I am

I am riding through an emotional alley in a whirlwind
Trivial everyday decisions now take a lot of thoughts, even the ones like what to eat
I feel desperate need to eliminate hunger, pain, sorrows, crimes, illness, germs, dust and even mosquitos from the world
I argue insanely with people being careless to the environment and being oblivious to the fact that this is what our next generation will receive from us
I find myself praying for world peace and deep in my heart I know my prayers resonate with millions of other souls going through the same phase

I have become an icon of contrasts.
Some of my thoughts are brimming with wisdom
Most of my actions are samples of weirdness.
My well-being has never been so important to me before
I feel like an obsessive lunatic when it comes to my overall health.
I can’t stand a practical and calculative person acting like an emotional and impulsive being..specially when it is myself!
I find myself more compassionate and drawn towards the numerous of sweet adorable units called family
I have learned that I can’t do it all, I have some limitations.
I have also become aware of my potential, so much more that I am capable of.
I learned to curb my ego and accept all the help.
Strangers assist me with a smile without even being asked.
I keep receiving affectionate glances wherever I go.
I find myself lost in the sights and sounds and smiles of infants and toddlers.
I now agree pain doesn’t always hurt, it also liberates of so many fears.
I also realize now that overwhelming love can trigger unstoppable tears

I have lost my mind, but I am in tune with my soul.
I am getting neurotic and possessive and fussy over someone and conveniently think of it just as forms of love.
I feel so humble for God’s most miraculous blessings
I feel so proud and larger than life and elated beyond measures.
I know that in few days, my heart will go walking around outside of my body forever.
I am in for a lifetime of vulnerability and surrendered to the holiest of callings.
I am going to be a mom!

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Growing up

Time is running, and we are growing. This realization dawns suddenly when we see our baby sister/bros growing up and achieving life’s milestones one after the other.
When did you grow up! You got a job! This was something we all were looking forward to, but when it is really happening, that you will be moving to another city, I feel proud and worried for you at the same time.

So you are going to have an independent address. Your address! You… the annoying cry baby, who few years back could not sit in her classroom independently. How much I hated it when you daily threw a tantrum in school and used to sit in my classroom, leaning on me for first few periods! It was really so embarrassing when I was called from my classroom to pick you up during your weeping sessions. A toddler in your class used to tell me often in his hilarious cum annoying accent – “डीडी डीडी, आप्टी भेन हेना रोजिस्टुल मे रोटिए”. (no spelling mistake, no typo. This was exactly what he used to say and that’s hindi :P)
The reason for your deep distress always used to be the same – let’s go home. Then why in the first place you got up every morning and hippity hoppingly got ready for school was beyond me!
And this scared-to-hell and helpless baby in school used to turn into a complete monster once we were back from school. Not that your foul mood used to get better. But weeping often led to loud wailings and shoutings for the issues you felt very significant- like mommy’s absence, or me changing before you, or sometimes, it just used to be an innocent wish – merko rone ki ichha ho ri hai.
This magnificent attribute of yours, to cry on loud notes on any hour of the day made you really famous not only among all the relatives and neighbors, but also among sabjiwala, dudhwala and bartanwali of colony.
I vividly remember your very round face, which resembled a football then with your thick bob cut hair sticking out like that of a porcupine. The reason for your nickname inspired by series ‘Chandrakanta’ 😀
(All those who wish to know that nickname can contact me personally, I can’t mention it here as I don’t wanna get murdered :P)
Ah, so much we all, especially I loved to tease you, even if the consequences were a harsh scolding from elders, mortal combat with you and tolerating your wailing for the next hour.
Very often I felt as to why we got this little devil in our home who is always sick and crying, annoying to the core and still capturing all the attention of my parents. I was sure I’d be better without you.
I could not stand you crying then, and cannot stand it now. Though for different reasons.

