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Heart beat up as GMAT date is close September 12, 2007

Posted by Gaurav Dhiman in Further Studies.
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Today is 12th Sept and now only two days left for me to take GMAT exam. Trying to do as much as possible, trying to learn my mistakes and improve on them. I know my weekness. I am bit week in verbal part, but very strong in quant part. I am taking the mock test to judge me performance. I am not doing good in those, getting only 650 or 660 in mock tests, which is not satisfactory.

I read on many other GMAT blogs that there is a very high probability that one gets nearby score what he gets on mock tests. I think I made a mistake by taking these mock test at later stages. I should have taken these when I started preparing for GMAT. These tests are good as they judge your performance as you go through these tests. Based on the replies of your previous questions, the mock test software chooses the questions to be shown, so the judgement of performance is dynamic and happens during the course of test itself. Moreover these mock test put you in same time pressure and shows the questions of same complexity as it happens in real GMAT. I think in taking any compitative exam, managing time is crutial for your overall performance in test. I am missing this part, esp in verbal section.

I started taking these mock tests seriously when i dont have much time left for my GMAT test. Anyway, I am still thinking positive and hope that on 15th I will surely be good state of mind and will beat the GMAT with good score. Friends do pray for me 🙂

Trying to beat GMAT September 7, 2007

Posted by Gaurav Dhiman in Further Studies.
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As told in my last blog entry, I recently joined my office in India. I was at the company’s guest house for few days before moving to my rented apartment. Its difficult to find a decent and reasonable apartment in Noida. Recently I got an appartment where my friend was living earlier with his family. He was leaving so I took it. The state of house was bad, so getting it ready.

With all this shuffling happening in my life, I am not at all able to take out time for the preperation of my GMAT exam, which is scheduled for 15th Sept. I am aiming to achieve at least 700 score, lets see how much I can get. I started thinking about GMAT and MBA in May 2007. I dont know how it suddenly came to my mind to do MBA. I am perfectly ok with the technical role I am playing in my company, but I think for broaden your vision towards your work, you need to have business knowledge too in addition to the technical ground realities of business. After my post-graduation in computer science, I have spent more than six years in a technical and people management role. Now I have started getting a felling that I am doing what my manager is asking me to do without bothering how the company is growing, from where it is getting its business, who are all other clients of our company and blah blah blah …..

Now I feel that its important at least at my stage to know the business side too. I think I should talk to my manager about putting me into business development so that I can feel business happening closely an can gain experience from it.

I am choosing to do MBA as I think that it will help me to switch my role from technical to business development and grow further in it. In long term I have a plan to start my own business in software product development, but for that I think its better to have at least some business experience first. I think MBA can help me switch my role easily rather than me strugling to get my preferred role by proving my capabilities, which might take long time.

I am aiming for one year MBA programmes rather than two year programmes. I want to complete my MBA ASAP and return back to industry. Lets see how much I achieve in GMAT, thats the first step of my MBA journey. Guys, wish me Luck !!

Haridwar, place full of beliefs September 1, 2007

Posted by Gaurav Dhiman in Personal Life.
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After a long gap, I am back to my work. After the death of my mother I took some time off from my work to make things settled at my home. During my past few days, I had very different experiences. I went to Haridwar, one of the religious dhams in India, for completing the pending rituals of my mother’s death. It was a great experience for me. I can not completely explain the scene of Haridwar in words. Its a place to visit and experience of your own. Its a place where people come to adhere to their religious beliefs, as you must be knowing, in India religion is a big thing. At Haridwar its come to see the scenes where people are getting paats (prayers) done, getting their hairs removed (know as mundan) and taking dip in holy water of Ganga river. What I observed that people do all this, not just because they believe in it, but because of their superstition. They do it, because their ancestor were doing it and they have learnt or seen the same thing since their birth, hence they too have to do it. By saying all this I do not mean that I don’t do all this. I too do it because I am also a part of Indian society and have learnt the same things since birth. Frankly speaking I do all religious stuff so that my elders do not get offended. My family is open minded and never imposes things or their beliefs on me, but still I am a part of society and have to follow some things if not all.

My Haridwar visit opened my eye to the level of superstition that exists in India. There is a strong belief that the holy river Ganga can wash all the sins, if a person takes a dip into it. I am not able to understand how taking a dip in river can wash your sins. Most of the people come to Haridwar to take a dip in this holy river. On some special religious events/occasions, number of people taking dip into Ganga rises to somewhat in millions. Other than this source of pollution, another source is that people do drop the aasthis (remaining bones of dead body) in this river. Its again a belief that by doing so the soul of dead person will rest in peace. Frankly speaking I and my brother too did the same thing for my mother, as its a belief in Hindu religion. By all this, the river Ganga has now been polluted to extreme levels. Its one of the longest river of India which passes from many important cities of the country. During its journey, it gets polluted at every step, still people have a belief that taking dip in this river can wash their sins and hence do the same without applying their brain or logic on this belief.

During my this trip to Haridwar, I saw the state of Ganga river and it was horrible. I even saw a dead body of cow floating in it. With such a state of river, how can people take a dip into it. Other than taking dip in Ganga, people do take this water to their home considering it to be holy water. I don’t know how they consider it to be a holy water. It might be a holy water during its journey through hills as in those area there is very less population and hence less pollution, but as soon as it touches planes at Haridwar, people do change the state of this water by putting ‘n’ number of things into it just because of their superstition. Most surprising part to me was that people see the water is contaminated, they can see things floating into it, but still take it as a holy water, just because its a water from river Ganga, which is given a status of Mother Ganga (long story behind it) in India.

