Why you will never be forgotten by Telugu People

Picture credit: CBN Facebook Page 

Dearest CBN Sir,

If there is one person Telugu people should be thankful to, it is you. I’m not saying this out of sheer respect and love for you but because they have become a brand by themselves. While you always say that Cyberabad was shaped by you, they do not understand what it takes to re-christen a city or build its brand. They cannot see the future of an idea like you do.  They did not know that IT could drive the state’s revenues nor did they see themselves getting jobs and becoming part of that ecosystem, which is driving the state today.

While it is their acumen that got them the jobs, it is your vision that brought them those opportunities. No, sir, they will not understand this. There are thousands of people who criticise you and call you names, but why aren’t they globally known for their ideas and vision like you do? The answer lies in the question itself. These people know too well that they are reaping its benefits. But, no sir, they will not agree!

The ones talking about you do not understand how IT reforms under the Vajpayee government made technology accessible for the poorest today. They know you headed that Task Force, yet they will criticise you. If the IT reforms wouldn’t have been initiated, Digital India or digital transactions wouldn’t have been possible in India today. But, no sir, they will not agree!

Sir, whether they like it or not, your story and our story (The Story of Telugu People) run parallelly and it is remarkable at every level. The people of Andhra Pradesh very well know that you are the only one who can carry the burden of AP’s history and its future. You are a visionary for some and a dream merchant for the others. But, whatever you are and you have been, your contribution to this country is undisputed.

Like our beloved former President, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, you too have shaped your career from scratch with your humble beginnings in our country. For every young person in this country, you are an inspiration “to start with what we have and where we are.” And, Politics happens to be your choice of career. But, you have risen above it to exhibit your leadership skills and stood as an example of a quintessential leader in a country like ours.

We are fortunate to be witnessing your best hours as a people. It is your courage, determination, and belief in democracy that galvanises people towards you. The story of India and Andhra Pradesh is incomplete without you!


A Young Indian!


Post-poll scenario: Is Prashant Kishor working on BJP’s B-Team?


Prashant Kishor is a well-known name in India’s political circles ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. Having run the BJP’s PM campaign for Modi in the 2014 General Elections, his organisation Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) has also been responsible for Janata Dal United’s (JDU) victory in Bihar.

Meanwhile, I-PAC has also worked in Uttar Pradesh for Samajwadi Party’s campaign while it also helped the Congress in Punjab elections. Currently, it is working on YSR Congress’ campaign in Andhra Pradesh ahead of the assembly elections in the state.

As the JDU vice-president, Prashant Kishor’s meteoric rise has been a case study for Indian political analysts and his influence in the power circles of the country. Now, he is working on another plan to ensure that some of the regional parties have a say at the Centre if the NDA falls short of majority.

According to inside reports, Prashant Kishor had suggested the Shiv Sena to continue its alliance with the BJP for General Elections. The reason behind doing so and help Sena with its campaign is that he suggested Nitish Kumar’s (Bihar CM and JDU Chief) name as the PM candidate if the BJP falls short in case of a badly hung verdict.

As a post-poll scenario analysis, Kishor is said to have told that if such a hung verdict becomes a reality, it would be difficult for the BJP to form a government at the Centre and that regional and non-NDA partners could have at least 100-120 MPs in its kitty and support someone capable like Nitish Kumar.

This, according to Kishor, will also benefit regional parties looking for an alternative to Narendra Modi and national parties (non-BJP and non-Congress government at the Centre).

On the other hand, Prashant Kishor is also said to have named YSR congress Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal and AIADMK from Tamil Nadu as the regional parties which could back Nitish’s PM-candidature.

In this direction, he has sought Shiv Sena’s support. However, some Sena leaders see this as Kishor’s efforts to further strengthen the NDA government as it could be BJP’s plan B to gather regional parties’ support.

Kishor, who is known to be BJP’s backroom strategist, however seems to have convinced the TRS and YSRCP with this move of his. Just yesterday, speaking at a meeting in Karimnagar, TRS Chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao reiterated his confidence that Federal Front has the backing on 100-120 MPs, on the lines of Prashant Kishor’s plan.

