Friday, December 28, 2012 1 comments

Lost in Time

Merry Xmas everyone[Yes, I know its belated]. And a Happy New Year in advance as well. I guess I will actually make a few resolutions this time, and try to stick to them, for a change. Am finally back home, after 6 months, and feeling relaxed after quite some time. Though the train journey was horrendous to say the least, with a delay of close to 20 hours, ,thanks to the fog and also a de-railment. I do not think the condition of Indian Railways will improve in my lifetime at least. And here I read another news of China flashing off 300 kmph trains over thousands of miles.

Anyways, enough of cribbing. After relishing some home made food, I met Maitreya, who is having a gala time in USA[okay, he might kill me for this], and borrowed a movie from him[Dictator]. Also saw Talaash along with him in a new theatre. The movie was below average, to say the least[Maitreya was cursing till the end, and even slept off in between].

Continuing to read lot of stuff[finished the Fountainhead and the Lost Symbol recently, the former is indeed a life changing book], including random blogs of people. Completed Hitman Absolution and Sleeping Dogs. Reading random stuff on Marketing, participating in random quizzes, sleeping, reading, eating, whatsapping, introspecting and reading some more. Its time to put the plans into motion.

MBA life is nearing its end now. Wont lie and say that I made a lot of friends, I did not. Indians should learn to be more explicit and not be diplomatic/apolitical all the time. Moreover, its also time to shed the ascribed society outlook, and give more emphasis on achievements for a change. Just because a person is from IIM A[no offense intended], doesn’t mean he is a super genius or another John Nash in the making. We keep tending to be in awe, just by hearing a person’s background or organization. I also admit that I did not make the most out of my MBA stay. I could have done many more things, but chose not to. Continued to be an introvert. Usually kept on my own. But still, tried to fulfill all my responsibilities.

I also believe that I am wasting lot of time online, either scrolling through useless stuff, or just on facebook/gtalk. I think I should actually go and have a life for a change[than being restricted online].

So what has been my impression of FMS so far? Maybe a proper post after I graduate, but yes, FMS has given me lot of opportunities which I otherwise would not have got. Am I happy? Yes. Am I satisfied with my current state? Hell No.
Guess I have a lot to change about myself. Signing off for the time being. See you all next year.

P.S.- Initially wanted to write a post like 2012- a Wonderful Year gone by, blah blah, but then, who cares really.

Some Bullet Points [in no order]: For the year Gone By

• Stayed in Mumbai for the first time[had visited it once earlier though], for my internship
• Got my first pay cheque
• Elected President of the HR Society, FMS Delhi
• Read tons of books and saw a hell lot of movies [useless point, agreed]
• Got used to Delhi traffic and the general public
• Learned to minimize expenses
• Laughed at the people who laughed at the so-called Doomsday Prophecy
• Made some new friends
• Fell for someone [yes, a crush]
• Got deeply frustrated/demoralized for a few times, and came out of it
• Suffered from several different health problems
• Became disillusioned and cut self off from the rest
• Failed in a subject [Financial Management]
• Got addicted to Whatsapp
• Handled a 4 year old kid and a 1.5 year old baby
• Completed Metal Gear Solid 3, and almost completed Final Fantasy 12
• Read the Fountainhead [finally, yeah]
• Performed in a Flash Mob [rather, several of them]
• Learned to accept what I am

Saturday, December 15, 2012 2 comments

Chilled Winter, Delhi Style..


‘I am happy’. Yes, I am happy. I feel content, blissful, grateful, for all that I have, and for all that I gained. Have been doing some trivial and yet meaningful things in the past few weeks or so. Cooking some random stuff[nothing great, just edible], reading a hell lot of books, played a couple of new games, and watched a ton of Bollywood movies[okay, if you don’t know me, I am a person who almost always sticks to Hollywood, considering the string of flops produced in Bollywood], such as Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Rang de Basanti, Udaan, English Vinglish, Oh My God, Mirchi, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, amongst others. Am not sure why this sudden fascination for Bollywood.

Have cut down a bit on junk food, and trying to go the healthy way[minimized consumption of soft drinks and chips, have to cut down on chocolate now]. Am trying my best to be optimistic in every circumstance. Working in HR Society is a great experience. Working with other people is also a learning curve. But I feel I have been a bit lazy, considering the fact that I haven’t explored much of Delhi in recent times. And neither could I manage to make even one trip to some other town or city[whereas almost all my batchmates have gone hiking, trekking, swimming, in all sort of locations]. Sometimes, being a loner hurts. But I have learnt to accept it as a part of life. Not being in any group has both pros and cons.

I know that I have considerably cut down on writing. Mostly because, whenever I open MS Word with the intention of penning down an article, I often turn up with a blank. What to write next? Which topic? And so on. Nevertheless, writing is one thing which I don’t plan on giving up,ever.

I have also perfected the art of listening. Indians are known to be cantankerous speakers, but few actually try to listen out to things. Everyone is just bursting out to give his or her own opinion, without any regard for viewpoints of others. In this matter, I can listen out to people and I do try to put myself into their shoes, before taking any further decision.

There is an interesting OB[Organizational Behavior] course which I have taken this semester, called Counseling Skills for Managers. Surprisingly, the number of people in this course is close to 70, but most have just taken it in order to relax from the competitive environment of finance and marketing. However, I find it extremely interesting. The teacher is very good with her methodology, and even conducts psychological games in class. Have already witnessed some of the theories made by Freud and Jung, and now am seriously regretting the fact as to why I didn’t opt for Psychology or Philosophy at Undergrad level. I would have loved to be a psychologist. Oh, well, enough cribbing. One important lesson I got from a class, is that its important not to be judgmental about others. However, this is a near impossible task. We immediately form opinions about people we meet and interact with. We label them as smart, attractive, intelligent, rude, uncouth, lazy, etc. In most cases, we don’t even bother finding out the facts.

Then there is another Course called Brand Management, which I find interesting. Coupled with Consumer Behavior[previous semester], its pertinent to say that in many cases, Marketing is about creating the right perception in the mind of the customers. Once you start perceiving a product as good, the sales will automatically catch up[assuming lot of other conditions too, nevertheless]. Marketers have borrowed a lot from psychology as well. Professor Harsh Verma is one of the best faculty members FMS has.

Placement season is arriving, and I need to prepare for it. What exactly do I prepare anyways? Apart from some generic stuff. Anyways, I guess it’s important to build your content, and then know yourself well, and project it too.

Of late, am reading a lot of magazines as well. The Economist, HBR, Fortune India, Frontline, Businessworld, etc. A decent way of passing time and building knowledge at the same time. The people who don’t read are missing a lot in life.

And yes, I didn’t get a PPO from Tata Motors, so it’s the end of a nice journey and association with the company. Will have lot of fond memories to last a lifetime. But as of now, its time to concentrate on the future, and also act upon some of my goals/plans. Will be visiting home next week. Eager to meet a few friends, especially Maitreya and Girish.
Rest later, Merry Christmas in advance, to all.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012 0 comments

Are Indians bigger Sadists than the rest?





Semester exams are on, I have a tough paper to handle(Financial Management, never understood any Finance anyways), have the Fountainhead on my side(Yes, I still haven’t read it, you can mock me now), and spent the most banal Diwali ever[how? By sitting alone in my room and reading stuff). Nevertheless, I have finally(and hopefully) decided to write down a serious article(seems like ages).

Are Indians more sadistic than others? The answer to this is ‘I don’t know’. I do not have any exposure of any foreign country, and my knowledge is entirely based on whatever stuff which I have[which isn’t much], in spite of having a very meaningful course in this semester- Cross Cultural and Global Management. However, if you ask me,personally, I would be inclined to say yes.

