Foreplay

 “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”

It is not what you are thinking about. It is what happened in the junior year. It was the first day of the Engineering college. I knew few of the people in my class through my coaching classes. Not all of them were a “Failure” though. We had a uniform. That was the worst punishment anyone could be facing. Even the guard on the gate used to have a better uniform than the students. With a tiny will to study we started towards our degree. In the meanwhile, our teenage hormones were proactive. We started checking out girls. It has been a national past time over centuries in colleges. This was the first time in my entire life that I poked out my head out of books and was looking at the real world. It was great. It was different. It was during the break time on that day, I was walking with one of my friend in the corridor. This one girl was walking in the opposite direction. Short, fair skin, brown eyes, a face with little worry and her silky hair, she caught my attention. I told my friend how beautiful she was.

During the first year, all the students irrespective of their majors had to have common courses. So, all the students were divided into different sections of classes. I didn’t see her in my class. That was kind of disappointing. So, the only time I could see her was during the break. I used to get glimpses of her once in a while. I don’t know if she ever noticed me during that time. Probably not! I was and still an average looking person. With a tan on my brown skin from all the sports during the vacation and my body, a bag of bones, I could hardly catch anybody’s attention. And yeah that uniform made it worse! Life was difficult!

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Weeks passed by. I did find her name after a little research. Also, found that her BFF was in my class. For students with issues caused due to college bus timings and who pulled vehicles our college was allowing them to change their sections. I suddenly saw her sitting in our class after the break on one such day. I was happy. I had not spoken to her, never heard her voice. I don’t know why, but her presence made the difference. Lectures were interesting thereafter. Our college sent an attendance report via mail for parents. My sister was shocked to see 95% attendance and almost disowned me at that moment.

It was strange how things were falling into place. We were in the same practical lab batch. Over the period, we started interacting. I used to do my homework early so that I could answer her doubts. I was unlike myself. Although I didn’t have a cell phone, I gave her my mom’s contact in case she needed any help with assignments ;). We started chatting through SMS. I could only send 10 messages with the plan that my mom had. With few more friends from the lab, we became a group. I knew it was a start of an exciting journey.

We all started hanging out. Our chatting sessions were even longer. During exams, we used to have boys’ night out for studying. Yes, we all know how that works. I still remember those senseless but evergreen conversations we had. Texting friend’s crush from his cell phone, making pranks, that sometimes went wrong: used to be highlights of our night outs. I enjoyed it thoroughly. We were bonding. We were a group that did actually exist beyond WhatsApp or Facebook. We started bunking classes and used to sit under a tree or in the canteen for no reason. But I used to love it. My attendance dropped to 50%. Yes, achievement unlocked!

During the workshops, I used to purposefully find a seat next to her. It was reciprocating. Our conversations never ended. Flirting became an added skill set. Months passed by. Nights were longer and days shorter. It was during winter on one such cold evening, I was laying on the bed and chatting. She told me that she loved me. I immediately ran to see myself in the mirror. I couldn’t believe it. Everything came to a standstill. I could hear the clock ticking. I was smiling constantly. But decided not to answer right away. I asked her to meet me the other day.

In those few months, I lived some of the most beautiful moments in my life. This phase, wherein you get to know the person, and they get to know you, makes it very special. We also try to make conversations, try to impress each other and take extra efforts to make each other feel special. You can feel the tenderness of newly born love.

Little did I know that it was the end of foreplay…

 

fin.

Failure

Before I started to write about it, out of curiosity I just googled “Failure”. Some of the people who know me closely would think I googled it just because I didn’t know its meaning. It says that it is lack of success or the omission of expected or required action. Which is true, I 100 percent agree to it. But is it really? May be literally but when it comes to associating the tag to an individual it means the very first step towards self- evaluation, the very first step towards gathering the lost within and the very first step towards success. I would say that failure is a part of success rather than lack of success.

Everyone has tasted failure in some or the other way. Everyone have their own goal. For example, some students may have a goal just to clear the exam and be contented and others are not contented with 99%. The important thing that defines you is how well you handle that failure. Scoring high in exams have never been what I used to look for. However, my mother used to encourage me to score good marks and be among the toppers. During school days, I used to look forward to the result’s day for each unit test or exam. Our school always used to have those results and parent teachers meeting on Saturday mornings. We used to get those starting lecture periods as off and that allowed us to be on the playground and play football. My elder sister used to tell me stories of successful people who used to be average at scoring but they did well in their lives. I used to be happy if I got good marks but that is not what I used to look for. So even if I was not able to score it wasn’t a failure for me. Failure for me at that time used to be not winning a prize in drawing contest, losing a sports game, not able to lead the troops due to lack of leadership skills. I used to work hard for winning these contests and sports competition.

