Musings for a responsible society




Amidst the dark and grey shades increasingly engulfing, invading and piercing deeper and deeper, let me try to enjoy the little smiles, genuine greens, and the gentle breeze. Oh! Creator! If you don't exist, my life...in vain!
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20160724

Meet the IRS Toppers (Part-II): A few tips for the Civil Services aspirants.

This is the second part of the article. in case you have missed the first part, read Meet the IRS Toppers (Part-I) where Mr Satish Reddy interacted with Cyber Diary.


(As per the recent trends, about 10 lakh people apply to write for the Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC each year. Almost half of them fail to write the preliminary examination, after receiving the admit cards, mostly due to lack of preparation. Out of about 5 lakh people who write the examination, around 15000 persons clear the preliminary examination. After the main examinations, around 3000 people make it to the personality test cum interview. Only less than half of them get listed in the final rank sheet.  

There are many successful candidates who prefer to join the IRS (if they miss the IAS for a few marks or if they don't get the preferred state in IAS) ) instead of joining the IPS and other services. I could devote some time at the National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur, India  a few days back. IRS officers undergo their training in this world class training center for the tax administrators. I was invited as a panelist for their annual literary festival to speak about my books to the trainees. I utilized my spare time to interact with the young officers.)
In this article, let me introduce you to two more successful officers: Mr Rakesh Chintagumpula and Ms  Pryati  Sharma



It was a pleasure to meet young and cheerful Mr Rakesh Chintagumpula. His parents came to Hyderabad from a village in Guntur in search of a livelihood. Schooling was tough as he faced many hurdles. He got selected for Engineering in Osmania University. Being a meritorious student, he was placed at Infosys immediately after the course. He aspired to be a Civil Services Officer. He resigned his job as a software engineer and joined the IAS Academy Hyderabad, both as a student and as a lecturer. Meanwhile he took his masters degree in Public Administration. He also got the job as Inspector of Income Tax. 

Rakesh wrote the Civil Services Examination and secured the Rank 122, and was allotted the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) in 2015.

Let us get a few practical tips from Rakesh for all young civil services aspirants.


What was the reason for your failure in the earlier attempt? 

My strategies were wrong. I took the wrong optional. Though I was not confident about the subject, I had taken psychology as my optional. I didn’t practice writing the answers. I didn’t focus on the essay paper. In the next attempt, I took Public Administration, in which I had a Masters degree. Another reason for the failure in my earlier attempt was my lack of focus. I collected so much study materials and started reading everything. Instead of that, I should have studied thoroughly what I read rather than referring multiple sources for the same topic. 

In the successful attempt, I topped in Public Administration. 


What are your tips to succeed?

  1. While preparing, there should be priority for the Essay paper, the optional and the interview. Marks in these are critical to get to the top. One has to focus more on these. 
  2. Both online and offline preparations are required. There are unlimited resources in the internet. At the same time, reading from text books, periodicals and reference books are vital. One should use the ‘notes’ applications in the smartphones. 
  3. NCERT books of Class 6 to Class 12 should be studied thoroughly.
  4. Past question papers of Preliminary examinations are available for the period from 1979. Download or buy all the question papers and prepare the answers. For the static general knowledge (not current affairs), they are very useful. Questions are repeated, including the choices.
  5. Question papers of other competitive examinations should also be collected and prepared. 
  6. You should form a group of sincere civil services aspirants. You should prepare and solve questions along with them. Friends will be a great consolation when you are depressed. I used to sit with my friends and solve the problems together. We never forget those answers. Collective energy is greater than individual energies. You will not get bored in group. (Only if all the group members are sincere.)
  7. Don’t read more number of books for each subject. Read less number of books, but more times.
  8. There should be many revisions. At the time of mains examination, we hardly get time to answer the questions. First few seconds will be consumed in reading the question. Next minute to understand the question and prepare the answers. You need to present the answer comprehensively with facts, figures, examples, references, suggestions etc in the remaining minutes. Unless you are thorough, you cannot present the answer within the allotted time. There is no time to think and write. 
  9. People join test series paying heavy fee. But only a few complete the tests using the time sincerely. If you join such courses, you should complete the course by attempting all tests. You should be used to sitting three long hours. Mind/memory needs to shift quickly from one topic to another as questions will be given at random on various topics. 
  10. Apart from reading the newspapers, listen to All India Radio news at 9 pm every day and the discussion of the experts after the news. I greatly benefitted from this. I never forgot the points discussed there.These discussions are also uploaded in the internet. 
  11. The candidates have to write mock tests sincerely and regularly. They are essential for completing maximum number of questions in the examination in the limited time given.
  12. Inculcate a habit of reading books right from the beginning.
  13. Write answer for one 10 marks question daily. This will go a long way in coping with the pressure in answering the questions in the Mains. Send your answers to experts or teachers or peers to evaluate. 
  14. Economic survey is a goldmine of information not only on economic issues, but also on social and ecological issues. one should not miss it. India Year Book and Manorama Year Book can be studied selectively.
  15. The second report of the Administrative Reforms Commission is a storehouse  of useful information. Read only the recommendations. No need to read the whole report. Concise version of the recommendations is also available for sale. 
  16. Answers of the Main examination should have a ‘’balance” which UPSC expects from an aspiring civil servant. So unless asked explicitly, don't take extreme positions. Present all perspectives of the answer and give innovative solutions.
  17. Always remember that the ending of a typical answer should be on a positive tone, solution oriented and futuristic. Such answers tend to get good marks.
  18. Answers need not be too technical. Remember to keep them as simple as possible and include different perspectives. 
  19. Don't miss to read NCERT books of Class 6 to Class 12 especially for a new aspirant before the start of his preparation. This will be the base for all future preparations, and will be a solid foundation indeed. 
  20. One hour of physical activity along with meditation will do wonders in the long run.
  21. Aspirants need to appear for other competitive examinations too. There should be a plan-B. Luck is also a factor!
  22. Don’t take Civil Services Examination casually. Give it a serious thought before you decide to go for it: Is it the right choice? Once you have decided, commit yourself fully for the examination. 

