Don’t Wait, Substitute

Waiting is integral part of time cycle. People wait for different reasons, some wait to meet someone, some wait to receive that important phone call, waiting in a bus to reach destination, waiting for things to happen, waiting to do something, waiting in traffic, waiting for so many things. Waiting for something for 5-10 mins is justifiable. It is India, people need to be allowed at least that much buffer time. Still, there are people who are strictly punctual and it must be our utmost priority to not to waste such person’s time by keeping him waiting. Coming back to the topic: Why shouldn’t we wait? What are we substituting?

Let us take a simple scenario where one person is waiting for 10 phone calls (there might be lots of other things in addition to those phone calls but for the sake of simplicity, let us restrict ourselves to just one thing). Let us assume that on an average, this person has to wait for 10 min. That makes it a total of 100 min or 1 hour 40 min. Now there must be other tasks too, which might keep that person waiting for some time. Again, there are some tasks which require you to be alert in the waiting time, and require immediate response. Neglecting that time, let us say (keeping our estimates on the lower side), we spend almost 1 and half hours waiting! That is like 6.25% of our daily quota of total hours!

This is not a big number. The percent might as well shoot as high as 33-50% mainly spent waiting while travelling! First let us target that 1 hour 30 min (again average time). This number might appear very big and must have you scratching your head that how on earth can you waste so much time even if you have planned everything to seconds. Well, this is not concentrated expenditure but rather culmination of micro-expenditure of time currency. You might spend 5 mins here, 2 mins there, 3 minutes somewhere else and at the end of day might crave for that extra hour or 2 to complete the task which you have completely wasted in waiting. How can you substitute that waiting part with something useful?

First, we need to identify the zones of possible waiting (no need to calculate the time) in the entire day. You might think that it would require micro-planning and a lot of effort. I say, focus on gross wait time, and plan accordingly and also factor in some uncertainities. Easy till now. Now, identify certain activities or things you can do in those zones like learn those new words of the new language you are currently acquiring, listen to that new track you have thought about listening, even practice that dance move once, revise some concept if you think you might forget it, view a part of some online lecture now and remaining part some other time and complete the lecture this way (which you can quickly revise in a reasonably less time), listen to audio lectures, think about ideas for that new project you are about to start. Basically, AIM IS TO KEEP YOUR MIND OCCUPIED AND UTILIZE THE WASTE TIME! One way of optimizing time utilization.

There are time gaps of several hours while travelling which we spend gazing out of window, getting bored and then finally listening to music we have already heard or seeing a movie. If it is a trip meant for recreation then these things are perfectly suitable to relax your mind. Most businessmen for whom travelling is unavoidable, resort to the strategy of “work from where you are”. Basically, they work from wherever they are, be it a flight, train, bus, a ferry or simply walking to the office, they recognize the amount of travel time and utilize it accordingly to extract something creative from it. Story behind most private charter jets. All designed to hold meets or tele-confrence or just simple office work. For example, if you are going to travel for 7 hours on a day, you can use that time to read something useful, cultivate plans, retrospect, introspect, take decisions you have left pending, plan out the time you are going to spend next etc. Open to everyone’s imagination how they choose to utilize.

Now what it is there to gain from it? Humans have a tendency to be lazy until and unless they spot some profit extraction from something, so why invest in waiting time? Why at all substitute? Why to go to such extra efforts? Well first and foremost: “Unemployed mind houses the devil”. Keeping our mind engaged into something creative and useful help us keeping it sharp and on right track. Again with a bit of practice and judicious management, you might be able to complete those tasks which might take you an additional 1 hour separately, thus providing you with an additional hour in a day (a general example 🙂 ). It will also keep you efficient and active through out the day. And most important of all, you will enjoy waiting! The agony or frustration acquired due to waiting will reduce drastically and it will become enjoyable hence it will save someone from being the outlet of that agony! 😀

Waiting is one of the most trivial thing we have been doing till now, so why don’t we turn into something very important and extract as much profit as we can from it. Hence, Start Substituting your waiting time with creative time and you will see your free hours increased, boredom of waiting vanished, every moment you will be accomplishing something. The only effort required is to choose activities judiciously and use our imagination to find way to maximize benefits. Rest is up to you, whether to start substituting or keep waiting!! 😀 😉 

Proschay(Pronunciation of Good Bye in Russian 😀 )

 

Tomorrow is a Mystery

We are all busy pacing through the time allotted to us for this life, completing various tasks, achieving life goals, building and breaking relationships, committing mistakes and learning from them, and most important of all: gaining valuable experiences. We, humans, have been trying to predict what happens in future, be it scientists working on some hypothesis in a lab or an economist trying to predict what will be the face of economy tomorrow, or doctor predicting whether to continue with a particular method of treatment or not, there are a lot more predictions being formulated around the globe.

More often than not, we have this question “what will happen tomorrow?” making us anxious and curious. But when we take a step back and gaze ahead on all the possibility lie ahead of us, we would realize how less we actually know about it. I mean we don’t know what we are going to eat tomorrow, or what clothes are we going to wear or things we are going to say and any of those things might alter your predicted timeline. Even I don’t know what topic I might choose to write my next blog post on. So what should we do? Should we give in to all the probabilities, how so ever small or trivial they might appear? Should we increase our efforts to make our predictions more accurate? Dilemma.

The wide continuum of possibilities might become source of anxiety and incessant worry but then again it might as well give us an overwhelming power of creating our future ourselves. There are people who believe that future is all written and things that have to happen will happen, but I tend to have a different stand point on this, I believe that we make our destiny on our own. I mean there is a glass of orange juice placed in front on me and it is my choice whether I will be drinking it or not. One might argue that if that glass of juice was supposed to end up in my belly, I will develop the appetite. Both valid opinions, just a matter of personal preference.