Maybe, some of you will just nod your heads and move on, and some will be appalled and some will disagree ruthlessly. Feel free to accept or disagree with my view points. But I shall try to give some examples.

Let us start from two of the most popular Indian festivals. Diwali to begin with. Celebrated in India since a long long time. Mythological reason is return of Lord Rama from Vanvasya. Originally intended to be a festival of light, and triumph of good over evil. Presently reduced to a festival of noise and debauchery. Of course people love exploding crackers. What’s wrong about it you may ask? It’s a time to celebrate with your friends and family, right? Well, for starters, it exponentially increases the amount of air and sound pollution, affecting lot of people with breathing problems and mostly the elderly, or the very young. And there have been several instances of injuries being caused due to mishandling of fireworks. In certain cases, it even leads to death. Is it justified then, even if few cases of deaths are reported every year, to continue using fireworks? What if I just want to do something meaningful, but am unable to do anything over and above the loud noise, and I risk burning myself by just stepping out of my house.

But I have seen numerous people who take pleasure in sending a rocket flying into a neighbours house or exploding bombs on areas where they know elderly people stay. And surprisingly, many people consider it as normal, acceptable behavior.

Lets come to Holi then, another festival which is celebrated with much gust and pomp. Enjoyed by millions of people. Terrifies millions too. Especially women, who feel a high risk of their modesty being violated. Some of them lock themselves in their rooms, others try to avoid any contact. I have personally seen people turn into actual hooligans on this day, when normal criminal acts become perfectly legal, and even the police decide to become mute spectators. Throwing colors, grease, egg yolk, cow dung, cement, and what not, on others, under the pretext of Holi. Perfectly acceptable- ‘Bura na maano, Holi hai’ (Don’t feel bad, its Holi after all).

This was about festivals. What about organizations and behavior in general. Arent we a collectivist society? Supposed to care and encourage one another. Well, we are, partially. When it comes to taking credit, everyone comes forward to get his or her due of the pie and share. And when it comes to accepting responsibility for failure or defeat, everyone suddenly points a finger at everyone else. I have rarely even seen one Indian owning up his mistake, or accepting the fact that he was wrong. It’s always somebody else who gets the blame. Not just that, we simply enjoy and make merry whenever someone else loses and take exceptional delight in the fact. But when it’s our turn to taste defeat, we simply cannot fathom the fact that others are enjoying it. In India, its power,money and status that is valued more than anything else. You need to dominate and surpass above everyone else to succeed. This feeling is inculcated in us from childhood itself, where we are forced to compete, first in studies, then to get into a good educational institute, then a job, and then fight for position/status.

I could give several other examples. Being an ascribed society, we continue to think of ourselves superior to others, based on factors such as caste, religion, background, hierarchy, status, our educational qualification, etc rather than to compete on merit. As a result, conflicts keep on occurring.

For now, I will go back to Hofstede’s framework and stimulus generalization[MBA terms of course]. I could have written a longer article, but time constraints and pure laziness says otherwise.




Friday, October 19, 2012 6 comments

Closing Down

Okay, I admit it. I have been thinking of closing down my blog now. Maybe because I do not get the time to write as freely as I used to,or maybe cause I just lost inspiration sometime down the way. Nevertheless, here is one more post.

Things I have been doing lately:

Books:
• The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud. Borrowed by Chirag Jain[batchmate].
• The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. Borrowed by Aparajita Puri [junior].
• Life of Pi, by Yann Martel[completed]- Borrowed by Mayank.

Anime:
• Sword Art Online: A new anime I started not too long ago. Its pretty good, based on a MMORPG. Has got good reviews.
• One Piece: Started on insistence by Mayank. This anime must have something in it to be that popular
• Fairy Tail: Re-started watching after a gap of almost 3-4 months, I guess
• Naruto Shippuden: Considering the fillers have arrived, I guess it’s a hiatus for this one now

Games:
None, thinking of starting with Elders Scroll Skyrim again

Series:
Game of Thrones: Pretty good one. Based on the Song of Fire and Ice series by G.R.R. Martin

Thoughts:

Well, the summers for the batch of 2014 is done with, and they have performed pretty good as expected. The Latest business today rankings give FMS the 3rd slot. Anyways, lets leave MBA for a while.
I do not get to have many meaningful discussions nowadays. Find it extremely hard to find people who think somewhat similarly as I do, or someone who can think of the larger picture. And the reason to blame, is once again, our great education system. Which teaches the students to kill their creativity, impedes their imagination, and just focuses on rote learning. As a result, most people just have a short term and narrow minded outlook towards things. Even in college, people just tend to think about marks, assignment submissions, and the like, rather than think about learning and adding value to their personality. Often, I inadvertently happen to overhear conversations which are mostly meaningless or pure gossip. Disappointing mostly. Even within MBA, a person becomes so short sighted, that he or she almost totally looses track of things which may not be directly related to his/her domain or specialization. Indians still regard thinking as a waste of time, and disagreeing with the teacher’s viewpoint is considered an act of blasphemy. And then we ask- Why doesn’t India produce any Steve Jobs? Why doesn’t India produce any organization or institution capable of leaving a mark across the world?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 0 comments

Where do I go from Here?

Okay, am sitting in the computer center of South Campus[FMS Block]. Our class on Strategy has been cancelled, and there is still some time left for an HUL session to begin. So I decided to kill time by reading Fooled by Randomness, and by writing this article. Since I do not have any specific stuff to write about, and since I am reading about random events, I decide to write some random stuff here.

Yes, my gmail accounts and Facebook is open. Yes, I am thinking about how I should follow my passions. I see Nikhil Sandhir passing time by playing Temple Run on his mobile. While Raveesh Mayya types away rapidly on his Macbook Air, multi-tasking like a wizard. Dickens is on my right, and is working on some Finance project I have no clue about.

Karthik Junnuri pats me on the back and leaves, unaware that I am typing all this. Suddenly I remember that today an important Naruto manga episode is about to release. Karthik returns and tells me that yesterday was World Anger day. And that he had nobody to vent his anger on except for Satwinder.

Some guys are eating in the canteen. Others are just chattering about. The weather is good, but it has been raining cats and dogs in Delhi for the past few days. The streets are all clogged with water, but on the positive note, weather has become pleasant. I feel optimistic but also confused. Sometimes the same old feeling of-‘Why am I doing what I am doing’, returns.

Aashish Kumar asks me if I am chatting with my girlfriend. Unfortunately or fortunately, I don’t have one. And I wonder whether I should have one or not. Still undecided whether a single life is better than a committed one. What is Love like really?

This semester is a bit hectic, mostly due to college work[outside academics]. But for a change am liking almost all the subjects I have taken[marketing and HR]. Thank God for no Finance or economics. Can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Am spending my free time by watching Smallville and reading stuff. Music also helps, and so does walking. Superman is one character which has inspired me like nobody else. Don’t get time for gaming nowadays though. Nevertheless, glad to spend the remaining 6 or 7 months in North campus.

Where do I go from here?

Sunday, August 5, 2012 0 comments

Review: Reading, Gaming, Movies

Making this a simple Review post, of the 3 things I love to indulge in: Reading, Movies and Gaming.

Lets start with the serious one, Reading:

1) Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson- Brilliant book. Shows the positive and negative side of Steve Jobs. The charismatic leader, perfectionist, reality-distorter, marketer. Must read. 9/10

2) Losing my Virginity, by Richard Branson- Autobiography. Really well written. Loads of examples. Another must read. 8.5/10

3) The Creation of Wealth, by R.M. Lala- It’s a history of the Tatas from its start till 2003. Includes stuff such as Air India, IISc Bangalore, Taj Hotel, and several Tata industries. Really good book, but not for those who are seeking a fun novel. 8/10

4) Cosmos, by Carl Sagan- It’s a book on the universe. Astronomy, and life. What makes the earth special. Is time travel possible? And many other important mysteries. Based on the popular tv series. 9.5/10.