How fair and transparent is the conduct of this examination?

“There is no doubt about the sanctity of the conduct of the examination. However, I feel that there are chances of evaluators becoming casual in their job or likelihood of errors in data entry (I am not sure. This is my presumption) I have a personal example to narrate. I had to face a terrible situation like many hundreds of aspirants face each year regarding the abnormally low scores awarded by UPSC in optional and other papers which are beyond rational comprehension. The sad part is that although several cases have been files regularly against this discrimination, there has been nothing worthwhile coming out of it. I am a victim of such scoring which had caused several mental and psychological agony beyond loss of a year's time which is invaluable. I have scored 168/300 marks in paper 1 of psychology optional in UPSC Mains examination 2011, while in the second paper I scored only 39/300 marks, which was a big surprise for me. Despite an outstanding interview score and excellent General studies papers scores, I couldn't make it to the final list of recommended candidates that year because of the score in one psychology paper I am sure there was something wrong with the evaluation or in the data entry. I am of the view that there should be opportunity for revaluation in deserving cases.” 



Let us meet Ms Pryati Sharma, who secured 136th Rank in the Civil Services Examination and joined IRS.


Pryati who is a native of Jammu is the daughter of Mr Jitinder Pal Sharma, a Deputy Director in the Dept of Horticulture in the Jammu and Kashmir Government and Smt Neelam Khajuria, a teacher in a Government school. 

Pryati picked up the habit of reading and creative writing early in her life. If someone asked her what was the secret of her success, this was her only answer: Handwork with commitment. She nurtured her dream to become a civil services officer from the school days. All along her educational career, she keenly observed how government worked and what role and responsibility  senior officers played in the governance. She believed that to be a winner, one has to give up the comfort zone and take challenges. 

Pryati took Zoology as her optional for the Civil Services Examination. Studying the NCERT books has helped her a lot in the General Studies papers. She also attended an coaching center at Delhi. 

Her advice to the young aspirants is as follows: “Read as much as you can from selected sources and prepare your own view points about the subject matter. It is important to be original in your answers than copying from the guides”


About her training she said: “ Both the the Civil Services foundational training and the IRS training are very comprehensive and of very high standard. We also undertake ‘On the Job Training’ by visiting the field offices.”


Following are a few photos of IRS Probationers and the activities at the campus

IRS Trainees with the Vice President of India




Cultural programs by IRS Trainees


Sports Day

Did you read Part-I of this? Click Meet the IRS Toppers - Part-I

(c) Sibichen K Mathew  Views are personal  

Related articles from Cyber Diary

To  read all articles click CYBER DIARY

Meet the IRS Toppers (Part-I) : A few tips for the Civil Services aspirants.




