Friday, August 29, 2008

Diversity: Boon or Bane??

We are diverse; we are diverse and not just in one way. We are diverse and not just by class. The source of disparity in India has to be placed within a bigger picture that includes other divisive influences: gender,language, religion, caste, region, community and so on.

India is perennialy hierarchical unlike instinctively even handed West. The right word for India's social/cultural/political/economical asymmetry is Inequality, inequality resulting in Instability, a large scale instability.

Some Indians are rich; most are not. Some are very well educated; others are illiterate. Some lead easy lives of luxury; others toil hard for little reward. Some are politically powerful; others cannot influence anything. Some have great opportunities for advancement in life; others lack them altogether. Some are treated with respect by the police; others are treated like dirt. For the same work, some get rewards and recognitions; others dont even get appreciations. To be laconic, we are citizens of a country which is diverse, and diverse in each and every respect.

This post is the result of the recent series of unfortunate events (communal clashes) in Jammu & Kashmir and Orissa which has led to incessant debate and disputations throughout the nation. I got a chance to attend an International Peace Conference four years ago. The embedded video is an excerpt from the debate on the topic "Similarities between Hinduism and Islam".

The violence in the name of religion/caste etc is the biggest threat to a democracy. This not only deeply impairs the economic, social and political progress of the country but also make the citizens feel insecured in there own country.

"Bachpan se hamne sikha bas ek hi gaan,
Mera Bharat, pyara B
harat, apna Bharat mahan.

Looto mandir, todo masjid, le l
o sabki jaan,
Dharm huya aaj desh se bada, Dharm pe sab kurbaan".

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Blessed shall thou be, the God shall oblige"

Ambiguity is something which has been there in my life from the very beginning. When I was in my 5th standard, I topped in my class and was amongst the best of the brains of my age. But still I was denied a seat in a reputed institution as I couldn't answer a single question in the interview, in spite of knowing all the answers. I am known as an extremely extrovert and outspoken guy amongst my acquaintances. But, contrary to that I am seen as a shy and introvert person in my work place. I am a person with an equivocal identity, an identity which is open to several interpretations of uncertain significance.

My attitude towards life are characterized not only by ambiguity and moral doubts, but also by some uncertainty as to what is involved in making gainful use of my potential. When I was three years old, my father got me admitted into a public school. My teachers discovered that while I did reasonably well in most subjects, I got every answer to every question in arithmetic right. It was the same in high school; I got full marks in arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Those were blissful days. All I wanted was to get through JEE and enter one of the IITs. The most "in" thing to do at that point of time and space. I appeared in JEE twice and couldn't clear the cut off of Chemistry. Eventually, I ended up getting into a deemed university in south through AIEEE. Nothing of consequence happened in college, except that I got a job of software engineer with Infosys. I joined Infy six months later than my scheduled joinig date, worked there for three months, resigned and joined my present employer thinking that I will get to do some quality work here. While I continue doing pretty mediocre work, I have potentially jeopardized my chances of getting into an IIM. By leaving Infy and joining this company, I have not only compromised on brand but also shifted to a domain not meant for engineers.

In last 4-5 years, nothing has happened the way I desired. My dreams and aspirations are dying and am losing the self respect I used to have. I need to get myself out of all perplexities; or rather, I have to get the perplexities out of myself.

This one is for my friend Shijith;

In search of glory and in search of delight,

I know, I have to put on a long fight.

When thee said, thy were right,

that I will end up being petite.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

आसमान से गिरे, खजूर पर लटके!!!

My friend Ankur always reiterates that I can never be happy in my life. This paradoxical statement seems to be true now. People close to me know that I have always been a dreamer; that I have never been afraid of taking risks; that I have always done something unconventional, something different from the rest of the junta. But a very few of them know that I have always strived to make myself happy.

