Monday, December 29, 2008

This blog has been moved to wordpress

Dear All,

This blog has been moved permanently to wordpress. I am in the process of updating the migrated blog. You can still catchup with all my posts on the new blog. 

P.S. Thank you all for your support and respones on various posts of mine. Hope to receive the same on my latest blog as well. See you all there.

~IT's My Life

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Google's new Indic Translation and why I love it?

It's been ages since I wrote an article on this blog where I happened(?) to be one of the co-authors. (Or one of the co-bloggers. I have really lost the moral authority to say it...) Don't bother to search for the authors on this blog since you wouldn't find it anymore! 

To be honest and precise, I was (in fact am) withheld by laziness to type articles in kannada using baraha and post it on the blog, although I have had tons of anecdotes to share. But not anymore. A colleague of mine forwarded me this link about an amazing application developed by by google labs, that helps you to translate words to most of the indian classical langauges like hindi, kannada, etc. Now's that what I call developing a really kewl app. It makes your life really easy. 

I strongly recommend you guys to give it a try. It is simply amazing!! I seriously loved the accuracy and precision with which it transalted words. Simply superb. Three cheers to Google!!

P.S. I hope to overcome the inertia in me to post article on the other blog in the near future. Do visit it during leisure. Who knows you might discover that I was actually serious about the above statement!!

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Terror insurance - Are you covered by any chance?

I came across this interesting article on 'terror insurance' here. I share with you my thoughts on the same.

Terror insurance currently seems to be a very nascent area with a lot of unexplored (with a few exceptions though) territories. But looking at the frequency and magnitude of terror attacks the world is witnessing today, this surely will take prominence in times to come.

Insurance industry works a lot on using the actuarial data to come up with innovative products and policies to be offered to its customers. The underwriters of an insurance company use this actuarial data to evaluate an application and set suitable premiums for the same. Even though the technology has advanced so much, the insurance industry still has a lot of processes carried out offline. It definitely is time for the industry to the make the most out of the technology they have access to. It's time for the insurers to offer unheard-of products and streamline their policies to address issues that have surfaced of late (like the terror attacks) and have actually begun to affect the lives of the common man more than ever before!!

Keeping this in mind, what challenges do the insurers face while coming up with innovative products that cover people against terror attacks? 
  • The biggest challenge as I see it, would definitely be the lack of actuarial data with the insurers themselves on the number and nature of claims made under this category. Since the claims for losses incurred on grounds of terror attacks in specific, hasn't been so profuse, the insurance companies for sure don't have a lot actuarial data that might help them specialize themselves to offer customer centric products.
  • What makes things even more challenging is the fact that terror strikes are an awfully impossible phenomenon to predict. Almost all the companies in the insurance domain make use of predictive analytics (a prediction based on results that are carried out periodically to study the market trends) to help them come out with policies that address the gap in any segment of the insurance market that they feel can give them an edge over others. The success and accuracy of any predictive analytic model depends on the accuracy with which data (the more accurate data you have, the better it is for you) is interpreted and correlated. If you don't have accurate data in the first place, then your analysis is bound to be unreliable. Given the above fact, it is extremely challenging to devise a predictive model that can accurately predict the frequency of occurrence of a terror attck and the magnitude of the losses incurred due to a terror strike!!
  • If there is one thing that has been haunting the insurance domain for a long time, it undoubtedly is addressing the issue of fraudulent claims. These frauds you see are everywhere. Since this area in insurance is yet to be explored, they would be always people out there 'trying to make the most of this opportunity'. The insurers need to ramp up to fight against any kind of frauds.
Although it is the human life and/ or property that are always subjected to a loss in any terror strike, it would be interesting to see how the insurance industry gears itself up to address the needs of customers, by offering them specific products in this area. 

Any thoughts on this from the readers would be highly appreciated.

~IT's My Life

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Jaadu hain tera hi...

Niveditha returns to active blogging!! And guess what?? I happened to read her post on a tag that allured me to give it a try.

Here are the rules
1. Put your music player on Shuffle mode
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer
3. Write the song name no matter what
4. After you’ve answered all of the questions, tag 5 other people and let them know they’ve been tagged.
  1. If someone says “Is this okay”, you say?
    Yuhi kat jayega safar saath chal ne se...
  2. What would best describe your personality?
    Minchagi neenu baralu...
  3. What do you like in a guy/girl?
    Behti nadi ka hain rukh yahan...
  4. How do you feel today?
    Tanha tanha...
  5. What is your life’s purpose?
    Suno suno...
  6. What do your friends think of you?
    Main kahbi batlata nahin...
  7. What do you think of your parents?
    Mera jahan... (TZP again!!!)
  8. What do you think about very often?
    Koi lauta de mera beete hue din ... (I swear i miss them...)
  9. What is 2+2?
    Jaane do naa... (Even Apple knows how good I am at Math!)
  10. What do you think of your best friend?
    Adat... (I couldn't have agreed more on that!)
  11. What do you think of the person you like?
    Main agar kahun... (Couldn't have gotten any more romantic than this...)
  12. What is your life story?
    Mohabbatein lutaunga... (To my love:D)
  13. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    Say na say na... (Nope.... I never told anything.. I just don't wanna grow up!!!)
  14. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
    Gelathi gelathi...
  15. What will you dance to at your wedding?
    Kya yahi pyaar hain... (An absolute treat.. old one though.. But would love to dance..)
  16. What will they play at your funeral?
    kannathil mutthamittal... (It means a peck on the cheeks in tamil!! Gotta know who would love that act the most!!!)
  17. What is your hobby/interest?
    Pehli nazar main kaisa jaadu...
  18. What is your biggest secret?
    Dheere dheere se... (Ashiqui)
  19. What do you think of your friends?
    Ichak dana bheecak dana... (Shree 420 - Can't draw any correlation... spare me on that..)
  20. What should you post this as?
    Jaadu hain tera hi... (Ghulam)
  21. What do you think about this tag?
    Jawani O Diwani... (Kishore da...)

P.S. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this tag! I dunno some of the answers I got seemed so convincing!!

~IT's My Life

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Royally dragged!

