Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The most fulfilling moments

I believe that it is not important to live a long life but a fulfilling one. Fulfillment comes from the moments you cherish in your life and not from the number of years that you live. I have picked three such fulfilling moments from my life that have had the greatest impact on me as a person.

1) When my brother was born. I was eleven years old when I found out I was going to have another sibling. Too young to comprehend what it meant I was indifferent to the news. I saw my mom bloat up and just treated it in a matter of fact manner. I wasn’t really excited about what was to come.

But my feelings changed the moment I saw my little brother only a few hours old. He looked so red and fragile that I was even scared to touch him. With time I started adoring everything about him. His movements, activities and even his state of inactivity. For several years my motto in life remained to bring a smile on his face. Even if that meant making weird faces or dancing like a joker.

I have now moved away from him, physically and may be even emotionally but my brother’s childhood has brought me the most happiness in life.

2) When I met my husband. After 12th I went to Singapore for higher studies. I found it a little challenging to adjust to a new culture in a foreign land. As a result during the initial years I was deprived of friends and lived a lonely life. I had lost motivation to study or do anything else in life. It was then that god sent me an angel in the form of Vineet. From the first time we met, I could tell that he genuinely cared for me and wanted me to be happy. Soon we became the best of friends and eventually got married. The amazing thing about being married to your best friend is that you can spend the whole life having fun!

3) When I stood second in 10th standard. I had always considered myself an average student. I had never expected great things to happen in my career. I had imagined myself teaching in some school and having a nice family. All this changed when I stood second in my school and suddenly became the envy of my classmates. I started dreaming of big things and found motivation to work towards my dreams. Some of those dreams have since come true.

I hope to gather many more such memories in my life that I can tell my grandchildren about.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I am leaving Singapore for two years to pursue MBA at IIM Ahmedabad. This change brings with it a mix of excitement, fear and apprehensions. The poem describes my state of mind right now.

As the date of my departure nears
and I prepare to leave Singapore
I am reminded of the eight years
that have brought me experiences galore

As I sit here, scared to let go
and I reminisce the days gone by
I realize how much I have come to grow
the thought almost drives me to cry

Eight years full of joy and sorrow
Eight years full of friends and fun
I have a strong desire to borrow
a few more days of Singapore sun

I can’t thank you enough Singapore
for you introduced me to my husband
he has given me true love and more
and he fits the description of a best friend

Now that I have to leave all this behind
In the search of something greater that I might find
I wonder if it’s worth it to go through this grind
And whether staying back would be more peaceful for the mind

Despite my apprehensions I know I have to leave
Distancing myself from the social net I took eight years to weave
I hope two years down the lane I will have nothing to regret
If for nothing else, I would be happy for all the people I would have met

So here I bid you farewell with a deep sigh
Goodbye Goodbye Goodbye Goodbye

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My paradise

When life comes to a standstill
And everything starts to go down the hill
I look up at the skies
and think of a place I call paradise

When there is uncertainty staring me in the face
And I can't keep up with the life's pace
All I have to do is close my eyes
and think of a place I call paradise

Everytime I need my feelings to vent
and I can't find a friend to confide,
it acts as a balm on my emotional dent
and I find solace in my paradise

Umpteenth times it has helped me heal
Everytime it has restored my zeal
The love and warmth can cure any vice
Oh! I so look forward to visiting my paradise

I would like to make one last confession
that it is my most precious possession
and I know I will always be welcome
at the paradise that is my parental home

As you would be able to tell I am not a poet. But I am so elated at the thought of visiting home next week that I had to pen my feelings.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hindi to Hinglish

During my recent trip to India, I realized a new development. While Indians commonly sprinkle English words while speaking in Hindi, the Hindi news channels of the past almost always used pure Hindi. That seems to be changing now, with even Hindi news reporters starting to use English words without any restraint. It is this fusion language Hindi+English that is called Hinglish.

I have spent much of my adult life in Singapore and have dealt with people of Chinese origin on a daily basis. What intrigues me is the fact that the Chinese never mix English with Mandarin. Not even those who are more comfortable speaking in English than in Mandarin. They have a Mandarin word for every imaginable English word in the dictionary. Even for the latest inventions like computer, mobile phone etc. If you ask any Hindi speaking person for the Hindi translation of these words, he will be at a loss. This sense of one language, in my opinion, binds the Chinese together as a nation.

As a striking contrast to Mandarin, Hindi is evolving faster than any other language on the planet. Soon, we will have a new version of Hindi, and English would have become an inseparable part of it. In a few more decades, pure Hindi might become akin to what Sanskrit is today with only a few scholars being able to understand it.

Being able to transform according to the demands of the changing times is not necessarily a bad thing. I am not opposed to this change and I see it as inevitability. Hindi has metamorphosed ever since its inception and has borrowed words from languages like Sanskrit, Persian, Turkish, Farsi, Arabic and Portugese. So this change is not new for Hindi. This acceptance that we have shown towards various languages demonstrates our ability to adapt to new situations without any rigidity. This in my opinion is an indispensable skill to have in this world.