5) The Bourne Dominion, by Eric Van Lustbader- The only fiction novel I have read recently. Pretty good one for a time pass. Jason Bourne at his best as usual. The ending could have been better though. 7.5/10

Now, lets move on to Movies:

1) The Avengers- Pretty good movie. Showcases some of Marvel’s major superheroes. This was a light movie though. Load of humor, and good special effects. Has been one of the highest grossers in the box office till date. I loved Iron Man’s role the most. 9/10

2) The Amazing Spiderman- Reboot of the Spiderman series. Quite un-necessary according to me. Andrew Garfield looked like a clown[and acted like one] in the movie. The lizard was one of the most bogus villains I have ever seen. Story was incredibly poor. Overall- 4/10

3) The Dark Knight Rises- Good end to the triology. Could have made the ending better. I would have preferred one more villain to be there[like Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy or the Riddler]. Bane isn’t really that big a villain. And there is very little of Batman in the movie[I guess just 15-20 mins], but then again this film isn’t just about Batman. Action sequences were pretty good though. Overall- 8/10

Finally, its gaming:

1) Metal Gear Solid 3: Action/Strategy, This game, though pretty old[2006] is a part of the epic MGS series. The best part about it is the James Bond like storyline[including the title song], and a range of special characters. I absolutely loved every second of it. Snake at his best once again. The ending scene is one of the best ever I have witnessed for any games. Enough to bring tears of respect to almost any fan. Now the agonizing wait for MGS 4 begins[till I purchase a PS3]. Overall- 9/10.

2) Mass Effect 3: RPG/Action- The end of the Mass Effect triology. Got hugely criticized for its ending. However, the game on a whole is pretty good, with impressive gameplay, graphics and a decent storyline. It does get repetitive in parts though. But who doesn’t want to see Commander Shepard in action though? Overall- 8/10

3) Max Payne 3- Action- A game which was in the making for over 8 years. It was delayed again and again and again, and finally released. Was it worth the wait? Yes, it was. Max Payne is back, and he is badder and meaner than ever. No longer a NYPD cop, but a bodyguard of a businessman in South America, he is in a foreign land where crime and corruption is rampant. Can Max make it? The title music track[Tears by Health] is brilliant. The gameplay is superb. Though one wonders how Max Payne single handedly takes on hundreds and hundreds of villains and still makes it out in one piece. Story is pretty good as well. Overall: 8.5/10

P.S.- I almost feel like playing Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City after watching DKR. They were pretty good games too.
Anyways till next time.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 0 comments

Wasting Time?


I have been thinking about this for a while: Maybe a new entrepreneurial idea. I have noticed that in quite a few organizations, bschools,workplaces, etc, we tend to waste a significant portion of our time on insignificant things. These things ultimately end up becoming time killers. This eats away a major portion of our time, which ideally we should dedicate on critical activities.

These time killers are trivial things: i) Formatting an excel sheet or a powerpoint/word document. Believe me, I have seen people spending hours deciding what color should be used, what font, and all that. Of course these things do matter to an extent, but people actually spend more time on formatting than on idea creation/strategy formulation.

ii) Wasting time on online chats/facebooks, etc. Of course social media is a great tool to market yourself and network with people. But more often than not, you just end up wasting majority of your time doing useless stuff which doesn’t benefit you in any way. Come on, go and meet people, chatting can only take you that far.

P.S.- Maybe some software package or similar can be developed which can automatically take care of the formatting, designing,etc and leave the manager to do more important work. Then of course, there are some managers who spend almost all of their time in meetings. I really wonder how constructive these meetings actually are.

Thursday, July 26, 2012 0 comments

Why so Low?


‘Satwinder, please don’t stop writing articles on your blog. They have always inspired us,’ remarked Eshan Sett, my junior, from the batch of 2014, FMS Delhi. The occasion was the freshers party. That left me thinking: Maybe I should really give myself another chance.

I admit it: for the past few months, I don’t feel like blogging, or writing. Opening Microsoft Word and then typing out sentences now feels like a pain. Is it because I am running out of ideas? Or is it because I am occupied with enough work? Or is it just because I am acting lazy? I don’t know, maybe a combination of all of them.

The juniors are here, and they are doing a great job. Am feeling nostalgic, and can remember my first semester, back last year. Time has really flown by like anything, and within the next 8 months, I will be an MBA myself[fingers crossed].

There are many things I Still think about. Why do some people drink so much knowing full well its harmful for them? Maybe cause the things which are the most taboo/restricted are the ones which entice people the most. How come certain guys get a girlfriend that easily and majority of the rest struggle to even get close to a girl? What is love anyways? And how many more years till we make contact with an external civilization?

Okay, I will end here. I think I need some more time before I can go back to continuous blogging. But as my friend Mayank said-‘It will all come back to you. Once a writer, always a writer.’

P.S.- I still haven’t got time to see Dark Knight Rises.



Friday, July 6, 2012 0 comments

Internship Diaries, Post 2

So continuing from where I left off. Life at Wilson was fun, the Warden was a nice guy, and there were many people from different Bschools including IIM A, B,C,L,XLRI, etc. Met and befriended a cool guy named Mayank, who is a commerce graduate, indeed a rarity in Bschools. [Incidentally, also met another commerce grad from XL who was staying in Wilson- Abhishek Jain. Hope he clears his CFA lv 2]. Basically, Rachit, Twisam and I used to go to office together, it was the same for us. Sometimes we took the bus, other times we hired a cab. Wilson college being close to Marine Drive, we had a gala time out there. Just watching the sea waves strike the shore is a sight which cannot be described in words, but gives you pleasure.

There are several cafes on the opposite end of marine drive, stretching across for kilometers. I liked Sukh Sagar, which offered quality South Indian food. A veg restaurant called Crystal is pretty popular out there. Many times the queue outside these places would be amazingly large. One of my favorite night past time was to roam around the beach, have ice cream and take in the fresh,cool air along with others.

On one weekend, we went on an outing with Twisam and his bong friends[one of them being Shilpa, my classmate at FMS]. We visited quite a few places, including the Bandra band stand, and had a delicious Biryani at Arsalaan.

Met up with Girish as well, who is enjoying his stint with ONGC, being sent off-shore in the middle of the sea for half a month at times. We went and visited the Nehru Art gallery, Planetarium and Science center. Along with a mall which was suffering from load shedding. Had a good time over-all. Ate Paapri chaat without dahi.

But I guess one of the best weekends was at Sentosa Resort, Pune, for the All India Pagalguy Meet [AIPGM], number 9. I went over to the Pagalguy HQ for the first time, where I met up with my batchmates Nikhil Nathani and Mridul, along with some other friends such as Sourjo Mukherjee from IIM Rohtak. Made new friends there as well. From PG HQ, we took a bus to the resort[in Pune], where we spent the weekend. Best part was getting to meet the PG team, and interacting with people whom I had always wanted to meet, such as Pallavi Puri, Varun Saxena, Apurv, Harshal Modi, and of course the Pagalguy himself, Allwin Agnel. The resort was pretty good, and we had great events, best of which was probably Chuck Gopal’s[Deepak’s] stand up comedy act. Of course, there was the famous Puyscar ceremony too. Later, in the night, we all sat on the lush green grass, and played mafia till 5 am in the morning. It was really a fantastic trip, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. The return bus journey, where I discussed about HR, with Anvesh(from TISS) was also worthwhile.

