Three cheers for....

Three cheers for....

About Me...

I'm an ex-Capt. (NDA-IMA)...left the army because of an accident (lost right shoulder and of course, the rest of it) hold of life...became a leftie...started driving and writing with left...took CAT & GMAT...joined and left ISB after 20 golden days...joined IIM Ahmedabad from there...PGP 2007 - 2009...currently in Hyderabad... Well, Life is iffy !!

So, I'll make it easy...

You can drop a note to:

Personal Website

Quotes I live by...

  • Stretch out your limits once a while...lest you lose your elasticity... (recent offhand thought)
  • It's better to burn out, than fade away (Neil Young)
  • This too shall pass...
  • Shit happens...Life Goes on... (adapted from Forrest Gump)
  • Don't be sad, it's glad, it happened !!
  • He Knows not his own strength, who hath not met adversity - Ben Johnson
  • Do whteva you want...Don't get caught !! (NDA)
  • Rules are like rulers...some can be bent, others can be broken :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tangibles let go.....Intangibles let go not !

Long time no blogging…I was just wondering on the way back on the last term break to my home, 2 days back…most of the times we give importance to wrong things in life. It is the intangibles which we should value and always remember and not the tangibles which come and go. What do I mean by this statement? Well, nothing in this life that has a form is permanent. Be it your friends, your job, your family, money, etc. What remains once everything goes through its life cycle is the love you had for your loved ones, the way you utilised the money when you had it, the friendship you had when people were there, etc. If one tries to hold on to the tangible aspects of life, then there would only be sorrow once it goes.

This does not mean that you be a spendthrift or be frugal, but to be savvy enough to utilise that money while you have it on something which has a high utility value for you. For some this might be buying a top notch branded product, for others it might be buying something for their family, for still others it might be saving up for that house they want to buy. The emphasis is on the fact that we should not give importance to money per se. It comes and goes, but what’s important is how you use it when you have it. Even Gita says- “Kya le ke aye ho, jo le ke jaoge” (What did you bring with you when you were born, that you would take back when you go)

The same goes for relationships…people keep coming n going out of one’s life….If we turn over the pages of our lives by say a decade….we mightn’t remember the faces of people we knew, friends we had but what we do remember is the good times we had…Life keeps giving examples of how uncertain things can be, what with all these blasts happening in most unlikely of the places… It always helps to have a mental attitude of holding on only to the intangibles….what something represents- be it a person or a thing…If we give more value to what it represents and not to that ‘something’, it would always be easier to let go, when time comes…

Ciao ppl !!
Ciao life !!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Never Give up: A story

Had a communication class yesterday….told the class an inspiring story about an Army offr. Felt like it penning it down, so here goes. The facts of the story are more or less true, with minor modifications. As a backdrop, Siachen glacier is the world’s highest battlefield with temperatures ranging from -150C on a pleasant summer afternoon to -500C on a chilly winter evening. Soldiers get posted on a rotation basis for 3 months. The enemy there is no human, no country, but the inhospitable weather.

There is this Army officer, Capt Amit (name changed): 28yrs old, happily married, 3yr old son. He gets posted to glacier and the routine begins. In the first few weeks, no major incidences happen. One day while on a routine patrolling activity, his party gets stuck in a blizzard. On returning, they realise that the officer has a bad case of frostbite. The message for evacuation is sent immediately to base camp. Unfortunately, due to bad weather the helicopter evacuation party gets delayed by 4 days. The delay worsens the situation as the gangrene spreads further.

Two months down the line, the officer is lying on the bed, surrounded by his wife, son and others. Due to the severe infection and primarily because of delay in evacuation, he has lost his entire right leg, half his left leg and half his left hand. His commanding officer finally gets a chance to visit him and asks him how his morale was. The officer says (with a smile that makes everyone in the room so proud),Sir, my morale is as high as that cloud I can see from the window. I’m alive…It could have been much worse…” With family support and his never-give-up attitude, Capt Amit goes on to recuperate fully, joins back and always maintains- “Don’t give up on life, and Life will never give up on you”.

