Our ships have crossed – In different seas we ride – Here’s looking at you kid -Have a fantastic life :)

HAPPINESS IS WHEN YOUR SIBLING MAKES IT TO IIM-A

I still remember the day as a 7 year old child when i has asked my parents to give me a baby brother. I was a single child back then and was keen on having a younger sibling. Everyday i prayed to the almighty to grant my wish with all my innocence as if i was sure that God listens only to me. I wanted a younger sibling to play with, to have fun with, to eat with, to travel with, to see dreams with, and somebody i could inspire. Three decades later, i’m so proud to say that my brother is my biggest inspiration. The sweet adorable kid who grew up with me has made it to the flagship program of his dream destination – Indian Institute of Management – Ahmadabad (IIM-A) – One of the Top B Schools of our country and the World.

All through his younger days he saw dreams of living life a certain way. He kept moving in the direction of his goals, focused and dedicated. At his young and tender age he knows more than people do in their 50s. Over the years he has developed this amazing perspective on life which comes across as inspirational. His motto is simple – You want to live life your way, set goals , work hard and don’t stop until you achieve them. The classic quote from the movie Pursuit of Happiness is his all time favourite.

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I still remember the day he was born. My god i was ecstatic. I hear people talking about sibling rivalry , which is ok but never felt that with him. My parents did a commendable job of making sure that i felt secure as a child. That is why i felt more responsible towards him than anyone else. A friend’s mom who happened to be an excellent gynecologist was my mom’s doctor. She brought the young sweet thing in this world. I took a full day’s leave from school to just see the newest member of our family. Next day when i arrived in school, the same friend has made the cutest card congratulating me for the birth of my brother.

Feels so good right now, i remember everything:) The next few years were interesting for i had a younger kid in my house different from myself. As a child he was extremely naughty but adorable. He had this habit of munching chips all the time and then not throwing their packs and keeping them under his mattress. There have been times when we found as many as 50 packs under the mattress. As if it was some sort of treasureūüėÄ

Jokes apart, one thing that has remained consistent throughout his life, be it as a child or now – He never stopped asking questions. His curiosity to know the world is persuasive. He doesn’t conform to a set standards of beliefs or values that have been going on through the ages. He asks questions and seeks answers himself for he knows the world doesn’t have them. That is why he is so different even at his young age.

I remember the time when we used to walk to the bus stop together for boarding our school bus. The discussions we had were a pretty good way to start our day. Back then he was still evolving as an individual and tried finding answers through me , me being elder to him. A few years later he has all the answers through his own experience, his perception on life and his grasp of some brilliant books. Every discussion i have with him now is a kind of a motivational talk coming from a leader. He never comes across as younger to me. He’s taught me so much without ever knowing it. I guessed i kept picking all of it and I’ve learnt so much.

I feel extremely grateful for having him in my life. I miss the time we spent together. I do. Being in different cities, our paths may not cross but they’ll always run parallel.¬†This is what he wrote to me recently:)

“Our ships have crossed. In different seas we ride.
Here’s looking at you kid. Have a fantastic life”

This post is like re-visiting a beautiful memory lane. The entire time we spent together until we left for different cities comes back as a lovely flash back. I wish him my best for life and i know for sure that this is just the beginning.

I love you Angel:)

Startups will Transform the way Markets Function in India!!

 

DO YOU HAVE THE NEXT BIG IDEA -

Created by Akriti Mattu

The journey from , ‚ÄúI want to be a doctor/engineer when i grow up to i want to be an entrepreneur ‚ÄĚ has been a really long one for a lot of people in a country like India but finally worth it. All it takes for someone to bring about a revolution or even a small change that impacts people is an idea. An idea that springs from the deepest layers of one‚Äôs creative psyche, an idea that recasts the existing patterns and most importantly, an idea that sells.¬†From 3,100 startups in 2014 to a projection of more than 11,500 by 2020, this is certainly not a passing trend. It‚Äôs a revolution, a reformation and a revamp for the Indian economy. It will change the way the markets are working today in India.

