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...

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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.

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Comments and Dialogues

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005


    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..


    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 .

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Caught in a trance

    We have a team at SP Jain that was christened by our seniors as GASP.(Guild of Actors at SP) .It is a group of people with a love for theater and this year we are are working towards bringing out our own production of a play sometime in Feb. The script, direction team and the cast got settled less than a week ago ..And we have been meeting every day for atleast 2 hours since then for practice. Its fun and serious work that goes on in these meetings.

    Feeling good today.Our play had three Acts and we rehearsed the First Act completely today.. We were (and are) yet to completely memorize the dialogues but this is what happpened . The twelve cast members kept saying their dialogues one after another and suddenly no one had anything to speak..I shouted more out of instinct "Guys...Act I Over". And the fifteen who were there clapped in relief,excitement.. whatever you call it.... again ,instinctly.Funny!There are times that are momentary landmarks in life and yet they seem so insignificant in life that you dont stop to acknowledge them. It almost happened today.But I am glad it dint pass away just like that. On my way back I was speaking to Rajeev and Sachin about it.And I am still thinking about it.It was a 25 page Act and we had been working on it since only the last week.

    Martin once showed me this quote in a mail sent by one of his friends.

    If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake - Aye, what then? -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    I dint find anything striking about the quote the day he showed it to me and would not stop gushing over Coleridge's skills

    Today I think for that one moment I had that flower in my hand...

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Caught in a trance

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Friday, January 14, 2005

The Title of course..

    Not many familiar with a band called Megadeth or having a decent knowledge of French would wonder about the rationale of the title of my blog. I would be disappointing the lot who venture this far for a raison d'etre for selecting "Tout Le Monde" and hence this post for the benefit of those who would perchance manage to set eyes on this title of a certain blogger number 10167023 .(Look up at the link that this browser shows....Yep I am in an exclusively elite club of only those many members .)

    Introduced to the music of Megadeth in Bangalore only a year ago by Anoop I could not listen to anything but Megadeth for quite a while and Tout Le Monde is something that simply brings me back to life.(And lest I forget thats the name of one of their songs before I launch into something that explains succintly everything but leaves you wondering if Tout le Monde is their preferred brand of undergarment..) .Tout le Monde defines one's existence of being ,it defies logics and it tells you to make a mark before you leave this world. The song emantes unadulterated,unmatched and unthinkable energy and I try living by that. Some other extraneous factors also contribute to the relevance of this song ,the account of which shall be dealt with on a later date .

    Oh yeah... this is important ..Someday I would rewrite the first paragraph of this song cos thats one part in the song that I will change in my life.And until I do that this shall remain my daily Psalm...


    So as you read this know my friends

    I'd love to stay with you all

    Please smile when you think of me

    My body's gone that's all

    A tout le monde (To all the World )

    A tout les amis (To all my friends)

    Je vous aime (I love you)

    Je dois partir (I have to leave)

    There are the last words I'll ever speak

    And they'll set me free ..

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