act 3- Turning point(turnaround after Rafa was 2 sets, 2-3 0-40 down in 3rd set), Act 4- Falling action(role reversal; comeback- winning 3rd and 4th set), Act 5- Resolution and Catharsis where he wins the decider 7-5 leading to a frenzy of emotions. Best comebacks ever if there was one.

Now the debate moves on to who is the Greatest of All Times, the G.O.A.T, now that Rafa has taken a lead with 21 slams leaving behind Federer and Novak on 20. What do you think? If you ask me, World No. 1 Novak would go on to win more slams than anybody else and Roger with all his elegance, his passion for the game and pure artistry may never win again, but the kind of awe, Rafa brings to the table by his endurance, his fighting spirit, his humility in spite of his great achievements, his respect for the game and his opponents and in turn commanding our respect, he to me is the G.O.A.T

P.S: In last 20 years, starting from 2003 AO until 2022 AO, Roger, Rafa and Novak together has won 80% of the slams(61 out of 76 slams). Isn’t that astounding? Aren’t we lucky to witness this, in this golden era of tennis history? After all, when these guys compete against each other, its tennis which ultimately wins. Have to confess, I spent considerable amount of time debating in my mind, who I would pick among Roger and Rafa as my 🐐, ended up picking Rafa for the reasons stated above. Though, over the years whenever these 2 champions have competed at the biggest stage, I generally do not root for any one player as its easier to enjoy and appreciate the way they compete and set the bar high in turn raising the quality of the game itself.

Signing off, until next time, Be Resilient and Have Belief in your Game!!

Find your WHY..

So we are home bound for most of the times. Unprecedented times, isn’t it? Who would have thought? Is there a word to describe the feeling of split second, when we wake up in the morning after a good night sleep and don’t think of the various restrictions we are put through during these times. How on earth, can a virus which cannot be seen through a naked eye, control our lives so much? While looking out answers for tough questions like these, its important to make most of the situation by following the mandatory precautions by staying safe & healthy & taking care of ourselves & our family. πŸ‘ͺ

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe– Abraham Lincoln

On work front, the lines between so called work-life balance are blurring. Apart from spending quality time with our family along with getting things done at work from home, its important to spend some “me time”, introspect & hone our skills. Its best time to sharpen our axe to be stronger, be better, course-correct & stay strong during these times. While looking out for something, over internet while doing a side project, I stumbled upon Simon Sinek online classes. It said Live Online classes specially put up during these times to get inspired, be safe and know yourself better. I had seen his TED talk which was the talk of the town when it came up. If you’re yet to see, check out below πŸ•΅

These sessions are one of a kind, interactive designed to walk you, step-by-step, through the process to find your WHY, finding your life’s purpose, your beliefs or causes. I personally gained lot of clarity after attending these sessions. One gets to interact with group of people across the world and apart from finding/or working towards finding your own true purpose, one can guide others by interacting, sharing their own stories. πŸ‘Ό

It mainly revolves around, constructing your Golden circle developed by Simon’s ideas and philosophies by understanding your WHY. 🎯 Whatever may be your situation, WHAT you do may change but your WHY must always remain clear and constant. During these uncertain times, many of us may be forced to reinvent ourselves, reinvent WHAT we do. It can be unsettling and challenging. So, its important we move forward and raise our game by facing all the adversities head on.

Do check out these sessions during your free time, these will be super helpful.

Signing off, until then, Be Positive, Stay Inspired, Inspire Others πŸ™ŒπŸ’ͺπŸ’―

Harsha Balur

This is my Infy..

Chilly winter morning in a software office in Bengaluru suburb, a discussion was going on regarding selling Infosys for an enticing amount of $1 Million (about β‚Ή 7.4 Crores).

9 years before, when Infosys was setup in 1981, they formed the company with a working capital of β‚Ή10,000 with a major contribution from Mrs.Sudha Murthy by selling her gold from marriage. Once they started they realized with that amount, considering all costs & expenses, it would not last for more than a month. So they decided, they would lead a austere life, in-turn lay a solid foundation and much needed support to run Infosys. Their simple mantra was spend less than what you earned, that’s all.

