Sunday, December 31, 2017

How do I study for 14 hours a day?

You are getting it wrong at first place. You don’t need to study for 14 hours a day to get your things straightened up. Its not about how hard you hit. It’s about how consistent you can hit. As Denzel Washington[1] has said and I quote, “Without commitment, you’ll never start, but more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish.” Study for just 6 hrs a day but make it throughout the week and month. Be it rain or storm; be it fog or clear sky; be it festival or any heart rending day; be you active or bed ridden with limbs broken; you must complete your basic quota of studying and then only you may take the day off.
On the other hand, when you accept the fact that you are not able to make it even 20 minutes a day then how can you aim for the tip of the iceberg. You are just at the foot of the mountain and you are aiming at the summit in a one damn shot. Aim small and have small targets. Have a 2 hr target with interval of 15- 20 minutes in between every hour or as you find it suitable. And then repeat the process. Get started with topics and subjects that you like and enjoy. Then gradually shift for the boring and tough ones. Once you feel like giving up, again switch the topics and get your mood refreshed. Let your mind learn to focus and concentrate slowly. Don’t push or try too hard.
Note the things that consumes most of your time. Is it YouTube or is it Quora or is it your other social media messages or it your girlfriend or is it your friends. List down the thing on a paper and then contemplate whether those activities are worth of it or not? Switch off all the notifications of your smartphone. Be it Whatsapp, Quora, Inshorts or anything else. Switch off all the notifications. You don’t want those electronic sounds to distract you in the middle of your work or study. Complete the basic quota, take a interval, check your phone and then again get back to work.
Lastly get it slow but get it going !!!!
Hope that helps.

Link: Here 

I gave some bad tests, now I don't feel like studying. How do I make myself study again?

Waste your following day. Don’t touch your books. Don’t touch any notepad. Just stick to your bed and don’t let your ass leave it. Order your most favorite and delicious breakfast or lunch. Eat to the brim and then use your smartphone as if you have never used before. Check whatsapp and then close it. Open Whatsapp again and then check the status. Check Facebook and scroll without any purpose. Like your friend’s activity, Tweet your fake morning motivation, re tweet your favorite celebrity pics. Time will pass as it passes. As the day comes to an end, contemplate a bit.
While you were sleeping, someone was grinding like hell in somepart of this world.
While you were stuffing your mouth with hundreds of calories, someone was skipping his breakfast or lunch just to meet his/her deadlines.
While you were scrolling your social media, someone was working his butt off in the back end to make the page as addictive as possible, as attractive as possible.
While you wasted your day, someone made millions.
While you wasted your day, someone gave in millions.
While you wasted your day, someone inched closer towards his goal
While you wasted your day, someone failed miserable.
But you know what….atleast they had a chance. They gave it a try. They believed in something but they failed. But they will come back. They will come back prepared. They will comeback and will don’t do the previous mistakes again. They will comeback because they know this world ain’t sunshine and rainbows. Its a very mean and nasty place and the world don’t care how tough they are. It will beat them to their knees and will keep them there permanently if they let it. No one is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard they get hit. It’s about how hard they can get hit and keep moving forward. How much they can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Someone is pushing the boundaries and taking their chances.
Now it’s up to you. What you are going to do about it? Don’t you want to take a chance?
Link: Here

Is the youth of India confident or confused? Why?

They are more confused than ever.
It starts with their basic education system. They take science as their major in their HSE and then they opt for engineering. They make out those 4 years anyhow by bitching about the courses, teachers and being cynical about their future and placements. They make it to their job and then they leave it in 4 months, 7 months or in 1 year, likewise. They give every possible entrance exams possible in this stage. From SSC to Bank PO. From CAT to RBI Assistant. From GATE to Analytics( if he/she has got a core job placement) Its not that they want to pursue certain job or stream. The major motivation for them is that they just want to leave their company as soon as possible. They make it to any management college and after 2 years, they settle for a job. They again leave their jobs in similar short month fashion and then they want to pursue UPSC. It is not they want to get into civil services or they want to serve the nation. They just want to leave their current job somehow. They feel like they are not making an impact in the organisation. They feel that I was studied so much and I have ended up entering data in Excel Sheets. After that, they even found a startup but shut it down in an year or alike. This cycle continues till one gets married. After marriage, responsibilities and family pressure don’t let you leave your stuffs anytime soon. You somehow get patient and then you dress up daily for the job you hate and meet the persons that you don’t wanna meet. It’s pathetic but true. I can’t tar every wall with the same brush but I just tried to portray a chunk of population. No offence.
Hope it helps. 
Link: Here

Can I clear IIT in preparation of 100 days?

