Eastern Bridge – RCME Newsletter, Issue #07


The fortnight is on fire! Commencing with guest speakers, Amar Ramesh with his picturesque speech and Balaji Venugopal with his mind blowing tips, we gained quite a bit of knowledge, preceding Vijayadashami. We had a fitting completion for Navratri with the Dhronacharya Award being given to Shri C.A T.N Manoharan. The function was a glamorous one with great attendance and a great speech being given by the awardee. With over 2000 people participating, The terry fox run kept us on our toes and gave us the much needed dopamine boost. I will let you more about the Terry fox run in the subsequent sections of the newsletter. It is certainly an eye-opener, for the acquainted and unacquainted.

The fortnight was as eventful and glamorous as ever and once again RCME comes out on top, shining and powering through.

Looking forward to your continued support, collaboration and cooperation.

Yours truly,

President Rtn. Ramakumar


​The festive bells are ringing, the bright lights blinking and all is sparkly and glittery. No, I am not just speaking of the Navratri festivities, I am referring to another eventful fortnight at RCME. With celebrations galore in the city, the events at RCME were no less. Our guest speakers were articulate and admirable and the fortnight was further charged with energy emanating from the Terry Fox run. Every week is a learning experience at RCME, and this week was no less, especially with the positive vibes of Vijayadashami and the fitting Dhronacharya Award. The awardee elicited well deserved compliments for his acceptance speech. To quote a member, “I wish he wouldn’t have stopped speaking”, was the scale of how well his speech was received.

In this issue of the newsletter, we have covered the stellar events of the fortnight. Don’t miss out on the riveting best foot forward article. The event promises to be an exciting one and with active involvement from members. If you haven’t already decided to participate, the highly compelling article will most certainly push you to.

This issue also features the winning entry from our sentences served competition. The article is so delectable, my marginal utility remains the same after reading it twice! With so much to read, I introduce to you the 7th issue of the newsletter. The next issue will have both, a physical and e-issue.


With love and commitment,

Rtn. Ramya Subramaniam
Assistant Secretary


​RCME- My Celestial Experience !

​Greetings to all! Through this article I would like to pen my transformations due to RCME. I submit my humble salutation for pulling me over, pushing me through the not so comfort zones , in my journey for the past 7 years with RCME, to discover my new self .
First and foremost, as chairman of Rotaract Club of Stella Maris College for 4 consecutive years, the energy, enthusiasm, dedication of the girls was so contagious, I couldn’t resist change! Each year was amazing with new learning from the girls. I believe RCME, is energy!

​Public speaking has always been my area of interest from young age and RCME provided me multiple platforms to address audience. Each stage, I was becoming better in my communication and delivery. I believe RCME is an opportunity!
The joy of giving through music, songs and emotions – Idhayaganam. Visit to homes, orphanages, special schools, reinforced my feeling , “count your blessings! Do not complain.” I believe RCME, is noble!

​The breakthrough in my health and fitness happened during 2020. The enormous confidence that set in when I started jogging and went on to participation in half marathon- the physical changes in me are way insignificant compared to the inner changes – _a new direction in my health regime, a new life ahead! Consistent Self Discipline is what I learnt during these times. I believe RCME, is discipline!

​First timer in RCME board in the year 2020-21. You run the Day or the Day runs you – I felt the true sense of this statement during this period when I served as Director, Health. Learnt the significant difference between movement and achievement during these days. Daily planning, prioritizing, implementing, following, finishing – _became an integral part of my routine – a daily habit built in. I believe RCME, is doing, not saying! Ask, thy shall be given” is a well known biblical phrase. On the contrary, I was given, without asking anything ! During the covid II crisis, support in the form of funds, help, volunteering projects , equipments – _all emerged from different directions both inside the club and from their extended family. I believe RCME, is empathy!

​To conclude, Attitude of Gratitude is the Fortitude for a progressive life ! RCME was instrumental in installing this Attitude of Gratitude in me. I truly believe RCME, is an inspiration!

