Just like my Dad!

“How do I look, mom?” a sweet, innocent voice asked. He was proudly looking at his mother, expecting some words of admiration.

“Oh dear Rutu, you look so perfect. Just like your dad.” She replied while looking at her 11-year-old, who had just suited up for the first time. It was quite an elegant suite: one with a deep blue color, and golden cuffs. She did not notice, but pride from her eyes had already spilled over and spread over her smiling face, and then her hands, which were pulling chubby cheeks of her son now. His reddened chubby cheeks. She could never stop herself from pulling his cheeks. Even more, since he has returned from a year-long stay at a hostel for his studies and would be returning soon there. He would live with them for just a month more, and she wasn’t even slightly inclined to send him back. But his father was keen on his education and wanted him to study in the best school in the country, and wasn’t ready to make any compromise on it. She had missed him a lot during the past year, and her eyes that showered love smiles that sprinkled care and hands that pulled Rutu’s cheeks now, were trying to compensate for all the lost time. And they were not getting satisfied at all. After all, Rutuz was such an adorable kid. A chubby, little, adorable kid.

“Mom, stop it, I am a grown up now.” Rutuz would always say that, but he secretly liked it. Rather, he craved for it. He loved when his mom pulled his cheeks and then give him a sweet kiss on his forehead, just like she would to his dad. He loved his dad than anything else. So, when his mom said, that he looked like his dad, he couldn’t stop blushing. He got onto his bed and started jumping in the air.  It was hard to contain happiness in that small 3 feet 6-inch body of his. It was overflowing and jumping on the bed with him.

He liked imitating his dad. He would see him off to his office, and then stand in the gate when he arrived and would help his dad park his car. His small hands would first open the gate, and then his little voice would guide his dad to park the car safely. Then he would take his dad’s briefcase and walk with him to his house. He’d have his evening milk only with when his dad would have his evening drink. He would also stand up on a table so that he could talk to his dad like an adult and discuss what he did the entire day. Love isn’t enough to describe what he felt, he worshiped his dad. His father was everything for him.

“Beta, don’t jump on the bed. You’ll make a mess of that lovely suit you are wearing now. And your dad would not like that! Dekho ha, Wo daatenge tumhe (He’ll scold you)”
He stopped immediately. He didn’t care much about the suit, but he was afraid of displeasing his dad. Rutu’s dad had a short temper, and he had already scolded Rutu a couple of times for jumping on his bed, and Rutu didn’t like when he’d get a scolding. Rutu was scared of his dad’s scolding. Even more afraid than he was of the cockroaches, or but lesser than staying away from his parents. He had cried so much while he was sent away to the hostel, but his dad didn’t listen. His mom had convinced him, that his dad is doing for his benefit only, and his dad wouldn’t like if he cried so much, and only that had stopped his tears.

Staying away from your home is not an easy thing. Definitely not at a delicate age of 10. He was so scared when he had first entered the unknown territory of his new hostel and school. The rooms would feel like jail and supervisors like wardens. He had watched the Lion King when he was 9, and he could completely relate to Simba in his early days. A poor little Simba, separated from his parents.Teary-eyed Simba.
But as the time passed, he got used to the hostel life. Rather he became fond of it. The other kids became his dearest friends, as Simba would eventually find Timon and Pumbaa. Being a bright kid, he also became favorite of all the teachers as well (and they’d also like to pull his red, chubby cheeks). And he developed a significant mastery in playing cricket too, something which his dad had asked Ramu kaka to teach him to play (and he had picked it up very quickly). He liked playing cricket, cause he had seen his dad watch matches for hours and hours.

“Chalo Beta, now get into the car. We’ve to leave now, otherwise, we’ll get late.” His mom was wearing a deep blue saree, which perfectly matched with the suit Rutu was flaunting. It was her turn to flaunt her son now.
“One minute, mom.” He was combing his hair for the third time now. Mildly oiled, and then pushed back with a few rapid strokes of comb: he wanted it to be perfect. He wanted it to be just like his dad would do them.

