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• Wednesday, September 03rd, 2014

buddha

One day Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake.”

Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

“If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead. When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy. But when you love others, everyone is happy.”

The young man listened closely to these wise words of the Buddha. “You are right, o Enlightened One, “he said. “Please teach me the path of love. I wish to become your follower.”

The Buddha answered kindly, “Of course. I teach anyone who truly wants to learn. Come with me.”

Thanks to my friend Babu for sharing it on the facebook..

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• Tuesday, September 02nd, 2014

My Hand made Ganesha with Aruna’s prasadam almost 8-9 years in a row!!
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• Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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• Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Wow, Time just flies and flies fast. If you don’t notice, days became months before you know it becomes years. I just realized it has been be almost 10 months since I wrote something personal so thought posting this blog with some updates.


Change is the only constant in our life. We all know that and nothing can change that fact. In the past 10 months or so, many things have happened in my life like any other active person’s life. I changed my project client and going to move to new one in a week, shifted our base to a new home, competed in another Toastmaster Speech competition, help to close few more houses for my clients, camped with family few times, met some old friends and so much more to share. Let me do quick run down of some important ones.


Sugar Land – Our New Home
Let’s start with an exciting one, we moved to our new home in Sugar land on April 15, 2013. It was tough decision but we have to make it for the purpose of our kids education and family growth. It is just difficult to select the right place to move but it make it more tricky being a Realtor myself. But we put all parameters of importance for us and prioritized them and finally choose Sugar land. It was last in our options but came out as winning choice in all aspects especially kids education, kids activities, commute to any future project destinations like downtown or galleria area, amenities, closeness to all shops and finally important one, easy to visit temple.


It has been almost 5 months so far and things are going good. Ashwin started in his new school during last school year for few weeks and started again in 2nd grade again this year. Akhil is going to Little Fisher Preschool from 9-2pm everyday starting Sept 2nd. That will keep Aruna more busy everyday due to drop off and pick up duty. We also started back swim classes for Ashwin at LifeTime Fitness which he was going previously. Added Akhil also to membership and started Swim class for him as well.

Found a chess group taught by Mr.Chuck Hingle and Arun is going to his class for beginners for almost 2 months now. I thought him little bit of chess previously but now he is doing much better and winning games. Joined Ashwin to Guitar class as well from August as he wanted to learn guitar after seeing his friends going to classes. All these classes are adding more chauffeuring duty for us especially Aruna making the day go by really faster than usual.

Spring Toastmaster Contest
After winning Fall 2012 District Humorous Speech contest, I was asked by many to compete in the Spring International Speech contest. I also wanted to give it a try to see whether I can go above District level to compete in the Region level. So I enrolled in 2013 Spring International Speech contest and started preparing for it. I was in search for a winning speech. In spite of busy schedule settling down at our new home, I also started searching for an exciting topic to talk about. Finally I figured out a topic which was near and dear to me. It was about my personal journey about coming to America, meeting good people all these year and how this country always motivates me to do more in my life. I titled as “OPM Effect – Opportunity People and Motivation” It was a great speech and winning speech up to Division level. I couldn’t go fast division and placed 2nd in Division O Contest. But it was another interesting journey, a serious attempt to show that I am not only Humorous speaker but also Professional speaker as well.

Fun Things
Finally, let me talk about some fun stuff. As many of you know, I love to venture out and take some adventurous trips. In that line, we went to Great Wolf Lodge in Dallas for kids Spring break 2013. It was an indoor theme park. We stayed for a night and spent 2 days in the park. Both Aruna and kids had great time. Later we went to Lego land for Kids and they had good time.

Another exciting trip was to Beaver’s Bend State Park in Oklahoma during the July 4th week with Bala and Deepak family. We couldn’t get any cabins so stayed in a lodge close to the park. We had amazing time Kayaking, Hiking, Swimming in the lake, Scenic Ride and Boating. It was all in all a great trip with lots of activities.

This labor day weekend we traveled to Austin and camped one day at McKinney Falls State Park near Airport. I expected some good flowing water but was disappointed to see only stagnated water. No falls, no water activities due to drought. Park was not really active and it was too hot on top of all. It was around 90′s and only cooled down in mid-night. We managed to stay that night with just ceiling fan in the Shelter but uncomfortable.


Next weekend, we went to another camping with all our Tamil friends to Lake Houston Wilderness Park, New Caney. It was a planned camping trip arranged by our camping friend which we go every year. It was a fun and relaxing weekend. No work, just relaxed, hiked, had decent food, played games, kids enjoyed and

Over all, it has been an active year for us. Moving to new home, getting kids settled down in their school’s and starting after school activities and fun camping activities, all kept us busy. Aruna parents will be in town from Sept 20th and it will be fun for kids to have their company. We(Aruna and myself) are also looking forward for some quite time :-)

BTW, I have posted few pictures on all these adventurous activities in my Facebook page, so don’t forget to check it out.