Going by YSRCP-TRS alliance, it is also evident that the parties’ joint press conference reiterated that Telugu states would hold the strength of a minimum 35 MP seats, enough to influence the decision to form the government at the Centre, in case of a hung verdict in Lok Sabha polls.

One cannot fail to observe that Prashant Kishor could be the one behind YSRCP-TRS alliance suggestion or is he preparing ground for BJP’s B-Team if the party fails to secure majority at the centre in a post-poll scenario? The verdict is open to guesswork.


(This post first appeared on Gulte)

How caste-based meetings expose AP’s vulnerability to strife 

Caste C

Caste factor has acquired importance in Andhra Pradesh’s politics after bifurcation. The paradox of modernity and democratic politics in India is that while they have contributed to weakening the caste system, they have reinforced group solidarities based on caste identity. Unfortunately, these growing caste-based groups in Andhra Pradesh are making the state more vulnerable to strife and causing harm to social cohesion.

Amidst this backdrop, the state will soon be witnessing Assembly as well as General Elections where political leaders in the state are using caste as their best opportunity and weapon to further divide voters. For instance: The YSR Congress recently held the BC Garjana meeting which was focussed on the party’s appeal to Backward Classes voters, who have primarily been the ruling Telugu Desam Party’s core votebank.

Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party has been focussing on garnering Kapu votes which proved to be crucial for its 2014 win in Andhra Pradesh. It went a step further by announcing that Kapus will be provided 5% reservation in the 10% quote announced for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) by the Government of India.

Challenging the Telugu Desam politically over Kapu votes is Jana Sena Party. The party, founded by Pawan Kalyan who belongs to the community, has primarily attracted Kapus and has emerged as a prominent “Kapu” party despite the party’s manifesto aiming to eliminate caste discrimination. Adding to this is the party’s popularity in the Godavari districts where Kapus are a dominant community.

Interestingly, Andhra Pradesh will soon be having another caste-based meeting – Yadava Garjana, in Guntur on March 3. Yadavas, who fall primarily in the BC category. This meeting of Yadavas has not only attracted Telangana Yadava leaders but also those from neighbouring states such as Karnataka. What this reflects is that Andhra Pradesh’s caste division has also given an opportunity to other state leaders to exploit its own people, allowing them to meddle with state politics.

Unfortunately, caste polarisation is at its peak this election season and if this continues to be the driving factor in the state’s politics, it could lead to law & order disturbance as well as puts lot of young lives at stake with frequent caste wars. The political class should wake up to this reality and present reforms that will free people from the influence of caste complexities and present them equal opportunities and access to resources.

(This post was first published on Gulte)

#10YearChallenge in Telugu Politics: Of Blurring Ideologies & Growing Thirst for Power!

Picture credit: Google

A decade which ushered in new friendships politically, gave birth to new leaders and ideologies which became mass movements, also has been a decade that has witnessed some of the most crooked ways in which politics is practised in our country. With 10 year challenge ruling the social media currently, I have decided to do a #10YearChallenge in Telugu Politics. The change is massive, equations are different and voter mindsets have changed!

Between 2009 and 2019

If one considers the political situation during which united Andhra Pradesh went to elections, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which lost power in 2004 to the Congress, tried its best to come back to power in 2009. During the 2009 elections, Telugu Desam Party chose to partner with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Left Parties forming the Mahakutami to win the election.

Amidst this, a party founded by film actor Chiranjeevi – Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) also contested the elections along with LokSatta in 2009. During that time, Pawan Kalyan who is Chiranjeevi’s younger brother campaigned or the party. However, the Mahakutami alliance did not bear fruit while the PRP & Loksatta were successful in splitting TDP’s vote bank which helped the Congress win the second-term too, led by Y.S Rajasekhar Reddy as the Chief Minister.

After Y.S Rajasekhar Reddy took over as the Chief Minister for the 2nd time, he passed away within 5 months after a deadly chopper crash. His death costed the people of Telugu states their peace as it breathed life into the Telangana movement and gave immense strength to TRS Chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao who until then was subverted by Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR).