Thus the uncertain future provide us with infinite possibilities for tomorrow and days after that too. It is all about the choices we make. For example, let us say tomorrow I decide to learn french and 6 months down the line you might find me speaking decent french. In some other scenario, instead of taking up french, I might decide to take up sword fighting or dancing or singing or might not choose anything. All having a different effect on my possible future timeline. Such is the power and importance of possibilities! You get to shape your future(s), all of them.

Hence “Tomorrow is a beautiful mystery”, providing you freedom to select from infinite options to be your future timeline. Make the right choices, avoid the easy ones especially if they don’t seem right, pursue your interests, work hard towards your goal! There is nothing more satisfying than achieving your goal and cherish your victory! Shape your future the way you want, even if you believe that your future is all set and written, yet your choices and work today will still compel The Great Writer to alter your life tomorrow. Remember, “God helps those who help themselves”. Thus utilize your present well to shape a better life tomorrow!

अलविदा (Good bye in Hindi) 🙂

Optimize or Satisfy

More often than not, we are left with less than what we desire in terms of money, resources, opportunities and most important commodity in today’s lifestyle: Time. Obviously there is no infinite supply of these either and no trick hidden in someone’s sleeves to multiply them effortlessly. Be it money or resources or opportunities in life or time, increasing their availability always leaves us with a bit of a vaguely jumbled jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces glued in wrong positions and we have to assemble them all to make sense. The condition is more chronic in between ages of 20-40, where each one of the mentioned asset is required to be spent judiciously to acquire more of it. Funny it might sound but that is the truth awaits for all of us.

Possible scenario is that you work hard day and night, create lots of money and opportunity but lose time in process! You might look forward to saving time hence sometimes losing opportunities and even tolerating financial loses! You might pursue developing resources but then again you might be losing both time, and opportunities and sometimes even money too! It all might appear like there is no victory lap in this marathon and all the participants will either complete the race in a lot of time(which is meaningless for a race) or might exhaust even before completing. So how to come out of this Chakravyuh without becoming another Abhimanyu?

There are three possible answers to it. You can choose either the first or the second or both. It largely depends upon your mindset and approach towards life as whole. We will discuss them one by one in very brief. First plausible solution is: Satisfaction. Be satisfied with what you have. Don’t desire for more than what you can get easily. As Buddhism preaches: “Desire is the root cause of all evil.” The gravity of the meaning is as immense as the simplicity of its expression. When you are satisfied (I am referring to true satisfaction), you are able to stay happy in whatever amount of the 4 things you receive naturally (without much extraordinary efforts involved). I am not only referring to just “staying happy even in deficiency” but also to “state of indifference in case of surplus availability”. Such people are often termed either “chillax” or “down to earth”. Humbleness (real one) is a great by-product of Satisfaction.

Second possible solution: Optimize. Make best use of everything. Economics is a very good subject to learn the fundamentals of optimization, but even without studying it, a person at some time or other, learns how to optimize. Optimization is basically making the best or most effective use of the time, money, resources and opportunity you have. But then how is it different from being efficient?Although both work with hand-in-hand,  Efficiency is mainly producing more output from a given input.

Sometimes you might get tempted to invest all you have and with increased efficiency, you might get maximum output. But optimization indicates about investing what is required keeping in mind the desired output which might reduce your investment by some fraction, hence keeping the efficiency same(let us say highest possible) yet giving you freedom to invest the remaining “saved” fraction of investment into some other venture. Yet, you might not be very satisfied with the result obtained and would still desire for more even though you have ticked all the boxes of “necessary and, even most of the times, sufficient conditions” for all the things in hand. They are often called “competitive breed”.

Third possible solution: Both! Optimize and then be satisfied. My personal favorite! A person only satisfied with natural proceedings of events around him might not even try his hand in optimizing things and increasing efficiency in the process. Another person might not think about acquiring satisfaction over his exploits from the battle of optimization but would still crave for more such battles to keep extracting benefits and increasing time, money, resources and opportunities hence losing true happiness and without self-control, even opting for incorrect paths to reach to the goal.

The third type of person would optimize as much as he is physically and mentally allowed and then would sit back and actually enjoy his extracts with the feeling of satisfaction and content and not drooling over more! Thus satisfaction kind of restricts optimization to permissible levels and hence providing you the best of both worlds! Such persons are branded as “smiling conquerors”. Staying hungry to optimize and yet be satisfied from the bottom of the heart is an amazing art and very few can master it. But those who have done so, are known to strike a great balance between the 4 essential commodities and peace and happiness of mind.

So which of the three solutions will work for you: Satisfaction, Optimization or Both?

Bona Vale 😀 (Good Bye in Latin 🙂 )

 

 

 

Why Sherlock Holmes will not be successful in India?

**Disclaimer: This post is meant only for humor and not intended to defame anyone or anything. This blog post is as fictional as Mr. Holmes himself. Hence relax and enjoy the post.**

Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is a man known for his sound logic, powers of reasoning and deduction, curiosity to solve tougher puzzles each time and as a consulting detective living in 221B, Baker Street, London, England. Though he is a fictional character, there is museum dedicated to him in actual Baker Street in London. Such is the popularity he amassed from his adventures documented in the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the words of his colleague and dear friend Dr. Watson.

