Karaoke Memories..

Listening to Akele Hum Akele Tum..

The scene: Our house in Borkhola, on the outskirts of Silchar where my Dad and I were karaoke-ing the song. It’s a very simple song.. he was an accomplished singer and all I had was the little kid’s part singing ‘Oh I love you Daddy’.

The song is on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfBidjlJqNE

it’s a beautiful song – speaking of a Dad’s love for his son as they live together and the movie involves the story of how the mom moves back to live with them..

While in those memories, I had a smile on my face. It’s been 8 years now since I lost my Dad. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve moved on completely and don’t miss him. There have been many many times especially in the recent past when I’ve been contemplating future decisions about my career that i’ve wondered what he would say.
I’ve taken all these decisions by myself so far.. worked in a start-up, done the unconventional.. would I have – if he was around? I don’t know..

While it’s been great to have a free reign, I’d again be lying if I said I wouldn’t have liked his counsel..

I learnt a lot from Dad.. especially the 1 thing I am most grateful for.. He always stressed the importance of owning the best. It didn’t matter what it was – music system or shoes – he wouldn’t mind paying that bit extra to own the best and he took immense joy in showing off his new stuff(and hated it when others bettered him. haha) but its been a useful lesson as I am not a frequent buyer.. but when I buy, I always remember him.

There is a particular incident that comes to mind. I was nagging him for a remote control car that my friend had bought for 10 riyals(3 sgd/100 rupees) and he didn’t answer for a long time till one day mom and dad took me shopping and said they were buying this car for a family friend and what would I choose as a gift? I remember being in tears as I was choosing between a HUGE monster truck which could go over all surfaces and a very very cool race car which could reach 25 km/hr in a few seconds. I was in half a mind to choose the truck despite the car being better as I thought ‘serves that guy right -taking my gift!’. We took the car.. and guess what.. it was for me! Cost 10 times more than the one I was asking for.. but did I learn the lesson..

He also had a very strong sense of time which I will not forget, a sense of fun, making sudden plans, doing the unpredictable, enjoyed entertaining friends, having them over, was very generous with money whenever it was available, took great care of his parents, was very fussy when ill/hurt.. a lot of these have flown right down! :)

Dad left us on 9th September 2001 for reasons known only to him. A lot of people feel when people pass away, we must erase the memories especially if the parting wasn’t pleasant. As time has passed, I find myself disagreeing.. he was a great father. I can almost never recall him telling me off for getting low grades(that was darling mom’s duty) but I was alway wary of going to him with anything less than his expectations. He was great at math, logic, good with people, very good at dealing with me, my first cricket friend when he used to bamboozle me with leg spin.. and he used to always push me to study in the very best institutions and land the best of jobs..

I hope I’m making him proud wherever he is..

You see.. in all my introductions I always thank mom, grandad, grandmom.. but I just realized that my mission statement says ‘Remember the people involved’ and he was a big part of who I am today – which is why I’ve never changed my name from the “Rohan Rajiv” .. just so I remember that time may have passed, but a part of him still lives within. I may hardly ever mention him.. a big part thanks to being blessed with mom, granddad and grandmom who make sure nothing is amiss.. but that doesn’t mean he never was there!

And most of all, the thing I am most thankful for from him is his gift of music. it’s thanks to him I have a ear for music(even if I didn’t get his awesome voice.. haha).. and that has made all the difference in the world..


Hits of the semester so far

1) Love Story – Thanks to Bipasa..

2) Love Story meets Vida la Vida – Thanks to Eli and Sudu

3) Stu Song – Thanks to Hangover

4) Enna Ithu – Thanks to Eli

5) Nakkamukka – Thanks to Eli, Sudu

6) Music and Lyrics – Way back into Love – Thanks(indirectly) to Ankur

7) Super Trouper and Take a chance on me – Thanks to Dad(late) and Riyadh!


I read a while back that..

The first ten seconds when you meet someone you know makes more of an impact than the next few hours. I have somehow been conscious of this and it has been at the back of my mind but I really haven’t acted upon it..

