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“In terms of power and influence you can forget about the church, forget politics. There is no more powerful institution in society than business… The business of business should not be about money, it should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed.”
- Sanjay Dhir, Prashant Sree & Laxmi Narayanan G.

It all started with a 14 hours late train journey from Lucknow to Jaipur. Purpose: To visit a company, “Jaipur Rugs”, for case study. And during the course of next 3 days, I realized that it was much more than a company. Jaipur Rugs is a phenomenon, a firm with different vision, a firm which not only generates EVA (Economic Value Add) to the shareholders of the firm but also to society at large. “Service to community” is the core motive of the company and with a history of more than 20 years; it has been a boon for all – The villagers, local people, women, employees, and above all it has been a source of motivation for any person who wants to be an entrepreneur. Jaipur Rugs is a classic example of the fact that for being an epitome of success in business, one can tread on a different route (not necessarily a money centric approach) by serving the society on one hand and generating empowerment. Yes, „Empowerment‟ is the word I would prefer to call this, for, I see the sole reason for which Mr. N.K Chaudhary has build up his empire is not EVA but SVA (Society Vale Add).

Just imagine, a villager, in the outskirts of Jaipur is connected to the world by an „Onida‟ Television and has a splendour+ standing outside his house and all because of the handloom installed in his house by the noble souls of this firm. Amazing! The list will go on and on, with people employed at all the 80 odd stages of the process of carpets and rugs making and moreover all of them motivated to do their level best in their respective jobs.

Well, values and culture are two pillars of Jaipur Rugs, with each one complimenting each other. Mrs. Chaudhary plays a crucial role in this, with a motherly touch, to one and all. The hospitality which we (Prashant, Laxmi and I) received is worth a remembrance – for life!

This blog could run into pages and still will fall short of the real picture, which only could be experienced by interacting with the company per se, and especially Mr. Chaudhary and his family (including his daughter, wife and whole of the firm employees).

And last but not the least, the 14 hours late journey by train was worth a visit for such an inspiring and wonderful firm – “Jaipur Rugs”, especially for students like us. We learnt a lot and would like to contribute in every possible way; we can, to Jaipur Rugs.

Thank You

What A Wonderful World :-)

The best lyrics ever written!
Sharing with the world – A MASTERPIECE!

Double click the link to open in YOU TUBE!

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Robert & George David

Freedom OF mistakes!


The German philosopher F. Nietzsche once said: “it is no use living arguing about everything; it is part of human nature to make a mistake now and again.”

Yet we all know people who absolutely insist that they are right even down to the smallest details. We ourselves are often included in this category: we don’t allow ourselves to make mistakes. All that we achieve with such an attitude is the fear of moving forward – because certain steps call for new decisions whose results are unknown to us.

The fear of making a mistake is the door that locks us up in the castle of mediocrity: if we manage to overcome this fear, we are taking an important step towards our freedom.

“Ego” in Academia……..

IIM Lucknow taught me one thing – Management is all about competing, being the best or at least above average. The side effect of which is that success is followed by ego. High achievers–CEO’s, top athletes, rock stars, prominent surgeons, scientists or researchers–often seem to be well endowed in ego. But how much of this is ‘healthy’ and where does the line draw for the unhealthy? Well in academics too, researchers develop this ego – again no offense to anyone – but it’s just my observation till date. Before we jump to any conclusions let’s start with the basics.

What is Ego?

What ego is depends largely on who you ask. :-) Philosophical and psychological definitions abound. Popularly, ego is generally understood as one’s sense of self-identity or how we view ourselves. It may encompass self-confidence, self-esteem, pride, and self-worth, and is therefore influenced by many factors, including genes, early upbringing, and stress.

The popular concept of ego is a far cry from what Sigmund Freud elaborated at the turn of the 19th century in his seminal work on psychoanalytical theory. Freud distinguished between primary (id) and secondary (ego) cognitive systems and proposed that the id, or unconscious, was characterized by a free exchange of neural energy and more primitive or animistic thinking.

Ego in academia

Being a part of academic fraternity, one thing is quite obvious, which Freud misses out is that genes, upbringing and stress acts as a 2nd order factors determining the extent of ego in an individual. I will not comment on the first two factors but the third factor plays an important role. A researcher undergoes the plethora of thoughts and waves while bringing out a new theory, validating earlier work or even doing a lit review. The best part is that it seldom happens that 2 researchers think alike. Same issues, same data but the final paper will always vary and this brings the so called EGO into the play.

From Aura to Nagergy

Research scholars during their journey with research inherit all the above 4 characteristics i.e. self confidence, self esteem, pride and self worth along with a contended heart. No research is complete and for every research there is an equal and opposite research. This starts getting reflecting in real life of researchers and thus the healthy academic ego of scholars fall prey to unhealthy personal ego and clashes. The good and the positive aura of ego in professional excellence, if not handled with care, gets convert to a nagargy (negative energy) in personal life.

Discussion

Anyway, people may vary in their thoughts and as said earlier it depends on who u ask but if someone asks me, I would define ego -> as an individual’s grandiose self-importance and such extreme preoccupation with self that “One lose the capacity to see things through other people’s eyes”.

To be short and precise, these 10 years will be the most cherished period of my life and may have an impact on my life till death. Just 4 phases of life but the whole decade had been a rejuvenating experience.
Here it goes:

2000-2002

The long relationship with St Thomas came to an end and the relationship with the most glamorous school of North India – DAV Shyamli was on a roll. 2 years of pressure, tuitions, bio, AK Singh, maths, exam papers and all, with my Hero Cycle (still in my garage). The real competitive pressure could be felt in the nerves. Mom’s and Dad’s pride was resided in my results of, none other than in which resided the pride of another 1 lacs parents of my batch, IIT JEE. I got through screening but not in mains. Ultimately after filling up 250 options in CBSE form, landed up with a call letter of ITER, BBSR, Mech Engg!

2002-2006

“Mech engg main fire hona chaiye”, became the words of living in ITER. Well, these were the most memorable days of life – engineering classes cum bunks, hostel, hostilities, ragging and mess food. I got in touch with some of the best friends who made my life, in an unknown land, very sweet and simple. My performance graph went a V-shape during the tenure of 8 semesters, thanks to the rising fun graph of hostel life. Had ample parties and of course I admit, vomiting too. Ha ha, but that was fun. 12 hostilities, 12 personalities, 12 gems, were all that I got and still cherish till date. Yes, also got 2 jobs – TCS and Mahindra finally. Had a tuff time choosing one but ultimately landed at Nasik – Mahindra R&D centre!