He was so happy when his dad told him that they are going to a charity dinner, and both of them will wear similar suits. He had been wearing the suit since the afternoon and had asked his mom zillion times if he really looked like his dad. His dad was going to come directly from his office, which had disappointed him a little, but still, his enthusiasm was too much to handle for his mom. She had soon realized, that she’d have a hard time to contain this little hyperactive kid in her car.

“Mom, mom, when will we reach there?” He shot it just after entering their car. Today, his mom has allowed him to sit on the front seat, and he was very happy about that. His dad would occupy that seat when his mother would take them for long drives and he was forced to sit on the back seat, which he hated the most. But today, the entire front seat was his to capture, and he was delighted to claim it. After all, he was capturing the seat that was reserved for his father.

“Just half an hour beta, but fasten your seatbelts first.” His mom commanded. She was slowly getting the car out of the garage. She was a skilled driver and was always the one to take on the wheels. Rutu’s dad didn’t like to drive. Even when he’d go to his office, he’d let his driver drive the car and sit quietly in the back seat.

“No, I don’t want to do that. I won’t be able to jump then.” He said it in a sweetish tone possible, while making his eyes big, face small and then looked at his mom. The innocence in his voice was trying to hide his naughty intentions, but his mom was used to all his tricks now.
He really liked jumping in the car. It was his favorite pass time. Whenever their car would sit idle in the garage, he’d ask his dad to unlock the car and then he’d go and keep jumping on the back seat. He has grown up now, and could hardly stand on the seat without connecting his head to the roof; so he’d sit on his knees and do half-jumps. Yes, he is a smart kid, and could easily figure out ways to unleash his naughtiness. Lovely and smart, and naughty, and so cute: his mother just couldn’t stop adoring her child. Sometimes the naughtiness would get out of her hands, but then she knew how to control it. The key was: his dad!

“See, your dad would want you to fasten your seatbelts. He’ll get angry if you don’t do it.” And this trick would always work, like a charm. He fastened his seatbelt and sat like a good child. He wouldn’t want his dad to get angry with him.

“So mom, which dinner is it and why are we going there?” He asked, again, in his innocent voice.
She paused for a moment. She wasn’t sure how to explain a charity gala dinner and complexities involved in it to an 11-year old. But then, she decided to put it in as simple words as possible.
“It’s a dinner for a charity. Only those people who have paid a substantial amount for that charity are allowed for that dinner. We are going there cause your dad has paid a lot of money.” Simple words, indeed, but they were indeed laced with a tinge of pride.

“My dad is so great.” The pride reflected in his words too, as he was quietly looking out of the window, bemused by the running trees and passing vehicles.
His dad was great indeed, by all the standards of the society. He was an MBA from an ivy league college. He had worked for the best consultancy services in the world before he started one of his own. It was one of the well-known ones and counted several fortune 500 companies as its clients. Money, prestige, reputation: he had all that others would desire to have.

“Look, we are here!” His mom parked the car, held one of his hand, and proudly walked him over to the venue, which was right into the heart of the city.

Rutuz was mesmerized by the beauty of the place. It was a huge garden, with a lavish, golden Shamiana entrenched in the center of it. The place was open but was decorated to its teeth with figurines of animals, and rare ceramic pots and whatnots. He wanted to sit on those figurines, but his mom said, “Dad wouldn’t like that.”, so he didn’t. He was asked to behave, and me a man of manners, just like his dad; and he was doing his best to fulfill those expectations.

“Let me all welcome you to this charity dinner. All the funds that we’ve raised will be given to the Animal Welfare Society. We thank you all for all the support and money that you have to lend to the cause.” A voice said on a mic.
Rutuz listened carefully and remembered what his teacher has said, “Man is also an animal. In fact, we have evolved from monkeys.” He has learned a lot of things in his new school, but more than that, he had learned about humanities. The school specialized into sensitizing children to the modern world problems, and ensure that they become good samaritans. Though the school demanded a lot of exercises and commitments from an 11-year old, Rutuz actually liked doing all those activities. Especially, playing with the nearby kids from the slum areas.

“Mom, where is Dad. I can’t find him.” He wanted to see his dad. He wanted people to see them together, and notice that they are wearing similar suits. He wanted people to say, “You are just like your dad.” He wanted it so badly.