Business then was very tough in India. To import a computer πŸ’», they took 3 long years, more than 20 trips to Delhi, the capital city, to obtain licence. Also, there was no telephone connection and it would take 2 years to do the same. To run a company during those times of slow bureaucracy and long-winded procedures,was a battle in itself. So they decided that other 6 co-founders barring Murthy to do the software development and work from US. That way, they would reduce the hassle and allow Murthy to hold the fort from India.

This is my Infy- song by Celine Dion

In 1990, the co-founders with the prospect of selling Infosys, with all the hard work & struggles that had to endure over the years, were hopeful to see the money now. There was a heated debate and everyone was giving their opinion and future plans of what’s in store for Infosys after selling it. Narayan Murthy, didn’t speak a single word and was listening in all the way and let his younger colleagues to have a say. So after 4 hours, when he got the opportunity to speak, he spoke about his humble beginnings, when he started off in a small apartment in Bombay. He believed then that it was his darkest hour before the dawn and then took a audacious decision to set up Infosys. Now that his colleagues were hell bent in selling Infosys, he offered to buyout all his colleagues without having a penny in his pocket. Everyone was stunned hearing this. Here was a man who could walk the talk, and never compromised any which way to sell his dreams. It paved the way to his colleagues to reconsider their decision.Patience paid off and in 1991, post liberalization, Infosys paved the way for showcasing Indian tech talent and software excellence to the world creating new possibilities.In 1999, Infosys became the first Indian company to be listed on NASDAQ, touching $100 Million πŸ’ΌπŸŽ·

Today, Infosys has grown from a company of seven workers to a global corporation, an Indian behemoth,employing more than 2,14,000 people, with revenues of billions of dollars.🎯

With the man himself, Mr. Narayan Murthy.

A nice video to conclude – All the struggles that went in to build Infosys during difficult times, similar to the ones we see today to build a Indian unicorn πŸ¦„, starting up from humble beginnings.

Signing off!! Until then Do good, Be Valued & Set an Example πŸ™‚

-Harsha, Once an Infoscion, always an Infoscion πŸ˜‡

Gully Boy

Mic check bole Kya bol rele Gully Boy Kya bol rele Readers log Arey apun kuch karte hain na yaar Apne public ke liye Karte hain na Baa Reader log ke liye bhai Ahaa apne Pasha log ke liye (Oho ek number) Tum kidhar ho, kidhar ho tum abhi? Bangalore BTM mein bhai Tum kidhar ho?
Mere gully mein Gully gully gully mein Mere gully mein Gully gully gully mein

Playing It My Way..

Summer holidays was always fun. And cricket got more attention as we indulged in it religiously, a daily affair you see. I would always be lingering around at my maternal home during summer holidays more often than not. We played other sports too and indulged in different pastimes and leisure activities but cricket had our mind share. That’s when cricket viewership on TV had picked up and 1996 World Cup was a great booster as India was one of the host country. Everyone remembers 96 world cup Semifinal between India & SriLanka which was seen live by record crowd of 1,10,000 in Eden Gardens, Calcutta. India slumped while chasing and match had to be awarded to Srilanka as disappointed crowd could not be controlled. There was great hope and everyone was rallying around India to win it handsomely. Tendulkar grew into prominence during these times and had achieved demigod status. Tendulkar and other players like Warne, Kumble, Murali, Dravid, Ganguly made an impression. Can’t imagine how many times I have imitated their batting stance or peculiar bowling action while walking past and running around streets.

