Aug 15, 2006

The beginning at the end

Change - How important is this factor in one's life? Without change, do human beings ever grow? I wanted to experience this feeling of change for the past six months - change in environment, change in the route I travel everyday, change in the kind of work I do, change in meeting new people, change in everything. I felt that my life was becoming very monotonous. I wanted to explore the options available to me. I really want to figure out where my talents and interests are.

I'm out of my first dream company now and I will be moving to a new place tomorrow. When I finally made this decision, I felt so relieved. Yes, I started to believe that I can come out of my comfort zone and try other things in my life. I feel so enthusiastic about life all of a sudden. It really amazes me how the feeling of change can create wonders in the way we think about life. This whole process helped me identify many things and most importantly, when I sent out a good bye mail to people I knew, I was overwhelmed by the wishes I received. I realized I have made a lot of friends in this place than I thought of. Some even went further and said that I'm a down-to-earth person, creative person etc etc (No, I'm not kidding !). So nice of them !

Apart from the change in my work place, this has also brought the urge of exploring my creativity. I'm slowly unravelling myself.I see a strong inclination to become a writer, to become a singer, to become a keyboard player, to become a motivational speaker etc etc. I see so many personalities within me. I'm going to explore more on these lines to find out which is the path that I would be taking.

I just don't want to spend the rest of my life in a typical home->work->home schedule. I'm perfectly fine with split personalities. I have identified my generic purpose in life, now I'm in the process of identifying my specific goals, projects and prioritizing them. This should give me a clear direction and become my compass in the journey of life. How exciting this phase is !

Aug 6, 2006

Who else might I have been - Part 2

Read the first part here

yahooooo.....I got 96% in my exams and have scored very good marks in all subjects including the language papers. My joy knew no bounds and I was jumping happily. My grandma couldn't understand my sudden strange behaviour, though she understood that my score was good. I quickly took a calculator and started calculating my total score for medical admission. The calculator replied "284/300". So I still stand a chance as per my dad's inputs, though I had to keep my fingers crossed.

The next week was full of wishes from teachers, friends, neighbours and relatives. I also came to know that not only did I stand first in my school but also third in my district, which inturn guaranteed a merit scholarship from the Government for whatever course I plan to take.

The day indeed arrived when I had to realize my dreams getting shattered. The cut-off for general category was 291/300 which was way ahead of my score. My name was not even in the waiting list. In a single day, all my efforts and dreams had to be buried. I cried the whole day. No consolations helped me. My neighbours tried to convince me that my scores for engineering were very good and I could get a seat in a good college easily. I understood the reality the next day that there is no chance I can get into medicine unless I can afford to pay a huge sum of money as donation which I can't claim through my scholarship. I knew that my dad couldn't afford such huge amount and also felt that it's not worth buying a seat paying a lumpsum. I should have earned my seat through a very good score which I didn't.

Days passed by and engineering admissions began. I got into a good college opting for Computer Science. At that point of time, I haven't even seen a computer in my life. Should I call this undecisiveness or guts or societal pressure? Probably, I could have spent another year and give a shot at medicine again if I were really passionate about my dream. But I didn't want to do that.

So here I am, a software engineer who could have been a doctor if circumstances were different. Though the regret and disappointment is still there in a corner of my heart, I enjoy my career right now and I'm taking it in the right direction. This whole experience taught me a powerful lesson - "Start liking what you do. One day, it will turn out to be your passion."

Who else might I have been - Part 1

My stint with Sunday Scribblings begins here....

This thought actually started burgeoning in me when I was in class 9. I knew I was just 2 years away from the crucial decision which I had to take-"What do I want to do in life?".

Science and Maths have always fascinated me since my childhood. I wasn't too keen on Arts or Commerce. So I had to be in the Science field.Science is such a vast subject. What do I like in Science? was my next question and pat came the reply - Biology, especially the human physiology. I loved reading about the different systems inside the human body. I still remember the digestive system and the circulatory system and their respective diagrams. With my good score in Class 10 board exams, I decided to opt for Maths-Physics-Chemistry-Biology group. This group had a mix of both my favorite subjects. Ofcourse, Chemistry was another favourite subject of mine.

I was firmly decided on Medicine when I joined my Class 11. The hard work I put in my Class 12 was like never before. I'm amazed now while I think about those days. How lazy I have become these days !

As soon as my class 11 final exams were over, I had started on the tuitions for all important subjects in the summer vacation, running from post to pillar for various tuitions. The classes in school started and the pressure kept mounting. But I was never feeling tense.

When I came to know that I stood second in school in class 10, I was pretty disappointed. I couldn't believe that I lost the first place just by a single mark. At that crucial moment, I had taken a vow that I would definitely come first in school in class 12.

