Friday, June 20, 2014

Letter to Arvind Kejriwal :: Looking for a Better Governance

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Engineering College: Really tuff to get into :-)

I scored around 82% in my 12th class. I appeared for most of the entrance exams I could. I always worked for MCQs so as the results were out… I got 790 rank in DCE but I got better ranks in UP and MP entrances and I wanted to go for computers/IT and computers seats normally just fills in about 150+ ranks in DCE so not hops there. I was ready to explore then next in canceling dates...UPSEAT… my rank was good so it was the second day of counseling and I was at IT College, Lucknow with my father. We reached the second day since my rank was good there and we got to know that we need to get a DD instead of cash so we got our DD ready in noon time and kept waiting for turn. Finally, my turn came around 11 PM and there were lot of free seats available… I happily opted for a free seat for computers in one of the government college and felt like life is all set now. The counselor took some time and then told me that only domiciles (people who are born or have their parents living in UP) are eligible for the free seats which I was never aware of and it was never mentioned in the entrance exam Boucher also…. It was like a shock for me and dad as we have been waiting for our chance since morning. I was born in UP however if I was aware of this fact I would have got the domiciliary proof however now it’s too late and no time to get proof since counselling will be over in next couple of days and all seats will be filled up. I realized it was a real bad decision to leave DCE seat for a computers branch…everything in life ends on a beautiful note… so if it is not beautiful then it is not the end… The next day we got our DD cancelled and then we came back to Delhi… Now our next stop was MP… and we are preparing our tour’de’ MP university. We already knew the place to stay in MP… my grandfather had few friends there so this time he went with me to MP instead of Dad so that he can also meet his old time friends… we reached the beautiful capital of MP…. BHOPAL…the place to stay was not very far away from the station…we got a bus no 9 to reach Arara colony, one of the posh societies of Bhopal… we spent a day there since we had appointment for next day. We checked with local helpdesk on how to reach our counselling office… next day we were moving to the IT college, Bhopal.. It was the month of September when spring was sets in… Bhopal is a real beautiful and nice city to see at that time…all lush green and we passed by those 2 lakes which makes it even more beautiful city. We got a cab from there to go to RangShala where we wanted to meet one of the professors at REC college for understanding the education system in MP…after the talk we moved to IT college by another Bus….once I reached there I liked the way things were moving and it looked quite professional attitude from the authorities there…anyways we went into a big open counselling area… there was a big display screen with college name, branch and seats available… I was very happy to see a lot of free seats available in few government colleges… I had a list of college I made after discussion with professor. Finally my turn came in and I chose the computer branch instantly without second thought. I felt luckily to get a seat for IT in REC College... I was really happy and my grandfather was also good with seat selection… We returned home happily… we got a train from HabibGanj station… we reached delhi and luckily it was the time for Tika (like rakhi) in Delhi where 4 of our extended families was gathered for celebration…as they came to know I have chosen computer as a branch I could feel a collective resistance from all of them since none of them had used or seen computer until that tiem in life and they were not so common…Ultimately, we made up mind to move to MP again and choose Mechanical branch… the very next day we were on the station again for the train to MP… we got a ticket with almost the last number in the waiting list….an un-reserved coach…. We paid some amount to TT to get single seat… next morning we reached MP and again started out journey to IT College… we reached there and it was the last day for admission and almost all the seats were finished… in prefer to wait for an year rather than getting payment seat in newly build college…we went to surrender my seat…. what??? Was the reaction of person whom I asked for surrender… after all it was a Free seat with lowest fee in Government College. He looked at me as I am going for a sin act… however he confirmed once more… and I said yes with a heavy heart.. J… We got our DD back… it we had been late by a single day then we need to go to the college to get the DD and other documents. As soon as the person cancelled my seat, I saw the 1 against the college, IT branch… it did not take more than 3 seconds for counter to get back to 0….I was like dead and not able to think what have I done… anyways one always realizes the damage once it is done…I was not sure why I could not resist this decision by my family.. One of the facts was even I was not sure what is happening… I just kept following that others suggested…anyways, we moved back to Delhi… I was a little low however I was always an optimistic person and never cribbed about life…whatever came to me I accepted, whenever I wanted something I pushed my all power for it.. I think that is the real strength of my character… so when people think something is all over I work on it and get it