Thursday, July 19, 2018

Nostalgia!! - A Feel Good Factor

I am a super nostalgic person and it goes to the extend that I find it difficult to change the brand of the soaps, powder or anything that I have used in my childhood. Same applies for all the things, locations and people I loved. In my trip to native, it's a must to visit those routine shops/locations. Somehow these memories make me feel alive.

Walking and exploring the locality is a craze (for me, any small walk too is an exploration ). Sandra is my perfect partner when it comes to my endless and directionless walks !!. On my recent visit to Paravoor, while back from grocery purchase, we decided to change the route and walk via a residential locality. Walking is the best time where we have our mom-daughter chitchats where I tell her about my childhood and she too talks about her life (teenager issues!!).

While our endless chatter was going on, I spotted Kozhi poovu (Hen’s horn flower) in full bloom.It was a very pretty sight on side of the road. I remembered my childhood when we had these in our backyard that too in abundance.Gone are those days when these local variety plants were part of our gardens.

I plucked few of the flowers (these flowers have a lot of seeds in them and that's the way to grow these plants) and took it with me back to Bangalore. I put them in a grow bag and watered them daily. Many of them germinated but only 3 plants survived the rains and now they are in the stage of blooming. Every morning, I touch them, water them and I go back to my memories and the feeling is amazing !!

#Nostalgia#childhood, #Kozhipoovu

Monday, June 24, 2013

PMI-ACP exam - Lesson's Learnt and my experience

07 June 2014 : Today I passed my ACP exam.My dream come true. After my PMP certification, always wanted to do something related to Project Management to improve my skills.So finally decided to take up PMI-ACP exam.

Whoever has done PMP earlier would feel that PMI-ACP exam a easy one. It's easy to study as almost all the topics are what we practically follow in any Agile project. In PMP, discussion was always on ideal scenario's but here it's all practical scenario's which makes it easy to understand.

I completed answering all questions in 1 hour and next 1 hour, I revisited all the questions and then came out. So 2 hours is enough to complete the exam.3 hrs is more than enough for the exam. =D

For the 21 hours requirement, I attended the sessions conducted by Bangalore PMI Chapter.After completion, I applied for the exam and got it approved immediately. 


As there were many books mentioned as study materials, I decided to purchase Mike Griffith book which is supposed to have almost all the topics.It's a very costly book more than 5000 Rs.But as I was not ready to go through all other books, decided to spend on this book.After the exam, I feel that this book is not enough to pass the exam.If you can read all the books mentioned by PMI, then  it's the best.Go through all the questions provided in the Mike Griffith book (for each chapter).

2)I bought Andy Crowe book as well as loved his book for my PMP preparation so expected the same this time too.You can go through the sample exams on his webpage (with the key).It is almost similar to the main exam. It gives a good feel of the exam and areas where u need to concentrate.Also the 2 sample full exams in the book too helps.


If you are a PMI member, then you will have access to the eReads where you can find this book -PMI-ACP Exam Prep: Questions, Answers & Explanations by Tim Bagnall and Christopher Scordo .This is free if you have PMI membership and is shared in eReads.This book has so much of information which is not found in Andy Crowe or Mike Griffith book. Also has lot and lots of questions for practice.


Join the group in Linkedin - PMI® Agile Certified Practitioner PMI-ACP Exam Prep Study Group. You will find lessons learnt and experiences of many people. Take your time to go through each one of them and note down the details so that you don't miss any important topics.It has helped me a lot.


From the group, I came across this page where we can find a good number of questions.You can use them for practice -


Read Scrum Primer which can be downloaded from


Read Lean Primer which can be downloaded from
Andy Crowe's book has a good section on this but its better to read some more as questions were mainly on the practical side of this. 