“I just called him, he is at the gate now. Will be here soon.” His mom replied, and then got busy in talking to her friends. She was showing them her diamond necklace, which allowed Rutuz to slip from her gaze. He started running towards the gate. He wanted to welcome his dad. He wasn’t in any mood to wait at all.

He heard some noise coming from the gate. “Security, security.”
He stopped, confused. The voice was getting louder.
“What are these people doing in here?” He started running towards that sound. It appeared familiar to him. Way too familiar.
A person, surrounded by a set of his companions, was shouting at the security and a couple of beggars. The beggars seem to have entered the venue, in search of some food, and were confronted by that person.”What are you doing in here? Do you know what this event is? Everybody has paid thousands to get in here, and you think you can just walk in? Look at your clothes, my servants wear better clothes than you.” The person was furious. He could not tolerate when those beggars tried to barge in. He could not tolerate when the exclusivity of the event was compromised.

“Saab, khana chahiye that bas thoda. Galati ho gayi, maaf karo.” (Sir, we just wanted some food. We are sorry for the mistake, please forgive us.) They pleaded. It was evident from their clothes, or whatever was left of them, that their condition wasn’t good at all. The tired attempt to speak, and a crying child clung close to his mother, indicated exhaustion and hunger too. All they wanted was some food to keep their bodies standing on the earth. All they wanted was a little bit of life.
But the person was not in any mood to grant this little request. He asked security to throw those beggars outside. He made sure that they were thrown outside. The exclusivity of the event was more important than the life of those people. Animal welfare mattered more than the welfare of humans.

The person was wearing a suit similar to the one worn by Rutuz: Deep blue, with golden cuffs.

That person finally saw Rutuz, who was looking at the entire incident from some distance, with a shocked face. He came running and picked Rutuz up. “Aww, my Shona beta came to welcome me. So sweet of you. Let’s go to your mom and then take a picture together. I want to capture this moment when you are wearing this suit of 4000 dollars. Now you are looking like a businessman yourself. A small, rich, dashing businessman” Rutuz didn’t say anything. He didn’t want to.

“Hey Friend, come here.” His dad called one of the colleagues, standing not too far from them.
“Take this new iPhone of mine, and click a picture of me with my son. He is looking just like me tonight. He is going to be like me in the future and make me proud.”

Rutuz jumped down. He looked at his dad in bewilderment, but with a strange determination. Something has changed, and he could clearly notice it.
“No dad, I don’t want to be like you. I will never be like you.” The eyes were teary, and the voice was rogue. Two little hands removed his blazer and threw it on the ground. The suit wasn’t a matter of pride anymore. The blazer was too tight, it was suffocating him now.
“Beta, what happened to you? Why are you throwing this blazer on the ground? It’s so expensive, you know?”

But Rutuz was not there to listen to it all. He was running away, directionless, unaware of the hypocritic world his dad represented.

Towards the hypocritic world, the crowd embodied.

Meaning of life in one word?

