How to start preparing for CAT (IIM)

How to start preparing for CATHow to start preparing for CAT? As mentioned by many, CAT (Common Admission Test) is one of the toughest exam to crack. It is the gateway to getting into prestigious IIMs and other top B-schools of India. A lot of CAT aspirants ask me how to prepare for CAT. Here I am sharing a few tips which I feel helped me in cracking this exam.

Understand the syllabus

This is a useful tip for almost any exam. Understand the syllabus by going through past year’s papers and official guidelines. CAT can be segmented into four broad parts-

  • Quantitative Ability
  • Data Interpretation
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Verbal Ability

The concepts used in this examination are broadly of class 10 level. However, the questions are little bit tricky to solve and require good amount of logical thinking. But it can be developed by practice.

Begin with the end in mind

Start your preparation with sheer determination. Whenever you feel demotivated, you can dream about the day when you will crack the exam and it will definitely motivate you. March-April is a good time to start preparation for the exam which will be held in October-November.

Should you join coaching?

This is based on a lot of things. If you have a lot of time, you can go for coaching. However, if you are into a hectic job and get very little time to study, you can prepare on your own without wasting that time in going to coaching. Coaching will only give you guidance. Rest depends on how sincerely you practice.

Also, the syllabus of this exam does not require any special training. Most of the things we already study in our school. There are few concepts which can be revised from books and other material. Rest is a lot of practice.

Books and material

First of all, get CAT preparation material of some good coaching institute.

For Quant, there are two good books- Arun Sharma & Sarvesh Varma. You can refer to any of these. I referred the latter one as suggested by one of my friends. However, I think the former is more popular with the students. Both the books are good. But don’t buy both. No need to unnecessary collect a lot of books & material. If you have limited time, solving one book is enough. Go for the second book only when you have finished the entire syllabus.

No special book for concepts of Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability. You can rely on the coaching material for all the concepts and can solve all the practice questions. However, you can refer to some books on these topics only after you finish the entire syllabus.

For verbal, you also need to read “Word Power made Easy” by Norman Lewis. It is a very good book which helps in increasing vocabulary not by memorising stuff, but by understanding the ideas behind the words. It is distributed into 45-47 sessions meant to be read one at a time. It is a must-read book and should be completed within two months of starting your preparation.

You also need to read a few good story books as explained in the next point.

That’s it. Yes, you do not need any other book for concepts. This much is enough.

Note- For detailed list of important books, please refer my post “List of Important Books for CAT Preparation“.

Reading, reading & reading

Many students, specially engineers are already good at quant but perform badly in verbal. Earlier, CAT was heavily based on vocab and grammar concepts. But these days, it is more of a general English exam which tests one’s command over English in common usage. You should be very much familiar with English.

The only way to improve your verbal score is to read a lot of good books written in standard English. These can be fiction, non-fiction or anything, just written in good English. I have already written a blog post regarding this. You can read it here: How to develop the habit of reading. I have also mentioned the example books there. Reading 4-6 books during your preparation would increase your familiarity with English and you can easily score good.

Test Series

This is like the Holy Grail of CAT preparation. Subscribe to one good Test Series and write all the tests very sincerely in simulated environment. Fix a day, say Sunday, fix a time, say 9 AM, and give the test every week at the same time. Sit in proper position while attempting the test and tell all your roommates or family members not to disturb you at that time.

Once you write 15-20 such tests, CAT will no longer be a stranger to you. When you will sit for actual CAT, you will feel as if you have done this a lot of times and it will help you to remain confident during the exam.

Most coaching institutes try to set the Mock Question paper to be as near to the real exam as possible. Subscribe to a test series which is more difficult than actual CAT. You may find it difficult to score good in the mock tests. But it will boost your confidence when you will find the actual CAT to be easier than the mock tests. Many good test series are available.

News coverage for post-CAT preparation

Once you clear CAT, you need to qualify the Personality Test rounds of various colleges which include Group Discussions, Written Tests and Personal Interviews. Qualifying CAT makes you eligible to attend this stage and its your performance in these rounds which finally help you getting selected. Preparing for this stage immediately after CAT result can be difficult. Try to follow the basic news in your daily life from today itself. This will ease down the load of preparation for Personality Test rounds and boost up your confidence as well.


And that is all. I followed these things and I feel it helped me to get through this exam (Scored 99.41 percentile in CAT). I hope these tips will help you in preparing well for CAT. All the best for getting into an IIM!

