Sunday, April 13, 2014

LS 2014 Elections - mytake

Have been silent and non vocal this time around. Rather I have been observing more to form a decisive opinion before I could shout out loud. Frankly I still do not have a concrete opinion though elections have started and couple of phases are already over.

If I just look at the facebook feed, I have enough ammunitions both FOR as well as AGAINST- majority of the prime parties in the election which include BJP led NDA, newbies AAP and loosing steam UPA led by Congress (too early to write them off).

My fanfare for Amir Khan is not just like that, the concluding episode of Satyamev Jayate showed how to choose the right candidate just before elections started. But even in that series since you have to been neutral and can't have bias as its a responsible job, nothing was preached.
There is wonderful book, bestseller for numerous year called "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie which talks about how people form their opinion, how you can influence them. There is beautiful quote which says "A Man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." 

The reason I quoted above was, I can see lot of Party A supporters bashing Party B and vice-versa and the supporters trying to defend it by giving illogical/non-rational excuses or instead by counter posing questions. Which means though the logic or fact stated is wrong the gut doesn't let us admit it and come out clean instead we have tendency to defend ->when pointed out wrong but, it helps us admit if we stumble across it by ourselves. Let me summarize what I have observed from my social news-feeds on Twitter+FB ->
  1. Interestingly even though after the debacle, interview of Rahul Gandhi on primetime I have enough people in my friend list who want congress back in power and him as PM (some just want the congress in power but not clear about PM and as usual want the core committee to decide).
  2. Then there is swarm of supporters for AAP, which according to me is good startup but not well organised to handle government at Center. Though they did some commendable work at Delhi but did equal amount of bad stuff to be stripped of any credit and showed they are just another political party who is there to garner votes by doling out freebies.Though there are some great personalities associated with the party but the group as a whole doesn't seem to be efficient (similar to BJP).
  3. Then there is Mr Modi, instead of talking about BJP, people+media seem to be focussed solely on this guy. Some extremely positive and some super critical (hastags used by them #Moditards, #Feku,#Modiyapa etc.). What people need to understand neither is this guy superman nor would India's problem disappear if he comes to power. The reason I had some positive vibes about him is because my career forced me to stay in 2 largest cities of Gujarat for 6 months in last year, and they left lasting impressions on me.
There are already hell lot of critics for the Gujarat model but after spending 6 months there, I would prefer other cities following the same model instead of sitting and criticising from the fence that it is no good. I have stayed in UP, Delhi, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Haryana in last 3 decades and from a common man perspective Gujarat does offer a safe and developing state model. Does that mean there is no crime there or other states not developing, NO but I can say under Modi and/or his predecessors included Gujarat sure makes a compelling case of good and able governance. There had been pitfalls but they have been covered well, in other words less freebies doled out and more systematic and planned development (which is visible).

AAP which came into existence for rooting out corruption and got a chance to form minority government at Delhi. They were not able to make the best out of it, apart from freebies(water, electricity etc. - cheap populist measures ) and some good initiatives(corruption helpline, effort for Jan Lokpal - commendable) it lacked the experience to run a smooth government which was evident during the 49 day stint. So as of now apart from splitting the vote share from both BJP and Congress and probably contributing to hung parliament I don't see them adding much value to the parliament.

That leaves a million dollar question what should we do as a common man and whom do we support. Should we vote for a party keeping PM candidate in mind or for local candidate and his work ? My idea is sending the cleanest and worthiest candidate from our respective cities (use NOTA is no such candidate) and changing rules at parliament which would allow MPs to choose best leader as PM (across parties) instead of current system where they are expelled from party and lose their seat if they vote against the party dictum. Another must have power is right to recall which would help common man to ensure his selected leader is doing what they want and is representing them.

Till these rules come into place happy voting and make good use of your common sense while deciding and don't sell your votes. And please do not rely on anything posted on any social media since 90% is crap and hardly 10% is fact, which is even difficult for experts to segregate. 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Inevitable

There are times when you find the right words automatically without an effort and then there are moments when even after efforts you still don't. As mentioned in one of my previous posts that July was a big month for professional and personal changes, I moved to Ahmedabad and joined the team at ICICI where I would eventually be working. On personal front I got engaged to a lovely person, though I was always apprehensive on how arranged marriages work but I feel we got enough time to know each other and decided to move ahead.

So let me introduce my fiancée (Ankita - pic below) the Miss X of the post-> "The First". I was home for a little more than a week in mid July between my term break and it was decided that we needed some ceremony for making the relationship official. What was intended to be small family affair turned out to be fairly grand event though it was just the families (rather extended families) from both sides. I had to move back for my internship exactly the day after we got engaged and hence we couldn't spend much time together.