Let me tell you about a boy.
He is an orphan.
Nobody is born an orphan. He wasn’t either. But I feel that he should have been.
Shocked? Angry? Or feel like “how disgusting this writer is!”?
I’d still say the same words.
That boy was left by his parents on the doorsteps of an orphanage when he was around 10–11 years old. He was told to live in that orphanage forever and was given a goodbye kiss. 4 eyes must have filled with tears. And 2 innocent ones must be trying to grasp what’s happening.
I don’t know if you can classify an 11-year boy as young or old, but I guess, he was just old enough.
Too young to be left on his own. But old enough to know that he has been left.
Too young to leave his own house forever, but perhaps old enough to know that he won’t see that roof again.
Too young to leave those two hands, but perhaps old enough to know that he might not hold them again.
One can only imagine the storm that small heart must have gone through. A storm that shook his entire world. A storm that suddenly made him an orphan.
One would break down under such circumstances. I would have. You too. But he didn’t. Maybe, he wasn’t that old enough. Or maybe, he was strong enough.
After 4–5 years, when I saw him for the first time, I didn’t see any pain in his eyes. I only saw two things: a Dream and Hope.
He was living with his several brothers and sisters, studying in a good school, playing cricket and weaving big dreams.
Dreaming to be a doctor, hoping to achieve them.
I was really amazed by his determination. He aspires to be a big doctor and cure all his patients for free. And he is willing to work hard to achieve his dream. Rather, he already is. He scored very good marks in his 9th std. and proudly told it to me. With such a sweet smile on his face. A smile filled with slight pride, and a lot of happiness. A smile worth zillion dollars. 🙂
We cry over every trouble we face. We cry over low grades, bad bosses, boring lectures and broken hearts. But that boy, he is trying to create the world out of a zero. Yes, don’t let the child inside of you die, cause a child is a fearless Phoenix, God’s own creature, an embodiment of dreams and hope.
So, if you ask me to state the meaning of life in one word, then I won’t be able to do it. But if you give me a liberty to use 2 words, then I’d use Dream and Hope.
Life is all about dreaming big and hoping to achieve them.
By the way, when I was about to leave that place, that small boy came to me and gave a balloon, as a gift. I have still kept that balloon with me (the one in the pic).
I will keep it with me for as long as I can. Cause it’s not just a balloon, it’s an epitome of a dream. And it’s a symbol of a hope.

Every Soul Suffers For A Reason

A night is the best to have some deep and meaningful conversations. A night gives you a serene and calm environment to explore the ocean of another person’s mind without being disturbed by anyone and anything. All you can do is dive in that ocean and reach it’s depth (and oxygen is not a necessity here).
 I explored an ocean last night.

Sitting on a chair in my hostel room, while looking at a friend and still not looking at her, all I was trying to do is to comprehend what she was speaking. Subject to my limited thinking capacity, I couldn’t understand that deep conversation, though I tried my best to collect as many pearls as I could.
“I had also thought that I will start my company, but I couldn’t. Maybe I didn’t have enough guts, or maybe I got a bit scared. But now, after working for in a corporate world and joining this institute, it seems like I have somehow lost my will to do it. Somehow, I have lost the appetite to do that.”
I don’t know how the subject started and when did the other members of my group left, but somehow, it became one of the best conversations of my life. Actually, it wasn’t a duel. It was an effort by a calm, composed mind to alleviate the struggles of a confused, disorderly mind. 
An enlightened person’s attempt to enlighten another one.
A god’s attempt to solve the questions of a poor soul (of course, I was the poor soul).
The poor soul asked: “You are in a very good position. You are from a good college, great work experience, great background. But look at me. I am nowhere near you. Or the other people here. My mind is just filled with self-doubt and confusion.”
She replied: “You need to stop worrying about this rat race. You know what, this race, this maze is not developed by us. It is put by others. It has been developed by the world. We live inside this illusion of a race, but it’s not actually one. Every rat will come out of this maze, but with its own pace. Some will be the first one to get out of it, another will be the last one. But the question is not about the rank, it’s more about how you come out of it. And trust me, every person in this campus will come out of it someday. You will also do that one day. Keep your eyes on the cheese, not the other rats.”
We discussed various subjects, from death to life, from failure to success, from sadness to happiness, and from a mind to a soul. That’s when she told me about a sad incident in her life when she lost a very important part of her life in a sudden moment. She knew that the loss was going to happen, and maybe she had prepared for it, but it didn’t happen at a time she was expecting it to. The spirit of life struggled gloriously for several months, but in an unfortunate event, the devil swallowed it.
“I knew it was going to happen, and so did the people close to me. We had tried our best to prevent it, and at a point, it felt like we can be successful, but eventually, life played its cards. It was really a hard struggle, but that struggle brought my family closer. We got bonded in a very different way.”
 Giving minimum stress to my vocal chord only when necessary, I was concentrating all my energy in my ears. I was trying to understand what she was trying to say, we both were unaware of the other’s struggle. I don’t know who was struggling more: a confused mind, which was trying to find its purpose, or a composed mind, which was trying to hide its sorrow.
“You know, I have started believing in the existence of a soul. And I believe that every soul suffers for a reason: the reason being, to make itself stronger and prepare for the next life. You fail in an exam, but gets some motivation for the next one. You suffer from a break-up, but it prepares you for the next one. Similarly, your soul suffers from hardships, so that it can become stronger and prepare you for the next life. You might find this thought childish, but it actually works. It actually calms my inner struggle. And as they say, use whatever works for you.”
The conversation lasted for a while, but I don’t remember most of it. But it has, somehow, created a deep impression on my mind, and I can still feel it’s effect.
I don’t know what expressions Arjuna had given while listening to the Bhagvadgita, but I must have had similar ones.
I don’t remember when she left my room, but she left me with several thoughts. Thought’s that wouldn’t let me sleep for that night. Thought’s that would keep my mind awake while my eyes struggled.
I finally closed my eyes somehow, with another thought: to let my soul suffer and make it stronger for this life only (after all, who has time for the next one?)

