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Testimonials!

From A Spectator To A Volunteer – My TRHS Travel

Well, so what was intended in the beginning to be a takeaway from the previous Saturday’s Open house turned out to be a testimonial instead. And, it’s not everyday that you write one, so, when you write you better ensure that it’s worth a read, keep it pure and let the words ring true.

Entrepreneurship is lonely as hell could be factually true not unless you are a part of TheRodinhoods!

So, what’s TRHS for me?

It’s that platform that helped me express my thoughts; meet some of the awesomest folks; build some wonderful relations, learn to engage better with people; understand the importance of sharing and networking, enabled me to come out of my well to discover a whole new lot of stuff that’s constantly happening and lead a life of learning always. In my fellow rodinhooders I find my inspiration, my s/heroes, my mistakes, my voice, my blunders, my hopes, my ideas, my regrets, my disappointments, my joys, and of course somewhere a reflection of myself. 

Be warned, this post has a lot of pix because there are relevant memories captured in them 🙂

In November 2013, my first Open House as a spectator

In January 2016, the latest Open House as a proud volunteer

Back in November’ 13, when I entered the IIT Seminar Hall for Delhi’s Open House, I was kinda clueless about this whole start up community thing. Although, I had been working in the start up space itself but, I was doing it in silo and had never attended too many events earlier. The founder & me used to be in our own (un)fantasied world working hard each day to reach our targets.

Thereby when I read about this event, not knowing what to expect actually – I had gone with only two things in mind.

  1. To personally thank Asha for being so encouraging for a couple of posts I had submitted
  2. To hear from Alok Sir about his 14 lessons in his 14 years of experience

I had reached slightly late and enroute the first rodinhooder I came across was Abhinav Sahai as we were both trying to figure out the auditorium location. Not sure, he would recall 🙂 (i have some crazy brain that remembers not so needed details). In fact his highly applauded blog was converted in a short film and in that OH was shown to the audience, something that came as a surprise to him as well.

Two gems that I took back with me from that day were – Never stop looking for opportunities & Be Yourself.

 a part of the diary entry I had made that day

(Sad that this website doesn’t work anymore… it was my #BFF but lost out on forever :((( if anyone can start something similar I’ll owe you big time)

Below are the three key pointers I can confidently vouch about TRHS.

1. Until I shared my first blog here, a fictional story, writing to me was a very personalized thing and I would never share anything wondering who would want to read and what if people mocked at it. But, when I got some amazing feedback on my posts it shot up my confidence levels to a new height. Receiving wonderful words of support from someone whose style of writing I had looked up to meant a hell lot. It’s then when I took to writing in more ways than one, I realized the importance of sharing my thoughts more often and how it helps in connecting with people better. I understood why everyone can’t be our audience and how words create such great impact. Our ideologies and feelings deserve to come out and show themselves in the light. How else can we know that something we have to say won’t help change someone’s life for the better? 

I got freelance writing assignments from fellow Rodinhooders which helped me showcase my work and in turn get more.

the words that i keep re-reading till date on days I feel low and useless

2. TRHS is a knowledge pool for anybody in the startup space. With I don’t know how many blogs and how many combined years experience of the adept talking, here you’ll get to know everything under the startup umbrella. Be it on valuation or funding, hiring or firing, starting up or shutting down, marketing or ops, co-founders or team members, scaling up or downsizing you’ll benefit a great deal from the grey hairs speaking (i hope you didn’t think only in terms of age).

A diary entry on a random day long back… though kunal shah is wrongly mentioned,it’s aman jha’s post

3. Moreover, through this community I interacted with like-minded souls and it has helped me make some great friends for life.

with the utpatang duo; the best friends i have made

Selfie with the youngest rodinhooder whom I’m very fond of, #theeightyearold Ini when she was seven 🙂

Farewell dinner by Delhi rodinhooders before I left the city

a catch up before an unmeetup in Delhi

… and there sure are a lot more :)))))) But, am grateful to these bunch of souls whom I wouldn’t have known of otherwise.