You can also refer to my detailed interview published in a MBA preparation magazine (Careers360) here: http://www.bschool.careers360.com/cat-topper-interview-iim-student-abhineet-mittal-shares-cat-preparation-tips

Note: I have not suggested any particular coaching center for coaching, material or test series because I do not know names of a lot of coaching centers. I know only two which are TIME and Career Launcher. I subscribed to TIME Test Series and referred to CAT preparation material from TIME. But I have heard that Career Launcher is equally good and you can refer to that as well. It all depends on your convenience and availability in your area.

How to develop the habit of reading

How to Develop Reading HabitFrom our childhood we are told that reading habit is a very good habit. Specially, if you are preparing for any competitive exam like CAT, GMAT, GRE or even UPSC (it now has a paper with questions on reading comprehension), you must read a lot of books written in English. In this context, from here on, by reading I mean reading books written in English language.

Why Reading Habit is good?

Reading improves our comprehension as well knowledge. Reading a lot of good books makes us familiar with English language and we no more need to memorize grammar rules to find out if any sentence is wrong. It is the same way as a child learns his native language just listening to his parents and not by learning grammar rules.

Once a respected gentlemen rightly said that to write well, you need to read a lot. So, apart from helping us to understand what others write, reading is also essential to express our thoughts in good words and proper language.

But what if someone doesn’t read at all? What if mere thought of reading a book makes you yawn? Is there any way to develop this habit, easily?

Well, all big things in life require some amount of work. However, there are few ways to do it the right way so that you get maximum benefit in minimum amount of time. And obviously, you need to be motivated enough and self-determined to maintain a disciplined schedule, atleast when you begin.

I was not exactly a reading buff. Though I read books every once in a while, I was not the kind of guy who reads scores of books every month and asks for even more. Every time I finished a book, it used to be an achievement for me. But during my CAT preparation, I realized that I need to read a lot and I was actually able to read a lot of books during that time. How? I followed a simple approach.

Pick the right book

First of all, reading here does not mean reading “anything”. I am no one to criticize Chetan Bhagat for his books. He writes books in simple, lucid language to be easily understood by anyone. But for the kind of competitive exams mentioned above, those books may not help you. You need to read something with a higher level of English. Books of famous English authors written in standard English is a good point to start with.

Pick a book from a famous author, an interesting one. You can pick J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books or Dan Brown’s books like DaVinci Code, Angel and Demons etc. There are many more authors like John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Stephen King, you can pick any of their books based on your interest. This is because once you get involved with the story of the book, you would like to continue reading it, even if you find the English difficult or boring.

Stick to a simple schedule & Take it easy while reading the first book

Now make a schedule to read for 15-20 minutes every day before you go to bed. Yes, this much is enough to begin with. Whatever happens, read for some time everyday before you go to sleep. Slowly your reading time will increase as you will get involved with the story. Don’t worry even if you do not understand many words. No need to look them up in a dictionary. Just try to understand the meaning from the context and move ahead. Referring dictionary continuously will obstruct the flow and make reading boring. Completing a book is more important at this time.

Level up once you cross the milestone

After 1-2 months of this when you finish reading your first book, you will definitely feel accomplished. You would also have developed at least some interest in reading. Now you can refer to difficult words while reading the next book. You can also read using an ebook reader as it is very easy to look-up words in these devices without breaking the flow of reading. You just need to touch the word and its meaning pops up.

Finally, keep it going

Slowly and gradually you can read more and more books. Finishing each book, will boost your confidence and as you go on, you will get familiar with more words making it easier for you to understand and time to finish a book will keep on decreasing. If all goes well, by this time, you would have developed the habit to read books. It will be no longer a far-fetched dream.


The method described above may not be the best way to develop this habit but it worked pretty well for me.

I hope you too find this useful. Feel free to leave feedback or suggestion in the comments section below.


Additionally, if you are preparing for CAT, you may find following links useful-

For CAT Preparation, you can refer to my article here- How to start preparing for CAT (IIM)

List of most important books for CAT Preparation- List of Important CAT Preparation Books

The Hideous Crime

The house was surrounded by a huge crowd with puzzled faces, anxious to know the exact details of what happened. The barricade tape was stretched at the entrance indicating a barrier for the onlookers, and men in uniform were quietly going in and out without saying a word. Even media people were not allowed inside and it had created a very suspicious environment.

Inspector Roy was in-charge of the detective team and was trying to figure out what exactly happened. He went to the first witness of the dead body, Ana, who was shivering with fear while sitting in a corner surrounded by lady constables.

“She was brutally killed. I saw her lying on the floor, almost sunk in her own blood. It was a scary sight,” Ana told Roy. She seemed devastated. She continued, “I work in her nursing home and came to give her a report file of a patient. The door was open and she was…,” the woman fainted.

A lady doctor named Veena was found dead. The woman’s face was crushed with a heavy object and she was repeatedly stabbed even after she was dead. The killer seemed to be very angry with her.