While the Telangana movement became a fight for a separate state, it also gave YSR’s son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy an opportunity to enter politics to represent his father and fulfil his political ambitions. Jagan fell out with the Congress Party and founded Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP). This was also Jagan’s journey to test political waters as he had supported a United Andhra movement despite a massive uproar and demand over the creation of a separate Telangana state. In such a scenario, Chiranjeevi decided to merge his Praja Rajyam Party into the Congress.

While the Telugu Desam Party was demanding justice to both AP and Telangana if the Congress had decided to divide the state, another party resonated with the youth – Jana Sena Party (JSP), founded by film actor Pawan Kalyan. His entry into politics was surrounded by fanfare and hype while his political ambitions (paused due to Praja Rajyam) took flight. As a pre-poll strategy, TDP decided to have an alliance with the BJP, extremely angry over the gross injustice done to Andhra Pradesh by the Congress Party. So, TDP chose to support BJP at the Centre and became an NDA partner for the second time by supporting Narendra Modi’s candidature for the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Jana Sena helped both TDP and BJP by campaigning for them in the state but it did not contest in the 2014 elections. In this scenario, Congress lost its face in Andhra Pradesh while it had some presence in Telangana post division. The bifurcation became an emotional issue for Telugu people as it divided them permanently into two states. Adding to this was an anti-Andhra sentiment that fanned violence in Telangana while the TRS succeeded in projecting TDP as an “Andhra Party.”

The vitriolic attacks by Telangana leaders on Seemandhra leaders and political parties unfortunately turned the relations between the two states bitter. Even the Chief Ministers of both Telugu States, N. Chandrababu Naidu and K. Chandrasekhara Rao, began turning against each other. In the meantime, the TDP broke off its ties with the BJP and walked out of NDA, alleging that the Centre has not fulfilled promises done to Andhra Pradesh in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. In Andhra Pradesh, Jana Sena Party run by Pawan Kalyan turned against the TDP. Soon after, Chandrababu was not only fighting his political rivals in the state but also with the Union Government ruled by the BJP – with the Prime Minister.

As this bitterness continued politically, TDP buried its rivalry with the Congress which it had opposed for 40 years and struck a new friendship with the party at the national level and in Telangana Assembly Elections. This also marked the beginning of an anti-BJP front at the Centre led by Chandrababu. Additionally, this friendship also sowed the seeds of hate between the two Chief Ministers who took the battle personally. Meanwhile, the partnership of the TDP, Congress, Telangana Jana Samithi and Left Parties in Telangana elections made TRS angry after which KCR started off his slew of bitter attacks on AP Chief Minister and abused him publicly, raking up the Telangana sentiment.

However, TRS won the elections while the alliance of parties against the Pink Party was decimated. While TDP had to face a drubbing in Telangana and be content with just two seats, KCR threw a jibe that he will give a return gift to Chandrababu in AP elections (due this year). Reflecting his confidence after a thumping victory, KCR floated the idea of a Federal Front where states and regional parties will have a greater representation.

In this direction, Jaganmohan Reddy of YSRCP had evinced interest in KCR’s Federal Front after which both TRS and YSRCP decided to meet and partner. Jagan, who had vehemently opposed the TRS and supported the idea of united AP, joined hands with TRS to work against a common enemy – Chandrababu Naidu. While both the Telugu States’ CMs are vying to play a decisive role at the Centre, they have turned from friends to foes within 10 years. And, Jagan and KCR who were foes turned friends.

So, the #10YearChallenge of Telugu Politics clearly establishes the fact that “there are no permanent enemies in politics” and that equations and ideologies can change overnight in the thirst for power. In conclusion, let us hope that there will be peace between the two Telugu States.

(This post was first published on Gulte)


Can Chandrababu Naidu repeat 1996 in 2019?


