Love, simply

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love blog

A few years back, I came across a book. Fiction. A love triangle involving two guys and a girl – one, her best friend and the other, just friend and later boyfriend. The former tries to woe her and succeeds. However, at the end, he intentionally shows his own character in poor light and makes sure the girl goes back to the other guy. Why would he do that? What lesson can one probably take out of it?

Our sacrificer guy here, believed in bending laws for achieving success and had been through and through involved in anything and everything outside the bounds of legality. The other one though, was the typical ‘Ram’ of those old bolly flicks of the 70s – honest, hardworking and one who could fight for the truth till his last breathe. Both hated each other – the latter for the former’s illicit ways, and the former for the latter’s extreme sense of ethics. The girl, although disapproving of the former’s ways, stays her best friend as she had been since childhood. The other guy is whom she falls for. However, although the former succeeds in wooing her, he chooses to give her up to his antagonist. Why?

He loved her truly, and although he disliked the honest guy, his conscience knew who was the better man. Somewhere deep down, he felt he wasn’t the best thing that could happen to her. The other guy, was. And although he knew how impossible life would be without her, he decided to walk off, without any qualms whatsoever.

That precisely, defines true love! Sacrificing one’s own happiness for the other person’s happiness. Being concerned with the other person’s well being, more than that of the self. A deep retrospection would suggest that although difficult, this is indeed the purest form of love! For love means to give, rather than take, to love and to love unconditionally, rather than expect to be loved exactly equally in return. The parameters of ‘equality’ crossing all bounds of lunacy, in most cases!

The most real enemy of true love is ‘expectation’. The lover often starts expecting a little too much, in return for his love and that, in most cases, is the reason for all the blood shed.

‘ … Stop kidding me! You didn’t reply intentionally, the blue tick had appeared at 2:26 am! ‘

‘… It’s showing ‘online’, why on earth are you not replying? ‘

‘ … Are you sure he’s just your friend and nothing else?’

How many times does one come across such statements? One needs to realize the importance of giving space to the other person and to visualise things, while in the other person’s shoes. She might have been too sleepy when she saw the message, so din’t reply. He might have forgotten to turn off his computer, before leaving to see off his mom to the airport, hence wasn’t replying. So what? Why can’t we be a little more patient with everything?

A relationship must remain the beautiful rose garland it is meant to be, instead of the suffocating noose most people make it.

True love and selfishness can never co-exist. If you love her truly, you will care more for her happiness, than your own. On the contrary, if you care for your own happiness too much, you will end up stiffling her and the relationship, to death.

Love is life and life is all about love. Hence – love, live and let live!
Here’s wishing everyone a happy and a more sensible valentine’s day, 2016. 🙂

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Papa kehte hain MBA karega : The Great Indian Conundrum

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A little while back, I was speaking to a college junior – for probably, the first time. After a small introduction, the first question she asks me is – “ Is there any way I can get myself evicted from this college? ”, with an innocent smile on her face. Prima facie, I thought she must be kidding. But that was not to be…

There are a very few things which stir that debate in me, and even fewer, the author; but when some things do, the debate is eternal, and the dissertation, inevitable. The only respite then, is a deep retrospection, which is the reason for the inception of this present piece.

No, she was not jesting. She actually did not like the rigours of MBA – those case studies, those quizzes etc etc. In fact, she had never even wanted to go into management. “ Then why did you put in all that effort and come here?”, was my inevitable question. “ Papa ne bola – MBA karna hi padega. ” – and the author of this particular piece was perturbed, for two principal reasons – One. How could I so conveniently choose to ignore this quintessential aspect of management education, especially in India; through all my ponderings and tribulations on how things are, and how they ought to be. Two. Slumber would deny me, until I exhausted all the vitality of my unmatched aide, fondly known as MS Word. Hence the solitary choice is – Write.

Why can’t we just let our children do what they want to do, instead of what we want them to do?

About two decades back, began the sheep walk for an engineering degree. Two decades later, the trend continues -with an MBA appended after it. Typically, when parents force ‘The MBA will’ upon their child, this is what goes through the perturbed mind –

Stage I – ‘Ok, let me prepare for CAT. Baad ka baad mein dekha jayega.

Stage II – CAT tamed.

‘Mom.Dad. I don’t want to study further. I took CAT just to make you guys happy.’

Beta, abhi admission hua kahan hain? GD-PI ka preparation toh kar!

‘Ok’ 😦

Stage III – GD-PI cracked too.

‘Now that I have honoured your will, please honour mine. NO FURTHER STUDIES!’

‘Beta, we ask for a meagre two years of your life. Please do not disappoint us. Can you not give us just two years?’

And after a lot of moral, ethical and emotional debate, comes a meek ‘Ok’ from the child.

Finally, you end up in a B-School. What next?

You slowly realize you were indeed correct in your self assessment – this is not where you wanted to be. Of course, you develop a gradual distaste for the curriculum and everything else. The worse thing, however, is that the distaste only grows with time.

Hence comes the eternal dilemma – To quit or to compromise?

Whom do you satiate – the self or its creators?

If you quit, the entire gamut of people – your folks, those nagging relatives, your accomplices, seniors, juniors and even your best buddies – would come down heavily upon you – ‘This is insane!’ , ‘Koi aisa karta hai kya?’ , ‘You must have flunked!’ , ‘Loser!’ , Beta, tumne hamari naak katwa di.’ Also, it would be knaive to ignore the financial loss, let alone the time and energy you put into those Quants, VAs and those Personality Development Programs.

If you compromise, the distaste grows into despair and can break you, literally.

