The Brand ME

I’m not a brand to be worshiped
I’m not a brand to be sold,

I’m more than that, a human being
Who has different stories to be told.

I’m that carefree child
who has dreams too many,
I’m that careless adult
Who is lost in world’s mystery.

I’m that scared girl
who is fighting for her liberty,
I’m that  by-product of patriarchal society
Who is wasting out his opportunity.

I’m the deafening silence of a calm sea
I’m the silent roar of a frightening night,
I’m the organized chaos of the present
I’m absolutely unsure about the future bright.

I’m not what’s underneath the mask
I’m what I do,
I’m as bad as you feel
I’m as good as you do.

I’m not a brand to be worshiped
I’m not a brand to be sold,
I’m just a reflection of yours
The mirror in your hand you hold!!


Running with Richard Feynman: Last Day

Finally!! Oh yeah, just completed this stupid experiment but not without hiccups.

To know, how and why I started this experiment, CLICK HERE.

This post comprises of 4 parts:

  1. The Result
  2. The hiccups
  3. What next?
  4. Last but not the least: One of Richard Feynman’s story


On 1st day, I ran for 35 minutes (max running time at a stretch = 8 mins) with small breaks of normal walking in between.
On last (10th) day, I ran for 22 minutes (max running time at a stretch = 22 mins) without a single break. 😉

On 1st day, the max distance covered at a stretch = 1.6 km
On last (10th) day, the max distance covered at a stretch = 4 km

That’s some improvement but far away from what I can do.

In my school days, when I was about 11-12 years old, I used to cover 800 meters in maybe 2 mins 30-40 secs (I have a very bad memory, so can’t remember the exact timing) and win gold/silver medal for my “Shakti” (now Latif) House along with my good friend Karan Pathak. He was surely a better runner than me. Our combination almost every time won both the Gold and Silver medal for our House in 400 and 800 meter races. Ohh, those good old days!!

Going by that timing, if I extrapolate the result, I’m lagging way too much. Even if I consider the fact that with increased distance, average speed will come down but then I’m in my youth and must do better than what I used to do as a kid.
Let’s hope, “Ache Din” come soon.

2. The Hiccups

There came a day, when I was totally exhausted and couldn’t take any more of this pain, couldn’t lift my foot, didn’t had the spirit to go that extra step. All of them and many more were EXCUSES masked in the form of hurdles. And I won’t complain about them. The reason being:

stronger than excuses

Every day, I used to ask myself one question: When to stop?
The answer was simple: Just a little more, maybe after that!

3. What next?

Yes, you already have an idea about it. The first big task will be to increase the speed and then increase the distance as well. I don’t know the limit and thus will try to improve from the previous day’s performance. That’s all I’m thinking as of now. Let’s see how far I travel.

There were some hard lessons learned throughout this small journey and I’m glad that, now, I have a better view of things around me.

4. Richard Feynman

There are two things about running:

  1. Initiative
  2. Consistency

If the thought of listening to Richard Feynman’s book gave the thrust for this initiative, what helped me in making consistent effort towards my daily run were his stories which gave a whole new perspective to different things that I see around me.

Now, enough about me, let’s read one of the magical work of Richard Feynman:

In a kind of thought experiment, Feynman takes the various points of view of an imaginary panel to represent the thinking of scientists and spiritualists and discusses the points of agreement and of disagreement between science and religion, anticipating by two decades, the current active debate between these two fundamentally different ways of searching for truth. Among other questions, he wonders whether atheists can have morals based on what science tells them, in the way that spiritualists can have morals based on their belief in God–an unusually philosophical topic for pragmatic Feynman.

Science and Moral Questions
Now, let’s see if I can make a little philosophical explanation as to why it is different–how science cannot affect the fundamental basis of morals.
The typical human problem, and one whose answer religion aims to supply, is always of the following form: Should I do this? Should we do this? Should the government do this? To answer this question we can resolve it into two parts: First–If I do this, what will happen?–and second–Do I want that to happen? What would come of it of value–of good?
Now a question of the form: If I do this, what will happen? is strictly scientific. As a matter of fact, science can be defined as a method for, and a body of information obtained by, trying to answer only questions which can be put into the form: If I do this, what will happen? The technique of it, fundamentally, is: Try it and see. Then you put together a large amount of information from such experiences. All scientists will agree that a question–any question, philosophical or other–which cannot be put into the form that can be tested by experiment (or, in simple terms, that cannot be put into the form: If I do this, what will happen?) is not a scientific question; it is outside the realm of science.
I claim that whether you want something to happen or not–what value there is in the result, and how you judge the value of the result (which is the other end of the question: Should I do this?), must lie outside of science because it is not a question that you can answer only by knowing what happens; you still have to judge what happens–in a moral way. So, for this theoretical reason I think that there is a complete consistency between the moral view–or the ethical aspect of religion–and scientific information.

