Zindagi Ka Safar


Anu and Arjun met on a trek in Mumbai. Arjun was an engineer. Even though he studied at the best engineering institution in India, he found his calling in adventure sports. Anu was a multitalented woman. She earned a PHD from IISc. She was an artist, a classical dancer and much more. It is natural for a man to fall for such a woman. Arjun was no exception.

Arjun proposed Anu. Anu refused to accept. But, Arjun would not give up. He came to Bangalore for Anu. Arjun would cook food (he loved to cook) for Anu and cycle for hours to see her. Oftentimes, he would not be able to muster enough courage to meet her and come back. As quoted in Original Sin, “You cannot walk away from Love”, Anu finally acknowledged Arjun’s love.

Anu’s parents wanted her to get married in a traditional Brahmin family. When Anu realised that she would be unable to convince her parents to let her marry Arjun, she moved to Bangalore. They registered a court marriage in the presence of close friends. Arjun rented a small house. Although he was passionate about adventure sports, Arjun wanted to earn more and do more for the love of his life. Arjun’s every action was intended to do more for Anu.

There is a difference between love and lust. As quoted in “Original Sin”:

“To love someone is to give and then want to give more.

And lust?

What is lust, Alan?

Lust is to take and then take more.

To devour, to consume. No logic, no reason.”

Arjun was truly in love with Anu. He was so possessive of Anu that he would not let anybody eat the omelette that Arjun cooked specially for Anu. While there were many problems, these smaller gestures kept Arjun and Anu happy and their relation strengthened.

Arjun’s family was happy about his marriage. Arjun and Anu were ready to go to Patna to celebrate their wedding over a big function with Arjun’s family. But, before they could leave first cardiac arrest struck Anu. Anu’s heart stopped beating for ten minutes. Arjun held her in her arms and ran to the hospital. Fortunately. doctors could save Anu’s life. Anu took about a month to recover from the heart attack.

Arjun started searching for a job outside of Bangalore. While Arjun was out on an assignment, his mother took care of Anu. Arjun’s mother left after a month.

Arjun found a job in Jaipur. He went to Jaipur to arrange for a house. He had planned to come back in a week and take Anu along with him to Jaipur. Anu was alone in Bangalore. A heart attack hit her in the middle of the night. This heart attack killed her. Arjun was not there to take her in his arms this time.

Both Arjun and Anu were highly qualified. They had the capability to do anything. But, situations, circumstances and choices made their life difficult. Arjun and Anu could live together only for three months after their marriage.

May god give strength to Arjun to find a new meaning of his life.

May Anu’s soul rest in peace.

Aise jeevan bhi hai,

Jo jiye hi nahi,

Jinko jeene se pehle hi,

maut aa gayi,

Phool aise bhi hai,

Jinko khilne se pehle,

Fiza kha gayi…

PS: This is a true story.

 

Integrity


Dictionary Meaning:

The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

You never know when, how, and where will you be stung by dishonest people. We break the rules to make a little more money; we deceive people to gain advantage; we break relationships in our selfishness to live only for ourselves; we steal; we do everything at the cost of others to please our little self.

A couple of days ago, my bike was punctured. I dragged my bike to a mechanic’s shop  just outside my apartment. He told me that he fixes the puncture just to get customers. Otherwise, he is a mechanic, who specialises in fixing all major brands of two wheelers. He asked me to leave my bike at his workshop for about an hour. So, I left my bike at the shop.

I went back to the workshop to pick up my bike. He told me there were two punctures. I paid him the money.

When I checked my bike the next day, it was still punctured. I was getting late to office. I was pissed off at the workshop mechanic. The only question I had in my mind was if this guy cannot fix a puncture, how will he fix more technical problems with a bike. Anyway, I texted that I will be late to office. I dragged my bike to the same workshop again.

Now, the mechanic asked me to change the tyre tube itself. When I checked the old tyre tube, I realised that only one puncture was fixed. The mechanic had cheated me a day before by charging me extra money.

The mechanic had no integrity. He has lost the faith one customer, who was impressed earlier by the fact that despite being a mechanic, this guy is fixing punctures to give better customer experience, for a small gain of 50 bucks. I might have one day given him more financially rewarding work. But, he does not stand a chance with me now.

I learned two lessons from this incident. One, you should never compromise integrity irrespective of the magnitude of gain you might have. Second, whatever wrong you do, it comes back to you. It was unfortunate for the mechanic that he punctured the tyre tube again while putting it back into the tyre.

As they say

Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading on your integrity and not having dignity in life. That’s really where failure comes.

