Bali <3

Anish and I had been longing for a vacation. We had no idea where, but we knew , we wanted to go to place with moderate climate, with beaches and at strict dates(end of June)
After some research , we zeroed on our destination, Bali. And then the planning began!
Bali, that pretty place in Indonesia needs no introduction. It has become one of the most popular destinations for travel in Asia, and why not! Clean beaches, delicious food,lots of places to shop from, temples,water sports… you name it and Bali had everything to offer.I know I am being a bit dramatic but I was ready to travel as soon we finalized our destination, equipped with all the information within a day or two.

Planning started with booking flight tickets,generally tickets range between 30-35K from Bangalore to Denpasar,Bali for 2 people, but I guess June is kind of start of the peak season, tickets were somehow costing us 42-44K even in mid of April.

Bummer that was! Like always Anish was okay but I was not,spending those extra 12K , Ughh!!
I remembered a casual chat I had with one of my colleagues when she had mentioned about how tickets are sometimes cheaper from Trichy. To be sure, I just tried my luck
and Bam! Tickets were really cheap from Trichy at that time.I had decided I am flying to Bali from Trichy, only tricky task was to make Anish agree on that and make him thank later since I found tickets only for 30K.
After much persuasion, he gave up and we planned our travel from 21st June – 30th June.
Finally,we were done with first task of many to follow.

Bali – Summary Itinerary

21 June 2019 – Board  a train at night to reach Trichy in the morning.

22 June 2019 -Catch a flight , travel 12 hours to reach Denpasar,Bali. Reach midnight 23 June2019.

23 June 2019 – Took a cab to our Hotel in Ubud. Explore Ubud for next 2 days.Visit Sacred Monkey Forest, Walk around beautiful Ubud streets and rice terraces, Ubud market. Experience some delicious local cuisines. Go for Balinese dance show. Come back to Hotel and call it a day.

24 June 2019 – Rent a bike, ride through Ubud Streets and reach Tegalalang. Spend half a day enjoying the Rice Terraces, Bali Swing and Luwak coffee. Come back to Ubud, visit Ubud Palace, Saraswati temple and some quirky places to eat.

25 June 2019 – Early morning visit Ubud market for shopping.Reach Sanur beach to catch fast ferry to Nusa Lembongan, our stop for next 3 days. Check-in in our Hotel. By now we were dead tired, so slept and explored places in and around our Hotel.

26 June 2019 – 1 day tour to Nusa Penida. Catch a fast ferry to Penida. Hire a bike and explored popular tourist spots like Kelingkling beach, Broken beach. Catch last ferry from Penida back to Lembongan. Reach back Hotel, and retired to bed after a long ,hectic yet adventurous day.

27 June 2019 – Explore Nusa Lembongan – sightseeing Dream Beach, Mushroom Beach, Devil’s tear. Hop various Restaurants and had some really delicious food.

28 June 2019 – Morning visit to beach, Scuba diving. Catch ferry to reach Sanur, and later a cab to reach our Hotel in Seminiyak. Explore streets, shop from Seminiyak market and Karaoke night.

29 June 2019 – Start in morning to reach Tanah Lot and Ulluwatu temple. This takes a whole day. Reach back to Hotel, freshen up and hit the Semniyak streets, explore and eat and call it a day.

30 June 2019 – Reach Denpasar Airport to catch a flight at 11 am. Reach back to sweet home in Bangalore same night.


Note: Detailed blogs to follow.

Is Forgiving easy?

So, while scrolling down my Facebook feed , I saw a familiar face on the suggestion list. I clicked on the picture and landed on the profile. I knew that smile, I had seen it before, but almost forgotten. She had got married, and was happy I guessed from the pictures. I had known her for two long years before it ended, before I could no more drag our friendship. We were close,inseparable but sudden series of events had made friendship a burden ,full of lies and sour. I accepted apologies but it was never like before. Sometimes, sorry is not enough.

Gradually, we parted our ways, and never tried to contact each other. Its been over 7 years now.All these years, I heard about her through some mutual friends. She might too have known about me, I suppose.

Today, when I saw her again, my heart filled with odd feeling. It hurt thinking how someone so close could be a complete stranger one day. I think about all the people who had been once dear to me, but no more. Apparently, I have many. I had offended few, some had pained me but everyone had moved on in their lives.

