Oh me!

We are so small between the stars & so large against the sky. and lost in subway croud, I try to catch your eye …..

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Tao te Ching – Success and Failure


Success is as dangerous as failure.

Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?

Hope and fear are both phantoms

that arise from thinking of the self

when we don’t see the self as self,

what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self

Have faith in the way things are.

Love the world as your self

then you can care for all things

– Lao Tsu, C. 500 BC

( Translated from Old Chinese  by Stephen Mitchell, page 13 of his translation)

Of Money


What is money worth? How important is it to others and how important is it to me?

Interestingly enough, the answers to the above questions have started to become more clear to me. Money is worth only what you think it worth, and thus its importance differs from person to person. While this may seem a banal truth to the reader, I think the appreciation of this fact is invaluable to me.

About two years back, on a chilly December night in Delhi, I took an Auto from Katwaria Sarai to AIIMS. After the standard negotiation I observed that the auto driver was a bit different. He looked different from others and he behaved differently from others, even while negotiating for fare. So I asked this 50 year old, “who are you? You were not always an auto driverit seems!”. And then this guy said, ” I was an industrialist and I had three houses and 5 cars. I had bad luck and I lost everything. Now since an year I’m driving an auto.” This was very weird! I then asked him, ” Are you not sad and discouraged with life?” and he replied, “No, God had given me good days and god has given me bad days as well”.


2 weeks back, McKinsey sponsored a symposium in Boston. of the 5000 odd resumes that they received, they selected 50 people to come. I was one of those 50. I boarded Acela Express, and McKinsey paid the $230 round ticket from NYC -Boston. I attended a party in the evening where I could have one the most expensive wines of the world. At night I was in one of the best rooms of Ritz-Carlton that overlooked Boston Common. Next Morning, after the expensive wines, king-type bath and a 5 star stay, I looked outside and thought – where has life taken me today! Where was I 25 years back in my village where we used to get electricity only 10 hours a day? How was my first school where i took classes under open sky because the roof wasn’t ready! How I used to travel in sleeper class trains for 18 hours before reaching home, sometimes sitting on the ground because I had no reservation! And how I am here today! How I went to London! How I came to Columbia University….. and most importantly where I may be tomorrow?

What is wealth? It comes and goes. What is money? it is here today, and not there tomorrow. Life & luck are so fickle minded that it is pointless to associate our happiness with money. I am thankful to Lord that he giveth me this newfound wealth, but I remain cautious of growing too attached to it.Of course I need money to feed myself and my family, to live a decent lifestyle and to take care of my family’s health. But beyond that, its plain useless to me.

साईं इतना दीजिये, जा मे कुटुम समाय ।
मैं भी भूखा न रहूँ, साधु ना भूखा जाय ॥

A Quote


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

–Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, 1892, Act III
(Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 – 1900) )

एक आम दिन


आज कैसा ऊंचा और नीचा दिन निकला! सुबह bank का collections कैसे काम करता है, ये देखने निकल पड़ा. Auto से गया. ऑटो वाले से मैंने ठीक से बात की. जब उतर के पैसे दिए तो उसने कहा, “Sir, आप असली Gentleman हैं. ” मुझे ये ये बहुत अच्छा compliment लगा. एक अरसा हुआ जब किसी ने बिना किसी छुपी आकांक्षा के कुछ अच्छा कहा मेरे बारे में.

फिर collection agent के साथ निकल पड़ा. ये ऐसे लोग थे जिन्होंने 2 साल से पैसा नहीं दिया था. कुछ तो साफ़ बेईमान दिखे , कुछ बेचारे शरीफ भी थे. एक पान वाले एक पास गया जिससे पता चला की उसे फसाया हुआ है किसी ने. बेचारे के ऊपर कानूनी केस भी लगा दिया है ICICI ने ! दू:खी प्राणी ने पहले तो अपना मामला साफ़ किया फिर मेरे को cold drink भी पिलाई, मुफ़्त में. मैंने पुछा की भाई अगर तुमने लोन लिया ही नहीं था तो इतनी किश्त क्यूँ चुकी? वो बोला, ” सर दोस्त ने कहा था की बचा ले”. उसके अपने दोस्त ने उसे fraud केस में फसवा दिया और वो बेचारा उसी को बचाने चला है..

वापस आके दफ्तर में डांट पड़ी की मैंने काम नहीं किया है. मेरी कोई गलती नहीं लगी अपने को. पर कुछ कहा नहीं. Boss ने एक काम करने को कहा, मैंने कहा की सर ये काम दूसरी तरह से करना चाहिए. बॉस ने डांट दिया. मैंने अपनी बात समझाई जो आज field से सीख कर आया था, तो मान गए वो मेरी बात. मुझे अच्छा लगा की चलो आज इतनी मेहनत करने के बाद, कुछ तो ऐसा सीखा की discussion में अपना point defend कर सकूं.