Different stories started circulating. Someone in the crowd was saying, “She was a very good gynecologist. She was there when I delivered my baby. She was so much supportive. Its pity that she got such a fate. Whoever killed her must be hanged.”

Another woman agreed, “She delivered almost all the babies in this neighbourhood. She was a gem. It seems to be a personal grudge for someone to kill such a good hearted lady like her. Have they identified the killer yet?”

There were critics as well. “But she was not very helpful. Usually she kept to herself and did not provide discounted or free consultation even to her neighbours. Once I went to her clinic on a busy day. It was full of patients. I thought, being a neighbour, I can get past the waiting line. But when I approached her, she rudely told me to wait for my chance.”

“Don’t you think it shows her dedication to rules and ethics. I don’t think she was wrong here. But yes, that is true that she was totally money minded. She could charge you even for speaking to her.”

“Whatever you people say, I am always in her debt. I think she was a true angel of god. I got my baby boy only because of her. She had a lucky charm. Did you notice, she delivered most of the boys here. So, many houses got their heirs only because of her. We should not speak ill of her.”

There were no signs of forced entry which showed that the killer was someone known to her and trustable enough to allow into the house. A shoe print in the blood revealed that the killer was a male.

Roy was aware of the problem in identifying the killer based on the clues collected so far. A doctor meets hundreds of people every day and all her patients are known to her. It is difficult to find someone in the huge patients list of a successful doctor practicing for more than 10 years. But the killer was out and had to be found before he killed someone else.

Next day, Roy got a news. Ana was found almost dead in her house. Someone tried to kill her by suffocating her with a pillow when she was asleep. May be due to her house located in a crowded area, the killer did not get enough time to make sure that she was dead.

Somewhat relieved, Roy finally saw some hope to find the killer. Ana definitely knew something and he was going to find out what. Next day when doctors discharged Ana, Roy started interrogating her. She was already scared and was almost ready to blurt out everything.

“I am so sorry. I never wanted to be a part of this. But I needed money to support my family. Doctor Veena was involved in the business of getting rid of unborn girl child for those who wanted only a boy child. She performed sex determination of unborn child and aborted it if found a girl. The man who killed her is Ramesh. He is the husband of one of her patients who gave birth to a baby boy last week.” While telling this, she got scared again, “And he is going to kill me. I am a fool to tell him everything.”

The woman started crying badly and fainted again. She was again gone for at least a few hours. Though the story was incomplete, Roy got sufficient clue to find the killer. It may take sometime to find Ramesh. At the same time, Roy was disgusted with the idea of female foeticide. In a corner of his heart, he believed that Veena got appropriate punishment for such a hideous crime.

However with this incomplete story, Roy got more confused. He was unable to find a motive for this murder. The situation was clear. Ramesh wanted a boy. So he took help of Doctor Veena who may have helped him by performing sex-selective abortion earlier and finally getting him a boy. Hospital records showed that Ramesh consulted Veena 5 times in last 4 years for seemingly fake health issues of his wife. Clearly, girls were identified first 4 times and were aborted to finally get a boy in the fifth time. This means Ramesh should be happy with Veena.

But instead, he killed her. And he tried to kill the nurse too. Ana said she told something to Ramesh which resulted in all this. “What did she tell her?” Roy wondered hoping to hear it from either Ana or Ramesh as soon as he could.

Within 6 hours, Ramesh was arrested from a relative’s house where he was hiding. He was still very angry and was unhappy that he could not finish Ana. “Yes, I killed Veena. She was a monster, a bitch. And her subordinate, Ana, she is a bitch too.” Ramesh shouted out loud.

“But why? It seems they helped you to get a baby boy.”

“They did. But Veena took away my children. I lost all of them. I believed her and this is what she did to me. She killed all of them. And that Ana helped her in all this,” Ramesh broke down crying.

“So you did not want to kill the girls?” Roy was even more confused.

“I wanted to.”

“Then why you killed her?” Roy was losing his patience because of the unclear answers from Ramesh.

“These doctors have a special package where they help you to find out the gender of unborn baby and if found girl, they will abort it themselves. Four times I went to her and got my baby aborted to get a boy next time. I was so happy last week when I finally got my baby boy in my hands. He is my heir. He will carry forward my legacy.” Ramesh paused to take a breath.

“Yesterday I got to know from one of my activist friends about some wrong doings in Dr. Veena’s hospital. While in doubt, I confronted her nurse on her way to hospital who knew me very well due to my earlier visits to the hospital. She revealed a shocking truth to me. Many times Dr. Veena used to identify boys as girls so that patients will pay her extra for abortion. All the four times, I had boys, and she killed all of them, just to get some more money. I lost four of my boys. All because of that bitch, murderer.” Ramesh knelt crying badly.

