Sunday, December 10, 2006

Questions 'n' Answers

Thought about this post a long time back but could never really bring myself mind to write (or rather type) it out. Summer placement interviews and group discussions were going on. Everybody in the batch interacted with some or the other company executives. This is a random sample of some such interactions.
Interviewer (I): So, what do you want to do in the long term?
Participant (P): Well, I read a book by the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. I was inspired by the book. Now I want to Ph.D. in Developmental Economics.
The least expected career goal of an engineer...enough to shake up any interviewer.
I: What are you here for?
P: I joined this institute for learning. [a small pause] I know this is not the answer you were expecting.
I: Do you have a girlfriend?
P: No
I: So far in your life you haven't been able to market yourself, so how are going to market our product.
Good Point to ponder upon

Thursday, November 23, 2006

White Roses

This story I got through a forwarded mail. I guess sometimes these forwards are also quite good.
I was walking around in a store. I saw a cashier hand this little boy his money back saying "I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll." Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him: ''Granny, are you sure I don't have Enough money?''
The old lady replied: ''You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.''
Then she asked him to stay there for five minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly. The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand. Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. "It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for this Christmas. She was so sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her."

I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus will Bring it to her after all, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly. "No, Santa Claus can't bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there." His eyes were so sad while saying this. "My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.''

My heart nearly stopped.
The little boy looked up at me and said: "I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall." Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me, "I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won't forget me. I love my mommy and I wish she doesn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister."

Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly. I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. "What if we checked again, just in case you do have enough money?''

"Ok", he said, "I hope that I have enough." I Added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the Doll and even some spare money.
The little boy said: "Thank you God for giving me enough money!"

Then he looked at me and added "I asked yesterday before I slept for God to make sure I have enough money to buy this doll so that mommy can give it to my sister. He heard me! I also wanted to have enough money to buy a White rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.''

"My mommy loves white roses."

A few minutes later, the old lady came again And I left with my basket. I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned of a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car, where there was one young lady and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-assisting machine, because the young lady would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young lady had passed away. I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before burial.

She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that this little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

And so the story ends........................

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Carpe Diem

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out the marrow of life! to put to rout all that was not life. And now, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived.
To be read out at the beginning of the first meeting of the Dead Poets Society
- Dead Poets Society (1989)
Carpe diem (latin for Sieze the day). Its about living for the present because thats the only time when a person has control over anything. You cant change what has happened and nobody knows with cent percent surety whats going to happen in the future.
In the movie, the new english teacher Mr. Keating tells his students about carpe diem. This leads to a process of awakening in the students about life. They realize that the only place a person can find his true identity is within himself. And so they carry on their life with a new perspective of their world.
So everything in life is about seizing the day and living for the moment. Taking every opportunity as it comes and most important always remembering that it is only the present which matters
Carpe Diem
P.S:- This blog is dedicated to the first person who posted a comment on my blog

Monday, October 30, 2006

Diwali Dhamaal

Been a long time since my last post. I guess the excuse would be I was busy with many things at the same time. Well, Diwali was nearly 10 days back, but got a chance to write about it only now. This is the second post of A Day in my Life series.

The date October 21, 2006, Diwali. The first Diwali on campus. The day started like every Saturday at Planet I. Three classes in morning...many people were grumbling about this what a way to celebrate diwali. But my thoughts went back to Diwali 2005. On that day I had to gone to Digboi for some field work (nitrogen unloading job to be precise), which was 50 km from my base Duliajan. Although not exactly ideal but relatively speaking it was still a far better situation.

After classes went to the city with a big group of friends. Going to the city seems like a big escape from the daily routine over here. Big movies like Don had been released over the weekend but no one was in mood for that. So all of us went to fun and games section (me thinks that the name is something else....but who cares). So then it was 2 hours of bowling, pool, video games, races and finally striking cars. Never thought that this could be so much fun.

Late in the evening, back to the campus for the Diwali celebrations. Had a gala time there too. So overall quite an enjoyable day.

Friday, September 15, 2006


It was during my class 11. One day a poster was put up on the school notice board with the letters L E M O D in large and bold. And quite a few people were gathered around it. Now, my first reaction was somebody had misspelt lemon. But immediate second thoughts said what silly thinking. So after craning my neck over the small bunch of not so small people gathered there, managed to read the writing underneath.

