Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Being Conscious...

The first definition of Consciousness says its the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.

Extending it beyond your own existence, it's about the awareness of the impact of your existence, and it's this consciousness that causes you to do more than just existing and start living. Given that we've been blessed with this discerning power, how good a use do we make of it depends on whether we make our choices mechanically - the way the world’s been doing it or are we aware and alive in every moment. The consciousness could be felt in every single moment of your existence, from things as tiny as closing your tap when brushing your teeth to serving yourself only enough food that you can eat!

Now, a typical contrast to consciousness would be the state of unconsciousness. That's not just something that doctors do to you before a surgery or something that happens when someone bangs your head hard. Look around, you might just find too many souls walking around unconscious and oblivious... going about their business mechanically, sometimes applying their heads, mostly just letting things be.

On a different line of thought, doctors make you unconscious so it doesn't pain. Lessons in sociology taught us about the blas√© attitude of a modern day urban individual because there are too many painful things happening everywhere and one is better off being ignorant rather than being pained by every unfortunate incident. Now, hypersensitivity to issues beyond your control might disturb your life balance and cause disorders but should that drive us to the other extreme, to become absolutely insensitive? One is a state of being comfortably numb and the other one of ostriches, who turn their head away from anything that's unpleasant and bask in their illusions of a beautiful world. And then of course there’s a third category, the ones who actually make the mess, sometimes not realizing the impact of their own actions.

Not to say that the world is not beautiful, it just might feel much more so if you want to feel it that way.. and possibly play your role in making it that way. Orkut requests its uses to keep it beautiful by refraining from creating identities or groups derogatory to a community or nation. Unfortunately there’s no such host or owner of the world, who could possibly try to request us humans to keep life beautiful! There’s no ‘Do Not Litter’ board and it’s not so much of an act of malice as the series of unconscious acts by normal individuals that has brought the world to what it is today.

Going deeper into it, that’s what we do when we’re unconscious! We litter around ourselves, ignorant of the consequence of our own actions. And it’s not just the wrapper of the candy that you just ate that counts here, but also the numerous deeds of immorality that you littered your life and the world with. Yes, that includes all of your unethical maneuvers that you thought were necessary to get you this far. Here comes conscience, the one that sees you doing what you do when you think no one is looking.

Perhaps you didn’t realize that what you did just for fun- lifting that pair of goggles from that roadside shop, passing answer scripts in that small quiz, or the other casual things that everyone seems to be doing- cooking up taxi fares for reimbursements, inflating bills and getting cuts, maybe there’s nothing wrong with any of these, but maybe there is! Most importantly, these serve as the starting points of many more and bigger things to come.

I and the world would exonerate you, but can you forgive yourself? Yes, maybe no one will ever even find out. But the theory of karma and several others have emphasized that your actions shall come back to haunt you some day in your own life. You will slip yourself someday on the banana peel you threw. That might just come as a moral conflict or a guilt induced breakdown and a strong desire to want to go back and undo your own misdeeds. Unfortunately the life doesn’t offer a reverse gear or even as much as an eraser.

So though you might like to think that you can get away with giving shit to people, listening to your inner voice is not so much about what you do to the world but what you do to yourself. It’s for you to decide what price you’re willing to pay for success. Just incidentally, if every person took care of his own doings, the world would become so much better a place.

They say only two kinds of people can stay perpetually happy in the long run- the ones who listen to their conscience, and the ones who don’t have a conscience. Either ways, you are a rational individual and don’t need anyone to preach you. You KNOW what’s right for you! I only insist that you make a Conscious choice and not let life happen to you.

wanderer

Monday, December 11, 2006

Of Ethics and Business!

For most Bschoolers, more so for people who have worked before, and unlike me, have seen the business world from the inside, the two words just don't go together! Ethics exist only on paper, they would say. That's what I raised as my question in the first of our classes on 'Business Ethics' and had hoped I’d be able to answer it better as we go through the course. I have the exam today and this is what I'm doing for the preparation.

Now, I won't know if one's ethics can really be taught and built up in the classroom or in fact, even be really affected in a person who has come all this far, grown to this age. (Where one likes to believe that he knows most of the things and most importantly, 'what's right for me'). They say the attempt was at sensitization, perhaps they managed a bit of it, as at least the breaks in between the class were spent by intellectualizers on the fodder for thought provided by the 'ethics' class. Of course, despite that, when one would go around saying that he chose ethics for an elective, a typical jeer would come as, "Oh yes, you really needed it!"

Going more fundamentally to ethics, it's more a matter of personal choice, at times, an unconscious one. Often, we are just too casual and ignorant so as to miss the line between ethical and unethical, which might at times be really thin. You might use your naiveté as defense that you were too gullible and didn't realize when you crossed the line. You might start just with a few fake medical claims or overcharged HRAs, and may or may not end up devouring a few million bucks without as much as a belch. I'd only say, you were ignorant to begin with and not really conscious! This word is of a huge importance in the way you live your life, as shall become clear with time.

However, as they say, there would be times in life, (going to happen pretty soon, now that we're standing on the verge of a high flying corporate career) when you would need to make a choice, not between two right options, but a right and a seemingly wrong one. And like Shahrukh Khan's DDLJ mother used to tell him, 'In life's dilemmas, you'll find two roads that you can take, one will be a shortcut, it might seem easy and simple to start with, but you'll end up losing if you walk this one. Then there would be the other road, the long one, wrought with difficulties and hardships.. it'll scare you at first, but in the end, the victory shall be yours'

Now, I don't believe I should want to be ethical because it's what the world expects of me (while making it's own sinister designs behind my back) or because it is the good thing to do. That makes the motivation to be ethical an external one, while given the amount of temptation that's let loose, the driving force to be ethical must be an internal one. As internal as ethics themselves are. I would consider myself ethical as long as there's no conflict brewing within.

In the middle of this muddle, it might seem appropriate to really define what constitutes ethical behavior and what doesn't! Pondering over it, there's no strict guidebook you can make of Do's and Don'ts and be content that you've shown the ethical way to the world. It is a matter of a person’s own standards of right and wrong. It's not like someone doesn’t know it, it's only that people have different perceptions of where right transforms into wrong all of a sudden. And of course, the relative nature of things says that what's right for me maybe wrong for you!

As a curious young man, I've been fed a lot about the Big Bad World out there, where your fate, (much as you'd like to disagree or dislike the fact) often hangs on the whims of someone else. Where you shall be made victim if you don't become the attacker soon enough. Where your winning must necessarily mean someone's losing. Where being selfish is the most important quality to be able to rise at workplace. Where the politics and work culture might unnerve you for a start, but it’ll become comfortable as you imbibe them yourself... and whoever still remembers that he had an inner voice to listen to... would end up having to choose between his career and his inner voice.

I somehow believe that it's a case of self fulfilling prophecies. One was too convinced in the first place that being ethical won’t work and might in fact hold him back. If that's the amount of belief you have in your weaponry, you sure to surrender fairly soon, rather than fight it out because you're scared you'll die! And believe me, that's the point when YOU die! What was your identity if not your beliefs and convictions and what's left of you if you've had to give up on them? There's one move, to trample the inner voice that had been bothering you and then gradually and incrementally, as you bite the apple and get intoxicated with the taste of success... your race begins.

That's the beginning point of the line of thought where they see one's ethics a matter of conviction. You can't have a low defense in the first place (be almost waiting to surrender) and then blame it on the juggernauts that blew you over. Hold your guns long enough, it might just be worth it because the excuses that might work when you have to defend yourself in front of others, will not work when you need to answer yourself. Much as you'd like to believe you'd get away with it, yes, you might not get caught.. but the 'self' within you is sure to catch up sooner or later! Your deeds will come back to haunt none else but you and then, you might want to exonerate yourself and go back in time to undo things!


They say everything in the world can be bought.


Every'thing', and every'one' shall be up for sale.. if offered the right price.


