Saturday, December 30, 2006

New year resolutions

Finally, it is the time for New Year,
And with it comes the time when most of the resolutions were broken.
And also comes the time when many more resolutions are made
Probably to be broken in next 365 days.

So, here goes my list of 32 resolutions for the year 2007, with a hope that most of these aren’t broken.

I shall -

  1. Try 5 different looks
  2. Keep moustache for some time.
  3. Crack less PJs
  4. Reduce the tummy
  5. Get a Regular walk/ jog/ exercise.
  6. Read at least 5 ET articles daily.
  7. Read newspaper editorials regularly.
  8. Find out what I really want in life.
  9. Learn a foreign language.
  10. Be more organized
  11. Keep my room clean
  12. Be more systematic in my approach of doing things.
  13. Not crib.
  14. Not give up easily, without giving a fight.
  15. Improve my reading habits
  16. Read business world regularly
  17. Not regret about things and won’t give “ifs and buts” explanations
  18. Mind my own business
  19. Not litter on the road.
  20. Give minimum excuses, and only if needed.
  21. Try not be a rat in the rat race
  22. Watch at least 100 good movies in 365 days.
  23. Learn to play pool or snooker
  24. Reduce my idle time (times where I have time, and I end up doing absolutely nothing).
  25. Learn using adobe Photoshop.
  26. Reduce the quantity of useless paper lying around haphazardly in my room.
  27. Not be short on effort, as I am often.
  28. Care not about what people say (unless of course it has some merits)
  29. Reduce the number of careless mistakes.
  30. Not form premature opinions about anyone.
  31. Write something good, and not just the crappy stuff I often end up writing
  32. Try to see that these resolutions do not go down the drain completely.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Alma Maters - Google Earth view

click on the image for a better view !

IIMLGREMS, Baroda
MANIT, Bhopal
MANIT, Bhopal

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The road to nowhere

Everything seems to be at crossroads ... but I dunno where r these roads heading towards.
I am moving on with the traffic, knowing that others are going toward somewhere, where I don't want to go ... yet I am trying to be in sync with it
I wish to to stop my car and see if I am headed in right direction, but I don't have guts to do so on an expressway where everyone is speeding by
I am just hoping that my car doesn't run out of fuel or break down while on a way
I am scared to take an U turn, but am scared that I would be knocked down by a speeding vehicle
I am scared to drive slowly, because I am scared to be left behind
I am bound by the rules of the game, I wish to break them but I dare not do it on this expressway
Something is wrong, maybe that's obvious ... but the obvious is often not too obvious.
The problem is that I dunno what really the problem is !!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Catch 22 situation

Of late i have been slightly injured in the region just below the chin (nothing serious though !) and have been wearing a bandage (the one which sticks on the skin like a tape), which is often too weak on my beard !

Doctor : You need to take care that the place of wound is protected from water
... and you need to shave because the bandage in not sticking coz of your beard
Me : How can I save the place from water and get a shave, both at the same time.

...
...

Somewhat reminds me of catch - 22 !

Monday, November 27, 2006

Injury : 24 hours later ...

It has been over 24 hours since a white bandage is adorning the part of my body that lies in the intersection of my chin and the neck. The injury was NOT a major one, but yes, i do have some concerns as I would have to live with this for a fortnight or so.

Though it deserved a couple of stitches, but I managed not to get it, with the fear of stitches due to lack of prior experience being one of the reasons coupled with some laziness with me showing to doctor 12 hours later being another. (stiches need to be there within 4-6 hours of injury)

Now I have to be extremely careful while laughing and usually I place one of my palms on the bandage to have a laugh.
Now smiling is also a sort of muscle challenging task.
Also I can do less of talking, which is quite a challenging job.
I can now eat very slowly. This was one of the reasons, I could eat less in yeterday's pizza party.
The quantity of food intake has reduced to 49.96 % of original (a b - school student estimate, where I am not supposed to use NRN- nice round numbers and where I am supposed to quantify everything). Now I can sympathise with people with bigger injuries and countless other restrictions.
I cannot wash my face, so I may have to forego having bath for a few days (those poor souls who are often near me !)
I cannot shave for few days (actually a blessing, as now I have a valid excuse for my dishellved looks)
Maybe a very small patch of skin might not bear any beard, which is one of the reasons why I am a bit concerned as I am very fond of my beard, though that part would be usually not visible.
Now I have to be careful while dozing off or yawning in class, with high chances of professor noticing me.

And these all coupled with answering millions of queries about how/ why/ when/ where it happened and blah blah!