We were rivals at a point of time, I enjoyed defeating you, but out of sheer oh-not-again-disgust, could not stand you crying
At times, we were cushioning each other and watched and comforted each other while crying
We were adorable to each other at sum point and I used to entertain all your whims n wishes, coz I could not stand you crying
There were occasions when I was not understanding enough as u felt, but I had to curb your stupid moves to save you from crying
I have stood for you and stood against you, all these to prevent you from crying.
I regret the times when I was there physically but was so preoccupied that I was not exactly there for you, and it churned my heart to see you alone and crying silently. Yes, the moment I realized you have learned to cry quitely, it was so painful, I felt like wailing out loud.
Moving away from you bothered me as I felt I would not be able to shield you any more.
Nonetheless, not that you need it. I know you are capable of handling a lot more.
But now, when I think of you moving away from home and living independently, I understand that frown on our father’s forehead when I got a job and decided to move. That same wrinkled forehead and worried expression is what I hold sometimes wen I ponder of you living alone. And soon comes the reassurance, that you can manage really well when I listen to you chirping about your future. Even our parents are more confident this time, and that is all because you have really grown up girl! Grown into a fine young lady. I am sure you will take care of yourself and will deal with everything wisely.

Thinking about your stint in a new city with all the new people around you, I become extra compassionate with all the freshers I come across. I treat them with all the care, patience and understanding I have, just in hope that my baby sis will be treated the same way.
Now I realize, that’s what siblings are for..to fill our heart with love and compassion. We learn to share and care with them. We laugh and cry with them. We even laugh on them and cry because of them. We share the joys and sorrow and grow on each other. We share a unique love-hate relationship. We know the person in and out and still love them. And that’s the beauty of this relation.
And yes, now I am sure, I could not have had such a fulfilling life without you..

The Mindset

The debates about women objectification is on all time high and most of them conclude with lines like ‘men will be men’ or ‘nothing will change without changing mindset’
This unreasonable mindset thing is a cultural epidemic.
A women is termed unworthy of respect if she dresses in certain way or is not ashamed of herself or her body.
Such people compare a human to an entity saying that anything kept in open is bound to be stolen.
Here, not only they objectify a human, but also this argument itself is flawed considering the crimes happening in boundaries of home or crimes like child abuse. This mindset states that its victims flaw for she ‘provocated’ it.
For an unlocked motorbike which is stolen from a market, the owner gets sympathy and has full right to file a complain and get it back.
While for a sexual assault, the victim is shamed and blamed for inviting it. Worse than an object we might say? An object can be stolen only once, but the dignity and privacy of a women is tarnished again and again if she chooses to live her own way. Revealing clothes are considered a license of dissecting her body and image. This mentality just cannot accept the fact that a woman’s body is her own and there is no need to be judgemental. Why it becomes so difficult to respect someone’s choices and privacy?
Where exactly this mindset crops from? And what are the reasons it has caught hold of not only a large chunk of our male population but also a considerable no. of females are stuck with same? While in a country and culture like us, we have all the reason not to support and let flourish this mindset.

Religious Reasons: In India, a vast population worships goddess in the form of mata and kanya. Indians bow their head for goddess who is ‘shaktirupa’ and ‘matrurupa’ and believe that every women is a form of Her.
This concept is only in Hinduism where a girl child, a married women and a mother is given the status of goddess. Motherhood is glorified a lot in our culture and literature. No other culture does that. Still leaving apart third world countries, situation of women is far better in other countries.

Emotional Reasons: We celebrate rakshabandhan and bhai dooj, to strengthen the bond between brother and sister. A brother is caring and protective towards his sisters and a sister with her affection ensures that her brother is always on the the right path. Apart from real sisters, there can be cousins or rakhi sisters as well. Its very rare that a man has no sister at all. How come a protective and caring brother get involved in eveteasing and passing lewd comments on someone else’s sister is beyond me! And with all my might, I am unable to understand how a person, who year after year wears the sacred bond of rakhi from his sister can turn out to be a pervert. And not to mention the monsters in the family who attack a vulnerable child, girl or boy, for they have no control over their animal instincts. Rather I would say animals are much better, they are not breaking anyone’s trust.

