Of Charlatans and Quacks

“”Does school prepare children for the real world?”” Thus starts the famous book “”Rich Dad, Poor Dad”” by Robert Kiyosaki. I started reading the book a few days back. But I just couldn’t stop getting back to that one statement that started it all. I know this can billow into a huge debate. But I can’t take it out of my mind.

Why do we study in our schools?? Do they endow us with the knowledge which can serve as a buttress to support us against the practical world??
Well my answer here would be a strict NO. The best example in this case would the field in which I am studying. Engineeering. We are put through four years of rigoruous cramming of useless fundas and obsolete philosophies. Where does it all end?? Where does it lead us to?? One thing is for sure. As and when we join the industry, we will be starting right from square one.

At this point I would like to ask just one question. Who in heaven’s name defines our syllabus?? Nearly half of the people serving with the Department of Education are charlatans. They act like mere drones and do as they are told.

That gets us back to the same question. Why do we study??
I think the whole system needs a refurbishing in the true sense, a mere touch up would do no good. Education should not just be confined to the four walls of the classroom. What happens in the true world outside is of utmost importance and unless this is taken care of, we will be producing herds of drones and some more clones.”

Seasons in the Abyss

The pedestrian called Love has the propensity of wandering through the ravines of human motives. Cruel as it is, Love, often acts as the Grim Reaper. Dessicating most fertile of the seasons, Love is not everyones friend.

When Love becomes friendly, they often have the ostentatious aura of being in heaven.
Little do they know, about the infidel friend.

Love raps the door while one is enjoying Seasons in the Abyss and covers their mortal farm with flowers of spring.
Little do they know, that autumn is Love’s first offspring.

When Love brings the sunshine in the life, theres a feeling that there will never be another night.
Little do they know, what is true light.

When Love becomes the best friend, they do away with their best friends.
Little do they understand, what are the trends.

Love makes them feel ensconced on the highest pedestal and rise above their own realms,
Little do they understand, that Love has no qualms.

And when Love brings in the November Rain,
Little do they care about the pain.

And when Love bids them a cruel farewell, they feel, now, they are in the biggest vice.
Little do they know, that unlike Lightning, Love does strike the same place twice.

And next time when Love greets them on the way,
Little do they know, that this is another day.

Death of a Friend

“Today we mourn the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense. Common Sense lived a long life but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories and offices, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness.

For decades, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, the early bird gets the worm, and life isn’t always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it’s okay to come in second.

A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including body piercing, whole language and “”new math.””

But his health declined when he became infected with the “”If-it-only-helps one-person-it’s-worth-it”” virus. In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal regulation.

He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers and enlightened auditors. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero tolerance policies, reports of six year old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a
student but cannot inform the parent when the female student is pregnant or wants an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional sports.

As the end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments, regarding questionable regulations for asbestos, low flow toilets, “”smart”” guns, the nurturing of Prohibition Laws and mandatory air bags.

Finally, when told that the homeowners association restricted exterior furniture only to that which
enhanced property values, he breathed his last.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers: Rights, Tolerance and Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Fingerprints Embellished

Memories are like fingerprints.
They cannot be changed, but they fade away.
Always cherish those fond memories, because
In the vaccum of oblivion,
Memories are the medium.

Over the span of time, one turns to realise that memories are as important as the breaths you take. If you forget those memories of your childhood days, you have missed a lifetime. There so many small memories that should be preserved in the crypt of your mind. I think many of you must already know this, but whenever you are feeling down, the best way to perk yourself up is to think about those good memories you’ve had. Think about those times you have spent with your loved ones and your nearest chums.

Digressing a little from the topic, I would like to share a general human tendency that I have noticed. Maybe many of you must have noticed it.

We never really appreciate what we have until its gone.

When one is in junior college, we tend to crib about how bad the things are right now and how good school was.
But when we reach graduate college, then we realise that those fond memories of junior college that we had were one of the best. The first time you saw a porn movie with your friends. The first time you got drunk on a night out. The day when you got screwed in the defaulters list. These are some of them, but they do matter a lot.

Like I said in the quote above, preserve those memories and save them till they last. If they seem to fade away then recall and refresh them.
Memories are your best friend.

Of Decisions and Wants

“The decision to decide is a decision in itself. I had heard this long back when I was a kid, But the irony of life is that you keep hearing a lot of things but fail to implement even a grate of those.

I have suffered from wrong decisions through my life and I think a majority of you must have. Here I am focusing on the major decision of life which lies in your career. I had taken up Engineering two and a half years back. But now If someone asks me, “”why did you take up engg.?””, I wouldnt know the answer. After the pondering for sometime one obvious answer that would loom would be, “”because my friends were taking it”” OR “”because I thought it has more money””.

