Monday, March 28, 2011

I Wish I Could

This happened last Wednesday and the moment it happened I thought of giving it a place on my blog page. There was this guy called Rajeev at Nirmaan office. In the first site, he was a usual high school boy, though he looked somewhat older in age and was very shy in speaking. He had come with his brother and wanted to get admission in Nirmaan Classes. Manish Sir started talking to him and all his replies were quite and shy. And then through the conversation, I came to know that he had failed the CBSE class 12 exams twice (2009 and 2010) and this year too, he didn't hope to pass the exams. And the reason for his low self confidence, shy replies and downward looking eyes became very clear to me. It is really difficult for anyone to face and go through this kind of mental pressure and we cry about our boring jobs, slow progress at office, intolerable boss and what not!

It was clear to Rajeev that he just wanted to pass his board exams and wanted to get admission into DU, doing something in Computer Science. But Manish Sir was constantly forcing him to choose engineering over his dreams of getting into DU, constantly giving the tender mind the fear of future. DU se Comp Sc karke kya karoge? Engineering k bina koochh nahi kar paaoge!

During the conversation, I came to know that Rajeev was a good student in Class 10 and then after that, he lost interest in studies and stopped studying at all. I immediately thought that the problem lied here and started inquiring him about what lead to this disinterest. He told that he got interest in playing cricket and used to run away from classes to play cricket. Further, I asked him about the marks he obtained in different subjects, which made the picture more clear for me. His scorecard in class 10 looked like this:

English: 90
Hindi: 86
Mathematics: 76
Science: 78
Social Sciences: 84

By looking at the marks, Manish Sir later told me that he was just an okay kid. But I still differ on this. Someone who gets almost 83% in 10th board is not okay, but he is good. The problem was that he was just okay in Maths and Science but brilliant in language and social studies.

Through our conversation, I learnt that he liked watching television sitcoms, National Geographic, reading newspaper and was more updated on Libya front than anyone of his age. The ailment became clear, the only problem was that the patient was not visiting the right therapist. Engineering was not the cup of tea for him, rather he should have tried to become a journalist, or done something in mass communication. Even a regular literature graduation would have served him good, but not engineering. Anything, but not engineering.

And when Manish Sir convincing his about being an engineer, I wanted to shout "Engineering is not for you. Don't get admitted here. Go, do something good for your life! And if you don't know how, I will help you do it".

But alas, I couldn't say anything and had to witness one energetic student getting into the yoke of cruel engineering career! I wish I could do something for him!

Monday, March 21, 2011


She has gone for her new life
Amongst the mountains and lonely trees,
To accompany them which they needed,
For getting the same, to God, they pleaded.
She is shining with the mountain sunshine
Spreading the golden beauty all around.
She is falling with the rain
Filling the lakes and pains.
She is blowing with the wind
Providing a soothing effect at the end.
She is flying with the birds
Spreading the message of peace and love.

She is there with the stars,
Bid her 'Good Morning', not 'Good Bye'.

P.S. This was the second poem I ever wrote. The first one was submitted as a class assignment and is lost forever. So, this is my first 'available' poem. It was written when I was in Class 11 and was getting bored sitting in the library of my school. It is of fourteen lines which makes it a sonnet. The last two lines are separated from the earlier twelve lines like an 'English (Shakespearean) Sonnet'. However, it doesn't follow the rhyme scheme of any kinds of sonnet and is written in free verse.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Thoughtful Me

Indian trains are the places where you get to meet a lot of people, all of different kind; have to bear with a lot of chit-chat, chilla milli, crying children, vendors selling whatever possible and what not! Sometimes (and that number is very few for someone like me, and when I am travelling in Bihar and that too in a second class compartment), you meet people you want to talk to. Sometimes the reason is you think you can talk to the person about something interesting and know about a different world or a different field or something new otherwise, and sometimes a conversation builds up which you find interesting and want to continue.

