A Purse Full of Love

WordPress Story- 2

Bala called herself ‘BPO Babe’. The reason: she worked with the Amazon call center in Pune. There were three of them in the flat: Bala, her brother Venkatesh and his wife Ramya. Their parents were no longer alive. Venkatesh was a software professional while Ramya was a homemaker. She didn’t like Bala very much and often, Venkatesh would come home to their never-ending arguments. Ramya was selfish by nature and disliked Bala staying with them in their 1 BHK. There’s no privacy at all.. And Venky is more bothered about her than me, she thought. For some days now, she had been thinking about ways to get rid of Bala, and marriage was the best excuse to get rid of her once and for all.
That night, after they had made love, Ramya said, ‘Venky, listen to me…It’s time we got Bala married. She’s been working for three years now. And it was your parents’ last wish to see her married.’ Though Venkatesh was sleepy, he heard what Ramya had said. Hmm…. must do something about it, he thought.

The next day, he got an advertisement inserted into The Times which read: ‘Looking for a Tamil Brahmin boy for beautiful girl, height 5’6”. Must be well-educated, financially sound. Contact:9876543210’.  

It can be said that Badri was the one Bala was destined for. He worked with Bank of America, owned a bungalow in one of the posh localities in Pune, had a Skoda and maintained a high standard of living. He lived with his widowed mother. 

When he came to their apartment to see Bala, he just couldn’t take his eyes off her. She had almond shaped eyes, a small nose, full lips and a figure shaped like an hourglass. She was also fair, unlike most Tamilians. Then and there he decided that he would make her his wife. Venkatesh asked whether Bala could continue working even after marriage. Badri answered in the affirmative and said that his mother wouldn’t stop her daughter-in-law from going to work as both mother and son were quite modern.

Her brother liked Badri and Ramya was overjoyed. Preparations for the wedding began in full swing. 

Soon, the day arrived. Bala and Badri sat behind the sacred fire, doing all that the priest told them to do. Badri tied three knots of the taali around her neck. Finally, she was his. Venkatesh blessed her and said, ‘Bala, you’re no longer a girl. You’ve turned into a married woman. Take care of Badri and his mother. May God bless you.’ Bala replied, ‘Thank you Anna,’ and they both bent to touch his feet.

As Bala entered their spacious room with a tumbler of milk, she felt nervous imagining what was in store for her. What sort of a person is Badri? she thought. Will he be aggressive in his love-making? Will I be able to lead a happy life with him? One look at his kind eyes, sensual mouth, curly hair and the way he stood tall, clad in a white shirt and white dhoti set her fears at rest. 

‘Come here, my love,’ he said. She obeyed him and came closer. His arms held her in a tight embrace. Slowly, they moved to her waist and his palms felt her smooth skin. Bala felt shy and averted her gaze from his face. He lifted her chin up and said huskily, ‘Bala, I promise to give you a life full of happiness and satisfaction. You can trust me. I’ve been craving for you from the time I laid my eyes on your enticing body. I want you.’ And they kissed, each feeling the warmth of the other’s lips.

The next morning, Bala woke up early. Badri was still sleeping. As she took a shower, she remembered the touch of his hands the previous night, how he had made love to her in a gentle way. It all felt like a dream. She came out, draped in a sari with water dripping from her long hair. She strode up to him and kissed him on the lips. Badri mumbled dreamily, ‘Mmmm… Come closer..’ ‘Not now, darling. Come on, wake up and have your bath.’ It took a lot of coaxing to get him out of bed. After he had freshened up, he called her and said, ‘Get ready. We’re going for a movie.’ ‘Wait, let me tell Amma.’ ‘I’ll tell her, don’t worry. You get ready quickly, I’m waiting in the car.’ Bala smiled to herself as he left the room.

They went shopping in the mall and later went for the matinee show. Time had flown so fast, Bala hadn’t even realised. Badri was horny by the time they returned and they made love once again.