Turning to the third aspect of religion–the inspirational aspect–brings me to the central question that I would like to present to this imaginary panel. The source of inspiration today–for strength and for comfort–in any religion is very closely knit with the metaphysical aspect; that is, the inspiration comes from working for God, for obeying his will, feeling one with God. Emotional ties to the moral code–based in this manner–begin to be severely weakened when doubt, even a small amount of doubt, is expressed as to the existence of God; so when the belief in God becomes uncertain, this particular method of obtaining inspiration fails.

I don’t know the answer to this central problem–the problem of maintaining the real value of religion, as a source of strength and of courage to most men, while, at the same time, not requiring an absolute faith in the metaphysical aspects.

The Heritages of Western Civilization
Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure–the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it–the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics–the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual–the humility of the spirit.

These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic is not all; one needs one’s heart to follow an idea. If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God–more, one who disbelieves in God? Is the modern church a place to give comfort and encouragement to the value of such doubts? So far, have we not drawn strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other? Is this unavoidable? How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of Western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid? Is this not the central problem of our time?
I put it up to the panel for discussion.


LFT Android App IMPACT

To check out The Problem and The Solution, visit the earlier post by CLICKING HERE

Once again, quoting Richard Feynman from my earlier post,

Now, if you went through the earlier post, you must have realized the app’s importance, so, now let’s look at the results. I’m very pleased to tell you that the app has not only fulfilled its core motives but also shattered some records and has contributed in unprecedented growth rate at Facebook (the only online medium where LFT is very active).

To find the app’s impact, I did the analysis of LFT’s Facebook page by collecting its data for the last 4 years (since the data before that wasn’t available on Facebook) to see how effective was the App in connecting our new members with us. The results I’m sharing in the form of graphs to make the point more clear.

Case 1:
It shows the percentage of likes on our Facebook page (during ADAR campaign) that increased in a year wrt to its previous year.

new2_LFT Peri-Adar PhaseFig1: LFT Android App Impact (Case 1)

PerecentInc = { AvgFbLikeInc(yr) – AvgFbLikeInc(yr) } / AvgFbLikeInc(yr-1)
>AvgFbLikeInc = { Total likes (during ADAR Campaign) } / { no. of days (in ADAR Campaign) }
>yr = {2014,2013,2012}

And clearly this year has seen unprecedented growth by contributing with a humongous percentage increment of 378.71% (2014 vs 2013) over the meager 46.12% (2013 vs 2012) and 16.44% (2012 vs 2011).

NOTE (Shortcoming of Case1): Now, although the previous graph speaks volume about itself but it gives the entire credit to the app ONLY for the huge success, and discards the impact of the recent work in each year. eg: let’s say what if one gives an argument like in the previous years there wasn’t much users on our page, our page wasn’t so active, and now it is very much active and itself drawing huge crowd by itself. To put those arguments to rest, I further dig the data of over 4 years and made the calculations more complicated to try to reduce the impact of the app but the answer still favored the app’s impact, yet again smashing all records. So, let’s look at the Case 2 which gives a clearer view about the impact.

Case 2:
I took the avg. of daily incremented likes on FB Page in pre-ADAR phase and during ADAR phase for all the 4 years. Put them through different calculations and this is what I came up with. The app just increased the level of communication with our newly registered members and helped us in getting connected with them without much fuss.

new1_PreAndPeriFig2: LFT Android App Impact (Case 2)

  • Detailed Explanation of the methodology used:

As I stated earlier that Fig1 won’t highlight the exact impact. So, the second approach was taken, and thereby overcoming the shortcomings of the first approach.