As usual when I start blogging there are multiple threads, this time its not an exception too. My to-do list is increasing and I am wondering how to pace upto it. Well dancing is something which I have always enjoyed watching other people, but going on dance floor myself has been always embarrassing. I have always wanted to learn atleast a few basic steps so that it can be avoided but since I wasn't a party guys had been procrastinating it. When I was based out of Baroda, our mentor threw a party before we were leaving and I realized that I need move up the priority of this to-do task to avoid embarrassment again.

The ADHM is approaching  and its time I start practising since its about 3 months from now and there hasn't been any physical activity off-late. I guess I would keep the remaining threads for the next post, before I wrap-up here the little disclaimer that the title of the post only means that it was just a matter of time/convenience for the ceremonies. And Miss X is the convention which stays since I love it till I find a better word :-).

Monday, July 29, 2013


As evident from the title this one is going to be random rambling again. The only thing that is constant is change and that's so very true. There are dates, events and moments so very important and precious at times and then couple of years later they don't even matter. Well as I cross another eventful year today, it seems another fast paced and one of most dynamic years both on personal and professional front.

When I look back at the post which I blogged at the same time last year, I had no clue what was in store for me the year ahead but I was very sure about couple of things. One I needed change and to stop being comfortable, second I wanted to travel. Though I did manage to reach the objectives but on first the rating was outstanding while I just managed to meet expectation on the second one.

I quit my full time job and joined MBA program, though I was really happy with my job but somewhere I was looking out for something challenging which would make me come out of my comfort zone. Well to sum it up nicely I was in for a change which I couldn't have imagined, but I don't regret it since I opted for it. IT industry and banking are miles apart and that too when you come from premium product company to largest private sector bank. I wanted to learn and try out something new and I am getting that every single day out here.Though at times people look down upon me as chap who was out of mind when he opted for shift but that ok, and there are moments when people pre-judge you as good for nothing and you get determined to prove them wrong and show how you can do things better.
Since I had opted for program I did not get to travel much as long as I was based out of campus, though lot of my batch-mates who came from southern and western India saw it as an opportunity to explore the entire North India -> Himalayas while being at campus and they did manage that. But after I moved out of campus for my Term-3 internship to Baroda and with an amazing bunch of pals (pic in previous post) I explored half of Gujarat within the very first month itself. The pic above is rough map of the route and destinations we covered (Dwarka, Bet Dwarka, Porbandar, Somnath, Gir Forest and Diu). 

So now the only part left in the state is Kutch (northern Gujarat) but this isn't the right time for travelling there. After a week break I am at Ahmedabad for the Term 4 internship and the first very first weekend I get to travel to Thol Bird Sanctuary. Since I didn't have the DSLR and necessary zoom lenses I couldn't shoot the birds though there were plenty I did manage the below pic with the P&S I have of the wonderful lake and awesome weather we had today. And thanks to buddy and b'day boy -> Hardik who planned the sudden trip.

PS: The above post had been in draft for 3 weeks but couldn't find time to edit and publish it. Last paragraph was added today during edit.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Term 3 so far...

Well its more than a month now since I moved in here but there are plenty of updates. When I started drafting this post it was just a week here. There are so many threads on my mind right now & am struggling to pick up one. Lets me move in chronological order - I landed up here on 1st May and after parking my luggage headed straight to explore the city and check out the bank.

As its there in most of the stories, the stars were with me too. I reached the bank and ended up meeting a guy who stayed right next to it. I went for inquiring about places for rent and he offered me an accommodation since his room mates had shifted to native places recently. So without making much of an effort I got a place to stay to. Btw we are 5 (Arko, Anadi, Gayatri and Sarvesh) of us including myself from the University interning together here. Arko and Sarvesh too shifted at our place after a couple of days of house hunting when they couldn't find a better option.

In one of my previous posts I had mentioned that I had been blessed with great manager and mentors till date and the same story continues here as well. Our mentor is lady who is couple of levels above in the hierarchy and has banking experience of close to 2 decades. Best part is she treats us like her own kid and its always fun whenever she is around. So basically instead of just monotonous learning we are having ball of a time (great combination of learning + fun).
Since there was no space to adjust 5 of us together we have been allocated the Board Room where we had been spending major part of our time in discussions/gossips/training etc. During one such day we started discussion of  making a Gujarat trip while we are here, and voila within no time a plan was made for the next weekend to cover half of prosperous state. The only thing pending was formal approval from Managers and once we shared it with our mentor she promised to take care of that too :-). Hence we ended up making a whirlwind tour of Dwarka, Porbandar, Somnath, Gir National Park and Diu. It was approx 1700 kms trip which was covered over 3 days in Innova taxi.