Roy was stunned.

Ramesh continued, “She was an animal in this society. So I killed her and did a good thing for the society.”

Roy’s blood boiled up. He could not believe his ears. He kicked Ramesh breaking his nose. A stream of blood burst out from Ramesh’s mouth and nose on the floor.

“You are a murderer. You are also a burden to this society. How can your crime of killing unborn girls any better than Veena cheating you. You deserved this, so did she. But those four innocent unborn babies, no matter boy or girl, were supposed to be alive. And you are going to get the worst punishment of your life for this.”

Roy left with a determination to ensure that Ramesh gets appropriate punishment for his crime to set an example for the society so that people think many times before doing anything like this. Also, Veena was found guilty of the hideous crimes, her hospital was closed down and her license was revoked posthumously. This was a good example for practicing doctors to keep them away from female foeticide.

Roy knew that the root cause of the problem was in the basic thinking process of society and these punishments are not enough to eradicate this evil. But he was happy to contribute as much he could in his capacity.

Note: As a matter of fact, sex determination of unborn child and sex-selective abortion is illegal in India as millions of unborn girls are killed every year in the desperation to get a boy child. In a country where so many goddesses are worshiped, it is unfortunate to witness such a fate of a girl child.

The sacrifice of Ravana..

Dussehra-ravana-dushehra

While sitting in his golden chair, Ravana was still wondering whether his sacrifice proved useful to mankind. It has been more than 3000 years and people on earth are still doing bad things by giving various stupid excuses, one of them being religion.

Being extremely powerful, Ravana could not be defeated or killed. He was the greatest warrior and knowledgeable person of his time. When he first heard about Rama from his sister, he could not resist himself from meeting him.

At that time, world was not good anymore. With increasing number of bad people, the ratio of good ones was reducing significantly. His one meeting with Rama changed everything. Though it is not documented in the formal history, it changed the course of mankind and created an epic story in the form of Ramayana.

Ravana started creating chaos and established himself as a powerful con man. Rama was already considered a great man. People considered Ravana as undefeatable. But his end by Rama affirmed the long taught concept of conquest of goodness over evil. And it did help for some time.

Ravana was interrupted by a beautiful unicorn wandering in the forests of heaven. It was so calm and divine here. He remembered his last moments on earth when entire human population was celebrating the victory of Rama and cursing Ravana for being bad. Ravana took it all because he was assured that world is going to be a better place because of his sacrifice.

But the world has not changed for good. There is no more Rama. There is no more Ravana as well. Being black and white was the thing of past. Now it is about shades of grey. A combination of Rama and Ravana in every person. And it seems that the ratio of Rama is getting lesser with each passing day.

It was Dussehra. Ravana saw that the people on earth were celebrating by burning his effigies. Children were dancing with joy, adults were enjoying their day off with their children, some of them utilizing the crowd to molest some girls, pickpockets enjoying their peak season where they find maximum crowd and pick more pockets, fireworks makers utilizing child labor to make fireworks to sell them at higher margins, murderers and criminals worshiping their weapons as if they have done a good thing by killing people using them etc.

He could not see it anymore. As soon as the festival was over, people were again back to their work forgetting everything Dussehra was meant for. No one got inspired to do good things, to stop people from doing bad things. The sacrifice of Ravana was useless. He was just a story now.

Disgruntled Ravana was feeling utterly sad first time in thousands years of his stay in heaven. Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned back to find that it was Rama with ever assuring smile on his face.

He said that world may have lost the meaning of Rama and Ravana, but there are powerful people in the world who act as Rama and Ravana at the same time. The world has changed, but we do not know whether it is for good or bad.

All we can do is wait to see how it turns out to be. And if it doesn’t go well, we can always go back there to start our never ending war of good vs bad, creating another Ramayana. If you want, this time you can play the role of good one and I will play the bad one. We can call it Ravanayana. After all motivating people to be good is all we want.

Ravana, little bit assured, took a deep breath and went back to his golden chair. He smiled, his sacrifice was not a waste after all.

(To be continued…)

Note: This is a work of fiction inspired by the epic Ramayana and the current scenario of human society.

All I want to say is Good-Bye

I was standing at the gate, still savoring her last glimpse as she looked at me. Atleast I wanted a “good bye”. A very long one, almost never ending. But she quietly, coldly turned back and closed the door.

And I was still standing there, without any thought, almost numb. I never imagined that it all would end this way.

———————————-

Not so long ago, just about 4 years ago, I met her in this very beautiful flower shop. Every week I used to stop by the shop to buy flowers for my aunt. My aunt was in hospital and I visited her every Saturday.