As per the recent trends, about 10 lakh people apply to write for the Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC each year. Almost half of them fail to write the preliminary examination, after receiving the admit cards, mostly due to lack of preparation. Out of about 5 lakh people who write the examination, around 15000 persons clear the preliminary examination. After the main examinations, around 3000 people make it to the personality test cum interview. Only less than half of them get listed in the final rank sheet.  

There are many successful candidates who prefer to join the IRS (if they miss the IAS for a few marks or if they don't get the preferred state in IAS) ) instead of joining the IPS and other services. I could devote some time at the National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur, India  a few days back. IRS officers undergo their training in this world class training center for the tax administrators. I was invited as a panelist for their annual literary festival to speak about my books to the trainees. I utilized my spare time to interact with the young officers. 

IRS Trainees with the President of India

Let me introduce to you three successful persons from the recent batch and who are undergoing training: Mr Satish Reddy, Mr Rakesh Chintagumpula and  Ms Pryati  Sharma. 

In this blogpost, let us hear from  Mr Satish Reddy, who secured 97th Rank in the Civil Services examination. In the next blog post (Part-II), we will know about Mr Rakesh and Ms Pryati. 


Conversation with Satish Reddy IRS




Satish Reddy wanted to go to the United States after his engineering from NIT, Warangal. All his cousins worked there and led a vey comfortable life. He also dreamt a cosy life in that land of opportunities. But a few weeks of stay in the remote villages in India as a volunteer of National Innovation Foundation changed his perspective and vision about career and life. He walked through the villages in the weekends. When he taught students in the night at a school with the help of kerosine lamp in a naxal affected area, he realized the need to lift the new generation who have aspirations to excel. 

He decided: Either get into politics or be in the civil services. He pondered over his goals to select the right career path. He discussed his interest to work in India and for India with his lawyer father and the mother who is a home maker. They blessed him as he told that by being a civil servant, he can do much more for the country than being an employee in a multinational company. Politics can be an option at a later stage, he thought. 

He prepared hard for the Civil Services Examination. In the second chance, he got 97th rank and chose IRS. (He lost IAS by one rank!). 

I invited Satish to the room allotted to me in the Academy for a chat (The facilities in the guest room are much better than a top rated hotel! Additional facility is a latest model PC). 

Me: How can you pursue your mission, by being in IRS?

How much ever you talk about development or poverty alleviation, nothing can work, without resources. So, the first step and the most important step is to gather resources effectively and efficiently. The second step is the efficient application of the resources. The most difficult task is to generate resources from the right sources intelligently, fairly and transparently. One of the largest sources of revenue is from direct taxation. In a country where only microscopic minority pay taxes, we need intelligent tax administrators who can formulate new rules, simplify procedures, successfully investigate and lead a large team. IRS, thus offers a very challenging career in the civil services, that can radically transform the nation. I find that IRS officers excel in all their roles within the department and outside viz. senior election functionaries, Special secretaries and Joint secretaries in various departments, chief vigilance officers, director generals and advisors in statutory authorities, and senior officers in the ministries and in various regulatory organizations in India and abroad. 


How did you prepare for your Civil Services Examination? 

First I will tell you, how I prepared for my first attempt and NOT cleared.

-I studied for about 14 hours a day
-Read 3 Newspapers
-No other activity other than studies. No games. No exercise
-I gathered too many study materials from all available sources and studied 
-I thought the focus is on current affairs in the examinations and spent more time for that.
-Didn’t practice writing the answers
-Prepared by staying at Delhi in a very tense environment where thousands studied hard
-I got good marks in current affairs. But less marks for other areas.


Now, I will tell you, how I prepared and got selected. 

These are my tips for the Civil Services aspirants:

1. Read, Write, Revise and Write

Instead of gathering and reading too many study materials on the same topic, I focussed on topics as per the syllabus and the old question papers. I made my own short notes for all topics in the syllabus and for all the questions in the past papers. I read them again and again, wrote them, revised the notes by adding new points and practiced writing again. So, when similar questions came in the examination, the answers were flowing to the paper without any delay. 

2. Coaching

I decided not to go to Delhi this time. Every resource is available across india through online sources. Why to waste money by being in Delhi in a highly competitive, tense environment? one has to relax to  grasp the subject and to learn quickly. For that, one needs to be in an environment where one is most comfortable. 

www.insightsonindia. com helped me a lot in my preparation. They run offline tests in cities like Bangalore. I stayed in Vijayanagar in Bangalore for five months attempting the tests. Every three days I did one test along with a group of aspirants. 

