Envy my International Travel List? Read on for a Smile!:-)

I have been lucky enough to have got an opportunity to travel across to 35 countries for work & pleasure. Even today, I travel almost 2 weeks a month from Asia to Africa to North America. The list of the countries that I have traveled to can be a tad long but it makes for a very attractive read and makes lot of my friends & acquaintances jealous. It is quite normal for people to come over to me and compare me to Ranbir Kapoor of Yeh Jawani hai Diwani(Bollywood Hot Movie) and particularly to the below song;


While, I appreciate their generosity and kindness- to tell you the truth sometimes during my travels the song that I can best relate to is the below one;


Hope it brought a smile on your face!:-)




X=X/2 or X=2X? What is your Equation of Success?

This post is a continuation of my previous post “With love- to all my Grade 12 parents”

I have already shared with you the story of the boy who was forced to choose science by his parents even though his interest lay in another field which definitely was not science but he was not able to point out what he actually wanted to do in life.

I gave him and his parents the following simple equation for choosing careers;

X= X/2

X= 2X

Where X is the amount of efforts you put in a subject.

I asked the boy to apply this equation to some of the subjects he is studying in his class as of now and analyze the results. This is what he came up with;

Subject Effort Return
English X 2X
Maths 2X X/2 or even X/4
Science 2X X
History X 2X

You do not need to be a Rocket Scientist to analyze the above the data- do you? 

When I discussed the above table with the boy the following highlights came up;

  1. The boy loved studying English & History and he said the results he got in English and History were always double of the efforts he put in
  2. The boy was okay in Maths & Science and was even putting extra efforts in the same subjects but the results he was getting were either half or less than half of the efforts that he was putting in

Then, I came up to the next important question for him & his parents when you could clearly see the equation of success pointing towards his aptitude being for either English or History- why were they not pursuing it?

And, I got an answer that left me a little disappointed but not shocked. What was it?

To be followed!

With Love- To all my Grade 12 Parents!




Tomorrow, is Grade 12 results for CBSE students in India. Tomorrow, is a day when many of the students I have met the year long will be finally getting their results of all the hard work that they have put in the year. I must also mention here the parents who are eagerly looking forward to tomorrow and in some cases their level of stress and anxiety is more than that of the kids themselves-Big day right?

Tomorrow, is also, the day when new achievers will be named and celebrated- District Toppers, School Toppers, State Toppers and National Toppers. These top 1% students will be covered in Media, Feted by their respective Schools, Teachers and even Government. Kudos to you and must say well deserved. I am sure your parents/families will be really proud of you.

If you do the maths close to 1 Million students have written the CBSE exam this year out of which only Top 1% will be celebrated which means some where around 10,000 of them. These Top 1% would have their life/career paths set and future already secured in some of the countries best colleges but my concern lies with what happens with the balance 9,90,000 students who may be branded as failures by not only the people around them but sadly in many cases by themselves because the moment the students do not get the correct percentile right to the correct decimal places- the student start questioning themselves- Am I good enough? Am I made for the field I really think I am good in?

I had this student with me last year who had given his grade 12 exam in Sciences and wanted to be an Engineer. Full of life and energy- Really creative and a good writer. Give him a 1000 word essay to write and he would come up with one of the best ones in the class and although, I could clearly see that,  his strengths lay in a creative field but he still wanted to be an engineer- not because he wanted to be one but because his “Parents” wanted it for him. Sounds familiar? Result- Disappointment. His science result was average and not the one, that could get him a seat in one of the good engineering colleges. So he opted for the second option- doing a science degree from one of the regional colleges. Result- again disappointment & heart burn. 

The family reached out to me and requested me for a counseling of the student- what I told them left them a little shocked- I said, leave the student- I want to counsel you first!

-to be followed.


Why I love Calvin & Hobbes??

Calvin and Hobbes is what I turn to remember that there is more to life even when things do not go my way. Nothing beats the simplicity and the energy with which Calvin questions our hypocrisy, ignorance and selfishness of the things we as human beings do in Life. He brings about a fresh air of excitement & positive energy to sometimes dull and challenging world around me.

I discovered Calvin late in my life, I think I was about 24 years old when I had my first encounter with him and I guess it was love at first sight. I never felt I am too old to read Calvin, it just sounded so relevant to me and my life. The witty humor with which Calvin handled and questioned most of the things around him not only made me laugh but also think on those issues-Why we are supposed to do certain things because everyone else around us is doing it and they say it is the right and only thing to do?

I felt a deep urge as to say, where were you all those years? Why did not I check up on you in my school library? I guess the feeling was similar to when you meet a long forgotten friend after many years, strong emotions with a promise that I will never let you go anywhere again:-)

I have so many of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes strips that I seem to have lost count but I certainly love his take on education system & the objective of our life’s. I am sure it took a fantastic cartoonist in Mr. Bill Watterson to bring Calvin and Hobbes to life on paper but even more impressive is his play with words to communicate his views on such complex topics of our life’s in such lucid and engaging fashion that you cannot but relate to it no matter what your age group or from which country you come from.