This is like – when friends meet(a group), it means saying a big hello with a nice smile goes a LONG way in making people feel better about us than hours of conversation afterwards..

Things that generally stop me are just a lack of effort, a not-so-high mood etc.. but should make it a point to greet people with a warm smile and hello! :)

Lets see how this goes.. :)


Ben Jones | August 23, 2006

“50 Things”

Dear Class of 2010,

This will be my last entry written specifically for you; beginning with the launch of our new site in early September, I’ll begin focusing on the future class of 2011. I hope that you guys won’t be strangers; stay in touch either in person (come visit us!) or online (please drop by the blogs from time to time and say hi).

As you begin your college experience, and I prepare for my 10-year college reunion, I thought I’d leave you with the things that, in retrospect, I think are important as you navigate the next four years. I hope that some of them are helpful.

Here goes…

Your friends will change a lot over the next four years. Let them.

Call someone you love back home a few times a week, even if just for a few minutes.
In college more than ever before, songs will attach themselves to memories. Every month or two, make a mix cd, mp3 folder, whatever – just make sure you keep copies of these songs. Ten years out, they’ll be as effective as a journal in taking you back to your favorite moments.

Take naps in the middle of the afternoon with reckless abandon.

Adjust your schedule around when you are most productive and creative. If you’re nocturnal and do your best work late at night, embrace that. It may be the only time in your life when you can.

If you write your best papers the night before they are due, don’t let people tell you that you “should be more organized” or that you “should plan better.” Different things work for different people. Personally, I worked best under pressure – so I always procrastinated… and always kicked ass (which annoyed my friends to no end). ;-) Use the freedom that comes with not having grades first semester to experiment and see what works best for you.

At least a few times in your college career, do something fun and irresponsible when you should be studying. The night before my freshman year psych final, my roommate somehow scored front row seats to the Indigo Girls at a venue 2 hours away. I didn’t do so well on the final, but I haven’t thought about psych since 1993. I’ve thought about the experience of going to that show (with the guy who is now my son’s godfather) at least once a month ever since.

Become friends with your favorite professors. Recognize that they can learn from you too – in fact, that’s part of the reason they chose to be professors.

Carve out an hour every single day to be alone. (Sleeping doesn’t count.)

Go on dates. Don’t feel like every date has to turn into a relationship.

Don’t date someone your roommate has been in a relationship with.

When your friends’ parents visit, include them. You’ll get free food, etc., and you’ll help them to feel like they’re cool, hangin’ with the hip college kids.

In the first month of college, send a hand-written letter to someone who made college possible for you and describe your adventures thus far. It will mean a lot to him/her now, and it will mean a lot to you in ten years when he/she shows it to you.
Embrace the differences between you and your classmates. Always be asking yourself, “what can I learn from this person?” More of your education will come from this than from any classroom.

All-nighters are entirely overrated.

For those of you who have come to college in a long-distance relationship with someone from high school: despite what many will tell you, it can work. The key is to not let your relationship interfere with your college experience. If you don’t want to date anyone else, that’s totally fine! What’s not fine, however, is missing out on a lot of defining experiences because you’re on the phone with your boyfriend/girlfriend for three hours every day.

Working things out between friends is best done in person, not over email. (IM does not count as “in person.”) Often someone’s facial expressions will tell you more than his/her words.

Take risks.

Don’t be afraid of (or excited by) the co-ed bathrooms. The thrill is over in about 2 seconds.

Wednesday is the middle of the week; therefore on wednesday night the week is more than half over. You should celebrate accordingly. (It makes thursday and friday a lot more fun.)

Welcome failure into your lives. It’s how we grow. What matters is not that you failed, but that you recovered.

Take some classes that have nothing to do with your major(s), purely for the fun of it.

It’s important to think about the future, but it’s more important to be present in the now. You won’t get the most out of college if you think of it as a stepping stone.

When you’re living on a college campus with 400 things going on every second of every day, watching TV is pretty much a waste of your time and a waste of your parents’ money. If you’re going to watch, watch with friends so at least you can call it a “valuable social experience.”

