Thursday, December 8, 2005

Booksie

    I was never a much of a books guy. When I look back and think as to why I never read many books when I was a child it was simply because I hated sitting at one place. That’s why I was never good at Ludo, Carrom, Monopoly, Chess and reading books. We had enough of books at school; I mean really enough of them and with every year in school passing by, the pile on my study table used to get wider and heavier. So I did not read. I used to be on the streets playing Cricket whenever I was free. Or I used to do a Bradman knocking a tennis ball at the backyard of my home leaving stains on the wall which I am sure used to give more than just sleepless nights to our landlord. Those days the only books I read were Tinkle, Tintin, Super Commando Dhruv , Phantom and Mandrake.

    But I knew reading must be good in someway or the other. Infact as I grew up I found myself surrounded by more and more people rattling off reading as a hobby when asked about their favorite pastime. I joined college and one fine day I thought I should start preparing for CAT. So I joined Career Launcher and then I got to know reading books might just help. It did not come naturally to me so I had to push myself hard, really hard to start serious reading. I used to think people who mentioned reading as a hobby had to be sissies. It’s a beautiful world out there under the sun. Loads of people to meet, things to talk about and places to go to. Why would anyone trade off all these things and read and only read inside the four walls of a house?

    It used to darn painful for me to pick up a book and acknowledge that for a few hours I am going to give up so many things in my life. Most things in my life begin with Cricket, (most of my English essays in school did) so I thought I should begin reading books on Cricket and Cricketers. It would be less painful that way and the British Library in Trivandrum had a good collection. I told myself that the poison of reading I was about to unleash in my life would be slow and it would be easier for me to pick up this evil habit this way. I began with a few autobiographies. Allan Lamb’s took about a week. Jonathan Agnew’s less than that. Botham’s not more than 3 days. Sobers’ took 2 days. And then I picked up Sunny Days and then Idols and then Not Quite Cricket and then The Record Breaking Sunil Gavaskar and then Azhar by Harsha Bhogle and then Sachin by Gulu Ezekiel (he stars with Sachin in a recent MRF Ad). It was not so bad after all. The Cricket angle was helping it. I also congratulated myself in being smart enough to tide over this crucial decision in my life in a fairly elegant manner. And in between I came across Sir Neville Cardus. I still stop in between reading his essays and gasp for breath and resume reading. They are brilliant! Then I read a book called A Soldier’s Diary by Harinder Baweja, a first hand account of the Kargil war and that was something! We meet people who change our lives, we see movies that have an impact on the way we perceive things and we read books that change the equation of reading.
    A Soldier’s Diary did it for me.

    I started clinging onto fiction now. And since it was the CAT phase and you are not acknowledged well read in the management community unless you read it, I read the Fountainhead. I vividly remember sweating it out. It was terribly long. It took me a good four months to finish it. Never had I inflicted so much duress in finishing one book. Dominique Francon, Peter Keating , Guy something, Howard Roark and that verbose Ellsworth Toohey. One never meets people who can talk like Mr. Toohey in real life. It was fiction at its best in terms of language. But in terms of plot and the storyline it was only mediocre. The only fiction that I was really enjoying was Wodehouse and Conan Doyle’s. So I went back to autobiographies. Atleast, I thought I will get to know about something that truly existed. What fun in reading stories when you can watch them in movies? But the more and more I read about successful people I realized that all of them, I repeat all of them were voracious readers. All the impressive people I met were well read. And here I was still in college and still being such a whimsical reader. So I pushed myself harder to read more and it evolved into a love-hate relationship with reading. I loved it when I was not reading.

    Everyone knows being vegetarian is good and smoking is bad. Yet the world has millions of smokers and non vegetarians. To me, reading posed a similar dilemma. I knew it was good but I had problems adopting it. And then one day I went to Higginbothams on M.G. Road at Bangalore and I spent almost an hour with Sandy that day flipping pages. I suddenly felt like buying some of the books. Part of the stimulus was the fact that the store had a cricket magazine worth 585 bucks. I began visiting it more often. And I started picking pirated copies off the streets in Bangalore and then I visited Blossoms a super duper book store again in Bangalore. It got me the one book called Spin and Other Turns I was looking for ages. I made friends with the owner and thus reading began.

    I still am not a voracious reader but I guess I have come to the stage where I believe I am not missing out on much in the world when I am reading. I go to stores like Crosswords when I have not much to do nowadays and I almost wish Crosswords existed when I was a child. They have put up good sprawling stores all over the country and I think they are really doing our nation a favor by atleast getting some of the children and teenagers today off the internet, the video games, the saas bahu stuff and the absolutely crappy movies that Bollywood is dishing out. No Entry , Bunty Aur Babli ,Dhoom , Veer Zaara and Waqt were only box-office hits .Period.

    If you think of it seriously as we are getting more and more advanced our means of entertainment are getting more and more gibberish. It’s a pity that a movie like No Entry grossed 40 Crores in India alone. If you look at the pie of a 16-25 year old’s spend on books in real terms today and five years back it would not be a surprise that the spend was higher 5 years back. I recently interviewed atleast 50 people in that age group from the cities of Chennai and Mumbai. 3 of them said reading was a top hobby. When I was in my college almost everyone said reading was a top hobby. It could be a small-town big-city comparison funda too yet I don’t think that is a statistic to be proud of. I think it was Francis Bacon who once said that reading maketh a complete man. I think the author was right. That credit should not go to Raymond Suitings.

    I would not change many things in my life. It’s spanned out pretty well till now but if I were asked to go back in time and change one thing about myself, I think I would ask for a better appetite for reading. I think it’s beautiful. I would have also wished for more and more Crosswords. Nothing like reading a crisp new bestseller off the shelf for FREE! :)

Post Title

Booksie


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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Lately

    Just happy that Brian Lara has got in right against Australia after 9 innings Down Under. Undoubtedly the best batsman of our generation, miles ahead of most contemporary batsman and a shade better than Sachin.

    And wasting a lot of time at :

Post Title

Lately


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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

No, we dont allow

    “We don’t allow this”, the assistant to the principal said.
    “Oh Okie... Can I speak to her?” I asked.
    “But she won’t allow. We don’t allow this”
    “That’s fine. All I need is just to get to speak to the principal”
    “I will ask her but as I told you we don’t allow this”. And she went into the Principal’s cabin.

    This lady was getting on my nerves.

    It was the all too familiar tone of negation and disapproval. I was outside the door of the principal of one of the more prominent schools in the city. And I needed permission to interview 3-4 students from this school as a part of my project. I had already conducted about 80 odd interviews by now. Consumers in the age group of 14-40 years were my target respondents and I had also interviewed 12 students from 3 different schools in the city of Chennai .With this school, I would have finished my quota of school interviews in Chennai.

    The assistant went in with my college ID and my bonafide certificate and I saw her speaking to the principal from outside. She came out after a minute or two and said “You can go in”.
    Okie, I said to myself. Here’s my chance to do it in style and rebut that assistant. Come on baby, let’s roll on, let me get my familiar pitch in place, get the approval of the principal ,get the students, make them laugh and smile at my questions and lets be done with these interviews in no time.
    Sometimes I am too optimistic.
    Surprisingly it always pays off. Well… almost.

    “Yes, please come in”
    “Thank you Ma’m. My name is Issac and I am from the …”
    I generally take about 50-60 seconds to get the entire story in place; this was no different and I pause after that.
    Pause.
    “I see but we never allow this”.

    Now this was different. I had been to 3 schools already and no principal gave me this. Not even an All-Girls school’s principal. This was a goddamn co-ed. I made an alteration to my pitch.
    “This is for an academic project Ma’m and I have already been to other schools and...”
    “We don’t allow such things. I am sorry”
    Such things?!?
    Her tone suggested that she was taking me to be a 22 year old assassin with a pen and a writing pad in hand.
    “Yeah, we don’t allow any interviews with students”
    “Ma’m, I would not take more than 15-20 minutes and I need only 3 students”
    “We don’t allow. I am sorry”

    I don’t know where exactly I picked up the habit but I love having fun while the situation is serious at times and this seemed to be a good setting.

    “Well Ma’m, can you give me one good reason why you don’t allow such things?”

    I loved that look that she gave me next. Priceless.
    More so because I am sure she was not expecting a question like that. And now that I was rejected anyway, I was having my share of fun.
    She gave me just what I expected as a reply, “No, we do not allow our students. That’s it. Other schools may do that, we don’t”

    I really needed a reason though as to why I would not be allowed to interview the students. At times like these I wish the Right to Information Act be applicable to private institutions also.
    It was not a surprise that I would not be allowed to interview the students. I too understand. They have their own right to reject but I was getting irked by that “we-don’t-allow” drone.
    I came out, took a bus to another school and got my 4 interviews of school students completed. No harm done.

    What happened though is, I think the symptom of a larger malaise (and unlike in other cities probably the only one) in Chennai.
    We don’t allow.
    We don’t allow to kiss .We will arrest you for vulgarity.
    We don’t allow dancing in pubs. We are closing down the pubs.
    We don’t allow screening plays like Vagina Monologues. We will burn the theater.
    We don’t allow people to talk sex and virginity. We will take Khushboo to court.
    We don’t allow newspaper editorials that hurt us .We will take N. Ram under custody.

    Liberalism is a way of living not a fad. And it hurts far fewer people than the devils allow one to imagine. Forget the 21st century modern India talk and think about it.
    Would you rather get summoned by a court for talking about virginity in a free nation that practices freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental right or would you rather remain silent and not talk about things that you think might be true. So if kissing, dancing, screening plays is not allowed let’s know why they are not allowed. And let’s also know why they can be allowed. Let’s talk about things and respect people who talk. Differ, Contest, Argue but respect people who talk and don’t slam a PIL for God’s sake because when you do you stifle the next voice who wants to talk.

    We have always been a shy nation like our cricket team until Mr. Ganguly came out on the Lords Balcony in the summer of 2001 and took off his shirt. I think that day he also took off that shyness from every modern Indian cricketer. But everyday life is not like cricket and as a nation we need to talk more, we need to get ourselves heard, we need to shout. I love the fact that more and more news channels are sprouting up for these are mediums through which we can be heard and I love every time a sting operation is conducted. Someone is telling us that things are not right and the more we know things are not right we get a chance to correct them.

