Suman Sangam Farm

It is so cool how one could retire and want to give back to the community as well as nature. The owner of Suman Sangam , Dr.Sanjeev Kulkarni who is a former Gynecologist, decided to plant one tree and now he has a beautiful farm with over a thousand trees.He also suggested that we plant a tree just so that we could always have the memories of visiting his farm which personally might entice me to want to come back to India.Besides the many beautiful trees, flowers and fruits, Dr. Sanjeev wanted us to be one with nature he made this environment for not only artists but creative minds who want to be inspired by nature. We had a speaker from Chicago Abhi he taught us about creativity. We also had tea made from lemon grass and lunch.We shared our ideas and how we are trying to accomplish.
It is kind of bitter sweet that we have to leave this place soon.

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

Excuse the cliche title but I think its a saying that I really try to live by. I always make an effort to return to old friends and share the old and new memories.

My experience, although short, at BVB school for Engineering has been amazing and could never be repeated. All my new Indian and Chinese friends have taught me invaluable lessons that could never be learned in a classroom or through the internet.

Today was the last day and we had to present our final business plan reports for the products we were given at the beginning of the class. Everyone did a great job of speaking loudly, clearly and explaining the fundamentals behind their given products. It is clear that everyone in the program is extremely talented, smart and will be successful in their work, life or ventures. After the last presentation we received certificates for our completion of the course as well as handmade bags.

Later tonight we will all be going to Seven Beans to drink coffee and celebrate our two weeks of complete cultural immersion. It has been an amazing experience and I will definitely return to India to visit my friends and explore more of this incredible country. I would highly recommend this course and trip to anyone who has it in mind.

I’m leaving, on a Jet Plane

Today is our final day in Hubli and I promise to come back again. Veereshwari wrote that last part but it is certainly true, I don’t want this to be my last time in Hubli. After reflecting back on the entire trip, it’s hard to believe that I have only been here for a couple weeks, as it feels like months. This experience and trip could not have turned out any better. I made some great friends, experienced new cultures, and ate some great food.

Speaking of food, I never knew how good Indian food is until I came here. I’ve gone to Indian restaurants a handful of times before but they could not compare to the home cooked meals I was treated to here. I must have gone to about ten houses to meet my friend’s family and be treated to a big meal. I’ve come to find out that it is nearly impossible to say no to more food, you eat and eat and eat until you can’t have another bite.

So we have one more night to go. The entire group is going to Seven Beans and then out to celebrate our journey. We leave for Bengaluru in the morning and then on to Dehli tomorrow evening. The journey went by so fast but the memories will always remain. I hope my friends from India, China, and Japan will one day travel to America so I can extend the same hospitality and welcome that I was granted here. At the very least, I hope they are still in the area when I come to visit this country next time.

Like it’s the last night…

It’s been forever since my last post, yet it feels like the past week and a half flew by. So much has happened in the last 10 days, that it would be impossible to share it all.

New Year’s Eve was unlike any that I have ever experienced. The celebration began early with a holiday dinner and cake. After dinner, a dance party ensued on the second floor of our dormitory. One thing is for sure: Indian students at BVB love to dance. After the dance party, we moved to the grounds where we lit lanterns and release into the sky, symbolic for letting go of old business and welcoming the new year with a blank slate. The night wrapped up with a bonfire in the courtyard, where students took turns sharing songs. In my opinion, the entire experience brought the team closer together.


The morning after began like the others, but during our Chai break we took the opportunity to count down to Boston’s New Year, at which point the entire class bursted out in celebration. It’s a rare opportunity to welcome the new year at 10:30AM, in class, and much less without an adult beverage in hand. That day we began working on our projects, and despite having less than two weeks to complete them, I decided that I wouldn’t start off the new year stressing myself over the project. Instead, that evening a small group of us decided to visit a local orphanage to meet the staff and bring school supplies for the children. It is difficult to describe the experience, but to say that it was perhaps the most rewarding part of the trip. The children welcomed us with wide smiles and bright eyes, playing and singing with us, and admiring my tattoos, one of which they named “Godzilla”. After keeping the children up more than an hour past their bedtime, we said our goodbyes and thanked the staff for allowing us the opportunity to visit.


Saturday, the class was treated to spend the day at Suman Sangam, an incubation farm in Dharwad, where we took part in listening to inspirational speakers and sharing our experiences. Later that evening, we traveled to a nearby venue where we attended a classical Indian music concert. For some odd reason, despite an entire day worth of activities, I was not tired in the least bit. After a quick shower, it was time to hit the town to experience some of Hubli’s night life.