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• Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Real success takes discipline and methodology. Here are eight things the most successful people are meticulous about getting right. By Kevin Daum

Most people claim to want success. But not everyone is willing to do the hard work and the smart work to get there. Often opportunities present themselves and because people are distracted, they miss them or give up on them before things fully develop.

Truly successful people don’t leave much to chance. They are disciplined and focused. They constantly seek new methods to achieve more, in bigger and faster ways. Listed below are eight different practices that will help you concentrate your efforts on rising above the tide.

1. Make Materialism Irrelevant

Fancy cars and houses are all well and good, but many foolishly focus on the byproducts of success, rather than concentrating on building sustainable success in the first place. Establish a bare minimum for your material needs, and then you can enjoy the benefits of success, debt and stress free.

2. Enhance Knowledge

Success comes faster to those who are open, active learners. The higher up the success ladder you climb, the more complex the systems and opportunities that are presented to you. Absorb all the information you can and if you sense a gap you can’t fill, connect with people who have the knowledge you need.

3. Manage Relationship Expectations

People in your life require time. Successful individuals attract folk and so they have to carefully regulate the time they can spend with others. It’s hard to limit the time you share and still make people feel important. Make choices about the people who matter to you and determine how you each can get value from your interactions. Then make sure they understand your limitations so they don’t take it personally when you can’t be present.

4. Practice Emotional Self-Awareness

Not all successful people are calm and nice. In fact, many can be volatile. But most are very aware of their tempers and idiosyncrasies. They know how to use their emotions to get what they want from life and work hard to make sure feelings don’t become a detriment. Know yourself and learn how to let your emotions work for you in positive ways.

5. Commit to a Physical Ideal

Everyone has a vision of their own perfect body. They don’t have to be fashion models or athletes to be happy. But physical health is a consideration in their life and it’s a big distraction when it gets out of whack. Determine the body you believe is worth working for and set a game plan to achieve and maintain it.

6. Gain Clarity About Spirituality

There are many highly successful people like Richard Branson and Warren Buffett who don’t consider religion to be important or relevant. But they have a clear point of view as to the role spirituality plays in their life. Find your own way to be at one with the universe and be clear and deliberate in how you practice.

7. Adhere to a Code of Ethics

Really successful people live by rules. They may not be the rules of others, but consistency is important for them to maintain power and stability. Their individual view of how the world works is the basis for how they believe people should be treated and they will defend it until their dying day. Determine your ethical lines and broadcast them loud and clear so people around you know where you stand.

8. Focus on Time Efficiency

Prioritization is a key component of success. You can’t reach your pinnacle if you are wasting time on distractions. Integration of activities frees up time for greater achievement. Spend your time on activities that are fun, enlightening and productive and soon you’ll have gained hours to reap the benefits of success.

Ultimately, really successful people live their lives by design instead of default, so if you want to be one of them, dedicate time and effort to determining the plan for your preferred future and execute that plan in a focused and consistent manner.

Source: inc.com

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• Monday, November 26th, 2012

I been sharing my new found fame all over the web in all sorts of the ways from facebook to emails to blog posts. It is really an exciting moment in my life especially an unforgettable moment in my Toastmaster Journey which started 11 years ago.

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Here is a short story written by my coach and fellow toastmaster about my journey to this victorious moment.

Last Saturday night a large crowd gathered to witness an extraordinary event. Seven of the very best would walk into this arena for an exceptional competition that began four months earlier, and this magnificent seven, whittled down from over 200 hopefuls, now lined up to vie for a single prize. I’m referring, of course, to the Toastmasters District 56 Humorous Speech Contest.

Spectators were entertained by every comic and rhetorical trick from A to Z: Acting – including real singing, Zany slapstick – a reenactment of a husband ruining real laundry – with REAL BLEACH! But the real coup de grace turned out simply to be the alphabet. Hess Houston Toastmasters’ entry, a walking alphabet himself, stole the show. Thirunageswaram Manoharan Vijaianand strode assuredly to center stage and began with a question, “TMV…What does it mean?”

Even having the best speech, even having the best material, even having the best performance, VJ knew, would not necessarily persuade fate to his favor. Using a power point to project the perils and pearls of his plus size name required the use of an often fickle laser clicker; using mnemonics, rhetorical schemes and simulated conversations jeopardized the audience’s tenuous attention span. Yet, the thing which was almost his undoing was the laughter generated by his humorous speech. Allowing the captive crowd to crow and laugh between punch lines, gags and skits cost this comedian precious seconds. With a strict time limit of 7 minutes 30 seconds and a speech that consistently timed at 7 minutes 15 seconds, time was of the essence. But the fates were smiling, too, and acceded to his race against the clock, winning the race the trophy and the title with just three seconds to spare.

