Routine has always held a certain attraction for him, a sure place in his view of how his ideal days should be. Ideal, however, seems perpetually elusive. So although the pattern that his current days have settled into isn’t exactly as he had planned, he is satisfied that at least it is that.

Because he has a definite liking for the language, but now more because of the location of his to-be grad school, he learns German with an increased appetite these days. He builds vocabulary, reads simple essays, listens to street conversations. Increasingly, he tries having conversations in the language, between himself and himself in his head. Manchmal kann ich es fast komplett verstehen, aber meistens ist es fuer mich einfach zu schnell. Sometimes, I can understand it almost completely, but mostly, it is simply too fast for me. It is one of his sentences that he is particularly proud of. In almost all of his mental conversations, he imagines himself telling this to the other him.

In the evening, he goes for a run. Seven rounds on the running track in his housing society. He increases it by one every week. Every time he is about to finish a round, his mind sheepishly suggests that it is enough for the day. Doggedly, he continues; completes his target. He is in his third week streak now, discounting Sundays.

Increasingly, he has allowed himself to objectively think about the relevance of such institutions as religion, marriage, money and sex. He has pseudo intellectual conversations with his friends, but they often leave him exhausted, inexplicably ever more confused. Trapped within the confines of his thoughts, he feels suffocated. He doesn’t have enough knowledge, not enough perspective to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

To view the world from angles and positions that his own mind has not yet been to, he reads. Un-voraciously, un-spectacularly, he reads nonetheless. His emotions sway according to the authors whose works he holds. Wodehouse’s rustic humour has him in splits, Murakami’s quiet cynicism fills his chest, Rushdie’s delightful metaphors satiate his literary lust, Lahiri validates his lingering omnipresent vulnerability.

When he’s not reading, he is listening to talks by long bearded spiritual gurus. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Osho are in his YouTube playlist, for now. His friends often ask him this and it has occurred previously to him as well – as to why should all of them have grown beards. It’s a question of mere superficial significance, of course. What they have to say is of far greater value. Not all of it makes sense to him, but it certainly and endlessly opens newer doors for him to explore and meditate upon.

He wakes up late these days. Much too late for his liking. This fills his chest with a strong disappointment every morning when he sits in his bed just after waking up. As he stares at the long risen sun out of his bedroom window, he resolves to change the routine starting that day. Later, late in the night, when sleep eludes him and he is engaged in a book or a video, he fails to feel the same angst for change. He falls back onto the older routine.


Like fish in water, we are in air


If you live in a crowded city like Mumbai, or given the population of this country, just about any place in India, it can be a fairly amusing exercise to pay a little attention to the people around yourself. The co-passengers in the train who can’t get their heads out of their mobile phones. The Iskcon people selling the Bhagvad Geeta at a hundred rupees a copy. The person who offers you the book and claims that it will change your life; then responds to your smile with an ever larger one. The shoe polish guy on the railway platform. The random distant uncle whose sole life purpose is to preach to you the importance of getting married at the ‘right’ age. The guy on the road with the inverted Nike cap and a guitar on his back. The couple on the side of a lake. The guy with the receding hairline who can’t stop looking at other people’s heads. The girl with the pimpled face who can’t take her attention off other people’s cheeks. The short and the tall. The slim and the obese. The weird guy who observes everyone.

One may then try to go a step further and imagine people outside this small circle of one’s current physical vicinity. Prevaricating politicians and haranguing spokespeople on meaningless television debates. Long bearded spiritual gurus and bald authors of self-help books. The tea seller who becomes the prime minister of the largest democracy in the world. The cheerleaders who dance to the successes of an alien game. The one-club football legend whose career comes to an unceremonious end. Successful young entrepreneurs and ass-licking corporate junkies. Publication obsessed academicians and noble prize winning researchers. The guy on the street who gets run over by an alcoholic. The children with pencils and notebooks in a school. The ten guys with guns in their hands. The child who oversleeps and misses school that day. His classmates who get shot in their skulls.

Further, one may try – if one has, as one indeed does, the time and the inclination – to think of their life stories. Different ideas of what they want to do with their lives. Different goals and aspirations. Different friends and foes. Different joys and sorrows. Different physical appearances and different lifestyles and different sexual preferences. Different ideas of perfection. Different ideas of how things ought to be. Different favourite colours and ice cream flavours. Different favourite songs and movies and books. Different accents and different ways of laughing and sneezing.