But frankly, I think in India this was the trend a few years back. People go for conventional courses and then realise they are totally fucked. I always wanted to do Architecture until I was in my 9th standard, but as soon as I entered my SSC, the goal somehow suddenly changed. Everyone was doing engineering and even I, for some strange reason, wanted to do it.

After spending two and a half years, I realise that engineering is really not for me. I think I would have been more happier doing an architecture course. Alternatively I would have taken up maybe literature in Arts and then a post-grad in Finance.

Later on you always realise that, what is it that you want ultimately?? Money?? Ok now you have the money. What next??
At this junture I remember two quotes said by one of our Professors.

1. A man goes to a sage and says, “”O Holy sage, I want peace””
The sage says, “”Remove the I, Remove the want and you have peace””

2. A man slogs so hard in life that he keeps climbing the ladder, climbing and climbing until he reaches the top.
After he reaches there, he thinks aloud, “”Why cant I still get the satisfaction??””
One of his friends says, “”My friend, all your life you have struggled and struggled and slogged and finally you have reached the top of the ladder. But unfortunately the ladder is resting against the wrong wall.“”

Plummeting Ethics

“This is an article I read today which was forwarded to me by Nikhil (a.k.a Alter Ego). It really made me comment on this once again. What is this world plummeting into??

Sex with boss good for career: Survey

ANI[ TUESDAY, JUNE 03, 2003 05:33:41 PM ]

LONDON: Office flings have become quite a normal story since people spend most of their time at their work place.

A new survey of more than 1,000 workers has found that one in two workers have an affair with a colleague at the office. And the most popular methods of getting promotion these days include having sex with the boss, blackmail and sabotaging other people’s work.

One-fifth of them acknowledged sleeping with the boss just to get a promotion. It also showed that many employees are prepared to cheat, lie and stab work-mates in the back to get on in their jobs.

Researchers found that one in five people regularly claim credit for work done by a colleague. A staggering one in three had attempted to get a work-mate sacked while two-thirds admitted to flirting to get their own way, according to a report in The Sun.

Seven in ten said they were willing to cover up for a colleague’s extra-marital activities by lying to that person’s partner.

But, despite their own faults, four in five were worried about the ethics of their company.

The survey was ordered by Paramount Home Entertainment to coincide with the video release of Changing Lanes, which stars Ben Affleck as a worker who marries his boss’s daughter to get on.

I think there are a lot of factors which can determine such kind of behaviour. The pith of these would be the loosening of company ethics. I think more and more companies nowadays do not give a damn about company ethics. Its become a rat race in which you have get a job done, by hook or by crook, mostly the latter. In the cases mentioned above when will the employees show such behaviour?? Only when there is a +ve reaction from the opposite party. Secondly, a factor for this rat race can be attributed to the unnecessary employment by the company. There are companies which employ certain number of people every year to maintain an outlook that the company is still going good guns. When there is such horizontal expansion, its but obvious that the race for getting up the hierarchy will aggravate.

All in all, it just makes my determination stronger that I will not be doing a job for the rest of my life.”

Spook unleashed & Bollywood tarnished

“Man I couldnt sleep the night before. Sunday night I had gone for the spooky movie “”Bhoot”” and that too in the night slot.

Normally, I am very critical of bollywood movies…I see a very few of them, around say 2-3 movies a year. But tell you something this movie rocked!!
Although its almost a remake of “”The Exorcist””, its made in good taste.
For starters, the screenplay or the photography of the movie “”Bhoot”” is really good. It keeps you on the edge of the seat for the whole movie.
Its not like other bollywood movies which are direct cut-paste movies. Change the actors and lo! you have a brand new movie!!

For years Bollywood has revelled in surrogate stories and photocopied screenplays. I was aghast when I saw a scene from the movie “”Awara Pagal Deewana”” with Akshay Kumar. It was a photocopy of the scene from “”The Matrix””, when Neo enters the building fully loaded with weapons in his jacket. Well that movie had a reason as to why Neo could do all those stunts. Now take the case of this bollywood movie, Akshay kumar does all the stunts done by Neo (yes! the triple kick also!!), albeit without any reasoning.
This is the reason why these Bollywood movies suck bigtime. Of course there have been good movies. But why is it such that the story of every movie can be traced back to Hollywood through one or the other route??

On the other hand look at Hollywood, they make truly amazing movies!! Here are some of those movies:


“Heres a statement that I came across that appealed a lot. I wrote an opinion on it >>

“”People’s attitudes are determined more by their immediate situation or surroundings than by any internal characteristic.””

