Friday, October 30, 2009


On Wordpress now.
(Sowie. Nice theme and ease of use and better looks pulled me there.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jai Hind

He lays down his life for us. What, really, is his reward? A posthumous award? His grieving, stoic widow? His orphaned child staring at his photograph? Can anything really compense a lost life? What patriotism can make a man do! I salute each man who has sacrificed his life to protect each of ours. I owe my life to each of you. Jai Hind!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Summer Internship Process

The month of November, for your average top-of-the-line Indian b-school, is a busy one. And so it is here, at what an illustrious alumnus prefers to call the Jamshedpur Institute of Management. The junior batch gears up for the arduous, patience-testing, mentally tiring Summer Internship Process (SIP). Unmentionable words include Group Discussion, Slot 0, Personal Interview, sign-out, still-in-process, extended shortlists, offers, job loss and announcements. The senior batch comes together in a show of solidarity and dividing itself into four groups, helps in every way it can, ensuring that juniors are kept well-fed, entertained, informed and relaxed.

I salute each and every man and woman out there who stood through the process. There were, I know, moments of exhaustion, when you were simply sick of PIs with no positive result, watching batch mate after batch mate sign out with celebrations and cheers, happy for them but unable to suppress your anxiety at when you would be that one. I take my hat off to every signed-out batch mate who came to the holding area, sat there helping friends with a pecking order, suggesting tips for interviews, revising and refreshing their IR and marketing concepts, cheering them on, motivating them to give their best, serving refreshments, and simply being there for them. It would have been so easy to watch four movies back-to-back sitting in your rooms- but no, you were there. And that made all the difference.

One batch of one hundred and eighty seven students learnt that brilliant academics, an outstanding CV, the best pecking order possible, after consulting nearly every senior- nothing mattered really at the end of the day. What mattered was what you were made of- did you stand up to the occasion, or did you break? People who wouldn't have deemed themselves capable of it, sat days into the process, holding on, not quitting, giving all they could to every call, and learnt such a lot in the process. Not just about how to crack interviews, but how to motivate themselves and accept failure- two lessons for life that far outweigh a summer internship with any company.

A big thank you to every senior who helped untiringly, with suggestions, information, opinions, and cheering sessions. Thank you, all three teams who took care of the controls, the refreshments and the 'escorting' ;-) I for one couldn't have done it without you, and I'm sure every junior will agree.

Oh, there were bad patches, and some unfortunate attitudes, but what good does dwelling on them do? This SIP, I glimpsed- no, experienced- spirit, solidarity and generosity, and that leaves me light-hearted with a simple joy that the best 'sign-out offer' cannot give!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spring cleaning my character. And my persona.

How easy or difficult is it to blog about life? Not an isolated incident, or a specific person, but the whole myriad of colours and emotions that is called Life. Regular readers of my Orkut profile might notice the shift towards to reticence and, perhaps, self-introspection. Gone, atleast for now, are the grins and exclamations and wit and monologues.

I've been asking around, and trusted friends have been asked what they percieve as my three major weaknesses. Because, sometimes, I become blind to my own faults, cling to what I think are my strong points, when they may actually be doing more harm than help, and become entrenched in my own idea of Me.
Not a good idea in the long run.
It's time to grow. :-)


Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Leaving Singara Chennai

What I'll always remember about this city is the typical autodriver.

Me: Chennai City Centre poganumga.
A: Aan?
Me: Citi Centre, City Centre.
A: Mylapore?
Me: (relief) Haan... adhaan.
A: (expectant air) Polaam, ma
Me: (apprehensive) yevvlo?
A: (thinking furiously, settling down on an air of sacrifice) 100 rupees kudunga.. (gets into auto)
Me: Hundred a? Idho, inga irukku.. daily poren, yen kittiye solringle... 60 rupees kudukkaren, correct-a irukkum.
A: (sad shake of head) yaaru ma varuvanga... Yethhini signal irukku theriyumla... neenga daily poreenga, unglukke theriyum.. 80 rupees.. unglukkosram..
Me: (considering return expenses) 70
A: 75 rupees... vaanga, yerunga..

I'm leaving Chennai.
Maybe for good.
"Go to the UK", appa advises me. "Bright future."
Anyway. That comes later.
I don't know what to feel. I've never been outside of the city for more than 11 days at a stretch, and each time, I missed it even more crazily than before. There are endless things to take, clothes, the laptop, the mobile, everyday things I haven't given a second thought- toothbrush, paste, hairbrush, earrings, charger, money, oh goodness, lip balm-
"Don't think about it all at one go", says appa. "It'll overwhelm you."
Too late.

So, I'm leaving Chennai of the heat and the autodrivers and the Valluuvar Kottam and yelaneer and going away to Jharkand, to the small city of Jamshedpur. To study, to learn about life, prepare myself to face the outside world, delve into the intricacies of business, and- find myself.

I've always been a so-so. So-so at everything, a Jack of all trades (I refuse to say Jill). Music, acads, everything. So-so-ness becomes a way of life after a while, as it has with me. Complacency sets in, and I'm terrified to consider change, and rooted in my conviction of so-so-ness.

