Shimul Bijoor, my daughter is a middle distance runner specializing in 200 and 400 meters. She was invited by Skechers to try out and review their new running shoes. Excited by the idea of getting a free pair of shoes to try out, she went ahead and attended their presentation and got back a pair of shiny new running shoes.
Here is the review she wrote after two weeks of trying them out: Read more →
We finished the OxFam Trailwalker! 100 kilometers of mostly off-road trails through beautiful countryside around Mulshi lake, winding its way through the hills, meadows and forests – an amazing experience! A physically grueling trail that is supposed to be one of the most difficult OxFam trails around the world, we were thrilled to have completed it in less than 31 hours well within the 48 hour limit – though none of us have walked continuously for such a long trail ever before! Read more →
Ambernath was just another station that one passed on the way from Mumbai to Pune that came between Kalyan and Neral (actually between Ulhasnagar and Badlapur). However as part of the Mumbai Historical Sites Cycling Association, while researching into historical sites in and around Mumbai, I found references of an ancient Shiva Temple located in Ambernath, that seemed to be at the ideal distance of approximately 47 kilometers from Andheri. So one of the weekends in October this year, I set off early one morning with my cycle to investigate and find this ancient temple.
I was driving back from CST station after dropping off my son Rohan for his football camp and when I reached the Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) I saw ahead of me, 3-4 cyclists – not our normal cyclists these – they were riding the normal black BSA Hercules cycles that are ridden by most of the cyclists in India who ride because they cannot afford a more expensive vehicle.
They had no helmets, no fancy gear – and what made the sight the most stunning – was that the cycle held the entire family! Ridden by the man, his wife sat on the carrier behind holding a small baby in her arms, and a slightly older kid sat on the bar in front. On the back of their cycles a stick was tied with a small flag fluttering in the wind. Read more →
During my visit to Bangalore in September to speak at a big data conference, I took the opportunity to do some cycling on the following day, as it happened to be a Saturday.
I did a bit of research to find a good place at approximately 50 km distance from Bangalore and found some nice photographs of Manchanbele reservoir that cyclists had posted on the Bangalore Cycling Club group. Locating it on the map, I found it to be within 50 km of Bangalore and so it seemed to fit my requirements just fine. Read more →
After a day spent in the hills checking out the route for our OxFam trail, while driving back to Mumbai I got a call from good friend Rakesh Bakshi asking if I was interested in cycling to the docks early the next morning. Not wanting to lose the opportunity of a good ride with great company, I agreed to join him. Read more →
This weekend three of the “Walking Souls” team – myself, Gautam and Swati – went to recce the trail that we are to follow during the 100km OxFam walkathon in November. We drove down to the starting point via Kolad, from where we took the road going towards Pune – a narrow single lane road that leads up to the Tamhini ghat, where our trail starts at a location called Garudmachi. Read more →
While walking through Mumbai during my practice for OxFam Trailwalker 100 km walkathon next month, I saw Mumbai in a different light – at the pace of walking, you get to see many things that are normally not visible when you zoom around in a vehicle. But the highlight of the day was meeting Kabeer!
I am thrilled to be part of the “Walking Souls” team of four, and we are participating in this 100 km walktathon organized by OxFam India. To be able to qualify for the participation, we need to raise at least 50,000 INR by 8th November, 2013. I humbly request you to contribute whatever amount you can towards this noble cause, and enable us to participate in this race!
4,691 feet above sea-level, with ruined fortifications and ancient caves tracing back to the Microlithic age, Harishchandragad fort is a perfect trekking destination in the Sahyadris. There are several different paths up to the fort. There two routes to reach the base from Mumbai are, one from the north via Bhandardara to Paachnai and the second via Malshej Ghat to Belpada. Read more →
After visiting Sewri Fort on the east coast and Sion Fort to the north or the erstwhile Bombay Island, I wanted to visit the other three forts on the west coast. Worli Fort and Mahim Fort were on the British controlled Bombay Island while the third – Bandra Fort – was on the erstwhile Salsette Island controlled by the Portuguese.
I have been invited to be a speaker in a big data conference in Mumbai on 22nd August 2013.
I shall be presenting a case study in the Pharmaceutical industry to illustrate how big data technologies can significantly add business value by reducing costs and increasing performance and capabilities in the field of intellectual property research.
The overall structure of my presentation is expected to be as follows:
Sion Fort is situated on a hill within a non-descript garden in the middle of the bustling suburb of Sion, that you would normally pass by without noticing. But in the 18th century, Sion Fort was one of the most strategically located fort for the island of Bombay which was separated from the “mainland” island of Salsette, and was used to guard the only point of entry into Bombay – the Sion Causeway.
