India lives in many centuries at a time…

Many years ago, renowned film maker Mr. Shyam Benegal addressed aspiring rural managers in the auditorium of Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) and famously mentioned that our country lives in many centuries at a time… Recently after visiting a tribal village named ‘Sarkui‘, around 70 kms from Surat city, I believe Mr. Benegal’s words stand taller than ever.

The experiences I had there made me realize the privileges I had always taken for granted in life. I am sharing a few below…

The face that says it all

Bhimjibhai, a marginal farmer living in a kuccha house with intermittent access to electricity and water, has a family of five to take care of. With no access to banking facilities, he takes loan from private money lenders and waits patiently for 14 months to get the money for his sugarcane production… When asked if he is facing any huge challenges, he smiles and says ‘Sab thik hi hai’… That’s the face of rural India.

A little kid peeps into the camera

Found him in one of the three Anganwadis in Sarkui. There the young kids are looked after. The kids of the scheduled tribes do not have access to a nutritive diets. They are often anemic and suffer from stunted growth. Their diet in the Anganwadi primarily consists of rice and milk.

The local P.A system of the village

Sarkui mainly consists of people from Scheduled tribes, the Chaudharis, the Vasavas and the Kotwaliyas. These communities have their traditions deeply rooted in their culture. One such tradition is of the Valvai. He is the person who makes announcement for public gatherings in the village. His forefathers have been doing the same since years and he has been continuing the tradition. Here he is informing people to gather in the jungle tomorrow morning for the celebration of Nandarva, the festival after the first monsoon rain in the village.

Pankajbhai, the Sarkui higher secondary school principal

An enthusiastic young man, Pankajbhai has recently been appointed the school principal and he wants to do real service to a village where the education literacy is just over 50%. His major concern is the lack of quality education in the primary school. Kids coming from the 8th grade don’t possess basic skills. He needs to start by teaching them counting and mathematics before going ahead. The challenges at his hand are immense but he is confident in bringing about a change in the village.

As our professors say that Poverty is multi-dimensional. I believe so is rural India as well. It cannot be defined, it can only be sensed and can only be sensitized about. The experience was eye-opening for me and I hope that one day I will be able to make a difference in their lives.


Big shout-out to Rajat and Praveen my Induction Field-work Segment (IFS) partners. The memories we made will always be remembered.


I hope you enjoyed the post 🙂

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The void when a book comes to an end…

I’ve always felt that reading a book is like having an intimate relationship. It’s concealed, private, honest and genuinely satisfying. It’s a two way exercise. I reward the book with my time and the book gifts me back with its set of words and sentences. It also gives me a chance to get into a new reality and observe it, but it depends on me how deeper can I get lost in it. It’s like stepping out of the train and taking in the breath of your native city after months of longing, it’s like an earthly feeling that gives me immense joy in being a human.

But nothing lasts forever…

One day the book comes to an end, and with it, it takes away my chance to again ever be part of that unreal reality. Oh it’s painful and leaves a void within, which is unknowingly special due to it’s emptiness. The fact that it was never there in the first place but someday it was created when I began reading and then it got filled with absolute happiness… It makes me feel contended that I once experienced something so amazing, even though today it is only emptiness.

I am thankful that there are so many books to read that one lifetime can never be enough.

Today one book ends, tomorrow I begin a new one. The smell of a new book fills me with an intense energy. It excites me about the journey I am going to embark upon. There will be days when initially it will be struggle, where I will keep comparing the new one with the old one, but eventually the new reality will engulf me so deeply that I will fail to remember the older one. The void will get filled with a different but equally satisfying happiness!

I feel this is all so similar to meeting new people and making new friends. Each book has its own personality, that evolves as I go through the pages. The entire journey of the book shapes as I go through. It’s like those multiple interactions I have with people when I come to actually know them and understand that the book is completely different from its cover… Every book, just like every person adds a certain layer to my life, it has a defined purpose in my life. Each one teaches me something I am completely unaware about and helps me understand my own self even more clearly. But then one day the book ends, I have to part ways. I get along just fine with a void within, on a search, for a new book in the journey of my life 🙂


Have you ever felt this way about a certain book you’ve recently read?

