Poonam Pandey for Lok Pal

Thought I would attempt something different from my usual style - satire in news report style like faking news. If this is well received maybe I would do more in this style.

Latest to enter the fight for Lok Pal bill is none other than model Poonam Pandey. She has promised to go naked for the members of the parliament if Lok Pal Bill is passed. When asked what she would do if the government does not agree to the demands, she answered philosophically that the journey was more important than the destination. No matter what the government did, she would strip anyways. It is to be noted that she has in the past proven to be the good luck icon bringing success to the Indian cricket team and the Kolkata Knight Riders team. It is to be seen if she is able to repeat her success in the field of sports in the field of politics as well. If she succeeds, it will be set a precedent for an entirely new policy making paradigm. Not to be undone, another model Gehna Vashisht has lent similar support for the women’s reservation bill.

The law ministry is still evaluating the suitable response to this offer. One minister under anonymity has said many of the cabinet members are of view that the offer should be viewed as an educational experience that will help them understand first hand whether skimpy clothing can lead to sexual violence against women. This has been a burning issue with many women’s organization protesting against senior ministers and police officials’ observations in this regards. He has also quoted as precedent a study of similar nature carried out my certain members of the Karnataka legislative assembly on their mobile phones.

Television channels meantime have petitioned the prime minister for a free and fair auction of the television rights for the strip act. They have warned that if the rights are allocated arbitrarily, that could be the first case going before the newly constituted Lok Pal. A spokesperson of leading television channel said showing a young woman sacrificing clothes for the nation would make much better sense in terms of TRP than an old man sacrificing food. Mean time Mahesh Bhat and Ram Gopal Varma are rumored to be competing for the rights to make a film on the life and times of Poonam Pandey. Poonam Pandey is said to have demanded the lead role in the film. But both directors felt Sunny Leone would be a better choice to play the role of Poonam Pandey. They felt she was more in character for the role.

Inspired by Poonam, Veena Malik is said to be contemplating a similar movement in Pakistan. Scared by the developments in the neighboring nations, the ruling communist party in China is said to be considering introduction of mandatory Burqa for its women to pre-empt any similar movement that can potentially upset the country’s political stability. US defense analysts are closely watching this move. They suspect a Chinese conspiracy to rally all the oil rich Islamic nations on its side.

Picture Credit : realbollywood.com

Few Miles

The lunatic, the lover and the poet are of imagination all compact,” says Shakespeare in his play Midsummer Night’s Dream. And what if a person is all three combined – a lunatic mad about writing, a passionate lover who goes by the pseudonym ‘Someone is Special’ and a poet who idolizes William Wordsworth, who he calls the king of romance? Do you need to ask about his imagination? That is Saravana Kumar Murugan for you. His blog ‘Few Miles’ is a dedication to romance.

Saravana is one of the most passionate bloggers I have encountered in blog-o-sphere. He pours his heart out into every piece. His blog is indeed a delight for those who love romance. His poetry reaches straight to the heart of the reader. A purist might fault him for strong mother tongue influence in his language. But definition of poetry as per Wordsworth is “Poetry is the spontaneous outflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origins from emotion recollected in tranquility” When the powerful feelings and emotions are there, the rest is only secondary, isn’t it? Equally good are his sweet romantic stories with a sprinkling of eros. As mentioned earlier he is a very imaginative person and his imagination is on display in full flow in his fiction. He comes up with different innovative story plots centered on romance. Another area where one can see his imagination at work is the innovative use of various visual media: screenshots, videos, pictures and social networks like twitter and Facebook in his stories. He in fact has written an entire story as seen through a series of tweets by the principal characters. Of course like his poems, his stories might not find high literary standing in a traditional sense. But I would say it works well for a modern communication media like a blog and the focus audience being Indians whose native language is not English. In addition to the core theme of his blog, he also occasionally relates a few personal experiences, which are mostly quite inspirational and feelings on some issues that he feels passionate about. In these works also one can feel his strong passion.

Having discussed content at depth, let us look at the other aspects. The name of the blog ‘Few Miles’ is short, catchy and easy to remember but does not relate to the theme of the blog: romance. He has tried to maintain a romantic feel to the blog by adding soft music and having hearts all over the place. But otherwise I feel the blog overall looks too cluttered with too many widgets scattered all over the place. In my opinion, it has a too geeky feel for a romantic blog and giving it a slightly simpler look with a bit more romantic looking background will help. Navigation is good but a new reader can easily get lost on his blog due to the sheer number of widgets and options available. Interaction is one area where he wins hands down. He tries to develop a personal connect with every reader and tries to involve them closely in his blog activities.

