And it RAINED!!!!!

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It has been a long and tiresome summer in Bangalore. And at-last, the rain Gods had waken up. The heat and the sweat had become unbearable for me. Though I have seen much severe summers than this in the north, Kurukshetra, the heat just doesn’t suit me.

As I walked out of the AC encloser of my office, it was still hot outside. But suddenly, everything changed as I descended down the last stairs of the office building. The sweat dried up in seconds. Chilling winds, lightening, and the dark sky belittled all the tension and exhaustion that had gathered in me after 10 long hours of monotonous and futile work. I wished the rains to come down with full vigour and not stop for days. I wished I had a bike and go back up home riding, getting wet. I wished I would stop somewhere, all drenched up, to have a hot cup of tea. I wished when I reach home, someone would open the door, and shout at me for getting wet. I wished, wished and wished for 5 minutes. But, I had to return back to the reality.

I had a phone in my pocket which should be protected from the rain. I had some important official documents(not so important) that would have been destroyed if I had to ride back on my bike. And then, there will be nobody at my PG to open the door for me and shout at me for getting wet. Though I was happy that it was about to rain and I wished I would stand under the rains and embrace the rain drops, simultaneously, I was thinking about the consequences of getting wet. I also had a minor cold which would have aggravated if my wishes would have come true. I had to come to office the next day in any case for some important work(not so important).

And then I realized, they all were wishes. None of them could have come true today. Even if I wanted to get wet, I couldn’t have, since I had to board my office shuttle to go back home (13kms), I couldn’t have walked that distance. I didn’t have a bike and I was in Bangalore, away from home, nobody waiting for me at home.

When I boarded the shuttle, it started raining heavily. And inside the shuttle, it was hot and humid. Everyone had closed the windows. They obviously didn’t want the rain, at-least not before they reach their safe homes. And in minutes, I was completely drenched in sweat.

Weren’t my wishes very simple? Would anyone have lost anything, if my wishes were to be fulfilled? Would anyone have felt good, if my wishes were fulfilled? Would anyone have felt bad about it? I can think of only one answer to all these questions, “NO”.

My Valentine’s Lost Forever

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Wow, one more year gone by, and Destiny has been able to fend off the feminine gender from encroaching into my heart and mind. I am blaming Destiny, because all my life, I have been trying to beat Destiny in this little duel; it has always been victorious. So this Valentine’s Day for me would be again; as normal, usual and ordinary as any other day of the year. I made my last move against Destiny today which again was so deftly counter-attacked; I was awe-struck at the Destiny’s might. How can a meagre human match the permanence and mercilessness of one’s Destiny. All these days, I thought someday I will be able to change my Destiny, but it now seems an impossible task. I didn’t believe in Destiny till today, but from now on, I have changed my perception. Let’s talk about my last move. Third Last Move –
Many people know about my first crush from school. Last year, after so much orkutting, I was able to find her yahoo id. I sent her a friend request which she accepted. We started chatting;talking about school, lost friends, old days, school teachers, couples who still speak to each other, couples who broke up, friends who got married, friends who were divorced already, jobs, life etc. And then finally when the topic gradually shifted from her and me, she seemed to be less responsive while I was abnormally typing in more characters than usual. Then suddenly she stopped responding. Destiny won here. But I was still determined. Second Last Move –
I frequently left offline messages on yahoo for her, but she never replied. Orkut helped me again. Rather, Destiny was devising another move to beat me again. I found her gtalk id. I sent her a friend request which again was accepted. But every time she came online, her status was set to “Busy”. I thought it would be very impolite on my part to disturb her. Perhaps, this was a trap that would have given Destiny one more point. I avoided falling into it. I was trying to make a counter move. I got her number. On diwali, I sent her a message; signing off with my name (I was sure that she won’t have my number). But she didn’t reply. On gtalk, I stopped seeing her online. I thought she was too busy. Destiny won again. Still determined, I waited for 13th February to make my last move.
Last Move – Today, I searched for her name on gtalk, and to my surprise, didn’t find her. Destiny was playing dirty. She had removed me from her friend’s list. I was a little disappointed, but wasn’t heartbroken; to give up before executing my last move. I sent her a friend request again, when I found out from a third party resource that she was online. This time also, Destiny made her accept my request.
I could now she her online, but again her status was “Busy”. This time around, since I thought this would be the deciding move for both of us, I walked into Destiny’s trap happily and perhaps aware of the result. I pinged her “Hi”. I waited eagerly for almost 5 minutes, waiting for her reply, staring at the chat window, without even blinking; I could hear my heart pumping that extra cc of blood for each passing second and finally, Destiny struck its final blow and she went offline. The battle was won and lost. And now, I am convinced that I can’t ever beat Destiny. My Valentine’s Lost forever.