Practical Reasons: It is very open and obvious that however undeserving or irresponsible a person is, he or she is bound to get married. Getting married and having children is a social norm. So no one really will be “deprived of anything”

If all these facts together could not change this rotten mindset, then what else can?
Is all the festivities and bhajans and worships nothing more than hypocrisy?

In fact, these very reasons are very much responsible for present conditions where no one can stop themselves from being judgmental towards women.
Women are put on pedestal and worshiped. This means that they should be flawless, should follow the rules and set the standards. Our literature glorifies sacrifices that a women or a mother makes. Poems and songs and movies are made strengthening the mentality that how an ideal women should strive for happiness of everyone else.
Any women out of this goddess frame is considered undeserving of respect.
In fact many women themselves support it. Those who kept following all the norms of idealism, however frustrating it was for them, expect something in return as compared to those who haven’t. A tag of honor may be? This makes them look down to the ladies who strive for their own happiness and dreams, who have flaws like every human, who may not be good in cooking or who may not carry a traditional outfit. All their satisfaction lies in the fact that they served their family well and that is the sole reason why they deserve respect. And why those liberal women don’t deserve it.
Some misogynists feel that it is there duty to teach lessons to these misguided women who talk about equality. On another front, some of them agree that women are goddess indeed and men are weak as they can’t control themselves. Its a women’s duty to keep men on track and if a man goes off track, its her fault.

Equality can never stem from extremes.
To end the mindset of objectification, it is essential to curb the mindset of god-ification.
Just the acceptance that a female is a human just like all other humans with her own flaws and virtues can work, only if we stop being judgemental.

Its Complicated!

Back after a long gap. A lot happened meanwhile- shifting home, changing job, lots of paperwork, festivals, fasts and fever bouts, 1 visit and 1 trip, in short a lot to keep mind occupied throughout. Hectic days, occupied thoughts, over-driving brains!
And that’s when I start missing the time-blocks when I had absolutely nothing to do. That is my favorite pastime and relaxation activity – doing absolutely nothing. Just the way animals do.
When I sit idle munching something with no thoughts in my mind but just the pure bliss of munching, I feel like the blissful buffalo relaxing in mud..so serene!
And sometimes when I stand in the balcony, I can see the street dog. We both idly look at each passer by, and sometimes look at each other, sharing the common luxury of lots of free hours and nothing to do.
Life seems so nice that ways.. so uncomplicated.
Biggest luxury in the world, like the richest people and the emperors enjoy is to do nothing, just eat, sleep and take care of themselves. But then again, all animals enjoy the same luxury and that too without any worry or plans in their mind about future. Nor they have any regrets about pasts.
All the stressful activities that add complexities to the life are human creations. See, humans wanted to live in a civilized manner. They started forming shelters. And now the things have became so complicated that nations fight over boundaries, states want separation and we pay ridiculous amount to ‘own’ a piece of land. The land for which, we will pay and rest of the inmates aka insects, birds and other creatures will share it for free.
And paying in terms of? Yes, the almighty money, the currency, whose face value may be nothing, but yet another thing to add complications to life. Then each nation has their different currency, and struggle begins. Growth and development of group of people is measured in terms of strength of its currency.
The concept of money is the most complicated invention by human specie. It is the root cause of hell lot of work to do and problems to solve.
We have to ‘earn’ money, then ‘save’ it, to ‘grow’ it, moreover ‘invest’ it and as if it was not enough, ‘tax planning’ is a task too! To take care of all this stupid stuff for us, there are lots of additional professions. We have banks, accounts, bankers, schemes, investment plans, retirement plans and what not. These words exist only in the homo sapiens’ world. Nature and other species don’t give a damn about it. Whatever be our annual earnings, a natural calamity can sweep our very existence on the planet. No money can help it, it can of course help to recover and rebuild, but to build what? Again these complex civilizations? To gain luxury? Of what? To have enough resources to carry on all the super-hyped idiotic tasks of this virtual world of ours? While these tasks could be conveniently escaped if we live naturally, or like animals.
Look at animals! They have minimum needs and whatever they need, they just get it- without introducing the concept of currency. They compete with each other for survival but they do not slave another being from the same specie, just because they live lighter. They have not burdened themselves with lots of responsibilities around them and thus they don’t need anybody to help them or serve them.

