Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It is easy to get distracted from the goal you want to achieve when the way things are happening are not in your favour. I am always amazed at some people's capability to adjust to ever changing goals and be satisfied with it or perhaps be happy with it. One of my senior colleagues in office always keeps advising me that I should be flexible and always take direction that other people (Seniors in office, etc.) want me to take. As always, I just smiled knowing within my mind that I am going to be adamant in my position or at least I will try my best to be adamant. I have every right to be like that. If I have given my whole and soul to some work from last three years and people just want me to change its direction because of their lack of understanding and their incompetence, I am not going to do that. I don't care, how bad reputation I get because of that. My life and my career is mine, not others. Well, my senior colleague made a very interesting statement, that success is when everyone happy. I chuckled, on his statement, because I presume that everyone includes me also, so if something is going to make me unhappy, it can't be success, can it be?
Its good to be adjusting and you can probably be very successful, by adapting to the world around fast. However this success is only the success as the outside world sees it. If in the end, you think, that I wanted to do that in my career or it would have been wonderful and immensely satisfying if I would have finished the problem the way I wanted to then that adaption hasn't brought any success to you. If one keeps just adjusting to the world around, he can never become what he wants to become, he always be someone what others want him to be, or what thousands of others already are. I have firm belief that happiness and satisfaction comes within you and not by what people consider what you are. It all might sound selfish, but it is not. It perhaps sounds so, because all the above discussion is about career, which is only one dimension of the life, if you start thinking about other dimensions, you automatically will go much beyond self.When you start thinking about your interactions with people, you know you gain more by giving than receiving. Even with respect to career, everyone must contribute to the goodness of the world, but in his/her own way. We all like doing something, we all have something that gives us immense satisfaction, that brings out all our intensity. If whatever we do, we do listening to our hearts that chasing the illusory goals set by the society and people around you, I believe we will always end up making positive contribution to ourselves and to the world.
Hmm... I didn't know, I can write such crazy stuff also.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tips to complicate your life

Be honest and sincere
It is amazing how far these two simple desirable characteristics of a human being can take you towards complicating your life. Every time, you come across something to do, if you do it sincerely you make your life miserable by compromising on other things (for example if you are talking about office work, compromising on family and social life, etc. and vice versa) and if you give an honest reason you are in trouble. My experience of lie especially as I have grown older is that honest reasons always get you in trouble. In corporate world, you can be considered a unprofessional or a person who is very bad at team work or worse if your boss might hate you for your honesty, especially honest opinions. In today's world, dishonesty and insincerity is perhaps the most effective ways of spending life without much work. Of course, this only at the deep level, the key is to show that you are honest and sincere when you are not. That's where the smartness comes in and that's why you see so many top people in the companies who seem to be damn smart but somehow don't do any useful work.

Have multiple useful interests
If you look around, the successful people are normally those who have one great passion in which they totally lost themselves ignoring all other things or the people who are naturally gifted with multiple talents. If you want to complicate your life and perhaps if you are not one of those naturally gifted people whose enormous talent allows them to do multiple things in the same time as we do one thing, you must pursue multiple interests. The interests can be as simple as learning a musical instrument, or reading books or traveling or writing or complex things like organizing charity, working with NGOs. Nothing gets you more tensed than knowing that you want to do so many things but you simply don't have time and energy. Nothing frustrates one more than the fact that doing one of the things that you enjoy doing robs you off the other things you equally enjoy doing.

Follow yourself rather than going along with the wave
Ha, this is perhaps the best one. This creates all types of possible complications in your life. Many people will consider you a fool; hardly anybody will understand why you are doing what you are doing, you won't fit into their simple logic; you will have to answer all kinds of silly questions that people will ask, and you will feel lost half of the time wondering what the heck is happening. And the biggest of all, even of you are happy with what you are doing you might be considered an unsuccessful person even by the people closest to you and that can create havoc in your life.

