23 May 2011

Sweet are the fruits of success!

My cousin was ranked 42nd all over India in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) this year! In addition, he was ranked first in the city and fourth in the state. More than 1200 aspirants appeared for the exam this year out of which only 900 would get placed in various fields. After two unsuccessful attempts, he says he would've been happy just to get some rank to qualify for IAS, IPS or IFS. This result was far above his humble expectation and immediately brought him into the limelight. 

The days after the result passed in a blur for him and his family as reporters kept hounding them for quotes and interviews. Their phones did not stop ringing for days. I felt proud, and touched, to watch him on TV, radio and newspapers talking about the entire experience.


My cousin has been staying in Delhi for the last 3 years preparing for this exam. The competition is tough and study time was 18 hours a day. He stayed away from home for the first time and the experience itself was an eye-opener for him. He slogged uncomplainingly and whenever he was in town he used to demand complete privacy in his room to study. His parents were not allowed to entertain parties at home as it took away from his study time. He barely ate during the days - hated to lose time in eating. 


I remember a year ago when he was to attempt this exam for the second time. He had high fever. His parents forced him to board a train and come home. He was then admitted to a local hospital. The diagnosis itself took more than a week. After diagnosis, he had to spend more time in recovering his vitality. Precious time was lost from study in all this. The result - he did not clear the exam. His mom (my aunt) used to cry all the time for the loss of his tremendous efforts. How many astrologers and temples she must've visited to pray for his success!


Then there were those who nodded their heads in condolence in his presence but immediately judged behind his back that he simply did not have what it takes to succeed. 'Its a rat race out there', they said. Many pitied his parents for their blind faith in him. All his friends from college were well-placed with highly-paying secure jobs - some of them overseas. At 25, he was perhaps one of the few from his batch still studying (not earning). All of this changed overnight once the results were out. He is now the most eligible bachelor in town! 


Incidences like these reinforce one's faith is the maxim 'There is no alternative to sheer hard work.' My cousin's steadfast belief that he wants to do something for the nation and not migrate to another nation is finally nearing fruition! I was amazed and impressed by his determination to not be tempted to go abroad for work or studies. He even rejected an offer from a well-known IT firm after his engineering degree to pursue his ambition. Well-done bro! You deserve this.

08 May 2011

Innovation

On the occasion of mother's day, I'd invited my mom and sis-in-law for lunch today. My nephew and dad too were with them. It was a fun occasion with us cooking, eating and cleaning together.With two toddlers of similar age in the house, the usual quota of liveliness was doubled :) There were hoots of joy whenever my nephew 'discovered' a new toy. And it was fun to watch my daughter busily stirring virtual ice-cream into her toy cup and feeding her cousin out of a spoon :) She was obviously imitating us adults.

With two kids, usually one or more adults has to entertain them during meals else the mothers never get to eat. So while hubby, my sister-in-law and I were eating, my parents were looking after them. My daughter wanted to be taken for a ride in her car. And my nephew was intent on pushing a chair around the hall. Having just finished a heavy meal, my mom did not relish the idea of pushing my daughter around in her car. So she innovated. She made my daughter sit in the car and made my nephew push it from behind. Lo, they were both getting to do what they liked and my mom watched them at leisure!

Being part of a product development organization, innovation is something that is talked about eternally around me. However, this is the first time I saw it being applied by someone from the older generation so effortlessly at home!