Now this beautiful girl at the flower shop was very mysterious. Her eyes were so deep that I felt mesmerized just by looking into them. I do not stare at women. But she was no ordinary woman.

“Excuse me! You want something.” She was looking at me with an undecipherable expression.

Embarrassed, I found myself still staring her eyes.

“Uh.. Umm.. Yeah.. I need a bunch of roses. The yellow ones. It’s for my aunt. She is not well.” I blurted a few words while looking away from her.

I felt like a fool. Partly because I was embarrassed and partly because I blurted out that I am not buying flowers for any other girl. I was evidently hitting on her.

She smiled. I again forgot everything. She was just so pretty. She added a very beautiful lily to the bunch and told me that it was complimentary. I walked away quietly. I could not stop thinking about her whole night.

My frequency of visiting my aunt increased from once a week to 3-4 times a week. And I started buying even more variety of flowers.

One year was gone. My aunt was discharged from the hospital. But I was still buying flowers. The beautiful girl from the flower shop was sitting next to me on the beach at the sunset point. Her name was Lily. She spoke very less. It took me a long time to ask her out for a date. She was not very open to aspirations. She did not dream much. Only thing she liked was flowers. That’s why she worked at the flower shop.

In my 3 years of going out with her, I could not find much about her. But this made me love her even more. We never kissed or hugged. Did not even speak much. The joy was in being together. It seemed that she was saying hundred stories with her eyes without even speaking a word.

I loved this. I loved everything about her. May be this was the platonic love described by philosophers and hardly experienced by people in real life. But I was feeling it. It was love without any desire. It was love in its purest form.

One day, I decided to find a way to be with her forever. I proposed her for marriage. It was a beautiful proposal with lots of flowers. She didn’t speak a word. I could not make out whether she was happy or sad. She simply walked away.

Next day, when I stopped by the flower shop, she was gone. She left a message. It was the first time ever when she actually expressed what she felt. The letter said, “Our love is so pure that it fills me with forever happiness. Though I wish we could be together forever.”

I was speechless. On one side, I was happy because she finally accepted that she loved me. And on the other side, we were not together anymore. We were apart forever.

I could not accept it. I found out where she lived and went there. She came out of her house as if she knew that I would come. She was not smiling. I could feel the emptiness in her eyes. But she was still calm, as if she was trained for this. She came to me, kissed on my cheek & went back inside.

———————————-

I was still standing there. There was no good bye. As if the kiss closed the platonic relationship we shared.

With heavy steps, I walked back home. I did not want to hurt her. If she wants so, I will never bother her again.

———————————-

One month later, it was 3 in the morning and I was in bed.

A loud thud in my living room startled me. In no time, 7-8 men in armored suits were surrounding my bed with automatic lethal weapons pointing at me. I could feel the laser pointers at my forehead.

I was picked up from my home, beaten up badly and repeatedly asked for my terrorist friends. I was clueless. Then they showed me a video clip of a very crowded railway station where a girl detonated a bomb killing herself along with dozens of people. She was Lily. She was gone.

They showed me videos of me hanging out with her. They were sure that it was impossible for me not to know about her intentions after spending 3 years with her.

I was speechless. For a moment I forgot about what was right or wrong. The symbol of such purity cannot be evil. May be someone tricked her or whatever. I did not want to think about it. Only thing I knew was our love.

———————————-

My ‘now healthy’ aunt sometimes visits me with bunch of yellow roses. It reminds me the time I spent with Lily. Our platonic love is immortal. I still love her and it gets even more every day.

And I said, Good-Bye Infy!!

Image Credit: Flickr

Its been 6 months since I left Infosys. Today, when I look back at all those days which I spent being a part of Infosys, I feel what I am today has been highly impacted by what I was being in Infosys.

It was a cold December when I first left the warmth of my home to join Infosys in a far away part of the country. And when I left Infy, I felt a similar warmth that followed me. And I felt like I was leaving home again, the new home.

When I joined Infy, I was just a college student. I had to learn a lot about life. And yes, I learned. I learned how to add value to the things I do, I learned how to talk to people who I do not know, I learned how to enjoy with people whom I do not even share the same culture, I learned how to see beyond what is visible, I learned to listen to the unspoken things and most importantly, I learned to keep learning.

A few years ago, I read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It talks about the importance of journey and not destination. The destination is just to give us a direction. It is the journey that matters. The experiences of the journey of life help us appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, the complex world which works on its own with different people, parts fitted together seamlessly. While leaving Infy, I realized that it was never my destination. It was just a milestone of my journey.

