In Gods own country, I had spent four years avoiding this illustrious holy shrine, fearing the overwhelming crowds that swarmed its sacred halls. The temple, open only on limited days, remained an elusive dream for me, and yet, I held steadfast to my unwavering faith, cherishing the belief that a pilgrimage should be a heartfelt offering of gratitude rather than a quest for worldly rewards.

But destiny had other plans for me this time. I made a solemn vow that success in four deeply cherished projects would be the key to unlocking the gates of this divine abode. These projects held such significance in my life that I was willing to visit any shrine, regardless of its religious affiliation.

Fortune smiled upon me when an invitation arrived, beckoning me to join a pilgrimage to this serene sanctuary of his almighty, with three esteemed Scrum Masters from renowned Fortune 500 companies. It was a chance to not only embark on a spiritual journey but also an opportunity to delve into the fascinating world of tech-savvy careers, particularly the mesmerizing realm of Agile and Scrum masters. Furthermore, having achieved thundering success in all four cherished projects, I had no excuses left.

As I set forth with these luminaries, I found myself drawn into a world of collaboration, innovation, and execution that seemed to transform technology itself. The mysteries surrounding their roles were unveiled, and I realized that this journey held more than just a pilgrimage; it was a quest for knowledge and enlightenment.

Shabarimala trip

Our expedition unfolded like an explorer’s dream, leading us through enchanting forests and scenic estates that whispered ancient tales of wonder. The beauty of Theni, Thekkady, Kumily, Kuttikanam, Mundakayam, and Nilakkal unfolded before our eyes, and we captured these moments forever, like precious treasures.

Dr. Prahlada N.B in the backdrop of tea estates of Thekkady.

During our journey, we indulged in the marvels of technology, discussing science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT). E-money and cashless transactions became our companions, as we navigated the path with ease using Splitwise and Gpay apps to manage our expenses efficiently.

Every pit stop revealed new wonders, exotic places with reasonable prices, and the finest vegetarian cuisine served by renowned restaurants in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. But amidst all the beauty and joy, the insights from the devout Scrum Masters shone brightest, offering valuable lessons that could enhance our surgical practices.

Best of vegetarian meal of Tamilnadu state in India.

As the hours passed, I discovered the essence of Agile thinking, a powerful mindset originating from the world of software development but with applications far beyond. Its focus on flexibility, adaptability, and collaboration held immense promise for medical education and surgical practice, where deconstructing intricate procedures and fostering teamwork could elevate patient care to new heights.

The final ascent to the majestic and divine peak brought forth a moment of revelation. The sacred river at the footsteps, once mighty, had almost dried up, leaving a small, murky puddle. It was as if the universe itself was preparing to cleanse my soul of its fears, sudden and surprise rain poured down on us, washing away my sins, I felt a divine blessing descend upon my being.

The constant chant of his reverential title along with other devotees echoed in my heart, empowering me to carry the holy Irumudi on my head with ease. Refreshing lemon soda at pit stops rejuvenated our spirits, ensuring we pressed on with renewed vigor.

As we approached the gates of this hallowed precinct amidst the throngs of devotees, fate smiled upon us. As the saying goes, “When the devotee is ready, the almighty appears.”  Miraculously, we were granted a seamless darshan, an unforgettable moment of prayer and gratitude. It was as if the heavens themselves had conspired to make this journey a spiritually fulfilling one.

Those few minutes spent standing directly in front of the Lord Almighty, with folded hands, praying lips and a heart brimming with gratitude, became some of the most treasured moments of my life, eternally cherished in my heart. This divine grace was largely due to the kind assistance of my well-connected and influential friends, who ensured our pilgrimage remained smooth and spiritually fulfilling. The experience was a testament to the power of faith and the generosity of those who walk alongside us on our sacred journey.

This pilgrimage not only fulfilled my vow but also revealed the boundless power of agile thinking in every aspect of life. It was a journey that merged faith with knowledge, leaving me enriched both spiritually and intellectually.  On our way, we witnessed many interesting things. Among them were the making of Kerala parotta and banana chips. However, what caught my attention the most was the banana chip maker peeling the banana while it was still in its pod, showcasing an efficient waste management method. We also indulged in some shopping for local spices during our journey.

Banana chip maker with a sense of environmental sustainability.

With a heart overflowing with appreciation and wonder, I stepped into the world, armed with newfound knowledge and spiritual fulfilment. The sacred pilgrimage had unlocked not just the doors of mystical shrine but also the endless possibilities that Agile thinking held for the world of surgery and beyond.  As I returned from this unforgettable expedition, the world of Agile and Scrum masters beckoned me once again. Their skills, like radiant constellations, captured my imagination, and I knew that I had just scratched the surface of this captivating realm.

And so, with a curious heart and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I embraced the future, knowing that every step I took would be guided by the divine essence of his Almighty. For in this journey of faith and discovery, lies the true essence of life’s most enigmatic mysteries. Over the past decade, I’ve been deeply engaged in ground-breaking scientific innovations, and through this journey, I’ve discovered that as we delve deeper into the realms of science, our faith in a higher power also grows stronger!  With this conviction in my heart, I recite his sacred name once again, “Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa.” 

Prof. Dr. Prahlada N.B
29 July 2023.

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