A GRE Story: Incentives


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Who am I? I just happen to know someone you could be interested in. And I would hate it if you think she started preparing for GRE because she couldn’t fit in a coaching for CAT (don’t believe in slander :P). No, she wasn’t an escapist. OK… She is an escapist. But that didn’t drive her to an American dream. What really drove her away was the picture perfect portrayal of a life her elder brother would talk on and on of. So, the brother lives in US? Nah… he just knows stuff and how to wrap people up in a world of dreams. He did a good job with her.

She hails from a family whose philosophy swings on a pendulum that sways from modern to conservative. Nothing extreme. You don’t index1understand? Well.. how about this, you can have the best education in the world* ( read modern ) as long as it is in the fields of engineering or medicine* (read conservative). Yeah, yeah.. she didn’t like it either. Becomes astonishingly difficult to draw a line between alleged right and wrong. This was one of the reasons she was inclined to move to a society that appreciates there is no absolute right or wrong.

There was one more thing. subconsciously, she had a feeling she was not meant for India. She later got to know, she wasn’t alone. During the times of faith crisis, some of the friends would say, “It’s evident in your lifestyle. You’re meant for US.” The exam pattern was designed to the potential of her mind too. Maths till class 10 and English? Smooth. On the top of it, she is an awkward tall girl who hopes to get lost in crowd. Well.. we know this for sure that it’s never gonna happen in India.

My point? Choose to do it, if you really really want to do it. Otherwise, choose something you really really want to do. 😛 Have proper motivation! Because, you wouldn’t succeed in something that doesn’t have your complete devotion. Devotion fades away given lack of motivation. Maturity is in knowing oneself. You got to know your priorities in life. You got to know if your priorities mingle with your responsibilities. Negotiate and compromise.

Your reasons might not be the alleged right ones. These reasons will work as a motivation to stick to putting efforts for your dream anyway. She has been told multiple times to reconsider her ‘Masters in Computer Science’ idea. You cannot blame them, she is not a techy type. For her GRE was a pass to America. Just like Bansal (read- a coaching for JEE preparations in Kota, Rajasthan) was a pass to anywhere but her hometown. She has quiet a theory in her mind. Let’s save it for some other day.
For now, choose wisely!

A GRE Story: The Inception


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There was a girl in her second year of Engineering who was completely clueless what she really wanted to do professionally. She knew for sure, she had committed a mistake opting maths in High School. She felt she could have done five year law or become a CA, anything but an Engineer. She had a thing for writing too. She could never be sure if she wanted to turn her hobby into a career.  People who knew her would suggest her to try hands in mass communication, a distance learning program may be. She was a confused ambitious girl. She had to do something about it.

She started by resuming blogging. A good hobby should not die. Career wise? She wasn’t still sure. She decided to go with the flow. With the start of third year, she joined a coaching for her CAT preparations.  Good linguistic skills or aptitude are the need of time anyway, she would tell herself.  She made it to their special batch in a month. Interestingly, her quant score of the paper was zero. She felt betrayed by the coaching and her dejection with CAT preparations followed. She asked herself,

Do I doubt my potential for the exam? Nope. Not at all.

Will I have to work really hard for it? Yes.

Do I lack the motivation? Yes. Very much.

Do I really want a career in Management? Don’t know.

With such vague answers in mind, she decided on quitting coaching. Around this time, a new US dream was emerging in her life too. Family plays a big part in decisions such as these. Moving to another country? A girl? No close relatives out there? Tough call. She joined another coaching anyway. Friends bhi bn gye. Everyone (that mattered) was very supportive. There were people talking behind her back not so pleasant things about her capricious nature. These are the people who don’t mind their own business. Who don’t know an ounce about the person they are talking about. Self-certified critics, she would later call them. She is found telling her juniors occasionally (now that she is a fourth year student) “There will be such critics everywhere you go. Don’t be afraid of being judged. In terms of their language, to not waste the 9k bucks I payed as fee to a coaching I cannot possibly invest another 25 lacks on a career path I am going to quit eventually. People grow. Decision change. Accept yourself.”