A Meeting With The Destiny

I am always known for less work and big talks. And today I am going to do that only.
Today, I found something in my heart. I found a torch. A torch lit up by sparks generated because of the friction between my mind and heart, and as finally, my heart emerged victoriously, the torch was handed to it. And as I stepped out of darkness, and glanced at the horizon, I found someone waiting there for me.
From a distance so far, I couldn’t clearly reckon that figure. But I was so curious that I couldn’t hold myself back. I started walking towards it. But after a short while, I found that there is a direct path leading to the horizon. All I could see were paths filled with obstacles and stymies. Thrones and fires. Mountains and precipices. All I could see was darkness. Afraid to step into the darkness again, I decided to stand and only gaze at that figure. I decided to give up.
But then suddenly that figure disappeared from the horizon and appeared in front of me. It was wearing a silver cloak, with a locket of sapphire. And that figure spoke to me, in a sonorous voice, “Do you reckon me? You have never seen me before, but you always tried to change me, without knowing what I hold for you. You always blamed me for your mistakes. You always ignored me, without noticing that I have been noticing you for quite some time now. I am the one who will meet you at every point of life. I am destiny.”
 “Destiny? But I don’t believe in you. I always create my own fate.” My arrogance spoke instead of me.
“Yes, I know. That’s why you gave up on following the path to me, and are standing here and doing nothing, aren’t you?”
I couldn’t answer that question. I had no excuses. Indeed, I had killed my curiosity. Indeed, I had given up too early.
“Don’t worry my dear child; I am not here to blame you. Most of you do the same. You give up too early, without knowing what you could have achieved; without knowing what awaits you on the other side of these unknown roads.”
“Then tell me, what awaits me?” I asked curtly.
                   “I, the destiny await you. At a place, where you all can hardly glance at me, but I can watch all of you. And do you know why I wait there? Because I don’t want to miss legends.”
“Yes, legends. Every person has a legend to fulfil. Every hand has a story to write. Every heart has a dream to chase and every soul has the world to conquer. A bird can survive in a cage also, but a bird should never be condemned inside that cage. A bird must fly, in the sky of unlimited possibilities. A fish must swim, in the ocean of dreams. Similarly, a person must also get out of his comfort zone and walk on the path towards his destiny.”
“But why should I step toward you? You have already decided what I will or will not get in my life.”
“You are wrong my son. I don’t write your story. Every person writes his own story; I just provide a blank page. And if you think that destiny will give me what I deserve, you end up keeping that page blank for your entire life.”
“So what do you suggest me to do?”
“Me? I am destiny, I don’t suggest, I just watch. The destiny just watches while you write your own destiny. The future smiles when you create your own future.”
                   The destiny said only this much and disappeared. I again looked at the horizon and saw that figure standing there, watching me, and watching all of us. I thought for a while, held my torch high and started walking on the road leading to the unknown.
                   I could not see that figure from so far, but I bet, it smiled.

