Contact me at bala@balaramadurai.net.

Blogs

Podcast Enterprise: S1E03: Charlie X

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis: The USS enterprise, it makes a rendezvous with a cargo ship that calls itself, the Antares.

And they’re going to take a board, a young man from that ship. So right from the very beginning, you see that the captain and the first officer of the Antares that is Captain Ramart and Tom Nellis, they are quite nervous, a little bit fidgety and not quite there when they bring this child aboard.

He’s 17 years old, his name is Charlie Evans. And then as this episode progress, as you realize that Charlie has had a very unusual childhood, he essentially raised himself on a planet, that had an alien civilization that’s supposedly gone extinct because there are only legends about the civilization.

And then Charlie essentially raised himself. As I said, he’s got these weird powers. He’s very needy. He’s very possessive. He’s socially extremely awkward. And he’s also extremely intelligent. And eventually it turns out that the aliens they’re not extinct, they found Charlie alone and they gave him certain powers.

Charlie misuses these powers because he doesn’t really know what to do with them. And as a story progresses, you realize that the aliens, even though they allowed Thetas, they’re called you realize that even though they gave these powers for Charlie to survive, they did not give him any. Affection, which is essentially what drives this character to certain violent and weird and possessive acts.

He cannot adjust to human society and he has to leave. So that’s a short summary of this episode.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

Continue reading

Solving the assignment vs learning problem - A design thinking case

In the recently concluded Karmic Design Thinking workshop, Sowmya Rajendran and her team worked on an interesting and pressing problem with the students. I invited her to write a guest post on the topic - Assignment vs Learning.

Continue reading

Decontamination of water - A design thinking case-Analyze

In the recently concluded Karmic Design Thinking workshop, Rajib Kumar Bannerjee and his team worked on a responsible and interesting problem. I invited him to write a guest post on the topic - Decontamination of water. This will be a series.

Continue reading

Decontamination of water - A design thinking case-Empathize

In the recently concluded Karmic Design Thinking workshop, Rajib Kumar Bannerjee and his team worked on a responsible and interesting problem. I invited him to write a guest post on the topic - Decontamination of water. This will be a series.

Continue reading

Decontamination of water - A design thinking case

In the recently concluded Karmic Design Thinking workshop, Rajib Kumar Bannerjee and his team worked on a responsible and interesting problem. I invited him to write a guest post on the topic - Decontamination of water. This will be a series.

Continue reading

How to manage your personal finances

Money doesn’t make the world go around, (gravity, stars, other planets, and all that other stuff is responsible) but managing the money in your pocket can help you go around the world.

How does one manage one’s money?

About a decade ago, one of my colleagues wanted to go on a European holiday, however, she confessed that she had no idea if she had enough money to go on this holiday or not.

“Bala, I am really poor at money management, besides when you buy a house, all your money, time and attention goes into that,” she said.

I told her “Anything that you measure, can be managed.” So start with measuring.

Continue reading

How to write a novel-Step-2-Write the main story arc

So, you want to write a novel?

In this series, I’ll detail out my process of writing a novel. How I converted a simple idea into 70,000 (Scrabble Queen) and 80,000 (Penniless) word manuscripts?

I will use my latest writing project Bhumiyin Kathai (Bhumi’s story) as an example, so that it can serve as an inspiration for you. (Totally selfish reasons, while trying to explain stuff to you, I am getting the motivation to complete outlining the story 😁)

I am writing this story (eventually as a screenplay) to serve as a backdrop and an interest creator for this course - https://onlinedegree.iitm.ac.in/course_pages/BSCMG3001.html

Right, back to novel writing.

What after the one line story?

Step 2
Write the main story arc.

For Bhumiyin Kathai:

  • Bhumi is outright broke, but wants to go to college (Hook)
  • Bhumi runs away from home and ends up in Hassan Arts College because of helping Okano (Plot Turn 1)
  • Bhumi enrolls in a computer course on Okano’s insistence (Plot turn 1)
  • Bhumi topped the first English exam ahead of Param, Param’s schoolmate and friend plants evidence of Bhumi cheating and the teacher voids her marks (Pinch 1)
  • Bhumi wants to make amends, she pleads with the HOD and she grants her one chance - to present to her teacher
  • Bhumi makes a presentation, but teacher ends up failing her
  • Bhumi trains hard in computer science (app dev), presentation skills, webpage development (Mid-point)
  • Bhumi decides that she has to help her sisters and brother out
  • Okano finds out Bhumi had been lying about her mom (Pinch 2)
  • Bhumi gets to know of a hackathon and enrolls as a team (Plot Turn 2)
  • Her alpha version of the app bombs (FailTry1)
  • Her beta version of the app also bombs (FailTry2)
  • She ends up intercepting Okano’s email (FailTry3)
  • Bhumi wins the hackathon and uses the prize money to give scholarship to girl students from Jaanathur (Resolution)

Continue reading

The four stages of Karmic Design Thinking - A handout

If you have attended any of my workshops, you are probably one of those people who felt that it would be nice to have some way in which you could recall the concepts easily. Of course, my standard answer has always been - Hey, please refer to my book - Karmic Design Thinking 😁 But now, I have a handout you can download and use without needing to refer to the book every time.

Continue reading

Podcast Enterprise: S1E02: The Man Trap

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

In this episode, the USS enterprise arrives at a planet called M 1 1 3, and the captain and the doctor beams down there. The planet is in ruins.

It’s a shadow of an ancient civilization that is long vanished and the only two inhabitants there, are a doctor called Dr. Robert Crater, who’s an archeologist and his wife, Nancy Crater. Dr. McCoy has actually been in a relationship with Nancy Crater, so there’s a lot of confusing emotions there for him.

The episode deals with the alien race that was there among the ruins. This alien race had built a civilization and then they disappeared for some strange reason. And there’s nobody left. They think apparently there’s an imposter among them.

And this creature is able to shape, shift and take on various roles. It’s able to take on the role of Nancy. It’s able to take on the role of various crew men and it survives essentially on salt. The doctor, Dr. Robert Crater, he knows this and he is attempting to get people out of there by, being very bad tempered to them, I guess, but it doesn’t work.

That’s the rundown of the episode. And eventually it ends in a bit of a tragedy because this creature is the last of its kind and it has to be destroyed because it is quite uncontrollable.

It is driven by a very powerful hunger. And it doesn’t think beyond the hunger, which makes it very dangerous.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

Continue reading

Podcast Enterprise: S1E01: The Cage

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

In The Cage, the first pilot episode of Star Trek TOS and this was aired, I believe in 1965. It follows instead of Captain Kirk, we have Captain Pike in command of the Enterprise and, he receives a strange distress signal from the SS Columbia in very very peculiar planet called Talos IV. The episode actually follows their interactions with a very diabolic and eerie race of aliens on Talos IV who specialized in telepathy. You would find that the crew members of the Enterprise in this episode is very different from the rest of Star Trek.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

Continue reading