I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.


Kiruba Shankar

Looking for Inspiring Olympics Success Stories

With Olympics a little over a month ago, I’ve already been bitten by the Games bug. I’m compiling a list of very inspiring stories from the Olympic Games (all forms: Summer Games, Winter Games, Paralympics and Youth Games).  This is for a newly launched book project. The idea is to pick up these inspiring lessons and apply them to our working and real life.

To see an example of the success stories, please take a look at this page to get an idea.   These can be stories which illustrate the following…

Planning : How a sports person has meticulously planned his or her preparation.  A well planned training regiment. An example for us to learn to apply while dealing with big projects at work.

Peaking: A story to show that peaking at the right time is important.  While preparation is important, it equally important not to burn out and to conserve the best for the main event.

Perseverance: Stories of how athletes have never given up in-spite of hurdles.

Overcoming Failure: Inspiring stories of how sports persons have overcome failures and in fact used them as a great motivational force to succeed.

Sportsmanship: Examples of ethics and respect for fellow athletes. Lessons we must learn and apply in our corporate life.

Leadership: How a man or woman has been a true leader, catalyzing an entire team to achieve success.  In corporate life, it will be the CEO and powerful lessons to learn from sports leaders.

Coaching:  The importance of  experience and how a coach has played an important role in shepherding a team to Gold.  In corporate life, this role is played by mentors.

Turning a Dumpyard into a Lovely Garden

Photo by b.w.futures

A team of dedicated retired people have turned a few empty plots of land which was misused by the city corporation as a graveyard for broken vehicles, into lovely looking garden. What used to be an eyesore is now a magnet for health conscious people. As part of the garden, they have two Badminton courts, one cemented and the other with grass.

NOTE: These badminton courts are only meant for the residents of the locality. I had made a note earlier about the court’s availability for outsiders but the rules have since changed. If you have come here eagerly looking for a badminton court, sorry to have disappointed you.

Chennai Open: So Near, Yet So Far!

For the last 9 years, I have never missed attending at least one match at the Chennai Open. It’s the biggest ATP tournament in India and for guys like me, its probably the only opportunity to watch the World’s best in flesh. Think Rafael Nadal and Carlos Moya. It’s been an absolute must on my annual calendar.

Sadly, this year I can’t watch a single match. Why? Because of a board outside the Nungambakkam stadium that reads, “All tickets for all matches sold out”. Heck, even the advertisement in The Hindu today carried those dreaded words.

Yet, you watch the matches on TV, and at least 50% of the seats are empty. I saw many fans lining up outside the stadium turn back disappointed. Let’s forget the fans for a moment. The half-empty stands look ugly on TV. That’s hardly reflective of the kind of interest that Chennaites have for the game. It in fact reflects bad on the tournament organizers. Wouldn’t the players like to play to a packed audience?

Apparently, most seats have been given away to sponsors, the Tamilnadu Tennis Association and definitely to a whole host of politicians…who either don’t have an active interest in the game or too busy to attend the events.

This year has been the worst in the last 9 years I’ve known. In the previous years, you could walk to the ticket counter and atleast find a few tickets available (except for the finals or the big matches). But this year, its been a total wipe out for folks who just want to watch the match that day.

I regret not buying the season ticket on the day it launched. It was going for only Rs.1500 for all days. A steal, actually. I’m kicking myself now.

It feels a little odd to watch the match on TV, when the real action is actually taking place less than 5 kms away.

Ping Ponging at Work

I bought a brand new table tennis table at my new work place. It’s been a longtime wish.

It’s a game that I fell in love with when I started playing at Tidel Park when working at Sify. After work hours, we would head out to the ‘TT room’ and spend atleast a couple of hours everyday sweating it out. I loved it. It was fun and it gave me enough dose of exercise. Fun and exercise is an awesome combination.

It was at that time that I promised myself that whenever I open my own office, I’ll definitely get a ping pong table. I loved it when I was an employee and wanted to give my employees the same perk. When the table landed up at my office, I felt good keeping up that promise.

Yesterday, we played our first few games. None of us knew how to play the game well. We followed the simple rule: Just get the ball to the other court. The technique was zero. But it was sheer fun. We’d laugh at each other’s horrible smashes. It loosened us up.

I’m also aware of the downside. It’s going to affect the work productivity for certain. Yesterday, we spent two hours playing. The game will eat into the work hours but I’m confident that while the quantity of work hours might take a beating, the quality of work life will improve. And my belief is that this will have positive outcome.

A Movie That Captures The Spirit of Marathons

I loved watching the trailer. Now, I can’t wait for the movie to be released.

‘Spirit of the Marathon’ is the first ever feature-length film to capture the essence, drama and unique spectacle of the marathon. Featuring five runners – three amateurs and two elites – as they train for and ultimately run the Chicago Marathon, the tremendous challenge of the 42.2 kilometers race is brought to life by many of the most remarkable athletes in the history of sport.

More than a sports movie, it is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a glimpse into the world of ultimate human potential.

(Photo by Arnold Pouteau)