It is the second time I am posting a conversation (almost verbatim). This time the other guy ensured he royally dragged me into an uncalled-for discussion...

Him: hi suresh where are you...
Him: busy...
Me: i am at b'lore. (I swear I had no clue who he was...But somehow got convinced that he knew me..)

Me: sorry i can't recall much from ur id ...
go ahead and refresh my memory ..
Him: what are you doing
Me: i can't quite recall ur acquaintance.. ur id isn't revealing much about u either
Him: i didn't understand
Me: i din't get ur full name from the id..
so i can't quite recall who u r ..
Him: my full name is ***
u r name...
Me: (U know it)...

Him: are you employee
Me: of?
Him: where are you working
Me: i am working with XYZ...
Him: where is it..
Me: in b'lore
how abt u?
Him: i am now in (name removed for security reasons!! LOL.. I like secrets!!)
resentley (he meant recently i suppose..) i have completed my mcse in iiht and i am mcp certified
Me: okies.. have we met b4?
Him: your native place???
Me: where exactly..
Him: i want to know your home town
Me: ABC..
Him: where is it
Me: in karnataka :P
where r u from?
Him: i am from *%#$...
Me: hey there seems to be a serious miscommunication here.. i can't even vaguely recall any acquaintance with u...
tell me.. how did u get to know about me??
Him: i will not tell you... only tel
Me: i have no clue boss (I think he wanted me to guess who he was :P)
Him: Do you speak kannada...
Me: yep!!!
Him: what is your mother tongue..
Me: how does it make a diff? (Just wanted to come across as someone linguistically neutral... LOL!!!)
Him: what is diff between yep and yes
(Pause...) are you online....
Me:both of them fortunately mean the same :)
Him: ok
Me: would you mind letting me know how I happen to know u or either way?
Him: can i speak to you?
Me: yeah.. but tell me how u know me..
Him: i dont know.. today only i got your chat id..
Me: i can't take the call... i am at the office (Quite busy with work :P)
Him: ok wen you will recive my call
Me: i have no Internet at home.... (I have gotten it disconnected temporarily..)
Him: ok give me your no i will sms you..
Me: what is it that u want to ask?
Him: your are a Internet friend
Me: okies.. but you can ask me anything over the chat itself right?
Him: ok shell we chat
Me: i am already :P (I wonder if what we had b4 was eligible to be termed chat..)
Him: what about your education
Me: wait.. is this some kinda.. typical interview or what??
Him: i am a student what about you
Me: i work with XYZ.. i think i mentioned it earlier as well
Him: ok sorry... from how many day are you working..
Me: for quite sometime now..
wht can i do for you?? (As if I could do anything for him :P)
i am just cutting the chat shorter..
Him: i want to know
Me: ???
Him: ok... what is your age
Me: hey *** i will chat with u ltr.. if u need anything in specific let me know.. just want cut this thing really short and wanna make it to the point
hope u don't mind...
Him: ok wait...
ok i want to know what the interviewer will ask at first time..
Me: that depends on the kind of interview...
If it is technical, they might want to know ur technical skills
else it will more of soft skills that people look for in an HR interview
Him: do you have any hr interview questions?
Me: u might get a lot of them on the Internet
just google it out ..
Him: in internet i will get more but is there any specific...
Me: nothing specific as such
Him: ok
i have created a blog do you want to see
Me: sure.. (Well everyone blogs these days!!)
Him: there are my trip photos..
Me: okies.

Him: (His blog URL) I don't wanna add it here as it would reveal a lot more than what I need to reveal about him..
Me: i will check it out ltr..
Me: cya. gotta leave..
Him: ok bye...

I have absolutely no issues with such people except that they almost always don't come to the point!! In short I hate to be dragged into any unsolicited conversations.. Plz.. spare me!!!

~IT's My Life

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm back!

As if you all really missed me :P

To those very special 12% voters of the poll 'How do you like this blog?', I actually heard you. That explains my 'unplanned outage of my blog services'. So much for my sense of humour!!
Actually my hardrive has developed a few bad sectors in areas which it shouldn't! That restricts my surfing to only those precious billable hours @ office:)
P.S. Doesn't my blog deserve its share of humour?

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Self-leadership at the workplace

Path to self leadership...

I have been longing to record my observations and experiences on how self leadership can go a long way in building a positive image about you at your workplace. My observations aren't necessarily exhaustive in nature, since it stems out of the fact that the period of interaction that I have had with people at my work place has been brief. But I believe that the best way of moving towards becoming a complete professional is to first learn the art of self leadership. I know I have a long way to go before I could master a few tricks of the trade! But this is a small attempt to jot down (for my own future reference) my point of view on what makes self leadership so important at your workplace.

The following is the list of qualities I would categorize as important traits of a person who is self lead:
  • Ability to communicate seamlessly: I know that you would have heard it a gazillion times from infinite number of sources, but here I am stamping a seal of authenticity on this trait! The effectiveness of a professional lies in the clarity with which he/she conveys his ideas to the people with whom he/she communicates (both verbal as well as non-verbal) on a regular basis.
  • Time Management ability: The most precious thing for a professional is the quality of time he puts in a day to finish his/her task. Especially if you are a billable resource to your organization, time management is the biggest virtue you could posses. It always zeroes down to the point as to how you can prioritize things at the beginning of a day and live up to those promises you make for yourself and your team. A simple way I found to do this is to send out an email to your immediate supervisor on your agenda for the day and sort out the work to be done, before you jump in to execution!
  • Ability to handle pressure: IT is such an industry where encountering pressure situations are a common thing. Since a team invariably involves people with different character traits, there is all possibility of you encountering a situation which demands a lot of maturity on your part to not loose your cool, no matter what. Trust me when I say this, if you master the art of handling pressure it will help you a lot in the long run.
  • Ability to abstract information at various levels: One thing at which I used to fail in my communication a short while back was my ability to abstract a piece of information and send out processed information that really mattered to people. For eg: If you are asked to send out an update to different people (Technical lead/PM/Client) on a problem that you are facing while working on a module, you should learn what is the amount of technical/functional information that you need to share with each of them, that helps them understand the problem better. Your ability to discern and filter out the necessary details in each communication is what speaks volumes of your effectiveness in communication.
  • Ability to receive things: All of us have heard of the ability to give. Many of us are very good at it! But frankly, how many of us have the potential to receive? As a young professional who has along way to go in the industry, I feel it is very important for all of us to learn the art of receiving things. The ability to receive things includes your capability to grasp information around you, take feed back, etc. Subroto Bagchi, in a speech delivered at IIMB, emphasizes on this very fact. In an industry like IT where it is extremely important to be not merely technical/functional but be techno-functional, the essence of openness to learning is of paramount value.
I have collated a few qualities I felt are quintessential for self leadership. If you happen to come across more of them, please do write them under the comments section.