I am sure all of us have at least one such person in life. Someone very dear to us, but everything changed with time, with bad circumstances everything ruined. Some sweet relations turned bitter. And we could not forgive each other.

I know all that philosophy of forgiving. I know how pleasant it would be to simply forgive and forget. But easier said than done. I don’t know how that feels like. I don’t know how to forgive and never remember how someone was so mean to us, and behave like nothing ever happened. And if I do forgive, how do I assure not to get hurt again. For me, this act of forgiving is an art and that not everyone can learn a particular art. Or can we?

I am sure some people can answer my dilemma and I am sure some people are already masters of this art.

What are your views on this? Would love to know.




Prepare and pass PSM I Certification.

I had passed Professional Scrum Master(PSM I) certification in month of March and wish to share my experience to help aspiring candidates.

It took me 4-5 weeks of preparation to attain the confidence to pass this exam.  In the month of December 2016 , I got into my first Agile project , based on Scrum.I could not stop myself reading more and more about Scrum, later, I stumbled upon various certification one can do in this field. At this point of time I had two options

  1. CSM

I decided to go with PSM I certificate, most importantly because it did not have any prerequisites or mandatory training.

How to register for Exam: To take this exam one can register on Scrum.Org and buy the PSM I Certification Exam for 150$. Once the payment is processed, a password is emailed to you within 1 business day. This is not the login password for but the one you need to enter just before you begin the exam(it is very very long, don’t be surprised). The exam can be taken from any place with good internet connection.

After registration,I received the password through email within 5 minutes and sat for the exam on the same day.

Passing Score: The exam consists of 80 questions, mixture of multiple choice and true/false. PSM I is considered to be difficult in terms of high passing score. One needs to score minimum of 85% i.e at least 68/80 to pass the Exam.

Preparation:  I self prepared for this exam, which is also an advantage of this exam because you need not attend any mandatory training.

  1.  To start with, read official Scrum guide, a 17 page long book. When you first read it, you will find it quite easy, but since its very precise , you need to thoroughly understand every word of the guide. Read it and Re-read it for a minimum 3-4 times.Making notes always works for me, so I preferred noting down important points. Believe me, every time you read it, you will understand things better. In my case, each time I read the guide, I found a new point to remember.
  2. Once you have finished reading the guide, take the open assessment for PSM I available which has 30 questions to attempt, overall there are 40 random questions. So need to take this assessment many times. I scored 75% in my first attempt, pretty frustrating, since I was confident about the answers I chose.After this, I took the assessments daily till the day of exam(even if I got bored attempting same questions again and again). Come to a point where you can finish the assessment with 100 % in 5-8 mins.I got 4-5 questions from free assessment,in the actual Exam. I took other free assessments available on, but none other than ones for PSM and PSPO are actually helpful.
  3. One brilliant source of practice questions is that by Mikhail Lapshin. You can take up the quiz for free, any number of times. The quiz has 80 questions, and can be attempted in learning mode or real mode. I would suggest you to take it in real mode first, and later in learning mode. The quiz has questions inspired from actual exam, each with a clear explanation. Make sure you attempt it multiple times, do not just mug up the answer but understand why it is correct.Although questions from 2-3 topics are missing, but this quiz is extremely useful for preparation. Refer the guide time to time for clarity.
  4. Once I was done with the preparation, I wanted to be sure about how I have prepared and so bought the practice papers  from Management Plaza. There are over all 3 actual exam like sample  papers with around 250 questions, with explanation of each. It was a confidence booster for me and final touch to my preparation.Take the tests couple of times until you score minimum 95% every time.The Scrum Master training manual pdf available on their site, free of cost and it is good read in case you wish to and also covers topics like burn down charts.
  5. I don’t think we need to prepare anything other than this. There are no questions outside the guide, so read it until you can recall every bit of it.

I scored 97.5% in first attempt. I felt actual exam is a bit harder than any of the practice exams(may be because of anxiety and pressure of passing). I would just suggest you to prepare well and be confident. Read the questions properly(one can miss words like NO or NOT). For multiple choice questions, it is mentioned how many answers they expect you to choose.( example: select 2 options). Once you submit the exam, you will get a result report as below:


And now, can’t wait to show 🙂MyPSM


I swallowed my breakfast in few large bites and hurriedly walked towards the bus stop. Bus stop during weekdays is crowded and I can see people like me in hurry to reach office, two other ladies, an old couple and a man. I can smell something familiar in air, and turned to look around. Unintended I gave a stare to the man making it awkward for him, as I spot him smoking.