If I were an alien looking at the earth from space, I may would have thought that humans are the weakest specie. After all, they could not survive the environment on the earth. Why else would they shelter themselves up in some stony structures, and always keep themselves covered in some processed plant/animal/made-by-them unevenly cut sheets in different shapes and sizes. And why can’t they just walk in the open? They always need support of some structures, some solid structures they dig from the earth and mould it and some liquid matter which goes into it is again dug up from earth. And they depend on other species for their food largely but only when they feed them, take care of them, in short slave for them to get the food. But even as an evolved alien, I won’t understand few facts. Homo sapiens slave around species like cow, buffalo, hen for their food. But why they slave species like dogs, cats, parrots and even mouse?
As much as I could see from the space, dog is probably the most evolved specie on the earth. A lot of that specie enjoy readymade food without having to hunt for it. Some of them even drag humans by a rope like thing. And humans are no doubt the weakest specie, pertaining to their inability to digest anything. Yes, unlike other animals, they need to process everything before placing it in their food pipe and they need to mix multiple things in order to let it pass through their mouth.
And since they are weakest and can’t do anything better, they spend a lot of time processing their food, changing their covers, creating-destroying-creating-destroying a lot of things that are useless anyways for all life forms other than for them.

Ok now, I am out of alien mode. But I think a lot, humans created money and complications followed. Earning, spending, bargaining, saving, protecting, investing, doubling, insuring, banking, accounting consumes 60% of our time on this earth. And what is the worth of it? 30% of it Just to eat, the n to the power n no. of cuisines, then we fuss about the taste, nutrition, calorie, garnishing, price etc etc
Then the concept of clothing. I don’t understand how this concept came into practice taking into account that most of the animals live in more extreme conditions but never did any other specie welcomed clothes. It was fine if it had remained so- for protection from extreme climatic conditions. But no sir.. we have concepts of various fabrics, colors, designs, cuts, ever-changing fashions, fashion shows, fashion faux paus, brand mania. And worst of it, the definitions of modest/decent/provocative/inappropriate/unfashionable clothing.
And what after all we get after creating so much fuss over these worthless things? The self proclaimed tag of being civilized?
No animal kills any other animal without hunger or self defense reasons. There is nothing like ransom killing, honor killing, revenge killing or dowry killing in their world.
And yes, they do not desire to trample every particle of earth, so they move slow. They do not need any automobile hence, accident deaths are also again a word in human world only. Sometimes, we may do this noble work of killing animals by accident or just for fun or for the love of luxury- our accessories, cosmetics and medicines need their lives. Animals have no pharmacies, still the no. of animals dying of illness is just a tiny fraction of no. of animals that are killed for food, hunting, accidentally or for human experiments. And an amazing piece of knowledge is that in spite of having such big pharma industry in our world, humans are not immortal. May be in future they will get immune to many diseases, but who can save themselves from their own specie!
Animals never pollute or harm environment in any way that can endanger lives on the planet. But no worries! We as a civilized and develop life form can pollute and exploit the planet and then cry over it.
What value are we adding to the universe, and what good are we doing to the other life forms who inhabit the planet?
So questions of life and death was over. What else makes us civilized as we say?
Oh yes, we have ‘families’, ‘societies’, ‘nationalities’, ‘cultures’
They do have. The difference lies in the way they form families. Eg: A male pigeon can choose any female pigeon, and pigeon community won’t create a havoc saying that OMG! that white male chose a grey/dark female!
They won’t ask for each other’s parents whereabouts and status and language would definitely won’t be an issue as all pigeons in the world communicate in same manner. They live with whom they like to.
I really wonder how evolved all the animals are! Throughout the world, the communication is uniform among same species. Also, without using any cutting edge information technology, I wonder how their ‘culture’ remains uniform. Coming back to the family point, it seems they have much more sense of equality for females. In most of the animals, males are physically more attractive than females. Still, they have to compete and woo the female. However good looking and good provider a male is, it cannot harass female’s parents. And patriarchy, rape, molestation, skewed gender ratio etc are not the words in animal dictionary. Oh how much I wish to reincarnate as an animal!
Whatever virtual realities, the cobweb of unnecessary tasks, the tools and technologies to make them easier and the stress caused in all the process… lots of mess we have created around us, and in the end, it all boils down to one question.. is it really worth it? We have limited time on the earth, is it really worth spending it in earning something which has no value elsewhere?
At least all these complications are not worth to interrupt the peace of mind. And don’t know why I am complicating my thought processes by thinking over these complicated matters at this hour (its late night), while all I want to do is to roll up and sleep like a donkey. 😛