In terms of writing style, he is good in his areas of key strength: romance. He is also good at conveying his personal passion and ambitions to the readers. But if he harbors dreams of becoming a novelist, he needs to learn to handle more complex emotions and different types of characters. The characters in most of his stories are seen through two planes: romance and career ambitions. But humans are much more complex than that. Another area that needs attention is logical consistency of plot. Blog readers with low attention spans usually are not too concerned with this aspect. But this is an area that is essential to hold a reader’s attention for extended periods of time. Descriptions are managed reasonably well but needs further strengthening in order to stand alone without the help of visual media.

Overall I would say it is a good blog to visit for those who are romantic at heart and those who like to develop a personal association with a person of great creativity and ambitions. I normally put up a selection of 5 posts from the blog I review. He has given 12 rather than 5 and I put up all 12.

Satyamev Jayate Review

Most men are like children. They need a father figure to look up to, someone who can lead them, someone who can guide them and protect them through the trials and tribulations of life. Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill etc. were some such leaders. People pine for such leaders and when they do not find such leaders, they like to pretend they have such a leader. And if one wants to live in a world of fantasy, who better to place in the high pedestal than the heroes of the silver screen. No wonder we have actors donning the mantle of social and political leaders. M G Ramachandran and N T Rama Rao are examples of actors who enjoyed runaway success in politics, reigning as chief ministers in their respective states. Similarly we have actors in north such as Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan emerging as role models for society.

As they say ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ Not every actor is able to live up to the people’s expectations. It is a rare actor who actually really emerges as the messiah people are expecting. Though it is still too early to say how much impact Aamir Khan will have, to a great extent he has lived up to his promise. He has been careful in choosing films and organizations he associates with. And Satyameva Jayate was an ideal platform for him. It was a symbiotic relationship. Whereas his peers chose to make their appearance on frivolous shows making clowns of themselves based just on monetary considerations, Aamir Khan chose the right program to lend his star value. And the show on its part further enhanced his stature as a social icon.

Talking of the program, the program chose all the right issues to speak about – honor killings, female foeticide, domestic violence issue, senior citizens issues, malpractices by doctors, use of pesticide in food etc. They covered a gamut of most relevant issues that everyone would have found at least one issue in the show they could closely relate to. The show was pretty good in terms of format and content. The research was good and at the same time they did not let it become a dull documentary. Things were presented in a dramatized way, there were people sharing experiences, eminent people were interviewed etc. So there was fair amount of variety to keep audience eye balls riveted. Also the program was linked to charity organizations and NGOs working on issues covered in the episode giving opportunity for people to immediately act on the emotions generated by the show. Another thing I liked about the show is they did not try to float on the TRP and carry on and on like a mega serial till they ran out of gas. Then it would have become just another media stunt and lost its impact. As they say a true artist knows when to stop.

Talking of impact, I feel definitely it will act as a catalyst in giving momentum to the middle class revolution that is building up. But middle class generally is a very thoughtful class and is slow to mobilize. So nothing dramatic is expected of them in the near future. Anything drastic will fizzle out like the Anna Hazare movement. Programs like this show to the middle class that they cannot ignore the society around them and remain safe in their ivory towers. Once the wolf has eaten up the poor, it will come knocking at the door of the middle classes and then it will be too late. However middle class cannot do much on their own. It is critical for the middle class to  reach out to the poor and enlist their trust and support. But trust cannot be built in a day. So the hope is that programs like this keep up the spirit of the middle class to strive tirelessly with muscles of iron and nerves of steel till they win the trust of the poor. Then the true revolution will come taking the nation by storm.

This post has been published by me as a part of IBL; the Battle of Blogs, sponsored by WriteupCafe.com. Join us at our official website and facebook page.

A Blogger looks back: August 2012

Recently I started this practice of posting a blogger’s reflection post at regular intervals. The main purpose was twofold – to acknowledge awards from other blogger and to mention any blogging milestones. Recently I have received a couple of tags. While earlier I was just accepting awards without answering the tags, I have finally decided to answer tags as well. As they say, do in blog-o-sphere what bloggers do. No way I can turn up my nose when so many blogger more illustrious than me are taking these tags, eh? Talking of turned up noses, anyone seeing my marriage photos will think us an arrogant family. But the reason for me and my mom’s turned up noses was a bad cold. So we had to hold our nose high to keep it from running away.

