Three cheers for....

Three cheers for....

About Me...

I'm an ex-Capt. (NDA-IMA)...left the army because of an accident (lost right shoulder and of course, the rest of it)...got hold of life...became a leftie...started driving and writing with left...took CAT & GMAT...joined and left ISB after 20 golden days...joined IIM Ahmedabad from there...PGP 2007 - 2009...currently in Hyderabad... Well, Life is iffy !!





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Quotes I live by...

  • Stretch out your limits once a while...lest you lose your elasticity... (recent offhand thought)
  • It's better to burn out, than fade away (Neil Young)
  • This too shall pass...
  • Shit happens...Life Goes on... (adapted from Forrest Gump)
  • Don't be sad, it's over...be glad, it happened !!
  • He Knows not his own strength, who hath not met adversity - Ben Johnson
  • Do whteva you want...Don't get caught !! (NDA)
  • Rules are like rulers...some can be bent, others can be broken :)

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Power of "Like attracts Like"

What if I tell you that things can change—for better? Things might be just fine for you—right now—as you read, but what if things could be better tomorrow as well? And, an year down the line? 
  
So, I’m writing this post today because well honestly, I do have a personal agenda—the desire to share my thought process, story, and understanding of life, and make an impact in somebody else's life. Why today? Because, December 22nd marks the 13th anniversary of my accident and technically a birthday in a way. 

Now, the idea put simply is, "Like attracts Like." Eureka moment? What a discovery? Nah, I agree, not really. But here's the thing—if you want positive outcomes in life, your environment has to be conducive for these outcomes. It's proven both by two distinct branches of science—Neuroscience (conditioning of mind, affirmations) and Pseudoscience (law of attraction). 

We all know that the law of gravity exists, whether you believe it or not. You take one step forward from the edge of a 10m board in swimming pool, you will fall down. Just like that, law of attraction exists, whether you believe it or not. 

Imagine for a moment, humor me, imagine that a Mr. Sid is having a conversation with "Life" (feel free to read "Sid" as "You"….only if you want). 
Sid: "Hey Life, I need a jar full of 100 beautiful red colored balls with a + sign." 
Life: "Sure,why not Sid, here's a gift wrapped jar full of 100 balls. You're free to do what you want with the balls in your jar." 
Sid removes the packaging happily and opens it up. It turns out that the jar is full of + sign red balls, and - sign black balls. He turns towards Life with a frown. 
Sid: "Life! I wanted 100 + sign red balls in my jar. Can I have more + sign red balls?" 
Life: "Sure, why not, here's a shower of 1000s of + sign red balls. You're free to do what you want with the balls in your jar." 
Precisely as Life said, there's a huge shower of + sign red balls over the jar. They're so many that the entire jar is covered in the pile of red balls. Sid happily fishes for the jar, picks it and looks inside. The frown is back. 
Sid: "Life! I made it clear that I want + sign red balls in my jar. This jar still has the same amount of + red and – black balls as before. Give me more please." 
Life: "Sure, why not, I have no shortage of + sign red balls. Here's another shower of 1000 for you. Remember, you're free to do what you want with the balls in your jar." 
Yes, the same thing happens and Sid is distraught. After 100 more tries there's no result and Life keeps saying the same thing. Not able to fathom why he can't have more + sign red balls, he seeks advice from a learned saint. 
The sagely saint says calmly with deep breath and a knowing smile, "Sid....dude, you're free to do what you want with the balls in your jar. Remove all the – sign black ones and make space for the + sign red ones. Simple?" 


I'll stop at that; let's come out of this conversation. If we want good things to happen and positive outcomes to materialize, we have to minimize all the negative thoughts, uncertain doubts and negative vibes.  

Safely assuming evolution to be a continuous improvement model, it's a reasonable conclusion that there's an unlimited supply of positive energy flowing across the universe. It's there when you wake up, there when you take a walk and there when you go to sleep. Like air, it's just there. If you keep living with a jar full of x% of + and y% of – sign balls, and keep cursing fate, luck and what not, for not letting you have more +ve, guess what—"you are free to do what you want with the balls in your jar".  
Make space. 

So, what does it mean to you? What change can you bring practically? Does it mean one should never have -ve thoughts? No. 
What this means is that we need to modify our thinking to be more hopeful, more positive, look at the brighter side, remove that frown, put on more smiles, express more gratitude and words to that effect.  
Does this guarantee success + happiness? No! 
Does this channel you towards the right path for success + happiness? Sure, why not! 

In your own time, I'd suggest you to read further into the law of attraction and the abundance principle. For the pro-factual science folks, read about how conditioning and positive affirmations can change you as an individual. 
Good things are waiting to happen, only awaiting a conducive environment for them to happen. Open the jar >> remove the  sign balls >>  make space for more + sign balls >> then seek and thy shall receive. 