  1. One month’s data was collected around ADAR-phase for each year (2011,12,13,14). After finding similarity in the pattern, the dataset was concentrated to :
    >last 4 weeks before ADAR, let’s say Dataset1
    >3 or 5 days during ADAR (duration of ADAR in each year), let’s say Dataset2

  2. For each of the datasets, the no. of daily likes on the Fb page was taken into account and their average was taken to get a better perspective and remove any unwanted fluctuations. So, two new variables were determined :
    Avg1(yr) = { Total likes (on Dataset1) } / { no. of days (in Dataset1) }
    Avg2(yr) = { Total likes (on Dataset2) } / { no. of days (in Dataset2) }
    where yr denotes the respective year eg: yr belongs to this set of years {2011,2012,2013,2014}
    Also, Avg2 > Avg1 for each year

  3. For each year, the difference betwen the two variables, namely Avg1(yr) and Avg2(yr) was noted, which gave us DiffAvgLikes(yr). So,
    DiffAvgLikes(yr) = { Avg2(yr) – Avg1(yr) }
    Thereby, taking into consideration the impact of most recent activities on Fb Page, eg: each year there were more followers on the page, there were more people who were interacting with the page during the period concerned and other parameters wrt to previous years

  4. Now, the relative percentage increment between consecutive years (RPI(x,y)) was found out, to give a final reflection on the impact made by the app. The formula used was:
    RPI(x,y) = { { DiffAvgLikes(x) – DiffAvgLikes(y) } / { DiffAvgLikes(y) } } x 100
    where x belongs to {2014,2013,2012} and y= x – 1
    The graph was plotted with the RPI(x,y) on y-axis and the pair of consecutive years on x-axis for better representation

NOTE: I’ve tried to keep the nomenclature for different variables simple for better understanding.

  • Result:

As we can clearly see from Fig2, there is drastic and humongous change for the year 2014 even after nullifying and taking into account the recent activities on Fb Page for each year. Thus, we can safely reach to the conclusion that, as expected, this simple appe helped in solving some of our major problems by not only establishing a better communication with our new members but also helping in retaining them. This app has indeed broken the barricades which stood between the new members we made during ADAR and then getting them connected with us.

Now, we have even a stronger community and member-base which we can polish and provide a helping hand not in their lives by enhancing their skills but also bring a much larger and better change in this world, provided we stick to these members and get them involved in various activities/campaigns.

We now have a much larger work-force and thus the responsibilities have also increased to look after all of them and utilize their talent properly and polish their talent as well.

They say, the solution to our big problems lies in our simple actions. 🙂


Leaders For Tomorrow Android App

Richard Feynman:

The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to.


After passing out from college, unfortunately (rather fortunately) my date of joining got delayed and I had a lot of free time to enhance my skill-set and maybe explore myself before putting my first foot in the industry. So, what was the first thing that I learned : “Android Development”. After learning the basics, I thought why not use this little knowledge to solve a problem, if possible.

Before you download the app from Google’s Play Store by CLICKING HERE, I ask you to please go through the following description about the problem and the solution to it.


Leaders For Tomorrow (LFT), is a not-for-profit youth leadership movement established mainly in college campuses.

I’ve worked with them in the past and received its prestigious Leader of the Month award in September, 2012. As I was given more responsibilities with time, I became aware of more problems that existed within the system and tried to solve them with new and creative ideas. And even after I became occupied with my studies and other activities and moved on, when I had an idea which could solve their problem, I would share the idea with LFT’s President and team. So, this time when I started learning Android, I was pretty much sure that I can solve even this particular problem as well, which I’ll describe in a second.

The main idea behind the app was to rectify the following problems faced by LFT Organization, especially during the ADAR campaign and their simultaneous membership drive which gets conducted in 50+ DU colleges in the first phase:

  1. Every year they make thousands of members, but even after lots of effort fail to completely fulfill the promise made during the membership drive that they will contact the members (starting by sending a confirmatory email) and keep them updated about different events.
  2. The communication wasn’t so effective (considering the no. of members they made and out of those the no. of people who got connected with them) during the membership drive and even after the drive with the new members.

In terms of nos., let’s look at the ADAR(Anti-Drug Anti-Ragging) Campaign:

  1. Total no. of pledges, totalPledges : ~40,000
  2. Total no. of members, totalMembers : ~4,000 (10% of totalPledges)
  3. Total no. of new Facebook Connections, totalNewFbCnctn : ~400 (10% of totalMembers)

Clearly, the COMMUNICATION GAP is humongous if we look at the difference between the totalMembers and totalNewFbCnctn made during the campaign!!

Now, let’s look at the issues in a little detailed view. The following are the tasks which LFT volunteers need to do:

  • give hourly updates from each college about the total no. of new members and pledges
  • Monitor each college along with each volunteer from these colleges
  • Perform large amount of paper work, fill sheets with different info of each new person who took pledge or got signed-up as a new member
  • After the campaign, manually put this enormous data into excel sheets in the form of database
  • Send confirmatory Emails ATLEAST to all these new members
  • Aware new members about different events of LFT and what LFT does and other stuff
  • Updates all these new members about the coming events

And remember, there are people who take pledges to stand with Anti-Drug Anti-Ragging motto and I haven’t discussed their problems yet. Anyways, it seems that there were lot of short-comings, so I decided to solve it and that too in a SIMPLE way.