I should also mention at this point that I made friends in Tata Motors too. Some of the senior professionals out there are really great, and I simply love it how they encourage everyone to participate in all matters. People enjoy and people work. This is something I really loved about the company. During my penultimate week, Amitabha came to Mumbai again. This time, we went to Sanjay Gandhi national park and then onwards to another big mall. I somehow fell sick during that time, and had to leave early. Nevertheless it was a good trip, though we didn’t get to see any wild animals in the park.

Back to office, well Tata Motors got an Award for being the best learning organization in South Asia. To celebrate, we had cut caking sessions and an Official party scheduled. Deboo and I were the only summer interns to be present in that party. Which was held in the last week of my internship. Was lucky that I got to go there. The entire HR team was present, and I really had lot of fun. Even danced for a change[though am a horrible dancer]. The food was scrumptious, and the dessert mouth watering. After a great evening, went back to Wilson.

But then, slowly, it was time to wish adieu. To the TML employees and my co-interns. Some of which I had become close to, and bonded pretty well. It was an emotional time for me, no doubt. These two months in Mumbai were probably the best of my life.

First, it was Rachit, who left early, and I was left without a room-mate for a week. Twisam and Rito da left the week before I did. So I felt a bit lonely at Wilson. Thankfully Mayank was still there, and that guy is a pretty enthusiastic lot.

Finally, Deboo left on Thursday , leaving just the two of us[Megha and I] behind. I actually worked a lot on my last day in office. Had my final review, got many formalities covered. But still managed to take some time out during lunch to visit the Jehangir Art gallery, with Megha during lunch. Had lunch at Samovar café, which is inside the gallery and a pretty good place. The French toast was indeed delicious, and I would recommend that to anyone. The Alu ka parantha was okayish, but I have tasted much better paranthas. Honestly, you don’t get good north Indian food in Delhi. The final lunch chat with Megha was pretty good, and I knew I would miss Mumbai.

Finally it ended. The goodbyes were done, bags packed, and for one last time, I walked across Marine Drive. Glancing over the couples, the joggers, the sleepers, and the wanderers. Maybe I was just one of them, feeling the breeze, the waves rush by. I don’t know why but I could feel a tear drop at that instant. Thank you Mumbai, thank you Tata Motors, thank you all my fellow interns, my friends, my colleagues. It was just a super wonderful, amazing time I had. Till we meet again.
Saturday, June 23, 2012 0 comments

Summer Internship Diaries, Post 1






Okay, I reached Mumbai on 15th of April, pretty excited. During the initial 10 days, Tata Motors had provided us with accommodation in a hotel. The hotel where I[or rather the entire 3rd batch] stayed was pretty decent, and situated at a stone throws distance from the Gateway of India/Taj Hotel. The room which I got was pretty decent. My room-mate was a bulky, bespectacled, gregarious guy called Dibyaroop, from XIM-B. An extrovert, fun loving guy who is a master at handling people. I would say anyone can learn decent management skills from him.

Anyways, I met Amitabha and invited him to my room. Later we went down to the Gateway, and had lunch at Café Mondegar, a popular,crowded place for youngsters. The Mumbai crowd had already begun to fascinate me. Amitabha left in the evening, and during the course of the day met other co-interns who were staying at the hotel, including Tapish, my FMS classmate. It was fun interacting with people from a mixture of Bschools. However, I did not really get the courage to speak to any female intern.

Okay, April 16th was my first day at Tata Motors, and my first day at corporate[being a fresher]. The first two days were reserved for the induction programme, after which everyone would leave for their respective destination[which was revealed during the induction]. I was a bit apprehensive, since I had no idea where I would end up, considering Tata Motors has its presence in multiple locations in India and outside. The office where we had to report to was near the Bombay Stock Exchange. For those who do not know, Tata Motors has 7 offices in the Mumbai region itself.

Anyways the induction programme was good, and well structured. Got to know quite a few things about Tata Motors and their business operations. A host of speakers came to take different sessions, which was quite interactive. We even had a cake cutting ceremony with the HR head. The ice was broken, and all 45-46 of us got along well. Lots of formalities were done and finally the time came for the project locations to be announced. I felt a sigh of relief when I got to hear that my location would be Mumbai itself, as I had really wanted to explore the city[having only been here once before, and that too for one day]. Deboo[Dibyaroop] got Mumbai too, and so did many others. However, quite a few did get other places, such as Pune, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, even Nepal and Sri Lanka. Some were happy, others were apprehensive.

Got to speak with quite a few people in the induction, and hopefully made a few friends as well. Cannot recollect all their names, but to include a few, Sarthak, Navtej, Tanya, Rohan, Mayank, Priya, Ankita, Oscar, Shraddha, Mallika, Vishal, etc. It was a pleasure interacting with all of you. Also met Aditya Verma and Aastha from FMS, coming out of the Taj Hotel at night[they had their induction over there, courtesy HSBC].

So the induction ended and I was supposed to work in the same office building, since the HR division operated out of there. Got introduced to my project head and my project guides, all of them being extremely nice and helpful people. My first impression of Tata Motors was pretty positive.

Now to talk a bit about the employees in Tata Motors. To be more specific, those in HR[though I have interacted with people in several departments, but primarily I was in the HR division]. The environment was mostly informal, though of course formal meetings and discussions existed as well. Tata Motors has recently adopted a First-name culture, which is slowly spreading across all offices. Which means even a junior officer can call the CFO by first name rather than to say Sir or Maam. The best part was that anytime you could speak to the senior management team without being apprehensive or worried. Nobody would stop you from doing what you wanted to do. You had decent independence to take a call. And neither was anyone on your head pressurizing you to do this and that. The average age group in the HR department would be 24-25, with over 60% of the employees being female. So often there was situations where I found myself being surrounded by girls on all sides[not to be taken negatively though]. As for me, I got an entire cubicle to myself[which could normally seat 2 people]. That too just near the newly installed Coffee machine. Which meant I had generous helpings of Chocolate drinks and Badam Pista shakes daily. Everyone was friendly and always ready to help. Starting from the security guards[whose contribution was extremely valuable] to the Chief Learning Officer, who actually encouraged me to do lots of things.

My co-interns in the same department were: Rachit Bijalwan, Twisam Datta, Mayank Saraf, Megha Pathak, Krishnapriya Singh, Anivesh Kumar, Ganesh and Deboo. Met other interns too, such as Satish, Ankita, Prasanna, etc. Together we had lots of fun and fultoo masti. Honestly I feel sad for some of the interns who had to work alone in certain locations. Working without a fellow intern nearby is a hell boring job.
The canteen offered average food, but a wide variety of it. And it had a Free Snacks time from 5 pm to 7 pm. So you could eat and drink as much as you want for free during that time. Notable to say is that the considerable appetite of Deboo and Twisam made them partners in search of cheap, tasty food in the Fort area. They told me they found a restaurant which sold really cheap and delicious fish. Though I am a non-veg, I usually avoid eating heavy food outside. So I decided to stick to the canteen on most occasions. Nevertheless we did try out places such as Paratha Mantra and Café Samovar[in the Jehangir Art Gallery nearby].

A bit about my project work[but don’t worry I wont go into the details]. Within HR, I was working under the Learning and Development team. My project was related to making a database of External training programmes based on the need requirements of corporate functions. Didn’t understand that? Fine, lets move on.

Just after having stayed in one week at Tata Motors, a Plant trip was organized by the team, to get us acquainted with the process of developing vehicles, performing research, etc. So 5 of us interns, along with 2 other employees were sent to the Tata Motors, Pune plant. It was a fun trip, and I really enjoyed it. I feel it was one of the best part of my internship, since I could witness how a car is made from scratch and what the working environment in a plant is like.