After seeing the latest episode of the tv-series based on modern “Sherlock”, “The Abominable Bride”, on a foggy monday morning on my way to lecture, it was going through my mind again due to the brilliance of screen-play and script behind it. Also, another thing crossed my mind that apart from Byomkesh Bakshi, the Indian Avatar of English Sherlock Holmes, no other Indian detective is famous or internationally acclaimed. Just as this crossed, another thought crossed as well: What would happen if Sherlock Holmes had to offer his service in India? 😀 And here it is 😀

Since there is no concrete literature about it, hence let us have an humorous take on the subject:

  1. Sweat

There are ample reason why Sherlock won’t succeed in India. First of all, the man wears a suit inside the house and travelling cloak and a hat outside. He would be sweating profusely without any doubt and might even be hospitalized due to excessive dehydration! I mean in India is not the country of suit and boot. It is the land of lungi, dhoti and pajamas and chappals or Sandals. And believe me or not, it is very hard to concentrate when drops of sweats are falling from your nose with each movement of second hand of your wrist watch. For all we know, Dr. Watson might be busy to make him drink water on regular intervals than take notes of what is happening.

2. Different details and deductions

Holmes always require details, as minute as they can be. He claims that it is small details which help in solving the case rather than the big ones. Let us imagine that a murder has been committed and witness saw a man stabbing the other just a few meters ahead of him(obvious truth in the case), and Sherlock and Dr. Watson are called for investigation. As usual, Sherlock interviews the prime witness and he tells him a blunt description. Sherlock routinely asks for anything peculiar happened before or after stabbing. Witness replies: “Yes, Just when killer was about to stab the victim in the chest, there were some small sounds and a rotten smell came from the victim for a few seconds.” Sherlock’s eyes glowed with a possible mystery related to triggered poisoning, sensing which, Dr. Watson plainly said: “Calm down, Holmes, it was a fart. Just a fart.” 😉 😀  A possible scenario. 😀

3. Gossip and clouded information

Another issue would be bragging and gossiping tendency of us Indians. Let us say there was a kidnapping in a certain village (not my hometown 😉 ). And again Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were invited to investigate. Now villagers are always closely connected to each other having information (gossip) about every member of their community. For someone like Sherlock Holmes, it would be only a matter of time to extract useful clues from so much sources around. Some interview dialogues as noted by Dr. Watson: “So when did you last see the victim?” “Hain! O.o “ “Akhri baar ladke ko kab dekha tha?”….“Umm, humare bagal ke gaon wala chacha ji nahi hai kya….wahi jo lambi dakar ke liye poore gaon me jaane jate hai….haan wahi…wo yaha humare gaon me aaye the…apni beti Champa…..haan wahi….jo gana bahut hi acha gaati hai…ek dum koyal ki tarah….haan..to wo Champa ka rishta leke aaye the yaha…or puch rahe the koi layak ladka hai ya nahi. Hum issi sadak se jaa rahe the…apne padosi ki mausi ki bitiya…wahi jiske aadmi ka bada se khet hai gaon ke bahar…. haan..to ussi ke bete ko dekhne. To jaise hi hum gali me mudde to hum kya dekhte hai………. (long dramatic pause)” “Tumne ladke ko dekha udhar?”….”Arey nahi nahi bhai, bata rahe hai na…. rukiye to thoda…kahi bhaga thodi na jaa raha hai! AREY O CHOTU KI MAA, jara chai to bhijwana 3 cup! Sath me biscuit bhi. Haan…to jaise hi to gali me mudde…dekhte kya hai ki…wo tailor master ka ladka…..haan wahi…jo kal parso aam ke bagiche me bhi pakda gaya tha….wahi wahi….wo ek bhensiya ko pathar maar raha tha. Humko bahut hi bura laga….jaam ke dutkar lagaye….to ek dum hawa hua udhar se. Fir jaise hi padosi ki mausi ki bade khet wali beti ke ghar me ghus rahe the apan bagal ke gaon wala dakar chacha ke sath unki beti ka rishta liye to …….piche se “ladka” namaste karta hua gaya. Shayad wahi tha…shakal to thik se dekh nahi paaye. Badi hi jaldi me the bhaiya <Spits gutkha near by>” Sherlock fainted!

4. Political Pressure

Now apart from such mundane hindrances in investigation, Sherlock might have to face political pressure too. Let us say he was called to investigate about the scam by some politician. The politician came to know about it, and called Sherlock for a meeting. Sherlock, habitual to meet intelligent criminals like Moriarty, went to the politician with similar expectations. A man of habits, he arrived on time and then waited for 2 hour for the politician to arrive and meet him. Sherlock opened his mouth to make a statement of observations he had made in that little time about him and just then politician said: “Ama, bakwaas to kijiyega nahi! Hum jaante hai hum kon and aur ye bhi ki aap kaun hai! Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, ek hi request hai aap se ki ye scam me jyada khusar-pusar karne ki jarurat to hai nahi! Jitna investigation karna tha wo humari banai hui “Investigation Team” kar li hai aur report bhi de di hai! Uske left-right me thodi si bhi budbud kiye na public me…to kaha hawa hoke…kidhar prakat hoge…..ye tumhari amma bhi nahi jaan payegi! To apni keemat boliye or mamle ko yahi rafa-dafa kar dijiye….nahi to ye scam ki money ki tarah aapko bhi gayab kar denge…keh de rahe hai abhi se. -_- ” <Holmes facepalm>

So after 3 classic cases, suffering from sweat, humidity, temperature, gossiping Indians, inability to solve a case due to inaccurate and irrelevant information, political pressure, destroying of evidences, corruption, and of course the “good” publicity from press, Sherlock Holmes was seen leaving India with a one way ticket of course! “Elementary, my dear readers. Purely Elementary” 😉

PS: Sorry for a long post. But the content was so much that I had to write.

