Small Things

Sometimes, some small things pointed out by someone, may become a part of one’s life-style.

There have been two such incidents in my life in last few years. Small things, but they stick to me.

First one was while I was at IISc Bangalore doing my summer project under Prof. D. D. Sarma (called DD by everyone including his students). Karishma was also working there. Once while talking to us about our projects, he mentioned that he does not like people who do not write mails properly, as in those who write using short cuts to words (”u” for “you” etc.) or not using Capital letters properly (”i” instead of “I”). He said that he had outrightly rejected the applications of some students for summer internship because their mails were not written properly. Myself and Karishma could not help looking at each other and smiling. He noticed this too and somewhat surprisingly said, “Do you write the same way too…” I quickly said, “Only amongst friends”, which was true as well. I never wrote in that fashion to a professor, new person or for a formal purpose. But otherwise, rather rampantly used the practice. He laughed out and said, “You have been lucky then. I do not understand why people write like that. How much time does it take to write complete words? But when you don’t, it shows something in your attitude.”

There was nothing like sudden urge to change on my part, but this statement stayed with me, “How much time… shows something in your attitude.” And within a couple of months, I had actually changed the practice. Even in most informal situations I do not resort to the short-cuts of writing. In fact, now even while chatting, I mostly (though not always – since it does take more time in that context) use complete words and proper capitalization.

Another incident happened just before leaving IITK, when a professor pointed out the incidents of ringing of mobile phones in public places. At a restaurant, when somebody’s mobile rang, he suddenly said, “That’s vulgar. What is the harm in keeping it in ‘Silent’ mode.” I, myself, was never careful about that unless I was in a meeting or something like that. On the top of it, as if to embarrass me, my mobile rang after a while. Well, it was explained off since I was wearing salwar-kameez and did not have pocket. Also did not have a chain in my mobile; so had to keep it in my purse. And ‘Silent’ mode won’t work there. But again this statement remained with me, “That’s vulgar. What is…”. For last couple of days I am trying to follow it. I try to keep my mobile in ‘Silent’ mode whenever possible.

This entry was posted in Imported from Old Blog, Thoughts by Jaya. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

3 thoughts on “Small Things

  1. I totally agree with your prof’s view point. I had similar incident but instead of prof it was my boss during early days of my career. I use technology to make things easier. Check my blog entry here

    You can also use other tools like PhraseExpress, ActiveWords which will provide similar functionality (AHK is free, though)

  2. Surprisingly, i have been using my cell phone in silent mode except when at home because that is when i am not near my cell phone. My funda is that when I dont like others phone ringing at public places or offices so I too donot have the rights to disturb.

    Now I am very much surprised and proud that I am not being vulgar.

    Also, the use of short-forms while mailing or chatting has been curbed just by joining a start-up. No one taught me though, it just came to me naturally when i saw my peers and seniors using the correct form of grammar even while informal chats. I have never been addressed by my name starting with small letter, even a mis-spelt word is corrected. Although no one points for being informal while chatting, but it indeed is a great lesson.

    I am shocked that I did not learn all this while being at one of the biggest software companies of India. Start-ups teach the necessity of being professional with practise.

    I am not bragging here. I just want to thank you for teaching me the correct things that I have been doing unknowingly. Small but great lessons learnt.

    • I have still committed the mistake of using ‘i’ instead of I. Please accept my apologies. I am still to learn a lot!

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