Pocket Diary -18

Back with the pocket diary. Well, I rarely write quotes in this diary now; as mostly I am reading books which goes into my book-diary plus I am reading amazing quotes on net in the form of typography and images. I broke the pocket diary series also. 😛 * sigh * it is hard to keep up with all these series. I need to stop making such promises to myself.

Now, the quotes:

M.Gandhi, ” You can not build non-violence on a factory of civilization, but it can built on self-contained villages.”

Gandhi has captivated me not only for his methods of non-violence and civil disobedience, but also for his ingenious way to create change. The above quotes shows it so perfectly – the cities or cradle of civilization get so mechanized that any type of change is hard to initiate effectively. Thanks to ‘Modern Marketing & Advertising’ it has become much easier to change consumer behaviour, but not character or nature. Non-violence being purely about change of character both inner and outer.

So, how about changing the culture in a society – about rape, about dowry, about corruption. Should we start from villages and build over it ?. Should we employ the consumer-attracting tactics to fuel the change? or Perhaps a combination of both or some new way?

From movie/novel ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’, ” We accept the love we think we deserve.”

Love is hard to get ( & hard to understand).  I am still brooding over love reading this line. Do one accept the love that he/she thinks they don’t deserve ? Do they accept love without any foolish notion about deserving it ? What happens when one don’t get the love which one thinks he/she deserves? What about when gets overwhelmed by the love one gets?

(I like to think about love in third person rather than first person. Not wise to reduce one’s value or expectation about love on such silly musings.)

“Only Time knows when something has to die”.(Myself)

Think about it – perhaps Yama is Time God or Lucifer is Time or Grim Reaper is time or simply death is Time. Only Time points to the moment when something died. And we obsess so much about time (or may be death).

Kurt Vonnegot, “Use the time of a stranger in such a way that he or she will not fell the time was wasted.”

I know you must have compared this one with the last one. Ok, let me put it this way  – Time is Life. When Life ends time ends. As Kurt Vonnegot says – I better use a life of a stranger so that it does not feels wasted.

I hope I did not waste your time/life/death with this post. 😛

Arigato 🙂

Living a Meaningful Life

Have I stated that how doggedly I follow TED talks. You may have watched it or you may follow it, but do you follow the TEDx talks. It’s not so hard to get the TEDx Talks feeds – just subscribe to the YouTube channel. Why?
Because before any idea comes to the global platform, it moves through the local  TEDx events.  There is much more ideas & innovations being talked about ,daily, at the TEDx events around the world. And I follow them jealously, you never know where lies an inspiring & motivating talk. Language is surely a barrier to their access, but still, you have many videos to watch in English.

Recently I watched, this TEDx Gateway video of Mr. Arunachalam Muruganantham. It was concerned with tabooed & ignored part of rural health – SANITARY PADS. First of all, hats off to A. Muruganantham, he presented his talk on such a topic with humor & jest, without making it a sad & morose talk. He started with talking about life in Black & White – he chose the White side.

[a really inspiring & innovative video]

In India, if a guy goes to medical shop ans asks for sanitary pad, its treated like with such secrecy. At least, the taboo with Condoms had reduced a bit, I hope the same happens with the pads. I have never asked for it (never had any chance to do it), though I know it will be awkward for me also. Coming back to the sanitary pads – women in rural & lower income households don’t buy the pads from the market. The pads being sold there have inflated costs as per their economic backing. In absence of any affordable pads, women make use of rag cloth, plant leafs, Husks, Saw Dust & even Ashes. The sanitary napkin usage in India is less than 5%.

So Mr. Muruganantham, a 10th class drop-out, started his mission to make affordable & considerably efficient sanitary napkins. After many trial & errors, he came up with the right process to make one. Then he went on to create a small machine which can be set-up in few thousand dollars. He came up with a new micro & decentralized model. The machine was set-up in 23 different states of India . It provided 7000 rural women with direct employment, more than 3.5 million shifted to hygienic sanitary pads – that’s called social impact (made possible by a single man’s effort). That’s a real second-White revolution. Kudos to Mr. Muruganantham on his achievement.

Steve Jobs is often taken as the role model for innovation & creativity. Even i take him for that. However, the type of role-models India needs is like Mr. Muruganantham. India has a huge population which is in dire need of affordable innovative products to solve their daily problems – health, education,employment e.t.c. The investment is a problem with money being supplied mainly to the biggies. In such scenario, coming up with such frugal innovative products, which can not only be scaled across India but can make the rural villages self-sustained.