Playing cricket at a unique pitch like ours was pure fun to say the least. Did I say it was not a cricket pitch but a pathway?? Yes, you heard it right. No one would ever imagine to play cricket here. It was a pathway from our house backyard to a enclosed farm of coconut,mango and jack fruit trees. It was around 20 yard patch of vacant ground with width same as that of a actual cricket pitch,surrounded by godown on one side with trees and compound on either side. On left hand side there was a big drain bounded by the compound colloquially called as Maayi ghar (as a elderly woman lived in a house beside that compound)  and on the right hand side there was another house with a compound inhabited by a affluent family (saiba’s ghar). So hitting over each of these compounds was OUT. There was NO running between the wickets either, Scoring was ONLY done through a straight ground shot for a boundary or a aerial straight shot past the boundary for a six and bonus runs through wide by the bowler. A batsman could be out just by playing wayward on both sides, or by a direct catch to the bowler/fielder, get out bowled,stumped or caught behind the wicket.The wickets were huge formed by very thick paper roll picked up from the godown. No rolling of arms while bowling, just throw bowling inline with the boundary with fielders on either side.Extra fielders were posted outside the boundary so as to keep a watch on the ball as balls flew more often than not for sixes. Also one had to guard the ball from the surrounding drain and a well. Many a times, we had to do all sort of adventures to fetch the ball from the well. And if the ball was not viewed properly when being hit, it was very difficult to spot it and find it as it would go past the thick foliage of 🌲🌳🌴 all around. So one had to be vigilant, many a times whole team would indulge in hunting the ball and sometimes if we were lucky enough, we could get more than one balls(the other being a long lost ball. Hehe).To cool off after playing long time in scorching heat, we would fill a cement tank with cool water from the well and feel lazy and chill like a hippopotamus. 

This was our team- Jai and Veeru(brothers 😎), Murali , Dada (the eldest), Raghu, Mandy (lone female cricketer), Shantu -The 🀐, Tendlya (youngest so would bat for both the teams, hence called as limboo timboo) and myself Harshu. Most of the times, both brothers Jai and Veeru would end up in opposite teams leading to aggressive cricket from both the parties to topple one over the other. Murali was our off spinner and right hand bat. Raghu was very competitive and apart from cricket, he used to coin funny terms/expressions, so he was our situational comedy artist. Every one feared Mandy when she was bowling, as she used to bowl very fast. Just like aiming at the ripe mango with a sharp stone- one sees only the mango and nothing else, she would eye the stumps. The trick was to cover the stumps and allow the ball to come to the bat nicely. I was the mystery spinner where I used to mix up with off spin or leg spin, spin towards the body (esp. For Raghu) etc. Once Shantu asked me to help him bowl leg spin. He learnt the trick to hold the ball correctly but on release, it used to come with some latency providing the batsman ample time to hit a six, straight down the ground. And I knew exactly which way the bowl would spin. But it was fun, real fun. No amount of tiredness would prevent us from playing until the daily quota was done. Once in 1999, when World Cup was On, there was a tragic news of Tendulkar father’s demise due to which he flew to India midway from World Cup proceedings in England. On that day, being very sad, we had to abandon day’s play. 

These days, we rarely get to play cricket or any other engaging sport under the sun 🌞 in that scorching heat. We have found new avenues to entertain ourself and we hardly sweat it out in the field. We stay indoors and exercise and play different versions of a sport.

Where are we going? Where is the current generation moving to? Is it something for better? Tough questions to ask… 

Jaane Kahan Gaye Woh Din………

Signing off.

Until next time we meet, Give Love & Be Loved.. πŸ™‚

My tryst with CHOLA Dynasty

Picture courtesy : Wikipedia

Circa October 1998 : Winter was here. For a school going kid like me, a 5th grader, chilly weather of October in my hometown was bliss. Winters would give enough reason to settle myself in the razai (read quilt) for some more time to enjoy the morning chill in my own way by sleeping more πŸ˜› Getting up early was never heard of in those days and I would wake up just in time to get ready to go to school.

School was not following semester system then and it was more of a yearly evaluation with mid term exams during month of October. I was quite a bright student at academics, so passing exams was not a real struggle as such, it was more of doing the needful to get through the formalities. More so, because October 98, during the Dussehra vacation after the exams got over, my parents had planned a South India trip of 10 days covering all the major historical places.Instead of Looking forward, it was more of Eagerly awaiting πŸ™‚

History fascinated me big time and more so I was curious about stories related to Indian kings and off course their queens πŸ˜› , the grandeur, the opulence, changing dynamics of Raja & Praja, altogether a different perspective to leading life in those times. In 7th Century, there was a king by the name Harsha (Harshavardhana), my namesake. He ruled whole of North India and was a notable patron of Nalanda, a renowned centre of learning. This king along with other erstwhile royal kings captivated me. Gupta empire(some historians regarded Gupta empire between 4th to 6th century CE as Golden Age of India) under whose reign, India made giant strides in science, technology, engineering, art, literature,innovation, mathematics among others.After fall of this empire, there was some sort of turmoil. North India consisted of small republics and monarch states. That’s when Harsha united all the republics and in April 606, their representatives crowned him a title of Maharaja, King of Kings. Eventually, Harsha was defeated by Pulakeshin, a South Indian emperor of Chalukya dynasty.