Mae Alssalama (Good Bye in Arabic) 🙂

Better Finish than Wish

Before starting this post, as promised, I would like to mention some people who appreciated this blog. First one to point out: Ajinkya talented in robotics, involved deeply in social service and possesses great sense of humor and ear for sarcasm. Lakshya– One of the pillars of our team, plays in college team of volleyball, sometimes calls me “Traveler” and very humble in nature. Gaurav– “The Vivadaspad Aadmi” of our team of social service, plays very good guitar, has smiling face most of the times, and works hard for whatever task assigned. I feel lucky to have such awesome people around me. 🙂 You guys have no idea what it means to get appreciation. I thank you again for your words of encouragement.

Now, coming back to the topic in hand. Often we wait for things to happen around us. There might be some old pending work , pushing deadline after deadline. Usually, we rely on people to initiate or cooperate, making things easier for us, situation favorable for us. We keep completing other tasks assigned to us, but keep removing cobwebs from that shelved assignment. We even adopt the misconception that work assigned can only be completed with help of others and with supply of lots of resources and conditions favorable to produce best possible result.

This development of carefree attitude often result in unnecessary delay even though there might be very less work actually involved or the estimated time of completion might be way less but we are never able to realize it unless we actually dive into the work. We even wish that someone will complete it for us overnight! Deadly! It is often said that most deadly wish for a man is asking for someone to do the work he is unable to complete. We never know how easy or hard or time-consuming the work in hand is, unless we try with pure intention and commitment. But then with such efforts there is very low chance of failure in the assignment.

More often than not, I have found it is always better to finish that work with a little extra effort than just sitting on the sidelines and waiting for it to happen. Yes, there will be more effort required than just sitting idle, but then work gets done and there is one less stone in the backpack to carry. Other added benefit, work is done in the desirable way as I like. Since  you are the only working on that assignment and no one else is interfering, there is a high probability that you might get to enjoy the monopoly in designing the method or plan the work structure as per your convenience.

Taking the initiative also teaches us how to lead from the front and face any situation, how difficult it may appear, with correct nature and level of motivation and intention. I have been trying this for sometime, and the work completion rate has increased astonishingly and results achieved are astonishing. Thus I have found it better to “Finish than to Wish” that someone might do work for it, because mark my words, there are very few people who might do that for you and those who do, won’t be there always. Doing our work ourselves gives us opportunity to learn which might not be there of we just sit and wish for it to happen. Thus there are many benefits of doing the work ourselves and just one of letting it happen i.e. momentary comfort. 

Hence, its your choice to make now! Weigh your options wisely and derive the conclusion: “Wish or Finish”.

Adiós!! (Good bye in spanish)

The Test

Khamma-Ghani(Hello in Marwadi)

I was walking through the corridors of my college going for a test which was very different from the conventional ones we usually face. It was a test for some English Press Recruitment. It was all deja-vu. In my first year too, I failed to capitalize couple of opportunities merely because I didn’t even try. This goes way back in the past, during school times too. But today, it was different, even though the feeling of failure, of not being competent enough, sitting there in the hall clueless and every one staring at me including the invigilator, was there like old times, there was something different this time. 

I was not slowing down, or turned at wrong turn and went back to the room, or was feeling nervous. Yes, there was that feeling, but apart from that, every cell in brain was signalling me one thing: Just Try. I propelled myself into the room and poof! The feeling of failure was gone and determination to do well appeared in me in an instant. I faced myself and overwhelmed myself to sit in that hall and take that test. Thus I stepped in, collected the answer sheet, looked for a suitable place and sat, waiting for it to start. Still not feeling nervous, but determined to give my best effort even though I might not be selected. 

“I won’t leave the room until I have tried my best”, was the only thing I kept in my mind. Nothing else. Everything else didn’t matter too. “I might fail”….“So what, at least you will learn about the kind of questions that will be asked.” “People might think I am a loser, if I don’t get selected. They will mock me for even trying saying that I wasn’t worth it.” …… “Well, we don’t know what would happen after the test, but I would definitely be a loser if I don’t even try and give up even before the test starts.” “I will keep my hand on face, so that very few people or none at all recognize me.” …… “Why to hide behind your hands. It was always ‘Win Like a Man, Lose like a Man’ motto for me. Instead sit confidently!” 

With these arguments and counter-arguments, the test began. First question appeared on black board and I was clueless about it. For a second I decided to handover the blank answer sheet and head out. What is the point of this all! I won’t get selected anyway. But then second question appeared and it appeared solvable and with a little effort I was able to write something for it, which I thought will be suitable. I thanked myself for not leaving! Then I returned to question 1, and wrote something for it too! The question I was sitting blank for, I was able to write something for it. It did not click straightaway, but it clicked.

Now whether I get selected or not is a different story. I probably might not get selected or I might be the first choice of selectors, both are equally probable. The lesson I learnt from here was: Try and Something will definitely happen which would be better than nothing. In a different scenario, I might have left the room immediately after reaching and would have missed on writing a humorous post on our Registration Procedure. 😉 I might or might not have written what evaluating person desired for, but it was fun writing that composition for almost 40 mins and then spending next 20 on that difficult question. Over all an hour well spend in doing something productive, in stepping out from comfort zone and doing something which I like to do. 

In life, although I haven’t lived that much to say these lines but I have experienced enough to realize their importance, that in life, there will be endless number of opportunities. Some you would be able to grab within your comfort zone and for others you might need to step out of the bubble. Well, never hesitate from doing that! Who knows that the opportunity you grab outside of comfort zone might bring you a hell of a fortune! Opportunity Cost. Thus never hesitate in doing something different and stepping out of your comfort zone who knows that the new place might be even comfortable. 😉 Thus Try even though you might not feel much positive inside but don’t let it stop you from trying as failure is just another stepping stone in the path to success.

“If you succeed, you lead                                                                                                                                   But if fail, you guide”.

Ghani-Ghani-Khamma(Reply to Khamma Ghani) 😀

Lessons From Kite Flying

Happy Makar Sakranti! 

