Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yercaud trip

Two hours of planning for the entire trip on a Friday for a weekend trip to Yercaud. Trip was a farewell to a couple of colleagues who are quitting to pursue their MBAs.

Yercaud, 380 Kms from Chennai, poor man’s Ooty (Poor man’s Shimla) was chosen for one Saroja level trip with 6 guys. We rented a Toyota Innova from Carzonrent. Very good experience, a brand new vehicle, 8K+ kms, good suspension. This ended up being a better experience than taking our own cars and comes at almost same cost. Impressed!

The Chennai->Ulundurpet->Salem->Yercaud is national highway and is better to travel than Thiruvanamalai route or Krishnagiri route. 7 tolls on the road and it is worth paying for the quality of roads where you can easily clock 150km per hour speed.

At Yercaud, we stayed at KC Hotels (1AC room, 1Tv, Washroom) near the Yercaud Lake (center point) for Rs.1100 per night. This works better than the posh resorts or hotels if it is going to be a 1 night stay. Best experience was the day 1 dinner buffet for Rs.650 at GRT Nature Trails SkyRocca. Value for money food, good variety and great service. We visited Karadiyur view point, Shevaroyan temple (highest point at Yercaud) on Day 1 evening  and Kiliyur falls and pagoda point on day 2. The Trek downhill and rock climbing at Kiliyur was a fabulous and tiring experience. Day 2 breakfast at Eggeterian was perfect for the insatiable hunger after tiresome walk back uphill. On our return,we descended the famous 21 hairpin bends of Yercaud and finished our Lunch at GRT Grand Estancia Salem. Repeat customer at GRT!

Fabulous weekend and a welcome break from work schedule to spend time with people and nature. All expenses dutched, it comes to Rs.4000-5000 per head. Yercaud experience could work even better if you visit on a trekking or cycling expedition than just as a weekend trip for Chennai/Bangalore folks.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Outliers - The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers are people who had the strength and presence of mind to seize the opportunities that come their way. Gladwell uses life examples of Bill gates, Beatles, Bill joy, Hockey players, and air crashes of Korean airlines to understand different outliers. He argues that Achievement is talent plus preparation and Successful people don’t do it alone. Even factors like where they come from matters and the ancestors have an impact. The cumulative effect of small but significant factors can make a huge difference.

Not all people born in a month or in a place are successful.  People at the top who work much much harder than others and have more than 10000 hours in a field become successful. Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard.

While conceptually the book covers the concept of 10000 hours, and explains about successful people. But I wonder how many of these factors are controllable and can help a personal become successful in life.

Here’s one more example of Outliers concept. On class 12 exams in Tamil Nadu.

Gladwell is a good story teller. Worth a read.