My father too wanted to take a dip into river Ganga, but seeing the state of water he changed his mind. He asked one of the pundits if there is some other place where there could be a bit clear water of river Ganga, as the water here is polluted. By hearing the statement of my father pundit got annoyed and asked him to leave the place. He said that even if all these things are flowing in river, still the water of Ganga can not be polluted, its a mother of all rivers and Ganga water is the holiest water. This made me think about the level of thinking that pundit had. It was not a surprise to me as I was expecting such a response from him. Its a shameful state that we rather than believing our eyes are believing our same old traditions and beliefs without giving any logical reason for them. I realized most of the people at that place never used their logic to know why they were doing what they were doing.

I got bit off, seeing the state and the level of thinking majority of India have.

Another learning and a surprise for me was the maintenance of family tree by pundits of different communities. India being a multi-cultural place have many religion. Each religion have number of different castes, gotras in them, which define different communities of people. My father took us to the pundit of our community to register the death of my mother. On the death of a family member, family registers the death with their community pundit. In Haridwar there are pundits of almost all communities. When we reached the pundit of our community, he opened his record book which maintained the family tree. He had the records of every person in last 10 to 15 generations. It was amazing to know who were our ancestors and to know their names, places where they lived and other details. We created a family tree from that information to share it with other members at home. That record book contained information of our ancestors 10 to 15 generations back. Pundit ji told us that how that all is created. He told that whenever there is any death occurs in family, few of the family members registers the death with them at Haridwar, at that time they note the names, date of birth and other details of people who visit them also note their relationship with the deceased. In this manner information about family starts getting collected from generation to generation. It was definitely a good way of keeping track and knowing your ancestors. Simply saying, I got impressed with huge and rare data that they had.

Although it was a one day short trip to Haridwar, but it was full of experiences and learnings. I will keep on writing as time passes. Do visit this blog for updates, as I will keep on writing new blog articles.

Hardest time of my life till now August 30, 2007

Posted by Gaurav Dhiman in Personal Life.
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It’s been long time now, since I visited my blog to post new entries. In last few days, there have been a number of changes in my life. On 23rd July 2007 night, I lost my dear mother. At that time I and my wife were in Japan. I came to knew about the news on 24th July morning, when I reached office and read the mail from my brother-in-law. As I shifted my residence in Japan on 22nd, so I was not connected to the world, as my phone and net connection were both disconnected at that time. When I heard the news, it was a great shock to me and it was hard for me to control that situation alone there in Japan. At that time I was thinking that why I came to Japan, when I knew that mother is not keeping a good health. I was literally cursing myself from inside. It was a great lose to me and at that moment; I was not able to understand how to react to that situation.

As I was in office at that time, so my co-workers helped me in getting the ticket booked for back to India. It was a busy season for India-Japan route, so was not able to get the ticket on same day, but somehow ticket I was able to get the ticket on next day. I left office early that day to pack my things, but in evening one more news came in which changed my plan further. Earlier I was planning to return back to Japan as my project was going on, but on that evening I came to know that my project is also getting aborted in between due to some cost issues. I hardly had few hours to pack my things permanently. I had two options, one is to go back at that time by canceling my house contract and other public services contract in Japan and leave Japan to never return back, but few hour left with me were very less for doing all this. Other option was to return back to Japan after few days, once things get settled in India, to cancel contracts and then I leave Japan permanently by completing my formalities in Japan. It’s nice of my friends or co-workers in Japan (Gouranga, Manish, Joy, Himangshu and their wives) to help me at that moment. They decided to take over my responsibilities to cancel the contracts on my behalf and to dispose off my household things. I handed over all my required personal documents to Gouranga and he told me that he will try his best to get things canceled so that I need not to return back to Japan just for getting things canceled. It was his kindness that he helped me and took all the responsibility, without which I would not have been able to leave Japan permanently at that time. I am my wife both packed our things, leaving behind all what we could not take back to India. I was in a bad shape at that time because of the news of my mother and at the same time I was also put in emergency situation on my project front. Anyhow, with the help of my friends, I was able to fly back to India on 24th July, hoping that Gouranga will cancel all the contracts in Japan and I will not be required to return back. In worst case I got my return ticket booked for 21st Aug, so that I can return in case I need to.

We reached India in night and took a taxi from Delhi to my home town Panchkula. Finally we reached home at 7 in morning on 25th. Till that time the crimination was already done as it was a hot weather and everybody told that it was not right to keep the body for so long in such a hot and humid weather. Most of my close relatives were already there. At that time I was going through a strong feeling that why I left for Japan seven months back. Actually in Dec I got married and left for Japan for my project along with my wife. At that time I my mother’s health was ok. I won’t say she was good, as she was suffering from dubieties since long time, I think for last 30 years. Due to such prolonged dubieties, her health suffered a lot, especially in last few years. Her eyesight got blurred, her heart was only working at 15% as two of her major arteries were blocked and now during her last month her kidneys failed and stopped working, due to which she was put on dialysis. Due to regular dialysis (thrice a day) most of the nutrients of her body were drained out, which caused a lot of weakness in her body. I was aware of her situation in Japan and was planning to come back to India on 4th Aug, but she left us before that only. I did not even get a chance to meet her for the last time. I sometimes feel unlucky as I did not get a chance to be near her in her last moments. I know she must have remembered me a lot. Well, its the same for me, she will forever remain alive in my memories.

By experiencing all this, I came to know that nothing in this world is predictable. Whatever one plans, but it is not determined that things will go as per plan. I never thought of departing from my mother in such a way, but it happened as it was destined to happen. I was in Japan working smoothly and never thought of returning back so suddenly and in such a situation, well but it all happened, one can not plan for such things. I think one should try to do his best to keep things in place but at the same time should be ready for any surprises. One should keep on going with life, whatever it shows to you. Try to be best in the given situation, whatever that situation may be.