A House for Mr Biswas

“To have lived and died as one had been born, unnecessary and unaccommodated”

A story set up in the colonial era, of an Indian family settled in Trinidad. Parents who only want their children to become what they aspire to be. Children, who continue being children, running in the green fields, getting flogged for a misdeed, on-and-off relationship with education. And gradually children becoming parents and continuing to play their role in the setup.

A dream of most middle-class families at that time – Getting a pukka house of their own. This is the main theme of this story. The main theme of the life of Mr. Biswas – moving from place to place, house to house, dreaming of one day when he can sit back and relax in a house of his own.

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The Transition

It was this very time of the year … The year was 2007 … B.Tech 1st semester … My attendance was just next to the optimum … I had scored heavily in the sessionals … My assignments were as good as it could have possible been … Yet I was anxious … Yet I was apprehensive … Yet I was skeptical about my internal marks …

And 3 years later … right now as I sit at my desk writing this blog … I have less than 15 percent of attendance this semester , to support my cause … Neither have I created an awesome impression in front of the faculty members … Bunking the final internal viva didn’t help either … My name being listed in the defaulters’ list , one of the “Mr. I know it all” faculty has already announced a mind boggling zero out of twenty for few of us … Plus I have almost forgot what the word “assignment” exactly mean …

But still .. I don’t give a damn about how many marks they are going to give me … I really wish to check if the guy does rate us zero … I really wish to see how low can I really go in terms of internals …

After a successful R and D analysis , I have come out with a few interesting facts supporting this acute transition … When I entered this thing called B.Tech , I was under the illusion that marks are something that represents the only parameter to rate your knowledge ( Don’t blame me for this … This is what we are taught in 10+2 in our schools ) … Don’t worry .. I am not going gaga about our education system once again … Have already done that a zillion number of times .. 😛 😛 … But with time many of us realized that this is not something which is going to be the key factor in the long run … And for the few unlucky ones who still date the books 24 x 7 … I feel really very very sorry ( No offence intended 😛 😛 ) …

Another reason for my abnormal behavior in the first semester was the fact that I desperately needed a branch change … Computer Science was the thing I aimed at , all the way … And did I achieve the same .. Yes I surely did … And with time I knew how lucky I was to jump from Electronics to Computers … Not because the amateur hacker who used to hack orkut accounts for some time pass was turning into a professional hacker … Not because the budding web designer was becoming the next big thing … With time I found out that the course I was pursuing ( UPTU + CSE ) was the perfect platform for any kind of preparation … Minimum input , maximum output … 😉 😉

Pre semester exams have commenced from today … I have already bunked today’s exam … The only thing that is crossing my mind every now and then is FMS ( and not the semesters or pre semesters …  accompanied by one or two trivial matters that maintain a permanent residence in a corner of my brain 😛 😛  ) , which is scheduled to be held on sunday …

And here I am .. sitting at my work desk writing this blog .. looking back at the way things were .. and the transition it has undergone to come to this .. And I am sure that the things will further change when I start with my MBA or PGDM or whatever it might be … in which direction , I can’t predict as of now .. Because I have learnt that the one thing that never changes … is the change itself … 😉

Totally Faaltu Update

I have been out of touch with the blogosphere for quite a while now . Infact it has been more than a “quite a while” . No I am not suffering from a writer’s block . Its just that a thing called “examination” had forced me out of action for few days . Its not that I was dying preparing for these so called exams . I had ample of time to update my blog but still , my heart said that it would be really unfair to the much dreaded semester exams , and so I decided to wait . No more crap now . I am not going to blabber about how much I hate exams or why someone had to construct this system of testing our knowledge ( which anyways resides in our brain for just 24 hours …. Exams over …. Knowledge over …. ) ….

Being from a CSE background has its advantages , or should I say multi-advantages . All this while when the electronics and mechanical guys ( and few of the computer nerds too ) were busy banging their head against the wall out of sheer frustration and jealousy , I was busy observing these creatures who were suffering from this pre-exam syndrome . I still have got one more paper to go and they have decided to give us a whooping 4 days break to prepare . And you might be shocked to hear that few of them has already drowned themselves in the books .. Poor souls …

Coming back to the point … as I said that I was busy observing these engineers , I noticed quite a few things .

