The Price of Ambition

During one of my travels, I was seated next to an elderly Indian couple. They seemed to be in their mid fifties and they were in US to attend a wedding. As our flight was a couple of hours long, we spent the time, talking to each other about ourselves. So after the customary interchange, the conversation went like this.
Before I begin, any Indian person who is 10 years older than me is considered an uncle/aunty. Jokes apart I quite like this cute avuncular culture !

Uncle: So, how old are you?
Me: I am 27.
Uncle: You are married?
Me: Nope
Uncle: It is the right time, you should get married. What are you waiting for?
Me: I still have some distance to go before I think I am mature enough for that.
Uncle: What nonsense, you seem to be in the IT industry. How much do you make?
I disclose my salary after which he felt sorry for me and suggested he will put in kind words to his nephew who owns a start up company in SF.
Aunty interjects: What is your caste, beta?
Me: Uhm, I am not sure.
Aunty: Well, what is your last name? I can deduce your caste from your last name.
Me: Mind – Blown!
So here is the thing about Indian Aunties, they come pre-programmed with “ancenstry.com” database. So they can spell out your ancestors, what they did for a living, where they lived etc… all by just learning your last name.
I personally think they would have made very good Nazi’s as racial profiling comes easy to them. Don’t be offended, in India, ethnic cleansing looks something like this:

ganga_snan

I watched an interview of George Harrison, the fabled Beatles man. When asked about his cult status in the music industry, he said how he felt trapped under the limelight. Everyone around him thinks that he is a genius, but he alone knows that he has no idea what he’s doing.
I am officially an adult and I am really not sure how why this is the case.

Growing up, I was very excited and looked forward to the day when I would become an adult. I wanted to do what the cool people did, like go anywhere they want, eat anytime they want and talk to strangers as if they knew each other.
But more importantly as a career move, I never knew how people figured what they wanted to do. I mean, I am okay with computers I guess but I never understood  why would anyone pay me to do stuff which seems fun and quite easy?

So I asked a friend who went to IIT because I thought that he would surely know how to decide on a career. He said something brilliant.

The world loves mediocrity, if you are average, people aren’t threatened by you. So they would accept you, as a peer. And you would never be over-qualified for a job. So you can gradually make progress and be at a stage in your career. I mean imagine, if you were a genius at an entry level job. Wouldn’t that guarantee depression?

We all adore people who are brilliant but I feel most of them lead turbulent lives. Especially the ones who made an impact in history. And I am not talking about insecurity, I worship intelligence. When I listen to a Brahms composition, or read “Edward Bernays “Propaganda” or watch a performance by Martha Graham, I go numb. I am awestruck but at the same time sad that I would never be able to reproduce that. Ever.

I hope I didn’t come across as a douche with my choice in entertainment. I just wanted to sound eclectic! I am a regular guy with regular choices. And I think I am comfortable with that, because I know things that I am not.

Which brings me to another theory that I find fascinating -Peter’s Principle.

Peters principle: “Members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability”.
What it means is say you are an excellent programmer, you’d be promoted to an average senior programmer, then if you do stick on and hit the targets, you’ll become a manager. But since you were promoted for your technical skills and not people management, you’d end up becoming a terrible manager. But you can’t work on the same pay check years after working in the team. So getting promoted to a job you’ll be terrible at, seems to be the only logical way!
This might have been a demotivational article so far but look at the bright side. I think there is a reason why Indian and Asian students thrive in the western economy.  We are number one in IQ and intelligence and shit last in self esteem. So we ride this hamster wheel of hard work without realizing that, we have achieved our goals.
We seem to have an enforced sense of humility that prevents us from selling ourselves. I am tired of smart people complaining that “I do my job and expect rewards. I can’t go around prancing and announcing how terrific I am at what I do. That is just not me”.

And don’t even start about the inflated self purpose that us STEM folks have. We are just more relevant at the current time stamp in history that is all.
I would really recommend everyone to watch “Dirty Jobs” produced my Mike Rowe. He educates us about vocational education and it’s relevance in the job market today. You don’t have to cut it out as a marketing manager or a software analyst or an investment banker to become financially independent.
You could still lead a comfortable and a fulfilling career while being an electrician, crane operator or even a plumber. Those jobs won’t be automated. At least not in the near future. If my parents waited for their perfect job, they would never have provided me the opportunity to pursue what I wanted to do.