There are lots of things I could write about the Plant trip, but I will restrict myself to mentioning a few: i) The ERC or the engineering research center, where the vehicle models are designed and benchmarking is done, ii) The different Assembly lines where the vehicles are made, the welding and painting shops, etc, iii) The Crash testing site, where vehicles are literally crashed to check for damage and impact on the drivers. Ours was a structured programme, and there were people to guide us at every step. We had official guides who gave us tours in multiple areas across the plant. And trust me, it is quite a big plant. Almost like an entire city in itself. It felt good to have lunch with all other employees, in the massive canteen. I was especially impressed to see how blue collar workers keep doing the same job hour after hour, day after day. Hats off to these guys, the actual producers. Though yes, some part of the process has also been automated, as in huge robotic arms doing the stuff.

During the two day trip, I handled all the logistics, including calling the cabs, deciding the locations to be visited next, co-ordinating with the POCs, etc. The trip to Pune, on the Mumbai-Pune expressway is also a nice one.

I had decided to meet Amitabha, as he is staying in Pune itself. So I thought I would call him to my hotel later at night. But imagine my surprise, as our team was deciding to leave the plant, I saw a tall guy wearing sunglasses, with sleek hair walking past. He looked like a salesman. I almost ignored him, till I head my name being mentioned. I turned around and saw that the guy was Amitabha. He had come for some work at Tata Motors. Talk about a co-incidence. Anyways later during the day he took me on his bike inside the main city.

We had loads of fun, and I really enjoyed it. I saw Osho’s ashram, several cafes and finally ended up at Phoenix Mall, one of the most popular ones. Had Papri Chaat, saw cricket on the extra huge television, and then left. Reached my hotel at night, and then slept off. A worthwhile trip ended. Btw, the hotel where we stayed at Pune was really good. Better than the one at Mumbai. Also met Sarthak[co-intern from SIBM Pune] there.

Back in Mumbai, it was time to search for accommodation of my own[the hotel was only there for 10 days]. I had heard lot of stories that getting a convenient, cheap accommodation in Mumbai was a pain, and that people travelled for over 1.5 hours daily, struggling in local trains, in order to reach their offices. Moreover, getting a cheap accommodation in South Mumbai[the place where my office was] was out of the question. Anyways, I just decided to go to Wilson college[near Marine drive] and search if they had a room available in their boys hostel[since the college was closed for summer vacation]. And lo and behold, I got a room within 2 days itself. That too at a very reasonable rate. The warden was a pretty decent guy, who knew quite a bit about FMS.

So I shifted to Wilson with Rachit[who became my new room-mate]. Deboo shifted to another college, Xaviers. I met up with Twisam and Rito Da[first_timer from Pagalguy] who were also staying at Wilson, along with several other people from XLRI, including Abhay, Himanshu, Rishob, Abhishek, etc. Megha and Krishnapriya shifted to an army girl’s hostel.

From FMS, Rachit Kwatra and Karandeep were also staying in Wilson, and Divya G, Divya Katoch and Bibha were staying in the girls hostel of Wilson. Shilpa Sardar was also nearby. So was Sudhanshu Suman and Indrajeet Das[though I didn’t meet them].
Now it was time for Round 2.

Monday, June 18, 2012 0 comments

New Friends

A lot of things have happened since the time I last posted[nearly two months ago]. I know I took a long break. It wasn’t as if I was very busy with work or something, but just that I lost inspiration to write something. I did try a few times to be honest, but somehow could not continue beyond the first paragraph. Nevertheless, I did have a wonderful time in Mumbai, thanks to my internship stint with Tata Motors. I got the perfect start to the corporate world exposure as one could say. In my next post, I shall describe my internship experience in detail. However, this post I dedicate to my new friends which I made after coming to Mumbai. First of all, I would like to thank all my co-interns and guides at Tata Motors. It was really an awesome experience. So let me take some time to thank some of the friends without whom this experience would have been insipid to say the least.

1) Dibyaroop Padhi aka Deboo (XIM-B): My initial room-mate. Extrovert, fun loving, great guy to hand out with. Very unselfish, and has a very strong, positive personality. I am pretty sure that nobody who has spoken to him can forget him. Plus a master of multiple languages, having stayed at almost all locations in India. Is also good in Chinese and French. Easily mixes around with others, and talks casually even with the blue collar workers as if they were best friends. I was highly impressed by the way he handles people. Just cut down a bit on drinking dude, and you will surely go places. And did I mention he is an automobile engineer and expert? Has also worked with General Motors.

2) Rachit Bijalwan (XLRI) : My second room-mate[at Wilson college hostel]. The first impression I got of him was pretty normal. Later got to know that he is from the merchant navy and has travelled almost across the entire world. He keeps getting occasional bursts of laughter. And once he starts laughing, he wont stop. Loves posing for photographs. Could not manage to finish one book in two months. Hard working, can work for hours at a stretch, same goes for watching movies or HIMYM. Is quite argumentative in nature and loves having debates of all kinds, even when it’s not required. Loves to hang around with friends. Does not drink. Great camera man. Wish you all the best for the future dude.

3) Megha Pathak (SIMS Pune): The only female friend that I made in Mumbai. She always has a smile on her face, even while she is angry[which is pretty rare]. Beautiful, intelligent and smart. She has a charm in her personality even while she is working. Loves dozing off during lectures. Is highly calorie conscious. Loves having fun with friends, and visiting new places. Has been at Infosys before joining SIMS. And she knows pretty good Punjabi as well. Awesome company to be with. And kept teasing me on a host of issues which she found very funny. Is a movie/food buff. I hope you have a blast in the coming years. Hattori Hanzou style.

4) Twisam Datta (XLRI): Can you pronounce his name right? Well, its TEE-SHAM. Everybody makes fun of his name. This guy is a glutton. Can eat almost a kg of chicken in one go. Is a huge fan of non veg food. Very particular about his eating habits. Like a true bong,loves visiting different places, and with him I explored some parts of Mumbai. I could relate a lot to him, as he is a fresher, from Bengal, and also from the same university which I was in[WBUT]. Plus he is a guy who loved to work and complain. Frankly and honestly speaking, I really enjoyed your company. Hope you have a gala time at XL.

5) Anivesh Kumar (IIM L): This guy is a national level acrobat. Initially I didn’t speak much with him, but thanks to the Pune plant trip, got to know him better. Is somewhat of an introvert and shy person. Does not speak much, but is quite hard working and has a pretty good character. I just wish you would open a bit more dude. All the best.

6) Kumar Mayank (IIM L): Another Hell guy. Really bindaas, extrovert, fun loving dude. Is very friendly, confident,and always helps others. Don’t think I will ever forget him. Don’t take too much tension, have fun in Hell,man. Really respect your courage and effort.
Would also like to thank Abhay, Himanshu,Abhishek,KP, Rishob and many more for providing decent company. Special thanks to Rito Da,aka first_timer[on PG] whom I came to know better here in Mumbai. The next post will describe my two months stay at Mumbai. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 30, 2012 0 comments

