Khushwant Singh, noted Indian author and journalist, died last to last week. I’ve been meaning to write about it, but my memory of him is like a warm, if foggy feeling and I didn’t want to put it to paper yet. But, here we are, talking about the man, because he deserves an audience. Continue reading
Ever noticed that whenever in a Movie, there’s a scene in some Public place, the focus is never on the public but on the Actors?? Then what are the other people doing in that scene? Why are they there? What is their purpose and what is their reason?
Lets leave the film industry aside. Have you ever thought what it would be like to have that talent or that Father or that Level of Power in Society or that much Money?? Of course you have, we all have! We all have at some point in Life thought what it would be like to have that much money and social standing. How much easier Life would be if we were that Rich and Famous Person who is always partying or giving interviews about their Fabulous Life and how other people treat them with so much respect and always give them preferential treatment! How much fun would it be if we have already achieved what we wish to achieve and are simply sitting back and reaping the rewards.
Often, during College and even School, I used to imagine how Easy my Life would be if I were that Professional who has already achieved that Position and is just working now. How much I despised the process of going to school and how much I longed to exchange it for the process of getting up early every morning in order to go to Work! It was the satisfaction of having a boring, procedural Life which gave me comfort! It was this comfort which made me hate my Learning years, because those years were important only for growing up, not actually doing anything constructive on the work front.
I had read nearly all major interesting Management stories before Class 10th, including Shiv Khera, Who Moved My Cheese?, I Moved Your Cheese and even Murphy’s Law (Where Something Can Go Wrong, It Will !!!) !!!
All of these made me think about all the kinds of new ideas and methods I could implement once I got to that managerial position! And yet, I was not the least bit interested in going for an MBA!
Ok, enough about the reasons for this post, lets move on. So we’ve understood that all the popular stories are about the people at the centre and that Life will always take you through the boring phases before giving you the reward. So what does this teach us?? That those Bystanders have a Life of their own, a Story of their own in which they are the Heroes and They hold the central plot. In their Lives, We are the Bystanders!
Do not be a Bystander in your Own Life, take up the reins and Pull the Horse of Destiny in the Direction YOU want it to go! There is no better satisfaction that to reap the rewards only after going through the Most Boring Parts, because those parts make you realize how valuable that reward is and makes you Enjoy it! There’s no sense in skipping to the most gripping part without dragging yourself through the long, useless explanation!
You are already THAT Person! Just start being Them and see to it that the aspirations you have now are what you are holding 10 years down the line. Because That’s what makes you That person!
I have left Chandigarh. The City where I was born and lived for 8 years. I was born in Chandigarh and at the age of 1, I moved out of it, on a Vanwaas of 13 years, moving from one end of the country to another, visiting, living in and growing up with every corner of the Indian Nation. After these 13 years I was back to where I had started, in Chandigarh. I settles there to complete my education, from Class 10th till the end of my Engineering degree. I spent the last 7 years in Chandigarh, growing up with it, although Chandigarh refused to grow with me, opting instead to be the Old Man watching the Young flourish in it’s care, willing to satisfy my curiosity yet keeping me well protected within it’s wings.
I lived the past 7 years without much remorse, without much pain and even less regret. I did things every foolish teenager does, speeding through life, gambling away good fortune yet keeping a distance from responsibility. I angered many, enchanted a few and made a lot of friends, out of which only a select few will stay on with me in my life, guiding my path with small, unnoticeable inputs. But most importantly, I lived the past 7 years without a plan, with a care for tomorrow and without ever really thinking which moves will I need to make to ensure one end or another to my reckless ideas which came and went with the Monsoons. I did not plan and I did not foresee. I just moved with the flow. When it came to choosing my stream in Class 11th, I went where convention took me, into the Sciences, that too without Medical. Further, when time came to select My Engineering stream and College, I stuck to Chandigarh although I had gotten Patiala first. I took Electronics because I thought Computer Science to be too easy and not enough of a Challenge. Besides that, when recently someone asked me why I had joined Electronics and what my favorite subject was, I had no answer.