As many of you might have noticed, I have put up a static fa├žade for my blog instead of showing the latest post in the front page. Thought that will direct readers to the old posts under various categories instead of reading just the latest posts because my posts are generally a creative expression and not opinions on current issues. But so far it looks as if that is not working out. So I guess I need to reconsider that strategy. I am also thinking of buying a domain. I have been considering multiple approaches. I am thinking if instead of migrating en masse, I should start from scratch and move quality posts one at a time. Hopefully I will decide something in the next month or so.

Next thing is IBL, an interesting concept of a team competition for bloggers on the lines of IPL. It started off well and energy levels of bloggers were high. But off late it has been plagued by controversies with two teams walking out and other teams raising concerns about lack of transparency in the judging process. But still overall it is a commendable effort and I must appreciate Deepak Karthik, Akshay and Binoy for pioneering this concept. As far as the topics go, I personally have liked all the topics and feel they are well thought out and give good opportunity for creative expression. I have been part of the team Bangalore Bloggers Bistro and so far have been enjoying the contest. We are now second in the points table and look well set to enter the semi-finals. But more than winning and losing, it is the camaraderie that is the wonderful part. I got to make friends with so many wonderful bloggers through this event. We also had a meeting where 6 of us met – Harsha, Leo, Gyanban, Tina, Santosh and Sibi. We are hoping we will extend this beyond just IBL and develop a vibrant Bangalore blogger community.

Within a month of our IBL meet, we had the grand bloggers meet organized by IndiBlogger sponsored by Surf. This was my first open bloggers meet. It was good to meet the rest of the IBL team in Bangalore – Princess Poo, Thousif and Nabanitha. It was good meeting some of my other blogger friends as well – Farida, C.Suresh, Keerthi, Tavish and Asha. I also made friends with a few new bloggers – Ghanchakkar, Mahesh and Anthony. I thought I will make a full post on the meet. But I am not good at all these factual descriptive stuff. So thought I will just mention in the reflections post. Overall the event was well organized, people got lot of goodies, there was lot of fun activities and sponsors also did not try to hog the limelight. I was a bit overwhelmed meeting all the friends I did not participate too much in the rest of the activities nor interact with the meet organizers. I kind of botched up my introduction also. Hopefully I can remedy that in the next meet.

Having dealt with all that, now it is finally tag time. Two bloggers tagged me – Kirti and Umashankar Pandey. Kirti’s tag I answered on facebook as she passed on the tag to me on FB. So there remains only Umashankar’s tag to answer here. So here goes.

1. Which is your own favourite post(s)?

My favorite one was the singer series. But I have again taken it down disappointed with poor readership. Planning to re-work it, make it an e-book and sell it on kindle for 99 cents. Other than that I don’t have any special favorites. You can find a few that people have liked a lot in the past on my side bar.

2. Which are your favourite posts by others?

This is a tough one. I am unable to remember all the posts by so many bloggers that I have read. Maybe in future whenever I read if I really like a post, I will re-tweet, share on Facebook or have the link on a static page on my blog to indicate it is my favorite.

3. What would you do if you were barred from blogging?

I have spent 28 years of my life without blogging. So it does not sound very difficult. But the 28 years I always believed in a future where I will live the fantasies I read about in story books. At 28 only I reconciled with the realities of life which coincided with the creation of my blog. So I live all my fantasies in my writing. So if writing is stopped I am not sure how my fantasies will find outlet.

4. If you were to be limited to just 5 music albums for the rest of your life, which ones would they be?

This is the easy question. I don’t listen to music as such except some random stuff here and there. So I can easily live the rest of my life with no music albums.

5. If you were to be limited to just 5 authors for the rest of your life, which ones would they be?

This is a tough one. I think I would go by emotions rather than the quality of writing and chose 5 authors whose works made me the happiest – Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert.

6. (Didn’t I say five?) Correct. You may frame one question of your own choice and answer that

‘Is there anything else you want to say’ is the question. And the answer is the first part of this post. Now I guess I am supposed to pass on the tag to people. Guess I will reserve it for the next time. I have evolved from ignoring tags to just acknowledging, to answering on Facebook to answering on my blog. Next time maybe I will also tag someone.