Friday, November 17, 2006

All in the name of journalism

The paparazzi seems to goes frenzy over any thing pertaining to the rich and the famous, and more so if they happen to be a cinema star.

Just the other day I was browsing through a website which described Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie’s Indian trip. They even had the detailed description of their local train journey in Mumbai and Pune trip.

Now I know that they had an auto-rickshaw ride in Pune

They visited the Gateway of India

Anjelina had a local train ride (in second class compartment) from Charni Road to Churchgate.

And she was wearing a T- shirt and a cargo pant.

And she even brought train tickets (now beat that!).

She bought some peanuts and mentos at Marine lines station.

This is one of the sample news items, but such type of news galore like an actor planning to quit smoking since years, or someone having an hour of daily workout, or the diet of an actress and blah blah.

Just take the example of the times of India and with all the kind of chatpata, masaaledar news, sleaze, rumours etc. Or any other newspaper or website or TV show who give various useless tidbits of information about who is seeing whom, or who is eating what, or a flawless GPS or telescreen like thing by which they know who is where at any given instant, who is doing what and several whys for that, or who is saying what about whom any why, and millions of other accusations, revelations and theories about any celebrity.

Despite criticizing all these I love watching them all!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

From ignorance to learning and back

I landed in some sophisticated place amidst the all-knowing studs.
I couldn’t understand the technicalities of F-1 race
I couldn’t understand the soccer terminology
I couldn’t stand the cacophonic parties
I couldn’t get a word of any English song.
I couldn’t see any of booze or smoke around
I hardly talked to girls.
My language knew no slang or swears words.
I believed in early to bed and early to rise funda.
But it all wasn’t that cool.

My weekend evenings were spent in front of a TV trying to understand who the hell Schumacher and Mr Alosno and Mr. Ferrari were.
I woke up late in the nights to see the soccer world cup and all the club matches, trying to decipher why there are 22 crazy people running after a ball, kicking it and others.
I did night outs chatting and loafing and playing computer games
I tried to dance to indecipherable cacophony.
I listened to western rock day in and out, with its lyrics googled and trying to phathom it.
I often got drunk with some weirdly distasteful cocktail.
I tried to inhale some of the nauseating nicotine hoping for the ‘kick’ it gives, as they said.
I created a fictional girl friend called Sush.
I spoke the four-lettered word once in every 4 words.

One fine day,
I asked someone who was the for which team was Mr Ferrari the defender
Who got the pole position in the European Premier League?
I danced to some cacophony in an attempt to impress that pretty lady, and fell down to fracture my leg.
I asked who is Mukul Jaikishan, when someone said did I mean Michael Jackson?
I was drunk and came to the class with a hangover, only to be sent out by the professor who felt that I wasn’t sane, when I said what the F**k are u teaching.
I was talking to Sush on my phone in the mess and it rang.
I was sleeping during an end term examination after a night out with Age of Empires and got myself an F grade, close to being thrown out.

… And then I decided to end the pseudo-giri
It was the time to unlearn all my great learnings
And was again on the ground zero,
Relatively speaking, I was back to absolute ignorance

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I always knew it is going to happen

“I told you na …”
“maine kaha tha ki aisa hi hoga”
“I always knew this is going to happen”
“I knew that India will lose today”
“I knew that the professor will take the test”
“I knew that X will be the murderer in the movie”

And the blabbering goes on.

I have often wondered how people know that something is going to happen with so much certainty. And there are just too many such geniuses in the world. Necessary condition being that the thing has already occurred.

They always knew that idea ‘X’ is going to work if idea ‘Y’ didn’t, necessary condition being that there is no chance to execute the idea ‘X’ in that context any more.

Maybe, some hindsight bias, as some jargonically sound person will say.

You meet such kinds of people everywhere. They are all around us. Maybe I, you or anyone has such traits. Just have a conversation while having a journey and you may find different varieties of them in different shapes and sizes.
Dare to say that there are very few geniuses!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

MBA ke side effects

You tend to look down upon people who sleep before 1 AM or who sleep for more than 5 hours a day.
Almost everything appears “GLOBE”
You lose your interest in studies during exams. In other times you don’t have time to study.
You love partying, even if you don’t actually like them.
You seem to forget what it was to ‘live something like life’
You may fall sick, if there is one day without any kind of slogging.
You may watch soccer and F-1 race just to be stylish, with no real interest in it
You are likely to be looked down upon if you are awake during lectures.
You apply theory of demand and supply to the beautiful girls.
You may discuss soccer and F-1 endlessly for the sake of your ‘image’.
You may hate any social gathering which is without any kind of booze.
You do all kinds of things for that extra point in CV.
You tend to apply all theory in places where not needed, and when needed you forget those theories.
You are in a position to give gyaan about anything under the sun, without having even a slightest inkling of what the topic is about.
The alphabetical part in any number followed by CTC is hated.
Corollary: Any number proceeded by the string ‘$’ is loved.
All things appear to end at the placement week.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A matter of choice ...

