And I miss my sis so.... much.......... :( but i'm fine.. not sad or anything

A note to myself

Getting into an MBA program is a lot easier than staying in and excelling in the course. I hope this serves as a reminder to me, making sure that I work hard, give it my best shot and not forget to unwind and relax a little. I also hope that I do not get too cocky and then fall really hard. I hope I never forget who I am and where I came from. I also hope that I do not forget the things that are most important to me. This includes my family and friends. They are the reason I am here. I also hope that I don't get too proud and remember to remain humble and modest because I truely believe that pride comes before fall.



It has been a week since i came to Williamsburg and I just love the place. It's so clean and the people are very very nice.... More about that later. Yesterday I realized something about myself. I like having friends but I don't need to surround myself with people all the time. I like being by myself and almost never feel lonely. All my emotional needs are met by my family and a couple of my really close friends. Distance and physical presence do not matter to me,


Of Cats and Mice

a few days back, i finished reading Maus, a two part graphic novel series that talks about the holocaust. I was so touched and deeply disturbed. I never thought of human hatred as such a potent force, capable of causing so much destruction and despair. I also never thought of the tenacity that we can show in times of such despair. human beings are capable of so much compassion and so much love, yet our hatred knows no bounds either. To treat people like the way the jews were treated is simply not human. to think that so many people went along with it and let it happen is also such a shame and such a disgrace. yet we seem to learn nothing from history. you would think that after such a great tragedy, the world would never let anything quite like that happen but think again. the genocides in Bosnia, Sudan and many other places suggest otherwise. looks like we don't learn anything from the past. It scares me to think that fellow human beings are capable of such carnal acts. hatered is very very scary


plrrrr.. life's a bitch

life sometimes more than sucks! today i realized that other than my folks, my sis and bro inlaw, no one else will be coming to drop me to the airport and that just sucks! you know why because i have more than been there for my friends. i am sometimes an ass



I have been home for almost 20 days now. I have now observed one thing. The children upstairs are way too quiet... for a boy of 7 and a girl of 12, they are surprisingly quiet... they don't fight with each other loudly, they don't play together or atleast i think they don't because i can't hear a thing.
They watch tv for half an hour everyday,.. i think they're angels....Now it was quite different with me and my sis...
As kids, although the age gap between us was 6 years, we did play with each other until my sis was around 14. We fought a LOT... but we would also get along wonderfully well and play house, barbies or space adventures... We fought about the names our barbies had.. my sis always came up with these wonderful names and i always wanted the name she took up.... we fought over whose barbie's boyfriend was archie and whose was reggie.... i had no clue about who archie or reggie was but i wanted what she wanted. we fought over barbie furniture, clothes... everything possible.. but we always comprmised and then played with each other and had so much fun.
At home, during holidays my mom wouldn't even make us pick up our toys. A barbie house set up on the floor would stay like that for days. She was such a good sport. She instructed the maid to sweep around it....
One more game that my sis and i loved playing was library... Once in a while we would arrnage the heaps of books we had and number them and catalogue them and pretend that we had our own library... that was the best. we would just sit around reading. Our mom pretty much let us to do what we pleased during the holidays. we never cleaned our rooms or cupboards. It was a nice mess and we had lots of fun fighting and playing. Just before the holidays would end, our mom would come, dump our clothes from the cupboard and make sure we arranged them...
and now I see these kids and their room looks so clean and neat, nothing out of place, no raised voices, no fights, perfect little angels who always listen to their mum and i can't help but feel a little sad for the fun they are missing out on.



So i have decided that I will be attending the mason school of business from August... I fell in love with the school and after talking to the current students, I feel that it is a very happy place. So really looking forward to going there. My journey up to this point has been interesting. The first time I realized that I wanted to do an MBA was in the third semester of engineering. Gautam and I were sitting below the big banyan tree in the gangothri campus, and he was telling me that he wanted to do his PhD in AI techniques. I said I wasn't sure and our conversation proceeded something like this. I so clearly remember.
me: I think i want to do an MBA... I'm not sure... I really haven't thought this through.
gautam: well.... don't you think it's time for you to put some thought into it... don't tell me you want to stop after just doing your B.E...
me: you know what, don't tell anyone but I'm secretly very ambitious
gautam: why secretly? you should be ambitious.
me:i don't know... i never tell anyone these things....
can't believe I told you!
gautam: what's the big deal..... by the way you ought to start putting some effort to learn about what you want to do. talk to people, read...
me: ya ya....

