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I am aware that in tech-ed BLR 2011 there was a session of SAP mentors meeting with fellow mentors and Vishal Sikka and likewise but I am not sure if there was also a meeting between participants and Mentors. If not then I am luckier than the participants as I managed to have spent the evening of 18th October with charismatic people Marilyn Pratt, Jeanne Carboni and Jim Spath.

HOW IT STARTED?

Scnotty works wonder. I just did it out of mere fun and reading blogs promoting the same.(one by Susan Keohan)I was expecting myself to be attending tech-ed 2011 but things did not turn the anticipated way. I did not want to miss the opportunity of my share in /people/jim.spath/blog/2011/07/07/help-an-sap-mentor-with-his-travels

I invited Jim for a dinner and it was accepted gracefully to my great surprise without any further tantrums. Since it was  a pretty short meeting, I expected it to be low profile had Marilyn and Jeanne not added surprise to it, coincidentally.

WHEN WE MET.

Although I was waiting to greet Jim , I saw him coming with two ladies. I now don’t remember how quickly I finished greeting him and moved on to the lovely ladies. Even before Jim introduced them , I said ‘I know you I know you’ and hugged Marilyn hard and I am very surprised with the warmth of welcome I received back from her. Likewise Jeanne needed no introduction as I knew she too was coming to tech-ed BLR. Yeah!!! Although I knew the trio well (via SCN), I am sure they would not have known me until the end of trip.

 DIFFERENT PLANS MERGED INTO ONE.

Marilyn had some work to finish, Jeanne to do some shopping, Jim had no choice. The question asked was what was the plan and yeah! I was ready with one and I said, since we do not have much time, we would cover Kempfort and Iskon temple seeing Vidhan Souda on the way and then back to dinner. Marilyn was impressed with Iskon visit and changed her plan and probably convinced Jeanne to join us as well. Hurray!! 

Kempfort:

We moved towards that and in the meantime some recording by SCNodfather . I was happy with the feeling of being hostess(for the first time though)to three wonderful people. But Allas!!! How can one act as a guide with Marilyn! She took away my virtual Hostess T-SHIRT. When in there, I had no idea of proceedings to be followed and Marilyn guided us all. (Do I need to be feeling shameless?) Till the time cab came to take us to next spot, trio enjoyed traffic seeing and congestion of the place.

 Vidhan Souda:

All of us were excited to see that. One question was asked to me: “What is the architecture of this”. “How am I supposed to answer this? “Neither I am a civil engg. Nor had any interest in drawing” I ignored first but when asked again said “I am sorry”.

We saw the National Emblem of India which read ‘SATYAMEVA JAYATE’. On explaining its meaning, Marilyn first had a perplexed(was I right in my explanation) then judging and finally sighed response. (If I could read her expressions correctly). In the mean time we talked about various other topics ranging from Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi , different parts of India and likewise.Somehow we also talked about Power of Desire.

Jeanne was busy seeing shopping malls(if not her blackberry) around MG and Brigade Road (happening places).She asked me good questions like Fashion trends going on in India and I was very prompt in my response and on asking the same from her came to know about feather trend in US. Cool!!I would love to see them on my hair!!!In all these times, Jim was busy listening ladies talk and Marilyn taking a short nap! I also gave them quick ideas on Indian cinema.

I also understood that KURTAS fascinated Marilyn a lot.Next time I would keep one for you.

 Iskon Temple:

We reached there and I, in order to find a shorter route to entrance confused all and our guide “Marilyn” said “Sweety, please let me guide “to which I quickly replied “Please do” .

Wonderful experience.  Moment to be revised: Lot of spiritual books were there to be sold and a sales person caught Marilyn and started saying lot of things about a book on Lord Krishna. I was trying to wait till he finishes his narration. But to my surprise neither did he stop nor did Marilyn interrupt him. I thought “Marilyn same content can be read on various sites. Please say him you don’t need” .  Rather her expression looked mesmerized. I had no choice but to say a graceful No to him.

Thank You Marilyn and Jeanne, the trip would not have been as enjoyable as it was, had you not added your charm to it.