Especially in North India, the festival of Makar Sakranti is celebrated by flying kites and having contests of kite-flying, or as the local dialect would say: “Pench ladana” and “Patangbazi“. Winds move at ample speeds for flying kites, without which it is very difficult to get the kite flying. Passion and craze for kite flying varies from region to region of North India, but Rajasthan has special enthusiasm reserved for Makar-Sakranti. Flying a kite requires a bit of skill and technique and isn’t as easy as it may look even with favorable wind. Learning how to fly is a bit of challenge too and taught me how to be patient, determined, work hard and some other life lessons which I find very amusing to have learnt that way. We will definitely look into in detail.

As a small boy, I was hyper-active (as my mother has always pointed out), and I had very little patience in me, and would get angry very easily. I recognized kite flying or “Patangbazi“, when I was 7-8 years old, and one of my elder cousin was flying one. I was fascinated how he was controlling the directions of motion of kite, with agility and mastery. He handed me the string for a while to fly, and the way I felt tension in string due to that high flying kite, and the way kite moved higher and higher with every gentle pull, I was fascinated by it and it gave me an altogether different feeling, as if….as if I was flying and not the kite. Yes, at that tender age too, I was able to imagine myself up there in the sky.

After a while, I remembered that feeling again and asked Mummy for money to buy a kite for myself and and a whole roll of string or “Dor” or “Manjha“. I came back, imitated the way kanne” or the initial A shaped string loop is tied on the kite and to which the main “Dor” or string is tied to fly a kite. Now “kanne” are tied in a special way, they should not be too short, or the kite will feel heavy on pulling, and they shouldn’t be too long or it would feel like a “lappu patang” (flimsy kite which is very difficult to fly in absence of wind). I was tying them for the first time and I tied it too short, and the thing didn’t fly even though I tried my level best to imitate everything my elder cousin would do. That was my first lesson: Get the basics right. Mere imitations don’t fetch you good results.

I some what got hang of how to tie “kanne”, though I still face a little difficulty 😀 but that is another issue (some people can’t ride a bike, keep that in mind!), but again flying a kite requires practice and anticipation. Let me describe you the process a bit: You place your kite(the topmost part) in the direction of wind, a meter ahead of your toes and pull the “Dor” hard to get it flying, if wind is not there then toss the kite in air and then fly it with short, gentle pulls or “Thumkas” or “Talles” (different terminology for different regions 😉 ), to get air flowing around kite and make it fly. For beginners tossing and Thumkas (as was used in my area) is a bit difficult, and there is a practice of “Chutti”. “Chutti” are basically of 2 types: 1. Involves another member to stand at a distance of couple of meters from you and he/she tosses the kite as high as he/she can and the “Patangbaaz” would then give the kite “Thumkas” to keep it floating in air. 2. Usually “Patangbaazi” is done on terrace and one would suspend the kite over the boundary of terrace, step back a couple of meters and then pull the kite over the terrace boundary with speed and kite would fly due to air flow around it. (This is bit difficult to imagine, I would be happy to give a demonstration sometime 🙂 )

Now I usually practiced alone, and would go for second type of “Chutti”. I once lowered the kite so low from the boundary in hope of a “Good Chutti” that some kid on street caught my “Patang” cut the “Manjha” with his teeth and ran away. I was so upset and ran towards mummy with almost tears in my eyes (I am attached to my things 😉 ) and narrated the whole incident. Mummy calmly smiled and instead of cursing or scolding that random boy who stole my kite, she said: “So what, you also lowered your kite much low na, and gave him unfair advantage. People will take advantage only if you allow them to.” Lesson learnt: People will take your advantage if you let them to, and also this world is cruel. 

Now I was getting better at start of kite flying, but the flight time wasn’t enough and kite would end up on ground moments after the flight. This was the most difficult stage. I have to learn to anticipate the kite movement, adjust my grip on “Dor” accordingly and decide when to give a “Thumka” or not. Requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and kind of helps in sports too. I was a small kid, and there were kids younger than me who had mastered this step. I would feel embarassed that I was finding it so much difficult. I started analyzing my each attempt to fly the kite, and would think what I did wrong and could have done better. First of all, I was supposed to pull the string only when kite’s top is pointed upwards, as kite moves in the direction its top is pointed. Then if kite is swirling, 360 degree, at a very fast pace, then don’t hesitate whether it will go up or down or side way, JUST PULL. It will stop swirling and you will be able to control better. The biggest conclusion from the analysis was that: I was thinking too much, I was too conscious of my surrounding, and hence was concentrating too much on technique and wasn’t relying on intuition developed from anticipation.

When I look back, I realize the lessons learnt from that last step: Its okay to have younger people excelling better than you. Everybody has their learning capabilities and with time, everyone reach the same level, they just have to remain patient. Also, like kite, if life seem swirling very fast, and you don’t which way to go, just select a random one and take a couple of steps, this way you will be able to get hold of it. And the most important of all: “Thinking too much about anything, over doing something….though with right intentions, might not produce good results”. Hence, LET GO, have guts to trust your instincts, anticipate and move as your gut feeling tells you to. Not everything needs to be calculated. Over the time, we get the hang of it, and things become easier.

Today after 9-10 years from that first kite flying experience, I can fly a kite, fight a “pench” =, sometimes I might win and scream “WO KATAA” or “BA KAATE” or “WO MARA” and on other times I might have to accept the defeat and without giving up I would have to quickly pull my “Manjha” back (not completely giving up after defeat, another life lesson!). Sometimes I would have someone by my side to hold my “Charkhi” (spool holding the manjha) and sometimes I might be alone and would have to hold the “Charkhi” myself on my toes raised a bit(self innovated solution to an other wise serious problem of hindered flow of “Manjha” B| ), sometimes I might fly my kite so high that my “Manjha” would end and my “Saddaa”(the non lethal simple string) would start, at which point I would have to pull my kite down a bit, thus teaching me that life is not unlimited hence spend only what you have got and always save from what you get, so that life doesn’t fly with “Sadda”. 