During my time in the middle east, I came across a lot of immigrant workers from Nepal, India, Philippines and Sri lanka. They would scourge and live minimally and send all the money back to their homes. And hopefully channel those resources to pay for their kids tuition’s. Unfortunately, due to their poverty they don’t think free will exists for their children.

They won’t allow their kids to become electricians or plumbers or a mechanic. They want them to be engineers and doctors. And if chips don’t fall the right way, they are just carving a very expensive tomb for their children in the form of student debts.

I am still trying to understand why paychecks are seen as a barometer for ambition? I just don’t get it. When people my age push their limits to get a better job and an upgrade in quality of life, I get it. Totally, but what is the answer to the question , what’s next?
Surely it can’t be just a better car, an expensive house or an exotic vacation. It just seems stupid and narrow to me.

In my own naive opinion, I feel we should measure our lives by experience rather than achievements. I am 27 now and frankly I have no idea how I got here. And I am pretty sure that when I become 40, I still would not have a clue where to go.
But I don’t want to extinguish this stupid addiction I have for experiences. I may change my opinion in the future, but isn’t having an evolving concept of what I want, an experience in itself?

But at present, I am comfortable with ambiguity. It doesn’t keep me up at night 🙂

Why do we get Offended?

My friends and I were heading to an Indian restaurant the other day and we saw a car swerve around us. A guy flipped us off screaming something like “curry Indians” and sped away. I was pissed but my friends and I decided to shrug it off. But I realized if that happened to an American, god forbid a gun lover; things would have gone from weird to George Zimmerman in no time.

So I thought of listing things that get easily offended and decided to pen about them. But I thought well what if I end up offending more people? I kind of buried that instantaneously. Because when you think of it, you’re always forced to be nice and say nice things about people and places. Think about it.

Say I visit Delhi for the first time. And I undergo several unpleasant things such as being spat on from the roof, getting robbed, having to listen to Honey Singh in a stuffy taxi or worse encountering Rahul Gandhi at a mall (while he attends “fuck the poor” convention). That would leave a very unsavory taste for me, right? So don’t you think I should reserve a right to say “Delhi Sucks”? Imagine if I had some mileage as a socialite and I uttered those words. Mobs would be all over me.

So that being said I will assume a right to have my opinion and exercise it poor humor in space below. I think there are three entities which are constantly offended.

Women: Whenever there is a discussion about Women’s role in the society, A lot of men resort to whipping the rhetoric by saying things like “All women are my sisters or mothers and I have a moral obligation to protect them”. Some men even push the envelope and go from being apologetic to I-hate-that-I-have-a-penis.

The agenda shifts from solving a problem to Worshipping/Respecting all women. I think to myself, Well isn’t that is cocky? Why should we generalize, I mean I am sure there are a lot of good women out there. But respect all of them? Why? Jokes apart, I highly recommend reading this article by Shoma Choudhury titled “Women in India, Sluts or Goddesses”.

I think on an average, an urban woman gets more offended than an urban guy. And I think a lot of men are at fault here.  You see growing up in an orthodox south Indian middle class society taught us men boys to be non-confrontational with women.

Punching a boy in the face and splitting his lip-

Social Reaction: Oh boys will be boys.

Having a fierce argument with a girl

Social Reaction: OMG, ZOMG Your son is going to grow up into a wife beater/rapist.

I remember this vivid incident, a few years ago. I was walking down the road the other day from my school and there was this fire truck going past us and a whiny girl in our group said “Why the fuck are these fire trucks and ambulances so loud. Ughh, they’re so loud & dumb”

I so badly wanted to grab her by the arm take her to her father and tell him that he should sue the school and get a refund on the fees he spent on her.

But I didn’t, I just nodded along. So when women go through their best years without any arguments from men (man bitches) like me. They take things for granted and get offended when people don’t agree with their opinions.