Not to forget I drove for about 500 kms while the driver enjoyed the break and I just loved the roads in Gujarat, moreover it was first long drive in the wonderful car and now I know why Toyota have ruled in the MUV segment for so long. Though I love my beast(Safari) too for the driving pleasure and the occupants comfort but the third row is definite plus on long routes and 6+ members of group/family when it comes to Innova.

Let me not get offtrack but this was one of the most wonderful trips I have made in recent years. Interestingly am not the religious kind of person and majority of the places we visited were all the holy places but still had a great fun coz of the group we had. Since its already a long post, let me close this one here.

PS: one of my fav pic from the trip above.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Baroda it is...

Finally the much awaited list which by all means should have been out by 15th Apr came out today i.e. 26th Apr. A small correction the list came out yesterday evening itself but the mail had a line which said its tentative list and and final would be updated soon. Thankfully "soon" this time meant just 24 hrs unlike the previous occasions when soon meant 3 weeks :-) and the final list landed today in my inbox.

But I guess those guys (ICICI + NU) didn't have an option of delaying it further, else lot of us wouldn't have been joining the location by the due date which is 2nd May. Vadodara (commonly known as Baroda) is large industrial/IT township in the state of Gujarat. So I would be off to west coast of India for another 3 months to learn about commercial banking. Frankly I was sure that adjusting 150+ odd requests was going to be tough task and there could be surprises as well. You cannot make everyone happy and run the business as well so I do not want to blame the bank and I was always mentally prepared to take assignment anywhere. Hoping the learning is exponential and I get to contribute something as well though 3 months is short duration.

Life seems to be fast track now where events keep happening at a pace that you loose track. Hopefully after the first 3 months I would be placed back in NCR/Mumbai for the next 3 months. July seemingly would be an eventful month since the anxiety would be back (list for next 3 months) and personal fronts would have more updates as well. Hopefully the next update would be from Sanskari Nagari.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Weekend between exam is ideal time to waste & then crib later that you should have used it better. Well I am done with 2 exams in which I had the least internal and more over had no clue about the subject. There are always some subjects where you just do not get enough interest to make efforts. Though I had attended every single lecture but the retention was zilch. Oddly enough after a long time I made efforts for a subject right on the last night before exams by reading chapters. Probably it was the fear of failing that kept me awake through nights, the last time I remember a similar feat would have been engineering first year exams where I had made any sort of effort for exam but then motive was different (competition).

I do not know if it was a good feeling to have, but yes I did study since E/F grades would definitely not look good on any grade sheet. Well as most people say its the end result which matter and not the efforts put in, I am sure I would pass both exams. The remaining 5 should be fine unless the retention ratio abnegates recall function of the memory. Right now the only thing which is on everybody's mind here is the location list as we call it, it is the posting where we would be doing our term 3-4 internships which is expected to be out by 15th Apr.

The next 6 months might be really crucial for my professional career and hence am waiting curiously as well. If I get a location of my choice great nothing beats that, but even if I don't get it as long as the learning and exposure is right I will manage. The only flip side which I have heard based on feedback from previous batches is that we might get a position where exposure and learning both might take a backseat and the entire process is just a formality. Since I have been blessed in my career so far by being in right place at right time, I expect the things to stay the same way and I move to right location. 


Just had a look at the traffic stats of my blog page and realized that since I have become more regular blogger, the page visits have increased significantly. Interestingly I do not get feedback but just page visits hence the scope of improvement lies completely on me. The best part about stats is its descriptive enough to let me know the country of my visitor + browser + OS details. Couple of my best pals (are in US, UK) know that I blog and its a way they know that whats happening my life too, hence I could figure out when I get page visit from abroad that they checked out my post.

Well I stumbled across a video which uses sarcasm to drive an important point. Since I liked it, I thought of sharing it too.