And yet, one can think of the commonality. The basics that remain the same. That they all eat and shit and urinate and sleep and breathe. That they all yearn for sex and money and power and fame and satisfaction and love. Well, maybe these also change to an extent. There are people who like spicy food and people who like bland food. There are people who prefer Italian or Chinese or Indian or Mediterranean food. There are people with regular bowel movements, but there are also people with constipation and people with diarrhea. The yearnings for sex and money and power and fame and satisfaction and love are in different measures in different people.

What really refuses to differ is the breath. We inhale and a volume of air is sucked into the dominant nostril. It travels further via the throat into the windpipe before splitting into the two bronchial tubes. From each bronchial tube, the air then goes into the thread-like bronchioles that finally end in the alveoli sacs, where the air exchanges gases with the red blood cells – gives up oxygen and accepts carbon dioxide. Then, it follows the whole path back – from the alveoli into the bronchioles into the bronchial tube into the windpipe to the throat and back into the atmosphere from the dominant nostril. Then, the same journey in another person’s respiratory system. From one co-passenger in the train playing with his mobile phone to another. From the random distant uncle to the random distant aunt. From the entrepreneur to the academician. From the child with the pencil to the guy with the gun. Then to the other guy with the gun. Then to the other child with the pencil. Finally, only between the guys with the guns.

It matters not what is the colour of one’s skin. It matters not what is the balance in one’s bank account. It matters not whether one has a thousand degrees and qualifications and awards or none at all. It matters not how many books one has read or how many countries one has traveled. It matters not what God one believes in and it matters not if one believes not in any God. It matters not whether one is attracted to the same or the opposite sex. It matters not if has constipation or diarrhea. It matters not what one’s thoughts are or what one believes in. It matters not what one thinks is important and what one deems to be trivial. Everyone breathes. All the time. Without stopping. Like fish in water, we are in air. And every moment of our lives, we are breathing in or breathing out.


PS: The bearded guy once spoke the sentence that is the title of this blog post. He says things like this. He talks about celebrating differences and culturing a sense of belonging. He talks about deepening roots and expanding visions. He is fun.

An almost relationship




They are in a cab. She’s taking him on a tour of the city that never sleeps, the city that he’s yet to explore. Outside a temple, their backs against adjacent walls. It’s silent. It’s serene. It’s so much better than the malls. This time by a lake, surrounded by slums. With kids playing cricket and ducks nibbling on breadcrumbs. In a little old café, they sit face to face. The grainy khus khus upma makes her grimace. They talk about movies and paintings and dance. They discuss culture, they discuss race. The facets of her personality cease not to amaze. She talks with a passion, there’s a twinkle in her eye. He wonders what it must have been like between her and the other guy. It’s 7 in the morning – an odd time for a date; breakfast at Dakshinayan, just after they meditate.

It’s not quite romance. It isn’t just a friendship. It’s somewhere in between. It’s an almost relationship. It’s nice, it’s light, it’s easy to maintain. How they wish this was something they could sustain. It sways to one side and then to the other. They flap, they flutter, they seek some closure. He can see her indecision, he can see why she’s unsure. But he has not all answers, he has not every cure. They wonder what this could be, with all its potential. They know it’s just a fantasy – it’s never going to be real.

The mind is fickle; it wavers, it wanders. They breathe in, they breathe out. To the moment, they surrender.

It’s been too long


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So I finally bid goodbye to the lush green haven in Guindy that was all but my entire world for five whole years. Five years. That’s a long time. Enough to fall in love with a place. And out. And in again.

I have always resisted the temptation to write about the place, for fear of never fully being able to express in words what it means to me. And I am afraid I am going to do so yet again. No, this isn’t going to be a lyrical prose on the place that has shaped many a thought in the impressionable minds of so many early twenty somethings such as myself. There is going to be no waxing of eloquence. There is going to be no showering of superlatives. There may be fleeting mentions, at best. Notes on blackbucks that lock horns or on crows that sit of spotted skins of deer that graze and laze, or on monkeys that grump, jump and hump – sometimes all at once. You may come across a reference to the astonishingly good looking girls on campus or find your mouth watering as you read about the delicious mess food. There may be a remark on the scorching heat or the soul drenching humidity. But this, trust me, is no trip down any nostalgic lane. Much on the contrary, as you’re about – if you’ll have the patience to hang on – to find out.