Mandapeshwar Caves is cut out of a hill in the quiet suburb of Borivali, hidden in a nook behind an open plot of ground just behind the “Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church”. It was built around 550 AD, around the same time as the nearby Jogeshwari Caves and the Kondivite / Mahakali Caves. But the history of these caves is filled with strife, and the cave has gone through several iterations of being converted back and forth between a Hindu temple and a Chapel.
Twelve teams of 6 cyclists each – all amateurs – participated in a race with a beautiful route with a total distance of 180 km. Starting from Thane, the route goes along the Mumbai Nashik highway till Atgaon, then branches left towards Tansa lake, circles around the lake and comes back on the highway to head back to Thane. The rules were designed to ensure that each team sticks together and the timing of the 5th member is taken as the team time. All the teams did very well in spite of not being regular cyclists. The winning team was the Bikesharks team with a timing of 7:50 hrs, followed by the Nashik Cyclists with a timing of 8:14 hrs and closely followed by the Bhajiwala Cyclists at 8:24 hrs. Almost all the teams completed the race successfully. Amazing sportsmanship, and all the credit for the flawless organization goes to Haybren Adventures and its promoter Jose George, an avid cyclist himself.
I was invited to speak to a big data innovation conference in Mumbai this week. I chose to present a case study to illustrate how we use Polyglot Persistence – or in plain English – using more than one database in a single application.
With the increase in the complexity and volume of data being handled by many applications today, it is imperative to consider databases other than the traditional relational databases that were not designed to handle the volume or variety of data that we need. There are a plethora of NoSql databases available, and hence the choice of which database to use for an application becomes quite complex. In this presentation, I introduce the factors that determine the choice of database and how to ensure that this decision does not compromise the long term viability and scalability of the application.
On the occasion of India’s Independence Day 2013, over 300 cyclists rode their cycles peacefully from various places in Mumbai to Prabhadevi, hoisted the national flag, then rode to Worli Sea Face and Bandra. No agenda, no fuss, just riding together is what makes us feel good about ourselves and our nation.
In the heart of the city at the junction of the Western Express Highway and the Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), among the shanties of Prabhat Nagar lies an ancient and forgotten cave. This is one of the oldest known Hindu caves and the second largest cave after Kailas in Ellora. The access to the cave is from either JVLR or Western Express Highway, or the road from Jogeshwari Station that runs through a subway under the Western Express Highway. Read more →
Last week, I had a business visit to Bangalore for a day and it happened to be a Friday. I took the opportunity to stay back for an extra half day and used it to cycle to Nandi Hills, the famous hill station near Bangalore.
Nandi Hills is a group of large monolithic rock structures. Nandi Durg, a fort that was built on top of the highest hill in the Nandi Hills by local chieftains and then further fortified by the famous Tipu Sultan. The fort was considered unimpregnable due to the steep slopes of the hills till 1791 when General Cornwallis stormed it and gained one of the most significant wins against Tipu Sultan.
Last month, some cyclists had visited Lonad to do tree planting, and I could not join them. But ever since, Lonad was on my mind due to the caves that are found there. This weekend, I got a chance to visit Lonad with Jp Shetty, a cyclist friend from Thane. We both had planned to visit Pune this weekend for the Fort Conservation Conference (Durg Sanvardhan Sammelan) and decided to grab a quick ride in the morning before heading out to Pune.
Lonad caves are located just north of Kalyan on the outskirts of Thane district, near a village called Janwal. The caves were built in the 5th century for monks who traveled from the port of Nala Sopara – a major port on the western coast at the time – to Junnar, the capital of the Satavahana kingdom ruled by King Satakarni. The cave is now converted into a temple but the carvings and inscriptions bear testimony to its Buddhist origins.
McKinsey Global Institute published a report that identifies the top 5 catalysts of growth for the US economy:
The US economy is struggling to find a new formula for vigorous growth. But all growth opportunities are not created equal. New McKinsey research pinpoints five catalysts—in energy, trade, technology, infrastructure, and talent development—that can quickly create jobs and deliver a substantial boost to GDP by 2020. An animated video below also runs the numbers on these game changers and frames the challenge for business and government to make the most of the opportunity.
After a break of three weeks with no trekking or cycling, I was really looking forward to a nice trek. When Sameer proposed a trek to Kangorigad, I jumped at the opportunity!
Kangorigad, also known as Mangaldad, is one of the lesser known forts in Maharashtra. It is located about 20 km away from Mahad, and is accessible from Mumbai via the Mumba-Goa highway, or from Pune via the Pandharpur Mhapral road that branches off from the Pune Bangalore highway towards Bhor, via the Warandha Ghat. Read more →