What’s your tag? It’s gonna determine your quality of life.. your consciousness.. and a lot more!


wanderer

Saturday, December 02, 2006

On the Foundations of Love

" The foundation of everything is love"


Have moved on from the romantic form of love to its broader manifestations.. happened to run into the home page of The Foundation, an NGO floated by Rahul Bose. It can be reached on the weblink stated above.

Had left an open ended thought as to what success in each dimension might mean to someone and how one might end up abandoing everything else in his passionate pursuit. In an attempt to look at epitomes in different fields one of the first names that struck me was that of Bhagat Singh and a little search on the web only revealed some more manifestations and proofs of the statement that's the title of this article.

"While discussing anybody's character you asked me one thing, whether love ever proved helpful to any man. Yes, I answer that question today. To Mazzini it was. You must have read that after the utter failure and crushing defeat of his first rising he could no bear the misery and haunting ideas of his dead comrades. He would have gone mad or committed suicide but for one letter of a girl he loved. He would as strong as any one, nay stronger than all.

As regards the moral status of love I may say that it in itself is nothing BUT PASSION, not an animal passion but a human one, and very sweet too. Love in itself can never be an animal passion. Love always elevates the character of man. It never lowers him, provided love be love. You can't call these girls - mad people, as we generally see in films - lovers. They always play in the hands of animals passions. The true love cannot be created. It comes of its own accord, nobody can say when. It is but natural. " - Bhagat Singh

He did write a lot further than this, but this much suffices to bring the point of the importance of love. Not just the love of one man for one woman.. but of a man for a cause, of a man for life, of a man for humanity.. of a man for peace!

Relooking at the definitions and parameters of success as I'd thought of previously, I'd say success is the joyful state of bliss when you're in love! Some kind of further exemplification was provided by Dr. Kiran Seth, (founder of the SPIC MACAY movement) when he was asked about his missionary zeal for the cause despite the odds not stacked but ingrained in the system and the culture and presenting hurdles at every step. He only had one thing to say... ' Jab pyar ho jaata haina.... ' I do not precisely remember the remainder of the sentence but it had touched me within.. and perhaps most others present.. and it elicited a heartfelt applause as an ovation to the spirit of a man... to his love for a cause!

To put it in the earlier framework, probably these people are high on their need for making a difference to the society and the nation and in that pursuit, they have forgone the material wealth.

To them, it doesn't matter.. does it. They couldn't care less.


Will some time try to contrast this situation with that of someone who's pursued something else in some other dimension and compromised on some dimensions. Nothing like being able to pursue all dimensions at the same time, but then we have one life!


Live it to the full.. make your choices yourself.


Wanderer

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Calling it Quits!

Hi Kajal,

I’ve been procrastinating it for a while, but it’s become quite a burden to carry, so I’d rather speak it out. Its been quite a while, since I’ve told you that I am missing the warmth in the relationship.. the intimacy and the bonding are just not there. I don’t feel the elation that I used to and finally it’s not the joyful bliss that it once was. So is it just a formality that I am carrying on with you?

You know, I’ve stressed so many times that we need to sort out the many issues arising between us because eventually, they’re building up distances between us. So far, you haven’t bothered to respond to my concerns and always behaved as if all was going great. Either you’ve failed to understand me.. or are still taking it too lightly. And this is not really what I’d expect from someone I’m willing to give my life for! There’ve been constraints on your side.. which presented hurdles.. but was it so big that you took so many of my requests so lightly? You could’ve found ways to go over, around or through the problems.. had you really wanted to! Not really irresponsibility on your part.. its only about the differential importance we give to our communication.. I give it a bit too much.. you don’t give it that much.. it can’t be called a fault on your part.. but possibly incompatibility on our part!

Sorry Kajal, but the perspective gap between the two of us seems too wide now.. and I don’t think I have the energy or the patience to try bridging it anymore! For you, once you’ve committed, you are convinced that this is the relationship that you have to be in, if any. I have not found any one new either who I could give your place.. but its not necessary for me to be in a relationship.. I can be comfortable all alone as well and anyway, we haven’t been sharing the most pleasant of times of late.. have we !

We’re sure that we’re not looking for someone new, but should this mean that we can stop caring about what’s happening between the two of us? As far as I can guess, you have some what closed your heart for anyone else telling yourself that you’ve found the one for yourself! I could do the same.. the first thing that I tell most girls I befriend closely is that I love someone.. so it would remove any thoughts of any progress in that directio! But would that mean that I’d take you for granted.. or you me?

Maybe its my messy state of mind that’s making me this drastic and radical step.. but with no hard feelings or anything of that sort.. Lets call it quits Kajal, lets call it quits!

You know we’d once talked about being good friends first and then think about anything further! Maybe that would’ve helped us understand each other better, and if we can’t be upto each others needs.. then there’s a little too big a compromise. I’d rather be alone then.. so I wouldn’t have any expectations either!

If I keep subjugating all my expectations.. I’ll be piling stuff within myself.. which would someday result in something really unpleasant and just cause too much of undesirable mess! We’re probably better off separating on a positive note and if fate does cause our paths to cross some time in future.. we wouldn’t be uncomfortable saying a Hi!

Its not that you’re not a great person or anything of that kind! Its just that I don’t believe that we’re all that compatible! I’m really scared.. coz I am not sure how you’ll take it. whatever might happen.. I still care about you! One failed relationship doesn’t change everything in life! Don’t close your heart and mind for someone new.. these ups and downs are a part of life! I am sure about myself that I can carry on.. but somehow feel worried about you.. I don’t want you to suffer because of this relationship with me! Do not carry the baggage of negative emotions.. but remember it for the bliss it was for some time.

Alright, keeping the sentimentalism apart.. This relationship has taught me a lot of patience… and given me the most precious and cherished moments of my life! You shall definitely continue to be a part of my life, even if that’s as the first love of my adolescence.

Sorry dear, I never wanted to hurt you.. but as always.. I believe in saying out the truth and facing it. Do acknowledge having seen this mail.. but don’t bother trying to explain anything now. It doesn’t matter. If there’s any parting note that you’d like to say.. please do.


Take care

-----

Ok.. so that's three in a row.. for romantic situations.. guess I gotta get back to thinking and talking about the saner things of life! but then.. I'm capable of doing breakups too! Now.. this one's fiction again.. but I know this has too much of 'me' in it.. too much of thinking.. not enough emotionalism... probably one would say 'not enough feel for a break up' .. but I 'think' that's how it should be.. when you're falling for someone.. it's the time to be all sentimental and passionate.. Failure in love needs to be treated a little more objectively.. else.. it messes up your life!

Cheers!


wanderer

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Love at First Sight!

Dear Payal,

I wonder if you recall having met me at Sandy's b'day! I know it's weird for you to hear from me because we'd hardly spoken and I'd been too awed to ask for your number though I'd really wanted to! Call it goosebumps or whatever.. but something like that doesn't happen to me normally.. I had to resort to pestering Sandy to help me with your email address...so much as you might find this intrusive.. please don't say anything to him, he's a really close friend.. and got coaxed into it.


To tell you the truth.. you know what I've been doing the whole of last week? sitting in the class.. lost in thought.. with a pencil and notebook.. thinking of what to write to you so you won't dismiss me for yet another stalker! I'm sure you're used to getting those 'hi, i wanna be ur friend' requests all the time! And then.. words only have a limited capacity to prove ingenuity.. what shows it actually is what's between the lines.. and i wonder if I'm gonna be able to say to you what I wanted..

Ok.. enough beating around the bush.. I've had a crush on you since the time I've known you! They told me you had an air about yourself.. a slight attitude! but then this mild arrogance is what i've fallen in love with.. because it masquerades itself only too well behind that gentle smile of yours. Nothing said, nothing heard.. that smile made my day then.. and it's lingering memories continue to do so ! I so wish I could wake up to that smile every morning! Ok, don't be scared.. that's a little too far.. and i might seem like i'm moving too fast.. but the warmth that you exude.. infects people even without you knowing it.. and I seem to have fallen for that!