The last few weeks of a stay in such a place can, as you can imagine, be fairly emotionally charged. So, although in certain bouts of intellectual narcissism I had imagined myself staying rooted in the moment and enjoying every bit of the experience, things weren’t all rosy towards the end. My final year project had dragged on a little bit, as certain final year projects have a way of doing. And as I helped friend after friend pack their things for the last time in the institute that we’d spent the last half a decade together in and saw them off in their Fasttrack cabs, wondering all along about the place and time – if any – of my next seeing them, I would be lying if I denied the presence of a growing restlessness. And so, harsh and unsexy as it sounds, the bare truth of the matter is that my heart was filled with a sense of relief as I alighted the Dadar Egmore Express one fine morning in early June. There was a slight drizzle pouring down; Mumbai was in this little period between the unbearable heat and the floods-all-around phase. Enjoy it while it lasts, I said to myself.

I now sit on the sofa in the living room of my parents’ house. We have some white and some yellow lights and I like sitting here alone in the night with just a one dim yellow light on. I stare across the balcony at the mountains of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, my eyes unblinking for a long time. The only noises in the background are the whirring of the fan and the slight whisper of the telly. The setting is almost serene. I take a deep breath in and close my eyes. I open my eyes and we have time travelled a year into the future. I am still sitting on the same sofa. The yellow dim light still shines – a little dimmer perhaps. The mountains haven’t changed. The whirring of the fan and the whisper – though now emanated from a Panasonic plasma as against the previous Onida telly – are the same. It’s still serene, the setting.

Much has happened over the past year. Can there be a few blog posts describing the more absorbing of those happenings? Sure, there can be. Have there been any? No. Will there be any? It’s hard to say. Fingers crossed. Hope is everything.

– Nirav

Liverpool FC – The one where it all started (for me)


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My love affair with Liverpool FC started in a hotel room in a small hill station called Panchmadhi in the centrally placed Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. I didn’t know that then, of course. I’m not sure what exactly triggered it. I can only lay down the proceedings:

Sometime in the middle of the awfully long summer holidays following my 10th standard exams, I found myself in the presence of my extended family – parents, two pairs of uncles and aunts and 5 cousins (all sisters – a fact that rakshabandhan reminds me of all too sorely every year) – as we trotted northwards in the sleeper class of the highly efficient and obstinately punctual Indian Railways. True to Gujjus’ Kutchis’ tenacity of travelling light, we were accompanied by not too many more than a dozen suitcases for the week long vacation. Any dearth in the refreshments department is unthinkable, of course – appropriately, there were enough helpings of theplas, khakhdas, dhoklas, chivdas and laddoos to keep ourselves occupied for the 14 hour journey.

Because hotel booking via the web is relatively unheard of in those days and we aren’t quite the type to decant money on travel agents, we find ourselves scurrying through the streets of Panchmadhi from one hotel to another, trying to select our abode for the week. While negotiations are being carried out in one such hotel, I sneak into one of the rooms and switch on the television.

My eyes are open wide in amazement as they stare at the screen, but it looks like the negotiations have broken down because my uncle is dragging me out of the room and I can hear the hospitable taxi driver hurling heartening abuses for the delay. Anyway, my feet seem to be stubbornly glued to the floor because it is 44 minutes on the timer in the highlights they are showing on the television, and the defense is cut open by a magnificent through ball that is just out of reach for the last defender’s out-stretched legs. And now everything’s moving slow-slow-slow as the guy in the white jersey is clean ahead of the defense so that the keeper has to come off his line. But the guy in the white jersey lobs the ball above the keeper who looks behind in despair and now everything’s slower-slower-slower as the ball gently trots goal-wards before the net flutters in a wave like motion, making it 3-0 on the scoreboard. But now fast-fast-fast the team in red are celebrating, there is an arm thumping man with the cup in his hands and a plump baldie gasping for air as he mumbles an interview and now faster-faster-faster my uncle is dragging me with renewed vigour, his hand moves towards my wrist, the remote is snatched and we rush down to the waiting cab and now questions of why how where, but I’m stunned dumbfounded lost for words and we travel in silence to chunmun hotel.

Chunmun is a small hotel that provides a dorm for the 12 of us. Things are said about the dorm allowing us to spend maximum time together, but I doubt if the fact that it comes on the cheap is lost on anyone. I catch my once-arm-dragging uncle cast a disappointed eye on one of the suitcases (wherein, as later inspection educates me, dwells some fancy lingerie).

