Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The fights we fight..

The male ego is a wondrous thing. No one can explain quite how or even why it functions. It's just something that has evolved and grown over the years along with larger brains and the opposable thumb.

The quest to become the alpha male has been one that transcends age, species, geography, race, colour and any other criteria for differentiation except for that of sex. We men indulge in our own little competitions every day, most times, without even being aware of it.

Just yesterday I found myself in the most interesting little battle with the guy sitting next to me in the bus from Mangalore to Bangalore. First of all, this dude steals my seat. He sat next to the window, which was actually the seat that had been assigned to me. But this being a win-win situation (since I prefer the aisle seat), I let things be. But what got to me, strange as it may seem, was that he was intruding into my leg space. Since the combined effects of evolution and civilization have denied us the traditional mechanism of "territorial pissing" (in the words of the late Mr Cobain),the bus makers have , in the design of the seats themselves, clearly defined a demarcation between the section of leg room that was his, and the space that was for me. And what does this man do? He placed his right foot right on top of the divider, allowing a centimeter or two of his foot to enter into my "territory".

He had just violated the most basic of all animal rules. Respect thy neighbour's space! Since I had disarmed myself (read taken off my shoes for a nice night of sleep), I could not nudge his foot out of the way. Had I chosen this particular method to try and win back my honour and prestige, he might just get the wrong idea!
So left with no other option, other than telling him to get his "#%#$@@$ leg outa my space!!", which would seem silly, I temporarily resigned to the fact that he had won this battle. But the war would be mine.

And that was when I noticed that the mother of all disputed territories; which people fight over at home, in school, at colleges, at theatres and at any place where there are two seats next to each other; the 'armrest' had not been pulled down and claimed.

Before he could realise it, I struck my deadly blow. I pulled down the armrest, and claimed it for myself! Hence forcing him to shrug his shoulders in shame and defeat, while I sat like a king...on my throne, both arms properly rested, even though my legs were denied the freedom they yearned.

Soon, that as mine as well. Once I was sure he was not distracted on the phone or any other media, I looked down at his foot, let out an irritated "tsk" and stared at him, forcing him to retreat in haste, surrending the few centimeters of lef space he had earlier captured. Victory was mine.

I slept in peace,my male ego satisfied.
I would remain forever, the irritating dude who sat next to the poor chap who had no leg space because his bag was under his seat.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Roots and Branches

I guess it's that time in my life when I'm done being the dependent and have graduated to the one others depend on. I think that explains why,lately, I've been suffering from a case of acute Nostalgia. The triggers for these attacks come in any and many forms. Today I began reminiscing of my school days when I saw a group of school children playing cricket. I don't even like cricket that much !

But over the past few months, I've realized that nothing else can transport me to another time and place quite like Music can. (I capitalize Music for the same reason we capitalize the H in He when we refer to Him! For that is the power of Music). So many times it has been, that I have found myself back in time, feeling those exact same feelings I felt that day to which my memories have taken me; triggered by a song on the TV or the radio.

Some songs bring back memories of times I've spent with close friends. Some take me back to my roots. Some remind me of who I once was. Some remind me of the best of times I've spent with my family. Some are the songs that put my niece to sleep.Some are the songs I sang to my love.

One of the songs I associate with my initiation to Music would be 'Home on the range'(http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/usa/ogivemea.mid) . A simple song we were taught in the Western Music class in my old school.

Another song that means the world to me is Def Leppard's 'Two Steps Behind'. Because this is the first song I ever sang in a Band, and also the first song I also played guitar to in a band. (Different bands,differnt time, different places, same name - Inferno.)

Yesterday on VH1, The Fugees' 'Killing Me Softly' reminded me of those days where I used to wait by the radio for hours at a stretch, empty cassette and trigger finger all set to record the latest chart toppers. Back then Pop, Rock, R&B, Rap .. they made no difference to me.

By traversing the path less traveled back then and swearing in to the world of Rock, did I turn more mature in my choice of Music, or did I put on my blinkers and stop looking around me?

What hits me hardest (and I'm probably repeating myself here, but I feel the need to, since I have strayed a bit) is the feeling of "SOB !! I used to like this stuff!" And more often than not ..."SOB !! I still like this stuff!"

Lately I've started liking other forms of Music as well. Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, bollywood Music...and even though I hate to admit it in some cases, mainstream, heat and eat, open flap and pour - Pop.