I've always believed that one meets two kinds of people in life, the first kind.. who come, play their roles and leave.. the other.. they come.. but they never leave! They touch and impact your life in a manner that you can't define in words. You give me the vibes that you're someone who's going to be important for me.. and whom I would really love to be close to!

Honestly.. I don't know if you're the proverbial 'one for me' or me for you.. guess will leave that for time to decide..but I couldn't have waited for another serendipity.. to get me to bump into you again. I just had to do this.. so here's me.. sounding like a crazy maniac.. telling you that i have a mad crush on you.. to put in in a semi-cliched fashion.. perfumes have lost their fragrance.. drinks don't get me high anymore.. alizee has lost her appeal! but I'm intoxicated.. with this madness about you!

Guess you can already see what you're doing to me! I dont' know what I'm talking.. what I'm doing.. but I feel good. I don't know what I expect from you for a response.. but as of now.. my heart beat is going faster than my keystrokes... and I don't think I can be at peace with myself without saying all this out to you.. It doesn't matter what you think about me.. or even if you don't think about me at all. Maybe you could just add another name to your admirers..or if you'd care a little more.. acknowledge that you've seen this mail.. and that you know I exist... and if we could arrange so that I could bump into you again... I'd go mad! (as if I'm not already)

I can see my excitement getting the better of me.. and it seems quite likely that i'm gonna end up making a fool outta myself.. but if you could only imagine what i feel right now.. you'd know that this madness.. was worth it.

before you end up panicking.. i'll stop.

crazily waiting to hear from you!

sahil..
___
Ok.. this was another attempt at an expression of the heart in a somewhat different situation Too many people have questioned if Sanjana really exists.. and the only way to prove it to them.. and more importantly to myself.. that I'm not mad about any Sanjana.. I'd thought I'd write to Payal ! And believe it or not, the whole of it was actually created sitting on the front bench of a class.. where ppl might have thought I'd started taking notes for a change!

Lets see if some Payal actually falls for this one!

wanderer

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Parametrizing Success!

A previous article on Defining Success dealt with the motivation for trying to break down the definition of personal success into it's components.. and parametrizing it.. here's one approach..

Professional : This shall encompass your professionals SOP, whatever you want to do in life, be the CEO, or the decision maker.. basically whatever you say your long term goals are, in your interviews. (assuming you don’t completely cook them up on the spot) Also includes your wealth, power, fame, reputation in professional circles and so on. Also, this includes the scientists waiting to see the entanglement of two nucleons in a particular fashion or the stage artist that want to have his audience in splits.. or in tears! That’s where you derive your intellectual satisfaction from.

Material : I believe that this can be understood exclusive of the professional pursuit because this has reasons beyond the need for personal achievement. This would count material wealth and success as an important goal of life. Of course, it might be seen as a precursor to the other dimensions and maybe it’s unfair to equate it to the other factors. But there are schools of thought that would hold this behind the others, overall, it would be grossly mistaken if we put it as yet another dimension of success.
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Personal : For the sake of mutual exclusivity of parameters, lets restrict this one to the need for being a good son/daughter to start with. Then one goes on to be the sibling, the friend, the lover, the spouse, the parent and so on! Basically all about personal relationships.. typically the one to one connotation.

Somethings that can be classified together under one’s Need to make a Difference :

Social : This is about the sense of social responsibility that you feel. About making a direct positive contribution to your immediate society and the lives of the unrelated (not the defined family as such) people around you. You might like to see the children educated and healthy, the old well taken care of, the women empowered…..

Nationlism: Lets take your own sense of patriotism or loyalty to your country. You might feel strongly about the political scenario and might want to make a difference. You might also want to propel your nation’s reputation on the world map!

Humanity at Large : You might be worried about the mad rush behind materialism that humans are grappling with. You might like to address the existential angst that every single individual goes through in the process. Eliminate hurts from the world! Eliminate grief from the world.

Religion : If you feel strongly about the need for a re-identification of your own religion and dismayed by the depraved state of affairs and hate the self proclaimed defendants of your own religion and want to change the way it’s percived, maybe you have something to do in this sub-dimension.

Spiritual Growth : This is where the complete internal dimension comes in. This is where you strive for inner peace and a better understanding of what it means to be alive, to be a part of this world. You want to explore God and the significance/implications of your regular actions in the larger scheme of things!

Own Personality Development : If you’re convinced about some of your personality woes, as anger/arrogance etc. that you’d like to get over and some other positive qualities that you’d like to inculcate, in an overall pursuit of a stronger personality.. If you think of the Geeta’s definitions of the key enemies of man himself, and want to pursue to perfection, the creation and evolution of your own personality, you have a strong orientation towards constant learning and imbibing of that learning.

Now, much as I’d like to make this list and exhaustive one, it would definitely suffer because of my own limited sensibility. I’d be happy if someone can bring in things that people might want in life and I’d try to classify it in one of these categories or create a new category itself. Shall get back later to what the repercussions of unfair weightage to the various dimensions would be!

Also, what the ultimate success in any particular dimension would mean, while understanding that people have their own definitions and someone might be quite high on some of these, willing to forgo the others totally.. whether that's the society subjugated to personal career growth.. or it's a corporate career given up to serve a small community.. that's yet to be understood.

To be continued...

Wanderer

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Who Dares Wins!


Let me forewarn that this is not a critique on AXN’s popular show where Mike Whitney would have us believe that it’s a daring thing to be able to swallow what looked like roosters’ balls in a gulp. This is about the general emphasis on daring that’s laid down time and again as a rather important factor in order to be able to convince yourself that you’ve succeeded in life!

I seem to be able to see life only in two shades.. that of love… or that of business! Now, if you’ve fallen for someone, it takes a lot of daring to go tell them how you feel.. and if you’ve fallen for a concept, you might want to sell yourself in order to see it work, but it would still take a lot of daring to be able to actually go and try it out! Finance taught us that higher the risk, higher the returns.. now was that for a Casino or for a gambling game.. or the game called life.. is stuff for wasted minds to intellectualize. Being just one of those, I thought I’d try to explore, what is it about ‘Daring’ that makes everyone so scared.. and then all the great men have glorified it so much. To me, it seems so casual a thing,

Depending on the situation,

Sometimes, it takes daring to speak truth,
Sometimes to lie!

Sometimes to say something,
Sometimes to say nothing

Sometimes to say that you care
Sometimes to say that you don’t care

Sometimes to pursue a dream,
Sometimes to forego a dream

Sometimes to save a relationship,
Sometimes to let it go

I could go on and on in that direction. Everywhere I see, in everything you do, it seems to be requiring daring.. which goes on to suggest.. that it’s something that should ideally come as naturally to us as breathing ! I mean, if we do not dare, are we really alive? Think of the larger implications of this question.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature..... Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.” -- Helen Keller

The importance of being a daring adventurer in one's live has been often stressed across the ages and pervading geographical boundaries. So while Helen Keller is daring people into exposing themselves to their worst fears, our comtemporary Paulo Coelho suggests that the people giving in to their personal myth, and not daring to follow their dreams will end up living a superficial and empty life.

More daring coming our way by the most influential of German writers:

"Whatever you can do, or DREAM you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." -Goethe

Fundamentally, all of these notions have found fame because of the intrinsic need for security in any person. Now whether this obsession for security is holding him back from living a complete life is for the individual to decide!

It's upto him to see if he can't afford to fall.. of course, there are situations when you can't go about experimenting because the stakes are too high.. and the pursuit of satisfaction in other dimensions require some compromise of satisfaction in one dimension!

Coming closer home, an Urdu quote says,


Guess, you could try doing something that you think takes courage, and they say you’ll see your fears go away as you push yourself in your pursuit. It could translate into taking up so many of life’s chances that we just let go due to lack of courage.

