Monday, February 27, 2006

Rang de basanti ... continued ...

I mentioned in the earlier post that it is quite obvious the initiative has to be taken by the youth of this country. Agreed, each one of us, young or old can contribute to making this country a better place ... but its the youth who needs to start, who needs to take the first step. I hope there is no argument on that. We have long been at the mercy of old and rotten ministers, who can't even take care of themselves, what will they take care of the country?? Its time for the young, vibrant and energetic people to lead this challenge. The youth of today in India are at a huge advantage. We are educated, we understand our country's problems, we have knowledge of whats happening in the world and what needs to be done in India. The knowledge of India's problems and global education and perspective can do wonders to this country. We can the apply the principles applied to successful countries like Japan or even Israel, in India and push this country to where we want it to be.

Given that the youth needs to take matters into its own hands, the basic question that needs to answered - How and what can the youth of today really do ? This is important since lots of people probably feel there is very little we can do, but that is surely not the case. If we cannot do anything, no one can (atleast not the politicians for sure). Agreed, we might not turn into overnight heroes, or bring about a revolution in a day (as portrayed in RDB), but if even a few of us dare to take the first few steps, i am sure we can make a huge difference. The first step could be as small as going to an NGO and meeting the young kids out there. And i am sure once we start giving even a couple of hours a week to a cause, it will become a habit and we would love to do it more often. Mind you, i am not an advocating donation, or financial contribution in any way. I have done a few donations, and felt good about it. Its not that its a bad thing, but i feel to bring about any real change, we need to be actively involved in the process. Being actively involved in the cause is doubly benefitial because it also brings an immense sense of satisfaction to the person concerned. Participating in good causes can bring about a profound satisfaction and peace of mind, which we desperately seek for in our daily lives. Lets not digress into mental peace issues now, we could write an encyclopedia on that.

All i am trying to convince anyone who is reading this is to take the first small step. I know the situation may look hopeless, i know its a long way ahead. But one you take the first step, i am sure the other steps will follow. Don't worry how trivial or unimportant your step might seem. But go ahead, and do that little thing you have always wanted to do. If the youth of today, each one of us, take that elusive small first step, i am sure eventually some of us will discover hitherto unknown powers or potential within. And i am positive that will make a difference. A simple question to end this post - What do you feel is more worthy ? A simple action or deed towards a goal, or having huge goals, thinking big, but never translating it into action ....

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Rang de basanti ... some thoughts ....

Just watched "Rang de basanti" the second time, and found it better than the first time. Truly amazing movie. I have been reading comments from people all across the world about this movie, some good some bad, but one thing is for sure ... the film has stood up and made people think, and that in itself is a huge achievement considering that most films today are forgotten the day they are released.

The movie talks about a bunch of ordinary people, just as any other college gang, who care a damn about the world and are having fun in their own sweet world. I guess most people can identify themselves with this gang, especially those in college. Those who are working are not much different either ... we go to office 5 days a week and party on weekends. Those who are married sit at home with their family or children during the weekends. This procedure repeats itself in a loop for years and basically we get institutionalized to this. This is how the youth of today spend most of their lives and before they realise it, they are youth no more. Some people make a lot of money in the process, some don't ... but most of us don't really know what we are upto in life ... we just dance to the tune of life ... we do what others do and are comfortable in that shell .... and i am no different. I am software engineer in Oracle, and the way i lead my life is similar to the way i described above.

But after watching the movie, i visualised this situation ... one day i will be on my death bed. I will be thinking about all the things i have done in my life. I would probably ask myself - how did my existence on earth make a difference to anything ?? I came, i lived, and now i am dying. But what was the end result? The answers that came to me were saddening. The way i lead my life today, i don't think it will make any difference to the world, except a few near and dear ones - that too more because they loved rather than because i have done anything substantial. I mean seriously, i did a lot of coding, i earnt some money and blew it on myself, how the hell does it affect anyone else ?? Is that the purpose of my existence? i seriously hope not.

Let me describe a typical day in the life of a software engineer. Everyday we wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, read the stuff that is happening around us and feel what the hell is happening in this country. We curse our country, the people and get back to business. On the way, we spit on the road, throw a pepsi can or a cigarette pack. We see a young kids begging on the road, some selling newspaper, some selling chai... Some look at them and feel bad, others don't even notice. We work at office, have executive lunch, do some more work, and leave for the day. At work, we might get a mail or two, about some child needing money for undergoing an operation, our some charity organisation asking for financial help for the poor children. We read the stuff, most delete the mail immediately. Some think about the mail, but deep down feels that this money is probably not used properly, and deletes the mail. During work, some of us go out for a cigarretee, talk to colleagues about the infrastructure problem in bangalore, or how irritating beggars have become everywhere. Some might talk about how diry the city has become and curse the government for its inefficiency. At the end of the discussion, we end the cigarette buds in the middle of the road (wallah ... ). We get back from work, in our bikes or cars, and inevitably get stuck in some traffic jam - how irritating ... what nonsense ... when will this city ever improve ... Finally, we reach home (after a hard day's work ... God know what work). We watch the TV, look at the booming stock markets, feel good about our investments, and catch a glimpse of the latest news. We think how distressing the news is, nothing can happen in this country. Finally, time to go to bed. What an amazing day, isn't it ????

Well, i am not saying everyone leads their life this way ... but most of us do including me. But lately, I have thought about this daily routine of mine. I have done some good things to say, i sponsored a child, or i donated blood quite a few times, sometimes i scared of that too ... i am never sure what disease i might catch up in the dingy and pathetic hospitals in this country. But apart from this, what little have i done which has changed anything, which has helped someone. Not much really.

This is probably going to be a long post ... But for now i leave you with one question - We very well know that it is the youth like us who can really make a difference to this world. Do we really have valid excuses for not doing anything, or do we prefer to die one day without contributing in any way to the world or country we live in? Think about it and send me any comments if you feel like ...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My first post

I feel quite excited today to kick start my own blog today. There are lots of experiences i would like to share with people out there and also know about the experiences of other people. Hopefully, i will make a few good friends in the process :).

In this post i will give a brief description of myself. There are lots of topics i will be covering in the days ahead.

I did most of my schooling in Yemen, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah (owing to my father's transferrable job). I was in 8th standard, when i came down to Calcutta with my mom and sister. I finished my schooling in Calcutta. Then i did my engineering in Computer Science (RVCE Bangalore). I got my first job in Motorola as an intern, worked there for 6 months. Then i worked for sometime in Huawei Technologies. My biggest break was when i got into Microsoft and it was a proud moment. I worked there for 6 months when i realised my career was going no where (don't worry, lots of people quit microsoft - getting into microsoft is one thing and working is another). I quit and joined Oracle India, Bangalore and am happily working here for 2 years now.

Thats briefly my life so far, sounds cool and easy, doesn't it? Well far from it, i have faced some of the most trying situations in the last few years and i will discuss them in detail later. I made some horrendous decisions and some good ones, but its all been a learning experience ... something i would like to share with people who are looking to enter work life (especially software) ...

Till then, take care ... adieu