    My friend Anish once came up with a gem in one of our everyday conversations. He said “I think there’s something screwed up with our value system; sex is a taboo for us and yet every single day we as a nation produce more humans than anyone else in the world”.
    With things like these we confuse the world what we stand for. Thankfully we are still a fairly young nation and I think we really need to allow ourselves to talk to get rid of such contradictions.

Post Title

No, we dont allow


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Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Few Good Jobs

    The following post coming three weeks into my project could get you a lil worried about my state of mind in my incumbent company. To soothe the fears of my well-wishers let me at the very outset say that the following post bears no resemblance to any real life situation I am facing now. Any inference to such resemblance hence is purely coincidental.

    I have tended to believe that for a job to be well done or for a relationship to prosper there is a spark that needs to be present. A job could pay you the best in the country but if that spark is absent it’s just another job. It could very well have been the filling of the petrol tanks of ongoing vehicles at a gas station at the same level of wages.

    You could be out with Salma Hayek on a moonlit night but if her speech and manner makes you yawn you could very well have been out with a hag on the same moonlit night.

    Not all of us are lucky enough to get a job with that spark and it’s not too unnatural for us to crib about it. Employee turnover (or attrition for the need to stay in vogue with the latest HR nomenclatures) is a reality every organization faces. And this is because of this spark that some people do not derive from their jobs. They get bored, fed up, disappointed, irritated and look for greener pastures elsewhere.

    But if one does have that spark factor in his/her job it is unlikely that he/she will ever leave that job. Nothing else could explain M.F.Hussain still painting his canvasses, Dev Anand still directing movies and R.K. Laxman still drawing caricatures. Or Brian Johnston holding his mike for 48 years, or Sean Connery still acting or Madonna still singing.
    Why even, Mr. Buffet still investing, Mr. Gates still thinking and Ms Paris Hilton still laundering. Okie, pardon the last one.

    I have also tended to believe that whatever life offers you, there is atleast one soul who’s got a better deal and atleast one soul who’s got a worse deal than you in this world. So if you think you have got one helluva boring job, I thought it would be nice to know what could be the most boring jobs in India and presented below is my list in no particular order.

    The Coast Guard: It’s in everyone’s best interests that he does not come into action. He spends his time gazing on the beach and watching hordes of travelers come and go by. Usually he has an umbrella to himself and every once in a while a kid waves him a Hi. I once observed him at one of the beaches in Trivandrum; he dint have a thing to do for the three hours we spent there.

    The guy distributing pamphlets on the roads: This chap is handed a bunch of catalogues or pamphlets early morning by his employer for a day and he keeps handing it over to people walking by. Most people don’t even look him in the eye, worse - some do and take a copy and throw it on the road without a peek.

    Mechanics who fill tires: I bet it should be interesting should he overfill any of those tires with loud consequences but these chaps are too efficient for that. It’s amazing how he never ever makes that mistake; another of those unnoticed operations that run at greater than Six Sigma. (Why dont we study them as a case study but will sure take notice should Prince Harry come and extol their capabilities is something I shall take up at a later date.)

    Guy stamping envelopes with the P.O Seal at the Post Office: Seriously, one after the other, how can you keep doing that an entire day and for an entire week and then week after week!!!

    The table cleaner in a restaurant: A dirty towel, his customary weapon along with a plastic or aluminum tray. Wipes in different styles, leftovers of different shape and sizes but that’s all his job description allows him to accomplish.

    The doorkeeper at corporate offices: His job is to open the door every time someone comes or threatens to come his way. Since the door is a modern marvel he doesn’t have to push it back. The door automatically shuts in poetic motion and our man starts waiting for the next man to come his way.

    The ticket checker at Multiplexes: This is an offspring of the increased spending of the modern Indian Consumer on watching movies in Multiplexes. With so many screens around no one ever knows which the right screen is .So we have an assistant in uniform whose job is to utter any of the following sentences over and over again."Go straight Sir, first screen on left”, “The Screen on your right Ma’m, once you reach the end of the alley” or “It’s the one on the left, besides the popcorn stall over there.”

    The Driver: His skill in dealing with all the other vehicles on the road is matchless. But once he leaves his Saab in the morning at the office , he has to spend and entire day waiting for his boss to come out of the office. Worse still, Murphy’s Law tends to wreak havoc with him at times. His boss often comes out or summons for him at the only moment when he decides to go out for fag.

    The HT ‘Let there be Light’ teaser campaign: This was in March in Delhi when I saw a chap on the bridge near the Sarai Kale Khan Bus standing blindfolded on a footpath holding a placard that read “ Let there be Light” . This was in the morning at around 9 a.m. on my way to the office.

    On my way back at 5:30 p.m., I saw the guy rooted to the spot.

    Thank God, you have got a great job and now get back to work! : )

Post Title

A Few Good Jobs


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Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Home again!

    Am kicked about this break after a breakneck last four months . :)
    And am feeling bad about leaving SP again for even 3 days!

    And rrreeaallyyyy looking forward to watching the Second One Dayer of RoW Vs Australia with my ol' opening partner Jubin at home.

    And Sis is not going to be home...
    And Dad isnt the greatest cook in the world. : )

Post Title

Home again!


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Saturday, September 24, 2005

A First!

    Interviewed Subroto Bagchi in Room #223 , Hotel Leela ,Mumbai

    My first big interview , caught on camera.
    Lasted 10 minutes.

    The kick of having done it still lingers. :))

Post Title

A First!


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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Gosh ! The World!

    The world.. the world ...Ever thought about it?
    It's so truly Goddamn funny!

    Things that start and stop on their own, things you cant help and things you cant decide...

    Funny, plain funny!

Post Title

Gosh ! The World!


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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

On Cricket- I

    Starting with this post, a new series of my views on the game of cricket, on some players, on some of the issues the game's facing and the never ending controversies. This is something I used to regularly do in college but got cut off for a while . Back on air now. : )

    On Gilchrist:

    Gilly has a style of his own. He would'nt kill you but just hit you.And for some of us that's a pleasure. Cuts,sweeps,pulls,straight drives and more cuts,sweeps,pulls and straight drives. Before you would even acknowledge his presence on crease, he would be on 20 odd and by the time you have a plan he's crossed 50. And by the time you figure the plan's not working he's making the common man on the ground outside the stadium find the red cherry he's just dispatched over square leg. A tremendous asset to any side with a lightning batspeed and an even faster walk to the crease and back when it comes to that.

    He is acknowledged as one of the top batsmen today but contrary to what some seem to believe I dont subscribe to the view that he's the best around. Contemporary cricket does have atleast 4 batsmen who would rank ahead of Gilly in my book. I am a huge fan of his batting style but not his batting. For he can still be more menacing than he currently is.

    He is mercilessly destructive for a bowler's morale and I said it elsewhere that where Gilly fails to make it to the top league in my book is because the bowler is always in with a chance with him unlike a Lara or a Sachin or a Dravid or Vaughan who once in for some time would make you toil for their wicket.

    The recent Ashes Series was the first one where he failed throughout. And this was a quality attack he was up against. It would be interesting to see how Gilchrist deals with this failure at an age when many others think about quitting the game. Importantly , it would be interesting to know how the Aussie Selectors intend to deal with him, with Brad Haddin waiting to take off should the flight of Gilly be cut short by the selectors. This is pretty much a deja vu for me for not so long back I prayed that Healy make runs so that Gilly would'nt come and take his place. I dont think it is that stage yet when anyone needs to pray for Gilly but yes for the first time in his career Gilly will have to give 'hitting the ball' a thought , something he is not used to and something he should'nt do.

    Gilly's batting has been, for the millions of his viewers, all about unadulterated joy, uncomplicated hitting and uncensored flamboyance. And I hope I dont have to start offering my prayers for him anytime soon. Over the years he has cracked some stunning centuries and here's my pick of the lot:

    The one in Mumbai ,against India in the 2003 season shud stand out cos of the sheer devilry of heaving Bhajji over and over again against the spin on a dusty track.

    The one in Hobart, against Pakistan because it came against a top class attack and because he was batting in the fourth innings and contributed to one of the highestrun chases in history

    The one in Durban ,against SA for effortlessness.(fastest double in tests). I remembering him heaving one off Boje over midwicket, a wild sweep and then he stood up to push the ball suggestively in the air so that it could hit one of the billboards that could have earned him some rands.

    Easily the most destructive in World Cricket, destructive to a bowler's pride, to a team's morale and injurious to the very health of a bowling team supporter

Post Title

On Cricket- I


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Friday, September 9, 2005

The Comeback of the First Ones

    Everything in SP is coming right back at me.

    It started off with AKB, then Freshers, then Teacher's Day celebs, then the Football Match, GASP and everything else. This isnt much of an exception, it is a way of the world.

    In Evam's Indrajit, the recurring theme is that of how the world goes round and round and round and how people fit in patterns in their lives and go on to live happy with it. Some of them want to jump out of the pattern and form a pattern on their own but often it never works out. One tries jumping out of the pattern but its far too encompassing and comforting. Its tempting to stay in the pattern and dangerous to move out.And so life moves on , round and round and round

    When you draw a circle there is a starting point and it meets that very point to complete it.Thereafter if you try using the compass to go all over it again ,it is'nt half as interesting as it was to draw and go through all the points the first time. For there's something about the first time...
    The first rain of a season, the first century, the first kiss... everything about the first time is well... special! So when it comes all over again does it feel as special?

    Probably yes is one view.
    After all how can you explain people like me who still love it when it rains in Mumbai irrespective of the many first times, how can you explain Sachin (not until recently) still being as pumped whenever he scored a century and how can you explain Emraan Hashmi's kissing spree (pun intended) ?

    Nope, the first time is the best one and diminishing utility thereafter is another view. How else can you expain breakups in marriages, how can you explain people sending their parents to an old-age home after a certain point of time and how can you explain Paes and Bhupathi parting ways after having won 4 grand slams. If for them, the subsequent ones would have been as special as their first one, they should'nt have split.

    So which side am I on? Actually both of 'em...

    The smell of my first salary's crackling notes that emerged out of the ATM when I put that rectangular card in the machine for the first time was unbeatable.No other subsequent withdrawal had that jazz to it.
    The first four that I hit in every innings of mine on the ground in whatever level of cricket I play gives me that punch that the subsequent ones can probably match but not surpass.
    The first pair of branded shoes I bought are still kept at home, they dont qualify by definition to be called a "a pair of shoes" yet they always stay near my bunch of CD's and Books.

