Monday, January 31, 2011

TO Be or NOT to Be

This article is dedicated to every Engineer who ever thought or still thinks of another artistic career that will some how cross paths on the road to  the engineering degree or perhaps if not that ,then en-route the post grad one . Since I am pretty fresh from my 1st semester , I do not have sufficient experience to claim or declaim the promises of competitions that supposedly keep our artistic passions alive irrespective I am definite,  that even if there were such competitions , the regret of not having been able to become  a novelist , artist or sculptor etc does not fade away by competing in contests . But then again , what to choose? stability or passion ? It all comes to -which road are you willing to take - the one less traveled by or the one that has ,on it faded footsteps of known-unknown alike .Engineers are problem solvers and so a sense of practicality and logic is inherent in most of their decisions , but what happens when this practicality is fused together with the eccentricity of an artist . The combination can turn out to be at once disastrous and spectacular depending on the way you view it . I am of the belief that one can have the best of both worlds , you can be at once an engineer and a novelist ( or the like )  , all it requires is perseverance , dedication  and passion .As with every failure , we blame ours on destiny , or perhaps will of God but that is simply stating - cowardice , if you couldn't succeed in  making the two things work together , then blame yourself and know that- maybe you never  were as dedicated as the next guy .Situations do play an important role , but situations do not  make your life , you make your life by acting in the right or wrong way in such situations . As hard as all of this sounds , it isn't , for there are innumerous examples , personalities and lives that can inspire and motivate us every day . For instance “Arundhati Roy” - author of acclaimed novel "God of small things" is also an architect , “Chetan Bhagat” is not only an author but also a consultant/engineer , “Karan Bajaj “- author of "Johnny Gone Down" is also part of this group ,”Heddy Larner” was a  Hollywood actress who made significant contributions to engineering , there are many fashion designer that were initially doctors, engineer turned models etc  . Just look in the right places and you will find your own personal flame of hope , warming  and inspiring you  always . I hope all of you get to this destination and figure out whether " To be or Not to be”.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

JohnnY Gone Down by Karan Bajaj


Nikhil Arya falls into destiny's trap . Is he prepared ? Well he will have to find out that for himself . Nikil an MIT student goes on a trip to Cambodia , the trip does'nt go good unless you call being amputated "good" or living in a basement surrounded by your excrement and the smell of a dead-friend's corpse as "good" . He somehow escapes and founds himself in a Buddhist Monastery . And so his life turns and twist from one tale to another .
On and on , it takes Nikhil aka Buddha aka Nick aka Donos aka Sahib to Cambodia-Brazil-Silicon Valley and finally India . 
I have been wanting to read the book since the first time is saw it on the  "Crossword" shelves , also it was suggested to me by a Dial-a-book service employee .Moving on 
The book is a light read despite the exotic locations , and dangerous circumstances in play .It is pretty entertaining specially  for all those Indians who have always wanted to see an Indian version of a guy who does not loose his nerve in a problematic situation . I would have said the Indian James Bond , but since all of you readers are past cliche's I wouldn't want to use one ,specially when its all wrong .Nikhil is not some special agent , he is a simple guy who touches people's lives in a way which is not what you call usual or temporary .
All throughout he is setting the perfect example of a man who never gives up 
I love everything about the book other than this one thing , Nikhil is just too intelligent , too physically perfect (other than that left arm ) , emotionally stable and creative . Call me jealous , but other than  Sidney Sheldon characters there are few who master such "perfection" cause even those characters can never attain modesty that he possesses .
The book is more of an NRI clan , there is little Indian about him  other than his background .
That however is not a flaw , since the author has proved the point, that, you dont have to add unnecessary decorations to make the protagonist more Indian .The entire book is about how everyone , everywhere has similar capabilities and  qualities .A foreigner of a friend willing to give his life for you is better than the school buddy whose name you don't remember at the school re-union . 
I found few similarities between me and the protagonist , me and the author and  the protagonist and the author.
I wonder which pusa road school he has studied at , because if its the same as mine , another similarity will be added to the list :p
Mr Karan Bajaj
The author seems very modest ,and can even be contacted on his email 
Well I am not that bad myself , so if you need me just comment and I will be all ears for you .