So that may be why I've asked one of my best friend's Manu, also one of the most talented musicians I have had the privilege of knowing and playing Music with, to accompany me in playing songs that have meant the most to us. And we play this to the world.. enter Youtube.

We've uploaded one video so far. We recorded a shoddy version of Oasis' Do You Know What I Mean. Hopefully we can do a cleaner version of it soon.

Until then, any suggestions for songs you would like us to cover in acoustic will be welcome.

And let me sign off on this note. Please listen to Bob Marley. I've just begun to. And I don't intend on stopping.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And I'm back

It’s been a while ... if a year and a half can be called a while!

Why the sudden return you ask? (And I’m asking and answering this question because I know the imaginary followers of mine who I have conjured up to justify to myself that returning from my blog retirement is worth the effort, who eagerly await my next post, even for a over a year, will surely ask this question). Well, some of my friends are regular bloggers, and that again inspired the part-time writer in me (and by part-time, I mean once a year. And I say one year and not 1.5 because in November last year, I started another short-lived blog elsewhere) to blog once again. Plus, Veda, who’s like a kid sis to me, has been begging and pleading with me to start blogging again. (@ Veda: I know you just mentioned it offhand once or twice that I should perhaps blog more often, but let’s imagine you begged and pleaded with me. Our little secret!).

And hence, I visited my blog, and ended up reading some of my old posts. Like I’ve said before, this blog was meant to be a diary of sorts; for me to look back on and smile about. And in that sense, it has been a success.

Getting into IIM-A had seemed like such a giant achievement at that point of time. I’ve told a couple of people this, but before we got into IIM-A, it seemed like the greatest achievement possible. But once we entered those gates, and were ground into the system and IIM-A became WIMWI for us, it felt surprisingly normal. I look back at my posts retelling my entire CAT story and smile at how my perspective has changed.

Sure, getting in has changed my life in more ways than one. [And one more significant than all, more than the huge impetus I hope it lends my career {hope being the keyword here (I notice my school mathematics classes coming into use right here …Round brackets within curly brackets within square brackets.i.e’[{(_)}]. The correct ordering of brackets within an equation. I feel proud of myself! See, this blog is informative as well!)}. But that is a matter for another post, which I may or may-not eventually feel the inspiration to write.] But now all that seems a thing of the past. A part of my life that has gone by. Something I failed to enjoy as much as I could have…

But I’ve started to realize that this is how I feel about anything that was good in my life. ‘I could have done more!’

So I think, will I spend my entire life in eternal regret of what has gone by? Do I make a conscious effort to make the most out of every single day of my life? I could make a promise to do that, but I know I will fail in that attempt.

But what I can attempt to do, is write about stuff that happened in my life, that played a significant role in making me what I am. The people I’ve known, the places I’ve been, the sports I’ve played, the songs I’ve loved, and the ones I love.

So this entire post has played out in my mind as a press conference I’ve just called for, with the crowds thronging (the above mentioned imaginary readers) and cameras flashing, and mikes pointed at my face. (You may think … Really? Is he that zonked out? A press conference for a blog revival? To you I say, believe in Aaj Tak my friend.!)

So at the end of this aforementioned press conference I have just one thing to say… “I am Iron Man!”

P.S. : I just told one of my closest friends I was going to start blogging again, and when he asked why, I said “It felt nice to read my old posts again.”

And so I guess, that’s a major reason why I’m planning on writing again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

IIM Ahmedabad - The Journey - Part 2 - Term 1 - Post 2 - T-Nite

Let’s get this straight. The first term at IIM Ahmedabad is tough. And it’s hectic. And it’s gruelling. Mostly we’re scared because we’re unsure of the rules. We’re scared of the profs, we’re scared of quizzes, we’re scared of being “Cold Called” in class, we’re scared of assignments, and we’re scared of exams. But there are some moments that make us forget all about this heavy burden these 300 odd poor souls shoulder every year. And the mother of all such moments is T-Nite.

T-Nite is something that all “Fachchas” and “Tuchchas” alike look forward to. For the Fachchas, it’s a break from the routine class preparations and the studies. And for the Tuchchas, it’s an opportunity for rekindle Section ties and bring back the old competitive spirit. And so arrived our T-Nite.

