Category Archives: LIFE

Why every girl deserves a fair chance to stand on her feet

When I meet parents of a young girl who want their daughter to complete her education and get married by the age of 18 so they can feel fulfilled about their responsibility in life, I feel sad and disappointed by their views on life. They are ready to spend 10-20 lakhs on her marriage and dowry but they cannot send her to a better school nor provide her with extra facilities that may help her secure good grades or acquire skills that may help her become something in her life. And there is no question of support in case the girl wants to become something unconventional like singer, dancer, painter or likewise. Even those who have big dreams of professional life aligned with academics are not given a fair chance to prove their worth.

If you do not let them get a fair chance to do what they possibly can you are jeopardizing their entire life into a cyclic loop of compromise and confusion.

Everytime you say a girl to clean the house because that is what you believe she is going to do her entire life, you are making one of the biggest mistakes of your life.

Everytime you expect a girl to believe that it’s her responsibility to take care of family, have kids and nurture them and there is nothing more to her life, you are causing more damage than good.

Everytime you tell her to not have dreams and just follow the cycle of life, you are pulling back an entire kin to be lost about life.

So wake from your false narration and weakness. If you do not have what it takes to give them the leverage to explore life and become something, what you can possibly do is at least support her until she can stand on her feet and prove that she can do it.

If you cannot give something than you have no right to revoke anything, including her future and dreams.

So believe in her and believe in yourself. In the days things turn tough and difficult, hold on until the good times come. Make every possible attempt to give equal and open fair chance to every girl and the world will slowly become a better place. You will be liberated from your from your bondages and give her freedom to live in this world with confidence and openness.

What should I know before becoming an engineer

Number 1 – You must not become an engineering graduate, but an engineer. Engineering is not a degree, it’s a profession. So you must be ready to acquire skills, knowledge, problem-solving abilities and an innate determination & interest to build, create, tinker, solve and optimise things.

Number 2 – Engineering is not the only way. There are other professions which are equally dignified. Lawyers, CA, Bank Manager, Railways, Management, Research, Police, IAS, PWD and many others which may suit as per your interest and capabilities.

Number 3 – You must not become an Engineer to earn money. Sure being an engineer pays you well and it can be your trumph card if you are from poor background with talent. It can be your gateway. And you must use your maximum potential to get the best out of yourself and your degree. Having said that, engineering is not a means to earn money, at least not just money. Engineers build stuff. They fix stuff. They plan and create. So that’s the primary responsibility and focus you must develop. Having failed that, you may become rich, successful and happy, but you will not be a good engineer.

Little signs that show you were meant to be. Having said that and cleared. If you still believe and feel, that engineering is your way and you were meant to be one. If you like problem solving and thinking about the why. If you are curious and interested to build things. If you are good at focusing your attention on something for a prolonged period with high level of analysis. If you feel that you want to contribute to nation building in core fields. If you want to solve long pending problem in particular area of world.

A childhood dream meant to be followed and achieved. If you have always had a dream to be an engineer some particular field by your own inclination and influence and not by someone’s pestering or constant bombarding. Then welcome to the world of Engineering, the gates are opened for you. You must strive to prove your worth among the millions, literally to be able to get a stand and that’s just to study engineering. The path towards being one and glorifying your dream will have many rollercoaster rides, challenges and experiences.

How to become an engineer?

First and the foremost step for you is to clear your HSc (12th STD) with Physics and Mathematics along with chemistry or other subjects with minimum 50%. That’s just ELIGIBILITY. But if you cannot score 75 or more, it starts to show some signals.

Secondly, you must prepare yourself for entrance exams – which comprises of complete knowledge, understanding and problem solving of 11th and 12th standard. So if you are of the kind that you forget the syllabus of last year, then you know this is not meant for you. Anyway every new year in college and there on in your career will bring new things to learn where you must remember everything that you previously encountered. Again only if you want to be a good engineer. As mentioned in the prologue.