Always aim higher
As much as it might be step towards success, it can make you do more than what you can. It will also make you put lot of efforts in one area of life compromising on other. Unless you are the lucky one aiming higher on one area somehow coincides with ignoring some other area of life and then that area will keep troubling you. If you are successful in the area in which you aimed high, you are in the trap of success and you don't have the courage to step back and let it go. And on the other hand if you are not successful, you have to put too much effort to come back now and you perhaps don't want to give up remembering the quote "most people give up when they are just about to succeed", you are saying to yourself "Mera number jarur ayega".

well, same tips can be considered useful for having good life. Hmm... is good life equal to complicated life?????

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Seven Blunders of the World" by Mahatma Gandhi

"Seven Blunders of the World"
1. Wealth without work
2. Pleasure without conscience
3. Knowledge without character
4. Commerce without morality
5. Science without humanity
6. Worship without sacrifice
7. Politics without principle—Mahatma Gandhi
I came across this today. Well, quite depressing, because last 4 are quite common across the world and second is not that uncommon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

TED Talks

Here I am having enormous amount of work to complete before March end and I am completely drowned in listening to all the TED talks. Its a great treasure. Everyday I come home from office and listen to some of these talks. I came to know about them few months back but forgot in between. Now 3-4 days back, found the link again, I am going on watching the videos. It is magnificent experience to listen to some of the best people in the world not just in scientific area but also in literature, social work, etc. I wish I will do something so that someday I can also be speaker in this conference.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fighting negativity

Though there have been some moments of happiness, I am in negative frame of mind. The negativity is going on increasing day be day. I am not anywhere close to be able to remove it successfully from my mind but I have learnt a lot of things about fighting it. What I am writing here will probably be most helpful for people who are alone or loners like me. First, and probably the most important thing one should know is that forcing yourself to have positive thoughts does not work. After your surge of positive thoughts is over you feel even more miserable than you were before. What works is being around happy people, or talking with others especially friends so that some topic that triggers happy memories or usual friend jokes leading into laughter. What needed is trigger for some happy thoughts and laughter and not forceful positive thoughts. However if you are depressed or sucked into negativity/pessimism there is high chance that either you are alone or people around you themselves are complaining types or somehow you can't connect with them (you hardly know them or very different nature, whatever may be the reason). In short you are in situation like I am from most of the last two years, it is very difficult to find such triggers. In such cases you might to use some techniques which can't cure you but can relax you for some time. Taking number of deep breaths, listening to your favorite music, Reading your favorite books; such things do work. I am not sure about the movies, there are hardly any movies which doesn't have violence or some sad or stupid annoying thing in that. For me what works best is taking deep breath and walking alone. Walking has always been a great relaxer for me. Sometimes, I can't even enjoy music, or read books but walking always works. If you are frustrated then another very effective way to relax is to write. yes, just write whatever you are thinking, whatever negative thoughts you have and you will be surprise how relaxed you feel and suddenly there is no rush of those stupid negative thoughts but you are manging to be calm. The last but not the least thing is eat good healthy food. This is very very essential. If you are alone in some foreign city, it might not be so easy for you to do this, but try as much as you can.
Although I am still struggling with my won negative thoughts and can't get out of them, if I haven't had done all the things above I probably would have gone insane.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Paper writing

With my awesome power of writing disability which is quite evident in this blog, I had been trying to write three technical papers from last three weeks. Now, you say writing technical papers is whole different ball game. Well, yes, but for me there lies the problem, as one of my former bosses said (I had too many, ok 5 in 4 years is not so bad) I write papers like I talk. So, yes writing technical papers is different, it is written in English but its not English. Something stupid like that. You have all kinds of crazy rules for how the language of paper writing should be. The language is definitely not human. I suspect some alien wrote the first scientific paper and laid the rules for writing papers thereafter.
As if the language itself is not big enough problem, there is another problem with research papers, that is of new ideas. According to editors of most journal and conference proceeding and rules for papers, the ideas of papers have to be new but they should be based on some previous writing. Now, that's quite decipherable for my small brain, it should be new but it should be referring to numerous old things, more the better. Hmm... Also talking at abstract level is cardinal sin on paper writing. Only some 50-60 year olds who can not think of anything new can write and speak such things. Youngsters like me are strictly disallowed from braking the mold or thinking at different levels. God save the scientific world.
chalo, have to get back to paper writing, have to go through loads of papers so that I can give reference to some maniac professor's casual statements in his paper. After all, I have to prove that my new ideas refer to lots of old ideas :(

