Says Yoda, he does – With you, the force shall be

Bring to you news, I do tonight. Not any exciting news, that is. About my tiring day, this news is. Just getting better from a flu, I was, when as usual, to office, I had to venture. Decided for a team lunch today, my boss had. Traditional, the food at this restaurant called ‘The Village’ was.

Back to the office it was then, an hour later. Free lunch in the tummy, loaded with work I was. Won’t let me keep my eyes open, the food inside of me; but on my head all the time, the boss was. Slogging for hours, then I was, when eventually finished the all that work was. Looked up and 10 on the clock it was. Skipped the dinner was. Tonight, the lunch it shall be, happy that keeps the tummy.

Finally, home I was. Had decided to study, I had; but taken its toll, the day had. On the tele, played football they did; and rather gave up studying to watch I did. Time to write the blog it was then, when Master Yoda, came to me he did. Said to me he did – Enjoy life shall you, you geezer. Share my message, you will. With you, the force shall be then.

Not bash me for this post, you shall. Came out of a tired mind, it did. Make more sense, I shall tomorrow.

Looking beyond the AIEEE

Tonight I share an article where my father expresses his views on a situation many Indian parents end up facing  –
9th June, 2012 11:44pm
 
I was half sleep when a text message woke me up. It read – ‘AIEEE 4111′. It was from one of my ex-colleagues whose son was aspiring for an admission to one of the top engineering institutes in the country. The rank, 4111, was a really excellent one  in the AIEEE exam, considering especially that more than a million candidates appeared for the exam in May. In fact, what makes this rank even more remarkable is the fact that the first 3000 – 3500 students may not even join any of the institutes available through the exam as they would be most probably be joining one of the IITs or dropping an year to improve their JEE ranks the next year.
 
The message made me wonder about 2 other students, whose parents I knew.  I informed them immediately that the AIEEE results were out. On calling them the next day, I found out that one of them had secured a rank of 45,000 while other had ranked around 2,35,000. Creditable as they were, such is the cut-throat level of competition for the limited number of seats, that they would normally not be enough to make it to one of the  nationally reputed top engineering colleges.
 
The first question that came to my mind was – What should be the next step for these two students ? What if one of them was my own son or daughter? Would I consider this a failure on my child’s part? Sadly, in India, most parents do. What they need to realize is that this is definitely not the end of the road; but rather a great chance to explore other exciting education and career opportunities. We have, over the years ended up building a regime of expectations from our children, where the two most direct routes are –
 
Engineer -> MBA
 or
Doctor
 
In my view, only if a student is really interested in the various engineering courses offered, has appeared for other entrance exams like the BITSAT or State entrance exams and scored well, should he/she opt for pursuing the engineering route. To me, it makes no sense what so ever, in both settling for a mediocre institute or in bluntly keeping on banging for an engineering birth by dropping an year (and possibly more). I would rather sit with my son; discuss our options; take a hard, long look at his interests; and pursue a field that would play to his confidence.
 
I would not really go into great detail, but here are some of the opportunities (assuming a science background in the +2 years of school) you might want to explore if you find yourself in a similar situation –
 
-A direct officer level entry to the Indian Navy (Logistics Branch) or a Marine engineering degree through the navy or otherwise.
-Look for an esteemed career with the Indian Army beginning at the NDA
-If you have a penchant to sketching or design, try for an admission to one of the top architecture or fashion design institutes.
-Take up an under-graduate course in Hotel Management or Business.
-Take up a course in sciences if your child has a dream for it. Remember, there are always excellent opportunities available in R&D, especially in bio-sciences, pharmaceuticals, space, etc.
-There are several courses very similar in structure and opportunities to engineering like BSc (IT), BSc (Computer Sciences). One could always pursue them even whilst preparing for another attempt at the engineering exams, instead of entirely wasting an year.
The list is of course long, and great success always follows wherever passion and hard-work are. I can only advise and eventual success depends upon the individual’s drive. In the end, it is of utmost importance to understand the psyche of each individual student and providing the right counsel.
– Sudhir Kumar Pant
With over 30 years of experience in IT & Telecommunication, Sudhir is one of the founder members of the safalmantra initiative and the prime visionary behind the idea. Over the years, his counsel and initiative has been helpful to many young students looking for the best career option.