There are a lot of memories attached with this festival, school friends assembling on terrace and having truck load of fun and laughter, playing cricket in evening, fireworks in night, Til ke Laddu, Mummy ke hath ke bread-rolls, and dhaniye ki chatni and pakode, “Patang lootna”, “Pench Dekhna” and having friendly “Penche ladana” with neighbour to prove kite supermacy. Endless memories!! 🙂 This taught me that “Life will only happen once, and you need to live every moment of it, as then only its memory will stay with you and the moment would never return”. 

 

Adorable Alteration

Alter-often a word less used and substituted by “change”. Although there is very subtle yet deep difference between both, and often people use the latter one though having the meaning of former in mind. I distinctly remember that fine summer morning, when I was sitting at the back of car feeling the cool morning breeze gushing through every bit of me and the car was moving very softly through all the traffic on that national highway between Bikaner and Jaipur. A regular morning it may seem, what is so special! There was some one(I wouldn’t like to mention name) travelling along with me and my family, having same destination as ours and my dad and he was having a philosophical discussion about life and how people and destiny “change” in life. The reason I highlighted “Change” will be clear in a moment.

I was just a 11-12 year old school boy more interested in cartoons and sports but i decided to hear some part of that conversation. My dad is very awesome when it comes to making decisions in life, the way he judges a situation, understand people and his concepts of life and its aspects are something that I have always looked up to and admired the gravity of his words which I have started to realize with time. He is my idol when it comes to life and situations it throws upon me. Such awesome person he is ^_^ 

So he was having this conversation with the guest in our journey about changes. Let us give that person some cliché name, say: Mr. Sharma or Sharma ji, as Indian tradition would demand in this situation. Sharma ji started the conversation with how people change drastically with time, completely different from what they used to be. Papa remarked that “change” is a very strong word he has used. Sharma ji replied: “Change” is such a small word almost meaning less. Papa smiled with his eyes still focused on the passing traffic on that highway and hands firm on driving wheel. He knew that Uncle was unaware of the concept of “alter”. He asked him a simple question: “Do you visit a tailor and ask him to change your pant or alter your pants?” Sharma ji replied: That is simple, “Alter”. Papa once again smiled and said: “Thats it, that is all there is.” 

At the back seat with Mummy and didi at my sides, I was carefully listening to the conversation and Sharma ji and me had some confusing look on our face. I mean how people “alter” and not “change”. All my life I have heard people “changing”, situations “changing”, conditions “changing” and so on. The list is long. Never I or probably Sharma Ji had heard “altered situation”, “altered people” and “altered conditions”. It kind of sounded funny to me at that tender age too. But I was definitely naive and something eye opening was going to happen. 

Papa sensed the confusion in Sharma ji, looked for a moment towards him, smiling, then again fixated his eyes on the road. He then explained: “Alter” means making small yet significant changes although keeping that thing with us where as “Change” means discarding the old one and replacing it with either better version or some better alternative. That is okay, correct definitions but how they are applicable in life, I thought. He then continued: There are people in our lives, and they don’t “change”, but they “alter” i.e. they don’t get discarded completely but undergo subtle changes and thus they are not “completely” different as we presume they are, but are a little different from how we pictured them.

He then further explained this concept: For example, people say “I have to change my situation”, thus they end up in a completely different situation  than what they had expected because they don’t realize that they are actually discarding the entire situation they dreamed of when they actually should have “altered” the situation and developing unnecessary anxiety and frustration. Altering a situation is generally easy, requires much less effort and is often the correct way forward. We don’t lose basic essence of things we want to keep, and we don’t lose the sight of the alterations we want to do and hence we get what is best for us and hence we end up with something what we desired for. Similar goes for “condition”. Changing our condition might require a great cost to be paid in return. Altering our condition is easier and help us to accept what is destined for us without discarding all the wonderful things in hand.

Sometimes we want to desperately change people around us, situations we are in, or our condition, when all that is require is just a subtle alteration and hence we retain the basic constituent of everything around us, thus at the end of process not feeling like we are in a different place or with a different person or in a completely different situation. There are no unpleasant surprises thrown at us by life and it becomes as soft as smooth as the car canvasing its way through that morning traffic….. Just Maska 😉 So now, Will you Change things or Alter them? 

Adieu 🙂

 

First Semester in BITS-Pilani, Pilani

Though i have composed posts on my first week, first month in this college, i will be focusing this post on overall experiences i have shared with my friends here during these four and half months. Right from registration procedures, to saying “Hey” for the first time, to attending crazy late night parties in All Night Canteen, to demanding meaningless treats for no reason! This post will be focused on entire semester spend at this wonderful magical place!! So without any further delay, lets dive into the world of magic:

1. The Campus:

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Well this picture explains the beauty of campus! When I first entered the campus through this big main gate with a board greeting welcome, it was like entering into an entirely different world, from Pilani i have witnessed while reaching at my destination. Right from the main gate to even most remote area in campus is covered by dense green trees on both sides of roads. Campus has well-connected network of roads and it is never very difficult for new comers to find their way around the campus because of direction boards placed on almost every turn.