First Day at Stewarts!!!!

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At times it becomes so hard to remember the name of a childhood friend. I curse myself for forgetting those childhood days. Recently, I met a very old school friend in a mall in Bangalore. I had last met him in school. Since then, 6 years have passed, but somehow I remembered his name. (Thanks to ORKUT FACEBOOK). What a moment that was!!!! I was back in school days. We were not great friends at school, but I couldn’t help thinking about my school days.

The very first moments that I recalled were the oldest ones that I can possible remember. It was my first day at school. Actually, it was my first day in a new school. I can’t tell if I was scared or nervous. I was very shy then. We had shifted to a new house, and I was admitted into a new school, where I studied till the 10th. I ll try to remember some details.

I was admitted to Class 1. On the first day, all dressed up with my new uniform, (they wanted to me to wear a tie also, which seemed to be the weirdest things to put on a man), Papa took me to the new school on his scooter(Bajaj Super – We still have it). It was a long ride. Papa was telling me that it was the best school in the city and some other details( don’t exactly remember though). I was nervous, can’t remember the reason. Don’t really remember what was going in my mind then. Finally we reached there. The size of the campus terrified me. The school to which I had been before this was so small as compared to this castle.

There’s another thing I would like to share:
Before joining this school, I had completed my UKG in a SMALL school called “Dream Diamond”. What I mean by small, might really surprise you. I was the only student in UKG in that school. the only other class in that school was LKG with around 10 students. So, I was the senior-most student in the whole SMALL school. My classroom was the principal’s office and my teacher was The Principal.In all my exams, I came first. I was the Monitor of UKG, LKG and the school as well. I still have around 20 certificates from this school, for sports, quiz, painting etc, almost all of them mentioning “First”, except for Dance. I was pathetic at dancing then.

So, after spending almost a year in this SMALL school, I thought I I wouldn’t be able to adjust with so many classmates. I was told that there will be around 40 other students in my class. I had no clue what it would be like.

We entered the gate and walked to the principal’s office. Papa had a very short talk with him and then we came out into the corridor. There was a row of benches just outside his office for the visitors. Papa asked me to sit there. He also sat with me. With a smile, he looked at me and said :

“You are in UKG. Just wait here. I will be back in 10 minutes. “

I was relaxed to hear this. He wasn’t going to leave me alone, i thought. So, with the bag on my shoulders, water bottle hanging around my neck, that TIE around my neck I was waiting for him. There were noise all over the place. Everybody seemed happy. A person came to me and asked which class did I belong to. I told him that I was with my father and he will be coming back soon. He went away.

But he didn’t come. I must have sat there for 30 minutes now. The bell rang, and suddenly everything was silent. I could only hear roll calls in the nearby classes. I looked at the gate, but he wasn’t there. I didn’t cry. I was tough…..

I kept waiting. Another bell rang, still no sign of him. No crying yet. Another bell, the campus was lively again. We had break after every two periods. Still no crying. I had so much patience then, even now also. After this two more rings either made the school go into the silence or crazy. Then I heard another one. This time, I saw something different. This made me cry. I could see children running towards the gate with their bags. The classes were over for the juniors. All the tears that I was trying to hold up, started pouring out. I hadn’t moved an inch from the place, neither had I unloaded my bag from my shoulders. I had never wanted to see Papa so badly and he wasn’t their yet.

I cried and cried and cried, kept my eyes on the gate with the hope that he might be there, testing my patience. But no sign of him yet. I must have cried for 10 minutes, and then finally I saw him. I got up from the bench and ran towards him, and clung to him. I don’t exactly remember what happened that day at home, but I was told later that Papa was supposed to take me into the class, but he thought that somebody will come and take me.

This is all I remember from that day. I don’t remember how I reached my class the next day, but I certainly remember the first friends in my new school. Deepak and Hara….Middle Row, First Bench….Hara on my left and Deepak on my right.

CATrified!!!!!!!