    If now I am asked what is that one thing that I would do over and over again and yet get the same spark, I dont have an answer. Infact I would'nt know until I go over it again and again.
    But I assume there are some people with whom I can spend a lifetime and want to spend another,
    I assume talking about cricket would be another vocation that I would want to be in over and over again.

    Hence should'nt the ultimate purpose of our existence be to direct all our energies towards these assumptions that each of us has? If we are'nt, its probably because the pattern is indeed far too encompassing and comforting. Its tempting to stay in the pattern and dangerous to move out.And so life moves on , round and round and round.

Post Title

The Comeback of the First Ones


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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Untitled

    Introspection about people and things around me.
    Whats changed and whats not?

    One of those days when I am just happy to be alone.. : )

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Untitled


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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Placed

    We hit it big today!

    Kaushal, if I write about you I could take a long time and I am sleepy. Should suffice to say that you are the best negotiator that India has right now.

    Marketing Placom : I wrote you a mail.

    The Batch : Thanks guys!

    Abha: So you did admit that I am the best Company Co-ordinator. ; )

    Cadburys: Here I come...

Post Title

Placed


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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Moments

    "Life boils down to a few moments and this is one of 'em"

    Bud Fox in the the movie Wall Street

    And today, there were four of 'em in one of the most amazing days of my life...

    16th August ,2005

    #1 : Megha and me at the Vivekananda Square at around 11 a.m. .. a tear or two on my suit and a tear or two on her shirt. Two sighs of relief.. and two chocolates down the drain

    #2 : "Amitesh , HLL spot" . That was a kick!

    #3 : Aparna,Aparna,Aparna... I think I got one of my best lines in with her today..

    "So now whenever I look at you, I have a reason to celebrate... "
    Seriously , I am kinda proud of my creation.. I should use this line more often ... : )


    #4 : The Walk for Marlboro Lights.

Post Title

Moments


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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Epitaph

    It could be :
    Issac,
    Ex-Placom,SPJIMR.. :D

    I am on a reaaaaallll high today!

    I think about it and talk about it too but I think for the record:

    I love my batch...

    Moi reeeallllly on a moon tonight!

Post Title

Epitaph


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Thursday, August 4, 2005

Etched-III



    The Depth...

    The Expanse...

    The Expanse...

    The BigVishnu...

    The "BigVishnu"...

Post Title

Etched-III


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Monday, August 1, 2005

Etched - II

    Simply put : Stuck. Cornered. Grounded. Stranded. Can’t do a thing.

    There was consensus though that man has been known to survive without food and water for 30 hours and with that in mind most of us retired to our beds. Those interested joined watching one of the two movies running on the first and third floor. Taking Lives and Sarkar they were I think. (In hindsight there seems to be brand fit between the situation then and the name Taking Lives)

    I can bet my head on the fact that no one would have even imagined to grab a morsel that night. With waters neck deep high surrounding us who could even think of venturing outside?
    Good Night Everyone!

    12:30 a.m. 27th July,2005,301-A,SP Jain BH:
    Knock Knock.
    "We have Chapattis on First Floor. Go down and eat something."
    "Seriously?"
    "Yeah…"

    12:32 a.m. 27th July,2005,First Floor SP Jain BH :
    One table surrounded by 80 odd guys.
    3 guys distributing something.
    2 cellphones for candles.
    160 odd folded hands.
    1 Chapatti in each pair of hands, stuffed with rice.
    The Mood: Sombre and Silent.
    Need for Food: Right up there!
    The Image: Etched Forever!

    Sameer ,Vishnu and Sriram .. we can never thank you evermore.
    We love you for putting us ahead of yourselves.

    10:30 a.m. 27th July,2005,SP Jain BH.

    A drizzle outside. The rains seemed to have stopped.
    Water:Waist high.Manageable.Finally a trip to the mess again.
    “ Dean and 6 other profs stuck at the insti still…”
    “So what?”

    Some things never change.

    8:30 p.m. 27th July,2005,SP Jain Mess.

    Our choice of music for the first time in the mess. Sounds splendid.
    Ankur playing requests.
    Dance for the first time in the mess. Feels splendid
    The Mood: Festive, We survived. Partha lives on to tell the story.
    Need for companionship: Right up there!

    An unbelievable ride , an unbelievable batch in an unbelievable city.

    P.S. - Mumbai- Rains,ONGC,Flights,Rumours and More Rains- you still dont crib and you get on with your work. I was on FM for 4 hours on the afternoon of 27th July and now I know why people say this city is special.

    Quote of the day on 27th July,2005: On an FM Channel : A couple stranded in the car for 38 hours before making it to their home when asked to describe their ordeal had this to say:
    "Faith ,Hope and Love gets you everywhere..."

    Song for the moment: Who'll stop the Rain-CCR

    Excerpt: Long as I remember The rain been coming down.
    Clouds of myst'ry pouring Confusion on the ground.
    Good men through the ages, Trying to find the sun;
    And I wonder, Still I wonder,
    Who'll stop the rain.

Post Title

Etched - II


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Etched- I

    P&P was a funny subject for us in First Year.
    No one worth his salt needs to apply those vague principles one learns in P&P for application in his/her corporate life. If anyone really does need to apply the principles and theories laid in those 3 text books and 11 handouts we went through for the subect in his/her professional stint, it would , IMHO ,be due to an acute scarcity of horse sense.

    However , an oft used and abused theory from the subject is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Triangle. It is man's intention to move towards the peak of that triangle , so we are told. Or that the human self tries to eclipse the previous four blocks of needs to reach the "Need for Self Actualization "level. The whole thing does make some sense.

    It made tremendous sense for us on the night of 26th July,2005 at the Boys Hostel at SPJIMR. India's heaviest rainfall in the shortest possible time flung us up and down that blocked triangle I just described. We were hurled around those five levels of the triangle , dealt with by nature like maggots and for once we thought we would be lucky to survive the rain!

    It began like any other rainy afternoon.
    And I was with RB catching up after a long time.
    The lights went off in some time .. just like any other rainy afternoon.
    In the course of our conversation we happened to see the tubelights kept on the GW Rooms floor floating effortlessly on the water that had gushed in. Well.. at this point of time we told each other maybe.. just maybe this isnt like any other rainy afternoon.

    So we went around the campus and heard that the CRM presentations had been cancelled. We saw water in our domes till knee height and we went to the Bistro to splash water with Ronaldesque kicks .And on last count me and Morpheus were tied at 1-1.
    At around 4 :30 p.m. while me and RB were at the entrance of our college wondering how to get back to the hostel , we were confronted with this sight of one of our classmates with slippers in hand striving to get some attention from this guy. While our man was in the Jeetendra mould- of all charm and poise the lady reflected all that I really cannot put in words now.

    Nevertheless ,we started walking towards the hostel at around 5:30 and it wasnt as much of a walk as much of a float-and-wade that we employed. The ploy proved successful and once we were in the hostel we also ventured into the lawn with chest deep water in there for a fairly competitive game of Water Polo. We also mixed some volleyball and rugby rules and our Social Need for companionship was being met with some unexpected speed and success.

    And then someone popped a question: What next?

    Err.... cant go out , cant call anyone, cant be on the LAN, cant see the TV, cant heat the water for a bath, cant connect the lappies, damn cant even see anyone in this darkness in the hostel!

    What next really?

    "How about something to eat? "
    "Who's got the stuff? "
    "Jayaram's not here either?"
    "Damn.. What /how/when /where do we EAT??? "
    "Sleep man.. just forget about it. Things will be better tumro."
    "Excuse me I was on FM .This rains not stopping in the next 48 hours! "
    "Partha .. actually if this is true.. you will be the first in line to get butchered.. so do something"

Post Title

Etched- I


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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Of Missed Dates

    Background : A very dear friend of mine recently could'nt digest a change in our academic schedule. The schedule had to be changed in view of the autumns placements coming up and the idea was to squeeze everything so that students have more time at hand to prepare for their interviews. There were 4 of us who were involved in bringing about the change and advancing a few exams so that we could finish everything well before companies start hitting the campus.

    Of course, in doing so the four of us made a simple assumption , the assumption being : Students are unlikely to prefer going to an interview ( one that can potentially could define the shape of their careers) just a day or two after having written their 4th Trimester exams.

    The Storyline : This dear friend of mine , who is one of the most soft spoken, nicest and innocent of all my friends was supposed to meet her boyfriend in a couple of days time and everything was well planned out. This gentleman had his leave approved from the top brass of his company after a fair bit of negotiations and this lady had planned everything from studies to friends so as to accomodate some time for themselves. Everything was in place for exams and dates.

    The Twist : The schedule was staring at the four of us and was begging to be changed.
    To give you an idea - The India divisions of two multi-billion dollar MNC's were slotted on the same day that the exams were supposed to end. So when faced with a difficult choice of asking the companies to come later or changing the academic schedule we chose the latter.
    Everything was in place for placements.

    The Climax : When plans go haywire especially the ones made you have with your special ones , you are likely to go slightly ballistic. And since I was in close proximity to this friend the first throttle was unleashed at me.
    Perfectly understandable.

    I did all I could to comfort her. Evidently , it wasn't working then.There was a five minute slight altercation after which both of us got back together .

    Some movies leave a lot to open for interpretation by the audience so here's my take on the entire script.

    #1: People seldom accept that they cant have the best of everything. They want the best of deals on roads, with people, with grades and with dates. I dont have a problem that they do.
    I have a problem when they cant and and have to blame someone/something for it .

    #2: Expect,expect ,expect and you have had it! The degree of unrest in one's life is proportionate to what one expects out of it. We attribute some of our failures to chicanery,unfairness in public life and misfortune. My question is why shudn't there be any of these. In life there are no rules for good . Things are meant to be unpredictable and it is better if they are unpredictable . Imagine knowing everything about tumro and a year down the line and planning accordingly.Would be such a mundane thing to know whats coming next.
    The element of chance that has made so many lives is what makes many look forward to life everyday.

    #3: How much is enough? Its been proved beyond doubt that there is a concept of Diminishing Utility in all that we use and consume. If I take "Time spent with Loved Ones" as a utility realistically speaking .. how much is enough really?