~IT's My Life

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Bucket List - A Review

The Bucket List - Things you would like to do before you die!

As usual (read it as a holiday) I hit the DVD store near my room to grab a few movies. I happen to come across this amazing movie called 'The Bucket List'. I can't stop myself from posting a review on this.

The movie is about 2 characters (Jack Nicholson as Edward Cole and Morgan Freeman as Carter Chambers) that are terminally ill. It as all about what the duo decide to do when they realize that they have very little time on their hands. It is about a list of things they wish to do before destiny decides to write them off.

Why should you watch this movie?
  1. Your appreciation for the state often called 'well-being' will increase by multiple folds. You will definitely start to relish each and every moment of your life.
  2. You will appreciate the importance of positive attitude. I swear, it takes a lot out of common people like you and me to embrace hard realities of life, the way these characters do it on screen!
  3. You come face-to-face with the bitter fact of life that time and tide wait for none. (Ah! It's been a long time I sounded cliched. So tried being one here!)
  4. You get to see 2 great actors in sublime form, portraying characters we often get to see around us, on a day-to-day basis. I am sure you wouldn't wanna miss them. Do you?
  5. Last but not the least, watch this movie solely with an intention to discover where true joy really lies in your life. I am sure you will figure it out.
Just in case you are curious to know the kind of witty conversations the characters have, take a look at this.

I wouldn't wanna make this post a spoiler since this movie definitely is worth your time and money.

PS: This co-incidentally happens to be my first post published via Google Chrome. Let's hear it for google guys! They are an awesome dole of people.

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

I almost forgot!

I almost forgot... I happened to complete 2 years in blogosphere. It has been such a revelation for me till now. Got to discover some wonderful people through this medium. I take this opportunity to thank all of you for being so encouraging. Blogging has been such a wonderful medium for me to let out all my feelings candidly. I just can't imagine my life without this blog of mine. It shall continue to be a part and parcel of my life:)

Just came across this wonderful song from the movie Anari (1959). A very meaningful song by Mukesh. Hope you enjoy it.

~IT's My Life

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Monday, August 11, 2008

What does financial independence mean to you?

A freedom that brings with it more responsibility!

Disclaimer: This post has a lot of indirect references to experiences from my personal life. I am just making an attempt to connect those innumerable dots and trying to make sense out of it. The following is an attempt to answer one such question that has haunted me for quite some time now. I have tried to put forth my point of view on this subject.

My current mood is one of total discombobulation. As I wrote before, I have been constantly battling out with my mind to find answers to a few questions in my life. I some how have figured out a logical reasoning to a few of them but a lot of them still remain pending for a more profound thought process.

One thing I always have found necessary is that if ever you want to feel independent, it almost always begins with you becoming financially self sufficient. Financial self sufficiency not only gives you a sense of freedom but also gives you an inexplicably great feeling of security. The feeling of having the choice of to decide what you wanna do with the money you earn is simply great! You bid farewell to those good old days where you are dependent on someone for your pocket money. Suddenly you start to take ownership of all your expenses. When I look back at the day I got my first salary, I still remember how happy I was. I sensed a true feeling of independence. I also happen to realize that I had gotten a bit more responsible as well. It had brought in me a great confidence, a sense of accomplishment and a sense of subtle joy that I could, from there on take on bigger responsibilities and help my parents in whatever the small way I could, to make life more easier for them and for myself.

I somehow feel that every individual at some point or the other would want to take charge of their lives and decide for themselves as to what they would be doing with their lives. One of the basic requirements for such a thing to happen is financial self-sufficiency. When you are confident enough to say, "I will take care of myself, come what may!", life suddenly begins to appear so different. You will start to realize that life offers you with a great chance to choose. And I swear... If there is one thing you would ever want to be gifted with for a life time, it would undoubtedly be the ability to choose, for life is all about choices!

Don't you think you would appear very fragile and helpless if you are financially dependent on others? I strongly feel that at least after a point in life, when you are very much capable of making a livelihood of your own, you should start to take things seriously and act up on it. If you don't realize that, gradually people around you would start to disrespect you and even before you realize what damage you did to your life, you would have reached a point of no return! Trust me, it kills your confidence.

Having said so much about removing the financial dependencies from your life, I strongly believe that it shouldn't isolate you from the other relationships in your life. Having read multiple times about how the same 'financial independence' has resulted in shallow marital relationships, I feel that it should handled very carefully. If you start to exercise your freedom a bit too much, you definitely might land yourself in to trouble. One needs to learn how to strike a balance between his freedom and his duties.

At the end of the day, what one would need is a confidence to say, "I am in charge of my own life. I'll take care of myself." It is very essential that one should learn how to use this independence and not abuse it.

I would love to hear your views on the same as well.

Note: It is a humble request to all those readers of this post to please read through the comments before they comment. B'coz you know what? I'm tired of making myself clear on this one!

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Chain emails and their consquences!

Have you broken the chain, ever?

Have you ever forwarded an email to someone simply because it read something in the end like, "If you forward this email to 10 people in 10 seconds, it will result in blah blah blah?"

I am sure you would have at least read them and shown them their 'true destinations' in you mail box!

I just happen to read this email that I got from friend of mine a few days back. Probably the poor soul seemed to have gotten pissed off with these kinda emails. Found it really amusing. Take a look.

I want to thank all my friends and other unknown people who have forwarded chain letters to me in 2001, 2002,2003, 2004 ,2005 ,2006, 2007 & now in 2008.