2006-2009

It was a Turnaround phase. 1 year of training, Ludhiana visit and Reliability Engg made me a tuff guy. The most interesting and memorable moments were VRDE testing, Navshya Ganpati , Non veg treats, and Scorpio ride and handling. Met some very influential people (personally) who changed my life completely. Bought the cheapest bike available in the market – Bajaj Platina (still giving a FE of 70 Km/l) and learned cooking by some great food freaks! One of the most emotional turbulent times of my life but finally managed to get a percentile in CAT which gave me a call letter from IIM Lucknow & Kolkata for FPM programme. Kolkata letter I tore away, for some reason (immaterial now) and finally got through Lucknow. ‘Picture abhi baki tha, mere dost’.

2009- 31st Dec, 2010

Seems like I joined this place just yesterday and sitting in the FPM room no 30 and writing this, gives me a nostalgic feeling of the day I arrived at the campus. 5 terms were more than a roller coaster ride with credits, quizzes, cases, grades, mark, fin, ops, HR, strategy, Fauji, G&B and above all research papers. This march, PGP 25 will move out and the our final race to, probably, the last degree of life, will begin.

Now when I sit and retrospect, I feel despite the tremendous pressure at IIM, this is the best phase of my life. I wish the same continues and sincerely thanks the last decade to make me what I am today. I also thank all the persons who crossed my life in the past decade – for their support and experience. And above all I thank Lucknow to give me the ‘light of joy’ which I cherish and always will for decades to come.
Let’s get into the 2nd decade of 21st century with a smile and sing together – IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD!

Amen!


“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked, when they had made camp that day.

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

“But my heart is agitated,” the boy said. “It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I’m thinking about her.”

“Well, that’s good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say.”

“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go on.”

“That makes sense. Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”

“Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?”

“Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world.”

“You mean I should listen, even if it’s treasonous?”

“Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you’ll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them.

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart.

“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out indeed, to be threatening place.

“So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”


According to the dictionary: from the Latin amor: strong affection that drives us towards the object of our desires; inclination of the soul and heart; affection; passion; exclusive inclination; theological grace.

Wikipedia: Love is the emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.

Philosophical context : love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection.

Religious context: love is not just a virtue, but the basis for all being (“God is love”), and the foundation for all divine law (Golden Rule).

In the New Testament: So faith, hope and love endure. These are the great three, and the greatest of them is love. (Corinthians 13:13)

In the Qur’an: And of His Signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you might find peace of mind in them, and He put between you love and compassion (Chapter 30, verse 21 )

In the Kabbalah: The pure impulse of dynamic creation is formless; and being formless, the creation it gives rise to can assume any and every form.

According to etymology: the Greeks had three words to designate love: Eros, Philos and Agape. Eros is the healthy love between two persons that justifies life and perpetuates the human race. Philos is the sentiment that we dedicate to our friends. Finally, Agape, which contains both Eros and Philos, goes far beyond “liking” someone. Agape is total love, the love that devours those who feel it.

For Oscar Wilde:
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
(Ballad of Reading Jail, 1898)

In a late 19th century sermon: Pour your love generously on the poor, which is easy; and on the rich, who distrust everybody and cannot see the love that they so need. And on your neighbor – which is very difficult, because it is towards him that we are most selfish. Love. Never lose a chance to give joy to your neighbor, because you will be the first to benefit from this – even if nobody knows what you are doing. The world around you will become happier, and things will become easier for you.(Henry Drummond The Supreme Gift, [1851-1897])

In an e-mail received by the author: “While I kept my heart to myself, I never had a single morning of anguish or a single night of insomnia. Since I fell in love, my life has been a sequence of anguish, losses, confusion. I think that God, by using love, managed to hide hell in the middle of Paradise” (C.A., 23/11/2006)

Scientific paper: In the year 2000, researchers Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki, of University College in London, located the areas of the brain activated by romantic love by using a series of students who claimed to be madly in love. In the first place, they concluded that the zones affected by the sentiment are far smaller than they had imagined, and are the same as those activated by stimuli of euphoria, such as in using cocaine, for example. Which led the authors to conclude that love is similar to the manifestation of physical dependence provoked by drugs.
Also using the same system of scanning the brain, scientist Helen Fisher, of Rutgers University, concludes that three characteristics of love (sex, romanticism and mutual dependence) stimulate different areas of the cortex, and further conclude that we can be in love with one person, want to make love to another, and live with a third.

A poet: Love possesses nothing and does not want to be possessed, because it is enough in itself. (The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran [1883-1931])

    1. Focus on grades or coursework

No one cares about grades in grad school.
There’s a simple formula for the optimal GPA in grad school:
Optimal GPA = Minimum Required GPA + ε
Anything higher implies time that could have been spent on research was wasted on classes. Advisors might even raise an eyebrow at a 4.0
During the first two years, students need to find an advisor, pick a research area, read a lot of papers and try small, exploratory research projects. Spending too much time on coursework distracts from these objectives.

    2.Learn too much

Some students go to Ph.D. school because they want to learn.
Let there be no mistake: Ph.D. school involves a lot of learning.
But, it requires focused learning directed toward an eventual thesis.
Taking (or sitting in on) non-required classes outside one’s focus is almost always a waste of time, and it’s always unnecessary.
By the end of the third year, a typical Ph.D. student needs to have read about 50 to 150 papers to defend the novelty of a proposed thesis.
Of course, some students go too far with the related work search, reading so much about their intended area of research that they never start that research.
Advisors will lose patience with “eternal” students that aren’t focused on the goal–making a small but significant contribution to human knowledge

    3.Expect perfection

Perfectionism is a tragic affliction in academia, since it tends to hit the brightest the hardest.
Perfection cannot be attained. It is approached in the limit.
Students that polish a research paper well past the point of diminishing returns, expecting to hit perfection, will never stop polishing.
Students that can’t begin to write until they have the perfect structure of the paper mapped out will never get started.
“Good enough” is better than “perfect.”

    4.Procrastinate

Chronic perfectionists also tend to be procrastinators.
So do eternal students with a drive to learn instead of research.
Ph.D. school seems to be a magnet for every kind of procrastinator.
Unfortunately, it is also a sieve that weeds out the unproductive.

    5.Go rogue too soon/too late

The advisor-advisee dynamic needs to shift over the course of a degree.
Early on, the advisor should be hands on, doling out specific topics and helping to craft early papers.
Toward the end, the student should know more than the advisor about her topic. Once the inversion happens, she needs to “go rogue” and start choosing the topics to investigate and initiating the paper write-ups. She needs to do so even if her advisor is insisting she do something else.
The trick is getting the timing right.
Going rogue before the student knows how to choose good topics and write well will end in wasted paper submissions and a grumpy advisor.
On the other hand, continuing to act only when ordered to act past a certain point will strain an advisor that expects to start seeing a “return” on an investment of time and hard-won grant money.