वापस आ के देखा तो फिनलैंड की internship देने से मना कर दिया है. सोचा की कोई न, जीवन में अच्छी चीज़ें भी होती हैं और बुरी भी. आज दरवाज़ा बंद हुआ है, कल कोई और खुलेगा. भगवान् भी आखिर कितना काट सकता है मेरा?

और आखरी में साहब एक SMS आया जिसपे गौर फरमाएं – ” It is not the friend who should be perfect, it is the friendship that should be perfect” .. कितनी सही बात है , है न?
छिप-छिप अश्रु बहाने वालों, मोती व्यर्थ बहाने वालों
कुछ सपनों के मर जाने से, जीवन नहीं मरा करता है
— गोपालदास ‘नीरज’

So how’s Investment banking?


“so how’s IB going for ya?”, asks one of my Juniors at school. That makes me think. And that makes me blog :)

Its not that IB image that people usually associate with. Not only for my group but also for the other verticals like M&A & OAG , life’s very very different from the typical image that’s fed to callow minds. We do NOT wear ties/suits, we do NOT work 16 hours a day, People are NOT mean (they’re nice actually), i have windows 2000 on my PC, Not every group has MS office installed(they work with OpenOffice) and most of the time goes for regular maintenance work. May be because its the worst time for IB, i dont know. I think a reality check is necessary for anybody aiming at a career in IB.

Whatever be the current scenario, I’m really happy with my Boss, Collegues and others at my workplace. My team is extremely supportive and well knit. We’re a group of 6+1 people, (used to be 9+1 — 3 months back) and anybody can talk to anybody abt anything. Whenever i am in doubt, i can bug Vittal, Vinay,Lale or others – all who shall listen and genuinely try to help me out. I really don’t know how many times do i daily seek lale’s comments. At the same time i can share all jokes with Jha sahab & Ami. The only catch is that most of the time I’m the joke, something that i’ve got used to and don’t feel bad about at all.

— had written a big post but nt disconnected and now am too tired to type it again– good night zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz



इधर बहुत दिनों से मैंने हिन्दी में कोई post नही likhi । इसके दो कारण थे। पहला to ये कि मेरे कंप्यूटर मैं हिन्दी का कोई font installed नही है, और दूसरा ये कि नेट cafe पे जाके लिखने का मेरा मनन नही करता। लिखना चीज़ ही ऐसी है, कभी कभी जब मन करता है तो मैं एक दिन मे 3 post लिख देता हूँ, कभी 3 महीने गुज़र जाते हैं बिना कुछ दिल में आए । ऊपर से जब तक कुछ पूरे दिल से न करू , तो आनंद नही रहता उसे करने का।
खैर, दिल्ली छोड़ के अब मुंबई आ गया हूँ। नई जॉब शुरू हो गयी है 3 महीने पहले। salary मिलने लगी है और उसे उडाने भी लग गया हूँ। ICICI मैं खुश हूँ मैं… दोस्त अच्छे हैं, बॉस अच्छे हैं, साथ मैं काम करने वाले लोग अच्छे हैं, और भई काम bh ठीक ही है। जब पूरे बैंक के पास ही काम नही है, तो अपने dept को क्यूँ गाली दूँ?

पिछले ३ महीने मैं सर्वाधिक आनंद आया जब मैं चेन्नई गया IFMR training करने। training to क्या थी साहब बस ऐश ही ऐश मारी थी वहां पे। नए लोग मिले जो सभी मस्ती मारने ही आए थे, तो मित्रता तो होनी ही थी। यहीं पर मैं रिपुल , विरल , मानसी और वृंदा से मिला जिनके साथ मेरा अक्सर समय बीतता है अब।

बाकी बातें बाद में, अभी तो सोना है।

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish


RG asked me a couple of days back,” How come you know so much about so many things? How come your GK is good and how come you have some cogent points on so many diverse topics?”
Even I thought about the issue, and then I traced myself to this …

When I was 14 years old, a question that had been in my mind since I read about human life in class 2 got finally answered। I always wondered,” how are humans different from animals? We both are just multicellular organisms who have the same sensations and physical needs. We both are driven by same desires of food, water, air & sexual needs. We both are afraid of death and pain. We have everything common, except that probably Homo Sapiens are a more sophisticated form of life. So are we no different from animals at all?” I remember asking mummy the same question. She said that humans are humans and animals are animals. She said that they are different but her answer couldn’t satisfy me.