 Happily Grateful,

Rtn. Sandhya Arunkumar

Taking the Jamakkalam to Milan

Photographer, Amar Ramesh

Photographer, Amar Ramesh


​Quitting a corporate job in the US to become a photographer in India is no small feat. Mr.Amar Ramesh has managed to do that and more. While he was doing wedding photoshoots in the US and in India, the wedding scene was not what he wanted to temper with in India. His original goal was to be a temple photographer, rather a travel photographer, documenting temples across south India. However, fate beckons. He was given a wedding assignment which he took on reluctantly and fatefully that put him on the map! His pictures became viral and the very thing he sought out not to do, became the stepping stone to the successful profession he has carved out for himself. He now runs a company consisting of 35 passionate artists who are not only photographers, but artists who desire to create a melange of several art forms. To put it in context, they are now working on a project, Big Short Films. The aim is to bring out awareness about the dying arts and cultures trend in south India especially. Creating awareness, documenting the art form, collaborate artisans with the young design graduates and amplifying it using social media, is the aim and objective of this project. Needless to state, the work is exquisite and takes on an ambitious course. A mere look at even one of his projects, will go on to show that he has achieved what he first set out to do- preserving and promoting art through photography.


Balaji Venugopal

Untangling the unknown

The mindfluencer, Mr.Venugopal, started off with a game to drive home the point that it is so easy to influence the brain. He says that the sub conscious brain is amenable to everything around it and that it is not possible to force one’s brain to incur only certain kinds of thoughts.

He then guided us to think certain specific thoughts. A great memory, a happy thought. A conscious mind is the tool then to access the subconscious mind. The conscious and subconscious mind must be united in its thinking. The subconscious mind is all powerful. The happiness in relation to life is in the moment. How should we have a happy life? We must know that nothing is in our control of the programs running in our mind. We cannot control reactions. One must trust the universe.

Quoting a delicious, attention worthy example of a mysorepaaku, he says that one must believe that the universe works in your favour, constantly, to make things happen for you.

Most of what he said were super attractive in theory and every Rotarian went home that day with the aim of putting into practice most of what he preached.




Terry Fox Run

We are adequately inspired listening to the story of an individual’s pursuit to excel or represent a cause.  Even then we seldom appreciate the context of that person’s munificence. Consider the case of one’s campaign for cancer awareness by deciding to run 5000 K.M. It is an aphorism worth its value in every element of the labour.  Now consider the protagonist being differently abled. He runs on one prosthetic leg. And he is a cancer patient. The incongruity of the situation is now seen in the perspective it truly deserves.

Terry Fox was the man. He started his walk from New Foundland and after some 5000 K.M. had to stop as cancer put paid to the pursuit .  The Terry Fox Foundation is continuing the inspirational work and today runs are held in 30 countries annually and monies raised for cancer awareness to fund critical cancer research.

Enter Akash Dube. Detected with a type of blood cancer Akash’s dream came crashing down.  Enrolled in to Stanford he saw the near despondency of the situation , a kind  of weltschmerz if you will.  And then he came across Terry Fox’s inspiring story.  He wouldn’t allow his life or the rest of it available to him to be wasted away but started to measure it in minutes, to be purposefully spent and live in the now of it than die every moment.  Chennai being his city of birth he called up the Rotary Governor and desired Rotary partner him in instituting the Chennai edition of the globally popular Terry Fox Run. The Governor wanted this to be a sustained campaign and he thought it fit to leave it in the hands of a club he knew he could trust.  Rest, as they say, is history.

In its 12th edition, the TFR was flagged off at the Olcott Memorial School, with the same passion as was seen in its first avatars under the able chairmanship of Badri. He has a core team of dedicated rotarians who are hemmed in  by the cause that rain or shine, they are there doing their bit in the event the best way they can. The run sees upwards of 5000 enthusiasts and committed participants every year. Managing an event of that size has its due share of challenges. The sum of all the individual activities feels always smaller than the parts that make it.

Consider the following; Housekeeping, Guest relations, Registration, Certificates, Partner relations, Handling donations, Merchandise sale, F&B, Stage management.
The core team worked diligently and the result was an eventless smooth play of each element giving that wholesome satisfaction one gets when seasoned hands man the wheel.

Lt. Col. Dr. Arun brought with him the Army Band and a 500 strong regiment of participants. The  army team kept the runners engaged with calisthenics, zoomba and the nuances of fitness . F&B saw exhausted, yet satisfied runners balancing the calories validating the truism that in life you lose some but gain some.

Now, we go on to see an account from the chairperson himself, about what the Terry Fox means to him.