And thus, in that tiny MP hill station with probably no football following, amid arm-dragging, abuse-hurling, feet-gluing and remote-snatching, in the presence of sex deprived relatives, were sown the seeds of a love, of a passion that continues to grow, to hurt, to evolve, and that I’ll perhaps never manage to explain satisfactorily in words.


PS: This is the link to the highlights of that fateful night in Istanbul.


A return (of sorts)


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It’s been over two months since one last pressed the publish button on this blog.

A bunch of things could have – but haven’t – happened in this time.

Half a dozen (and who knows how many more) men with hormones alarmingly out of control and with alcohol-blurred consciences, post a horrific crime of unimaginable proportions, could (and really, should) have been hanged in public. Two (and who knows how many more) Indian soldiers could (and really, should) have been alive today had they not been brutally killed by a neighbouring country, which, despite (only) repeated warnings, continues to bite.  

Now, in interests of lightening the mood and setting the tempo for the remainder of the post: In sports that one follows with reasonable interest, a rather poor Indian cricket team (soon to be deprived, in another format of the game, of perhaps its greatest player ever) could (and really, should) have been whitewashed in their own backyard after being thoroughly outplayed by a very good English team, while in the English Premier League, Liverpool FC, impressive as they have been with some flamboyant link-up play (although mostly sans a decent final ball) and a couple of forward-thinking signings, could (and really, should) have been higher up the points table.

If one had conceived at the time of writing the last post, one could (but really, should not) have been carrying just a hint of a baby bump by now – perhaps not, but crazier things have been said in the realm of lame jokes.

Exactly zero of the aforementioned things have happened.

There have been a few minor occurrences on the personal front (not on the belly), however.

One, for instance, managed to get hired by the first company one was (ever) interviewed by (you didn’t seriously think that would go un-bragged). Besides, there has been voracious reading of novels, a new found need passion for working out a trifle and a considerable expansion of one’s German vocabulary. There have been spurts of progress in a final year project that oscillates between being i-want-to-work-nights-even-on-weekends exciting to oh-god-why-do-i-have-to-meet-my guide-again lacklustre. There have been haggles for extorting job treats, IIM call treats, birthday treats and of course, i-forgot-my-wallet treats.

So, despite an unrepaired laptop and consequent reduction in exercise for the left wrist, if the glass is to be described as half-full, there hasn’t been a lull altogether.

Anyway, lull or no lull, dearth or abundance of (un)mentionable topics – these are issues of imperceptible significance for now. For tonight, one is merely intent on pressing that publish button, on getting something out there. And that by itself, unfortunately, isn’t quite enough to detract one’s instinctive propensity to ramble about what constitutes as nothing. Oh sweet gibberish!

(Meanwhile the reader, either tricked into subscribing to the blog which caused this to be emailed or whiling away time on facebook or twitter having nothing better to do anyway and now suffering from the poor judgement of having clicked on this link, hopes – in vain, as it will turn out – that this may yet churn out something of note.)

Besides this isn’t a remarkable deviation from a majority of the blog’s posts anyway. Although one must acknowledge the existence of some genuinely delightful snippets (trumpet, own, blowing, something?) here and there, appreciable haste must be exercised to attest to the presence of the colossal nonsensical clutter surrounding them.

And thus ends the post – abruptly, perhaps adding more nonsensical-clutter than genuinely-delightful-snippets, but enabling one to press the publish button nonetheless. It also marks the blog’s return in the new year (only a month late). One hopes to contribute e-waste to the web write more frequently. Brace yourself for more twaddle.


You may also like these:

Spurts of Spontaneity

Jee – The Nerd’s Seductress

How do I write?

Smart Streets


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Me and Srinath did this project a couple of years ago. We went on to exhibit this in a competition at Brunel University, London. We didn’t win the competition, of course, or else I would have mentioned that by now. Anyway, I was skimming through some old projects and this one looked a little less shabbier than some of my other works. So I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to brag a tad bit on the blog. What else is the purpose of the blog, after all?

PS: I must thank Prince for making the poster for us.

Spurts of Spontaneity


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It’s not uncommon, as people who spend a reasonable amount of time with him will readily vouch for, for him to strike up a conversation with a random stranger on the bus. Maybe to pass a pseudo-intellectual comment on the book they are reading. Maybe to inquire about the comfort of their brand of shoes and whether they think he should buy them too. And if the stranger happens to be a kid, perhaps just to contort his face before saying that this is a college bus and school kids are not allowed.