After thinking about the issue at various levels of consciousness, I arrived at the same conclusion that Descartes did in the 17th century. Cogito, Ergo Sum. Obviously I was blissfully unaware of the exact meaning and originator of the phrase at that time. However I realized that the ‘desire to learn, the wish to improve and the zeal to know’ are the central reason that humans are different from animals. And I think that when I was in my early teens, this answer dictated the manner in which I saw education ad learning. I think this, coupled with another incident, transformed me from a back bencher and last rankers in school to the topper in board exams. (The first time that I stood first or even amongst the top 5 in class was in boards exams, 1999)
The principle was simple। I decided that I shall leave no stone unturned in the persual of education. I wanted to know more about this world. About everything. I wanted to know about science. How the solar system was created? How does the human body work? How are colors created? I wanted to know about history. How are nations made? Why does a country succeed or fail? Who created the beautiful monuments? Who went to war with whom? I wanted to know about philosophy. About relations, about literature, about each and every damn idea, tangible/intangible thing. And to accomplish this I started reading. I read EVERYTHING. From comics to newspapers to hand outs to posters on walls to even government reports and legal cases files (in revenue board’s library). And still I wanted to read more.

People would get bored in engineering classes. They would say,” क्या फालतू कि चीज़ है engineering? कितनी boring है !” Sometimes I found things tough (GD/AECD) but NEVER did I found them boring। I used to ask each and every doubt that crossed my mind in class, however Naïve or foolish it might sound to others। I participated in almost all extra curricular activities. I made innumerate friends. I tasted wine from so so many cups.

Then I came to MBA। Those classes that interested me, I attended them by sitting on the first bench. And so many things interested me. I liked statistics, QMDM, Economics, Saikat’s Marketing, ITO, and ITL amongst others. And then when I had finished with them, I would sit with the juniors to attend their courses. I even took some marketing classes. None of them gave me any marks. None of them show on my mark sheet. But I think in the persual of knowledge, I learnt even more.

My Montage (people write things about their classmates at the end of MBA course) says, “No one knows what he wants. Not he and not even God. Believes in networking only with great people”. I smile. Probably only I amongst my classmates know what I want, right from the time when I was 14 years old.

मास्टर जी


जब मैंने 3 हफ्ते पहले गणित पढाना शुरू किया था, बुआ के घर पर मैंने कहा,” मेरे को क्या मतलब बच्चों से? मेरा जब मूड करेगा तब मैं उन्हें छोड़ दूँगा। येही सीखा है मैंने IIFT से।”

आज जब मैं आखरी दफा उनसे मिला, तो मेरा मन दुखा। इन 3 हफ्तो में ये लोग मेरे मित्र बन चुके थे। मैं जब इनके साथ होता तो मुझे मेरे स्कूल के दिन याद आते थे। Sweetness और innocence इनमे अभी तक बची हुई थी। भोलापन बाकी था। मुझ पर आसानी से विश्वास करते थे। मुझे भी इन्हे पढ़ाते हुए लगता कि जैसे इशा या फिर अपने किसी छोटे भाई को पढ़ा रहा हूँ। हम क्लास में मजाक करते थे और समय समय पर मैं उन्हें डांट भी देता था। कभी मैं नाराज़ होता तो वो भी चुप हों जाते थे, कभी उनसे सवाल नही हल होते तो मैं अपनी पूरी कोशिश करता उन्हें समझाने कि। बहुत सारे प्यारे किस्से हुए, उनमे से कुछ ये हें –http://is-was-willbe.blogspot.com/2008/04/8-april-tuesday.html और http://is-was-willbe.blogspot.com/2008/04/18-april-friday.html

मैं जब उन्हें पढ़ा के आता तो मुझे प्रसन्नता होती कि मैंने आज किसी को कुछ दिया है। मुझे अच्छा लगता कि मैं ऐसा काम करता हूँ जिससे कि किसी का बुरा नही होता, सबका भला ही होता है। कहाँ Investment Banking कि अंधी नौकरी जहाँ 95 % किसी न किसी का नुकसान होता ही है, और कहाँ ये job जहाँ रात को सोते वक्त मुझे चैन कि नींद आती है!

कल जब मैं बच्चों को पुरस्कार देने के लिए choclate खरीद रहा था, तो अमन ने पूछा,” क्यों senti होते हों उनके लिए? क्या फर्क पड़ता है उनसे? क्यों फालतू में पैसे खर्च करते हों?”

हाँ, कुछ नही लगते थे वो मेरे। लेकिन तब भी जितना IIFT मैं 2 साल मैं मुझे कुल आनंद नही मिला, उससे अधिक अपनापन इन 3 हफ्तो मैं पटेल नगर के बच्चों ने दिया। शुक्रगुजार हूँ मैं आपका!

My first Post


Decadence is setting in. My ideas & ethics are dying and am everyday getting more and more materialistic.

A number of thoghts cross my mind everyday. This is an attempt to word my emotions on a gamut of things.

If you’re here to find some fun stuff, you’ll be dissapointed. This is meant to be more of a chronicle rather than an intellectual/entertainment portal!

However, if you’re here to see what have i been up to; you’re more than welcome.

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