Every child is special

I watched “Taare Zameen Par” a few days back. To describe it to be good or excellent would be an understatement. Aamir has given yet another block buster. I just loved the movie… In fact, it was so emotional for me that I could not stop my tears… LOL 😀

The movie reflects the greater problem facing the society in general. Every parent wants his/her kid to be a world beater. Every family would want his/her ‘prodigal’ son to be an IIT/IIM pass out. Specially in modern societies, intra family ‘rivalry’ and societal rules increase the pressure all the more on the frail shoulders of the ‘unfortunate’ kids. I some times wonder, why is it so tough for people to understand that the seats in IITs/IIMs are limited or the number one position anywhere is only one?

The songs in the movie are too good. They will strike a chord definitely… The movie also shows one very important thing that recognition is indeed a very potent tool which can change people’s lives. It can be effective anywhere and every where. It can transform lives.

Like all Bollywood movies, this one also ends on a positive note. But unlike most of the Bollywood movies, this one is quite meaningful and is definitely worth a watch.

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I am not going home

2nd term exams are over… The most grueling term ever. Manfest, Live Project, College Acads, Summer Placements, Index, I-brands all squeezed into one small term… One can only feel it. Finally, it is all over. Now looking forward to Manfest’08. Many events have already been launched and I won’t even think twice before proclaiming it to be the largest B-school festival in India. Be it the number of events, the amount of prizes – We are the Numero Uno!

I am not going home… Will have a lot of work related to Manfest. My mother was saying that the situation in Assam is worsening with every passing day. She is in fact happy that I am not going home… Because you hear about train blasts, blown up oil pipelines, accidents, protests, police firings… My dear state is literally in tatters.

I some times wonder what would happen to the future of Assam? Where are we heading? Is there any future or there is nothing to be seen? The political leadership in Assam has always been the lose factor. They cannot stand up in front of the Central Govt. and ask for their due rights. In fact, according to me, the greatest reason behind Assam’s lack of development and penury is the absence of a quality leader. A leader has to be a visionary. He should have the ability to gauge the future… No point cribbing about it though.

Recently, there was a protest march in the state capital by a group of under privileged people from the Tea belt of Assam. Now God knows why, but they came with spears, bows and all those primitive arms to display their angst and solidarity. They were placing a demand for Scheduled Tribes status… Whatever maybe the outcome, suddenly due to some mischief makers in the group, things turned violent. The protesters started vandalizing the shops near the city roads, burnt vehicles, beat up people and created a scene which the state government or the leaders (of that group) should have foreseen. But as usual, things are always slow in Assam. It started getting awry… The police came late and there was utter chaos on the roads of the state capital. As per reports, the police came around 1 hour late… which was very surprising because the location of the incident was hardly 1-2 KMs away from the state capital complex… which has a good and “well equipped” police station nearby. Atleast the government should have anticipated some troubles… Rapid Action force or CRPF could have been put on guard… Anyways, what irritates me the most is that the government always turns its eyes blind to these problems. Their statements are the worst ones… simply put forth irresponsibly.

My greatest fear is that this is only the tip of the ice berg. My childhood was spent near the beautiful tea gardens. I remember the days when every day after school, I used to ride my bicycle through the small curvy roads between the tea gardens. Now the situation is that you cannot allow a kid to go alone in those places… Leave aside bicycling, it has become risky for non “tea people” to venture into those areas during dark. What is happening? “Tea people” were kind hearted and jovial people who always displayed a “happy go lucky” attitude. My first set of friends from the childhood days were sons of tea garden workers. I know them very well… What has gone wrong? Is this a prequel to many such civil problems in Assam or is this just another story? I think the worst one is still to come.

The demographic changes in Assam are creating havoc internally. You don’t have employment. The natural resources are depleting… I feel like crying when I see the beautiful hills gradually becoming bald. Apparently, the Assamese tea industry is also not doing well… Thanks to competition from Ceylon. People do not see any future… basic amenities are missing. No food, no housing, no health treatments, nothing… What will the people do? They indulge in crimes… I am not saying what they are doing is correct but this is basic economics. When there is no future, you see a civil war. Yes! Assam is slowly and gradually moving towards a civil war. Sigh sigh… The leadership is asleep… and it will be always.

I do not know what needs to be done. But I want to do something. But I also do not know how to do… but there is no hope. I just hope Assam does not become another promised land … this time for US!!!

Dreams – Continued…

I know I should go and start studying now… My end term starts exactly 31 hours and 17 minutes later. Wish me luck!

I was going through the blogs of a few friends when I came across Satyada’s blog post on “Om Shanti Om”… There he wrote about his dreams and how he motivates himself using them. I also had a post on a similar topic a few days back… But what motivated me to write this post at this point of time is that I suddenly realized that I have actually stopped dreaming. I don’t know if it is maturity, or complexity or the oxymoronic existence that we are getting used to but I felt a shiver run down my spine.

I used to be a great day dreamer. There were days when I would imagine myself playing cricket alongside Sachin and Sourav. And those dreams were not small for me… I would spend hours thinking about them… and I used to extract immense happiness out of those “never to be a reality” kind of thoughts…

No qualms though; but I definitely miss being that kid… 🙂

"Projects are much better"

I just came back from the CC. We have our ECO presentations on Wednesday… We were preparing our project report for that. As usual is the case everywhere, we don’t take anything seriously until the 11th hour approaches. The topic that we chose was: Micro-credit.

We are supposed to study the existing models of Micro-credit (MC) in India, understand the business model of Grameen Bank, do a few paper reviews and suggest a new model based on our study. In the group I have a fair knowledge about MC, thanks to some IIFT projects. These academic projects are actually very good and students can derive immense learning out of them, provided work is done without plagiarism. In a b-school environment, stress should be more on live projects and “learning through experimentation” kind of methodologies. I don’t want to crib here but I hate seeing people running behind marks even at this stage. Probably, those people are also not the ones to be blamed. The system is such that scoring marks becomes the sole motive and learning takes a back seat.

I know why I lost interest in studies during engineering. The teachers were unable to generate any interests in the subjects. There was lack of any proper methodology in the teaching back then… Here these things are much better. Everything is scheduled and people who study can actually score a lot of marks. I am not that kind of a chap who would run after marks… That has been reflected in my 1st term grades here… 😛

I don’t know the teaching methodology being followed in the Harvards, Whartons and INSEADs of the world, but I am sure the way teaching is being imparted over there is much much different from what is being done here in India. Practicality is the most crucial aspect missing from the Indian education system…

Hope time changes everything FASTER!!!

M-23!

Happy Birthday to me!

It is hard to believe that probably I have already lived more than 1/3rd of my life on this planet (Assuming I won’t last for more than 60 years). I won’t like to be too philosophical at this moment but looking back at the past one year, I can very well say that the journey from my 22nd to the 23rd birthday has been the most eventful one till date.

The last year has been a fast paced journey where it all started with the CAT GD/PI calls and continued with vivid experiences like my first corporate experience @ Wipro, IIM L and IIM I converts, joining Hel(L), Idee Fixe, village trips, Manfest, Yahoo!… and most importantly a new set of friends.

Birthday celebrations here are different… Bumps are O.K. When one gets hit by fast paced sticks, sandals and football kicks alike, he realizes that birthdays are also occasions of realizations that taking birth on this earth was probably a mistake. 😀

Nothing extraordinary otherwise… I still remember the old days when I was a kid. My parents would pack a gift for me and keep it at such a place that I when opened my eyes, that would be the first thing I would notice… Love ya Maa and Pa!

Do I sound very childish? May be it is better to become a child sometimes… 🙂

Bye bye!!!