If you ask me, how Gandhi wanted his precious village centers to develop, i would point to such initiation & products. A simple machine which can provide for the needs of a village. Also providing livelihood means to the people. That’s the ‘Charkha of Gandhi’.

The video is not only about Sanitary pads or Rural health. Nor does it only focus on the frugal innovation.
It is about saying that It is possible. Anyone can make an dent regardless of his expertise.
It is about having a culture of people concerned about such tabooed issues.
Working consistently to solve them.
It is about rural areas standing on their own & moving ahead.

As Mr. Muruganantham says – it’s about changing to a meaningful life.

Until you connect with some deeper aspects of life – meaningfulness is still afar.

I have this idea which I am nourishing inside my head. It will take more time till i share it with some-one. The only thing i can tell you is – it concerns such rural based frugal innovation. After watching the video, the idea has become little more lucid. In future, if I start with my idea – I will meet with Mr. Muruganantham & discuss about it. (That’s sure) He may be able to give me new insights into the field of social entrepreneurship. At least, he has already inspired me with this 12min TED talk of his.

Your actions do beer fruits, but the strength & nourishment to the tree is provided by the roots. And your philosophy & attitude towards life are the roots of the tree. I am on a path to form that core philosophy. Seed has been planted. The wait is for the seed to germinate & force up the soil. Then only can the strength of the roots be tested.

I don’t know whether you noticed it or not. One of the thing which i observed about Mr. Muruganantham was his philosophy towards life. Did you noticed that? Watch the video again then.

Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.


Arigato 🙂

[P.S – I wanted so much more to write. As it concerns to some ideas I am still working on. I chose not to put them here at this period of time. I am still at a nascent stage with loads of assumptions & foolish faithfulness. And when the ideology in question has a negative tinge to it, I better let it rest for now]

I don’t want to

I don’t want to go to the protest march.

I don’t want to go on the roads and shout at full pitch -‘We want Justice’.

I don’t want to put that ‘black’ dot dp on my fb.

I don’t want to hold a candle & march to India Gate.

I don’t want to sit outside any senior ministers house & ask him/her to come out.

I don’t want to put on a show for the media houses.

I don’t want to accept that my country needs another freedom.

I don’t want to feign any concern for the rape victims.

I don’t want to arrogantly & ignorantly protest about something so important.

I don’t want to foolishly ask for laws & punishments.

I don’t want to – I don’t want to.

I want to vote out all those politicians who stay passive in such events.

I want to go to my local political representative & ask for steps he has taken in his constituency.

I want to know more about the existing laws & punishments and ask them to be acted upon quickly & get them improved.

I want no more such rape incidents in my area to happen.

I want to educate the men in my family to honor the opposite sex.

I want to change my nation from inside, right from the people’s mindset to the leadership.

I want to use my rights and also fulfill my duty to my nation.

I want to genuinely help those victims to get back to the track by not discriminating them as victim objects.

I want more empowered & aware nation.

I want to I want to

 I know many will not agree to my opinion,but they are my personal opinion.And they are not limited by the above lines – they can go much broader & deeper to improve my country’s social conditions.I want so much more to say about it but I know writing a personal blog post won’t do much to change the condition of the rape victim.So, I keep my empathy to myself for now.
Also, to me also the view above look a little naive now and despite not wanting to put that ‘Black Dot’ i placed it. After all, I do protest against such heinous acts.


Single Exam Brouhaha


Note: Long post, read at your own leisure.

There has already been so much comments & opinions on the proposed merger of admission test for all engineering colleges including IITs, NITs & other institutes. There is discussion of dilution of standards or IITs; degrading the brand of IIT; incomparable marking schemes of different board exams and many other assumed & sought for problems. I don’t want to comment on the standards or IIT per se, but on the recent trends of merging of examination systems for engineering, medical,  mba & other exams.

Last year only I was having discussion with my friends & my father that this govt. just wants to standardize the college admission process on the line of global trends i.e. like SAT score. I think the finally in India also we will be using SAT, might be with some other name. The most appalling motive I feel is that govt. wants foreign university opening branches in India or their funds for education sector. On first thought it looks great, Oxford India, MIT India e.t.c. We cannot provide even primary education for all, but want everyone to have an option of global university. Is there an assumption that all those who go to college are rich & have the luxury to spend huge amounts for a mere graduation or post-graduation. There are so many sub-standard colleges in our country which are running below their quotas & being run like corporate houses. Too much mud-slinging on the influx of foreign education institutions in India, let me get to the point of single base exam system.