Cheers!!

A Lesson Learned


When a kid is born, his parents start believing that their kid will become the next child prodigy. As the kid grows, he also starts believing in his dexterity in doing just anything. His first encounter with the outside world happens when he goes to his school. For the first time, he comes to know that he is not good at everything. Gradually, he understands that it is fine to be second or third or a last ranker in the class.

There are many such facts that we learn to accept as we grow old. But, there are somethings that we never compromise on. These things define our values and make us what we are. When we compromise on these values, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure. Being practical causes a lot of stress. In such situations, our heart loses sync with our mind.

Is it possible to keep our heart and mind in sync? In my opinion, whenever conflict arises, we should suppress both our mind and heart a little. In this way we would find a middle path, which will console both the mind and heart. Being free matters to me the most, but I cannot be free to do anything. I can be free to the right extent. I can be free until my being free doesn’t affect others and the system, I am a part of.

This is a lesson that I have learned the hard way. I have learned to take a balanced decision when there is a conflict between the heart and mind.

~ Cheers!!

To Be Or Not To BE


Although this post takes its title from a famous Shakespeare’s soliloquy, it is not supposed to resemble Hamlet in any way. Pyaar-Ka-Punchnama gave many reasons to celebrate bachelorhood, but a marriageable bachelor’s mind often refuses to understand logic.

Similar to the Hamlet’s dilemma about whether to live or die, a bachelor often finds himself in a dilemma about whether to stay single or get married. Physics and Chemistry play a major role in diverting the attention of an otherwise focussed bachelor. Often, when we believe that ‘Life-Sahi-Hai’, chemistry conspires and, ultimately, screws our happiness.

As an Indian bachelor crosses the age of twenty-five years, his parents start showing signs of varying degrees of worry. Under immense stress, our Indian bachelor resorts to one of the umpteen matrimonial portals. Finally, technology has started playing a role in our life. Oftentimes, I wish if I had started one of the matrimonial portals. Jokes apart, the bachelor in context starts enjoying the pics of the chicks and immensely funny profiles. In the process, he also starts to understand the expectations of a Sundar, Susheel and Hot prospects.

After laughing at them for a couple of months, the bachelor now becomes serious and starts sending proposals to the eligible prospects. Most of the prospects either outrightly refuse to accept the proposal or wait list our bachelor’s request. Happy moments come, when he gets to meet some of the prospects. When such meetings happen, both the parties are not able to identify each other in spite of standing in front of each other because of various reasons. One of these reasons is that matrimony pictures have no resemblance with the actual appearance of the people. Many people, especially women, believe that they still look the same as they used to when they were sixteen. Again, technology comes for rescue. Both the parties call each other and stay agape with wonder when their eyes first get each other. Their mind refuses the erase the image registered earlier. Suddenly the following song starts making sense to both the parties:

‘Oh my god lag gayi, kya se kya hua’

So, both the parties sit together, order expensive drinks and start stealing each other’s glances. They talk all about their expectations, aspirations and ambitions. Personal space, ability to take their own decisions, likes and dislikes are some major topics of discussion. Finally, the time comes to disperse. While the boy pays the cheque, the girl takes a look around. Finally, they bid traditional goodbye and their ways part.

Now, both the parties start to analyze the minutes of meeting. The analysis requires advance knowledge of human behavior, which the male fraternity often lacks. Finally, the girl reaches to a conclusion that this proposal is not worth going ahead with. Boy also analyses everything, concludes that things might work. Finally, the bitwise-and of the boolean decisions of the girl and the boy is taken and both the parties resume searching on the mighty matrimonial sites.

After many unsuccessful attempts, our bachelor creates the following profile.

The boy is a B.TECH from an IIT, has completed MBA from Harvard and, currently earning about $500,000”

All the girls, who have declined our bachelor’s proposals, promptly send their requests. After the revenge, our bachelor starts thinking

To marry or not to marry.”

Then parents put more pressure and our Indian bachelor sends a new proposal on a sloshy sunday.

Conclusion: Finding a partner might me more difficult than putting the toothpaste back into the tube.

Interestingly, I found the following comment in the spam queue on my blog

Men marry because they are tired, women because they are curious; both are disappointed.”

Cheers!!