And what makes it even more brilliant is the timing of it all. T-Nite kicks off the evening the mid-term examinations end. And the last of those exams is spent mostly being exited about the 4 days that lay ahead. And it is not a very pleasant feeling when the last paper you get, the one only a few hours away from the famous “Pub-Run” is a four hour long HR paper which has a 25 page case! I still remember the name of the case … People’s Express! So once those 4 extremely painfully long hours were over, all the PGP-1s were busy getting ready for the PUB-RUN to be celebrating the end of the exams.

Now let me explain how it works. We have four sections out here, namely A,B,C and D, myself belonging to A. Other than the four of these, the PGP-X programme also joins in for T-Nite, being called Section X for obvious reasons!


The PUB-RUN, although the name might give other ideas, stands for “Publicity-Run”. You see, the first two days, or “nites” of T-Nite are held in the Mess building. Now during the Pub-Run, 10 runners from each section run from a designated starting point with a 10second interval between successive runners, to try and capture as much space for the section on the Mess walls as possible. And some of the places in the Mess are of strategic importance. So, I was the first runner for my section.

An hour before it began, everyone ran back to their rooms, stuffed their bags with old newspapers, whiteboard markers and paint. We even conjured up a snare drum and a dhol from somewhere. The time until Pub Run starts off is spent drawing large As on newspapers and old bedsheets. Meanwhile, us poor runners were being decorated with double sided tape. (You’ll understand why in a minute). Amongst this was all the “Tempo shouting” and cheering. And then, Cult Comm (the cultural affairs committee) called the sections to their respective starting places. So there we stood at LKP, (what better place to start of T-Nite?). I had one large bedsheet pre-stuck with tape in one hand. And stood at the starting blocks. A bead of sweat trickled down my forehead. My eyes were focussed….yadayadayada..Im sure you get the point. So finally it began. I ran with four other runners and the next half hour was spent searching for any free space on the walls and climbing chairs, tables, chairs on top of tables and sticking those newspapers there. At the end of it all …. In the blink of an eye, the mess was completely covered.

All this time, the rest of the class was busy singing and shouting and cheering. After all, we had no studies to worry about. This was the time that everyone was completely carefree for the first time since they stepped into this blessed campus.

Straight after this, all of us headed back to our classrooms, and practise began. First we assigned people in charge of taking care of the various events for the next few days. I was assigned Music.

The artists of our class got to work designing the posters, and some of them were simply brilliant!! These were being done along almost all of the benches. In the well, the dancers were deciding steps for the songs to be done.

After a shower, I got back to class to discover our “Section Tuchchas” sitting in class, giving us the “Tuchcha Gyan” that seems to be an important part of life on campus. So with some of their help, we got around to practising, and I sat with Arun (Papa), Ameya (Maala) and Vignesh (Scuba) to decide what to do on the Music front.

The next day was “Mess Nite – 1” so we did not need to perform then, but we did need to do something for both the RJM Nites!

Yea I know! Im not gonna let you guys sit and wonder for yourselves what Mess Nite and RJM nite is!

The first two nights of T-Nite involves each section performing for 20 minutes each in the stage at the mess. These were more fun filled. The last two nights at the RJMCEI Auditorium were more serious and required good displays of talent.

But before we proceed to talk of these 4 days, it is important to understand some of the finer aspects as well.

1) The T-Shirt

You see, at T-Nite, every section has to have it’s T-Shirt. And ours was designed by Mohit Gidwani AKA Haddi. We still proudly wear it and it has everyone’s dorm names at the back. Which is one reason many of us do not wear it when we go home.

2) The Section Name

Every section has to have a name. This year they were, Arbit Raj, Beagles, Cla-C, Dhinchak and XtaC.

3) Tempo-Shouts

For the unaware, they are basically cheers. Every section will have a couple. Loads of fun to scream. Something to laugh about years later.

4) The website

Every section must create and maintain a website for T-Nite.

5) The Newsletter

Every section also has a newsletter where they provide a completely biased view of the happenings, and is a good opportunity to have a good laugh at the expense of the other sections.

And so with your fundamentals of T-Nite covered, we can now proceed to my memories of what happened. : )


The slots for performance during all days is decided by lots. And on Mess Nite 1, we drew the last slot. We all decided to wear our section T-shirts, and went ahead and performed. Our opening act was one that not many will forget in the near future. A stunner dance routine headed by Mihir Lal AKA Syler. This was followed up by our take on a portion of the Mahabharat. A couple of dances more and out time slot was up. But unfortunately, we apparently were not too good, and ended up with the least points on that day. And we had left a prop on stage!! And lost points for that as well!