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CAT 2007, My first attempt at the so-called toughest exam for MBA admissions was quite an event worth remembering. I don’t know yet, how it went, since I haven’t checked my answers and I would not do it as well. I have seen peoples’ confidence crashing down after checking their answers.

After the exam, I was chatting with this guy, who we (Koramangala junta) believed, would score quite high.

Vishal: Hey, I got 43.
Me : Great, in which section?
Vishal: Total…….

Another coversation..

SURI: I think I will clear the two sections but English. I am getting ZERO in English, might be negative also. (This was his third attempt)

Another one…

Me: Checked your answers??
Kunal : No.
Me: Why?
Kunal: Mainu ki farak painda…..(How will it matter to me).

I cannot let this happen to me. Till the results are out, I want to believe that all my answers are correct. I don’t want to be depressed and frustrated like all the other fellows who have determined how much they are going to score approximately. I haven’t seen a happy face till now who is satisfied with his predicted score.
I am also not very sure about the correctness of the solutions posted by several institutions on their websites. I have already heard about some questions being answered differently by these institutions, especially the questions in english. So guys, dont give up hope yet. Who knows, the IIMs answers might just match with what you have marked. I haven’t given up. Just wait for the results.

But, my real fear is not about getting a very low score. I had no preparations at all. That wont bother me much. But, if I get lucky, and score somewhere around 98, or may be more than that, I will consider myself a genius, atleast among the Koramangala junta. May be I won’t get a call from the IIMs, but I would certainly miss the chance of applying to other colleges, like SP Jain, NITIE etc, if this were to happen. So, right now, I am in a dillema. Should I check my answers? Just the thought of it gives me shivers. It is actually a very brave thing to do after the CAT exams. One of my friends shut himself up in his room while he was doing this, and came out of the room after 2 and a half hours 🙂

There is a strong urge to check my answers, but when I think the after-effects, the optimistic “me” denies to do this. I cant take this pressure any more. I am eagerly waiting for the IIMs to declare the results. I have another fear too. I dont want to score the lowest among the Koramangala junta, else, I have to treat 4 people. But, I have a feeling that, when the results are declared, the koramangala junta will celebrate another DIWALI,not with crackers but with LAUGHTERS. I want to be there when the results are declared. I think we already know, who is going to be the BAKRA (score the lowest and treat others). While deciding on this bet, we thought that this kind of a condition would push everyone to perform better. After we agreed to this, one of them(Felix) , deliberately didn’t send the application for submission (He said he didn’t have his degree certificate with him, I don’t believe him) . After the exams, 2 of them tried to back off. Me and Suri are the only ones that still believe that we wont get the lowest scores. But, anything can happen SURI, we still have time to cancel this whole thing. Decide now!!!!

On a serious note:
CAT is not everything in my life, morever, this was my first attempt, a real live MOCK CAT for me. And I have already started preparing for the next year’s CAT. It just takes a MAN to crack the CAT.

Smokers vs Non-Smokers

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My smoker friends, have you ever realized how much money and time you spend on this activity (smoking). You might have a rough idea about the percentage of your salary you would be spending on cigarettes per month. I tried to work out a daily average(number of cigarettes per day) a person would smoke. My data showed that the magic number was 14.75. I have calculated this based on the person’s mood or the ocassion, since the number of cigarettes consumed is directly proportional to these two factors(mainly). This statistical data might disappoint the more aggressive smokers, but nevertheless, for such people, I guess, we can increase the daily average figure by 4, i.e, 18.75.

Please see the figures for further details.

So, now let us calculate the average monthly expenditure on cigarettes per person.

The number of cigarettes an average smoker will consume per month = 442.5 wow!!!!!!

If you take the average cost of a cigarette to be Rs. 3.50/-

Then the average monthly expenses will come to around = Rs.1548.75/-

Well, so a normal smoker will smoke Rs.1550/- worth of cigarettes per month. For the more aggressive smokers, this amount might well go upto Rs.1800/-

Now, if we do our calculations for a Leap Year(366 days), the annual expenditure on cigarettes will be roughly Rs. 18,585/- for a normal smoker and Rs. 23,625/- for chain smokers. Are you surprised!!! The next section might just throw you off the ground. Please read along.