Ciao life !! 
Ciao ppl !! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

"Wow, what an amazing facility"

That’s what I said - ”Wow, what an amazing facility,” when my better half told me a few days back, about her walk to the main road to get some stuff. Well, I was lying on the hospital bed with the right leg in a plaster, so the case in point was - “the ability to walk.” It’s really funny, how we get engrossed in the idiosyncrasies of life, take things for granted and don’t appreciate what we have. Last month during Chennai floods, we both said the same thing -“what an amazing facility”, when the electricity board went finally up n running and declared by night - “let there be light!”

I have definitely said this before in my blog; it’s something ingrained in our DNA. Typically, we appreciate the value of things only after they’re taken away. Life is iffy, iffy as it can be. Being ambitious is good, cribbing sometimes is just fine, but it’s best if we learn to appreciate (ALWAYS) what we have in hand. Yes, that (the 'always' part) is an ideal world scenario, but we can at least resolve to take that road and see where that takes us.
P.S: On a different note, thank you for all the "appreciation" mails for my book. I'm really honored by all the love and good wishes. 

Ciao ppl!!
Ciao Life!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A common Question on my book...

Q. "Sir, training from the Army probably worked for you, but how easy is it for a regular person to take this approach?"
Ans. It's a very relevant question that I've been asked in various forms & forums. My answer is really straight forward - in spite of the training, I was and still am a regular (common man) person, and I reiterate - "It's all in the mind". 
The answer really lies in our ability and willingness to change our thought process and approach to life. Sharp shooting, Rock climbing, Para sailing are skills that you have to learn via external means (not in everyone's reach). But what I'm talking about can be done by anyone - right now as I'm typing this and right not while you're reading it. Discipline towards an objective, perseverance (not giving up) and having a positive attitude is a conscious decision made by your mind.
I'm not saying it's easy, just saying that with focused efforts anyone can be strong willed and positive in terms of default reactions to the iffy idiosyncrasies of life. Do this consciously for 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 and sooner, that reaction will be the default one in the mind. I'm getting kind of preachy now :), but really, if I can do it, anybody can - it's all in the mind.

Friday, October 9, 2015

"CAN I HAVE A CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE?"

Yes, my book is out there now. It has been a long persistent effort over the last couple of years (bandwidth issues and stuff like that!). It all started when a number of well-wishers suggested that I should write a book. It was an amazing experience - going back in time (right to the NDA days), remembering how events shaped up, and through to some funny and not-so-funny experiences. The book has evolved over the period. The aim was always the same -  enable me to justify this 2nd life, tone was always the same - light-hearted and not preachy, and the message still remains the same - "It's all in the mind."

So, Siddhant (my fictional name) starts his journey from the NDA and traverses through the adventurous life, with every day at NDA (and IMA thereafter), molding the pliable mind into that of an ideal Officer. Without getting into specifics, while many readers of this blog would be aware of some of the twists and turns before and after my accident (right up to IIM A), it would suffice to say that the story has elements of Inspiration, Action, Humor, Tragedy, and (ahem!) Romance.
 .
I hope everyone enjoys reading it, even more than I did (penning it down). Please let me know if you liked it (or even otherwise), and do share your reviews at Amazon (direct link), or Goodreads (direct link).

Blurb from the back cover:
How would you feel if, one day, you wake up in a hospital to the faces of doctors and nurses? How would you react when you see your dreams shattering right in front of your eyes? And what would go through your mind when you’re barred from pursuing your passion? Crushed and devastated from within? Meet Lt. Siddhant, an epitome of courage and spirit, who woke up to all this one morning and yet remained composed, when told that his right arm has been amputated post a fateful accident. An average human would collapse, but Lt. Siddhant, an Indian Army officer asked, “Can I have a Chocolate Milkshake?”
This is the true-story of Lt. Siddhant, who when asked to shed his Olive Greens thereafter, goes on to build a successful career in the Corporate world and becomes an inspiration for many. But, how did he get there? How did he win his battle? “Can I have a Chocolate Milkshake” is a riveting tale of a man overcoming his limitations, fighting against all odds, and emerging as a winner.

Buy the book from:
The book is available in both print and e-book formats across countries. you can buy it from:
Notionpress: Paperback
Amazon.com: Kindle US, Paperback US, Kindle India, Paperback India
Other sources on the website

Other Key links:
My Website book page
Facebook Page
Goodreads page

In addition to all my near-dear ones and well-wishers, I would also like to thank my publishers - Notionpress for helping me in embodying my book.