 Dinner at Forum mall, Koramangala

Soon after Iskon, Marilyn and Jeanne insisted on leaving us as they had dinner plans somewhere. I had to accept, as Jim said he was hungry. We went to Sahib Sind Sultan and ordered vegetarian food which was spice less for me and spicy for Jim to which he said ‘I am from a different Continent’. I assumed he was hungry and ordered likewise but to my surprise he ate <= me and I am not a good eater. I reminded him of an article where customers need to pay fine in one of the restaurants in Saudi Arabia if they waste food. I guess he got the intention and asked the waiter to pack the leftover food. 

Tata – Bye.

On dropping Jim back to his pavilion he asked me a wonderful question: “What would you do once you are bored of ABAP and want to change to something else”. Mentors are good mind readers. I have been struggling to find an answer to this myself from quite some time and I had a readymade answer. However the reply was not very assertive.In return to that I have got link of a book to be read.If anyone interested let me know.I hope Jim is ok if I further make it known.

This meeting keeps me thrilled all the time and motivated as well. A lot can be learnt from them.

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  1. Jim Spath
    Kumud: If this was your first blog, I am astounded by your reporting skills, and power of recall. After we all piled into the cab, it seemed your first impression of me was that I “don’t talk much.” I will explain my “American Indian” name another time.
    As for reading minds, SAP Mentors have many skills but I claim no psychic powers. We were thinking along the same lines, perhaps? I hope you continue to sharpen your wit and capture moments like this. To meet more Mentors, I suggest tuning into our webcasts. Unfortunately they may be at bad times for your in IST.
    Later,
    Jim
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      1. Jim Spath
        Kumud – The SAP Mentor webcasts are normally on Mondays. See the SCN wiki page SAP Mentor Monday. Maybe I will ask Mark Finnern if we can have SAP TechEd recaps, after Madrid, with several time slots to capture the world clock. Even if not convenient to your sleep cycle, the experience of being online for a tech-heavy topic with 30 to 50 Mentors and others (depending on the subject, sometimes more) is quite the experience.  And getting on their good sides, since a few, like me, are moderators, is probably not a bad idea; it might make up for the devil horns. 🙂

        Jim

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  2. Bhanu Gupta
    Hi Kumud,
    Nice to read about your time spent with Marilyn, Jeanne and Jim. Curious, how did you explain ‘SATYAMEVA JAYATE’given the way you say Marilyn reacted 🙂

    Regards,
    Bhanu

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    1. Kumud Singh Post author
      Hi Bhanu,
      Thanks for the comment.
      I explained the meaning right and further verified it in Google.Marilynn probably has to say about her reaction or if I was wrong in reading it.

      Regards,
      Kumud

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      1. Marilyn Pratt
        You are quite excellent in all the accurate reporting of an evening spent touring Bangalore with you and it was an evening truly enjoyed, so thank you Kumud for an unexpected treat to see “your view” of Bangalore.  The only reason I could be your guide at Shiv Mandir (the temple) was because Anne Hardy, Gigi, Juergen and I had been there just one night before you when we took our own little trip around the city and I had hoped to visit Iskon that evening but instead found myself with them in the Shiva temple.  So I was more than thrilled to return there the next evening to see it in daylight with you and to visit the Iskon temple as well.  Thank you so much for arranging that! Now about your translation of this mantra: Satyameva Jayate (national motto of India).  I was neither puzzled nor judging.  If truth be known it resonated very deeply with me and had a strong personal meaning: Truth will Prevail.  That has been the story of my own life and many surprising…sometimes painful truths do come to light in the course of a lifetime.  I also looked this phrase up on Wikipedia and it is a fascinating motto for your country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyameva_Jayate .  The revised motto of the United States for example is a bit more controversial and puzzling to some.  But I will “save” you from my opinions and musings on that topic of e pluribus unum and “In God We Trust”.  Thanks again for a lovely view of the Bangalore you know.  Next time I’ll join you for a trip to your Delhi, which we enjoyed so very much with yet another mentor: Pratik Talwar and family.  The mentors and community in India are most gracious hosts!
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  3. Jyothi Velpula
    It’s always a pleasure meeting them! There are many things which you can learn from them in many aspects. I’ve learnt a lot in the Design thinking workshop!

    Thanks to Marilyn,Jeanne, Jim

    They are simply Innovative!

    I am fortunate enough to meet them & you

    Regards,
    J

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  4. Jan Penninkhof
    I almost regret registering for Teched in Madrid. Bangalore sounds like the place to be! Will have to  seriously consider flying eastbound in 2012.
    Very nice blog again, Kumud!

    Cheers,
    Jan

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