From recharging your cellphone via Paytym to finding the most hip restaurant via Zomato, from getting food delivered at your doorstep via Swiggy to getting organic breakfast via Brekkies, from ordering a cab via OLA to booking tickets online via Redbus, from ordering books online via Flipkart to disposing old books via BuySellBooks, from searching a new home via NestAway to disposing old stuff via Priti International, from e-learning programs via ChalkStreet to e-mock tests by MockBank, startups are taking over our lives productively and making them convenient. I mean right from some cutting edge technologies to earning ‚Äėcash from trash‚Äô literally, startups are doing it all.

When it comes to the cities where the startups that get funded are based, Bangalore leads the charts with $2.43 billion. Investors in India are becoming experimental, yet extremely well-informed decision makers. ¬† NASSCOM has come up with an excellent initiative called ‚Äú10,000 Startups‚ÄĚ, which aims at scaling the startup environment in India by 10x. The program is supported by Microsoft, Google, Intel, Verisign, and Kotak. 10,000 Startups aims to enable incubation, funding and support for 10,000 startups in India over the next ten years.

Experts have begun to say that in the future, there will be no separate category called startups. All companies will be like startups because they will become the norm. The pace of innovation will become so fast that all companies will have to be agile and emulate startups. Not to sound political, but the Prime Minister of India recognizes the importance of start ups and has launched campaigns like ‚ÄėMake in India‚Äô and ‚ÄėStartup India‚Äô . So when the PM of India understands the importance and future of start ups in a young economy like India, so should a professional like me.

 Photo credits:

It Seems We’re So Invincible But The Truth is So Cold !!

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A new year , a new beginning with new hopes and new horizons to override. The pace at which life is progressing is swift and amidst everything the cycle of life continues – birth-growth-life-death.

As i was beginning to feel grateful for a lovely 2015, a loved one passed away at the eve of new year – December 31st, 2015 and the night between the eve and the next year seemed a really long one. They say – “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Holds true.

I’ve seen a lot of loved ones go away to places which are unknown. Places that we mortals can only keep alive in our imagination. It’s strange how one moment somebody is a part of our life and the next moment is not to be found anywhere. You can keep searching the limits of the Earth and you still won’t find the person.

In the words of the protagonist from¬†Life of Pi,¬†“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” Letting go is what we ‘strong’ folks do but that feeling of wishing somebody adieu remains inside. The feeling of spending more time until we bid the final goodbye remains.

Our life doesn’t halt. We continue on our journey of self growth and we progress. We still have our moments of joy and we still laugh. We occasionally get triggered by feelings from the past and we share a smile and shed a tear at the same time. We let go of the moment and embrace the present but what is left behind is a void. The void persists. Everyone has their own special place and it cannot be substituted by anyone else. Never ever ever.

I was grateful at the end of 2015 and i still am even after losing so many people year after year because i am blessed with family & friends who are beyond words. I say this from all my heart.I read in a book once – “We all die. The goal isn’t to love forever. The goal is to CREATE something that will.” We as a family have created a legacy that will keep us united until death does us apart. I say this with all my pride and with all the love in my heart.

There are people who are remembered for all the acts they did that left a permanent imprint on people and there are others who get forgotten. If you’re remembered and respected by people even after you leave this world, i guess you’ve spent your time well in this world . Nothing lasts forever. That is for sure but memories remain .

In the words of Lord Alfred Tennyson from In Memoriam –

In words, like weeds, I’ll wrap me o’er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold:
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given in outline and no more.

He is not here; but far away
The noise of life begins again,
And ghastly thro’ the drizzling rain
On the bald street breaks the blank day.

O living will that shalt endure
When all that seems shall suffer shock,
Rise in the spiritual rock,
Flow thro’ our deeds and make them pure.

This post is dedicated to every individual who understands the sense of loss and who knows that in the end all that matters during our stay here on Earth is the time well spent with loved ones and the legacy that we leave behind for mankind to cherish. Everything else is irrelevant.

Photo Credits:

(http://www.iquootes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Die-Live-Forever.jpg)

 

 

 

 

 

‘OFFENCEomania’- The New Epidemic in Town

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Taking offence has now become the new ‘normal.’ People across the globe are now taking offence at the drop of a hat. It’s spreading like a fatal disease and is gradually becoming an epidemic. What is wrong with all of us ? Were we always like this but expressing offence right now (all thanks to a hundred outlets on the web) or do the times we live in are bad times ? My answer will be BOTH.