    I cant take the argument that its unlimited cos at some point one HAS to get bored of the other.
    And sometimes people say to this that "You don't know about it.Its different in our case " .
    The fact of the matter is that they cant accept the fact that they are no different.

    Having invested so much of time,money and energy in a relationship how can anyone acknowledge that its led to boredom? : D

Post Title

Of Missed Dates


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Monday, July 11, 2005

I am alive!

    And my blog works.

    Schedule . Its a burden when one has to stick to it. And the Marketing Schedule has been a stinker in the last couple of weeks. And it continues for people who have taken Fin Minor. They have a Mid Term tumro.

    Thanks Shweta, for talking.

    Will be back soon with a topic to write. : ))

Post Title

I am alive!


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Monday, July 4, 2005

Damn... I knew it would be difficult

    Sis’ marriage.

    Dad, you are an absolute gem.

    A New Chapter begins for us.

    God Willing, I should be back in institute tomorrow by this time.

    P.S. : Kerala-the state- You are beautiful but you s**k.
    You love it when things don’t move. You thrive on holidays and you are at your best when you have nothing to do.
    In my five years of education here , I have seen more hartals, strikes and lockouts than in my other 13 years of educational and professional life elsewhere in India (read U.P.,Rajasthan,Assam,Karnataka and Maharshtra) . I don’t quite get it when for every issue that you want to bring to public notice you have to resort to stoppage of work.

    I wonder how they do it in other states in India. On second thoughts I think I know how they do it in other states without disrupting normal public life.

Post Title

Damn... I knew it would be difficult


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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

To a Halt

    Life has been blinding fast in Second Year.

    Come to think of it life has been blinding fast ever since I was born.
    Shillong,Gauhati,Jaipur,Hapur,Ghaziabad,Najibabad,Ghaziabad,Punalur,Trivandrum,Bangalore and now Mumbai have been cities of habitat for atleast one year. As a result we were always shuttling places,homes and schools. Though I used to hate the relocation then , when I come to think of it now I think it was damn exciting and if I were to go it all over again, I would.

    And somehow Second Year was a rewind in time if you replace those places with Dome3,Dome 1, NCR1, GW Room,Faculty Block B,Chandan and Bistro. Its been a lil more exciting and refreshing than first year.But its still been a grind.

    And finally when I wake up tomorrow ,I wont have to think of any of these cos I am going home. Sis' marriage is gonna be a good break . A break from ambitions, perceptions and illusions of my own ...and others'.

    Break in more ways than one. Growing up with someone and then letting go is not easy. And for someone like me who would'nt even let go of his CD's ,Books and Cassettes to anyone its gonna be a lesson in abstinence.

    And its gonna be fun to get back home cos the last time I went ,it was for less than 60 hours!

Post Title

To a Halt


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Friday, June 24, 2005

Spurrrss does it!

    And I love it!

    After 6 days of waking up in the morning at 8:30 and realizing that it was too late to watch the Game N (where 1<=N <7) of the NBA finals I was finally up in time for Game 7 today . What it did mean though was that I had to relinquish the Consumer Behavior class at 9 in favor of the game. It was'nt a difficult choice to make. A spot survey revealed that most of the guys were yet to wake up thanks to the absolutely gorgeous weather Mumbai has been blessed with in the last few days that keeps snugging you back to your bed.

    It also brought back days of college to my mind when it was never too regular to miss class for a good game of NBA or Cricket.

    Game 7 for Spurs , unexpectedly rather. They should have closed it in Game 6 having ridden on another of Horry's clutch rippers in Game 5 . The game was rather sober in terms of excitement.Pistons were never in it at any point of time baring maybe a phase in the third quarter.And Duncan made sure he did everything right from assists to rebounds to jump shots.

    Just felt great to start a day with an NBA final after a long time! : D

Post Title

Spurrrss does it!


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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

To Bro' ...

    Cant recollect who called whom Bro first but it stuck on. And its been like that since quite some time now. The first time I saw him last June ,I found him to be very intense and focussed. Looking down on the ground whenever he walked, with a hunch ,a bag laden on his back sporting a ponytail, his hairlocks became a butt for all the ragging the seniors could unleash on him. He was too grown for some of the things they threw at him yet he walked through it all. Big steps and a cigarette would add to his mysterious demeanour.

    Is he serious ? Is he studious? He must paint well, he had an exhibition in Bangalore na? Or is he a wannabe rocker who formed his own rock band that could not stand the test of time? He attracted people. You wanted to go near him but you dint know how he would react.

    I was talking about Gallows Pole one day while coming back after one of those long ragging nights. And he overheard me and he started singing the song. Thus began a conversation that has not ended ever since. Another of those conversations ended 5 mins back on the phone yet you keep replaying what you spoke or what you heard ...in your mind.

    Bro is like that. You can't let go of him. He would stand in a corner and you would walk up to him. It was good to be in his company.He cracked jokes out of nowhere, he narrated tales like he lived through them, he made you laugh on you. You wanted to be with him and be seen as " I was with him...". He had an aura unmatched by anyone. He stood tall , physically and figuratively.

    He lived his life kingsize. Criticism couldn't scathe him , ridicule would'nt touch him and diktats never existed in his life. Often I have looked upto him and asked myself "When would I ever be like him? " . And I bet my head on this that there have been many who have asked themselves the same question. Stylishly fearless and boisterously upbeat about life,was he.

    Bro had a close set of friends and he lived for them.I was one among those. And together we went through a lot in the first 3 months.Then things happened. Things that were and were not within our control.And those things that were within our control also started drifting away from us. It was evident.

    We kept watching from the stands. Bro , meanwhile , found a new meaning for himself. He tried with all his might to stem the tide. He couldn't .He tried harder. He still couldn't. Nothing was wrong with what was happening.

    Life sometimes simply disowns you. If you chase it , it runs away.

    It could have fuckin' happened to me , to Rajeev , to Anurag, to Farhan, to Anish. It dint.
    It happened to Bro...And today Bro is at crossroads. I shudder to think what goes over his mind when he travels in that train from Andheri to Borivali , sometimes 3 times a day. Bro still laughs , makes us laugh on us and criticism I hope won't scathe him and ridicule I know does'nt touch him. Today ,Bro is fighting the battle of his life and his friends are cheering him from the stands.

    Bro , you have been one man all of us have looked up to for a smile , a hug , a pat on the shoulder, a "Go Suchi Go..." .
    You've given us reasons to look at life and say " Yes, I love you Life.." ,you have given us times we will carry to our heavens and say with pride " Yes, I was with RB", you have taught us to take shit and say " Yes, I will fight it out" . You are going through this phase cos God wills it. You are the only one in this world who can take this and walk out of it with your head held high. Irrespective of what you decide today , it is a new beginning for you and it holds promises, that only you can fulfil.And all of us are with you all the way...

    For us you are the world , Bro .And we love you!
    It began that night ,last June and nothing has changed since then, nothing will!

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To Bro' ...


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Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Quick Recap

    "Ready to go another night?" , I asked Aranyak , the master craftsman of SPJIMR
    " I am ready to go till tumro night" pat came the reply.

    This, after a 3 hour stint with an elusive Goddess called Sleep . And in it together were 5 of us at the Boys Hostel.Add to it another 143 of my batchmates in different hostels staying awake in the vicinity of the Bhavan's campus and you know have an assignment that was screwing you left ,right and center.

    And it's such a relief now that it got over. I had mentioned in my previous post that the Media Project was gonna take a lot of time. So much so that I knew that it wud be impossible for me to post and now that its over, here I am.

    The last four days have been boisterously loud and belligerent. And I am so so happy to be a part of this batch that eggs each other on , that trusts each other and that laughs,weeps and celebrates together.

    Moreover not many people get that chance to celebrate with 146 others.. (yes.. Nishant was sleeping) . Try it some day if you can. Its unconventional but its good for your health. : ))

Post Title

A Quick Recap


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Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Phew!

    Two things:

    1.Good things happening at too fast a pace .
    2.Really having to compromise on my sleep nowadays.

    Was a lil grumpy a couple of days back but learning to live with a lot of things-good and bad.

    Have already thought what my next post would be but would find hard to find time until next week.

Post Title

Phew!


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Monday, May 23, 2005

Phat Phish Records

    Its gotta have some intrinsic value ,a deeper connotation , a salvage value of some kind for them to have come out with a music production company named Phat Phish.

    Anyway the company has hit it big with Rabbi Shergills' debut album. The company which is promoted by a former Channel V programme director Anand Surarpur and is a classic case of a company making news without any effort of trying to push itself. 2 days ago I would have dismissed Phat Phish as a non-descript endeavor by a miscreant to imitate the sounds of the nocturnal or the underwater.Today I am trying to find what's the company doing with a name like that only to realize that the company does not have a website.
    .

    But what really got me to write today is the stunning english version of lyrics on that album of the song ' Tere Bin' sung by the man of the moment Rabbi Shergill.

    Producing an excerpt from the song:


    Besides you my love,
    I shant't find another.
    Beside you, no one else
    shall shade me in the sun.

    I found today a note of yours
    On which you had scribbled
    A Varis Shah couplet.

    Upon reading which a teardrop fell.
    What was locked in my eyes
    was revealed today.

    That other than you
    these tears of mine,
    wont be kissed by none else.

    That other than you,
    these tears of mine
    will wither in the dust.

    - Rabbi (2005)

Post Title

Phat Phish Records


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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Unrest Unjustified?

    Its one of those days when you pause and think if you are going where you wanted to go.Coming back to that favorite movie of mine in which Jack Nicholson playing Col. Nathan Jessop menacingly declares :
    "Son, we follow orders or people die.Its that simple. " leads me to think what will happen if I don't follow orders ,don't study and don't complete my assignments . Instead? And if I do all of that where do I land finally?Doing what?

    Friends around me are talking about company and sector preferences and so am I and compared to most here I have set my priorities (read electives,sectors,specialization et al) right just like everyone else would like to believe! So lets say another year down the line all of us join the company that we want to . And work 9-5 or 5-9 as the case may be and watch movies on weekends or party the hell out and come back to work on Monday. And along the way build a home, buy durables , get a life partner and live your life thinking you have made the most of it and have been successful at that.

    I can picture myself doing all of the above and it scares me.

    To live my life in anonymity like millions others who save,invest,dine out,sleep,have kids and rot in their living mired by the trappings of a society that encourages survival instincts more than pursuit of excellence is not what I would ever be proud of in my grave.