You see as a guy, I know my limits. My friends wouldn’t spare two seconds before pointing out that my argument is flawed, I am stupid and I shouldn’t be such a jerk. But I don’t think women have that feedback mechanism in them. And no grown man ever confronts or argues with a woman over a fallacious discussion because, uhm how should I put it mildly

………

……

.because they want to sleep with them.

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Governments

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One thing that I love about United States is their freedom of speech. I mean Anthony Weiner got into so much of humiliation for sexting and got kicked during the mayor election. And we have rapists in our legislative assembly. Imagine this conversation between a female reporter and a male politician.

Hot Bong Reporter: Sir, why do think women get assaulted on the streets.

Random Wannabe Politician: Because when women wear seductive clothes like salwar kameez, jeans & t shirts they know that they create attention and want to be teased.

HBR: You are such a sexist!

RWP: *Blushing and pushing the microphone aside*, Aap bhi looking very sexist madam, kyun party warty ho jaye?

You can’t even pass a bill that says criminals can’t contest in election. I mean that’s like allowing repeat sex offenders to become pastors and hang around altar kids. Oh well, you get the idea.

In order to scrutinize governments let us revisit one of the pillars of our education which went by the name Discipline. All of us wore the same uniform, studied the same kind of subjects and proceeded to carve similar careers. It felt more like being a part of an industrial supply chain rather than schooling. More importantly we were taught to think ‘ALIKE’. Respect your elders. Don’t talk back to teachers. Aberrations to the norm set above were punished.

So when we become a spineless generation that was raised from the same ground, this fear of being disciplined is ingrained in us. We do not question authority, we do not ask ourselves why we are way we are. It behooves all of us to respect the authority and even questioning/reasoning it, is seen as a mark of disrespect.

And when anyone questions the authority they are jailed or as they call it in China “Government Sponsored Holidays”. It is easier to control people when they are united in fear. So when people question the authority; they are vilified. But my argument isn’t absolute and must be taken with a pinch of salt, especially after the whole fiasco over authenticity of “Syrian Rebels”.

Religion

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Religion has been getting offended since the dawn of humans. (Insert Darwin joke- Check!)

Talking about religion isn’t my favorite hobby, but as a confessed atheist I definitely have a morbid curiosity to learn how it affects humanity.

They say criticism of religion is the beginning of criticism. But I haven’t come across a single religion which promotes reasoning. Each religion only allows questions that glorify them. It’s like every networking session I have ever attended at school. Q&A sessions were reserved only for sucking up.

I’ve always wondered why do religious people get offended so easily and react with violence when reasoned. From stoning the heretics in the black ages to blasphemy laws in a few Islamic countries in the middle east.  When scientists like Galileo, Copernicus proposed their theory on our solar system, the church didn’t condemn them for being wrong, but for being offensive.

The reason why religious people are so insecure is because religion happens to be an Idea which is seemingly immutable. Which means we can never edit it or nurture it. We can’t even add stuff like, child marriage should be banned or men shouldn’t control reproductive rights of women. They seem like good ideas right?

We won’t be here if we didn’t question ideas. The idea of energy, language, evolution, music, food etc… All of these theories were tested, improved and perfected.

Ideas are powerful and sometimes immortal. They can masquerade as ideals. Ideas are hard to give up especially when an idea grants you power over your fellow men. And that is the reason why some people want to treat them with impunity. Say what you want but all the religions have always worked in cahoots with the government in one way or other.

*Profanity ahead*

I agree that people must have freedom to have their own opinion, but not facts. So when a clusterfuck politicians discredit Global Warming to pacify Big Oil companies. It affects ALL OF US. So screw them, if they’re offended.

The same goes with gay marriages. If you are not for gay marriage, I am sorry; fuck you. You know why? It has nothing to do with you. Although you are allowed to be a homophobe within your community , you cannot ostracize a legitimate part of our society just because of their orientation.

What irks me most is when religion claims copyrights to morality. So even if a belief system is flawed you can’t question it because you can’t derive morality without it. Now this is the single reason why I chose to become an atheist. My mom used to say that when we were not so advanced, religion is the reason which taught us to be good and not kill each other.

I refuse to accept that humans who are capable of tremendous feats such as stem cell research and interstellar travel can’t figure out that killing others and beating the shit out of your parents is wrong.