3. Be relaxed, when you learn

I did my mediation every morning. Played badminton everyday. Chatted with sincere and committed aspirants. All these helped me in my preparation. 

4. The tricks and strategies one should know

Be positive in your answers. Don’t go on a critical mode to lash out at the the system and the government. Your criticism should be constructive. When you write about an issue or problem, give both positive and negative dimensions. Then give your creative suggestion. 

Substantiate your arguments with facts, figures and references to articles. Give illustrations of what happened recently. All these require regular reading of newspapers and periodicals. Even when you write answers to purely theoretical questions, make it a point to give real life examples. 

Come to the point directly rather than bluffing with a long introduction. This is very much  necessary in the interview. 

Various subjects

All subjects are actually interconnected. Paper-I is about past India. Paper-II  touches present India. Paper-III is mostly about future India. Paper-IV is on ethics of past and present action. There are other papers as well.

Interview

  • Interview is not to measure your knowledge; but your comprehension, attitude and response
  • Confidence level should not go down after you answered a few questions wrongly. This will be rated adversely. 
  • Give decisive, clear answers. Don’t sit on the fence.
  • Take just three-four seconds to understand the question before answering. 
  • First give the answer and then give reasoning. If you start giving the background first, there is a chance that they will quickly move to another question before you give the answer. 
  • Be frank and honest. Please speak from the heart. Don't ever be artificial. They will catch you. 
  • Don’t try to get into complexities. Don't be theoretical. Don't use jargons. Don’t argue.
  • You should be thorough about your background and what you wrote in your CV. 
  • There will be questions on International relations and recent social issues, irrespective of your optional. Members are specialists in various subjects. 


Advice to school students 

Those school students who aspire for a career in civil services should make it a habit to read newspapers everyday. They should participate in debates and quiz programs. They should also visit government offices and understand the functioning. This can help them to make a better career choice. 

What are your views on the corruption in the civil services?

As a young professional I feel that the civil servants should be adequately compensated, much more than the pay package in the private sector. The civil servants take very crucial decisions. When they are compensated well for the challenging decisions they take, they will not get corrupted and they will not bother much about a career threat because of bold decisions. Many times, bureaucrats are worried about the future and they become reluctant to disobey the bosses who want them to deviate from rules. Corrupt officials should be severely punished. 


IRS Trainees with Prime Minister of India


P T Usha giving medals on Sports Day

In the current batch of IRS trainees, around 62% are engineers. The batch also includes 25 doctors. 30% of trainees are post graduates.  


Read Part-II of the article: Click here: Meet the IRS Toppers (Part-II) 


(c) Sibichen K Mathew     Views are personal

20160719

Unethical blogging: Micro media and the lure



Rapid spread of internet and its universal accessibility have resulted in facilitating information flow democratically from any source. Anyone can become a creator or disseminator of news. There is no need for any institutional structure to back up such initiatives. Since last one decade, there emerged a new media platform called blogs that are the creations  of thousands of individuals across the globe working independently. There are several genres: personal diary, analysis of social issues, literary creations, fashion and lifestyle, recipes, reviews and  hundreds of other categories. Blogs seemed to revolutionize the way the views and news are shared. But sad to say that most bloggers get trapped in the net of unethical gains. 

The vacuum created by the macro media 

People are inquisitive to know what is happening outside the four walls of their homes by gluing at the television screens.  Even after news is broken, dissected and analyzed every second by multitude of channels straight to the living rooms, many of us still eagerly wait for the newspaper boy to deliver the printed daily in the morning. Reading a large sized newspaper over a hot cup of coffee has become a habit most people could not stop even when the e-editions were very much available in their smart phones. Since no two editors can think alike due to the contrasting ideological traditions, circumstantial factors and commercial priorities, the consumer has to read multiple newspapers to search for the truth as he is already confused by the unending debates he watched in the television previous night.

For the purpose of this article, I prefer to categorize  media as follows:

Macro Media: All conventional big media such as newspapers, television news channels and news websites 

Micro Media: Personal web platforms often maintained by individuals such as blogs. 

Nano Media (or micro blogging):  Feeds created and shared  by individuals in Facebook, Twitter etc. 

My focus today is on micro media and specifically the blogs. Around 20,00,000 blogs are written on an average every day. See some interesting statistics compiled by ingnitespot.com below.