A Brief History of Washing

Rahul quickly put all his dirty clothes into the washing machine, put in some of the new vibrating molecules soap powder, closed the lid and went out for dinner. After a momentous evening with his girlfriend, he came home in a rather good mood. But the mood was spoilt when he opened the washing machine. The clothes were in exactly the same state he had left them. The soap powder lay on top of the clothes, insipid and lifeless. It seemed like this whole vibrating molecules thingy was just a con job.

He pulled out his lamp and rubbed it angrily. Copious amounts of smoke began to emerge out of the lamp. Soon the smoke coalesced into the figure of a heavy man in ancient Chinese costumes. “At your service, master,” he said bowing politely to Rahul. As many of you might have guessed it was a Genie.

Now Genies come in various types. The one many of us might have read of was indeed a very powerful one. But not all Genies are that powerful. Most Genies have their limitations and have specific areas of expertise within which they can grant wishes. The Genie in question here was a Chinese variety known as Dong Ki. Its specialty was domestic chores and transport. Which in effect meant it was a house maid, gardener, cook and chauffeur all rolled into one. But no way would this Genie be able to raise a magnificent palace, bring its master all the riches of the world or defeat his enemies. For that one would require the services of the architect Genie, the thief genie and the warrior genie respectively. The warrior genie was incidentally called the Dong Xi. Chinese names for genie are also apparently as confusing as the human names. But here there is no scope for confusion as there is only one Dong Ki in this story.

Look here!. The clothes are still as I had left them. The powder you gave me was totally useless,” Rahul shouted at the Genie.

The Genie tried to calm him. ”Did you open the water tap and switch on the washing machine, master?

But you said the molecules of the powder vibrate by themselves and I need to soak no more. So I thought I will save power and water.

You seem to have missed the whole point. In order to appreciate the concept of vibrating molecule, you need to know the whole history of washing. It goes way back to the time of your ancestor, the minister at the court of king Raja Raja Chola.” As much as Genie hated work he loved to tell stories. Rahul was also very fond of listening to stories. So the idea of story calmed him down and he settled down on his chair to listen.

Those days there were no cars, buses and bikes. So it was I who managed most of the transportation for your ancestor. One day I was transporting a consignment of special ashes for him. It was very heavy and it was a hard task for me. I was crossing a bridge when my feet slipped and I fell into the water. I was fully soaked. But when I emerged out of the water, the burden had reduced drastically. I was so delighted. From them on the motto was soak more, work less. Every time I crossed the bridge, I would jump in for a soak.

Rahul burst out into peals of laughter, “You are one wicked demon! You have been dissolving all my ancestor’s magic ashes in the water?

Oh. Is that why master seemed unhappy every time I did that? Anyway continuing with my story, one day we were returning after a long stay at a neighboring kingdom. We were passing a bridge and I did what I usually did. But the minute I got soaked instead of the burden reducing it had increased. What the hell was happening, I wondered. Had my master found out my trick and cast a ‘soak no more’ spell on the bundle?

Rahul could not suppress his laughter, “You deserved it, you old rascal. Obviously wet clothes will become heavier.

But, I must say,” the Genie continued, “It was not without its positive side for I found it had become easier to wash the clothes. So soaking was not entirely bad after all. Either it reduced your burden or made washing easier.

In a few more years, it was time for yet another discovery. This was during the time of another of your illustrious ancestors: one of the nine jewels in the court of King Akbar. This time the consignment had both magic ash and clothes to be washed. As usual when we passed the bridge, I jumped in to get soaked. This time there was only a slight increase in weight. Guess the ash and clothes balanced each other. But later I discovered that this new event had further improved the effectiveness of washing process. I assumed it had something to do with the magic ash mixing with the water in which the clothes got soaked.

Rahul gave a whoop of delight, “Don’t tell me you were the one who discovered soap powder!

I made my next breakthrough when I was serving your great grandfather who worked as a civil servant under the British rule. I had just emerged out of the water after soaking the clothes and the ashes when suddenly an earth quake started. It was minor one. So though I was badly shaken by the vibrating ground, I was able to reach home unhurt. But I discovered to my delight that washing had become still easier. So it was ash, soaking and vibration that did the trick.

