Category Archives: Personal

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.

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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! 
Enjoy!

Cinema Impact on Society/People

This is my personal opinion here. You may judge me by my opinion, but I feel I am just being practical and factual. I do feel that Bollywood/TV, in short Cinema, does make an impact on the people, on the common man and I’ll try and justify it below in short.

By saying that cinema does make an impact on people, I do not mean to say that movies like Satya, The Godfather will be the reason for underworld dons, I do not mean to say that item numbers like Chikni Chameli, are the reason for rapes. But, they do make an impact, a subtle one. They do influence the general attitude of people. They not just influence, but also showcase the general culture of the country as a whole to the world.

The whole reason why documentaries are made, is to spread knowledge, spread awareness to the masses of the various issues that are faced across the globe, to showcase historical knowledge. Even mainstream cinema movies like 3 Idiots, October Sky, A Beautiful Mind and so many more are known for the story they tell, for the end message they convey to the people. The end message makes a difference. When it comes to music, there is soulful music, there are some really great lyrical songs that motivate you, that make you smile, that make you cry. Why does that happen? Because it does make an impact.

The paragraph above states only the ‘good’ of cinema and music and anything good can be bad too, if it is not used well. I believe, it’s the end message that matters. Some places where things are bad, especially in Bollywood are the item numbers. Item numbers are included in almost every movie even when it’s not needed. Worst, the lyrics, the dance, the overall presentation that most item numbers put up is cheap. Again, it’s not the clothing, it the presentation that matters, it’s the end message that you pass that matters. The movies too today are rarely a showcase of art and knowledge, it’s more commercial. The directors today display cheapness in the name of bold cinema. This is just Bollywood, let’s talk about Bhojpuri cinema. I do not watch Bhojpuri films, but I have come across many posters of Bhojpuri films that are released, and to me they say a lot. The posters itself give me an impression that the movie is almost a porn movie. What kind of message do you think these movies pass on to the people?

I am one of those who is ready to accept nudity in cinema too, but only when it’s needed, only when it makes a difference to the direction of the movie. Similarly, item numbers too, only if it makes a difference, only if it holds some decent meaning. Movies released, TV serials, especially the reality shows, should pass through censor board, while the censor board should not follow typical rules that say slang words are not allowed or there is no nudity. Without nudity and typical slang words a lot bad can yet be shown. It’s just a matter of playing the game and twisting the rules. The censor board should rather take into account the end message that the TV Series/movies/songs are showcasing.

Many may argue that only those who take cinema seriously will be influenced by it, but almost everyone is influenced. Each one of us is bound to be influenced by where ever your weakness or strength lies. It is just human tendency. If someone is not brought up well, not taught how to value women, he is bound to be more influenced by watching item numbers where women is considered as a ‘thing to play with’, which in turn will lead to his already bad attitude getting a boost. That same item number may probably not affect a man who is taught well how to respect women, and most probably he won’t like that item number. Let cinema be a showcase of art plus useful true knowledge plus entertainment and not ‘just’ entertainment in the name of bold cinema.

Trip to Kashid Beach – Murud Janjira (Part 2)

This is a continuation post. My last post was about the journey to Kashid, and experience in Kashid Beach.

Next morning, soon after some tea and coconut water we booked a Tum Tum to Murud. The ride from Kashid to Murud was wonderful, it was picturesque. It passed through hills, beaches, farm lands, and a village too… All at once within 1 hour, may be a little lesser. He stopped right opposite the beach outside Devkinandan Lodge. We went straight in there, looked in at the room, again clean enough, infact a little better than the Kashid one and booked it for Rs. 700 only for the night. Booked an auto from there itself to take us places around Murud, including Murud-Janjira Fort, a so-called Wildlife Sanctuary and a DAM. Didn’t waste much time, parked our luggage and left for Murud-Janjira Fort.

More than the fort I was excited about the travel to Murud-Janjira Fort. It had to be done on a SailBoat, the one’s that move with the wind, very old style boats. Went into the boat, just a 10 min boat trip to the Fort. The experience of a SailBoat is pretty much similar to the experience of a Row Boat, just that the way it is being handled with the wind is nice to see. Infact, on our way back there wasn’t much wind, so they had to row the boat back to land. As soon as we got out of the boat, the boat people said that we need to be back after roaming around 22 acres of Fort withing 45 mins to catch the same boat. That’s a rule. So, we hired a guide, who promised us that he would make us watch the important points, and come back in 45 mins. Well, he was narrating stories of the past, some shayaris, which we were not interested, were rather busy clicking pictures and looking around as much as possible. The view from the top of the fort was nice. Just thinking about the amount of planning done 950 years ago in building the fort in itself is amazing.

We later, came back to the room, ordered a thali worth Rs. 60 only. This thali had it all, it was a full course meal and yummy too. From here on, the auto fellow took us to the so-called WildLife Sanctuary where there was as good as no WildLife. Could only spot a couple of birds, a snake and a few insects. And, he didn’t take us to the official Sanctuary, he took us to the jungle, and just made us roam around being our guide by himself. It was followed by Datta Mandir, which was again just another temple which has to be there in almost every tourist place in India. We later went for tea and some light snacks in a famous sweet shop there. There we had the chance to taste the famous sweet of Murud, Khwaja. It was nice. The day ended with having dinner at one of the most expensive places in Murud (which was cheaper than a normal restaurant in Mumbai) only because we were running way under budget. Yes. 😛

Early morning, booked a Tum Tum again straight upto Alibag. This time again had an awesome ride… It’s through the beach, villages, hills all over again. Stopped over at Kashid for 10 mins for one last Coconut Water. This same journey looked so beautiful while we were in Tum Tum, and so pathetic when in ST bus. In Alibag, booked PNP ferry AC Coach and later realized it was a mistake to book the AC Coach. Nevertheless, Mandava Port was beautiful. The boats there were beautiful. The journey from Alibag to Mumbai in the ferry was something I will never forget. Always wanted to look at the life in the middle of the Sea. Passed through, some Indian Navy Ships, spotted a submarine, and entered Mumbai with pride from the Gateway Of India. The moment was Priceless.

My awesome trip ended with the awesomeness of Sandwich Ice Cream at K.Rustom, Churchgate.

Indeed a perfect weekend getaway for all Mumbai/Pune residents.

PS: Our 3 days/2nights trip ended in just 2.5K/person even after actually trying to spend money in the last day and a half. We were a group of 3 guys. If we were 5-6 people, it would have all been much cheaper.

Some more click in Murud and on the way back home below.

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