Walk upto that sweetie who makes your heart skip a beat whenever she passes by.. walk up to you father and tell him if you’ve goofed up bigtime.. look them in the eye and say sorry to the people you might have offended… let a tear or two drop on the shoulders of your best friend and let your heart out!

Dare.. Live!

wanderer

Friday, November 17, 2006

What's success for you ?

An informal chat with a Slot Zero candidate, who’d like to be called A Realist, follows :

Wanderer : so what's success for you, outside the interview room of course ?
A Realist : to know what the end of my capacity is, as a person. Is there a limit........or can i stretch it further than this
Wanderer : to exploit your potential to its farthest limit.. and exhaust yourself?

A Realist : thats what it is...the money, the perks...they are indicators..they are not the goal...but they are bloody good indicators of how far the limit is
Wanderer : :)
oh yes

A Realist : when i exhaust myself...i have tested my current limit
Wanderer : they're everything a conventional definition of success could ask for
A Realist : but that is not the END ....its a measure...thats all it is....
Wanderer : what's the end objective then
A Realist : to know what my limits are as a person
thats all

Wanderer : in what dimension?
A Realist : is there something higher that i m capable of....
Wanderer : personal/professional.. ?
A Realist : both

Wanderer : what's success in the personal dimension?
A Realist : am i good daughter friend sister ......but as i see, its rather subjectie i havent figured that out too much......

Wanderer : subjective as in.. it's only your own opinion of how well you've done!
Wanderer : ahan!
A Realist : naah...on the contrary it isn’t totally me dependent which is why it is harder to evaluate

A Realist : A lot of that also depends on the ppl around u....u know if what ppl do affects our life to a large degree, ur personal life will be a lot more complex and success a lot harder to measure

A Realist : and then again, a lot of the feel good factor comes from what ppl who matter to u think of u as a person, a friend ,a relative......so one imp thing is to learn to read ppl's perceptions correctly.. thats an imp measure of ur personal success cos a lot of personal "failure" comes from misunderstanding ppls intentions and beliefs

Wanderer : how far should you allow your definitions to be affected by others?
at the end of life.. you have to answer yourself and no one else

A Realist : unlike the professional life, ur personal life is about other ppl around u.....
u cant really have a personal life without getting neone else involved
Wanderer : what do you do in the case of a conflict?
lets say..
love marriage.. that your parents don't want.. or a career path.. that you think is the best for you and your spouse doesn't agree

A Realist : hard qs.....but let me attempt to evaluate what i would do
Wanderer : hmm...
A Realist : marriage....well...i wud be spending gretare time and energy in that relation thn what my parents will
so i wud assume i am the superior stakeholder in that decision

Wanderer : in any decision relating to your life..you're the superior stakeholder
that's what i'm trying to bring in
well..maybe one should look at life in a more wholesome way
A Realist : yes

This gave a starting point for me to go on a journey within the self.. to explore the definitions of success.. maybe they change with time and as life moves on and as individuals evolve. But then, maybe we can make a fundamental basis on which we can define the parameters that we would like to define our success in terms of.

When I try to break down the success in life into various dimensions, I of course understand that life’s a combination of the simultaneous pursuit of all of these goals. Fundamentally, I am assuming that success is the achievement of supreme satisfaction with no more craving or lust left for anything. All I’m trying to do is to break it up into different components and see if maybe we are doing justice to our own needs itself, and are we actually assigning each component the weightage that we want to assign? The fact remains, that we have one life to live and each day is only 24 hours. That does make it a constant sum game, if not a zero sum.

So essentially, everything you want has an opportunity cost of something that you will be okay with forgoing. Only thing is, you could be clearer about what is it that might be compromised and for what. And finally, be able to define for ‘yourself’ what it means to live a wholesome life!
It shall come later.. as to how to break it down into parameters and components!
wanderer

Monday, November 13, 2006

To Her, With Love

Dear Sanjana,
You might find it very odd and surprising to receive a mail of this kind from me.. at this time.. but guess once in your life.. you have to take a call.. gather courage.. speak your heart out.. cross your fingers.. and click 'send' . you don't know how the other person would react.. but you have to do it.. you have to jump off the cliff.. even if you stand the risk of falling down like a rock..

With all the women in my life (believe me, I've had a whole lot more than my share) I never thougth I'd find it difficult to speak to someone.. so much so that i'd not have the courage to speak to them over the phone.. like I usually do.. and instead will use this somewhat cowardly way of communicating my feelings.. but then.. it's a matter of life importance for me.. and it's only after a thousand contemplations... have i been able to convince myself.. to give this a shot! And as it is, traditionally, letters have been the most romantic ways of expressing your love... only that this one doesn't have a stamp.

Ever since i've known you.. since Kabir introduced us, including some unpleasant times then.. I couldn't help but notice your smallest acts which seemed supremely sweet to the extent of defining what it meant to be a sweet person after all! Your cookies and chocolates, somehow so nicely exhibit the kiddish innocence which you hold within yourself and it so very well combines with the maturity that you've repeatedly demonstrated....... what do I say? How do I point out individually- so many of the things that have never failed to impress me.. guess all I'm gonna be able to say is that I'm madly in love with the whole package called Sanju!

Now i know that it comes as a surprise.. because it's probably the last thing you expect.. and moreover.. i'm probably the last person on the earth to be expected to say this.. but that's what the fact is.. I'm in love with you!

With all that i've come to know about you.. your acts of kindness.. your passionate zeal for what you believe in.... your naivete combined with your charm and energy with which you infect the people around you.. I could probably give my entire life to be with someone who could so constantly amuse me, excite me, make me feel good, motivate me, make me laugh.. make me see reason.. I don't know what all you do to me. Looking at it differently.... i don't know if you're beautiful.. and honestly it doesn't matter.. because it's something so amazing that I feel.. that it's so beyond anything purely physical.. and I now feel funny when I look back at my life that was spent chasing pretty faces. I so wish this day could've come sooner..

You seem to have all the makings of a wonderful wife.. you're sure to be a great home maker.. a great mother.. and just about everything one could imagine having in their life partner.. just won't know how I could do without you now.. coz every other woman that comes into my life.. shall be evaluated against the benchmark that you've set.. and then.. no one would be good enough because she'll never be able to match up! somehow.. you feel too good to be true at times.. and that makes the very few times spent with you seem surreal.. !

Destiny did it's part in getting us to know each other.. and i'm not inclined to leave any thing to fate now.. so I'm making this move.

Here I am.. on my knees.. expressing my love for you.. hoping that you'd find some genuineness if nothing more. I know that you probably don't think of me in that light.. coz i perhaps have never given any signals in that direction... but then.. I couldn't have held it within me for too long..

but then.. it doesnt' matter.. does it? I had to say it to you without the fear of how you take it.. now that I feel so strongly about it.

Much as i'd want it to not affect the beautiful relationship we share right now.. i guess i'll leave the future course to you...

take care.

yours..
---
Before you start getting psyched out and start wondering who Sanjana is.. let me tell you it's all fiction. I got reminded of my old hobby of writing letters while I got bored on the last bench of my classes. When I'd ask my friends to give me a situation.. they thought they'd give me a difficult job if it was to be a romantic situation...
I thoroughly enjoyed it then.. so of late when a friend again asked me to do it... I thought I'd let the creative juices flow all over again..
Anyway.. if anyone needs help with writing a love letter... (For the ones who think that a letter is still quite a romantic thing) get in touch with me.... sure to sweep her off her feet! ;)
Cheers!
wanderer

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Of Failing!

The state of affairs at the summer interviews.. and the consequent anxiety.. and the subsequent first introduction to rejection in life for some people!