The joy of reaching the destination is short lived. Once we achieve something, we start looking for the next goal and the life goes on. Seldom we identify what keeps us looking for new destinations. While on the way, we live dreaming about the destination, and when we reach there we cherish the experiences of the journey. Life is clever enough to keep us a step away from the present.

My journey in Infosys taught me to walk with the present. I saw people running towards things they think they want, leaving behind all the things they have. In that environment, it becomes hard to remain what you are. But once you realize this, life is never the same. Those people become your reason to live your own life to the fullest.

Even Narayana Murthy conveys this message to stop running and start living. But people are too much comfortable in the race, they hardly want to stop. This is really ironical.

Being in Infy, I realized two things: One, Narayan Murthy has created a great organization by following his values and virtues, and two, for a sizable chunk of people working there, those values are mere words to boast about. For me, those values are vital to any individual and people who follow these actually add value to Infy as well as their own lives.

The most important value which is my favorite is “Leadership by Example” or in simple words “Walk the Talk”. Each day I strive to be what I expect from people around me.

During my Infy journey, I found some really talented and cheerful people whose lives are reflections of real joy and learning. Some of them involved in so many social activities, some of them organizing some entertainment events every now and then, a group of people going for adventures on a monthly basis and even a few people innovating new things using latest technologies without even being asked for. These are the people who made my stay in Infy worth remembering.

I hope Infy will retain such people and will find a way to utilize their potential to the fullest. To rise as an organization, Infy has to go beyond just being a software service provider and to find a way to tap the potential of the gems hidden among its few lakhs strong work force.

While closing this post, I want to share something interesting. Narayana Murthy left after a few months I joined Infy. It all resulted in huge chaos. I missed being guided by the regular insights of the great leader through his town-halls and common addresses. Co-incidentally, Narayana Murthy joined back just the next day I left Infy. I was sitting at Hyderabad airport waiting for my flight to home when I saw the news of his return. I was joyful. I am sure the company which I always loved will further go places.

Promise to Stop Violence Against Women

Last year in December, whole country came under shock when a girl was brutally molested in a moving bus in Delhi. She later died due to serious injuries. From that day, we could find newspaper stories about brutal rapes, molestation cases, public humiliation almost everyday. Did they start after that Delhi case? No they were always there, they only came into limelight when we started taking interest in them. With these incidents, started the trend of candle marches, people putting a black dot on their Facebook profile picture, wearing black hand bands etc.

And even in these marches, which were supposed to be non-violent and peaceful, men were actually caught teasing girls. This amazed me. It defeated the whole purpose of the march. I think, a large number of unemployed people due to current market scenario, got a chance to pass time and clicking a picture to put on their Facebook profile showing how socially conscious they are. Ironically, many of them did not even know what exactly their demands were.

In the whole mess, opposition jumped into the scene and criticized the present government for improper security measures (as if these incidents did not occur when opposition was in power). Everyone was against government and they all shouted, destroyed public property, wasted a lot of time and money. Did they find a solution. Rather, I should ask, did they actually find the problem?

The problem is not solely with the government. Neither it is about men’s sexual desires. It is about the mentality which we all share to an extent.

The above incident was not a rape, neither molestation, it is clearly a case of violence. No need to charge the convicts under rape laws, charge them under violence, brutality. Using an iron rod to pull out one’s intestine, or inserting a candle in the genitals of a 5 year old is not molestation. It is brutality at its worst. And scarily, these people are living among us.

Once I watched a cannibal movie and I was scared to hell. Then I read about these brutal incidents and I am much more scared because former was a movie, and latter is reality.

A lot of men in our country are puffed with superiority complex and narcissism. They think they are supreme creatures in the universe and all other living beings (including the opposite sex) are meant to please them. They get a lot of this from movies and tv. But when they face the real life, they are unable to accept the ground reality. Those who have good character can adapt and evolve accordingly, and rest turn into animals.

I was stunned to find educated people actually beating their wives ruthlessly when they get angry. As was expected, I found them quite coward and inefficient in their work life. They used their wives to relieve their agony of being incompetent.

So, what we can do to stop this?

First of all, we need to find out, if we are also in this category. If yes, instead of being driven by male ego, we should immediately give away this mentality. If we are not among these, we are ready to fight for the right of women to live a life of peace and dignity.

Charity begins at home. We have to educate our children, younger siblings and cousins, friends and anyone around us about the importance of a good character. We need to create awareness in people around us.

The best way is “walking the talk”, or “leadership by example”. We cannot force people to be good or bad. But the young ones are still like wet clay. We can mould them in whatever shape we want and imbibing good character in them, teaching them to respect women is the least we can do.