Spicy Saturday Pick

Lost Contacts

Few days back, I knocked my phone which perhaps permanently damaged its touch pad.
So after all my ‘home remedies’ to get it back to life, I took it to a service center where I got to know that its not worth to get it repaired. (*Sigh!*)
Even after ordering for new one, I was desperately trying to make touchscreen work.
I had so much to retrieve from that handset. I could not migrate the data and was regretting my laziness for taking a backup. Just for once, I wanted access to my phone. Just once please..

Had I known this fall is going to prove fatal for my phone, I’d have taken care or at least taken a backup. Not that I hadn’t receive any warning signs. Since long, my phone touch used to freeze with each fall (which was ahem.. at least once a day) but it always came back to life once knocked to some hard surface. I was taking it so much for granted 😦
I banged it again n again on the floor assuming that this will induce life in it as always. But this time, I got no second chance.
Result.. lost all data, photographs, audios, contacts, everything.
I wonder how we take things for granted. The people, the blessings or the life in general, under the assumption that this will not change forever..And then with a setback, it all concludes to one urge for a second chance. Just another chance to make things better, to retain whatever could be.

In last few days, I was saving all contacts who called/sms to my new phone, hoping that this way, I’ll get most of my old contact list. But it was hardly 10%.
Rest of them are actually lost contacts. Not in touch, not required. I actually lost contact with them.

This rediscovered another truth for me. We actually have less than what we think we have.
Sometimes when I needed to talk to someone, absolutely anyone, I kept scrolling through my contact list, but couldn’t find a single person available at that time. That always made me feel very pathetic about myself. But most of the times, the long contact list and the endless messages were a kind of assurance.

I always cherish transferring data from one phone to another manually.
It is like reliving a time block while browsing through sms and photographs.

Change of handset somehow coincided with major changes in my life. Like the end of one phase and beginning of other. My first handset was an LG CDMA. The tiny phone with monochrome display and sms storage of 30. And within that small capacity, it accommodated all my world – My friends, their sms, our college schedules, my morning alarm etc. We conversed in the language of missed calls. SMS from good friends or with good ‘shayri’ were carefully saved, rest all were deleted owing to 30 sms limit.
That handset accompanied me for initial one month of my job. Then in the enthu of first salary, I got myself a Nokia 3110 handset with colored display, camera, FM, music player, all that my heart could desire at that time. Still, it was difficult to let go old handset due to countless college memories, touching friendship and farewell messages in it.
No matter what we get in replacement, letting go is always very difficult.
I not only noted down the messages to a diary, also carefully copied all my friends’ contacts and new contacts to my new phone. Not that it was required. Every number was by heart then.
While copying contacts one by one, I smiled on some names I gave to my closest and dearest people.
Then there were few contacts whose names were saved very formally in format ‘company name – first name- last name’. The bond I shared with them this time, made me laugh at it and I copied the contacts with first names only.
Also there were few contacts which were named fondly, which used to be on the call logs always. And now, I don’t even know if this no. still belongs to them. I stopped for a while thinking if I would or could contact them.. ever. Heart churning thought it was, but now these people are no more in my life. I’ve been saving their sms, notes and cards dearly, wondering how these virtual things outlive a relationship.

