Saturday-Pentacle // Issue 175 // Week 11 // 2020

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By Himanshu Sachdeva

Hello there!

Hope you are safe and taking precautions to prevent COVID-19 exposure! In the past week, the situation has escalated to another level. Nearly 4000 plus people are dead worldwide and most of the countries are taking extreme caution steps like locking down entire cities.

Even my own office management has asked us to work from home, keeping in mind the situation and the risk associated with travel to the office.

This whole situation made me pause for a while and think about this year. Since the start of 2020, there have been many tragedies until now. Like Kobe Bryant death, Delhi Riots, Australian Bush Fires and now this COVID-19 worldwide spread. All of it sounds like straight out of the book of the apocalypse.

But humankind is always hopeful. I hope we get through this scare as well.

From another perspective, it also seems like a way of earth balancing life. Humans have done too much harm and seem like nature is taking it’s toll now by all these events.

I really wish and want that we humans do better with the environment, the earth and the treat other sentient beings with dignity as well. That seems like the only way to return back to the equilibrium with nature because this is the only pale blue dot we got to live.

I’m personally taking steps to reduce my carbon footprint by reducing plastic in my life, avoiding burning fossil fuel and being mindful of everything I consume and do.

This Corona Virus situation may be a turning point in history when we look back from the future, it may seem like it taught us how nature can give us back what we give to her. It also taught corporates to get better at making people work from home, travelling less, burning less or no fuel for travelling and social distancing.

I’m also making a video on the whole Corona Virus situation which may help people to understand the situation and not panic. Being Alert is the need of the hour and not being anxious.

Last week we had couple of holidays in India. Holi is one of them. The festival of colors. But this time it was not as colourful due to the COVID-19. I also celebrated it along with my family at home only with a small tikka of colour.

Coming on to the book listening progress, I’m at 75% with “The Sign of the Four” book from Sherlock Holmes series and with “Nonviolent Communication” (50% done). Inching closer to the goal. Yay!

This week I also released a different kind of video (with a lot of B-Rolls) – The 90 Mins Morning routine. (Check it out at the end section of this newsletter).

Without further adieu, please enjoy this week’s Saturday-Pentacle.


Issue 175 // Week 11 // 2020


A video I found really useful to learn more about COVID-19

CoronaVirus (COVID-19) – The Basics – Ali Abdaal does a great job explaining about the situation of COVID-19 and what actions to take. Check this out. I’m aiming to create a similar video with keeping in mind Indian situations.


A person I’m curious to know more about (Maybe a podcast episode brewing…Psss) —

Pallavi Jha – She’s the Chairperson and Managing Director of Dale Carnegie Training India. Pallavi has worked with more than 8,000 organizations to date and has equipped countless companies with the skills needed to scale in India’s competitive, dynamic economy.

A powerful personality. Check out this video –


A song I loved —

Kaheen Main Khirki to nahin – Discovered this new song on SoundCloud.

Mehdi Maloof has done an interesting job with this song.

Check it out it’s a little different –


A TedTalk I found interesting –

How technology frames reality – I found this TedTalk accidentally but loved the very different perspective it shared.

How technology is framing reality and how our perception has become a real estate to sell ads. It also shares a web browser plugin prototype which helps shape the digital content and show us how things really are instead of the photoshopped versions.

Check it out –


Quote I’m pondering on lately –

This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.

Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Before saying “see you next week”
Here is the video I released in last week – The 90 Mins Morning Routine. This is what I follow currently for a powerful and productive day. Check it out –

Until Next Saturday!

Thanks for reading.

Himanshu


Hey friends, I’m Himanshu, a technology professional working in Mumbai, India. I spend most of my spare time making Podcasts, YouTube videos and write on Lifestyle Design and sometimes stories. Every Saturday, I send out an email newsletter called “Saturday Pentacle”, a list of the cool stuff I explored in the past week, including quotes, photos, books, articles, movies, documentaries and so on!


No spam, ever. Only great stuff.