Unethical blogging

What  are the unethical trends in the blogosphere? Let me put very briefly below:
  • Many bloggers get lured by money and other rewards to post ‘sponsored’ articles and reviews. 
  • Bloggers post articles very often to get blogger rankings based on frequency of posting. However, the quality suffers.
  • Bloggers frantically seek from other bloggers reciprocal appreciations. 
  • Blog contests by blog networks are purely commercial ones to support particular brands.
  • Blog networking platforms are hardly interested to encourage quality blogs. In the sponsored events, quality time is not spent for blog promotion. 
  • There are many bogs which contain ‘copied and pasted’ content without giving the due credits to the source.
  • Blog rankings are done on frequency of posts rather than content quality.
  • Attracting traffic through tricks rather than quality content. Search engines fail to detect quality posts.
  • Bloggers fail to do proper research while posting an idea or view. 
  • Getting sponsored ads on the blog, many times contrary to the views expressed by blogger in her articles. 
  • Passing remarks about a person, organization, or event without substantiating with data. This amounts to defamation. 
  • Asking the readers to click on the advertisements, unless the product is of the blogger
  • Writing a biased review favoring a product by taking a benefit.
  • Blog networks aggressively promoting blogs that promote former’s events.
  • Fake blogs are created to promote a product and fake comments and reviews are added. 

Macro media entering micro media 

Unprecedented popularity of blogs have prompted the macro media firms to incorporate their own blogs in their home pages. These are mostly written by the their own columnists or chartered writers. This has resulted into a situation where unethical blogging is institutionalized by the macro media to serve their interests. Many times, links of the spicy, defaming and populist news reports or articles are posted in the nano media to make them viral so that traffic is attracted to the macro platform. 

Media houses are not from Mars. They have strong links with the social, economic, political, religious and commercial bases and super structures within the society and the state. They might switch their loyalties for obvious, justifiable and existential reasons. But they can never be independent. 

It is a myth if someone believes that the macro media are value neutral. They have a set of contributors and byline columnists who will interpret the truth as per their wisdom, which will in turn subjected to customized processing by the editors. Certain unimportant news will get the privilege to get multi column attention in the lead pages whereas some other news are either thrown as mere fillers in some corners or mercilessly sent to the editor’s dustbin. Powerful interests can ensure that certain news never appear anywhere in print or visual media. 

Biggest threat to objectivity in the macro media is the cross media ownership. That means, same business group hold substantial consumer base in print, digital and visual media. So you will get to see the same news and views, when you open your desktop, watch the TV or read the newspaper. It is a an interesting cycle: The business house invests more more in the media house. Media house diversify its operations. They are capable of cutting down prices. This result in more consumer base and consequently more advertisement revenue. Ultimately, the returns are pushed to the business house. 

If blogs have to survive....

Blogs are powerful media to take truth to people in a world of highly commercialized mainstream media. For the same reason, blogs are opposed and bloggers are threatened by a few sections of the society. A single blogpost can trigger positive and constructive thoughts and radical transformation in society than an article in a mainstream newspaper in an age of social media. Bloggers need to use this platform not only for publishing their creative articles but also for disseminating worthwhile information that are useful to the immediate community, the government and the larger society. 

 o
picture: goatsontheroad.com

Blogging, though evolved as a medium to save the 'truth' from the traps of the conventional macro media, should not get eaten away by the media giants. It is time the bloggers realize that a great degree of independence from the mainstream media, a lesser degree of dependence on sponsorships and much deeper focus on high quality unique content can only save the blogosphere at this critical juncture. 


(c) Sibichen K Mathew        Views are personal.   Comments welcome. 

20160713

I know everything about you; But you don’t



Mr No.32 is a very busy businessman. He is the promoter of an enterprise engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of textile machinery parts. He is a taskmaster and expects meticulous execution of work by every employee. He likes to monitor the progress of work very frequently, more often when he is away from the workplace. His secretary Vidya helps in coordinating not only the official requirements but also personal emergencies. He enjoys the freedom to call her even at odd hours when she is fall asleep or when she would be busy with her domestic affairs. He is worried about the careless client management of Mr Ganesh, one of his managers. Ganesh doesn't attend to the company’s clients promptly. A few minutes before, he almost ‘gently’ threatened him stating that company can’t tolerate the personnel who are careless in their work. 