Because of your kindness:
  • I stopped drinking Coca-Cola after I found out that it's good only for removing toilet stains.

  • I stopped going to the movies for fear of sitting on a needle infected with AIDS

  • I smell like a wet dog since I stopped using deodorants because they cause cancer.

  • I also stopped answering the phone for fear that they may ask me to dial a stupid number and then I get a phone bill from hell with calls to Uganda, Singapore and Tokyo.

  • I also stopped drinking water outside for fear that I will get sick from the rat shit and urine.

  • When I go to parties, I don't look at any gal, no matter how hot she is, for fear that she will take me to a hotel, drug me, then take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.

  • I also donated all my savings to the Amy Bruce account. A sick girl that was about to die in the hospital about 7,000 times. (Poor girl! she's been 7 since 1993...)

  • My free Nokia phone never arrived and neither did the free passes for a paid vacation to Disneyland.

  • Made some Hundred wishes before forwarding those Dalai Lama, Ganesh Vandana, Tirupathi Balaji pics etc..

  • Now most of those "Wishes" are already married (to someone else)!

  • You can add your own notes based on your similar experience and send them to your friends.
  • If ORKUT deletes my account, it doesn't matter BUT PLEASE DON'T SEND me "Orkut is deleting accounts: Due to sudden rush..." Otherwise I'll delete my E-Mail account!


If you do not send this e-mail to at least 91376021341245402021324231152114 people in the next 10 seconds, a bird will shit on your head today at 6:30 p.m.

This link might help!

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jaane Tu Ya Jane Na - Ab jake pata chala!

For the past 2 weeks my schedule has been really hectic and I couldn't checkout any of the movies. I finally managed to compensate for the loss I incurred by literally watching quite a lot of movies and also grab my quota of naps, that I happened to miss badly over the last weekend.

Jaane Tu Ya Jane Na - Ab jake pata chala!

For all those who are yet to checkout this movie, lemme tell you, this one isn't a romantic comedy that will take you by surprise. Nope! Not a single bit. One can literally see through the 'plot' of this movie right from scene one. It is the same old story guys. A boy meets a gal. They have this really 'kewl' kinda friend circle in the college. Wahi ghisi-piti kahani. Wahi sade hue jokes! They spend sometime together (kinda 5 years or so) and still they are only FRIENDS! I swear you know it when you are in love. Come on guys, grow up! Go get a life!! Were you guys trying to miss out on the obvious or something? I dunno. I am quite a fan of Genelia, but I felt she has been doing these kinda roles a little too many in number. It is time she moves on and explores her true potentials. How does the newbie Mr. Khan fare? Well, I feel there wasn't much for him in terms of performance in this movie at all. Ab aise kahani bana ke aap log bechare se Aamir Khan ki level ki performance expect karoge toh its heights of expectation yaar!

I really question the prudence of the director and the producer for being so naive in sketching this plot. When I could guess the plot without even having to wait for 'OMG-ab-kya-hone-wala-hain?' moment, so will any movie buff for that matter. Such is plainness of this plot. It is the same story retold gazillion times in bollywood. For heaven's sake, it is time you directors figure out better plots for launching newbies in the film industry.

The only plus point in the movie is its music. Rehman does it for every movie yaar. You see he is the only soul who ensures you are hooked on to your seats until the last moment. I personally like 'Kabhi kabhi aditi...', 'Jaane tu ya jane na...' and 'Pappu can't dance sala...'

If you are looking for a time pass movie and wanna have fun with your buddies, go check this one out! Par dobara mat dekhna!

~IT's My Life

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Terror Zameen Par!

The title of this post is in no way an insult to the wonderful movie we got to see a few months back. It is actually the review of another movie called 'Aamir'. I am not sure how many of you even got to hear about this movie. If I am not wrong, rediff had rated it 4 stars. So I was looking forward to watch this movie at the earliest. I managed to watch this movie last night.

If you have already clicked the link I provided above, you would be aware of its plot. If not, here is the story line for you. It is a thriller that keeps you on the edges of your seats. It revolves around a character called
Aamir Ali (played by Rajeev Khandelwal) who returns from London to join his family in Mumbai. You start to get a hint of the movie's theme right from the scene at the airport where his baggages are checked thrice, even though they are cleared each time. The reason being his name is Aamir not Amar! After a rather humiliating clearance from the airport authorities, he tries to contact his family, only to find them unreachable. In the meanwhile, he is handed over a mobile phone by a pair of stranger motorists. While he is still digesting the shock of not being able to reach his family, he gets a call from the so called apni-kaum-ki-bhalayi-ke-baare-main-sochnewala guy. He threatens Aamir to follow his instructions chup-chaap else he would have to lose his family.

The rest of the movie is all about Aamir being directed periodically of what he is supposed to accomplish so that his family is set free. The best part of this movie is that it touches up on so many issues that go unnoticed whenever media serves us with a 'sensational news'. Aamir is great in also the sense that it hits the nail on its head, rather than making frivolous attempts to hype the underworld and their nuances. You get to see the reality (in great detail) behind a planned bomb blast. You get to see the trauma of a man battling hard to break the shackles of a negative image that the society has 'bestowed' on his community for no fault of his. You also get to see how some people in that community try to hijack the thought process of innocent people like Aamir Ali.

Hats off to
debutant director Raj Kumar Gupta for being so elucidative in his narration. The background scores literally make you feel as though you were walking through the same stinking pathli-gallis and brooking the pain as much as Aamir does in this movie. In short you get to the see mumbai in great originality.

What happened to Aamir? Did he accomplish the job? Does he get to see his family? Do those anti-social elements succeed in their mission?

Since my post isn't supposed to be a spoiler, I would highly recommend you guys to go watch this movie and figure out the answer for yourself.

~IT's My Life

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ten things you wouldn't find me blogging about.

Niveditha has tagged me yet another time. I had the option to choose between two tags. I chose to do the following one.