We’re living in an environment which is increasingly becoming hostile to people who question the norm and attempt to hold organizations accountable. The riots in the middle-east, collapse of oligarchy’s in South America after legalization of drugs and Europe’s exoneration of the financially irresponsible are few but telling tales that there is a movement in motion. We should raise the next generation on how to learn and not force them what to learn.

If you find yourself offended all the time, I want to end with this quote.

“If you run into an asshole in the morning. You ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all the time, YOU are the asshole.”

P.S: I have heavily referenced this article. So if you’re offended please realize that you are pissed off over facts, not opinions.

Graduation Speech

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I know that this is a graduation season and there are a lot of people are quite happy about it. Most of Indians I know are excited as this is one of the few times you get to take a picture with white people in the background, which means “You’ve made it” back at home.

So I wanted to write a graduation speech. I am not sure if I envision myself to be famous enough to commemorate a graduation ceremony. As it is, I feel I have achieved more than any man with my looks and intellect possibly could. So here goes nothing…

The Speech

Hello batch of 20xx. Congratulations on your graduation (Unless you did an MBA from IIPM. Then you’re fucked. Proper fucked).

*Side note: Begins speech by thanking people who are important but you couldn’t possibly care about.

I’m sure most of you can’t wait to get out of this stadium to be with your loved ones and celebrate your success. I promise I won’t beat the cliched horse to death. I request twenty minutes of your time. And I have made sure that there is enough security at the gates, so you really don’t have much choice.

I don’t have anything inspirational about me unlike many of you. I got pretty much whatever I wanted and couldn’t complain about how my life was going. I was and am ordinary. And now I want to address those students who are ordinary. Just like me.

So to all the ordinary lads and lasses out there, you might feel that since you’re ordinary these clichéd speeches don’t work for you. You don’t see yourself changing the world or realizing your dream which in many cases might cease to exist. I am going to attempt to prove it wrong. My speech is about 5 big things that you are going to face after you have graduated.

Career: It is comparatively easy to get a job. But it takes a lot of grit and passion to get to your dream job. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when in you are in the commencement ceremony and when the speaker adorns your ego with words like #Dreams #Success #Changing the world. You know what? It is a sham.

You are more than likely to find a decent job which will pay your bills. You will soon realize that your work requires none of the skills you learned at school but will realize that “job satisfaction” is a hoax. You will work hard to impress your boss and then grow tired of it.

You shall slowly realize that people who don’t work as hard as you are getting ahead of you and you are running into a dead wall. You will doubt your worth often and feel like slamming your coffee against the coffee machine after the road rage you went through en route to work. And if you pick up a self-help book by Deepak Chopra, you know you’re going downhill. I have one advice for you

Mastery : Let me tell you how the world works. You are what you can do. As long as you can get the job done you will survive. Nothing else matters. Nobody but nobody (except maybe your mother) gives a flying fuck about what you are as a person. People have needs and as long as you fulfill them you can coast along. Look at any job description, you are not there to exchange pleasantries, build relationships or if you’re black contribute to diversity. You are hired to fulfill the needs of the company and as long as you do meet it. You will survive. And if you get good at it, you will still have other companies who would want to hire you. Not because they like you. But because they NEED you.

Tyler Durden was wrong. You ARE your job. You ARE the contents of your wallet. Society determines you by what you do and not who you are. Imagine you are at any social event. Some person comes up to you to have a chat. The rest of the conversation depends on what you do for a living. This is the microcosm of the society we live in.

Dreams:

We are encouraged to dream when we are kids but we are constantly brought up in way that we don’t realize it. When you dream you don’t really have boundaries. But when you feel mortal and look around you, there is only so much you can achieve. I am risking my reputation here, but you know what? It is OKAY to give up on your dreams.

For one simple reason, we evolve. Just like our dreams. It is not the end of the tunnel if you can’t achieve your goal. But you are not a failure. Yes, days will be longer and nights will be shorter. It is OKAY to give up and it is better for the economy too. 10% of American debt is on student loans. Creativity is an unforgiving business because of the latent uncertainties. But trust me, no one wipes their tears when they collect their paycheck which feeds their needs and vices alike.