TDP supremo and AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s 2019 election games have begun. While this is evident with the way he is talking to regional allies and uniting all the anti-BJP forces onto one platform, will he be able to repeat the 1996 magic of the United Front by cobbling up the allies?

How United Front formed government in 1996 

India’s first Hindu nationalist government collapsed after just 13 days in power, as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee resigned rather than face a vote of confidence in Parliament that his party was sure to lose. H.D. Deve Gowda, leader of a multi-party alliance of leftist and regional parties which was called United Front, became the Prime Minister. The formation of the United Front in 1996 came about with the sole objective of  keeping BJP out of power.

Deve Gowda’s ascension to the post of the Prime Minister marked a shift in India’s traditional power alignments away from the upper castes and the Hindi-speaking north, which traditionally have controlled the national government in Delhi. However, the Gowda government couldn’t last long when Congress decided to pull the plug and demanded a change in leadership after which I.K. Gujaral was chosen as the Prime Minister.

This fragile nature of the United Front became a powerful poll plank for the BJP. In 1998, the government lasted only 13 months, but in 1999, it returned to power and was able to form the first, stable National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government that ran for a full five years.

Why it will be difficult for Chandrababu in 2019

As the 2019 Lok Sabha elections near, political parties such as the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Aam Aadmi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party of UP, Telugu Desam Party of Andhra Pradesh, DMK from Tamil Nadu, JD(S) from Karnataka and other regional allies as well as the Congress (as a national party) have stepped up efforts to forge a wider pact against BJP.

On the other hand, after severing ties with NDA earlier this year, Telugu Desam Party took a huge risk by shifting its political equations. After 40 years of political rivalry, TDP decided to ally with Congress nationally and to unite other allies to create the Alternative Front. (However, he has clarified that the TDP will not contest with the Congress in Andhra Pradesh). While this definitely seems like a sudden chance for regional players to re-emerge on the national political scene as Kumaraswamy said “it will be a repeat of 1996,” there is a lot at stake this time.

The alternative front has several contenders for the PM position, excluding Chandrababu who has made it clear that he is not a PM-aspirant. Apart from veterans like Deve Gowda and Sharad Pawar, there is Mamata Banerjee who sees herself as a potential PM candidate against Modi. Similarly, there is Mayawati who assumes that she could be the Dalit-PM candidate. Above all, there is Rahul Gandhi from the Congress who the National Party has been pitching as its PM candidate against Modi. Amid all this, there is no guarantee that Congress will not flip its decision if the Alternative Front comes to power. Similarly, regional allies too could pull out due to infighting.

Naidu, who is emerging as the kingmaker once again and calling himself the “facilitator”, is very well aware that the United Front of 1996 wasn’t stable. On one hand, he knows that there is a risk of coalition partners having differences amongst themselves and affecting the stability of the alternative front if it forms the government. On the other hand, he is very well aware that Narendra Modi still enjoys popularity in the Hindi-speaking belt of India as against regional leaders of the South. But, this time, it is not about just forming an alternative front, but also recognising regional allies and representing them at the Centre in the backdrop of Narendra Modi  government undermining public institutions like the CBI, RBI and EC as well as neglecting non BJP-ruled states.

Most importantly, the India of today is not the India of 1996. The India of today is a result of the rapid economic progress and technological advancement over the last three decades. And, its citizens are more politically conscious today as they are bombarded with information from various sources round-the-clock. Therefore, it will be a tough task for Chandrababu to keep coalition partners together amid a publicity blitzkrieg of the BJP and its allies.

(This post was first published on Gulte.com)

3 Reasons Why Chandrababu Naidu Chose to go with Congress


How can the TDP announce an alliance with Congress when it was formed on an anti-Congress plank? If this is what has been on your mind, these are some of the reasons why the Telugu Desam Party Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu is betting big on the alliance between TDP and the Congress, nationally.

1) Win-win situation

For Telugu Desam Party, BJP is the current enemy. For the BJP, TDP is the current enemy in the country. After TDP walked out of NDA, BJP High Command has taken the battle against Chandrababu personally. They have been hatching plans to finish his political career and destroy TDP, which has a very strong party cadre in both the Telugu States.