Ciao ppl!
Ciao Life!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Purposeful" Running

Today morning during the cooling down after the morning run, I was wondering- why do I run in spite of "that pain"? That "pain"- well, just to clarify, I don’t wear my right shoulder (dead weight) while running so that’s not the issue; it’s those tiny screws embedded in the right ankle that hurt post the run (thankfully not during).  I don’t run every day; generally have late working nights during the week, but do make it a point to run every Sunday early morning.
Anyway, the question I posed was – why do I run? Why? (Reminds me of - "Why Mr. Anderson, why?") What’s the purpose/motivation?  Yes it’s an old habit from the good ol’ Army days, but that’s not the answer. I know many people fond of running, and there are even those high-spirited ones that love running on the face of adverse circumstances. Everyone has different reasons behind their motivation, which is needed 'coz running is pure hard work, no cutting corners. In my case, the pain lasts for some time in the feet and then vanishes, but that’s a cost I’m willing to pay for d ‘objective’. I concluded that the answer (for me) is twofold- (i) running is one of the best exercises for self-judging one’s determination quotient and (ii) I’m the only one ‘Responsible’ & ‘Accountable’ for my body.
I follow bouts of purposeful running and auto-pilot mode. Purposeful running is when I’m consciously aware of the push from every step of the run, incremental push from swing of the left hand, and aware of the fact that this effort is adding value. Of course, bouts of auto mode are also fun where the body just moves with the flow, and focus is more on the lyrics of the song in the playlist (from the headphone).
One of my favorite sayings is – “Stretch your limits once a while, lest you lose your elasticity”. Running helps in keeping that spirit alive, especially because it tests the determination to go on when you can just stop and walk or jog. Really, who’s watching? How does it matter to anyone else? It’s only our own ‘will’ that can make us keep going. By the same token, it’s our value system that helps in making the ‘right’ decision when no one’s watching, but then I’m digressing here (apologies). All said and done, we are answerable/accountable to our body (personifying it as a separate entity), and I just want to make sure- mine gives me a good rating during performance appraisal :).
Ciao ppl!
Ciao life!
P.S: Well, it also helps in negating d sugar intake from my affinity towards good dark chocolate :).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Only 18% of events in Life are predestined

Before getting into the source and methodology of the study, let me bring up the 18% theory.  “Only major milestones in life are predestined, rest is all defined by the choices we make, path we take and words to that effect”. According to this research, only 18% of the events in life (major + minor), which are within the subset of “major events”, are predetermined/predestined. One can feel happy about the ‘good’ major events in this 18%, but for the ‘bad’ ones there’s no sense in fretting over it, since it was bound to happen anyway. This theory is based on a strong internal locus of control on the happenings in life. So, most of what happens in our lives, is basically a sum-product of choices that ‘we’ make.

Now, this research that came to the conclusion of the magic number – 18% was done by an entity called “A-Number-Makes-It-Easier-For-The-Mind-To-Grasp.com”. Yeah, it’s not a statistically validated number, but something that hits the mind faster (vis-à-vis ‘small’, ‘less’, etc.). The theory is basically a combination of ‘free will’ and destiny, both subject to endless debates (that end inconclusively). 

Let me take my own example. I strongly believe that ‘the accident’ was inevitable- perhaps it would have happened differently in a many-universes interpretation (quantum mechanics), but it was bound to happen. So I do not go into the “what-if” mode, with a sad look on the face every now and then. However, everything that happened after that was a factor of conscious choices that I had made.

Everything cannot be predestined, since that removes the human experience (and choice) entirely out of the equation, and everything would be programmed by the one above. Everything can’t be up to ‘free will’, since that makes the equation very unstable (with only variables), and people will then go into an endless loop of the “What-if” syndrome.  

We always have a choice- the choice to do what is right (disclaimer-definition of ‘right’ is subjective). Events in life are essentially the sum of these choices that we make. In hindsight, we might realize that some of these choices weren’t really choices, and that thing was predestined; but that’s a small number. So that’s that on the topic. Yes, some milestones in life are predestined and already carved into the road, but it’s up to you to ensure that the road ‘as such’ continues to remain smooth and not patchy, through the journey.

Ciao ppl!
Ciao life!

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's been a decade !!

Dear 'Rest of me':


It's been a long time. Of course I remembered my second birthday- Dec 22nd 2004, but the realization came only now that it's been 10 years. Phew!

I'm sometimes surprised by how there are days where I don't have any feeling that you are missing- at all, and life just goes on. At the cost of immodesty, I do admire the way my training and approach to life doesn't let anything seem amiss. But buddy, there are days when I look at the mirror and ask myself- "Dude, where's the rest of you? Really?"

Earlier tonight, Rishika was playing on the bed and said, "Mamma has 2 hands, I have 2 hands, you have 1 hand." I wasn't wearing my hand. I smiled and was about to give the standard story that I tell kids- how my artificial prosthesis is a stronger hand that I got replaced. They generally touch and agree that it is stronger. But she just continued after a brief pause, in a tone of placating me, "your 2nd hand is in that room. Tomorrow you wear it, then you'll also have 2 hands." The sentences weren't so complete of course :). She gave  a smile of absolute simplicity and peace of mind. I might be over-reading it, but I'm glad that she has the same fighter spirit.