Relationships:

In one of the episodes of my all-time favorite shows “Californication”. The character “Lew Ashby ” remarks to Hank moody that “In the end it is all about her”. Finding someone to share your life is one activity that will define the rest of your personal life. The definition of love should subjective lest should you fail and embarrass yourself chasing the dream girl/guy as promised by some sitcom/movie. Those being said, never marry someone without whom you cannot be happy. It will end in an abusive relationship. For you.

I will now cater the next few lines to my male friends who are still single. A lot of you have gone through your entire college life without sharing your feelings to your girl. You guys make the dreadful mistake that the only way to win a girl over is by impressing her with your good demeanor. You assume that there are two steps to the process

Step 1: Become her friend. Earn her trust be nice and kind to her and always be on your best behavior. And hope that one day she realizes that you are the guy for her.

There is no step 2, you think it would mean getting the girl. But you may not. You know why? Because SURPRISE you’ve been friend zoned. And you will only realize it when she walks away with a douchebag or at least who you think is a douchebag. And you will ask yourself, I held her so high in my regard. I put her priorities over me, even then, why doesn’t she like me? Think about it logically, if you put someone on a pedestal the only way they can look at you is downwards.

Whenever you see a pretty girl with another guy you will immediately arrive to a conclusion where you put the guy on a pedestal compared to you. He got her because he has a fancy job. He won her over because he is good looking etc…

Such excuses make you miserable. Being miserable is easy. Happiness takes *effort

Never doubt yourself ever. At the same time don’t go overboard to be good. Not being a pretentious prick doesn’t mean you’re eligible for the women of your dreams. Or in other words being a nice guy doesn’t qualify you for the love of your life. Women want men, not boys with emotions. Women want men who would change the world. The world wants men who will change it. I am sorry to disappoint any feminists in the audience.

Failure: It is very likely you will face failure in your life with unpredictable frequency. Some of you will be divorced, fired from your job and undergo other things that doesn’t bode well with the spirit of this occasion. And when you are defeated the whole world would scare you. You might want to curl into a fetal position and stare at the wall.

I think our greatest fear about the universe is not that it is dangerous but  that it is indifferent. Remember, However dark the abyss, we must individually stoke our own fire.

So what should you do when you fail? This is the biggest lesson that education teaches you.

Confidence and Grit

Dear men and women, we have seen civilizations built upon education, hard work and determination. If you read about it a career seems far less daunting. You have gained many valuable tools for survival in this great institution and I hope you use it to your behest.

I can promise you that these skills and tools won’t ensure you a safe journey and you shall not emerge unscathed. But at the end you will look back and relish at this awesome realm of time we call existence.

Cheers!

1- http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person/

Virtue of Selfishness

For those who can identify the title, it is derived from Ayn Rand’s pocket sized book. I admit that I had an Ayn Rand fan boy phase during my definitive years. After I read fountainhead, I realized that if I continued to foster my character based on her caricatures I would either become a full blown asshole or worse a Wall Street banker.

P.S: A note to the readers who don’t know me, I am not a Wall Street banker.

I was consistently impressed by her sheer genius of objectivizing everything. Every emotion had an objective reasoning behind it and the faster you identify it the easier life becomes for you. They say that the key to solving most of the problems is realizing that there is one.

Most of my blogs have a structure where I draw out examples from my school days. It wasn’t a fancy one where they would teach you music appreciation, arts or high level programming. However it was incredibly competitive. Students made conscious decisions about who they chose to hang out with. The nerdy ones were in a group as they thought they could gain from group study sessions.

The socially gifted hanged out together as being in the center of a circle of friends assuaged their egos. And even the lonelier and weird ones hung out together to protest the conformity. And I identified with each group in one way or other. But because I didn’t find them mutually exclusive, I was a misfit.

Our society wants us to become considerate individuals but reality paints a disappointing picture. We are taught that at a very young age that everything out there is all about competition and winning. From getting a good degree, to a job to even a spouse it is all about how to get the best for you. And In USA they take it to another extreme where they don’t embrace failure. Everyone gets a medal for running a race, which I think is the other extreme. Learning that it is okay to fail at something is one lesson which I wish I had learned at a young age.

