Impostor Syndrome

I had enrolled myself in a live project to develop a hospital management system during my first year of computer science engineering. I had to work on the patient repository module for the hospital, which would accept patient’s date of birth as an input and show his or her age in years, months and days as the output.  I wrote a long piece of code for this with my very limited understanding of programming languages. It was essentially just a very large sequence of nested if-else statements. I tested it rigorously to include odd and even months, leap years and whatnot. It was not the smartest piece of code that I ever wrote, but it worked. Always.  When my project lead saw my code, he asked me why I didn’t use any libraries in it. I told him “because I’m still learning and I wasn’t aware of the library you’re talking about”. My code was rejected and I was fired from the project.  I was never able to get over it.  I went on to do well in college — I got in the merit list and I got a job i

Give them a chance

I’m thinking about the gentleman who took my visa interview in 2014. I had been rejected thrice for the visa before. I had screwed up my first interview. The other two went well but I’d still get rejected. But this person was different. He asked me a lot of questions and made a lot of notes. He wanted to be really sure as if he’d have to personally go and explain why he decided to reverse the earlier decisions. It was the longest visa interview I ever gave and I was so anxious that I didn’t even ask his name. In hindsight, it feels like he was just on my team. He wanted to give that visa to me. That interview ended with him making a rare gesture of extending his hand across the glass counter to congratulate me.  Getting that visa was a launch pad for my career in advertising. I travelled across the globe and every time I’d step on a plane, I’d think about this gentleman. He had no reason to, but he took a chance on me. I hope I didn’t let him down.  This story has played out many time

Anger, anxiety, rage, fear, empathy and kindness

 Sep 27, 2021 In 2018, I started experiencing frequent bursts of anger. I would get angry about the most trivial things. I’d get angry when someone didn’t reply to an email. I’d get angry at a company if I got rejected for a job that I applied for. I’d get angry at the waiter if the restaurant didn’t have a dish that was on its menu. In such times, my anger would shoot up very quickly and I would immediately have a meltdown without any apparent provocation. It was affecting my friendships; it was harming my relationship with my family; and it was making me unlikable, even to myself. This kept on for about a year until I decided to do something about it.  I decided that one of my personal goals for 2019 was to be more mindful in my interactions with people. I started reading about rage and in parallel, I also started reading about meditation. I started observing myself when I would have these rage episodes: what happened prior to them, what was happening during them, and what happened a