    6.Treat Ph.D. school like school or work

Ph.D. school is neither school nor work.
Ph.D. school is a monastic experience. And, a jealous hobby.
Solving problems and writing up papers well enough to pass peer review demands contemplative labor on days, nights and weekends.
Reading through all of the related work takes biblical levels of devotion.
Ph.D. school even comes with built-in vows of poverty and obedience.
The end brings an ecclesiastical robe and a clerical hood

    7. Ignore the committee

Some Ph.D. students forget that a committee has to sign off on their Ph.D.
It’s important for students to maintain contact with committee members in the latter years of a Ph.D. They need to know what a student is doing.
It’s also easy to forget advice from a committee member since they’re not an everyday presence like an advisor.
Committee members, however, rarely forget the advice they give.

    8.Aim too low

Some students look at the weakest student to get a Ph.D. in their department and aim for that.
This attitude guarantees that no professorship will be waiting for them.
And, it all but promises failure.
The weakest Ph.D. to escape was probably repeatedly unlucky with research topics, and had to settle for a contingency plan.
Aiming low leaves no room for uncertainty.
And, research is always uncertain.

    9. Aim too high

A Ph.D. seems like a major undertaking from the perspective of the student.
It is.
But, it is not the final undertaking. It’s the start of a scientific career.
A Ph.D. does not have to cure cancer or enable cold fusion.
At best a handful of chemists remember what Einstein’s Ph.D. was in.
Einstein’s Ph.D. dissertation was a principled calculation meant to estimate Avogadro’s number. He got it wrong. By a factor of 3.
He still got a Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a small but significant contribution to human knowledge.
Impact is something students should aim for over a lifetime of research.
Making a big impact with a Ph.D. is about as likely as hitting a bullseye the very first time you’ve fired a gun.
Once you know how to shoot, you can keep shooting until you hit it.
Plus, with a Ph.D., you get a lifetime supply of ammo.
Some advisors can give you a list of potential research topics. If they can, pick the topic that’s easiest to do but which still retains your interest.
It does not matter at all what you get your Ph.D. in.
All that matters is that you get one.
It’s the training that counts–not the topic.

    10. Miss the real milestones

Most schools require coursework, qualifiers, thesis proposal, thesis defense and dissertation. These are the requirements on paper.
In practice, the real milestones are three good publications connected by a (perhaps loosely) unified theme.
Coursework and qualifiers are meant to undo admissions mistakes. A student that has published by the time she takes her qualifiers is not a mistake.
Once a student has two good publications, if she convinces her committee that she can extrapolate a third, she has a thesis proposal.
Once a student has three publications, she has defended, with reasonable confidence, that she can repeatedly conduct research of sufficient quality to meet the standards of peer review. If she draws a unifying theme, she has a thesis, and if she staples her publications together, she has a dissertation.

Needing to adapt to the new times, Satan decided to get rid of a whole lot of his stock of temptations. He placed an ad in the newspaper and attended his customers all day in his workshop.
It was a fantastic stock: stones for the virtuous to stumble over, mirrors for increasing one’s self-importance, and spectacles that reduced the importance of others. Some objects hanging on the wall drew a lot of attention: a dagger with a curved blade to be used on someone’s back, and tape-recorders that registered only gossip and lies.

- Don’t worry about the price! – shouted old Satan to the potential customers. – Take it home today and pay for it whenever you can!

One of the visitors noticed three tools lying in a corner that seemed to be quite worn and attracted little attention. But they were very expensive. Curious, he wanted to know the reason for that apparent discrepancy.
- They are worn because they are the ones that I use most of all – answered Satan with a laugh. – If they drew a lot of attention, people would know how to protect themselves.

- However, they are both worth the price I am asking for them: one is Doubt, the other is the Inferiority Complex, the third is Bitterness. All the other temptations can sometimes fail, but these three always work.


God said,” Hey buddy?”
“Aah-hii”, i said confused. What was it? A tall, dark, handsome guy, rather uncle, with a halo and white beard, similar to one in Harry Potter books, but who was he? And why is he looking so superficial? I rubbed my sleepy eyes and tried to seep in what was it?
” Who are you?” I asked. Generally i attach ‘sir’ while addressing such personalities but something restrained me this time.
“Ah, well can I take a seat?” I realized he was already seated,” and have tea with you guys. By the way, I am GOD”.
“WHAT? “, i said with a mock but seconds later, I was like” Wwhhhaaaat?” , my whole body shaking. I longed for my friend Mayank, who had gone inside Fauji Dhaba ( the lone dhabha inside IIM Lucknow) for our traditional order – Samosa & chai at 6:30pm everyday in the evening of summers.
Actually it was month of May, 2010 and the whole 25th batch of IIM, Lucknow had left the campus for their summer projects and some of us, Phd students, were here, inside IIM L, for our research projects. Mayank and I were only ones left in our group so were having a ball out here. The serenetity of campus, ocean of research world, IPL, Movies and Lucknow had positioned our life very peaceful for the next 2 months, except, for what was happening in front of me now and Mayank was going to experience shortly.
“Why do u look pale? Don’t you offer prayers every day? You should be comfortable. Am here to strategize yours well as your friend’s life.” said GOD.
I could take the’ pale’ thing he said, i was really confused. I didn’t take that i offer prayers everyday but yes am a sort of regular. I take that i should be comfortable. But I didn’t take at all his purpose of being here. This word ‘strategize’ caught my attention. It was the most abused word in management courses with every specialization using this word as a whore, while the actual content of strategy is very different. I had realized this in my last 1 month of research in “Strategic Management”. I was about to explain God, the difference and the right usage of the word but I restrained myself.
“Who are you talking to?” asked Mayank, as he joined the table. “GOD”, i said peacefully and pointed in the direction opposite to me. I literally thanked God for making friends and realized how the fear of facing something you can’t handle alone, become a challenge if you have a friend by your side. Whether it is – fear of failure, fear of breakup, fear of living life peacefully or like this fear of facing GOD, all of these becomes an experience. I knew I was going to have one now.
““WHAT? “, he said with a mock but seconds later, he was like” Wwhhhaaaat?” his whole body shaking. I could sense the same adrenaline inside Mayank’s mind as mine few minutes again and also realized that he too was ready for an experience now but unlike me he didn’t make a fool of himself, he showed patience.
“Don’t panic dudes!” said God,” and don’t make a fool of yourself. Only you 2 can see me so just act chill and don’t prove the world that you both are dumb, especially you”, he pointed at me,” Every one already knows that. Sit straight and relax. Have your tea.”
I thought of a CP there. “Excuse me God. It’s you who make us feel like a fool. Why aren’t you visible to everyone? We are smart guys. And what do you mean by dumb? You made us so you are to be blamed.” I again restrained myself and did exactly as was directed. He was in some way right, Fauji dhaba’s waiters were looking sarcastically at us amazed, confused and thinking maybe we are drunk. We sat straight, and showed as if we were really drunk; else the next connotations to us were like – madmen, insane or stupid. We were smart guys so we started having our tea with –peaceful looks outside and hell of turbulence inside.
“Walk?” he asked. Mayank literally spilled out last sip of his tea and regained saying, “what do u mean?”
“I wanna have a walk with you both, ready?” he said as if annoyed by questioning of his intentions. I guess Gods don’t’ like to be questioned and he knew that we both used bikes nowadays for roaming places, even a km apart.
“Ya sure, we walk a lot”, I said without realizing that he was GOD and not our gym instructor who advices us to walk a lot and we always react the way I did now. “Stupid”, I said to myself, as I realized God knew how much we walked – ON OUR BIKES!