10 secrets that I’d kept out of my blog:
  1. I am not a great fan of cricket. If you ever happen to find anything referred to cricket, even remotely, just check if you hit the right URL.
  2. I ain't a great cook. So all you tindi potas out there you better not expect a post or two from my side on how to prepare new dishes!
  3. I hate hypocrisy. Period!
  4. I actually follow a lot of blogs that aren't listed in my blog roll.
  5. The person who inspired me to kick start blogging is in my blog roll. I shall leave the better half of discovering who it is, to you guys!
  6. I hate politics to the core. So if you happen to find anything on politics on this blog, let me know. I shall delete this bullet.
  7. I hate to write those "Ten things to blah blah..." stuff of my blog, even if it costs me dearly in terms of my page rank. Google adsense isn't helping me pay my bills anyway!
  8. I always try to look at positive side of things. For eg: Dwindling comments on your blog is actually a healthy sign for you. In the long run you might eventually get inspired to quit blogging and do yourself a great deal of favor. Not to forget, this entire blogosphere as well. That's optimism for you guys!
  9. I actually want to rant a lot about some funny stuff I read about meta blogging.
  10. 95% of what I write is straight from my gut. The rest is truth!
This one goes unnumbered. Something like, "You know that is larger than being bulleted kinda stuff." I actually hate those captchas that appear at the end of a post in blogger. They are rendered so horribly.

PS: Being humorous is one thing and being pathetic is another. If you figured out the difference between the two by now, it's good. Else god bless you!

~IT's My Life

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

When I figured out what being busy is all about...

It has been quite sometime since I posted something on my blog. Wahi office ka kaam! Nope... I am not hyperbolizing. I dunno if it is for the good or the bad or the ugly, I have been quite busy with some office work. In fact I finally figured out for the life of mine, what being busy is all about. I got loads to share with you guys... It is just that I'm unable to make time for myself and this blog of mine. But I must confess that I'm enjoying every bit of it.

I hope that I shall devote some quality time in the near future and rant on some useful things on my blog!

PS: Adi would be glad to see such micro posts from me. But lemme tell you something... You aren't gonna be lucky for too long Adi!

~IT's My Life

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Apple ipod nano... I'm loving it

Apple's ipod nano - An absolute sweetheart!

What a gadget! I'm stumped by this flawless piece of techonological brilliance. Thank you apple :) It has deepened my love and passion for music. An Apple Ipod Nano is every music lover's priced possesion!

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Value (for money) Lanes - A perfect team outing!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are purely personal and does not reflect the views of the organization I work with. I have made a sincere attempt to collate all the learning I picked up during our team outing. For most part of this post the pics are gonna do the talking while its author hunts frivolously for those charming one liners!

Ever since I joined this wonderful team, I was looking for an opportunity to know my team members and understand them better. The opportunity finally presented itself in the form of a team outing to Value Lanes on 16th April 2008.

On your mark @ MTV Banashankari - (6:35 am - 6:50 am)

We were asked to assemble at MTV at sharp 6:35 am. But people kept trickling until 6:45 am. We finally pushed at 5 minutes to 7 am. Everyone appeared really excited and all set to have a gala time. Little did they know that value lanes wasn't a resort!

Did someone really say "smile please!" I can't quite recall...

Did they know that it wasn't gonna be a joy ride altogether?

Ek Do Teen and wheels went rolling... (7 am - 8:45 am)

The bus we had hired was a 20 seater and was almost jam packed with excited souls. The driver gave the journey just the perfect start by playing some really good songs from the movie Gaalipata. The title track for sure left everyone enthused and geared up. After a while we all decided to play dumb charades. It was funny to see people at their creative best trying intemperately to convey the name of the movie. How can I forget my own desperate attempt to convey the word 'life' of the movie 'Life is beautiful'? It was simply superb!

Value Lanes ki daire main: (9:00 am)

We finally reached our dream destination at around 9:00 am. We were pretty hungry. Col Arun Dhar and Major Vibhav Kapoor received our team. The weather showed all signs of being unmerciful for the rest of the day. What seemed to be yet another bright and sunny day, was soon gonna show us true colours of a typical day in summer! After serving themselves with the morning breakfast and nimbu pani/ tea/ coffee, everyone relaxed in the shade for a while.

Ah! You guys got a challenging day ahead. So you better buckup!

Thodi si briefing and thodi si sneak peeking! (10:00 am - 10:30 am)

Soon after assembling at the specified venue for an introduction, we were given our chest numbers and a cap! Then we were split into 2 teams. Major Vaibhav Kapoor asked for two volunteers to lead the first event of the day. Venkat and Abhilash came forward to volunteer. They went with major Vaibhav Kapoor for a briefing on the first task. In the meanwhile Arun Dhar shared with us the story of how Value Lanes was conceived and also the success story of various organizations who were benefited by this corporate Training and Development venture of theirs. After 20 minutes, Venkat and Abhilash came back with Vaibhav Kapoor. They seemed very eager to explain to the team what the first challenge was. Arun Dhar left us with the task of discovering one fact about each team member which no one in the team knew about.

Dynamic Obstacle Course (DOC) : (10:30 am - 11:40 am)

Our first task of the day! All we had to do was to move a bucket of water from one end of the course to another by overcoming the dynamic obstacles. Both the teams agreed to complete the task in 45 minutes. The record time was 33 minutes. After planning and building a killer strategy for 10 minutes, we were all set to rock. We finally got going when Vaibhav Kapoor blew the whistle. The task seemed to be a child's play in the beginning. It was only after the actual execution began, we realized how over confident we were. After grappling really hard with time and resources we had, we only managed to complete the task half way. Even though we had asked for an extra time of 25 minutes, we weren't able to complete the DOC challenge completely!

Key takeaways from the exercise:
  • Plan while you plan and execute while you execute. Don't mix them up!
  • Always make notes while gathering the requirements. Don't rely only on your memory power.
  • A great leader is one who can bring the best out of every team member.
  • Situational leadership is the sign of a healthy team. Don't curb it.
  • Avoid resource idle time.
  • Even the best laid plans fail. Always have a plan B.
  • After a failure it is extremely essential to do a route cause analysis.
  • Make the best use of the most important resource you have. The human resource!
Time for some feedback and not to forget The Johari Window: (11:45 am - 1:10 pm)

After finishing the first task of the day, it was time for some analysis. We were all eager to know how we had fared in the challenge. Dhamu and Vaibhav Kapoor shared their observations with us and gave us some valuable feed backs. After that Major Vaibhav Kapoor briefed us about how to give and receive a feedback. A few things about feed back.