Saturday-Pentacle // Issue 175 // Week 11 // 2020

#19 – Rajat Ubhaykar (Journalist and Author of the book – Truck De India) – Hitchhiking 10000kms with Truckers of India and writing for a living

Rajat Ubhaykar
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In this episode, I’m talking to Rajat Ubhaykar who is a journalist and author. His first book “Truck De India” launched in late 2019 and since then it’s trending in top travel books in India. In this book, he shares his 10000km hitchhiking adventure throughout India with Truckers. He documented the lives of truckers, the highway economy and busted a lot of myths about truckers.

In this conversation, we talked about his book, his writing process, a lot of stories he actually lived through while on this crazy journey, including an insurgent attack in northeast India

It was a great experience talking to Rajat about his own story and his documented journey called “Truck De India”.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Rajat Ubhaykar.

Links and references from the episode –

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#18 – Delton Dsouza (Adventure Film Maker and Director of Photography) – Living life one adventure at a time!

Delton Dsouza on zipline over some forest with Action cameras mounted on his body.
Delton Dsouza
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In this episode, I’m talking to Delton Dsouza. He’s an adventure Film Maker, Director of Photography and Cinematographer. He’s been publishing his amazing adventure outdoors videos on YouTube including his BikePacking Series. His video editing works are just out of the world. He’s also done commercial work with names like Vogue, Flipkart and more.

In this conversation, we cover a wide variety of topics – his creative process, how he transitioned to this creative career from a regular airline job. We also talk about his YouTube series called BikePacking. There is a lot of nitty-gritty details if you are an aspiring filmmaker, YouTuber or Director.

It was just pure joy listening to this guy talks about his passion.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Delton Dsouza.

Links and references from the episode –

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#17 – Chhavi Sachdev (Founder of Sonologue and Independent podcast consultant) – Telling stories through Audio and bringing podcasting to life in India

Chhavi Sachdev
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In this episode, I’m talking to Chhavi Sachdev. She’s an independent podcast producer, consultant, and coach. Basically one-stop-shop for podcast production. She is also the most experienced podcaster in India; she has been making podcasts since 2008.

She is also a multimedia journalist and has worked with names like BBC, PRI and NPR. When she moved back to India from the US almost 10 years back, she saw almost nobody in India was working with the new intelligent medium of storytelling which was podcasts. So she embarked on this long journey of making the Podcast medium relevant in India. Like smart and intellectual radio stations.

Meanwhile, Chhavi worked on interesting projects and co-founded IVM which is a big podcast production company now, but she left after a short stint and eventually founded Sonologue which is her own podcast production company. She has worked on a wide array of projects in Audio and it reflects in her production value.

Chhavi has also been conducting regular workshops for individuals, colleges, corporates, as well as NGO’s. Her 4-hour crash course in podcasting is fairly popular.

In this conversation, we cover many of the things about podcasting, the state of radio industry in India. Her productive routine, tools and tips about podcasting.

I had a blast having this conversation with Chhavi.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Chhavi Sachdev.

Links and references from the episode –

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Looking back (An annual review – 2019)

Reading Time: 17 minutes

From the past six years, I’m doing an annual review of my life. December month is usually the time of every year when I tend to slow down a bit and take a pause. It’s the time when I reflect back on the year. What I’ve done, where I’ve been, where I’m at right now and what I’m looking forward to. To promote writing online and to keep myself publicly committed to my new year’s goals, I publish the annual review here.

A rear view mirror showing Himanshu behind the camera near a waterbody showing looking back 2019 annual review text as well

This is my 7th annual review, you can access all my previous reviews at the end of this post.

This year also I’ll answer three questions, the same as the past 6 years.

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What’s am I working toward?

Hope it will be insightful and interesting for some of you. Lets cut to the chase.

Looking back (An annual review – 2019)

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#16 – Ashish Bedekar (Chief Product Officer of picoNets and a Startup Mentor) – Predicting the future by the patterns of the past.

Ashish Bedekar Portrait

Ashish Bedekar

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In this episode I’m talking to Ashish Bedekar who is the Chief Product Officer of Piconets (a company which is working on revolutionising Content Delivery Network system by working acceleration the last mile performance. To simply say he is making the Internet sites you see daily, load on lighting speeds and meanwhile decrease the cost.