Let's be blunt and precise.
You have 100 days in your hand. Give 10 hrs for self study each and every day. Revise stuffs after every 2–3 days. Give atleast 2–3 mocks in a week. Analyse thoroughly. Note down your areas of strength and weakness. Also 10 hours mean “Raw 10 hours”. You need to have a timer set and then you should count your hours.
In the end you would have done 1000 hrs of self study. That's more than enough to get you through advanced. Though decent ranking and dream colleges may still be a distant affair but it's better to take a chance and miss without aiming at all.
Hope it helps.

Link: Here

What does the word "mazel tov" mean?

It means “Congratulations” or “Good Luck” among Jewish people. You may watch “Munich” movie for the better understanding of the same as this word has been often used in the movie.
Example of “Mazel Tov” used in sentence:
Golda Meir: Your wife is pregnant?
Avner: Yes, seven months.
Golda Meir: Mazel tov. 

Link: Here

How can I embrace solitude and focus on studying?

Studying is a tough thing buddy. Who does that and seriously who cares? You should not make your life tough.


I was just born in this world of lies,
I hadn’t moved and so close were my eyes.
But your care and warmth kept me alive,
You came as my mother and always remained by my side. 

I was haunted by creepy letters and darkness,
I was scared by those lovely benches and blackness,
You consoled me, loved me in the best way you can
You came as my teacher and offered your caring hands.

And there was a time, I was low and wasn’t fine,
I needed a friend; someone who could be mine.
You came then but as lovely sis this time,
It was magic, care, bliss and alike of dime.

I moved on further but got stuck in a problem this time,
My dreams got shattered so was my soul and my mind.
You came as caring friend this time,
Regained my confidence, in my life and in my regime.

And then the stage came for the success and the fame,
I was alone in the light and alone in the rain.
My wife holded me close; close was her heart and soul,
and my world went round and perfect were the goals.

I was matured soul alive, filled with regrets and hopes,
I was now a tired soul alive, filled with happiness and nopes.
You came again this time but as my daughter on my ship,
And u became the laughter in my eyes and smile of my lips.

I am still a young soul, inside an old clay,
living with regrets and surviving off the bay.
I just want to thank; I just want to say,
As woman indeed, they changed my way and made my days.

Lastly, I want to sign off with a fact to thee,
its raw, it’s simple and firm like a sea.
I don’t like to hype but it’s true.
The best thing that happened to me is you.      
                                                                                      - Shashi Prakash

Dedicated to all those ladies and girls who made me feel more precious, more lucky and somehow made me feel more motivated. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Are You An Intelligent Investor?

Now let's answer a vitally important question. What exactly does Benjamin Graham mean by an "intelligent" investor? Graham defines the term- and makes it very clear that this kind of intelligence has nothing to do with IQ or SAT scores. It simply means being patient, disciplined, and eager to learn; you must also be able to harness your emotions and think for yourself. This kind of intelligence, explains Graham, "is a trait more of the character than of the brain."

There is a proof that high IQ and higher education are not enough to make an investor intelligent. In 1988 Long-term Capital Management, L.P., a hedge fund run by a battalion of mathematicians, computer scientists, and two Nobel Prize-winning economists, lost more than $2 billion in a matter of weeks on a huge bet that the bond market would return to "normal". But the bond market kept right on becoming more and more abnormal- and LTCM had borrowed so much money that it collapse nearly capsized the global financial system.

And back in the spring of 1720, Sir Isaac Newton owned shares in the South sea company, the hottest stock in England. Sensing the market was getting out of hand, the great physicist muttered that he "could calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of the people". Newton dumped his South Sea shares, pocketing a 100 % profit totalling £7000. But just months later, swept up in the wild enthusiasm of the market, Newton jumped back in at a much higher price- and lost £20,000 (or more than $3 million in today's money). For the rest of his life, he forbade anyone to speak the words "South Sea" in his presence.

