Just Chatting with Life

Friday, October 28, 2005

Diwali Time !

The festival of lights is upon us ! Dipawali has come like a breath of fresh air in my life. Things were getting a bit stagnant in my life. Assignements, quiz, .....movies......badminton......assignement,quiz.......movies........cricket.... went on and on. It really amazes me that with so much going on i can still get bored. Well, thats the vagaries of my mind!!

Diwali symbolises the victory of Good over Evil. Rama over Ravana, Krishna over Kansa, Arjun over duryodhan . How good it was in those old days when the line between good and evil was very clear. One side of line was good, and the other side was evil. Either here or there. Things are just not the same now. Do we really know what is good or what is evil ? How do we define good or evil ? The line is so blurred that it is almost invisible.

One sure candidates for evil are the Politicians. Of course, it is very easy to blame them for all that is wrong with the country and my house's ceiling. But are we not responsible to a great extent for the present state of affairs. People will just shrug and say that how can they make a difference. And this is the sad part of the affair ! Majority of the middle class and upper class does not vote in the elections. This allows the corrupt and selfish politicos to exploit the uneducated masses of india. This message was very effectively conveyed by the movie "Yuva" . But, as expected, the movie had very few takers.

Another candidate for evil is the Media. Yes sir! our omnipresent, "Omniscient" and omnipotent Media. Media being omniscient did require these quotes "", although the media would have us believe otherwise. There is no denying that they are omnipotent. I would even say that the media currently is the most potent force in our country. They can influence the country, they can destroy people (Ask Azhar, Shakti Kapoor ), they can make a Mr. Nobody the national icon ( Our very own Abijit Savant ji), they can create a national "breaking news" out of a non-event ( Indian Idol, Karishma Kapoor- Sunjay Kaour, Fame Gurukul ) , they can give us 24 hrs of total crap programming ( Star news, Star Plus, SAB TV ......). They have the power to do infinfite good, yet they choose to run behind obscure startlets, place hidden cameras, "break" any news and geneally fill our mind with mindless chatter. They are slowly but surely turning into the American Media and this cannot be good news. The empire of the Fourth Estate has just begun....

Other evils are the usual suspects- Terrorism, Poverty, MNCs........

But again , one man's sin is other man's good deed. Evil is good and good is evil and thats the way the world is moving. Keeping pace.......choose a side...if you can find the line, that is !!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hard to starboard !!

It has been a real hectic week . Still 2 more days to go before the diwali holidays kick in ! A strange sort of inertia has set in . I dont feeling like studying at all. Today we had a dreaded OR quiz and man was it a drag . somehow i limped through the book and gave the test. We have a presentation on thrusday and i just dont feel like preparing for it . But kya karein , karna to padega.

I think one reason for this inertia is that i am experiencing a kind of anti-climax after the mad adrenalin rush of releasing our systems club magazine. It was the first edition, and we had to work really hard on it . i was the editor so had to work that much more harder. But are we happy with the outcome ! The mag has come out beautifully and looks absoulutely world-class. Its not self-praise guys, this has been conveyed to us by our alumni and professors. They are very very happy about the magazine and are encouraging us to distribute it to industry and other B-schools. It is really difficult to describe the satisfaction i feel when i get such praise for the magazine. We really did put in lots of effort ! Feels nice to be appreciated .

All good things do come to an end. We have a rolling system for the mag, so 2 of our classmates will be the editors. Hmmm, so is that the real reason that i am feeling a bit dull ?? who knows ??

So what next ? Well i am really looking forward to the holidays as they will be a welcome break. When we're back, its time for the exams. No room for a nice settling-in period. As the captain says "Hard to starboard !! " . I guess now its my turn to turn starboard. Take a right turn toward studying that is :) . Really arbit ending !! But doing arbit things is the inthing in IITB. So its not me guys, the atmosphere just got to me :) .

Should stop before i post more nonsense ;) .

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Day at a Time - part 2

Continuing from where i left off....

As i was saying, this whole "aim" and "goal" has me a bit confused. I have acquired a fake aim,but this would be cheating myself. I am not that sort of a person who can easily lie to myself.

So i have decided to continue living as i always have !! A day at a Time !! I don't think very much about my future . Except, of course, for one thing ;). Leaving that aside, i really wonder whether there is any merit in continuously worrying yourself about your future.

When i got into this institute, i knew that it is certain that i will get good placements. While it is a truth that a few companies do use grades to shortlist candidates, this procedure is usually restricted to only select Finance companies. And Finance companies is a strict no-no for me. In the end, As long as your grades are decent enough, they wont have much effect on the placement. So, I am not worrying myself unduly about the grades. BTW, my grades are decent enough ( Currently 8 points ) . It is amazing how much value you can get out of MBA when you dont worry yourself to death over grades. You can take part in all the extra-curricular activities you want. You can enjoy sports, the fests, the events, the competitions .........