    So what do I do or what does anyone else who is not excited by all of this do ?

    I thought of it and the answer unsurprisingly is zip. There must be many who would have thought of this before and been in a similar jam as to what would they should have done. As this is post is already replete with conjectures here's another one. My bet is there would have been two reactions from different sets of people.

    One group would have laughed it off. They would have told themselves it is an output of the devil's workshop and that they would be of course happy with their lives post placements.They would be getting a plum post, plummer salaries, travel oppurtunities, plush accomodation and all of that would easily offset anything else that they sacrifice and that all of this would be an excellent ROI on their education thus far.

    And what would the other group do?
    Slip into oblivion?
    Can't hazard a guess on this one because most of the people you get to speak to with belong to the first group .

    You should not have free days in B-Schools. Am reminded of a song that was penned by the timeless Dire Straits in 1979 and all I needed to do was to substitute 'girl' in that song with 'life' to sum up what's going on over my mind right now...

    "Where do you think you're going
    Don't you know it's dark outside
    Where do you think you're going
    Don't you care about my pride
    Where do you think you're going
    I think you don't know
    You got no way of knowing
    You got no place to go
    I understand your changes
    How long before you reach the door
    I know where you think you're going
    I know what you came here for
    And now I'm sick of joking
    You know I like you to be free
    Where do you think you're going
    I think you'd better go with me, life "

    If you ain't with me, life, you're gonna be without me!

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Unrest Unjustified?


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Monday, May 16, 2005

Damn!

    Finops was 5 runs close of pushing us into the finals and they could'nt.A truly wonderful end to the last of the league matches. The finals would be between Finops and IM.

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Damn!


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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Hands Full

    Aakraman,Placom-2,Admap Report , Dada and the Marketing Project. I literally have my hands full.And as always only one among the above 5 listed are academic . ; ))

    Having a whale of a time in the second year.DoCC was good but was missing the hecticskedasticity of SPJIMR and while others here think I am mad to say this but given a choice betweek 6 weeks at DoCC again and SPJIMR I would choose my institute any day of the week and twice over on a Sunday.

    Just played IM in the second round robin game and couldnt pull off a win.We have played 4 games thus far with 2 wins and 2 losses. Fair result. We have beaten both the teams on the basis of simple good old classy cricket.Finops play IM tomorrow .If they win we move into the finals and there is the hitch. I know for a fact that Finops is much more wary of us as a team than IM and even in the match that we lost by 8 runs they were more relieved than happy to win the game. We had freaking caught them by the scruff of their neck and wrung them badly until the last three overs.So it could be touch and go tumro. We are a lil short of ability when compared to both the teams but we more than make up for it by just being there in the field.

    Cant wait to get back right there in the middle.I want one more shot at Finops and I want it this Thursday in the Finals!

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Hands Full


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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Evening Samosas

    It is one hell of a sexy evening in Delhi and since my DoCC report is nowhere remotely close to a point of completion I am at Cyril’s home listening to FM (the radio for Christ’s sake and not my favorite subject : D ) and thinking about what should go in the report.

    I had experienced it before and it still holds true. If it rains on an evening in Delhi and you happen to be in the city you should thank your lucky stars cos it’s the best life can offer you on earth. It’s got a very earthy feel but it makes you believe heaven must be similar. And since typing a sad report wasn’t exactly my way of spending an evening like this I ventured out for a walk.

    The drizzle, the breeze and the wet road! Truly truly romantic. Kinda wished someone were close and then shut it out. Couldn’t boil down that someone to one person ;)).

    So what better way to spend an evening like today’s than devouring a couple of Samosas? My destination became the nearest sweet store and while I was feasting on them with a 7-Up in hand, a teenaged guy walked into the store and bought ten eggs. And suddenly I was taken back to my days in Ghaziabad when I used to buy Samosas by the dozens on such evenings and the entire family would sit at the dining table and wipe the plates so clean that they required no Scotch Brite.Hero, my dog would add to the fun by running around the table and end up not having dinner for a couple of days after such a feast.

    Damn man... I was missing home! I have been in and out of home since the last 5 years and the last two years have been particularly bad in this regard. My calculation tells me in the last two years since May 2003 I would not have spent more than 30 days at home. Worse than an Army Officer maybe. The Samosas unexpectedly lost their punch and the 7-Up was no longer keeping me cool.

    And then another guy walked in. This time a working executive on his way back from office- it appeared from his formal dressing. And he ordered – “Bhaiyya ek Samosa pack kar dena”.

    “Life’s not bad”, I said to myself .And I smiled. The spicy punch in the Samosas was back.

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Evening Samosas


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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Silent Valley

    I grew up listening to stories of Kashmir at home. Words like Insurgency, militant occupation, the Hurriyat, Kargil, Nuclear tests, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif used to be buzzwords in conversations over coffee and dinner ever since I remember. They used to resonate in the drawing rooms of the houses I stayed in because Dad always took a keen interest in the happenings of that region .He used to be very vocal in discussions with his friends and relatives and for me Dad gradually became the symbol of the Great Indian Middle Class.

    The Great Indian Middle Class (GIMC for purposes of this post) is the group that rules in India yet suffers the most. This group can unsettle politicians and cricketers alike. They are simple people, pay taxes regularly and more importantly stay away from ‘jhamelas’. In essence they follow the simple “Live and Let Live” policy in letter and spirit. And probably that’s why every time Dad heard of a bomb blast at Anantnag or Srinagar he would be a little disturbed. And this class can only think, talk, hope and pray that things be peaceful. They are found in the “Letters to the Editor”, on television chat shows and in drawing room discussions in homes like yours truly. And lemme also add they are the people who can rattle Indira Gandhi at her peak and more than two decades down the line allow her daughter-in-law to rule our nation when every opinion poll in the country thought otherwise.

    Around 2000 Vikram Chandra (of NDTV) wrote a book called “The Srinagar Conspiracy” and we bought it. That made things easier for me to understand. The author had used a fictional plot to sketch Kashmir’s history and since then even I began to follow the saga called Kashmir in papers and news magazines. Soon I read my second book on Kashmir “A Soldier’s Diary”, an account of the Kargil War by Harinder Baweja, an India Today journalist and sooner than I realized I became the partner for Dad to discuss our country’s politicians tryst with Kashmir. I was glad at the promotion from a bystander to a participant in those discussions.

    And then I left home in 2003 and whenever I went back home for a week or so we never found an opportunity to talk Kashmir. Things were relatively peaceful in the last couple of years compared to the tumultuous years before. However I and Dad did watch the results of the historic elections in J&K together and that was the last we spoke on Kashmir I guess.

    And today a bus carrying 21 passengers from Srinagar and 29 passengers from Muzaffarabad set forth to Muzaffarabad and Srinagar respectively. The event was telecast live on all Indian news channels and since I had to work on my presentation I was at home fortunate enough to see the passengers from either side of the Loc across a Bridge painted in white at Salamabad. A truly momentous occasion cos for some for some of the passengers this was a trip after 57 years of separation. The two passengers from Pakistan who knelt and kissed the Indian soil symbolized the very fact that all this while this piece of land on the other side of the bridge had remained elusive for reasons unknown to themselves and their friends, relatives and acquaintances on either side of bone of contention called Line of Control.

    Separation must have hurt some of those passengers. And when they heard of this bus service they would have thought - “You never know when either India or Pakistan would condemn each other and would call this off. Let’s book a ticket anyway. I might catch a glimpse of some of my nephews who have grown up to be grandfathers since I saw them last or (did I?)”
    And so a handful of people on either side of the divide booked tickets and on our side we even had a hotel booked on the eve of the departure of bus for the tourists. And then some people for the cause of ‘freedom’ chose to bomb those very people whose cause they were purportedly furthering. Of course they thought in a minute would come the condemnation by India and the rebuttal by Pakistan and the engines of those two buses that were scheduled to leave the next morning at 11 from Srinagar and Muzaffarabad would remain cold forever.

    So the Great India Middle Class again thought and talked and asked.
    “Would the bus service go ahead?”
    And a gentleman voted recently as the best parliamentarian ordered his men.
    “Aye”
    And a general from the other end reverberated. And so did his Deputy in between the border.
    “Aye”
    And the passengers on either side of the border said
    “Aye”

    And finally they arrived. They met their long lost brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, uncles and aunties and wives (Okie that’s a metaphor!) and they celebrated.
    And the GIMC celebrated too by thinking, talking and writing to the editors.They don’t get enough reasons anyway to do all of that with a smile on their faces.

    The last I heard from my sister was that Dad was on phone talking about it and watching every news channel of every fathomable regional language.

Post Title

Silent Valley


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Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Summer of '98

    Preface: This post is dedicated to the storm that unleashed its fury while I and Gaurav were cycling on our way back after our evening net practice and the cell diagram that I and Jaydeep drew as a part of our Biology internal exam for our standard X Boards. It’s also dedicated to the ‘Versatile’ Vijay, the computer geek called Ajith and a lady who can play my mother, sister and girlfriend all through my life-Ritika. Ritika is studying hard for her CA exams and I would not be able to refer anything about her without exceeding permissible lengths of writing on a single post hence this post will be restricted to the first two names listed above.

    Prologue: All the proper nouns in the paragraph above are those of my friends during the summer of ’98. We had shifted to Ghaziabad in 1996 and I was admitted to the eighth standard in St. Mary’s School, the best school of that district. A district that was more popular for the exploits of its law breakers than anything else. This was the 3rd school that I was studying in that particular year and I decline to comment now the circumstances that led to me being the Rolling Stone for that year. It was in that very year of 1996 that I first spoke to each of these guys.

    April 2nd, 2005: Nine years down the line I found myself walking on the same streets with Jaydeep and Gaurav, sitting on the same cycles that we used to race with, eating Aloo Ki Tikki and sipping ‘Chuski’ at the same Chaat Center, still talking about Sachin’s batting and wondering how on earth Deepti Dutta turned mother at the age of 22.
    Deepti Dutta was then popularly referred to as “Metro”- a pun on her initials D.D. And the reasons for her popularity well…. I guess it should just suffice to say that she was my first crush in that school. Deepti’s marriage was something that I had laughed off when Gaurav told me in a mail about it but her becoming a Mom did catch me numb for a couple of minutes.
    This was a snippet of the weekend that just went by here in Delhi. Had been to Ghaziabad after four years and I realized that some things just don’t change in life and you feel good when they don’t. It was one of those days when you want to thank your Lord for giving you friends who seldom “keep in touch” but don’t let you drown in the crowd, friends who argue with venom and compete with disdain and yet at the end of the day share that all of them did have a soft corner for “Metro” in the same good old Chaat Center called “Husband and Wife”.

