By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]

This is all I see

I just realized: The world is desperately seeking avenues to tell me just one thing:

Find your true calling

Everywhere I see, I see a sign from the skies, urging me to follow my heart. Ranging from the sites I surf, to the mails I get, to the talks I hear, to the people I meet, to the thoughts that these spawn - all I see is this. Why? I dont know!

PS. This post is from a new tool I just downloaded called w.bloggar. Cool one!

I don't control my life

I am listening to Coldplay's 'What if' from their new album X & Y.

What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side
That you don't want me there in your life

This essentially means, I don't control my life (atleast a part of it).
If you decide that I shouldn't be there by your side, I cannot. That is the futility of my effort. Why should I even try?

The confluence that faded away

One year ago: Oasis 2004 - The Annual Cultural Fest of BITS Pilani was a couple of days due. I was running around the whole of the institute building, meeting scores of people, thinking of insane stuff in the name of creativity, working on Flash presentations, updating process status docs, getting things in place for an event, and in my free time (which was reduced to a blimp in the space of time) thinking about Z. It was Prayag - a first date with entrepreneurship, an event organized by CEL here. I was the Logistics Co-ordinator and I was a damn busy man.

Today: A couple of days to go for Oasis 2005. Its crossed 4 AM in the morning. I am sitting in front of my computer, shamelessly browsing, GTalking, flicking through pages of Dilbert - I am alone. Out there, I see a whole group of people running around in fervent ardor to make yet another Oasis a success. To me, it has been a case of 'been-there-done-that'. Yet, I miss those days. The work I had kept me busy and made me happy. Not that I have work now (I can list down names of atleast a dozen books that I need to cram), but it isn't what I would want to do now. I just read Anand's post on his last Oasis, and those visions just crossed my mind. I don't know what this Oasis holds for me (as I sit here hopelessly and shamelessly jobless), but all that I can say with conviction is that I will certainly miss -

  • 3201 whacko sessions - carefully masked as 'creative sessions'
  • Sleepless nights conceptualizing 'Entretainment'
  • Harsha's ramblings after his cough-syrup overdose
  • Srevats - the legend and his trademark enthusiasm
  • Anand and his confessions
  • That eerie walk with Anand, Uzma and UdKi
  • The laptop breakdown during 'Entretainment' and Anand's mental breakdown
  • 'Do you want to sit here?'
  • The dancefloor and the mood-swings
  • Anil and the girl in Blue
  • Vox Populi with Uzma, and the block-and-tackle round
  • Dance at the Dhaba
  • On stage at OQ
  • 'Darkness' and how I was ditched by everybody
  • Srevats' spooky stories
  • Rock show and Uzma, Anand dozing off

Yes, Prayag was a confluence in its entirety. A confluence of great people, great minds and loads of fun and memories. And true, it has faded away, only to remain as a memory in our hearts. Sometimes, I do wonder, whether I took the right decision in calling off Prayag, but then, it was simply not possible this time to take Prayag to greater heights, and I hate to do an event again - at the same level as the last time.

Burn a thinkpad ...

The first thing I decided, I would do after I save some money during my internship in my final year - was to buy myself a laptop. Far-fetched plans, but it feels good to think of the day when I can buy myself something from greenbacks that I earn. But, just after I was following up on the IIPM issue that I blogged about, I came across this really insane threat on a posting on Gaurav's blog.

Well, to cut things short, Gaurav (an IBM employee) is the blogger who first placed links on to Jammag's article regarding IIPM, and questioned Arindham Chaudhuri's credentials. So, IIPM threatens to slap a Rs.125-crore lawsuit against Gaurav if he did not withdraw his posts and make fellow-bloggers do the same. Obviosuly, Gaurav didn't give a damn, until his IBM manager called him up saying that the IIPM Dean threatened that IIPM students would burn Thinkpads in front of IBM's office if they did not take action against Gaurav. So, Garurav out of respect to IBM (and of no pressure from IBM) resigns from his job. And upholds 'Free Speech'.

IIPM has lost all the remaining grains of respect that I had for it. If such is the case with institutions that churn out so-called MBAs, then may I pray for the future of corporate India.