You have 2 options, and you have complete freedom to choose any of these.
Each option leads to an outcome which is one of those given below

1. You are happy and everyone believing that you are not and sympathising with you.
2. Everyone believing that you are happy, while in reality you are far being so.

Which one will you choose ?

We love losers ...

The match was close. It was cricket match between Australia and Bangladesh. Most people believed the result would be obvious, but the Bangladesh team offered a tough fight. People were mostly cheering for the Bangladesh team. But this time they didn’t win. Few months ago though, they pulled a surprise victory against the Aussies though, and people would have loved if they had done the same this time also. We all love upsets, unless of course, we or our favorites are on the receiving end. Or in a broader sense, we often tend to love losers.

Be it loving Devdas making it a super hit each time it comes.
Be it loving a hero who loses
Be it cheering for a weak team against a stronger team
Be it seeing a dark horse win.
Be it suddenly having a new-found love for Sourav Ganguly, whom were abusing a year ago for non-performance.

… Or is it the other way round?
… Do we hate winners or achievers and love to see them fall?

Be it secretly hoping that Australia loses each time it plays
Be it seeing Ricky Ponting getting out for a duck.
Be it seeing Roger Federar lose in a upset (unless he is your favorite)
Be it secretly hoping that Bill Gates doesn’t get any richer.
Be it having a wish to see Microsoft lose a legal battle.
Be it hoping that the US economy doesn’t grow any larger.
Be it seeing the favorite of an award lose it

… All only if it is not our “favorite” on the receiving end.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A brief theory of Sleep

“Oops … I overslept”
“I am going to catch on with some sleep”
How often we do we heat these words!

Sleep is one thing that often eludes us when we need it the most, and is always there to greet us when we least want this bug to hit us.
This result can be derived by applying Murphy’s Law to sleep.

Similarly, applying Parkinson’s Law,
“All the possible post-activity time available is filled with sleep”.
This may hold true even if the available time is as high as 16 hours.

Most of the oversleeping occurs when we desire it the least, and have some important task lined up immediately after the ‘brief sleep’, which we miss because our sleep ends up not being brief.

For the sleep to be sufficient, it has to be for optimum time. This optimum time may vary from person to person. If you sleep less than the optimum time, then you will feel sleepy due to lack of proper sleep, while if you sleep more than this, you get trapped in the vicious cycle of sleep and thus continue to sleep more or feel sleepy.
Also, by applying Murphy‘s law, this optimum time never is.

If by luck, we happen to get the “optimum sleep”, we are inevitably greeted by some extremely boring task, like attending a lecture, or some monologue in a teleconference or a meeting or studies or something and we continue to feel sleepy.

This precisely explains why we most of the time feel sleepy.

OK. I am ending it here. I overslept yesterday, and am now feeling sleepy. So got to sleep.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Prof kehte hain ...

Prof kehte hain ... ( inspired by Papa kehte hain frm QSQT !)
Dedicated to the b-school goers !

Here it goes :

Doston, Aaj submission ka aakhiri din hai …
Aur sabhi ne apne project ke baare mein kuch soch rakha hai
But maine kuch nahi socha hai …
Really … I mean it …

Aur aaj baar baar mere dimaag mein yahi baat aati hai …

Prof kehte hain badaaa naam karega,
Student hamaara aisa kaam karega,
Magar yeh to ..
Koi na jaane … ki meri slides … hai kahaaan …


Baithe hain milke, sab project mates apne …
Sabke dilo mein armaan ye hai …
Wo presentation mein, kal kya kya bolegaa …
Har ek nazar ka sapna yeh hai
Koi introduction ka kaam karegaa
Globe maarne mein koi apna naam karega

Magar yeh to ..
Koi na jaane … ki meri slides … hai kahaaan …


Mera to sapna … hai i-bank jaana …
Dekhoon jo usko jhoome bahaar …
Account mein khilta dollar ka mausam,
Style mein jaadooo, bangla aur car !
Banda ye khoobsurat kaam karega …
Powerpoint ki duniya mein apna naam karega …


Magar yeh to …
Koi na jaane … ki meri slides … hai kahaaan …

Maybe

It was yet another mundane day at the office.