learning to be smart

I think I was 12 years old when my mom told me something that I will never forget. I had gotten mediocre marks in my annual exams and had just received a long lecture from my class teacher about how indifferent I was becoming towards everything. I had also been yelled at quite badly by my dad and was in no mood to listen to another lecture. My mom and I were sitting by the swimming pool and this is exactly what she said to me..
"So you had a lot of fun last year in class I guess...I know how nice it is when boys pay you a lot of attention, when they want to talk to you and be with you but I'll tell you a secret... when you study well and do smart things, smarter boys will want to be around you... so think about it."
This was something that I never forgot...For us at home it was important to be smart. Smart meant thinking before you spoke, smart meant trying your best even if you sometimes failed, smart meant sticking to rules. We could and still can talk to our mother about anything. She never stopped us from asking questions.Sex, boys, ambition, marriage, children, life... she always tells me what she thinks. Always honest.Never apologetic.
I believe i have made smart choices in life and that is why I am happy today. I also trust myself to do the smart thing in future also. This is something I learnt from my folks


TV tonight

I was watching Jhalak today on Sony and for the first time in my life I teared up, watching a dance. it was a performance by Baichung Bhutia and his choreographer and it was about a woman who has suffered from physical abuse. The choreography was just outstanding. It moved me to tears. The message was conveyed so clearly. it was beautiful!
While changing channels I saw Barkha Dutt's interview with Priyanka Gandhi. Never have I been that impressed. What I saw was a woman who is inteligent, cultured, dignified and astute.
Priyanka Gandhi came across as a woman who is sincere and honest. Her answers and opinions about non violence, her family and politics demonstrated the deep understanding she has of herself, her country and her family. The BJP talks a lot about nationalism, patriotism and Indianness but not one of their leaders have conveyed what Priyanka did in that interview. Her views and understanding about these matters can shame any 80 year old "grass roots","country loving" neta.
Catch the repeat telecast of the interview if posible and you'll know what I'm talking about.

here's the video of priyanka's interview


lady boss

there's a lot of talk about how women make really bad bosses. I have to disagree... I've had 4 supervisors over the last 22 months and 2 of them have been women. I have loved working for both of them. they were both thoroughly professional, extremely demanding and extremely fair.
Unlike the popular myth that women hate to see other women in leadership roles, both of them encouraged more girls in the team to take up leadership roles. This does not mean that all women are like that. it's just that i'm telling you that there a re very nice women who make great bosses and reading about them might just open your mind a little. both these women have been great role models and i hope to be like them someday too. The amount of positive energy that they have, the incredible vibe that they give out is amazing.


i'm back

Applying to US business schools can be very draining. it's a crazy process. Once the applications are complete, the wait itself is horrible. But the whole process has been very rewarding for me and I am almost sure which school I will be joining. It forces you to look deep within yourself and understand and analyze your strengths and weakness closely. I have learnt a lot about myself and will soon tell you more about it....:)