I cleared my 10th grade with flying colors. It made my family happy, especially mom. I was also admitted to one of the best colleges in my city for the 11th and 12th grade. Everything was on right track. Not everything though, because I was very naïve and shy when it came to interacting with girls. So, I consider that as a failure too on my part as it was a sheer lack of confidence. During that time jobs in engineering had spiked up. Engineering was no more a degree it had become a fad. So, to follow the trend opting for vocational courses during 12th grade was an easy option. It helped to prepare for the entrance exams along with the board exams. That time also saw an increase in the awareness of engineering colleges among youths. Some of the passionate science lovers wanted to go for esteemed institutes like IITs and some just wanted to go for engineering. Also, the most important thing we Indians are good at is finding easy ways to make money. Getting a degree, working for an MNC and making money is no big a deal for us. That is the easiest way to secure your life financially. Making money through your passion involves a lot of hard work which pays off but no, we are lazy.

During my 11th and 12th grade I used to go coaching for my preparation of JEE and AIEEE exams. Most of the portion of the state board used to get covered in that. I was admitted to the AIEEE batch and I wanted to focus on that exam. During the coaching, we used to have exams and tests every week. Our progress, strength, and weakness were tracked using those test scores. I used to be good in Mathematics and Physics because I used to find it interesting. I spent most of the time studying and practicing applications of the concepts. Chemistry was boring and I never developed an interest in it. I always used to score low in chemistry. And this situation prevailed until the finals. I did work on chemistry but it was not enough. The D-day came, I wrote my exam for JEE and AIEEE. I was not satisfied by my answers; I was not confident. You get this feeling of screwing up sometimes, I got that after the exam. All the efforts that I had put in were in vain. I was not able to get in the highly ranked institutions. I was sad. My family was not happy. They did support me during that time. That was the only time I have cried after my exam. It felt bad. And this was the moment when I got the taste of failure. It was bitter.

My parents had promised me a motorbike if I get into a NIT or IIT. Instead of a promise, it was more of a motivation. After I had failed their promise, I was fine with whatever vehicle I was going to get. I never asked for anything after it. From childhood, I always dreamed of taking my mom to places on a motorbike. All those dreams were shattered. Negativity tried to creep in. The only thing that kept me going was myself.

I managed to get into an average engineering school, but that was not what I had dreamed of. I was embarrassed to step into the engineering college I was admitted in. I was broken from inside and nothing was good enough for me. But I knew that it was not an end of everything. There is life beyond that and maybe it will be beautiful. There was hope. I was always taught to keep fighting whatsoever. I knew efforts never go waste. Those concepts that I had learned during those 2 years are still helping me through. The most important thing of all is the realization of it. When I look back to it, I feel that my efforts were less somewhere. I did fall short of some more practice, some for clarity in the concepts. Because if you are not doing it, someone else is doing it for sure. We live in a very competitive world where everybody has similar aims.

Failure should never hold us back. It should be like oxygen to start the fire. The one thing I didn’t do was to speak it out. I urge people nowadays to speak what you feel about whatever is going wrong in life to someone you are comfortable with. They may not give you a solution but you may find it yourself. Football helped me through this situation too. Sports makes your mind fresh. It develops your fighting spirit and spits out the frustration. Just remember there is no shortcut to success. One last thing I would say is “Just believe in yourself and just fucking MAKE IT HAPPEN!!”

Peace.

The Transition of the Millennium

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward

About the previous post, I am grateful that it inspired most of you. And I would appreciate even more feedback coming my way for this post as well. As in the engineering terms, we call it a closed loop. The better the feedback, the better the results.

As a human being, I consider myself lucky enough because I witnessed the change of millennium while stepping into the 20th century. This transition also saw the advancement in the science and technology and saw the degradation of the environment. Time is the most powerful thing. It has the power to heal and the power to aggravate. We human beings are amazing at adapting. Some of the species on earth faced extinction while some over-populated. We never pay attention to these changes. But if we look back in time, we can see that the changes were inevitable and evident.

The major mode of communication until late 90’s was mail or telegraph. Telephone calls were very expensive. I remember people using neighbor’s telephone or the local grocery or daily needs shop to make emergency calls. Owning a private telephone line was a privilege. The rapid growth of technology has changed the way we communicate today. Computers were only seen in the schools and offices. Floppy discs and CD’s were used to store and transfer data. Computers later started becoming powerful and affordable. Free movement of people witnessed a significant increase in numbers within and across the nation.