For the Congress, obviously, there is another friend in BJP’s enemy. As a seasoned politician, Chandrababu indicated his inclination towards a Congress alliance during Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony in Karnataka where all the anti-BJP partners came together, in a show of strength. On the other hand, for Congress, joining hands with Chandrababu Naidu also will win them several regional allies. From Mayawati, Arvind Kejriwal to veterans like Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav, Mamata Banerjee, Deve Gowda and others. Given that Chandrababu maintains cordial relations with most national and regional leaders and is known to be a great deal-maker, Congress will use his political acumen.

2) Reinvigorating cadre in Telangana and gaining sympathy in AP

Telugu Desam Party, before agreeing to ally with Congress in Telangana, approached the TRS for an alliance. TRS did not want this alliance and rejected it. Following this, they became a part of the Grand Alliance in Telangana.

Ground reports in Telangana suggest that Congress is gaining a significant edge over the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi in some rural parts of the State. Despite facing defections and being grounded, the Telugu Desam Party will use the Congress to reinvigorate its cadre in Telangana. Historically, the TDP, right from its inception, has proved to be a rallying point for OBCs although it does not invoke the ideology of OBC uplift. While KCR continues to blame Chandrababu for everything wrong with Telangana and for allying with Congress after he rejected TDP’s alliance, his moves will backfire as Telangana also has a considerable population of “Andhra settlers” who are pro-TDP and pro-Chandrababu. On the other hand, the Mahakutami will also prove to be a strong rallying point for voters who are upset with the TRS.

However, in Andhra Pradesh, since all the parties have ganged up against the TDP in favour of the BJP, Chandrababu can use this to gain sympathy among voters. He can claim that parties like the YSRCP, Jana Sena and other anti-TDP forces are dancing to the tunes of plans hatched by the BJP which is working against the interests of Andhra Pradesh.

3) A credible face for the alternative front

The point of the alternative front does not necessarily have to be to come to power. But, to create a fear that there is a strong Opposition to BJP. This is how the Alternative/Federal Front is progressing in its moves, so far.

The break-up of TDP and BJP and the yellow party’s parting from the NDA was an indication of Chandrababu’s game plan for 2019 elections. While the TDP stitched an alliance with the Congress, TJS and CPI in Telangana to form a Grand Alliance, at the national level, he has been meeting several key leaders. He met all anti-BJP leaders and is making efforts in bringing together all of them under one roof. While Rahul Gandhi still seems to be unacceptable as the PM face alternative to Narendra Modi, Chandrababu Naidu’s presence and strategies lends credibility and confidence for other senior leaders such as Sharad Pawar, Deve Gowda, the Badals of Punjab and the Chowtalas of Haryana.

It is also clear that the only leader in the country who can fight Modi is Chandrababu, either through experience or political acumen.

Therefore, these moves are not only “Democratic compulsion” for the country as Chandrababu claims, but also a political compulsion for TDP’s victory in Andhra Pradesh and creating a considerable goodwill for the Yellow party in Telangana.

NOTE: There are a lot of them blaming TDP for violating its self-respect. If that is the case, then coalition politics in India wouldn’t have existed! (I’m not supporting TDP, but it is how politics works.)

(This post was first published on Gulte.com)

How ‘Bahubali – The Conclusion’ revives Hindu epics

This is the first time I’m attempting to write about a movie. This post is not a critique or a review of the movie, but offers a perspective, perhaps, only seen by some.

Bahubali – The Conclusion is one of the proudest examples of Indian talent. Whether we agree or not, the revenue collections that the movie is grossing from across the world are a testimony to this. While it has inspired conversations about bringing out the Southern, specifically, Telugu talent to the fore, created discussions on the special effects that are a visual delight or the strength of each characters portrayed by the respective actors, it is being talked about widely.

Another interesting element that I have observed (after watching the movie twice) is how it revives certain stories in the Hindu mythology for the younger generations. The story encompasses a mix of sub-stories and plots from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Hindu epics.