A bus stops, I get in and take a seat. I sit beside a window and choose to look out, amidst of all the chaos happening inside the bus. The smell of smoke still fresh, my mind eluded to the day I had first smoked.

I remember it happened in summer holidays, results were out, and I was going to be in standard 7. Summer holidays and absence of parents at home was a pure leisure, a true sense of freedom. So one such day, I got a chance to climb onto the sofa back and explore the top glass shelf. After several attempts to balance myself on sofa back and slide the glass of shelf simultaneously , I found few old books (none of which I understood) and a pack of Cigarettes. I stretched my hand a little more, and dragged few more packets. I had heard Dad telling Baba (Grandfather) to keep stuff in top shelf earlier but this, I never expected.

I carefully opened a packet, took out a Cigarette. “What do I do now?” I thought. First things first , I carefully dissected a Cigarette,got nothing but brown powder. What a waste!. Of course ,I had seen Baba lighting it up and pulling smoke in mouth. So, I lit the next cigarette, put it in mouth and pulled in air. Woaahhhh! I had smoke in my mouth, but what now? “Hold it in, and wait. No way!!” I was confused, and released the smoke. Once more, but this time I accidentally I took a breath, letting smoke straight to lungs. I gasped for air, and had to let out smoke forcibly, leading to uncontrollable cough fit for 2 minutes.

“Slow down Idiot” I told myself and was careful until I finished the Cigarette. I kept everything back to shelf, like no one ever touched it.Brushed my teeth, opened windows in the room to remove the odour and cleaned it spotless.

I did this couple of times more after that, I liked how my mouth tasted of tobacco. I don’t remember smoking again until once when I was in college and then again when I started to work. Smoking was never a need but a choice when available to me.

I am not addicted to it and must be smoking 20-25 Cigarettes a year now. Every time I see people smoking, I wish I could have a puff or two.

Hard to believe, how we still do things that we know will harm us. There is always the first time to everything, but taking our own control is always up to us. With this, I hope someday I will quit smoking completely.

Driver puts a break, I almost forgot I am in bus. I get down and walk towards office. Far away I can see a group of people talking, amidst of smoke. I smell the smoke again as I walk past them, only this time I look away.

A considerate Atheist.

It has been more than a decade of disbelieving in God. My mind rejects the idea of believing in somebody who would just listen to our prayers and make things work or that everything goes the way God wants them to be. I just could not devout myself.

My family follows Hindu religion but I am blessed that I never knew the difference in religions until I grew up, and learnt on my own. I was never made to pray, attend temples except for few occasions like saying a small prayer before exams or festivals. I attended a Christian school, and for a very long time, I had believed that Jesus is the super god of all the other gods.Possibly Prophet Mohammed was a brother of Lord Shiva, and why not we have so many Gods in Hindu religion. Innocent mind, never understood different Gods and religion.

I started to read books and articles on different religions and that made my doubts even stronger. I got my answers about occurrence of phenomenon from science that I studied at school.Eventually, I lost my religious apathy during adolescence.By now, I would openly argue with anyone who gave me religious preaching. In fact, I even tried to convince my parents and presented the logic,proofs and scientific reasons. They dismissed it, of course. But to my surprise, my younger sibling had similar views on God as me( one of the few topics we mutually agree  ). And now there were two rebellious kids in the family. Our parents tried to educate us on religion but in vain, later gave up. From now they only guided us to differentiate on what was righteous and not, and let us choose our ways of living. They only expected us to be honest,humble and compassionate with others.In turn, we were thoughtful enough not to indicate faults in their faith.

We have grown up now, and during their visits if my parents expressed their desire to visit temples, we accompany them, whether or not we pray, they are happy.

As I moved out for work, away from parents,I met numerous people of different religion but never once disrespected their faith. If they ever tried to enlighten me on God/religion, I politely declined. Many of them are still my friends, they know me, my thoughts about God, but that does not make me any less of their friend.

Be religious, why shove your ideas about it into somebody else’s throat? Be an atheist, but why disrespect someone who believes in God. It is just the way of living, and in the end only being a good Human matters.