We set out towards the PGP block ( Our classrooms at lucknow). It was a beautiful evening with divine last rays of light just glancing through Chintan block ( faculty building) and beautiful yellow flowers all around hung on trees. It had drizzled that afternoon and the whole atmosphere was very clean and without any confusion, as if all of them accumulated in our hearts with GOD besides us. Or maybe it was HIS aroma, which was getting reflected outside. Whatever it was, it was very beautiful and appealing.
“You both are working hard for your summers”, said he and a shine could be seen in our eyes, even our proffs never commented something like this, “but this will not lead you both anywhere. It’s all waste!” he said spontaneously as if it was pre planned. Our shoulders drooped but rather now it was more comfortable as we already knew this fact.
“So you come all the way to tell us that we are a waste and did nothing substantial for the past one month?” I said looking at Mayank for approval for my comment. We had been researching hard for the last one month with nearly 3 dozens of literature papers, night outs, summary, ppts and above all self motivation to do this. How could we take that all these efforts will not lead us anywhere? Though we knew the fact, we had to defend ourselves or maybe we were curious to know that what was it that we were lacking in our approach?
“Don’t use management idioms here – “substantial” is a word that neither u nor I can define”, said GOD. We nodded our heads in agreement. We had come to this consensus in Chanakya’s dining table after an hour long debate with one of our most cherished senior (Name – confidential).
“I wanna you both to introspect a bit. Do you realize that you are all the time engrossed in something and living life without any real learning from its experiences? Do you realize that studying, roaming around, gossiping and sleeping takes 25 hours of your one day? Have you both ever reflected back the learning’s you received from life, experiences, encounters etc. I deliberately gave you both the greatest chance to have them in your life, but alas, you both couldn’t capitalize on that. This will not lead you anywhere.”
3 words caught my attention – introspect, reflect and capitalize. I wanted to shout,” It’s not true, we do this every day but only while playing Farmville on Facebook”, I again restrained myself.
“It’s not true, we do this every day”, said Mayank,” We are what our parents taught us, we think of them every time. We share our experiences and offer prayers just to balance things out. We also are very social and really capitalize every single moment of life”.
“Mayank sir”, said GOD, “and what’s ur name, ya Sanjay sir, am not talking of your personality traits and your good deeds here in the world. You know better than me regarding that. I am talking of that one encounter, one meeting with someone in life, which happened only once. Who came in your life and went away but drastically changed your life with some teachings, some thoughts to ponder upon. I today want you both to reflect upon those experiences and tell me what made that, one meeting, so impressive that you consider it as your lifetime opportunity. But make it fast, I have to leave before it gets dark. One experience each please”.
It came to us as if we were called out in 206 room of PGP block, with projectors on and an evaluator in place, to give an impromptu presentation of the one we saw ages before and that too in 15 minutes.
Mayank started his tale,” Well I met with a family who resided at Leh and had 12 kids. Father was a basketball coach and mother was a local journalist. They had a love marriage 22 years ago and now they had this dozen kids and a complete mess, I would confess. I was there as it had snowed a lot in mountins and our trekking plans were delayed due to the same. They gave us shelter for a day. The family, besides having such a big management problem of their own, had a patience which was unmatchable. Right from the time I entered their home and the next 22 hours when I stayed, not even once the couple lost their temper and handled every situation most tactfully with a smile on their faces. That was amazing. In India the families have their marriages balled up due to kids sometimes but they were simply superb and worth a case study in Harvard. Since that day, I always had a smile on my face. I realized that a smile can take away all the troubles so softly that no other magic can do. The family was a huge success.”
“Good. I know that family very well dear. They are blessed. I only allow pressures to mount on those of my children, who can handle. Most of them break their way, gets frustrated and panic. But 2 things can make way for you – Patience and Smile. You are very right in sense in analyzing your chance of divinity. You will go places.
Now, Sanjay, did u experience this divinity some time or other?”
“Well”, I thought, “there had been ample encounters but the one which moved me most was the old man with a bucket list”, said I.” His name was Harish Mehta. We met in a hospital bed where I was suffering from a fracture and he with lethal cancer. He was operated 2 days back and only had a secretary to take care of him. Later I came to know that he was the owner of the hospital and had a 21 year old daughter, with whom he had no cords left. So, he was all alone and it all started the day when doctor said he had just 6 months left in his life.
He shooed the doctor away and started writing something on a piece of paper. We had become good friends till then and thus he shared with me his bucket list i.e. – Bungee jumping, Experience divinity, kiss the most beautiful girl in the world and laugh his heart out till he cried. He said he wanted to do this before he was no more.
8 months later I received an e-mail from his secretary stating – ¾ down in the list and final one i.e. to experience divinity was left but that too will get fulfilled when Harish’s ashes will be buried on Himalaya’s top. He did bungee jumping in Jaipur, kissed his granddaughter after meeting his daughter for the last time in Mumbai and laughed his heart out, with his best friend, just before his death in Kolkata, so that tears rolled down his cheeks.
I was moved and thought – Life was too short to ponder over petty things and thus we should all be contended and experience life to its full. Take out the inessentials from our lives and keep the essentials. Everything else is secondary.”
God seemed pleased and said, “Ah, you have won my heart sons. Just like after scorching summer, when the clouds come with a strong gush of wind, it takes all the dried up leaves from a tree and leaves only the strong green leaves. It takes out the inessentials and retains the essentials”, said GOD with a bit of impatience in his voice. He continued,” You guys have had experiences and I guess now you know what I meant by saying – things that matter in life. Cribbing is an art of the devil. Only they live who live for the ‘essentials’ in life with lots of ‘patience’ in their heart & ‘smile’ on their face. So my sons, there you go, in this world created by me, to face all the traumas and troubles, which are deliberately made to test you. Promise me you will look into essentials of the same; patiently and always have a smile on your face. That’s your first ‘realized lesson’ in your life today. I will come back for more. Tab tak ke liye – TAKLIYA”. We had hardly uttered “I promise”, in chorus that he vanished leaving us alone in the stage in front of our Gyanodaya library.
It was 8:45 pm. We were perplexed with the event. We could not utter a word. We got up, went to have our dinner, came back, and before retiring to our rooms, Mayank asked me” Do you believe what happened or were we hallucinated?”
I was as confused as much as he was and answered, “It’s not essential to dwell on this question”. We smiled and made our ways to our respective rooms. That night we slept patiently and with a smile on our face.


