Tag Archives: Education

Why I Don’t Wanna Work for Infosys

By Ankit Chandra

all-about

Well that’s because I don’t like the Blackberry phone. The blog could end right here, but then if I don’t explain it better, you would keep me in the same category as Infosians, who I dislike anyway…

So what’s the big deal? It happened like this… We are a bunch of Indian students here at an American university, which is kinda considered one of the best in the world, and we feel quite proud belonging to this place.

Even more so when the job fairs happen. There are companies abound that come here looking for great talent and increase their organization’s productivity. All the stalls are brightly lit and the recruiters stand outside their stalls to ‘reach’ out to the students, so that they could talk to them and see if they are a good fit. Even if they are not, they are more than willing to listen to you and explore whatever opportunities there could be for you. Even if it turns out that there aren’t any opportunities available, you would walk away thinking that you had the best conversation you wanted to have, and too bad there weren’t opportunities, but you would want to try again…

The stalls are a story in them all together. draped in their company colors, the stalls are all lit up shining bright. These people go an extra mile to get their stalls looking great for people to get attracted like a moth to fire.

So I was having a good time in the job fair, talking to different recruiters, and having a quality time there… And then I walk into this next row of stalls… this row was kinda different. It had mostly hardware and earth moving equipment companies. As I walk down through the aisle, there came this corner… the stall was blue, and it seemed that either the lighting was not done, or some of the bulbs had prolly blown away. The caption there said, ‘The world is flattening.. are you ready?’ hmm… when i looked around there was just one person in that stall, and just above his wavy hair, I read the name, Infosys…

The recruiter here was kinda weird. He was sitting behind the table stall and was totally screwed on to his Blackberry Phone! a few people passed in front of him, and he didn’t seem to notice. I thought it might be his boss on the phone, and I would come later…

So I took a round of the hall and then went back to the stall. This time the recruiter was talking to someone. So as was the case with other stalls, I stood in line waiting. Generally, recruiters tried to give equal time to all people waiting in the line, and made sure that the line didn’t feel ignored. But the guy here at Infosys, looks at me, and says ‘I am talking to this person, and will take time. You can go and have a round of the hall, and come back after 5 mins.’ Well, umm taken aback by that, I smiled and said, OK…

So I took a round and went back to the stall.. The chat was still going on, and now the recruiter was actually sitting on the side of his table and it seemed that it was more of a gossip mode than recruiting. And he was still playing with the Blackberry in his hands while gossiping with that kid…

‘aah nevermind’ I thought, and moved on to Yahoo.. By the way, I went for the final rounds of interviews with Yahoo at SF, and they have a rocking atmosphere and campus. And of course, you are treated very well there…

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Safety Of Women And Self Defense

BE-SAFE

By Malathy Madathilezham 

We are all living in this illusion of safety. That a woman can be attacked and assaulted in the ladies compartment of a train is totally appalling. It shows us the lack of security and safety in our cities. Delhi, even though it is the capital of India, is somewhere I would not want to live in and neither would my parents encourage. Just the  incidents that actually get reported would discourage any woman to go live on her own in the city. But this is closer to home!On 28th January 2011, there was this report in the newspaper claiming that Kochi is safe for women. I sarcastically had retorted that this is because women here do not step out after 7 pm!

If anything this recent tragedy that cut short the life of Soumya only points to the glaring issues that need to be addressed regarding the safety and security of women. The fact that this happened in the Ladies compartment of a train, is ironic and makes us question the kind of security provided.  This struck me as my parents always asked me to avoid sitting in the ladies compartment unless there are a good number of co – passengers. According to them the ladies compartment in the most dangerous one!

Lot of hue and cry is being raised over this incident now. Citizens are agitated and indignant. The politicians are making statements and counter statements.A lot of promises are being made. The media is also giving a lot of hype. But what will change actually remains to be seen. Once this story becomes ‘stale’, will the issue of the freedom of a woman to travel, to even get out of the house at any time of the day remain an important issue? Will the women in Kerala stand up and raise their voice against any kind of exploitation or harassment  faced by them almost on a daily basis? Or will they accuse each other of being the instigating these attacks? I now remember the public signature campaign that our college students’ council against the harassment faced by women while travelling in buses and otherwise. It had generated a mass response from both the local media and the public and a lot of changes were definitely brought about. But even those were short lived and not consistent.

Who is to blame for these kind of attacks on the dignity and safety of women?

The lax attitude of the government?

The society in which such perverted characters are molded?

Ourselves?

How can such attacks be prevented? How can we make our cities safer for women? Multiple responsibilities fall on multiple people.

