C for Crazy, K for KK

I have known Kaustubh Katdare for 11 years now. I continued to know him since I met him because I liked him playing guitar and singing Kishore Kumar for us, we liked walking, eating bhel and mocking at people and because some where our thoughts were alike. In fact I was probably the first person to laugh at him when he joined a GRE class in Pune. Little did I know that I’d be interviewing him in the form of a budding entrepreneur. The_Big_K is the apt way to start the interview series. I hope you enjoy it.

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i. Your superblog has been a popular stupidity buster. How stupid do you think people thought it was? What kind of reactions you faced?

K: I started blogging because corporate world forced me to. I sincerely believed that my managers were insane. In corporate world any simple decision would mean : Decision to call for a meeting – Time wastage in getting the right conference room – Time wastage in asking the co-workers to vacate it so that we could get in no later than 10 minutes after our scheduled time – dialing remote team’s conference phones – waiting for them – reading out agenda – resolving disputes on agenda items – tackling everyone’s intelligence – finally arriving at a consensus defined by the manager – assigning ‘task’ items and documenting them all in the name of ‘process’. I needed a place to vent out my frustration and blog was my secret place to do it. I observed that the shabby looking, never smiling and always ‘busy looking’ coworkers were rated higher in appraisals and got better paychecks. Slowly, I started realizing that people exhibit stupidity almost everywhere in various forms and levels. Continue reading

Life Beyond a Rat Race

I have written this article for VoiCE blog. You can find the original article here.

Ever wondered why you are one of those people who are caught in the race? You are an engineer. You did your graduation in Computer Science/ Civil/ Electrical/ Whatever from one of the many ‘very good’ colleges in the country. You completed your graduation copying journals from your seniors and projects from Google. You always dreamt of big things and yet appeared for the campus interviews. Probably you were the lucky one to get selected early or you were the one who scraped through. You joined an IT major and was one of the 25000 candidates selected that year to do an outsourced job. And then? You joined the rat race to appraisals, on-site opportunities, promotions and buying a flat… did you? Does it hurt to be in the rat race?

I’m a Civil Engineer. But I never built any thing more than a retaining wall 8 years ago. I’m also an MBA. But none of my job profiles offered me to ‘manage’ and ‘grow’ some thing until lately when I took the reigns in my hand. And now I have sat down to write an article for VoiCE, wondering what I did in last 6 years. Was it some thing I always wanted to do? Sadly, the answer is no. I was originally destined to be an Architect. Civil Engineering just happened to me. Peer pressure led me to MBA. When I was still a student of Pune University, I wanted to open a restaurant and had even made a business plan for it. But it didn’t materialize. It took long years for me to reality what I enjoyed the most. And I’m still not on it completely.

The life beyond the so called rat race only begins when we take a small but meaningful journey within us. It is important for us to know what exactly we want to do. For example, I enjoyed writing. I still dream of being a photo journalist. I want to travel around the world, capture different people, different locales, take pictures and write interesting stories about interesting people. I enjoy doing that. But no body made me realize it when I was still in my teens. I was learning structures and bridges when I should have been taking their pictures and writing stories of their makers. I might be earning well today. But some times on a rainy morning, like the ones these days, I don’t get motivated to go back to the same work.

The problem can be any where but within self. In the education system, in our parents, siblings, peers or any one who provokes us to join the rat race. A teen vies for the place in a coveted engineering college because he is told by his parents and relatives in the US that Engineering is the best degree to have. It will earn him a high paying job of a software coder. The guy is not given a chance to think out of his path and imagine a world he probably would have loved to be in. Once in the college, his only motto is to ‘pass’ the exams and grab one of the coveted job opportunities. Some engineers who have no idea of what to do next normally bow to peer pressure and go for a completely unrelated course, a management degree. They all start earning well and then leaving a high paying job to follow one’s dream becomes too much of a risk.

Every one imagines a life beyond a rat race. But hardly any one dares to try and live it. All we need to do it first know what we want and then take steps to do it. Money is secondary. If Edison invented electric bulb because he wanted to earn, he’d have never invented an electric bulb. Do it if your heart says. Do some thing new, some thing better and do it if it is fun. If you are good at it, the money will follow.