Now, I am at a point in my Life where the next few months have been charted out by Infosys. Yet, Life has many twists and turns. I can never forget Chandigarh, who’s sights and smells are embedded in my mind, imprinted on my soul and have affected my thinking like nothing else has ever before. Still, I move on, in search of the next adventure. I have not, for myself, planned out the next 7 years of my life, although I have a brief outline in my mind. There is a Tomorrow, blurred and fuzzy, but very Real and perhaps, very interesting. All I say to my Life is that in moving out of Chandigarh, I took a big step, a giant leap of Faith, moving away from my comforts to a new beginning, which will spawn a new end as Destiny will command. All I say to my Life is that I have chosen carefully, what to do in my turn, my only message to it now is,
Hey Hey Hey!!!
This is the post all you bloggers have been waiting for! Specially my dear friend Arpit Rastogi.. Hope you find this useful…
Ok, so Last time we discussed how to Make a Google SMS Channel which gives people updates about your Blog… But what good is it if people don’t know how to access your Channel and subscribe to it??
One way is to simply send email invites to everybody in your list but that’s the most un-cool thing you could ever do to yourself (of course, it’s very very effective, but we’re trying to be cool here people! :D).
The better way is to add this function as a Widget to your blog and put it right next to the email invites so that people notice it. Now, since there was no direct way or a pre-made widget to do this thing for me, I mixed and mashed a few widgets and came up with the following code to Make me a widget!
Without any more festivities, here’s the code:
<a href=”http://labs.google.co.in/smschannels/subscribe/NitinsBlog”> <img src=”http://labs.google.co.in/smschannels/inc/SMSChannelsLabsLogo.gif” alt=”” height=”50″ width=”150″> </a> <br> Have GMail? Now get my posts via sms! <b> <br> Just <a href=”http://labs.google.co.in/smschannels/subscribe/NitinsBlog”> Click HERE </a> </b> <br><br>
Now, here’s an explanation of the code, the first href link within the double quotes is the link for your SMS Channel, this is the one which will be embedded within the cute little picture of Google SMS Channels which will be part of the widget… Oh and also, the second href link is your sms channel too!!!
So, all you have to do is this: Change the two href double quoted links from My SMS Channel (NitinsBlog) to the Subscribe link for your SMS Channel and post it in the Widget for your Blog and you’re done…
Oh wait! How to make your own widget?? If you are on WordPress, simply go to the Widgets page in your Admin and add the Text Widget to your Widget list and add the Code there…
One last note, make sure you change the href link and make sure you put the subscribe link for your sms channel in double quotes for it to work properly.. and if yuo don’t change it, you’ll be making sure that people join my blog instead of yours! 😀
And a p.s. No common user uses Google SMS Channels right now so they’re going to have to register themselves to it first and that’s a slightly confusing process. I have already added the whole procedure to my earlier post, here and I seriously suggest that you read it and write your own blog post about how to join the sms channels for the benefit of your readers… Feel free to copy from my post…
Finally, if you want to get a feel about how Google SMS channels treat a new user, register yourself from my blog’s channel using the widget given at the top right side of my blog 😀
Google Labs India has introduced a feature (it’s no longer new, a LOT of people are using it!) called Google SMS Channels for Indian Users.
The Basic concept behind this service is that people can get access to updates from websites which offer RSS feeds directly to their Mobiles instead of having to go Online to Check for them in services such as Google Reader, via Internet Explorer/Mozilla or via RSS software such as Great News… Websites which provide RSS feeds include News websites like The Hindu and The Times of India, Sports Websites (particularly cricket websites, so the whole of India should be headed to Google now!) and interestingly, personal and professional blogs have RSS feeds too, which means that when You Update your Blog next time, People can get an update about it on their mobile phones! Talk about Popularity!
Now here’s the deal- I’ll tell you how to make an SMS Channel in Google Labs and you’ll tell me what it is and I’ll join it! Sounds good??