I think the below video essay also beautifully summarizes why Calvin and Hobbes have been so loved over the years and why they are as relevant today as they were when they first came along.


I could not resist writing my viewpoint on Calvin and Hobbes after seeing this short video and I hope you will like it too. Thank you to Ananth Padmanabhan who first tweeted about this video link early morning today providing me the motivation to write this piece in the first place. The video is done by KaptainKristian and it appeared  over here on Slate.

Keep Reading!




Business as Usual-A Callous Indian!

Indian Army Martyr Salute, Siachen

It was just another day for me as I started my travel from home towards my office. I usually drive but this day was a little different as I had to face the added puzzle of solving whether to take my odd or even car today. I live about 35 Kms from my work place and drive every day.

The puzzle sorted, I tuned into the Radio, listening to some Bollywood/Punjabi music and yes, the usual cribbing of Delhi walas on the local issue of the day. This day like for the past so many days, the cribbing was on Odd/Even Formula with people speaking for or against it and our RJ’s getting their content for the day. So, it was business as usual you can say.

But, then suddenly something happened. One of the RJ from a radio channel talked about the ongoing Indian Army operations in Pathankot and about our soldiers who were martyred in the line of duty. She talked about a Commando who got married only 25 days back, a Commando who has a 2.5 year old daughter and a wife at home and many such stories of our soldiers who have been martyred in the last couple of days in the line of duty. I had been following this news for last couple of days myself in the middle pages of TOI but when she talked about them directly and in the silence of the car, A chill ran down my spine,  just to imagine what their families will be going through now and how we as citizens are so casual about our soldiers who make the supreme sacrifices for us.

No candle light vigils? No Intellectuals talking about them? No Social Media updates? No Prime Time Debates? No Documentaries? It is as if writing about them is not cool.It is as if we have taken them for granted; it is part of their job description, so no need to give special attention or focus to them. Render them to the end pages of a news paper, give them condolence message and then forget about them. Move to the next crisis…

I felt ashamed. I wanted to jump out of my car, shout out loud, run to the battle front…Do something to show that I cared. I could not think of anything, tears came down my eyes, I did not know what to do and then I saw people around me, all of them were running for their daily chores, I could see that I was not the only one who was so callous that even the supreme sacrifices of our soldiers were rendered at not a high priority topic but something bad that had happened in the midst of so many bad things that happen to us Indians every day. The most recent and high priority of those for us is the Odd/Even Formula that is until we move to the next crisis maybe what an actor or actress says and we keep fighting on his views for next 15 days..At the end of the days, we are all Indians who have become a little callous. That is it and nothing much.

Sorry for my grammar, tone and typos. This is a work of my pure emotions.



Questions you must ask a University Representative!

Me with the lovely smiles of Indian School, Ibri(Muscat, Oman)

I have been working in Higher Education space for close to 5 years now. Have traveled to more than 25+ countries to counsel parents & students on various higher education courses on offer. It is really interesting how the conversation goes when a prospective applicant comes to me for an inquiry. Most of the time it goes like this;

Q. Do you have blah blah engineering/medicine course?

Q. What is your entry requirement?

Q. What is your Fee?

Q. What is the “Average Salary” offered to your Graduates?

Full Stop Coma. No further questions asked.

So, in order to help my prospective students in being better questioners, I have put a list of question below which I think you must ask any University representative while looking to make your important career decisions;

Q1.) What are the undergraduate programs that you offer?

Q2.) What is the key difference between your University programs and others?

Q3.) Who are the key stake holders in your University? (Founders/ Faculty)

Q4.) How do you prepare your students for Life?

Q5.) Who will be the peers my child will be studying with?

Q6.) How is the life on campus for students?

Q7.) What are the scholarship opportunities available?

Hope this helps!



To act or not to act!

To be or not to be! were the lines with which Shakespeare began Hamlet and today, I ask this question again a little tweaked for the times we live in, so here it is my friends, a question that we come across everyday in our life’s- ” To act or not to act”!

Coming daily from home to office;

I come across numerous instances;

where my conscious decides in a split second;

To act or not to act;

Two people were fighting on the road;

A rich brat with a car was beating the daylight of a auto driver;

People were gathered around him to watch the free Indian tamasha;

And, I choose not to act;

As I drove on I passed through an old part of the city;

An area which is full of garbage and people forced to relieve themselves in the open;

I contemplated for a moment to do something about it but finally, I choose not to act;

As I came closer to my office on a traffic light;

A child not more than 10 years old came up to my car;

Looked at me and started begging for some loose change;

Again I contemplated doing something  but again, I choose not to act;

And, finally when I entered office lost in my thoughts;

Ignorant to the quarterly review meeting that lay ahead of me;

Where a few excel sheets and power points define who I am;

I wanted to shout out loud but I choose- not to act!