Friday, February 24, 2006

SpeAk uP

Learning languages has always been my hobby. I try to pursue it in every possible manner....sometimes formally and other times informally. It somehow gives me a taste of the culture of the people who speak that language. Mumbai as my hometown has always helped me to nurture it.

Mumbai is a metropolitan city and whether you wish it or not you get the flavour of many languages. Come to travel in a local train, u can't escape gujarati stock broker talking excitedly about shares, the quarrels those fishermen/women have with other people in compartment, the "happening" language of college going crowd and probably some hindi film entertainment by the beggars that come...........and these are the factors that I have always enjoyed as a student of language.

Now that its almost an year that I am in Jamshedpur, some differences show up very very prominantly. In Mumbai, the city has got its own language. Some will call it Marathi, some will call it Gujarati and who knows what else. But I will define it as language of Mumbai. I am sure anyone who has spent considerable years in Mumbai will agree with the above statement. And language should not be a barrier in good friendship is what I have learnt.

Then why is it that my this belief is being challenged again and again in last six months or so since I am here in Jamshedpur? Why is it that the groups that have taken shape after an year are predominantly only on the basis of language? Why is it that a tamil guy will be found more than 95 percent of time in tamil company? Why the same thing holds true for people from southern states? Why is it that people from north will always ridicule people from south and vise versa? Why is it that in spite of meeting people from all the southern states south remains confined to "Madrasi" for northern region people? And why is it that in spite of being so much educated, people from south don't even know the basic Hindi, which happens to be our national language? And why is it that so many questions arise although all of us belong to same age group?

For some time now, these are the questions I have been asking myself and still not able to come up with a satisfactory answers. Are our cultures so different that it has taken more than a year to get familiar with each other's culture? (This of course doesn’t hold true in case of food as so many committees keep on hosting their regional food evenings) Also, if we divide Indian geography on X-Y axis, then the resistance by the states to learn about other cultures is maximum on Y axis. Maximum at extremes (exception of Kashmir.....there goes another completely different story). So Delhi on one end and Tamilnadu and Kerala on other. And the resistance by people of states on X axis is minimum with Mumbai on one end and Kolkata on another (North east again is a different story.........also some people will argue saying Bongs are equally eccentric people and are very very region biased......but I have certainly had different in XL and also with all the bongs I have known). Of course these again are personal opinions and observations.

Not a very serious issue this, but enough to make my mind wonder thinking about this. Can someone come up with answers to this? And if someone does, then what next??

And this is one more reason why I want some Mumbai air.........................

Friday, February 10, 2006


I keep on meeting him a lot of times. Don’t remember when I met him for the first time though. But since then he has been my best friend. Probably the only one who knows all the secrets of my life. The secrets not even Nilesh or Yogi or Shantanu know……It came out so naturally. No efforts were needed for us to introduce each other. We knew who each other was the moment we met.

He is with me right now. He has so many questions in his head……generally…….i am being bombarded with the hows and whos and whats and whens and wheres and whys of it……and I have no answers for them. I am getting frustrated with the idea that I am not able to help the only person I know inside out for sure……..

Some of them are based on fear….some on happiness……some on relationships……and some of them are just like that…………its leading me to a state of commotion……I can’t break free……..I don’t even want to get free……..its the only thing I can do for him and I am doing that………coz I know its going to be me for him and he for me……

He says he hasn’t lost out on any major things in last few days……….its the fear of losing, not achieving the goal that is driving him mad……..we are talking…….. I am asking him not to be afraid and face the challenge head on…….but while telling him I myself am beginning to fear if I am giving him the right advice…….but then I remember the words of wisdom my mama has given me…….”Failure is not a crime…..but low aim is…… kahi karat ashil te agadi man laun kar……lakshat thev Shri Krishnane Arjunala kay sangitale hote…….Karmanyeva………”

I gather the courage again…….I am telling him with more confidence……the result is showing slowly but surely…….he starts to understand it……..both of us are making more sense out of this foggy condition……..hopefully the road will get clearer……soon……sooner……

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Promises and Com(promises)

As a child I wanted to become a doctor, a fighter pilot, a MI5 or MI6 agent, a soldier and don’t remember what more.......

