Shiva Ram's Blog


Resurrection in 2014

It has been a long time. Where was I? What was I doing? It is a long story. So long, that I had to leave other such pleasures like this blog.

Where was I?

I took up a job. Finally! I had written a post earlier, about what it feels like to not have a job here. I was not forced to take up the job. It was just the best thing to do at that point apart from the other adventures I was involving myself in.

What else was I doing?

I am preparing for this awesome exam, called Civil Service Examination(CSE) conducted by Union Public Service Commission(UPSC). I did not take up a job after college, because I wanted to full time prepare for this exam. This exam and the subsequent preparation period was the inspiration behind writing the post on, how it feels like to not have a job, in the first place. For first timers, the preparation can get quite heavy. And in my first attempt, there were 2 optional subjects unlike the 1 optional subject from thereon. So more pressure.

In pursuit of that exam, I had been preparing for over 2 years, including the good days of my final year in college.  It was June 2013. Looking ahead in my life at that time, I thought this was the best moment to take up a job. I had prepared pretty well with the basics and it just needed some revisions, writing practise, corrections, etc for the subsequent attempts.

At the end, taking up a job means most of your day time is gone. And then, the rest of time, I used to study for the exam. So no time for a blog post. 😦

What is this exam?

For people who do not know, it is a very tough exam. It has 3 parts – Preliminary, Mains Written and Personality Test(Interview). I can write a whole separate post on the exam but I guess there are many sites which are solely dedicated to this exam like So if you want to know more about the exam, you can look it up over there.

My Performance

The exam went well and I got selected to interview. But, as fate goes, it doesnt matter if you have some sheer moments of excellence. It matters to have overall greatness. I can only describe this in a better way through these GIFs ( courtesy: and ).

If you had seen the recent FIFA World Cup 2014, you would have known about Mexico’s Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. He made wonderful saves like these:

Ochoa save 1

Ochoa save 1


And this:


Ochoa 2

Ochoa save 2


And this one:

Ochoa save 3

Ochoa save 3


But at last who won the world cup?

These guys did…

The FIFA World Cup 2014 Champions - Germany

The FIFA World Cup 2014 Champions – Germany


Life lessons learnt

It is so simple to come at the end of the day, and say,” Hey! You could have done this better”.

I would have been like, “Oh wow! Thanks!! I did not know that I had to perform, in all aspects at top notch to get selected! You opened my eyes!” 😛

But it is just the way things are. You realize your mistake or your weak areas only after you have made them. It is more frustrating, when you know that you gave your 100% and yet, things did not work out the way you thought they would.

What are you doing now?

  1. Pretty much picked up all the pieces of myself after tasting defeat for the second time. This is one of the important step. Otherwise next steps are of no use.
  2. Started revision + practise for the next prelims. The good thing about having to give for 3rd time is that, your preparation is easier than the last time.
  3. Plan out some Plan B and Plan C. I will blog about these, when I have successfully employed them.






Attention: To my newly placed friends. This is a good post from Amol Aggarwal, regarding some of the good measures taken by RBI to promote financial literacy.

One may think that this is too simple and not useful for the city urban people, but there are many who fall into the debt trap because of unsound financial planning.

The Finance calender is like a worksheet to give what one must do to balance the income and expenditure levels. I see many of my friends splurging their newly got income. This is like the ABC of what you must do to avoid future financial crisis.

Mostly Economics

RBI has released some interesting material for promoting financial literacy. Here is a guide to fin literacy, Financial Diary to calculate savings and expenses and 16 posters.

The press release says:

View original post 313 more words


Indian Govt’s flip-flop on Oil Subsidies « Mostly Economics

Indian Govt’s flip-flop on Oil Subsidies « Mostly Economics.

This is an excellent article on the recent flip flops dony by the government in the name of economic reforms.

” It seems as if I have walked and walked and walked, not realizing that I started backwards a long time ago.”

Be Inspired! Message from Guindy station autowallahs!

This is a truly inspiring story that I experienced recently. The one thing that I can appreciate Chennai about is the interconnectivity of the different public transport systems. Amid the controversy of 4 students dieing due to travelling in the footboard, here is a story I would like to tell that is different.

I am preparing for Civil service and travel almost daily to the Anna Centenary Library for my studies. I live in Chrompet and I use the train and bus to travel till the library. I catch a train from Chrompet to Guindy, from where I catch a bus- which is more than often overflowing with commuters-to the library.

The Guindy station has 2 entrances, from its sides.

While coming back the bus stops at this entrance.

The entrance that I use. At the far end is the staircase to the platforms.

The entrance that I use. At the far end is the staircase to the platforms.

One of the glaring things about this entrance used to be the empty space right in front of the entrance. People(read males) used to urinate right out in the public and whenever I cross the place I used to cover my nose to avoid the stench. But I was not an action oriented man. I was not a change maker. Not at least till I become something powerful I used to think.