Slowly, unknown to me, the numbers on my call register n sms log began to be replaced with that of new friends. My new group in a new city, my roomies, my workmates.
And then when I was back to my hometown, and most of them relocated, I used to go through all the messages again n again, browse through the hundreds of snaps,listened to all those songs that connected me to those times. And I thought its such a privilege now that not only we can chat on sms, we can afford to keep all those chats, no storage issues. Just because of those happy memories, I was not willing to change my handset even after major cracks and software issues.
Finally when it became a mandate, I switched to a cute pink flip phone. And the story went on.. fondly browsing the old phone data and transfer as much as possible to new one. Trying to carry forward those cherished memories. It is so difficult to let go things that connect us to memories we love, but we never know when we have to let go the people behind those memories.
I wonder how much I am ( I guess we all are!) into memories. After watching movies like 50 first dates and The Notebook, I felt awful about the protagonists. Loss of memory seems the worst disaster that can happen to a person other than death. Its like robbing a person of his lifetime earnings. I mean seriously, everything we want, do, get or everyone we meet, love, hate, all this sums up to memories. Its the ultimate loss, making one’s loved ones dead for him, and vice versa.

When someone or something is gone forever, the deepest urge is to go back in time and somehow get to know which was going to be the last meeting. And after convincing ourselves that nothing more could be done, we cling on to memories.
And that touched another chord.. to be diligent in every moment, as we are constantly creating memories, as that will be engraved on the leaves of time forever..

Drafted an year ago

This was a blog post that I drafted an year ago. A letter to my 21 year old self..
Now an year after I wrote this, I wonder how my perspective is changed.. for good 🙂

Dear 21 year old me,

Look at you! Enthralled with newly achieved sense of freedom, so satisfied and happy with yourself.  Yet projecting yourself as reserved and full of attitude, just to hide your insecurities 😛

I look at you in awe when you move around merrily bubbling with joy, sharing and spreading happiness. You know what, I am total opposite. Any good happening makes me silent as I find it difficult to believe. And, I hesitate sharing my happiness, for the fear of losing it.

I mean how can one be so cheerful to an extent of insanity all the time! You must be wondering why I think so. Coz to you, world is a wonderful, beautiful place with lots of possibilities. All the dreams are meant to accomplished, and God always helps good people. And since you are good to everyone, nothing bad can happen to you. This is what you strongly believe in right? 🙂

Well, you are right. Do believe in this. You will be facing tough times in future when you will doubt yourself and this little theory of yours. But don’t let circumstances shatter your faith.

Do believe in yourself when things go wrong in-spite of all your efforts. Whatever is bothering you now, will be of no importance in near future.

Though you are a good girl and smart enough to survive on your own. Still it would be nice if you could change few things about yourself. You are so proud of your ability to judge people rite? But you know what.. you are bad at that. You stupidly trust everyone who is being nice on your face and in the process, you are running away from people who are actually concerned but a bit harsh on you. Though you are lucky that you came across good people mostly or else you could have landed yourself in big trouble.

You need to learn more about people. And don’t worry, time teaches everything. In coming years, you will find out who all are worth staying in your life.

Ohh and did I mention, friends are friends for god sake! Do not try to mother them. And do not be their kid either. When you have to move away from a ‘guardian’ of yours and become independent, its like suddenly, ground beneath you denies to remain solid anymore. Also, that is difficult for the ‘guardian angel’ to cope up with the emptiness, to realize that no one needs him anymore. Well, I’d been on both the sides and know how badly it hurts. Worse, when it is not circumstantial, but by choice. And worst when the choice is not yours!  Being caring and all is fine, but avoid being overly interested in someone’s life to such an extent that you forget your own. If you could start working to get rid of this dependency obsession of yours, you would relieve me from big time stress.

Having said all this, don’t afraid to make new friends. And learn to retain old friends too, who all are worth. Remember, they all were your friends for some reason. One bad fight does not mean end of a friendship. Friends do fight. And also, friends drift away.. take it easy, don’t try too hard. What does not stay is not worth staying.

Rather look how amazing bunch of people you have around you! I really envy you when you keep juggling from one group to other, hanging out, shopping, watching movies, playing and chattering and it gives me immense joy to see you slowly learning and accomplishing all that you wished for.

