What happened since 26 May,2010

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It’s strange that I had almost forgotten the significance of this day i.e. 26 May unless I saw a few status updates from my batch-mates that today is our first graduation anniversary. A year back, this is the day I got my Bachelor’s degree from Prof. Gautam Barua, director of IIT Guwahati. It’s hard to believe that only an year has gone by since that day.

Several events seems to have taken place in last 12 months and that’s why it’s probably hard to believe that all that has happened just in a year’s time. There were quite a few changes in the environment and lifestyle. Let me see if I could summarize what changed in last year.

Firstly, the most apparent change was from college environment to work environment. Then we used to go to lectures and pretended to listen, now we go to the office and hope we can pretend to work but there’s a manager in the office who is there to ensure that we work so that he can pretend to work. Jokes apart, the change of environment has meant inculcating a routine in life which sometimes starts to make life a bit monotonous.

Secondly, the change was in how we lived outside the work environment i.e. the living environment. The changes could be seen in how we became regular visitors to groceries store, how we had to think of managing expenses, think about managing your monthly budget and think about saving taxes by making investments.

Thirdly, the change in relationships. The ‘relation’ of friendship was replaced by the ‘graph’ of networking. In some cases, partly due to circumstances and mostly due to people involved, the college friends became more like acquaintances and some mere acquaintances become your confiders. Well, actually I am not surprised about such cases, maybe because of the changes I had gone through.

I feel these are the major changes I have experienced since last year. Apart from these there have been a change of viewpoint on the significance of weekends and the significance of team outings. In terms of events, an emphasis on making the weekends significant resulted in bike trips, trekking trips, vacation trips, movie shows, lavish dinners, coffee breaks, booze parties etc. Indeed, hard to believe only an year has gone by.

The home coming

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There is a funny aspect about the accidents and the funny thing is that you don’t realize it until you are involved in an accident. Till date, I had witnessed a few minor road accidents, mostly bike accidents where the bike had skidded down the road or it has hit a vehicle while trying to put the brakes to avoid a collision. I had always considered it as the mistake of riders as I thought that they were not careful enough to avoid those accidents.

A bit wary of such bike accidents, I avoided riding bike in my college campus and preferred being the pillion rider. However, I realized that sometimes a pillion rider has greater chances of damage than the rider in case of an accident. In my last year at college, I was involved in a minor bike accident as a pillion rider  when one of my friends was not able to control the bike properly over a path strewn with stones. He escaped with a scratch but I was not so lucky, I had to limp around for a week. And as usual, I thought at that point of time that it was his fault.

The college got over and I started driving an old bike around in my hometown cautiously with a speed at which I always felt I was in control and could put the brakes on in a matter of 1-2 seconds. That old bike had no horn, no rear view mirrors, no front brake and slow acceleration. All these salient features meant that I better be cautious and in the end, it resulted into a proper training needed to learn how to drive any bike cautiously.

After that I had to move on to Bangalore to start my career as a software engineer. My office was situated approximately 3 kms from my flat. Initially, I used to take the company cab which used to arrive at 8:15 am. As a week or two progressed, the excitement of starting a new career started fading and laziness started creeping in. Catching a cab at 8.15 am started appearing a task next to moving Mount Fuji . So, I started walking down those 3kms daily for almost two months. As the climate changed from pleasant to humid, walking down those 3kms became a daunting task. I felt the need of getting a vehicle and I decided to get a motorcycle. Choosing the brand and model was another exercise which kept me busy for almost two weeks.

Initially, I had decided to buy a 110 cc bike as I wished to use it only as a commuter bike. But everyone around me suggested, go for at least 150 cc. So, in a matter of two weeks, my selected bike varied from Honda CB-Twister 110cc to Honda CBF Stunner 125cc to Bajaj Pulsar 135cc LS to Bajaj Discover 150 cc and finally to Yamaha SZ-X 153 cc. I went to the Yamaha showroom and took a test ride of SZ-X and I felt that it had good controls, was comfortable and looked good. I booked it in the next few minutes. I had to wait for another two weeks to finally get my hands on a new shining Yamaha SZ-X 153cc.

The home coming of this bike was a long ride in terms of time. It gave me an indicator of what kind of traffic I am supposed to get accustomed to in Bangalore. I hadn’t driven a bike for last 3 months, hence I was a bit circumspect of being able to drive it back home safely. However, I did it without getting a scratch on it (and myself) or getting into a critical situation and it reassured me that I can drive any bike cautiously.  As days passed on, the confidence grew and the caution took a back-seat.


My first bike

India marches against Corruption

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30th Jan, 2011.

A peaceful march was organized by India Against Corruption across India in over 50 cities in which the people of India joined hands together and walked down the streets, braved the scorching sun, distributed pamphlets demanding the formation of an effective Anti-Corruption Body called Lokpal, raised slogans against Corruption which unfortunately has become the unifying characteristic of all the Indian Government Offices. The participants were the common people of India – the people of India who suffer the pain of prevalent corruption in getting a driving license or getting a ration card or getting the pension documents travel from one table to another table, for almost getting anything done in Indian offices. They were the people who are fed up of serving ‘chai-nashta’ to these bureaucrats to make them do their job at the cost of losing their own ‘chai-nashta’.

The pamphlet describing the salient features of Anti-Corruption law

I participated in this march conducted in Bengaluru, along with a few friends who didn’t know each other. I was their mutual friend and Corruption was their mutual enemy. We reached the starting venue a few minutes late and were pleasantly surprised to find more than 200 people already gathered around Mahatama Gandhi statue near the Chinnaswamy Stadium. They were ready with banners and posters to march down the road and make their voices heard.

Volunteers displaying the banner

All of us marched down from M.G.Road,  Mahatma Gandhi Statue back to the same venue via the Corporation Circle. We were distributing the pamphlets to the onlookers to make them aware of the reason of march and even shouted slogans like “dekhte kya ho, shaamil ho jao” to encourage them to join us in the march. The people raised slogans against Corruption in quite a few languages – Hindi, English and Kannada. The best part was that these slogans were not the slogans that were written down on some piece of paper, instead the slogans were self-created by the people marching. Each one of us actively participated in creating slogans for the campaign. I, too managed to contribute a few slogans across like “Stop Corruption, Develop Nation” and “bachhe-bachhe ka sapna hai, imaandar desh apna hai”.

Organizer addressing the participants

After we reached back to the starting point, the people took a breather and drank water to relieve their parched throats. Then, all of us contributed a small amount of money willingly to cover the expenses of this rally. After that, there was a speech by the organizer who thanked the participants for making the rally successful and asked us to applaud ourselves for the effort. He, then asked all of us to send a SMS to a number stating our name and address and spread this message to others so that people of India can join hands against Corruption. He said the SMSes shall be sent to the President of India to demonstrate how strongly we, the people of India, are ready to fight against Corruption and strongly support the enactment of a law to setup the Lokpal.

If you want to join us in this fight against Corruption, send a SMS to 09230534959 stating “INDIA <your_name>, <your_address>, <your_email_id(optional)>” now.

Jai Hind!