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Avengers Endgame is an emotional good-bye! (Spoilers Ahead)

In Infinity War, when Dr. Strange proclaims there was only one way out of fourteen million possibilities and gives away the time stone willingly, that is what sets the tone for that one possible way to defeat Thanos forever. But be like Strange, he didn’t spoil it for anyone.

**Spoilers ahead**

Endgame is a tribute to all the past 21 Marvel movies, it is a culmination of the amount of effort and thinking that has gone behind creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Every frame is larger than life, every emotion is deep, every character is real. Not even for a moment does the three hour long movie feels a drag. It just floats through, showing us what choice each Avenger made after Thanos’ snap. Some chose to settle, some felt unsettled, some chose to avenge!!

The real hero of the film was the time-travel part!!

When the Avengers go back to New York, in 2014, Hulk get embarrassed by seeing a wild-version of himself, Captain America fights against his own self, then dupes himself while Iron Man gives himself a cardiac arrest and then calls for help. Also when they go to year 1970, we see Stanley,making his last ever screen presence and the crowd erupts with joy; when Tony meets his father and talks about himself, the crowd understands the gravity of the moment. Scenes like these make Avengers: Endgame more than a film, it becomes a feeling.

Marvel movies have still not lost their dry, tongue in cheek humour. This time it is at another level. Never knew Thor could ever grow a beer belly and still wield his hammer or Banner could transform into a calmer Hulk clicking selfies with fans…

There are so many re-unions. Rocket meeting Groot, Iron Man uniting with Spiderman, Natasha meeting Clint… But then, Captain America steals the show!!


Captain America up against Thanos!

There is one amazing moment, probably my favourite 2 mins of the movie, when Captain America suddenly picks up Thor’s Mjölnir and single-handedly takes on Thanos. For me it will be the most iconic scene in the MCU, yet. No words can describe the feeling when we see each and every Avenger, the ones that were lost and the ones alive, coming out to fight Thanos‘ army and as Cap then exclaims loudly ‘Avengers Assemble!‘. He is the character which has shaped perfectly throughout the movies and now has even aged admirably… I have no regrets anymore of the fact that Chris Evans had such a small role in Infinity War. He makes up big time in Endgame.

But the best is for the last. ‘I am Iron Man’…

It was in Infinity War that Tony Stark says out to ThanosMy only curse is you‘. Thanos was the one who gave him sleepless nights, who left him stranded on Titan, who took away Peter Parker and all the other Avengers. Indeed in Endgame, the mighty Thanos, who couldn’t be controlled by Captain Marvel, loses to Earth’s very own hotshot, the Iron Man but at a very heavy cost. We get to see Tony die on-screen. I was shocked, surprised but also felt proud. It all started in 2008 with Nick Fury telling him about the Avengers initiate, little had we expected that this would be how if would end.

A special mention to the fight between Clint Barton and Natasha about who is to die for the soul stone. I don’t know if I will ever get to see what happened at Budapest, the place both of them keep mentioning whenever they meet…

And at the end, thank you Russo brothers for giving us a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the end of an epic saga!!

Have you had the Avengers Endgame experience? Do let me know your thoughts 🙂

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A cup full of memories…

Sometimes leave yourself alone, away from your phone and get yourself a cup full of memories 🙂
If my poetry leaves an impression, do let me know in the comments!!

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May be ‘Everything’ just wasn’t enough!

Harder … Sometimes giving everything in the world is not enough, sometimes being desperate doesn’t always assure your desperation will fetch your wishes. Call it luck, call it the ‘right time’, it comes when it wants to. Irrespective of how hard you push, the door won’t open until it wants to. But then have I pushed it as hard as I could? Now I’m asking myself the right question.