Probably you don’t know but this phase is not going to last long girl.. make the most of it. I really like you for the person you are.. though you are bit silly and quite stubborn. I look at you in high regards  as you esteem and love yourself more than anything in the world and are utterly happy with your life. It makes me laugh when you lose temper and in a loud monologue shower all the evils in the world on your targets without breathing, and coming back to the cheerful mode immediately. And I wish to be like you-  the person who never cries.

Your philosophies of life amuse me, even more when people seek for your deep-thought advices. A sensitive and overly reactive, innocent but slightly insane, sensible enough person with high morals…overall likeable…that’s how I see you.
For your gladness and concord with the world and yourself, for your innocense, for your naivity,
I wish you to be as you are..
I wish I could be you…
….again.

PS: I got this idea on this lovely blog astha18prak.blogspot.com and got to know a series of bloggers who wrote a letter to their younger self 🙂

A Rainy Day I Still Remember

Backdrop:

Being from a newly opened engineering college, there were no closed campus recruitment drives in our college and we had to appear for open campus only. Each open campus day due to the happenings of the day or the people I met, became a memorable event. This day is one of them.

The LnT rule and TPOA:

It was 10 September 2006. Lnt Technologies had an open campus at Medicapps Institute of Technology. The criteria of the company were 60% plus aggregate and no backlog at all. Most of my friends could not fulfill the second criteria. We discussed our concern with the assistant TPO. She was stubborn by nature and if someone pointed out her mistake, she would just misinterpret the rules to prove herself correct. The usual happened.. She said that we are misunderstanding the criteria and however, we have only few companies for which we are eligible. So either go for it, or go to hell. “Anyways, none of you are going to clear even written test! So why bother about criteria.. ”- she blurted and smirked.  Though it was a demoralizing comment, we were enough demoralized already to mind it. We nodded our heads in consent. Of course we wished not to clear the written test. Why to waste a whole day when we knew it’s not going to be fruitful! .Moreover, appearing for this one and not getting selected will add one more failure to our long list of rejecting companies. I didn’t even wish to go for it. But then thought it would be better to curse our fate in group instead of cribbing on it alone. Yes, campus recruitment, particularly written test, were considered as a matter of sheer luck by us considering multiple factors associated with it.

Luck/Badluck

Halfheartedly, I reached the venue. It was a sunny and humid day. We completed the formalities and appeared for written test which was to be followed by 2 interviews of selected candidates. After finishing the written, we all were in a mood to leave for home.  It was 7th or 8th company and most of us have not cleared a single written yet. Still, no one wished to clear this one. Me along with some friends went to my friend Neha’s house for lunch which was at 2 minutes driving distance.  During lunch, everyone was discussing that how they don’t wish even by mistake to clear the written. My performance here was poorer than those tests which I didn’t clear.  I said- “Itni buri kismat to kisi ki bhi nahi ho sakti yar ki is company me written nikle jaha kuch hona jana nahi hai!”. Just then, the phone rang and my friend informed me that I have cleared the written test. Only I was misfortunate enough in our whole college to clear this written! Before I could think of whether to go for next rounds or not, my another good friend Ruchi quickly finished her lunch and picked the scooty keys to drop me at Medicapps. The moment we hit the road, it abruptly started raining heavily.

Furious drive in rainstorm

It was raining cats n dogs and Ruchi was driving her scooty in a frantic speed on a busy highway in such a heavy rain. The showers were very strong, almost blinding us. We were stupidly staking our lives for the sake of an interview. By the time we reached college campus, we were completely drenched in water. I entered the room to fill some forms, but raindrops were draining all over me and the form was getting wet. Moreover, I was shivering becoz of cold, my teeth were clattering badly and I was unable to utter or write a word.  The volunteers were calling to submit the form and go for the interview. My friends came for rescue. One completed my form, other pasted my photo on the form, third one explained whole situation to the TPO and volunteers and postponed my interview for an hour.  My friend Arpan took his car and rushed in that heavy rain all the way to my home – atleast 40 min distance- to collect my folder and stuff. My senses had gone numb.  I was not getting what is happening around me.. It was just 10 minutes passed after I had uttered that ‘buri kismat’ sentence.