The human race has always been sensitive. Sometimes for its own good, sometimes for the better of others and sometimes (sadly) for the worse.  People were offended then and people are being offended now. The only difference is that in ancient times word of mouth was the only way to express oneself. Today a lot of us have our own unique spot in cyberspace. More outlets , more voices Рsome are genuine voices and the majority are just misinformed beings. Anonymous people with loud offended voices.

I see people going cuckoo on the internet for quite some time now. Social media has given us a platform to voice out our opinions and that is a good thing. But it has also created ¬†a whole army of completely misinformed and mislead loons. When a certain topic trends on Twitter or on Facebook , i see a thousand faces venting out their voice under those hashtags.¬†Now it would have been a good thing had those people actually been informed . I mean sure have a voice and express your ‘informed’ opinion but make sure it counts into something productive. Else, no point at all.¬†Sadly they’re not informed. They’re misguided. It’s more of a ‘booking my spot under the hashtag’ kind of a thing.

Expressing yourself on issues that won’t even affect you or commenting about people you won’t even meet is irrelevant. I mean there are a thousand better thing to do. As for people who’re a part of your daily life and issues that concern you, here’s an advice –¬†You don’t like things around you – try changing them by taking an initiative that’ll help people. Else, just change yourself. No amount of abuse and moral filth via your tweets or Facebook statues is going to be of any good, neither to yourself nor to others.¬†You don’t like something that somebody did or said – either bring about a change or ¬†ignore it.

Now let’s come to the second question i raised before – Are we living in bad times ? I’d say there could have not been a better time to live. We’re a damn lucky generation for we have seen the world changing , progressing and transforming. The luxuries of yesterday are the necessities of today and we have them all. We have witnessed the IT revolution and have seen a massive revolution take on the world in the last ten- fifteen years. The only thing missing ¬†(and sadly so) is our attitude to discriminate people other than our own . In short people who are ‘different’ from us. Every time a person has a ‘different’ point of view on matters relating to religion, politics, and gender (Trust me people get offended by these subjects all the time), the majority seem to gang up on the ‘different’ individual.

In India, we’re currently divided on the ‘Tolerance Debate.’ Some of us feel that we’re becoming more intolerant while others feel we’re still quite a tolerant nation. It’s okay to be on either side of the debate as long as we have our valid reasons. It’s also okay to disagree. But to impose our point of view on others is not being tolerant. Tolerance does not teach us to agree to everything others have to say. It teaches us to allow people different from ourselves to have their space to voice their point of view. That’s all.

One very important thing that needs to realized is that more than 50% of the world still does not have access to the internet so let’s just think beyond social media on relevant issues. Not every voice that takes offence is relevant. Don’t let the trolls bother you. The world will not remember them hundred years from now. They’ll be mocked. Actually they’re mocked even today. People who’ll contribute towards humanity will be remembered. Be a part of the contributors and not the ones who hold the human race back. Had bright men and women from the previous generations allowed the trolls (they were always there, now they’re just loud and abusive on the internet) to distract them , the world would still be sitting in the dark ages.

Have a voice and contribute to people who need to be uplifted. Have a voice for your own self and learn to stand up for yourself. Have a voice against the fear and the hate that the world tries to instill in us. Don’t bother at what others have to say because you really don’t need to shout out loud at every little thing that happens around and is of little importance. Don’t be a part of the rat race because even if you win it , you’ll still be a rat . Did that offend you ?

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Photo Credits :

(http://rlv.zcache.es/pare_el_ser_ofendido_postal-r9d7a8047d40e4f1cb56fbc5c6c4f6111_vgbaq_8byvr_324.jpg

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No Place Called Home ?

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The above picture of a 3 year toddler Syrian child went viral recently. It broke a million hearts and made millions cry. It also incited public outrage and shamed world leaders. His name was Aylan and was from war torn Syria. His final journey was supposed to end in Europe.However, it claimed his life and highlighted the plight of  innocent people caught in the darnest refugee crisis that the world has seen in a while.