For instance, the whole movie’s story has a base of Ramayana where the successor to the throne is assumed to be Amarendra Bahubali, the dearest son of Sivagami who is a great warrior, with good virtues, follows and abides by the Kshatriya Dharma just as Lord Rama in the Ramayana.

Similarly, Bhallala Deva, brother of Amarendra Bahubali, has been given shades and strength of the demon king, Ravana. Bhalla’s mass-slaughtering chariot that he uses while fighting against Mahendra Bahubali, son of Amarendra Bahubali, is the one inspired from Dhuryodhana’s in Mahabharata.




Devasena, the princess of Kuntala Kingdom, has inferences to Mihitla’s princess, Sita (of Ramayana) while her captivity in Bhallala’s Mahishmati kingdom is seen as one from Mahabharata Draupadi’s vastraharan. However, the violation of Devasena’s modesty is different, keeping her in bondage with chains.


Sivagami, who is Amarendra Bahubali’s and Bhallala’s mother, plays the role of Kaikeyi at one point while putting the reigns of Mahismati Kingdom in the hands of Bhallala, simultaneously asking Amarendra Bahubali to leave the Kingdom immediately. This is inspired from Rama’s departure to the forest, beginning 14 years of his Vanvaas.


While Kattappa’s role can be understood to be that of Lakshmana’s, Kumara Varma’s character can be equated to that of Hanuman’s from the Ramayana. Meanwhile, the war strategies shown in the movie have been inspired from the Ramayana when Rama fights Ravana.

Bijjala Deva’s role has character traits of Shakuni (mama), the cunning maternal uncle of Dhuryodhana who is the mastermind behind the Kurukshetra war in Mahabharata.


Similarly, the abandoning of Mahendra Bahubali as Sivagami dies and the infant being discovered by the tribals coincides with the story of Karna from the Mahabharata when Kunti gives birth to Karna, the son of Surya.


The scene in which Bahubali puts his foot on Kattappa’s head is also adopted from the Ramayana. It is the story of Mahabali, narrated by Vishwamitra to Rama and Lakshmana. Vishwamitra narrates this story of Mahabali who seizes earth and heaven while Vishnu is meditating. All the gods on Earth and in heaven troubled by Mahabali’s encounters approach Vishnu and ask him to save the Earth. Vishnu then takes birth as a Brahmin boy with great knowledge and power, physically a dwarf. He visits Mahabali and praises him for his achievements. In response, Mahabali asks him to ask for a gift. While the dwarf constantly refuses, Mahabali prods. The dwarf then says: “Give me a piece of land. Not more than what would be measured in 3 strides of my feet.”

Bali laughs at the dwarf and then pours little water from a vessel on the dwarf’s palm, sealing his promise. As soon as the water falls on the dwarf’s hand, he transforms into a magnanimous figure (Vishnu) covering entire earth with his first step, the second steps covers the heaven, leaving no more space. That’s when Vishnu asks Bali, where do I put my third step? And, Bali kneels and responds, “Here on my head, if no other space is available.” That is when Lord Vishnu puts his foot on Bali’s head, marking an end to the sufferings of gods on Earth and in heaven. That is where this scene has been visualised from.


Promise of a generation

Picture credit: Google

This is the story of  18-year-old boy who loves music and wants to pursue a career in that field. He recognised his love for music much before he could make money out of it. However, his father wasn’t too happy with the idea of him pursuing a career in music. His father believed that music isn’t a serious (money-making) career and compelled him to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA) because they come from a family of Chartered Accountants and also run a college that teaches CA to aspirants.

The boy’s mother, however, was supportive and stood by her child. But, she always had to balance her opinion with the husband and the son on the Opposite sides. This was also the time I met the father of the boy in the elevator at the AP Secretariat two years ago, with one of my senior colleagues. It was around 9.30 pm after work and I was talking to one of the senior colleagues who was complaining about his college-going son’s behaviour. During this time, the father of the boy who was in the elevator with us joined the conversation and began talking of son’s behaviour. We stood in the lobby and the conversation about his son’s interest in music began. I was talking to the father of this boy and trying to make him understand why it is important for him to support his son’s decision and allow him to experiment with a career in music. (I gave the example of a cousin whose father didn’t allow him to pursue music and his career is in ruins).