He is also a productivity expert and a start-up mentor. He works with many start-up incubators to nurture and support start-up companies who are focusing on clean-tech, energy, Internet of Things (or IoT).

There are a lot of small tools and apps you’ll learn in this episode about and can implement to improve your productivity.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Ashish Bedekar.

Links and references from the episode –

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#15 – Venkatraman Pichumani (Founder of YouTooCanRun) – Cultivating uncorrupt behaviour, Providing world-class user experience and Coaching Cardiac patients!

Venkatraman Pichumani

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In this episode I’m talking to Venkatraman Pichumani who is founder of YouTooCanRun, a company through which he provides a 360 degree platform to organise sports events starting from the registration process till the event wrap up. YouTooCanRun is leading the charts in the end to end user experience it provides. He is also the Founder of the Zippers Club, which is a very unique club where he coaches people who have or had cardiac conditions, he trains them to run long distances and even Marathons. Venkat himself is a long distance runner despite having a cardiac surgery years back.

In this conversation we talk about his life journey, things and experiences from the 80s and 90s. How he surrendered his CA title after achieving financial freedom and started various ventures and found success in many of his entrepreneurial acts. All of this and much more in this episode.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Venkatraman Pichumani.

Links and references from the episode –

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#14 – Aditya Shroff (Author of the book “The Best Life Ever”) – Taking the road less travelled, being a writer and living the best life ever!

Aditya Shroff
[Image Courtesy – Aditya Shroff]

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In this episode I’m talking to Aditya Shroff popularly known through his blog as “The 5AM Guy” who is also an author of the book “The Best Life Ever”. He is also a competitive runner and frequently gets podium positions in various running races. He leads quite a simple but interesting life at a farm in a Village of Gujarat. After doing his engineering from Mumbai, he got a high paying job in Germany but eventually dropped that job and came back to India to work on his passion which is writing.

In this conversation we cover a wide variety of topics – how he took the brave decision to drop the job and work on his passion and live on a farm, his creative process while writing the book. How he got the book published and even got a forward from a celebrity whom he didn’t directly know. How someone, who has a passion can convert it into a profession. All of this and much much more is in the episode.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Aditya Shroff.

Links and references from the episode –

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#13 – Kuntal Joisher (First vegan to climb Mt. Everest from both the sides) – Living a life of compassion and Summiting the highest mountains!

Kuntal Joisher
[Image Courtesy – Kuntal Joisher (Instagram) ]

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In this episode I’m talking to Kuntal Joisher who became the World’s first Vegan to scale Everest in 2016 and now in 2019 he has summited Everest again from the North Side becoming the only vegan on earth climb Mt. Everest from both the sides. Kuntal’s expeditions are driven by compassion as a Vegan and he also spreads awareness on Dementia. He has also been on the cover of multiple international Vegan magazines. Apart from his mountain expeditions he works as a technology professional and also speaks at various events through out the globe as a public speaker.

In this conversation we talk about his story, how the early exposure to the idea that it’s ok do crazy things seeded his life with the sense of adventure. How his journey as a mountaineer started and the moments when he was first awestruck with the magnificence of Mt. Everest. His training regime and advise for people who are aspiring to summit Mt. Everest. It’s all in this episode.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Kuntal Joisher.

Links and references from the episode –

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#12 – Gopi Vadsak (Aawaari) – Breathing emotions into visual art and making it come alive!

Gopi Vadsak (Aawaari)
[Image Courtesy – Gopi Vadsak (Instagram) ]

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In this episode I’m talking to Gopi Vadsak popularly known on Instagram as Aawaari. She is a visual designer, stylist, photographer and a creative director. Her creative photos and videos go viral every now on then on the Interwebs. Her work has been recognised by the likes of Adobe. We touch base on a variety of things in this conversation like – Her story, her struggle with anxiety and her way out of it, her creative process. How creatives like her make money in this profession and on what scale they should charge. How to work with whatever tools you have in hand to make something awesome! All of this and much more.

So without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation with Gopi Vadsak.

Links and references from the episode –

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