Once upon a time in Mumbai


So, where do I begin from? So many things have happened in the last two weeks, that I am unsure with what to start. Okay, lets start with the basics. I am doing my summer internship[which is compulsory for any bschool student btw], in Tata Motors, situated out of Mumbai. Have been in Mumbai for just 2 weeks but have already fallen in love with it. There is just so much to explore. I have not seen much, but did visit a few locations such as Gateway of India, Elephanta Caves, Imax Dome theatre[saw Avengers in 3D yesterday] to name a few. Tons of things left to be done[apart from work]. Internship is going good, and the corporate environment is awesome at Tata Motors. Everyone here is very friendly, and you actually get encouraged to try out something new and take initiatives. Broadly speaking, am working on a corporate HR project related to Training and development. Made a few new friends out here, namely Debo(XIM-B), Rachit and Twisam[don’t ask me how it is pronounced] from XLRI, Megha from SIMS. All of them are pretty unique and fun to hang out with. I shifted to Wilson College hostel, and met Rito Da[also from XLRI] here. In fact, I have already met at least 10-12 people from XLRI itself. I also visited Pune for 2 days, as a part of an official trip. Met Amitabha there, who took my for a ride on his bike across the city. Saw Osho’s ashram and visited Phoenix Mall. Pune is pretty well maintained[it was my first visit to the city], clean and good. Would love to be here again. The trip to Elephanta caves[with Rito Da, Twisam and Jishnu Da] was also remarkable, more so for the hour long steamer/launch ride to the place than the actual location itself[hilly area]. You almost have to trek all the way to the top. The caves themselves are pretty ordinary, and you may not want to hang there for long. Met Divya there too, who was gracious enough to give me another book to read. The food here is a bit different than I am accustomed to, but so far didn’t really face any problems. Mumbai, as they say is a night city, and only truly comes to life post midnight. At least the crowd is pretty vibrant enough. I have to do a lot of shopping for the time being. But feeling too lazy to step out in the heat. Maybe later. For now, adios.
Thursday, April 5, 2012 0 comments

Lets Ban Sex Education in India. It is dirty!




All right, this was a topic which I had in mind long back, but finally decided to put it down into words. I agree sex education is a sensitive topic, even more so in India where even the word sex is considered to be taboo, let alone discussing matters related to sexual intercourse and reproductive health. This is probably the most ironical and hypocritical situation in a country like India, which has the highest fertility rate and reproductive rate in the world, yet it shies away from discussing what is probably the biggest hurdle towards economic and social development- causes of overpopulation and family planning. It’s high time we accepted the fact that babies do not appear out of thin air or drop out from the sky.

I admit that vast majority of Indians are illiterate and many are barely literate. In such a situation, there is high ignorance and lack of awareness of family planning methods, and the importance of having a small family. In most rural parts of India, children are still considered as God’s gifts, and usage of contraception is considered as blasphemy. Another major issue is the demand for a male child, for which the couple will keep on trying to conceive, even at the cost of the mother’s life. It’s no wonder that the maternal mortality rate is so high in India, where even basic healthcare is a luxury for most.

Thus, there is absolutely no denying the fact that sex education is absolutely essential, and in fact should be made compulsory in all schools and colleges. Moreover, parents need to take the initiative by imparting sex education to their wards, as soon as the kids are, say 10 years old or so. But the most unfortunate fact is that parents themselves shy away from discussing this crucial information. The mindset that sex is dirty, vulgar and should not be discussed is widely prevalent in most parts of India. Many people even say-‘Its not in our culture to discuss sex.’ Yeah right, Kamasutra was probably Greek culture brought into India sometime in the past. Some people even remark-‘There is no need to educate a child about sex. It comes about naturally, and it’s a post marriage thing. He/she will automatically know about it when he/she needs to know about it.’ But maybe the hard realities will shed some light- over 12% of mothers in our country belong to the age group of 15-18 years. Teenage pregnancies and sex related health problems are growing at an unprecedented rate in our country.

Many people mistakenly believe that sex education is just about sex, the physical process. This is a common misconception. Sex education does not deal with just the physical aspect, it deals with lots of issues including reproductive health, family planning, relationships, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and their prevention, psychological and mental issues, etc. And there is absolutely nothing ‘dirty’ or ‘vile’ about this. The sad part is that even today, most people, including(shockingly) teachers feel embarrassed while discussing anything even remotely connected to sex. Some biology teachers are even known to skip the entire chapter on reproduction, advising the students to read it up themselves.

What happens as a result, is that children tend to get false(or semi truth) information from their peers, internet, magazines, pornographic movies, etc. Naturally, teenage is the age when they feel like experimenting, and being unable to distinguish between right and wrong, they get into trouble. In extreme cases, it may even lead to sexual abuse, assault, voyeurism and other perverted actions which are illegal. I can say, by my own experience that most males do discuss about sex, but in a very coarse and negative manner. It is quite clear by their upbringing that they have never been taught proper sex education at any level. For females, it’s usually just the reverse. They will avoid any discussion on sex[at least directly], and will subtly hint that it’s a very disgusting thing which should only be discussed amongst partners, that too after marriage. Even this attitude is not correct. It also leads to lots of incorrect information about reproductive health and taking care of their bodies.

I personally find that most young males do not have proper respect for females. They will keep ogling at them, and keep making derogatory comments. Such issues can be avoided to a large extent, if those males are properly educated from their childhood. Sex education can also actually help in bringing down the population level. It is a well established fact that the fertility level of a woman drops with increase in literacy. With proper education, we can limit the size of families and reduce the burden.

I will probably write more on this issue later[right now I just depicted the general picture in India], but for now, am ending it here. Take care everyone. And as usual, comments are welcome.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 2 comments

Woman?

All right, tomorrow we are celebrating both Holi and Women’s day. Two great occasions packed into one. I am pretty sure all of you must be having fun on Holi[if you are lucky, you shall be able to avoid water balloons and other types of unpleasant surprises- such as a bucket of egg yolk, mud and grease dropped on your head], but it’s the other occasion which goes largely ignored. Women’s day. Of what meaning is it to us nowadays? Not much, one could say. We invite a few prominent female speakers to give lectures on gender sensitive topics, and encourage female emancipation and greater participation in corporate. We speak about banning female infanticide, dowry, and make sure we punish rapists and molesters so that our country becomes a better place to live in for women. We speak about greater female participation in higher management areas, and increasing number of women taking admission into post-graduate courses and stepping out of their comfort zone to make ends meet.




Could then, someone please explain to me why one woman is raped every minute in India? Why millions of women are still caught into sex trafficking, and minors exploited on a daily basis? Why are women regularly beaten, burned and murdered, without people even batting so much as an eye-lid? Why are women always blamed whenever they are victims of a crime? Why do we always find fault with the way a woman dresses or speaks or works? Why is a woman usually considered inferior to a man? Why is the sex ratio in India so poor, and becoming worse by each day? These are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves.

I think the basic problem still lies in our mindset. Women have traditionally been oppressed for long, and looked down upon. We[the men] still cannot come to terms with the fact that a woman is capable of besting a man in work, can seek professional and personal independence, choose her own partner, be candid about sex, seek self actualization without the support of a man. So if you see a good looking woman walking down the street at night, wearing a short dress, then you must teach her a lesson that she will never forget. How dare she do something like that? How dare she go to pubs, parties, dance and have drinks? That too with male friends? She deserves to be raped. [I don’t think I need to give the examples of the recent rape cases(Kolkata or Noida). Its self evident] We do not have places for such women in our society. Women should not be allowed to take their own decisions. After all, we men are superior, physically and mentally. If a girl from our family marries someone from a different caste or religion, then she must be deemed impure and either ostracized or killed[of course it’s a question of preserving family honour]. It does not matter if we men don’t wear any clothes, pee regularly on the streets, whistle and use slangs on passerbys, smoke and drink and then get into fights, but a woman should never wear short skirts, always cover herself, and yet respond to our calls whenever we need them. Of course if they will refuse, we will beat them and rape them, since they deserved it for being rude to us.

Public transports are our birthright. Women should respect our rules or not use them. So if they do dare to board a bus, or the metro, they should be aware that we will leer at them, stare at them to the point of making them uncomfortable, pass lewd remarks, and occasionally try to touch them. Of course if they resist, they will be shouted at, or beaten up for resisting. For if they did not want physical contact, why on earth did they decide to use public transport? They should have resorted to a private cab in that case. Woman’s compartment? What is that? Don’t make us laugh. We should men not be allowed in such compartments? What do you mean by seats reserved for women? All this is a blasphemy, used to belittle men.