When it comes to temples, and I am on temple-visiting spree, I term it as Temple Run for Fun. Because there is fun while learning something new when I visit temples, apart from a sense of peace, calmness and religious reasons one visits.Temples in Tamil Nadu along with my home state Karnataka among others have one of the best temples in South India. There is Hampi-focal point of the Vijayanagara Empire, Belur-Halebidu depicting Hoysala architecture,Chalukya’s marvellous Badami-Aihole-Pattadakal, Dharmasthala Manjunatha, Kukke Shree Subramanya, Kollur Mookambika, Udupi Shree Krishna temple in Karnataka among many other fascinating temples including 16th century Marikamba temple of Sirsi known for it’s now extinct Kaavi Art. In Tamil Nadu, just like Karnataka & Kerala, elaborate architecture and spellbinding beautiful scriptures at temples keeps one hypnotized. One such prominent temples is 11th century Brihadisvara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the temple town of Thanjavur. It is one of the largest and most visited temples in South India and is a prime example which depicts Dravidian architecture.

The main temple comprising the sanctum sanctorum, massive gopura (entrance tower), inscriptions and scriptures, houses one of the largest nandis, adorned with frescoes(a technique of mural painting) and the entire original monuments was built around a moat. It speaks a great deal about stories of glorious past. The main deity,Shiva is in the form of linga, HIS abstract representation. It is one of the largest monolithic linga sculptures in India.


We arrived in Thanjavur, along with group of around 40 people, our family friends and acquaintances to explore this engineering marvel. Absolute goosebumps!! Our trip organizer had arranged a guide to understand these megalithic monuments better. And as we were wandering around wondering, how on earth can this be done with such finesse and detailing, I hit the jackpot πŸ™‚ Any guesses? Come on, make a wild guess. Pass? Anyways, Read on..

Our guide, who I suppose was from tourism department of TN State government was a humble chap with wealth of knowledge about the temple. It was his job, day in and day out, throwing light on the intricacies and the minute details of geniuses of bygone era. As he was explaining the dynasty and kings who commissioned this work, he mentioned Chola dynasty which is the longest ruling dynasties in world history. As he was about to say further and appreciate the prowess of the king who built this temple, I intervened and mentioned Raja Raja Chola much to the attention and prying eyes of the whole gang. The guide was amazed seeing my powers πŸ˜› How come a tiny, skinny kid could know this at his age ? He was peeping at me between his lectures and after a brief interlude, he came up to me and granted me a brand new β‚Ή 5 note. It was such a great gesture, as back then it was a significant portion of his day’s earnings and I along with my dad was stoked and startled at the same time. We appreciated his kindness and politely declined his great gesture. In the end, he smiled and we moved on sharing pleasantries.

Back then, this small incident made my day and it still lingers on my mind as a passing thought which makes me wonder, indeed we are so much fortunate for all the goodness life has to offer. So it’s important to seize the day, one at a time πŸ™‚

P.S: Point to be noted-To revisit a personal diary I had written back then, my first tryst with writing, reminiscing the amazing tour of South India and lessons learnt along the way πŸ™‚

Signing off..

Until then, Be Good, Do Good & Keep Smiling πŸ™‚


Sweet!!! Who doesn’t like sweets?? Very few. Even though one is diabetic, he/she longs for it. We prepare sweet dishes during festivals, happy occasions and celebrations mainly to share our happiness. When we spot a cute kid we are like Cho Chweet or say as Tere Munh mein ghee sakkar when a friend states eagerly awaited good news. Sugar has been an important ingredient in our dishes. But interestingly, sugar didn’t originate from India, but from China, hence also called as “cheeni” referring to China. So how would Indians get their sweetness sorted out before sugar came into our kitchen? The answer is Jaggery. Jaggery called as Gud/Gur in Hindi/Marathi, Bella in Kannada, Bellum in Telugu and Vellum in Tamil.