Sunday, January 20, 2008

State of education in India - Part 2

Apart from access to education, what worries me about education in India is quality of Education. Though the perception about education in India is still very good, I suspect that after a decade or two, the perception may not survive. I hope it does not happen. Already in my generation itself, the number of people who actually wish to think is too less and unfortunately that's what industry wants, especially the high recruitment software industry, whose still main business is to take boring, pathetic work that westerners don't want to to and ask our people to do that mindlessly without questioning whether what they do makes sense? or is it this stupid coding and documentation for 60-80 hours in a week is what they want to do?

Aah, as always I am digressing from the topic. So, what wrong? Why do I think quality of education is going down? Well, first, to have good quality education, there should be teachers to teach. Most times, teachers are there physically but shouldn't they be teaching? You tell me, that's why all kids go to tuitions. Let me ask back to you, do tuitions teach? All they do is to tell you how to get more marks in exams, which is actually what even schools do. Is getting marks education????

What lacks most in today's education scenario is ability to think. How many schools encourage thinking? Almost none.... Student has to write answers as told by teachers or else... The common method is to know what possible questions will come in exams and rattofy them, who the hell needs to understand? The goal is to get marks in the exam and not learn? That's what parent want to. I know it is difficult to blame them because in the stupid system we have made in our country, entry depends on stupid marks. But how much really success in life depends on marks you get in all the exams? very weak relation, if there is any at all. Just look around, are all the successful people are the academic achievers?
The real problem is the way education goes because of the marks system. Mugging has becomes the most essential skill in today's education system. Find out all the questions that can come in the exams, write the answers and mug them. Of course, even that is not so much work, there are all kinds of guides and everything that do for students. Where the hell is thinking? Where is learning? Do we want to see our future where people can't think and have to depend on some specialist for every damn little thing? Already, we are not too far from that, and do these specialists really help, they do not understand how their problems in their field relate to problems in other's fields, and therefore they screw up, they literally play with our lives, not juts healthwise, but psychologically, spiritually, and all the other ways one can think of.

aah... I digressed again. Coming back, what is our education systems in India summarized into: non-committed teachers, sometimes nonexistent teachers, filled with techniques to get marks without learning, discouragement of thinking (thinking and understanding is not just about asking questions, This is the biggest myth existent in today's world, asking questions is just one means). The other big problem our education system creates is that of listening, yes listening. How many of us are good listeners? How many of us can listen somebody with all biases kept aside and understand? Because, the emphasis is shifted from sitting in classroom to listen to teacher to exercise and mug the answers the children never really become good listeners. Whether you believe it not, it is one of the most essential skills in life.