I See A Light

At the horizon, I see a light,
not so bright, but I see a light,
through the paradox of burning mind
and frozen night,
I see a light.
In this darkness so dark,
I see a ray, a ray of hope,
making me believe,
somewhere far away from this world,
of dancing shadows,
and frightening cries,
there exists a light.
At the thin line,
of fantasy and reality,
I see a dream,  a new dream,
shaking rigid walls of an Orthodox castle,
and I hear a voice, a loud voice
breaking the spell of silence.
And then, I overlook the horizon,
to peek into my heart,
and I see a face, a familiar face,
but with some desire in its eyes,
yes, I see a desire,
a desire to be the flame,
eager to burn, eager to be the sun.
Now I realise, the horizon is just a mirror,
reflecting my dream, reflecting my heart,
in my heart, I find my LIGHT.

A Letter To Younger Self

Dear young chubby kid,
“It’s not your fault.”
Yes, my dear friend, it’s not your fault.
I know you failed to appear for IIT-JEE and couldn’t convert your dream colleges, but don’t worry. It’s not your fault, cause you did a great job after that terrible road accident, which had wasted more than half of your preparation time and nearly left you brain-dead. Stop cursing yourself and crying endlessly. You don’t know it now, but things are going to be completely all right.
I know you are too obese. You are trying your best to lose your weight but aren’t observing any results. Stop hating yourself. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault, coz you are suffering from Thyroid (which you’ll come to know after a long period of time). Don’t worry about your specs too. They are not going to obstruct your vision, they’ll enhance it. You don’t know it now, but things are going to be completely all right.
I know you think that you have a huge crush on that girl and she is giving you a hard time. But stop chasing her. It’s not your fault, coz you’ll eventually come in her contact for a brief period of time and realise that she never deserved it. You don’t know it now, but things are going to be completely all right.
I know you think that you can’t be a writer. And you’ll never be a one. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault, you are consumed by all this depression and negativity. Some day, you’ll pick that pen again and write a few wonderful things (well, at least you’ll feel good about them). You don’t know it now, but things are going to be completely all right.
And stop seeking for attention by doing some random things. I know how you feel. You think nobody cares about you and nobody will notice you ever in your life. You unable to speak with anyone. Don’t worry, it’s now your fault, you are just a bit afraid right now. There will come a time when you’ll be surrounded by very good friends, and they will do anything for you. There will also come a time when you will inspire a few (and you’ll not know why). You just don’t know it now, but things are going to be completely all right.
And I also know why are you so depressed. You think that you’ve let your parents down. You think that you’ve failed them at every point in time. But stop doing that. It’s not your fault, they are upset because of some different reasons and you can’t do much about them. They are proud of you, more than anybody else. There will come a time when they will showcase you in front of the world and you’ll bring the brightest smile on their faces.
You don’t know it now, but things are going to be completely all right.

I inherit the world to you

Twisted time has brought me near another twist,
where I feel that sand is slipping through my hands,
and now I should write my will, and inherit you my belongings.

Don’t have much in store, but few memories sweet and sour,
they are to be passed on, to be kept alive,
so I pass them to you.

I inherit you some questions raised, and few dreams chased,
till the midway point, but then left alone as my feet started to bleed.

I leave you some ignored choices and vague voices,
failed to make an impact, failed to keep the pact,
with the destiny, and the faded fortune.

I also inherit you some broken promises,
which I couldn’t keep, cause I had to survive the crashing calamity,
but the calculations I made, couldn’t add happiness to my kitty.

So, I, the mighty mind, inherit all these things to you,
my counterpart, the small, fragile heart,
as mind can’t solve a few problems, and a heart is the only solution.

You don’t have any intelligence, and you use the weirdest of logics,
but still, I trust you,
cause you have few things which I couldn’t find,
courage, love, emotions and your strongest weapon, hope.

So I hope that your hope will help you,
to mend other hearts which I broke,
to raise a voice that I silenced,
and to chase the dreams which I had left alone.

I leave the destiny in your hands.
I inherit the world to you.

What would you miss if you are going to die today?