When I was schooling, I used to play for at least five hours of outdoor games. I have played every single game from marbles to flying and chasing kites and from kho-kho to football. In summer when I used to return home after four hours of cricket, I used to get so tanned that even my mother had problems recognizing me at times. I remember playing cricket matches with the team in the neighboring colony and the winner would keep the “stumper” ball. Breaking the window glasses and fleeing the spot or act as if nothing happened – were some essential traits. From changing and making rules from gully to gully for playing cricket to fighting and cheating for your wicket- have made amazing memories. We didn’t have any cell phones or handy camera to capture those moments. But they are still as fresh as photographs in our mind. Even light outs used to be fun. We used to play hide and seek, chit chat with friends for several hours standing outside and waiting for the electricity to resume.

I never had cable TV until I started my undergrad. So, we only received 2 TV channels: Doordarshan or I call it “Dukhdarshan” and DD Metro. The cartoon programs were only telecasted for an hour or two. And the quality of those cartoon characters and the plot used to be so interesting and wonderful that it never used to bore me. Even, cartoons these days have become dull and are not funny anymore.

People only communicate via the internet which is a smart and fast way but it has its own pros and cons. It has reduced face to face communication. We are getting addicted to our cell phones. The world is on the verge of becoming a slave to technology. I have concerns for our generations to come. During my teenage, I used to visit my friend and we used to talk for hours on different topics. Friends were not just friends, they were family. Nowadays, kids are so engrossed in computers, tablets, and phones, that I fear if they would ever make friends or have time for them. Loneliness rate among individual would rise.

So, instead of becoming slaves to our technology let us make the best out of it. We shall try to preach the best purpose for using the technology to our next generations. Have them set free for few hours and interact face to face with each other. Let them play on the streets, be mischievous. There is no need to be extra cautious if they are playing on the ground and falling, and falling twice. Let them be bold and have some bruises on the skin. Let them experience the harshness of the sun and the sweetness of sugarcane juice. Just don’t let them have the only childhood memory of playing subway surfer.

Peace!

The Upbringing

“They attempt to train and mend your genes and brain so that you are self-sufficient to face the world, the real world. And by ‘They’, I refer to parents, friends, teachers, the place and the person himself.”

Hi again,

Thank you for your feedback on my last post. I really appreciate it. In this blog, I would like to share about my upbringing and how it helped me in the course of time.

                 I was born in the early 90’s. I spent my childhood in a small house on the outskirts of Nagpur city. My family consists of my Mother, Father, and 3 sisters. I was regarded as the blessed child during that time as my parents and my relatives were of the thinking that girls are a burden to the family. But a lot of this has changed over the period. The orthodox thinking has found its way out of our family. So, we were already a big Indian middle-class family at the time I was born. As far as I remember, we used to live in a 1 room tenement which had the kitchen and washroom in the same room. But later we managed to buy the neighbors tenement and expanded to ‘comfortable’ 2 room ‘home’.

               I am sure my childhood was great with my sisters and parents around me. I have vague memories of that house, and it feels good to visit that place. I was admitted to the local nursery school so that I could get the primary education. My mother had always supported and preached the importance of education. My father on the other side was not so motivated about educating us. So there had been many altercations between my parents when it came to such decisions. I and my sisters used to sit in a corner, frightened when this use to happen.  My father, possibly, used to look at it from a financial standpoint as he was the only earning person in the house. My sisters and I are well aware of the sacrifices our parents have made for us. My mother attempted to support him but she also had to look after four kids and the house. Mother is the best teacher you can have in your life. I remember her teaching me how to spell different words in English and punish me, correct me when I was wrong. I wish she could still slap me every time I use wrong English; trust me she will do it if needed. But the roots of that type of learning still exists in me. I have always wanted to be correct to the point. This has helped me throughout my life. There is no ‘it was close to correct’ for me. This applies in personal and professional life too. It has helped me be a better person today.

               The 2 room home helped our family bond together by sharing problems and living closely with each other. It taught us to live with nothing. The fundamental lesson of my upbringing is not to hurt others while we attempt to do something for ourselves or for others. I was then admitted to a convent school. It was mother’s dream to give her children the best education they could. At that time, it was difficult for my parents to pay a sum of 5000 rupees as a donation to the school. My parents had conflicting views about this. But somehow they agreed and made that money available. I regard those 12 years from kindergarten to 10th grade as the best time of my life. I made good friends and shared every single thing right from punishments to homework. And we all had a healthy competition too. That helped me keep myself feel challenged all the time. And in today’s world being competitive is regarded one of the most important traits. I used to do pretty well in my academics but had an inclination towards extra-curricular activities. I used to represent the school in Kho-Kho tournaments. I also used to represent the school in drawing competitions and have won over a hundred competitions overall. So as a kid and a son I surprisingly turned out to be good for my parents. Not excellent, though!