Now we will try to calculate, how many extra minutes people spend smoking or on smoking related activities as compared to the non-smokers. Since, it is safe to assume that nobody will have their cigarettes delivered at their doorsteps every morning along with the newspapers (well, this is a damn good idea), I would use the following values for calculations:

Number of trips to the Cigarette ki Dukaan(Shop)/Day = 4
Average Time spent on each trip = 30 minutes
Average Time to consume a single cigarette = 4 minutes (Not for cigars)
Average number of cigarettes per day per person = 14.75 (as calculated from above)

So, Minutes / Day = 179
Minutes / Month = 5370
Minutes / Year = 64440 (44.75 days)

We all know that time is money. Lets assume that 1 minute is equivalent to Rs. 0.50 (for NITK guys only), so the total equivalent money spent will be = Rs.32,200/-

So, when we add up the two totals, we arrive at this fact that, the normal smokers spend away about Rs 50,805/- annually more than the non-smokers.

This is quite interesting. Is Bill Gates a smoker? Mukesh Ambani (just bet Mr. Bill Gates as the richest) is surely not a smoker . I saw it on some interview of his somewhere. I googled a bit more and realized that, none of the top ten richest persons in the world are smokers. I thought, Mukesh Ambani had great management skills, but now, I dont. I am not still sure of Bill Gates though. Is he really intelligent or is he a non-smoker?????? I will try to find out.

IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA

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I sometimes wonder what makes India so unique and different from the rest of the world. Well, the most obvious answer that anyone would come up with is probably “We, the people”. What a stupid question, isn’t it? Let me put you into a situation.
You are walking back from office and a man, woman and boy(probably their son) stop you and ask, “Do you know hindi, marathi, bihari, etc”. If you happen to know any of the languages they understand and say “Yes”, please read along. They say that they are from Maharastra and had come to visit Tirupathi. But while returning, they lost all their money, and with whatever they had, they have managed to reach Bangalore. They would then ask you to help them by giving them some money, for the tickets and food. They also promise you to return your money once they reach their home.
The first question that would come to your mind will be,”Are they telling the truth”. If you believe them somehow, how much are you willing to help them?
This happened to me today when I was returning from office. I first thought that I would give them Rs. 50 for their food atleast. And I gave them. I didn’t have more than that then. After taking the Rs.50 , they asked me to get some from the ATM and help them, again promising by the name of GOD, that they will return it as soon as possible. The ATM was not very far, but I said, I dont even have anything in my ATM, which was an obvious lie. They would have also guessed that I was lying. During that 10-15 minutes conversation, my mind was completely unstable. I was not able to figure out what to do.
After that, when I left them, and was walking, I felt guilty. Have we become so in-humane that we refuse to help Humans? Such a shame. Today I have made a decision. Whenever I face a similar situation, I won’t even think twice. I will help them as much as I can.
I also have another question in my mind. If you ever are in such a situation, and you are in say California, what would you do? Its very unlikely with all those credit cards and debit cards that you would always be carrying with you and so many of your friends who would be onsite in California. But if suppose you don’t have any option other than asking the people on the road for help, what would you expect?

On The Train

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My birthday was on July 8, which I celebrated at home. After for almost 3 years, I was at home on this day. I am 24 now, but when I am at home, I felt like I was still going to school. Though a lot of things have changed in the past 6-7 years, I still smile when I see the playground that we used to play in.
Everything I see, brings up some old memories. I would really love to re-live those moments. If I were given a chance to go back into the past, I would change quite a lot of things. If it were somehow possible just for once, just for me, I would have corrected all the evils that I have committed. The lies that saved me from the stick, the small steals that gave me an extra 2-3 bucks for the ice-cream, the headaches, stomach aches that helped me escape school, etc. all these were fun. But when I think about the past, do I feel guilty?

If I were to answer that question, I can’t.

What a pity that the time machine is not a reality!!! I do feel guilty sometimes when I have had a bad day. You would be wondering why I am going back into the past. I can explain this. When I was writing this, I was on train, coming back to Bangalore from home after spending two weeks away from work. It had been a year since I had been home and met my family. When I was coming back, I was all alone and the journey was long. I had the laptop with me. With nothing to do, I dived into the past.

Now coming back to my thoughts that day, I really had a flashback into 24 years of my life.
I am sure you wouldn’t be interested to know what all thoughts that flooded my mind. I won’t tell also. Those things were very personal. I have done things that are known to just one other person, and if he/she lets it out, I will be doomed. But I know, the other person would never let it out, because it will be very embarrassing for him/her as well. And please don’t pester me about this afterwards. I will never tell this little secret to anyone ever in my life.