I came across the above question on Quora, and couldn’t stop myself from answering it. I am reproducing that answer here:

I would miss a simple thing which I always ignored, the life.
My little, precious life.
Its been 22 years now, and I have done so many things with it.
I played with it, twisted it, looked at it with stern eyes like it’s my biggest nemesis, cursed it for being so tough on me, cried on it, tossed and turned it like a piece of paper, tried to burn it with my very own hands and almost gave it up by having a brief affair with its counterpart, the death.
Just one thing is remaining, I didn’t ‘live’ it properly (and I bet, you also didn’t).
I failed to do so. In the darkness of big problems, I couldn’t see emeralds and rubies of small joys.
In the cries of pain and sorrow, I couldn’t see smiles of happiness.
I always missed small moments while running behind those big dreams.
Yes, I failed to live my life like I should have. Like all of us do. Every single one of us.
We get so engrossed in our pursuits, goals and failures, that we often forget, that these are just a small part of our life. A teeny-tiny part of such a humungous human life.
When was the last time, when you mindlessly strolled on a beach, without caring about the project/assignment deadlines?
When was the last time, when you ate an ice-gola, without thinking about stupid cold or flu that will follow it?
When was the last time, when you just did something, without thinking about its repercussions?
To summarise in a single sentence: when was the last time, when you lived?

So don’t worry about what would you miss if you die tomorrow, the obvious answer is the life. You won’t have a life to live. So just live your life to its fullest.
After all, you only get it once. 🙂

Why Do Only I Fail?

I feel that I have wasted my life.
Yes, I do.
I couldn’t get appear for IIT-JEE. I couldn’t score well in MHT-CET. I couldn’t get any top engineering college. And I didn’t do any wonders in engineering as well (man, if only I could go back).
I let go of several opportunities. I couldn’t get any patent for several good projects. I couldn’t convert great internship into a PPO. I couldn’t start my own company (and I tried a lot for this, but failed every time). Couldn’t even lose my weight (and that is so embarrassing).
And this is not all. I failed to convert interviews of some of the really great companies. I failed to crack CAT 2015. Couldn’t convert IIM A in 2016. And the list goes on and on and on……
I have a thousand failures and a million regrets.
But, who hasn’t?
Thanks to those several B-school interviews, I got an opportunity to interact with the some of the brilliant students of this country. And got to know their stories. And their failures and regrets too.

I met a guy from IIT Bombay, who had left his job a couple of years ago and was struggling to crack the CAT for past 3 years. He said, “Every day was a hell when I wasn’t working. My relatives would taunt me and my ex-colleagues would give me cold glances. An IIT-Bombay tag didn’t help me, my family and friends did.”

A guy who had done a dual degree from another IIT (forgot which one exactly) and worked in a dream company, almost cried in front of me. He said, “I had cheated on my girlfriend, and she never forgave me. It’s been 2 years now, I just wish to talk to her once and beg for an apology. I don’t even know where she is. I am so ashamed of myself.”

A girl from NIFT, who met me during my IIM-A interview, had tears in her eyes. She had messed up her interview and didn’t have any other good calls. She said, “I took some very wrong decisions in my life. I chose a wrong career path for myself and I am very eager to change it. I don’t know if an MBA is a right option, but I just don’t see any other way out.”

Talking about wrong choices, then a guy didn’t just know about what he liked. He was doing an MBA just cause he needed some break from his 9-5 job routine. He said that he is a good badminton player, but he has always been afraid to consider it as a full-time career.

And I am talking about the cream of the country. They were not aware of what they wanted to do. And they had their own regrets. And it made me feel better about myself. (cmon, it’s a human tendency. When you fail in an exam, you feel terrible; but when the topper of the class also fails in that exam, you hardly feel miserable. Once you realise that you are not a sole soul on this journey of pain and failures and regrets, you feel a bit of happy. Rather, a bit relieved. I am not an exception to that tendency).

One thing I realised in these conversations is, everybody has their regrets. Everybody feels that he or she has messed up something in his/her life.

Everyone has some skeletons in their closets.

Everybody feels that your life is better than theirs.

Everybody fails (even the elite’s too).

Failure is an essential part of life. I know that you don’t like it. But hey, nobody does, yet everybody faces it. It’s quite natural and commonplace, just like your morning tea or coffee (did someone just say convefefe? See, even the President fails). Or like your afternoon nap. Or your gossip call with a friend.
So next time when you fail to score good marks, or get that appraisal, or just fail to type the right tweet; just remember, that millions of people are failing with you, at the same time (and some in the same thing).
All you have to do is sport a smile and move on. 🙂

Importance(?) of ‘The Right Decisions’

A CBSE student scoring north of 99% reminded me of a couple of friends of mine.