N Badrinarayanan’s account of Terry Fox

I had no clue about Terry Fox Run until Rtn Ballu, the then RCME president asked me to take up this project and get more details from Akash Dube, a 16 years old boy from Dubai. I met Akash in his house, who was on treatment for leukaemia undergoing chemotherapy. A calm and composed teenager explained to me about TFR and what he was looking for from RCME. I was prepared to work for a project on Cancer with my interest deepening once I saw the resolve of young Akash to bring TFR to Chennai. I started reading more about Terry Fox and his marathon of hope – a cross country run for raising funds for cancer research. I decided to get involved in the crusade against Cancer, set out by these two youngsters Terry Fox and Akash Dube, which had shaken me too few years back when I had to just undergo few tests to rule out malignancy in my lymph nodes. I had seen the Cancer Institute and the poor cancer patients very closely during my check-ups and always used to think of contributing my bit to this cause. I started helping Cancer Institute by providing free printed media for bill boards, posters etc for creating cancer awareness. But Terry Fox Run fascinated me more because of its goal was to eradicate Cancer by supporting cancer research. RCME also found a great purpose in this event and greater number of Rotarians, Anns and Annettes have contributed passionately to make Terry Fox Run Chennai grow year on year and meet its noble objectives.


Dhronacharya Award

​October, 6, 2022

​Saraswathy Vidayalaya Senior Secondary School in association with RCME presented the the 6th of October, 2022. The Guest of honour for the event was Rtn Nandakumar, District Governor and the Chief Guest for the event was CA R Bupathy, former president ICAI. The Awardee, TN Manoharan, apart from being an eloquent speaker, is also distinguished in other respects. Mr. TN Manoharan was born in April 1956 in a freedom fighter’s family with agricultural background. He became a chartered accountant in 1983 and set up his public practice in the same year. He was elected to the central council of ICAI in 2001 and became its vice president in 2005. He remained a central council member till 2007. He has also chaired various committees of the Institute. In 2006, he was elected as the president of the ICAI.

​In 2009, Manoharan was one of the six members (as representatives of Government of India) appointed to the board of the scandal hit information technology company Satyam Computer Services for restructuring the company. He has been a visiting teacher for taxation at the Southern India Regional Council (SIRC) of ICAI and the Reserve Bank of India’s staff college and has written text books on taxation. In 2009, he won the CNN-IBN “Indian of the Year” award (along with his fellow board members of Mahindra Satyam) in the business category. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010.

​Our heartfelt congratulations to our deserving awardee.



​The Idhayaganam for the month of September, was organised at Paradise Home, Muttukadu, ECR. There are close to 120 residents who are mentally & physically differently abled staying there. We had people from Congruent Solutions- Lekha, Jemima & Bhooma along with a friend, Shankar, who song songs from various genres. Sudar & Rammoorthy also participated. A bag of rice was donated by Rt. Vummidi Uday and the snacks were sponsored by Rtn. Moloy Choudhry and the August Fellowship Hosts. RCME donated cash also for their grocery needs. The Idhayaganam team thanks the donors for their support.

NAVRATHRI SPECIAL- of handmade dolls and hearty themes

​Thejus organizes the”Swarna Kolu”, an exhibition of dolls and idols based on concepts of Hindu Mythology and Culture.  The Theme for this year was  “Celestial Vahanas.”.


​The idea is to bring out the cultural and mythological stories through various story boards and sets. This year was no different- the different Vahanas of Gods and Goddesses were adorned with designer dresses and airbrushed makeup. Truly a sight for the Gods! The icing on the cake is that the costumes for the dolls and the preparation for the sets are done through the hand from the heart.

​The Ithihasas and Puranas from the Vedic period, seem to suggest that the Gods had their own vahanas (vehicles). The Sanskrit word “vahana” literally translates to “that which carries or pulls”. The depiction of the Gods in the temples as part of the gopuram or prakaram walls & pillars further reinforce this fact. The vahanas represent the various spiritual and psychological forces that are represented by the respective deity. 