Apart from this, we have to keep an eye out their and help women who are victims of violence. Usually, due to our culture, women hesitate to stand against men even if they are forced to live the life full of pain and sorrow. We need to provide them assurance by creating an environment around them where they can feel safe.

At the end of the day, being a human, it is our responsibility to make this world the best place to live and it is our business to flush those away who do not respect the beauty of life.

Intermediate, Stream & Location: Luck by Chance

As a result of the learning, I developed a small and simple desktop app called “Process Killer” which somehow went viral in the entire training center. It was finally declared illegal when a few trainees apparently used it for cheating in the exams (it was not meant to do that, some people are really smart). It was unexpected, though it was a success of my learning.

So, we completed the generic training and got into intermediate stage. By now, we lost a few classmates who could not clear the exams and were shifted to new batches. The complexity of the course was increasing with every day and the module tests every now and then were enough to thrill us.

In between, we tried to find some time to watch the movies showcased in multiplex on weekends and to take a round of Mysore city. It was a strange feeling, we were enjoying the life but were too worried about the training, study.

Infosys Mysore campus is a happening place where you can find events going on anyday anywhere in the campus. They may be some festival celebrations, any particular unit specific fun activities, cricket, football etc. matches, awareness camps etc.

With increasing number of interns in the campus, bushes also became happening places and one could find security guards more alert and ready to catch the culprits all the time.

With all this fun and worry, intermediate stage was completed. It was the time when streams were allocated to us. It was purely a luck based game and they did not have a process to fit people to a stream according to their interest and capability. I was lucky enough to get the stream I wanted: Dot NET.

Again, the shuffling of people and due to very small number of people who got Dot NET in my intermediate section, I hardly knew more than a few people in my stream class. Though, it again gave me an opportunity to make new friends.

The training material for stream training was remarkable and I learnt a lot from it. As a result of the learning, I developed a small and simple desktop app called “Process Killer” which somehow went viral in the entire training center. It was finally declared illegal when a few trainees apparently used it for cheating in the exams (it was not meant to do that, some people are really smart). It was unexpected, though it was a success of my learning.

Stream training spanned little more than a month and once we were done with the final exam (compre), we were jumping with joy like a monkey rescued from a cage.

Training was over. It was time for getting posted to a Development Center. Infy has build some of the most beautiful campuses in the world. However, they are at some of the most unfavorable locations. But, we could not choose our location. Again, luck came to my rescue, and I got posted in Mysore itself. I was relieved as I did not want to go to one of the extreme locations which most of my batchmates got. But it came at a cost. I, with one of my college friends, was alone in Mysore campus and we could not do anything about it. Posting locations were written on stone, at least according to the HR. (Fortunately, we both got transferred to Hyderabad after 7 months).

When I completed my training, my heart was filled with joy, inspiration at its heights and a new spirit in my blood to win the world with my newly developed skills. Little did I know that it was all going to get wasted. Production life was not what was projected during training (This can be a topic of some future post).

So, overall, Infosys Mysore Training was an awesome experience which is hard to forget. The most important part is that I got a chance to meet so many good people who are now friends for life. I also enjoyed a great lifestyle. And of course, the knowledge I gained is indispensable.

This post completes the three part series Infosys Mysore Training: A Walk to Cherish for Life. If you want to know more about my experiences, I am always here to answer your queries.

Two years in Infosys…

Two years ago, on this day, I embarked on a journey, a new professional life in Infosys. And today, after two years, when I look back, I am quite happy with the people I met, the friends I got, the knowledge I gained, the skills I developed and the places I visited due to my job.

Life is all about a change. It is something we love and hate at the same time. It is something we desire and withdraw from, simultaneously. Just like the last day of college, I was sure I was going to miss my friends, and I wished I could live that moment forever, but at the same time I was quite excited to start my professional life and wanted the Infosys joining day to come as soon as possible. It seems weird, but on analyzing it, we realize that things are so much complicated.

This state of complication is not what we observe everyday. It happens only when we witness a change in our life. Till then, we do not realize the importance of what we have. We take things for granted. I remember, during my Infosys training days, I never loved my training life. I was living it with fun, but still not appraising it. I was only looking forward to the end of it so that I can run out of it as fast as I can and work as a software developer. I was in love with the future which was unseen but yet seemed perfectly fitting my dreams and imagination. But when I realized that it is about to be changed, I experienced the complication. I started missing my training life, and to date, I do feel the same.

So, we keep missing the past and future life, but when we love and appreciate the present life? When is the moment when we sit and adore the beauty of our present life? Well I think, I found the moment for me. On this second anniversary, chatting with my Infy training friends made me feel nostalgic, but brought me closer to my present life. Out of all the things I got in these two years, this feeling is the best.