So you must either aim for

  • JEE Advance to get into IITs
  • JEE Mains to get into NITs, IIITs and likewise
  • State entrance exam (like GUJCET) if you have any, within the top 10% of applicants.

Missing to secure any of the above 3 with your every might and complete efforts, you may start thinking of some other alternative. As said in prologue, something else might suit your style and talent where you can become the best in that profession than being in wrong place. However if you missed giving your best due to some other issues like medical, pandemic or some other stuff, you can reappear for the exam next year by taking a drop and giving your double to secure good position. It will take lot of grit, discipline, will-power and clarity.

Alternative paths and few Lucky ones

Sure you will read about many success stories, prodigies, rare examples of students making it from small to large. It is inspiring. But what you must also know is that you must be willing to put equal amount of efforts, focus and willingness into it to be able to get the same results.

As mentioned earlier, engineering is not the only way, let alone being a topper or great candidate. Life will present you with some more opportunities, that change life for once in and all, but you must be in the right place at the right time with the right frame of mind. Skills, Talent and Knowledge might not be the only thing, once you get out of college, for you to be able to get a good opportunity.

And you can choose to get some job, continue to earn and live to be a clerical engineer. It pays decently. It’s nothing less. You are still an engineer, at least on records. What you must be very clear about it is that you must then not have exuberant expectations like those prodigies, IIT graduates, high paying jobs or respect. You became a clerk and you will get the returns in the same proportion.

So if you don’t make it into the lot where you may have a equally bright future as you imagine, you try for reattempt at your discretion. Or you may try to amplify your efforts in the college to get a fair chance. But do not continue to postpone your results by taking masters, courses and so on just hoping for some better world out there. You must do masters if you have things like Teaching, Research, Higher roles and specilisations on your mind and periphery. It must not be an option because you didn’t make it through placements or worse you didn’t have placements in your college.

The choice will be yours. The decision will be yours. And the outcome will be accordingly. You may prove to be an outlier but then you must know that. All the other times we have far more engineering graduates who fail to make it out of the lot and far more students after 12th trying to get into the lot and slip out by margins. It would have been far more worthwhile to focus efforts on other things to secure good position and hold on the preferred or suited profile or course.

At the very blank perspective towards what it may fold out to be, whichever branch or college you may choose or wish to be in, you must appear for JEE Mains to know where you fall in the lot of millions. Avoiding a correct evaluation or competition, you will only reduce your abilities to face life in it’s original sense, making it only difficult for future challenges that may come at your desk. Your efforts, merged with your choices will give the results that are in proportion. You must be reasonable in that aspect to seek what you plant.

All the best for your career and future.

Be considerate during this tough times

Continuous lockdown or lockdown like situation has impacted a lot of us in ways we have never been trained for. We do not have the slightest of experience where in everyone we know is going through it. The scale at which the experience of a virus going around in life as well the sheer response of stopping everything has toppled the fundamental fabric of our society. The response has been demanding and it has taken a long term impact on every common person out there.

Usually the people who are in any particular situation be it natural disasters, wars or any kind of unrest, it is limited to a particular state, country or the continent. But when something becomes a norm for everyone due to things like global crisis or pandemics, things are often unprecedented for those who are experiencing for the first time.

In any war, there are calms between storms. There will be days when we lose faith. Days when our allies turn against us…but the day will never come that we forsake this planet and it’s people.

Optimus Prime

So when you meet people complaining about their health or their surrounding be considerate to them. It is not a usual time.

When you meet people complaining about their work or imbalance in life, be considerate to them. Wait for things to ease down.

When you find people worried about future, try to talk about something that makes people feel better and avoid thinking too much about the future. The need to the time is to be moving towards simpler life, at least for the time being.

The constant demand of trying to do something or excel might toss off few individuals or group, be considerate to them.