Badri had to go to work the next day. Bala woke him up early and she too got dressed as she had managed to get only two days leave for her wedding. Call center jobs are hectic, she thought and sighed. She laid out his favourite shirt, tie and trousers on the bed. He was ready in a few minutes’ time and they both got into the car. He dropped her at the Amazon office and zoomed off. 

Over the months, both of them got to know each other very well. Badri teased her by calling her ‘BPO Babe’ and she, in turn, teased him by calling him ‘Boring Banker’. Coincidentally, both their names started from the alphabet ‘B’. They had a tiny garden of their own and loved gardening. They planted a hibiscus and a mango sapling, the hibiscus symbolising her and the mango symbolising him.

Badri was in a senior position at work and would carry his work laptop home with him. His job was his first priority. Often, he would come home late into the night, drunk. When asked, he would make some excuse that they had a business meeting cum party and if he would say no, he’d come across as being unmanly. Bala often chided him for driving his car in a drunken state but he brushed aside her worries saying nothing would happen to him. It was obvious that the excessive workload was getting him.

Gradually, he began to come home heavily drunk and started beating her with his belt. He used to treat her like a slave and not make eye contact with her. His mother, being an old woman and Badri being her only child, blissfully ignored her son’s behaviour. 

Initially, the old woman had agreed to Bala working in the BPO but now, she didn’t fancy the idea. She created a scene, one day when Badri was at home, on the topic that Bala was not taking adequate care of an old woman like her and that he should tell her to leave her job. Badri’s heart went out to his mother who was sobbing in a corner of the house and sternly ordered Bala to send in her resignation as she didn’t need to earn when her husband was bringing home the money.

Bala’s mother-in-law never let go of an opportunity to abuse her for bringing very little dowry. Bala was fed up of such comments and felt bad and insulted. Her dream of a happy family was crumbling to pieces. Bala had her doubts that her husband was seeing another woman as she once found a condom in his trouser pocket. He never used protection when he was with her. But she feared questioning him lest he beat her up. Badri had also begun to force himself on her. She would lie there, her thoughts far away and let him have his way.

Even though she had been reduced to nothing more than a servant in the day and a free prostitute at night, life had some surprises in store for her. They had been married for 3 years now. When she vomited once, she passed it off as food poisoning. But when it happened a second time, she bought a pregnancy test kit and it showed that she was indeed pregnant. She told her mother-in-law, who smiled on hearing the news. Bala was on cloud nine and eagerly awaited Badri’s arrival. She thought now that she was pregnant, Badri would be happy and give up drinking. 

But, she was in for a shock when Badri was angry at her for becoming pregnant. ‘How did this happen? You know I’m not ready to support a baby right now!’ He was in two minds. It was his baby, after all, he would become a father which was something he had always wanted. However, he feared that he would lose his freedom, it would put a check on his going to the discotheque and he’d have to shoulder the additional responsibility of looking after a child. The baby will keep me occupied when I’m at home, leaving me no time for my recreational activities, he thought. And it happened that his negative self won. He said, ‘Get the baby aborted. We can have children later on.’ 

Bala broke down. She had never imagined that he would say such a thing. Oh, where was her dear Badri who had loved her so much? She felt it was a stranger sitting in her room, on her bed. She corrected herself, her husband’s room and on his bed. Nothing was hers in this house, not even her relations. The memory of how both of them had woken up in bed one morning and seen the sun as it rose from the horizon came to her. She dried her tears and switched off her bedside lamp.

Badri and his mother had a long discussion the next morning. His mother tried to convince him. He was already 32 years of age and he ought to expand his family now. Her ardent wish was to see her grandson before she closed her eyes forever. Bala stood as a silent spectator to the drama. Badri simply couldn’t disagree with his mother and agreed reluctantly to have the baby. Bala said a silent prayer to God.