This article is an excerpt from the book "The Intelligent Investor- Benjamin Graham ( Revised edition updated by Jason Zweig). This book is by far the best book on investing ever written according to Warren Buffett. I have been going through this book for the last couple of weeks and found this particular excerpt worth sharing. You can check out this book here-
Know more about me @ 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Cracking Campus Placement

Cracking Vedanta Resources Plc; Larsen and Toubro (LnT)

The following post is about my experiences and views about the company selection process. Basically, I would be writing about the dos and don'ts that I got to know from my brother, friends, and seniors that aided my preparation.
The writing pattern isn’t conventional. If you just want to know the answer to any specific query and want to jump directly to that section skipping the rest of the verbatim, then this post wouldn’t help much. I request all to be patient (something that we are losing in today’s time) and go through the wordings. It may help somehow to you. It doesn’t mean that I have got all things figured out. I just want to help if I may. Don’t try to trace the aroma of arrogance from this post. There ain’t any. There are hundreds of people who can advise thousands time better than me. I am just trying to share as much as I can within my capacity. I also urge my friends, seniors, and colleagues to add up any valuable information/experience on any part in the comments below. That may help.

1. Should I go for this company?

One of the major questions that you need to ask before applying is that if you really want to go for this company. Don’t go for the company just because your friend or roommate is applying for the same. Get to know the exact job profile that the company is offering. Get to know the locations where the company would be demanding you to work, given that you got the job. Get to know about the work culture; get in touch with any senior and ask them about the tasks they are being asked to do. Is there any bond? If yes do you think that you would be able to make it in the same company for those many years? Why am I emphasizing on the same? Getting on campus placement is an easy work than getting it through off campus. That’s a blunt truth. Once you would get selected or even applied for the company,  it means that you can’t skip either of any rounds even you want to. You need to go for all of the rounds till you haven’t made further. There are few students who apply just to get familiar with the pressure and question pattern in the apti round or similar alike. The worse part comes when accidentally they make it to the next round and they just don’t know what to do next so that company would stop them in penultimate rounds itself. Those candidates either don’t speak in GD round or try to spoil the interview deliberately. There is a policy of 1 job per student unless it's not a dream company. Even you make it then it just means that you are not going to go for any other company in most of the cases. They ultimately land up themselves where they don't want to. So make decisions wisely. You need to work for it. Don’t just apply for the post just because everyone else in your batch is going for the same. Let me switch it to the other aspect too. You can only choose when you do have options. The irony of the fact is that; we aren’t left with many options nowadays. The core placement stats are poor. The above factors decisively change from branch to branch. So if you know that there aren’t so many options for you out there, then just go for each one out there.

2. Analytics or Core?

One of the most often asked question. Let’s directly come down to business. Get to know what it means to be an Analytics company or a Core company and getting to know about the company means to do more than spending time on Merriam- Webster or Google answers. Talk to people who are already there and try to differentiate. Go to and similar sites to know about the reviews of the working professionals already working out there. Getting in a core company doesn’t mean that you need to be very sound in technical studies. You need to be good and I accept that but most importantly you need to have that learning attitude.

3. Preparation

You need to live the company for the next few days. You need to think only about the company for the next few days no matter where you are and with whom you are. That is one of the things that one of my senior Tarun Kaushik sir and Himanshu Wadhwani sir had asked us to do while giving theirs placement talk in 2016. You can even change the wallpaper and screensaver of your gadgets with the company’s logo or branding. Getting On campus placement is a big deal. It is one of the important milestones of your life. There would be few seniors who would just brag that they just made it and no preparation was required for the same. Don’t just watch out for the weeks of preparation that he/she did or does. Getting placement and cracking interviews demands skill sets that you gained over so many years of inhabiting this civilized world. Don’t listen to those who say that they just went for the company and made it. I don’t disagree with the fact that there are talented people who are able to comprehend things 2x or 4x faster than you are capable of. But skill always beat talent. Just put in all of the hours you got and believe me you will make it. While other people are wandering you need to work; while others are playing, you need to work; while others are going to check out latest weekend releases, you need to work. There isn’t any easy way around pals. All these hardships will be worth it when you would call your parents and tell them that you made it. All those hard times will come as a bliss to you. So preparation is a tough time indeed but what you get in return is completely worthy of the hours that you are willing to put in.

a. Resume: Most of the students have their resume sorted out in their 3rd year itself. They need to send their resume to companies for internship and all. So this section is all sorted out for them. Still, there are few branches and students who are not done with their resume. There are few who think that they would draft it only if they get ahead of the apti round. There are few who think they would draft only if they clear GD round. There are few students too who think that HR wouldn’t even open up their file during interview and resume doesn’t matter at all. They just sneak in any A4 paper which got their name in the heading or asks their friend to print it out fresh while the candidate waits for their his/her turn to come up on the day of. I mean what’s wrong? Few people behave this way only because they want to sound ‘cool’ in front of their batch and circle.