Blood, sweat, rage, pain all accompany me today. I had the urge, I had the time and I put in everything. You see, ‘everything’ is quite perspective. It cannot be quanitified. My ‘everything’ would not necessarily be equivalent to yours. That might have been the reason. My ‘everything’ was just not enough.

Image courtesy: Jordon Whitfield (unsplash.com)

Compromise, it’s a killer. It has killed many dreams, it has made many weak hearts cry. It’s contagious. The people around you, they indirectly influence your limits. But I don’t want to compromise. I’m ready to even pay the price. I want to cry today for what I didn’t get but come back stronger. The ‘compromise’ will always be there but why not give another shot. There’s only sweat and hours to spend but glory and satisfaction are the ultimate prize.

Three hundred and sixty five days from today, I will get what I desire. Each day will be a battle, each moment will be a test. I am up for it. I know I can do better, I can redefine my ‘everything’ and fight for my desires. I’ll achieve it, not by sheer desperation but because I would deserve it. If today I burn, let me. Tomorrow I’ll come back stronger.

I’m reminded of an Elton John song ‘The measure of a man‘ how subtly it captures the essence of human struggle and inadvertently motivates me.

Sharing a stanza below:

You’ve come full circle, now you’re home
Without the gold, without the chrome
And this is where you’ve always been
You had to lose so you could win
And rise above your troubles while you can.
Now you can love, now you can lose
Now you can choose
That’s the measure of a man’


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Office Affairs

3. Bad is the new good!

( Office affairs deals with the basics one should be prepared to learn as soon as he enters the corporate world. How each one goes on to give us a life lesson. Pardon me, if I.T. professionals could relate more to it… )

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I could see him roam around. Going from one Veteran’s (people more than three yrs older in the O.D.C) desk to another. He didn’t crawl like a snake, but his walk bore the purest venom.

Thoughts filled with disgust, eyes filled with slyness and voice filled with honey. Oh boy, the demon was indeed here, and he had two eyes, a nose and two hands.

The ultimate manifestation of garbage was draped in front of me in shirt and pant just like me, just like anyone else. But he was Bad (yes, I’ll be calling him that).

Bad seemed good initially, before the clout actually got cleared. He noted when I came in, when I went out, what I read, what I said. Bad was really clever.

Bad always said to me ‘I’ve got ample of work to do’ but the next moment, he went after the Veterans , wagging his tail. He obliged them by hurling heaps of praises. Bad knew how to get up the ladder by pushing others out.

This is an ode to him who bore a smile when you shared your happiness but within his self, he got burned. This is an ode to Bad. Oh so well I know him now.

But then, its time to thank Bad. Thank you, I understand you more than you. Bad is no more bad, instead Bad has become the new good in my life. I can smell a Bad and laugh at his face. I can look into a Bad‘s face and never blink.
Thank you Bad you help me keep my eyes open!!


Have you ever met a Bad ? I think everyone meets a Bad , please share your thoughts on the Bad you happened to meet in your life.

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My cleanest reflection

It’s been a long time since I have written anything. I just realised the amount of time and energy I’ve spent on my smartphone. It stores my favourite songs, my memorable photos and all the apps that interest me. I wonder at times that it’s the cleanest reflection of my personality.

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In a bid to find ourselves in everyone else we forget the only thing we carry everywhere with us. It’s so easy to learn about anyone by spending just half-an-hour with his/her smartphone.

Looking at someone’s choice of songs can reveal so much about their mood.

Songs are just one example. The choice of apps, the choice of games a person wants to play, the kind of notes one writes, the people he talks to, all can help determine someone’s personality. It says way too much than his appearance can (P.S after all not everyone is Sherlock Holmes).

I cannot imagine my life without my smartphone. It’s becoming more and more essential to my needs.

I feel it’s becoming an extension of my personality…

I dont know how good is it or how bad is it for me. But the simple fact that it’s the most honest and clearest reflection of my choices makes me feel good 🙂

Continue reading “My cleanest reflection”