Of course we do not want any female daughters. How on earth are supposed to take care of their expenses? So we decide to finish them off while they aren’t even born. Technology has its uses right? But of course, we are the most hypocritical people in the world, so we want the best wives for our sons. Never mind the fact that we murder our own daughters. Women should not think of making their own decisions, definitely not related to marriage or relationships. They will only accept the boys which we decide are best for them.

Of course, the woman should be grateful to the person who is marrying her. Naturally, it becomes her duty to give his family considerable sums of gifts[read-dowry], submit to all his desires, and accept punishment[read-torture] when it is given due. No matter, domestic violence is so common and suicides have become even more frequent. But why should we men care? We can re-marry as often we like. But we will raise eyebrows if a woman thinks of doing a same. After all, she is being greedy and selfish.

Career? What a joke. Women should concentrate on taking care of her husband and family. What is the need for women to rise to higher positions? What will they do by managing teams? Isnt it enough that we are letting them study in co-ed colleges, where there is even a chance of them becoming impure[read-losing their virginity]. Thus, a woman should compromise on her career and make sure that her husband is happy.

Just to conclude, the above statements are a reflection of the actual state of our society. I know the text is heavy on sarcasm, but the objective is female liberalization. I do hope that the situation will improve in the country, and we will continue to have outstanding female leaders and decision makers. Till then, take care, happy holi and happy women’s day.
Monday, February 20, 2012 2 comments

The Journey Ahead and Beyond

Happy Birthday to me. Today, my official 23rd year of singledom begins. But no, this post is not about my birthday or about my relationship status. Don’t worry. But this post will deal with a lot of things, basically, what are the things I have done in the past one month, or the places I have visited. I am afraid I am not very good in making a proper structure, so the events may not be in chronological order or logically connected. But bear with me.

To start with, Delhi girls are really beautiful. I have seen more beautiful girls here in one day, then I have done in my 22 years at Durgapur. More often than not, I feel sad that I do not have a girlfriend. But have learnt to adjust with that. After all, even for getting into a relationship, you need to put in some effort[which I haven’t]. But I am sure I will find the right person sooner or later. For now, there are bigger priorities in life.

Let’s start with the Delhi Darshan[in the Ho Ho bus], in which I visited 8 historical places in Delhi. Thanks to Preethi for the initiation. 7 of us roamed around like tourists, and had loads of fun. I finally saw the Qutub Minar[which I had wanted to for ages], and along with that a few others places such as Lotus Temple, Akshardham, Humayun’s tomb, Raj Ghat, Delhi Haat, etc. All of these places are worth visiting at least once. This was a trip I really enjoyed.

Now, let’s come to my next love: Japan. I happened to visit two places: The Japan Foundation[where I went alone], which is a must-visit place for any Japan lover or anime fan. The place had an exhibition going on, of 100 Japanese items, ranging from Lamps, to Garbage Collectors, to Police Shields, to Robot Dogs. You get the picture. I also happened to visit the Library, which was a great place to chillax. I read books on Japanese history, Martial Arts, and even one on the art of Swordcraft making. Each book costs roughly 2500-5000 bucks. Woah! Then there are loads of Learn Japanese books, and my favorite- Mangas. There is an entire series of Learn to draw your own Manga stuff. Mayank would have loved that.
There was another place I wanted to visit, in Hauz Khas village, along with Mayank. It was another Japanese exhibition, called ‘Tokyo is Dreaming’, basically a collection of movie scenes. Talked with a few young entrepreneurs, who are encouraging the growth of Anime and Manga in India. I was impressed. They were surprised to know that there are people in FMS who are interested in Manga and anime. Am looking forward to visiting their stall in the World Book Fair, to be held in Pragati Maidan.
Yet another interesting place which I visited was the Comic Con Expo, held at Delhi Haat. That place is always brimming with foreigners and all kinds of interesting people. Once again, Mayank accompanied me. We browsed through quite a few comics and unique stalls. Some people had come dressed up in comic book characters. Once again, had lots of fun. I also actually held Fairy Tail Manga in my hands. Its good to see the comic book industry expanding in India.

I also happened to visit Gurgaon last week to meet my relatives. Nice place[though horrible traffic]. Had a memorable stay. Made a brief visit to MDI as well[they have a splendid campus]. Ambience Mall is pretty good[and huge] too. I am so loving travel.

Started jogging yesterday. Will write an entire separate post on it. But yes, life is good. Read a great book called The Magic of Thinking Big. Also purchased the official biography of Steve Jobs. Have a tons of books to read. Classes going on as usual. Rest to be updated later.

In the end, would like to thank everyone who has made me into what I am, and who will be responsible for helping me in future too. First of all, would thank my parents, and my grandparents and all my relatives in supporting me in all the ways possible. Next, I would like to thank the entire batch of 2013 in FMS, for providing me with the best company I could ask for. And all of my non-FMS friends for being there for me.
Especially grateful to Neha, Mayank, Divya, Abhirup, Preethi, Rohan, Shimona, Ankit, and many others for providing an outstanding company.
Thursday, February 2, 2012 1 comments

Sick and Frustrated!

Yes, I know I have not written in a while[this dialogue sounds rather cliché now]. Lots of things on my plate. Right now, I am down with chronic bronchitis and influenza. Add to that stomach cramps, and yes, its not a pretty situation. Have skipped the entire week’s classes, and have spent most of my time taking rest at my relatives place. On Meds. Reading like crazy in order to pass time. Recently, I read numerous random blog posts[some related to Bschool life, but mostly general ones]. Also reading a brilliant book- Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. My first major book on Philosophy. Will go on to other ones as well. Have a host of books lined up to read.

But first, I am going to rant and complain in this post. Am frustrated, and irritated. Yes, you got that right. More than my physical condition[though that is also a major factor], its also the mental and emotional aspect that is troubling me. Sometimes I feel as if I am totally disconnected from everyone else out here, that I do not have a single friend to turn to or talk to. Which brings about pangs of loneliness and despair. Maybe I am the misfit out here, or maybe I just do not know how to connect emotionally with others.

One thing which frustrates me a lot is the short sightedness and narrow mindedness of people, everywhere. If you take the case of a Bschool environment, it feels as if all that people care about, is mundane stuff[for me, for others it may be priority number one], such as copying assignments, blindly running after competitions, mugging, placements, Economic Times, blah blah. Hardly anyone even bothers to get out or even think beyond the MBA world, which really annoys me. I will give one example. During our summers process[which lasted for a week], the entire atmosphere had changed into one in which the only thing which people could think and talk about was placement jargon: CVs, Shortlists, Days 0,1,2..., Companies, Profile, Pay Package, Interviews, GDs, Bitching[yeah include that too], etc etc. After 2 days, I was so fed up that I immersed myself into my own world, disconnecting from this insane conundrum of parochialism. Each and every person[with the only probable exception being one of my real friends out here- Abhirup] was bickering on and on about placements, placements and placements. As if every other single thing in life had ceased to exist from that point onwards. Such a transition is indeed remarkable from a psychological point of view, but it pissed me off to no end. But in the end, I realized that human beings are indeed short sighted people, and sometimes simply refuse to see the bigger picture. Maybe it helps the mind function properly in this vast,unending ocean of knowledge.

