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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Constant Change

Is life good or could it be better? This is a question that comes to my mind all the time. I am trying to speak my mind here to look for an answer.
Well, when I was a kid, very naughty though, used to think that life would keep on going to be the way it was. Happy in a small family with my parents and only sister.
Looking back I vaguely recall a life deficient but content.
As a kid, I was in a carefree world, undefined but protected by innocence. I always had a point of view but without any bias or corruption. I had my small questions looking for small answers. To rephrase, I had a small world with small problems. I did not know much of things outside and was content with what all were there.
Slowly I grew up (to say so).
This was the phase when I started exploring the world beyond my family and home.
Precisely this was when my mind started imbibing things (intangible) from outside. I started learning how bad can be acceptable and good can be seen as evil. Things started becoming vague. I was no more in a position to differentiate. I started learning the set rules of society. But this was when things went berserk.
I started complaining my inability to define things, structure thought process and be happy with what I do.
Things started becoming undefined.
Now although I try to be careful and define my world, an unprotected and corrupted existence prevails. With time we develop point views, Perceptions, Biases, Affinities for people, things and intangibles.
We define things according to these subconscious emotions. Some say things can be unlearned. I don't know how far this is true but I have never been in a position to do that.
I would like to put it this way-
No matter how hard we try, things are not going to be Utopian. We say that things are changing and with a grin. We say its no more the way it was. Yes this is not. I have so far learnt that change is a constant.
I have never seen anything staying the same so far. Lets not go into 'sun rises in the east'.
Life is never the same and that is the essence of it. Enjoy the changing face of life. Every facet has its own role to play to make it worth living.
This lack of clarity of thought will stay till I find an answer. Till then enjoying my confused internal conflict.

Please ignore the number of Is.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Past: A good place to visit but not to stay

Wish I had, wish I could, Wish I hadn't---!
A thought that comes to all of us at some point in our lives. That is human. I too have many.
Regret is what defines this feeling. An anchor that keeps us stuck somewhere.
We do something and then it becomes past but this regret fogs the path ahead.
When the outcome is positive, we cherish it but that is not the case with everything we do.
Sometimes we are not happy with something we do. That is where regret plays a role.
So what can we do to this?
Oh its a huge burden that we carry after its gone out of our control. Now what we can do about this is try to go back and see again what is it that makes me regret it. Well answer will be visible but almost impossible to change in many cases. OK, I did something and I hate that and nothing I can change about that.
So the basic philosophy is don't regret what you can't change.
Don't regret but don't repeat too.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

He Had Names for Me!

There is a saying in my state (Bihar, India) that a father can sell his blood to nurture his children. I almost believe this. My belief is an outcome of the person's life I am going to narrate. This is about an epitome of simplicity, the family man and my guru (actually he is guru for many in and around my village).
For as long as I remember, I have been seeing him do the same chores everyday. I can tell by that, that he has proven to be the best example for 'Acceptance of Monotonous Life' and the closest example of simplicity I have witnessed.
When I was a kid I used to see him get up early morning, feed our cow, get ready for school, have early breakfast and leave for the school on his Hero royal cycle. I used to go to school after that and could get free from school before he was home. This gave me chances to play with my friends, the games like Gilli- Danda, Kancha and Cricket of course, which he always disapproved.
Every evening he used to make us (me and my only sister) sit with our hurricane lantern (we did not have electricity in our village in those days) and books. There is a strong culture of evening study in my village which I think is the practice across India. That was the only time we used to study seriously under his guidance. As a kid I always had advantage over my friends in class and I believe he was the reason behind that.
We did not have good schooling in our village and that is why he made me prepare for entrance examinations right from my childhood. I later on got selected in to one of the best schools in my town. He always made me keep my aim high, which I could not keep consistent later on that I will talk about later.

Now I guess you know who I am talking about.
My guide, my friend, my bank balance (on a funny note).
My father
A figure that I have always looked up to when I was down, when I fell or when I needed something. It is rightly said that got sent parents because he could not be at many places at a time.
Baua, Pehalwan, Bengali, RD, Bihari and many more were the names he used to call me with. These names remind me of love and concern he has for me. He shared my successes and failures with the same spirit. He has always been a motivation for me. Resurrect and gain new energy after every failure and move ahead with greater determination is what he meant in his every step taken pertaining to me. After every blunder that I committed he used to narrate to me the success stories and great lines by great people. Well I can't recall all those poems that my father used to sing to me but I definitely remember the confidence I used to gain after that. It was the tremendous contribution of my father that made me look for ways when I was stuck.
Whatever I am today I owe it to my father, his support, his sacrifices and his belief in me despite all my mistakes.
In my case he has proven to be the true picture of patience. Despite my repeated failures, he kept on pushing me which made me move in my life so far. This unconditional faith in me shows how his love for me dominated his rationality. He could make me sit at home and do some business (which I am not saying would be a bad idea) but he always believed in the fact that education is a necessity and no one should be deprived of it. He used to say that this time is never going to come back. This sounds so simple but it has deep meaning i life.
I don't have enough words to explain what he means to me. But I can say one thing. I love and respect my father the most in this world because he defies the concept of something for something. A man who kept on giving throughout my existence without asking for anything.
I believe we all share the similar bond with our father.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Consistently Inconsistent