              Our schools were far away from our 2 room house. So for our convenience, my father bought a new 2bhk flat near our schools. He took loans from the bank to pay 2 lac rupees. That was a huge amount for him. But still, he managed somehow. Growing up in 90’s I had the same wish of having a video game as every other child. Once I asked for it. The demand was rejected like girls reject me, without even a little consideration. As a child, I was not adamant at all. Actually, I and my sisters were not allowed to be stubborn. The main reason being, it is not a good habit. I thank my parents for giving it to me. I sometimes used to get a beating from my mother because of my misbehavior. But now, when I see my nephews I get jealous of them as their parents are so easy on them. If they ask for mobile phones they get it with ease. I got my first cellphone during my undergrad. The new generation has started from a very modernized era. I understand that. But I am still against the ease of getting things for them. Make it little difficult for them to get things. The more the ease the more the abuse of it. I urge to the new parents or soon to be, to make sure that you start instilling these small but very important values in your child. Preach them the joy of sharing, the evils of selfishness and the kindness of forgiving.  And also a little beating for wrong things and strictness would never hurt. Not every child will be disobeying.  But just from what I have felt about me, I think that those beating and scolding for stubbornness and acts of indiscipline were worth it.

                I was always taught to be forgiving. But at the same time never absorb any wrong thing done to you. Always fight and ask for it. I was taught to be expressive and never to leave any gray areas or any unknowns for people to decode. Because: different people, different logic, and different results. During my 9th grade, I lost 0.5 marks for incorrect fill in the blank answer. My mom took me to the concerned teacher and asked her why the question was asked from digest and not from the book. My mom never encouraged me to read digest or any sort of studying aide out of the preferred book. She always wanted me to be thorough with my books. The teacher had to give that 0.5 marks to me. My mom always wins such debates. As uncaring as I was for my marks, she proved the point to fight for the right things. But I never chased numbers on my exam papers. I never complained about the totaling mistake on answer papers. I always had one thing in my mind that I have learned something and that was the reward for me.

                 My parents still live in the 2 BHK flat, where everyone in the neighborhood knows who visits and leave everyone’s house. They could have even bought a bigger house but they didn’t, just for their children. And this is something very important to me. The smile on their faces defines success to me. Whenever I visit India, the house reminds me to be grounded and aim high. And all these values, these teachings from parents, teachers, bits of advice from friends play a major role in your life. They help you to guide your thinking process. They help make your decisions. They help you take the risk and believe in yourselves. I believe everyone has their own exciting stories about their upbringing, so please cherish those moments and pass on the torch of your learnings through it to the next generation.

Thanks,

Born-wise

 

Why Born-Wise?

When in life you have a freefall and you are clueless about the fall, the foundation of family and friends cushions you and helps you to grow your wings. But when you are far away from them during the fall, it’s the inside courage-springs that help you bounce back.”

Namaste! 

First of all, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Aditya Pant, I work as a Manufacturing Engineer in Michigan, US. I have spent most of life in India and moved to States to complete my Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Yes, as boring as it may sound I am an Engineer from India. But, trust me I am enjoying my job right now, my very first job. Why am I even mentioning this in the very first paragraph? Maybe I don’t know how to write or begin. Maybe I have no clue. But in my life, this is the first time I am expressing myself, a true myself! 

I decided to start this blog because I wanted to start doing something, productive or not, but some work, apart from professional work. About my professional work: I am killing it right now! But when I am on the way back to home after work, I seem kind of depressed about myself. The reason being I don’t do much after I am back from work and it pinches me inside. I am a firm believer in tackling problems by openly talking about it. And expression is the key to surface problems in order to solve them. I was talking with my friend one such evening about life. Yes, one of those deep conversations with that specific friend. She was seeking help regarding some issues in her life. I am a very jovial person and like to joke, even in a very serious moment. Not because I want to be mean but because I believe in taking some heat out of the moment. Also as I gave her some advice, she asked me how come you grew so wise? And I replied I was born wise…

Here, I would like to share some of the stories and experiences that led me to take certain decisions in all aspects of life from love-hate, fear-courage, personal and professional. I would also like to put forth my views on my upbringing, different cultures that I have experienced and traveled through. I hope you all like it and if I am able to help motivate or change for the good within you, it will make me happier. 

Please feel free to share your views and thoughts on what you think about it. 

Dhanyawad!

PS: It took me 1 month to write this.

PPS: Not because of editing or thinking. But, I am lazy!