done… therefore as per my nature, I started preparing for GATE and was planning to enroll for the One year course for next year entrance exams… I almost made up my mind for next year and I got something to cheer about again…It was third day only after all of the pain when I heard about a new university… Indraprastha University... I filled up the exam and within 2 weeks we got the results and the counseling dates... I was invited for second day for ranks 250 until 500 and y rank was 490…I was sitting there since morning and my parent joined me in the evening… I was surprised to hear that 24 people got the same marks but as I was having letter starting with V I got the rank as 490… My hard luck the last free seat for IT was over by 480… I wish I had a name starting with AAA so that I would have got the IT Free seat… however our fate is already decided so no point cribbing and lets go was my, mother and dad there and three of us were really confused as we were not able to decide which branch to opt for…I left my MP seat for getting a Mechanical Branch Free Seat (as everyone was telling its ever green and never gets you out of jobs in market), second was an Free Electrical seat which none of knew and wanted to opt for for and third was paid seats for IT... When we were fighting with all thoughts and my turn was about to come in next 10 mins my father came back with and old person who was also there for his some relative. Dad already had a detailed talk with the person before they arrived. Me and mom did not know who he was and dad told that he is suggesting to take IT since it will help us in future... We were all confused and since none of my parent were from engineering back ground, his words really counted a lot for all of us. Those 10 misn were where my fate was stamped again (i already told its decided already what we will do in life so this is just s stamping for it)... he said to my father “If you chose IT you will do something for you son and trust me you will not regret your decision”. We surrendered to his magical voice and those were the golden words of my life…Our minds were all thinking of Paid IT seat only and I was standing waiting for my turn (to be called in next 5 mins), my parents were standing little away and thinking of how to pay 80k per year which was my fee. I looked at them and the smiled at me and dad came to me. my name was called and we went to the desk and when he asked for a seat I was still confused but my father said in bold voice with a sense of pride looking at me.. IT seat.. Paid IT seat.. is that really what I heard and my father just gave his go ahead.. I was like shocked and could not express my happiness.. that person who guided us was not there.. may be he was an angle sent for us to decide my our lives.. we opted for IT branch and my new Identity was 99/GT/IT/43 for next 4 years to come…
we came out of counseling hall with lot of relief and happiness and we got onto my dad's scooter which on that day did not feel like having any trouble else I will keep cursing that scooter for bad breaks, loose clutch and as usual missing gears.. 
That day was one of the moment of pride for me again that my father bet his life's earning to make my career and to get me what I asked him silently. He did not show any emotions or happiness but I could feel the pride feeling and happiness he had in his heart with sense of achievement like any other parent that his son will not be an Engineer.. I was one of the First to be Engineer in my entire Family.
We all drove home by 11 pm and my Grandfather who will normally have his dinner around 9 PM as daily ritual was still waiting for us. He was all really happy to hear the news and higher pride since both his son and grandson have done something that no one has done in our family yet.. He was in army so came and shook hands firmly and said "good done engineer varun sharma" and we saluted each other in his army style. I touched his feet and he hugged and blessed me and then we had dinner together and it was end of a tiring, stressful, happy, relieving day so a Day Full of Emotional ups and down and I still thank that Angle professor to help us get where I am today in life.
I realize that I am not the first person in world who got into an engineering college with a lot of difficulties/hiccups. I could understand that reason for all this hassle was lack of awareness about engineering colleges in India both for me and my family, not having career counseling at primary level (which could happen in 12th class), the state wise entrance exams where one does now know which university is better and which all exams one should apply as fees for each exam is not less than 1000 rs.…Today the selection process is limited to colleges in a state, however I believe one day it will become - a country wide selection criterion rather than state wise and this help those who cannot really afford to appear for multiple exams...
Having gone though all this, I associated with an NGO where I do this kind of counseling to help people understand what they can excel in... Depending upon their interest, family status etc... I believe I should help others so that people should know what is smart way to earn good in life..
In last, I am really thankful to my parents who supported me for my studies. It is all the result of pain that we all bore during our studies that I and my brother are in a good position. All we are today is because of my parent dedication, hard work and they wanted their children to study and become something to be proud of. I am there are still milestones to achieve... :-)