LEMOD stood for Living Every Moment Of Day. It was a kind of camp for exactly 24 hours from 6 in the morning to next day 6 in the morning. There were lots of activities scheduled in the 24 hours. activities both in groups and individuals. It was billed to be 24 hours of fun and enjoyment. It was a wonderful experience for the people attending the camp.

Unfortunately, I could not attend this camp. Then, why am I writing about this?
LEMOD was an exercise to make you appreciate time. People are always cmplaining that they do not have enough time. They are unable to do something as they are not able to find time to do it. If this is the case, then how do some others get the time. This given that there is equal amount of time available for everyone.

This is one of the first things I learnt after joining an IIM. There is enough time and how you manage it in an effective and efficient way is upto you. To the outside world, there is a feeling that life in a B-School specially in an IIM is very, very hectic. Students (or rather participants as we are called) hardly get time for any extra activity. Its studies, studies and studies all the time.

Not all of this is completely true. Life here is a bit hectic.The study load is also there. But inspite of all this its quite enjoyable. And I feel here that the concept of LEMOD comes into play. There are 24 hours in a day. 24 hours means 1440 minutes which comes out to be 86400 seconds. This actually is a lot of time. Enough time to get all the academic work done, connect with people, engage in various extra-curricular activities and get some sleep too. So here I am actually putting an almost forgotten learning into practice. The concept of Living Every Moment Of Day. Or simply speaking the concept of LEMOD.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A tale of Two Cities

First let me make something clear. This post is not about the book "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens. Its quite a nice book, one of the classics of English literature. But it doesn't have anything to do with this post. Only the title has been borrowed from Mr. Dickens' masterpiece. So, you may ask why have I named this post as "A Tale of Two Cities".

The two cities referred to in the title are Patna and Jamshedpur,the two cities where I have spent most of my life. Patna, the capital of Bihar, my birthplace, where I spent my childhood and did my initial schooling and which is my present home also. Jamshedpur, the steel city, which I called my home for nearly a dozen years. Two cities 500 km apart, but both of which holding a special place in my heart.

But after having spent the past 5 years away from home, there is a feeling of detachment from both the places. Both cities give rise to different feelings in me. Patna, where my parents, my brother, almost my entire family lives. But I feel lost like a total stranger unable to relate to the place. This was not the place which I have memories of. Jamshedpur, where my alma mater, Loyola, is located. A place where I made many friends. But my friends are now spread all across the world, some studying, some working, some settled into family life. I am not going to find many familiar faces there too.

So there is a sense of detachment now. A feeling of belonging to no place. There are other places too. Part of my early days where spent in Nagpur, but the place doesn't have many memories. Dhanbad, where I spent 4 of the most wonderful years doing my engineering. Duliajan, cant call it a city or even a town, but where I spent one year working. And now Indore, for the next two years.

And then I do not know, where life is going to take me. I have become a wanderer who is on a journey, a journey called life.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Trip to Patal Pani: A Day in My Life

This post starts the first series of posts in my blog "A Day in My Life". These postings will be about some interesting days in my life, some in the distant past and some in the not so distant past.

First, about Patal Pani. It is a waterfall located about 36 kms from the city of Indore. Water falls from a height of 150 feet into a kund (trench) whose depth is still unknown. It is believed that the bottom of this trench reaches patal, hence the name Patal Pani.

Now for my trip to Patal Pani. The day 27th August, 2006, a Sunday. The trip was arranged by the Cultural Committee (or CulCom as its known). Around 50 of us started off from our campus in four vehicles (am not sure whether to call them buses or vans, so let them be called vehicles only). We left at around noon and the plan was to have lunch at the spot itself. After taking the wrong route a couple of times, finally managed to reach the destination in around 2 hours.

On reaching the spot the initial reaction was actually disappointment. All I could see was two tiny streams joining together and falling down. Had I come all the way to see this, wasting an entire Sunday? As I came closer the reaction changed from that of disappointment to awe. The sight was simply breathtaking. Water falling from such a height and creating a mist.