I hail from a common middle class family, I would be considered successful if I was rich rather than happy. I personally don’t have a very high regard for wealth. I am a trifle uncomfortable when one’s achievement is solely measured by their bank balance. Don’t get me wrong I am not a hippy and I do have hedonistic aspirations to gain material wealth. But at the same time I realize that, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my success if I wasn’t happy.

So I practiced being indifferent. There was so much misery around me that I knew if I kept attaching myself to the things around me, I would be part of the malarkey. Here is where logic came to rescue, I stopped empathizing and looked at problems with an outlook to solve them. I have a huge tiff with the word “Feel”. I really found it to be redundant, if I look at a kid who has a scraped knee; I would rather give him first aid than feel sorry for him. So this attitude helped me tremendously as it helped me coast through irritable company.

We are taught to be competitive and that one shouldn’t trust others easily. Is it because a lot of us are victims of trust abuse? Or is pathological distrust considered as a sign of maturity?

Indifference taught me how to cope with loneliness. I would not empathize with myself or become depressed when I was lonely. I looked at it as a problem which I could solve. To give a very personal example a year ago I spent what I would recall as a very depressing birthday.

I was inches away from being fired at my GRA due to a misunderstanding, I was unemployed and going through a terrible break up. I was feeling pathetic; I decided to get some Chinese food along the way. On my way I saw a homeless guy. I didn’t have a lot of money, but I did want to do something. So I gave away my dinner to him. He didn’t thank or smile at me. He took it and dived in.

When I came back home I felt a lot better about myself. The takeaway is that I didn’t help the guy because he was hungry. I helped him in an attempt to see if it would make me feel any better and it did. This had a profound impact on me. There is nothing wrong in having a motive behind anything and everything you do. As long as you don’t achieve what you want, you will always be unhappy. Think of selfishness as an insurance policy to protect your dreams.

Unconditional love is the biggest lie that we have out there. As literally unconditional is a condition by itself. So when you have such an objective outlook towards life, it is very efficient but life certainly loses color and spontaneity. I can’t recall the last time I felt outraged or tremendously happy. Life has been a succession of platitudes.

During the past year or so I have been at the receiving end of unbelievable generosity. I’ve been continuously invited to so many dinners, friendly get together where people who I have barely met treat me as a part of family. Friends have shared their deepest insecurities with me to get closure. People who I’ve left behind, string comfort laden words to inquire about my well-being.

Even for a guy as cynical as me, it tugs my heartstrings to be subject of such love and respect.

I ceased to be emotionally bonded with people as I find emotions and relationships as double edged swords. When I was in love things were tremendously strenuous. There were rapid troughs and heights in emotions which defied reasoning.  I think it’s this emotional instability which gave birth to the cliched phrase “I don’t want anything serious right now”. The fear of being hurt has reached endemic proportions.

I don’t see people my age fall in love as easily as they used to just a few years ago. We have this small mental checklist which we try to map to people who we feel we like. If it matches move ahead if not maybe they are not the right one’s for you. Since when did love become a grocery list of requirements? Yes, we are collectively much more successful than we ever thought before. But if it comes at the cost of neutralizing one’s ability to love fearlessly is it really worth it?

I am in a limbo of whether to let go of my selfishness which has been a great servant to me to tread into such melancholic depth.The question is, is selfishness a virtue worth protecting?

A Cultural Quick Fix to RAPE

Of course most people reading this need no introduction about the incident which happened in Delhi, where a woman was so brutally raped that she now needs an intestinal replacement surgery. This incident has given diet pepsi wielding, Rang De Basanti patronizing self-confessed vigilantes who think they have a solution to this heinous act.

Following is a ten step program which girls can use to avoid rape.

1. Do not travel late into the night, traveling places which are poorly lit is a strict no-no.

2. Women should not drink or smoke as either of the acts exhibits promiscuity.

3. Women should not dress provocatively and must adhere to cultural garbs to discourage unsolicited attention from men. Must take fashion cues from Jayalalitha and Mamta Bannerjee.

4. The ideal age to marry for a girl is 21. It may be increased to 23 if she is pursues MBA, because the father has to recoup his losses. If she is married and has kids, then maybe she might not be prone to privy eyes.