Chaman


I don’t know if she remembers, I met her on a road of Indrapuri. It was our first meeting. Her first impression on me? Well, I remember the incident. Everlasting, I would say. This girl…she was different. She came out of nowhere and started chitchatting like an old friend. I had heard of her. A very friendly girl, they called her. She wouldn’t give away much. I take my time gelling with people. She made me talk anyway. She would probe your heads off. You will be facing questions that pry on your privacy but there’s no way you could deny her the answer. She is not judging (at least you can’t tell), simply listening and firing questions.
My desperate attempts for a perfect click :/

My desperate attempts for a perfect click :/

There’s so much I could write about you. Difficult call, what to include and what not on this birthday. I wish we had met before. Or the college was not ending so soon. I have learnt a lot from you. I have immense respect for you. Your complain that I call everyone but you ‘Ji’, I share a totally different level of friendship with you. A level that doesn’t need a “Ji” to show the respect I have for you. I come to your room with the foulest of moods, thinking I wouldn’t share what’s troubling me. Who am I kidding? I have kept things to myself for a long time. I found liberation meeting you.

You could be a kid at times, you could be a netaji, a mother, a confidant or a perfect nurse. In my sickness, I didn’t miss home. In the worst of pains, I could travel to home because you were by my side. There is an air of assurance when you are around. Chaman sb sambhal legi. I just know that. Late at the Doctor’s clinic without an appointment? No problem! Chaman h na. I couldn’t reach a lot of places if it weren’t for you. Not just literally. You showed the faith when required (read Mridaksh). Or I wouldn’t even have auditioned. And this was the time, we didn’t even know each other much. Thank you for everything, Chumma!

A Chai-less morning with Chaman: Not the best :P

A Chai-less morning with Chaman: Not the best 😛

We have had great times together. The not so great times have been turned to greatness with our company. Singing arbitrary songs on roads driving Dhanno or simply sitting at the Service Road (regional) or at the Sharmaji’s. Talking, not talking. . . it’s peace with you. And our love for food! I finally found a companion who shares similar interests and is ready to invest time in pursuit of them! Food being top on the list 😀 Gained a few pounds, yeah! who cares 😛 Give in to the cravings when life’s giving you the opportunity. What’s the need of asceticism? Life provides one with ample opportunities of boredom anyway.

She is one of those people who is doing you a favor just being around you. She is not even asking for acknowledgement. I have known her for a good amount of time now. A time she found enough to reveal herself to me. There are experiences you couldn’t imagine and choices you couldn’t have dared to make that have made the Chaman we know today.
A privilege knowing you, Chaman.

A very Happy Birthday! 🙂

A Coveted Indian Bridegroom


A satire, I read recently, on the great Indian dream questioned the very existence of it. We do have many not one. .We Indians breathe and dream for our children. . We dream to have affluent, erudite kids or at least in case of daughters, in-laws! A jocose take on the matter. . .

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A big fat house

An Indian bride should be fair and cultured. These qualities take a back-seat when one is referring to an Indian bridegroom, however. Why shouldn’t they, after all? Bridegrooms already need to pass a cornucopia of mandatory(*) and complex requirements anyway.
These requirements help in attaching tags to one’s son’s nuptial value. How cute, isn’t it?  The standards (not yet recognized by ISO 9001, but very soon will be) that play a decisive role in attaching a nuptial price to the Lad are:

1. What is his educational qualifications?*
There are different genres available according to your paying capacity and requirements.I have taken the liberty of enlisting, here, few greatly coveted bridegrooms in Indian nuptial market:24

  •       Since, it is a strictly Indian business, the great Indian dream of IIT plus IIM combo is hugely coveted. Parents who want their daughter’s life well settled and secured usually go fr this category. It is definitely not cheap. But seeing other options that are available in the conjugal market, it seems like a wise choice. These parents are usually service class themselves. Observing a surge of metamorphosis of business class towards service class and vice versa, no particular generalization can be incurred.
  •       Another combination that is deliciously searched for is of IIT plus IAS cadre. Just an IIT grad is not enough in these difficult times of recession. Of course, the great IAS tag in itself is enough. It makes the families forget any previous sins bridegroom might have committed. Even the great sin of difference by birth- religion, cast, region. Such is the magical effect of the word IAS. An IAS is expensive. Not particularly a luxury a middle class could afford.
  •     In India, you are an IITian or not. There is one other reverent degree of MBBS, of course. It has entirely different clientage whatsoever. Of which, I apologize, I have not much knowledge of.
  •       There is one highly coveted title of IES too that is available in the market. Like IAS, it has the mesmerizing effect of making one forget how bad you did in your graduation(read- couldn’t crack IIT). However, strung with the IIT experience, it makes a combination that is hugely sought after. This too, no prizes for guessing, is an expensive affair.
  •      A foreign degree in hand? Everything’s secondary. Only IIT/IIM ring bells in their ears. Everyone other than that could just be a charlatan to an Indian father.

