Archive for June, 2006

First few Days at IIMK

Posted: June 22, 2006 in Gibberish Blabber

The Journey that began on the early morning of 18th June seems to have come close the end of its first chapter. So now its time to update my travelogue.

18th June: Uncomfortably enough, sleep seems to evade me. I can’t help but realize the fast pace at which life seems to be rolling. Living with my mom and dad has been a remarkably re-inventing experience. I once again began to realize the importance of being earnest. The elusive sleep finally relented its way at about 1:30 hours and I finally dozed off, only to be awaked by a shrill alarm at about 3:15 hours. The Journey Begins!

IGIA Pic 1

At Indira Gandhi International airport: Had the first glimpse of this international airport. It looked reasonably spic and span and was quite systematically managed, so as to be easy for anyone who cared to read the loudly written instructions on the boards. After all the formalities, finally boarded the Air India flight to Mumbai. This flight was coming from Hong Kong and terminated at Mumbai. Enjoyed the in-flight audio video entertainment, quite descent, but really nothing exceptional and definitely nothing ‘World Class’! The food though made up for all these deficiencies. It was by far the best of what I had have in any aircraft.

Mumbai Airport

Mumbai Airport 2

At Chatrapati Shivaji domestic Terminal: After an excruciating wait at the transfer lounge for the FREE transport from International Terminus to the domestic one, we finally boarded a Volvo which took very little time in dropping us at our next stop, the Domestic Terminus. This one seemed much more ‘westernized’ but the design seemed severely flawed as compared to the Delhi Airport. Though good looking and much more ‘Club Class’ in its looks, it had several bottlenecks which showed lack of careful planning before execution. The Lady who was at the check in counter of Jet Airways was a trainee and was hence very uneasy about sparing me the excess baggage penalty, something which did not require much insistence at the Air India counter before in Delhi.

Any way once I had done with the double whammy dose of 80% persuasion and 20% Negotiation, I finally managed to get my total luggage weighing in the order of 34 Kgs checked in, as opposed to the allowed 20 Kgs. Paying no extra charges!

Bandra Kurla complex Road

I still had about two hours with me and the fatigue had taken heavy toll, so I decided to go over to a friend’s place at Bandra Kurla complex in order to get refreshed. I enjoyed the view of the Western Metropolitan Bypass, the concrete roads, the soaring skyline and the vast stretch of Dharavi were blending into such a contrasting and yet synchronized image, that I couldn’t help wondering this as the equivalent of modern art made by the Almighty himself.

Made it back to the airport just in time. As I had already checked-in before I had left and it was only 15 minutes to departure time, I could hear my name being announced in the PA system already. Promptly went to the nearest Jet Airways executive and with  a little assistance from him was aboard the aircraft in less than five minutes of me having come out of the hired auto. Much to my pleasant surprise, I found that I have been upgraded to Business Class, for no obvious reason. But I was not complaining here!

Calicut Airport

At Calicut Airport: This looked more like a shady bus terminus in an old village in West Bengal where tickets are sold and bought; negotiations are made regarding the number of goats that would be allowed to board with its owner without any extra charge. For the first time in my life, I saw passengers de-boarding from an aircraft, both Business and Economy Class and then walking down about 100 meters with their cabin luggage in their hands at 14:00 hours when the temperature is about 36 degree Celsius and the humidity is about 75%! But the best was about to come. At the baggage collection area, there were about 300 odd passengers from four different airlines fighting to get a foothold to collect their baggage and most looked straight from the land of Osama with Black Hijabs and white prayer caps (as applicable) constituting the most prominent part of their attire. Somehow, with my liberal upbringing and right inclination, I felt very uncomfortable by their presence.

IIMK Kampus: This was definitely the most fascinating part of the whole journey. The campus looked nothing like what it seemed from the pictures. It was way grander and breathtaking in its appearance. Situated entirely on a hill top, surrounded by eye candy green flora and fauna it was definitely more resembling a resort or a hill station than an education institution, and last of all an IIM. In fact it reminded me of Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy, where successful IAS candidates are trained in the hill station of Mussourie. Though this was an unfair comparison cause the IIMK kampus certainly looked much more grandiloquent.

Day Zero at IIMK: This constituted mostly of the registration formalities and collecting the applicable study material. The rains came down heavily today, soaking with it the plans of the new batch for an outing on the beaches of Kerala during the Night and a Camp Fire to go with it. (Though later I learnt, that headstrong as they are, they actually managed to beat the weather out at the perseverance game and finally had a resoundingly successful outing that went on till 4:30 in the night …oops, Morning!)