Juggling between school and tuitions were not that easy. Initially I felt I needn't take up tuitions for Physics although it wasn't my favourite subject. But then I didn't want to take a chance. This is how my schedule used to be.I would wake up at 5.45 AM, quickly brush my teeth and wash my face and run for Physics tuitions.I would come back by 7.20,have my bath and rush to Maths tuitions by 8 AM. Thank God, my school timings were between 9.45 AM and 4.30 PM. I would come back from Maths tuitions by 9 AM, have my breakfast and rush to school by 9.30 AM. My grandma would keep my lunch box readily packed. A series of grilling sessions at school. As soon as school gets over, I would rush to Chemistry tuitions by 5 PM and return home by 6.30, tired and hungry. My grandma would serve me Boost (secret of my energy!) and snacks. Then it's time to visit the nearby temple. I believe that God's blessings are quintessential to my hardwork. The time would be 7.30 and I had to do my assignments and home work and prepare for any tests. I would be preparing till 11.30 PM and hit the sack feeling tired but satisfied that I'm making progress towards my goal.

Since I had started on a crash course for Biology, most of the chapters were completed by my Bio Sir by the end of summer vacation. He covered the remaining syllabus over Saturday afternoons. Then it was tests after tests. We used to have 3 hour tests based on a single chapter.He would prepare the question papers and give a copy to each one of us. We were supposed to write them at home and submit the answer books. I used to set the time and write the tests diligently, mostly during nights. My preparations were going in full swing. I never felt that my hard work was stressful or tiring. In fact, I actually enjoyed it. I knew where my goal was and that helped me focus my preparation.

All said and done, the exams finally started and I gave my best. Next was the preparation of dreaded entrance exams for professional courses. I don't know if I was feeling overconfident or wanted to relax for a while. I didn't prepare as required. I whiled away my time, playing with kids and watching cricket. As expected, I didn't give my 100% in the entrance exams. Yet, I was hoping that I get good scores in Biology and Physical Chemistry papers.

All exams over and it was prayer time. First the entrance exam results came. My Biology marks were very good but I goofed up in Physical Chemistry. Maths as expected was horrible. Anyway, since my focus was only to get into Medicine, I didn't pay much attention to my Maths scores. For medicine, my entrance exams aggregate was 87. Little did I knew that this was no where close to the marks needed in a place like Tamilnadu where reservations rule the college admission.

There was a slight ray of hope that if my board exams were very good, then I get a chance of securing a medical seat. Those were days when my dad, brother and I used to sit in the terrace,
gazing at the stars and discussing about the possible options. Dad used to come up with insights such as "Last year, the cut-off was 285(out of 300) for general category" etc etc. I started imagining myself as a doctor wearing a white coat and performing heart surgery. My dreams were filled with those fat medical books and my clinic where I'm giving full attention to my patients.

The day dawned and I was eagerly awaiting my board exam results. Friends called me for a game of "Country" and I was playing in the open space in my apartment. My granny shouted that I got a call from my aunt who was supposed to look into the education department's announcements and let me know my results. I came running on the staircase, skipping steps and took hold of the receiver. My aunt dictated my scores which I wrote down. I put down the phone receiver and....

Part 2 of this post - here

Aug 2, 2006

Interruptions everywhere !

It's been a long time since I sat down (or on a chair) for a couple of hours and focussed on one single task at hand. Any task for that matter ! I'm getting or allowing myself to get interrupted in all possible directions and at all possible places. These interruptions need not be external ones alone. Even when I'm alone and I think about some concrete plan of action or I'm just relaxing, varied thoughts become the source of interruptions.

For instance, while I'm watching TV lying on my cosy comfort bed, I get interrupted by the N number of channels and options I have. I can't watch a programme peacefully for even 15 minutes. I do watch Friends every night on Zee Cafe and I flip to other channels during ad break. Have I become a restless person?

Now, while I write this piece, my mailbox pops a mail icon and I quickly switch over to my mail client to read my new mail. I guess I'm becoming a Pavlov's dog . I notice this abnormality in most of the people these days.

It's been ages since I spent some quality time doing something creative like drawing or painting. I do spend a lot of time cooking new items but I tend to follow the recipe from the book and I don't want to claim this activity as anything close to being creative.

As soon as I get up, my mind is subjected to a hailstorm attack of thoughts. And this clutter keeps accumulating till my end of day. A new day begins and the same cycle repeats. A chatterbox, a palaver inside my brain, I suppose.

I do try a bit of Pranayama and meditation rarely in the mornings. During those 10-15 minutes, I feel relaxed and focussed. Then the chatterbox starts again. I blame it on the noise that's prevailing in my area - the honks of impatient car drivers and the decibel levels having increased to intolerable levels. I have closed the windows at home to see if that's gonna improve the situation. I'm also thinking of locking up TV for a while till I get back my concentration level. All I now need is peace, peace, peace ! peace within myself, peace in my neighbourhood, peace in the world....

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