Jaggery is an unrefined healthy sweetener prepared using concentrated sugarcane juice.It is made up of Sucrose, Glucose, Protein, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Phosphorous. It is believed, daily use of jaggery may increase human life span. Jaggery strengthens the nervous system, improves bones, prevents anaemia and protects the body against environmental toxins. Also, less cases of diabetes are found by jaggery consumption as opposed to that of sugar consumption. Jaggery relieves fatigue as magnesium in it helps to relax the nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Jaggery has religious significance too. Many of festivals involve offering of jaggery to deity, its eaten before commencement of any good work or new venture.

My title of the post goes Alemane. Ale-mane? Sounds strange, isn’t it? So what does it mean? It simply means jaggery producing units (in a small scale). Its a festival, a sugarcane juice extraction festival to prepare jaggery in a traditional way mainly for domestic use. It’s a seasonal festival celebrated during winter in some parts of Uttara Kannada district (in Karnataka) mainly in Sirsi, Yellapur, Sagar and Siddapur taluk. If you have been there at least once, it will evoke a multi-sensory experience. πŸ™‚


I come from a place called Sirsi and have fond memories of attending such events organized by family friends who are into farming and cultivating sugarcane. This is no ordinary event, it requires lot of planning and a mammoth effort. I remember vividly when I visited such event, back in 2012 and would like to share some wonderful memories.

So here we go, let’s take a tour of a place called Tudugani, a village, 20 kms from Sirsi. This place is ideal for areca plantation and also rice fields which is a staple food in this part of the world.

Let’s go to the sugarcane field where farmers must be busy getting sugarcane.

Now that we got the sugarcane, let’s place it near our setup so that juice can be extracted out of it.


Adults or children alike feed the sugarcane into a machine.

Now, buffaloes come into action as they are made to revolve around so that juice can be extracted. It’s all about hard work for them as you can see from pics.

The juice is then collected and transferred to a tank through a pipe. This is the purest form of sugarcane one can ever get.

TheΒ sweetness of the juice is suchΒ that you can hardly drink a glass of it and best way to enjoy this drink is with some spicy snacks like khara mandakki (churmuri) or sev/chiwda as sides. Lime/Mint or Ginger can be added to the juice, to enhance its taste. And the sweetness can’t be compared with anything we get in market these days.The next process is to remove the scum from juice. So the juice has to be filtered which is done here using a cloth. Have a look.

This filtered juice is put in vessel and placed over a flame which is specially created for this purpose. This mixture has to be boiled to a particular consistency, so that we obtain a semi-solid mass.

Once that is done, it is kept in a vessel for some time to dry. The waste from the sugarcane which is called as bagasse can be further used as a fuel for boiling.

So this is the way we get our jaggery. It is mainly available in three forms- Solid, Granular and Liquid but the process to produce it remains the same. Solid jaggery is obtained by pouring the hot mixture in different moulds. Granular jaggery is got by boiling the cane syrup to thicker consistency and allowing it to cool in a vessel. Liquid jaggery doesn’t require more boiling and once we get thick vicious liquid after condensation,it is cooled off, to pour it into bottles. By switching to liquid jaggery instead of sugar, we can prevent iron deficiencies, indigestion, constipation and mainly obesity.

There is an interesting custom, that farmers set a hen free to move around Alemane as a mark of prayer to God so that the whole process goes on smoothly without any serious hurdles. Such hens are not consumed by people. Once the desired end product is got, it is packaged in tin cans and transported to market for sale. Apart from various variety of jaggery that we get, various local delicacy is prepared out of it like “Todedevu” (when mixed with ghee or milk and eaten, it’s like heaven) and liquid jaggery locally called as “Joni bella”(molasses) which is rich in calcium and iron.

(There’s an excellent Youtube video of how Todedevu is prepared in a traditional way. Click Below! Β CourtesyΒ  Mangalamurthy Bhat)

As much as it is about celebration, it is also about pondering, as this unique and interesting festival is slowly dying due to weak response which eventually leads to less profit for farmers. This being a traditional event, carried out since a long time and an integral part of our culture, it is our prerogative, to promote it in a big way.


P.S: Entire process of jaggery preparation is clearly depicted in this YouTube video, courtesy Prithvi Media Creations. Click here to see.

Signing Off, until next time we meet, take sweet, talk sweet and be sweet πŸ™‚