It indeed is difficult to accept a rejection.. when you've never in your life.. been rejected before.. or failed at anything! That's why I've come to believe.. that one should in the initial life itself.. taste failure.. so you're better prepared to handle it in future.. The habitual winners.. yes.. they did it once again.. they cracked the most coveted Slot Zero.. but has that made them even more vulnerable? coz as they say... 'aadatein agar samay par na badli jaayen.. to zarooratein ban jaati hain'

Of course, I wish them success all through their lives.. but practicality indicates.. that things shall not be rosy all the time.. and then the philosophy that 'you gotta be prepared to lose, if you really want to win' perhaps is supposed to instill more confidence.. as in.. if you're prepared to fail.... you dont' fear the failure anymore... while it might make you careless.. and you might not put in your all.. it might also make you more confident... about handling the challenge.. you lower the stakes on the interview.. and that takes the pressure off your head!

Think about it.... much as the competitively spirited would like to put winning as a habit.. my failures in life, one of them most importantly, have taught me more than all my successes put together!

It's not so bad after all... a lost battle might just leave you with a lot of lessons.. which are necessary to win the WAR..and which the winner of the battles might gloss over! The metaphor i'm using here.... life is a war and it's much more beyond the sum of the several small battles it contains!

wanderer

Be a Fetcher! Join HDFC

Heavy on logistics.. high on adrenalin.. and for some... high on blood pressure.. the Placement process for summers at the campus seems to me a comprehensive and complicated process.. definitely none that I've seen before, and like an alum from bcg said.. like none that i'll see ever!
Not willing to be a part of it from the regular side.. I decided I'll be a fetcher.. with Hamara Dedicated Fetching Corporation' Let me tell you what all is there.. to give a perspective.
Firstly the Recruitment Coordinators.. called the place reps.. or the RCs
Interveiwing companies, handled by Company Volunteers : The CoVols
The men backstage.. but handling the most important of jobs.. Team Infra.
The Control Guys.. who figure out what's gonna happen for whom!
The Front Desk... home to the dozens of suit clad enthusisastic PGP1s waiting for their turn..
that shall be notified by the control desk to the front desk.
The Trackers, the people who keep track of each the whereabouts of each individual... no.. we're not using GPS systems yet :)
F & B : The Food and Beverages people.. they're the toes.. making sure that everyone's well fed and energetic!
The Fetchers. When the interviewees are required somewhere for an interview.. it's the fetchers' job to fetch them!
so what's the role precisely.. Men on Bikes.. racing around campus.. only too willing to offer lifts to anyone who's got something important to do that day. So.. what did I do here? over 100 km of biking.. over a period of 11 hours.. and that wasn't really the crux of it!
I also played host to different kinds of people! so what it it was a couple of minutes each!
1. People with loads of shortlists.. apprehensive at the start.. going for their first interviews.
2. People cracking their initial interviews itself.. and doomed to tank for the rest of the day! They're a waste of resources I must say!! HDFC as a policy should not take a tanker around. I'll put forth the suggestion :)
3. People finding it difficult to tank.. finding it embarassing.. and ending up with a goofed up tank.. making it to the next rounds!
4. People who had single shortlists... and waited all day long.. coz their turn would come only later in the day.. there was apprehension.. there was nervousness... and there was HOPE.
5. People.. who towards the end of the day.. had given loads of interviews... but their chances didn't seem to be bright.. were somewhat dismayed.. hoping they'd figure in some companies offers.. but they didn't.. and life still had to go on!
6. Occassional rides to the RCs.. coz of course.. max urgencies were there :)
Overall.. it was a 'satisfying' job being a fetcher (it was put thus by that BCG alum). You'd be among the first ones to congratulate the winner.. among the last ones to wish luck to someone whos' going in.. and then.. the pep talker for someone who's day hasn' t been going that great... and cheer them up... which i realized.. is kinda difficult!
So now my palm is paining.... the ass is still ok.. guess I'll fetch today as well.. HDFC shall be strengthened by yesterday's winners though. Lets see how long I can sustain.
wanderer

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

OOPS! I did it again!

For the uninitiated, OOPsing is about Opting Out of Placements in the campus. It took two interviews at IITB for me to realize that the jobs are not meant for me.. and i didn't go to the GD for the next company where I was on the shortlist.. Better sense prevailed and I did not register for any more companies!

How much so many of my friends were so puzzled and concerned altogether. CAT results were out.. but there was no certainty of making it to the IIMs as the major part -the interview process was still to go. The cloud of uncertainty about my future was dense, and I decided I'm not going to do a job. So if i don't intend to do one at all.. why bother about keeping a backup and put in the requisite effort then. Why dress up in formals and ties and stand in front of those interviewers who'll judge you for the way you sit.. the way you talk and your PAST?

Anyway.. just about everyone around me had to be explained in great amount of details why I didn't intend to do a job in any situation.. thankfully papa was as careless about a job as I was.. (perhaps even more so). I'd used my plans for the HR training company as a shield.. and an explanation.
All in all, it was a confused time.. lotsa apprehensions about the future! But then, IIMC clicked, and bailed me out of that situation. All my thoughts of doing something crazy going down the drain, I had to get into this B-school! Not that it's not a great place to be!
And now, deja vu! I have decided to opt out of the summers process at the college.. and then owed an explanation to a whole lot of people who wanted to know the WHAT and WHY of it. some amazed.. some shocked.. some dismayed but finally all gave in!
As I put my status message as the title of this blog 'OOPs I did it again'.. almost an instant response buzzed.. the conversation also pretty much explains my reasoning for this... Also, as i put across the conversations I've had with people on this matter.. i get to understand how different people react to my decision.. It came as a surprise to Mikin, a senior at iimc. I'd discussed bits of it with Anupam a batchy here.. and Rohan.. a classmate from IIT didn't have any clue about it... .
--
Mikin: WTF
u thr
me: yeah
Mikin: what is this OOPS??
me: well.. i oopsed out
Mikin: why?
me: am applying privately
Mikin: why???????????????????????????????????
me: actually most of the companies on campus.. are very unclear about the projects as of now
Mikin: abe yaar
where?
me : maybe educomp or am in touch with a couple of other companies including a manufacturing concern
Mikin: yaar
me: so will work out something
Mikin: hmm
me: the problem is if i take an offer on campus it's binding
Mikin: who all did u talk to before doing this?"
);
wingies/senors
Mikin: hmm
me: hey.. don't worry! it wasn't a momentary decision
Mikin: hmm yeah but stil yar
me: well..
Mikin: i mean i guess u could have got a better exposure in some of the companies atleast
me: maybe i should've informed you as well before hand,
Mikin: nahi the pt is not about informing me
me: i'll find ways to maximize my exposure
Mikin: yaar just wanted to make sure u have made the rigt choice
me: ok.. well.. in that case
trust me
by my full faith , i have
Mikin: hmm i do trust u yaar
me: for my experimentation.. i had to take this call
Mikin: hmm okies
no probs

me: thanks for the concern!
:)
Mikin: hey c'mon yaar
chal then
will catch u in some time
----
Somehow, the experimentation thing has gotten too much into my head.. and I've been pretty convinced myself that I do not want to get into a job even after MBA.. as in I'm OOPsing even from the Final Placements. Another response to the whole thing.. to my status:

anupam: kya hua ab?
me: ab kyajust signed the proberbial register
anupam: ur status mssg ?
me: this is what i'd done at my previous college - OOPS
anupam: oh! so u not even taking a chance with the mktg firms?
me: it's not about taking a chance yaar, kahi mil gaya to karna pad jaayega
anupam: thats what i meant
me: and i don't want to close my options as yet
anupam: hmm so u keen on that small company?
me: lets see what works out
anupam: i like ur attitude dude!
me: i'm only keen on a broader experience where i know what project i'm doing

anupam: not everyone has the balls for it
me: oh.. well. .as of now it's called balls if it doesn't work out.. it'll be called stupidity :) but life's about experiments after all!

anupam: nothing is an absolute failure dude! u surely wud gain lots from ur exp

me: :)
---
So this guy things of this as a great daring!
----
For an old friend.. from IIT.. the deal was somewhat different!
Rohan: kyaa kar raha hai??

