If a nation can, YOU CAN.

Amazed by the rise of the fringe footballing nations in this Fifa WC, I started reading about Belgium and how this golden generation of the Belgium National Football team came into being.

A meagre nation with only a population of 11 million people (Parisian Suburbs have a population of 12 million), Belgium’s gameplay wasn’t dominated by the mesmerizing Hazard’s and the De Bruyne’s before. Infact, in 1998, after witnessing his country losing to France, a former professional goalkeeper for Belgium, Bob Browaeys was upset about his country’s disorderly gameplay, lacking in creativity and possession. On the other hand, he was envious of France, mesmerized by the Zidane’s and the Henry’s.

It was then that this former GK, started a revolution. Combining a few other colleagues, he took on the responsibility of improving Belgium’s footballing prowess. They did not only change the way football was played by the National team, but looked into every professional match being played in Belgium at every age group, and analysed what could be improved.

After looking at hours of video, and analysing the collected data, they drew a roadmap that focused on every professional football club in the country and how football is played in it. Clubs were encouraged to play more posession based football, enabling players to do creative things with the ball.

As time passed, a different footballing culture developed, which over a period of 15 years has led this Belgium team knocking the ever fluent Brazil out of the WC.

If a country with 11 million people can change the very way in which it plays football, can’t a company with a few thousand employees invest in it’s culture to reap dividends in the long term? Can’t an individual go back to his basics and lay a stronger foundation which enables him to solve even the most insurmountable tasks?

All it needs is passion, a will to change the way.

Darpan Jain


Is ‘Passion’ the new Infatuation?

(Disclaimer:- Don’t let the word ‘Infatuation’ fool you. This piece is anything, but about love.)

‘If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out’
– Steve Jobs

It was at a family wedding (yeah, an unlikely place to discuss such an issue) that I met one of my distant relatives who is currently a professor in one of Singapore’s esteemed universities, that we started discussing the issue of Passion (only passion, and not infatuation) and how the whole concept of doing what you love seems a superficial one that fails more people, depresses more people and has a negative effect on more people than a positive one.

Let’s take a look at the quote by which this article starts, which is yet another one of those motivating quotes, that stirrs up your adrenaline, fires up your productive side and lights up that burning desire inside you to follow your passion; the passion that maybe, one of you gave up for something more practical, for something more ‘ordinary’. Well, for most of us, this adrenaline rush, as it might rightly be called, lasts only for a minute (like, in the literal sense), and then we go back to being our old selves, binge watching another season of F.R.I.E.N.D.S or Game of thrones or any of the new Netflix series (not to say that binge watching is unproductive).

It is funny how mostly all ‘self help’ books as they call them, are centered around the very same concept, following your passion, doing something that you love doing, letting your heart decide what you want and other ‘fiery’ stuff. And the result? If you follow this passion, you’ll make it big in life, you’ll earn loads, be successful, and most importantly, satisfy yourself, internally. Now, who can forget the very famous line by Paulo Coelho in one of his much acclaimed works, The Alchemist, ‘And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’. Most of the critically acclaimed self help books be it The Alchemist, The Monk who sold his Ferrari or one of the many others, focus on this very thing. Besides, the most famous quotes by the most inspiring men are something like the one with which this article starts with, all focusing around your passion, telling you that there is that one thing that you love, that you will be successful at. Now, I am not saying all this is a sham or that all this is just a reflection of an utopian scenario which most people cannot attain, all I am saying is let’s for a moment, look at it the other way, let us see why this whole argument might not always be true or should not be something thay every individual strives to achieve.

Firstly, this argument suggests that passion is all you need to be proficient at a thing or to be happy and satisfied, undermining other factors which play an important role in making the overall experience an enjoyable one. Let’s say a cricket fan gets a job related to cricket, but he doesn’t like his fellow colleagues or is not proficient enough at the task in hand, the experience would most certainly not be a satisfying one.

Secondly, it is not a certainty that a person has a passion or there’s also a possibility that a person has multiple passions. In such scenarios, motivation involving following your passion is not only rendered worthless, but can also be a source of depression and dissatisfaction among the individual who might blame himself and try unnecessarily hard to find that one thing he is passionate about; which again as said by such motivators is not found by looking, it just comes your way.