Life kept on moving like tide. Ups and Downs. I could never get a chance to give a thought on why. I could never get a chance to figure out this why too. But now when I look back I wish if time could pause for me for some time giving me a chance to ponder over why life is the way it is.
Haven't you ever faced the similar situation when you feel like you could get a chance now to do something which you could not do in your past.
Well this question and quest remains quest for now but one thing I can say out of my past experiences that life moves on with its own pace, its up to us to figure out how fast or how slow. For some people life is a short journey in a bullet train, you never know when you reached while for some its a countryside odyssey full of ifs and buts, why and why nots making life an eventful and satisfied journey.
So what makes this difference?
I believe the attitude of 'Live The Moment' makes the latter happen. Past is gone and future is unpredictable so why not just give the present moment its best shot.
Going down the memory lane what I see is that there is no right or wrong if its gone. But every moment that passes by gives us a chance to ponder over and strive to make every tomorrow better than today.
Let's make our tomorrow better than today.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I Live

A Tale of Two Lives

This is not the exhaustive description about me but I have given an outline of my life in a few lines. This is an article I wrote as my MBA course assignment on Impact of Globalization on lives pertaining to people I closely know.

My Father: My Hero
‘Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws.’ My father used to say this line frequently when I was a kid. I asked him once what that meant. He explained it to me that it is a sonnet by William Shakespeare. I could never figure out during those times what exactly he intended to explain to me. Anyways, this line was followed by many other lines too but I don’t remember them. But by this line he meant that the passing time is blunter than the paws of a lion. He has always been my inspiration for simplicity, Honesty, Character, Hard Work and many more for that matter.
Now when I look back to those days, I realize that life is too short to understand everything and I was unaware of the practicalities and transitions in lives. But we should strive to learn every moment.
My father’s life is confined to my village. He does not have access to anything beyond his good old radio. I don’t see any impact of Globalization on his life and those like him.
Here I Come
I was born at a school in Begusarai, a small town in Bihar. Now you will think why in school. Well those were the times when there were very little medical facilities in Begusarai. Although even now when I look at the statistics, I see no town in Bihar has as many doctors as Begusarai. Still I have seen deaths because of Dengue and other health problems in this town. The quality of hospitals is very poor. They are still deficient at providing proper health supports. Patna comes in the list of cities. People still go to Delhi and other cities for even dengue like disease. Those times were really deficient. My father is a teacher by profession. That is the main reason why I was born in a school. Being born as second and only male child I was privileged to get extra care from my parents.
Villages are still deprived of facilities at par with global standard. There are still miles to go before the social equity is attained. Life in villages is far behind the life in cities. Globalization is yet to get a root in remote rural areas. Even domestically made goods don’t get access to villages and that leads to isolation of villages from mainstream world.

Back Home
After a few years of my birth my family shifted to our village. Those were the days when although there was electricity, it was confined to street poles. Houses were still lit by kerosene lanterns. I still have those lanterns in my house. What I mean out of what I have written here is that I was born and brought up in a dark world. The only light I remember was the love of people for each other.

When it comes to technological status of those times, I would say that we villagers did not even know what technology meant. All they had was a few radios for the news and
entertainment. ‘This is the voice of America from Washington DC and you are listening to the world news’ I frequently used to hear this line when I was a kid. The reason was that my father used to listen to the radio for news. I used to listen to either BBC or Voice of America. That is where I used to know about the outside world. I still remember a few names like Pankaj Pachauri, Ratnakar Bharti, Manikant Thakur and Hari Sandhu etc who were the news reporters for radio channels in those times. Everything I learnt in my village about International events and news was through radio.

A Rajdoot and a Yamaha were the bikes I remember our village had. Cycles were the best mode of transport for a person or two. To carry more than two people they used bullock carts. They still use the carts for their logistics. There was no tractor for ploughing. Oxen were and are used for ploughing the fields for cultivation. People used to be the only technology for everything. Every aspect of social development was taken care manually. We still are mostly dependent on human power for agriculture based activities.

Coming to my life, as far as I remember I see changes in my life and my society. I got my primary education in my village in a private school run by my father’s friend. There was no culture of English in my village but as my father is a teacher he taught me English.

Left My Village (Gaon)
I got admission into Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in my town through competition. I became ecstatic and full of joy as the institution takes eighty selected students in the district through competition. It was the best experience of my life to having studied there. I still miss that place. Academically whatever I learnt mostly has been contributed by my boarding school.
I started learning things beyond my books. I came closer to the mainstream society. Here too system was introvert. They are less assimilative to outside world. I still find people there who do not want a change. Here too I do not see any visible impact of globalization.

