Why I chose to be a College Dropout!

There is everything wrong about how ‘Education’ is perceived in our country. I mean how many of you would say you are studying, what you should actually have been studying! I am a college drop out! Yes, that’s what I am! And trust me, that was the best decision I ever made in my whole life.

It was the year 2000, the start of a new millennium! A time when personal computers or PCs were a big thing in anybody’s home and that too as a toy for a 10 year old kid. But then I was never really a kid ever and grades back in school made sure, I was given what I demanded! Aah I miss those days! When you could swap your good grades with anything you set your eyes upon! But unlike the other usual kids in my school who demanded a new Hot Wheels Station or a new cricket kit, ( I got that 3 years back any way πŸ˜‰ ) I was given a personal computer all for myself. And an Internet connection by Sify which was probably one of the earliest ISP’s in India. Now that was a big high!

I made my first website in class 3rd. It was for an International Youth Festival in CMS Lucknow. A website about Man Vs Machine. I remember, I won d 2nd prize for that, loosing only to a geek 4 years elder to me. And I was already in love with the Internet. It was like my first love. It opened an entirely new world to me. I was fascinated by what all I could do on it and I was glued to it for life. And that’s when everyone around me decided I would grow up to be a computer engineer. Not that I disagreed then.

I grew up, jumping one class after another with much ease and so did my love for computers. I was destined to be a computer engineer, every Pandit predicted that. That’s why I joined the best coaching institute in the city ‘JRS’, run by 3 core teachers Jha Sir, Rai Sir & Singh Sir, in class 11th. And that’s why the name! My parents paid a hefty amount to get me through it. A place where future engineers where made. So now this meant, I complete my school till 2, have lunch back home and at 6 in the evening, the time which was used to spend in the field playing cricket with my friends in the neighborhood, I get ready for my Engineering coaching.

It all went pretty well for the first month. I like new things. Unlike most people, I love changes. But I get bored very easily. And thats precisely what happened with the engineering coaching. It was getting monotonous. Not that I couldn’t cope up with it. In fact out of the first 3 tests we had in JRS, which eventually turned out to be the only tests I ever gave in that place, I was among the top 3 in a batch 800 people. The 3rd one was of Maths, and that is one area I have never tried to explore. Nor do I want to either. And this boredom, led to the amazing world of bunking classes.

I was usually found out at movie theaters, some random girl’s place which I was dating ;-), the beautiful ghats of Varanasi or the cyber cafe during my coaching time. I had a blast during that period. Learned everything that is good enough to spoil a bright mind. Though I don’t really see them as anything bad now. πŸ˜‰ That was the age after all. Everyone was doing that. But yes, my love for the computers never seized. I Ironically, when I was finally caught for bunking coaching, before the end of the year, I was in a cyber cafe, browsing the internet and sending scraps on Orkut to my next date to be! :-p

I was slapped and told about what a big sin I had committed by using a social network site. And guess what, Today I am doing a job that pays me to work on Facebook primarily. The world is indeed round. πŸ˜‰ Anyways back to the story, the house arrest followed. No more coaching classes, no more bunking, no more fun. Yes my grades had fallen and I was already loosing out in the mad race around. I was told, I had to do something about it fast, real fast or people would start calling me a failure. I got hold of myself, started doing what really was never a big deal for me and my grades where back to the best. And everyone started looking at me as the smart kid who would take the family name to greater heights.

I did pretty well in my boards, and got admission in an engineering college, right after school, in 2009. No prizes for guessing what my specialization was in. ‘Computer Science’. I was all set to shine. But I had a surprise in store for me. The first year papers had nothing about computer science really. It was all those crappy subjects we had learned back all those years in a new more complicated form with the word ‘Applied’ prefixed to them. Something we never really can apply anywhere in the real world. And as I was 700 miles away from home, nobody to monitor my progress, all to myself, I went back into the bunking mode. I was simply pretty bored with what I was taught. I skipped lectures to sleep till afternoon as I used to chat all night on Facebook, the latest and the most popular social network, with my friends. I was fascinated with the functioning of this thing. How one could make new friends, chat with them, see their lives moving in pictures, show off your own, update status about what you feel, get all the latest happening around the globe. It was a marvel of a website.