Ask questions to Wolfram Alpha creator

Guys, here is a golden opportunity for you to ask questions to Dr. Stephen Wolfram, the creators of Wolfram Alpha! For those who dont know, Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that draws on multiple sources to answer user queries directly.

Dr. Wolfram has agreed to have a short conversation with Crazyengineers. Interested to have your queries answered? just click–> here!

Crazy Engineers on UTVi

Our website Crazyengineers.com was profiled on UTVi. Here’s the video for you to look at 🙂

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5010551?fr=yvmtf

CE meet in Mumbai Announced

HUrray! So I’m getting to host a CE meeting in Mumbai. Following is the announcement I made on CE that I’m copy pasting here.

🙂

Formal Announcement


CE Mumbai meet on 20th September 2008.

Venue: Cafe Coffee Day at Dadar (E)

Time: 1700 hrs (5:00pm) IST.

Agenda:
(1) Fun
(2) Fun and CE
(3) Having fun in growth and betterment of CE
(4) New initiatives and more fun
(5) Importance of Music and Coffee

Directions: The CCD at Dadar (E) is just 2 min away from Dadar Station/Terminus and Khodadad Circle. Exact address is given below

Cafe Coffee Day
“Dharam Putra” Building
Pritam Estates
Shop no-20-21,
Plot no.43, Ground Floor,
Dadar- E

How to get there:

  1. You can take a local train direct to Dadar if you are located on the central or western line. Just get out of the station on the East side and start walking away from the station (you will see Axis Bank on your right and Swaminarayan Temple on the left). People from harbour line can get down at Wadala/Kurla and take a taxi to Dadar station.
  2. BEST bus service in Mumbai is truly best and there are buses coming from virtually every location in Mumbai to Dadar. check Welcome to BEST Route network to know your route.
  3. If you decide to come by Taxi, tell him to drop you at Dadar Station and there ask for the above address.
  4. People coming from Pune by bus, all buses (private and government) halt exactly in front of the CCD. So no worries.
  5. People coming from else where, get down at Dadar station, come out in the east side and follow above directions.

All guys can send me an IM/mail for more details and also for contact details.

Look forward to meet you all and have more fun

__________________
Mayur Pathak, Chief Editor, Blog Me, Contact me,

My interview on Crazy Engineers

Folks… I was interviewed on Crazy Engineers few days back. Of course I’m extremely happy to have featured on the website that is very much close to my heart. So while I’m thankful to my friend The Big K, I’m also finding myself very lucky to be featured. Here is an excerpt.

CEans,

He’s pulling the strings from behind the scenes. You’d typically find him spamming biggest personalities associated with the world of engineering, working on multi- million dollar deals, flaunting his new car, promoting CE, “strategising technology solutions for media industry” and getting clicked near lakes. That’s our editor-in-chief, Mr. Mayur Pathak for you. Mayur holds a degree in civil engineering & master’s degree in marketing communications.

CEan – Prateek interviewed Mayur through email. Take a look:-

Prateek: You have been the chief editor of CE for quite a while now. You have been with CE from the beginning. How has the experience been?

Mayur: Yeah! It’s been 2 years and 8 months to be precise. Believe me, all these days were over whelming good. My contribution hasn’t been all that much. There have been days when I was away from posting for long periods, some time due to professional commitments or due to studies. But I always made sure I contribute through long telephone calls with The Big K. CE is Biggie’s brain child.

Prateek: You have had 3 different jobs. How was the experience in each?

Mayur: 4 actually *laughs* It is difficult to tie me down. I wanted a career in strategy and International Business. I love my country and I want to stamp its authority on the world map. All these jobs have been some kind of a journey towards the goal.

Prateek: One of your parents is an Artist and the other an Interior Designer. Why did you choose Civil Engineering?

Mayur: Not one, both Dad and Mom are artists. Dad is also a Planner and Interior Designer. When I was to do graduation, we thought we might expand our family business if I become a Civil Engineer. I tried my hand at it too… however I found it very mundane. I couldn’t build on some body else’s design. I wanted creativity.

Prateek: Civil Engineering is a science field and Marketing Communications a commerce field. Did you find any difficulty while doing your masters in Marketing Communication?

Mayur: Not at all. I speak a lot, and speak well too….

Want to read more? click here.