Shiva Ram's Blog

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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 www.mrunal.org. 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: bleacherreport.com and fansided.com ).

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.

 

 

 

 


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.


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?? 😉

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 🙂 ) . Its a wonderful view from the top. 😉

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. 

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. 🙂

 

with love

21-year-old Shiva Ram

For the original post which inspired my post, click here


The Mole in the office

What do you notice when you enter a swanky new office where you have recently taken an internship or even better, have taken up a new job? The aura of corporate world which is totally complementary to the general insti life that you have enjoyed for the past couple of years.

The strict dress code, Indian Standard Time (rather than the Institute Standard Time which never fails to run behind the former even if the desperate attempt of a professor to make you come on time or cumbersome preparations to organize an event), the timing of your meals, the cubicle, the notion of security passes, etc etc. But what has nowadays become a trend is the ban of the companies on the usual time wasting or useless web sites that does not add to the value creation of the company.

This is totally new to the I-never-logout-of-my-facebook-account kind of guy. There are valid arguments from the point of the companies also so I do not want to get myself involved in that debate. It is already running around in a lot of other blogs and I am sure that there is nothing new in what I am going to say among what is there.

But what can you do at times when your boss is on half a day leave and you are absolutely vetti! You cant access these sites where you can waste time and all? To this my inquisitive explorer started trying out some of the sites that I usually access for my time pass.

Surprisingly I was able to open my wordpress account but I did not dare to blog when I was in the office, as it is not the Oh-Its-ok types. :-/

Another important site was the Google Reader. For people who have been Buzzing around with this feature you will know that there is no ample time to stop reading from this page.

So the mole is out in the office trying to find its way to get comfortable in the new way of life. If anybody can help this mole you can add in your findings also in this blog. Until then…

Squeak Squeak…..