Apparently, Saturday night was a little too fun, as I didn’t wake up until 11AM the next day. In the interest of time, I’ll simply state that Sunday was equally rewarding, as blogged by some of my classmates.


Bargaining. I learned how to bargain in India. This week some of the girls from Hubli took us to the market. This has by far been one of the most interesting experiences for me. It was beautiful in the market. Everyone is selling flowers, jewelry and clothes on the street.I absolutely love shopping. There were so many options. I don’t usually like to spend so much money but this was a must.

Although we were warned not to drink or eat anything from street vendors, I could not resist. I had sugarcane juice. It is now my favorite drink and I have no Idea how I will go back to america where this juice isn’t available.

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In the market though, I did learn how to bargain. I saw a stand with so many jewelry and I knew this was the place to buy souvenirs. I started picking things I liked and putting them in a basket. When the vendor realized I was a foreigner he was determined to make me spend. He kept pulling boxes and boxes full of jewelry out making me try them on and convincing me that yes, I did need 23 pairs of earrings. I would have bought everything at the stand of “Virus” and “Swati” two of the Indian girls who taught me the importance of bargaining. I was told not to be excited about purchasing anything and pretend to walk away if he charges too much. In the end, the girls were able to bring the price down by almost 50%. I was shocked and realized I just learned negotiations outside of the classroom.

What a time

This blog is coming near the end of my stay India, and not due laziness or procrastination, but because I haven’t really had a chance to stop and slow down the entire trip to write one. From the moment I wake up until I head to bed, I have been constantly busy. Whether visiting one of my friend’s homes for a meal, visiting a far off hilltop to watch the sunset, traveling around the city by motorcycle and rickshaw, or exploring Hubli’s nightlife, I haven’t had a chance to take a moment and reflect. So I will try and do that here.

One of the most memorable experiences I have had here in Hubli has been visiting two orphanages to play with the children and donate school supplies, games and toys, and some sporting equipment. Both visits were unique in their own right, as one of the orphanages is a private orphanage that only receives funding through donations and small government support, the other orphanage was a much larger, all girls organization that brought in children who came from troubled homes, or were sent there through the court system. However, the children were absolutely awesome in both organizations as they performed dances and sang songs for us. One of the most memorable moments took place at the all girls orphanage in which we brought in some sporting equipment. I am a big sports fan and it is my belief that sports are able to bridge the gap between cultures to bring them closer. We donated a bunch badminton rackets and birdies, so we were able to play with the kids. One girl in particular picked up the racket immediate and began to display her skills against all of the adults that challenged her. I’d like to refer to myself as a pretty decent player who would be able to beat most kids at a sport, but this girl was amazing. By the time the match was over, I don’t think I scored a single point against her. She said she loves to play and that she was happy we brought some new equipment, to which I told her to keep practicing everyday and that I hope to see her on TV one day. The experience shaped some of my personal beliefs and made me think about what more I could do. It is easy to ignore these types of real world problems from the comfort of our own lives, but even an afternoon of playing with these kids made a large impression on me, and will continue to last with me for a very long time.

Lots of Unforgettable Events and moments !!!

We have lot more events happened in past few days:

There was a new start up Biosyl Technologies Pvt Ltd. Sarah DSouza and Amith of BVB Alumni told us their story. When they did their final year Engineering project they felt the need to anaerobic work station for some biological process which equipment is not available in market. This was the ignite point for them to get an idea to build such a workstation and then they demonstrated in many Entrepreneurship Fair and get recognition, won many awards and grants and ultimately done the patent. Apart from that they started to test the food quality like they founded chemicals to identify the adulteration  in milk, depicted about the marketing strategy and customer feedback on packaging and they made almost 50% profit in 3500 kit sold. Now a days, they collaborated with State government to test the various industry level food quality. Their success story and patience really makes us inspired to strive for innovation.


Pavan Shintre from LabinApp, another Alumni of BVB, described his glorious journey and huge grant and recognition like 100,000 dollars. They prepared artificial Lab station for Physics, chemistry and Biology for High School. This is very niche product and 60 school in Karnataka already started to consume this kind of lab. His untiring effort brings an enormous motivation in our mind.

