Anjaana Anjaani…

Note: When I say ‘we’, I mean most of us.

All of us come to this world, crying. Our parents pamper us, they make us feel special and they teach us how to smile. As we grow up, we develop our perceptions of emotions such as love, hate, relations etc.

We also develop fears of losing something that we love, we develop fears of facing something that we hate. We develop more fears with each passing day. The fears take control of our lives. We surrender our lives to these fears. We forget to love our life, pamper it and protect it from these fears. Some of us become so scared that we decide to give up this life that we do not own.

So, Anjaana Anjaani starts here. Two of us, Kiara, the heartbroken, and Aakash, the market broken, wanted to die. They attempted to die together. Unable to die, both of them postponed their suicide until 31st Dec 2009.

So, Aakash and Kiara decided to fulfill their heartfelt desires until 2009 survives. Aakash wanted to be loved. Kiara too had the same wish. She had loved Kunal so much that she decided to kill herself when Kunal cheated her. As Aakash started knowing Kiara, he fell in love with her. But, our beloved Kiara was still in love with her old buddy Kunal. Things got complicated. Kiara came back home to start it all over again with Kunal. Aakash went back to his life, corrected his mistakes.

But, picture abhi baaki hai mere dost. Kiara realized that she loved Aakash. Things got complicated again. They met, they got drenched and they proposed each other. Wow!!

Anjaana Anjaani ends here.

It may take a lifetime or just twenty days or just an eye contact to fall in love. I believe, twenty days is a shorter route to happiness. At some moment the loss may be so big that the desire to live ceases, but we must try to find a reason to live and give up our fears. Indeed, Life is worth a try until divine intervention happens. So, live it up guys!!



Stanley ka Dabba

Instead of taking a siesta today after the sumptuous homely lunch, I started watching Stanley Ka Dabba. The movie was shot in a school, where Stanley was a student in class fourth. Stanley was a very cheerful kid, who used to entertain his classmates by telling them interesting stories or dancing. When I switched on the television, Stanley was dancing to the tune of the famous Kaminey song, Dhan Te Nan.

Although Stanley was the cynosure of class fourth, he had a nemesis in the form his Hindi teacher, HT. HT was also an interesting character. He would keep an eye on everybody’s tiffin box in the school, and, would not think twice before grabbing a morsel or two from their dabba. HT would vent out his frustration on Stanley often. He would curse Stanley, punish him or do something to hurt him.

Stanley would never get a tiffin box. Sometimes his classmates would share their lunch with him. Oftentimes, Stanley would drink water to quench his hunger. A kid, who studied in class fourth, had so much will power and self respect that he preferred drinking water to sharing lunch with his classmates. When Stanley’s friends forced him to eat with them, HT would not let Stanley eat.

So, HT got increasingly interested in the dabba of one of the Stanley’s friends, Aman. Everyday, he would shamelessly eat from Aman’s tiffin box. Aman and other kids wanted Stanley to eat with them, but HT would not allow Stanley to eat with other kids because Stanley did not bring dabba. So, all the kids would plan and fled away during the lunch. HT was frustrated with the children’s behavior. During the recess, HT would search for the Aman et. al. One day HT found the children. He scolded Stanley and asked him not come to school if he did not get a dabba. So, Stanley was thrown out of his school for not getting a dabba.

It was shown in the movie later that Stanley was working in a hotel. His parents were no more. But, he would never complain about it and not let anybody know what he has got in his life. I am writing this post because I have seen people making fun of somebody because of some trivial reason. We never try to understand that situations make people what they are. We must respect other people irrespective of what they have got. Being compassionate will not cost us anything. Because we would not always know what other people’s journey have been all about.


Happy Independence Day

18th August is a very special day for me. An year ago, I quit my job without much idea about what I’m gonna do next. I did not have much idea about what would it take to act on my dreams.

The first two months were excruciating. Everyday, I would wake up and see others going to work. Sometimes I would become desperate for that cozy place in an office. Then, I would start reading, trying to search for a worthwhile idea or doing something to keep myself busy. I was alone, tired and frustrated at the end of each day. Sometimes, I felt like grabbing a job again. I did schedule a couple of interviews. But, when I had to take up the interview, my mind just refused to take it up. My mind refused to retreat under any circumstance. I read read and read during the first two months.

When I could not think of an idea, it seemed to me a better idea to freelance with web startups. Now, I did not have any experience in web development. I started meeting people, asking them to delegate projects, which I would do for nothing. Gradually, I learned about web development. During the last one year, I worked on front end back end and fixed many other loose ends. I worked with MobStac as freelancer first. Later, Ravi and Sharat, two people who are incredibly smart, ethical and down to earth, asked me to join MobStac as a core team member. So, I joined MobStac in April 2011. Everyday, I learn something new. It has been a great journey so far.

Although I have gained a lot during the last one year, the most important lessons that I learned are following:

  • I have learned to face my fears. Nothing rules me now. I feel free.
  • I have learned to keep patience.
  • I have gained tremendous belief in myself.
  • I have learned to keep the faith.
  • I am learning to be unreasonable. I don’t want to leave any scope of mediocrity in anything I do.
  • Finally, I am discovering myself. I am competing with myself now.