Philosophies of a drained mind

There I was..I was myself in trouble and was troubling people around me. And all of us knew this is not going to be fruitful. Still, my friends are taking so much pain for me. I am shivering, sneezing and same was Ruchi’s condition.. she took all this pain for my sake. She was driving that way to get me to the venue asap. Vinay, Arpan, and all other friends of mine, were running around to get my things done, why?? I had only drown in despair on seeing failure till date, but never learnt to overcome it. Do I have that generous heart that in spite of my disappointment  I could help someone? Or am I courageous to an extent that knowing the futility of attempts, I’ll give my best? My brain went overdrive thinking that that’s my fate..being a loser always and being the reason of pain for my loved ones. And look at them.. so selfless.. so caring. Tears welled in my eyes. Just then, a volunteer came with a cup of coffee. I regained my senses after having hot coffee and I realized there is no going back.

In few mins, I received a call from our TPO assistant that if asked, I should not tell to company delegates that my TPO knew about that criteria thing. Instead, she insisted me to tell company delegates that I lied to her so that I could get the hall ticket. Also, she added that anyways I was not going to get selected, but if I tell delegates the truth, our college may be blacklisted and that will be bad for all of us. When I told my friends, all were filled with anger. However, there was no time for all this. I was called for company pre placement talk by a volunteer.

The volunteers were all our batchmates from Medicapps who were already placed. And I must say, that was the first college where I found them so friendly and polite. They were all trying to comfort me with their words and were really helpful beyond expectations. Looking around me, how everyone was doing their bit for my success, I chuck negativity and decided to give my best for the interview.

My friend Vinay stayed there till my interviews so that he can accompany me till home as it was far. After clearing the technical round, I told the company delegate about my backlog which was cleared in previous sem. He was cool and said HR only can take a decision. I was called for HR round and a very angry delegate stated that I wasted their time and I was wasting mine. I was prepared for this. I said I have proved that I am no less competent than those fulfilling their criteria by clearing all these rounds. He said they don’t want to promote a bad practice and I was told to wait outside.

End of chaos

Now that all the tension was over, I wondered how I missed to notice the beauty of this place.  Rain had stopped and evening shadows were casting over the beautiful campus. The plantation there was balmy and freshly bathed. Few raindrops were dripping from the bright leaves when mild breeze touched the plants. Aroma of wet soil and plants was adding to the serenity of that environment. The campus which was filled of hubbub few hours back was almost empty now and I could listen to my footsteps. The cloudy evening sky, the bright white campus building, my surroundings all were kind of glowing with the golden yellow hue slowly blending into twilight.

That day was a strange mix of ups and downs, positive and negative, hope and submission, faith and disbelief. I closed my eyes breathing in the soothing air and absorbed in the tranquility. Dear God, I thought, what was this day about? Walking on the pathway, I saw a tiny sapling between two tiles  which was very likely to be crushed under passerby’s feet. Again I thought, God, when this plant is not destined to live for more than a day or two, why gave life to it? Anything that is not going to attain completion, why it even happens at all?

Epilogue

Results were soon announced and I was not selected. But whenever I look back at that day, all I remember is my friends’ unconditional support, who all were there for me, no matter what. And the helpful volunteers, some of whom later became my friends.  And the day rebuilds my faith that there is more good than bad. And that I will be glad to be and strive to be one of such people. And that everything happens for a reason…to teach us some lessons, or to value what we have, or to value what we are going to have in future. Some moments inscribe themselves on the leaves of our memory, and all such moments together make us the person we are. It is the journey that matters, not its completion, and that is what life is all about…That was what that day was about.

All my friends, you all are very dear to me and hold a special place in my heart. No matter how often we talk, no matter how distant we are, no matter we are in touch or not…you all played a special role in my life and made me the person I am. Thank you for that and I treasure all of you.