When I passed this school with a decent marks, I got admission into one of the most prestigious schools of the then Bihar. Now that institute comes under the jurisdiction of Jharkhand. I did not know what happened there but I did not perform as a student. I wanted to be a doctor. But dreams stayed dreams as I did not strive to achieve it to my optimum capability.
To achieve this dream I went to Kota in Rajasthan. This town changed my life in other dimensions. Being a Bihari especially of rural background I was lagging at proper communication skills. Even though I knew what to speak, I did not know how to speak. I used to pronounce Larka for Ladka, Des for Desh, Bara for Bada and many more such goof ups. This was the town where I learnt how to communicate and develop interpersonal skills.
I could see a visible impact of globalization on people here. This city has its airport, Pubs, Hotels and tourist places in and around. Global culture is getting assimilated day by day. Before coming to this town I used to wear long shirts and pleated pants. This city taught me how to dress. Here I learnt how and on what to spend money.

Delhi: The Heart of India
One dream shattered, another began. I landed in Delhi! Now here changes my perception about the world. I was astounded on the vastness and beauty of the city. Imagine a kid who has not seen a good car beyond Maruti 800 in his life, comes across Ferrari, Mercedes and Lamborghini etc. It was a shock to my being and a cultural shock at the same time. I started hunting for an institute my graduation but none wanted me in as I had gap in my academics. I somehow got admission in an average college. Delhi showed me how huge this world is.
Delhi is truly one of the global cities in India. Here I came to know how much of disparity exists in our society. A mall is still something which 90% of rural population has not seen. People have direct contact with the outside world from Delhi. Here I could see the visible impact of globalization.

Having successfully done my graduation I arrived in Coimbatore for MBA. Here I realized that a small city can be truly global with the kind of technology, Culture (Corporate) and Economy. The exposure I am getting in this campus is worth praising.
Academic institutions can play a bigger role when it comes to letting society know about global changes and its advantages. I still see globalization as a nascent concept in rural and suburban areas of this country. In my point of view the facilities available here are of global standards. Be it books, technical support, faculties etc.

Aspirations, Concerns and Opportunities
Looking at my journey I see with optimism, lot many opportunities are awaiting for young Indians like me. India has become the centre stage for many big players in business vicinity.
At the same time there is concern that the rationale behind the concept of globalization should be accounted wisely as every coin has a flip side.
Because of integration in communication and economies of various countries it has become imperative that it should be shared wisely so that it benefits every strata of the society. This uneven distribution has to be taken care of.
This will lead to even more doors to be opened for every citizen of this world.

Another Life

My village is predominantly an agriculture based society so I will talk about a farmer who has not seen even Patna. This man has been a farmer throughout his life. I have been seeing him since my childhood. He has a few cattle and some land.
Deprived of every newer technology or any other facility for that matter, he has stayed the same for last 20 years. I have not seen a change in his life. Although he is earning a decent amount but he is not aware of developmental approaches. He works in the field without knowing about how to improve productivity. He is content with what he has.
Early morning he gets up feeds his cattle and milks them and then goes to his field for his works. For him his world lies in his house and field.
As far as I see he has stayed in our village as the village only is his world. He is less exposed to outside world. Lives in villages are still living life on their own without getting access to the outside world.

India We Have Forgotten: My Village
Similarities and Differences
 We still have the same rituals of village. We do not differ in those aspects.
 Our cultural basics are still same and intact. I do not see any significant evolution in that. Although I have assimilated to the cultures of outside world.
 For me things are changing with a rapid pace while for him his world is confined to his house and field.
 I will be impacted more when world changes while he does not care about what is happening internationally.
 For him even now barter system works. He gets his treatments done by ayurvedic medication.
 He still wears dhoti and banyan while I have seen gradual changes in my attires. That signifies the impact of exposure on me.
 I have kept on adapting regarding my food habits, my point of view towards world and my sense of understanding things. I find myself more adaptive to external stimuli of changes in the world While as far as I see he has been content with his lifestyle and I never saw him coming out of his comfort zone of his house and land i.e. Village.

A Changing India: An Equal Music
I am from rural background. I have seen the India of scarcity, disparity, deficiency. But in last two decades India has witnessed a significant growth and this I could figure out when I left my village to explore this country (My Country). When I look at what it was like twenty years back and what we have now, I see a huge transition. When I am in Gurgaon, it is like a different world but when I go back to my village I still see poverty, deprivation, malnutrition, illiteracy and many more such problems. I experience two different worlds altogether.
When I see the impact of globalization on our country I see uneven distribution of benefits. Riches are getting richer and poor are still poor excluding some of the exceptions. I don’t see a visible change in rural India but at the same time cities of India are growing at faster rate, thanks to globalization.

I am Changing: Shrinking Shirts (Thanks to Globalization)

So I can say that globalization has both the sides. It’s we who have to decide which direction we are moving in. There is always the threat of disparity which I have been repeating in this small story. There are pros and cons to this story.