The client had once again told to pull up the socks, if the project had to be completed in time. My manager had one again told that my work was still not upto the mark. I was feeling totally demotivated as I strolled past the park on my way home, when I decided to sit on an empty bench in some corner of the park, which was surprisingly vacant. I was throwing stones at the tree which was a few meters away, but missed it every time. This wasn’t a proper day to try all these. Maybe I would end up hitting somebody, and probably landing at a hospital.Then suddenly this old gentleman came and sat beside me.

I smiled and he reciprocated.

This man seemed to be somewhere in his 60s, but yet seemed full of energy. He was dressed in an executive suit, which I found a little odd initially. Maybe, he was someone in the high echelons of the corporate world. Anyway, it was none of my business. Yet, few minutes later I found myself engaged in a deep conversation with him.

“Hello son"
“Hi”
“How are you? Seems you didn’t have a good day in office”
“Yes, good day usually never is”
“But your company Infovision is a very reputed company”
“How did you know that I work for Infovision?”
“Your Identity card”

Good observation, I thought.

I learnt that he was a General Manager of a very large Indian MNC, and it was his daily routine to have a stroll in this park in the evening. He lived in a nearby house with his wife and a daughter who was a student of medicine. Even in this age he used to jog around 5 miles daily in the morning. He had once been a scientist at NASA, but came back to his motherland after few years.

In the course of our conversation I revealed that I was feeling totally unmotivated and frustrated in life. I wanted to be “somebody”, but it seems I will end up becoming “nobody”. I seemed to make no difference to this world. My words seem to have no value. The world with or without m would continue to function in the same way.

But he had different view

“Son, it may not be as you think. It is quite possible that you are the center of the world. It is quite possible that the world functions with respect to you”

I was confused. I couldn’t make out what he wanted to say.

“Son, why do you feel like “you” and not as somebody else?”

I was more confused.

“See, when you think of yourself, you think of yourself as Nikesh, and not as someone else. You feel like Nikesh, you do everything like him, because you and he are same. Why do you feel like him, and not anybody else? Say one day you wake up and suddenly realize that you are Tom Cruise, or Tiger Woods, or Amitabh Bacchan, or aishwarya Rai, or Bill Clinton. Will it ever happen? No. Because you are the one who is “chosen” to be Nikesh. You are different from the others. Maybe, you are the center of the world, or the universe and the entire universe functions with respect to you, relative to you.

I was getting even more confused, and more so because I never told him my name.

“Maybe, you are stationary. The world moves relative to you.”

My confusion increased.

“Maybe, when you walk, you don’t actually walk. It is the world, in fact the universe which adjusts its motion so that you appear to be moving. Maybe, when you take a step forward, it is actually the world taking a step backward, but it appears to the world, that you are taking a step forward, and not the world taking a step backward.

“Maybe, when you speak, you don’t actually speak. It is the nature’s energy which makes this appears so. It may be something like “anti-words” produced by nature, and you appear to be speaking. Maybe, it is just an illusion. It appears so, though it might not be actually so.

“Maybe, when you are breathing, it is not you who is doing so. It is the air which makes it appear so. It is just the motion of some components of the air molecules. It gives the world an illusion that you are breathing. In reality you may be stationary, but the world thinks otherwise.

“Maybe, everything in this world is limited what you can hear or see. What you can’t, it doesn’t even exist. But the thing about which you know, or even think accidentally, it exists. The rest don’t. For example, you know about some reference to a king of Denmark. So he exists, or in fact existed, though you may not know who he was, or how he lived. But you don’t know about a king in 10,000 B.C in Siberia. You haven’t even heard of that thing. You haven’t even in your wildest dreams, have thought about that. So it doesn’t exist. Maybe, the whole knowledge in this world is with respect to it. The moment you think about anything, it exists. Else it doesn’t.

I was still somewhat confused, but continue to nod, as he continued.

“So son, you are not without a purpose. You are here to accomplish something. All the accomplishments might be with respect to you. It is you, for whom the world it. You are here to accomplish something. Or maybe the accomplishments that you are aware of may adjust itself, that the world thinks that you have achieved it. So go home, and stop thinking negative.

So, I began my walk towards my home. Naah … I was stationary, the world was moving relative to me. I was thinking of many things at once. Naah … Some thoughts were coming in my mind, while the nature made it appear that I was breathing. I was more confused and yet paranoid, especially after meeting this gentleman. I wanted to shake hand with him. But he declined; I just managed to touch his hand, but couldn’t feel it. And then he suddenly disappeared. Was it all just an illusion? Did his hand; or he himself never exist?

Was he the one who sent me to this earth to do and accomplish things, and it was just his way of telling me and making me realize that I have a purpose?

Maybe!