A goose who was plucking grass upon a common thought herself affronted by a horse who fed near her; and in hissing accents, thus addressed him: “I am certainly a more noble and perfect animal than you, for the whole range and extent of your faculties is confined to one element.”
“I can walk upon the ground as well as you; I have, besides, wings, with which I can raise myself in the air; and when I please, I can sport on ponds and lakes, and refresh myself in the cool waters. I enjoy the different powers of a bird, a fish and a quadruped.”

The horse, snorting somewhat disdainfully, replied: “It is true you inhabit three elements, but you make no very distinguished figure in any one of them. You fly, indeed; but your flight is so heavy and clumsy, that you have no right to put yourself on a level with the lark or the swallow.”
“You can swim on the surface of the waters, but you cannot live in them as fishes do; you cannot find your food in that element, nor glide smoothly along the bottom of the waves.”
“And when you walk, or rather waddle, upon the ground, with your broad feet and long neck stretched out, hissing at everyone who passes by, you bring upon yourself the derision of the beholders.”

“I confess that I am formed only to move upon the ground; but how graceful is my make! How well turned my limbs! How highly finished my whole body! How great my strength! how astonishing my speed! I had much rather be confined to one element, and be admired in that, than be a goose in all!”

Changing Attitude !


“Over the course of one year, give a coin to each person who offends or upsets you,” instructed the abbot of a young man who wanted people to follow a spiritual path.
For the next twelve months, the boy gave a coin to each person who offended or upset him, as he was instructed. At the end of the year, he returned to the abbot to find out what the next steps were.
“Go into town and buy food for me,” the abbot responded.
Once the boy left, the abbot changed his clothes, disguised himself as a beggar and went to the gate. When the boy approached, he began to insult him.
“Good!” said the boy, “for a whole year I had to pay the people who upset or offended me, and now I can be offended for free, without spending anything!”
Hearing this, the abbot removed his disguise. “He who does not take insults seriously, is on the path to wisdom.”

- Paulo Coelho

A Beautiful – FAILURE !


Its 3:23am. The starry night at IIM Lucknow is cozy and calm. The cool breeze touching my cheeks are divine and my wandering mind has just generated a beautiful thought. The thought about – “FAILURE”. Now how can a thought of – “failure”- be beautiful?

Well, I just wanna ask you to keep reading and comment at the end if i was able to make you on my side for this weird but a path breaking thought :-)

To be a bit patriotic, I am proud to be an Indian! We all live in an Indian society which instills a sense of achievement in our veins right from our infancy stage. This – sense of achievement – in my view is a – ‘FEAR OF FAILURE’. I, you and society , all wanna achieve something our whole lives and live with a FEAR OF FAILURE. If you fail – U are doomed. How can you fail in an Indian society? Your neighbor never failed! For the past 26 years I (and may be a majority of you ) have lived this, but today, when I look back and reflect, apart from my achievements, my failures are equally important a part of my life and responsible for whatever I am today.

My achievements speaks for me to the outer society. But my failures speak to my inner self. It speaks to me about the those moments which i lived through and those which made me strong. It speaks to me of all the learnings from hurdles which i crossed through. It speaks to me of my real inner self and of all those stones and stumbles i crossed to climb the mountain.

Some of you might have never failed in a way, high in scale, but some failures are inevitable.Its impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

Failures, give us inner security which we can never experience by any achievement. It teaches us things about ourselves which we could have never learnt the other way. It rather conspired against us for our own good.
Life is not ( n should not be ) a bed of roses. Else the whole purpose of the same is lost – in short – U NEVER LIVE LIFE.

I define LIFE as – “Look Into Failure Experiences”! This has a two-fold benefits. One, You know the dark side of life, for you can never know how sweet are the grapes unless u taste a sour one. Secondly, You make a complete picture of your experiences. On a lighter note – mast masala Bollywood movie!

The very experience that we have become wiser and stronger is an achievement. We never know the essence of any relationship, goals and success unless we face adversity. Such an experience is a blessing which is painfully won.

Our CV & qualification falsely represent ourselves ( All MBA aspirants! this is for you ). The one who really appreciates this really knows what happiness is all about. Life is too complicated, dynamic and beyond one’s control. Humility in life – in person and to know this – is the greatest treasure to be cherished!

I would recommend you all to view the motivation of this blog, commencement speech at Harvard by an infamous writer – J.K. Rowling over “Fringe benefits of failure and role of imagination”

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Its 4:14am now and the starry night outside has become more cozier and calmer. The cooler breeze touching my cheeks has become more divine and my settled mind now is more convinced of the beautiful thought – “FAILURE”. Now,are you convinced of the beauty of failure? – The only thing in the world which smashes you on your face just to make you a better,stronger and wiser person!


1. That ball went so high it could have got an air hostess down with it.
2. There is light at the end of the tunnel for India, but it’s that of an incoming train which will run them over.
3. Experience is like a comb that life gives you when you are bald.
4. This quote was made after Ganguly called Dravid for a run and midway sent him back and Dravid was run out in the third test against the West Indies at Barbados. “Ganguly has thrown a drowning man both ends of the rope.”
5. Sri Lankan score is running like an Indian taxi meter.
6. Statistics are like miniskirts, they reveal more than what they hide.
7. Wickets are like wives – you never know which way they will turn!
8. He is like Indian three-wheeler which will suck a lot of diesel but cannot go beyond 30!
9. The Indians are going to beat the Kiwis! Let me tell you, my friend, that the Kiwi is the only bird in the whole world which does not have wings!
10. As uncomfortable as a bum on a porcupine.
11. The ball whizzes past like a bumble bee and the Indians are in the sea.
12. The Indians are finding the gaps like a pin in a haystack.
13. The pitch is as dead as a dodo.
14. Deep Dasgupta is as confused as a child is in a topless bar!
15. The way Indian wickets are falling reminds of the cycle stand at Rajendra Talkies in Patiala.. one falls and everything else falls!
16. Indian team without Sachin is like giving a Kiss without a Squeeze. 17. You cannot make Omelets without breaking the eggs.
18. Deep Dasgupta is not a Wicket Keeper, he is a goal keeper. He must be given a free transfer to Manchester United.
19. He will fight a rattlesnake and give it the first two bites too.
20. One, who doesn’t throw the dice, can never expect to score a six.
21. This quote was made after Eddie Nichols, the third umpire, ruled Shivnarine Chanderpaul ‘NOT OUT’ in the second test at Port of Spain, T&T. “Eddie Nichols is a man who cannot find his own buttocks with his two hands.”
22. Anybody can pilot a ship when the sea is calm.
23. Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two.
24. You got to choose between tightening your belt or losing your pants.
25. The cat with gloves catches no mice.
26. Age has been perfect fire extinguisher for flaming youth.
27. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.
28. He is like a one-legged man in a bum kicking competition.
29. The third umpires should be changed as often as nappies and for the same reason.
30. Statistics are like bikinis… what they reveal is suggestive, what they hide is essential!
31. It is very difficult to kill a man who is hell bent on committing suicide!
32. He is as innocent as a freshly laid egg!
33. When you are dining with the demons, you’ve got to have a long spoon!
34. All that comes from a cow is not milk!
35. Just because a rose smells sweet, you do not use it in the soup!
36. The gap between bat and pad is so wide you could have driven a car through.
37. He is a wily fox. But, if we make the fox run, the chicken will become hen.
38. You cannot ride a seat-less bicycle without getting blisters on your bums.