IIPM busted

Gaurav Sabnis writes in Vantage point: The fraud that is IIPM about the IIPM issue that is haunting the blogosphere these days. Earlier in the day, Dilip called me up about his upcoming visit to BITS, and he spoke to me abou this. Though I had vaguely heard of Rashmi Bansal of JAM being involved in some trouble with IIPM, I just got to know of the huge mess that has surfaced.

So, finally, it does not make much of a difference to my opinion. I always felt that the IIPMs were just barking dogs and were no way what they claimed. I met some IIPM students last year in BITS, and they were decent - not bad. Pretty good I must say, because they were good at debating, quizzing to a certain extent as well. Maybe they were the best of the lot. I also remember during my first year, there was a mock CAT test and an orientation session which followed it - during which some student asked the guest speaker whether IIPM must be on his wish-list of Univs. Pat had come the reply -

It would be a sin for a BITSian to aim as low as IIPM
That really showed what the industry and the academic circles viewed IIPM as.

Then comes the pony-tailed hero (is he still one?) - Arindham Chaudhary. Hadn't really observed - but his credentials haven't been made public at all. But who gives a damn - his book is pretty much decent (certainly not as good as it has been hyped). Who knows whether it was him who actually wrote the book !! Btw How is Planman Consulting doing? As far as I heard - its following a weird path. If I am not wrong they are getting into the movie biz (or probably they are already in!). Insanity prevails!

The best thing about all this hulla-bullah:
No more full-page ads in the newspapers titled 'Dare to think beyond the IIMs' !

And the questioning resurfaces ...

I remember my musings on a diesel locomotive, that I blogged about some time back about my train journey from Bangalore to Mysore on a rusty weeekend. It was Deja Vu last Friday. The questioning resurfaced.

Why on Sweet Lord's Earth am I racking my head on cryptography and field programmable gate arrays and silicon wafers? Why am I cribbing that I will score less than 10% in my mid-term tests? Why am I slooging with the dream to pack off for grad studies to some foreign Univ? Why......When all I did after coming back from Garinda was weep within myself.

Yes. My heart still skips a beat when those images of that girl with brown teeth flashes in front of my inner eye. If only I had a cam then, could I have taken a snap and shared it with all of you. Last Friday, I accompanied some of my friends (most of them part of the Rural Entrepreneurship Division of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, here at BITS Pilani). As I boarded the chug-chug auto (or phat-phati as it is better known as), little did I think of what I would see there. As we slowly made our way through the dry fields of one of the most backward districts of Rajasthan, all I could feel is heat, and a certain emptiness. We were headed there to resurrect a Vocational training centre for women at this village called Garinda. This was part of the activities of CEL, BITS-Pilani. And, as we reached the place, about a dozen kilometres away from BITS, we were led to a room which was just cleaned, as we were expected there. And, then the women started pouring in to register for vocational training. We conducted a socio-econommic survey of the women. I administered the survey on 5 women of them 3 were girls (below 18), and one was 60+. Despite the language barrier, I went on, and with every reply from them, the urge in me grew - the urge to run outside, kneel down, and yell at the top of my voice at the sky, and cry my heart out. For the first time in my life, I saw right in front of my eyes, the true grim face of poverty, of suffering. Especially the young girls, I wept within myself at the gross disparity in our country which isolated them from the rest of the world. They were all being consumed by a life of slow decay.

We were treated like messiahs. We were showered by buttermilk, rotis, curries, fruits, grains, and what not. I still remember the words of Savitri -

Aap bhi mere bachche hi hey na (After all, you are also my children)

when she was serving us food. That morsel struggled to make it down my throat.

And now, that I sit in the comfort of my room with DreamTheater's 'Change of Seasons' playing in my neighbor's room,
  • I marvel at the change in myself
  • I weep at my apathy to my society
  • I mould that urge to give back to my country
  • I nurse the hope of seeing that girl who said she was forced to drop out of school as the school was far off - as a proud mother of two well-educated children
  • I presume my education will help me bring about a 10X change in the heart of poverty.

I rest my post.

PS - One thing that surely has to be up here is what happened after the whole day. I sat and put a night-out preparing a paper that I had just conceptualized. It's amazing how my mind can make that transition from chaos to serenity and vice versa.


This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.


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