First Day at IIMK: The repute of the props in the institute had preceeded them. The seniors had been actually magically helpful, as if they had known us for ages; but finally it was show time today! A long round of introductions and information sessions followed. It included the magical words by the Director, who by far seemed to be the oldest and the most jovial of the lot, “At other institutes the Race starts at the count of 1,2,3 & go; here at IIMK however you do not have 1,2 or 3; you straightaway have go!!

True enough we were gifted a nice case study and lots of group work even before classes had actually starated! Wanted to much more descriptive about the happenings of these past days, but as I told there is loads to be done, and its high time that I get to it.

(By the way, Just for the information, we have a Gala party today at 22:00 hours in the night canteen. This would include both the seniors and our batch… hence the urgency gets multiplied!)

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Been watching the world cup for the past couple of days, at least when I am not tired enough to doze off at the stroke of midnight. But have to admit; somehow I seem to have developed antibodies for Soccer Fever. The fever refuses to grip me, slipping by every now and then. None of the Big League teams, namely Brazil, England, Germany and Argentina seemed to be impressive enough.
In fact the tables seem to have turned  this year, it’s the not-so-great teams which are stealing the thunder  by putting up a valiant fight. A fight worth enough of a loud round of applause even from the opposite team followers. Somewhere it seems that the sports-stars have lost way into the blinding world of demigod cults. The sportsman in them has been cornered and it’s the other aspects which have taken priority. The best example in this case is the fight that Poland put up against the home ground team and the favorites
Germany.
Poland put up a fight which few could have believed was within their reach.Poland was never much of a match for the home ground favorites Germany, with its famous Blitzkrieg attacking strategy masterminded by none other than their Cup winning x-captain, Jurgen Klinsman. The repeated attacks however met stiff opposition from Polish side, with their goalkeeper Boruc making heroic saves to every occasional successful penetration of its defenders. This was in spite of the fact that at around 90th minute of play one of the polish defenders, Radoslaw Sobolewski got chucked out by a double
yellow card offence. The scores were nil-nil at the end of the allotted time of play and it was well into the extra time, with about one minute of play remaining that a German substitution paid dividends by pumping the ball into the nets in what seemed like a callous lack of defensive guarding by its defenders. Read more about it here. The hero of the day was definitely the Polish Goalkeeper, Boruc, who at the final whistle sat head in hands in his goal, before rousing himself to the applause of the seated crowd.
One could not help feel sorry for the Poles, as this defeat would mean them getting them eliminated from the further legs of the tournament. The Under Dogs had indeed given the Comfy pets a scare of their life!
Apart from that then, been busy getting prepared for my movement to IIM-Kozhikode this Sunday. It is going to be my first home for the next two years to come. So, Off to packing things really and in the bargain am ending up getting scolded almost every alternate minute by parents for being so disorderly 😛
 Packing Luggage, really, is a very Traumatic Experience :O Especially when you have a Weight constraint of 20 Kgs attached to it !!  😛  😀 Its really hurts to have to say ‘No’ to your favorite garbage so as to not end up paying extra luggage charges.
My next post will most certainly be from the Kampus of God’s Own IIM ! Hope to have an eventful and full of life two years at B-Skewl now that I finally get to have a taste of it 🙂

Good Luck Me !!

Harvard does a go against Laptop computers during Lectures

As I was reading some online B-School article, I came across this really disturbing pieces of news
"Professors worry that as wireless networks and laptops become ubiquitous, students will direct about as much attention to the front of the room as airline passengers do to a flight attendant reviewing safety information. To keep students focused on class, some professors now ban laptops from their classrooms, arguing that the devices are just too much of a temptation".
Disturbing news specially as I am about to begin my journey to B-School. This was all I was dreaming of, surfing away porn when the prop is speaking inscrutable crap, or downloading latest MP3z when the prop has given time for self discussions 😀
Professors worry that as wireless networks and laptops become ubiquitous, students will direct about as much attention to the front of the room as airline passengers do to a flight attendant reviewing safety information.:D i think this speaks volumes about the confidence level of the props, the amount of faith they have in their abilities and the subject they teach so as to pitch in for student attention.
"You'll say something, and you'll see these chuckles from a couple of people," says Norman A. Garrett, a professor at Eastern Illinois University's business school. And that leaves him wondering. "Is what I said funny, or are they not even in the same universe as I'm in because they're looking at the Internet?"
Darmouth and Harvard are actively considering a system in which the professor will have the option of switching off wireless internet during a class, at the click of a button. In fact, bluesocket the company which developed the wireless network and management system at Harvard Business School, has already implemented a system which can be used by instructors to limit or restrict wireless access during specific class times and individual areas. When a student tries to log in and finds the system denying access, the system would display a message, “You can't log in because you should be in class now, please try again when class ends.”
This was very very comical :D, though I could almost visualize the sullen and hung heads of  the Harvard Grad Students! J What’s to blame? Poker, of course. Well, poker along with other sorts of attention-distracting activities such as surfing, IM’ing or even—ahem—blogging!
Plenty of colleges and universities across the country are also wrestling with how to deal with students using wired and wireless network access to illegally download and share music files, both in the classroom and in dorm rooms. Not to mention the menace of pornography and other sexually explicit materialJ
I sit here and wait for the day, which is just around the corner, when time comes for me to set sail; and just hope that that the latest wi-fi system in IIM-Kozhikode is not turned off either during class hours or after that.  After all, this is one of the only perks that we enjoy for being 18+ 😀

