Archive for the ‘Cheetos Exemplified’ Category

Tonight is a night of celebration. It’s time to pop open the champagne and garnish with fresh red strawberries! Its more than a Diwali or a Christmas (those have had very little meaning anyway in the past year with deadlines at 11:59, clouded by double submissions on the ‘due list’ and the terror of getting a ‘D’ in most subjects), more than a ‘Celebration of Life’. Its exuberance, its ecstasy, its sheer madness. For I’ve become a 50% MBA!

This blog post reflects on the ‘Take-Home‘ from this experience. It talks about things that I have learnt and those unlearnt. Lessons taken, choices made & crossroads chartered. It talks about the more action packed half of arguably the most academically rigorous course, an MBA!

  • Time Deadlines are read ‘DEAD’lines. Past year has taught me that 11:00 hours are better read 10:59 hours if you have the uncanny habit of popping in on the wrong side of 59 seconds. So seminar and sessions are invariably on time zones other than ‘IST‘ (Indian standard Time, which is the colloq. For a time which lags the official time by a princely sum of 30 minutes!)and in case you are late, you are a million times better away from abstaining to attend it.
  • Talent is never short, seek and you shall find. We dug and you can’t believe the booty we found. We found people who made fantastic movies, people who design amazing T-Shirts, People who are split second organizers, people who are enthralling Radio Jockeys and people who are the most gifted negotiators. All this in a B-School in which you hardly have time to breathe and try out your hobbies! I have found two new things that I am really good at; photography and negotiating,
  • You never know how much you are capable of. Last I knew my limits were on working for about 28 hours without significant rest. As I write I have slept for not more than 12 hours in the past 6 days and yet I am not exhausted (if you forget the momentary bouts of yawns which are a giveaway!)
  • Mantra of Life: Decide what you want, find out its price and be prepared to pay it! It’s that simple! So if you want to be a top of the line Investment Banker, that extra dose of B-School frill affectionately called ‘life‘ would have to wait. So skip the Cul-nites, the booze parties and skip the treks and excursions. Come on, if you want a merc you got to pay the huge price!
  • Murphy forgot the Thirteenth law: Whatever you desire, most previously undecided fools will start desiring. So if you are not gathering enough support for something. Go Right ahead (As Rabindranath had said ‘Jodi tor daak shune keu naa aashe tahole ekla cholo re’ !). You would need to do some internal selling and probably a bit of viral marketing here and there. But, you would soon find a lot of people who are undecided till then would start falling in line, if only to get good riddance of the dilemma of ‘decision making’!
  • Murphy forgot the Fourteenth law: When you put all you have at stake for a solitary cause, the odds fall apart! As Mark twain once said, ‘There are three types of lies. While Lies, Black Lies and Statistics! So don’t bother too much about your odds. If you want something pretty bad and you know it might be a colossal task, spare a thought about alternatives. Mind you, don’t compromise, but look at more acceptable routes to that goal. And if there aren’t any, stop giving a damn about what your chances of winning are (as said in Gone with the wind to Scarlet O’Hara: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a Damn!). Go ahead and put everything you have into it. Look around, all the super achievers are people who never gave up on their dreams and fought hard for it!
  • You can never be good at EVERYTHING: It is a most obvious fact of life which we somehow manage to disbelieve. We have our own set of queer notions about our Superhuman abilities. Truth be told, you do not need superhuman abilities to do superhuman stuff. The key is in surrounding yourselves with people with very good abilities. Together the team works in a mutual embellishing mode to achieve what would not have been possible individually. In science we call this ‘Resonance
  • Pygmalion Effect is for Real! This HBR article has not entered the ‘Hall of Fame’ without adequate reasons. The Pygmalion Effect is true and here to stay. So high expectancy of the boss does have a tremendous effect on the morale and the performance of all his subordinates. So in case you are up agains t a super talented team with a bunch of mediocre yourself. Don’t lose heart! History bears easy evidence to the fact that Supercharged teams of Mediocre caliber have far outshone the super-talented geeky but unmotivated ones. Set high standards, believe in them and then sell then to your team. Do what it takes till you have washed their doubts clear and have belief in them. Then jjust sit back and enjoy their stellar performance as they break all moulds to fetch the ‘Unfetchable’!
  • Be good to people on your way up, cause you will need them on your way down (And also in the un-eventual scenario that you have to stay up!)

     

    And to end it all, the Best of them all, ‘We Don’t need no EDUCATION’
    J

“Friends never say Goodbye”
Heard this wonderful song by Elton John yesterday. And today just as I was about to participate in the ritual of studying, a thought occurred to me. I wanted to devote a post to a friends with whom in-spite of my best efforts I lost touch. He is a wonderful person, who came into my life at a very young age and enriched it with a lingering fragrance. Something that can still be smelled on a quite Sunday evening or when day dreaming sitting on a beach in placidity.

‘Sishir’ studied with me from Kindergarten to grade four. He wasn’t too good in Hindi, which was expected considering the fact that he was the son of a Portuguese diplomat. There was something very elegant about him. Never the one to get into any fight, always polite and courteous even at that nascent an age. He was always around to share your sorrow, whether it was punishment for forgetting your class notebook or whether it was dropping your Tiffin case, in which case he was most insistent to share his with his unfortunate friend.

You could alm ost feel the pain when Miss Chandra, the rude and imprudent class teacher of grade 1 (class one) would hammer away a wooden ruler at his palm for not being able to perform in hindi which was utmost ‘ridiculous’ according to her. I still remember the vicious anger that seethed in me with the appearance of quiet dew in sishir’s eyes. He winced but didnot scream or cry, which just made the teacher more ferocious in her efforts to punish the ‘defaulter’.
As I recall this incident, I get an overwhelming nauseatic feeling because inevitably at some other elite school in elite cities like Delhi/Mumbai today some psychologically unfit person would be repeating a similar act thinking that he/she has done a fine job of the responsibilities bestowed. So much for our ‘Education System’, something every truly Educated Indian should be ashamed of.