Trust me, you will feel the best when you know how to be yourself.


Entrepreneurship, Love and Nirvana

Everybody loves to talk about entrepreneurship. Although I am not an entrepreneur at this point of time, some people consider me, a core team member in one of the hottest Indian startups, worthy enough to get some gnan about entrepreneurship. But, most of the people ask questions about how their personal life would be, how well will they get paid, how is the company doing, does company have funds to survive, how would an early stage employee grow in the next few years etc.

Well, to be frank, such people will never start a company. Moreover, most of the startups would not even hire them. Start ups look for people, who are self motivated, who care more about building a product that would change the world in some way than being able to go and freak out every weekend. Changing the world isn’t easy and most people are not cut out to do so.

There are people, who have got ideas as well. They work hard to give a shape to their idea but they don’t quit their job. Well, nobody, repeat n times where n is a very large number, would invest in a company, whose founders are more worried about their day job than going 24X7 building their idea. I would like to shout it loud to all the people, who have proof of concept, to quit their job and start believing that they are building the most incredible thing the world has ever seen. Yeah, unless you breathe your idea consciously and unconsciously, you would probably give up one fine day.

If you have entrepreneurial ambitions, you may find true love. A girl will love an entrepreneur only if she loves you as a person. Hence, entrepreneurship is a way to find true love.

Whenever a company decides to reduce the headcount, we get worried. When appraisal happens, we get worried irrespective of how well we have done. Excellent people want an outstanding appraisal, good people want excellent, average people want to be graded as good and below average, well, they don’t really think. They are the saints, who give average people a reason to feel good about themselves. If your boss is only worried about saving his ars*, you are screwed. Well, a job gives you many worries in return of a paycheck. These worries don’t help you in any way. They just cripple your mind.

If you become an entrepreneur, you have only one critical worry at a time. First, the speed at which the product is being built. We can break this worry into smaller worries (Remember, concepts of Memoization). Once the product takes shape, the worry would be whether the product is getting sufficient traction. Well, if the product doesn’t get traction, you are back to square one. Think of a new idea and start over again. But, when the product gets traction, milking of the bull starts. Once you are able to milk the bulls, you get cash cows, which help you earn enough to survive your next startups or ten generations, may be more. So, entrepreneurship gives worries that make you better with each passing day, and may, possibly, help you in leaving a legacy. Either outstanding people or saints become entrepreneurs. Excellent, good and average people go the top through the usual path, one step at a time. If you believe you can fly, you have 50% chance to fly and reach the top through the shortcut.

If you have cash cows, you would employ many people. Helping so many people would get you a seat in heaven. Hence, entrepreneurship is another way to attain nirvana.

Now listening to: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin


A Day in a Hospital

I had been yearning for a break until a couple of weeks ago. Wafting through appointments, disappointments, excitements and dreams, I was suddenly struck by damn throat infection. The infection got me bed ridden for a week. Unable to power on my Mac for a week, I was kind of eager to switch it on to write a few lines of deadly code (Yeah, I do write multilingual deadly code snippets) and check out the notifications on Facebook. Social networking sites have become such an integral part of my life that I don’t hesitate to pick up my aeons old Nokia phone ( According to latest statistics only four people are using this particular model of mobile phone) and try to open Facebook on Opera 4.0, the oldest version of Opera currently alive on a mobile phone. Phew! we engineers don’t stop at anything when it comes to checking FB notifications and ….

My sweet feverish break forced me to visit hospitals, which I found to be an altogether different world. Following are some of the observations about the hospitals:

  • When two patients meet, they show concern for each other’s health.

  • Doctors are very considerate of the patients. I don’t have words to explain how much do I like doctors.

  • Some patients are extremely talkative, while others keep their worries for themselves.

  • Some patients eat a lot when they fall ill, especially when they are diabetic.

  • Doctors are like gods. People, irrespective of their status, show them gratitude by folding their hands together, standing up, giving a wry grin of hope or acknowledging a doctors presence in some way.

  • When doctors make rounds in the wards, it is an incredible march of faith in gods and doctors. Everybody looks up to them with hope and trust.

  • Many people become weak when they face pain. They cry; they scream; but, in the end, they have to suffer for themselves. The sooner people understand it the better they are prepared for life.

  • Sisters are essential to the working of a hospital. They actually make the patients feel that they are being cared.

I also picked up the most talked about non fiction book The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. The book talks about the the biography of Cancer, the disease. You may be terrified as you read the book, but, trust me, the book is worth a read. The human spirit never acknowledges defeat. Same goes with the surgeons, who gave up their life in finding a cure for Cancer. Cancer is

 “Omnis cellula e cellula (“every cell originates from another existing cell like it.”) ad infinitum.”

 Now listening to Abhi Na Jao Chor Kar from Hum Dono starring Dev Anand and Nanda.