Yesterday I came to office at 6 in the morning and went back to my room at 10:30 in the night. I skipped my breakfast, lunch and dinner just because I didnt want my credibility to be questioned by someone who exerts hard to find flaws in every (good) work I do, my BOSS. I was there in the office for more than sixteen hours. It doesn't mean I am a slow worker. The amount of work I did yesterday was by all means 2 complete days' work. I joined my new job thinking that it will be less monotonous than my earlier job and analytics was something in which I had genuine interest. I joined Infy 6 months later than the scheduled joining date. I took six months extension to prepare for CAT and to continue teaching at IMS. Another debacle at CAT this year and I was forced to join Infy as my parents thought that teaching wasn't good for my long term career prospects (even though it paid me 3 times higher than Infy). By the time I came to Mysore, all my friends were posted to different locations. The following two mails which I sent to Ankur while being in Infy suggest that how boring were the three months I passed there.

From: Shashank Shekhar04

Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 1:30 AM

To: Ankur Datta

Subject: RE: Re baklanda

Eye ho kukkur!!

Probably first time in my life am finding myself so lonely. The life here has become quite melancholic for me and I must confess ki am not enjoying the experience. I realise that I have never been fully content and happy for last few years. But there was always someone with whom I could share and discuss my miseries.I have always been a dreamer. I have always expected myself to perform better than my capabilities. Throughout my life I have been self obsessed. Deep inside I have always believed that none in entire universe is better than me. But now this feeling is dying. Consistent failures and no chance of any redemption whatsoever, are making me weak. Am losing the self belief and am learning to compromise.If this being the state of affairs for next few days, am sure, I ll have to start struggling to survive in a domain which I have always considered substandard and mediocre.

"The projections are done, and I can see,
I ll end up being someone, I never wanted to be".

Shashank Shekhar

Software Engineer

D R I V E N B Y V A L U E S.

From: Shashank Shekhar04

Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 5:48 PM

To: Ankur Datta

Subject: Hi !!

Dear Ankur,

I was expecting a reply from you to my last mail. I did try reaching you on your cell but you disconnected. Seems you are too busy with your pre project training. Never mind. Getting involved in something and not getting time is any day better than doing nothing and not getting time. I fall in the latter category.

I am finding it pretty difficult to continue here. I called papa today and told him that I want to leave Infy and return back to my teaching profession in Kolkata. He din't sound too happy. Am feeling bad for my parents. They suffer a lot coz of me.

XLRI results are out. Just now, I got a sms from Shyam Naren. Lemme check and send u my score.

Verbal Ability-89.970

Quantitative Ability-99.940

Reasoning & Decision making ability-98.460

Total Percentile-99.430

Shyam got 99.73 percentile. Very slim chance of getting a call, yet again. Still, keeping my fingers crossed.Rest of mail I ll write later.

"My life seems aimless, and the world seems insane,
As i introspect, and walk down the lane.... "

Shashank Shekhar
Software Engineer


D R I V E N B Y V A L U E S.

To be continued............

Sunday, January 14, 2007

And The Failure Persists!!!!

मेरा भी एक स्वप्न था,
मेरी भी थी एक चाहत,
न सोचा था खो जाएगा सुकून,
गुम हो जायेगी राहत !!!

रास अब ना आ रहा,
जीवन का ये फ़ल्सवान,
थी तमन्ना आरजू,
जिवुंगा जिंदगी ज़वा!!!

पहले भी जीवन न आसां था,
पहले भी ग़म थे मेरे पास,
किंतु उस पिछडे ग़म के साथ,
एक अनंत खुशी का था एहसास!!!

क्या सोचा था क्या हो गया,
टुटा गुरूर और स्वाभिमान,
हाले दिल क्या बयान करू,
बदन तोह है पर है ना जान!!!

नींद ना आती है पर,
अपने दिल को है सुला दिया,
अब मेरे पीड़ित मन ने,
स्वप्न गढ़ना ही भुला दिया!!!!

This poem was written by me long back after my failure in JEE-03!!! And after CAT-06, this seems to be the perfect time to post this one.
But, the hope is still on coz i believe:
"मनुष्य को चाहिए परिश्तिथियों से झुझे, लर्रे,
एक स्वप्न टूटे तोह दूसरा गरडे !!"