Mobstac: The Journey – 1


I became a permanent employee of MobStac on this day in 2011. We were working from Sharat’s apartments during the first few months of 2011. In the last fifteen months, I have witnessed our little startup catching the fancy of who’s who of mobile internet world. We have just concluded a quarter on a high. All of us gathered at our old office ,i.e. Sharat’s Apartment, to celebrate the end of a happening quarter and mark the beginning of another one, a more happening one . We remembered the old days at the quarter end party. MobStac has come a long way since it was born on 10th of June, 2009. Following are some of the incidents that we shared during the party.

MobStac was started in a small apartment in Indiranagar, Bangalore. Garage,the first computer that MobStac bought, our esteemed printer, ‘Bob Marley’ (named so because it can jam like no other printer in the world), the memorable center table and all other office stuff were shinning back then. As we iterated through our product idea, these things lost shine but they became dearer. When we become a billion dollar company, we are gonna build a museum of the firsts (only the things) at MobStac.

MobStac was among the finalists at The Economic Times, The Power of Ideas. As a result, Ravi and Sharat got an opportunity to pitch the idea of MobStac in front of a couple of investors. Those investors didn’t even bother to look at what MobStac had got. They interrupted Ravi and Sharat multiple times during the presentation. Within two minutes after the start of presentation, the investors asked to wind up and come back with more facts and figures. Sharat always says that you have to be thick skinned to become an entrepreneur. I believe, he is right. “It doesn’t matter how hard you hit, it matters how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” We have been doing exactly that.

Well, such events disheartened Ravi and Sharat. But, they continued to try with a firm belief in their idea. They say that, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” Finally, Ravi and Sharat got a pool of angels interested in investing in MobStac. These people believed in the vision of Sharat and Ravi, put their faith in them and provided the seed funding for MobStac. Later Accel Partners and Mumbai Angels invested in MobStac.

We went to Techcrunch Disrupt in September, 2011. We developed the world’s first of its kind HTML5 product within four months. Most of the hot shot technical bloggers, investors and technocrats were amazed by the demonstration of MobStac’s Touchsite product. We are thankful to publishers and bloggers, who liked our product, wrote about us and believed in us. We have been compared with many global startups yet and again. Fortunately, our product has always been judged better than any other similar product. We believe that all that matters now is how fast we move. The race is on guys. We are gonna win it (Touchwood :)).

There is a lot that happens in Mobstac everyday. I would keep posting the exciting news.

Wish us luck!!

Cheers!!

Recruitment at ITBHU


I ushered into the new year working until early mornings. While the coding part of my life keeps me occupied, the new year has given me many pleasant reasons to look beyond the code. I visited ITBHU, my alma mater, for recruitment on 12th of January 2012. I completed one year at MobStac on 12th January.

As I moved along the hostels, the nostalgia hit me. The memories flashed as I moved past Raman, Morvi and Viveka hostels. DG corner and Limbdi corner was still abuzz with activity. The tea stalls and Chaube ji’s shop have grown in size, so does the crowd in front of each stall.

I was welcomed with enthusiasm at the Training and Placement Office (TPO). All the arrangements for the pre placement talk(PPT) were done in G14. My eyes were set on the students as I entered the hall. Six years back, I was sitting right there among the students. Now, I was on the other side of the room. As I started the PPT, people got more interested in knowing about our product and the history of Mobstac. Many students actually showed interest in trying out the product when I demonstrated Intomobile’s Touchsite on my iPad. About 80 students applied for open positions in MobStac. We made one offer at ITBHU.

The smoking tea, samosas at DG corner, VT, departments, t-shirts depicting IT lingo, well lit Basket Ball Court, Volleyball matches reminded me of my days at IT. I was too busy to visit hostels and departments. But, I totally relished my time at IT.

Nayan, who interned with us last summer, and the Student Coordinator facilitated all the phases of recruitment. A big thanks to Nayan, student coordinator and the staff at the TPO. I hope to visit ITBHU again for rectuitment.

Cheers!!

Prejudices


A wise person once told me a story about monkey behavior. Considering monkeys as our esteemed ancestors, the wise person later related the story to Homo Sapiens behavior also. Following is the story:

 Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, you’ll see a banana hanging on a string with a set of stairs placed under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, all of the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt to obtain the banana.  As soon as his foot touches the stairs, all of the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. It’s not long before all of the other monkeys try to prevent any monkey from climbing the stairs.

Now, put away the cold water, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him as he makes his way toward the stairs.  After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

We humans are the same. We are born free. As we grow old, we start behaving in a peculiar way without understanding the reason for doing so. Prejudices affect our decision making ability. Prejudices don’t let us become our real selves. Everybody is living under false pretenses. I just wish that people come out of their shell, start believing in their real selves and become themselves. 

Cheers!!


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