To solve the above mentioned problems, I thought that how cool would it be if right at the moment any volunteer registers a new member, an email goes to the registered member sharing with him/her all the details we collected and some pre-recorded message in the mail asking them to connect with us.

Oh yeah, nothing big or complex about this. I know, if you have made it so far in this post, you would expect some GREAT SOLUTION and the solution I provided seems pretty SIMPLE, indeed it is SIMPLE and that’s the beauty about it.

Albert Einstein:

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.

And if I may add to it, it also takes a touch of stupidity as well. 😉

Of-course, that wasn’t enough to solve all the above mentioned problems. But I believe, it was the moot point. And, then I built everything around that simple and tiny idea. There was lot more happening in the background.

I’ll share the technical details as well, as and when I’ll find time to write about that. Also, the difficulties (like the limit to emails that can be sent per hour/day and how I came over it, issues about Google Scripts, Segregation based on each volunteer and each college and lot more stuff ) and the lessons learned in the process.


To be continued in the next post but before that here is a graph to give you a glimpse of its impact and how this app helped in breaking the barricades which stood between the new members we made during ADAR and then getting them connected with LFT. Be assured, I’ll explain all those terms like RPI and others as well.

LFT Android App ImpactLeaders For Tomorrow Android App Impact

Although, the app is useful mainly for the volunteers and then the new members but I added a couple of little features which will be useful for any person, even if he/she is not related to LFT.

Don’t forget to give me feedback, once you’ve tried it by downloading it from Google Play Store. Click Here to download the app.


Running with Richard Feynman: Day 1

This is yet another stupid experiment, and I don’t know whether it would be successful or not.

So, from sometime I’ve been doing this task of running daily in the evening to stay fit, otherwise (when all you do is sit in front of your laptop) you know one develops various kind of unhealthy symptoms and ultimately become unfit for even common usual tasks.

But, how does Richard Feynman comes in between all this?

Well, the answer is that I found this task of running quite mundane and boring, so I decided to add another dimension to it by combining it with MUSIC. So, I searched for my mp3 player, which I won as a prize sometime 5 years back but hardly used it.

I followed the routine of this combo for couple of days, but I guess I’ve never been a great music listener (yeah, I know, you might say, how on earth could that be possible? Everyone loves music and it has all those good effects. But I don’t know, I never found myself interested in listening more than 3-4 songs at a stretch.

Moreover, there were two choices for me:

  1. Listen FM, but there were too many ads in between which spoiled the mood or you have to switch stations, which I do too often. Either way, there was too much distraction with this option.
  2. Have your selected songs and just listen to them. Not being a good music listener, means you don’t have a good playlist. And thus, listening the same songs over and over (although I used the shuffle option but still) was again NOT INTERESTING.

Digression Starts (You can skip it)

Sometime back, while I was doing my B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering, and I had my exam the next day, so one would expect me to study. But,

We engineers do everything the night before exam but study.

Thus, I was searching something on that night and one things led to another, and I landed up watching this 90 min video on Richard Feynman and yes, I got impressed by him within the first few minutes and I searched him and read about him on net. But maybe not too much because I had an exam the next day remember.

Digression Stops

Here comes, RICHARD P. FEYNMAN to the rescue!

A couple of days back, one of my friend upvoted and answer on Quora about Richard Feynman and that’s when the fire got reignited inside me to further explore about this great Physicist.

To cut long story short,

    ->I downloaded the audio book The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Work of Richard P. Feynman which is 9 hours and 15 mins long.
    ->It has some 176 audio files, and I put all of those on my mp3 player.

So, now while I ran today, I also acquired some food for thought while listening to the stories of this great man.

Hopefully, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite story daily from the collection that I listened to each day.