Yesterday was one such day when I landed upon a conversation which I found somewhat interesting. I was coming from Patna to my home when I met this guy sitting in front of me in the general compartment which was almost full, okay more than almost full but obviously not crowded when you define it in terms of Indian standards. So, this guy, sitting in front of me, got a little agitated when the train stopped in some jungle like area due to signal problem, which is as common as Mallika Sherawat wearing a bikini on a sea beach. But as the train stopped, this guy made a face as if he had seen Om Puri getting nude in front of me (I can also understand the effect caused by the heat inside the, lets say, semi-crowded compartment). Looking at him getting too much troubled, I asked casually about where he was going. I guess he was just waiting for someone to break the ice of silence so that he could spread the news of his recently earned promotion, and hence transfer, as if his wife got pregnant after at least a hundred trails by him. :-P So, as he told me, after asking about my whereabouts, that he was promoted as a scale 1 officer in Bank of Baroda and was transferred to Lucknow. I then casually asked him about his job(something which I do with everyone in a job, just to satisfy my sadist mind that the person is also suffering in his job and hating it as much as I did during Surya days ;-) :-P). What he told me was again a cribbing about one's job but it let to a couple of thoughts in my mind (see how thoughtful I am). He told that he is not very happy with his job as it is too demanding and he has to stay in office more than the stipulated working hours. And I thought about how can people shy away from their work and think of earning money by working less. But then I thought that I probably would have said the same thing if I were in his place. Most of the people do jobs which they are not interested in. But they have to do it as there is nothing else they can do. Many don't know what else to do and many don't have the courage to do anything else.

And then I asked him that if the workload is too much, why doesn't the Bank (of Baroda) recruit more employees? He told that this would escalate the costs and it would not be beneficial for the organisation. And I guess this is true for every government department in the country. Less employees and more work! I guess this is true for all the private organisations as well. Cost cutting is done at the cost of enthusiasm and working capacity of employees. There always should be a work life balance especially if the job is not exciting and even if the job is too exciting. Probably only then any organisation could retain employees or earn the goodwill of employees. Now I have not done enough research on whether increasing the number of employees will put the organisation in loss, but not increasing it certainly leads to lesser productivity and lesser satisfaction in employees and hence losses in intangible form!

He also spoke of the career in academics in very high regards. 'Being a professor is very comfortable', he told me, 'and I have given the NET exam to apply for the post of professorship in universities'. I asked, 'Why don't you apply to universities then?'. Again he sited the problem of universities not releasing vacancies and carrying on with less number of professors. I had heard of the IITs not recruiting new faculty despite cribbing about the scarcity of teachers.

This guy again told the workload is more because of old employees, who don't want to learn the modern practices giving the reason that they are about to retire and don't need to learn anything else. And hence, the younger ones have to do extra work. Obviously, the burden of the country's growth is to be shared by the young shoulders only. But I wonder how the oldies of today blame the youth for anything bad happening around them.

So, remember you old fellow with white beard and poor eyesight, we are the ones who are building the country and you are the one cribbing about us because you are frustrated with your unsatisfied life!! Are you listening?

Wishing everybody a very Happy Holi! May more and more colors get added to your lives!! :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The King's Dilemma

I was thinking to write this post ever since I saw ‘The King’s Speech’ last week. Call me a lazy bum for not writing it till now par ki fark padta hai ji, der aaye durust aaye ;-) !! Chalo, to phir kaam ki baat.....matlab movie ki baat kare. The movie is good, in fact awesome, like all the British movies. And Colin Firth has added grace to the character of Prince Albert, Duke of York and later His Majesty King George VI. The part played by Geoffrey Rush (as Lionel Logue) is equally graceful.

There is a scene in the movie where Prince Albert, after ascending to the Royal Throne, comes to his residence where his family, his wife and two daughters, are preparing to shift to the Royal Palace. And then when he reaches near his daughters, instead of coming running to him calling “Papa”, they bow and stand in respect uttering “Your Majesty”. Somehow, I felt the scene to be very touching. It must be very difficult for the king at that moment to accept the sudden change in the behaviour of his loving daughters. All of a sudden, the burden of the royal robe would have become too much. And I think it is again very difficult to handle a lot of responsibility if it comes to you all of a sudden and unannounced.

Also I think that it’s not easy being a King. All of us, especially girls (remember 'I wish to be a princess' dream?), wish that we were born in some Royal Family. After all, who doesn’t want to be treated royally? But being born as a Royal has its own limitations. With the birth of a Royal child, certain Royal duties and obligations are made for him/her curtailing the freedom of the later. Perhaps, that is why some of the Royals prefer to keep a low public profile. And sometimes, minor looking problems create havoc for the Royal personages like stammering was one of the deadliest problem and a matter of shame for King George VI.

This reminds me of the happiness endowed with the middle state, as explained by Daniel Defoe in the classic ‘Robinson Crusoe’:
that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of the low life, which he had found by long experience was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, the labour and sufferings, of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind. He told me I might judge the happiness of this state by this one thing, viz., that this was the state of life which all other people envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being born to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty or riches.”

Once again, I feel extremely lucky to be born in a middle class family.


Chalte Chalte: Ever wondered, what is the feminine of ‘King’? Right, it’s ‘Queen’. So, the masculine of ‘Queen’ must be ‘King’? Well not always, the husbands of the queens regnant generally don’t share their wives’ ranks. That is why, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II is called Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and not King Philip.