The next stage is that of higher education. Indians are among the most successful in the world when it comes to higher education, and people like Jawaharlal Nehru created string emphasis on higher education by encouraging building systems like IIT. Ironically, despite all this the amount of research output that comes out from Indian Education System is pathetic. Why do all bright Indian kids have to go outside India to do great research. Yes, infrastructure and industry environment has been problem, but that's not all. Let's start from IITs and IIMs which are like pinnacle of our higher education system. If you go to any IIT, first thing you will notice is that except for one or two departements here and there, the main fcous is always on B.Tech. degress. There is one famous line in IITs 'B.Tech.s are products, M.Tech.s are by-products and Ph.D. are wastes'. Very very derogatory line not only for researchers but IITs themselves. Yes, that's the attitude in general you will observe. There is no bigger myth about IITs than that all B.Tech are the brilliant people while M.Tech.s and Ph.D.s are not. It is simply that B.Tech.s are the one who grabbed the opportunity first. I had been an M.Tech. student in IIT and average intelligence of them is no less that that of B.Tech. though it is most likely that top 5% B.Tech. students will be more intelligent than top 5% more intelligent than M.Tech. There lies root of another evil in our system but I will come back to it later. The point is about research and higher education. Some of the professors in IITs do wonderful research but very few students get opportunity to be part of that. Overall research almost feels like a totally separate dimension of IIT. No wonder there is so less research output from IITs. If you look universities all over the world, research is always driven by students, professors provide the trigger and background (and take the credit too) but it is always driven by students, their enthusiasm, their fresh perspectives, and their hardwork. I do not intend to belittle Professors, they also do tremendous hardwork, show enthusiasm, etc.. Professors are the enablers and the mentors. The point of I want to make is for high quality and high quantity research output it is essential to have student participation in it. I am not very familiar with IIMs but as much I have heard from my friends in IIMs, situation is not much different there.

One of the roots of evil in our education is the great belief that intelligence is everything. Let me tell you it is only one of the several things a successful person needs. Education is not about intelligence, education is about learning to live like a human, to instill values, to be able to differentiate between right and wrong, to understand ourselves, to understand nature. I know, all are only worries about development and progress, so on and so forth; but even there intelligence is only one of the several things. what about professionalism, what about discipline, what about attitude, what about perspective? In India, we have very bad habit of judging children and unfortunately also their future based on so called intelligence (which rough translated as ability to score in exams)? I ask you, what the heck is intelligence? Are we going to be a developed nation by having intelligent people who have no sense of how to use their intelligence or commitments or responsibilities or how to deal with people or morals or values or empathy towards fellow citizens? The answer is absolutely 'NO'.

I think this has already become too big and I am not writing it very well, so I will stop it here. Perhaps I will be able to better it in future.

Monday, January 14, 2008

How intelligent are our intellectuals

Did you ever notice that all the so called intelligent people around never try to understand anything, why is something the way it is? They always look things from angle and then criticize. Often the lens they use to evaluate are not the purpose at for which the thing has been made.
From last five years, I have been around some extremely intelligent people, including IIT professors, IIT students, very senior corporate people (corporate biggies are not necessarily known to be intelligent, but I had been working in R&D group where 80% people are extremely intelligent).
I think the worst of these kinds are the corporate managers, who just pick-up some latest technique from the theory/IT Package/methodology/management philosophy and try to implement without understanding what the heck it is meant for and when they fail they blame the technique/methodology/management philosophy. When I was doing my masters in Industrial Engineering and Management, I used to think why the hell all these very good techniques and methods in Industrial Engineering are known as management fads in corporates. But, when I joined a company (unfortunately I still work in that company :( ) within few months I realized why all these become management fads and failures. Because no managers basically tries to understand what exactly it is meant for, in what context it can be applied and in what context it cannot be.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

How Interesting?

Your Birthdate: April 11

Spiritual and thoughtful, you tend to take a step back from the world.
You're very sensitive to what's going on around you, yet you remain calm.
Although you are brilliant, it may take you a while to find your niche.
Your creativity is supreme, but it sometimes makes it hard for you to get things done.

Your strength: Your inner peace

Your weakness: You get stuck in the clouds

Your power color: Emerald

Your power symbol: Leaf

Your power month: November

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I wrote three weeks back about need for people to come together to teach needy children and within next few days I came to know about the trust 'Ananya', who is doing the exact same work, educating children who had been denied the right of being educated. What makes me really proud is one of my friends is working with the trust.
Here is little bit info about the trust http://www.ananyatrust.blogspot.com/
and http://www.giveindia.org/give/ngoprofile/getOrganisationProfile.do?ngoid=62

If you wish you can also support their cause.