The father was dismissive and kept telling me about their family’s history of CAs. I stood my ground and said he was being unreasonable to his son. And, after an hour-long talk with the father, he was still not convinced.

A year later, the boy moved out of his house to stay with a friend and pursue his passion. Anticipating that jamming sessions would trouble the family, he made that wise decision. Despite the father not being convinced, that boy took the bold step with the support of his mother.

Again, a year later, I hear from his mother that he researched about the music courses he would like to pursue and got an admission into one of the German Universities he had applied for. This news gave me goosebumps and I was ecstatic. It was a great feeling to see how this youngster knew what he wants and eventually, convinced his family about his career.

The story of this 18-year-old boy from a Telugu family is a testimony to what this generation of youngsters can achieve. We are a more sensitive generation, growing up with information explosion, social media and everything “instant”. But, there’s not much we are doing to work towards what we like or care about.

Here, I would like to talk about the youngsters the Telugu states. In most Telugu households, the focus of the parents in terms of their kids’ careers has been limited to Engineering and Medicine. We are brought up with unnecessary “caste” conditioning, with the view that marriage is the only “happy destination”.

Our movies reflect that too. For instance: The only aim of a Telugu hero is to make the girl fall for him. That’s shown as his only achievement. Our craze for movies goes beyond the screens, it gets into our households, our castes and we obsess over them so much that we have different fans associations even hurting each other physically. (Love for an actor is good, but shouldn’t end up in fanaticism). We fight and troll other fans if they don’t subscribe to our views.

We need to realise that our parents might not have had the exposure that our generation has. Conversations with our parents are very important to keep them in the loop. They might not understand what you want but we can still make the effort. Our efforts and interest in pursuing what we like will gradually bring about a change in our houses, if we continue to exhibit consistency in it. We need to remember that friends will always be there to stand beside us, but once our parents understand us, they will support us in any given situation.

It is our generation that can learn and grow out of these limitations. Do not forget where you come from. But, grow out of petty thoughts; don’t divide each other on caste/religious basis; encourage each other to do better and impart your skills to others. This way we all grow and stay humble.

We need to develop a reading culture. The Internet is not only about social media and stalking other people. It gives us the opportunity to learn about numerous things and provides mind-boggling information if we use it wisely. It keep us well-informed and makes us progressive, not only in our thoughts and ideas but also in our behaviour.

Consistency and patience is the key. We are a generation that can make a large scale impact if guided, rightly. So, why not keep the promise of our generation to our parents and make amends to ourselves in order to dream big and achieve what we can, with what we believe in.

Your battles are yours; Your demons yours


The past 2-3 months have been a period of deep self-introspection about personal life and career. From work stress to having “weird” thoughts, it’s been an emotionally wrecking journey. I have been at my lowest point in life and am gradually overcoming it.

During this period, I have realised that you need to fight your own battles, irrespective of who is with you or who isn’t. Even those who you think are your closest will not be able to support you because they don’t understand it. Whether you are single or in a relationship, whether you are married or not, you need to fight your demons yourself.

A lot of people in your life will tell you they’re with you, that they support you. But, they can’t because they do not even understand what’s happening inside you. It’s not their fault nor is it yours.

All you can do is, stay strong. Be patient. This is easier said than done. You need to have a great control over yourself to stay composed. During this period, you need to find something that will divert you from these thoughts that make you sad or bring you down. It’s an extremely tough task to do. But, you can.

Often, when we are in such situations, we rely on people we love. We share things with them. But, remember that their love for you is just a feeling they have for you. That doesn’t help them understand what you’re going through. They could as well forget about all this in the next 10 minutes and carry on with their lives, irrespective of their love for you.

Hence, you need to be strong from the inside, have faith in yourself. The most important of all, you need to stop relying on the other person/s to make you happy or make you feel good. Find a hobby or a task that keeps you engaged and stay positive, even if everything is working against you. Have faith!