How to rock stage if you are not a rockstar

If you have attended a rock concert or any live stage performance by a big star, you know the heat when the performer rocks the stage and audience seems ready to burst with excitement. Even watching this on television, you can feel the beats and thumps.

If you are one such rockstar who is God to your audience, people follow your each and every move, whatever you wear becomes fashion, whatever you do becomes obsession, and so on, then this post is not for you. Rest of us, can follow.

Not all people become real rockstars. If they all become so, who would be the audience, right? Jokes apart, many people among us are very talented and get ample chance to exhibit their talent, whether in a college performance, any organization level event, or may be on cultural level in community or social events.

Many times I get a chance to witness such events and I wonder why, in many cases, they fail to leave an impact on the audience. Though I can see, they are filled with enthusiasm, talent and are very energetic, still audience lose interest after a short time and abandon them performing alone on the stage.

I analyzed many performances on different occasions on different levels and realized it is not about talent. Not being a rockstar doesn’t mean that you are not talented. Its all about meeting audience’s expectations. So, I compiled a list of checkpoints from audience point of view about how audience feel and what they expect from a performer. If followed properly, it will make sure that you rock every performance, no matter you are a rockstar or not.

Also, if you manage to thrill local audience, you may gradually reach the top and who knows you may also become a big rockstar someday.

Here goes the list:

Mind your Attitude, Don’t behave like a superstar, audience wont accept:

When you step on the stage, do not assume that people love you. You have to accept that people have not come for you, rather you have come for the people.

Rockstars enjoy love of the people. Whatever they do, even if it doesn’t make sense, people love it. Why? Because love is blind. But if you are not a rockstar, people do not yet love you, and you have to make them love you first. If you will show attitude or behave like a superstar, it will piss them off because they will not consider you better than themselves. So, whenever you give a stage performance always be gentle, thank the audience for allowing you to entertain them and start the performance.

Don’t choose difficult songs, Choose easy but melodious songs:

I noticed, many times, performers choose most difficult songs to show how talented they are. They forget that audience has come to get entertained and not judge their talent. Always choose easy songs which you can sing even while performing some dance moves and at the same time those songs should be melodious too. However good you sing, if that song is boring or not entertaining, audience will soon lose interest and I am sure you do not want that. So, keep it simple, silly but entertaining.

Don’t try to add professional audio-visual effects to songs if you cannot:

These days, with the advance of technology, we see a lot of audio-visual effects in songs. They are usually done in studios by professional people. If you cannot create that quality effect, never-ever include it in your performance, otherwise you will ruin it. Many people try to put breaking-sound-effect while singing. While a few are good at it, most others suck at it. People end up laughing and losing interest. If you believe that a song will not appeal audience without the desired effects and you are financially or otherwise incapable of including that effect, do not choose that song. Look for an alternative which doesn’t need those effects.

X-Factor may ruin it all:

Many performers are singers as well as good dancers. While they sing, they try to show some fantastic dance moves. But if their singing is not good, these dance moves may prove them hiding the singing incapability behind dance moves. Try to involve X-Factor only when you feel you are singing your best. If you cannot focus on both the things together, then it is better to focus on one, rather than ruining both of them.

Rehearse as much as you can:

You are not a heartthrob of mob and so if you sing bad, people will show you the exit door. So, always keep practicing to be the best. Before an event, perform many dress rehearsals to make sure you are doing it perfectly. In case of rock bands, rehearsal is very important to maintain the sync among all the members. If you are well rehearsed, it will reflect in your performance and people will love it. You know what will follow.

Sync with the audience, unsynchronized excitement may prove fatal:

Many times, stage performers get so excited that they try to jump into the audience or try to involve them into singing. However this is not uncommon for stage performances, people need to be as much excited. If people are silent and waiting for something good to be played, your meaningless stunts won’t work. Rather they may even drop you while you try to jump on them. You know how fatal it can be.

Respect your audience:

Always respect your audience and never be rude to them. If you want to be a superstar, it is the audience that will make you so. So, always try to have a connect with them through soft words, down to earth behavior and ever smiling face. Even if people shout at you, always close the performance with a warm thank you. People will respect you if you respect them.

Always remember the ultimate goal: “To Entertain”:

Finally, the most important part of any performance is audience, and it need to be entertained. Always keep in mind that the ultimate goal of an artist it to entertain the audience. All other things are a by-product of how happy the audience is. If you remember your goal as an artist, you will be more focused towards performing well rather than losing focus by other less relevant factors.


Following above guidelines will surely help you to be a better performer and you can fire up the stage no matter at what platform you are performing, and someday you will become a big rockstar.

Hoping to get an invite to your concert.