Her mother-in-law took her to the lady gynaecologist that evening. The doctor checked her and assured them that there was nothing to worry, in fact they were lucky that Bala was going to have twins. She didn’t disclose their sex as it was illegal. Badri’s mother fervently hoped and prayed that it should be both boys or at least a boy and a girl. 

Bala continued doing the household chores as exercise was essential for her babies’ growth. Her mother-in-law’s behaviour  towards her had softened to a great extent. She began to make her eat nutritious foods and never once scolded her.

The due date was near and the old woman was getting anxious. A day before the due date, Bala went into labour and at the stroke of midnight, delivered two chubby and cute girls. 

Badri sat beside her, caressing his babies. His mother couldn’t contain herself and started abusing her for giving birth to two girls who were worthless and a liability. Badri said, ‘Amma, don’t shout. This is a hospital and one of the best ones too. They won’t tolerate you and will tell you to shut up. So say whatever you want when she gets home.’ His mother sealed her mouth and went about looking after Bala grudgingly because Badri had a lot of pending office work and came only in the evenings to visit her.

Bala was discharged after five days and she settled into her new life. She wished to give her daughters the best of everything, love and care of both parents and their grandmother, good education and make them independent and self-reliant.

One day, Badri announced at home that the top authorities at his bank were planning to send him to New York for six months. Hearing this, Bala felt like holding him tight and not letting him go away from her.

It was 9 pm. Badri had to fly to Mumbai and then take the flight to New York. His suitcases were packed. Bala told him to call once he reached New York. ‘Happy journey’, she said. Badri kissed his daughters and looked at both of them lovingly, as if he was seeing them for the last time. He had told Bala to go to sleep and not bother about him, as both of them would start crying if they didn’t spot their mother around. They had grown into one-year olds. And so, she went to bed with a heavy heart.

It was the first thought that came to her as she woke up. He was gone. And, soon, this bedroom, the house in whose eastern corner it sat, and the tiny garden outside with its gnarled old red hibiscus and the half-grown mango tree they had planted together, all those would be gone as well. It was the strangest feeling ever.

She felt as if a part of her was missing. In his absence, the bedroom, house, garden, trees held no importance for her. She was unsure whether Badri had really come to love her children or had shared his mother’s views on the subject. He hadn’t loved them like her. 

When she came down the stairs to her room, she spotted her mother-in-law sitting on the sofa and reading the newspaper. She greeted her and made to go to the kitchen when the old woman stopped her and said in a tone of disgust,’ Pack your bags, woman and get lost. I’ve arranged for another Tamil girl living in New York to marry my handsome boy. Did you really think I would feed you and your useless girls even after knowing that you can no longer become a mother again? See those papers on the table? They are divorce papers. Sign them and clear out of my house this instant. Don’t forget to take those curses with you.’

For a minute, Bala couldn’t believe what she had just heard. She stuttered,’ Does Badri know…?’ ‘Of course! He is very kind at heart, maybe that’s why he didn’t tell you. It’s all arranged.’ 

Tears flowed down the young mother’s eyes. Where will I go? I cannot stay for many days with Anna along with my daughters. Oh God, why are you trying me so much? Their birthday falls on Women’s Day, is this their fate? There was no use pleading with her mother-in-law.

Just then, the doorbell rang. On opening the door, Bala stood rooted to the spot. It was him. He had been her colleague in Amazon and her first love. He had had no money then. He asked her why she was crying and she told him. He said to the old woman, ‘Despite being a female, you despise a girl child! You are a curse, not those poor girls! Come with me, Bala. I’ll take care of your daughters. I’m a rich businessman now. Sign the papers and let’s go!’

Granny talks

Granny 1: Kitne rounds huye?

Granny 2: Bara.. mushkil se unko aur 6 rounds lagvaye, vo toh thak gayi thi 6 rounds k baad lekin main boli kuch nai chalo..