Friday, August 18, 2006

UNCONVENTIONALLY ATTRACTIVE

(My first attempt at writing a short story … read at your own risk!)



Moments later after I somehow managed to throw myself in the train compartment, it started moving. Had I been stuck in the traffic jam for even a minute more, I would have had to book my tickets once again. But finally I embarked on the journey, the one which will lead to my homes, the one which will make Bangalore “the city I lived in” from “the city I live in.”

I finally landed in my seat, somehow adjusting my luggage below and over the seat. I was really exited about the journey. I had managed to secure an admission into an IIM and was soon going there for a management education. To add to this I had a beautiful girl sitting next to me in the train. This was sort of unusual, as the coach usually I travel in hardly has any beautiful girls in it (courtesy Murphy's law). Later on I got to know from the reservation chart that she was Aditi Mishra, Female (obviously!), 21 years, going from Bangalore to New Delhi.

“Hi”
“Hi”
“Is the berth no. 32 yours?”
“Yup, else why I would be sitting here”

(Damn, what a bad way to start a conversation!)

“You are going to …?”
“Delhi … And you?”
“Agra. 3-4 hours before Delhi”

This was the only conversation we had in during the first 3 hours of the journey. I was thinking of some excuse to go and talk to her, but as usual, when required the most, ideas fail to come.

Still, few hours later and for the next 24 hours we were talking about millions of conceivable topics under the sun, ranging from Israel politics to meaning of life to religion to Zidane to how it would be like to be in Finland to the parallels between socialism and Orwell’s 1984 to some sweets made in some remote village of Kerala life, universe and everything. She seemed to know about everything! 24 hours from now, I would be thinking that she is one person whom I know since ages, someone who has been my best friend, I don’t know since when.

Aditi Mishra, at first glance would have appeared like any other “typical” girl (or rather young lady!). But in course of conversation I realized that she was anything but typical.
She was a daughter of a Delhi based businessman and a doctor. Her parents were about to celebrate the silver jubilee of their wedding in a few days time. She was the only daughter. She was yet another engineer from a college in Bangalore. She had completed her studies a month ago, and was there to get her degree. She had been placed in a leading multinational in Software industry. So what? There are many Delhi girls who have similar profile. But you won’t find many who would leave such a high paying job to become a teacher in a small government school, just for the sake of love for teaching, or someone who is selected to meet a CEO of a large US based company just because she feels that he is unethical and his company uses anti-competitive and coercive practices, or a girl who toils in day and night for few days before her exams to help in rehabilitation of tsunami victims and many more. She was one of the individuals who wouldn’t follow a custom she doesn’t believe in, just because she wants to be herself. She can talk at ease about her break-up with her boyfriend, and have no qualms about it; yet she very much believed in sanctity of relationships. She wasn’t just one of those run of the mill kinds.

We chatted till wee hours of the morning, and hardly did I realize that I didn’t sleep, and didn’t even feel like it. I was just wishing that this lasts for eternity.

Next day was also something like continuation of the previous. I chatted for a long time with Aditi. Though there were others who joined us here and there for some time in between. With children she would play like a kid, with someone like grandma she would talk about religious scriptures, about which she seemed to know all about. She seemed to be as friendly discussing issues with a middle aged businessman or a clerk traveling with us. This all lasted till about midnight, when I was feeling really sleep deprived and retired to my berth.

Still I couldn’t sleep. I was just thinking of Aditi. How often we do things just because everybody does so! How often we follow the crowd rather than our heart? How often do we fall in the trap of “typical ness” of life? But she was one of those who followed her heart rather than the crowd. She didn’t care much about what conventional wisdom said. She followed what she felt right. I the world felt otherwise and she didn’t, she wouldn’t do that thing. With these thoughts I fell fast asleep. I hoped to catch her up in the morning, maybe a couple of hours before my station came.

But this was the last I ever saw of her.

The morning later when got up, I was close to Delhi. Oh God! I had missed my station. And Aditi wasn’t there, nor as her hand bag, which was the entire luggage she had. How could it have been? She was supposed to get down at Delhi. Anyway, I would now get down at Delhi and catch some train from there to reach my home. Finally Delhi came and I was about to prepare myself to get down there, and planning the future course of action. But suddenly I realized that my entire luggage was missing. Oh my God! I lost my laptop, clothes, mark sheets, certificates, a credit card and few other things; or rather many other things. Couple of days later I tried calling the cell number she gave me, but there was no reply; even an email to her bounced. Probably all she was telling was a big lie! But still I couldn’t digest the fact that she did all these, any why?