I remember that night after the scores came out perfectly. Many of us were sitting on Dorm 20’s terrace, trying to figure out what to do the next day when the scores came out. Even though our seniors had mentioned that the other sections were better, we did not expect this.

So went on a discussion about what to do the next day, what to perform and so on. And this continued till late in the night. Which according to normal people clocks would be early in the morning.


The second day, we were determined to redeem ourselves and prove ourselves to be strong contenders for the T-Nite title.

The change was evident from the moment we entered the mess. In bright colours, in a carnival theme, we ran and cartwheeled our way onto the stage and we had some impressive dances. With star dancer Rajiv G in full flow.

With our skit also going off well, Mess Nite 2 altogether was a very good day. We ended up in second for the day, just behind the PGP-X guys.

After that performance, we had so much fun in class! Some of us stayed up till 5 in the morning practising, singing, watching music videos on the screen and cleaning up. We had our own little party in class.

RJM Night –1

Here was the first of the two big days! Majority of the weightage was for these two days. We had to do a good job. Our best dancer, Rajiv was ill, but still managed to get himself up for practise.

And then comes the music. This requires some elaboration. The guys who were gonna play for the section band along with me are some of the most talented musicians I’ve met. Papa in particular. But they were also lazy Asses. And so we’d go to the Music room during the time allocated for practise and do absolute timepass. We’d start jamming to random songs, and not practise anything for the show. We finally decided to perform Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall and the Friend’s theme, and also a bit of Roadhouse Blues and Smoke on the Water.

On stage, somehow we managed to pull it off. No big f*** ups. And everyone liked it a lot as well. The dances went of nicely. The random act, conjured up by the king of arbitness and starring himself in the villain’s role, was completely random and arbit but hilariously funny!

Before the performance, the artists including Gouri and Dash (can’t remember who else was involved) created a massive back drop depicting our theme for the day’s performance. It was “opposites”!

At the same time, Mahima and Syler were busy in class preparing for the Fash-P ( Fashion Parade) for those who don’t know. On returning from the 40 min performance of dance and what not, people began dressing up for the Fash-P. Duski and Miski were fire, Tenzing, Himanshu and Guppi were ice. We had our own private army, we had peace. We had the new and the old. We even had Fachchas and Tuchchas, in which I played the most critical role, without which, the whole Fash-P was disastrous!! I was a signboard! I proudly held up a thermocole board that read “Tuchadom!! (I still have that in my room btw. I’ll be sure to hold it up in the air as I scream “Muggo Fachchon Muggo!!” come June!) It ended amazingly to a standing ovation. And with that ended RJM nite 1.

RJM Night –2

At this point of time, Cla-C and the PGP-X were out in the lead. We again continued our practice from early in the day till the very last minute until we were to go on stage.

Music practise, as usual was a couple of hours of timepass with each of us switching instruments and playing a different song. We ended up playing Californication and Aadat with no practice at all. As a joke, we were talking about making a “Section song”. Maala picks up the guitar, began strumming and making up lyrics at the same time. We had a good laugh then, and decided that was our section song, just for the fun of it.

We had our class act, which went off really well, which was in line with our theme of the circle of life. Rajiv had a brilliant solo dance routine to Ek pal ka jeena and Black Eyed Peas’ Bebo. We’ll atleast it was supposed to be a solo dance routine. We were standing near the entrance to the auditorium watching the dance when all of a sudden, Maala walks off onto center stage and proves to WIMWI that he too, can dance.

Incidentally, we got the last slot for the day. Meaning we would be the last ones to perform at T-Nite 2007. The bands performance was over and the organisers said that time was up. And so we went into a huddle and discussed whether we should do the section song or not. And we decided in the affirmative. And so Papa, Scuba and Maala begin the song, with me supposed to join in with drums when Papa stops the guitaring in the middle. But guess what! He doesn’t stop. I kept waiting for the entire length of that song, waiting for my cue, but in vain. But it was good fun nonetheless. And we received a standing ovation, yet again.

Later we learnt that we brought some of our Section seniors to tears (thy names shall not be mentioned). Apparently we brought out the true spirit of T-Nite, and ended T-Nite on the right note and all that jazz.