Key points on giving a feed back:
  • Give a feed back only if the other person wants it.
  • Validate your feed back with immaculate data and specificity.
  • Convey the impact the current behavior on you.
  • Avoid sounding advisory in tone.
  • Never give feed backs in public. They should always be given one to one.
  • A feed back can also be positive!
  • For heaven's sake avoid passing judgments while giving a feed back.
Key points on receiving a feed back:
  • Receive a feed back with an open mind.
  • Never take comments made in the feed back personally.
  • Look for patterns in the feed back. May be you might have a grey area that needs an urgent attention.
  • Always look for the source from where the feed back is coming. If you feel it is genuine, then go ahead and work on it!
We all know that every team invariably involves a great resource called human resource. It becomes essential to deal with this valuable resource with utmost care and diligence. Having an insight on a resourceful tool like 'The Johari Window' really helps.

Johari Window - A cognitive psychological tool
Lunch Break: (1:15 pm - 2:00 pm)

After what can be arguably described as an excruciating first half, we all deserved a good lunch. So we hurried towards our rooms to freshen up a bit and off we went to serve ourselves an awaiting jeuner. After relishing the luncheon, I had a couple of glasses of nimbu pani. I must confess at this point in time. I never had these many glasses of nimbu pani in a single day. (Nope! Not even on ram navamis...)

Keyboard: (2:10 pm - 3:00 pm)

Post lunch session promised to be more 'hot' and 'happening'. We were again divided into 3 teams. Three from each team viz. Deb, Laxmi and Vidhya volunteered to lead this event. They were briefed quite in detail by Vaibhav Kapoor. After gathering the requirements, each of the team leads went back to their teams to explain the task.

The task assigned involved punching 40 cards (serially numbered from 1-40, without duplicates) sequentially in 30 seconds. A warning whistle would be blown at the end of 25th second after which the teams would be expected to evacuate the place, failing which entitles them for a disqualification. After 3 attempts, we were able to punch a maximum of 19 cards. The other teams managed to punch up to 25 cards. But one good thing about each team was they improved after every attempt. In the end the three teams entered the place together and managed to punch about 33 cards in 30 seconds!

Key takeaways from the exercise:
  • Meticulous planning always helps. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
  • Divide the task in to sub tasks so that you get tangible touch points to quantify your goal.
    Managing the time and resources at disposal is quintessential for the ssuccessof any project.
Rapelling - When I bid farewell to the acrophobic in me. (3:30 pm t0 4:45 pm)

In this task, each one of us would be rappelling from a height of 65-70 feet. This activity mainly aimed at building your self confidence. It was an extremely good exercise which helped everyone to discover the unknown adventurer in all of us. Okies... The pics will do the rest of the talking!

After that, there was no looking back...

Joy - The satisfaction of a job well done :-)

Key takeaways from the exercise:
  • Every task seems big and daunting in the beginning. It is only when you get into it, that you discover that it is do-able.
  • Everyone enjoys to be in the comfort zone. But it takes a hell lot of courage to step out of it and perform in zones of discomfort as well.
  • Joy is best described as the satisfaction of a job well done :-)
Rafting in manchinbele lake - (5:00 pm - 6:15 pm)

This was allegedly the last challenge we had to complete. We were divided into 2 teams and each team was asked to present the design of their raft in 10 minutes. Our team lead by Suhas and the other team lead by Parthipan submitted the design within the specified time.

After the final approval from major, we went ahead with the actual task of building the raft, which was allotted a time slot of 25 minutes. Our team (Mermaids) built it in 24:14 minutes. The other team (Columbia) built the raft in 24:32 minutes.

Major finally blew the whistle indicating the beginning of the challenge. The rafts were carefully guided in to the luke warm waters of Manchinbele lake. We had awesome fun rowing the rafts built by us. Both the teams completed the task satisfactorily. It was a thrilling experience to row the the raft.

Rafting - Columbia v/s Mermaids (trailing)

Yep! We did it :-) Koi hain jo humse takkar lena chahega?

Key takeaways from the exercise:
  • Trust your team members. It can work wonders.
  • Give your best shot in what you are assigned. The rest will fall in place.
  • Always try to minimize the resource idle time.
Time to windup: (6:40 pm - 7:15 pm)

After serving ourselves with some snacks, we assembled back at the place where we had begun the day. Arun and Vaibhav summed up the days learning. Dhamu shared with us his observations during the raft building activity. He was as articulate as ever. After that the teams were asked to jot down what they would take back as a learning and implement them at their work place. Every team explained in brief the key take aways from this team outing.

But one task was still left over. It was the task of discovering a fact about your teammate that no one in the team knew about. Arun gently reminded us the task and asked us to complete it on our way back home. With heavy hearts and mind full of learning, we left the place at aapproximately7:30 pm.

On the way back, each one in the team shared with the rest, a fact that no one knew about them. I must say that it provided just the perfect ending to a great day. I got to know my team members from really close quarters! Thanks a lot to the c2 team for organizing such a wonderful outbound learning activity.

PS: Ma'm was absolutely right when she had mentioned during our previous outbound learning activity; it is during team outings that people shed their so called 'concious IT sheaths' and show their real self. I, for one tried to be so! Hope the same happened with others as well.

~IT's My Life

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What keeps me motivated?

It is so unlikely of me. Anyone who has known me from my engineering days and who happens to read this post of mine would say, "Sala is ko kya hua hai yaar. Ab kisko patane chal hai?" I don't blame them. All throughout my engineering career, I was known more for being involved in stuff like debate, seminar and etc etc... I was the last person you would find on the ground, playing any sport. You definitely had to pull a trick or two to convince me to 'sweat out' on the field. I dunno why I kept myself away from playing any kind of sport? It leaves me baffled when I look back at those 4 years of engineering. Gosh! I never played any sport.