A third reason can be that not all passions are worth following. Yes, people say that if you are passionate about something, you’ll find a way, but the following data will surely raise some doubts regarding the practicality of the said statement.

Fourth, statements like these make it sound like you can work out the right career in a flash of insight, and this is where the heading of this piece comes into the picture. Thinking too hard about a passion or a premature decision just because you enjoy a thing in the short term can lead to drastic consequences and possible regret, as is usually seen when a person experiences infatuation for another person, and not love. Such adrenaline driven motivated decisions can do more harm than good in the long run if you identify the wrong thing as your passion, provided that life does not give you unlimited opportunities.

Lastly and most importantly, a passion for most people is a passion and is enjoyable because it’s not a profession and because it does not have those added deadlines and pressure attached to it. Consider sports, many people like playing football, are ardent admirers, and think that if they commit to playing professional football, they might get a breakthrough and live the Santiago Munez life, but as soon as they enter the professional scenario, they experience the internal politics, the uncompassionate teammates and the selfish agendas and miss their old, more settled life.

Passion is a deep word, with each of it’s 7 letters being as deep as the seven seas, with each of it’s letters indicating the happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment you get from following it. Passion is not a firecracker which burns quickly, explodes and then vanishes, it is more like a candle, which during it entire lifetime illuminates your life and of those around you. Passion is not a panacea that alleviates your pain temporarily, it is a vaccine that prevents you from catching the disease of being dissatisfied and depressed for the rest of your life, and passion is not necessarily a camphor that catches fire easily, it is more an incense stick that can take time to burn, but once it does, it gives out a fragrance that makes everyone happy.

It is ironical that Steve Jobs, one of the most vocal proponents of the passion theory did not indeed follow his own passion, or else he would have been a Zen Teacher, depriving the world of one of the most elite electronic devices of the current era. You’ll always find examples where in people left their monotonous life to follow their passion and succeeded, but you’ll never find the failure stories, stories of people that left what they were doing, people who started loving their current thing, but switched because of a premature feeling, mistaking it for their passion. So, come on, let’s not get blinded by all these utopian quotes, let’s not leave everything to follow something which we don’t know holds what for us, let’s give the thing that we are currently doing a chance, give it time, understand it, because once our mind gets a hold for it, it makes a hateful task a mission that we strive to achieve. To end this piece, let’s go through a more practical advice given by the Apple Lover, ‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’.

Let’s start loving our profession more, and not only focus on doing what we love. Let’s love what we do, if we can’t do what we love.

Darpan Jain

From Globalization to Nationalization

Olé, Olé sang the voices

And everyone thought they would have more choices,
Countries lifted their trade barriers,
And suddenly, there was more work for the international carriers.

Thus, began the sharing of resources,
And the nations had to deal with more economic forces.
Not only goods, but people, capital and information also travelled,
In alien countries, they unravelled. 

And the tourism industry started to boom,
No longer were the tour guides in gloom.
Harvard, Yale and stanford started getting more enrolments,
And the students from low income countries started getting their desired placements.

The MNCs now had new markets,
And the job seekers got more chances.
And so Everyone was happy with the situation,

But then stuck a realisation. 

Not only was the balance of payments in negative,
But the loss of jobs in the homeland was imperative.
The citizens after a long wait started getting restless,
And hence, there was no place; no place that the migrants felt was harmless.

Not wasting any time, the ‘developed ones’ took a decision,
And Soon after, the borders were closed down with the utmost precision.
Goodbye, they said to Globalization
And this is how began the wave of Nationalization.

PS:- The poem is centered around the current wave of nationalization and the populist movements that has taken over the world, including  western countries such as the United Kingdom, The USA and certain other parts of Europe.

Darpan Jain

Private Schools:- The New Profit Making Organizations. 