I only hope that when we officially do accept the arrival of Hinglish, the essence of Hindi (and other things Indian) would not be completely missing from it.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Baba Ramdev

I just got back from a nice short vacation in India. The trip was really refreshing. This time when I went back, I was really intrigued my the number of news channels and the amount of news that they produce. So impressed was I, that I decided to write about my favourite news piece.

During my stay, the controversy involoving Vrinda Karat and Baba Ramdev was in full-swing. This was the most interesting and also my favorite news piece. Vrinda Karat accused Baba Ramdev of using human skull in his ayurvedic medicines. Baba Ramdev is pioneering the cause of taking Ayurveda and Yoga to every Indian household. He has also undertaken several research projects to investigate whether certain diseases can be cured solely by using Yoga and Ayurveda. He has a huge fan following and hence this accusation became a national news in no time and was shown on each of the 13 or so news channels. More interesting were the discussions by the "experts", polls, analysis of consequences if the accusation was true so on and so forth. The lab tests by a pharmaceutical laboratory put an end to this saga by declaring that the accusation was false. After this incidence Vrinda Karat, who is a politician belonging to communist party, took all the beating. A poll conducted by one of these news channels showed that 98% of the people supported Baba Ramdev .

This was my first introduction to Baba Ramdev. And I have to admit I am impressed by the passion and drive with which he has set out to achieve his goals. Baba preaches simple and easy to follow methods of staying fit. For example, he advises people (especially kids) to stay away from aerated drinks and fast food, which are the latest fad in India. He advices them to eat fruits and vegetables instead. His phrase "Coca Cola means Toilet Cleaner" was not liked very much by Pepsi or Coca Cola. He basically, teaches healthy living. He claims that if everyone in the world lived life his way, 98% of the diseases will be viped out. It is indeed a noble cause that he has set out for.

Due to his people skills, he is also a crowd puller. He holds camps at 4.00 am in the morning, the entry fees to which is Rs 500. Yet, thousands of people attend his camps everyday. I don't think even a tenth of these people will turn up to listen to the most successful of politicians or businessmen. Furthermore, he uses the money he earns for a number of charitable causes. I guess these are the reasons why he is liked so much by millions of people all across India.

Good luck to Baba Ramdev for his pursuits.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Having cleared GMAT with a satisfactory score of 780, I feel a sense of relief. While preparing for the exam, I often searched the internet to read about personal experiences of people who had excelled in the exam. I couldn't find many such articles but a few that I found really guided me towards the right way of preparing for the exam. As a payback, I am writing this article to share some tips and experiences that I gathered during my preparations.

I decided to take GMAT in june 2005 and that is when I started my preparations. The first book I bought was Princeton Review. It is a very good starting point and explains test strategies, test format and test faqs with good clarity. The four practice tests that come with the book are an added bonus. After reading the book I took two princeton tests and scored 680 and 660. I then took one of the power prep tests and scored 660.

A bit disappointed with my performance, I realised I had to take drastic measures to get a better score. I then bought "Official Guide to GMAT" by ETS, which has 1500 real GMAT questions. This is THE book and a must-have for every GMAT test taker. The verbal section is by far the best and the explanations are really helpful.

After finishing this book, I decided to brush up my time management skills and took as many practice tests as I could get my hands on. I scored 570, 620, 630 and 640 on Kaplan tests, 700 and 710 on princeton tests and 740 on powerprep test. I also did Kaplan800 on the side to get more practice.

For essays, I read a couple of sample essays to get a hint. I haven't received my official score so can't say how I performed on that.

During the test, I tried to remain calm and alert all the time. I couldn't solve two of the GMAT quant questions at all but I kept moving on with positive attitude. The last 10 questions for quant were really simple and that scared me a little bit. Verbal was never my strong point but I did fine that day. In the end I guess it was a combination of hard-work and good luck that got me through.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Multiple Personalities

I have come to realize that each one of us has more than one personalities within ourselves. We have a database of experiences that we have been through in our life. The personality that we choose to represent ourselves at any given moment depends upon the match between our experiences and the circumstance itself. It is these personalities, accumulated over lifetime, that decide who we are. We are a combination of life's experiences and the way we deal with them.

When we are faced with a completely new experience, more often than not, we screw up. But an entry is made in our database of what not to do in that situation in future. This is a lifelong process of learning whereby life keeps throwing new experiences at you and you keep learning to deal with different situations.

It is very disheartening when you are not able to deal with a particular situation the way you would want to. It bogs you down and it is very natural to start blaming yourself or worse, someone else. If we stop taking these things personally and try to take it as a training that life is giving us, world would be a much happier place.