If you see Vijaianand Thirnageswaram, congrats him and don’t forget to ask for his autograph. He is a champ!

Thanks Pat for this wonderful story. Today I was able to make this far all because of hard work and support from my wife and my coach Pat. I owe to them. Thank you also to all my friends who been encouraging me to do well and believed in me that I can do it. Thanks!

Below is the recording of the winning speech,

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• Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Drum roll please….

The Winner of Division O Humorous Speech contest is Vijai Thirnageswaram.

I was so happy to hear that announcement yesterday during the Division O contest. I am still trying to get over the Jet lag from last week trip to India. I was worried whether I would be able to deliver properly after lots of preparation and I was able to pull it off. Thanks to my coworker and coach Pat who helped me along the way starting from tuning the speech to hearing me out and giving suggestions on pronunciation and every things else to win up to this level.

It is the first time ever I came up to this level in any Toastmaster contest in the past 11 years with Toastmasters. It is not easy and I know any challenge/contest is not an easy thing. It takes lot of time and practice. Practice is the key. So I took it bit serious after winning the club contest on Aug 23rd. I worked with Pat to change the speech to add more laugh lines and able to win the Area contest on Sept 18th. Immediately started working for the Division contest since I have to leave India for a week trip before the contest. With Pat’s help, we trimmed and tuned the speech again for better and practiced before leaving India. I got back on Monday Oct 15th and I was totally tired and sleepy due to Jet lag which made things worse. I kept telling myself, just one more day and try to get ready for it and it may be life time chance, never know right!

Started practicing with help Aruna(my wife) and Pat and got ready for yesterday speech. We thought we are all set and went to the contest with Projector and laptop to set it up. We found out that we are missing the clicker which I practiced with to move the slides. Bit upset and tensed, didn’t find it. So we have to jump to back up plan and asked Pat to move the slides as speech progresses. It did distract my speech flow but did work out well than I thought and got good laughs. I totally enjoyed giving the speech and actually forget few lines in the middle but able to caught back up and finished it. It was a great experience!!!

In the below picture, I am with District Dignitaries and other contestants from different Area. Pat Snyder is standing behind me. I owe it to him everything for all his help.
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Now we need to start again to get ready for the District contest which will be held at District Conference on Nov 17th. I am really excited and hope to do my best and try to win it.

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• Monday, October 01st, 2012

I love quotations whether it’s from well known people or unknown individual. Quotes just have the tendency to help motivate and reflect ourselves on the real meaning of the words and try to make some sense in some cases.

Here are 7 Quotations which I came across from Facebook friends shared library. They are simple and good.

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• Tuesday, September 04th, 2012

I am one among millions of fans all over the world who been eagerly waiting for Maestro’s latest invention, Neethane En Ponvasantham songs. The much awaited songs were released on September 1st at a spectacular event held in Nehru stadium, Chennai. It was reported as one of rare orchestra display by Maestro Illayaraja’s in recent years. Being in US, like me many of us missed this event but you can catch up from Hindu elaborate report.

After reading the report, I really want to hear those songs.After a bit of struggle, I was able to find them. Here you go the link,Download all Songs.

Have fun hearing them !!!

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• Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Am I really humorous to win the first place in the Hess Houston Toastmasters 2012 Fall Club contest held on Aug 23, 2012 at Hess by beating 2 other contestants?

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That’s a question which I asked myself after winning the contest. I would say, my speech seems to get some good laughs that day to grab audience and judges attention to win the contest. I am not say out of humility. I know how much I practiced to give that speech and deliver the way I wanted to bring laughs from people. What I am trying to say is, I don’t know that one speech fully determines my comedic ability and capability.

People who have watched me give speeches have told me that I am good talker who can deliver great speeches. Some have told me that I do have humorous touch in my speeches. I do agree, I can put together any speech of a topic of my interest in fraction of minutes without much preparation. I like to have stories and humor aspect in my speeches to make it last long in their mind but I certainly lag the skill of making the full speech humorous. To say, I am a humorous speaker is totally overqualified. But I been trying to get good at it and working on improving that skill so it can come easily.

By entering into this year’s Humorous speech contest, I took the challenge to myself being a long time(11 years) toastmasters to get good at preparing and delivering good Humorous speeches which will last long in people heart. I hope winning the club level contest is a big boost and surely increased my confidence level to work more and perform more in the Area level. I am going to try to do my best with all friends encouragement and wishes.

Thank you everyone for their support.

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