​A few days ago, I saw a circular that my sister got from her school, same school where I completed my +2 as well. The circular in very bold, attractive letters had the heading, ‘Career Counselling‘, which could interest any parent in an instance. My parents did not read too much into it, as they usually leave all these career counselling things for my younger sibling to me, which is logical as I am three years elder to her and have a better knowledge about what would be suitable for her at this present time, keeping in mind her interests. I procrastinated about reading the circular ( as I usually do :p), but then ultimately got rid of my laziness and started reading it.

 The school was tying up with a career counselling service company which apparently had mentored and guided several thousands of other students and had previous tie ups with hundreds of reputable institutions. The company, predictably was the same company that had given these services to the school at the time I was in my +2 years as well. For the entire 2 years, I had an account with the company, that was supposed to have weekly webinars and other services that would enable me to make a better informed decision regarding my college. In the few times I logged into my account on the company’s platform, I saw various college names, all of which had been ranked by the fellow users ( and other people). Unsurprisingly, there were a few institutions which were sponsored and always appeared at the top of the ‘desired top colleges’ list with a rating of around 4.5-5 stars out of 5, which serves onto explain how commerce and profit making is the thing of utmost importance, even more important than correctly guiding a student regarding his future. Still, I thought that the initiative taken by the school was in good spirits, indeed to help the students. 

However, when I saw the circular that my sister got, I found something very surprising. The school was charging an annual fee of ₹240 for the services of the same company, which were provided to our batch free of cost. This annual charge was not an ‘option’ that the students could avail of, it was a mandatory thing. All that the student had to do was to get the circular signed by the parents, bring ₹240 and hope that for the upcoming year these ₹240 would guide them to the correct path. ₹240 seemed such a small amount. An amount that provided so much more utility to the parents who trusted the school and wanted a bright future for their child, the parents who thought Career counselling was the boon they were looking for ; and the student, the student who thought that perhaps things would be a little clearer in his head now. 

But, obviously the school is as much an organization as the company, and obviously the tag of a ‘not for profit organization’ isnt going to stop it from tying up with companies and reaping profits, even though it plays on the hopes of those parents, rich or poor, who think enrolling in a private school would surely increase the chances of a brighter future for both; their child and they.
As a student of the same school, the school which I deeply respect for making me the person I am today, I perhaps should not care about a few extra bucks that the parents might have to spend, right? I think the same, but then I do my math. Assuming that there are 1000 students in the school and the school takes an annual charge of ₹240 from each of them, the school gets an impressive ₹240000 in its pocket in a year. And mind it, this is only a single service that I am pointing out here. There are several such services already added to your fee, and then there are the payment charges to get your I Card! Yes, to get your I card, you have to pay!  Not only this, it would take me a whole another article to point out the menace of under the table funding just to get pre primary class admissions into private schools. And also hiring teachers on temporary basis and paying them less than the standard salary rate. 
It is sad that the schools which legally are ‘not for profit organizations’ and are socially  considered as ‘holy places’ are neither not for profit nor holy. There is no doubt that some schools do provide quality education, which indeed helps you in shaping your future, but that is what a school is there for. There certainly is no rational behind justifying these extra charges on the pretext of providing quality education. 

Darpan Jain

A Tribute To India’s Wall:- Rahul Dravid. 

The Wickets were falling,

And the scoreboard was crawling,

It was Australia who were beating us,

And everybody was ready to board the team bus.

Mcgrath, Lee and Gillespie were aiming for the heads, 

No one could sleep easily in their beds.

Warne and Macgill were making us dance,

 No one believed we had a chance.

But then Came in a lean batsman, 

And he proved to be our batman.

Though we were not The Gotham City,

 and he certainly not Christian Bale,

But as he played Aussies faces’ started turning pale.

And he batted, and batted, and batted forever, 

And everyone started believing in the endeavour.

It was courtesy he that we won,

And against a mighty Australia it certainly was our first one.

It was sad to see him in the shadows Of the Master Blaster,

But deep inside we know, He was the pivot to our Coaster.

And then the Aussies said that they had the greatest team of them all,

Back went an echoing reply that we had something else, Dravid:- The Wall

PS:- This poem is dedicated to Rahul Dravid’s 180 run innings against Austraila at the Eden Gardens, which helped India save the test match even after following on with a deficit of 274 runs. 

-Darpan Jain