5. Girls should not frequent bars or disco theques as they are filled with vile men under the influence of alcohol. It would be akin to dancing with the devil if you chose to party. And immoral, remember god is watching you

6. Sex education must be implemented in schools. Of course by that we would teach them 99% about cross pollination and asexual reproduction and 1% about human anatomy. Also we should insist that casual sex is hazardous and masturbation would lead to global warming.

7. Men and women are equal; however we should treat women like  Sisters or Mothers. It is not patronage but a tribute to our maternal society. And since a girl should be married by 21, it doesn’t give any man a chance to think about women under any other context.

8. We have forgotten our tradition; most women in the name of empowerment go out to work where they are under severe gender bias. On top of it they have to work at home to being a wife to a husband, a mother to the children and a dutiful daughter-in-law to the husband’s parents. A woman’s prime responsibility is to champion the household than struggle for independence by working.

9. Women should always travel in company of men, ideally their brothers or husbands. Because even if you befriend any other male you can never be sure about their intentions, hence it is always better to be safe than sorry.

10. Some of the younger generation might feel rebellious after listening to their elders. But they have to understand as Kareena kapoors grand father from Jab We Met said “Ek akeli ladki, khuli hi hui tijori ki tareh hoti hai” which translates as “A single girl, is akin to an open safe”.

Because a girls only treasure is her character (Read virginity), once she loses that she brings shame not only to her but also to the family and the community. Hence the girl should be responsible about her behavior as it affects a lot of people.

How to fix rape?

  1. Death to the rapists, hang them by their balls over light posts in public.
  2. Marry off the girl to the guy who raped her, because no one else will accept her afterwards
  3. The home minister should retire, politicians should be fired. Fire all the policemen, they can’t protect the public
  4. Create a Facebook page which talks about punishing rape by death sentence
  5. Write a song about how women are mistreated in this chauvinistic male society; since AR Rahman is busy we will let Pritam compose the music. It should be catchy so he should be allowed to be inspired by Korean pop bands.
  6. Women should no longer be objectified in movies; they should be no longer depicted as saucy vixens dressed in skimpy clothes. There shall be no more beach scenes and all movies should be shot at the mines of Karnataka where even partial nudity cannot be justified.

I am a huge fan of satire and I love exaggeration, however none of the above points are fiction. I have merely regurgitated the opinions voiced by many on endless TV shows and column inches on newspaper.

Now that Sachin Tendulkar has retired many columnists are going to vomit verbs from their dictionary and the focus will shift from Delhi to Sachin’s legacy. We are a bunch of indifferent and pathologically passive pedestrians with a very short attention span. And that should scare us more than anything!

The Dots Do Connect…

I came to USA to get a masters degree in Computer Information Systems from GSU. And my My visa interview at Mumbai went like this:

Interviewer: So why do you want to get a master’s degree?

ME:

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When it comes to job hunt people often demonize it by saying that its wild life out there and you can trust no one. In my own naive way, I have always believed that there is good in everyone of us.

Ok, I was just kidding. But in all sincerity I believe that there is no such thing as a rat race and we all can be successful at the same time. The following post is about the travails I went through during my days of job hunt.

One of the earliest things I realized about education and job search is that it is a very interactive procedure. Especially as an MIS/CIS student who swears by the pledge “I don’t want to do coding because I am tired of it”. The excuse naively obfuscates the reality which is an inherent inability to code rather than reluctance.

I never shy away from coding as it remains the Holy Grail that I think I try too hard to achieve. It is not my core competency to be a programmer and I have come to accept that. During my first semester at GSU, I joined a networking fraternity. I was blown away by the social complexity that was out there. There were so many equally bright students vying for the same job. And the ferocity of their intention was very visible.

The fraternity opened doors to recruiters who would showcase their company and talk about their working culture and at the same time identify candidates who fit the bill and begin to track them. By the time I realized this, my first semester came to an end and I was in no way closer to my job hunt.

Tips: 1) Networking is not sucking up, it is a chance for the employers to know you better. Put your best step forward

2) Reach out to the recruiters via linkedin and add them after thanking them for their time. Being pro active is everything when it comes to a job hunt.