Granny 1: Kya damaad mila hai! Sab bills bhar deta hai.. unko kuch bhi kharcha nai.. baapre insulin ka toh kitna kharcha hota hai…

Granny 2: Haan na.. beta nai hai na.. toh upar wale ne beta de diya..

Granny 1: Voh moti aaj nai dikhri..

Granny 2: Haan, nai toh vo watchman k saath chakkar lagati rehti hai.. vo dusri aaurat bhi nai dikhri.. main jab hospital me thi tab vo muje dekhne aayi thi.. uski ladki bhi nai dikhri nai toh main usko puchti.. ye baby.. ye bacchi ki mummy ka operation hone wala tha.. toh isliye main isko puchi ki kya hua tabiyat kaisi hai mummy ki ..

Granny 1: Kya hogya tha? 

Granny 2: Hernia ka operation kiya Ruby mein.. toh main kya bolri thi.. vo aaurat ko main ghar pe bulayi.. main amir garib sab nai dekhti.. amir kya sona khate hain kya, sab anaaj hi khate hain..

Granny 1: Barabar hai..

Granny 2: Mera pota dinbhar uski mummy k phone pe khelta rehta hai.. main uski mummy ko boli aadat mat karao aage bhi vohi karega par vo sunte kidhar hai meri baat..

Granny 1: Mera pota bhi yehi karta hai..kya karneka sab ye phone k vajah se hua hai..

Granny 2: Abhi Gudi Padwa k liye kya banate aap ghar pe?

Granny 1: Shirkhand.. puranpoli..

Granny 2: Maas nai na?

Granny 1: Nai nai..

Granny 2: Chalo fir kal milte hain..

Granny 1: Milte hain..

The intention of this post is to show that the way our grannies view life is so different from our own. And sometimes it’s peaceful to just keep our own voice quiet and listen to their talks.

How Blue is my Sapphire

WordPress Story- 1

As I gaze at the sparkling, iridescent, luminous sapphire set in a ring, adorning my fair ring finger, which reminds of the Indian Ocean, with its cool and calm blue waters, I feel I’m going swirling down, into its depths, those depths which hold priceless treasures of mineral and material wealth, lying deep down on the ocean floor  for aeons. Sometimes I wonder, the same waters that usually seem collected also have the capability to rise up and above due to underwater tremors and shake the world. Just like Indians who stand for the principles of non-violence propounded by the Father of our Nation, Gandhiji but when frustration keeps mounting, it becomes difficult to keep the bubbling anger inside ourselves, and then a volcano erupts.
Nehruji has just ended his heart-rending speech, ‘Tryst with Destiny’, a sentence of which is, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” Today is 14th August 1947. The clocks in homes, offices, government buildings, all strike twelve. Thousands of Indian patriots have assembled here, in front of the Council of State building. We all hear a booming sound, it goes on for two minutes. It is the conch being blown, heralding the birth of a new nation from its ashes, the way a phoenix obtains a new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. Likewise, our country has left behind its abominable past to transition into an era where democracy will rule and dictatorship will take a backseat.

The New Dominion of Pakistan has come into being with Muhammad Ali Jinnah as its First Governor-General and Karachi has been made its capital. Indians are not so happy with this partition. Nehruji and other political leaders shudder when they think of the likely economic, social and political implications of the battle between Indians and Pakistanis over Jammu and Kashmir. The British have divided the region of Bengal into East and West Bengal, separating the eastern areas with a Muslim majority from the western areas with a Hindu majority. 

Celebrations in New Delhi began at 11 p.m. with the singing of Vande Mataram meaning “I pray/bow down to thee, Mother” and was followed by speeches by three eminent personalities: Chaudhary Khaliquzaman, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Nehruji. Astrologers have predicted that the auspicious time lies 24 minutes before and after 12:15 a.m., i.e. between 11:51 p.m. and 12:39 a.m. The hands of my watch point to 12:38 a.m.