B Sc in 3 Days

I could recollect a short but unmemorable incident. Just the next day, I came back to Delhi with broken heart and shattered dreams of getting into an engineering college I saw and advertisement in newspaper for last few seats available in Shivaji College. With a though, what will happen if I do not get a seat even next year??? I decided to take a seat in the college so that I do not make it even next year at least I finish of bachelors of sciences in a good subject. Therefore, I picked up my bag and went straight to the college immediately. I was good in mathematics however not very strong in physics so I thought if I take physics honors it will help me to improve my physics therefore I selected to go for Physics honors. I filled up the form for physics honors and then went to the physics HOD… Mr. P K … he was a man who never opened his tooth so looks like he is always smiling. I went to him and there were few other students as this was the only college which had seats available. He had mark sheets for all the students. I greeted him and slowly pushed my documents to him. He had a look at the marks and was straight away asked me why am I coming for admission now. I could not tell him and I was roaming around the country for admission in engineering colleges when I got my name in first list for admission for most of the colleges I applied. I told him that I was sick and could not apply for admission and got late. He had only 2 seats available so he asked me for a commitment for not leaving the seat a later stage …. May be he was also aware of the fact that people leave off after 1st year once they get selected in engineering…therefore he agreed and signed on the admission form and asked me to submit the fees… as I immediately moved to college in the morning so I was not carry so much cash… I decided to pay the fee next day and came back home… now when I reached home everyone told that who cares for physics??? So I now want to move to mathematics honors…next day I was back in college with fee and this time I went straight to the Maths HOD for getting into Maths honors… he asked me to get the NOC from the physics and then he can get me in Maths… I went to PK sir again and I told him what my parents wants... He would have been much annoyed however cos of his face it looked he was smiling... I forward him the application for signing and providing me the NOC…his voice got harder and straight away refused me for NOC… I was much worried as this is the only college where I was about to get admission… I went to the Maths HOD again and told him the case... he told me to cancel my admission and then apply again. I told him that I have not submitted the form as I did not have the fee other day…. I laughed at me and told me that I am trying to change thing which I do not have… I am trying to change the stream when I am not admitted to college yet… I just had the filed form in my hand…. this struck like an idea… I just tore off that form and picked up a new form… got it approved from HOD Maths and then submitted the fee again… this way I got admission in to B Sc honors (Maths) finally… this all happened in just 3 days and next I had my IP entrance exams the next week.

Panga with boss@school

Life was getting better and I was happy with my studies however the greatest pain was English or I should thank my teacher who always stressed on newspaper and not the text books. In fact, my exams used to be from the newspaper. I was a little surprised however I realized this once I got into 12th class and all of us would know things that were difficult for a normal person. I passed out my 11th easily with better scores and then I was happy with my performance as well. One fine day I was returning from ED class and I had few chalk pieces in my hand. As usual being naughty and full of energy, I kicked a piece and it went to the garden,.. then second.. then third but what is the problem with dam fourth one.. i missed it once.. i picked it again and kicked again.. it went straight through a windows....guess what.. it hit the physics teacher table through the windows of physics lab…. I was like dead numb… no action no reaction...suddenly I heard a shrill sound who is this? I woke up as the the sound hit my ear drum.... I entered the room and I was standing in front of the physics teacher…. This is for the first time I was in front of the teacher something I did by mistake… I could not utter a single word...standing like a live statue… she kept asking me question and I could not reply.. she said if I am a dead person … which school I come from… what have my parent thought me.. rest I just could not hear... as they could not get through my ears… the fact was she is my class teacher.... I was literally about to cry when she told me to get out… thanks there was no one else the assistant... I came out of the lab moved to the class room and behaved as nothing has happened but i was afraid from inside and trying to clam down an concentrate on the next class... the Maths class.... I came home and then I was thinking of the options to patch up…. The next morning I went to temple… got some good prasadam (with coconuts and fry fruits..)… The first thing i did at school was to go straight to physics lab and offered her the prasadam ... and before she could resist further I said her sorry about the incidence.. she took is lightly and told me to take care in future.. I was happier now… this... that day i realized that reacting and handling sharply to vivid situations is the born nature of a north Indian... or and best way to get close to some one is either by food or by respect. I tried both and they worked.. born Delhities- know how to please people... anyway now my life was a little cool and i was comfortable now..