Step 1. Open Google Labs…
Scroll Down a bit and you will come to the Link saying Google SMS Channels…
At this point, If you have not yet logged into your Google Account (basically your Gmail Account, but now it’s a universal login which you can use for all your Google Services…), then you will be asked to do so.
Since this is the first time you are logging into Google SMS Channels, you will be asked to fill up a Nickname and your Mobile Number for verification. IMP- Keep Your Cell Phone Handy for this step!
Step 2. Fill up a nice NickName for yourself and before you enter your mobile number, click on the button besides the name and verify that you have it!
Next, fill up your mobile phone number and click on the Verify Button… Within a few seconds, you will recieve a verification code on your mobile as an sms and the page on your screen will change to allow you Accept the Terms & Conditions of use and fill up the verification code from your mobile…
Once you’ve done that, Congratulations! You are ready to use Google SMS Channels!
Step 3. I highly recommend that you play around with the SMS channels for a while before making your own but for those in a hurry, skip to Step 4.
Ok, now your phone is ready to recieve messages from Google, but what SMSs do you want?? The First page displays the Editor’s Picks and are a large number of very popular Channels which people access, the top-most being, No prizes for the Correct Guess, Cricket!
So what’re you waiting for? Click on the Subscribe button right now and start getting sms updates from this Channel!
User Note: It is important to understand that most of the Channels you use will be made by either websites promoting themselves or some product, thus it is advisable that before subscribing, you Click on the Channel’s name and see it’s details, as you scroll down, you will see the POSTS being made by the Channel in recent times, thus giving you an idea about how good the Channel is…
Now, another interesting feature of SMS Channels is the search option given at the top right of the pages, simply type what you need and you’ll see a great list of Channels which provide the same!
Step 4- Till now you’ve seen how we can join Channels made by others, but what you really want to see is How to make Channels for yourself!
So here goes…
On the Right side, just below the Search option, we have the Create Your Own Channel option…
Simply Click on Try Now to get Started on making your channel…
First, you have to Give your Channel a NAME.. Remember that Spaces and Apostrophes ( ‘ ) are now allowed, so make sure you give a short and sweet name to your Channel.
Then do the Check Availability Test to see if you’re there first… In case this is a Channel for your blog, you needn’t worry much, it’ll most probably be available…
Next, put a description about your Channel… If you want more members to access your Channel, better have a good description!
After this, please Select A category and your location. For Blogs, I suggest that you put the category as Other and in case you don’t want to fill up a location, choose None…
I would, however, suggest that you select a location, because some times people want to search for Channels from a specific location and they’ll sure like to join a local Channel!
Now here come’s the most important part… Selecting the SOURCE:
The source of the Channel is where you’ll be getting the updates from.
As the options Suggest, You can either select a BlogSpot Blog, A Google Group, A Google News Feed and even some other Blog or website which has RSS or Atom Feeds…
Here’s a Small explanation…
- If there is a Blogspot blog you want to follow or have one of your own, Select the Blogger Option and put the name of the BlogSpot Blog, Google will automatically pick up the Updates from the Blog and serve them to you on a Platter!
An example of a BlogSpot Blog being accessed this way is given below:
This is a Channel for Sahil Khanna’s BlogSpot blog…
- Google Allows you to follow any one of its Groups via SMS Channels. Those of you who are not familiar with Google Groups may Visit:
and join up any group of their interest, from knitting to UNIX and even horse riding! Alternatively, you can simply follow groups via SMS Channels…
- The third option and frankly the least used is Google News. This option is such that if you want Google to give you an update whenever something related is in the News, just fill in the Keywords You want.
I filled up “Nitin Khanna Chandigarh” without the double quotes as keywords iin one of the Channels I made and whenever some businessman in or near Chandigarh by the name of Nitin Khanna dies in a road accident, I get an SMS from Google! 😀
- Finally, my favorite, the RSS/Atom Feed Option. This option is a little tricky to use but also the best if you have a Blog on non–Blogger sites or want to follow websites like The Hindu, Hindustan Times and The Times of India which publish their own RSS feeds…
Here’s an example of the TimesOfIndia Channel…
Also, here’s the link to my Channel for this WordPress Blog of mine…
This just shows you how to select the source for your Channel…
Ok, now that you have selected the source, you need to make sure that your Settings are right.