today i went to a shopping mall to buy clothes, and one thing that struck me was that a lot of people in the malls are 17 to 19 year olds and wow.. they're so stylish. and they all seem to have a lot of money to spend.....
my dad gave me my own debit card when I was 17... It was to teach me money management and give me a sense of financial independence. He would deposit 500 rs every month. it was to cover all my expenses... no extras. nobody ever asked me how I spent my money. I could do whatever I damn pleased with it but absolutely no extras.
Clothes and looks were the last things on my mind. I was so involved in studies and tuition and storybooks and tv that i never thought about clothes. My friends were just like me. i either went to some friend's house or hung out in college. Pizza in US pizza next to college would be the highlight of that quarter... otherwise shetty and I would bunk language classes and eat bad masala puri nearby. Or we both would go to my place or hers. My mom said I could bunk classes if I wanted but it was my responsibility not to get any attendance shortage and I always had to get good marks. She never asked any questins if i behaved well and studied well.
For 2 years in 11th and 12th, my life was college, 6 friends, my sis and folks, studies and tv. Every single day, I would get up at 6 and study till 7:30. I could stay out only till 6:30 in the evening. I couldn't talk to boys on the phone after 7 pm. I have no idea why but it was strictly followed. My folks never said no boys. they just wouldn't let me talk to boys after 7pm.
i would study till dinner. then watch tv. anything i wanted... there was never any kind of censorship at my place but i generally watched news with my dad and watched something on Star World with my mom and sis. During holidays I could do anything i wanted. I mean anything. i could stay up all night, watch tv, read, play computer games, wake up late, go out ....
When I started my undergraduate degree, I was lost... It seemed like I came from a very small world. There was so much presure to dress a certain way, act a certain way... plus i did not quite fit in with any kind of group. i thought all the boys i knew were really stupid, so i didn't care about boys and i was sure the girls i hung out thought i was total joke. There were no more rules at home except the 6:30 one. i still had to go home early in the evenings.
things slowly started improving. i made actual friends, had a lot of fun and managed to do well in all my courses.
what is my point???? nothing really. the confidence that i have today is hard earned. so is the trust my folks have in me... When I see these teenagers who have everything, who look so worldly wise, i can't help but wonder if they're missing out on some character building that I had...


My take on the pink.. campaign

There has been a lot of talk about the pink chaddi campaign... The amount of support and interest it is generating is simply unbelievable. However I do believe that it is not going to help change mindsets. It will not bring justice to the girls who were assaulted. It will not ensure that our law makers will protect the citizens who voted for them instead of indulging in cheap ideological battles. It certainly won't guarantee that such acts never happen again. I don't thhink sending pink underwear is the answer.
Yet, I support it. Why? Because it is a way to protest. It is a way to send the message that this time the silent majority will not be attacked by the loud minority. It is a way to show what exactly we think of cowards who beat up women in the name of culture and religion.


A day in the life of a Sri Ram Sainik

The post that you are about to read is a guest post by my friend, Gautam Ramdurai.

made the decision - I joined the Sri Rama Sene. Boy, it feels great to be me now! And all the media attention just sweetens the experience. 'How's it been?' you ask. I'll tell you.

Today was a very eventful and satisfactory day. I got up this morning and realized something very profound - that "toothpaste" is part of western civilization, so I obviously couldn't use it - at least not on my first day as a Ram Sainik. I go out, musty breathed, looking for
neem trees or dant manjan - the former is out of question as almost all the trees in my area have been cut down(wonder what our leader has to say about that - will ask him next time)...but the nearest shop is 'DeSilva's Grocery Store' - and I DARE not buy dant manjan from a non-hindu store!

The next few hours were spent battling the desire to use other westernized imports such as soap, fan, electricity in general...you get the drift. Somehow, I make it to office. Let me tell you a secret - my employer's HQ are in the US, so I'll probably quit soon. Won't want my fellow sainiks think I'm a traitor who thinks his survival is more important than his faith!

Anyway, then I chalked out an elaborate plan to attack my boss - who has dared to go against our code - she doesn't wear Indian clothes, NOT EVEN A
BINDI!!! She has a mind of her own and most shocking of all, she likes being independant - can you believe that??? An INDIAN WOMAN, and yet the audacity to be herself!! I would never stand for that.

I call my dad and ask him to ask my mom to quit her job - I cannot have such practices in my own house when my fellow sainiks are toiling hard to uproot the westernness in society. Tomorrow we plan to storm a school nearby because it teaches the children to be independant and free thinkers. Did I mention that I hit every girl on the road who lacks or isn't wearing any of the following - a bindi, a sari, a salwar, bangles, tied up hair, ghoongat. How dare they use make-up? BTW, we are also going to storm beauty parlours - all western - chee!!

Yessir, all in a day's work for a sainik. Doesn't all that just make you wann get up and come running to the
sene office to join me and my friends? I bet you do!!!

Come, leave progress behind! Come, leave freedom(others') behind! Come let's become terrorists, come let's build an 'indian' India!