2. Family Background?

  •        The guy is a doctor? OK. Fine. The guy is a doctor son of a doctor father? Kudos!14
  •        Single son? They all are after it.

It is difficult to set them apart- educational qualification and family background- which one should be categorized under, “other things you might like to know” in a guy’s nuptial resume . Now that I am considering it… actually, neither one of them should be under such a category.

3. Other things You might like to know:

  •   went outside India? Bingo! A foreign business visit or holiday is every Indian mother’s conjugal turn-on for her daughter.
  •   not going to live with mom-dad? Even better!

I wonder if in these times of crazy ideas going viral… how well the concept of Nuptial resume for Men” does! Guess, we will have to wait and see for ourselves…

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A Google image result to Rich nerd bridegroom

PS: Apparently, this phenomena isn’t completely Indian !!!

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Memory Glimpses


indexEverything is changing. The occurrence rate of greenery per square kilometer, the taste of water, the cost of what used to be a 10 rupee bread (Gold Coin, I recall)… Things, I had assumed, will never change. An unsaid assumption that they are universal constant. The Kulfi that used to be sold on moving handcarts has undergone a change in shape and size, what we used to know as Gudiya ke Bal is Cotton-Candy to kids now. The uncle with a thick antenna like wooden stick from which hung categorically different packets of Gudiya k baal is not to be found anywhere. Do kids eat the seeds of marigold flowers even today? It’s a big thing to spot a rainbow in sky…everything has changed so much! Papa brings me a     pack of Lays instead of Dairy Milk, when I go home now… Guess, he too finds my dear Dairy Milk old school now. He asked me the other day, why do they say “har ek friend kameena hota h”? I thought it cottonwas one of those moments when parents make you feel that the coolness of our generation is overrated. How could he not know? I mean… What is there not to know, right? Wrong.

Readers ask me as a ritual these days that what is the point of my recent most blog. Learning from the mistakes, the point of this blog is… my childhood is lost. Sure, these changes did not come in a day’s time… but I am realizing them now in a flash of a moment. No incident or accident had to occur for me to realize it. I just woke up today and I felt how much things have changed in life. Some things are that simple. There are no long dramatic stories supporting them. Age gives us such complex experiences that we don’t even realize when we lose confidence in simplicity.

Yes, I am feeling nostalgic today. For my first home’s garden and its guava plant… for the road in front of my second home, where we played as kids ignorant of the fact that we had a children’s park adjoining it…for the lawn of this house where me and my brother stealthily washed the burnt container that had an hour index1before few liters of milk… for the Teshu tree I was so proud of because of its antediluvian importance (its flowers were used to make colors for Holi). The garden has been replaced by a multistorey building now.

Yes… I sound unbearably melodramatic today. I never let my heart wander in these galleries of memories until today. Yes, Everything is in our control. To think of something or not, to be morose or not, to sadden people or not… it is all in our hands. Today, I’ve left the mind on its own will…Why so? Bss aise hi… Yes, Not having a reason can also be a reason. Like I said, Life isn’t that complex as we wrap and sell it as.

English: Bob Marley live in concert, just a co...

English: Bob Marley live in concert, just a couple of years before his death (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guess, Bob Marley achieved a similar high from his joint, the flight these open barriers take me to… It’s liberating. Try it sometime. You don’t have to take out the dust-covered albums from the rarely opened drawers, neither do you have to close your eyes and take a deep breath, filmy-style… just start from your then house’s main gate in the rear of your mind… you will automatically see a slide show of memories comprising neighbors, friends, watchman, sabji-wallah….who not.

Hope


I’ve met people who have lost faith in happiness and people. It grieves me to share, they don’t even think fathers or brothers should be trusted. The only love, true to the soul is that of a mothers to her child, they say. Personally, I will never be able to make myself believe it .
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Yes, there are sick people. And yes, there is a type of sickness in every human being. And that’s why we are only humans. Generalizing anything to such extents of hopelessness is a defeatist attitude.