The place which used to stink! Just behind th current hoarding.

The place which used to stink! Just behind the current hoarding.

Later, one evening I found this hoarding ornamented with the pictures of Hindu deities in the same place. In it was inscribed by “By your Auto friends” in Tamil.

The long hoarding with deity photos

The long hoarding with photos of deities

I was amazed. I stood there appreciating the initiative of a group of auto drivers. This act which they committed, made people not go perform their usual urinal activities. They used the fear of God to drive away people.

Let me analyze their act in a deeper way. I study in Public Administration about how public policy needs more people participation, involvement of stake holders. But these are the usual,standard, theoretical, boring answers that are kept ready made and handy to make the aspirant foll hardy to any type of question. But here we see, something that is true to the spirit of these things.

People share random things in facebook. More so, they casually point to all their problems into saying that, “Hey! This is India!”. I for once would tell them, stop whining, start doing.

Gandhi said,”Be the change you want to see”. I think this will be an example.

As for the sharing in facebook thing. I would not care if you don’t share it or don’t like.

But my message here is just “Be inspired!”.

Top 7 things I learnt being in College

Claimer: This is not one of the “Do-this-in-college” or “Do-this-and-enjoy-the-way-I-did type of post. Rather it is a combination of lessons learnt from my successes and failures.

Rather maybe you can have dissenting views or even capitalize on my mistakes and views here. This is open to criticism and maybe you can add your own views here.

So then here is the Top 7 things that I learnt.

1. It is not where you are. It is how you are.

This is a question that pondered me over a long time of whether I am in the right place and I am doing what I am supposed to do? Am I even doing something that interests me or am I just whiling away my precious time.

The point of whether being in the place I am interested in solved on its own and I did find my interests but in the initial days I was always affected by this question of where I am and what I am doing here. After 4 years of college life I can say this that I dont regret being there. One of the primary reasons I feel people complain about this issue is because they are not able to do anything in that place. To them it will look like a failure. If you consider yourself to be at an useless point it doesnt mean life has left you at a deadend. It just means you have led life into a deadend.

It is the case as to how big institutions are built. Not by the walls around them but by the students in them. If you are in a college that is not at the helm of things, I think you are lucky. Because you have the chance to bring it to the top rather climb on the mountain already scaled by others.

2. Time Management needs more practice than skill.

My typical day after classes would be followed by volleyball practice for 2 hours, assignments, club meetings, my own personal indulgences like TV shows, etc. Initially it was tough keeping everything together. But later I got better in doing all the things together. I used to think I have a better time management plan but the thing was that I had done so much by then I had practice.

One of the main thing that I dont include for is allowance. Like for example transit time between court to hostel, mess to hostel, etc. During studies I didnt account for the distractions and I had just put in like 2 hours of effective studying which never is the case and ends of 4 hours of overall studying.

3. If you do things you like, you will not regret it later.

There is always a risk in pursuing passion versus academics. For me, there was always somehow the best of the two worlds. But there was a time I had to make a heavy choice between playing and academics. Of course, my grades tanked that semester.

But if you would ask me, I felt so liberated. Playing one round of volleyball would clear my mind of tension that would have been brought by the whole semester. I never regret that decision.

4. You cant be friends with everybody.

However nice you are. However right you are. However just the world maybe. You just cant be friends with all. It is not possible to have human relationship be constant for all humans. It is natural for every being to differ and you are not the reason for it.

5. Friends are not the persons to form a group to do a project.

This  is resonant in many other social networking sites too. We include friends in a project thinking that there might be a better chemistry between us all. But the thing, we tend to let ourselves off the hook thinking it is only our friend in the group and at last either the project goes bad or the friendship goes bad or worse, both go bad.

6. It is never late to start something new.

I started learning how to speak better in college. I started to write this blog, how much ever slow paced and once in a while possible in college. So it was never too late for me to start something new. I was so glad that I ventured into so many new things that they affected my life in every least bit possible.

7. Friends are hard to come. Even harder to let go.

I just cant explain this in words. Since it is after college too, this feeling is coming to me more than ever.



What it feels like to not have a job!

I recently passed out of college and contrary to what my post title may sound I passed with very good grades. I got a very good job offer on campus placement and things were all rosy and sweet to me when I passed out.

But I had different plans. Preparing for Civil service is by no means an easy job and when the joining date of this 7 lakh offer was just a week before my Mains exam date I had to politely tell them,”I am sorry. I cant join your company”.

When I gave them this reply, that I wont be joining their company, I was not sad or worried because I was confident. I knew that things would go well and besides this was an IT company and I wouldnt want to be generalized into a “Standard Indian IT professional” profile which is now doing the rounds in almost all management schools and even in the civil service. But the situation is not that simple in a current “Havent you got campus offer?” Indian society.