M says I have a lot to learn.

I do.


Friday, April 04, 2008

An untitled blog.

The issue I'm tackling today is perhaps one that I have no right to discuss- those closest to me will probably vouch for my lack of this quality. However. At the risk of raised eyebrows, scornful Hah!s and hushed muttering from my nearest and dearest, I'm still going ahead to discuss something that I find is close to my heart.

An issue that startles most of us, and something that, coming from a reasonably conservative family, I find shocks most people, is that of unwed mothers. At the outset, let me issue a couple of disclaimers. One- I'm a conservative liberal. Figure that out for yourselves. Two- I believe in speaking my mind. That should be pretty clear. Getting back. What is it about unwed mothers that makes them such outcasts? The world talks of opening up, globalising and the spirit of moving with the times. The very same world, where I live anyway, emits startled Gasps, tut-tuts dispprovingly and looks upon an unmarried but pregnant girl with disgust and prefers to get as far away from her as is humanly possible.

I'm not asking every woman to get pregnant before marriage. The last thing I would do is encourage risky pre-marital relationships. And, in all honesty, I doubt if I will ever find myself in the shoes of an unwed mother. All I want to say is- is one not entitled to one's choice? If I, as a young woman of twenty, choose to have a child, select the father of my child, donot see the necessity to marry, prefer to remain single and want to go ahead with my life, can I not be left in peace? After all, my life is mine. I don't ask you to play a father figure to my child, nor do I depend upon you, a total stranger, for maintaining my child or myself. What right then do you, as an individual who has little or nothing to do with me, have to criticise me?

A single parent often has to cope with circumstances that would leave another respectably married one baffled. Any parent will tell you how difficult managing a child can be, even with another parent's support. Try taking care of a one year old alone for a day, and you will know. The first hour seems like a honeymoon- a smiling, mostly toothless child can delight a warm heart, and how! And then, as the hours go by, irritation sets in, the child wriggles, squirms restlessly, demands food and water every now and then, pees with the regularity of a water pipe, falls down a million times, bursting into tears each time and as you frantically try to appease it, screams even louder. Wearying is not the word- and all this, all twenty four hours of each day- without a partner, having to cook, clean and carry out all the million other duties every woman and mother has. To play both father and mother to a child is a most difficult task. The poor single mother has enough to worry about, without the added worry of a stranger's contemptuous looks or stray remarks cruelly wounding her.

Acceptance is that rarest of qualities- it comes only with maturity and many a time, has nothing to do with age or background. It is the ability to understand that another's viewpoint may be different from your own- what may seem unacceptable to you may, to another, be the only way of life.

I may not be a single mother at any point in my life, but this I know- if my child to choose to be one, she will have my support-; it may be a difficult, even controversial choice, but she is entitled to her own choice.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Taare Zameen Par..

Inside of each grown-up, mature adult with duties, responsibilities and worries, there lurks a playful child, hankering after ice creams and amusement park rides, chocolate and teddy bears, playgrounds and the sheer joy of innocence. Once in a lifetime, a man recognises this fact, decides to worship the child within man, and ditching comercialisation for soul, translates his dream into a reality that leaves one weeping, laughing, wondering, reflecting and determined to do one's mite to changing the world.

Welcome to Taare Zameen Par. Even as I post this, I hum the bars of the title song, and feel moved. For those of us who have been too busy to watch it, please do. In your own interests. If you have, you know what I'm talking about.

The subjects of dyslexic children, insensitive parents, and a mark-oriented academic system are nothing new to the world of cinema. But to gather these subjects up gently with a discerning hand, dispense with all unnecessary drama, bind them together with sensitivity and an innate understanding, and then weave them together into an intensely humane, intensely human tapestry coloured by dreams and real emotions-happiness, worry, betrayal, laughter, innocence, promise-takes more than skill. It takes a love of children, an understanding of the enormity of the subject at hand. Mr.Khan, you win hands down.

At the core, it is a simple enough story- a child with depressing academics and an inclination towards mischief drives an insensitive father and a bewildered mother to deposit him at a boarding school where he is neither understood not loved. His love of and obvious genius at painting are never given the measure of appreciation they deserve. Along comes an art teacher who, mystified by the unusual depth of sadness in this child's eyes, delves ito his life and sees not an incorrigible rascal, but a dyslexic, frightened, nearly traumatised boy. Deeply touched, he takes the initiative that even Ishaan's parents have not, and invests in the boy love, interest and patience. Ishaan makes a comeback that stuns the world.

Taare Zameen Par made me cry, it made my grin, clutch my heart and say Ohmigoodness, but most of all, it opened my eyes to a world that needs understanding- the world of dyslexic children, of handicapped or specially abled children(as is the politically correct term). If the world invested half the time that it did on being politically correct, on the children who really need it, this planet may yet discover the core of childhood buried within it. Love needs no instructor and patience needs no teaching- all it takes is a heart.

Do you have one?