It was not on the last but one day before the onset of final examinations of grade 4 (class 4) and the gracious and kind Uma Sirkar asked Sishir to go and get her a glass of water. As soon had Sishir quietly went to get the serving, she called the class to attention. She said, and I clearly remember, “My Boys, your friend Sishir would be leaving us after the exams. Let’s give him a farewell Gift. I want you all to get Rs. 10 tomorrow and we will give a small
gift and a card”. I was stunned!

The next day after Tiffin break, as we sat just in front of the assembly stairs waiting for the last two minutes to pass before we will be hushed back to class, he was fondling with the gift. I asked him what it contained, and he quietly replied, ‘Let’s find out’. And with that he went about undressing the gift, as nicely as possible (I noticed this because I was quite rowdy when it came to tearing open gift wrappers to revealing the gift, but here was my friend as calm as a tulip ..).

It was a Mug from Archies with the message “We will Miss You”. We were both too young or too un ‘refined’ to express out our feelings at that point of time (thankfully, else we would have the so clichéd ritual of ‘vote of thanks’ as is common in the corporate world), but I saw tears streaming down his eyes. I distinctly remember that I was so shocked and in so
much in grief that tears failed me.

That was the last I remember of my friend. Indeed, I have never again met a person so wonderful and so nice in the rest of my life.

The words of this song came echoing back to my ears

Suddenly that isn’t true
There’s another avenue
Beckoning, the great divide
I would choose
The same joy the same sadness each step of
the way
That fought me and taught me that friends never say Goodbye
Never say goodbye

(This Post is Dedicated to dear Sishir, wherever he is… So Long my Friend!)

After the news came in that I made into IIM, Life has almost taken a somersault. I have become complacent and different to work. Days are spend touring the last of the unknown corners of the city.

And I have been enthusiastically pursuing my ‘wanderlust’. Places I have visited after the results are Goa, Pune, Matheran, Kolkata, Burdwan & Sikkim(Gangtok). The most picturesque of them has undoubtedly been Sikkim. After an overnight bus journey from Kolkata to Siliguri followed by a five hour back breaking ‘sumo ride’, we finally reached Gangtok for a three day stay program. The views and the experience it presented was truly worth the pains.

The detailed experience would tale some time to pen down so I would briefly put in some of the things we did in those three days

· Day 1: Visit the downtown shopping complex, enjoy the food there. Look and observe the people and try and get a feel of their lives.

· Day 2: Take a tourist vehicle and visit Changhu Lake, Babaji’s Mandir , Nathula & View point. From view point get a pristine view of the Kanchenjunga and take some snaps.

· Day 3: Check out the ropeway which gives a beautiful arial view of the city, go to Rumtek Monastery

All this while we took some wonderful snaps, whether it was snow covered peaks, or lush green tea gardens spanning the whole view, sikkimese children trudging along the slopes on their way to/from the school, monks of all ages adolescents, youth, middle aged and elderly in their various times as they go through their refreshingly simple and piously puritan lifestyle.

Green hillsAt Changhu Lake

Snow Capped Mts.Kanchenjunga

Babaji's MandirAt Babaji's Mandir

Sometime it made me feel that the ‘concrete jungle’ and the ‘rat race’ that goes init has truly made us oblivious to happiness and peace of mind. Mind has indeed been numbed by the comforts it so desires to an extent such that it is no longer able to experience and appreciate the little joys of life.

Sleeping Monk boy Dharma Chakra

One of my most prized snaps is the one in which a small monk of about the age of 12 years is comfortable napping on the table of their co-operative cafeteria which serves surprisingly tasty Maggi at the very reasonable rate of Rs. 12 and plays popular hindi movie numbers. When he realize he wasa being shot he gave such a mesmerizing smile which I thought is probably extinct in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai or for that matter any metropolis. More of its snaps are present here.

Monks in MeetingRumtek interiors

Wat to Rumtek CompundRumtek Monastery

Buddha's Golden Statue

While in Kolkata, checked out the now wonderfully working Salt Lake City Center. Met with buddies, met my relations and gave a last long look at the city which some time had been my home for a fairly kingfish span.

Salt Lake City Center Salt Lake City Center

The past few days, lots of developments have taken place. I have put in my papers in my company and the travel plan has been finalized. So days are spent socializing with the friends with this rather lengthy two and a half years of involvement, cementing relationships, reinforcing bridges built of the days. Made some new friends during this span too. Took many friends out for a treat that they extorted me to give!

Been spending the last couple of days going to the handful of locales that I missed in Hyderabad. Went to Golconda fort with two friends, had a great time watching the sound and light show. Took some wonderful snaps of bats hanging upside down from the fort walls too! The past few mornings I keep wondering at the beauty of Hitch City, one place which has literally been my domain for quite some time now. I have walked in an out of this place ten times a day and yet remained oblivious to its inherent beauty. Now when time is near to bid adieu, I realize it was indeed one of the very few places of work of international standards; organized, maintained and commanding by its presence.

Last night, after doing a round of window shopping at Hyderabad Central, I capped my experience by watching an otherwise thoroughly avoidable movie “Darna Zaroori Hai” with a friend, just to bring back the experience the numerous weekends and some weekday evening that we spent lavishly wasting on the most ridiculous of movies!

Never really thought this would happen, although when I think in retrospect it was inevitable. As the day nears for me to bid adieu to this place, a bitter sweet feeling seems to engulf me. I have grown sort of attached to this place and the people with whom my life had been so closely entangled the past few years. Its as if a bondage which has grown, much to the lack of my knowledge!