    Some things just don’t freakin’ change!

    Gaurav is still the sophisticated simpleton while Jaydeep is still the firebrand aggressor. And I still play the moderator in the debates on the streets. When I left Ghaziabad on a sunny morning in the summer of 1998 Jaydeep, Gaurav and Vijay were at the door of my house at 7 in the morning to see me off. Gaurav had bought me a copy of “The Art of Fast Bowling” by Dennis Lillee as a souvenir for the trips that both of us had undertaken to parts of U.P. like Guldher, Sanjay Nagar,Roorkee,Muzzafarnagar and numerous other obscure places for playing cricket matches. I remember seeing all three of them in tears that day and I was moist eyed myself. It scared me to think what if I never see them again. And today as I write this I can only thank my Lord for blessing me with their presence in my life cos even today I am a lil scared of never being able to see them again in the rush of this mad mad world.

    But for now I am only wondering how to convince them that my cricketing skills haven’t eroded in the last nine years. They seem to think otherwise after a couple of matches we played this last weekend on the same street that I used to rule as a champion.

    Why do some things have to change?

    Epilogue: Jack Nicholson in the movie “A Few Good Men”- “Wanna tell you something and listen up cos I really mean this .There is nothing sexier on this earth, believe me gentlemen, than a woman that you have to salute in the morning. Promote ‘em all, I say cos this is true. If you haven’t got a b*****b by a superior officer you are just letting the best in life pass you by. ”

    Issac M. John in the post “Summer of ’98”-
    “Wanna tell you something and listen up cos I know this. There is nothing more precious on this earth believe me ladies and gentlemen, than your friends you have grown up with. Never leave them, I say cos this is true. If you haven’t come back with your decade-long friends on the same streets you used to once cycle with your childhood sweetheart with a ‘Chuski’ in hand you are just letting the best in life pass you by. ”

Post Title

Summer of '98


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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Delhi Tides

    Finally I get to blog once again.

    Now an IBM R50 does not come with a FDD or a CDRW so what it implies is that unless I have a detachable USB memory device I would be left stranded to decide as to how the hell can I transfer a document from my dearest, cutest, sweetest, nicest lappie to another comp in the Cyber Café. And since I am staying at a friend’s place here in Delhi hogging all the way from dawn to dusk asking my hosts to pay the phone bill for my sojourns on the net is the something that does not appeal to my senses yet. But today I found a Cyber Café the owner of whose has configured my lappie to his LAN and here I am.

    Friends, Indians, Countrymen today I intend to speak about a very delicate topic. Its sensitivity cannot be exaggerated and its importance in the life of a fledgling MBA professional is paramount. It’s a topic very close to my heart and lemme at the very outset tell you all that I have attained a high degree of skill in this trade that I will touch upon very shortly.

    It is a skill that I shall try and map on a scale called the “Bated Breath” Index. And what brings me to speak on this is the experience of a lifetime. Well simply put what I am referring to here is the skill of waiting for someone or something to arrive. And to further simplify things the lower you are on the “Bated Breath” Index the more proficient you are in waiting .The waiting could be for a phone call that does not arrive even after a dozen messages or a date who is yet to show up but the movie has begun and the sherpa at the hall lets you know that “Agla show to do ghante baad hai Shaaphji”. It could be also be for the IAS official who has to sign his name on a paper and is not in office even after confirming his presence.
    .
    As you would have guessed by now few skills help you across IAS officials and Girlfriends alike and hence the significance to know how to score as low as possible on the “Bated Breath” Index. Scoring low on the Index lets you relax, tells you how to be not restless even if you have to wait from dawn to dusk. It just lets you go to the loo when you have to and not every now and then simply becos it is an activity that kills the waiting time.

    I recently had the distinction (dubious if you like) of having the “Shortest First Day at DoCC” in SPJIMR history. And that’s exactly when the genesis of this post took place. The waiting time that day was two hours and five minutes to be precise. I was there at the headquarters of an NGO called Prayas at 9:25 a.m. and was sitting rooted in a chair at the reception till 11:30 a.m. expecting a certain Ms. Anupama to grace the office.

    And this was again only one of the many occasions when I have displayed utmost skill in waiting with as less of a bated breath as possible. And at this moment of time I feel competent enough to pen a few tips to score as low as possible on the famed Bated Breath Index.
    1.) Carry a bag always: You can carry something to eat and read. Though eating might not always be acceptable yet some situations give you a room to yourself as was the case when I went to meet an IPS officer in Mumbai for a signature on a certain verification form. This was the longest I had to wait for anyone and I luckily had a few cakes and an Aquafina in my bag. I could not have left the room for a second lest the officer come, pick his tiffin box and leave.Oh yeah I had made a rapport with a peon and was told that “Saab tiffin box chhod ke gaye hain.Waapas aayenge”. Flimsy as it might sound now at that point of time such bits of information from reliable sources offer a new lease of life and hope
    2.) It might be prudent if you are stationed in a vocation that does require you to wait more than others (let’s assume you have an outsourcing firm that provides services like “Making getting signatures from Bureaucrats Easy”) to have a mobile service provider that allows you free outgoing SMS’s.
    3.) I would also recommend not carrying anything to drink cos no matter whatever the office be it will always have a good source of water. After all bureaucrats need to drink pure water and stay healthy more than others.
    4.) Read all instructions written everywhere on the walls. I have an interesting tale to narrate in this regard.
    Having got bored of waiting for too long in the room that I just mentioned above I decided to go to the loo. This was less of a time killing tactic and more of a necessity. There was another gentleman in a creamy Safari Suit at the wash basin where I began a customary routine of washing my hands and no sooner than I had picked up the soap that he shot a stern glance at me.
    “Sorry Sir, I dint know it was your soap”, I said.
    The gentleman continued his glare almost to suggest that I was the underground criminal who had murdered his daughter. And while I was wondering vulnerably looking at him as to what could allay his apprehension of some infected human having spoiled his unadulterated soap he finally spoke after what seemed an eternity.
    “Did you not read the instructions on the door” a gruff voice boomed.
    Now I have been to many loos before. And afaik restrooms/toilets/loos whatever you call them seldom had instructions on the door. They sure did have a figure resembling a bald man or a girl who had her hair in two knots. This restroom did not have these pictures but I was sure I had entered the one that said “He”. Further proof of the same was the presence of this man himself under the same roof as I. So what the heck was wrong?
    I spent the next two seconds mumbling something in the nature of “No Sir, I did not read anything.”
    “Its written in pure Marathi and you couldn’t even read that”. The venom in his voice was growing by the word.
    Damn. How was I supposed to know that the two sentences I did see indeed on the door of the restroom were instructions and not endorsement one liners in Marathi for 502 Pataaka Beedi?
    “This is meant only for employees here.” Oracle spoke again.
    I was just glad it was not the issue with the Soap and walked out sheepishly.
    5.) And probably the most relevant .Always let the other person know through a call that you are coming. Regardless of whether you still find him there or not it’s important to let him know if you can.

    Punctuality is something that I have learnt from my Dad. To the minute. And I can say with a fair bit of pride that I have inherited that trait of his to the T. But as Anurag has said in his blog just like the best of babes roam with the shittiest of guys, the most punctual of us stand outside the bureaucrats offices.

    Happy Waiting!

Post Title

Delhi Tides


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Thursday, March 17, 2005

In and Out!

    "Jeez ....Comprees are over and I am finally home" I said to myself on the doorstep of my home on 15th night.

    They say Heavens are hard to reach
    They say Heavens are nice to be in
    They say Heavens are meant for good people

    Well I say ... Heaven must be a home.

    Drat!!!!
    Chuck the poet in you Issac .Its not even there for that matter.

    48 hours later : A very short and sweet stint at home.Too short maybe.
    Out of SP Jain and still on the move.
    Off to Delhi tumro for a DoCC Project .
    Woooohoooooooo!!!!

Post Title

In and Out!


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Monday, March 7, 2005

Heavy Heavy Fuel

    1st March, 6:40 p.m. -Started FM Preparation for End Term
    2nd March, 4:40 a.m-Done with FM.Off to sleep. Unprepared as ever.
    2nd March,8:00 a.m.- Alarm rings.Preparation for FM End Term Second Phase.
    2nd March, 10:25 a.m.-At the exam venue. Cool as ever
    2nd March,12:40 p.m. - Exam over. Shitty as ever.
    Phew ...that ended 4 tortuous days of exams coming in the midst of an onslaught of assignments and group works.And the first thing that comes to my mind after the exam is my bed.That beautiful furniture that stays littered with - as I see now a water bottle,a Prasanna Chandra piled over 4 past issues of Cricinfo, a couple of blank CD's (strictly not for what way Naina thinks boys use blank CD's for),a laptop bag, a pair of jeans and a cell and a laptop charger. Time to run to the hostel,order a plate of Schzewan Noodles and sleep like there's no tomorrow.
    2nd March, 1:20 p.m-In my hostel room all set to fulfil my ruminations
    2nd March,1:40 p.m. "Lets go out for lunch to Arfa", asked Aditya
    "Umm.. Errr.. okie lets go"
    2nd March,3:20 p.m. Back after a heavy lunch .All set for a siesta."Lemme check my mails before I sleep"
    2nd March,4:10 p.m. - "Dude, we got to see the Aviator.Its a sexy movie",said Nikhil
    2nd March, 5:45 p.m. - Watching "The Aviator"
    3 rd March,12:10 a.m. -Back to the hostel.Vivek lurking near my room
    3rd March,3:25 a.m. -Still chatting with girls on Ip and doing a double team with Vivek to fool around on Ip.
    3th March, 11:00 a.m.- Planning for Farewell in Aranyak's room.
    3th March, 2:00 p.m. - Plan of Action prepared.
    3th March, 6:00 p.m.- Fresh after a sleep .
    3th March, 9:30 p.m.- Out for dinner.
    4th March, 12:05 a.m.-Beginning work on the farewell presentation with Sameer.
    4th March, 5:45 a.m. Still working on the presentation.Partners in Crime-Abhi,Anurag,Martin,Aranyak and Madhu
    4th March, 9:20 a.m.- Martin wakes me up.Partners unite again in ten mins for the presentation
    4th March,5:15 p.m-Still working on the presentation
    4th March,6:25 p.m. - Farewell Program begins in Bistro.Me doing a 100 meter sprint back to the insti after a quick shave and a round of deos.
    4th March,10:45 pm- Dinner with partners in crime.Best time of the day.No Kulfi in stock but mirth and laughter all around.
    5th March,12:20 a.m.-Bliss......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!
    5th March, 11:30 a.m. -Up from sleep. OM,FM and IB pending
    5th March,1:45 pm.- Ironing T-Shirt for the Knoplfler Concert
    5th March,9:20 p.m.- God sings "Romeo and Juliet"
    5th March,10:45 p.m.-Lady in the white top and denim skirt exchanges a glance for eternity( read approx 4.7 seconds)
    6th March,01:40 a.m. -Begin work on FM assignment.
    6th March,03:45 a.m.- Sleep ...Finally!
    6th March, 9:30 a.m.- Submit FM and begin work on OM assignment.
    6th March ,3:00 p.m.-Submit OM assignment and off for lunch
    6th March,5:40 p.m.- "No,Sir House Full for 6 p.m.Next show at 9"- Guard at the Prithvi theater.
    6th March, 9:00 p.m-Seated in Prithvi
    6th March, 10:20 p.m.- Jameel Khan acting like no body's business
    6th March ,11:45 p.m.-Begin IB assignment
    7th March ,3:20 a.m. - Submit IB assignment.