Point number 2 which frustrates me: Herd Mentality[if anyone has read any good book on this topic, please let me know]. If one person takes an initiative or does something, automatically everyone else blindly copies him/her and follows suit. Sounds familiar? I guess this situation is prevalent everywhere. And this thing really frustrates me. Shows the total lack of will to do something on your own. It can be a very simple example- If one person decides to photocopy something, automatically ten more people will claim that they need to get the photocopy too[even if its totally irrelevant for them]. Basic human tendency you can say, but nevertheless I do not like it. Considering a Bschool environment, people tend to apply to any and all Major companies that come on campus. To mention one incident- a Form of a certain company was released, and practically there was a mad rush to get hold of it, with people forming long queues[what is it with Indians and queues anyways? Do they so love standing in a line for every single damn thing? Or is it simple due to the large population?] just to be the first to get the form[as if the forms would run out if they didn’t fight to get a forward place in the queue]. As one guy emerged from the room, carrying the ten page form, I asked him- ‘Are you really interested in the company? And what profile is it offering?’ To my horror, that guy replied- ‘Who knows dude. I haven’t even looked at the form. Sab le rahe the, to maine socha main bhi utha leta hoon.’ I was shocked. If such is the attitude of a person who is about to become a Manager, I really shudder to think what the future for India is going to be like. The sad truth is that people don’t even care what sort of a role/job they are getting into. Most are just concerned about the pay and/or the brand name. And they are absolutely averse to taking risk. Otherwise nothing can explain the fact that there are people who apply to every single company that comes to campus, irrespective of the profile offered[finance, marketing, operations, whatever] with the view that-‘Kahi na kahi to lag jayega’. Nice strategy. Why bother aiming at the eye of the fish when you can have the entire fish itself?

Third, and maybe the most important- its the classes. Yes, you got me right again. And no, let me clarify, I do not mean just the classes of FMS, or any Bschool for that matter. I mean the way our entire education system is designed. But for arguments sake, I will take MBA classes in my discussion. I mean, I cannot understand how one can teach the intricacies of Organization Behavior, or Capital Markets in a class. All the theoretical stuff is fine, but how much do the students actually learn just by sitting in class and listening to lectures? Maybe for some people that is the best way to learn, but for me its extremely boring and almost entirely a waste of time. I would rather sit in the library, or walk in a park and think, rather than listen to some Accounting or Finance concepts which I will never use in my life. I hate the fact that we are forced to study things which we will never need to use, starting from school. And people give me this lame reason that-‘Creating a basic knowledge of such subjects is essential.’ But just fail to explain ‘Why’ exactly that is so. Even worse is that we still follow the outdated- ‘Learn by rote just in order to score high marks in exams’ system, even in Bschools, and I simply fail to understand why. Come on, its 2012 for God’s sake. What management are you going to learn by simply memorizing stuff and practicing a few numericals from text books? Why can’t we have field trips to corporate offices instead? Why not make students regularly sell products in urban and rural areas? Why not make students deal with HR issues in workplaces, rather than confining everything into a two-month internship[which is once again graded and marked]. Why not make the students handle stocks and mutual funds[for those who are interested in finance], rather than just making hypothetical balance sheets in class? No wonder we lag so behind our western counterparts when it comes to actual application of Management. Take any discipline for that matter- The outcome shall be similar. And even 25 year olds are running after marks and grades, just like dogs run after chicken bones[if this sounds derogatory, I just don’t care]. I feel disgusted after seeing such situations. And the most important thing that matters in any class is........[am sure you have guessed it right]- Attendance, what else? Remove this concept of attendance and then see how many students attend class. It will be those students who are genuinely interested in learning.

Anyways, I have gone and ranted far enough. Its time to stop here. Am going to take some rest again. Just exhausted all of my energy reserves in writing this post. See you all later.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 2 comments

A Day in the Life of a Thinker!

I failed. Yeah you read that right. I failed, and that too for the first time. Okay, I am not talking about life in general but about my academics. I failed to get pass marks in the theory paper of Financial Accounting in the first semester. As a result I have to take the exam again. Okay, I agree this is no big news, but still it serves as a reminder that I need to work harder. Especially in finance. Though I continue to hate the subject.

Today was an eventful day. I did quite a few things, and will try to narrate some of them down in this post. Right now, I am quite tired, though it’s already 10:40 pm, yet I am in a great mood.

Today was an off day, and I had decided that I would visit a historical monument. I had Qutub Minar in my mind initially. But the problem was getting a group to go there, and actually convince people to get out of the comfort of their blankets[Delhi winter is no joke, most people sleep comfortably till 12 pm at least]. I called up quite a few people, including Mayank[who had woken up early at 12:30 pm] and Shashank[also just woken]. Both refused. I also suggested visiting the new Pagalguy office[which I plan to in future]. Then I called up Ankit who suggested going to the Auto Expo. Unfortunately the seats were all sold out. Ultimately Ankit was busy with his personal work as well. Divya and Sheetal were both busy with work, and Preethi and Neha refused for other reasons too. Failure again? Move on.

Abhirup agreed to go, and I also managed to convince Rakesh to come. Ashish was a bit hesitant and ultimately did not turn up. We reached ‘Vishwavidyalaya’ metro station and met up with a group who was going to watch the India versus Bayern Munich football match. And Rakesh decided to go with them. So I was left with only Abhirup in the end. But it was good, though. We did enjoy to the fullest. We decided to go to the Red Fort, which was near Chandni Chowk. It was my first trip to the Historical Monument and Abhirup was the perfect guide. He showed me across all the important areas. Whether it be the Diwaan-E-Khaas or the Royal Throne[where once peacock throne stood]. You can check the album here:

Red Fort

I had a great time roaming around the place. It was serene, and I felt oddly calm moving around the lawns, gardens, and also visited an ‘Arms’ museum, which hosted some weapons of the First World war era[see the album for details].



After coming out of the Red Fort, we took a trip amongst [which is probably the worlds most chaotic] the Chandni Chowk roads, and had lunch at McDonalds. We also saw the Sis Ganj Gurudwara which is in Chandni Chowk itself. Finally we returned to North Campus and I stayed in Abhirup’s room in VKRV Rao Hostel for a couple of hours or so. Had a mini manga discussion with Abhinav Sareen and Shivan Nair. And then some gossip with Abhirup and Vipul.

Finally, I left at around 6:30 pm, and decided to walk all the way to my Kamla Nagar flat from the hostel[must be more than 3 kms at least]. In this cold, some people would say it was a foolish decision, but for some odd reason I wanted to walk. And think. Which I did. I tried to notice every single detail I could. The sweatshirts of other students which bore the college tags. The dusky roads, and the illuminated street lights. The distinct images of the colleges and the hostels. The DU stadium. The rickshaws. The vehicles. The guards and the policemen. And the people. Rich and the poor. I walked along past FMS, and on towards the crowded Kamla Nagar market[where Traffic jams are a necessity]. Suddenly a few students started shouting out at me from their car. Maybe they were drunk. Or in a jubilant mood. I merely smiled and moved on. Lots of thoughts went through my mind. About growing inequality in India, poverty, obsession with showing off one’s wealth, over crowded areas, etc etc. How people continue to ignore the poverty, filth and misery around them, as if it simply does not exist. How everyone is too bothered with their own affairs to think about anything else. How rich girls keep arguing over the color of their clothes while shopping, while small children behind them shiver in the cold. How students(and others) continue to smoke freely in a SO-CALLED SMOKE FREE campus. How people continue to deposit garbage out in the open, spit freely, and use the roadsides as toilets. How people cannot even adhere to basic traffic norms out here. Am I being too negative? Perhaps. But I certainly do not exaggerate.

I am reading quite a few good books right now. Started off the Shiva trilogy. I must say that Amish is a brilliant author. Tomorrow the CAT 2011 results shall be announced. I will be active on Pagalguy. I am also learning Punjabi[Gurumukhi]. And watching Science Fiction documentaries, hosted by the famous physicist, Michio Kaku.

In all, I walked for over 5 kms today. Walking is a very healthy exercise I feel. Do try it. Anyways, I shall end here for today. Hope you enjoyed reading. Have a good day, and enjoy every day to the fullest. Best wishes.
 
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