Rahul was now looking at the Genie with genuine admiration “So it was again you who discovered the idea behind the washing machine as well! I wonder what the world would have done without you. Next I guess you discovered you can manage without soaking and have the vibration on the soap powder molecules itself instead of on an outside machine, eh? But unfortunately this innovation has come out a total cropper!

The Genie grinned sheepishly. “Technical challenges, you know. The molecules cannot be stored in vibrating state as they will escape away. So we need to trigger the vibration just before washing only. For that the washing machine needs to be run. And we need water to bring the molecule in contact with the clothes. So we can’t avoid the water either. But I am working on a better solution to both these issues. Soon a day will come when we need to soak no more

This post is an entry for the soak no more contest on IndiBlogger sponsored by Surf Excel and the credit for the picture above has been taken from this site.

In the Hot Unconscious

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 30; the thirtieth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

It was close to sun set. The waves came and went maintaining a regular rhythm like the melodies of a musical instrument. The orange hues of the setting sun blended with the bright blue of the water and golden yellow of the sand to produce a whole palette of different colors. Children played blissfully on the sand. Lovers walked hand in hand enjoying the comfort of each other’s touch and that of the gentle sea breeze. As I stood there gazing I felt one with the sea, the breeze, the sands and the sun.

Darkness was slowly consuming the sun savoring it bit by bit. The sea kept reaching out with its tendrils in search of an unsuspecting victim to draw into its depth. The children running around aimlessly reminded me of the purposeless rat races in the world. From a distance a foul stench wafted by. Probably the carcass of a dead gull lay rotting somewhere. The meaningless to and fro motion of the sea reminded of the purposelessness of human existence.

Both the above paragraphs describe the same scene. But the glasses through which they are seen are totally different. Most nature poets and writers of travelogue tend to take the first approach. Normal scenery is romanticized and raised to a high pedestal. A person who might have found the scene pretty mundane when experienced by himself may find it much more elevating when reading the accounts of such writers. But then there are also cynics who take the opposite approach and can make even a beautiful experience dark and gloomy for the reader. Charles Foster takes the second approach in his book ’In the hot unconscious

This book is an account of the author’s journey through India and his spiritual journey accompanying the physical journey. The example of the sea is relevant in the context of this book as well.  The book begins and ends by sea shores in Southern India. The author tries to find a fusion between the practical Western religion and the mystical Eastern religion though this account. So he starts off by talking about the journey of Saint Thomas to India through the southern seas , the first meeting of the two religions. He reflects how paradoxical it was that the most rational of Jesus’ followers was sent to mystical India rather than the more mystic ones. That is the thread that runs throughout the book – the need for the dry Western religion to find relief in a few drops of Eastern mysticism on one hand and the need for the free flowing Eastern religion to find some solid ground in the practicality of Western religion.

This book is not a typical travelogue. The focus in more on Foster’s reflection and his conversations with the people he meets, often on philosophical topics. The general tone of the narrative is entirely cynical and he does not express a high regard for the people he encounters. Even the vivid description of the places focuses on aspects such a blood, sweat, death, feces, urine, vermin and the like. Most of his metaphors are also quite dark in nature. His portrayal of India reminds one of the movie ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ in most aspects. But it should be said to his credit that his sarcasm is not limited to India and Hinduism alone. It extends liberally to Christianity and Western world as well. The two Gurus he meets in his travels are both new age Western Gurus who have come to India to create cults based on their own versions of Hinduism.

From a philosophical perspective darkness and cynicism has its own merits. In a round world there can be no wrong direction. Whichever way you take if you travel long enough you will get eventually get to your destination. Same is true of spiritual journey as well I guess. You can take a positive approach or a negative approach. Stories speak of Ravana attaining salvation through hatred of Rama the same way Rama's devotees attained it through love of Rama. There is a similar story of an enemy of Buddha as well.

 There is an element of humor also in the dark narrative and some people may like to ignore the metaphysical aspects and just enjoy it as a dark comedy. But it is nowhere near the laughter riot of a ‘Catcher in the rye’ or a ‘Catch 22’ in this respect.