Infosys + Sholay

Amitabh: Mausi ladka “Infy” mein kaam karta hai…
Mausi: Hai raam…

Amitabh: Aajkal allocated bhi hai…
Mausi: To kya kabhi unallocated (i.e. bench pe) bhi rahta hai????

Amitabh: Ab C rating waalon ka allocation itni asaani se kahaan hota hai mausi…
Mausi: To kya C rating bhi aati hai uski????

Amitabh: PL se ladaai karne ke baad A ya uske upar ki rating to nahin na milti hai mausi…
Mausi: To kya ladaaku bhi hai????

Amitabh: Ab onsite jaane ko na mile to ho jaati hai kabhi-kabhi anban…
Mausi: To kya onsite bhi nahin gayaa aaj tak????

Amitabh: Ab civil engineers ka Visa itni jaldi kahaan lagta hai mausi…
Mausi: To kya ladka civil engineer hai???? Engineering kaun se college se kiya hai????

Amitabh: Bas uska pataa lagte hi hum aapko khabar kar denge!!!!!
Amitabh: To kya main rishta pakka samjhun mausi??
Mausi: Bhale hi hamaari ladki call center waale se shaadi kar le, par Infy waale se kabhi nahin karegi…….


One Friday evening, I bid goodbye to Mr Anand Mahindra (Statue in front of M&M gate, Nasik )for the last time. Next week was my dual reporting to two most renowned national icons – Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Krishna (elegantly standing in front gate) at IIM Lucknow. The purpose was simple –‘Maths Prep course’, especially designed for the weaker section of the society, who, although cleared CAT’09 with flying colours, but were nowhere in confidence of the IIM administration that they knew what was in store for the next 3 terms which included – 23 courses, 19 credits, 570 class room hours, 38 exams,60 quizzes,40 assignments & 20 projects. Scary huh?
Anyway, had it been the case in engineering college, one of the two parties (Students or Management) would have either been murdered or have committed suicide. My engineer friends will understand the underlying sentiments (*tip for those lot who belonged to muggu group even in engineering – “Ignore Next Line”) .After 4 years of literally time pass in engineering (reason i said them to ignore this line), students of management don’t know half of the time WHAT are they doing? And even if they understand that they will never get to know WHY are they doing this?
Well may be the underlying funda ( which i could understand in the past 10 months) for this is very simple –Don’t give students time to think WHAT and WHY?
Tagline of NIKE must be made the official tag line of IIM’s i.e. – ‘JUST DO IT’:-)

INDUCTION AND WELCOME

It was hot – 45 deg Celsius and there were total 165 students in the campus for the (much hyped) maths prep course. We were already mesmerized with the all magnificent campus, excellent living conditions (not to be made official but FPM’s in IIML get a 0.5 BHK flat with a double bed:-) ) and not to forget 2 excellent proffs who taught us for the next 1 month all the management maths which was basically required for survival purpose (Sorry to use ‘survival’ word , but, the fact is that the system out here is all about survival of the fittest .Sometimes for some people and in some circumstances it even droops down to ‘animal instincts’, basically for 2 purpose – To survive the system or to be in the topper list). Well the prep course was simple for engineers like us but I could feel the sweat on all poets’ (Non maths background people) foreheads, even in an AC classroom, who were trying to realize those numbers, DESPERATELY.
Ultimately it ended with a un-evaluative mock exam in which all performed their level worst:-). It was time to get a welcome by our director, proffs and a renowned swamiji. It was fun till now.
When I look back , that 1 month was the most unloaded and pleasant time as compared to what was in row for the next 9 months. And to quote Mr Peter Robinson – if someone asked me now to repeat the complete first year again – I personally will chose 1 month of prep course and for the rest I too will drop down on my knees and beg for mercy.

TERM 1

Well we had MANAC, QAM, OM, LAM, ITC, BIO, ECO and COMM as the 8 level of chakravyus to gain moksha. The havoc started day 1 with a very infamous subject in management – MANAC. The subject required confidence more than knowledge. Basically, it was like a game of coin toss – Head or tail. You either had to credit or debit a given entry but people with non finance background had all the ‘weird logics’ which were more powerful than the 0.5 probability outcome of simple game rules. This made the havoc a real disaster. People like me were still utterly confused as to what was being done and basically why were we doing this ( This showed in my first quiz result in which I interchanged all debit and credit entries and got a 1/16 in that quiz. A weird non finance logic. Thank God I made it up later)
QAM, COMM, ECO and ITC were normal in terms of its delivery and content but something was different in LAM. One could always interpret law in their own terms. The prof dictated us the laws and rules and blah and blah but in every class he would give a live case example which would be funny and interesting. That was a great relief among the mammoth subjects which were all crying out loud – ALL IS NOT WELL!!
The 1st term is also interesting for its social interaction and change of perceptions. You meet people, form an opinion of them and over a period of time, as their real ‘ colours’ are blended, u change ur perceptions. You make new friends, are sophisticated, judge carefully, and learn to live in an all new environment which is supportive, beautiful and above all called HELL.

TERM 2

People in IIM at one point or other generate self doubt (those who don’t are with real animal instinct for 2nd cause i.e. to TOP at any cost).The self doubt could be for survival, capacity or performance. Time and again one has to keep himself reminding the mool mantra for success in a management institute – HANG ON! Performance in IIM is like not like a DC (direct current) graph – smooth and constant, it’s more like an AC graph – sine curve and fluctuating.
Anyway term 2 subjects were – MM, OM, QAM, FM, ECO, MANAC & DWO. By now all the fear of MANAC was gone. The cherry on the cake was our prof in MANAC 2. She was so humble and student friendly that the nightmares of MANAC 1 got converted to a dedicated interest in the subject. Rest everything assured, term 2 most interesting part was ‘marketing management’.
“You are not students – but commandos sitting here”, prof used to say. I guess he made the whole class dynamic, active and made us realize there was a life outside campus premises too. We used to go almost every week to the city for some ‘deliberately’ given assignment – to tell u the truth – it was again fun. The best of it was – trip to Lucknow Mohotsav. The job of surveying got over within an hour and the next 2 hours saw us just having fun in that Indian Fair – popularly called MELA in India.
People got- ‘used to’ -, now, to handle pressures of the system. And some people also got ‘used to’ in the skill of making the most of other people by exploiting their emotional feelings (animal instinct to survive – a crime in my opinion) and that too for their own selfish motives. The good thing about life is – U can fool some people, all the time and all the people, some time but u can never fool all the people, all the time. I realized this much later to identify such sheeps in the herd but finally am contended I did.