Just finished reading Angels and Demons, the first in the series of Dan’s religious history based novels. The most famous of these, Da Vinci Code, the name that now adores each of his novels’ cover page as ‘From the author of #1 New York Times Bestseller, Da Vinci Code was the one I read first.
The funny aspect of marketing a book, how they make novels piggyback on the success of any of the successful ones, (if any, of course!). The funny thing is that the book introduces itself as he pre-cursor of the ‘Da Vinci Code’, however there is very little cross link between them; each of them quite independent in its existence of the other.
Incidentally went to watch the movie in the multiplex near to my house the other day, even as I was struggling to finish his first novel. The movie according to me did poetic justice to the complexity and the dexterity of the plot. By that what I meant is that I always found that a poem unlike prose relies heavily on the intelligence of its readership to read between the words and to be able to visualize the scenario and the circumstances and hence do justice to the message that the communicator wants to put across. The superbly intermingled plot, in terms of the clues, in terms of the background of the various institutions the plot hinges upon, the Church, the Priory and the crusaders on behalf of the church, the Opus Dei, needs some exploring in order to better appreciate the essence of the story. The novel, in its full luxury if its spread was able to enlighten its readers before continuing with its plot, but the movie unfortunately, under the constraints of time, counted on pre-informed viewership. As a whole the movie is a pleasure to watch for someone who has already read the book or has some background information about the fore mentioned societies/bodies, but for a viewer who is new to these, it might be difficult to comprehend the depth of the plot at go #1.
The book, “Angels & Demons” talks about the rift and the differences between the church and the scientific community during the renaissance period. It talks of a secret society ‘Illuminati’ which took upon itself the responsibility to ensure that the light of knowledge is not covered up by the ritual and devotion hungry clergy and the hedonistic and almost autocratic church. This has more than an element of truth about it, though the particulars may be in doubt, but more than some of the brightest scientific minds were at loggerheads with the church which dominated the society to the extent of maintaining a stranglehold on it. Right from Galileo Galilei to Sir Isaac Newton to the master of them all, Leonardo da Vinci. All fought their wars to protect their ideas from the encroaching Papal influences. A book which wonderfully describes this tussle that new though had to endure over dead decayed and resident habbits is ‘Blind Watchers of the Sky’. Though I have not yet had the chance to read this book, I am aware that it presents a very informative and unbiased factual insight into these feuds and others that science had to endure in its quest for survival and proliferation.
The book ‘Da Vinci Code’ however describes the internal rift between two school of thoughts in Christianity, one which believed the Bible verbatim led by the church and its clergymen, whereas other which believed that the bible had been authored by human beings and is more a representation of the facts as they had pleased than that had actually transpired. It talks of the efforts made by the early followers to subjugate the human side of Jesus, the fact that apart from an apostle he was also a loving husband and had fathered an offspring. Mary Magdeliene, was the wife of Jesus, according to the book and carried ahead the bloodline of Christ by having his child, according to a school which had many powerful and influential followers known collectively by the name of Priori of the Sion.

The church in itself was a male bastion and looked at this as a threat to its dominion especially with a woman becoming of such importance. A secret society was formed, funded and aided by the church itself, Opus Dei, with the sole purpose of wiping out the trace of this secret that they held.
Both the books are quite engrossing in themselves and are a recommended leisure time read. But, among them, ‘Da Vinci Code’ is more captivating with the numerous puzzles and corresponding clues that keep surfacing forcing the reader to traverse the expedition mentally. ‘Angels and Demons’ on the other hand is more adventure oriented with garnishing of mystery and suspense.
The comparison between these two creations of the same author are synonymous to the difference between ‘Hardy Boys’ & ‘Hardy Boys Case Files’. Interestingly this was one of my favorites during my teenage days and I spared no effort to lay my hands on the solo copy present in the school library.

What’s going on ?

Posted: June 1, 2006 in Gibberish Blabber

Lately been doing lots of things that I have wanted to do for sometime now. 