Somehow, I managed to reach home with the money I had in my pocket, and sans my luggage. I still wonder how she could run away with all those stuff of mine! Despite some complaints and some half hearted attempt, I couldn’t get to know about the whereabouts of my belongings.
Few days later I received a courier from Mumbai with all my important documents. Still, I couldn’t figure out why she did this, and all this?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Games Students play

It is not about sports like soccer, cricket or TT; nor about some indoor games like chess or computer games. How often we hear words which on surface convey a simple meaning but deep inside the meaning may be totally different ?!. It is about these ‘games’.

Formally defined, games are a form of ulterior transaction, and which leads to a definite payoff. Ulterior transaction is the one, which on surface may appear to be completely normal and without any hidden “trick”, but at psychological level it may mean something totally different. For example it may appear as if an adult is talking to an adult (adult – adult transaction), but at psychological level the ‘adult’ speaker may be talking to a child (adult-child transaction).

(No more technical jargons from now onwards!)

How often we hear the phrase “In US it isn’t so; actually there it is …” At the surface it may seem like a mature adult talking to another, stating plain facts. But at other level it is telling that “I have been to USA”. The payoff being satisfaction obtained by means of boasting. Similar may be with someone saying, “In PQR book it is written …” at psychological level meaning “I have read this book.”

Even in classroom, we find teacher playing such games. Often during the course of a lecture we hear something like, “When I was working with company XYZ on ABC project …” On surface it also appears as a simple statement of facts. But the psychological meaning would be telling that “I have worked with likes of company XYZ”, and the payoff once again similar to the previous case.

During the course of conversation, we may hear someone telling something like “Oh … don’t study this much”. On surface this may be another normal conversation, but the hidden meaning could be that “I don’t want you to study that much. But I would, and get top grades!”

Or during exam time, a simple conversation may be of types “I haven’t studied a word. I am surely going to flunk.” All apparently normal on surface, the underlying meaning may be “I am making progress, but I don’t want to know where I stand. It is me who will get the good grades.” Or in the words like “Hey, you are a genius. You know everything about it”. Though it may not be a game many a times, but often at the psychological level it may mean “Ok, you have a last laugh before I get better grades in examinations.”

Games are many. This may include the replies like “Nothing special …” meaning “I don’t want to let you know” or replies like “The same standard …”, again meaning the same, and many more. These all may sound too cynical, but these are few of the many games played by students. Not only students, but we all play games throughout our life, and games do form an integral part of our lives.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Law of increasing competition !

"The first step of reaching the top is getting through the crowd at the bottom"

How often we think to cross one level of competition, and be assured that rest of the going would be smooth, just to realize that competion has just increased !
As a child we often didn't know what we are headed for. Later on we make a decision, usually the one that would lead to something more comfortable later in life, or colloquially "do this, then there is fultoo aish".

As a child I used to think that if I get good grades in school, life would be comfortable. Maybe comfortable meant "bed of roses" to me. In engineering, all the old school style of competition seemed somewhat trivial ! Bt still there is a big fight to get those coveted jobs, but again, on reaching "there", we often end up realizing that just to be ahead of the crowd, you have to compete a lot. During those job/graduation days it is a dream to get into any of the coveted b schools leading to a wonderful "bed of roses" type life. But again it is the same old competition, of the kind we had earlier, but much more fierce, with much more to win and much more a stake. All those "old" competition might now seem insignificant.

But still ... whether we like it or not, that's the truth. As we move higher and higher the intensity of competitiveness. If I land up at some dream job from here, to an outsider it may seem as an end - a comfortable life with success guranteed. But the one actually facing the music may realize that competition has just increased manifold. And as that chap moves up the hierarchical pyramid, he may realize that the competition for the next level is now manifold.

That reminds me of the process of selection of Jack Welsh's successor as the CEO of GE. All seemed to be absolutely fantastic, the margin for the final "winner" was almost negligible. Drawing inference from this, one can guess how competitive it would be as one moves up the career. And from the top looking in retorespect, all may seem so inconsequential. Maybe the school, or graduation was a cakewalk, as the person may think.