I, Emma and my husband who is a barrister are walking home. We got married today morning, a British-Indian couple. I love him and his country, with all my heart. I find India fascinating and colourful. Indians are kindliness-personified, especially to British women. People are rejoicing, bursting crackers and distributing sweets. The streets of Delhi and New Delhi are crowded. The public buildings outlined in electric lights cast a tricolour glow on the street. The landscape is dotted with balloons and festoons in colours of orange, white and green. Children are clutching our national flag in their fists and merrily waving it about. The small ones may not understand what this independence means to us, but they are gay nevertheless. 

We reach home. Kitty is fast asleep in her cozy basket. A full stomach lulls us to sleep. She must have killed a rat and had her fill of it. The law of the jungle prevails among humans, as it does among animals. Survival of the fittest. If you have the resources you need to conquer kingdoms and usurp lands, you are seen as powerful by all and can treat men like puppets. If you’re one of the ruled, you have to submit weakly to those lordly powers, without once endeavouring to displease them. Else you’ re a goner.

I am lying on my bed, tired, but sleep doesn’t come to me. Thoughts are flitting around in my head, like butterflies around flowers, the focus being British Raj in India for almost a period of two centuries. 

The East India Company came as traders and slowly, began to establish their empire. They were clever and shrewd and noticed that Indian rulers were fighting amongst themselves and they weren’t united. The decline of the Mughal empire in the first half of the 18th century provided the British with the opportunity to seize a firm foothold in Indian politics. To defeat other rulers, kings often asked the British for help and in return gave them a portion of their kingdom. The moral, ‘United we stand, Divided we fall’ once again proved itself true with respect to Indian history. After the Battle of Plassey in 1757 AD, during which the East India Company’s Indian Army under Robert Clive defeated Siraj-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Bengal, the Company established itself as a major player in Indian affairs, and soon afterwards gained administrative rights over the regions of Bengal, Bihar and Midnapur part of Orissa, following the Battle of Buxar in 1764. After the defeat of Tipu Sultan, most of South India came either under the company’s direct rule, or under its indirect political control as a princely state in a subsidiary alliance. The Company subsequently gained control of regions ruled by the Maratha Empire, after defeating them in a series of wars. Punjab was annexed in 1849. Of course, there was rising discontentment among the Indians. 

The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 was a large-scale rebellion against the East India Company’s rule. There were many soldiers who were from upper castes and conditions of service then prevailing in the army conflicted with their religious beliefs. They believed they would lose their sanctity if they agreed to travel overseas and that the British were trying to convert them to Christianity. Indian soldiers were paid lower salaries than their British counterparts and their chances of getting promotion and privileges were low. Old royal houses like the Mughals and the Peshwa were not given due respect. The final spark was provided by the rumoured use of cow and pig fat in cartridges. Hindus regarded the cow as sacred and according to Muslims, the pig was a dirty animal. Thus, soldiers of both religions protested vehemently against the use of these cartridges. It was wrong on the part of the British not to pay heed to the religious sentiments of Indian sepoys.  Mangal Pandey was the inspiration behind the revolution. However, the lack of effective organisation among the rebels, coupled with the military superiority of the British brought a rapid end to the rebellion. 

The Governor of Jhansi had signed a treaty with the British, which gave them the power to demand help from the rulers when needed, also their consent was necessary before the next ruler was chosen. One of the Company’s policies was that if a king died heirless, they would assume full control and merge that territory with the British provinces. Rani Lakshmibai had no son of her own. Yet she did not give up so easily and fought till her last breath.

Power is a two-sided coin. It has its pros and cons. You can employ power to do good or bad. India benefitted from the Crown Rule in a few ways. Sati was banned as it was impractical for a wife to sacrifice her living self for the sake of her dead husband. Thousands of elementary and secondary schools were set up which imparted sound education to Indians in English. Missionary schools taught Christianity. Universities were established in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras for students who wished to pursue higher studies. 