    Insane is one word , hectic is another but paranoid come closest to describing the events in the last 4 days. Its been one heck of a rollercoaster ride in the last 9 months and as the dying moments of PGP-1 fade out day by day I am reminded of an array of grades , great friends , staging a play, making presentations,dancing with orphaned children,group works and somewhere along the way also fighting for Harsha's spot...it had everything.
    This post is only a reflection of a what we at PGP-1 have gone through the whole of the last month and its been a pleasure to be riding that wave.

    6 more exams and all 148 of us would have survived and as I think of the first four days that we spent here I cannot help but think ....
    "This too shall pass" : )

Post Title

Heavy Heavy Fuel


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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Something on my mind

    I dont react much.. I dont express much .. I never let the other person know what I am thinking.. And I succeed day in and day out..
    But I just saw the semi finals of "Harsha Ki Khoj " on ESPN about 5 mins back.. and I am not angry .
    I am not sad.
    And I am not frustrated.
    I was only doing my IB assignment .
    And I am just......
    "Aaaaaarrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhh......."!!!!!!!!!!

    Happy Days will be back again!!!

Post Title

Something on my mind


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Friday, February 18, 2005

The Whole Nine Yards

    17th February,2005 1:35 a.m.
    "One last time lets rummage through that stage for Arun's cell ..."
    I said . The very stage around which we had just spent two of the most beautiful hours in last 7 months at SPJain. We went beneath the stage , eyes were trying hard to stay open but yes they were wide open. "Check for the cell on the stage too" said Alok. We did. The cell was not to be found.
    What this searching exercise did though was make Vivek sit on the edge of that beautiful rectangular 25X20 feet block for one last time this year. "What must he be thinking ? " I asked myself. And I heard a whistle from behind. Pretending not to notice I turned my neck in a quick detour. The whistle continued for a while and then I heard a voice that was similar to Shweta's ."Ah there she is .." "Jaaoo... its too late " . We knew it was .But something just pulled us back. Something was special about that stage .It made you feel stay back,not leave that place and not get up.I sat for a moment too.
    The End.
    Time to go back.And in your eyes picture whatever happened in the last 34 days.I hate the word 'Commitment' . I'd rather go by 'Desire'. A desire to excel and a Team to die for. Thats all I see looking back. I dont see grades ,I dont see cheating and I dont see cribbing.
    I see Rajeev sending out mails to his Mob to gargle everyday and asking them to not let him down in front of the other 24 Gaspians.
    I see KP responding with a voice that he himself can barely hear because its gone hoarse but yes we in the room can and so can our batchmates in the Group Work room and Girls Hostel.
    I see KSP rushing after a workshop ending at 8 straight to the venue for practice and not getting out in between until we are all out at 1 a.m. the next morning.
    I see Anish being dot at 8 p.m. everyday at the venue knowing that he could be the first to arrive and will have to wait for another 30 minutes before anything takes off.Oh yeah he was also the first to unleash the spirit of unadulterated passion of Gasp with his maddening first dialogue.
    I see Ankush missing his lunch and nodding in a manner that would put a compass to shame. 360 degrees is no more the extent of convolution.His 'Nod' suggests there could be yet evidence that humans continue to challenge well established norms in Mathematics.
    And I see Hari coming for practices extending for as long as five hours to speak 3 sentences because the Mob would not be complete without him .
    I see Farhan and I see brilliance in method and madness. I see him worried not for himself but for me cos I could forget my next dialogue in the raucous and the play could come tumbling down.
    I see Nikhil practice in the Audi,in the class and even when the dress rehearsal is on in the GASP room. I see him improvise to perfection and I bet he would still be wondering about ways to say that dialogue once again.
    I see Natasha not going home on Wednesdays and sitting in a corner all alone remembering her dialogue.
    I see Gitanjali cutting her calls midway . I see Gitanjali coming to practice on the day her aunt passed away and not make a mention about it to anyone.Just that some of us saw her sobbing midway through the practice.
    I see Indu trying to get the best out of every character. I see her arguing for more practice hours and see her googling in class for that perfect design on the poster.
    I see Anindita doing everything she has been asked to effortlessly and not cribbing about being asked to show different emotions on the same scene.
    I see Megha waking up at 6 a.m. for being a volunteer for Placements and after doing a helter-skelter all throughout the day still coming at 8 p.m.for the practice sessions. I see her spread her infectious laughter all over the place and wreak havoc with her restlessness.
    I see Alok giving up Basketball for 34 consecutive days and seeing his mobile balance dwindle by 200 bucks in a week.
    I see Rekha scouting for that pen that I specifically ask for and the writing pad that Ramnik demands. I see her in the Bistro, in Dome I and back in GASP room in less than 30 seconds.
    I see Parinaz bringing the prayer caps from a store called 'God Knows Where' and making the stage a place I wish Heaven could emulate.
    I see Sachin frantic and going crazy because people were asking for extensions .I see him coming into my room at 3:30 a.m. and temme that we are running behind schedule and I see him sleep in every class that he attends cos his mails go out at 4:26 in the morning.
    I see Aranyak,the freak just get what we wanted him to get.Crazy Sounds Beware. A simulation of someone tuning a radio on ???? Gimme a break! Oh the directors dint like it so you can change it? You can do it? What ?? You can do that too??
    I see Sujith just come there and be a part of it . I see him make his own space.I see him in Lights, arranging chairs , getting e-mail id's.
    I see Surabhi bring us a hoard of costumes and make up neatly piled and claiming. "Take your pick.. if you dont like it we have something else and if not this then that and that..."
    I see Eashwari pepping us up and playing the caretaker for everyone.I see her to invoke a smile on my face and temme that "Yes GASP is fun!!!"
    I see Anurag and ... need I say more..
    I see Soundarya count every rupee, ask for every bill and sit for two hours in a cross legged position with a torch for three days in a row .I see her lose her cell too and yet make no fuss about it and go back to the hostel with a smile on her face.
    I see Arun take prints one after the other. Rush out of the GASP room and come back in. And then rush out again.I see Arun telling me.. "We are the best man!! ".
    I see Naina throwing water on her face after shes spend over an hour burning the edges of chart paper . I see her sweat and burn so that the cast is riding over a successful wave of publicity when it comes on stage.
    I see Suchi write,write and write .Beautifully as ever . I see her telling me "No ..Issac I know I have nothing to do now but I just want to see you all practice".
    I see Shweta bring us a Cake out of the blue . I see her smile when everything has just gone right and I see her smile even more when everything has just gone wrong and I see her make everyone feel special.

    And I see again Vivek sit on that rectangular block of 25X20 feet and say to myself "What must he be thinking ? "

    And I see myself hugging everyone and jumping like a madman after the play.
    Its some fun being on the moon Huh? : )

Post Title

The Whole Nine Yards


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Saturday, February 5, 2005

Hiatus

    Blame it on GASP,ADMAP Brochure, ABK, P&P ,OM, ,BP, ,SI, FM, and SD in that order. Have thought about what my next post should be though.Chances are it will veerrroooommmm around Narain Karthikeyan.

    With the free space that this blog provides me on the WWW I can finally give vent to my ruminations on the world of Sport and at this point of time not entirely rule out the possibility of my writing in "The Wisden" or " Sports Illustrated" some day. Not only has globalisation as every teacher here keeps blabbering about changed the face of India, given rise to more trade , led India on the pathway to a new world..blah..blah ..blah.. ,it has also widened my horizon of ambition that until some time back used to extend only till seeing my name in print in "Cricket Samrat" and "Khel Ki Duniya"..Oh dont be surprised not for nothing do they say Cricket is a crazy game.The accusation shall continue till we have a few like yours truly around.

    Lately I have also been observing people around my seat in class do all sorts of crazy things to the schedule that is sent by the ‘Her Highness’ to the batch. Some colors going into the unoccupied empty boxes in Excel, some tags to almost every box in Excel, some macros also being embedded. So much so that I had trouble figuring whether some schedules around me were being sent personally by ‘Her Highness’. We get our schedule in Excel format and one that I saw resembled a Word doc. A friend beside me ,I thought was hypnotized by the schedule .I caught him staring at the schedule on the monitor for more than any accepted levels of normality. Things that people get driven by... An excel sheet??? That comes every week!!!

    Have a test on BP the day after and when my priority list did come and stall at BP today,I did a sneak peek on those chapters that lie ahead and came across a gem in one of the chapters.

    "Strategic Fit among many activities is fundamental not only to competitive advantage but also to the sustainabilty of that advantage."

    Profound..

    Thankfully only profound!