Few topics which is not covered in few books but was covered in exam -Empirical Process Control, Earned Value,Triangulation,Pareto Principle,Crystal development

9) Few major topics where I had questions - Retrospective, estimations, Risk based Spike, Iteration & Release planning, Velocity, Value based Analysis,Agile Games, Agile values & Principles (many questions),Osmotic Communication,Burn down chart,Collaboration (2 questions), Coordination,Risk adjusted backlog, Persona, Wireframe,Self Organizing team,Definition of Done,Ideal time,Minimal Marketable feature,Story Points,Agile ceremonies, Co location,Conflicts, Retrospective, Process Tailoring,XP set of values, XP roles,Progressive Elaboration, User Story format,Affinity Estimation,Cumulative flow diagram,NPV (No calculation), Epic,Parking lot,Value Stream Mapping,Story Maps,WIP,Servant Leadership, Stages of Team formation (Forming, Storming, Norming & Performing), Situational leadership model based on this,Planning Poker, Affinity Estimating,Deming cycle,Velocity, Optimum team size for Agile team

Overall I should say that it tests the key points which we might miss if we don't understand and read each section. But at the same time I got few questions which were direct and almost repeated from the question links which I mentioned above.There are no calculation questions.Had one graph question which was about spike, that was direct too.

If you can understand and go through all the above sample questions which I mentioned, then its easy to pass the exam.Just concentrate and understand each topics and you will surely come with the certification in hand. =D

Few of the definitions which was helpful for me- consolidated from different sources.

Triangulation (Estimate by Analogy)

When estimating by Triangulation, a team compares the use story they want to estimate with some previously estimate stories.They then decide if the user story is about the same size,smaller or bigger than other estimated stories.

Suppose a story is estimated at four story points.A second story at  two story points.When two stories are considered together, the programmers should agree that four point story is roughly twice the size of the two point story.

Pareto principle

80% of your results come from only 20% of your efforts.

Crystal Development

1) Building core Project team
2) Performing exploratory 360 assessment
3) Fine tuning methodologies
4) Building initial project plan

Daily stand up meetings 

Reported by team, for the team, while Project Manager is in attendance to remove obstacles,help the team communicate effectively, nudge the team to resolve conflicts and remind team to not to problem solve in the meeting.


At the macro level, you are concerned on project is on track.At micro daily level, team manages its dependencies,assumptions and start/finish dates.

Chain of Management

In agile, team is empowered to solve its own problems,yet urged to communicate those obstacles not in its power to resolve up the chain to management,some of whom are usually stakeholders in the project.

Iteration Review Meetings

Managers and stakeholders should always be invited to iteration review meetings

Agile Feedback Techniques

1) Prototyping
2) Simulation
3) Demonstration
4) Evaluation
5) Pair Programming
6) Unit Testing
7) Continuous Integration
8) Daily stand up meeting
9) Sprint Planning.

Empirical Process Control

The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation, experience or experiment.It constitutes a continuous cycle of inspecting the process for correct operation and results and adapting the process as needed.It has 3 legs that hold the  every implementation - transparency, inspection and adaptation.

You can let me know if you need any further information. 
For the people at Bangalore, anyone is looking for study materials, I am ready to sell the textbooks =D

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pay Property Tax Online

You can pay your property tax online via link
 Before going to the website for making payment , keep the following information handy:
a)  The SAS Application number of the form filled in for the previous year.
b)  The PID number (It's there in your property tax receipt for previous year).
You can pay via Credit Card/ Debit Card.
So what are you waiting for? Pay now and get 5% rebate.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Financial Literacy for Kids by RBI

Today while going through few financial websites, I came across the RBI website dedicated for kids.

RBI for Kids -
  • Go to School Children tab and you can download comics which will teach you and your kid about money.
  • Go to Announcements tab- Currency Note Posters which will provide you description about each and every note in circulation.
  • Go to Films tab for more recorded versions
  • There is a Games section too.
So what are you waiting for? Use this to teach your kids about Money and utilize their Summer Vacations.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How to Check your EPF (Employee Provident Fund) details Online

After a long time, I am having a new post in my blog. I am in a process of retrieving details of my EPF account and closing the one which I used for the previous employer.

I came across the following online link  "EPF India" where you can check your balance.

You will get First Screen as below. Just click on "Click Here" link.

You will be taken to the next screen as below where you need to add the state where your company belongs to.If in Bangalore, Select "Karanataka" in the combo box and then click on "Bangalore" (which is the first option below).