We have visited Akshya Patra. This is a huge automation process which can have capacity for food preparation of 250,000 students even though they are providing food for 140,000 students of Karnataka State schools currently. It costs around Rs. 150,000 per day. 50% of costs sponsored by State government and 50% costs  by Akshay Patra Foundation. This is an height of an social entrepreneurship.

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We have ethnic day celebration too. Almost girls wore traditional Salwar suit or sarees. We have lots of group photos to make it memorable as Chinese, Japanese and American looks totally different in Indian traditional dress.

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We have attended Conference Enabling “Make in India” Challenges and Opportunities for Engineering Education. There was Defense Ministers healthy inspiration speech followed by Dr. R. Natarajan, Prof Lueny Morell, Mr. Xavier, In a nutshell, an Eco System needs to be built to bridge between real world and traditional University providing degree. I am quite lucky that my current University encourages me to follow the suits. I always charged up to test the water before take the theory in my mind. This kind of conference is always helpful to reinvent the wheel about our curricula and make our vision and mission clear that where we need to reach and what are the tools can equipped us to address those upcoming future problems once we reach there. End of the day, I have felt that I got my target track where I need to walk.

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Gururaj Deshpande (“Desh” Deshpande) is an Indian American venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who is best known for co-founding the Chelmsford, MA-based internet equipment manufacturer Sycamore Networks, the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT and the Deshpande Foundation. Presently, Deshpande is the Chairman of A123Systems, Sycamore Networks, Tejas Networks, Hive Fire, Sandstone Capital, Sparta Group, and sits on the Board of Airvana. Deshpande is also a Life Member of the MIT Corporation; the Board of Trustees of MIT. Such a high profile person with his wife Jayshree visited our class. It was huge impact on us. He discussed about the learning from each culture and main aspects of this kind of program. He discussed how the difference makers help us to be different. He wants to continue such kind of collaboration.


All those events took the student exchange program in an incredible heights and values.

The Streets of India

I enjoy walking around cities without anywhere to go, and Hubli is no exception. The first couple of night I was here, the Indian students took us to a mall which was not unlike malls I find at home. The real fun started when we finally visited the street markets spread throughout the city.

Walking through the street markets can lead to many different items to buy from many different people to buy from. Everyone from young boys to old ladies can be found selling food, clothing, pipes, silver, and so on, and it is all for cheap money. I have not tried any of the food they sell, but it certainly smells good enough to eat. The most fun I have is when I am with a small group and we take our time to absorb the scene around us. In these streets I have found authentic gifts to bring home to my friends and family, even if these “authentic” gifts are cheap knock-offs. The markets are one of my favorite parts about being here.

Blog 3

This is my final blog and it is sad to think that this part of my journey is almost over. For the past few days I have been feeling under the weather, until yesterday when it turned even worse. I was on the toilet every hour. I decided to go to class on Saturday and had to leave early due to how sick I was feeling. I slept for 5 hours during the day and didn’t eat anything all day. I was told to go buy some coconuts and drink their milk in order to flush my system. After drinking two coconuts I took some antibiotics and went to bed. Almost everyone else went up to party during the night but I wanted to regain my health for the last leg of our journey. This experience has changed my life and I couldn’t feel more blessed.

Working in the multinational environment







This program provided us a multinational environment. We are working as a team for the project and our team is consisted of 4 Indians, 1 Chinese, and 1 Japanese. In the beginning, we had a difficult time to understand each other but everyone tried to understand each other because we have a same mission and goal. I definitely feel that the clear goal helps us to cooperate together.

Our project is belongs to BVB students therefore, it is required for me to understand many things in first but along with the lectures and having many discussions I could understand. It is also a good chance for me to see one of the industries in India which I have never had a chance to work with.

I am sure that after I go back to Japan, I will constantly check news about economies and industries in India. I would also like to know how the project will be implemented.


It was a great chance for me as I am the one who only had an education in Japan besides online study from UMASS. To be in the class room with students from other countries is an experience. And also a challenge at the same time. Japanese people are tend to be shy and I did not have much chance to do discussion or presentation at school. Therefore I felt a sense of being overwhelmed to be in the class for the first day as so many people spoke out in the class room. However, I have been wanting to improve my presentation skill especially in English. But I know only experience can make me grow, therefore I tried to speak in the class. And I also think my comments would be a good feedback for others as I am the only Japanese in here. I know I need lot more experience and practice to be a good presenter but this program gave a lot of chance for that and I think I am updated.