The Delivery Schedule is best kept at Throughtout the day and if you are making a public Channel, specially for your blog, the Allow Publishing by option should be at Only Me.
A Public Channel must be set to Any User can Subscribe and if you want only Selected few to use this Channel, you can Select the “By Invitation Only” option…
Final Step! Just Click on the Create Channel Button and Voila! Your Channel has been created… You can at any time come back to Google SMS Channels to change any of the settings of Your Channels, which will be available in a list Called My Channels when you login next time…
In case you are thinking why you don’t get more than 10 SMSs from Google in a day, Click the Settings Link at the top right of the page and hewre you may change your nickname and mobile number (You are limited to having only 1 mobile number registered at a time) and even the number of SMS you may recieve during the day and the Timings when you may recieve SMSs!
Be Warned: I once set my sms limit to 99 and Start Time to 4 AM and End Time to 3:30 AM.
That Day I recieved every News from the TimesOfindia Channel and had more GK about that day than Competition Success Review!
You have just now been informed about the Awesomeness of Google SMS Channels…
Next, we will be discussing:
I went to the hostel today, just to clear out a few things I had kept over there while having moved out to live separately. What I did not realize was that those weren’t a few things which I had chosen to leave, they were a whole Life of me which I had gotten cut-off from since I moved out. Among the important ones were a whole set of my writings which I have never published simply because I never got the time to do so. Also, all my work related to Politics and Philosophy, topics upon which I had deliberated a lot during the course of the first and second years of college and which I had felt were life changing, lay there like a distant past of which I had no recollection, just the knowledge that a few pages with my handwriting were kept there, protected even from my own self, never to be further thought about. About these Ideas and Ideals to which I had once subscribed, I would like to say today that –
“If Man wants, he can include Philosophy into his Life, thus making it a Never-ending Quagmire of Thought, Self-Doubt and the Reassurance that Man is Superior to Animal”
after Four years of Engineering, it has come as no surprise to me that I now believe in Hard Work more than ever. As I step into the part of my Life where I will be a part of the Corporate World, I have now this notion-
“The Simplest and Most effective way for a Person to live is to Work. Nothing else is as Important as working hard. And working hard is what makes Life easier than ever.”
Deliberations on Philosophy and Politics are indeed habits of those who have the Luxury of wasting their time in making their Lives Complicated. The Simple way of Life does not involve these, just a clear understanding of what a Person’s work is and what the resultant thoughts and beliefs are.
In digressing from the topic of cleaning up my Hostel room, I wanted to ensure that the thoughts that went through my mind when I was arranging my things together were noted down. However, the more important detail is about what all I found there.
The second Important thing I found there were some of my clothes. I got very nostalgic when I saw them, discussing with my roommate Lalit the amazing journey I made from being a size 32 waist to a size 38! I know I am fat right now and I am less than proud of it. But it is an amazing thing for me to see myself as a lean, weak boy with cheeks sunk deep into my cheekbones as opposed to a well rounded man with chubby cheeks and friends who keep reminding me that I must join the gym!
It is not everyday that One gets to look at their past and present in such a glaringly contrasting way, but this insight was amazing and has made me rethink a lot about what were my thoughts and beliefs when I was two years less-experienced than I am today and I now ponder over whether in the fierceness of my devotion to my Ideals, I was believing in the right things or not…
After all, today I am happy to be an Engineer, but at some point, I wanted to be a Politician!
p.s. I promise that those unseen writings of mine will be put up soon, complete with my favorite creative commons license!
HRD orders faculty quota, IIT directors livid
MUMBAI: Buoyed by its success in pushing through a quota for OBC students in
higher education, the government has now ordered IITs to introduce – with
“immediate effect” – quotas in the teaching faculty for scheduled castes,
scheduled tribes and OBCs.IIT directors, not surprisingly, were livid with the
decision, though none of the four TOI spoke to were willing to go on record.