Because all the things that we did to make us happy, free, relaxing and feel pleasant have been revoked from us. So naturally all the drift of time is pulling us down bit by bit until everyone is experiencing the curve in the fabric of our social life. It may be demanding. It may feel that things are slipping by. But some of us must start to hold on to something strong. Since we cannot go out and do things we used to, we may have to adapt to new things or very old things that we are not doing anymore.

Try to take a look at old photographs of your families, events or marriages.

Eat whatever is available in your vicinity. Try to balance out simple food with basic ingredients. Try some new recipe. Eat together and enjoy sharing time.

Watch your favorite shows or movies together with family. Revive all the good times that you had.

Arrange to play games that can be managed at home. If you would like or relax.

If someone is not well, take care of them. Provide healthy food and drink ample water.

If you have to meet someone who stays far off, try to arrange a video call and talk peacefully. Things may seem a bit odd but then the way to go forward is so.

Write if you may. Paint if you like. Play if you wish. Cook if that connects you. Feel good about yourself with whatever that makes you feel better. Do not send out too much negative vibes and for that matter even good vibes. Try to keep life simple and wait for the things to settle down

If you know someone who needs help, then try to get them help in whichever way you can. Make a call if that’s what it takes. Speak nicely to people whom you know and share their emotions.

Try to talk about staying at home as much as possible because the people we know or the people in our life are not aware of the way to go forward. If you feel too much stuck, try to do indoor activites. Arrange for yoga or similar activities.

There are days we are weak and we may feel that we need help, but in time we will learn that we need to try things slowly at our end and help will arrive in whichever form it can.

So my dear fellow Earthling, even though the times are tough and the difficulties doesn’t seem to get any less, believe in yourself and navigate through these times. Together we will reach into the world of better times. We will all thrive and smile soon, for we are fighters. Brave men have shown us examples of fighting through similar times and by remembering them, we will advance ahead into building a safe world in ways each one of us contribute and participate.

Stay safe and be happy in whichever little ways you can. I send out my affection and warmth to all of you. Take care.

Life Stories – Playing in the mud in Monsoon, India

Monsoon brings life. Everything in nature blooms. Plants and tree turn greener. Frogs come out. Birds began to build best to breed and care for their young ones. Even insects and worms flourish.

In April 2020
In July 2020

Monsoon brings happiness to India. Crops and vegetables are grown. Water from rain is still the major source of supply for agriculture and drinking. Rivers and dams start to fill. Ponds and lakes rise again. Peacocks dances with might. Life is replenished.

During Monsoon, young kids used to play in mud. They used to build houses and castles with the freshly soften mud. The smell of the Earth would feel them with new energy. As they play in the grass and the mud, lot of animals would come to graze. Buffaloes, Cows and Horses would be left free to have a good meal in by their owners. They would munch fast enough to not even chew anything but gulp as fast as they can. Once they are all done, they would go to a quite place under a tree or a shade and sit quietly while they chew slowly all the food they just ate. Watching such things as a child, you learn how nature reacts and responds to different situations in life.

Kids create new games or follow the old games being played from ages in their villages and town. One such game played in the mud during the monsoon was very unique. A group of kids would come together and decide whose turn it was to play by other toss or by some trick. One such trick was to form a group and bring your hands together. Then shout and flip your hands. You can either keep your palm up and face it down. Whoever turns out odd, gets to be the one to serve the play.

By forming a circle with a iron rod, it was considered as home. Each one would go about throwing the rod about 8 inches long. Since the mud was dampened by then, anyone who throws the rod well, it would stand upright. Failing to throw the rod to stand upright, you will loose your turn. And you will be next person to serve.

As one by one the kids kept on throwing, they would go far off from the home. Once in a while, one of the kid would through the rod like a parabolic very far in hope that it will fall upright. It may fall flat but if it falls upright, then it feels like a triumph to them. It is almost like a victory. Because that will push the game too far.

Whoever faults, then end up serving. Now from the point wherever the fault occured, that is the rod fell flat, back to the point of the circle as home, the first kid had to come back jumping on one leg. That is the game. They had to learn to jump on one leg all the while in the mud, without putting other leg down. So farther it went, the chances were some may slip, some may end up getting tired and they would have to do it altogether again.