  • Everytime these brainy kids met on their way to water cooler or mess , they made a point to inquire “Abey Kitna ho gaya tera ???? ” ( How much of the course have you covered ) …… trust me , I really get irritated at times when this question is shot at me …
  • And now the best part ….. every other person whom I asked the same question had the same answer …. “Arey abhi suru hi nahi kiya hai yaar …. araam se padhenge” ( I haven’t started studying yet …. will do it at ease ) ….. Everyone in my college is born Einstein I tell you ….
  • And then I tried giving a different answer for a change … Another guy asked me the same question and I replied that I am going to start revision now ….. He started laughing so hard …. ”  poora ho gaya … aur wo bhi tera??? hahahhahahaha ” ( You have completed your course … hahahahah ) …. I felt like thumping him right in the face , but restrained ….. Since then I always took the safe part ….. neither the “haven’t yet started” melodrama nor the “have completed everything” crap ……
  • And one interesting thing that I observed in the electronics and mechanical guys ….. whole year they keep boasting about how good was their “core branch” and how much scope it offered ….. but when exams came …. all of them had this utter desire to make a jump into CS or IT ….. interesting ….
  • The extent to which these EC and ME guys are jealous of us is quite evident by the angry comments they leave on our FB statuses ( ones which say that we love our branch .. we don’t need to study like EC guys and more stuff like that … )
  • All the insomniacs of the hostel were seen running to Nescafe to get that magical cup of coffee which would keep them awake for the time being ….. Who needs sleeping pills …. Books are more than enough … 😉
  • Every minute of sleep is nothing less than an elixir for the totally exhausted brain of ours ……
  • Everyone formulates a list of umpteenth number of things to do once exams get over …. but as soon as it gets over …. they are totally blank , unsure of what to do next ….
  • And now the golden and most obvious observation …. No matter if it is a 2 days or 3 days or a 4 days gap …. Its only the last 24 hours or so that counts …. 11th hour study rox ….. 😉

P.S. Few exceptions have been found to these observations …. But nothing doing …. you won’t find these exceptions out of their rooms and away from their books at any time ….

I still have one more paper to go ….. and before that one , I have got 3 complete days for total rest ….. My branch CSE is nothing less than heaven …..  :mrgreen:

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

Ever tried looking beyond placements and salaries ???  Ever tried going for the unconventional ???  Ever the idea of ” Get Rich or Die Trying ” struck your mantle ???   …….. If yes , then you will surely cherish reading this book . And if your answer is no , then too you should go for this book as it will equip you with a sight to look beyond the horizon .

Winning isn’t everything . But wanting to win is .

“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish” was the advice that Steve Jobs gave to the students during his commencement speech at Stanford University .

But this book is not concerned with Steve Jobs , not by far . This is a book which illustrates the power of dream , the power of hunger and the power of desire .

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish‘ is the story of 25 such IIM Ahmedabad graduates who chose the rough road of entrepreneurship. They are diverse in age, in outlook and the industries they made a mark
in. But they have one thing in common: they believed in the power of their dreams. This book seeks to inspire young graduates to look beyond placements and salaries. To believe in their dreams.

This book is more of a mini biography of these entrepreneurs who could easily have chosen a high paid job , a settled life style , a would-be CEO of some renowned company with a handsome salary to their dream of doing the unconventional . But instead they decided to follow their dreams . And didn’t their effort paid of , yes it did . There still lies a world beyond the horizon which these 25 IIM-A graduates were aware of .

Rashmi Bansal has classified them into three categories ……

First , the Believers : People who knew entrepreneurship was the Chosen Path. They took the plunge straight after their MBA or after working barely a couple of years. And they persevered until they made it big! ………

Second , the Oppurtunists , These entrepreneurs did not plan to take this path but when opportunity knocked they seized it. Their stories go to how that you don’t have to be ‘born with it’, you can develop an entrepreneurial bent of mind at any age ………..

And third , the ones with The Alternate Vision : These individuals are using entrepreneurship to reate social impact. Or as a platform which allows them creative expression.

A really liked this quote from the book by Sanjeev Bikhchandani >>

” I could see my future , had I continued as a manager in the corporate sector . If I was lucky , at the end of 5 years I will be a senior product manager , in 8 years I will be marketing manager .. In 25 years I might be CEO somewhere . All this If I am really good . I used to ask myself : Is this what I want in life ” sums it all .

Somewhere down the line , we all ask the same question to ourselves ” Is this what I want in life ” , and believe me , in most of the cases , answer comes out to be negative . But since we are too busy with our life or may be since we are unable to muster up enough courage to chose the path our heart tells us to , our desire is suppressed , which then ends up in the grave with our corpse , unheard and unanswered .