Jamsetji Tata was a pioneer who revolutionised the Indian industry. His four dream projects were steel, Institute of Science, power and a grand hotel in India. He thought of innovative solutions to the obstacles created by the British and thus, his dreams were realised even after his death. 

Indians got the gift of railways and telegraphy. The British laid roads, constructed ports and bridges, which are being used even today and will continue to be useful in future. They introduced a vaccine for prevention from smallpox and also improved sanitation.

The bright orange-yellowish sun rises from the horizon. The day is going to be an unusually sunny one, given that it is August, but it seems it won’t rain today, which will lift the spirits of our countrymen. The dawn of a new era ought to be bright, bringing positive changes in its wake. Freedom tastes sweet, coloured by the blood of millions over the ages. 

Innocent, unarmed Indians had been mercilessly massacred in Jallianwala Bagh, they were guilty of assembling peacefully to listen to messages from their leaders who had been deported! Brigadier-General Dyer had opened fire without warning and had gone on firing after the crowd had begun to disperse. It seems he found a sadistic pleasure in seeing innocent Indians lose their lives on the day of their religious New Year. 

The policy of commercialization of agriculture by the British encouraged market oriented production of cash crops such as opium, tea, coffee, sugar, jute and indigo. Indian peasants were forced to grow these cash crops that spoiled the fertility of the land and no other crop could be grown on it. Their ultimate aim was the appropriation of maximum revenue from the Indian peasants. The exaction of exorbitant rents by the government oppressed the peasants heavily. The peasants perpetually remained indebted to the local money-lenders.

The Civil Disobedience movement, Dandi march and Quit India movement sought to openly defy the British rule over India. People who protested were beaten, arrested and put behind bars and were given a treatment not even fit for animals. While extremists resorted to bombing and assassination, moderates like Gandhiji stood for the principle of non-violence. However, the British were not going to leave India. They were here to stay.

The Union of India has come into being with Jawaharlal Nehru assuming the office of First Prime Minister of independent India and Lord Mountbatten staying on as its First Governor-General. It looks as though Lady Mountbatten and Pandit Nehru have taken a liking to each other and Lord Mountbatten is not all affected by their relationship.

 Millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs are relocating across the newly-drawn borders, there are rumours of trains with horribly mutilated dead bodies of migrants having arrived in Punjab. Gandhiji is on a 24 hour fast from yesterday midnight. Unfortunately, he was not present to witness the unfurling of the Indian flag at New Delhi as he is in Calcutta where unrest prevails among the masses, at the same time, people there are also celebrating. The First Cabinet of India has come into being and will start functioning from today.

The day is about to finish and a new day about to take its place. The souls of innumerable patriots will now rest in peace, because their mission has been accomplished. The blood they have shed has not gone in vain. At last, we are free, free from the shackles that bound and restricted us. Every child will now take in its first breath in an independent nation. Now, nobody exists to lord over us. We have to build our own nation, with our hands and minds. We have to make our own decisions and implement them. We must forget our past, it cannot be changed. Destiny is not in our hands. We have suffered what fate had ordained for us and we will suffer no longer. But, we must always keep in mind the sacrifices made by our ancestors and remember them in our prayers, for they have become martyrs. We, the citizens of independent India need to rise and channelize our energies, our ultimate goal being to take our nation to the zenith of glory and prosperity. Along the path, obstacles will present themselves, we have got to overcome them, never once forgetting the age-old adage, ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’

My thoughts on choosing a goal for yourself and making a career

There’s a thing wise people always say: ‘Make a career.’ What do they mean by that? They mean that instead of taking up random jobs, take up jobs that will help further your career. Choose a specific line in which you want to go ahead and make your career. Aimlessly doing random jobs will only get you money.

Below, I narrate the story of how I realised where my interests lie and the goal I chose for myself. 