Post Title

Hiatus


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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Coincidential Nods

    One of my favourite quotes that I have seen on a T-Shirt:

    "24 hours in a day;24 beers in a case ...Coincidence? "

    I take the liberty to reframe it thus :

    "Standard Deviation is abbrievated as S.D.; So is Suranjan Das ... Coincidence?"

    I say not and unlike the original quotation mind you the answer to my framed quotation is not so obvious.For no matter whatever the topic be ,it is a given that whatever our famed academician-cum-teacher has to offer is unrelentingly deviating from a standard that I am as of now clearly yet to match

    I shall restrict the scope of this post to the proceedings in the classes that I attend here and try as I might I cannot elminate some of the events that take place in Quant classes.I shall also dwell on some other subjects in general but there's nothing like starting with your favourite punching bag.

    Umm..lemme see some of my reminiscences from the classes I have attended in Quant.

    Ah..Observing the peculiar length of Chandu's nose in a presentation that was used to teach us Hypothesis Testing (I believe..). Chandu was one of the four cartoon characters in the presentation and I could not help observing his contorted and funny nose while my 74 esteemed friends fought , strived and played psychoanalysts to a fair degree of perfection.Some of the pearls of wisdom were:

    "Sir, Chandoo could be getting this fish for his son but another for his daughter"

    "Sir, I think Chandoo's daughter goes to the gym and hence health conscious"

    "Sir, Chandoo is probably telling a lie to his son and hiding something from his daughter".

    My memory is not great but some things are hard to forget.

    Yet after all of this I speak with a 100% confidence level for all my friends that none of my psychoanalyst champs had a clue as to how all of this was related to Hypothesis Testing.I empathise with them.Its no fun when you try hard and yet not get anywhere.And now when I look back at it I got so much a better deal in observing my favourite cartoons nose. In a Quant class that was the only thing that got me thiking.This is why I do not attribute the SD abbrievation of Standard Deviation and Suranjan Das to coincidence.The deviation of his views ,thoughts and comments to mine are standard and frightening.

    One of my friend's views on SD's mode of teaching are startling.For a man of his composure this is what he has to say :

    "My dear friend.. I have never studied Maths like this before.It is all 'Bool Sheet' "

    Another one had a more philosophical outlook:

    "No one knows what he teaches.All of us follow him like blind men." Playing the psychoanalyst was so evidently getting to his nerves.

    So how do you deal with a class that is deviating from you with a vengeance?

    I suggest using the "Nod Theory".

    Nod to the left and nod to the right.Nod when bored and nod when fried.(Grrr...I am not a poet.This is closest rhyme I could come up with)

    With personal experience I vouch with all my might the usefulness of the theory in classes like OM and P&P.Now like every term that I have learnt in MBA there are classifications here too.

    There is the "Intellectual Nod" when all you need to do is keep nodding within a space of 15 seconds.The utility is incomparable and maximum when the teacher is looking right in your eyes.

    Then we have the "Oh Now I understand Nod.." Dont mind the timing .It is imperative that the nod is accompanied by a face expression that should read " Realization has dawned NOW. I understand NOW.All my doubts are cleared NOW".In my seventeen years of eduaction I have not seen a more masterful exponent of this art than our very own Abhijeet Deshmukh.I feel his nod is genuine all the time.But if you can replicate it you have an explosive device in your arsenal to stave off those teachers.

    Then there is the "Mixture of All Other nods" .This is the simplest of them all.Nod and Nod as if your life depends on it.Sideways movement of the head is a critical feature.This one comes with a drawback that if you overuse it you could be in for a rough time.I once got into trouble with this one in SD's class

    But take my word this is an all-season all-teacher tested tool.And the best for my money in a P&P class.



    There are some things I really like about our batch. Its bonded well over the last 7 months and each of us here is special and it shines through on occassions.Today was one such occassion.The Sports Day and the particular reference is to the Tug-of-War competition. Nothing on earth can match being a part of the gang that is pulling its power to force another gang to come over its side.The will to do so at the fag end of the day with all your might is something that all of us can be proud of while we cling glasses in ten minutes from now.

    Anish.. time to go...



Post Title

Coincidential Nods


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Friday, January 21, 2005

Comments and Dialogues

    "Blog it and join me for a cup of tea" said he.The first was an option I had just reconsidered and the second an invitation he knew I always declined.Morpheus (Anurag S. for Non-SPJainites) had just finshed his blogging for the nite and was going for his customary sojourn of 15 mins downstairs at the nite canteen.If SPSS were to be fed with Morpheus's time spent at the canteen every nite in relation to a time series data for each of the six months we have been here I am sure the obfuscated software would screw up the study with loads of checked boxes,tables and within them numbers that would seem to throw prophetic conclusions but in effect come up with a ridiculously simple observation that in mathematical terms is referred to as "negative correlation".

    Clearly.. SPSS is yet to impress me.

    Picture this:

    Our Quant teacher:So I have three Centroid values 903,972,988.Comments?(Am quoting verbatim.He teaches us with our "comments")

    Poor student in the third row (striving hard to figure out what a centroid is ,where did these figures come from and not sure whether about the topic of discussion): Sir I think the difference between the first two numbers is much more than the difference between the last two.So...there are chances that the third number is at a far lesser distance from the second than the first is from the second.. So...

    Our Quant teacher: Brilliant!! ..So now you know what a centroid is!!!

    Poor student alongside the Poor student in the third row : Clearly ..SPSS is yet to impress me.

    I can strive hard too but only beyond the obvious "comments" .I try to listen too but only to things that make sense.Quant classes with this Quant teacher never do.

    But experience has played a huge role in shaping my frame of mind when I am in the college nowadays and such daily occurences evoke at best a smile on my face representing an innate ability to not fall laughin and rolling on the floor even after a blindingly stupid comment.This brings to my mind another one

    Communications Teacher: So what did you learn?

    Student with a rich comment in the first row:That we need to analyse a problem first and only then come up with a solution.

    Communications Teacher:Anything else you wud add?

    Student with a rich comment in the first row:Modest shrug

    Communications Teacher:She is right..blah blah..blah..

    So when you can recall such instances so easily at 3 am in the morning it really says a lot about the "low spread of variability "(by the way this is my biggest takeaway from Quant after 6 months - to use mathematical terms when most unsuitable) of such abundant superlative intellectual "comments" in a business school.

    But GASP is a little different.Its precious and relevant to some 25 of us here and when we get together in the evenings its a boisterous rendezvous. Now picture this:

    Today's rehearsal

    Character 1: Blah blah..

    Charater 2: Blah blah..

    Character 3:

    Character 3 had forgotten his dialogue. Forgive him.

    General Comments: "Character 3 is still learning ..better than yesterday".Once again come on now everybody..

    Character 4: Blah blah..

    Character 2: Blah blah..

    Character 3:

    Character 3 in a business cycle that repeated in less than 2 minutes.

    General Comments: "Its ok ... Take your time. We will handle .. "

    Next Scene please

    Character 3 :Messes up again

    General Comments: None.. Only sighs..



    Aaarrrggghh.. Not for nothing had I relinquished my newspaper in favour of the script of the play in the most peaceful place of them all in SPJain Campus in the morning today.Not for nothing had I asked my dear roomies to play Characters 1 and 2 and 4 at 1 am last nite.Not for nothing had I feverishly made notes on the script while everyone else at 2 am was busy studying for Quant last nite.

    When I had nothing to do this Diwali back home with nothing on my mind I realized that nothingness is what Man aims at the end of it all.

    But nothingness when its your turn to speak a dialogue in a serious script with 11 other characters is a little precarious and a little uninspiring for the other 11.

    Character 3 ,I understand now wants to make amends and get back to script reading.





Post Title

Comments and Dialogues


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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Sowmya...

    hey.. :)

    as always a pleasant and sweet surprise to see your name highlighted in my inbox. i was not at work all of last week. hence the late reply. good to see you work hard and still manage some fun :)

    hmn.. now to the issue why i wasn't at work last week.. i was in my native.. udipi. my dad passed away on the 30th of dec.. couldn't tell you when you called on the 1st jan. didn't want to spoil your new year. dad was actually recovering quite well after the operation. on the 30th morning at 2.00am he had cardiac arrest twice. didn't make it after that.. well.. nothing to be said or done now..

    i am sure i have upset you now.. wanted to call and let you know.. but you are quite busy in the day and i am very sleepy after 9 in the night..

    am doing fine for now.. busy with work and stuff. things are cool. going on..

    do reply.



    lotsa luv and hugs..

    sowmya




    This was the mail I received today from Sowmya ,a very good friend of mine. And try as much as I can I cannot help but think of the conversation I had with her on 1st Jan this year ,her 21st birthday. Over the years with effortless ease ( and with a natural flair to forget important dates) I have mastered the skill of forgetting the birthdays of all my friends.

    And Sowmya's was no exception.

    All my friends knowing this unenviable trait of mine send me a message at the fag end of their birthday asking me to call them.It is an arrangement I have with all my close friends and I believe the deal has lasted the test of time with each of my friends exercising that option unfailingly once every year

    Sowmya was no exception.

    I called her and we spoke like two friends seperated by time and distance.The conversation incidentally was no exception either.

    As I look back now on the way you conducted yourself in those 15 mins I bow my head in respect and awe of your poise and the grace with which you have dealt with the vagaries of destiny.

    All of us crib so incessantly about the some of the most important things in the life of a student here at a B-School that me knowing a person like you makes me feel a little better than the lot here who

    a. clamour for grades and crib to death for revaluations

    b. feel so uncomfortable in an auditorium when the AC is not on or not put off

    c. fight tooth and nail for removing subjectivity from evaluations from a neatly designed programme cos they thought it did tremendous harm to our placement avenues .(And of course that could easily translate into you getting a 7.4 lacs p.a instead of 7.42 lac p.a. package!!!). So immersed and religious are we in the daily bickering on such issues of relevance that we do not bother pausing to look at what we are doing to ourselves.



    I will someday want each of my batchmates to read this . Living in this marsh I have had the opportunity to realize and learn something through you that most of us choose to not.

    Sowmya Shankar ,you are an exceptional lady and I know my God considers me very close to His heart to have brought you into my life.

    This was not the first time you taught me something and I know this is the not the last.God will bless you in the days to come and I pray ,hope ,wish and believe that everything else in the coming days will lead you to take this setback in your stride and look forward to life with all earnestness .





Post Title

Sowmya...


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