Well term 2 saw more organized team work (especially in project handling), gaining an expertise over system and above all enjoying INSTI parties. These parties became a much awaited event especially with 2 categories of people– one who wanted their Rs 100 / month back by paisa wasool funda and second for those who just wanted to dance, dance and dance to take out their weeks of frustration with system and life. (There is a 3rd category of people too, who awaits this insti party, but talking about them is CENSORED in a public blog).
With an invincible summer in mind and a chilling winter season, it all got over in December, not to forget that the term was also dedicated to numerous corporate ppts, summer placements and lots of cultural functions.

TERM 3

By now everything in life was set n chill. It was evident from the fact that many of our colleagues got engaged and some got married too. It was a celebration time with MANFEST in store and PGP 24 placements next. The whole campus was blooming with flowers, not only in the pathways and gardens but also in minds of PGP25. ‘Life was beautiful’, because after the scary MANAC and demon QAM, this time the subjects were super chill – ADA,FM,MM,SCM,MIS,HRM,QAM and COMM.
MANFEST rocked with celebrities and PLACEMENTS with companies. Mid term and end term went with overall ½ the effort of what other terms demanded (I hope the grades due next month do not get directly proportional to put in effort )

All these 3 terms were and eye opener in life. We all were taught as to how to make others happy? Stakeholders, customers, employees and workers are in priority list. But the management study lacks the course which explains how to make our own self happy.
May be that was compensated with some guest lecturers – the best of which was from Sister B.K. Shivani. Her voice was so soothing that you will fall in love with that immediately. Sister kept it simple and straight – ‘Stress management is self management or better ‘RIPPLES’ management’ (for details visit you tube delivery of sister). She tried to divert us from our so called attitude of ‘remote controlling’ to being calm, composed and most importantly to live with HUMAN INSTINCTS.

PGP 25 is out now for their summer’s projects and quite a few of us have stayed back for our literature review work in FPM. The campus is all quite, serene and calm. ‘Umang ‘ – Student Activity Centre – is in full swing. Chanakya’s food really tastes good – for a change – after tasting the same monotonous canteen food.
And the mind is all set to face the new challenges coming up – summers, conferences, 2nd year course work, thesis and finally life.

“PICTURE ABHI BAKI HAI MERE DOST”.

Bawra Mann!!


The song – Bawara Mann-from the movie Hazaaron Khwahishien aisi, is a classic one which explicitly measures the horizons of heart in this radical world of living. I heard and experienced this song with my friend Raj ( Thanks to him for the motivation to write this post) today , during the process of electives bidding in IIM lucknow ( Casino IIM ).

Well the portrayal of the protagonist in the movie is an ultimate example of unmatched love, sacrifice and care and moreover the song below ( with lyrics) is a classic contrast of how obsessed anybody can be with his bawra mann and his thoughts.

Anybody who has not seen the movie must definitely see and feel the essence of relations, which is aptly pictured in the movie. The film deals with the spirit of the country during emergency days of Indian history while Indira Gandhi was the PM.

The song is awesome and beautifully brings out the inner voice of heart which seems to be losing its value in this materialistic world.

ENJOY THE SONG ( 2 VERSIONS OF IT ) WITH LYRICS BELOW !!!!

Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna
Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna

Bavre Se Mann, Ki Dekho Bavri Hain Baatein
Bavre Se Mann, Ki Dekho Bavri Hain Baatein
Bavri Se Dhadkaane Hain, Bavri Hain Saansen
Bavri Si Karwaton Se, Nindiya Door Bhaage
Bavre Se Nain Chaahe, Bavre Jharokhon Se, Bavre Nazaron Ko Takna.
Bavra Mann Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna

Bavre Se Is Jahan Main Bavra Ek Saath Ho
Is Sayani Bheed Main Bas Haathon Mein Tera Haath Ho
Bavri Si Dhun Ho Koi, Bavra Ek Raag Ho
Bavri Si Dhun Ho Koi, Bavra Ek Raag Ho
Bavre Se Pair Chahen, Baavron Tarano Ke, Bavre Se Bol Pe Thirakna.
Bavra Mann, Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna

Bavra Sa Ho Andhera, Bavri Khamoshiyan
Bavra Sa Ho Andhera, Bavri Khamoshiyan
Thartharati Low Ho Maddham, Bavri Madhoshiyan
Bavra Ek Ghooghta Chahe, Haule Haule Bin Bataye, Bavre Se Mukhde Se Sarakana,
Bavra Mann, Dekhne Chala Ek Sapna

Be Happy!!


Be happy!
You will grow into God’s greatest blessing, His highest pride.

Be happy!
Yesterday’s world wants you to enjoy its surrendering breath.
Today’s world wants you to enjoy its surrendered breath.
Tomorrow’s world wants you to enjoy its fulfilling breath.

Be happy!
Be happy in the morning with what you have.
Be happy in the evening with what you are.

Be happy!
Do not complain. Who complains? The blind beggar in you.
When you complain, you dance in the mire of ignorance.
When you do not complain, all conditions of the world are at your feet,
and God gives you a new name: aspiration.
Aspiration is the supreme wealth in the world of light and delight.

Be happy!
Do you want never to be poor? Then be happy.
Do you want ever to be great? Then be happy.

Be happy!
You will get what you like most.
You will get what you like best.

Be happy!
God sees in you His aspiring creation.
His transforming realization, His illumining revelation,
and His fulfilling manifestation.

Be happy!

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer – Albert Camus.
Life is Beautiful. And the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. In our – so called – busy lives, it’s unbelievable that ‘Small Things’ – I prefer to call it that way – can bring life to your spine, given, you understand and enjoy them well.
I would like to share some ‘Small Things’ which makes my life charming explicitly and of course implicitly, during the course of my day in IIM Lucknow.
First of all let me make 1 thing very clear. Life at IIM Lucknow rocks! It’s a different experience altogether. You can’t get this MBA degree feel in any other graduation college around the world. MBA is a course in which u become a jack of every trade and that’s where the challenge lies. MBA forces you to broaden your horizon and thus I guess the rigour here is worth experiencing once in everyone’s life. It’s then only that the importance of these ‘Small Things’ becomes more crucial to be a Raymond’s man i.e. – A Complete Man.
Here it goes:
My day starts with the alarm clock. An indicator that – Get up, Have a bath n Rush. But then there as I step out of my room, the very scenic site of IIM catches my breath. There is a shortcut from FPM hostel to PGP block, all surrounded by lush green trees. Birds chirp and you can smell the fragrance of nature in the course. What an awesome way to start your day. Could not be better!

