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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    February 22, 2006

    Three years old and an inflection point

    Almost exactly three years ago, I made my first appearance in the blogosphere. Blogger's start page tells me that I've posted over 850 times to this blog. Over a three year period, it works out to a post every 1.3 days. Admittedly the frequency is far lesser now than it has been in 2003 and 2004, but till April 2004, this was the only blog I was maintaining & updating. From June 2004, I then started a blog to chronicle Jaagruthi's life, trying to masquerade it in her own words. So fatigue does set in at some point of time. But I hope to be more regular, now that I've blogged for three years!

    My first ever post was about a variety of topics. I wrote about the government's approach to Ayodhya, Warne's doping offence and the horrible movie that was Devdas.

    A couple of weeks ago, I made a fairly elementary arithmetical mistake in the term-end exam for the Patterns of Problem Solving course at IIM-B. When I realized the mistake, I didn't really feel that bad about it. I reckoned that it might cost me a few marks. Of course, it is highly likely that those marks could be the difference of an entire grade, a C instead of a B or unlikely as it does seem, a B instead of an A!

    But there was certainly one previous occasion where a difference of 5 marks or so could have potentially changed the course of my life. I only scored 80% in the English paper of the class 12 AISSCE (CBSE) examination, but secured an overall percentage in excess of 92 since my marks in the other subjects (Maths, Physics, Chemistry & Computer Science) were pretty good. I completed the three hour English exam in less than two hours and horsed around in the exam hall for a while before I decided that there were absolutely no marginal benefits to re-checking my answers for the fifth time.

    With a 92+% aggregate, I applied to quite a few colleges and was absolutely sure about getting entrance in either the 'A' group or the 'B' group courses at BITS, Pilani. When I inquired with BITS in late June/early July 1993, I was told that I'd been allotted the 'Master of Management Studies' course. Now I really didn't want to do that course. I did know that at BITS, there was actually the opportunity to "move up" to other courses since students invariably opted out of their allotted course (before admissions) since they'd got a seat in some other "better" institute.

    Around the same time, another opportunity presented itself in the form of a scholarship to do an undergraduate course at Nanyang Technological University. After discussing with my family, I opted to go to Singapore since I wasn't sure that I'd get admission to my preferred courses at BITS, Chemistry or Computer Science. Moreover, I reckoned that going to NTU would pose a greater challenge, take me out of my comfort zone and open up more vistas. How & why I came back to India is a totally different (and lengthy) story though!

    Thinking about this on the way back home from my exam two weeks ago, I realized that if I had secured even 5% more in my English exam, I'd have had a much better chance of getting to my preferred courses, which means I'd have in all likelihood decided to opt for BITS, and possibly ended up as a Chemical Engineer! This blog may not even have existed!

    It reminded me of the Tamil movie '12-B' where the director tried to create a movie out of a situation where the hero ran to catch his bus. The movie takes us through two alternative paths: One where he caught up with the bus and what happened later, the other where he didn't and how his life changed after that.

    So, in a sense, not securing those 5% marks in English was potentially an inflection point in my life. Have you also had such thoughts? What has been your inflection point in life, so far, if any?!

    Rambled @ 1:25 PM

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    3 comment(s)

    Is Prof B Shekar the one who taught u POPS during your PGSM course? I also took this course while at IIMB and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    By Blogger Kaps (Feb 23, 2006, 12:28:00 PM)  

    Kaps: Yes, Prof. Shekar is the one who taught us. Did you take up his course in the PGP programme?

    By Blogger Jagadish (Feb 23, 2006, 1:29:00 PM)  

    Yup! It was part of the PGP course and it was affectionately called POPS :-)

    By Blogger Kaps (Feb 23, 2006, 5:59:00 PM)  

    I'd prefer if you posted comments with your real name to add more credibility to your opinions. Obviously comments containing offensive and unsuitable language will be deleted. The opinions in the comments are your own views. You are welcome to provide a URL to your own blog, especially if it discusses issues you find here.

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