Section C emerged winners, with PGP-X in second. We were a close third.

But seriously. T-Nite served its purpose. It is meant to be an opportunity for the people in a section to get to know each other. And it did happen. I met some people who have become some of my closest friends on campus at T-Nite. A sense of camaraderie is formed. And in the end, it was a lot of fun!

The whole of next day’s classes were spent deep in sleep. And normal life at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad continued.

Monday, April 21, 2008

IIM Ahmedabad - The Journey - Part 2 - Term 1 - Post 1


The first term at IIM Ahmedabad is LEGEN….wait for it …..DARY!! And there are a number of factors that contribute to its fame. And in honour of one of the most painful subjects in that term, ie. WAC or “Written Analysis and Communication”, I shall format my post as a WAC report. Anyone who got into IIM for the 2008-10 batch…BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (Evil laugh)!!!!


How exactly was my first year at IIMA?


1)Awesome (or as it’s said here…OSSUM!!)

2) Crappy

3) “It depends”


CRITERIA 1 – Studies

Any story about the first term at IIMA wouldn’t even have begun if it does not mention the academics involved. The time before I joined was filled with stories about the enormous amount of studies that would be involved in my two years there, and the first term was filled with the Tuchchas constantly reminding us of how hectic the first year was with their chants of “Muggo Fachchon Muggo!!!”….which after a point of time, we became immune to. (Looking forward to being on the delivery side in June :D).

Those chants were not unjustified though! Academics are tough out here. HRM, OM, MC, QM, ID, WAC, EA and the dreaded “MANAC”!!!

HRM classes were a joy just because of the professor, someone who many a student has referred to as “GOD LEVEL!!!” (That’s just one of the terms that are so overused on campus that it has lost all significance.). I still remember a 3.5 hours session he once took. And honestly, that has been my best class in WIMWI to date. It was simply brilliant.

The first few weeks, I never understood how people could sleep in class. Don’t they sleep at night? Sheesh!!

A few more days later, I understood. In the first term, the amount I slept in class was actually quite less…especially when compared to the hours I spent sleeping in class in Term 3, but that’s a story for another time. While some classes were spent in absolute bewilderment at the sheer brilliance of the professor’s analytical skills, some were spent also in bewilderment at the sheer complexity of the subject (or was it my sheer stupidity for not understanding?? I cant remember!) There were loads of assignments to do (again…nothing compared to term 3!) but some of them were fun as well.

The exams are very scary….atleast the first time. I didn’t know what to expect, and on top of that, I didn’t know anything related to the subjects. So most of my exams involved pure gas. And that was when I discovered my secret to surviving the first year here:- Fart! The success of a person here is dependant to a certain extent on his/her ability to talk absolute bullcrap for hours about anything under the sun. And I was quick to learn that. But that my friends, is not applicable to all subjects.

This gives me an appropriate opportunity to introduce to you, the subject known as “Managerial Accounting and Control - 1” or as we like to call it (or do we??) MANAC-1! My reasoning for why this is arguably the most dreaded subject in the first year is that no matter how much I work on this subject, I’m still gonna get f*****!! Classes were generally a lot of fun as the Prof had a good sense of humour ( Arjun and Anirudh might disagree), even though I never understood anything, hence leading to it being one of my worst subjects in the first term.

And what better topic to lead me onto my next “sub-division” than MANAC!!

CRITERIA 2- Quizzes

This was the biggest pain in the @$$ for the whole of the first year. But it never hits you as hard as it does during the first term. I mean, at that point of time, we just aren’t ready for this kind of torture! The nature of quizzes can be broadly classified into two:

A) The Shotgun : One shot and youre dead! (Remember QM-1)

There are only one or two of them, but they are of such critical importance that the cost of screwing one up is astronomical. And I am sure all of my batchmates will never forget the first QM-1 quiz we had.

Weightage : 20%

Maximum score : 20

Highest score : 20 A+

Batch average: 4 D+

My score: 2 D

Lowest score : -10 F

Need I say anymore?

B) The machine gun: Too many bullets in the chest and too quickly!

Every other day, we would go to the mess tired and completely drained after 4 hrs of classes, only to our dread, find pinned to the “Quiz Notice Board”, a strip of paper that had written upon them those words that have caused many a nightmare: “This is to inform you that there will be a short MANAC-1 quiz in your classrooms at 2:30pm today. Thank you.”