I love to have morning breakfast in mess. It’s the only time u sit cosily in the mess and enjoy every sip of ur morning tea just before having a loooong day , almost every day. My favourite day is Thursday when we get delicious breakfast (am a big food freak, so pl bear).

Then my seat in class. Its somewhere in the last row and I guess the best place to sit in the class (Especially with 2 most wonderful friends I ever had in life). It’s a family now up there. May be the best social time I spend during the day.

Then there is a small boy, working in Guptaji (our only refreshment store inside IIM). I don’t know but since my first day here, he and I exchange a salaam every time we meet. I like him and he likes me. We share a smile every time and I guess that’s the most innocent smile, I experience, inside campus.

Then there is a evening tea session in the hostel where my friend and I take turns making it ( I guess my friend makes it 9/10 days and the reason being that my tea is not even 10% good of what I get to have). This is also a very special small moment where we share everything and anything that happened in the day (There is no dearth of news in here, that’s why it’s a rocking place)

Then as the darkness overpowers the glory of light, beautiful twinkling stars shine with pride and I don’t know why ( no scientific reason for it, maybe we notice because we never did before) but , sky from this place – Lucknow – looks magnificent. I can keep hours gazing at it (But alas! Time doesn’t permit so…) but generally feel its essence while returning from mess – especially night mess.

There is much other stuff which makes life here beautiful. I saw this awesome video and realized – ‘Life can be made perfect only with imperfect moments’!! May be after so much which happened, in many of all our lives, in the past 1 year, this feeling was lost somewhere but it’s dawning now again. It’s dawning again that – sentiments matters and sentiments eventually are made of ‘Small Stuffs’.

It’s only these ‘Small Things’, which gets into our minds, are to be cherished lifelong. It’s only these ‘Small Things’ which will bring a smile on our face once we remember this period of life, after 20 years! For every day that there is sunshine, there will be days of rain, it’s how we dance within them both that show our love and pain

Fredrick Collins stated clearly – “There are two types of people – those who come into a room and say, “Well, here I am!” and those who come in and say, “Ah, there you are.”

“Everyone needs love”, I thought to myself, trying hard to hold back my tears, as one of the child in Rajkiya Balgraha orphanage was consoled by my colleague and the child hugged her up crying.

It was 26th Jan, Republic day in India, and we had arranged a puppet show for the children in the orphanage. We reached there at 3:00 pm and children, just after their lunch, were full of energy and enthusiasm. They are a total of 104 in that orphanage. Well the senior students were out playing cricket while the smaller guys were basking the sun. We were greeted by the manager of the orphanage but subsequently the children were elated to see us there. They flocked us in groups, each one of us, sharing, chatting and catching our hands and then one of them made each IIM Disha members their favourites so that they roam besides us with pride to “compete”.
They had hoisted the flag in the morning but were unaware that it was the republic day being celebrated. We made them aware of the importance of this day and also of other national holidays. They recited those to us with a military type salute – The sweetest moment of the day.

They were very excited to get balloons and building block games too. Watching them I just remembered our days when we used to press our parents for toys and we needed them every month. How lucky we were! These children are devoid of such a privilege and the shine in their eyes after receiving that simple game and that craving minds after inflating the balloon, sent a sensation down my spine. I prayed God to bless the innocent souls.
The puppet show was a hit. Children enjoyed a lot and finally had their snacks which we had arranged – samosas, ladooos and mixture.

Life has a strange phenomenon. It’s all luck that we all are born in family which is in well being. A thought crossed my mind when I saw those kids yesterday. This was my second visit to the place and I just thought – “what if I were one of them?” , Well, the very thought of it sent shivers in my heart. 8-10 years old kids, with no dad or mum to hand around or brothers/sisters to share life.103 others of the same kind. More of a survival issue let alone – living life. 3 rooms for 104 kids. Sleeping curdled with 30-35 guys in a room with total of 10 beds and when I was a kid I needed a complete bed of my own. Total of 20 bathrooms for 104 guys with no water supply in toilets. If you do enter the area, you are sure to vomit. With senior boys having the responsibility of cooking food for the group, I wondered, what all stuffs would I had been able to make when i was around 12-14. And look at them! They made the complete breakfast, dinner and lunch for 104 persons/ day. We still crib of the food outside, of mess and stuff; I guess these kids too had a chance to do the same.
Life is at opposite poles for these kids of what ideal life ought to be (may be what u n I had experienced ourselves). Just imagine, with no family around, no one talks of a word of kindness to them. It’s always caretaker’s rules, PT sir’s orders and then all other boys frustrations. And in that circumstances suppose you fall ill, there will be no dad to take u to hospital and no mom to sit beside u all night with a drenched cloth on ur forehead. You will be all alone. If at all U are hungry – make n eat urself. If U have to study – do it urself (am sure every one of us would have studied with our parents when we were so young). If U have to take bath – do it urself. U have to wash ur own clothes, clean ur rooms, beds, and last but not the least if u have to sleep- just go to sleep yourself. There will be no one to sing you Loris or place d soothing hand on your hairs.

Most of the kids here are brought by police when they found these kids begging or working in hotels or eloping alone. Some of their parents were in jails, some didn’t even know their parents and some were in hope (A Mammoth word) that they would be taken away some day.
Looking at those kids, I always get jostled from within.
They have a small playground with a hand pump at the centre. They maintain their lawns petty well but still much has to be done to at least make that place well equipped with basic amenities. We have taken the initiative for that and this time in a big way.
As I said one kid had made us their favourites and mine kid’s name was incidentally also ‘Sanjay’. He held my hand wherever he went and made me see all his favourite places. It was awesome. His innocence, his deep feelings, his respect and his selfless attachment made me feel very important person for him. Finally he gave me a rose flower (my most cherished gift ever, this was my first one I ever received in my life till date) and said – “ Bhaiya aap jaldi aana, main aapka intazar karunga”. This time I hugged him with all my warmth. I could feel the emotions and the heartbeat of the most innocent soul on earth as I promised to return back soon. It’s rightly said – “All beautiful things in life are for free”.
I just hope that our hug would have given him some confidence and security which, I guess, we all always need in life. Nevertheless I realized one thing –“They were very brave hearts’. They had all the reasons to be happy, to sing, to dance and above all to live life. I realized one thing – “Life can be disastrous to them but could not break them because it’s them who will decide their own destiny.” I realized that – after a certain phase of hardships, life too become helpless and it has to bow down to the undying fighting attitude of (hu) mankind. I realized this for Rajkiya Balagraha kids – “They were all Alone but not at all Lonely.’

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