I understand that a job hunt is a laborious procedure and it is O.K. to be discreet about it. Some are superstitious that if they reveal they have an interview, they will fail it. The other reason is you don’t want to be a douche who yaps about interviews where your friends struggle.

The only upbeat thing about spring semester was that I was selected to become a VISA leader for fall 2012. I really undervalued the opportunity at that time as an internship was the bigger challenge.

But looking back the desperation was the negative factor. It sapped out all energy I had in me and it was difficult to digest that your friends already have a job and you are still unable to even land an interview. I realized that I was capable of jealousy too, but I didn’t want it to affect me. So in order to escape from masochism, I was reluctant to go to parties and get together. I would disable all notifications on Facebook in order to prevent me from going into a shell.

But I never gave up; I worked for about a month for a small start-up pro-bono learning open source technology. They didn’t offer me any compensation and also broke communication for some reason as the company went under. I approached professors for pro bono work and got one to build a system using share point but that work won’t begin until November and I remained to be restless.

I attended host of networking events, curbed my spending habits to stay afloat. I played soccer every weekend and in times of tumult that was my only solace. I took two classes in summer, one during May mester which lasted for a month and other during June-July. I have always been a pragmatic kid and was never under financial duress, ever. But the spending habits of your friends do rub on when you realize that you can’t afford to join them. It is humiliating but I found humor in it which helped me preserve my sanity.

Then came august and I was becoming more confident. I had 3 interview calls, two of them went well and VISA leader program was just about to start. It was one of the most fantastic experiences I have ever had. From being a willing social outcast to be recognized on the streets, it was an uplifting experience. I am very grateful to that special group of friends I made who made me feel this way.

I became chums with some great people all over the world; I went out to parties with them. Played soccer, got back into shape (From round to not-so-round). And call it comeuppance for the efforts; I got an internship by 3rd week of August!

I had already taken up two GRA’s and 3 classes and an internship on top of it was insane. Many of my friends advised me to drop one of them so that I don’t go bonkers. Meanwhile the career fair was approaching and I had to ready myself for another grueling session.

My grades in one of the subject did take a hit as I got a humiliating B+ in one of the tests. But it was bound to happen. Remember I said I got interview offers from 2 companies, I got a job offer from one of them by the time I was interviewing with the other J So I was confident/cocky about it.

The second company was the one I was targeting all year around. And guess what happens on the D-Day?

I show up 20 minutes late to the 30 minute interview due to some mix up. I have a good chat with my interviewer who seemed to be impressed by my candor and lack of nerves. I was mentally shitting bricks, but I didn’t let that surface.

I followed up that brief interview with a 30 minute phone conversation and voila, I struck gold twice. I got the call for the final round.

THE DOTS…

I have immense respect for Steve Jobs as a person than an entrepreneur. And those who know me how much I abhor Apple products. But in his great speech, he mentioned about how a person should follow their calling instead of chickening out. But the trick is to find your calling. Following were my career choices

Ice cream vendor, Railway pilot, Astronaut- Kindergarten to Mid school

Scientist, Photographer for Playboy magazine and physiotherapist for Brazil’s women’s beach volleyball team – High school

Journalist, Sound Engineer- Undergraduate

Technical Consultant, Business Analyst, Analyst, Documentation specialist, Window cleaner, Pet walker, Free mason, will-work-for-beer-money: In various times of desperation from January- July 2012

About the dots:

I started this blog to while away my time when I was working in Saudi Arabia to get attention and express myself. And I wanted to prove a point to myself that people apart from my mom also think that I am funny.

I got my internship after they saw my experience with word press. I got a full time offer from the consultants as they believed I could communicate my ideas with conviction to the clients and be solid academically as they learned about my VISA leader experience.

My interview with the partner entailed me describing how much I love Football (Soccer) and why it is important to root for one team. I gave her a passionate 5 minute speech of how much I yearn to see Arsenal play at the Emirates.

My idea of happy hours during school and under graduate was to be able to spend time at the library when other kids won’t be around. All those hours in the afternoon spent among dusty bookshelves and under a fan (60 rpm/second) didn’t go to waste. These are the things that I loved doing without any expectations or burden.

Trust me, the dots do connect. Believe in yourself and March ahead comrades! Good luck for your job hunt.