Hence, if you are that annoyed by the ‘B’ life, the Catch-22 situation is indeed palpable.

So, what do you do?

My take – If you can, try falling in love with management : and there are multiple reasons why you can do so. Trust me.

If you still can’t, there’s just one way of quitting and still staying safe from all the travesty – find a ‘better’ career path. One, which everyone around you perceives to be better than an MBA and one which does interest you(Real difficult one, I know). May be, one which gives you more gold at the end of the month or more public awareness : whatever be the parameter of priority for those who will pass a societal judgement on you. Unreasonable as it may seem, it is indeed as practical as it gets – an arduous proposition, but not an experimental one.                    

The only way, this dilemma can be curbed, is to nip it in the bud. If you are totally sure of what you want to do with your life, convince your folks. Right before Stage I. Tell them what you want to do. Why you want to do. How do you plan to do. And most importantly, How will it contribute to you – in every way.

MBA under family pressure1

On the other side, parents also need to realize the importance of letting children do whatever they have a natural liking for, instead of superimposing their own will upon them.

When such synergies are created, half of all management problems would inescapably face extinction , and so would the onerous task of concealing discomposure under the garb of a sonorous giggle! 🙂

From a some-one to a no-one…

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It seems only yesterday that i joined this wonderful institution called IMT Ghaziabad. Time has flown by steadily since then. It was only my first day at this place and it was looking a bit weird, to be very honest. The infinitely long guest lectures, the emphasis on attendance, the twenty percent plagiarism rule, the evergreen scarcity of sleep – everything utterly failed to impress the engineer in me. Then came the most dreaded part – Senior freshmen interaction ( a gentle synonym for ‘ragging’ ! 😛 ). It was around 10 pm. All clubs and committees started giving their intros. Some said they were the ‘heart of the college’, some ‘eyes’ , some ‘ears’, some ‘most visible on campus’ etc etc . Then came the ragging part which continued till 4 am. All in all, it was fun.

But the real fun began about a week later, when the 20 odd clubs & committees started with their recruitment processes! Every junior seemed to be rushing somewhere. GDs, PIs, tasks – it was all happening. The entire institute was bustling with activity and suddenly, the ultimate aim of human existence seemed to be getting into a club/committee! As far as I was concerned, I was very clear about my priorities – there were three or four committees which, although glamorous, were out of question, as in my perception, I would have to compromise a bit too much on my studies if I joined them. Then there were some clubs, of whom, very little was known to mortals, thus attracting ignorance. Finally, I zeroed in on the Mess committee, which is the body responsible for everything connected to the mess.

I chose this committee for two reasons – one, I love food. Two, I was aware of reason one. So, I filled out their google form and went for the interview. The first round was a simple interview and I cracked it. The second round was a powerpoint presentation and I did really bad at it. The result was obvious. I was really heartbroken. I called up a senior, designated as my mentor. He told me – “Beta tu finance ka hai. Club/committee chhod. Padhai pe dhyan de. GPA bana. Main bhi NCC  hun.”

“What is NCC ? “, I asked him. “No Club committee” was the reply. That is the most powerful term here at IMT, I now realise. It is a power in itself. The power of 300 odd individuals, upon whom each club is dependent for the success of their initiatives. Soon, I realised how very great it was to be an NCC.

NO Club committee(NCC) is all about –

NO late night meetings

NO deadlines

NO classroom-to-bedroom-conversion

NO club politics

NO tension (most importantly 😉 )

The best part was when my friends who had jumped to the roof previously, on being selected by a club, one by one quit. Each one came to me and said – “Bhai, I quit. Now I am officially an NCC. “, and I would invariably say – “ The vice president of NCC, welcomes you on-board.” ( A close friend took pride in calling himself the president 😀 ).

As an NCC, I learnt quite a lot. I made friends, a lot of them actually. As time was in abundance, took part in a lot of inter B-School competitions, sharpened my analytical skills and the ability to work in different teams with different people. The best part was – I could choose for myself – what to do and when. There was no one controlling my actions. This freedom, I cherished the most!

On a more serious note, clubs and committees aren’t bad.  They shape an individual in every possible way. But somehow, I found myself grow better in complete freedom along with 300+ other people. That kind of growth, I do not think any club/committee could possibly provide! That is the power of being an NCC, that is the power of being a No-one !

The real Independence…

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The word ‘Independence’ literally means freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others . However , the real Independence comes to you when you attain freedom from the ‘negative you’ , which your consicence doesn’t identify with , but the mind does. It is that voice in you which makes you think – how each and every person on earth has wronged you in some way or the other , how situations have always been averse for you , how you were denied a promotion by your boss , how your neighbour disturbs you with his loud music and a gamut of such situations .

This concept of ‘negative thoughts’ reminds me of a story I read a few days back – Once there was a man who had two dogs – one called ‘Optimism’ and the other called ‘Pessimism’ . The man had ‘Pessimism’ as his personal favourite and used to feed him much more than was necessary while the other dog received too less food each day. As a result ‘Pessimism’ grew bulkier by the day whereas ‘Optimism’ became leaner and leaner. As luck would have it, the man became so poor one day that he had nothing to feed to the dogs. As ‘Pessimism’ had grown very huge indeed, he could not control his insatiable hunger and ate up his master !

From the above story it is clear that – we are what we feed to our own mind . We keep on worrying about problems day in and day out without really getting anywhere. What we fail to understand in such situations is that – it is not the problem that matters , it is the solution which does and that person who rises above the problem to think about its solution is the one who has attained freedom from the negative thoughts of the mind – the real independence.