A miss and an eventful day

After a run of 20 straight nights of posting on the blog, I missed the one on Friday. I still intend to have 31 new posts in a month since that memorable night in Munich as a tribute to my European Champions Chelsea.

Today was another day of studying for the GMAT ( although as it turned out once again, only for a couple of hours ), some intense hours of tennis, and the Hell in the Cell UNO night. That last part might seem weird but we have a very competitive ( full of frequent scuffles ) UNO  battle going on in the house. Tonight’s epic battle ended in an unbelievable 4 way tie, with the defending champion DK retaining his title, after creating some of the most dramatic moments in the final games (yes, I was this (.) close ).

Confession Time – It has also been a  couple of days when I was successfully played by a girl after a long, very long time. Gracious in defeat. Payback awaits 😀

Tomorrow, I plan to do a piece on Architecture as a career option in India. I’ll try to keep it as informative as possible. Happy reading !

Blog time

I have absolutely loved updating the blog regularly these past couple of weeks. As a result, I decided to do a little re-vamp. The new theme is called iTheme-2 (yes, it is supposedly based on Apple’s cool presentations). There is also an update in the Additional Reading page – a very interesting article on refreshing your blog; things that could basically light up the “blogging fire” again. As promised, I had also added a little piece on Responsible Drinking and related relevant information in the Causes section. I really appreciate all my readers (and everyone else who reads anything). The piece on my memories of summer vacations shall be titled “Garmi ki Chuttiyaan”. I mean to put it up here soon, just not been getting into the proper “feel” for it. Nothing more to add tonight. I will continue with Archer’s – Only time will tell. Happy Reading !

My vices

There’s a couple of things about myself that have been bothering me all day. Here, I’ll just go ahead (I’m also blunt) –

1. I don’t think I smile enough when I see/meet new people. In fact, I don’t usually have a smile for people I know (I’m counting out good friends here). You know those people who are presentable, or likable or that kind; I’m not one of them. I admire them, I try hard to be like them, to have a ready, natural smile for everyone; but I just ain’t one of them. Here’s how it is I think –

So basically once you’ve learnt the art of smiling at everything happening in and around you, good or bad, you are happy.

2. The second thought that bothers me is that I somehow don’t even happen to have a cordial ‘Hello’ or a ‘Good Morning’ or ‘How’ve you been?’ for acquaintances; like those at the office, people I see for almost 10 hours every day. I see others carrying out their simple courtesies everyday, but I just don’t seem to be able to put the good words together. Heck, I don’t even even have a polite reply when people wish me !

Attitude. 

 Do you suffer as I do ?

Falling Slowly

There’s a girl I know who always makes me feel like this song 🙂

     I don’t know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can’t react
And games that never amount
To more than they’re meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You’ll make it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can’t go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I’m painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It’s time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice

You’ve made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I’ll sing it loud

Crazy day ( & a Hazard )

Right now, at this moment my head is mixed with confusion, panic, jubilation & surprise. This day was certainly one that began all too well. Work was largely smooth & excitement brewed up constantly on twitter as Eden Hazard’s next destination seemed more & more likely to be Chelsea. Surprisingly, I was almost free from work at around 7.30 in the evening; when ..well, everything got screwed up, or rather someone screwed everything up. I choose not to share publicly how my professional life goes, & so I shall stay mute.

The confusion brings back memories ( and not so happy ones) of a not too distant past, and it really craps all over my mood. The evening, as a result has largely been an anxious one. To these thoughts, I remind – Every morning is a new opportunity. I hope to sleep over the confusion & have a fresh start tomorrow.

As for Eden Hazard, well, you already see a certain CR7 in him, don’t you ? Arrogant, attention-seeking, naturally gifted & world-class ! After, rounds & rounds of sly promises/interviews/tweets & what not over his next destination, this is what he came up with sometime back –

” I’m signing for the champion’s league winner. “

The media has already declared this means he’s joining us, but with the kind of day it has been, & remembering how fickle ( never-mind attention-hogging ) Hazard can be, I fully expect him to join any of Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool, Aston Villa, or even Nottingham Forest ! He has confirmed in the past, that he’ll be joining an English club, limits that list down to 5 past Champion’s League winners. Man City, Arsenal & Tottenham (when was he ever even thinking of them ? ) surely miss out on the Hazard boat then ( unless he meant I’m joining the champions, league winner ! )

I wish you & you a good night. And some good for self.