My parents have to justify my decision in every family gatherings and to the nosy neighbours and co-workers. I feel sometimes it is all for the good but the initial rosiness is all gone here. I had cleared one small exam which I made myself very clear that I had no intention of joining and had just written it for an experience. But from then on till the interview session of that exam, the answer to what your son is doing would be “Oh! He cleared this exam and will sit in interview next week”. I got confused whether they think this exam was important to me or they are just trying to fill in the void of saying nothing. I soon later found that it is just filling the void which is much necessary in the social setting of the Indian family.

When campus placements came, everyone was anxious. Whether or not they will get a job? What will they do if they dont have a job? Will the job be a good paying one? When people do not get placed they get inhumanely depressed and it is a similar situation as to how one would feel if he didnt get through IIT-JEE or other entrance exams.

For once, I would like to tell here that the situation is not that far grim even if you dont have a job. Even if you have passed out of any Tom,Dick,Harry college, there is no cause for concern. I am not saying this as an optimist. I am looking at things here with a perspective that things cannot be that bad, if you know what you want to do. It is because just like any one of the entrance exam you failed you still managed to study. And one just has to start refining oneself to focus more on his/her career than just look at campus placements.

For me, the wait for results is the most agonizing one and not the fact that I am not employed. I can find a job. One just has to believe in oneself to succeed. When people read stories how”5 IITians get 80 lakh salary”, they are bound to get judgemental. But since they dont know that not all IITians get the same salary, it is not worth it to try proving you are worth it.

More Reservation ideas for the government

With the recent “ALL-PARTY CONSENSUS” on approving the bill that allows reservation in promotions in jobs for Scheduled Castes(SC) and Scheduled Tribes(ST), here is my best 4 other reservation ideas for the government.

1. Indian Reservation Service (IRS)

With all the parties having a consensus on providing more reservations, the government has proposed an All India Service, which shall be called as the Indian Reservation Service (IRS). This will be an All India Service which will be introduced in the Winter Session of the Parliament since the Monsoon Session, though the monsoons failed, proved to be a water wash.

The main duties and the functions of this service would be to make sure that the myriad amount of reservation given to the people is being properly followed and if they feel any section is left out or “not adequately represented”, they can propose a reservation for them and it shall be passed onto the already present legislations. They will use the delegated legislation offered to the Civil servants where they can set the rules to a skeletal Act passed by the parliament.

2.Reservation in Trains,Buses,Cars

Following the worldwide celebrations for Indian Independence, one of the “wise-heads” sitting in the Parliament read about the story in which the Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a train in South Africa. This reminded him of the kind of oppression “HIS” people had to go through during the British times. Even without realizing that the British “RESERVED” higher class seats to the white people, he gets to think what if???

And thus born this idea about the reservation in trains,cars, buses,autos and in all modes of transport. He can then shout aloud during the election rallies, ” From now onwards OUR people wont have to be denied the luxury of going in trains and buses. We shall travel equally! “.

But little did he realize that this will just increase the rift between HIS people and the OTHER people. Why?? Because now the OTHER people wont forget HIS people.

3.Reservation in having sex

After having a survey throughout India, in the Census 2011 it was found out that though the economically weak people were having sex, HIS people were not having enough of it. He saw this as a social evil being imposed upon HIS people. What is the solution, he pondered??

Thus came the reservation to have sex. The Act states thus, that each person man/woman shall have sex with HIS people once in every thrice times they do so ordinarily. This is being done to bring UP, the sexually ill treated people!

The leader of the HIS party, also quotes this to his minister,” This will sure rise the Youth Wing among our cadres. I thought my son will never has his own chamchas“.

The opposition party, NOT HIS, also came in consensus with the HIS party that the move would surely lead India to paths of higher glory and awareness.

4.Reservation for judges in matters related to SC/STs

During the British times, a bill known as the Illbert Bill was introduced by Lord Rippon in 1883. The main provision of this act was that the cases relating to the English officers and settlers be brought under Indian judges too. This was obviously not passed due to extreme colonial pressure from British.

Knowing about this, the HIS party leader introduces a different bill in the constitution. The “HISBERT bill”. According to this, the cases related to HIS people would be on trial under a HIS judge only. Anyways reservation has been brought under public employment, which makes sure that there are enough number of HIS people on the Court bench.

Here were his arguments which to the extremely disinterested Parliament accepted whole heartedly

  1.  There was wide spread partiality in judging of cases relating to HIS people by OTHER judges.
  2. People were not having justice and were afraid to come to court.
  3. This bill provides speedier judgements as judges are specifically apointed for such cases.
  4. This also would in turn make sure the adequate representation in courts for HIS people.

So these conclusions have been forwarded to the IRS(Indian Reservation Servce) so that they can implement this as soon as possible so that this can be another feather cap for India’s innovation in administration. If you have any suggestions you can post in the comments and I am sure the IRS will get the message.

The real tragedy of it all is not because of the ruling party or not because of the opposition, but because of everyone! They are all in consensus for such a drastic measure which is really disturbing.