Ankur: yeah... am talking to a friend preparing him for his interview
Rohan: oh okk
wahan bhi yehi sab kar raha hai kyaa...
Ankur: haan yar
i've opted out myself :))
and preparing ppl :))
Rohan: saale!!
-
-
-
-----
He wasn't surprised! The conversation went on usual lines! He didn't demand an explanation.. he didnt' try to reason me into taking up the internship! He knows that's how I am!
But then.. the explaining part is much more difficult when it's people you care about.. who do not understand. My mom.. for that matter.. is quite worried and insecure about my future. When I tell her that I do not intend to do a job even after graduation.. all that she manages to say is.. I'm showing the maverick tendencies typical of papa! That's kinda amusing in one way.. but it's come to be a natural way of being for me now! If I can't take a risk now.. having come this far..then who can!
To my sis, it was a relatively simpler deal.. a joke did.. "Apne ko yeh specialist manager nahin banna ki marketing waale ko pata nahi finance mein kya chal rela hai.. apan ko na ek dum fultoos businessman banne ka hai!" (Connotation being the specific and restrictive nature of the projects given by companies coming on campus)
Anyway.. altogether.. it's a game.. and I'd like to play it my way!
wanderer

Monday, November 06, 2006

Best way to manage your temper? Lose it!



The title quotes a the tag line of the movie 'Anger Management' and I hope blogs are outside the ambit of copyright laws.. and i guess the patrika or bhaskar guys won't sue me for using their cartoon.. the cartoonist's name has been retained on the right end!



Anger has been labeled as one of the worst enemies of man... in a whole lot of texts that talk about roads to well being.

It is said that supression or repression of anger is likely to cause stress and subsequent ailments of the heart or blood pressure. A blasting expression of anger has never been known to solve problems, instead it often worsens them and leaves behind a really unpleasant taste! The person with whom we are angry, would not take it lightly and would either get back at you with scathing remarks..... conclusion being indefinite escalation of the matter and indefinite delay in the resolution of the issue.

Recognizing the harms of anger, perhaps, in the age old history of Indian civilization, Krishna had said to arjun

(Bhagwat Geeta, Chapter 2, Verse 63)

Translated in English, it says, "From Anger arises delusion, from delusion, bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost and when intelligence is lost, one falls back into the material pool."

Leaving the philosophy of the material pool aside, haven't you also gone through the time when you, in a fit of rage, said something unpleasant, hurt someone and regretted later on. When in an argument, if you let your emotions about the subject get the better of you, and you lose your sense of objectivity... and end up losing reason too! You'll end up uttering something you never intended to and then not be able to put across your other more valid arguements.

Going into Greek philosophy, Aristotle had said, “Anybody can be angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not easy.”

Modern theories are replete with issues related to anger management and how an explosion of anger bypasses your thinking cells and causes a havoc!

Most of us, being humans, would find it very difficult to contain our anger.. to not get angry... is an unrealistic solution.. suppression has it's own share of problems.. and explosion.. could be the most devastating of all! So what do we do? get our own share of punching bags or find ourselves an agony aunt each.. who'd be a vent to all our frustrations and consequent anger?

Or maybe try the Dr. Asthana way.. try laughing out aloud.. to cover up your anger.. hoping that it'll go away! doesn't work for you? Then.. look nearby Dr. Asthana.. Munna? yeah.. maybe a constant smile at life.. and the world around you.. (after a close up brushing of teeth of course) might help you reduce your own stress levels.. and by smiling at strangers on the road.. you never know you might just make their day... (frought with risks if you're smiling naughtily at that pretty woman who just passed. ) so use your sensibility.... and do what the call the internal jogging.. smile away to glory!

All of this attitude might just help you get greater control over your anger.. and this calm of yours.. can be an extremely powerful tool... wouldn't you enjoy the sadistic pleasure of seeing an opponent cringe.. after his multiple scathing remarks still failed to bother you.. or disturb you or make you angry. Ultimately.. if you really are angry about something.. it's probably best to let it out instead of filling it all up inside.. and explode some other day. Simple reasoning, one's mind is too small.. (at least mine is) to be able to keep pleasant and unpleasant thoughts both together. so long as you're angry about something.. you'll really find it difficult to enjoy the little pleasures of life! Trust me, it's important to indulge yourself in these pleaures at times!

Take control of your life.. don't let your anger make you do things that you don't want to.. and if it does.. then don't let your ego come in the way of saying sorry to someone you might have offended..

wanderer

World in Motion.. India? Standing!

CNN is hosting a competition on the future of transport in the world.. not too many ppl had put in entries.. so the insti secies insisted that some more people write in.. the best entry from the institute wins a video Ipod.. given my past record with luck.. thought i'd write in! :-) it's a week before the results come out!
A regular citizen would be better placed traveling via highly fuel efficient surface transport systems. Road transport infrastructure and machine technology would allow high volume public transport in excess of a couple of hundred km per hour by roads and electric/metro (based on electromagnetic/levitation technologies)trains would form a crosswire across major cities with very high speed movement.

To bypass the congestion in the urban areas, modes of civil aviation would become more accessible. Affluent people would travel by small personal flying machines (vertical aviators not requiring runway/infrastructure) to their offices and there would be rules for air traffic in place within cities. Also, personal flyers will become much more common even for longer distance travel. Aviation across cities/countries would become manifold faster.

The Indian River-linking project would be complete by then, providing a lot of scope to water transport for humans and cargo across the states.

International transport could be through superfast undersea capsule submarines traversing across oceans at current missile speeds, with technology to minimize friction.
In the international arena, technology might reach new frontiers to allow teleportation of human beings. Space travel is likely to become more accessible and space would become a popular tourist destination. Jetpacks, that are seen in superhero films or games right now, would become personal transport systems, in the form of a backpack with jetfuel that can be controlled and steered during high speed flight, accompanied by suits to minimize air friction related harm.
Overall, the world over, technology is likely to radically change the way people travel, but back at home in India, it's unlikely that any radically new technology would be adopted for mass transport solutions. Highly improved versions of the current modes, are likely to be the order of the day.
I'll continue to wander
wanderer

Friday, November 03, 2006

To B or not to B!

The significane of the 'B' in the title shall become clear as it builds up.

Imagine you're standing on the top of a cliff. If you jump.. there's a chance you might be able to fly or there's a huge possibility that you'll fall like a rock!

You have the option that you can just walk away.. and lead a normal 'walking' life! But then.. you'll never get to know if you are capable of flying!

what would you rather do.. jump.. and hope that you can fly.. or come back and forget about flying for all your life.

I asked someone.. and they said they'll take a parachute and jump.

our fundamental need for security in life?

relate it to love..

relate it to entrepreneurship..

isn't this need for security sometimes a hurdle in living life fully... lot of us.. would probably never get to know that we could fly... we'll be too afraid to give it a shot!

For me.. life's either gotta be an exciting adventure.. or nothing!

wanderer!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A lost wallet..

Realized today that I can't find my wallet.. looked up the whole place.. turned my room upside down but all in vain.

Felt frustrated.. angry.. helpless.. why don't they make some RF chips for wallets.. or some GPRS systems.. so you'll never lose them !

to list whatever's contained in that wallet!

1. 2000 bucks of cash

2. ICICI Debit Card

3. Canara Bank Debit Card

4. HSBC Credit Card

5. Citibank Credit Card

6. IIMC identity card + library card

7. IITB Identity Card + IITB Alum Association I Card

8. My original Driving License

9. A lucky charm that mom gave me when I'd broken my hand in my first year of IIT

10. The 'Hanuman Chalisa' that was in papa's pocket when his body came back from Kailash Mansarovar!

11. The wallet itself was a gifted one, worth over a thousand bucks.

What would be the price of all the above for me? Can it be monetized?

Then when I told a friend about it.. she did express dismay.. but on the bye note.. said 'may you find all that you've lost.. and more' almost instant reaction from me.. 'all that i've lost?'