Campus is divided in several sections. Academic building are divided in Faculty Divisions, for example Lecture Theatre Complex is termed as FD-5, Workshop is termed as FD-4, etc. During first few days finding rooms in different building was like finding hidden treasures, (P.S. every room no. has a specific meaning here!) and was a unique way of making new friends each time we were lost in a particular building. There are 13 hostels spread around  New Academic Block(FD-6), with only one girl’s hostel (Meera Bhawan) being farthest from the academic block. Central Auditorium sits comfortably below clock tower (as seen in photo) with Rotunda in front. Sky Lawns, Birla Museum, Aditya Birla & G.D. Birla Memorials, Student Activities Centre, Food King, The Saraswati Temple, Akshay Supermart,  Shiv Ganga, Connaught (market place inside campus), Med-C Grounds, Staff Quarters, Gym-Ground, VFast Hostel, Placement Office all making a pleasant chain of ecstatic structures which will compel you to put a dp on Facebook in front of each one of them.

Labs are well equipped and are being renovated slowly under special project, with latest inclusion of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Equipment in Chemistry Department’s arsenal. Classrooms are well-lit and are same as they were back in 1960s, with a little change. Again renovation of entire campus is going on under an extensive and well planned project. The Telepresence Room for guest lectures, cross campus talks, alumni lectures etc. is well equipped to accommodate over 120 students at a time. Campus has synthetic courts for basketball, tennis, cricket field, indoor badminton, chess, Table Tennis, Gym, pool table in Student Activities Centre. First week here was like exploring Hogwarts with friends and finding new secret corridors or places every now and then!

2. The BITSians:

Any new place is as good as people habituating in it. Same goes for BITS-Pilani. You can meet any kind of personality you want. We have students ranging  from nerds to intelligent one, most sophisticated to most barbarians, most hygienic to care free ones, from aloof ones to highly social ones, addicts to fanatics etc. Moreover one can always observe himself in someone else and that can be a lot helping in self-evaluation and development. One can learn from excellent leaders, planners, executives, lobbyists, and every possible combination in world! While you meet great people, one things always has to be kept in mind “sab ka baap hota hai” i.e. you might be confident that no one can trump you in a particular field, but the first person you meet here might be way ahead than you! This is what motivates us BITSians to strive for improvement at every stage!

So far as senior-junior relations are related, BITS-Pilani has the best environment. We can contact seniors for help any time of day and they are always willing to help us. Be it academics, extracurriculars, tips to get a girl friend or anything, they are always there to help us! There is just one rule in BITS-Pilani, respect for your seniors is more important than anything else. If one can follow this simple rule then BITS-Pilani is certainly the most beautiful place on earth with variety of knowledge to waiting to be introduced to you.

Here sometimes you get inspiration from fellow students, sometimes you get fascinated by there achievements, sometimes you feel a lot more better about yourself after seeing others, sometimes you develop best buddies even though you have no common areas of interest. Such is the aura of this place. Magic is in air waiting to be felt.

3. The Academics (ACADS):

Academic structure in BITS-Pilani is similar to that in some of the best colleges in world like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and even top institutes from India are adopting this academic curriculum of BITS-Pilani. The flexibility provided to us is simply awesome. One can opt for dual degrees and can pass out with MSc and BE degree, or can perform well in first year to get his original branch changed. This always compels students to take acads seriously and inspire them to work hard.

One thing worthwhile mentioning here is the system of ZERO ATTENDANCE. This means that even though we skip every lecture or tutorial, we are still eligible for appearing in evaluation components, quite opposite to what is practiced in other colleges in India. But does that means that students are more inclined towards missing those lectures as they don’t fear shortage of attendance? NO! This allows us to follow our interest as while we can study from lectures presentations uploaded by Professors anytime and get our queries cleared during their free time, we can use the time from skipping a lecture for preparing for some scheduled test, pursuing some other interest, doing some research on internet or other creative things. This gives us FREEDOM WITH RESPONSIBILITY.

Also it is designed to make us Independent and Responsible for ourselves. Right from preparing our own timetables, to choosing subjects to study, to be able to drop a course if you don’t have no further interest in it. It certainly provides an exceptional degree of freedom, comfort and above all an excellent of level of skills and knowledge. Library is well-equipped to satisfy any query arising in student mind and also start from scratch in entirely new field. eBooks are downloadable from your room port. So for geeks BITS-Pilani is equivalent to Wonderland for Alice or Chocolate Factory for Charlie, and sometimes it can be like:

4. Departments/Clubs/Fests:

Working in clubs or departments is a great way to meet great people both in same year as you and seniors too. One get to learn so much in conducting events or working for club/dept that it performs a mojor role in shaping your future works unknowingly. You get to meet people with same field of interest, learn a lot from seniors, make new friends, get to work in team, and most of all get that sense of responsibility after completing some work assigned to you. Experiencing fest in first year-first semester was amazing. BITS Open Sports Meet, the infamous BOSM fest gave us a flavour of OASIS. Oasis, O Oasis! What should i say. It was everything in itself. Photos, videos, sharing food which was meant to be shared, sharing food which was not meant to be shared, attending events, even late at night not wanting to sleep so that no events are missed, all this is just a glimpse of what really happened in Oasis!

5. ANC/REDI:
These are lifeline of BITS-Pilani after ofcourse the infamous DC++ network. Card payment can be done in All Night Canteen (ANC), thus you can spend as much you want, worrying only at the end of month when a staggering mess bill is at your disposal waiting to be paid and at that time all you can think about is not spending so much next month. But if you have birthday next month or series of tests for which you have to pull out all nighter, ANC can be a brilliant way to refresh and distract you enough to get yourself back to
study after a long a tiring session. REDIS are there for every hostel and for ANC too. Hostel Redis work till mess timings and major source of evening snacks and chai or shikanji or other beverages there are for offer. They provide the national food for engineers: MAGGI chat and everything which moms strictly forbid us from eating. ANC redis provide a great variety of food and at a low price too. After a tough exam in the evening even the scent of fried or plain maggi is enough to attract you to your nearest redi!