But I will tell you things that will make you smile.
“I only got beaten up by my parents once. That’s all. Can you guess why? I told a lot of lies”. I was intelligent and clever then also.

I will write down a small incident in which I was caught red-handed. Come on, Einstein had failed so many times; it was just once for me. I was in class 8, Stewart School. I was quite an average student then. Obviously, after this incident happened, I improved in studies. I liked all the subjects, but History wasn’t my cup of tea. It had always terrorized me till this incident. I had never got above 50 in history till this year. I am very thankful that I was caught; otherwise I would not have passed in the history paper in the final exams (ICSE).

So, I hated History, and I hate it now also. In 8th standard, my parents hired a tutor for me to improve my grades in all subjects, including History. He was quite strict, but I respected him. He taught me all the subjects, including History. I would address him as “Sir” from now on. Sir had prepared a daily schedule for all the subjects and he had kept two days for History at my parents’ request.

In school, we were supposed to solve the questions at the back of the chapters once they were taught and submit them for correction. I did all my homework in time except for the assignments in History. Our teachers normally took 2 days to assess or correct our homework and return them to us. We maintained all these assignments in separate books for each subject. Our teachers were not so particular about these assignments. So if someone didn’t do his homework, it wasn’t a big deal. From my side, I completed the assignments for all the subjects but History. I never even tried to spend time on History. It was so boring and uninteresting to me. So, I never did my homework, I never submitted my History notes for correction and I got away with this at school.

I am sure you would like to know what I did at home. History was on my Sir’s schedule twice a week, Thursday and Friday. Sir, usually took my notebooks and asked the questions from the notebook itself where all the answers were written. But, on Thursdays and Fridays, I had an excuse. I told Sir that I had completed my assignments given at school and submitted them for correction. I also told him that, I can only get them back on Monday since my teachers at school were overloaded with work. I don’t know why he accepted this, not once, twice but till it was one month before my final exams. All these days, I had been getting away from History with the same excuse. And Sir didn’t mind because I had improved quite a lot in other subjects. My parents were also happy and so they didn’t suspect any foul play.

The final exams were coming nearer and I was now scared. This excuse wouldn’t be accepted any more. Our syllabus was over and there were no more assignments. I put my brains to work and thought of a plan. Since my History notebook was as good as new, I thought that I would write all my assignments now, put fake signatures of my teacher, study hard, memorize all the answers and I will escape this time. So, I borrowed a friend’s book and started copying his assignments. I did it for 2 or three chapters, but after that I couldn’t do it anymore. At that speed, it would have taken at least a week more to complete all the chapters. And I had to study other subjects also. Our final exams would start after two weeks. I was scared. I had once thought of admitting this to Sir and my parents, but I couldn’t. So I thought of a different plan. I took of the brown covers on my friend’s book, put on a new cover, labelled it with my name and produced it before Sir as my History Notebook. I never planned to return it back to him. When he asked me to return his notebook back one day, just one week before the exams, I said, “I had kept it in your bag last week when you were not there. You must have taken it home and kept it somewhere”. I asked him to go back to his house and check once more. He was a good friend of mine and still is.

He was very happy to see my History notebook for the first time. I was relieved to see him pleased. But I didn’t know what was coming. He started with the first chapter, first question. I had memorized the answer to the first question very well. It was a long one though. Sir matched each word out of my mouth with the words on the notebook. After the first chapter was over, I thought my plan had worked. Then, the sky fell. Sir was looking at me with anger in his eyes. I could distinctly see his expressions change. His next question was, “Is this your Notebook”? It was the shock of my life, the greatest one I would say. I could hear my heart beat faster, I couldn’t think of any explanation. His next statement was, “This is not your handwriting”. The first words from my mouth were, “Yes, I changed my handwriting for doing History assignments”. This wasn’t of any help. Nothing would save me now, I knew. Sir called my mother and described everything I had been doing with History. I sat there silently looking at my feet and tears rolling down my eyes. I wasn’t asked any other questions that day, not on History, not on anything. My mother asked Sir to come back tomorrow, and went back to do her work. I sat there, looking at my feet overhearing the conversation between Mom and my grandma. I don’t remember how long I sat there. Nothing came to my mind. I couldn’t think of anything.

After sometime, my Mom came back and asked, “Whose notebook is this?”.
“Anup”, I murmured.
“Why did you do this”, Mom Said.
“I am sorry”, I said and hid my face with my hands and burst into tears.