Sorry for digressing, coming back to you buddy. Yes, I miss you very much. I'll always have the regret of not getting to see you one last time (because I was busy dying and getting resuscitated). I fondly reminisce all the good times we spent as "One", especially during Academy and Fauj days. Needless to say, you completed me buddy. Love you, always!

Ciao ppl!
Ciao life!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What is your differentiator??

I found myself asking this question today (what is your differentiator), when I looked at the mirror. Well, a full length mirror always induces the question of- "dude...what happened?" but this wasn't one of those days. Anyway, that's a different thought chain altogether. Many of us might have come across this question- in interviews, competitions, business (from a company's USP perspective) and other spheres of life. As I dwelled on it, the mental discussion became interesting. The initial 'differentiators' that came up, were all tangible ones - data points one puts on a CV. However, my mind then started questioning on every line item one by one- "how many people do you know that can do that or have done that?" Well, not surprisingly enough, I knew hundreds of people (at least thru social media if not personally) on every point.

So, there I was, back to construal mode.

I realized that well, my differentiator wasn't A, B, or R, but how I've used A, B and R to become 9. It's not that no one else can do the same and get A + B + R to become 9, people can. What matters then and what makes me different is- as a 9, how I've impacted events/people/organizations (positively of course), or how (and if) I've enabled others to get to the A, B, or R (the greater good). The quick takeaway- our differentiators are not the historical data points from events in the past (achievements), but how and what we have done with them to get to where/who we are. Potentially, also how we intend to use that to get where we want to go.

Leaving everyone with a thought- I have my answer and will keep building on it further, do you have yours?


P.S: BTW, my 9 is not out of 10 :), it's just a number amongst the many others.

Ciao ppl !
Ciao life !

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Quick update on…. My Book

Well, thought of coming back to my blog with a quick update- My 'Book' is done... finally (finished writing/reviewing).
So, as many of you might know, my book is basically…well…my story. It’s a semi-fiction and the name of my character is Siddhant. It starts right from my NDA days with all the experiences, ups and downs, the accident, thru to IIM A. The core theme is inspirational and has elements of adventure, lot of humor and ahem…romance too. Tried to keep it funny, interesting and not preachy at all :), since it’s a real story. Many of my blog posts, which actually went up and down the sine curve as things happened, are part of the book as well.
There were those times of… I’ve taken out 1 hr, let me write the book right now…oh this dialogue was said by Chandler in Friends…which season was it… let me google…that was a good one…let me see the episode… No! No! let me focus… oh! office mail on BB… let me quickly respond… oh! this is also due today… what happened to that office mail, let me follow up… shucks! My 1 hr for book is over… okies some other day maybe… :) .. Well, finally I'm done...
Otherwise life is good, Rishika is growing up fast and becoming naughtier than ever. It was so difficult to take out time…really :). But finally did it, thanks to the support from my better half, Richa.
I’ll be sending it out of my inbox probably in the next 1-2 weeks, and then would be a long waiting period before it gets published. I would like to thank all of you- all of the anonymous and known well-wishers, who kept me motivated to finish the book :).
Ciao ppl!!
Ciao life!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A cute little princess has arrived....


It’s a great…
It’s a great feeling…
It’s a great feeling to be…
It’s a great feeling to be a Dad…

It sure feels great to be a Dad and I thank God for bringing our darling princess into this world on 02-01-2012. The feeling that the two of us and everyone around here have, can’t really be described in words. Yeah well nevertheless, this is the first blog post about herJ. Life’s changing for good, lot of responsibilities, lot of dreams, lot of sleepless nights (more so for the mom of course), lot of sweet smiles, looks of absolute surprise, and lot of cries. After considerable amount of discussions we've decided upon her name- Rishika.

We thank everyone for all the blessings and best wishes. Here’s to you, our precious, the first few words dedicated to you:

The moment you came into being on January the second,
The life changing milestone, struck a conspicuous melodious note;
From then you’ve been the cynosure every minute every second,
There’s none beautiful than thou our baby, ‘The One’ we’ll always dote.

There was a gust of adrenalin rush in our body aplenty,  
The first time you looked straight at us, with those beauteous eyes;
The first smile you ever smiled inadvertently,
Was like a thousand rainbows splashing across the sweet blue skies.

Rishika, thine is this life to live to the fullest,
May you flow like musical notes off a humming guitar;
May you soar high in the sky, through Life’s troughs and crests,
And have the sheen of the shiniest star.
-          -  God bless you