Attitude maybe defined as the way of thinking of an person. Attitude is an intrinsic value that is contingent upon myriads of factors such as the situation, or maybe the predicament for that matter, in which the individual finds himself in. Attitude maybe inherent in an individual but as the scope of ones life subsumes the world around him, the attitude tends to change radically.

Every human being is gifted with a basic quality of orienting himself with respect to the surroundings. This is called adaptation. The process of adapting to the surroundings need not be only physical. In fact during the process of doing so, the mindset of the individual is altered significantly and thus is his attitude. For example consider an individual who is living a lavish life in a big mansion in some city. Suppose he has to move to a smaller house, may be somewhere in the country side, then he adapts himslef to the compact situation. In the process the same individual who would have complained about some trivial shortcomings of his mansion, would learn to live with the same in his smaller house. This shows a marked change in the attitude or the mindset of the person.

The other, and probably one of the most significant factor, would be the cultural differences. Culture is something that varies with region, race and society. A person with a fixed attitude would not be able to blend himself with a new culture in which he is living. The point that is coming to light here is that even if an individual has an attitude developed through internal characteristics, it becomes redundant due to the extrinsic factors. For instance, the number of students who come to the US every year have to change their attitude and the way they think of things to better suit their surroundings. It would become almost impossible to blend in if they carry forward their native attitude.

A subordinate factor to the above mentioned would be age. A persons attitude changes with age. It would be very clear that a person would not have the same attitude when he is 20 and when he is at 40. At 20 an individual would have a carefree attitude and tends to take things for granted. However at 40, things are a lot different and the same attitude would put one in an imbroglio. When responsibilities are thrust upon someone there is bound to be what we can call an ‘attitude-adaptation’.

Attitude is a mirror of the surroundings and the situation in which a person lives. The closer you get to the reflection, the clearer the image is. Hence, if you know your surroundings better, the better you can suit your attitude so as to be in accord with them. Inherent attitude tends to become redundant as the various factors around a person change. Conclusively, attitude is solely determined by extrinsic factors.

Picturesque Panhala

Rapid gusts of wind lashed against my face as I made my way up the treacherous turns and slips of the mountain. A slip here or a skid there could have had me on my knees forever. For a moment I felt that the gale could have swept me off my feet. The grass provided the much needed friction between my shoes and the slippery earth beneath. Red coloured earth-worms had clustered themselves in groups for no apparent reason. As I look up for a moment, I get the feeling of being in a heaven right here on planet earth. The scenic beauty all around is pictureseque. As if it has just been cut out of the book of the most professional photographer. I moved my head all around to see houses, scaled down by atleast one thousand times, embellished in a green sea of grass swaying to the gusts of wind. The clouds were hurrying by as the weather prepared itself for one more whimsical change. The clouds take along with them the passing showers as, much to our relief, the sun peeps out from behind them. After a lot of effort and leg crunching ordeals we finally reach the top of the hill, to our destination. Such is the serene beauty of the Jyotiba Hill.
I had gone with my friends to Panhala for a two-day vacation(after all, my engineering course doesent allow more than two days of peace!!). Panhala is a fort made by the great Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It is located 22km from Kolhapur, Maharashtra. We checked in at Hotel Hilltop and immediately left for a guided tour of the fort. We hired a guide(his name was Kishorebhau) and he started showing us around. We were immediately captivated by the thought that in Panhala, the hotels, shops and overall the whole village is inside the fort!!. As if it was an anachronism, every time I walked through the bylanes of Panhala, I could hear that staccato sound of a hundred baroque horses galloping their way around in a gracious cavalcade.

As if that wasnt enough, we were told of the various tactics used by Shivaji Maharaj to build the fort. The architecture of the fort is impeccable. The scientific methods that have been used to make the fort are out of bounds. Apparently no other structure of modern times harnesses nature’s prowess to fullest.

After Panhala, we left for Jyotiba temple on the very next day. Jyotiba is approximately 15 kms from Panhala. Unfortunately a tree had fallen on the road to Jyotiba and it seemed very unlikely that the road would be cleared soon. We made up our mind and decided to trek our way up the Jyotiba hill.

The geography is such that Panhala is 3127 feet above the sea level on one hill, where as Jyotiba is on the other hill. The height of Jyotiba is around 2500 feet above the sea level. That means that we had to first get down from Panhala and again climb upto Jyotiba.

After going through the main tar road for sometime, we felt that urge to trek up the mountain. That is how it all began and all that description I mentioned above comes right from the bottom of my heart. At the end of the day we all felt that, had it not been for that fallen tree we would have missed an opportunity of a lifetime.

I would reccomend everyone to visit this place if they get a chance. Believe me, it is really worth the time!!

At this point I remember one quote from H. G. Wells:

What is this life if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.