Mom said, “Come, have your dinner, we will talk about it tomorrow”.
I had my dinner and slept off.

When I was home this time, after such a long time, I asked my Mom if she remembered this incident. She nodded her head smiling. I asked her jokingly, “Why didn’t you beat me?”.

She said, “You said sorry”.

I can’t express how I felt after this. I will never forget this incident, which taught me a lot and also helped me get 78 out of 100 in History in ICSE ’99.

(Still a low score as compared in other subjects). One day I will surely tell my parents myself that I smoke and drink occasionally….he he…..

I need a smoke badly now but I am ON THE TRAIN.

Cup for the Rabbit

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Everyone will remember the story of the Tortoise and the Rabbit, in which the Tortoise defeated the Rabbit in a running race and thus ” Slow and Steady wins the race” was incorporated into the English literature. As a child, I was really fascinated by this small story. I am sure, we must have heard this story not once, but over and over again. I must have heard it a 100 times, may be more than that. I am not going to repeat the story again. But I always wanted to know what happened after the Tortoise wins the race. Did the Rabbit challenge the Tortoise ever again? Did the Tortoise accept the challenge?

I wonder why the story ended after the Tortoise won. The story couldn’t have been continued:

1. When the Lion (king) heard the story about the Tortoise, he thought that may be the Tortoise would make a better king. So the Tortoise was crowned as the king of the jungle.

Probability of this event – 1% (My guess)

2. When the Lion (king) heard the story about the Tortoise, he called for the Tortoise and asked him about his secret. The Tortoise said, “Slow and steady wins the race”. To confirm this, the king arranged a second race between them. This time also, the Tortoise defeated the Rabbit. The king was very pleased, and offered the Tortoise to marry his daughter.

Probaiblity of this event – 1% (Again a guess)

3. When the Lion (king) heard the story about the Tortoise, he called for the Tortoise and asked him about his secret. The Tortoise said, “Slow and steady wins the race”. To confirm this, the king arranged a second race between them. Bu this time, the rabbit had learn’t his mistake, and never stopped till he reached the finishing line. The Tortoise lost. The king became furious about the Tortoise being a liar and killed him.

Probability of this event – 98% (I am sure)

“Slow and steady wins the race”.CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Tortoise woudn’t have raced again after that day. If it had, I am sure, “Learn from your mistakes” must have been more popular from “Slow and steady wins the race”. I am sure, the Rabbit would have won the second time. What might have kept the Tortoise running till the finish for the first time? “Patience”?? Of course, everybody knows that Tortoise can live upto 200years. Thats where they bring there patience from. A Rabbit can live only upto a maximum of 12 years. I now seriously doubt that Mr. Tortoise’s win was his luck. His stars might have been on his side that day. And I am sure, this event wouldn’t have happened again after that day. So whenever you hear this story from anyone, they are referring to this same event that had happened some trillions of years ago(probably). Because I haven’t come across any person who believes in this. and moreover, the story always starts with, “Once upon a time…”. The only thing that can support the credibility of this story, or the possibility of such an event happening in the near future is the “Theory of Probability”. But the theory of probability also states that the probability of a highly improbable event is very very less, but it will happen if you extend the time on both directions towards infinite. It might have happened, or it may happen. Nothing can be said for sure. So, we don’t know, if there was a race between these two immortal creatures. I request you all not to tell this story to your children.

I would prefer being the rabbit, who lost once but learned from his mistakes, though we don’t have evidence to prove this. But this event is more likely to happen. Its the Rabbit’s cup.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.

Run for the Taj, “IS IT WORTHED”?


The Taj Mahal, which is known for its marvelous white marbles the world over, is in a run for a place among the top 7 Wonders of the World. People are going crazy over this poll. They are sending sms, mails, voting on the internet, forwarding mails etc. Almost everyone is talking about the Taj now. Whenever I find two people discussing something other than serious work, most of the time it would be about the Taj. Even I have voted for the Taj long time back. We all know that Taj is no more the same. Its whiteness is not like it was before. The government has also done its part. The ASI is on a revamp drive. Not only the Taj, all the other monuments are being repaired and beautified. But it will take years to bring back the same colour on Taj, and probably also the title. Can our Taj still make it to the top? Can it find a place in the Seven Wonders of the World? May be, may be not. All these questions will be answered in few days. If we win, we will definitely rejoice, and if we lose the race, we will feel bad for a day or two, or may be a week. After all this fuss about the competition is over, will we stop littering around the Taj? Will we be more responsible citizens? Will we not write our names on the perishing walls. I guess not. We will still be the same.