I’ve been warned more than once to sort my trust issues. By trust issues my well-wishers mean, I tend to trust people easily. I tend to not hate them for the differences we share. And that has come to be a matter of concern for a person in this age. There can be better times “Nothing controversial”, one of them jibed, “Why a rape victim got raped?” He was quick to add, “She somehow ended up trusting the wrong guy.” True that. So, this age of rapes, robbery, betrayal has ended up us believing in ‘not to trust anyone’. I do not like it.

Treachery leaves one with one of the biggest lessons in life. What that lesson might be? For a start, It is not that ‘don’t trust anyone ever again’. Most of the wronged people tend to make this mistake. A mango people, I have been through that phase too. Seen times I didn’t want to trust anyone anymore. I knew, life doesn’t work that way. I just didn’t know who to trust anymore? Yes, when people you trust the most stab you at back, it makes you question the most basic of things you’ve always tend to believe. You have to know it’s a phase anyway. You have to hope that the dubiousness that clouds your happiness will get over soon.

You got to have faith to stay happy.

 

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A Visit to an UP Marriage!


I wish I could share the original picture with you guys. Since I dared not to click (you will know,” why not? ”  soon), You will have to do with somewhat closer version of the original, Google devta made me available with.Ole-Sholey-img-1

I met this guy. Met is an exaggeration. I was invited to his daughter’s wedding and we sat around the same Mandap for a night span along with 10 or so other family members. My cousin was the bridegroom.

This was not the first time I met (exaggeration again ) him. Indian marriages involve a bunch of ceremonies preceding the real marriage ceremony. I had heard the roars of real rifles being shot by his friends cum merry makers on one such ceremony, Bariksha. They all looked the same, straight out of Gabbar k zamane wala  Wanted Poster. I was disappointed when I was told they didn’t come riding horses to the venue.

So, there were rumors that he had committed 16 murders and spend around same number of years in Jail prior to committing them. He is a “Sarpanch” from past 20 years. (Not that I am judging, Atta! GoI.)

Apparently, he married late by Indian standards. You couldn’t tell any of it if you saw the bride or bride’s mother. They were two beautiful, God-fearing, dad/husband fearing or ‘whatever that  tries or not tries to scare them‘ fearing creatures.

If you thought this shit is crazy, there is more to come. We girls were not invited to the wedding ( What’s crazy about it ? wait for it ! ). I got to know about it only after I was dressed, sitting beside the groom in the car and the Barat was all set to start. [They always do that to me :O ]

Since, they didn’t invite  any ladies to the occasion, reasonably,  they were expecting none. When we reached the venue, we were greeted with a “Saat Samundar Par ” welcome song, which was odd at the moment but I’ve heard weirder songs suggesting end of happiness and grief on one such occasion. So, by all means it was OK. The crowd unknowingly barred my vision to see the 3 skimpy clad beautiful dancers at one corner of the gents sitting area. This  would have remained unnoticed had ladies not gossiped about it in the another hall they were forced to stay. There were middle-aged aunties talking about morals and stuff.

When I heard something of “Chhokra Jawan” sort going on just a wall away from me, I wanted to see it. Kids had found their way to see the prohibited dance, simultaneously avoiding the rage of rifle carrying men ( for them- their fathers). They stepped on to the roof. I could join them but this rebellion would mean insulting the auntiesChokra-Jawaan-video-Ishaqzaade-watch-online-300x200. Their continuous outflow provoked me enough to override this inner constraint and I was with the kids in no time. In another 4 minutes I was back with the ladies. They all wanted to know what was going outside. I guess, the curiosity took better of their moral values too.

This year has been cruel to me. It has been trying to take me out of the beautiful picture and show me the other part that I only read in newspapers or see in television and movies and hear as stories from people. Houses burn to ashes because of a short circuit in a switched off television, one wouldn’t visit Granpa‘s place again because he is not there or anywhere now, people actually find solace in Bramha Kumari, sane young girls go crazy in a blink of time, there are actually Gabbar like figures in villages and the UP, Bihar they lutwao in movies is a true story, plus Police Stations are actually 2 shops put together which would rather have been a General Store!!!

Keep up the good work, O year !