If one finds my review confusing, I have served my purpose well for that is what the book seeks to achieve as well. So I have succeeded in giving a flavor of the book. The book meanders all around the place without any definitive direction and Foster concludes that Eastern religion is all about being confused. This is also reflected in the Zen Kaons and other quotations of a similar nature at the start of every chapter. Readers who like absurdism, dark humor and to get confused in general can give the book a try. 
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. I’m thankful to Vipul Grover, who introduced Blog-a-Ton to me, and I debuted in 8th edition.
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Credits Image - Shades of Orange by Harsha Chittar Courtesy - Curious Dino Photography via www.blogaton.in

Lessons for life from a game of poker

Sometimes certain mundane experiences offer us profound insights into the essence of life. Such was one of my experiences with an auto driver which incidentally was the first post that launched me as a blogger. In reminiscence of that, I thought I will write one more experience which triggered a similar thought process. Last time the experience was in the physical world. This experience is in the virtual world – on Facebook.

Facebook has lot of games, many of which can get addictive. One such interesting game is poker. It is not too different from the poker of real world. But you can play online whenever you want and you don’t have to go to a club and the best of all – you can play without spending real money. After losing lot of games and winning quite a few, I have managed to chalk out a few winning strategies. I have tried them and they work. Not that I am now winning all the time though. But whenever I lose, it is not because of the failure of the strategy as such but rather my failure to stick to the strategy. Execution is after all as critical as strategy if not more. Thinking about it, I felt in some ways the poker game reflects life in general and the lessons could possibly be applied to life in general as well.

There are three things I have learnt. Don’t be a monkey. Be a donkey. Put all your eggs in one damn good basket.

I have often seen people betting real high with cards as low as a Q and a 4, that too of different suits. And what more! They even manage to win. And the win is often humongous. But whenever I try to imitate them and bid high with average cards, I invariably end up losing big. So I concluded that there is no point imitating someone else. If my brain and heart tell me the cards in my hand are not winners, most probably they are not. Even in life, I have realized, it is better to use one’s own judgment rather than go with the herd or blindly imitate the successful person. Monkey see, monkey do. But we are no monkeys. So we see, but analyze and do only what our brain tells us to do.

One way I often end up losing money is through sheer rashness. When I continuously lose hands, I have often begun to lose patience and either end up playing rashly or quit before that elusive winning hand comes. Some hands are such that no matter what you do, you just can’t win. The trick is in identifying those hands and cutting your losses on those. Donkeys are legendary for patience of this kind. In life also I feel this holds good. Sometime things start going bad at home and office and there is nothing we can do. Best thing is to accept the situation and see how one can keep the losses to minimum and bide one's time till the return of good times.

Finally, after all the waiting I get that dream hand. But I am fearful and play conservatively and end up winning much less than what I could have or still worse chicken out and fold early! That way I never make it big in the game. The only way to make it big is to go for the kill when the time is ripe. When I bet big on that lucky hand, I win big. Though common wisdom says not to put all eggs in one basket, one who does not want to commit oneself unless one is 100% sure of success can never rise beyond mediocrity.

In order to avoid giving an impression that I am drawing arbitrary analogies where there are none, I would like to give examples of instances from my life where each one of these worked. When I was preparing for my MBA entrance exams, the most popular strategy was to register for classes. But I chose not to waste my precious time on classes. Instead I focused on taking mock tests, identifying my weaknesses and specifically focusing on that. Not being a monkey paid of rich dividends and I managed admission to one of the top business schools in the country.

When I was working in the IT sector, I could see everyone going onsite and making big money. The ones who did not get opportunity migrated to greener pastures and made it big. But I just held on, without either quitting or spoiling relationship with my superiors by doing something rash. After 3 years, my time came. I got a long onsite assignment, my ESOP prices went up and eventually I got promoted as well. When I looked back I found myself better off than my colleagues who did not have the patience of a donkey and quit midway or nagged their superiors too much.

During my school days, we had quite a few options – board exams, state engineering entrance, IIT entrance. Most students generally tried to keep all the options open. But to me it was clear, I had the same amount of time as all the other students and my intelligence level was at best average. So I had to be successful, I had to do something different. So I decided to put all my eggs in one basket and focus on IIT JEE alone. Many of my much more intelligent classmates lost out on IIT, and their performance on board exams and state entrance also was also impacted by the time spent on IIT JEE preparation. I on the other hand had performed dismally in state entrance and board exam, but was one of the two students from my school, one of the five from my entire town to make it to IIT.

For whom the bell tolls

A book of faces