The message being, life is very iffy….very uncertain….and as I keep saying (Tom Hank’s disclaimer)… "Shit happens"…and more importantly, "Life goes on.."

Ciao ppl !!
Ciao Life !!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Basket of Problems

There goes an old fable which talks about how everyone has their own set of problems and how it is wrong to go about thinking – “I have so many problems…look at them…they are so happy, have everything, etc.” Here goes the story. There was once a kingdom with people from all walks of life. It so happened that each one of them was so troubled with their woes, cribbing that other people were so lucky & happy that God decided to make them an offer. It went like this- “Each individual, from the poorest poor to the king, can write up each of his problems on small paper sheets, put them in a basket with his name and hang it in the kingdom’s biggest temple by midnight. Next day morning anyone can exchange their basket for anyone else’s basket and the problems will be exchanged by noon”. Almost everyone was happy because as far as they were concerned, no one could have had the problems that they face. The night came and everyone hung their baskets in the temple. In the morning when they went for the exchange, each one of them came back with their own basket. Each of the baskets turned out to be of the same size and no one wanted to bear with someone else’s troubles.

The moral of the story is that everyone in this world has their own basket of problems. If we do not see it in other people’s eyes, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have any. How often do we look at someone and think, he/she is so lucky….has money, nice job, good looking….so lucky in life? One might not want to believe, but it happens and it’s human to have that feeling. We choose to see only the fairer side of the coin for others and ignore/ refuse to see the other side….tip of the ice berg, as they say. Be it the person sitting on a sidewalk, the one sitting on a machine gun post on the border, or the one presiding the meeting of all CEOs. The balance of nature is always maintained; size of the basket remains the same, only the contents vary.

Ciao ppl !!
Ciao Life !!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Life & Comfort Zone

Events in the past couple of days (multiple blasts- Bangalore, Ahmedabad) has shook people from their well entrenched comfort zones of “We are normal….such things don’t happen to us”. As they say, ‘Nothing could be further from the truth’. These events are just one way of ‘Life’ per se reminding everyone of the uncertainties surrounding it. There was an insightful dialogue in the movie ‘Matrix’- “Every Life has a purpose”. Sadly, this is also what many of the terrorist groups teach their disciples in a distorted fashion. The way these people are brought up sets up the wheel in motion such that when the seeds grow into a tree (or even before) a ‘purpose of life’ is drilled into them. Unfortunately this ‘purpose’ is the root cause which is difficult to eliminate because ultimately the end of all such events will come only when the root is destroyed.

The reason the panic has exponentially increased in the last 48 hours is that 80% of the world believes that injuries because of bomb blasts, riots, vehicle accidents, etc. happen only to “Others”. For them it’s like another article in the newspaper about somebody else's woes. Every other day there is a write-up on some blast that took place in J&K where men in the olive green died and no one flashes an eye-lid. When such news flashes (like yesterday) on the TV, people start thinking- “It could have been one of our dear ones”; within a couple of days they forget everything and life is back to normal. The standard belief being-“We are in our comfort zone…nothing can happen to us…we are normal”. In fact I’d say a decade-plus back, before my family had the first shock, even we were a so called “normal” family and apparently such kinds of misfortune fell only upon the ‘Others’. However so wasn’t the case and it was confirmed again by my accident that such incidents were a random case of probability with everyone having equal chances. It was so sudden, out of the blue….as if ‘Life’ decided to press the ‘pause’ button and instead of replaying the movie, changed the movie altogether. Now when I meet new people, some of them try to empathize, others look at me with pride, and most of them with ‘hope’. Nevertheless, it’s not easy for many of them to imagine that life was once ‘normal’ for me too. It’s rather unfortunate that some of the people who make important decisions in other’s lives subscribe to this school of thought and refuse to think big. Only one sentence for them- ‘You & your loved ones might be standing in your comfort zone right now, but this zone is highly prone to the vagaries of ‘Life’. Please appreciate this and think big’. It always helps, not to take ‘Life for granted'.