Let us Quell. Let us Maul. Let us Torture. Till our dreams are realised. Long live the Sene!


sad and angry

The Indian constitution declared men and women equal. EQUAL. That means a woman over the age of 18 is FREE to do as she pleases as long as she is not breaking the LAW OF THE LAND.
  6. SHE CAN DRINK (if she is over age and if there is no prohibition in the state)
It is nobody's , i repeat NOBODY'S business to tell a woman over the age of 18 what to do and what not.
If people don't like something they see, they can ignore it, they can speak against it, protest VOCALLY against it. However, nobody in this country according to our CONSTITUTION has the right to beat people up


A few thoughts

I know it has been a long time since I blogged. I had a busy three weeks. I have quite a few things to discuss and talk about. First, the movie Slumdog Millionaire...
I watched the movie and loved it. I really think it's a very well shot movie and the human spirit has been captured really well. Now, a lot of people think that showcases India in a bad way, with the slums and poverty and riots and the police extravagance. But I wish we would realize a few things. You don't see Americans protesting if a couple of movies show drugs and prostitution. It doesn't mean that America is only about drugs and prostitution. I really wish we would stop being this insecure country that wants the world to see only the economic growth, the development and bollywood. India is a complicated, different, difficult and young country. Just as the economic growth and prosperity is a side of India, so is the rampant poverty , the rioting, the police excesses.. Perhaps instead of hiding it, we accept it and do what we can to change things.
I think we ought to look at the movie for it actually is. A triumph of human spirit. That is it.

Now moving on to something completely different. A few days ago, Gautam and I were discussing India. This country is such a miracle. a land of contradictions.
Sometimes we wonder how anything works here and yet there seems to be a system running and running quite effectively. A lot of people are cynical about India and it's future. Constantly comparing ourselves to China does not help either. We must realize a couple of things.
First and most importantly, we are a democracy. Political freedom is a privilege that must be valued. Sure it creates a few roadblocks, sure it slows us down but it works.
The freedom to criticize and point fingers at a government when it does not work and change it when we can is a great great privilege and responsibility.
Second, we are not a homogeneous country like China. Every Indian is different form the next. Our diversity is our greatest strength but also makes governing a little difficult. Perhaps we need to understand that first.

Over the last two days, I have been terribly saddened by the incident in Mangalore. Molesting and beating up young women in the name of culture is distasteful, disgusting, and disturbing. The political reaction to it is just as bad. Why is it that when people try to impose any kind of so called "moral" code, it is alsways women who pay the price. Rules of conduct and morality are pushed down our throats first. besides, who defines morality? Who has the right to tell individuals what is right and what is wrong? Who defines Indian culture? What is this rubbish about the quinttessential Indian Woman? Bharatiya Nari? Why do our movies and serials go on about Indian women? Indian women are like women everywhere else. They have dreams, desires and hopes. this incident has shocked me and scared me.


New Year

A very happy new year to all of you. I'm back after a pretty long break.
I celebrated new year's eve at my sister's place. We had a lot of fun there. Went out with friends for a very nice dinner on the 1st of Jan. Every year I make new year resolutions and try my best to follow them. so far I have been quite successful. This year I still haven't figured out what my resolutions will be. When I figure them out, I shall definitely share them with you.
During this break I have made a few observations.
I had gone to crosswords, a popular book store and most of the books in the self help and non fiction sections were on how to be happy.... i really did not know that so many people need help in being happy... I thought that our very purpose in life is to be happy and when you are happy, it is to continue being happy. I believe that all of our actions are related to this singular purpose in life.
Of course, we all derive happiness in different ways. Some people help others to be happy, some are happy when they are successful and others are happy when the people that matter to them are happy.
For a lot of people it is the balance of all these.
Is it so difficult to achieve happiness? After all it is about thinking of what makes you happy and then doing that. If the things you do, don't make you happy, stop doing them.
So my prayer for the new year will be that all you succeed in being happy.

I used to have a low self esteem problem a couple of years back and a lot of people who know me now and people who have known me over the years will find it very hard to believe but I really did struggle with low self esteem 3 years back.
I think low self esteem is a root cause to most of our problems. So i have decided to share with you how I helped myself get over it...Watch this space for more:)

Once again I hope we all have a very happy 2009. I pray for peace and prosperity.