Maybe, getting ahead of the lot to suceed in competition may seem to be a tough ask as of now, but that may not be even a small part of the things to come and if it is just only about comfort without competition, it may just a form of manifestation of mediocrity.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fully loaded with ... @ b-school

First half of the first term @ b-school and I am fully loaded with

Balance sheet that don't balance
Accounting equation which had debited my brain with frustation
Supplies that aren''t demanded
Accounts which I can't count
Some useless statistics with highly any marginal utility
Information technologies that hardly carry any information
Acts of associaation that dissociates my brain
The hairs that are depreciated from my head by means of scratching
Probablities, to understand which is improbable
A grouped data set of competants in which I am an outright outlier in the negative direction
Motivation theories that leave me demotivated
Leadership theories, which I try to follow
Theories of satisfaction that leaves me dissatisfied
Assignments that I wish had never beeen assigned to me
Researches, which I don't want to search even once
Communication, whose message I couldn't grasp

All paths leading to the so called "dream jobs", which we don't have any time to dream of.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A passing thought

"Some castes are backward, but some backward castes are more backward than others, and even in those more backward caste some more backward castes are more more backward than other more backward castes and so on ..."

-- Nikesh Rathi's "nested" quote
on backward castes

I was just having a look at the number of castes in India. Here is what I found :

There are 3,000 castes and 25,000 subcastes in India

An idea came into my mind looking at the statistics.

For nearly 3000 odd seats in the IIT, why not reserve one seat for each caste. (taking into account each of the 25,000 subcaste would be a very complicated issue, so am not including it).

Some of the details like the seat allocation and the institute allocation can be done on rotation basis.
For example if there are 100 seats in computer science at IIT, Delhi and a person from my caste is supposed to go there this year. So the next person from my caste can go there after 30 years, when people from all castes would have got a chance.
But all is not over ... A candidate from my caste can study computer science at any of IIT every 4 or 5 years.

Similar process can be followed at the IIMs. Assuming that there are total of about 1500 seats at 6 IIMs, and equal opportunity for everyone is followed, a person from my caste can get admission into an IIM every alternate year. And a person from my caste would pass out from IIM Ahmedabad once every 12 year.

More details can be worked out by our great equalizer respected,honorable,great Mr. Arjun Singh ...

So sir ...

please look into this suggestion ...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Da Vinci code : The movie

Yet another weekend comes
Yet another weekend is about to be squandered doing nothing ...

But this time, I managed to watch a movie, the much awaited 'da vinci code'. Was quite disappointed when the controversies surrounding it managed to postpone the release of the movie by about a week. But this weekend, I managed to watch it - adding to the list of very few Hollywood movies I have seen. Having read the book, I was more excited to see the movie, and with Tom Hanks, The excitement was even more. So there I was, seated at a not-so-good-yet-expensive multiplex.

I am making an assumption that most of the people who are watching the movie would have read the book. I may be wrong. Maybe, many of us old be tempted to believe the 'facts(???)' stated in the movie(in fact the book), we usually love what is spicy, especially if it is said with such conviction as in the book, where the demarcation between the 'fact' and 'fiction' are not exactly distinguishable. Dan Brown says that the facts of Christianity ia the biggest cover-up operation. Maybe, he is true. Maybe, the 'facts' in the book are one of the biggest lies in terms of magnitude and extent of impact it may have. History is written by victors. Maybe the church doctored the history to project an extraordinary 'human' named Jesus Christ as the son of God. Maybe, the extraordinarily researched novel with all its meticulous insights and 'facts' deviates from what is the 'truth'. Still, one may be tempted to believe much of what is written in the novel. Anyway, the book is a bestseller, and the religion may still remain an enigma. And a movie based on such a book seemed inevitable, and with Tom Hanks it seems a sureshot blockbuster ! Whether it is or it is not ... only time will tell.
One thing was clear after seeing (or while seeing) the movie. That it is not as gripping, not even close to being so as the novel. Tom Hanks was clearly not at his best. In fact very few characters managed to impress. And for the people who haven't read the book, may find it difficult to understand many a things. The 'facts' presented were OK, but the thrills and action sequences were far from impressive, and had a long way to go before being believable (though this is the case with many movies).
With the movie not so gripping, some crazy thoughts were coming incessantly in my mind. Like, if someone did a 'probability analysis' (don't think there is any such term). How minimal was the probability that Robert Langdon will crack all the codes. There are infinite ifs and buts in this case. Firstly the curator left so many symbols, and Robert Langdon was in the same city at that time. What if no anagrams had been thought of, or they might bave missed a single anagram. Or if they had taken some tim more to crack an anagram ... maybe they would have been caught. What if Teabing was't residing near that place.What if the bullet hadn't stuck while closing the door, when the banker was about to run away with the secret? What if their plane had landed a couple of minutes later? And in the sequence of cracking so many codes, they had missed even single link ?How minimal wa the chance of cracking the code! Anyway, possibilities in the 'if' case are plenty.
Another passing thought ... The disclaimer said that all references to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. Again the probability comes into play. Was the name Jesus Christ or Sir Issac Newton or Leonardo da Vinci which were mentioned in reference to the story merely coincidental?
And, what if they attempting remaking it in Hindi, or making something similar (as they do so often by blatantly copying Hollywood flicks in Bollywood); maybe our very own Mithun da could be the lead actor (though it is unfair to compare him and Tom Hanks ... but the fight sequence in the movie brought that name to my mind), and the movie name could be somewhat like "Birbal ka Bhed" (the secret of Birbal !!!) ... who knows?? The Da vinci code was somewhat disappointing (though it had some good moments), the latter may be a complete farce !!