Life is big, but Life can be very small,
The only way to live, is to "Live" it all.

Ciao ppl !!

Ciao life !!

Monday, June 16, 2008

2nd year in full flow......

Five days into the second year and things are back to the way they were….had heard that second year would be 'chill' much for that comment !!... had two ‘deliverables’ (assignments for submission) on Monday. Enjoyed the Sunday thoroughly…..started work in the evening….went for a surprise treat at night…..broke sweat as the realisation drew upon ;-) , lot of work to do….worked through the night….slept 0510hrs….put an alarm to wake up well in time for the 0845hrs class….actually woke up at 0842hrs…in class by 0847hrs…..n life is back to normal !!

Welcome to 2nd year @WIMWI… ;-)

ciao ppl !
ciao life !

Friday, May 30, 2008

Success & Significance

I’m at the fag-end of the internship process now. The experience was not very different from what I had had in the Army, enjoyed the same…learnt a lot. I guess it all boils down to your approach towards life...You can start the day cribbing about everything under the sun or choose to make every minute of yours worth the time. Had a VC with the CEO yesterday and he gave out some Golden thoughts to ponder, to all d interns. The most important of which, was to the effect of saying:
Be humble…If you get success...congrats…but it’s of no use if you don’t make a significant impact on others through it, in terms of what/how you contribute to the overall betterment.

It’s something like success & failure can be pictured as a sine curve…with crests & troughs….the crests come…so do the troughs….but then the crests come again…what you do when you're at the crest, is what's most important....whether you want to spend that time living in a mirage, or doing something worthwhile. I hope, till now I've contributed in whatever little way I could to everyone around in terms of the approach towards life...
I would like to quote from a poem by Rudyard Kipling which is ingrained into us since academy days(NDA, IMA)…the “If Song”......quoting a few lines of relevancve....

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch.....

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can fill the unforgiving minuteWith sixty seconds' worth of distance run

-Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

ciao ppl
ciao life

Monday, May 12, 2008

First talk in the C’ world

Gave my first formal talk in the corporate world on invitation 2 days back....on values ingrained from the forces and the mapping into this world. Again, I name no names..…it was a well known company….. got to hear about my story from one of my friends at PG. Was a great experience, sharing my 2 cents on what should ideally be the scenario n how things can be worked upon…..Hope I added some value to my audience in whatever small way it was.

First experience of life out of Army (summer internship) is going on really fine…guess it’s as good as the one I had (d army life that is)…. Maybe not the same as wearing the uniform and commanding respect; but to the same effect, in a different way….Another month, and then back to Ahmedabad for the 2nd year....Feels great to know that people know me better as "rajat_nda" :) :)...lolzzz

ciao ppl
ciao life

Monday, March 17, 2008

Priorities....Decisions....The 'Call'

"Decision making"- 2 words that seem to be pretty simple by the look of it. But it entails a combination of patience, clear priorities, trade-off know-how and risk taking capability. Got a whiff of it once again in the "4th term course bidding process" today. Essentially we were given points based on our grades and were supposed to bid for whatever courses we wanted to take next term onwards. In the last few minutes it all came down to how much you can give.....what are you willing to trade-off to get that something.....what do you value times the heart skipped a beat (last 5-6 seconds, maybe a couple of beats.....)....clear priorities n all...

One can draw a parallel with what happens around us. There are moments where you get the momentous question- Yes or No....To go or Not to Go...At times you have to take decisions that may be against your heart, at times against logical thinking.... and this is where the famous dialogue comes in "You gotta do what you gotta do"....Given a set of {A,B,C,.....}You might like A, and also like fact you may like A & B more than anything else....but it's not an ideal world....this is when you need to take "that call"....the priorities come into know what you gotta do....and that's when you switch off your heart, switch off your brain and go ahead...NQA....No turning back..... Some people might be able to correlate with such situations- relationships, career, et al.....just need to remember..keep your priorities clear, and once they are....Nothing else matters !!

ciao ppl !!
ciao life !!

The NDA acronyms.....