Before seeing this picture, a lot of people were not even aware of the crisis in Syria – I can vouch for that. People are busy with their own lives , complaining about petty things when a lot of people around the world don’t even have a place they can call home.¬†Half of the 23 million population of Syria have been forced from their homes, with four million becoming refugees in other countries. The¬†civil war in Syria as well as in a lot of other nations in the ¬†middle east and North Africa have become notoriously barbarous and ruthless.

It breaks my heart to see endless people being displaced out of their own homes. Families that were previously living peaceful lives are now forced to become refugees. Who is a refugee ? A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. According to the official statistics of UNHCR the number of forcibly displaced worldwide is 59.5 million.

Where are the human rights of all these people ? What if we are in that exact sam e plight as these people ? When did our world become filled with so much hate and violence ? I can keep posing endless questions here but i have no answers. None at all. Nobody in the world should live under shadows. Every individual matters. Every life matters. I hope that this world becomes a beautiful place – just the way it was intended and this mad charade of violence and bloodshed ends forever.

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Photo Credits:

(http://www.wsj.com/

,http://static1.972mag.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/01/refugees.jpg)

A Year of Reflections – From Nihilism to Optimism :)

As i sit down to write this post, i have a smile on my face, love in my heart and peace in my mind. Last year exactly this time, there was a deep sense of anguish and negativity around. There was stagnation and torpor. There was the feeling of falling down in a deep abyss where one gets lost. Took me a while to figure out what went wrong where ? Took me a while to find myself. But when i did , i did it with a boom. Now after an year i’m back in the game – More powerful, more strong, more determined , more ambitious and more successful.

The greatest lesson learnt in the previous year and something that will stay with me for my life is – Never ever give your precious access to negative people. For if they do, they destroy your essential self. They destroy you. A few months ago , i had a sense of vengeance for some people who were selfish and ungrateful. I thought of them as obstacles – obstacles in the path of my personal growth. I thought of them as ‘energy vampires’ who were trying to take away my chi (positive energy) and break into my ‘aura’. A year later, i have no sense of revenge or hate or even the remotest ill feeling for those people. I exonerated them. I purged them. I forgave them. I ‘let it go.’

Forgiveness is indeed a virtue. It helps to move on. It really does. The moment you let go of people or situations , your journey to self growth begins. A journey of transformation. A journey of optimism. A journey of happiness. In that journey , you discover yourself as a human being. You literally re-invent yourself. You don’t even remember what ills people caused you because you’re busy finding your inner ‘self’. The ‘self’ that got lost. When you find it, there is just no looking back. Life becomes cheerful. Flowers become bright again. The sky is blue. The trees are green. Music is sweet. Food is delectable. Life is beautiful and ‘you’ become ‘you’:-)

For each of you out there who have been hurt by people or situations, hang in there. It’ll definitely get better. The people who hurt you may or may not revive eventually but you will. I can vouch for it. I am dedicating this post to every single individual who hit rock bottom and bounced back sky high. You’re the kind of people the world looks up to. You’re winners. Cheers to that:-)

Lastly, i want to thank some outstanding people who met me along the way and helped me discover myself. I owe them the deepest sense of gratitude for believing in me and helping me reach where i am today. You people taught me that, “Akriti Mattu can make a come back on her own.” ¬†I totally did .

THANK you ¬†Divya Sarjolta¬†for being there every damn time and never ever giving up on me.(Don’t think i need to say more, i just dedicated an entire post to you recently :D) THANK you Ashish Rajta for making me your own in every single way and for respecting me for who i am; You and i have to travel an entire journey together:-) THANK you Ashish Ranjan for all the time and the inspirational talks and for making me realize that the vision for the future is damn important ;the present moment shall pass. You didn’t let be weak for even a day:-) ¬†Finally , THANK you Prateek Purohit for investing so much time on all the fun chats ( i really really needed them) and keeping that faith alive in me:-)

I owe you all my happiness and my success. I owe you my transformation from nihilism to optimism, from negativity to positivity, finally from India to United States.

Much love

-Akriti

P.S: Shared the following quote on exactly this date last year. Came out to be true:)

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A Letter to My Best Friend on her Birthday :-)

 

Best Pals :-)

Best Pals:-)

Dearest Divya,

Wish you a very happy , joyous and an auspicious Birthday. Three cheers:-)

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It feels like yesterday when we became friends. It’s been more than a decade. A decade of awesomeness. A decade of fun. A decade of learning. A decade of growing up and finally a decade of memories. Memories that are reminiscent of every moment spent together. Moments that will always be cherished.