Run, Play and Work (not necessarily in that order)

Running gives you a chance to challenge yourself at every moment when your mind tries to stop you, but your heart says, ‘don’t quit, finish line is close’. Interestingly, heart always wins the fight.

TCS Open 10k was actually more inspiring than Sunfeast Open 10k, 2010. Words of encouragement from the bystanders, occasional music, sound of the shoes drumming the streets, and Bose DK made TCS 10k memorable. A big shout out to all the people, who participated in the wheelchair event. It was truly inspiring to see them driving the wheelchairs to the finish line with great zeal. When it becomes difficult to carry your own weight, it indeed takes extreme courage to carry your friend along with you. I hope to continue participating in running events.

MobStac won Businessworld’s Hottest Young Entrepreneur Award for 2011. MobStac is rated as the hottest young Indian startup. After two years of hard work, MobStac has come into the limelight. While the Captains, Ravi and Sharat, did an incredible job of steering MobStac to the right path, the technical team, Shivansh and Bhashkar, left no stone unturned in making sure that everything works beyond a publisher’s expectations. We have got an awesome team of interns, Nayan, Sameer, Paranjay, Kushagra, Phalgun and Sahana, who are contributing to the completion of several critical projects.

(L to R) Ravish, Shivansh, Paranjay, Sharat, Ravi, Nayan, Bhashkar, Sameer, Kushagra

Although I have worked with very smart people, team MobStac has something that is more than smartness. I call it the sense of belongingness. We hope to grow by leaps and bounds in the next twelve months. Wish us luck, guys. Mobstac turns two tomorrow. I wish MobStac many happy returns of the day.

My day never completes without a couple of badminton matches. The sport is teaching me to keep patience when the plans go awry. I play well sometimes, screw up badly on some other days. But, I am learning to become more patient with each passing day. There are people who are always calm, irrespective of how their partner performs. They give their best effort, which is what truly matters. I want to be like a duck, who stays calm on the surface but paddles like hell underneath. And, sport is teaching me exactly that. I think everybody should take up at least one sport. It will not only help you to feel good about yourself, but also build your character.


An Eventful Friday

Predicting the future is like tossing an unbiased coin. Every outcome has 50% chance to occur. As I write this post, India may make its way to victory or lose it out to the Lankans. Viru knocked out by the very second delivery followed by Sachin a few overs later. I am sure many have already lost hope, but I still believe that we have 50% chance to win the world cup. A game is not over, until it is over. And, Indian team is not a quitter. So, keep cheering up India.

Yesterday, I attended Android Camp. A lot of enthusiastic Android developers, Android evangelists and entrepreneurs had gathered at the camp to show their work, recruit Android experts and break into the entrepreneurial network in Bangalore. There was also a retard, A (I choose A because A is the first letter for seven letter word that aptly describes such people),who presented his tryst with Android. At the beginning of the presentation, A, the retard, warned people of the foul language that he was going to use during the presentation. He was in love with word F**K. A hottie accompanying him might be the reason behind it but he shamelessly used the F word during the presentation.

The best part of the Android Camp was the discussion that happened at the end of the session. People expressed their views on why they love an Android phone and why it sucks sometimes. The geeks at the camp complained about the battery life of android phones and then came up few tricks that can be used to increase the battery life. People expressed their concerns about making money with Android apps. There is still the need for a successful business model for making money out of Android apps. I have heard that Apple is going to launch a 200$ iPhone. People at Android camp claimed that it is a rumor. But, as far as I can think services are going to make more sense in the future. So, Apple would not like to miss a chance to reach to the masses. Overall, I totally enjoyed friday with the geeks.

I attended the launch of the book, The Fresh Brew, in the evening. The book is about twenty-five entrepreneurs from IIM Lucknow. Subroto Bagchi and few other entrepreneurs, whose stories are written in the book, shared interesting incidents from their entrepreneurial journey.

One of the founders of MeritTrac, Murlidhar S, narrated what they went through when recession hit the Indian software industry in 2000. The effect of recession was further aggravated by 9/11 attack on US. MeritTrac had funds to survive for the next five months if all the people in the company, eight employees and three founders, don’t draw their salaries. The founders decided to make all the employees aware of the situation. Seven out of eight employees extended their support to the company immediately. One of them asked for a day to decide. He wanted to discuss with his wife before reaching to a conclusion as they had a one month old kid. The next day he also extended his support to MeritTrac. Murli went on to tell us about one of the employees, who needed a monthly salary to keep her monthly expenses rolling. It was difficult for her to keep up with the expenses, if she did not receive salary for a month. In spite of the financial crisis, she extended her support to the company. This is the spirit of entrepreneurship. Murli believes that MeritTrac is what it is because of these eight employees.

Getting inspired is good. Ratnesh Mathur, founder of GenieKids, told us about a guy who approached him after reading ‘The Fresh Brew’. He had quit his job and wanted to work with Ratnesh to open a school on the similar lines as GenieKids. I wish him all the best in his endeavors. I hope that people will actually start doing things that they think they should do. They would not wait for their life to get promoted.