Let us first talk about ourselves before anyone else.

So how do we ensure our safety, security and keep our dignity? The easiest and most obvious is not to travel alone after a certain time.  But that would only encourage these hoodlums to attack the women who have no other choice but to travel by night. And what if you are attacked when at home or somewhere else?

I have written down some thoughts, which came to my mind

  • Learn some self-defense techniques! It will also boost your confidence.
  • Be alert and aware of people and your surroundings (this is applicable whether it is day or night)
  • Stay with the crowd. Especially at night do not move around deserted areas.
  • Avoid speaking on the mobile phone or do anything which can make u seem distracted.
  • Use a barrier or distance to make an attack difficult. Thus lock your doors!
  • Always carry something, which is easily and quickly accessible to use as a weapon. An umbrella (especially the kalan kuda)! A Pen, a safety pin and don’t hesitate to use it if required!
  • Do not hesitate to scream, shout in case you are being targeted whether overtly or covertly i.e attract attention.
  • If attacked, act quickly and decisively. How to escape or how to fight and incapacitate the attacker needs to be decided keeping in mind the surroundings and the situation.
  • Use your strongest weapons against the weakest targets of the attacker. The eyes, throat,  and groin are the primary targets while the abdomen and face are the secondary targets. Your strong weapons are the bottom of your feet, elbows, hammer fists and palm heels.
  • Stand up for any other woman being harassed or attacked. You also could be in a similar situation!
  • Please do approach the authorities. Do not hesitate to file a complaint. The perverted offenders should not be allowed to move around scot-free.
  • Share your experiences and tips on how to prevent such attacks with other women. Educate them.

These are not in any way an exhaustive list on how to prevent attacks and how to defend/protect yourself. But I hope it has given you some information and insight. If we act meek and submissive the chances of being targeted will only increase and at the same time reckless and reactive action is also not advised. Common sense, confidence and alertness are key to preventing attacks/ harassment and defending yourself.

What the government and railway authorities will or won’t do, we cannot be sure of. But that should not stop us from protecting our loved ones or ourselves.

Rift – A Short Story

rift- story

By Ganesh Subramanian

The bell rang loud and clear. It signalled the end of the final semester exams. All the students heaved a sigh of relief. Vikranth rushed madly towards the college bus- Route No.6 which takes him to his house. Finding his favourite seat, he dumped his bag and slumped by the window seat, closing his eyes for a moment allowing his brain cells to relax which seemed to have worked overtime cramming up equations and formulae. There was a tap on his shoulder. Vikranth opened up his eyes to see Nidhi standing next to him. She sat beside him and asked, “How did it go?” Vikranth sighed and said, “Hoping to clear it. Surely not going to top the subject though”. Both of them laughed.

“You know what”, Nidhi continued, “Actually feel bad that we are gonna miss all this fun of college life”.

“Yeah. In a way.” replied Vikranth. “But equally excited looking forward to the corporate life”.

The next 45 mins of the bus journey passed in a jiffy with Vikranth and Nidhi reminiscing about the 4 years that they had spent in engineering. When Nidhi’s stop came, she waved good bye to her best friend Vikranth and promised to call him up soon.

Weeks passed. Vikranth and Nidhi are computer engineering students from a newly opened engineering college in the city. Vikranth and Nidhi opted for this college despite the college being a new one and despite the fact that the college may struggle to find campus placements for its students, simply because they could be at home during their graduation. So barring a few students who were willing to accept jobs in mediocre BPOs that visited the campus for placements, the college placement department couldn’t do much. As a result, students were left to seek their own avenues for jobs.

Nidhi called up Vikranth on one day. She seemed excited. “Hey Vikranth. I got placed in Czone solutions. Attended an aptitude test followed by an interview two weeks back. Looks like I did well. Got the offer letter from them today. I have to join in a month’s time from now.” replied Nidhi.

“Hey Congrats. So now this news calls for a treat. Isn’t it?” said Vikranth.

“Surely it does. But only after I get my first salary” Nidhi teased him.

“Hey that’s unfair. I need it soon. I can’t wait for two months till you get your salary” reasoned Vikranth.

“Ok. Ok. I will treat you soon” laughed Nidhi. “How’s your job search coming along?”

“In Czone, my application number is in 10000s. Not sure if and when will they call me. Other prospects not looking that promising at the moment” replied Vikranth.

“Don’t lose hope. It’s only a matter of time before you land on a new job”, Nidhi tried to pacify him. “Ok. I have to hang up now. Will catch up with you later. Bye”, said Nidhi

“Bye.”