Bahot kuchh khoya hai life mein! but then.. wasn't the right moment to get philosophising about this.. so chucked it then.

Had to put it down somewhere.. haven't even told ma yet.. par I think she won't say anything.. which is probably worse than her saying something. But what can she say anyway... be more careful next time?

If someone wants the money.. i'm willing to give all that's there in the wallet. .and more of it from my side.. if he returns the wallet.

Have already bribed Big B.. am waiting to see his response!

wanderer

Of exams and preparations!

Have been bitten by this bug from my undergrad days.. I don't feel nervous at all before an exam.. how much ever unprepared I might be!

People might say.. that's a great thing... but the problem seems to arise when I end up remaining unpreprepared because I am not worried about the exam.. Maybe the times when the situation was still manageable and I'd pass despite a half an hour preparation have internalized this 'i don't wanna prepare' as a habit.

Maybe being a six pointer for an extended period does this to you. On one side.. it makes you quite carefree.. which normally might be a good thing.. but on the other side.. it probably also takes away the competitive spirit or the killer instinct.. which instilled the desire to compete and excel.

Was wondering yesterday, about the last time I'd actually pitted myself against someone and really felt competitive and put in a life of effort into beating the world. Couldn't recall any!

Guess.. motivation and passion are to be important factors that drive a person to work hard and to excel... and for academics.. I lack both of these! The first term at MBA.. i tried a change of habits.. which sustained till the first half.. and i was happily above average in all courses.. but then the disillusionment struck again.. I didn't see myself getting anywhere with them.. or even enjoying studying the books too much.. consequence.. the end term performance neutralized the mid terms.. and i'm back to being a six pointer.. somewhat around the average.

Then.. i wondered if for any reason.. I should feel obliged to be studying hard.. meaning.. I'm here.. far away from home.. actually an unpleasant thing for my folks.. now all the more for mom.. then reasoned that I'm here to gain something for myself.. does that necessarily have to be great academic grades? I believe not. So I formulated a policy for myself that I'll study the subjects that I like with good interest.. and maybe even go beyond the course requisites.. but the others.. I'm not gonna worry.. not that I was worrying earlier.. I'm just gonna ensure that I'll pass them!

having come all this far.. i'm positive passing the courses won't be that big a problem.. all I have to do now is to do away with those momentary pangs of sadness at the time of the results.. when my grades might or might not be that great. It's not like I'd put in loads of effort and I didn't get a commensurate return! Even if it is that way.. guess i'm sufficienty happy convincing myself about my level of effort and the knowledge gained.. the grades will have to take care of themselves.. and I'm going to be the least bothered!
I give a DAMN!
Something to which I SHOULD give a damn is the basic premise that this lack of passion doesn't extend to the other domains of my life.. and I do not end up losing the killer competitive instinct in other streams of life! Haven't we constantly observed that the people with the excelling spirit.. would do well in all spheres.. and the loss of this instinct.. makes people losers in all areas.. and ultimately they'd end up losing faith in themselves!
Yes, it's ideal to be not obsessed with the results and be liberal with your efforts.. but then if you lose.. it doesn't matter how well you played.. so you gotta play to win.. Of course.. the basis is that I should choose the game I'm gonna win!
Am reminded of the idea that 'Don't run away from something, if you're running towards something, you'll do fine'
The game called Life! That's the one I'm gonna win.. but then.. probably without beating.. coz there need be no losers... it's a game which I'm playing against time.. and against all my weaknesses.. that's what I'm pitted against.. and an entire life is going to be spent on building the arsenal!
to bring in anohter cliche... I'm not here to win a battle.. I'm here to win the WAR.
wanderer

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

After Papa

I edited my orkut introduction... to say the following..

Alyque Padamsee once said... 'death of a loved one changes you as a person'... i'm now in the process of seeing myself evolve... as i move on..

Papa passed away on sept 14/06.. and as mamma said.. 'bahot jaldi bada bana gaye mujhe'

But then.. life.. by its very nature.. goes on!
much as things change.. much as they have to be kept the same.. imbibing his lessons and learnings,

I continue to be Ankur

With nothing against anybody,

clumsiness personified, while at times a paranoid perfectionist.

The most lazy being I know
while being the best workaholic you could find.

Very careless and quite caring at the same time.

Seeing quite a lot but trying not to judge anything.

Claiming to be innocent,

With power, moving on beyond the past,

and I know I am the future.

Ok.. I have an attitude that ppl sometimes don't like.. but think, 'If everyone likes you, you're boring!' so i just let them be!
More seriously.. what i think of 'me' is more important to me than what others think of me.

Keep the impermanence of life in mind guys... it's a strong influence... moralizes at times.. strengthens at times.. asks you to take greater charge.. and lets you to let go at times..

at the end of the your days..

Life shall not be measured By The Number Of Breaths U Take..But-By The Moments That took..Ur Breath Away..

wanderer

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Entrepreneurship.. over a glass of Wine!

Having worked in the area of entrepreneurship for several years now.. it has begun to clear out some ideas in my mind.. and having come this far, I find myself behaving naturally as an advocate of entrepreneurship and accordingly questioning the fears that normally scare people from taking the risks.. the most primary question being what they stand to risk in the first place.


The work background got me an easy entry to the entrepreneurship initiatives on campus, and as a rather grand welcome to a relatively inactive club, we had an invitation to an 'entrepreneurship' award ceremony at a prestigious hotel, to be followed by dinner and drinks! Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity and got lucky to be in the selected few!


Alright, so sitting in the ballroom of a five (or maybe seven) star hotel, we're looking at this young lady, playing the MC(master of ceremony of course), who, in her own attempts to make the evening light and lively, couldn't help cracking really sad jokes! So we have the awards for the different categories announced, amidst sounds of claps, the feats of each entrepreneur are highlighted and the spirit of entrepreneurship glorified!


Next, was a panel discussion on the hardships faced by the awardees in their own lines of work and I suddenly noticed around myself that the chairs were getting empty fast! and yes, I rightly guessed, they'd started serving the drinks in the dining hall! Awright, so convincing myself that the food and drinks really were the reason i'd gone there, I dragged myself away from the tales of entrepreneurial valor!


High on some vodka and with a glass of wine, I gathered enough courage, to get into a discussion (more like a debate) with a senior. Being a nice guy that he was, he appreciated the reasoning and we got on to talking about entrepreneurship over wine! We were talking something about the lack of startup enthusiasts at our place, to which he(the senior) remarked that it was stupid to expect people to think of entrepreneurship when the stakes were so high. By high stakes, he meant the cushy and really well paying jobs that even an average graduate from our b school was likely to get!


Ok.. this was more than what the entrepreneurship advocate in me needed to wake up


Carefree that I was, rebutted saying that it had actually become easier for us to do what we really wanted! But hey, wait, the drink hadn't gone to my head so I did substantiate- We think that the US has a better support system for entrepreneurship because if you fail, the social security will take care of you.. while on the contrary..in India, you might have trouble making ends meet. If social security can be taken for a cushion, then our degree should be a rather much thicker cushion because even if we spend a couple of yearsand still fail at our stints, the degree stays with us and will anyday get us a job which will afford us much more than what we need to survive!


He ended up agreeing in principle, but of course, I don't expect to have changed his mindset over a light dinner time chat!


Beyond five star hotels, this work gets you to meet really good people, in my case, it was the Chief of TiE (The IndUs Entrepreneurs) Kolkata. A grad from MIT, he was happy to notice our spirit with regard to entrepreneursihp activities on campus, and presenting my view as a b school student, I mentioned that having competed with lakhs of people to have gotten here, it really doesn’t seem right to be competing with the same people again in the job market! We ought to do better! Of course, this came from the sarcastic appreciative remarks by Sh. Govindacharya, about a reputed b school that selected a few of the thousand students that applied, and got them all placed before their degree was completed! Of course, what good has an institute done if it has only made employees out of the brightest in the country! The TiE guy, of course Couldn't Agree More!