The high quality of IIT faculty has built the institution into a globally respected
brand. Said an IIT-Delhi professor: “It is hard to imagine that even teachers will
now use the caste flag to get in.”
The order signed by Seema Raj, director of technical education in the HRD
ministry, read, “I am directed to say that the matter relating to reservation of
SC, ST, OBC categories in recruitment to teaching (faculty) posts in the IITs
was considered in the second meeting of the SCIC (Standing Committee of
IIT Council) held on 11/2/2008. The recommendations made by the SCIC have
been accepted by the chairman of (the) IIT Council. Accordingly, it has been
decided to implement reservation for SC, ST, OBC, in recruitment to teaching
(faculty) posts in IITs with immediate effect.”
For subjects in science and technology, posts will be reserved for lecturers and
assistant professors. In areas like management, sciences and humanities, reservations
will be applicable up to the professor level. The ministry allows IITs to dereserve
the posts after a year, if they do not get filled “despite all efforts”.
My First Comment–
Beautiful. Unhappy that only the best students were getting to the IITs, they
introduced quotas there. Now they want to ensure that those studying there
get less quality education too. This is indeed, a <strong>NATIONAL SHAME</strong>.
This is a Comment I read on the Comments page–
Sewaklal Khobragade,Bangalore says:This is a great move towards bringing eqality and quality of education to
underpriviledged masses. No one is borne scientist. One has to groom into
right atmosphere and directives to achieve technological excellence or achievements.
I am sure SC/ST and OBC also will do BEST if they are given chance to prove
themselves. I am thankful to the ministry of HRD for this right step in right
direction to implement guidelines laid down in Indian Constitution.
My response to this–
Dear Respected Editor, I am sorry for writing again into this Comment box,
but the comments of one Sewaklal Khobragade,Bangalore regarding the same
article and displayed just a few comments below mine has come to my notice.
The Author points out that “No one is borne scientist. One has to groom into
right atmosphere and directives to achieve technological excellence or achievements”
I agree deeply with this person’s thoughts. But why should people be given the
right to teach on the basis of who they are born? The Pillars of Education are
being shook up by the very thought that it is not merit and intelligence which
are going to define the Mentors of the cream of India’s students, instead, they
will be chosen on the basis of family history. Is this the path Envisioned by our
Mahatma? Did ever any God of Indian Mythology decide to visit a devotee based
on his/her caste?
Forgive me for writing in again and I do not worry that my comments may not
I do not, in any way, wish to incite anybody against anyone because of my
Lastly, I would like to point out that I too aspired to get into an IIT but I accept
that my Aptitude and more importantly, Attitude towards my studies did not
allow me to. I do not regret that, but I do regret that the Directors of the IITs
have accepted this Political Gimmick hands down.
I do not see my Mentors with the eyes of a Judge, for me, they are Leaders, no
matter what they are called.
Thanking You for allowing me this opportunity to express these thoughts via
It is not just a Shame that this is happening but also that we are allowing this. People can easily come up to me and say that hey, this is not your fight, so why are you commenting?
India’s Progress is Our fight, the fight of the coming Generation. Equality is our fight, the fight of every worthy Child of India
But above all this, I wish for everyone to understand that I would not like it if any of my friends would have to look at his Mentor and Think even ONCE before believing his words. I would not want anyone in the whole of India to believe that the Teacher/Lecturer teaching them is anyone other that that Idiot who keeps giving them assignments and deadlines. (S)he is just that, no more. Not a name, Not a caste, Not a religion, just an Underpaid, Overpriviledged SOB who likes to fail boys and pamper Teacher’s Pets and give Assignments like they were the Elixir of Life.
Sorry for the Satirical tone. It comes Naturally now, ever since the HRD Ministry put a Quota on the Type of jokes you can make. Now 49.5% have to be about SC, ST and OBC.