Or in other words: “This is to inform you that you will have to line up against that nice brick wall at 2:30 today so that the firing squad can have some shooting practise. Thank you.”

And it certainly felt like facing a firing squad! The build up was humungous! We skipped lunch, ran back to class, got quick Rems (remedials for the uninitiated) and prayed to the All Mighty to spare our poor souls for once. But it got over before we knew it. All we remember is getting the question paper. These MANAC quizzes are so short that no one knows when it begins and when it ends. Inevitable, the instant that the concepts strike me is when the time is up!

Over time, we got used to these quizzes and they too became a part of routine life.

CRITERIA 3 – Group Work

With the number of assignments and submissions that are present in the first term, group work is extremely important. Mine was a 5 member group. In alphabetical order, they are:

Harish V Rao

Rajiv G

Rohin Thampi (Me :D)

Sandeep Gupta

Tenzing Loden Lepcha

Most of our group meets were in either Sandeep’s or Tenzing’s room. Me, Rajiv and Tenzing would end up sleeping around half an hour into the group meets, leaving poor Sandeep (AKA Maggi) and Harish to do the work. But later on as we began to adjust to life on campus, we formed strong bonds of friendship and hung out together when not studying.

---- Due to the fact that I have reached the limit for a WAC report – 1000 words + /- 10%, I shall continue this report in the next part. Also T-Nite deserves a post of its own. Till then, Adios----

Sunday, April 20, 2008

IIM Ahmedabad - The Journey - Part 1 - Epilogue

After a long Hiatus of almost a year, I hereby return to the world of Blogging! (Sound of trumpets and a drum roll please…Thank you!)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve missed you all… (Yea right!)

The truth is, I was too busy with my first year at IIMA (not busy mugging! That was there, but I was also busy having fun!). So since I do maintain this blog more like a personal diary that I allow others to read, I guess that I’ll want to write down whatever I remember of my first year so that years down the line, when hopefully I become a big shot manager dude (keeping fingers crossed), I can remember how it was like there. Since I have a habit of giving extremely detailed descriptions of happenings in my life, (which is in line with how much I talk), I am going to follow a chapter wise detailed report once again :D.

So here goes:

Day 0: June 20th 2007.

I flew in from Bangalore and reached the campus in the afternoon. It was beautiful. I was here…. The mother of all management institutes in the country! I had seen pictures of the place before, but it was amazing to see it personally. The brick buildings and the greenery. I had made it! I was in my dream institute!

After dragging by luggage to the SAO (Students Activities Office), I learnt to my horror that I had to drag all that heavy baggage all the way to the new campus! The new campus is on the other end of the spectrum when compared to the old campus. Even though they follow similar architectural principles, they were extremely different. The new campus was very imposing. Large concrete structures, modern… professional. I walked into Dorm 23, nervous yet excited. This was my home for two years!

My room was number 40, all the way on the top floor (later on I came to realise that this was the last room of the last dorm for students). I dumped my luggage in the room and left to meet people whom I knew and to ask about what to do. So the rest of the day was spent walking around aimlessly and talking to friends about how we would be extremely happy to just get by these two years with 4D’s a year and just manage to scrape through. And towards the night, it rained. And WIMWI is full of traditions. This being one of them. According to urban legend , the “Fachchas” bring the rain, and so it happened. The day we arrived, it rained.

The next day was registration. And that day was when it all began! Mile high stacks of books and casemats! HRM, OM, MANAC (The dreaded MANAC!!). They were all in there…

So the rest of the day was spent in fear and absolute confusion as I peeped into those infamous casemats.

Orientation happened, where the faculty explained to us the details of the courses and the summer internship and generally about life on campus. That night we had our very first “dorm meet”. All the dorm Tuchchas and Fachchas were present. We introduced ourselves and we met the seniors and generally got to know each other. The seniors told us about the rules and regulations of the institute and about how things work. About the professors and about the subjects. About how life is on campus and how to survive here.

CLUBs and SIGs

The club presentations happened towards the end of the first week. All the clubs and SIGs (Special interest groups) made their presentations and answered questions that we had. These clubs were one of the most important aspects of life on campus. The clubs opened up their applications and we were required to fill in forms and submit them at the relevant locations. Interviews were scheduled and selections occurred. I was fortunate enough to get into Niche- the marketing club, and the music club.