School days:First ever bunk of my life

Someone rightly said that we should try all sorts of things in our school life else there is not time to go back… so it was our internal examination (2nd sessional) and I was done with my physics exam... next day was the chemistry exams which was the most horrible one for me…. I never understood any part of it… could never imagine which molecule joins with other and why and all able the chemical equations… so organic chemistry was a real mystery for me…and always mugged up the formals but every time I prepare for exams I totally rely on the non-organic (the numerical and non-chemical equation) for better marks. So it was around 11 when I was done with the exams.. People who had their own ways of commuting were allowed to go out and rest were to wait for their school but which comes at 2 PM… I had a lot to cover for exams so I thought I could take some rest in the afternoon and then study… I could not find a reason why I (along with some other people) was not allowed to move home… a crap, non-convincing reason being SCHOOL BUS… Four of us Abhishek, Rahul, Puneet and I decided for a run away… I do not know how I got the guts to do… and my mind was totally in a different level…anyways we headed to the school ground which was surrounded by a 5 feet uniform wall around… As we approached towards the wall we saw out PT teacher taking a round… our image was of innocent guys to he told all of us to go and sit quietly in the class…. We followed his words and move back to the class./. my school’s shape was like 2 squares separated by an aisle with one square as complete playground and the other square had classrooms on the sides with garden in between…so even in rains you could go around school without getting wet… so the front side was where the buses will drop you and you enter the school…this face had the main entrance, the principle room and then a back side of the library from right to left (all from later square).... due to power cuts a generator room was under construction just where the aisle ends on the front side.. now as the wall was almost complete and only bamboos were left used to reach upper portions during construction… so we were marched out of ground so our plan 1 failed terribly… now as we were crossing from the playground to the main section Abhishek noticed the newly constructed wall on the front face (with height around 5 feet)… he stopped there for a while and none of us could imagine what was in his mind…he said “got the way out”. We all said are you kidding… first of all the wall is just finished and it had a very small hole… hardly a diameter of 2 meters... then it is just adjacent to the principle office..and over and above we were in the center and all it lands to the open area and to go home we will pass through the front gate (which was on extreme right) where the peon was sitting… he started moving and we also followed him until we were about 10 feets from the wall…we were in the shade of library so peon sitting on the other corner could not see us… Abhi just went and hit the wall and 4-5 more bricks fell out of the wall on the other side…. I closed my eyes… I heard the thud (though it was not very loud) and it seemed the wall has crippled but then I opened the eyes and there was a hole now enough for us to escape… I could see Abhi running towards the other side and the peon rushing to unlock the main gate to catch him.. as we saw peon running to the right side and we were in the middle we also rushed and in a matter of 5 seconds we all were standing out of the school… now if we move right (the way Abhi went) peon will catch us.. if we move to left then PT teacher will get us as he heard the peon shout but this time.. so we had 2 options either get back to school and tell Abhi has done all this and we were just standing there… or we could run straight in last fourth direction… we had to run and we decided to take the 4th path…. The Straight one… we knew that it lends to the other part but none of us went there anytime… to our surprise it was all an army area.. we tried our best to find the path and in the end we followed a straight road that got us to a main road… we realized that after good 3 hours tiring walk we reached 6 Kilometers further away from our homes.. in totally reverse direction… now three of use were looking at each others face and laughing loud… with thick physics books in our hand… people around must be thinking that we went mad after studying such thick books.. we it was us who knew the reality so to avoid a wait of 1.5 hours we wasted 3 hours and another 1 hour to reach home… I was really tired and had a good sleep…next day we met again in school… I was afraid until Rahul came and notoriously told me that 4 students ran from school yesterday (he was on of them BTW) but no one saw the face of students.. he told that Abhi reached home in time and it is only 3 of us who did some jungle discovery…J..This was relaxing and we were walking again with pumped up chest.. Abhi and all others were already sitting around and as we entered the gang… we again broke into big series of laughter.. J
So this was my first ever bunk from school and it was a real fun.. even today when i remember that instance i get a cute smile on my face...