It’s a harsh game that way but the kids do not realise it. It’s fun usually. It develops resilience to keep going. Playing in nature is not only just a fun or playing in mud dirty experience, it’s more about learning how to function as a group. How to compete in a healthy fashion and how to take turns. Also you understand how to stand strong. You develop physical fitness and various motor skills. You become prone to weather. And develop an understanding of underlying vibrance of nature.

In a matter of a decade, most of such open lands have been replaced by colonies, multi-storey apartments, factories and shops. Such open lands used to be as wide as a km or more. Now only a sparsh area of some hundred ft is left for many kids to play. Most kids end up playing games on electronic devices, watching TV and movies, eating junk food and never actually stepping out in the open. They never see frogs, let alone seeing a tadpole. Chewing of food by animals is a distant concept that they read about in books after being adults. Getting drenched in rain is a trouble because of the clothes and gadgets we carry get damaged and we fall sick. We prefer to go rain-dance in some amusement park.

The gap we have created in our lives is causing lot of disturbance in how we perceive and respond to it. By succumbing to four walls and being connected via electronic gadgets, we are experiencing a change in our brain responds to our surroundings. The constant need to be online, read what’s happening around the world, knowing what has gone around the world and being able to see at our finger tips is causing constant drain. It is creating toxic experience. And the same people who built such network and now selling products for mindfulness, meditation, apps, sessions, lifestyle change and coaching.

By pulling us out of our free flowing life and putting us in a cage filled nowhere to go and constantly serving visual attractions, we are collectively creating a world that is causing more damage than the good.

Life Stories – Crossing the water logging during Monsoon in India

When you are young, you do not think much. You go through whatever comes in you are life and cross it. You learn from your experiences. Sometimes you are not even aware what you accomplished because you are not keen to show that. You are interested to reach where you want to go and reaching there is your only quench. Whatever lays ahead of you, is like a undeniable path which you have to navigate and you do not think of options or shortcuts. You just see that your task is to get there.

And when you look back in time, you will notice and realise that was something unique as a young kid. Without being concerned about what’s around you and why it is the way it is, you are more interested in the how. How do I reach there. How do I cross this. And by following that simple approach you divert all your energy into doing the thing that matters the most at that point of time.

Where as grown ups are most of the time consumed in their thoughts and worries. Instead of focusing on how to go about something, they are wondering why it happened to them. They are looking for someone to blame or themselves. By shifting and distracting their energy on multiple thoughts and looking for shortcuts or alternate routes, they do not take the route they had to. And when the result is not as per their expectations, they feel disappointed and dejected. But they never did what was supposed to be done in the first place.

As a kid, I saw people going to far off distances (over 15km) on bicycles. Even those who had vehicles, they too had to go on the same route. This particular route was intercepted by a railway tunnel in between. Any other cross over was a roundabout route for over 5 km and even that would have to be crossed under a tunnel, which sometimes was worse than the original one while other times slightly better.

Railway trains would pass over the road across and there would be tunnel that would go across from below it. Often during monsoon, since the tunnel is dug below the railway route, it would be clogged with water. Water used to be deep upto waist level and underneath somewhere there used to be drain which would be rushing with the water. Usually such drains were opened to allowed water to flow out faster but that posed danger for someone going in that direction. But with time people became aware of such things. So it came natural to people crossing such water to be following a queue one behind other and usually taking into consideration of the terrain of the place based on their previous experience.

Image only for representative purpose

Being only 16 and going out far from home for the first time, such imminent difficulties did not present themselves as challenges. Instead it came as something simple as a bump in road or a traffic jam. You go right through it as you are drenched. You cross it with caution and once you are done, you do not even think of it. You just keep going towards the destination that you have to reach, in this case school. Being alone and no one to guide, you learn to become aware of your situations. You follow your fellow men like a herd. You seek for advice and then cross over. With time, you become adept in this skill. So you keep going ahead without any confusion.