Then we proceded to go to the base of the waterfall. To reach there first we had to find a way down. The climb down the rocky face was pretty difficult specially for people like us who did not get much chance for any outdoor activity as such. But we managed to safely find our way down to the base of the falls. It was done at times on all fours as we only had the rocky side of the the cliff on one side and the valley on the other.The view from the base was, well, awesome. The water falling from such a great height right in front of us. Its spray being carried towards us by the wind. All this made for one fascinating sight. After some time it started to rain. Now, this was a problem as we had to climb up the cliff which was going to be more diffcult as the path would have become more slippery. But fortunately for us the rain stopped. So, we decided to go back up. The climb up was even more interesting than the downward trip. Firstly, we had to retrace our paths quite a few times as we kept taking the wrong path. Then one of my friends claimed to have seen a snake in a hole between the rocks. But fortunately, the snake if it was there, decided to stay inside its hole and not disturb us. Finally we made our way to the top without any more alarms.

Around 5 in the evening, we started our journey back to the campus. The return journey was filled with all of us sharing our experiences with each other. Returned to the campus quite exhausted. But it had been quite an enjoyable trip.

The Patal Pani trip had been quite an adventure. It was nice to get out of the monotony of the daily life at campus (to be discussed in some other post). It was a great experience where you get to be one with nature. Overall quite a pleasant trip and am looking forward to more such trips in the future.

Till next time..........

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A candle burning in the night....

Candle: [kan-dl] (noun)
1. a long, usually slender piece of tallow or wax with an embedded wick which is burned to give light.
2. something resembling a candle in appearance or use.

Well, these are two of the definitions for a candle according to As can be inferred from these two statements, the basic purpose of a candle is to give light. The flame from a candle is very small but its presence removes the darkness. In the modern world with the arrival of electricity, the use of candle as a source of light has decreased. Maybe its no longer relevant for most people. But its still there.The humble candle has made a big journey from a source of light to become a symbol of hope.

A candle burns itself out to provide light to others. The candlelight has become a symbol of hope fighting to give light when there is darkness all around. It is now being used as a symbol of protest, as a symbol of solidarity for a cause. When you light a candle it is a gesture, a gesture of defiance. A single candle cannot fight the darkness alone. But when many are lit together, the darkness is removed.

A single person like a single candle can show us the path. But like many candles burning together, we can and we will make a difference.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Technology, Creativity, Time.........

The picture looks like some serious activity taking place. People sitting at 4 long tables. Some sitting at chairs a bit away from the long tables (the late-comers). Others standing near the counter (the real late-comers). People sitting pair-wise staring at their laptop screens and making notes.There is also a bit of cross-talking taking place, but mostly people are minding their own business.

Maybe its some exam taking place...or maybe some online trading going on...or some stock market scenario....................

Actually nothing of such sort is taking place. Its just a quiz where you have to identify the logos of various companies. Surprised???

Well, this is what happens when you have too much technology, a liitle bit of time and a certain level of creativity available. Add to that a bunch of people high on enthusiasm.It makes for a real heady mixture.

And this what makes life enjoyable...makes it interesting and breaks the monotony of everyday life.

Till next time...............

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


There are moments when the world changes. There was a dramatic change in my perspective of the world. Life suddenly took a new turn. I was about to leave my existing situation and a new life beckoned me. It was going to be the start of a two year journey. On the completion of which a whole new world was waiting for me. And at that moment the words were ringing in my ears...

aye saala
abhi abhi huaa yaqeen ki aag hai mujh mein kahi
hui subaah main chal gaya
suraj ko main nigal gaya
ruu-ba-ruu roshni heyy

jo gumshuda-sa khwaab tha
voh mil gaya voh khil gaya

The day: 12th April 2006
The results were out. I had got my passport from the life of a field enigineer of an oil company to a student in a B-School. It was going to be a dramatic change. My world had opened up.

And the words were still going on....

dhuaan chhataa khula gagan mera nayi dagar naya safar mera
jo ban sake tu hamsafar mera nazar mila zara

ruu-ba-ruu roshni heyy.......

And here i am, on my new journey

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Thats Me
With the mighty Brahmaputra River behind me

The Genesis

Why am I doing this?
Why did I start this blog?
Will anyone ever read this?
Do I really care if anyone reads this at all?
Why do I want to share my thoughts with the world?

The answer to all the above questions...
...simply, I dont know. I am not sure of the answers but it...
maybe I am doing this because its the latest fad.
or maybe I want an outlet for my feelings
or maybe I want another connection with the outside world

Or maybe at 1 A.M on a Saturday (actually Sunday) night I couldnt find anything better to started a blog

Well, with these confused thoughts, I have made a beginning. I do not know where this journey is going to take me. I do not know what the destination is, I dont even know the route. But as its said "A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step".....This is my first step.