Shiva Ram's Blog


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.


A weird and enlightening experience

Phew!! It has been since I blogged I guess. Post a week guys have been mailing me frantically with ideas but I just dont find the time to sit and write. Then how did I find time today? Next week quiz and I am busy mugging. It is a wonder how the brain works and finds time!:)

Ya the experience that I was going to talk about. I have a cycle here in insti. It is somewhat a basic necessity at least to the boys as all the facilities are very far off from the hostels.

I have been riding my cycle for the past 3 months without brakes and a very badly working chain that slips at every 180 degrees which means effectively I move forward only during one half cycle(! ). This causes so much pain that I started to have knee problems and fatigue that I couldnt ride my cycle one day. Apart from this problem also the fact that I dont have brake makes people not take my cycle for work also. I managed to have only some 3-4 accidents in the 3 month period and other minor encounters where my legs saved me with friction (! ).

I decided to at last repair my cycle and got it fixed for 200 bucks. I had lost my keys also and was working with a painful wire lock.

Brakes – check

new lock – check

chain – check

When I rode the cycle that evening IT WAS HEAVEN! I had forgotten how well my cycle could ride and my baby was back in full business. But I noticed a change in my behavior itself while riding back to hostel.

My auto-adjustment of speed due to the absence of brakes was still apparent in my biking and I never had to use the brakes anywhere till hostel.The things that I used to do without brakes and a bad cycle was repeated even with a good and new conditioned cycle.

This set me thinking on some stuff :

  1. Suppose you are working in a job where you are stressed and fatigued to the maximum one should consider it as a learning experience for future endeavors.
  2. The harder and tougher the work you do now the more admiration and appreciation you will have when you are free or things get easier later on.
  3. Never forget lessons learnt the hard way because you never know when they can help you.
  4. Life teaches lessons in every small possible way. If you can identify the moral then you can enjoy the fruits of life better.

This may sound all boring to some of you guys but this was one point where I would quote LSG sir, “Life hits you hard!! “and I just stood there admiring it.

Best accomplishment of 2010

What is my best accomplishment of 2010? This requires me to jog down memory lane and think about all the things that I did in 2010.There are quite a few things that would make me feel proud of that I did in 2010.  But when I suggested this to my friend he advised me not to disclose to the general public about it.

What else then????

Well when did I start this blog?? I started it this year only but then am using it effectively in December of 2010 only…

What else then????

Well then yes!! Professionally speaking I organized Genesis, the social b-plan competition of IIT Madras. It was one hell of an experience and I was pained to the maximum possible limit that I have ever known.It turned out just enough well but still the competition got over successfully. Each competition has its own complaints and I have learnt so much from it.

Also another accomplishment would be my improvement of skills in volleyball. Even with so much pressure professionally I continued to play, as the sport was my only leisure time fun. It was a very helpful stress buster and also now I can definitely say that I am totally different sportsperson from what I was in my first year. Rather better than even in the start of my second year!! 🙂

Language Postulates

I write this post in great pain and observance that I experienced in insti. In institutes like IIT where there are students from all over the country one gets to see the varied social fabric of the nation. Not only that, it shows you the human mentality and psychology that is present among different communities.

A Community is formed by the people with people with common interests. The common interest maybe many things. Like common sport, common hostel, common department. But the most important common interest is the common language.

I am not judgmental about people about people aligning themselves with common interest guys. But among all other interests is the common language that affects me the most.  Why should there be a social bias of people being close friends with people who talk the same language?

When I asked people the same question they answered me with the answer that they are comfortable speaking their mother tongue. Does this mean that they are incapable to communicate in a common language. Their inability to communicate causes them to get uncomfortable with others.

Another question that arrives in my mind. How will vocally disabled people communicate? They do not have a common language. Or even the hearing disabled people who cant differentiate with other languages.How will they have close friends?

These thoughts are no use to others. They are fit enough only on my blog as people just excuse themselves as ‘ He doesnt understand’ . The fact is I dont understand.

My chance to meet Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam

I always wanted to go to a talk of APJ. I have been a big fan of inspirational thoughts and his great vision. There are not many people out there to whom the youth can look upto and say,” I want to follow the words of this man and maybe someday I can be as inspiring as a man as he is.”

The lecture was organized as part of the Extra Mural Lectures( EML) of IIT, Madras, Centre of Innovation (CFI), the Vivekananda Study Circle and the Indo-German Centre for Collaboration. The talk was supposed to start at 2.30 and end by 3.15 . But APJ was late.

I was the first one to stand in the queue. Entry was allowed after 1pm and I was outside SAC by 12.25 itself. The traditional case of the wolf and the shepherd was visible in SAC. As APJ was late the students started clapping together in every 10 minutes faking his entry and escalating the hopes of ardent fans like me to catch a glimpse as soon as enters.

He did arrive though and the organizers were quick to start the function. APJ wanted to start with the talk directly as he didnt even care to sit down in the lonely chair on stage. Even more humorous was when there was an introduction about him to be made he signalled the guy to make it short. He later realized the intro wasnt going to be short, so he went upto the guy and stood besides him so that the uncomfortableness will make his speech shorter. This amused the crowd a lot.

He did start his speech with an apology for being late. He said he was stopped by a crowd..a very young crowd..and so he couldnt resist them.

I am not sure whether to give the whole speech here. So I am just going to give a short and crisp quotes of his speech.