Even when the water is higher and going around like a whirlwind and it’s pouring so heavily that you cannot see more than 10 feet, you just make it your prime task to go across either towards school or towards home. And when you reach home, you are drenched from top to bottom. You do not think of waiting in the way. Because you are already drenched. It doesn’t occur to you that you can take a break or you may catch cold if you are drenched beyond a point. Probably it works like that when you have no option, you just go with whatever is available.

Image only for representative purposes

Once in a while, when you have become accustomed to the rain, which visits for 4 months, you like to try other routes to see what is the condition there. You want to explore.

One of the tunnel was huge and was connected to the highway. Most of the heavy loaded trucks and buses would go under it. During summer and winter, it seems to be a better way to cross over the railway route. So when Monsoon arrives next season, you try to take the alternative route. And what you find there you learn something new. The water is fierce and deep. The road is a slope and the flow of water is like a river. Down below under the tunnel, the water is bubbling and creating froth. You are not clearly aware of the terrain and not many people on cycle are crossing it. Mostly the people in cars and buses are going that side. Only a few people on bike and cycle who had their destination on the other side and didn’t want to go round about for 10-15km to reach their home in this constant downpour went across it. And for them they had the terrain mapped in their mind. They knew every bump, every slope, every manhole and the drain. They could close their eyes and say how long it would take to cross the tunnel and when the next bump will come. That kind of awareness helped them to cross over. And it was evident by then that it cannot be undertaken for fun or excitement or the experience of thrill. Anyway we had another usual route to go about so we just took it.

Over the period of time, most of the bicycles got replaced with bikes. Only rarely do we see a bicycle in the city. Many flyover bridge were constructed over the railway route. Better drainage systems were put into place to avoid water logging. Pre-monsoon work was carried out to fill any gaps. So the previously existing scenario started to diminish. Only rarely would there be a water logging that required someone to go through it. And there were other options like flyover bridge and better routes.

So most of the young lack such experience or awareness of how things used to be. For them it comes as natural to use a bike or any vehicle to go overboard a flyover bridge as high as 25m at 60kmph without usually getting drenched. And even if they get drenched it’s more for fun then any kind of necessity.

Eventually comfort got replaced with circumstance. We started to forget that there are subtleties of life that train us for things in ways we do not know. We go through things only to become tougher. Such experiences are blessings in disguise.

What are hobbies that can make you feel better

READING

Read a book. A story, a novel, an article or whatever that resonates with you. If possible read regularly, every day. Find some interest that you want to know more about – may be like History, Science, Culture, Technology, Humans, Countries, Wildlife, Wars or Expeditions.

COOKING

Cook something once in a while. It is a skill that will help you all the times. When you have to live alone or far from home or cook for self or others, it is a decent skill to possess. It will make you independent and be able to take care of your health better. If you enjoy more, try different dishes and cooking styles. May be bake a little if that’s your style. Try a salad and feel refresh. Whatever it may be, enjoy it to the full. And clean your kitchen to revisit with a new mood.

CYCLING

SKYGAZING

Follow the sun for a week in the morning and the evening. Look at it rise above the horizon and set below it. Keep an eye how it shifts over the span of weeks, months and seasons. Note the solstice and the equinox.

Follow the Moon for a month to see it change its phases. Notice how it shines bright on Fullmoon and doesn’t appear on new Moon. Catch for the crescent moons and when it comes close to planets and stars.

Look for the planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Follow the stars as per the season. Meet Orion, Leo, Scorpious, Sagittarius, Great Bear and others. Look for the ISS flying by over your sky and know that there are people in it.

GARDENING

SKETCHING

SINGING

BIRDWATCHING

LEARNING A LANGUAGE

PLAYING SOME INSTRUMENT

WRITING

DANCING

SWIMMING

MEDITATION

JOGGING

PETS

CRAFT

TINKERING

TRAVEL

TALKING