The times, they’re always changing

I posted on twitter (tweeted) for the 5000th time today. I usually keep this practice of dedicating my landmark tweets (generally the thousands)
to something or the other. It may be something close to my heart, a topic that I might have been discussing a lot on the website; it could be
about people, things or events that inspired me, or phenomena that amaze me.

Today, I’d been on the bus back home from Pune, posting about the journey as I realized I was approaching the landmark. I had to stop, think and pay a fitting tribute to the “occassion”. And, just as I was tapping the keypad on my phone contemplating, it struck me. I came up with a series of 3 tweets which read –

“T-5000 To technology.Back in ’99,I remember my first windows PC & modem internet connection.Those modems were huge & beeping all the time..”

“Internet was confusion,yet exciting.Today I’m posting on a social networking website (an idea beyond the wildest imaginations back then)..”

“for the 5000th time from my phone ! The times, they are always changing #challengeeverything “

We keep talking of a massive paradigm shift coming up sometime in the near future, but aren’t we part of one all the time ? Ideas, once inconceivable, are today’s everyday reality. I mean, for eg., very few, if anyone, would have imagined it to be possible one day that 2 people thousands of miles apart could watch eachother walk and talk in real time – Stuff of Star Wars ! But, the webcam and video calling are so common-place today, we never stop to marvel this achievement. Magic turns into reality every second !

Who’s to tell us what is not possible tomorrow ? I imagine a world where my mom would cook me dinner in Mumbai & I’ll be able to have it in Delhi. A future where “real” physical objects could be transmitted/replicated over extremely advanced intelligent networks, the 10Gs & 11Gs who knows, in real time ! In fact, I’d go so far as prophesying that this future turns to reality within my lifetime. There are crazy possibilities awaiting us. Imagine. Challenge Everything.

Follow me on twitter @kartriter

Writing

Have been putting together a few lines since last night. Not sure if they’re any good, but the drive creating them felt like a sense of something strong.

Sometimes I wish the fish I was swimming with, just like the ocean, they were blue too
That way, when we swam, I won’t know anything about you
It scares me though, will they forget all about me too

बुझी बुझी आखों से देखते हो तुम
सोचते हो तुम कहीं छुप जाएं
छुप जाएं दूर, उस जहान में जहां डर ना हो ना हो बंदिशें
छुप जाएं उन बाहों में, उन आखों में, उनकी छाओं में जहां ज़िन्दगी बस ख़ुशी हो
जहां ना तो ये मायूसी हो और ना ये सूनी आवारगी हो

छुप जाएं उन पत्तियों की खिल खिलाहट में, उन भीनी हवाओं के झोकों में, उस गीली मिटटी की खुशबू में
कभी छुपें ऐसे कि बचपन की यादों में खो जाएँ
कभी छुपे ऐसे कि फिर कभी न मिल पाएँ

मेरे शब्दों में शायद वो बात ना हो, शायद अब वो एहसास ना हो
पर इन ख्यालों, ख्वाबों, लफ़्ज़ों, इन अल्फाजों को गर मैं कागज़ पे न उतारू
तो शायद आज जो मेरे साथ है, कल वो मौका भी मेरे पास ना हो


Fuel for my words ?

If there’s a place called “limbo” for real, it has to be this one, the one I live in right now. Its directionless; neither a happy nor a sad one; pretty much the stop-start mornings; idle, lethargic afternoons; vacant evenings, and long, tiring nights; this is a lazy place and its pretty much as meaningless as “vovomp” is (although I believe vovomp will have its fair share of google results). I don’t know how things led to other things, which finally led to my being here, but here I am, and there’s no reason to believe this is going anywhere.