Then after my first year, I got un well and was bedridden for months. It brought me closer to it. I maintained a normal life like all other jus because of Facebook in spite of the fact that I couldn’t go out, hang around with my friends, couldn’t party and was almost close to death. Facebook was a life saver. After my recovery, I started a Facebook page called Jannat, wherein I could help people like me who were suffering from cancer and gave them a reason to fight. I had finally started utilizing the media to its best possible use. Though by then, I had lost all my patience for the boring un-happening engineering I was burned with. Not that anybody forced me to it, it was always my choice. But it was simply because I knew no other fields apart from engineering and medicine back then. When my friends reached their final year and were placed in different companies, and I was still stuck in the second, I decided it was time to say goodbye . I now knew what I wanted to do. Social media marketing was my thing. I was an expert in that. I could make any page look better with my contents. I could network better than my peers. I had finally found what I really wanted to be.

What followed was pretty easy for me. I made up a resume, added the little things I had done in the past and uploaded it on the major job sites. And lo behold, I landed up with a job within a week at a package that still makes a lot of people very very jealous. :-p I started earning, when most of my batch mates were still stuck with the crappy subjects they had to mug up willingly or unwillingly a day before the exam to graduate next year. Probably, when they finally start doing the job they were placed in, I might have already got a promotion or two. Who knows! πŸ˜‰

I don’t say what I did was right. Everyone likes to have a graduate degree. Its the norm. That’s how the world would see you as a respected citizen. I want one too. How else can I do my MBA, and be ‘certified’ a pro in my field. I have now applied for a three years distance education degree in Bsc. IT which fast tracks my course and would complete by the fall of 2013, so technically I am graduating in time. πŸ˜‰

But, I don’t find it right. We should have a system wherein we choose what to study. It can be anything – Cooking, singing, dancing, playing, eating ( I wish there was a degree for that! πŸ˜‰ ) and there should be no pressure on a child whatsoever to pursue the aim of his life. People take time in realizing what they really wanna make out of their lives, and they should be given that time. Not be forced to do what the world thinks is right. Because in the end, nothing is really right or wrong, it is just how you see it. Sweet and simple. πŸ™‚

Matters of the Heart

Aah its been too long..

And I feel like writing again.. There is something that initiates it. The feeling when you want to express your thoughts. When you want to let the world know what’s going on inside the frontal lobes of your brain.

And these thoughts are a culmination of all that’s going around us. Every action initiates a thought process in us which sums up to millions of thoughts that comes across in our minds each day. These very thoughts are the reason why we do, what we do. Why we behave, like we behave. Moreover, we can segregate a good though from a bad one and act accordingly.

And that’s the problem with the heart. It works on an entirely different philosophy. You don’t speak your heart, It speaks for you. You don’t decide what you want for yourself. It will for you. You can only come up with a plan. It’s the heart that would actually come up with the will to accomplish it.

Its a very complex organ. It will dance to its own tune, no matter what you must have thought of, for yourself. And mine is even crazier a specimen. It just doesn’t stops the salsa & jazz inside me.

The way in which our heart functions, has always amazed me. Plus god forbid if a girl is involved in the proceedings, rest assured you have a roller coaster ride up your sleeve.
I would blame the movies for this, but I have always fancied a classical love story for myself, the kind, legends are made up of. And due to which I have fallen in love and out of it quite often just to find my perfect story.

I remember long ago, one of my close friends asked me one day, What do you think about Love? I instantly replied him, ‘Love is a habit.’ That was the time when I was in my I-want-a-perfect-lovestory phase. And it continued for quite sometime. Till few things changed around me.

I found myself bald, on the hospital bed, with a deep scar on my belly. Some kind of a liquid was being injected inside me through a pipe that ran right inside my veins and ran all the way to my chest. I don’t know if it was that single moment or a collective thought. But, I found Love.

