Tuesday, June 25, 2013 0 comments

R.I.P. English

Often, I retrospect about my school and college days, and quite often than not, my thoughts wander to my teachers. I have had the privilege of studying under some teachers with an outstanding prowess in the English language [NOTE- SARCASM]. Before you start judging me, I would like to say that I have nothing personal against these personalities. But I would just like to share a few quotes/statements which have made them popular. Of course, I shall not be taking their original names. Also, I have NOT exaggerated the following quotes in any way. My classmates will testify for that.

Let us refer to them as T1,T2 and T3[There would be many more, but then I cannot let this post run forever].

T1= Maths Teacher, T2= Physics teacher[Nickname- Apple], T3= Electronics Teacher [Nickname- Spoken English]

T1: ‘Hey, Quiet All are. The Principal has just passed away.’ [When the principal walked by the classroom]

T1: ‘Now, integral calculus solves you all are. This formula remembers you. Exam very important formula is.’

T1: ‘You middle boy last bench all are. Stand up and go into the blackboard. The sum solves you.’

T1: ‘Open the window. Let the air force/atmosphere come in.’ [Okay, this one is common, I agree]

T1: ‘Come meet me underground in the break time when I am empty.’ [Interpretation: Meet me on the ground floor, during break when I am free]

T1:’ When I talk, you talk, no middle talk.’

T2: ‘Today I will explain laws of moshain [motion]. The apple falling head, Newton falling, gravity, to and fro moshain, which is loose moshain.’

T2: ‘Arrey hum tumko aisa marega ki tumhara laal gaal ko maar ke safed kar dega.’ [Translation- I will slap you so hard that your red cheek will turn white, (whatever that meant)]

T2: ‘The atoms moving zig-zag on floor is Simple Harmonic Moshain(motion)’

A female student asks T3 for permission to go to the washroom. His reply: ‘Okay, lets go.’

T3: ‘No AC will go where DC will go. You no go where AC will go. Your ghar will have AC. You don’t know where is AC.’ (Note- AC stands for Alternating Current, DC for Direct Current).

Unfortunately I have forgotten about T3's epic comments, especially during our practical sessions in Electronics. Some of his statements used to make us ROFL, literally.

If there is one serious regret which I have in my life, it’s the fact that throughout my education life(which recently ended), there are just a handful of teachers I have known whom I consider to be good. And just to clarify, its not just because they were not proficient in English. Even otherwise, I can barely remember a time or situation when I looked forward to attending a class.
And this, in spite of me getting an above average education. I can only imagine the quality of education in majority of the schools and colleges in India. Isn’t there anything which we can do to improve the standard of education in this country? Forget the Government, it obviously doesn’t care. Its time for the private sector and NGO’s to step up.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 2 comments

Why I have so few Friends!

Right now I am sitting at home, doing nothing. Well almost nothing, apart from reading some books, watching Smallville and One Piece, and occasionally sports and Emotional Atyachaar (yes, you got that right) on tv. I have been doing the same for almost two months now. From next month onwards, I shall be a Management Trainee at BASF India, Mumbai.

I have been growing through some mood swings recently. Often, I end up feeling depressed and frustrated, when negative feelings take over. Maybe its cause I don’t have any proper work to do. Or maybe because there is no friend here in my home town. Which again sets me to introspect and retrospect. Hence this post.

What is the definition of a friend to me? Okay, I will skip that. Why do I have so few friends? That’s a more interesting question. Well, first of all I would like to mention that I categorize my friends according to hierarchy. I know quite a few people will claim that they treat all their friends equally, etc, but that’s plain crap. Nobody can treat everyone similarly. There is bound to be bias. Hence, I clearly claim that I make a hierarchy of friendship. Unlike my previous posts, I shall not be taking any names in this one.

At the top layer, there is the Category 1. This is an exclusive category for my closest and true friends. Only 3 or 4 people fall in this category. These are the ones whom I can trust blindly, and have known since childhood.

The second layer, category 2 comprises of those friends whom I may not have known for very long, but nevertheless I do trust them to a large extent, and I also feel comfortable and happy in their presence. It brings about a positive aura, when I am surrounded by them. Nevertheless, I shall not be sharing everything with them.

The third layer, is category 3. These are those people with whom I have had multiple conversations, and I appreciate their work. However, I do not share any close bonds with them, and it wont make much of a difference to me if I am not in touch with someone for long. Sometimes I even have had fights, and arguments with these people(Of course, we can all generalize and say that friends keep having fights, but I meant differently).

The last layer is category 4. These people are not strictly friends, but more like acquaintances and present in my facebook friend list. I may have talked to them a few times, smiled to them out of courtesy, but beyond that, there is scarcely anything. They are just one degree above strangers, in my view. Highly likely to be forgotten as time goes by.

Yes, I know many of you will find this categorization strange or even bizarre. But that is exactly how it is. In fact, our minds are tuned to categorize people in different ways, based upon our perception of them. This is one reason why we can never totally avoid being judgmental.