When you don't blog for a long time, you have enough ideas for a new post and you really need to scramble what to use and what not. Couple of observations/feedback and confessions which are on my mind right now. 
  • You cant expect same techniques or ways to work with everyone. In a place method would work like butter on a parantha/toast while it might not yield any results sometimes.
  • People can have exactly different opinion about you (or you might have opinion about others) which is stark contrast of the actual scenario. 
  • I have never been comfortable with technological device now referred as mobile/cellphone/smartphone. I can talk for hours if I meet someone(face 2-face) but over phone I just run out of topics both on the professional as well as personal front. I understand that being a banker this device would be lifeline in coming yrs and am working to improve myself. 
  • There would always be some people in whose company you never feel comfortable and vice-versa as well.
  • And there would be some with whom you feel like as if you have known them for years though you might have just met them. Fortunately most of the people I meet fall in this category.
  • Looks can be deceptive and they sure are atleast in my case, since everyone around me feels that am super sincere and studious while I am extremely chilled out.
Btw the back counting is on, just another week before we are out of campus for 6 months internship and am really looking forward to it. And the score is 2 down out of 7 (exams we need to write in each term) :-).

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Capital Punishment

Well I had the issue on my mind for a very long time but you need a stimuli (Afzal Guru in this case). I am very well aware that its sensitive issue and everyone is entitled to have his/her opinion. Frankly I do not have a firm opinion on the issue but there are factors which push me sometime either on one side or the other.

I am still wondering where to start the thread from. Well as one of my cousin puts it, I too really have mad number of people in the friendlist on Facebook. Since FB has this status box which says "What's on your mind XYZ ? " which they have smartly modified over the time to "What's happening XYZ ?" after some infamous episodes ;-) , people tend to pour in their opinion freely and if they don't have any they just share what ever someone has posted without even making an effort to verify the credibility of the info.

I am not a psychologist but I do tend to observe people and form opinions and hypothesis as well. There are certain sect of people I know who irrespective of what is happening have to always either oppose the system/criticize it/rebel etc. I really do not know if the particular category of people add any value or are necessary for the society or not. I am not sure if they want to prove their individual identity by these actions. 

While I do not deny that in the most civilized parts of the world capital punishments are either abolished or are rarely used. In the developing and under-development nations it more often heard of. But trying to prove ourselves as a part of civilized world shall we move away from justice ? I really do not know how a person's heart can change over time and if there is a way to verify it. But someone who can mercilessly kill people at will without even blinking an eye, how can he be let free or imprisoned for life where he serves 14 yrs and walks out again by proving his good conduct. 

But yes again there is always history to prove things. The reason I started the thread was the angst  I had for people asking for human rights and justice for people who did not know what these terms mean. Be it Afzal Guru, Ajmal Kasab, David Headley, the rapists in the Delhi gang rape case or any other Capital punishment may or may not justice for them. But I can assure it does work as a deterrent for others. Will it solve problems like this for ever? Might not, since there will always be some people who would not be impacted by efforts and bold actions like these, but then there would certainly be lessor people who would try doing it since they would know they won't be able to walk away just like that.

Does it mean that there would be no misuse of it, well I doubt that but you can't let people like Kasab out and expect them not to do what they did before. Neither do I have answer for - "Why do we kill people who kill people to show killing people is wrong ?".

Flavor of Season

I couldn't come up with a better title for the topic. The news-feed section of my FB page is filled only with the following things:
1) Marriage pics and status updates of my friends/batchmates/colleagues.
2) Rest with baby pics and status updates on the same lines.
3) Since its a supposedly a season of love there are humor quotes, dedication etc.

Its not that I have a trouble with them but then when everyone keeps repeating the same thing you tend to think more on the issue even if you don't want it. As stated before I am on the verge of going over the marriageable age and would be considered too old in case I don't settle down soon. But since the brain always tends to ask for a logic behind everything here are few dilemma/issues in my current life in the order of priority
1)  I am currently a student and would be for another 1.5 yrs before I move back to corporate life (hence it does not make sense settling down as I wouldn't have time for my probable partner)
2) Financially I cant support a family since the stipend I get is just enough for managing personal needs.
3) I do not know a girl whom I understand and know enough to start thinking on those lines.

Even the program I am pursuing has a good proportion of married boys/girls and I could see their daily problems and discussions over the lunch/dinner table. Oddly they still advocate getting married is good idea which makes me wonder their motive behind it. One of most commonly used argument to defend it is since you anyways have to do it, why delay it. And mostly frequently defense from my side is that I am not ready for it yet. Which some people agree to but parents/relatives counter with how would you know that you are ready for it. Well for this I try to come up with a creative answer everytime :-).

But apart from the sarcasm there is some real good news, my best pal got engazed yesterday and am really happy since she had been looking forward to it and there were too many things which were not going right. I hope this is just a start of the good phase for her. As soon as I started writing the blog and I got a call from my mom and she had the same agenda for her call her as well so Law of Attraction does work  irrespective whether you want it or not but if you are thinking about it does :-).