And with this ended the first week on campus. I hav’nt written a large part of the first week that relates to the classes and the studies and I’ll write about that in the “First Term” post.

PS : Due to numerous complaints regarding the length of my posts, I’m gonna cut them short from now on :D

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The NITIE experience .. .. like I said ... A story on its own...

So I had been called by NITIE (National Institute of Industrial Engineering), Mumbai based on my CAT score... It was one of the best b-schools in India. My original GD/PI date was the 14th of march but I was unable to make it that day because of "personal reasons" and so I got it shifted to the 16th. Me and my dad reached Mumbai on the 15th and instantly I hated the traffic. We walked a long distance looking for a place to stay and all the places with a decent rate were garbage dumps and the ones worth staying in cost a fortune. So after a few gruelling hours of walking in the bloody heat, we decided to look for lodging near the institute itself and so we went to Vihar Lake, Powai. After another few hours of searching, we finally found a place where we could stay in and rented a room there.

My father and I sat and watched Sri Lanka walking all over Bermuda in the world cup and then had some awful food for dinner and then had a nice sleep.

I woke up early in the mornin and got suited up to go for the interview. And to my horror, we discovered that there wasn't a single place nearby where I could have a decent breakfast. So I went to NITIE starving. Since I was a "rescheduled" candidate, I had no idea which panel I was in (not like it would have made much of a difference if I knew which panel I was in). Everyone slotted for that day was supposed to arrive in the morning and we all did. We all were made to wait in the auditorium and they had a couple of presentations about the institute and the courses. After that we had a short recess so that we could have breakfast from the college and I had a small tiny sandwich. After that began the never ending wait! We had to sit and watch crappy sitcoms (How I met your mother! ) all day. I waited there from 8 till around 12 and finally my name was called. I was all excited expecting to go right for my interview .... but no!!

We were told to get our certificates verified and then wait. I waited will 12:45 and then we were told that it was a lunch break and we were expected to be back here by 1:45. So we did that. And then the wait again continued till 3:30. I was dead tired and drained of all energy by then. Finally they called me for my GD and I went and performed extremely badly :D.
The interview was supposed to happen sometime after that but we had no idea when. There were loads of people waiting outside the interview room for my panel and so I asked the volunteer in charge when my interview could be expected to happen. 1 bloody hour later was what he said! Another long wait in the auditorium. I was tired and hungry by then. Finally around 5:15 I was called in for the interview and gave another crappy performance there :D. I was asked a lot of tech questions which I couldnt answer but managed the HR side of the interview quite nicely. (But at the end of it all I dint make it. I guess it was a combination of the bad GD and bad Tech section which did me in :D)

It was pretty late by the time the interview got over and I had a flight for 8pm and had to get to the airport soon. What followed was the worst auto rickshaw ride of my entire life. I was still suited up since I dint get time to change , and me being the idiot I am, dint bother removing the coat before getting into the auto. It was bloody hot and stuff and the traffic was a complete nightmare. We were boxed in by buses and lorries. It was so bloody suffocating. And then my stomach started acting up. It started aching and I felt like I was gonna puke any second. Finally we reached the airport but we reached way too early. It was just around 6:30. And I needed to drink something. I had 2 mirindas in the hope of filling my empty stomach. I couldn't manage to eat anything cos the puking tendency was overwhelming me. So then we went into the airport and got our boarding passes. And since we were going to be waiting for a while, I figured I should go to the toilet and try doing you know what. And after around 15 minutes crapping like a madman, I was about to leave the rest room when I started pukin. And that took another 5 minutes. And at the end of it, honestly, I was relieved. And so I went to the cafe coffee day outlet to get rid of that weird puke taste in my mouth. Unfortunately, I tried being a miser and opted for the cheapest drink out there ... which unfortunately was an espresso. And for anybody who hasn't had one, its 1 cup of coffee concentrated to 1/10th of a cup. And I drank it like you drink tonic. And then again came a long wait. BECAUSE THE BLOODY FLIGHT WAS DELAYED BY AN HOUR!!

