Great Friends, Great Lunch, Great Time
I got to meet a great set of people, thanks to Smita. We met up this weekend over lunch at Annalakshmi, a restaurant that’s close to my heart. (I served there for 6 months a few years ago). Let me introduce you the gang first. Starting from left: Rahul Brown – an Indian american who greatly resembled my close friend Sai Prakash, Mark – the chap with the great ‘I-love-pulling-your-leg’ sense of humor, yours truly, Archana – who co-heads an NGO on proper labor ethics at workplaces, Shilpa – properly hidden, who works along with Archana, Smita – fellow marathoner and who is setting up an US company in India, Yoomi – who heads CharityFocus, a big charity firm, along with Mark.
There are many reasons why I found this meeting very interesting. I’m fanatically proud of Pondicherry, my hometown. And when I heard that Mark & Yoomi are settling down in Pondy, I was pretty fascinated. Smita too is setting up her company’s India branch at Pondy, Secondly, the whole bunch of people there had common interests in social service and charity work, which I so readily recognised with. Mark & Yoomi’s charity organisation, CharityFocus is huge with 7000 plus volunteers. Archana’s NGO is a very niche one which fights for proper workplace ethics. Rahul associates himself with relief work and Smita is a ready supporter to NGO work.
And the biggest surprise was that the gang is enthusiastically into blogging and they use it to showcase their charity work and their experiences in living in India. Check out their blogs here : Rahul, Mark, Yoomi, Smita & Archana.
The lunch at Annalakshmi was fabulous. When I used to volunteer here, I distinctly remember the food to be below average. Now, not only is the food yummy (and the prices hurt even more), the decor is just as swank as I remember it to be.
Overall, a great meeting and I’m glad I got to know some really wonderful folks.