The point is that instead of worrying myself over the future, i am living each day as it comes. You will be surprised by the change this attitude brings in your life. That constant frown disappears and a happy face emerges. You look at your batchmates for the first time as "mates" . You find time to study and enjoy !! You also find that quiz is also a single day affair which has to be remebered for that day only . This DOES NOT mean that you should neglect quizzes. It is the attitude with which you take it matters. They are not the Be-Alls and End-Alls . So relax and give the quiz with a fresh and relaxed mind. And very important, Have CONFIDENCE in your abilities. Not everyone can do everything with the same competency . So identify what you do well, and try to excel in that. At the same time , try to get a smattering knowledge of things you are not good at, so that you can fit into the conventional definition of a manager :) .

Chalo , Enough Fundas for now ... Till next time .

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A day at a Time ! - part 1

The other day i was having a talk with my friend. She is also pursuing her MBA from a reputed institute in Mumbai . Talking with her made me realise that most of are absolutely clueless about what we want from life. Many of us are pursuing MBA with a hope of getting a great placement and earning loads of money. But is it really what we want ?? I mean this seems pretty vague. Yeah ! So everyone wants a good job and wants to earn loads of money. So whats so different about you ? That you are doing n MBA ?

I guess most of my colleagues will disagree with me. They will point out that they do have a very different aim . They want to be entrepreunres, they want to change an organization with their managerial perspective. But is there really any substance in these aims ? Almost everyone has a aim of where they want to reach in next 10 years . I Don't.

10 years a very long time. The world wars changed the world, yet they were 6 years long. What is it that will remain constant in 10 years ? your life ? the country ? the economy ? the technology ? the culture ? your family ? your friends ? All of them will CHANGE becuase change is what drives the wrold forward. Let us say you have this great innovative idea that you want to implement in say 5 years. What is the gaurantee that the idea will remain great even after 2 years ? that someone else wont think of it ?

And about the other aim, the lesser said the better . So you want to change the organization . Big deal. Every year thousands of young management graduates enter different organizations with the same dream. How many have actually succeeded in doing so ? How many have become disillusioned with the maddening rat race and competition ? lets face it, the intention is good, but is there any substance ? Isn't this aim also very vague ?

The point which i'm trying to make is that there are very very few people who really know what they want from life. And i suspect that most of them are not in MBA insitutes . It is considered a sacrilege if you say that you dont have a specific aim. Hell, everyone else in the institute has one ! and that forces me to search for an aim which is not much different from others. So do i accept this situation and remain happy in the illusion that i also have a "aim" ?

More in part -2

Aye Aye Pee Em

Well well.... it was bound to happen one day !! Bloggers are uniting in their Fight against aye aye pee em ( :) :) ) . This controversy can have major implications in the future . Enough has been written about the whole matter to take up a few hours of our time. Does blogging imply that you have total freedom of speech ? What is the extent of freedom of speech in our country ?Was Rashmi Bansal right ? Was Gaurav Sabnis right ? Was Aye Aye Pee Em right ? Contentitious but very relevant .

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

8:54 Local !!

I must admit that when i had first come to Mumbai, i was terrified of using the locals ! The maddening rush of the mornings & evenings had me sufficiently intimidated. I was always wondering why the hell is this city always in such a huge hurry. The distances were terrificly and frighteningly large. If from Mulund i had to go Colaba, it merited a whole days effort. And that too invloved numerous vehicle changes. Take an auto to the station, then get onto the local, get off the local, get a taxi/bus and reach your destination. Repeat the steps to get back.

And the locals, ah.... the locals !! What can i say !! There is no other experience like the Mumbai locals . The local is so jampacked that you cant even move inside the compartment. An god forbid if you are stuck at the wrong end of the compartment when your station has arrived. There is no human force on earth that will enable you to get off the local within time. And then again if you are at the correct end but it is not your stop, then again god help you. You will be carried onto the platform with the swarm getting off. Dont even think of getting onto the local once everyone has alighted. Of course this does not include the charming experiences one has inside the compartments.