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How awesome is the fact that we have seen each other through ups and downs , through thick and thin , through joys and sorrows. We have literally seen each other growing up. Growing , not just in terms of physicality but emotionally, psychologically and intellectually. We have seen each other evolve.

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From the days of college when we participated together in various activities to the times spent in the university becoming a little serious, from winning accolades in academics to going on hikes to  unknown and dangerous destinations,  from eating street food with limited cash to buying each other the latest clothes, from narrating you Greek tales from my literature course to introducing me to economics, from  preparing for competitive examinations to scoring it really big in life finallyyyyyy РWe have come along such a long way. We transformed from naughty teenagers to graceful young women together (well, the naughtiness still remains).

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Every time i won a medal, you were there and were always the first one to congratulate me. Every time i was awarded a fellowship, you were there to take your treatūüėÄ Every time i had to knock off some moron, you were there to calm me down. Every time i found myself alone in a world that tries to slow down powerful women , you were there to remind me that “the world is scared of powerful women.” ¬†Don’t remember a single time when you were not there. I wanna thank you on your birthday for every all the times you’ve been there. You have never failed to show up. Never ever ever.

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What fun times we’ve spent together. All the trips, the outings , the night outs, the parties, the shopping, the movies, the crushesūüėČ the jokes – my god i can just go on and on. I have a whole slideshow going in my head right now. I’ve seen the best of friendships being withered with time (especially women. God knows why). But not us. We were, are and will always remain friends. We have a foundation so strong that nobody in the world can shake it.

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We’ve had our share of fights too. Seems funny when i write about them now. But every fight was a lesson and a new beginning. A lot of people tried their maneuvers and aimed at creating a wedge between us. Never happened. True friendship, after all is beyond the pettiness and insecurity of people. We didn’t split but the people trying to do so ended up being really far from our lives. So good for them.

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Thanks for everything. Every single thing. Every warm embrace, every adorable gesture, every  secure hug РAll of this means so much. Thanks for making me the best food in the world. Thanks for thinking i can follow and achieve my dreams. Thanks for being my  a.m friend. Thanks for listening to me criticize idiots. Thanks for wiping my tears.Thanks for making me laugh out loud. Thanks for being extremely patient with me when i yelled at you. Thanks for trusting me . Thanks for I just cannot thank you enough.11540860_10207977398333014_2540463873611283137_o

I wish you all the positivity and success in the world. Your year will be transformational and you know that very well. You deserve it. You totally do. You’re the most honest and innocent person I’ve come across. You’re not perfect but neither is rest of the world. Never change your essential ‘self’ – Never. Just learn and grow and most importantly ‘let go’ of anything that is not worth it.

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THANKS FOR JUST BEING THERE BUDDY:-) IT REALLY MADE A DIFFERENCE:-) A HUGE DIFFERENCE:-)

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Keep rising and shining always

Lots of love –

Akriti

P.S :We were known as the ‘Dashing Duo’ in college. 10 years later, we are still called the same:-)

Truly Madly Deeply a Hopless Romantic ;)

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I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m in love with the idea of love:)

Love for a person , love for the beauty of nature, love for literature – I just love the magic surrounding the feeling that is love. I live in my moments. I live for my moments. They count. Each moment counts. My moments are my treasure. The small gestures in life make a huge difference. They make me happy.¬†My heart still belongs to the ‘awwwww’ moments.

I am a ‘romantic’ at heart. I live in a world i fill with ‘awe.’ I still prefer writing colourful letters to sending emails. Beauty for me is still innate and not plastic. A flower from a garden with a small bow on it is still more heart warming to me than an online apparel. Music from Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ still holds flavour. Poetry by Frost still delights me. A cup of coffee with a smiley on it still feels delectable. The first flake of snow still feels ambrosial. The first flower in spring still appears fascinating.

My world is still replete with allure and it will remain like that forever:)

Photo Credits:

(http://www.hdwallpaperscool.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/romantic-love-high-definition-wallpapers-cool-desktop-images-widescreen.jpg

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