The burden of career decisions at 18

How did you get into the profession you are in today? What made you choose this as your lifetime profession? How do you feel about what you do for a living?
Sometimes people ask you such questions and sometimes you wonder… 

I’ve always lived my Life more on instincts than anything else. When I was out of my 12th grade, I chose Engineering inspite of all odds, which includes not having sufficient marks and my family’s opinion being against it. And this, not because I knew where Engineering would lead me to, but because of my fascination towards technology alone. But, it was a mistake and a proof that instincts aren’t always right.

Next major decision taking time came when I somehow managed to become an Engineer. Thankfully, because of my poor grades, I was not even considered for college placements. Thankfully… because hence the decision was all mine. What next? This is when I did it right.

The blend of instincts and facts worked well for me.

Here’s what I did:
1. Took some time off. (A month or so)
2. In the process, figured out where my interest actually lies. What do I actually like doing when I am idle.
3. Figured out the respective career options to my interests.
4. Figured out what’s needed to do next to get to those career options.
5. Cannot afford to reschedule my Life, hence came up with practical list of career options I can select, the options that are yet possible to achieve.
6. Set small time goals and proceed.
7. Rely on instincts and facts to know if you are heading in the right direction or do you need to reconsider the path chosen.

P.S.: I would’ve chosen BSc. Computer Science over Engineering if I did follow the same steps as mentioned above earlier. I know for sure that it would have been a better option then, but at the same time it’s never too late to make up for the past mistakes. There is always a way out. Hence, let there not be too much nervousness and take your decisions with confidence and optimism.


Are you cautious enough?

A short story about me.

This goes back over 8 years when I was super thin. And by super thin I mean as thin as a stick. We call such people “Haddi” in Hindi, as most of you reading this are aware. To add to it, I hogged food back then too, which included excessive consumption of junk food and aerated drinks too. Some people were jealous that I ate carefree and yet never gained weight, while my family always complained “Kitna patla hai”. 

After engineering 2nd year, I failed to clear all the papers and hence was forced to drop out, stay home for a year and clear all the papers before moving onto the 3rd year. Over the next year and half I gained a lot of weight and very quickly. To be frank, most of us were happy at first because it helped me look better, but then it continued to a point where it looked like am just bloating like a balloon and something is wrong. All of this, took over 1.5 years, though every quarter the changes were noticeable kind of change. My family doctor did ask me casually to have a thyroid check up to be sure nothing is wrong in the first 6 months itself. Me being a smart ass, didn’t convey this to my family, instead looked up the internet with the least interest and found out that most cases of hypo-thyroid are genetic and came to a conclusion that its not possible that I’ll have any such issues as none of my family members have ever been detected with it. Eventually after 1.5 years by when a lot of damage was already done, I did go ahead with the test, the results were scary to say the least, but better late than never. After a few months of good care and medication I showed signs of improvement and the care is still on. No one knows for certain why exactly it happened to me, but it could be excessive consumption of aerated drinks.

Anyway, why the whole boring story?
Well, I learned some important lessons from this incident, which might help you too.

  • If someone is responsible for your health, it is you. Not anyone else, not even your family
  • If you notice some change in your bodily behavior, there is no harm in seeking help from your doctor, no matter how minor it seems
  • A simple blood test is nothing to be scared of. Even if there is some irregularity it is always better that it comes to surface as early as possible
  • Do not use your own smart brain and internet for health issues without proof, in fact use it to help yourself be more cautious

Political & Governance Mess – India

There are just thousands of examples of so many things that can be done and that is yet not done for the betterment of this country. We have these experiences on a daily basis. Various bills are passed in the parliament that talk about benefiting the poor. Most of them claiming to be investing crores for the implementation of such schemes, which is actually the tax that we pay.

We’ve seen crores spent in various schemes for the benefit of farmers, their land, agriculture as a whole… How much benefit have we seen though? Farmers suicide cases are yet increasing on a year by year basis. Agriculture as an industry isn’t growing enough. Infact, it’s on a downfall. India, known as an agricultural country is facing all sorts of issues in it. There is absolutely no motivation for people to actually think of making agriculture their career goal. Why? Because, bad governance.
Not sure whether the schemes introduced are with right intentions or not at first. but once it’s introduced no one bothers. Implementation is so poor that people are either not aware of the benefits at all OR the process is so tedious and torturing that the person thinks of rather quitting than giving it a try. And worse, there are so many loop holes in the implementation that there is hardly any benefit for the intended people, but for corrupt officials.
Well, issues are bound to be there… but do our leaders have it in them to improvise and make it work effectively is where they are actually tested. Rather, their intentions are tested.
And this is just one example of bad governance, there are thousands of such examples.