So back to the original issue at hand. I admit, I have very few ‘true’ friends, ie those who belong to category one. And not many in category 2 either. What is the reason for that? Being an introvert? Being unsocial? Maybe, both of the reasons are true. I also usually do not initiate a conversation. I do not like talking about myself. In fact, I do not like talking without any purpose[ie random chit chat]. I prefer to listen. And I very rarely open up to anyone. I never share my feelings with others either. So I guess those are the logical reasons which my mind shares. But the truth may be different. Who knows.

Now, to come to a specific area: Female friends. Zero in Category 1. And just a couple or so in Category 2. That’s it. Surprised? Well that’s the truth. I have very few female friends. I could count them on the fingers of one hand. I guess the problem is that I rarely talk to females about matters besides education/work. And even that talk is limited. I studied in a all boys school, and had very limited interaction with girls, even in college. Of course, if you do Engineering and then MBA(from a premier institute) your interaction with the fairer sex is bound to be limited. Forget dating or asking a girl out, even talking to a girl was like a difficult chore for me. Though of course, I did talk to a few of them, and have chatted online with many, but could hardly make friends with anyone. I can even say that I did not have a single female friend before MBA. My closest friends are all male. And I do not see any change coming in the future.

Sometimes, I do feel sad about it of course. Most of my batchmates (both engg and MBA) have a healthy mix of friends from both genders. I would have desired the same. Maybe not many friends, but equal numbers of both genders. However, that was not to be. I guess it is because of my nature.

I do not believe that facebook chat and gtalk is an alternative for actual face to face interactions. In fact, virtual friendship has made life tougher for us. I resent the fact that I spend more time chatting and whatsapping than talking to people in real. This is something which I must seriously change in myself. I hate socializing, but I could try that too, in Mumbai. Maybe participate in some blogger discussions or debates, etc. But of course, I will avoid parties, as I consider them to be a simple waste of time. Travelling is something which I want to do as well.

You know that you will feel miserable when you badly want to go someplace (such as the movies) but don’t have even a single friend to accompany you[I watched both Iron Man 3, and Man of Steel alone]. But the fault is in me, attribution theory has taught me that.

See you around folks.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 2 comments

My Bschool Bestest

I bet the caption caught your attention, didn’t it? Anyways, this article is based on my personal experience, being a moderator at Pagalguy.com, and also active at several other MBA forums. Call it ego or whatever, but the truth is that most Bschoolers become incredibly defensive when it comes to talking about their alma mater.

After all, nobody wants their[or their bschool’s] skeletons to be out of the closet, do they? Naturally, everyone will only talk about the positive aspects of joining XYZ School of Management, and will conveniently leave out the cons. If at all they are included, they will be as good as being neglected. Most placement reports claim 100% placements, with the top brands on the front page. This gives a very wrong impression to aspirants. Say for example, a particular bschool had 400 students, and the top 100 got good offers, and the bottom 50 remained unplaced. Still the placement report will suggest that ALL the students were placed in decent companies with good profiles.

This is an era when even the top bschools are struggling to place all their students, not to mention the tier-2 or tier-3 ones. But this is not the focus of my article. I find it irritating when bschoolers try to hide details from the public, openly resort to lying, and get into heated arguments whenever there is a comparison between bschools. A common comparison is between an IIM and a Non-IIM, albeit top bschool. Just for an example, lets take comparing IIM Lucknow with XLRI, or a new IIM versus MDI/NITIE/IIFT. The IIM grads will swear that an IIM tag matters a lot, whereas a non-IIM grad will focus on other aspects[say location, alumni base, etc]. Some people will claim that an IIM is an IIM, hence it’s the sole reason for you to join. Others will remark that it’s better to take a bschool which is well established than to worry about an IIM tag. This is just one example out of many.

Unfortunately, this only adds to an aspirant’s confusion and doubt, since he will get biased reports from both sides. Recently, one guy called me up asking for my opinion on IIM L vs FMS. I tried to give him as objective a perspective as possible and even highlighted the points where L scored over FMS. However, I know from experience that most people will not do that. They will go at any length to defend their own bschool.

It saddens me to say this, but some of my batchmates have done the same too[repeatedly claiming FMS’s superiority over others]. There is a [albeit thin] difference between promoting one’s bschool and blindly boasting about its strengths.

Some of the common confusions [for aspirants having multiple converts are]:

i) IIM A vs IIM B vs IIM C
ii) IIM L vs FMS vs XLRI
iii) IIM I vs IIM K
iv) MDI vs NITIE vs IIFT
v) New IIMs
vi) SP Jain vs JBIMS vs newer IIM [including K]
vii) IMT vs NMIMS vs XIM-B vs SIBM

And others.

My advice to bschoolers: Guys, you people are talented and wise. Stop misguiding others, and try to lay out as objective a picture as possible. Trust me, it will increase the respect people will have for your bschool.

@Aspirants: Don’t get misguided by what an institute’s placement report claims. Talk to the students, alums, and third parties [neutral] to get an overall picture. Lot of bschools don’t even have proper campuses of their own[but advertise it]. And if you have multiple converts, don’t spend too much time over-thinking. Just set your priorities and chose one and stick to it. Remember, if you have it in you, you will be successful no matter where you end up.

Adios for now. It’s time to play Call of Duty: MW 3.