After my Std X Boards, I was unable to decide which stream to pursue, Science, Commerce or Arts. The general feeling was that as I was always good in academics, I ought to go for Science. I too was unsure, I hated Chemistry like anything and I found Physics pointless. I only liked Biology, but I would have to study the other subjects as well. So, I asked my family astrologer to show me the direction. He told me to take Commerce as my prospects were bright in this stream.

Accordingly, I took Commerce and did well in junior college. In 12th Std, I took IT as I wanted to get into the IT field. I had thought of doing BCA. When the time came for me to choose a course in senior college, I went for BBA as I thought I wouldn’t be able to manage BCA. 

In the first year, Mom had already decided for me that I should take Finance specialisation in TY. I was unsure of whether I really wanted that, but anyways I decided to go with the flow. 

Then, in Sem II, when I studied Marketing subject, I realised that this is what I enjoy doing and wouldn’t mind doing day in and day out for a living. I also realised that I had some of the qualities I needed to become something in the marketing world, communication skills, creativity and an interest in psychology. 

Around the same time, as they say that your thoughts attracts related things, I discovered LinkedIn through a poster on my college noticeboard. I made my account on LinkedIn. Another attraction was that an acquaintance introduced me to WordPress and told me to start blogging, because on WordPress, I could write about my thoughts free of cost. How I was going to promote it, came later. 

I started reading up on blogging on Google. Google threw at me related terminologies like SEO, SMM, Web Marketing, Digital Marketing, etc. I thought everything is going digital, and so is the case with marketing. It was something new, and an amalgamation of Marketing and IT, the perfect choice for me. 

That was the turning point of my life, and there was no looking back to consider other alternatives. My choice was made and I closed the door to other alternatives. I became active on LinkedIn, created my own page on Facebook and started sending the link to my article to friends as and when I wrote, later I started posting the link of articles related to academics and work on LinkedIn. And after one year, my blog is still generating a decent amount of traffic.

I speak up at seminars about my goal to become a Digital Marketer. And everyday, I try to keep myself updated with what is going on in the Digital Marketing field. Today, our Placement Coordinator of college announced an offer by a company related to the stock market. The prize is a paid trip to Singapore. My mom was like, ‘You should have given your name’, but I said ‘Mom, my goal is fixed and I am not wavering from my goal. I’m determined I’m never going to change my specialisation.’ It’s not about the money. It’s about passion. If you get paid a lakh per month for a job for which you wish you had slept a little more time each morning, you won’t be able to enjoy your salary. It’ll give you material happiness, no doubt but it won’t give you inner peace. You’ll always have regrets. On the other hand, if you do a job you love, it doesn’t matter how much you get transferred to your bank account every month. It’ll help you learn through your tasks and you will put in your best into your job. I have never chosen my course or college on the basis of what my friends choose. I find it pointless. You should be mature enough to take your own decisions. After all, a wrong decision has the potential to ruin your career. And if your parents’ wishes about the choice of a stream or course is against your wishes, take a firm stand and explain to them why you feel a particular stream or course will be good for you. Parents always want their children to be happy. They will rarely refuse if they see that you’re really interested in what you are committing to. 

Don’t do random jobs if you wish to make a career for yourself. Oscillating between different specializations only portrays that you are not sure what you want from life and from yourself. This goes both for a job and as far as possible, stream also. Try not to change your stream. Every senior college course has at least a little bit of syllabus about the junior college syllabus of the same stream. This indirectly means that the education system expects you to stick to the stream you chose in Std 11. 

Everyday, I’m passionate about my goal and I’m taking small steps towards my goal. If you haven’t found your calling yet, don’t get disheartened. Things always happen when the moment is right.

Why mythology classes should exist

What is Hindu mythology?

It is essentially a myth or legend associated with Hindu gods, that we have been hearing from our grandparents which find their place in holy scriptures. These stories contain many truths of life, which are hidden, they are visible only to the mind’s eye. For example, transgenders existed eons ago, Shikhandi was a eunuch. 