Don’t be afraid to fall in love. When it happens, don’t take it for granted. Celebrate it, but don’t let it define your college experience.

Much of the time you once had for pleasure reading is going to disappear. Keep a list of the books you would have read had you had the time, so that you can start reading them when you graduate.

Things that seem like the end of the world really do become funny with a little time and distance. Knowing this, forget the embarassment and skip to the good part.

Every once in awhile, there will come an especially powerful moment when you can actually feel that an experience has changed who you are. Embrace these, even if they are painful.

No matter what your political or religious beliefs, be open-minded. You’re going to be challenged over the next four years in ways you can’t imagine, across all fronts. You can’t learn if you’re closed off.

If you need to get a job, find something that you actually enjoy. Just because it’s work doesn’t mean it has to suck.

Don’t always lead. It’s good to follow sometimes.

Take a lot of pictures. One of my major regrets in life is that I didn’t take more pictures in college. My excuse was the cost of film and processing. Digital cameras are cheap and you have plenty of hard drive space, so you have no excuse.

Your health and safety are more important than anything.

Ask for help. Often.

Half of you will be in the bottom half of your class at any given moment. Way more than half of you will be in the bottom half of your class at some point in the next four years. Get used to it.

In ten years very few of you will look as good as you do right now, so secretly revel in how hot you are before it’s too late.

In the long run, where you go to college doesn’t matter as much as what you do with the opportunities you’re given there. The MIT name on your resume won’t mean much if that’s the only thing on your resume. As a student here, you will have access to a variety of unique opportunities that no one else will ever have – don’t waste them.

On the flip side, don’t try to do everything. Balance = well-being.

Make perspective a priority. If you’re too close to something to have good perspective, rely on your friends to help you.

Eat badly sometimes. It’s the last time in your life when you can do this without feeling guilty about it.

Make a complete ass of yourself at least once, preferably more. It builds character.

Wash your sheets more than once a year. Trust me on this one.

If you are in a relationship and none of your friends want to hang out with you and your significant other, pay attention. They usually know better than you do.

Don’t be afraid of the weird pizza topping combinations that your new friend from across the country loves. Some of the truly awful ones actually taste pretty good. Expand your horizons.

Explore the campus thoroughly. Don’t get caught.

Life is too short to stick with a course of study that you’re no longer excited about. Switch, even if it complicates things.

Tattoos are permanent. Be very certain.

Don’t make fun of prefrosh. That was you like 2 hours ago.

Enjoy every second of the next four years. It is impossible to describe how quickly they pass.

This is the only time in your lives when your only real responsibility is to learn. Try to remember how lucky you are every day.

Be yourself. Create. Inspire, and be inspired. Grow. Laugh. Learn. Love.

Welcome to some of the best years of your lives.


There is so much uncertainty around us..

It’s difficult to predict what will even happen tomorrow, let alone a year from now.

It almost renders all planning for life and the future futile..

Having said that, the only thing we CAN do to keep our sanity is to make sure we focus on the stuff we can control.. keep making plans, tear them apart, move on – still focus on what we can influence and then let life do its bit..

Its wonderful isn’t it- we begin with just a thought that we are in control.. more often than not, it isn’t and doesn’t end up the way we thought it would end up.. yet, when it does, it makes a difference and I guess we learn, how to influence the end product more and more as we realized what is worth giving input into and what is not..

It’s a wonderful learning curve. I don’t know if what I am saying is making clear sense to whoever reads this.. but what I am getting is.. it doesn’t matter what the results are(almost), what matters is that we learn how to plan better to achieve certain results and give THAT our best shot. For eg: we should learn how to plan realistically.. yet aim high eg: Maybe not aim for A+ grades but realistically an A-. Doesn’t mean we give up on A+ on day 1 but means we are as happy with an A- and A+ is just a bonus.

Once we can calibrate our mind to expect what is realistic, yet aim high and keep stretching that reality, we’ve got a winner! (probably).. :D