  • Went to see a dance drama at India Habitat Center by a team visiting from Bangladesh. Can’t say that it was something I really loved, but was an enjoyable experience all the same. The very interesting part of it was the dialect of the language Bengali spoken on that side of the border. Its similar and yet quite different from the one that we here are used to.

  • Checked out the latest Amir Khan Flick, “Fanaa” at one of the numerous multiplexes near my house. Must admit the difference in the experience was quite drastic from the ones I have had in HYD. The folks around here were far prettier and the sex ratio was highly skewed in favor of the ‘gentler’ ones. The ladies/ babes/ chicks, whatever would be the addressal of your choice, outnumbered the guys almost 4:1. It sure was a treat for the eyes. But that’s where the good part ends, the people, esp. the management and the staff were a lot ruder and lot less professional in their approach. The tickets were much more expensive, the hall a lot shabbier and way inferior ones to the ones I have seen in HYD. The snacks were atrociously priced with medium sized popcorn coming for 50 bucks and a large Pepsi coming for a hopping 100. I took a combo of these for a ‘fabulous’ price of 130! The movie in itself was average at best, better suiting Shah Rukh Khan than the more discerning Amir. Kajol, of course was spectacular as usual. (Keep wondering so many beauties of Bengali descent, Kajol, Rani, Diya Mirza, Riya, Raima, Reema, Bips, Koena & the list goes on and on .. how come I am still a loner !!)

  • Been reading stuff up lately. Read Jeffry Archer’s Quiver Full of Arrows, well not all the stories in it but the one which is my favorites, “Old Love”. This is one of the most superbly & hauntingly written account of two undergraduates in

    Oxford
    University in the thirties. A story of bitter rivalry, of measuring up, of matching next to neck of giving the other a run for his position and finally of unflinching and unfathomable love. A Must Read for anyone romantic in their beliefs and to anyone for whom love is something very true and something very Personal. Ending with the line that haunts long after you reach the end of the story and even after you have come over the craving to read the story once again for what is probably the nth time, “Legend has it that they were never apart for more than a few hours”

  • Speaking of  love stories, read another beautiful account of two lovers, one from Harvard and from a proverbially wealthy and hence aristocratic family,  the other from Radcliffe from a very humble and a very loving & close family. How the cupid strikes and how their lives change as they go through the difficult times in their life. I am talking of Love Story by Erich Segal. It’s a story that leaves you spellbound and dumbstruck as you go reading into the ostentatious display of loving reprobation by Jenny to his ‘Preppie’ boyfriend.
    [SPOILER ALERT !!] The story ends on a realistic but tragic note, with the demise of Jennifer due to Leukemia, but as that happens she melts the shell of the cocoon in the love between her father-in-law Oliver Barrett III and her beau & husband Oliver Barrett IV (or ‘Olie’ or Preppie’ as she preferred to call him). The story is touching to say the least. It makes one wonder if one shall ever be subjected to love of such intensity! Reminds me of the saying I read the other day on somebody’s email signature, “Do not feel sorry that it ended, be grateful that it ever happened”. Ending with the line from the book, which percolates deep down the soul of any reader who happens to have one, "Love means not ever having to say you’re Sorry.”

  • Been reading some technical stuff about the financial industry as a preparatory material for my MBA course later this month. Found out what the famed I-Banks do and what makes I-Bankers so obscenely paid. 

  • Catching up on ‘Bird Watching’ something for which
    Delhi provides more than ample scope. I have a steady and growing realization that the average prettiness factor is way higher than any of the other cities that I know of, with the possible exception of Mumbai which probably gives a credible fight. The thing that I dislike about Pune the most is the pretentiousness of its folks, most people, of both sexes are so beauty conscious, and at an age where they should be much more bothered about how and what they feel, they bear the overbearing burden of trying to figure out what the people around feel about them. Even with them roaming in their city with scarves wrapped like a gift-wrap of a birthday present, so as to make sure that the pollution does not tamper with their complexion, I truly found that they are absolutely NO MATCH for the chilled and flirtatious babes in

    Delhi. In fact I found that the ones in Pune are too girlish and hence more apt the tag of ‘Chicks’, they are not the ones who can be asked out impromptu or have fun with. The ones in

    Delhi are on the other hand hot and yet chilled, the famous “Fire & Ice” blend and hence perfectly fitting the attribution of being called ‘Babes’!

  • Food is nice here, with me relishing all home cooked food. Something which I sorely missed of being out of home for about seven years now. None of the up-market restaurants can ever measure up to ‘mom’s cooking’. I guess the difference lies not in the ingredients as such but in the feelings that go in preparing the meal.