First day at School: Importance of Hand Shakes

Now today on my first day in new school, I was in a new court with new players all around. Since it was a first day, my father dropped me to school little earlier than school time 7.30 AM. I entered the class and it was all empty since mostly students will report directly in assembly (usually the school buses are always late) and then come back to classes which I was not aware. I got to a desk and sat down waiting to see if anyone will come in the class or I am sitting in wrong room. After 5 mins, a short height happy chubby girl entered the class and put her bag on side. I stood up in way of respect and she asked me “New admission””. I said "yes"... one more thing, until this point of my life thought  I was studying in English medium but my previous school was more attached to our ancient roots, there was more stress on speaking in Sanskrit than English so even if I was really good in written English, I was shy of speaking in English (or you could say I just could not talk to anyone in English), I was little hesitant to speck in English and this new school was meant for taking in English all the times… that feeling I got when that girl started telling about herself while she was putting her school bag on desk and then came towards me and said “Lets to assembly. My name is xyz. What is your name". I was fine until the question part where I could reply like Yes and Varun however she then extended her hand along with question, I never had answer for her extended hand. I was looking at her since I never shook hands with any girl in my life like that and I was surprised why she is extending her hands. She also waited for few seconds and then pulled back her hand… she must have felt really bad and I could tell her that I just could not extend my hand...

In my earlier school we use to have separate rows for girls and boys and we use to address each other as Bhaiya (brother) and Bahen (sister) which addressing each other along with name. However as you grow young, you start feeling about girls/boys and then when you become shy. In my earlier school I was still ok to talk to girls since have grown up together since junior classes. I was a shy, in fact a fearful person that if some sees me talking to a girl what will others think about me and all that…  We could not even stare at girls as at the back in mind there is always a fear of what if she turns back and sees you staring at her. So practically, I always avoided taking to girls for this fear.
However this was a new school and new arena of life. It was a point of change and awakening since this was my inner fear which stopped me from taking to girls and that could be one of the biggest stopper while progressing life. I never talked to unknown girls in life leave about shaking hand and this girl did something which I could never imagine…It was just too odd to just have an eye contact, idea of hand shake was almost million miles away. By god’s grace, there was not in the class and she moved back else it would have been a real harassment for her also (jokes of getting rejected by a boy must rumored around in all school :-) )... it was assembly time and we both moved towards assembly ground together… I was down while walking with her on the way to assembly ground and each moment I was thinking why I could not shake hands with a lady...what was wrong there... something wrong with me or with others… I was looking all around for my thinking cap which was may be with Mr India at that time, I just wanted to hide somewhere away from that girl... I must say it was not easy question to answer at that time of age when you are moving from childish to youth. I was a little confused and kept walking until I crossed a door which lead to a real big play ground and students all around... It was our assembly. For next 2 years we never talked to each other due to this incident. In my new schools that there was no difference in girls and boys in terms of behaviour so it was a true co-education school, unlike the one in which I studied. In starting, at times felt strange when girls in my class use to play with boys like boys. they will screw up hands of boys, thump shoes of boys with their shoes, box them around which was not usual for me since I never had this environment however at some point however gradually I also started accepting the change in life. Thought I still could not talk to girls but when I see them fighting physically and abusing each other friendly, I would not feel awkward. I have to understand and change my views so girls could be as good as a friends without being actual brother/sisters so it’s best carefree talking when you are friends. So a great lesson that we give should give higher preference to awareness of being friend and human being rather than sexual difference between us…however it takes time to change, which took me almost next 5 years until my colleague time and my first firm hand shake was with Lady who interviewed me for my first job in Delhi and I felt so proud that I could see eye to eye and I was comfortable with girls.
So the key is to have a clear heart and things will automatically fall in place. So this was first encounter with a girl in school and probably with the outside world.... if this was the beginning then what will happen in next 2 years to go... Only my destiny knew the answer.... :-)