A recent class discussion in Behavioral Sciences pointed to a perspective on eship, which other people might have found banal, but was a new line of thought for me. Whoever can't find a job, sets up a factory and becomes an entrepreneur. At the base of it was probably the application of Douglas McGregor's Theory X that no one really wants to work hard, everyone wants to live off someone else's efforts and thus have the easy way by getting a salary and not grinding themselves on the entrepreneurial line!


Being the selective perceiver that I am, I chose to note his acknowledgement that entrepreneurship is tough! Though, taking the whole thing in perspective, we, at the class, derided eship from its usually virtuous position to the last resort of people who're useless enough to not be able to find a job anywhere!


Given the current trends, I would still like to believe that this is not the more popular perspective, as 'opting out of placements' is still glamorous and if no one else, at least the media will hold you dear, even if for a short while!


Guess, I'd be happy setting up an orkut community by the name of 'Placement Chuckers'.. make it a totally glamorous cult.. you know.. you make a trendy statement by wanting to be an entrepreneur.. it's a cult meant for a limited few, the ones with the proverbial heart of a man...



But then, we need to make stronger statements than this, in order to actually make a difference to the perception and reality of entrepreneurship in our premier schools and further in our society!




Wanderer

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What about the other little 'Princes'?

Anyone who is even slightly connected with the world, via any channels of communication would know of the heroic rescue of six year old 'Prince' from a pit. An episode which made thousands of people stick to their TV screens.. and praying to their respective gods!
The PMO issued a statement.. regarding the PM's blessings to 'prince'
Sonia Gandhi blessed him.
Wishes and prayers flowed from across the world.. (thanks to the outreach of media.. via TV and internet)
TV channels found a full time TRP gainer in this prince..
Zee news, in a sudden spur of philanthrophy, declared that they'd sponsor his entire education
some Sobha foundation chose its moment to rise to fame.. gave the child one lakh rupees
and lots of other things ensued!
I have nothing against this prince.. myself prayed for his safety.. but thinking of all the other 'princes' who miss out on this attention from the media.. or from anyone else.. i guess they would all be praying that they fall into a well.. coz otherwise.. their deaths.. due to malaria.... dengue.. malnutrition.. starvation have become too commonplace to draw any media attention or to win them as much as a two time meal.. let alone a life time scholarship!
Who do we expect.. will bring a change?
The Media.. by bringing more serious issues to light.. and growing beyond sensationalism?
The PM... leave him.. he's too busy listening to the thousand people he needs to obey!
Sonia Gandhi.. ? as if she doesn't know all of this already..
The kind donors.. asking them to consider donating to larger causes as well?
I hope all of those ghar ke chiraag.. jo bachpan mein hi bujh jaate hain... will find their own ways to draw attention.. and become saleable to the world.. and boost TRPs.. so they'll be on prime time national television.. and finally get their due!
wanderer

Monday, July 24, 2006

Indian Youth!


Our course in behavioral sciences has a section on the Indian Youth! A class discussion was to follow a survey about the general mentality of the people out here. Some people volunteered to conduct a survey and anchor the discussion which was held today in class!

What was interesting about the entire exercise was that inspite of the overt differences, it turns out that we’re all in the same boat! Much as we feel lonely in this quest of seeking our own identity and identifying our desires and goals, just about everyone is on a similar voyage of his own. Just about everyone is confused about his value systems, about what he really wants to do in life, about where to draw a line when talking of ethics.. just about everything and just about everyone!

And what makes it all the more fascinating is that we’re actually being made to ask ourselves such questions, thanks to our first term course in behavioral sciences and more importantly, thanks to our professor who’s taking a keen interest in making us see sense in what we’re trying to pursue and whether we are making our choices by ourselves or are we allowing life to happen to us.

Yes, we as sons and daughters often get into becoming the agents to fulfilling the unfinished dreams and agendas of our parents. And in this process, at times, we end up forgetting what we really wanted to do. A lot of us complain about our parental pressure and expectations regarding our career and that they’ve pushed us into doing things that we probably didn’t really want to do ourselves. The tales of some cousin who’s doing well after going to an IIT and an IIM, which was possibly intended to inspire us, but ended up creating a latent sense of resentment within us! And we gave in to the alleged pressure and took a direction shown by our parents.

But then hey, to what extents are we going to keep on blaming our parents or someone else for whatever’s happening to us!

An interesting perspective that was shown today, suggested that we look within and ask ourselves if we’re playing the blame game by putting it onto our parents that they don’t let us take initiatives while we’re too scared of doing any experimenting ourselves. Well.. parents have had their share of control on our lives but has it always been so restrictive that we and our desires were necessarily suppressed? Or do we happily wallow in self pity by dumping the cause of all our unfulfilled desires on to our parents, or more generally to the society/system/people around us?

Someone said that a genuine want comes out of an earlier feeling of deprivation and most people here haven’t faced much of deprivation at least in the economic sense of it and hence, we do not feel very strongly about anything as such. Yeah, maybe the constraints on the previous generation were different and maybe they spent a major portion of their lives to ensure a financially secure future and to ensure us the basic comforts of life. However, the horizon has indeed broadened for us and having an economic security has essentially brought us in a position of looking beyond money.. and that’s probably why we have the time and the energy for asking the questions about what we’re seeking out of life!

Is there a fundamental issue with the circumstances? In the setting of a realtively small city(given my humble origins), if someone says that he’s studying psychology at DU.. (even at the best college) or if he’s studying engineering at IIT Bombay - you might need to think if they be taken differently or in the same manner. But for me, in spite of all my respect for the teaching quality at the DU and other good colleges, I’m going to have to admit that it will not be the same! It doesn’t need too much of thinking then to see that this is where the problem of lack of choices with academics starts. We simply do not hold other streams of education on the same pedestal that we’ve placed engineering and a subsequent management course.

Probably this is what someone meant when they talked about the cheap philosophy of demand and supply that seems to be governing education in India. The best paid jobs come to these people and so the expected economic benefit after an engineering has more than its share of influence on the decisions of young people when they’re choosing their careers. To an extent, the previous generation had faced crises with their financials and subsequently, their need for a financially secure future has rubbed on to us as well! They expect us to do what they think is in our best interests, and you really can’t blame them if their choices are guided by the potential finacial security that a career path is providing.

And there’s nothing wrong with pursuing money either, the question only is that are we doing it out of our conscious choice or are we being made to do it for someone else! What is the cost? The stakes are still considered very high when someone is to leave a cushy job to become an entrepreneur! It’s mighty difficult to leave something in hand for something that’s not even concrete yet. And we start of talking about the opportunity costs that make any such decision virtually impossible to make. There are people who have defied this rule but somehow, in our culture, the value of pursuing your own dreams and the possible subsequent satisfaction has never been monetized and hence the odds are always stacked against your pursuit of your passion because it might not be considered economically viable!

We don’t need to see anything wrong with our inherent desire to want more of everything, including material wealth on the one side and the relationships/satisfaction and other intangibles on the other side. The problem only arises because we only have 24 hours in a day and only one life to live! Its this allocation of the scarcest resource called the moments of our life that require us to study the trade offs and choices that we’re making.

After all, everyone of us finally wants to look back from the deathbed and see a life well lived!

Yes.. it takes courage… you need to ask yourself the difficult questions about whether you’re allowing yourself to go with the flow and not against it because you simply want to have the easy way in life.. and in this process you also find reasons and excuses to justify it to the world.. and often to yourself.. that it’s your circumstances in terms of parents or society or whatever that are requiring you to behave in a particular manner and you can’t seem to be able to break the mould and do what you really want!

The question still boils down to asking ourselves if we know what we really want in life! If you’re clear on that, and the desire is strong enough.. nothing is capable of holding you back..!

Finally..it’s upto you!

More Later!
Wanderer