Two months passed. Vikranth was still jobless. Nidhi didn’t call Vikranth even once in the interim. Vikranth was also increasingly getting frustrated by the fact that another one of his classmates – Nitin – has been visiting Nidhi’s house often on weekends to work out aptitude questions with Nidhi’s help for his job search.

Nidhi ignoring him was killing Vikranth. He told another of his best buddies – Dinesh – that he’s got a bone to pick with Nidhi. Dinesh advised him not to do anything stupid. But Vikranth was determined to set things straight.

He finally called Nidhi. “Hello Vikranth. Nice to hear from you. It’s been a long time. You’ve forgotten me or what?” laughed Nidhi.

“I should be asking you that question. Madam seems to be very busy these days”, said Vikranth in a no-nonsense tone.

“Lots of work, Vikranth. No time to breathe” reasoned Nidhi.

“Oh, I see, You don’t have time for me. But you have time for Nitin. Isn’t it?” remarked Vikranth sarcastically.

“Nothing like that, Vikranth. Why are you comparing you and Nitin? What’s wrong with you?” asked Nidhi.

“What’s wrong with me??? Everything’s wrong with you only. Not even one call in 2 months, but you have time for that egg-head Nitin” thundered Vikranth.

“Stop that Vikranth”, growled Nidhi.

“What do you think of yourselves? Just because you are in a job, you think you are a demi-god or something?” Vikranth screamed. His joblessness feeling was getting the better of him and his emotions came in a torrent.

“If you are going to speak like this, don’t call me hereafterwards” Nidhi remarked angrily.

“Fine. So be it” thundered Vikranth and slammed the phone down.

Two years passed. Vikranth and Nidhi didn’t speak even once after that incident. Ironically, Vikranth was also now working in the same company as Nidhi’s. Vikranth found Nidhi’s mail id through the people search option in his mail folder. He mailed her apparently in an effort to mend things. No reply even after 4 hours. Vikranth called Anisha, another collegemate of Vikranth and Nidhi and a common friend to both of them and she also worked in the same company in Nidhi’s team. Anisha spoke to Nidhi and informed him that Nidhi will be sending him a reply shortly.

Ping. Vikranth’s mailbox beeped with the sound of arrival of a new mail 20 minutes after Vikranth spoke with Anisha. Vikranth opened the mail from Nidhi. The reply was short. It said:

“I don’t know what to say. You apparently feel that what you have done is wrong. But we can’t be the same friends anymore. We can just be hi-bye friends” replied Nidhi.

Vikranth realised that a rift has formed between them. He acknowledged the fact that he and Nidhi can never be the same good old best friends once again. He shook his head and closed the email from Nidhi.

Indian Middle Class Life And Stories

india, indian middle class family driving on scooter in bangalore

By Pinaki Pratihar

Every day when I wake-up and get prepared for my office, I pack my lunch made by my maid and miss my mom. How she helped me get dressed for school or how she used to pack my favorite dishes during my college-life when I use-to go home every weekend!

Or at early night when I used to chat with my dad, queries regarding health, job, life, parties, future plans and more. Sometimes the whole conversation turned into a simple question by my mom, “When will you come here to meet us?”

And I remained silent like ever. Mom has a power; she can feel some unspoken words. She naturally did-not repeats the same question. She left the topic the moment she felt I am uncomfortable with that.

He is a father, who has invested all of his savings for education of his children and to earn their minimum daily needs and wants. A perfect representative of Indian Middle Class society, who preferred to invest on Education, rather increasing his bank balance, whose expenditure, is same as his income, at the age of pre-retirement. He had invested his time to his children as much as possible and now he deserves to get the same attention from his children as he knows he is also experiencing the old-age problems and he need some-one apart from his caring wife, who is also struggling from fevers and pains due to age and nerve conduction and is failing to keep in check with his physical condition. He deserves a hand who can help him reach the nearest reliable hospital and can bring the medicine on time.

She is a mom; she had a general ‘mango-people’ homemaker mindset of having the best of possible things. Her only happiness in life comes from seeing her children attain a position in life. She still wishes her son could be a schoolteacher in a nearest high school and can stay at home at-least.

And me! Once I dreamt to be near my parents and failed, when I felt that life can be easy but career is not secured in Kolkata. Negligible economic growth and industry-related statistics and HR-satisfaction survey and un-predictable responses never encouraged me to be in Kolkata. The dream has busted. I never realized when.