 ‘Resume bana liya’, One student asks the other.
‘Arey chd na yaar…… kal bana lunga na ….. waise bhi kaun sa woh HR mera file padhne wala hain’

You should be sure that you are going to make it to the interview round. You should be sure that you are going to be selected in this company. You should be confident from your side and you should send this clear message to your subconscious mind that you are going to make it. If it doesn’t happen then that’s another part of the story but what if it happened. You need to be prepared to your best that you can show. Get your resume done today as it takes time. If it didn’t take time, then trust me you didn’t make it fine. Try to strict it to 2 pages. You should be knowing what’s there on your resume. The interviewer may ask you to recite yours career objective. There are 98 percent candidates who copy this thing just from any site, seniors resume, friends or any other source. There is nothing wrong in copying but try to mould it a bit. Try to know what these wordings mean in actual and try to memorize it. You shouldn’t be blank if you are asked about your career objective. There have been instances when the candidates have answered completely different with what is written on paper. That doesn’t make a good start for sure. So try to be a bit cautious. Every resume format is nice. Don’t spend much time in thinking that with which format should I stick with. What matters is that it should be neat and there shouldn’t be any blunt mistakes.

b. Study part: Questions related to your training is going to be the nub of your interview session. There are several students that would have just gone to their home skipping their training part. They may have got the certificate but they did lose few things. Though let’s focus on what things should be done. Get your training report briefed many times. You should know the technicality of the subject. One of the basic question that interviewer is going to ask you to tell him/her about the things that you saw in your training period. Now you need to prepare this question a week beforehand. We will cover this thing in the Interview section.Meanwhile, let’s focus on our study part. You should study your current subjects followed by the important subjects of last semesters. Now, how you are going to get familiar with the all the subjects that you studied in last 2-3 years? Get the syllabus in your hand of any certain subject of any semester and see if you are familiar with all the chapters that are mentioned in the syllabus. There may be few topics in certain chapters about which you would be completely blank. Get the basics done and then move to another subject. Once you will clear basics of all chapters, make a priority order. The important subjects needed to be focused first and then the rest of the subjects. In this way, you will be familiar with each and every topic that you studied so far in your all of the semesters. It may sound tough but only if you get into much detailing. I just asked you to get the basics done. It means that you need to be able to answer a 3 marks question on that certain topic. In the maximum of the case, the interviewer is just going to ask you to explain a certain term or if you are familiar with this topic. Neither you should be blank nor you should answer anything absurd. So studying is a vague part and it isn’t much you can do except putting lots of hours and getting your basics done.

c. Aptitude/Reasoning part: Get all the arithmetic topic done. Don’t indulge much in the geometry, maxima-minima, modulus and similar alike topics. Don’t go for many shortcuts. You are not going for CAT. You just need to clear the Aptitude round. Vedanta doesn’t have any apti round either. What you need to make sure is that how you are responding to questions in given time frame. Suppose there is 2-minute timer left onscreen and you need to solve a basic upstream and downstream question. If there wouldn’t have been the timer, most of the students would solve the same in a minute or a bit more than that. But because of the fear, anxiety, nervousness: all compounding to uncertain level, they fail to sort out the answer to the same question even they have got more time than required. Take a reading comprehension for example. They spend 4-5 minutes reading the passage and in the end, they conclude that the passage is too tough to solve, ultimately skipping it. They lose 6 minutes without scoring single marks. What needs to be done is that you need to be familiar with time-bound question-solving ability. Take online apti tests and it would much help you. There are so many sites out there. Just search ‘LnT placement paper’ and you will so many sites to help you out with. Don’t go for too many shortcuts unless you are going for CAT or any competitive exams. It wouldn’t be of much help if your prime objective is only to clear Apti round.