Today, Everybody especially the youth wants to be unique in this world… They want to be the special you… But the world tries to its best to make the unique you just like everybody else

There are 4 things required to be unique :

  1. A goal that we drive towards to succeed
  2. A good and sound Knowledge
  3. Devotion and Hard work
  4. Perseverance

APJ also spoke about how yesterday’s success formula is not the same that is required for today and gave examples of the verticals in a lot of situations.

He asked the students to mail him about 2 things :

  1. To find out a person who works with integrity in the following areas
  • A Politician
  • A Business Personality
  • A Bureaucrat
  • A Social Scientist

2. To write on a piece of paper about the thing that today’s youth would like to be remembered for. This he told would inspire today’s youth to be unique.


Another notable part of his speech was the oaths.Again there were 2 oaths :

  1. I will work with integrity and succeed with integrity
  2. I will plant 5 trees and nurture them


Well at last there was a question time. Sadly because of loss of time only 3 questions were allowed. The first question was asked about Food Security and his opinion. He gave some vague answer by which time I was all excited on whether to ask a question myself and if then what should I ask. Well, I thought I will put his own question back to him on what he likes to be remembered for. His reply was

I would like to see one billion smiles

Even though the answer seems a bit vague I feel that the intention seems to be bull’s eye.It was always a dream for me that I attend a lecture by APJ. Though I must admit that this wasnt the most captivating and interesting one I diod feel satisfied. I thank the organizing team for giving me the experience.



Freshman year

Those were the times I would say. It brings very nostalgic memories. Freshman year at insti. The time when I was introduced to a myriad of opportunities that called itself IIT campus life. It is a bit sad though that I am writing about the whole experience after a long time but the delay is what that makes it even more special to me because those were the best moments of my life.

Well, what was it that made it the most awesome year in my life. Was it the tribal war cries of inter-hostel battle for which the newborn babies( us !! ) were trained very vociferously for?? Was it the daily fear of ragging that senior would call us and make us do things that we didnt want to but would have enjoyed if someone else did( 🙂 )  ?? Was it the immense amount of sports I played for my hostel?? Was it the view of very huge technical festival and cultural festival from the inside?? Was it being in the hostel for the first time?? Was it sleeping in a class of 250 in the last bench in CRC ?? Was it the beauty of the IIT campus and going to CCD at 1.30 at night ( Ya!! CCD  used to be open till 2!! ) ?? Was it the chance to see a crowd of abot 8ooo in an Open Air Theater in Saarang?? Was it the feel of Inter IIT rivalry in Inter IIT sports held in IIT Madras?? ………. and on and on…There are just too many to compare.

Its too difficult to compare those moments. The first semester was the most awesome part among the two semesters. I feel bad for those juniors who arent able to interact with their seniors just because of the ragging issue. It prevents them in knowing a lot about the insti life and how to enjoy it fully. Some juniors are also adamant in not knowing their seniors. Well buddy your loss. Its just purely your loss.

Insti life!! I love it..

I know I know..Its not that I am a frequent blogger but hey a man needs his own space to vent out his feelings once in a while. I read in a place that bloggers generally always quote themselves as “Oh!! Sorry I couldnt blog for a longitrme..I didnt have a lot ! ” and that it is too lame. Since I share the same feeling I am going to refrain the same train of thought here from now onwards.

Well about the title of this post. Insti life !! I have been living in IIT for the past two and a half years and I love it here. Its not the fact that its the place I wanted to be for the whole of my high school. Well!! Maybe that’s why I initially I thought it would be cool being here but I rest my case there. I love this place for all that it has to offer even if you are not an IITian.

Firstly, the campus. It is nature’s abode ; It is this whole green fabric that covers the whole of this magnificent campus that makes me wonder in which other beautiful place I can live in. Frankly telling you the couples in insti love the place for the long walks they can take without having much disturbance and I accept. But sometimes taking a walk is stereotyped as a ‘COUPLE’s THING’. I very much tend to differ with that idea and have had awesome nights with just my friends. Another testimony to this is the fact that when my friends and I have a galla time walking from the MAIN gate back to the hostel.

Will post a better one when I get one

Secondly the HOSTEL. I have never stayed in a hostel for those who have never stayed before..In your face….its awesome. The point of staying in hostel is the bonding and everything. Everything is true here and a lot more. There is this system of inter hostel rivalry that basically encourages talent from the grassroots. I should rather say breed  talent since the seniors just the drag the lowest of enthused fresher once they notice talent in him. They can do great for the scouts if they would ever recruit JEE-cracking-supposed-to-be-brightest-of-the-nation guys as scouts.

Thirdly, I could have never thought I would play such a great variety of sports after coming here and that too at a competitive level. I played Volleyball, Football, Hockey, Badminton, Table Tennis, etc.

My Hostel Volleyball team

I can just go on and on but the I like to keep my posts no too much boring.

Basically the point is that I love the opportunities that I get living here. I sometimes look at people who have been wasting there time here in insti and not appreciate all the small things it has to offer. Even I feel sometimes I missed a lot of opportunities but I take every possible step to at least take a shot at the ones that pass by. When I leave this insti there shouldnt be a thing that I would think “IF I HAD ONLY DONE THAT”.  Its sounds like a cliche from the movie called Bucket List, but hey! life is all about the doing things that you always wanted to for yourself. It only matters whether you are happy you did them or content that you at least tried or live with the fact that you missed the awesome life that you can call college life!!