Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Everything ends well :-)

It has been 3 years since I came to the institute.I have had lots of dreams about my life here of which,some are fulfilled and most are not.After coming here and getting acquainted with the life here,I came up with more aspirations,which were more short term and were related to my life in the institute.

I could get some of them..which was not a big issue as all you needed was some hard work and effort.I was a part of the robotics team I wanted ,I made some cool electronic stuff and all.But,more interesting were the goals I set in the institute and couldn't achieve.Because every rejection had its role in making my institute life better and gave me the identity.

The first one was in my first year.At that point of time,I thought (like all others)that cordships were very important .I was just done as a volunteer for Robocon and was of the opinion that I had a very good knowledge of all the technical events (and specially all the required contacts).I applied for a new event and was well prepared for the interview.It went well but the cores were of the opinion that the event would not be such a good idea.Imagine my anger when a very similar event happened (to their credit,the event was held under a different department and these guys had no idea about it).I was a part of a project which was to be  displayed in the fest.I was worried that my contribution is very minimal.But that turned out to be one of the best times I ever had at the institute.I volunteered to work with some students on some interesting mini projects and out of nowhere,I was working with people who I always looked up to.I was suddenly in a league with all the best people in Tech in the institute and I learnt a lot from them.I'd say this was the point where I changed the way I looked at things.As for that event ,I ended up participating in it and made it to the newspapers because of it.(Not being proud here,just wanted to say it ended better than if I were a coord).

The next one happened in a semester which I consider the worst in my institute life.Anything that could go wrong did go wrong.First of all ,We couldn't make it past the quarterfinals in Robocon.I haven't worked harder for anything else and took it the hardest.My grades weren't anywhere close to what I wanted.Friends left the insti in ways I never imagined they would.It was during this semester that I stood up for an election.I wanted to be the Technical Affairs Secretary of the Hostel.I wanted to inspire freshies as my tas did for me.I wanted to bring nothing short of a revolution.For that,I stood up alone against a lot of people.But alas ,I wasn't meant to be.It hurt because in spite of being the most experienced and having worked like no other in the hostel,I couldn't win over people.It was during these days,a chance to be a part of the CFI core team appeared out of nowhere.I took it up because I wanted to do something worthwhile but had very little expectation.Little did I know that for the next one year,I would be a part of the best team ever formed to organize tech in the institute.I was on regular meeting terms with people ,who ,you would probably see only during important institute days.Needless to say,I have learnt a great deal from these people.I saw what it takes to be in a position and what it takes to take taunts from virtually everyone and still stand by what you believe.I experienced the amount of effort that takes to run an organization and the motivation required to silently bear  constant criticism and still keep your cool.For a bloke who just turned 18,it was an opportunity to gauge the challenges ahead and be prepared.It made me stronger,more than I could imagine I would be.
There were some people who tried their best to make sure I lost the election.I couldn't bear to tolerate them.But now it turns out they did me a great favor.

Another interesting incident happened exactly one year after the first one.It was also related to cord ships.This time it was the problem of plenty.There were two people who were literally fighting to get me into their teams.The first one as I listed his post as my first preference and the other as I am good at that event and it would be a loss if i didn't take it up.I felt I have proved my point to the people who rejected me the previous year.They realized my worth.But incidentally ,I took the post which I didn't list at all,because I felt it is better to work for someone who approaches you rather than the one whom you approach.

The last one happened very recently.I have applied for a post and failed to get it despite a lot of people rooting for me.I had really wanted to get this as this was the post once held by the person I admired the most in the institute .Nothing was more important to me than being looked upon as I looked up to him.What I failed to realize was,I don't need to be in the same post to be a similar person.Still,I applied for the post and didn't get it.Saying that this was a HUGE shock wouldn't still do justice to the way I felt.Though anything miraculous didn't happen till now,Im sure something is just around the corner. Because,If I don't get something I wanted,I realized I always got something better.I not only fared better,But also got to learn lots of stuff.I found out how to read people,I found out who really cared about me and who didn't,I learnt what true leadership is and what responsibility really means.
Most importantly I learnt how to deal with the hardest times in your life  and keep your cool through it.

Interestingly ,these past three years,I have never got what I wanted.But I have always got something I needed(or may need in the future).Maybe that is why its worth Hoping and Never Giving Up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Atheism Vs Theism

I am an atheist.There is nothing new in that.Because of it,I am generally pestered and in some cases threatened by my theist friends.Nothing new in that too.So here is an analysis which I came up with which actually shows that Its better being an atheist than a theist.It goes on like this.

Now,God can either exist or not.So lets assume that there is a 50% probability for both.So if you are an Atheist,You are right half the time.Lets assume you are wrong.There are again two possibilities:

Lets say you live your life in a good way,helping people  all the time while being an atheist.You then knock on the doors of heaven(which you didn't believe existed).Then according to everyone's belief of god,you will be allowed in.So you don't lose anything by not praying.So you still have a neutral 25% chance where you don't lose out because of your belief.

Now ,for the last possibility, lets say God is particular about praying and believing in him.He says"I wont let you in even if you were an angel down on earth only because you didn't believe in me".This is like a form of corruption which our politicians and landlords are famous for.You actually don't respect these guys.Its like you are forced into praying to get advantages which goes against all the theist preaching.I would not pray to someone like that even if they existed, cause it doesn't feel right.Admit it,you pray to someone whom you feel is righteous in every way.So what theists believe is not what exists.So you are right when you say u don't believe what they believe.

