A’bad UG CTD and Gandhi Ashram … October 5th, 2009

Vinod Kumar

I have been planning to write the trip report from my recent trip – Community TechDays in Ahmedabad over weekend. Well, flying on a holiday Oct 2nd (Gandhi Jayanthi) and executing the event on a Saturday Oct 3rd was something I had to first skilfully negotiate with my family for permission. Having gone past all that, it was the session preparation. I was allotted 120 mins for two sessions i.e. Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. I have been doing tons of work to get a lot of trivia and interesting features demo’s for the UG. And the laundry list of tips / features just didn’t end as I kept on adding them till the day of the event – in essence the session went for 180 mins :). Going to the session and considering a small city like Ahmedabad I was pretty surprised to see what was waiting for me at the halls.

CTD4 The hall was jam-packed with close to 250-300+ attendees. Atleast to my knowledge I didn’t see any empty seats during my session. As compared to other tier-1 city I observed a number of good qualities –

  • People were well on time for the event – infact the hall for overflowing by 9:30AM which was our scheduled start. Amazing and thanks for being punctual folks.
  • Though we didn’t announce any house-keeping tasks – atleast for the duration of my session of close to 180 mins I didn’t listen to a single cellphone call. The audience were disciplined and very professional in keeping their mobiles on silent mode automatically. Rocking guys.

It was a lot of fun to meet a number of known faces like Pinal Dave, Jacob Sebastian, Mahesh Dhola, Jadeja Dushyantsinh and many more. I dont want to talk about my very own session which was just 1 slide and 180mins Demo from start till end just to keep the audiences locked to the session. I did overrun the session by a bit, but I feel the audience will forgive me for the same as I wanted to show the really cool and exciting stuff with these two amazing products. On the day of the session, Pinal and Jacob requested I talk a bit of SQL Server too so I did a 5 mins demo on SQL Server’s SQLCMD utility and showed then how it used codepages etc …

   CTD10    CTD11

With Pinal and Jacob at the Ahmedabad Community TechDays ‘09

I must admit the hospitality of these two gentlemen and the UG members is highly commendable. They made my trip surely something to remember and cherish. I do promise to give another session to these UG in subsequent CTD’s too. As I planned to take leave, Jacob and Pinal had some big surprise that I was not ready for. They had given me a gift as token of Thanks/Appreciation. I must admit, it was the best gift I have ever got – “The Art of XSD” By Jacob Sebastian


I have just one complaint to Jacob – you missed signing the front page for me buddy. And I promise to get the same from you in our next meet !!!

Thanks again for attending my session and giving me those great feedbacks. Hoping to see you all back at our next UG CTD too.

Before I sign off Thanks to Pinal for posting a wonderful summary report of the UG Event. Infact, I also had the opportunity to see a number of community members (e.g Ritesh) also actively blogging about the event. Keep those blogs coming and spread the word !!!


Now let me switch gears to something completely different, something I had as a privilege during this trip. As I mentioned before, I was travelling on Oct 2nd and it means so many things to a number of people. I have seen an attitude of just yet another holiday at-times with people when they get day’s off. Since I was in Ahmedabad I thought I make this day really count as I was at the city where our “Father of the Nation” lived. The name “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’” still evokes a lot of inspiration, love and passion which I dont think this blog can ever capture my emotions in words fully ever. I had a flight to catch at around 5PM and I quickly finished all my work at the UG event by 2:45 and I was all excited to make a quick visit to Sabarmati Ashram – Gandhi Ashram a national Monument. I was surprised to see it quite empty considering it was the B’day of Bapuji the previous day. I am completely impressed and overwhelmed by the fact how simple yet powerful one can be if they followed their ideologies. I am so moved of the fact how Mahatma Gandhi was so forward in his ideas for the era that he lived !!! Hats off … I took few snaps for remembrance but I have missed taking atleast a thousand more which I was inspired at the Ashram. I will surely plan to spend couple of hours at the Ashram in my next trip for sure.


Couldn’t resist from taking a picture-perfect snap where the smile on the portrait was so divine … As it says – “Mahatma Gandhi, Wherever he is” – he will still bring a smile to kids and respect to adults alike.

IMAG0008As I discussed before – there are so many such quotes that I couldn’t bring live in this blog. This one I just loved, it said – “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. – M.K. Gandhi”. So true and really inspiring. I think this even applied to this generation though the thought about it more than 8+ decades back. And Finally –


A white wall that said – “My life is my message – M.K.Gandhi”.

I surely had a wonderful trip to Ahmedabad – meeting great people at the UG and visiting a simple place that gave me so much peace as if I would have visited a temple. Overall, I can say – “weekend well spent” … I am back home but this is still so nostalgic …

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7 Responses to “A’bad UG CTD and Gandhi Ashram …”

  1. Tejas Shah says:

    Hi Vinodkumar,

    Thanks for coming over here, Ahemdabad. Your session was excellent.

    As you like the city, please come over here again and again, so we can get chance to meet you again and can learn more SQL stuff from you.



  2. Thanks Vinod for taking time to come to ahmedabad and supporting the event. As usual, we learned quite a number of stuff from your session (on Windows7, Office 2010, SQLCMD and most importantly how to present for 2.5 hours and keep people interested and engaged)

    Thank you very much

  3. hi…
    we enjoyed your session as well as company very much, and hope to hear from you more in upcoming events, and about Gandhi Ashram its a fab place i m in Ahd from only 20 days and the first place i visit is this.
    Hope we will get you back here in Ahd and again get a opportunity to polish our skills in various technologies and ways.

  4. Kuldip Bhatt says:

    Hi Vinod,
    Thanks for coming here and give us chance to listen you.
    As you told in the blog Ahmedabad community is very keen to attend any event by Mircosoft so please come next time in ahmedabad,We are looking forward for your session.

  5. Ritesh Shah says:

    Hi Vinod,

    It was an absolute joy to have your energetic session in Ahmedabad. We are really pleased and honored. I am looking forward to meet you again with lots of SQL talk.


    Ritesh Shah

  6. vinodkumar says:

    Thanks Pinal. This blog and this post just reflects my opinion only and glad to see our views do coincide.

    Atleast, let this blog make visitors like me make a concious effort to visit the Ashram atleast once if they land into A’bad … Lovely city, river side, green all the way etc … I enjoyed the stay buddy. Thanks for the opportunity.

  7. Pinal Dave says:

    Hi Vinod,

    Thanks for putting officially on blog that you will visit us again. Ahmedabad would love it and I am sure you agree with it.

    Honestly, I am touched with your visit to Gandhi Ashram. Quite often I take visitors to the place and many just do not even stay there for 30 mins. People have forgotten to greatness of our leaders but a single message like “I do not want my house to …” when read, brings back the patriotic feeling.

    It should be must for every body in Ahmedabad to visit the Ashram once a year. Again, this is my opinion.

    Kind Regards,

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