Shiva Ram's Blog


Dear Me…. A letter from my 21 year old self :)

It must be awkward to see me writing to myself. Its like I am writing something to put inside in a time capsule which I can retrieve later in in some 15 years(Uh! That’s a stretch).

I actually got this idea from a blog post where a 28 year old blogger writes a letter to her 16 year old girl self. Mine is not to a 16 year old self but to my older self who is told things from the 21 year old me. So here it is….

Dear Me,

How are you? I hope this finds you in the best of health and wealth? So what is it you have been doing with your life now? I hope it is something that is good and useful to yourselves. Obviously you must be working somewhere now. Oh wait! It is not necessary for you to get a job. There is more to doing good for yourself than having a job. Just make sure that whatever you are doing is close to your heart.

Career is a long journey and it does not be on a traditional path. It must be filled with interests and excitement. Steve Jobs,one of your greatest idol said that each morning if you were to ask yourself that,”If today was the last day of your life, what I want to do what I am about to do today?” and if the answer is no for too many number of days then it is time to change things the way they are. These are golden words and try to follow them if you can.

The time that I write this blog is a wonderful time. Life is full of expectations and ambitions to fulfill. Maybe they get fulfilled or they dont. But when you read this, feel happy that you had given your level best at attempting it. There is a chance that you can be happy that your ambitions get fulfilled. No guesses for being rejoiced then heh?? πŸ˜‰

You are a stud. Remember this the next time you feel down and low on confidence. There are things…. so many things that you have done to be proud of and sets you apart.Don’t let ordinary hurdles bring you down.

It is funny that one of the things that has set you apart in a lot of things is your height. It is more than normal and I am glad that we had it. It is boon and a bane but it is always a pleasure to be taller in this world(not only physically but also morally I would say πŸ™‚ ) . Its a wonderful view from the top. πŸ˜‰

You play a lot of sports. So I must tell you that it is important to keep your fitness good. If there can be anything that you cant regain, then it is your fitness. Keep up your good work.

You like to travel places. Your 21 year old self could not find the time and money to do justice to this wish. I hope that this wish continues later also.

I definitely would say this that be around loved ones. There cant be a better place than besides someone who loves you. Let me remind you that the countless TV serials that you have watched, they all talk about the same thing. If your heart is broken then don’t worry, if it had happened then, it was for the search of a better person. I hope that this situation does not arrive. But still.Β 

This post may be full of blind rays of hope and empty promises but what else can I do now than tell you that I will be there for myself later. πŸ™‚


with love

21-year-old Shiva Ram

For the original post which inspired my post, click here


Bharat Ratna for Tendulkar!!

It is in the news that the Government is proposing in all directions to give a Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar for his great contribution to the nation for his cricket prowess. He is the Master Blaster from India and the records follow him wherever he goes. I am not going to include the fact that the current England tour is devastating for India and are looking at whitewash in the English soil. Neither are my views in this post prejudiced by this. But being a person who resorts to music when desperate times occur I find it dismaying that a few extraordinary persons are neglected by the so-called home department. I just recommend here only 2 people but I guess there are more.

First is Ilayaraja.

The name of Ilayaraja is nothing new to the current generation. The Maestro or Isaignani as he is called has been in the industry composing songs that literally sway your heart for the past 3 decades ( Sachin is here for only 2 decades). The older generation need not even be told about him as it was the time of great economic turmoil and his songs of life,love,tragedy,happiness that defined their mood. Some of these famous tracks are even replayed in today’s movies to show the same emotion but in a comical way so much that those tracks have been synonymous for those emotions.

Well he is just a Tamil industry Music Director. What has he done to the nation as such??

Yes. Most of his scores has been in Tamil. But he has composed music in Telugu,Kannada,Malayalam and even Marathi!! Did you know that is a GOLD MEDALIST in electric guitar from the Trinity College of Music. Out of the 4 National Awards that he has won it is 1 each in Tamil and Malayalam and 2 in Telugu. So he is not just a Tamil Composer.I can keep going on here. But I just Sergei Brin and Larry Page founded Google for that. πŸ˜›

Where is he now??

He composes music for upcoming directors as he himself was given the opportunity when he was young. He wants to give back to the film industry. His music is no less wonderful as should say the National Award for the Malayalam film Pazhasiraja was in 2009.

There is this joke in the Internet. AR Rahman music makes a man standing still to sway but only Ilayaraja’s music can make a moving make come to a standstill. _/\_

I am a true fan of Ilayaraja and I truly wish that he gets a Bharat Ratna.

The second person I wish is K.J.Yesudas

Man I really think GOD sent this man to earth to mellow our hearts with his voice. I mean the songs this guy has sung is almost…… I have no words to describe…

To some of my non-Google friends, here is a start for you. He has won the National Award 7 times( Oh ya!! You must be thinking has anybody won so much? Well no. He is the only person). Another common news about is his letter to the Kerala Home ministry asking them to stop giving him the State award( He has won it 22 times).Β  Even after that he got the award many times after which his last letter threatened to deny the award. His presence in the music industry is for 5 decades where his footprint is yet to touch only Assamese,Konkani and Kashmiri.

Even now when I hear the Gopikavasantham in His Highness Abdullah, Kanne Kalai Mane from Moondram Pirai, Gori thera gaon bada pyaara from Chitchor and hisΒ  numerous other songs I stop, listen and then move.

Please note that I am not against Tendulkar getting a Bharat Ratna. But I am confused at why these legends are not conferred it yet. And I am pretty sure that these awards are obsolete to these GODs anymore. But being there ardent fans I am still dazzled. I am sure that this drive for Tendulkar’s Bharat Ratna is after India winning World Cup. But what about the so many accolades and the hearts that these maestros have won in their careers till now??

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.

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.