One very recent experience which is a classic example of how it’s all only politics and nothing else. Even on a good deed.
We are all aware of minority quotas for college admissions. Its a good thing as long as it is used well and the minorities are actually benefited. But, what happens? There are so many who make up fake certificates to get admissions and worst of all, the one’s who should get those reserved seats are without a seat. Why are they without a seat? Let me tell you what happens…

Many of the minorities have done their schooling from a small town in vernacular language medium schools. They don’t have good colleges in their small town. Hence, they prefer to come to cities like Mumbai for their further studies, i.e. Junior College.
In Mumbai, junior college admissions happen only online nowadays, which is actually less exhausting and well organised. But, only for those who have the knowledge and resources to work through it. It requires kids to collect their login ID and passwords from their respective schools on a certain date during vacations, fill up their online admission forms before even the original mark sheet is distributed to them.
The problem here is… it requires co-operation from schools, which most normal English medium schools give. But, the one’s who have been studying in smaller schools that don’t have much recognition, they have no idea of what is happening and by the time these kids figure out what’s needed to be done, it’s too late. Their schools have no idea of how to help the student and if they do, they are probably not interested in helping. These kids roam around for information from their school to the intended college they wish to study in for information and more often than not, they get half the information which only builds fear into them. College asked him to get his login ID and password details for online admission, while school said they don’t know anything about online admissions. By the time the kid does multiple visits to these places and collates information from various other sources, its too late. Somehow when he does collate all the information, he/she needs help in the online admission process, as computers and internet is new to many of them, yet. There are no centers to help them fill up these forms. Only online FAQ’s, which are good, but not enough.
In short, so many such minority people are unable to register themselves and take advantage of the seats reserved for them. What’s the point of distributing seats when it doesn’t reach the intended people?

Another short example, of the recent Rajdhani Express train accident. Loss of Life. Loss of infrastructure. Loss due to delays and repairs. Loss due to investigation over the incident. A total loss, that runs in multiple crores due to the accident.
What if even 50L was spent on security and quality? The incident wouldn’t have taken place and all of it could have been saved.

Have been through so many debates about how globalization, inflation, increase in crude oil prices and multiple other factors play a role in us indirectly paying additional taxes. Yes, if a company is in loss, changing tax structure, increasing prices is the easiest way to keep the balance sheet in profit. But, is it enough? More importantly, we need to learn to manage what we have and grow within as a country.

Our government hospitals, if they were good enough, we would ourselves prefer visiting them and saving money than being looted by the private players, which would eventually be another source of earning for government.

Management is the key. Governance is the key. Intention is the key. Will to succeed is the key.

After all this thought, the question that really arises and probably doesn’t even need an answer is… “Do out political leaders really want growth of this country? for the people of India?”

The touch of emotions

What’s the height of emotions?
Love, surprise, care, heartbreak, detachment or something else.

Take a moment to think…

I think it’s that moment when many of them merge, when you have tears of joy in your eyes. If you look back and try to recollect the best moments of Life, it most likely consists of the moments that gave you all these emotions at once, particularly a mix of happiness with a hint of sadness related to a ‘let go’. These are the unforgettable precious moments of Life.

Given further thought, doesn’t these rush of emotions tell you a lot about how you feel about something or someone? Doesn’t it tell you who deserves you and who doesn’t? In short, there seems to be nothing truer than these emotions.

If only we actually did take these emotionally high moments of Life to choose the people who made it happen to stay forever. These moments tell you everything that your Life needs to know to stay happy, which is the ultimate goal. Isn’t it?

More often than not, at the time of moving on from something beautiful to something new, something you’ve always wanted these moments creep in. It would help you make a better life if you’d realise that ‘something beautiful’ is what you really wanted. Hence, the ultimate truth.

Welcome 2014. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2014. 🙂

How did you’ll welcome this new year? Well, does it really matter?
Have you set a new year’s resolution for yourself?
Some might say, do we even need to welcome a new year? Isn’t every day a new day, and 2014 just another change in calendar day.

Probably, everything is okay as long as you are being true to yourself. As long as you are happy.
You may like to party hard and welcome the year with a bang of fun. You may love to welcome the new year with dancing to the tunes of your favorite songs, with your favorite people all night long. You might want to take it as just another day in your Life. You might not care, but just consider it as another reason to party. You might want to set or not set a resolution, just for fun. Could be a lot of other options.

Happy New Year!