Have we ever cared to pick up a plastic lying on the road and throw it into a dustbin? Have we ever refused to accept a polythene bag from the grocer? Have we ever cared to help the sweeper do his job by just moving away when you get into his way? Have we ever cared to dispose off harmful wastes properly? Can we even think of a law in India which bans spitting on the road? Will we stop sticking chewing gums under desks after we squeeze out all the sweetness from it? When the grocer gives you extra change by mistake, will you return it to him? May be, may be not.

Whether The Taj wins the race or not, I wont be affected much, but for a moment of joy and glory. Children will be taught about The Taj’s glory in schools. They will answer questions on Taj with all their ink. They will write pages about the harmful effects of the poisonous gases that we emit. They will write essays on the incapable municipality who couldn’t conserve their ancient monuments. The newspapers will come out with articles on several scams of different departments involved in maintaining these monuments. Governments will change, new policy makers, new policies and new promises will be made.

But i still see the drain in-front of my house, in full flow, open and stinking. I still see people spitting on walls, precisely at places where its mentioned “No Spitting”. The “No Smoking” warning just makes the smokers laugh whenever they light a cigarette near it. “No Parking” is the safest place to park your car in India. “Use Helmet” is seen like a curse that the Government has imposed. “Go Slow”, people laugh at it whenever they see this sign.
How many laws (so-called) do we break in a day? Do we have a count? We can make our Taj, the No.1 in India, but will it be worthed if this Taj is in a nation full of such irresponsible and insensible citizens. We will surely take pride in Taj being crowned the most beautiful place on the earth. But who will take the shame in the garbage that lies right in-front of your house? Probably it must be the same garbage that you yourself had thrown a few days back. So, now I can ask, “Is it worthed”?.

I remember, a few days back, while we were walking, i asked Kunal to keep the chocolate wrapper with him until he finds a dustbin, with a smile, he put the wrapper into my pockets and said, “Go ahead, Be a citizen”. What should I have done, burst into laughter? I am writing this blog for you Kunal.

These small things will make a difference.

No one is a winner here!!!!

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Have you ever felt that you just missed your chance, or you were late by a milli-second or you came second by a 2.5 inches ? I am sure this would have happened with you time and again. But we never seem to learn from the past, no matter how substantial our loss or gain was. This has happened to me as well. Before today, the things at stake were not much of value to me. For example, say i lost a cigarette on a bet of balancing a chair on just one of its legs, 2 litres of cold drink on finishing a 2 litre Mirinda under 3 minutes, GE treat on a game of TT with one of the best players in our hostel, and the list goes on. I am surprised that so many things come into my mind when i think of my losses. And when i count the number of bets that I have won, I don’t remember many of them, or even a single one. Its not that I haven’t gained anything from those silly bets in our college. But i liked losing to people and see their expressions of triumph. But this wasn’t all. I am not finished yet. Here goes the second part.

When you lose, you are shattered. You feel like someone is trying to pierce a sword into your lungs, you can’t breathe. Your eyes are full, but you can’t let your tears out. You can’t speak. But somehow you manage to put a smile on your face, congratulate the Hero and walk off, lock yourself in your room and conspire against him. At that moment, he is the greatest villain in your life. Each part of your body hates this man. You just can’t wait for a chance to avenge him. And if all this happens because of a milli-second, micro-metre, 2.5 inches or milli-gram, its worse. You feel, the whole world is against you. You think, nobody is your friend anymore, no one likes you and no one needs you. You think of committing suicide.

And then, when you get a chance to offend him, you never seem to miss it. You enjoy, clap, dance and sing at his misfortune. But right inside your heart, you are still not satisfied. “This is not fair. This is injustice. He deserves more pain, humiliation and torture”. There is no mercy in your heart, no feelings and no sympathy. You are not human now. There is only Satan sitting inside you.

But is this all, does it end hear? Does the other person forget about all this if you hadn’t killed him? Now he takes your place and you are at the receiving end. This will go on until one of you dies just like the game of roulette. But one day, you will find a replacement. There are lots of humans with whom you can play this game.

Who is the winner or loser? YOU or ME??