So, here is the Day1 favorite story:

We used to go to the Catskill Mountains. We lived in New York and the Catskill Mountains was the place where people went in the summer; and the fathers–there was a big group of people there but the fathers would all go back to New York to work during the week and only come back on the weekends. When my father came he would take me for walks in the woods and tell me various interesting things that were going on in the woods–which I’ll explain in a minute–but the other mothers seeing this, of course, thought this was wonderful and that the other fathers should take their sons for walks, and they tried to work on them but they didn’t get anywhere at first and they wanted my father to take all the kids, but he didn’t want to because he had a special relationship with me–we had a personal thing together–so it ended up that the other fathers had to take their children for walks the next weekend, and the next Monday when they were all back to work, all the kids were playing in the field and one kid said to me, “See that bird, what kind of a bird is that?” And I said, “I haven’t the slightest idea what kind of a bird it is.” He says, “It’s a brown throated thrush,” or something, “Your father doesn’t tell you anything.” But it was the opposite: my father had taught me. Looking at a bird he says, “Do you know what that bird is? It’s a brown throated thrush; but in Portuguese it’s a . . . in Italian a . . . ,” he says “in Chinese it’s a . . . , in Japanese a . . . ,” etcetera. “Now,” he says, “you know in all the languages you want to know what the name of that bird is and when you’ve finished with all that,” he says, “you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird. You only know about humans in different places and what they call the bird. Now,” he says, “let’s look at the bird.”

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

Richard-Feynman the pleasure of finding things out

For more wonderful stories of Richard Feynman, visit this blog tomorrow.


Being Open and Stupid

How often do you explore every street and corner of your wonderful mind in order to make “sense” of your life or maybe wish for an outcome? If that happens rarely or even too often with you, I hope, you do realize that the least and the best you can do, at that very moment, is be OPEN.

I’m not talking about the openness just in your mind but an openness of BEING. It’s being INDEPENDENT of your thoughts and opening up to the EXPERIENCE of life itself not only its content. Thinking independently, is something everyone should feel comfortable in doing. And opening up to the experience of life, is overthrowing the complete idea of being a perfect person and giving up control to enjoy the present moment. Once we do that, we begin to notice new avenues and possibilities.

I don’t know about you but I feel quite drained out, stressed up and LIMITED when I narrow down my attention towards a single goal, a mountain to climb, from only one train of thought. I don’t feel alive when I live this way. I like to open up and believe openness isn’t just a mind activity, it’s a lightness and freedom in the heart, a vibrant you that sees infinite potential in oneself and lives life anew in each and every moment.

Being open is not easy with so many closed souls around. These closed souls will try to make you conceal your dreams, questions and ideas making you think that you sound stupid. BE STUPID! Dare! Do something you truly believe in with complete openness. That’s how miracles happen. There lies a miracle in you. It’s time to make it a reality!

So, be OPEN and be STUPID!


feel bad BUT move on!

Overcome the disappointment and REJOICE!!

This message is for all those, who have been suffering from some form of disappointment in recent times or still are due to some reasons, whatever they may be.

Failure is a part of life, we all know that. But, the real challenge is in dealing with it when it happens to you. Because you see, lecturing on it to someone is easy; yet it’s a whole different ball-game when you are at the receiving end of it. And, sometimes we can be really harsh on ourselves when facing dejection, rejection and the likes.

You know what, it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be unhappy. When someone betrays your trust, it’s okay to be resentful towards your fate, towards that higher power that may exist. When things don’t go the way you planned them to be, you deserve some alone time to think about the past, to ponder on your future. If you lose someone you love, it’s alright to feel the pain of the memories. Believe it or not, it’s okay to feel bad about yourself and think about what could have been and what should have been. We are all humans after all, and it’s our emotions that make us so. It really is okay to connect to your vulnerable self, don’t let anyone fool you about that.

But, and there’s always a ‘but’, it’s not enough to feel bad. It’s not enough to be disappointed with where your life is headed. It’s not enough to be caught up in the pain. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to get to that end.

Remember, why do we fall? So, that we can rise back up again.

And, that’s what we are all really striving for. Getting back up on our feet again. Challenging those who thought we did not have it in us, proving them wrong again and again. Daring life to show us another failure, so that we can make a success story out of it. Making better human beings out of ourselves. Above all, living life to its fullest, that’s the ultimate goal, right? That’s your destiny, that’s everyone’s destiny. If life throws you into darkness, you must light your own candle. You must be your own guiding hand, you must be the change you want to see in your own life!

How? Simple really. You must laugh so hard that you forget all those moments of sadness. You must take the worst of experiences, and make something good out of it.

You must move on, you must fight back.

Once you are done feeling bad about yourself, you must start feeling really-really good about yourself. Get that narcissism flowing through your veins, just a little bit. Feel good about everything, about everyone. Laugh. Make new moments. Love some more. Feel some more. Spread happiness. Do things you like. Find happiness in the smallest of things. Do things to keep yourself happy, don’t bother about the world, don’t care about the naysayers. Go ahead and do what you want to. You owe it to yourself. And remember, never ever give up!

Keep calm and have faith in yourself.