In this place, you’re a procrastinator to dreaming; your work just passes you by; unmotivated, too tired to act, you walk around, laugh as people do, cringe when it comes to doing anything you don’t like; nothing amuses you anyways, you’re just putting up a smile, just so that you don’t seem to be outside. You have no thoughts on your future, in fact it scares you; you have no interest looking back into the past because it doesn’t hold anything you’d want to go back to; and the present, the present is just existence, gliding through time, ticking the seconds, the minutes and the hours by; from one eerie Floyd to another, as days come and go, from one weekend to another, from one guilt-ridden morning after a night of “binging” to another;  endless, recurring, endless

By now, it must be clear how difficult it should be putting these thoughts together into words as I write here, given my “condition”; but its time I did, if not for anything/anyone (and most of what people write, has always been about someone or another), just for keeping a record of this time, this place, this moment in this life. In all probability, this piece will make for some very boring reading (for anyone who bothers to read it at all), but then much of what is out there to read, is boring (again, for me, and right now).

I’ll probably end with some words I remember from this movie I happened to watch sometime back, pointless and blunt just like I am right now –

Look out the window. And doesn’t this remind you of when you were in the boat, and then later than night, you were lying, looking up at the ceiling, and the water in your head was not dissimilar from the landscape, and you think to yourself, “Why is it that the landscape is moving, but the boat is still?”

Life, when its passing you by, is as seen from that funny little boat, and the sky is pale blue, and the water, pale and still too.

 

(Disclaimer – All images are snapshots from IGN’s 2010 game Limbo. No copyright violation intended)

Why don’t you smoke?

I’ve come across this question quite a few times, and frankly, the reason is, its purely out of choice. In return, I always come up with, “Why do you smoke ?” And generally, nobody has a clue, as they give me a puzzled, all confident smile.

The reason I’m jumping my ass into this ever controversial tobacco battle tonight is something I witnessed about an hour back. I was inside this grocery store, buying some random stuff, and amongst the small crowd, there was this really cute little girl not more than 6 or 7, buying herself an ice cream. Seemingly her parents had sent her to the shop, just outside the apartments’ gates, to pick her favorite ice cream. I was looking through the rack for the stuff I had come for, while noticing how cute the entire thing seemed as she kept contemplating between the flavors. Just as she finally decided on the dessert she wanted, she went to the counter, and muttered, ” I want this ice cream, and 2 cigarettes “. I was aghast, shocked with complete disbelief. What did this little ice cream girl have to do with cigarettes? The shopkeeper, almost matter-of -factly, handed her the 2 smokes, and she happily exited out.  Just as she was leaving, I asked her, almost calling out, “Aapko cigarette kyu chahiye ?” (Why do you want these cigarettes? ), and in unison with the shopkeeper, she replied, her dad wanted them ! It was just plain, disgusting parenting, and I didn’t know what this kids parents were upto.

But, what happened tonight is obviously not the reason I don’t take to smoking, the reason I don’t is that I have a choice. I have the choice to avoid one of the ways to fall to something as fatal as cancer; I have a choice to keep my lungs clean, be able to maintain good stamina, to keep healthy, and to not slowly, voluntarily kill myself. I have seen and read about innocent people, little kids who’ve had to face life-threatening, and often fatal diseases, for no real faults of their own. Kids, who were born to HIV; people who faced cancer just out of sheer bad luck, whose bodies were messed up from the inside, and they didn’t have a clue about where it came from. I know, just as much as anyone that I could face it tomorrow. But I have this choice today, right now, in this moment, to make it less probable. I have a choice to a healthy life, and I know I’m not the cleanest one around, nor for a moment am I implying, that I don’t have habits that I don’t regret, but this is something, that never caught up to me, and so I plan to keep it that way.

As for that little girl, I really can’t come up with words to express how pathetic I feel about her parents. Your parents are the ones you look up to, especially, more so as kids. They are your role models, the ones you brag about, the ones you protect, the ones you defend, the one who defend you, but parents like hers, are shameless, and to say the least, not worthy for any child to look up to. I am just a young guy myself, but that right there, is something I would never be proud of, as and whenever I become a parent. And, to think that her father send her out at 10 in the night, to buy cigarettes, with the lure of an ice cream, just disgusts me to the core. Think about it, I don’t imply you were to ever do this, but unless you were to quit, you’d never know when it drove you to this !