I am a person who enjoys the cheap ride in Kolkata, cheap food and the lazy moments with family and friends. I do not feel the same in Delhi though I have a core set of friends and experienced colleagues. I am well convinced that this is not a place to grow well for a non-IT profile.

Everyday I wake up early morning and reach home at night; in between I mix with so many identities. I am a daily passenger who pays the same for a ticket to reach office, a colleague, who can do his job, a friend, with whom some information can be shared, a researcher who try to study things in-depth, an executive who interact with clients regularly and try to put some value in the business process, a junior, who try to follow senior’s instructions, a judge, before putting the instructions and a dreamer who try to put something new in front of the management.

And a Govt.

In my childhood, I participated in debates against brain-drain, but later-on realized watching so many unsuccessful businessmen in West Bengal that every state is not open like Gujarat.

I am not happy, but satisfied just by calling and considering my days as ‘The Struggling Period’, where I am struggling to learn some more, to earn some more money, respect and more happiness around me. I am convinced that this time, forget about your emotions and family. Here I wish you find your life different from me.

‘For The People, Of The People, Lets Buy The People’ – Part II

indian school image

 

By Ankush Kumar

My editor played spoilsport last time around. Now I know why writers and editors do not share great chemistry. Because both varieties work on different experiments and both hate each other.

Anyways last time I worked hard to generate humor on the article ‘for the people, of the people, lets buy the people’ but my editor it seemed was in a quandary over its content. On one hand he supports Arvind Kejriwal and hopes for a change on the other hand he gags his writers by deleting content and changing the wholesome entertainment value of the post.

The problem is that he knows I will write only for him hence has a habit of taking liberties anyways I am taking forward the last post by highlighting achievements of the Congress party in the education sector.

A) The last time I visited a middle school in North India, the teacher and staff sat idle in their offices waiting for their salary, long overdue for an year, the students waited for their masters to teach. Since none bothered to care, only the mid-day appeared and disappeared day in and day out but the meals were missing. The only day I saw 110 percent capacity in the premises was when the children were given money to buy uniforms. Even those who had never bothered to see the school building (by the way that existed only on paper) had come for their share. That evening I was offered a feast, but seeing the apathy it was a tough pill to swallow.

(B) A certain pharmaceutical company paid almost a crore to the government and ensured that each state was sent a letter highlighting how disturbing malnutrition has become in our country. Celebrities have now been roped in to highlight the issue. This company wants to eradicate the problem by selling their food supplements. If anything they will manage to do it will be create customers not cures. Putting a child on a chemically manufactured diet is a potential scam in the making. If the government can ensure supplies of nutritious meals at the micro levels, all this nonsense will never be needed. But since our ministers have their children’s abroad education expenses to cover, the poor are becoming the scapegoats.

C) On one hand we have private urban schools turning to smart classes as the new way of learning, our schools at the village level still don’t have enough chalk and blackboards to last a year. Some children still manage to shine through, but the percentage is terribly low. When we have governments in states that try doing innovative things to promote education, we have our leaders at the center doing buffoonery as opposition. Nitish Kumar gave cycles to girls; Lalu had the brains to offer bikes. How we wish our leaders had some sanity left in them.

D) The Congress has been brilliant in shrinking our education systems to an all time
low. The guilt of Rahul baba failing in his education (he really dint need that) has propelled our central leaders to ensure that the masses are a few notches lower than their charming prince. Otherwise fooling the nation time and again will become a tough exercise.

P.S: You chop and change this one Mr. Scissors, I’ll stone you.

 

 

The Night Before The Exams

night before exam

By Robin Choudhary

“ Wake up Robin.. !” Kushal, my roomate, called me, as I was sleeping, in an ever so wornout, cold and chilling evening on my uncovered shaky bed after those over- exhausting classes in the college. “HEY its roll call” he shouted and banged a dirty, dusty pillow on my head, and hell, that smelly stuff woke me up. I saw Ankit sleeping too, curled disoriented and incompletely aligned in another garbage-appearing bed. I never try wasting my already drained and sucked up energy to call such a huge mass who perhaps is, in mid of his deepest subconscious level of mesmerizing romantic dreams. So, it is therefore, a total waste of time, energy and resource to even try calling him up.

It was 7:00 pm; We all attended the roll call. The cool evening had shockingly taken form of a beautiful romantic atmosphere with cool air and light breezes framing its heavenly delight. “Best time to be with your girlfriend “ said Kushal, with seemingly dry hopes. “Yeah… but not the right topic to talk about, today” said Ankit.