The response that he manages to get, mostly, is a wry half smile, maybe a slight raise of the eyebrows, complemented by an overall facial expression that is not too far away from ‘why don’t you mind your own fucking business?’ A few times he is luckier; he is endowed with a reply – sometimes even an enthusiastic one. There is some sarcastic, half-witty Q&A back and forth before the conversation gently dies an unceremonious death. Although this by itself is quite satisfying, what make such endeavours truly worthwhile, he explains, are those few rare instances when the conversation, twisting and turning about this and that, finds itself on a particularly interesting topic and the person leaves him with a wonderful perspective that he might have never otherwise had.

I nod unsurely. I tell him other things about his behaviour that conventional social conduct and etiquette may regard as questionable – his irresistible propensity, for instance, to repeat (loudly) a funnily pronounced word, regardless of the pronouncer’s stature or the situation’s gravity; him singing ‘you’ll never walk alone’ to someone in a Liverpool shirt across the road; him inquiring, grimly, at the local tea shop if ordering an extra tea will fetch him a discount on the small Parle-G packet; him asking the European foreign exchange student her nationality, before exulting unabashedly, as she looks on, for having won the guessing game with his friend.

I ask him if he isn’t tired of the confused looks, of the ‘shut up, smartass’ stares, of being labelled unsophisticated, even cheap. He laughs off these accusations. He asks if I don’t find even a little hilarity in the immaturity of ordering in a bihari accent in an Italian restaurant, or in the naivety of scribbling a vulgar comment on the class geek’s well maintained notes. Besides, he claims he isn’t much concerned about people judging him – the stranger across the road, the vendor at the tea shop or the girl at the cafe are hardly likely to be making life-altering decisions for him. As long as he is not hurting anyone’s feelings, what’s the harm in having some fun, he questions.

And yet, he admits that things are not always all hunky-dory, picture-perfect. Situations do get clumsy. People do get irritated. He recalls, to site an example, walking down a rather deserted lane when he spotted a couple of well-built thugs letting their bladders loose by the side of the road. Instinctively, he mocked at them for spoiling public property and regretted having done so even before he had finished the sentence. He smiles guiltily as he recollects the skipped heartbeat, the accelerated walk.

However, he claims to have a sense of where to draw the line, in most cases anyway. When he does get stuck, he boasts of being able to snugly get out of potentially embarrassing, even dangerous situations.

I’m still not completely convinced. What if he takes it too far someday? What if on the receiving end of this harmless spontaneity is a depressed soul or a violent egoist? What if he hurts someone? What if someone hurts him? I continue to debate with him. I am him. He is me.

I miss you dad!


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I turned 12 today. One more year and I will be in my teens! Not that we had any extravagant celebrations for the occasion. Being raised by a single parent, I know better than to expect a whole lot of gifts, but mom did buy me the new basketball that I had asked her for.

However, ever since I got that letter from dad on my sixth birthday, it became the one gift that I most eagerly await this day every year. Although what I wish for infinitely more is for him to actually come back to us! But the letters have their own charm and when you know they represent your only chance to know about your father and his whereabouts, they become immensely valuable. It thrills me to read about his exotic travels and his heroic exploits. I get the goosebumps as I visualize him fighting valiantly against the pirates or learning the subtle nuances of fighting from the Samurais.

But the delight of his words and the pride of knowing that he is fighting for a greater cause last only so long. The charm of his amazing feats fades in front of the harsh reality of his having abandoned me and mom for more than six years now. Yes, it’s been that long since I last saw him! Wasn’t I just a baby then! I have faint memories of our family visits to grandfather’s farmhouse and of our frequent trips to the beach. I also vividly remember going to my first basketball game with him.  How ecstatic I was that day!

Gripped with nostalgia, I sometimes complain to mom about his absence from our lives. But she just loves him too much. She tells me how true love is about sacrifice and understanding and those lyrical sorts of things. But to me, all that is no more than some philosophical bullshit. The bare truth of the matter is that my father is not here with me today; that is never around to take me to the park, nor to help me with my science project; that the third chair on our dining table has been unoccupied for as many dinners as I can remember; that every Saturday, I have to make do with Chris’ father’s cheering in the football game in our school. He didn’t even care enough to write me a damn letter on my birthday.

For all of mom’s attempts to fight the situation bravely, I know that dad’s absence pricks her too. There are days when she becomes completely solemn. Deafening herself to my incessant cries for this and that, she simply stares blankly in my direction. It’s only when my shouts become intolerable that she comes out of her trance. As she chides me for my careless behavior, tears rolling down her cheek, the tremor in her voice is unmistakable. She says she has a headache and that I shouldn’t give her more trouble. But I know why she is really aching.