Being Mumbai, of course it is very humid and you are hosting a thousand waterfalls 5 minutes into the journey. If you have the disadvantage of height, then your troubles pile up. Your nose is pushed up against somebody's sweet smelling armpit. You cant see anything besides a thousand varities of shirts and trousers. If you are lucky enough, you can snatch some fresh air from the window. There are a thousand voices babblig all around you. You just wonder at people's ability to carry on conversations amidst such a crowd. But wait, there are more surprises in store........ There is a guy sleeping soundly while hanging on to the bar !! You are astounded and your astonishment increases manifolds when you notice that he is not the only one sleeping. Your eyes widen further when you see an impeccably dressed gentleman calmly reading the newspaper !! Suddenly there is a sound and you jump . You turn around and see a hawker trying to peddle his wares to you. You are close to insanity when suddenly a station comes and you realize that you are in the way !!

You get off ( Somehow ...... ) and do the job you had come to do ! But you have the daunting prospect of going back again. So, with fear written in large CAPS across your face, you reach the ticket counter. Of course you dont have the exact change. So you must face the burning stare of the counter clerk and the person standing behind you. You get the ticket and then are faced with the huge task of finidng the correct platform. You shamefacedly ask a samaritan who then points to the correct platform. But again there is the added complication of a slow/ fast train. And once you get on the train, the ordeal starts again.

So does the Mumbai Local suck ?? NO WAY yaar ...... IT WORKS . Period. No other mode of transport can move you so fast in Mumbai . No other way to avoid the endless traffic- jams. No other way for more than a million commuters who use it daily. No other way for the tens of thousands of jobs it supports . No other way to feel the real ethos of Mumbai . No other way to feel the lifeline of Mumbai . No other way to experience the calmness and serenity of the maddening crowd. And that is why when the locals shut shop, Mumbai Grinds to a halt. And thats why when i think of Mumbai, I think of the local . And i think of the local with a broad smile on my face and a warmth in my Heart !!

Happy Journeys

F.R.I.E.N.D.S last a lifetime

Yesterday i watched the last episode of Friendsand it almost managed to bring tears to my eyes. Although Ross is reunited with Rachel, The end shows Chandler & Monica going away . For 10 years i have laughed and cried with friends. They have been my companions in both good and bad times.

Six best friends, for their lifetime, and yet eras come to an end. Lives change, people move on !! However much i hate it, there wont be Friends again. No Joey to behave like a complete nitwit, to say " How u doing ?? " . No Rachel to look sexy and cute at the same time, to kiss Ross once again . No Chandler to crack his silly jokes, to make his inimitable faces . No Monica to look Fat, to be fastidiously fastidious . No Ross to talk about dinosours, to give those amazingly senti expressions. No Phoebe to come with the most unbelievable stuff , to always get the wackiest guy for a date.. No Janice to laugh everyone's head off No Gunther and his silly ties. No Richard and his godly drawl . No more coffees and muffins in The Central Perk .

People often have this misconception that FRIENDS is about the jokes and laughs . Well , it certainly is , but there is lots and lots more to Friends than laughs. They are each others life, their smiles, their tears, their parents, their anger, their love, their words , their expressions, their thoughts, their pain, their balm , their entire existence . Their whole life, their words, their jokes filled my heart with a warmth that i probably would not experience again. 10 years of era comes to end !!But they live on in my heart and millions of hearts like mine !!



Monday, October 10, 2005

Great Learning !!

The Blind Men and the Elephant
by John Godfrey Saxe

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“ ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

Source : Word Focus
& Catinator

This poem conveys a very important lesson which many of us tend to overlook . Ignorance is not Bliss !! In fact, it can lead to the downfall of greatest of men ! Napolean being a point in case ! Remove those shackles, see, hear, observe, listen, understand, assimilate, remember !! Knowledge is the Panacea !

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Reflections !!

I have been here for more than 3 months now . Its been a pretty exciting ride uptil now. To be frank, i had always thought that MBA would be more rigorous ( at least thats the impression i got from my IIM , IIT Friends ) . But although hectic, the workload is definitly not as much that it would kill me. I do manage to get some free time . And life at IIT really really exciting. There is just so much happening here. In fact if you are caught reading the notice board for a very long time, it is a dead giveaway that you are a newbie. These guys have become so immune to the endless notices that a bare glance at the board is enough to tell them whether anything of interest is there. But i must really compliment the B.Techs about their energy and enthusiam about all the activities .

As far as SOM is concerned, we are also very active in our own way ( Being hampered a bit by numbers ). We have loads & loads of industry interaction through Dikshas, Continuums . In fact the marketing Continuum will be taking place this Saturday and we have a group of great speakers lined up.
This week also sees the beginning of our club magazine . I am very excited about this magazine and hope that it is of good quality. At present our plan is to make it a weekly magazine. then we'll see how it goes from there.

Our grades haven't come yet !! i am keeping my fingers crossed ;) .