And he was indeed, damn very right. We have our series exams starting from tomorrow, and god knows why the hell does this climate flawlessly shape itself to such a cool and cozy atmosphere, exactly when the exams start. These are those days, when we have to try staying awake late night to atleast make up with something to pass for the exam. And when something as soothing as this might surface itself so elegantly on a totally unwelcome phase of time, it is a crime, a merciless injustice that is showered on us.

Its about 8:00 pm. After having the coffee from h- pocket market, we all were walking together towards the flat to prepare for that gruesome war with tomorrows exam. As the romantic mood was still alive; on the way, Ankit was advising to Kushal with traditional concepts of love. One among them was in his over- joyous state and the other in over- sad state. But, with the armours of saint –like thoughts of Ankit, they were attacked flamboyantly by his infinite wisdoms and resolutions. Me and Jatin were as usually cracking jokes hearing them.

“WHAT IS THE SYLLABUS?” is probably the most famous and asked question of that time? Its 9 by now and no one among us have started studying yet. Slowly and gradually, I have started to feel the biting terror of syllabus and amount of modules to study. And as I held the photocopy, I gazed at the massive 2.8mb(82 slides) ppt on laptop and analysed the syllabus and time left, I had no choice but to insanely laugh at my state. It’s a state of expression, which, perhaps, only a laugh can fulfill.

And now every one in the room have started mugging, swallowing, cramming whatever they have to, with a pace directly proportional to the magnitude of syllabus. In this war, sleeping is like DIEING.

Its 12:00 pm, and I am already seeing dead bodies in my flat. Ankit is as if dragging from room to room with his red eyes and is slogging hard in a semi-dead state. I m pretty sure he will die soon too. But, there is one man, strong and robust. Undefeated by any sort of comfortable climate and is awaken this long with an enthusiastic sprit of scoring good marks. Jatin is always alive throughout the war, till the end. His weapons are his extraordinary mugging abilities and unpredictably launched illogical and senseless jokes, which he cracks, boundless of any time and place. Sometimes, figuring out what he said is more difficult than the studying itself. For me both are senseless anyway.

It was 2:00 am, now; even I have started to show signs of death in me. Jatin came from the other room with headphones stuffed in his ears, humming loudly. “Lets make Maggi” he said. At once came the reply “YES” by me, Ankit and Kushal in utter synchronization. MAGGI, at that point of time, is more valuable than even the luxury of gold and diamonds. We all were eating maggi when Anand woke up, still drenched in half dream, smelling strong the masala of it and like a baby he ate it and went to sleep again, as innocently as he just woke up. I wondered , how can smell of a maggi be stronger than taste of an unappeased exam.??

After eating the maggi, I had no other choice. Bed seemed like seducing me to sleep with it. Silence in my room, cool air from the window, Ankit sleeping on the bed and Kushal on the chair and topics becoming undigestable. Seriously , I had no other choice, nothing was in my favor. I was half paralyzed, over-drowsy and blank. I had to surrender my self to death, I went back to my immensely beautiful uncovered shaky bed n let die myself peacefully.

I closed my eyes to feel the hollow emptiness in my head. It was dark and silent but certainly very peaceful. I left it for the destiny to decide the result of this war. Yeah.!!Because, here, THE DEATH DOESN’T MEAN I AM LOST!!

 

 

Indian School Girls: Then And Now

women customers

By Ravi J Singh

10 things that have changed in Indian schoolgirls since I have left school –

  1. The skirts were 2” below knee; now these are 2” above.
  2. You’d call her ‘hot’ and she will go to teacher with a complaint; now you call her ‘lovely’ (and not ‘hot’) she will go to the teacher with a complaint.
  3. School loo were used for the usual stuff; now these are used as photography sessions
  4. Girls used to bunk at least 1 day in a week; now girls go to school at least 1 day in a week
  5. They used to have a Boyfriend; now its Boyfriends
  6. The age of having a boyfriend has also gone down. My times were between classes 8-10; now it is between classes 6-8.
  7. A non-veg joke to a girl was a strict no-no; Now it’s a part of daily cuisine.
  8. Very less girls had career aspirations then; very few now don’t have.
  9. Behenjis were majority then. Numbers are skewed towards fashionistas now
  10. There is a similarity though. They used to top schools; they still manage the feat

Disclaimer – Before the women brigades come after me calling me ‘a sexist’ or generalizing me as ‘shithead’, the points above are a mix of reality, fun, exaggeration and illusion.

A lot has changed since the time we used to be in school in 90’s and now. The paradigm of the Indian society has shifted, definitely has, towards west or its own ancient culture of more open. Non-conservatives can be a debatable fact of course.