This is for all those who go through this or have gone through this. You will emerge stronger. Believe in yourself. 🙂

P.S. This is easier to write. But, extremely challenging and difficult to go through. I’m also thankful for all those who’ve been with me in this phase.

If you are an ambitious youngster, self-discipline is the key to growth

Picture credit: Google

Every now and then, I constantly hear of youngsters (including me) bragging about how they are unable to forward their careers or focus on what they want to do. These are youngsters who know what to do, are aware of what works for them and what doesn’t. Yet, they are all braggarts who, sometimes, come up with ridiculous reasons.

During my conversations with friends, colleagues, parents and others, I realise that if something isn’t working for us, we need to analyse what’s compromising our focus. Of course, we cannot have a grip on things outside our control, but most of us can surely look within ourselves and try to understand where we are failing.

Everyday, I see some of my friends telling me about their goals. That, definitely, is a great thing. But, from what I observe, these people have one thing in common – the lack of self-discipline. Yes, we are all young and we want to make the most of our times, and I might be sounding like a strict parent here. But, how we discipline ourselves reflects directly on the commitment to our goals.

Taking my example here: I have, at a few instances, tried to “fit into the young & happening crowd”, pretending to not care enough about my career. But, every time I did that, a fear of “What if I fail in my career?” always haunted me. That, in a way, brought me back to reality. I have been lazy and sometimes, I still am. But, by understanding myself and my ability to do things, I realise why self-discipline in our daily routine is very important.

If you look back and analyse the lives of every successful person, you will find “Self-discipline” as a common trait among all of them. By self-discipline, what I mean is, trying to understand yourself – this includes your daily wake-up time, exercise/physical fitness/meditation, work time, leisure/break time at work, hours of relaxation/reading or wasting time unnecessarily and most importantly, your bed-time.

This doesn’t not mean you shouldn’t attend a friend’s party or get sloshed at a lounge or spend time on long drives. With entertainment, come financial troubles. In these days, everything comes at a cost. Hence, what this entertainment means to you, will determine whether you are committed or you are compromising your career to short-term thrills.

For instance: If you are attending a friend’s party every weekend and getting sloshed till you puke, then you need to have a re-look at yourself and your priorities. Or if you are blowing up all your money on the liquor at a lounge on a weekly basis, then you need to question yourself about your priorities or your commitment towards your career. These are just a few examples of the most common things we do.

In fact, most youngsters will disagree on this. However, they do not realise the repercussions of these. For example: The after-effects of a hangover waste your next day. But, you must have planned to do some important work for the next day. And, because of your drinking, that task is postponed to the next day. And, here is where the procrastination begins. And, that “tomorrow” never comes.

Self-discipline means you need to plan your day to work towards your goals. This is the toughest task for any human being. It involves understanding unnecessary activities or exciting distractions that you waste your time on. Your wake-up time decides your day for you, whether you realise it or not. It will have an effect on your bed-time and your next day. Hence, understanding this is very important. Try to understand your “high priority” works for the day and do them at the beginning of your day.  As the day progresses, keep the “low priority” works towards the end of the day. That way, you will not be stressing yourself when you want to relax for the day.

This is also called personal management. And, 97% of us lack that and live our lives without any clarity. It’s like we are trying to cross an ocean without a roadmap. Directionless and clueless.

Success is the result of persistent efforts. People like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Indra Nooyi, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or even someone like Dashrath Manjhi – the Mountain Man, know the value of self-discipline in their lives.

Therefore, planning will save a lot of time, which you would otherwise waste, wondering how you would do a particular task. Making this a habit is definitely time-taking. But, once you start, you will understand its value and witness the change in your lives. It took me two years to understand this. It might take you longer. But, try it.

If this did not sound like a philosophy lecture, then you are on the right track!

Dream big, drive small, be socially conscious, help other humans and be the change.

P.S. This post is a tribute to Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, my favourite of the few sensible leaders of our country.