I was sitting half asleep in the waiting lounge. I bought a bottle of mineral water and had one small tiny sip. Around 8:30, the boarding was about to commence and every one started forming a queue at the gate. Which was when my next puke attack came. To my right and in the distance was the ladies toilet. So I concluded logically that the gents toilet must be next to it. And so I ran towards it.But to my horror, the gents toilet was no where in sight. And by now puke was filling up my mouth (and in those few seconds of grossness, I was able to figure out that it was just the espresso and the water that was being thrown out.. gross .. I know!! ). The nearest option I had was the handicapped people's toilet and I made a dash for it ... in vain! I ended up barfing all over the entrance and everything was over by the time I made it inside. (The cleaning lady gave me hell over that! Yea right! As though I puked on purpose!).

So after a change of clothes, I finally boarded the plane. Since my stomach was empty, there was no way I could puke anymore. And I sat there for the 1.5 hours duration of the flight trying not to puke and I succeeded. And I was in Bangalore at last. I just wanted to get to my sister's place. Everything would be ok once I reached there. And so we boarded the little bus that took us from the airplane to the airport terminal. Well, unfortunately I had a tiny little sip of water during the flight. And the bus ride was not very smooth. Yup! You guessed it right!! I completed my hatrick! I puked on the runway! Luckily I was at the window seat!

And so the ordeal ended there. I got home and managed not to puke anymore. And on that happy note, I will say that this may be my last post for a while. I dont know how much free time I will get at IIM. Hopefully will get some :D. Till then .. goodbye... get your friends to read this and get them to comment :D

CATography - Part 5 ( Eternal thanks)

Well this is it ... The last of my CAT series ... And probably the most important and meaningful of the lot..

During the one and a half years that was the period of this journey, there were so many people who have helped me and supported me. I haven't thanked most of them in person but I will do that at least now ...

The names here are in random order ... you all have been crucial during this period .. I thank you all ..
Manu, Abhay, Jaikrishna - They were my classmates both at TIME and in college. Couldn't have done it without their support and encouragement. They always believed in me. Manu, gonna miss forcing you to write the AIMCATs.

Abhijith - Gonna miss discussing the answers with Abhijith. Abhi, thanks for all the great info you used to share with me throughout the period and for helping me a great deal. Abhijith was one of the most helpful people during my CAT preparations. I think you were one of the few people who actually made me believe that I could achieve this. And thank you for your prayers.

Vishnu - For all the support and the valuable information you gave me during my GD training period.

Anushri - Thanks for praying for me and believing in me.

Aparna Gayathri - She is right there among the top names in the thank you list along with Abhi... Thanks for encouraging me and calling me up and asking me whether practiced and screaming and me when I said no. Thank you for all the prayers and pep talks. Thanks for giving me a push when I needed one. Couldn't have done it without you.

Athulya - A million thanks here as well. Another among the top list. Thanks for sitting online and looking up information for me and explaining stuff to me. For constantly encouraging me and reminding me of how much I want this. Thank you. There is absolutely no way I would have achieved what I did without you..

Prasanth - For the help and support and for being such an amazing competitor. You will do wonders.

Adithya, Mathew, Feroz, Parvathy, Altaf, Ragavendra, Rakesh, Frederic, Jefferson, Clinten, Lijo, Vinayak - For sharing a lot of knowledge and helping me improve.

GEC mechanical 2003-2007 - My class. The encouragement and the energy .. unbelievable. And the belief in my abilities...

Mr. Surendrakumar - Thank you for telling me, "You are someone who deserves to study in one of the top b-schools". That was the first step. That was what initiated the chain reaction. You gave me the confidence I needed initially.

T.I.M.E faculty - Lakshmi mam, Mr.Reghu, Mr. Prem C Nair, Miss Anne Fenn, Mr. Ramachandran and everyone else. - You are responsible for this. I most definitely would not be able to get anywhere near the score I managed if it werent for the wonderful classses at TIME. Reghu sir, thanks for the advice and the great amount of info you use to share with us.

My parents - I know how hard my parents work for me ... the sacrifices my father makes so that I have a good life... I wanted to make them proud, and hopefully they are. You mean the world to me.

And last but most definitely not least (Actually right on top of the list!! ) - Mr. Krishna Kumar- My mentor - The one man who was an inspiration and support throughout. He imparted knowledge and information. He was always there when I needed to talk to. As much a friend as he was a teacher, he was always there to help. He gave me hope when I saw none. He corrected my mistakes and made me a confident person. Thank you sir. For everything.

Everyone I have thanked, these words can in no way show you how grateful I am, thank you for everything. I am eternally in debt to you. Anyone Ive forgotten, My sincere apologies ...

This might be my last post for a while ... goodbye ...