6. DC++:
It is the major life line for students of BITS-Pilani. Since there are no malls or other cool place to hangout outside of campus or good movie theatres to watch a weekend movie of favourite genre, everyone eventually bow down to DC++, which has been keeping students sane enough to function in this social desert and not produce maniacs. And rightfully said: “it is the one thing that can make or break you career”. With release of latest movies, T.V. series, books, novels etc. one can easily fall in love with it. It has plethora of stuff which could be downloaded anytime via lan at an average speed of 8-9mbps! Fast indeed! Certainly with restricted internet access to some most viewed sites(you know what i mean!) and ever dying speed of internet, it all come down to DC++ to provide us source of entertainment. That said, there are also tutorials for everything- be it app development, learning a new language(both computer and lingual), new musical instrument from scratch, there are ebooks downloaded free of cost which would have cost a lot of money and space. If one thing you will miss at all from BITS-Pilani during holidays it would definitely be DC++ and its amazing collection of stuff and mind-blasting download speed!

Grey’s Anatomy

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Two months ago, when one of my friends recommended me this series, i wasn’t so much interested in seeing it. Since I have opted for Engineering profession, i was pretty sure that this series won’t grab my interest so i kept it on shelf for a few weeks. Also I was afraid of blood and couldn’t watch surgeries for that matter, i was never attracted to any medical oriented tv series. But one night, at around 11:00 P.M. I finished F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and was looking up the internet for a new tv series to start and at the same was browsing my own hard drive to find whether i have to complete any more series or not. Then i came across Grey’s Anatomy and saw that there are only 9 episodes, and decided to watch just one in order to actually see if i can continue or should i delete it! Thus began the journey into the world of surgeons!!

When i started first season, i saw all the 9 episodes in a stretch!! Yes in a stretch!! I was awestruck by the simplicity by which its Creator-Shonda Rhimes depicted the life of surgeons, challenges faced by them, their commitment to their work, obsession with surgeries etc. Aspects which i was completely unaware of before. Many of my friends has decided to take up medicine as field of expertise and possibly most them will go on to become surgeons in one field of speciality or other, and we used to have lengthy arguments about who does a better and productive work- a doctor or an engineer!!

Certainly Grey’s Anatomy levelled the stature of work done by both for me! Profession of Engineering, innovation, technology etc. always inspired me to contribute something in this ever growing field or art, but now seeing the same amount of artwork and creativity in field of medicine, i have more or less become a die-hard fan of doctors!! You might be thinking that what kind of person i was, who didn’t appreciated the work of helpers of god. I accept that, but now i deeply appologize for that and certainly one tv series has completely changed my perspective of life and work!!

So what i like about Grey’s Anatomy?? Here are 5 major things:

1. STORYLINE & NARRATION

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Most important thing about success of any tv series is how it is narrated and how its story line progresses! Without a good storyline, now tv series can survive a season, let alone 10 seasons and 11 season continuing! With its ever evolving storyline, beautifully knitted individual stories of each character, without holding back anything on medical ground, Shonda Rhimes has done a very beautiful job in bringing the world of a surgeon infront of people. Constantly introducing and providing information about cutting edge technology and techniques throughout the series, she has developed awareness about medicine and eradicated many mis-believes among the people by depicting truth right in front of their eyes!! Hats off to the lady!!

2. CINEMATOGRAPHY

The way camera and its focus is used in this tv series is brilliant. Right use of focus has helped a lot in creating drama, tention, situations through out this series. Brilliant split-second shifting of focus has always helped viewers to actually think and feel what character is feeling in that situation and help viewers to actually connect with the situation. That is another major reason for success of this series.

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These sudden shifts of focus sometimes give chills and helps viewers to maintain their focus on main storyline. This may seem very minor aspect, but believe this has major influence on success of any tv series!!

3. CHARACTERS

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Now everybody knows that without good character no story can survive. Characters in this series are so meticulously built up that all this seem to happen in real world. There are no made perfect character who would do everything right, or always awesome people in series who wont break down even at the verge of death or any other fairy tale character for that matter. Characters in Grey’s Anatomy are built as per real scenarios, with humanly flaw and their use to develope story line is done accordingly too!! There are no Gods or Goddesses in this series who wont commit any fatal mistake but are real humans! That is why this series is very appealing to everyone!

4. FOCUS OF STORY

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As the title should suggest that it is all about Meredith Grey and her life, it is not so. I usually get bored of series due to over exposure of single character or couple, only ones fighting in their life while rest all are supporting and helping them! BullShit! Everyone has their problems and their important moments!! Shonda Rhimes has taken that aspect into focus and has focused on life of each and every character in Grey’s Anatomy. Though real main story revolve around Meredith Grey but still other characters are not just puppets in the story. This helped to bind the viewers with the series as with every episode there is some new turn in every character’s life and viewers can’t get enough of their favourite characters, and thus keep returning back to this series every week without ever getting bored!!

5. ACTUAL MEDICINE

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Producers and Directors have actually shown how surgeries are done and how intense they can be! This is one aspect of show which keep its viewers to connect to it. As it is primarily a medicine oriented show, not showing such exact replicas of cases and scenarios would mean eventual decline in viewers no. as they won’t have any thing interesting or anything intimidating enough other that cheesy storylines of characters. The portrayal of surgeries is so good and is detailed down to so minute things that I was awestruck!! I have seen several Tv series who lacked in this area and had to discontinue!

So all in all, even though you are haemophobic or find surgeries disgusting or fear them, still you must see this series are it will completely change your perspective and understanding of what actually medicine is!! I recommend to all the readers to at least see first couple of seasons and then you won’t be able to resist watching rest of the seasons!!