I had also donned the hat of an Editorial Assistant for a couple of months for TRHS but I had to leave it mid way as I needed to focus on the startup I’m working at.

And volunteering with whatever basic skills I have is how I wish to give back here. The way it’s been in the past with the meet ups and Open Houses in that way it shall continue. Like Alok Sir says “sharing is the only currency that comes back to you 100X” 🙂 I had taken up the responsibility of live tweeting from TheRodinhoods account for the January 16th Open House; the lessons which I’ll share as a separate blog.

When I first shifted base from Delhi to Mumbai, many rodinhooders approached and said in case you need any help don’t hesitate to let us know. And, when someone says that, trust me it just makes you feel relaxed and eases out your tension when in a new environment. I also met some of the Mumbaikar Rodinhooders whom I was only socially connected to, the faces I commonly saw on display picture’s and facebook albums, people whose stuff I had followed and admired, upon catching up with them it didn’t seem like I was meeting them for the first time. And, I guess that’s how communities should ideally work, when you have a connect with your fellow members even if you don’t see each other often.

I may never fathom the grander vision of the founders of TRHS but, all I know for sure is that it’s impacting many lives in more ways than imagined. It’s a community and unlike a media portal it helps forge bonds, at least that’s what it did to me.

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6 Comments

  1. Profile photo of asha chaudhry

    sunaina, it’s been a DELIGHT seeing you grow as a writer and as a person. 

    you are a wonderful person and rocking rodinhooder. when i was flying back to goa i suddenly remembered i didn’t introduce you to any mumbaikars coz i forgot you were new to mumbai!!

    cities get blurred for me at an OH 🙂

    thanks for this wonderful testimonial. and thank you for always contributing wherever you can!!

  2. Profile photo of Anamika Joshi

    So true Sunaina… And its so wonderful to see all those pics here! They were one of the best times… hanging out with a fellow rodinhooder is like not having to tell them anything in words and being on the same page always…. I have had conversations with rodinhooders which I never get to discuss otherwise with such clarity in thoughts. From clearing up a mess in the head to getting to know that everyone goes through similar situations, it’s a big big relief to hangout here in this community! 

    How I wish you continued with OhLife! I just love screenshots.. you will find a folder on my laptop full of screenshots. Thanks for remembering not so needed details… they make for a lovely read later for us. I also have a folder with unfinished articles for TRHS like how I have for my blog. So when I read something like this, I know how you just gave your time to share with us your experience. 

    Have a super-awesome journey ahead. Waiting for your OH round-up article! 🙂 

  3. Profile photo of asha chaudhry

    so the more i read this, the more i realise how my life has changed since i became a rodinhooder. any city i go to, even on a personal visit, i end up spending a few evenings with different rodinhooders! and many rodinhooders who visit goa make that effort to meet me over coffee if not anything else!

    when i’d be in mumbai, vinay chhoda & pooja would insist i go back with them to their house right after the OH so we could spend some quality time together before i flew out the next day.

    i remember you sunaina, asking me if i’d like to stay with you while i’m in mumbai this time!!! that’s just so sweet 🙂

    abhik and his family are here in goa for a month and we ended up spending new years’ and my b’day together. i think (and not because i’m the co-founder) this community has created lifelong friendships. 

    isn’t that awesome?

  4. Profile photo of Sunaina Shenoy

    the first line means so much for me. can’t thank you more!

    even i didn’t feel mumbai OH was new for me at all; yes cities do get blurred… 

  5. Profile photo of Sunaina Shenoy

    i get you and we have had these conversations so many times 🙂

    i too wish OhLife wouldn’t have shut; now everything stays messed up either in a diary or as an inbox draft or in a word doc 🙁 

    i needed to say this for a long time now am glad i finally said it..

  6. Profile photo of Sunaina Shenoy

    absolutely asha; i completely agree with you.. am reminded of the proverb “it takes a whole village to raise a child” and maybe there is some similarity wrt to an entrepreneur here 🙂

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