It is never about having a perfect love story with the perfect person. Its about being able to admire someone with their imperfections . All our lives, we keep searching for the right person for us, and in the process ignore the ones that has been there all throughout and yet never complained. Look around you. Are you with the right people? The one you say you are in love with, is it really love? Sometimes asking these questions to ourselves might show us the real picture. And that picture, my friend, can be scary!

The real test to this is, when we loose it all. That’s when the lot that sticks to you are the one’s for the keeps. During my cancer days, quite a lot of my so called ‘good & real friends’ thought I won’t survive and left my side. There was a time when these very people used to hang around me 24*7 but then I was, what we call, the ‘popular guy’ in college. Do I feel sad, for they left? No, never. In fact, I am thankful to them. They taught me the biggest lessons in my life. They made me appreciate the one’s who stayed by my side through the pain and brought me out of it. The one’s that never complained, the one’s that never lost the hope on me. Love & Friendship are two very twisted cases. And we always make the wrong choices first, that way we realize the value of the one’s who are meant to be, better.

Nothing has changed much from then on. Two years later, I still am the ‘popular guy’ in college & my workplace but I have my ‘real friends’ by my side. And a newfound ability to judge people right at Hello. I don’t make the wrong choices anymore.

Life has its own way of teaching you stuff. I have learned it the hard way but its engraved in me now.

The Jar of Life

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

For Mom & Dad, With Love!

The Best People In The World - My Mom & Dad

The Best People In The World – My Mom & Dad

This life that we have, no matter how deep a shit we might be in at the moment, is the most beautiful gift we can ever have. People come and go, situations change but the basic truth remains, Life goes on. And in this never ending cycle of events, there are these one set of people who will stay with you, guide you, protect you and shower over you that unconditional love, forever and ever, Our very own Parents.
Some one rightly said, God can’t be every where so He made mothers. And its indeed so. A mother is perhaps the only species in the world that thinks from the heart and heart only. She took the pain of carrying you within her, for 9 long months and though the doctor may have cut the umbilical chord at the time of the birth, but the connection with her child remains well intact all throughout her life span. She is one person who can actually die for you, just to see you happy and successful.
Similarly for the ‘Fathers’. If you ask me, every time I am in front of my Dad, I try to impress him. He is like my idol, the only person in the world I actually look up to. My Dad has taught me some of the biggest lessons in life. The virtue of patience and humility being numero uno. I wish I could inherit even a small bit of his nature and abilities, I would consider myself an accomplished person.
I cherish being with my parents more than ever now. When I was a kid, just about to go to school, I had to live at my maternal grandparent’s place due to some safety issues since my Dad was posted in Bihar then and kidnapping cases in Bihar were very common. My Dad being on a high post in Education Department, couldn’t risk it and plus there were hardly any good schools around. So I had to stay with my Nani, Nana, Mama, Mami, cousins. Not that I had a bad childhood, my Nani and Nana are probably the best people in the world, but yes, I did miss growing up with my own parents.
It almost took me 20 years to realize their true value. In 2010 when I was diagnosed with cancer, after completing the first year of my graduation, my mom and my brother left everything else and stayed with me for 7 long months in Gurgaon while I was under going treatment. Dad used to be their in the weekends and trust me, it might sound crazy to you all, but those were the best days of my life. I might have been dying then, but I never felt better.
Though they were in a lot of pain then. They never let me know about their agony, but I could see it in their eyes, how much they loved me and couldn’t see me in a state like that. It is for their love and care that I am alive today. I wouldn’t have survived it otherwise. My life really changed from that point onwards. I was like any teenager before, confused, with no set goals in life, fascinated by alcohol, girls, late night parties. These 7 months changed my outlook towards life. I now seek the goal in my life which is to make my parents happy by being a successful person. I have given them enough reason to worry for long, its now time for me to pay back. They have given me this beautiful life, and I have now dedicated it to their happiness. I have promised myself to work real hard and make their dreams come true.
Some day they will have no reasons to complain, someday they will be proud of me, for being their son. And that someday is going to be very very soon! Amen!