As a child I loved life (so do I now) and loved probably everything it had to offer me. Nature, wildlife, treks, trips, schools, studies (yes I did....), sports, friends.......

I never really understood how I developed so many interests in life. Probably all the credit goes to my parents who taught me to enjoy the life as it is. At every moment while I was enjoying them, I made myself some promises. To be with all these things for rest of my life.

Today, I am doing MBA from one of India's most prestigious B-schools. Here everyone comes to be successful. To get a good job. A high paying job. Enjoy probably the last two years of educational career and transform oneself into a "rich"er person.

Unfortunately that richness is measured in terms of whether you get 7 or 8 or 10 or 12 or 15 lacs. In return you get a job in some top notch company. In years that follow climb the ladders of organisational hierarchy. In the process of reaching the top we don't really realise the years that fly by. The only things those occupy our lives are work, promotion and money. And I fear myself just doing that.......

I fear that in the quest for the top, I might not be able to fulfill all those promises I made myself as a child. I love reading, writing, trekking, travelling, swimming, playing, listening to music and many more simple things. But I hardly see anything of these in today's cut throat race for the top. It reminds me of the story I read sometime back....that of a fisherman and a businessman. I know I am writing this at the risk of being labelled as an unambitious person. But I also stand at a juncture of life where I need to decide whether the compromises will override my promise or I find some way to compromise on compromises to fulfill my promises.

Thats me Posted by Picasa

Quorum and Freedom

I am sitting in my room, no. 425, and contemplating over the elections that took place a couple of days ago here in XLRI. These were for the secretaries of the various committees we have here....

They say that in here you can start any committee provided that there is an 'X' at the end of it (e.g. MAXI, FINAX). I came to know only yesterday however that it requires backing of at least 40% of the batch (which happens to be about 72 people).....the fundamental principle being that when you can have the support of these many people, then the committee is supposed to be for the good of student community as a whole. What happens in years that follow....if people are interested or not....if committee really adds any value or not......this are the questions nobody thinks of once the existence is established.....however I am not debating that here.

Now that these committees are in existence, there needs to be 'leadership' for that and the most obvious thing to do is having a secretary....and follow the elections....just the way we had them 2 days back. Again the elections are valid only if there is attendance of 40% of the batch (don’t jump to conclusion that if the required number is not present then the committee is scraped.....we are too altruistic for that.....). If the required number is not present then the elections are held the people who are standing for the position of secy, use their network and gather the "janata" to reach the number 72. This we call a quorum....which if not present then elections do not take place.

But a thought keeps on bothering me that is this the way the processes are to run? achieving the number of 72 is no big deal (given the friend circle of a person and fact that the elections for various committees are held if there are elections for 6 committees then all each committee candidates have to do is gather 12 people.....)

I am assuming here that at this stage in life all of us are mature individuals and know what we want from life. So making me attend the election of the committee I am not interested in is in a way forcing me. The argument in favour of such process is that in this manner at least I know what those committees are up to. But if an individual is not interested in a particular committee, making him attend the election and making him vote does not make sense. Also, not only is it the question of attending an election, but also vote.........(say committee A and B are going for elections at the same time....I am interested in A but not in B....then making me sit for the election of A and forcing me to vote is not the way it should be)

Of course all this is my personal opinion and I know that there are too many people to challenge me saying you are being too individualistic and cant think of a batch as a whole. I have nothing to say to them. The only principle on which my thought process is based is that, if a person is really interested in a committee then he will attend the elections.....he will make an informed choice.....and he will create some value out of it.....irrespective of the fact whether the number of people present are 72 or just 7 and in the process student community can just be benefited !!