Kudos to the institutes & authorities on easing the pressure on students by unifying the various entrance exams. Now, they just need to give full into one single exam. Uncertainty factor will lessen down as one will know which college he is eligible for. No college will exploit the students by declaring the date of admission just before some other exam results are out. Students will focus more on school activities as major part will be dependent on the board papers & ones personality will be judged by the extracurricular or exceptional work done by the student. Although It is sought that students will not take coaching but on the contrary they are going to enrol more into them. This effect can be bought if the exam level is very low or like school level, then also for the increased competition level they will surely join them. I mainly wanted to highlight the negative side of the reformed system. So here it goes.

This  step just infuriates me, possibly because this opportunity was not with me. However, howsoever pressure multi exam puts on a student, everyone will agree that it gave multiple opportunities to score & get a good college. One might mess up one exam but he will have other exams to try again in next exam. This might become better with new system but still I would prefer a multiple chance then a single-shot game. Anything can happen in an exam.

Second, it just goes away from the core competency of Indian students to perform in pressure situations & handle many fronts at a time & also much tougher and varying exam patterns than global exams.

Thirdly, it present the problem of measuring everyone with a single scale. Judging by the ability of a cat to fly, a fish to run & a bird to swim is ridiculous. All the nerds are at loss. Now school performance & extra-curricular activities will matter. You can’t say I am a fish, I can’t walk on the land – you have to become an amphibian now.

Hope you get the metaphors of the top & bottom fruit basket pictures.

Fourth, It doesn’t stops the propagation of sub-standard colleges, nor does it promises a quality education for all. Fifth, this type of steps in India should have taken when there would be similar standard institutes. Even between IITs & NITs there is considerable difference in facilities, quality of education & research work. The pvt. Institutes are in there own world it seems. With all this systems in place & one would get seats in pvt. Institutes by taking loans. Yeah! congratz to all the students who would get into the debt cycle before starting their job. I think if students suicide lowers down then we’ll see increase in working class suicides.

All this came out because of strong feelings for the education sector in India. More things are on negative fronts, but let’s see we might get better & shining education system Just wait & watch.

P.S – I totally support the unified JEE. After all for what should they have a Brand? Are they education institutes or products? What do they actually do for the grass roots of the country?

One more thing, I expect there will be huge black money inflow or scams in education sector with more reforms in the future.


Thought on team recruitment

Sometimes i dream of having my own firm – which has decentralized power distribution & collaborative in nature.So i started having wishful thoughts of how would i do this or how would i create something there.I came up with this idea of recruiting for the firm.

First step will obviously be Aptitude Test. There has to be step for rejection first to have a pool of prospective candidates. Generally there  are GDs or more technical Question rounds after that.But as my imagined firm would have collaborative framework to do the work – i think they are not suited for the selection process. According to me the after rejecting – the selection should go as; The pool of candidates will allowed to form teams of 5-8 by themselves & if someone doesn’t get a group we assign them a group.Now a practical/physical task should be given to the groups – each group with different task, which will be needed to be completed in a fixed amount of time. THe time period would be greater than 6hr ; it can extend to 24 hr as per the tasks.After this the whole group will be considered for the offer of the firm.Each person will be interviewed separately and also with group.Finally you get your employees.

I find this type of recruitment process much effective than considering persons as individual employee.After this type of recruitment process – you get a dedicated group of employees which already have a group dynamics between them.I mean i actually don’t understand why one would go through zero team effort activity & expect that a person is a team player in the interview part.As i have seen in my college days, when you get a job in a firm along with your best buddies or like minded persons – its more satisfying & less frustrating.If the team you recruited are good friends it’s less likely that they will leave early from the firm.Generally in companies a task is assigned to a team & different people join the team; as work moves ahead a new team dynamics forms there.But just as task is over, the team is dis-integrated & again new people are found for another task.It is an alienating practice.An employee is expected to adjust to new team & slowly the person takes a form of mechanical entity.This type of practice doesn’t uses the power of emotional indulgence in the workplace.There has to be fusion of emotional bond with intellectual bond in a team.My father had transferable job so i had to leave old friends & make new ones. And it takes time to make good friends at new places. How can the big firms not understand that. Everytime a new team is created – there will be always a lag in creation of good team dynamics.It would be great if big firms cycle the task between teams which have permanent members in some ways.

That’s all for my imaginary firm’s recruitment process. 🙂 How is it?

P.S – After my friend Yash pointed out that it would be also great to add a mixed team activity for the process.I conceded his point, after the initial activity of self- decided teams, there would be a mix-match team activity.The mixed teams will this time be made by the  present recruitment team or personnel.I think it will ensure that the candidates can work well with any new team they are put into.