You will be redirected to the following page where you enter necessary details.
If the details entered by you are correct, you will get following information displayed on the Screen

Please wait for at least 2 hours to get the balance on your mobile. The service is not super fast :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Oldest Book and its Memories (My entry for BlogAdda and Contest)

Here am posting details about my favourite books since childhood.I am participating in the My Oldest Book and its Memories contest by BlogAdda and FriendsofBooks

The contest was to tell about one book you kept on your bookshelf for a very long time and for me ,there are two books which are in Malayalam and is with me till now

  • Theryoshka (Russian folk tales by A Tolstoy ,About a kid named Theryoshka who used her intelligence to escape from witch)
  • Blue Cup by Arkady Gaidar ( About father and daughter going for outing without the bossy mother and many explanations about life in Russia) 

 Those days (1983~84) ,many Russian translations of children's books were available for the price of 1 Rs,3 Rs..It would be published by Prabhat Book House or by Progress Publishers who were very prominent those days.

As my mother was working as a professor in a Govt College , we had the privilege of coming across these good books.Many of these publishers used to go directly to colleges and sell off their books ,around the time when teachers get their salary. The publisher's were smart as they knew ,they can target teachers as teachers will value books more than anyone else. The books were also very colorful ,thick papers and print was also very good.Nowadays it's difficult to find such good print and good quality books at such a nominal rate.

Though the books were priced very low ( 1 Rs,2 Rs,3 Rs ) ,those days even 1 Rupee was very valuable.We used to get many things for 1 Rupee..As kids ,we could get 10 children's day stamps for 1 Rupee :) (Children's Day stamps were not real stamps but a small stamp shaped paper with Govt's logo and priced @10 Paisa each)

That was the story about the book and now how it got to my hands..My mother bought the two books so that she can give one to me and one for my brother.As i am elder ,i got the bigger one i.e Blue Cup and the other one for my brother..

The stories were very good and showed that good always wins over evil and the other one was about enjoying life..and it was very special as the book was gifted by my mother by sparing some amount from her daily expenditure and was one of the loveliest books ever found at that time with all those pictures ..

If at all i have to give it away ,i will pass on to my kid and i hope this passes on to the coming generations as well

Friends of Books - Library that delivers and I connect with bloggers at

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ohhhh..These People.....

I was really in a good mood today but somehow the mood has turned little sour..and the culprit?? these people around me..

Different types,different mentalities ,some who keeps revenge and some who doesn't ,some who just want to utilize us ..we are just bridges on the way to their success path and some consider us as friends and no bargains on the way..Some who just add us as friends as for a moment ,they felt like they should be in touch with you and in the next moment they felt ,it's not really required..some who knows u from ur childhood and still remain friends and some who don't as they have more priority friendships to take care...some who just chats with you as u r a popular figure and leave u once ur stardom is over and other ones who chats with you as they considered you as friend and remains even if ur stardom is over..
Many more categories and which one do you fall into and which is the right friendship?

Of course ,the right one is the one who will consider you as a friend even if you are not a publicly well known personality ,even if you are not beautiful or handsome and hears off your complaints ,dreams and your thoughts with an open mind ..The right one is the one whom you can shout when you feel angry without using any sugar coating words as they understand you as who you are ..The right one is the one who lends her/his shoulders when u cry no matter what the reason is..The right one is the one who understands why you didn't send any mail/message or call for a long time and still talk as if u just met them minutes ago...

Quoting the following lines from
"A friend is someone you love. Not that you are "in love" with them, but you care about them and you think about them when they are not there. The people you are reminded of when you see something they might like, and you know this because you know them so well. They are the people whose pictures you have and whose faces are in your head regardless.

Friends are the people you feel safe around because you know they care about you. They call just to see how you are doing, because a friend doesn't need an excuse. They tell you the truth, the first time, and you do the same. You know that if you have a problem, they are there to listen."

How many of us has got such true friendships??

If you are not feeling good in a friendship ,don't just be there..just remove the person from your thoughts and move on..Yeah ,It is difficult and not so easy as removing one from your facebook friends list ..but it is good than just lingering around as you are any way going to feel bad later...

I am lucky to have countable such friends and i pray to god that they remain like that forever..I am also lucky to have come across all the above category of friends and i learned a lot on the go..but still when someone becomes my friend ,i forget all my past experiences and start with a fresh mind and ends up being sad or with a broken heart...

Finally i feel ,i am in an alien world where i am surrounded by aliens who doesn't understand me and i can't even understand them..Should i try to???

So concluding with another quote from PravsWorld

In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, age, caste or creed.
But in its bond.

So hold the hand of the person whom you love

rather than expecting them to hold yours.