d. Group discussion: Students spend thousands to improve their speaking ability. I am just talking about ability here as there are so many students that aren’t even able to speak in front of a panel. There isn’t much that can be done except the practice. Try to have mock group discussions beforehand. One of the most important that you need to have to clear this round is CONFIDENCE. How are you going to get confidence? Having certain attributes apart from your league is going to give you confidence. You score the highest in your class, that helps you with your confidence. You have a great personality and everyone in the college knows you, that will help you with your confidence. You are very well in any sports, that will help you with your confidence. You are very good with Photoshop, that will help you with your confidence. You are dating someone for whom you craved for, that will help you with your confidence. You have a lot of money at your home, that will help you with your confidence. Basically, if you have something that others are craving for and you know the importance of certain stuff, then it makes you feel confident. In the end, gain some skill sets. It comes with putting hours in certain things. At this moment when the time is less, try to know the basic dos and don’ts of this round. Get aware of things going around. You should be familiar with burning topics. If you don’t know anything about the given topic, let the others initiate. Let others speak and then you will get to know what the given topic is about. Try to contribute. NEVER EVER BE SILENT. Try to speak up. Work on your posture. Everyone knows it but less work on this stuff. Sit on your chair in your room and try to imitate your eye coordination and things are you are going to do and avoid at that time. Reach out to the GD room a bit early on that day and get familiar with arrangements of the chair. Try to think that how things are going to change if you have not got the centre chair and instead you have got the terminal chair. How eye coordination and your way of addressing the whole panel is going to change with respect to the change in your position. Dos: Phone on silent; You pen should be in your shirt pocket. Don’ts: Never sit crossed leg. Still few will and you would be reciting the same stuff to your juniors.

e. Grooming: Let’s take the fact that it matters and let’s take another fact that engineers are very bad at it. Borrowing formal pants to shirts; from tie to file; from pen to shoes; from even socks to resume blueprint, engineers borrow out everything. In the end, let us be frank, we shouldn’t be proud of these things. Try to get everything sorted ahead. It has happened that candidates have forgotten to take their pen along while going to the interview round. Even when they got a pen from their friends, in rare instances, it was not working. So take things seriously.

4. Interview

If you are still reading this post, then congrats. Many would have just reacted to the post and then went on to read other stuff. Let’s move on further. This is the most important stage for sure. Going through interview round is like driving a vehicle. Whether you want to ride along the smooth trail or rough terrain, it depends on you. The first question that the concerned person is going to ask is about you and your background. Most of the students feel very confident about this question and finally, they sabotage the whole process by taking a pause in the middle allowing the interviewer to shift to technical questions most of the times. Why not prepare the same question in writing ahead of time? Just write the stuff that you are going to spill for the answer to this question on the day of the interview. Get that stuff printed. Edit it, rectify it, groom it, fix it and perfect it. It takes time my friend. Memorise it. You don’t need to spill everything like a robot or make the interviewer feel that you have mugged up. Get it a bit slow and get it natural. The next general thing is going to be asked is about Training. You would be having minimum 2 industrial pieces of training in 2 years. Emphasize on the one you feel confident about. Let’s virtualize a situation.

Me: There were 14 dumpers in the mine sir. The drill rigs were of Atlas Copco.
Interviewer: What was the capacity of the dumpers and what was the depth of the holes.

He asked me about the capacity of the dumpers only because I let him do that. He asked me about the depth of the holes only because I talked about drilling subject. Whatever you are going to speak may lead to another question. So speak wisely.

Interviewer: What is your favourite subject/ which subjects you had in your 5th semester

You shouldn’t take a pause in answering these questions. You should be prepared.

Interviewer: You are good at singing? / You are a poet?
Me: Yes, sir
Interviewer: Sing me a sing/ recite me a poem.

Keep in check what you are speaking of your intro part. You may need to meet those demands. Which song are you going to sing in case if you are asked to? Which poem are you going to recite? You must have all the things in your mind. There are many questions that you know it has been asked in the past and so. You know many things already. Where we lack is in preparing for those things. Let me tell you one of my HR interview experience.

Interviewer: Tell me about yourself Shashi.
Me: I spoke for less than a minute and he asked me another question
Interviewer: Tell me something about India- Russia relationship
Me: I spoke for another 20 seconds.
Interviewer Thank you.

It lasted hardly 90 seconds. I was a bit surprised in the last but I too thanked him for the opportunity and then came out.

Prepare your best and that is what I would suggest each and every one of you.
Make sure that you do believe that getting campus placement is not the most important thing in life. Be ready to brace yourself for any situation and circumstances. Study as much as you can. Work as much as you can,. You need to give time to your friends, committees, batch, juniors. You just can't skip everything and sit in your room preparing for the job. The balance between things. You may not be talented but you may excel in ridiculous, sickening, work-ethic. So keep hitting and keep punching.

Last advice: You should always know what you are going to do on the very next day of your interview, no matter you get selected or rejected.

Views and Reviews are warmly welcomed. All the best for everything. Feel free to ping in case of any help.

About the Author:
My name is Shashi Prakash and I graduated from NIT Raipur in Mining Discipline (Batch 2017). For more details, you may visit

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