I told myself, "Enough is enough! Bahut hogaya nautanki. I gotta do something about this." I really wanted to revamp my lifestyle. That was when I decided to get started. I needed to ensure that my stint wasn't ephemeral and I kept it alive for the rest of my life (I am optimist. That explains my claims!). So I spoke with a couple of my friends (G and V) and enquired if I could find a badminton court to play. Apparently G is also crazy about playing badminton. I finally managed to find a court near my room. You know badminton is relatively a costly hobby to pursue in bangalore. But since we found an outdoor court, problem khatam!

I also needed to get myself back in shape. Not that I had begun to look like a watermelon or something similar. But I needed to aquire what people often say, "You need to be fit in order to play badminton yaar!" So I decided to hit the gym. Fortunately there is this gym close to my room. It didn't take me long to make up my mind and I absolutely had no second thoughts about my new venture. It was in the first week of february I guess that I gave my first (ever) entry in to the gym. It takes a decent amount of determination to beat the laziness in you and drag yourself to the gym. It is a challenge of a sort when an idea such as this strikes you during winter! But I was not gonna give up. I also wanted to make sure that I wouldn't try any weights in the gym. I somehow can't come to terms with the guys who believe in 'pumping iron' really hard to become a macho-man! My focus was to reduce some unsaturated fats in my body and get back to shape at the earliest. You really got to be very clear as to what you wish to achieve by 'gymming'! A battle well begun is half won:)

My routine basically involves a few stretches, followed by a decent jog on the tread mill (or an occasional cycling) and then a few other fitness excercies. I have experminted more with the tread than any other equipment in the gym. I would like to share with you some of my typical routines that I have been following till date. They say that your workout on tread mill must roughly follow a pyramid shape when you represent it in terms of time slices/distances. The following two routines is what I have been following mostly. I have swapped them quite frequently, mostly on occasions when one seemed monotonous.

Routine 1:

Activity - jogging on the treadmill

Total time - 25-30 min approximately
Total distance covered - 3.4 km approx
Total calories burnt - 200 kcal

Speed - Distance

  • 4km/hr - 100m
  • 5km/hr - 500m
  • 6km/hr - 600m
  • 7km/hr - 300m
  • 8km/hr - 500m
  • 9km/hr - 500m
  • 10km/hr - 300m
  • 11km/hr - 150m
  • 12 km/hr - 150m
  • 6km/hr - 300km

Routine 2:
Total calories burt - 250 Kcal

Activity 1- Cycling

Total time - 15-20 min approx
Total distance covered - 8 km
Total calories burnt - 100 kcal approx
Average speed - 25-27 km/hr

Activity2 - jogging on treadmill

Total time - 20-25 min approx
Total distance covered - 2.5 km approx
Total calories burnt - 150 kcal

Speed - Distance
  • 4km/hr - 100m
  • 5km/hr - 500m
  • 6km/hr - 600m
  • 7km/hr - 300m
  • 8km/hr - 500m
  • 9km/hr - 250m
  • 10km/hr - 150m
  • 6km/hr - 100m

You can also try out other combinations on the tread mill. I have chosen distance as the parameter of break up. You can chose time slots and work out at these speeds for selected time intervals.

You might have begun to think by now. Doesn't this routine get monotonous after sometime? My answer is yes! Wouldn't you feel bored eating the same food over and over again? When that happens what do you do? You would naturally opt for a change. That is exactly what I did too. When a routine gets mundane, change it!

A few things that might help you keep your motvation levels high.
  1. Always have your expectations realistic. Don't rush in to things and hope that you will lose 20kgs in 20 days or so. Your body took sometime to add on weight. So it will defintely take some time to get rid of it as well.
  2. It is always good to give yourself a day or two off from your regular routine, just to ensure you escape that monotonicity. You might choose to go for a walk in the park or play you favorite sport like badminton or cricket during weekends.
  3. For heaven's sake don't make this 'going-to-gym' activity a pain in the a**. Trust me you will start to hate it after some time. Learn to make it more enjoyable venture such that you would look forward to hitting the gym in full spirits everyday.
  4. Last but not the least, stop comparing yourself with others in the gym. It is very easy to get carried away by somebody's routine. If you know what you want at the end of the day, I am sure you will have more 'satisfaction' and your 'energy levels' will never drop.
I hope I have shared my experiences to the fullest. As far as I am concerned, I find myself totally benefitted by this new hobby or lifestyle, whatever you wish to call. I just hope to hang on to it as long as I can

~IT's My Life

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Times of Mind - Subroto Bagchi speaks

I happened to visit MindTree's official site. As I was navigating through various links, I clicked this link under knowledge center where Subroto Bagchi shares with us some of the valuable learnings of his life. Read on...

~IT's My Life

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Challenging yourself...

Forget about challenging others. Have you ever challenged yourself? When was the last time you told yourself, "Look I don't care what others are aiming at. I just wanna achieve this within this particular period of time." For a long time I seemed to have forgotten the real fun one gets by challenging oneself. I think an opportunity has unfolded itself in front of me. Work place main nayi challenges! I'm loving it. It is surely pushing me to my limits. I am infact discovering how far I can stretch. Trust me. It is difficult to win over yourself than winning over others!

I watched the movie 'Race' the other night. I liked a quote which roughly reads, "Winners win because they play to win. Losers lose because they play to defeat others." Many a time the intensity and the appropriacy of purpose with which you enter the arena matters a lot in ensuring your victory!

Well I surely seem to have gotten both of them straight and clear. Let's see if I can live up to my challenges.

PS: By the way my stint of hitting the gym is still on. It has been over 2 months now. I am enjoying it to the core. My motivation levels are pretty much the same as they were on day 1. I shall share my experiences about the same shortly.

~IT's My Life

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tagged - Yet another time:)

Niveditha tagged me on her blog. It is just a 'small questionnaire'. Just spilling my mind out. Lemme see how I perform!

Disclaimer: I am not sure if I have gotten my choices in the right order. I'll leave that to you to figure out!