What can we learn from Hindu mythology?

Introducing kids to mythology will certainly prove beneficial, irrespective of religion, because they teach us values we must cultivate in ourselves. Particularly speaking about the Mahabharata, Bhishma had taken a vow of celibacy, and upheld it till his last breath. There were definitely times when he would have felt the urge, after all he was a man. This teaches us to stick to our resolutions and help us acheive what we have resolved to do. 

Once Guru Dronacharya was training his pupils, the Kauravas and Pandavas in archery. He called all the pupils one by one and asked them what they saw when they held the bow in their hand. Some answered that they saw the tree, the leaves, etc but only Arjun said that all that he saw was the eye of the parrot on the tree, and he shot the parrot in the eye. The parrot fell to the ground, dead, its mate mourning its death. We learn that when we have our eyes fixed on our goal, nothing can stop us, there is no room for feelings. If Arjun would have felt pity for the parrot, he could never have become a great archer as a warrior was not supposed to have emotions while on the battlefield. Emotions made a warrior weak.

Gandhari’s refusing to see the world through her eyes, just because her husband was blind, shows that a couple have to share joys and sorrows of each other.

The Pandavas were sent into exile because Yudhishtira gambled his kingdom, his wealth, his brothers and also his wife. This tells us that gambling is bad and indulging oneself in gambling can only lead to harm.

These are just a few examples. Our mythological tales contain a lot more. I strongly feel that the idea of mythology classes should be implemented as drawing, painting, singing, dancing classes are not everything; we fail to realise that such classes are meant only for discovering the talent in a child. If the child does not have it, every class he attends will lower his self worth. Nevertheless, we all should pick up a mythology book in our free time and get ourselves interested in mythology.

Why LinkedIn is important for students

What is LinkedIn?

If you are not aware about what LinkedIn is, it’s a platform where you can connect with prospective employers, CEOs of companies you wish to work for, fellow students, or broadly speaking, any person working in your desired field. You can also follow companies, join groups, message your connections, read articles written by experts on varied topics, get notifications about your connections’ work anniversary, birthday, new job, new position, etc. Most importantly, LinkedIn serves as your online resume, just that it is more dynamic: you can set a profile picture, current job position, update your education, skills, achievements, post articles;and your connections can view your profile and basically judge how active you are on LinkedIn and in your career, that is, are you improving your existing skills, learning new ones, undertaking courses…?

Why LinkedIn is important for students?

I’ve been on LinkedIn for a year now, and i have got a hands-on now, how the app works. Mastering how the app works is important, only then can you take full advantage of the features the app provides. Some take a really long time to become a pro, but i assure you it’s worth the effort. You may also use the desktop version but i find the app easier to navigate and can access it anytime, anywhere( i catch up on my notifications while having my meals; so that i may save time, i bookmark articles to my profile which i can read leisurely later).

Coming to why LinkedIn is important for students particularly, i’ve got quite a few messages from my connections saying that they didn’t expect Second Year students to be on Linkedin, it came as a surprise to them. LinkedIn helps students to

  • connect and stay in touch with prospective employers
  • follow companies
  • read articles on their field of specialisation
  • become aware about companies you never knew existed
  • comment on posts
  • connect to your professors and seniors who have a job already
  • enable people globally to view your profile
  • create a strong and eye-catching profile by updating your skills and endorsements, and accomplishments
  • make your presence felt even before you apply for a job
  • get job recommendations
  • stay updated with what is happening in the corporate world

    I always tell my classmates to create their profile on LinkedIn, a handful have either realised its importance or did it because their parents or professors or somebody else told them to. Whether they do it or not, that’s upto them. Nevertheless, i would say that the world is going digital faster and faster. There may soon come a day when recruitments will happen, solely based on your LinkedIn profile. Smartness lies in preparing ourselves for the future ahead.