1st of January, beginning of another year. Nothing new, nothing special. But what comes ahead, scares me a lot. Four more months and the awesome life I had as a students will (most probably) come to an end and at the back of my mind there is this nagging feeling that I haven't had enough, I want more, I don't want this awesomeness to stop.

Since first standard till now, out of fifteen and half years, I feel, time and again, that only the last five and half years were truly satisfying and enjoyable in an educational context. Here's an attempt to take some time, look back and see what went wrong in my school years, whether there was a good reason I still went through it, whether the situation was really as one sided as my pessimistic mind would want me to believe.

The recent Delhi gang rape case stirred up the whole of India, so many debates and loads of protests. Everyone thinking and brainstorming. What to do? What can be done? What's the way out? Needless to say, as always, stupid politicians jumped to even stupider conclusions. A huge demand for harshest and cruelest punishment emerged, on news channels, on twitter and on Facebook.

Following discussion concerns sexual assaults in general, not any incident in particular. (In the Delhi case, for that matter, the victim is no more.)

The conflict

Short version : Punish the criminals for the heinous crime they did. Not because it "ruined" someone's life.

Long version:
One thing is clear: it is in no way the victim's fault. If I am making statements like "now her life is for nought", "what is she like now if not a walking-talking corpse", I am an absolute moron. The fact which needs to be permanently ingrained into us is "she's no different". We should realize that every word of sympathy, every act of special kindness or any other special treatment underlines the supposed "scarring for life (WTH I say)" nature of the incident.

Now on the other hand, no denying that it is the epitome of brutality to commit such crimes, and in no way the criminals should go unpunished. Here, in my opinion, there's a conflict. The intensity of the punishment should be in tune with the gravity of the crime. On one hand, as society it is our responsibility to make the victim feel at ease, feel right at home, just one among all of us. To put it simply, behave as if nothing bad has happened. Now, if nothing bad has happened, what's the punishment for? On what grounds should the extremely harsh punishment be dealt?

I am not able to think of any argument which addresses both... :( I guess I am just missing some crucial thought here.

Or, maybe, I am getting confused because the way capital punishment is being demanded. The demands tend to stress the "devastating" nature of the crime and hence ask for capital punishment. Maybe, the arguments should stress the heinous and disgusting nature of the crime itself, and not its aftereffects. The aftereffects, in an ideal world should be none. But our representatives don't seem to get this :( Want to get enraged? Read the statements made by the likes of Jaya Bachchan and Sushma Swaraj.

Long term solution?
Objectification of women seems to lie at the root of all this evil. The logical way out looks like to bring up the newer generations with the set of values, morals and ethics which promote gender equality, and respect towards women as another human being just like men. Seems nice and fine, but who are the ones to bring up the new generation in that way? Surprise surprise!, well, no surprise at all! These are the people who have these set of values already within them, who realize what's wrong... precisely because they were brought up the correct way.

If it can't come from home, it has to come from the educational sphere and entertainment sphere. After all, what's the poor kid's fault if on TV and in movies, "hawt chick" and "क्या माल है" like remarks are portrayed as "cool things to say and do"? What's the point of co-ed schools if girls and boys are made to sit in different class rooms? Interaction will naturally lead to boys looking at girls as another human being, with various aspects to their personality and not merely "a chick".

Initially, I wasn't really concerned, I always had a "I don't care what you think" attitude. Or, maybe, I thought I always had that attitude. On repeated mention of the same, on noticing what people gossip about, on seeing what self-declared do-gooders had to say, I did start doubting myself. Questions like "Did I do the right thing?", "Am I really such a selfish person?" started echoing in my head. A feeling of guilt started building up.

Yes, I am talking about being accused of spoiling others' chances. I am talking about being made fun of and being fed doses of moral responsibilities because I expressed joy over one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life. I am talking about being called a moron. Maybe, none of that was directed at me, maybe, it was my subconscious all along which accused me, projecting all things being said on myself. Whatever.

First question my mind asked me, "since when did you start worrying and caring so much about what people talk about you?". "I don't know, nor do I care. What I need right now is some support, some arguments." said I. These accusations and allegations had really started growing on me, instilling a false sense of guilt. I had to think then, at least for my own satisfaction. I had to argue with my subconscious which was making me feel guilty. What better equipment can one have other than raw, pure logic! Many times truth is harsh, truth is bitter, truth makes people angry. But truth, (or what one believes is truth) must be told boldly. Especially when it helps you! :P

The language might sound harsh, angry. That's because it is.

News come and go, but the hype they create, remains for some time, some times, they ask questions about that on Quora, so again, here's a direct cross-post from Quora

How was Sujeet Gholap able to crack the biggest companies?

Read Sujeet Gholap's experience: Indian Institute of Technology, Madras: What is it like to sit for placements on December 1st?
What was his preparation track? Which areas did he focus upon? How did he learn programming?

My answer:

I guess my answer won't be of much help, I hope it will be interesting though...

This is a direct cross-post from Quora for those rare non Quora users who might chance upon my blog.

What is it like to sit for placements on December 1st?

What is the overall experience of a student on placement day? How was it like at the end of the day, depending on whether you got shortlisted or no, and how were the consequent days. In general, how was the entire placement "season" experience for you?

My answer :

Nicely framed question I would say. Especially, the "how were the subsequent days?" part.
I am afraid my answer won't be a representative one, but hope it would be interesting.

Background information:
I am from Computer Science and Engineering department and at the end of the first day, I had offers from the following 6 companies
  1.     Google US
  2.     Goldman Sachs India
  3.     Microsoft India
  4.     Samsung India
  5.     Samsung US / Korea
  6.     Tower Research India
I ended up choosing Google.

Here's how it all was...