  • Ten things you wish you could say to people right now (don’t take names):
  1. Live and Let Live!
  2. A smile costs nothing, let go your khanjoosi for a while :)
  3. Never compromise with your dreams and goals in life!
  4. I am music freak, so guys please bear with some loud music when I am around!
  5. If you haven't understood me still, don't worry... you have an entire life time to figure out!
  6. I am aware of my responsibilities. So stop sending those reminders!
  7. Life always offers to you in abundance. May be it's the appropriacy of the 'merchandise' that you have issues with!
  8. Receiving an appreciation in the right way is an art. You better cultivate it!
  9. Load balancing in life is an essential evil.
  10. A few people have really inspired me very subtly in life. Thanks a ton folks!
  • Nine things about yourself:
  1. I am a blogger. (Just a gentle reminder)
  2. I don't like music, I just love it.
  3. Of late staying fit seems to have taken me in its stride. I'm loving it!
  4. I watch too many movies.
  5. Strange but true. I don't follow cricket religiously.
  6. A TV remote controller is the last thing you will find in my hand!
  7. I like reading a lot. Time is a big constraint though.
  8. I hate travelling. Smitten by inertia!!!
  9. I am an optimist to the core.
  • Eight ways to win your heart:
  1. Comment on my blog! (I tried be more meaner than that. But failed as usual!)
  2. I love people who are simple.
  3. A never dying smiling face :)
  4. Passion towards life.
  5. Love yourself. Be what you are:)
  6. Music somehow creeps in. It truly binds hearts.
  7. They say, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach". Thank god! Mine isn't a round about.
  8. Willingness to share things in life with the much needed!
  • Seven things that cross your mind a lot:
  1. What's the purpose of my existence?
  2. If people could interpret my comments in 10 different ways, why is it that they tend to embrace the one that misconceives my comments the best?
  3. Why do some people come in to your life and stay, while others leave?
  4. Why is our education system so hell bent on quantifying intelligence and calculatedly curbing creativity?
  5. Why do some people do things just for the heck of it? Is it because of the unavailability of choices?
  6. Why don't people use the words "Thank you" and "Sorry" more often than they swear?
  7. Am I doing things that I always wanted to do in life?
  • Six things you wish you never did or want to do:
  1. Innumerable typos.
  2. Get stuck in an elevator. I am a claustrophobic!
  3. Put on some weight!
  4. I wish I had judged a few people in my life better than I did.
  5. Miss an exam for no fault of mine.
  6. Stop blogging!
  • Five Turn offs:
  1. Hypocrisy.
  2. Cynicism
  3. Bad sense of humour.
  4. Untidiness.
  5. Lack of respect for others!
  • Four turn ons:
  1. Open mindedness.
  2. Smiling face:)
  3. Simplicity
  4. Music!
  • Three things you want to do before you die:
    (Some things -> infinity!)
  1. Wanna visit some beautiful places (ek lambi list hai) in this world with my love!
  2. Learn how to dance well and play a musical instrument, preferably guitar!
  3. Wanna enjoy even the smallest of the joyous moments in my life:)
  • Two smileys that describe you:
:) :)
  • One confession:
I seriously felt that clearing the SCJP exam is more easier than completing this questionnaire!

I would like to tag Vidya and Karthik. Over to you guys...

~IT's My Life

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Have you earned your quota of happiness?

Have you earned you quota of happiness?

I read this article posted by Vidya on her blog. I completely agreed with her views that one essentially needs to be happy from within in order to give happiness to the world outside.

Today we had a program called 'Learning from unusual sources' where we had the privilege to meet Dr. Neha Vakharia, a trustee of O.A.S.I.S. She has dedicated her life to serve the under privileged people in the slums of Bangalore. Oasis movement is involved in the propagation of various concepts and lifestyle for the development of better human beings and a society at large. It was an extremely touching session that we had today. I made a comment saying, "We need to be happy ourselves from within before we give happiness to the world outside." Dr. Neha too indorsed my thoughts.

After the session was over, I had a small talk (almost a debate) with my PAL over the comment I made during the session. But my PAL had a different view. She quoted me with the example of Charlie Chaplin, the greatest comedian of all times, whose personal life was an utter tragedy. She was suggesting that my comment wasn't a universal truth. There could be exceptions to it. That left me thinking for a while. It was already getting late and I had to leave the office. But she did manage to leave that 'worm' in my head to bug me for the rest of the evening.

But on the way back, I reflected deeply over it. The more I thought of it, my conviction only grew stronger and deeper. I figured out that I was probably right in a sense. I felt that whatever may be the case, you essentially need to earn your 'quota of happiness' in life, before you give it back to this world. I feel it is something similar to the Conservation of Energy kind of thing. You can neither create one nor destroy it, but only transfer it from one from to another. I feel that Chaplin found happiness in entertaining others. I believe that he wouldn't have given his best in acting, if it hadn't helped him earn his 'quota of happiness'. Though his personal life might appear to be a tragedy for the entire world, for Charlie, entertaining others was the only way to get his 'quota of happiness', which he seldom found in his personal life. It probably helped him subdue all the bitterness he got to taste in his personal life. I feel that Charlie Chaplin tried all his life relentlessly, to prove this very point!

If I could draw a parallel with this thought of mine, I would quote what our Vedas and Upanishads have talked about the 4 different phases (ashrams) of life.
  1. Bramhacharya Ashram
  2. Grihashta Ashram
  3. Vanaprasta Ashram
  4. Sannyasa
The above 4 ashrams need to be practiced in the same order, to achieve salvation or eternal happiness. In order to appreciate the essence 3rd and 4th phases of life, one need to experience the materialistic and family bound happiness, before even deciding to move to the others. It also explains why people who are forced to take up the role played in 4th phase of life soon after the 1st phase, find it extremely challenging to control their innate needs.

It is human nature in general that largely certifies my claims. I for one, surely believe that unless you are happy, you can't make others happy. Our mind sort of tries to do this balancing act. When it feels that the 'unhappines quotient' is on the rise, it tries hard to find unusual ways to release that negative energy out of our body and gain some positive energy in the form of happiness. If you observe, the most happiest of the faces in this world are the ones that hide the bitterest of the pains in life. It is just that their mind might have discovered an unusual way of earning its 'quota of happiness'!

I am not sure if I am right or wrong. I would love to hear from you readers on this topic. Kindly pour in your thoughts as well.

~IT's My Life

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