Thursday, February 2, 2012

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.


G said...

EXACTLY the questions I asked myself when I was supposedly starting to prepare for CAT last year. 'What is the point of this rat-race? "
Well written !

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