Keeping all that aside, no matter what, wouldn’t it actually be a good opportunity to motivate yourself? To pep up yourself? To look into your Life, past and most importantly the future. You can’t move forward, with holding onto the troubled past. This is the time when you can look back, and decide what is it that you would want to take forward with you and what is it that needs to be left behind. Decide for good, and let go off the baggage. Look into the future, with respect to the past. Looking into what aspects of your Life would you want to focus on in the near future to make a better future for yourself. This is just the recipe to build hope and confidence within you, which indirectly helps you perform better.

Some might say, the same can be done on any other day. Yes, obviously. And if you do it on a regular basis, it is great. But, the fact is that most of us don’t. We don’t think analyzing our Life and deliberately focusing on improvement is important enough. Hence, New Year could well just be used as an opportunity to look into yourself too.
After some thinking we all will have a set of things we’d love to let go, and a set of things we’d love to follow or change moving on.

In general, looking forward to the Formula1 in 2014, with a complete new set of rules. Looking forward to new music and movie releases. Especially, music by Radiohead, Adele, Lana Del Rey and many more set to release their new albums in 2014. Looking forward to learning and growing in my professional Life and a lot more…

2013 hasn’t been a good year, as far as blogging is concerned with just 3 posts throughout the year. Surely do look forward to a little more blogging in 2014.

Wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year! 

Random Office Conversation: Just for Laughs!

Office conversations can sometimes be too boring, and sometimes hilarious, out of nowhere. One of those epic hilarious conversations is what I thought of sharing for a laugh, maybe:

Part One:
*A technical developer having a voice call conference with the business development manager*
BDM: An XYZ functionality is not working as expected. It looks a bit weird.
Developer: (In an attempt to give a temporary solution) Please press F12.
BDM: Well, nothing happened. I did press F12.
Developer: Umm… Well, the developer mode should open up in the bottom of your browser IE.
BDM: Oh! Wait… Did you mean Function 12?
Developer: (Furious from within) YES!

Part Two:
*The technical developer comes back from the voice call conference to his team*
Developer: You won’t believe what just happened?
Team: What?
Developer: People are so stupid. The so called MBA degree holder Business Development Manager, I asked her to press F12, she is actually typing F 1 2… And later realizes that I asked her to press F12 key.
Team: (laughs out loud)
Developer: MBA Degree hai and dekho kahan pohoch gayi with this stupidity.
One of the members in team: Woh toh MBA karke kahan se kahan pohoch gayi. Aap yahin bhajiya tal rahe ho.
Developer: (Straight Face)
Team: (Laughs out even louder)

It’s amazing how, when sarcasm and humour are mixed together, they speak so much using just a few words.

Life Balances

When you read the title “Life Balances”, the first thing that strikes us, or rather working professionals mind is Work – Life balance, on which numerous articles have been written. Most of us today want a Work – Life balance. No one likes too much work and very little time for Life, family, friends, neither do we like too many useless holidays with nothing to do. Not much discussion required here, Flexi-time is one of the best ways to achieve work-life balance today. Now, that is professional Life, on which you don’t have too much control over.

When we say “Life Balances”, there’s actually more to it than just talking of Work-Life balance. The personal time in our personal space, on which we do have control.
Aren’t you many a times caught up in a situation, where it’s really difficult to decide where to spend the little personal time you have? With friends, lover, family, thoughts, movies, music, sleep, books, hobbies, exercise, skills improvement. There is so much to do. Even if you are sitting idle, it is always because you chose to sit idle at that moment. Or, is it because you are not prepared, you haven’t decided on what to do in that unexpected idle time.
So, the problem is clear. There is a lot to do in the ‘little’ personal time that we get and we have to learn to manage time effectively to make the most of it.

Let me just list down some methods that really help in managing personal space:

  • Define and list down all that you would want to do in the personal time. Everything. Even the ones’ that may not be possible ever.
  • Prioritise your to-do list, depending on what you would want to do. What’s needed.
  • Identify and list down when do you have free time. How much free time. Which time can be used to do which task.
  • Take a note of everything above and plan accordingly.
  • Stick to the plan, when the time comes and defy laziness. (This is tough)
  • If it doesn’t work out for a while, still stick to it. Keep yourself motivated. Make some changes, if needed.

Follow the above for a month and you will realize that you have managed to complete a lot of tasks you would otherwise have missed out on doing, mainly due to poor planning and laziness.
Remember, it’s okay, if it doesn’t go as per plan, because it is not meant to. The motive here is just to be ready for free time, instead of planning free time. Most often, we are not ready for it, as free time usually doesn’t tell you when you are going to be free, unless it’s weekend. And even during weekends we end up saying, “Let’s just see, how things go. Will decide accordingly.”. Instead of pre-planning of what is needed to be done.

Cheers to free, personal space!

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