So that makes it a complete advantage to atheists.What say??

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tricks of Trade....Or a call for Help?

"I seem to have lost my purse and I have to catch an auto to reach home.Can you help me ,son?"Said an elderly man to me in the busy junction of T.Nagar.He was well dressed and seemed very worried.He seemed coming from work and  spoke in fluent English and looked embarrassed to be actually asking for money .It took no time for me to feel really sorry for the man.I gave him the Rs.30 He apparently needed and walked off feeling a lot good over myself.It happened a long time ago and I forgot all about it Until recently, some separate incidents brought back this memory.

The first one was in a busy shopping center in Hyderabad.I was waiting in a car to pick up my cousin.A man knocked on the window.He had a backpack on him and and looked like he was on his way home from work.His request(bordering on demand) was similar to the elderly man from Chennai but he wasn't as polite and didn't seem to be ashamed of asking the money.Though i didn't feel sorry for the man,I gave him off the money as what he demanded was not much.As soon as he left,A beggar woman came running to me and asked for money.As a courtesy i put a small coin in her hand .She didn't move and demanded I give her the same amount I gave the man.This angered me and I told her she cant demand and anyway i wasn't in a position to give her more as I had no more change.Her reply struck me the most.She walked off saying:"You can give five rupees to a physically fit man,But you shout off a handicap who needs it more".Though I didn't take it seriously,I got to admit ,her logic was right.I didn't feel moved at all for a handicap but felt sorry for a person who sure had other ways to reach home.Why was it so?Its not just me.Most of you would have reacted in the same way.

There is this guy called Simon Sinek who says the best way to convince people is not to show facts.It is to relate them to the facts.In the first two cases ,I imagined myself or people close to me losing a purse in an unknown land and roaming aimlessly.Its a nightmare that haunts all of us.So when the old man was asking me I was able to Imagine the state he is in.I was more troubled by his troubles than even he was.which was why I didn't mind giving him any amount of money.But with this beggar woman ,all I see about them is that they are the guys who pester you at every traffic signal.I probably don't have the imagination to actually imagine their troubles and even if i did,I m pretty sure I wouldn't relate to them because I need not have to face them.

Now in the last two weeks,In addition to being begged at almost every traffic signal,every time I'm  in a busy place or a bus stop,people came up to me repeating the same old story and in most cases,stating the amount of money I should give them.I began to wonder how many pickpockets were there in Hyderabad.After a couple of instances where i got tricked,I understood that this is the new form of getting free money.These guys need not be in a business school to understand the tricks of trade.They do much better on the streets by themselves.And it was pretty comfortable.You need not beg.No one shouts at you and people seldom get irritated.You tell them how much to give and more often than not,you get what you need.

The next time it happened to me,I was at the railway station waiting for a train that was late by an hour,(having nothing to do)I was observing an old woman who was following this method.Had she been really in need,she would already have got the money needed.It was a matter of time before she came to me.(Actually this was the place I realized this was a  new business.)I wasn't impressed by her story and walked off.She caught my friend who wasn't conned by this method ,and tried extracting money from him.I stopped him and this irritated her to no end.She started cursing me and told me to imagine my mom in the situation.
I on my part told her what I thought of their business.

This left my friend amused and he called me insensitive.I told him about all the experiences I had in the department and the new free money menace building up.We drifted off from the topic and the incident was soon forgotten.

But again,what if I was wrong?What if she was an innocent woman in a city of such tricksters ?
Would I be helping people who are in such need again?...
would I ever feel sorry for them like I felt for the old man or would I just brush them off ?
Am I becoming wise or Am I becoming insensitive?Or does becoming one imply the other?
How do I know?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Song Strain

I have recently come to Hyderabad for my intern. For that I am staying at my uncles house,and am having an amazing time here.

Now at my uncles place,they have this habit of switching on the radio while going to sleep and hear the songs in the darkness of the night. It has a whole different feel to it. But it is generally preceded with an argument between my uncle and cousin over which channel to switch to.
While my uncle prefers old classics, my cousin wants new songs. My uncle feels the new songs have more noise in them and don't have the same magic as the old ones. Its a never ending argument (and someone always gets grumpy ;-)

This issue is not something new. I have seen similar instances in lots of places. Why is it that adults have a completely different taste from the present youth? Do we really have a widening generation gap as the Americans fear? Or the infuse of western culture our purists often loathe?  

I actually don't think the issue is because of the above reasons. I think its a problem all the generations have.
Let me explain. The most favorite songs you must have heard must have been from your childhood days,teens or early adulthood. This is the age when you generally perceive the world outside as colourful and have a lot of positive energy. Now when you hear a good song,you can related to the song , the movie and your  world making it favorite. Now once you start waking up to the harsh realities gradually , u might loose interest as do not feel connected to the song and in defense start finding faults with it.

Now when you are sufficiently old, the occasional old song which you liked ,reminds you of your younger age,the time when everything was great , where there were no worries and where you would love to be again. You could connect to it as you did when you were young and relive it again.

Maybe once the present kids turn over 40, they start fighting with their kids over the same debate and   this again has nothing to do with the music people are making then.

So when you are having the argument sometime(u ll inevtably have a similar argument taking one side or the other)remember, If you are the adult these are the same kind of feelings you had when you were younger and if you are the younger one, It nice to go back in time and remember those good memoirs and give your parents that chance. They do lots of stuff for you.

So who s side do I take now? Actually,I snore off in the peaceful night unperturbed by all these arguments.:-)