One boy and one girl. I know them for past several years.

Both are immensely talented, creative and hard-working ones.
Both are one of the most intelligent people I have ever met in my life.
Both went to the same college, shared the same stream and also shared a class for a couple of years.
But, their decision-making skills are not similar.
Not at all.
The girl, who had also scored north of 99 in her 10th standard, is a keen yet populist decision maker. If you go by the public opinion, then she has hardly made a wrong decision in her life.
The boy, on the other hand, is more of an outlaw. He prefers to consult his conscience while taking his decisions and is known for taking anti-populist decisions in his life. If you go by the public opinion, then he has taken several wrong decisions in his life.
Though I don’t have any right to, I’ll still compare both of them (coz, you know, the society already has, and I also don’t have anything else to do).
As I have already said, the girl scored to the north of 99 in her 10th std, while the boy hardly managed to score 91 (yes, in today’s world, 91 is the new “low score”).
The girl decided the smart decision to move to a big city (popular amongst by JEE aspirants) and invest a couple of years in preparing for IIT-JEE (a right decision indeed!).
The boy, who also decided to prepare for IIT-JEE and also joined a class, decided to do most of the study at his home, and at the crucial time, decided to focus on a better his fitness rather than study for JEE, coz apparently, he felt that weight loss was more important than getting into an IIT (such an asshole).
Both of them couldn’t crack JEE and ended up in my college, a simple tier-2 college.
The girl, the talented decision maker, decided that she has wasted her life by joining this college, and decided to have more fun. Also, as she knew how to score (the typical study-what-comes-in-exam method), she could easily score good marks. So, she invested the free time to join extracurriculars profile, joined sports and organising teams and built a stellar profile.
Our asshole boy thought just kept studying. He deiced that understanding thing are more important than anything else, so he just studied and hardly joined any other extra-curricular’s. In the end, he built a simple academically oriented profile (nothing glamorous about it. Such a nerdy asshole he is).
Again, our talented girl decided to go for MBA entrance tests, coz she knew where she could earn money. And though she failed to crack those exams, it didn’t matter that much, coz she had already taken a job from the placement process. Smart girl.
And the boy, well, he decided to do a boring M.Tech., failed to crack GATE and had to stay at his home for a year, coz this asshole didn’t appear for the placement process. Man, he is just a jerk.
So what do you think, who must be more successful now?
The girl, who apparently, took all the right decisions, or the boy, who apparently, made a mess of his life by taking so many bad decisions in his life?
I know, your answer must be the girl. But what if I tell you, that you are wrong?
Yes, you are.
Our talented girl, who though scored good marks, does not know anything about her field, so she had to take a job in an IT company.  Her passion was travelling and photography (which she pursued a while), but as she fell back to a safe option. From last what I have heard, she is still struggling to make a mark there. She has probably lost all her desire to be something and is cursing every day.
On the other hand, our asshole boy, who took so many wrong decisions and (apparently) wasted a year, topped the college, will join a renown IIT for his M.Tech. in coming weeks and is thinking about starting an unconventional business (which, again, will be condemned by the most of us). Believe it or not, that guy is a complete box of knowledge, is respected by several, and is a source of inspiration to me. It’s all because he followed his passion (which, shockingly, is engineering) and worked hard throughout his life.
These two people collectively taught me a very important lesson:
Life is not about taking the right decisions, it’s more about making the decisions right!

And he is not the only one. There are and were several others like him.
Columbus’s decision to find India turned out to be a wrong one, but hell yeah, he found out America.
Ford, maybe took some wrong decisions and ‘wasted’ almost 20 years of his life, but then he is the reason why you have that new car in your backyard.

So, all those assholes (like me) around there, don’t worry if you have taken (or are taking) any wrong decision. Life will give you an opportunity to turn them into the right ones. All you need to have is some amount of passion and an ability to work hard.
The world is yours if you have the heart to take it!
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