He is on his way to Chennai to ‘personally see’ the chief general manager of a nationalized bank to bypass a few objections raised by his bank manager regarding a huge loan urgently required by his company. He will be staying in Hotel Taj at Chennai for next two days. He is also planning to host a dinner for the CGM there. In case that is not convenient for him, his alternative plan is the Boat Club where he has an affiliated membership. At Chennai, he will also meet a minister in the Tamil Nadu Government who had promised to help him to get a project approved. He is happy that the government got an extended mandate, though initially when the gallup poll gave a different finding, he had worried. He incurred a cell phone bill of Rs. 56500 for his Airtel No. xxxx for a two days trip to Beijing. He asked Vidya to file a complaint with Airtel for charging an exorbitant sum when he was on international roaming.  Normally he doesn't make frequent calls to home when he is on such short overseas trips unless there was an urgent need. That time was his 20th wedding anniversary and wife was not too happy that he was not at home on that day. In order to pacify his wife he called more times! But the bill can't be Rs 56500/-, he says. 

Mr No. 31 is going to Chennai and he will get picked up by Victor, his classmate  who is having a property measuring about 10000 sq ft. just a few meters from the Mount Road in Chennai. Normally he stays in Hyatt, Taj Coromandel or ITC Grand Chola while he is in Chennai. This time, Victor insisted him to stay at his place. Victor’s wife has gone to London to be with their eldest daughter who is pregnant and due for delivery next month. Victor has a good cook and is happy to host Mr No. 31. The purpose of visit to Chennai is to see his property near Adyar. The compound wall was partially damaged due to heavy rains recently and caretaker Muthu has to be briefed on the extent of repair work to be done. He also has to pick up a few stainless steel utensils specially ordered by his wife through her friend Rjalakshmi who lives in Anna Nagar Chennai. Rajalakshmi is the wife of his close friend Mr Rajan. They worked together in Ashok Leyland for about 15 years and the wives became thick friends. Shailaja, Mr 31’s wife believes that there are many stores in T Nagar where high quality steel utensils are sold.

Mrs No. 33 has too many relatives in Chennai, but she prefers to stay with her old neighbor Sujata. They stayed at the same colony in Wilson garden in Bangalore earlier. Mrs No. 33 is going to attend a marriage reception of her relative’s daughter. The marriage was in US. The bridegroom is a European who is settled in Washington DC. Sujata wants to visit the famous Sree Kumaran Thangamaligai at Usman Road to exchange some old gold for new. 

Mr No. 34 is very far away from me. But the fact that he is has entered into an agreement to sell 6500 sq ft of prime property in a prime location at Jayanagar was a ‘breaking news’ to around 40 persons sitting along with me. He had nothing to hide. His advocate Shri Lakshminarayana had given him a wise advice that he should register the property for the guideline value of 1.25 crore which he received as cheque, though the purchaser is paying  him around 3.75 crore.

Mr No. 36 has two flats in Bangalore, one in L&T South City  and the other in Prestige shantiniketan. He is looking for tenants for both the flats as they are vacant now. He is expecting a rent of about Rs 50000 for the three bedroom flat in Prestige Shantiniketan, apart from 10 months deposit. Seven people called him in the last 1 hour  based on an advertisement he posted last night in the magic bricks.com. He clearly told the first two callers that he cannot settle for a lesser rent.  But to the fourth caller he agreed to come down to Rs 48000 and to the last caller he said Rs 45000 is the last figure.
Image: tonyzambito.com

Mr No. 35 managed to have ‘sound’ sleep amidst all the above information crisscrossing all around. His snore, though was a disturbance initially,  became very rhythmic later on and he never let out any information in his sleep. 

You must be wondering how could I gather such vital personal information about the above five persons. I don't know the names of anyone of them. Did I take conscious efforts to probe their personal affairs? Did I snoop on them? No, I never committed any such crime. Did they talk to me? No; not even one word! All these information was thrusted to my ears by each one of them indirectly and carelessly. 

I was in a super fast train from Bangalore to Chennai and all the above persons were my co-passengers. They blabbered all these personal information to people with whom they had chatted over the cellphone while traveling. 

I carried a book to read. But I couldn't focus on the reading due to the loud cellphone chat all around. I wanted to take a nap for a while. But couldn’t. I had no other option but to hear all such nonsensical stuff as far as I am concerned. 

Why do people converse so loudly in a public transport? Why do they let out their personal affairs in front of strangers? Why do they remotely run their offices while in a public transport? Had there been no cellphone, they would have definitely read a book, slept well or chatted with co-passengers. 

image: dnainfo


The loud cellphone conversations have become the greatest nuisance while using public transport. It is torture for others. Who will teach those blabberers, the cellphone etiquette? 

 (c) Sibichen K Mathew                Views are personal.      Comments welcome

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