Sometimes I wonder what’s really keeping dad away from us for so long. Maybe he has found some other woman on his travels. Perhaps he has a new family and has forgotten all about me and mom. After all, failed marriages are not such a rarity these days. Mom truly loves him and would not consider anything of this sort even for a second, but what if he is taking advantage of her innocence? What if every time we are struggling to make our ends meet with mom’s meager income or being threatened by the landlord for failing to pay the rent, wishing desperately that dad were with us, he is blissfully vacationing with his new family, completely oblivious of our troubles?

Perhaps I am just being way too skeptical. Maybe dad has been sending me letters all along but the stupid postal system loses them in transit. Better yet, maybe he plans to surprise us by showing up at the door out of the blue someday. Maybe he planned to reach home today and give me the best birthday gift ever. Maybe he is only a little late. Maybe the doorbell will ring as I am writing this. Maybe. I hope so. Desperately.


PS: This piece is a part of our hostel’s creative writing entry for this year.

Making a résumé – The art of selling oneself


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It’s startling that I have managed to get through 4 years of my engineering without seriously having to make a résumé. Usually people have to make a list of their achievements (or things that they like to call that) when they are applying for an internship or such things, but I somehow to managed to get through those stages. Anyway, now it is placements time – what my branch counselor has promised (warned?) would be a very, if not the most important time I have spent in the institute – and although I am not exactly losing sleep over it, what must be done must be done.

So I began (thinking about) making my résumé. This being my first time, I searched the web in the hope of finding some useful tips. It appears to be a pretty serious business, this. I found a fairly exhaustive (and way too long and insipid!) presentation by some guy from IIT Bombay. I even came across a proper 250 page book on how to make an ideal résumé. They talk about classifications of résumés and categories of achievements and whatnot. It’s a little hard to it so seriously when one keeps hearing so much rubbish about the selection procedure of certain companies being very ‘arbitrary’.

Anyway, I also glanced through some of my friends’ and seniors’ résumés. There was talk of winning Olympiad medals, of publishing research papers and of initiating start-ups, amidst brag about being institute secretaries, festival managers and gold winning sport captains. Everyone seemed to have done so much and it looked as if I had pretty much just whiled away my time. The heart rate was picking up.

Type. Just start typing, I said to myself. I started by listing out all sorts of (ir)relevant details that I thought will make an impression on my prospective employers. I went back to my secondary and high school certificates and dug through other competitive exams’ scorecards to see if I had done something worthwhile at the school level. I proceeded to mention my internships and other projects. Care was taken, of course, to highlight the time spent in European dreamlands. How much difference does it make to a company, I don’t know. But it sure does serve to make me feel good about myself. After the academic details, one moved on to co- and extra-curricular activities. No one likes to project oneself as a one-dimensional nerd na? I tried to think of other things that would catch the eye. And that is the one thing that one is incessantly striving to do in a résumé – to catch the employer’s eye as he hastily glances across your piece of paper that is but one amongst possibly hundreds. It’s ironic how one so desperately wants to ‘stand out’ in the résumé while following the crowd equally thoughtlessly in sitting for placements in the first place!

Anyway, having poured out everything, the restructuring began – much like in a blog post! (Come to think of it, writing a blog post is not radically different from penning a résumé.) Sentences were reformed to avoid wastage of space. Action verbs were replaced by better sounding ones. (For instance, ‘wrote code’ became ‘developed software’.) I tried to be genuine, to the extent that it is possible without sounding lame. After all, it’s just as silly to be unduly modest as it is to be excessively spurious.

And suddenly, as I thought about my extra-curricular activities, it dawned upon me that I have a blog and that it wouldn’t be the worst idea to try and write a piece on this résumé-making business that I have just concluded. Actually, only just embarked upon. What I have is only a first draft – one that is surely to undergo a noticeable, if not drastic, makeover as the friends and seniors I have sent it over to give their comments and suggestions. But as Randy Pausch said in that delightfully motivating video on time management (watch it!), in order to change something, you must have something to begin with. So I am glad that I at least have something to work on. Besides, as I now glance at it for the umpteenth time, it does look fairly impressive. If I were a company’s HR, I would like to hire myself. But that doesn’t really say much, does it? Well, we’ll know soon enough.