Monday, May 22, 2006

yet another week begins ...

Yet another weekend ends and another week begins ...
Another day comes when I sluggishly drag myself out of my bed
And lazily rush to the office ...
Yet another day when I find new ways of avoiding work ...
And I spend most of the time doing nothing but surfing and checking mails
And then I make plans to leave early and then decide against it
To be motivated to do some work, even if it is just a formality
Before I call it a day, leaving the work for tomorrow ...
And praying that when I leave, it doesn't rain
And I continue to work out ways of cicumventing work once again ...

Monday, May 15, 2006

ISKON – A case study in temple management ?

“If you visit Bangalore, you ought to have visited ISKON at least once”. Having lived at Bangalore for almost a year, I was having a feeling of, not exactly guilt … but definitely felt that I have missed some part of Bangalore. I always wanted to be there once, and yesterday was the day.

Sunday, 14th May 2006 :

I was sitting at Forum shopping mall with a friend, and as usual doing nothing. Suddenly the idea struck … Why don’t we go to ISKON … and then began a long ride through he crowded streets of the city. Braving he heavy traffic, and an overdose of the likes of carbon monoxide, SPM, nitrogen dioxide etc. we finally managed to reach there after an excruciating 45 minutes ride. There stood the ISKON temple, on a very small hill, in a very large area. Had it been a movie, the appropriate term would have been ‘magnum opus’. And began our journey negotiating the Sunday crowd of devotees...

I have never been too religious, in fact not too much of a believer, but occasionally I do visit a temple or a church. I don’t know whether I ll be granted what I ask for, but still I do ask for a wish or two, and obviously hope it gets true. Still I often believe that I need not necessarily go to a place of worship to ask for something which I desire from bottom of my heart and with a pure mind.
Anyway, we reached the temple and I was intimidated by the serpentine queue for ‘darshan’.

With great difficulty we managed to take out or shoes and hand it over. Apparently everything seemed to be too professionally managed, but still the service left us wanting, maybe just because of sheer number of people. There were few people shouting and abusing the person who collected the shoes. Anyway we proceeded with the security check and washing the hands and landed in a queue for the ‘darshan’, and meanwhile hearing the chant of

‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare’.

There were three levels to go. With a temple on all of them, two small and a big one … the one that housed ‘Radha Krishna’ and “Krishna Balaram’ temple . Only the pass holders were allowed a ‘darshan’ from close. Even the ‘parikrama’was not allowed. And there were volunteers taking care of each and every aspect. Then we made an exit … but there was a lot to go. Also the view of the city from that small hill-like structure was amazing.

As we went to ‘another level’ we were amazed by the complex network of shops (seemed more like stalls) selling devotional books to food to some decorative item to clothes… of course we expected it but never expected it to be so big. Yes, there was a small exhibition which mainly contained paintings and small and big idols of mostly Lord Krishna. And I could easily guess that those shops would be having a huge turnover, especially in the weekends. And before the ‘prasad’ as offered and we left, we had already been to a popcorn shop, countless sweet shops, cake shop, a restaurant and many other shops.

I was amazed by such a commercialization of the religious place. Well, I expected some of these shops, but the sheer number and magnitude of the same would take my breath away. In hindsight I thought “is religion so commercialized?”A place of worship with all those shops and even a restaurant!!. Everything there seemed too mechanical. But again a thought came “Ok … What’s wrong in that!!” … And maybe that “mechanical” or the systematic things might not be out of place but absolutely necessary due to sheer number of people visiting there. Maybe in some other big temple like Tirupati Balaji it might be even bigger. Anyway, I found the ISKON temple too crowded and cramped, but maybe that s the price for being too popular. Somehow, I expected much more from that place; maybe I was keeping my expectations too high.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Hi






Hi,

This is my first post in this blog. Actually couldn't think of anything to post here. Maybe, if i m not lazy enough, or i have something in mind worth sharing, or I get something good to copy-paste and share (there may be plenty of these) ... i ll post it here.
Well, I m still going through nitty-gritties (hope i got the spelling right) of creating a blog and still have a lot to learn before i can begin some serious posting at this place.