Here are a few acronyms that we used to use in d golden NDA days (with usage....):

Disclaimer: This post may not be very clear as to the value attached to these words for most of the people, please humor me :)...would be clear to Ex NDAs n other officers why I wrote it....

  • JLT: Just Like That: Was mostly used when there was no reason for giving a punishment....general happiness :) ....just like that
  • DWL: Disgusted With Life: For people who often tended to go into the above mentioned mode :) :) n actually disgusted with life....
  • JTB: Just Too Bad: People's way of sympathizing with you for getting caught, et al :) :)
  • DLTGH: Days Left To Go Home: The ultimate countdown, used to start at DLTGH-45
  • NQA: No Questions Asked : When there's an order (almost all orders) which you necessarily have to follow without questions...
  • MIA: Missing In Action: An official term that goes as KIA, used for the smart-boys who used to miss the punishment reports... :)
  • JIC: Just In Case: for d tendency to carry a lot of stuff in camps...just in case....
  • NMB: No Move Before: Again, an official term...essentially to cap the start time of something
  • LIC: Locked In Cabin: Describes the smart-act of locking your door from outside, entering your room again from the window and making the seniors think that you're out....while you sleep in peace (implemented on Sundays :):):) )
Met a junior of mine today....fond memories...a totally different life...a life of respect, honor & integrity... Time to get back to the real life :)

ciao ppl
ciao life

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Life is beautiful again (Iffy too though)...

Well….this post did take some time to come out in black and white :)….

Life has taken an interesting turn…..a new perspective now….I think I was already lookin’ at life with rose coloured spectacles, now I’ll b having 2 of them…..the plane has found an airport, the day has found the night, the wristwatch has found a wrist, the river has found the ocean,.....the rifle has found the ammunition [Oops !! not a good example I guess...but then, thtz me:)]
Cutting out the figurative talk and simply put, there is someone very important in my life now …n shez here to stay…..I name no names n won’t explicate further….. [dn’t wanna face the music later: ) ]....Let me just say....a "value add" of Chaos Nasha 2008 (refer d blog below) :)

The biggest challenge now: Maintaining the perfect balance.....Will b investing time in the perfect market portfolio with high risks associated (with a "beta" >> 1 : for finance ppl).....Iffy life....interesting life....

ciao ppl
ciao Life

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chaos Nasha @ IIM A

The “iffy” life struck again….on a positive note….witnessed my first cultural festival, “Chaos-Nasha”.....finished tonight….awesome experience, what with having KK sing his numbers 2 metres away from me… the NDA times, we weren’t exposed to this stuff….but then that was the best experience in its own way...First experience of what college life is like….Finally!!....I guess life outside Army ain’t that bad at all….may not have all the pride n respect that comes with uniform, but it sure rocks !!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Two and Two gives Thirteen

While going thru a cartoon strip, came across the wonky question of “What is 2 & 2”…..depends on d connotation actually….So I just assigned probabilities of 0.5 to each of 22 and 4 to get the expected values.....
Expected value of “two and two” is….0.5 x 22 + 0.5 x 4 = 13 !!
Lolzzz..wonky mathematics !! Hence proved !!

ciao ppl !!
ciao life !!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The "4 Knows"

There is so much of info in this world and the process of storing it in our memory (given the capacity constraints) is an imprtnt issue per se….Herez how we were taught to deal with the same in the academies…. All the information can b broken down into 4 type of knows:

Should- Know

I for one, have found the “4- Knows” formula to be very handy while scouring through articles, plethora of info in the newspaper, dealing with subordinates and best-of-all handle situations when you’re not sure of something...

I remember saying words to that effect to someone…he asked me something about the Army…not a Top Secret, but still…I replied: ”You see, there is something called “4 type of knows: Must-know….and so on….” :) :) obviously for him it was a “Don’t need to know”.

Again someone asked: “Hasn’t ur life become public this way?” The answer for tht was… Well….You see, there is something called……” and the rest of me comes under “Don’t need to know” !!

Ciao ppl
Ciao Life