​Our Puranas have explained the spiritual logic for assigning a specific vahana for our Gods. Each deity’s vahana is to be seen as a symbolic representation of his or her power within the pantheon of deities. In certain instances, the vahana also represents talents that fill in for the deities’ abilities like Goddess Durga on her lion vahana destroying the demon Mahishasura. Lord Surya, Lord Chandra, Ravana, Hanuman, Kamadhenu, Kalpavruksha and Mount Kailash are also used as vahanas.

​It is also tradition that during temple festivals, the deities are taken in procession to bless their devotees in their vahana. The vahana takes various forms like animals or birds placed in the chariots that are drawn by the devotees.

​The vahanas also represent the minds of the human followers and appeal to the psychological connect of their own conduct. We humans often lead a life like animals in the pursuit of acquiring wealth and fame forgetting our purpose in life. The bad thoughts and deeds have then been categorised as “animal behaviour” and this aids us to be conscious and guide us in our spiritual path. 

​The Gods going in a procession on their vahanas during the temple festivals in a subtle manner indicate to humankind that they should extricate themselves from such bad thoughts and deeds and obtain the divine qualities by surrendering to God.

​In all, the Golu was colourful, educational, artistic and were a feast for the eyes and the ears.

​The QR code attached also gives a link to the story about each of the Vahana and its association to that particular deity.


A different kind of roadside rage

It happens every time that I am driving and stopping by at any of the highway restaurants in Sweden where you expect to be served in quick time so you can get back to driving, that you see customers first having to pick a plastic tray going in a meandering queue, pick the dish of choice, which for me is a huge task as I am a vegetarian and Swedish words can be misleading if it does or doesn’t include anything from the animal world and then stand in another even longer queue to pay. That wait can be several minutes. Several because you chose a dish from a cold box and it needs heating, you see. And when you arrive at the counter a matronly woman tells you the dish you ordered is somewhat stale, “so why don’z you chuz sumthing else?”. She recommends a dish that looks awful, sorry I have to leave you here to go out puke and return, that I end up picking a fat cookie that costs as much as the rest of the meal. And finally when I produce the cash to pay, the stern looking counter person says they don’t accept Norwegian currency. I thought the Scandinavians were all jolly good fellows accepting each other’s monies but the heartless cashier supervised me place back every dish where I picked them up from. I finally walk away very certain that all the others were laughing as I exited. As I get back to the car I usually forage in to my jacket pocket to discover a candy that I spirited away in the Oslo flight which would be my meal till my destination arrives.


PP Rtn. PE Ramakrishnan

Chanflix and Chill

​“Karthikeya 2,” (Telugu) starring.Nikhil Siddartha, Anupama Parameswaran, Anupam Kher, Aditya Menon, and others.

There is no limitation to the imagination in Tollywood or Kollywood superstardom movies. When the plot connects the hero and a mythological character, when the tale links Dvapara Yuga to Kaliyuga, the invention is multifold and has no barrier. It is a playfield where anything and everything is possible. The director has a free ticket to explore every bit of fascination and curiosity. The making and the climax make us feel the director dusted Harrison Ford’s blockbuster and made Indiana Jones Series 6.

Karthik(Nikhil Siddhartha), an atheist and a doctor, travels to Mathura with his mom. During his stay, he accidentally gets into a task to securely get the secret anklet of Lord Krishna to save the world from a future pandemic. In all such films, a baddie will want to get the treasure for selfish reasons. The villain in this movie is Adithya Menon. The question here is not ‘did Karthikeya get the secret weapon?’ We surely know the answer. The question is, ‘How does Karthik, along with Mugdha(Anupama Parameswaran), get Krishna’s anklet ?’forms the rest of the story.

Nikhil plays the role of Karthik, a Doctor by degree and an Explorist by DNA, who is an atheist and questions the ancient belief at the beginning and concludes spirituality and science are the same in the climax. He is the savior of the world from the pandemic. He drives a truck on a frozen and icy river; He controls snakes with eye contact. He does everything other than attend to patients. His performance reminds us a lot of Mahesh Babu. Anupama Parameswaran and Aditya Menon have provided the support. Anupam Kher comes for a few seconds and does not have much scope in this film.

Too much preaching, dull screenplay, and unbelievable sequences make this film run of the mill. The actors’ performances and monotonous expressions make this film a prime-time TV serial.

The highlight of the movie is the BGM. Kaala Bhairava’s BGM makes us watch and help spiral our expectations.


Rtn. K Ramachandran 

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