Saturday, July 31, 2004

Counter Striked! - PGP1 lost to PGP2

There is a lot to learn in life. Just when you think you are the God, there is always a knock on the head reminding you just in time that the worst is yet to come. The knock, was, infact, real hard and it brought the hell out of PGP1.

Yeah, PGP1 lost to PGP2. And, miserably at that!

The rules:

We had two sets of matches in all. 5 maps in total. 14 players on either side. The five maps were: NM Gas, Siege, Dust, Airfield and Le Chateau [Some of the names might not be verbatim]
The first team to win 5 times in a map was the map winner. And there were 5 maps in all.

D-Day one:

PGP1 were the terrorists, and PGP2 were the counter-terrorists.

We (author from PGP1) didn't have a strategy discussion or anything of that sort. I personally was pulled in from the party while I was dancing. Our guys told me: You are needed. We gotta win. Heck, who really cares about dancing when CounterStrike is at stake? I barged in with the nick "Spetnaz".

We authored a 3-2 map win on the first day. We were elated. Not because we won, but such victories are at a premium. Our seniors have played the game in, center and out, and they were clerly well netted while we, lo and behold, started knowing each other during the match! We had very less, if anything, of practice.

We won the first day. What next? we got 'the' indomitable image within ourselves. And it was to written down as the beginning for all repurcussions.

D-Day two:

PGP1 were the counter-terrorists, and PGP2 were the terrorists.

PGP2 had prepared for 2 hours. Yeah, we are good at espionage! :-) And we were partying. We started the match with all overblown and lofty hopes, only to find ourselves crushed from all sides. They were good at accuracy, and had a far better strategy. They strangled us 5-0.

In the end, PGP1 lost to PGP2.

Whats in the offing?

We are all fired up for the next encounter that's probably months ahead. We simply gotta win. No two ways out! More later.

Ciao. Govar.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Template change

Wanted to do some modification in the blog, and didn't find anything innovative to do. So, changed the template. :)

The earlier one was chosen ad-hoc - I mean, I didn't think much before choosing it, but I understood that it was a bit staid. So, this is in... I presume the red/maroon color in it wouldn't give the so-so-bovine look.

P.S: Got any interesting thing that can be implemented in a blog? Lemme know!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Armageddons versus The Demons

No, this ain't about a movie or a phantom. This is about the clashes between the 'A' blockers and the 'D' blockers of IIM Indore hostel. Call it the clash of the titans or a contest between the elites, this is real serious!

It all started with the VolleyBall match. We (me from 'A') won the match 3-1, and guess what?, we had a party in the 'D' block, making fun of them. We had to, since the 'D' blockers were too optimistic about themselves and we showed them the way of the world. But then, we didn't expect the clash to be perpetual, an eternal part of our hostel life, but 'D' blockers took it very seriously.

And following is the series of invites we've received for contest between A and D:

VolleyBall (Ofcourse we'd win everytime :) ... me very much in the team!
Cricket - our guys lost in the first round. But Hey! we weren't serious. ;-)
CounterStrike - we have lesser number of players, but we are confident of a good fight - I love fraggin! Waiting 4 it.
Arm wrestling - apparently they have a 'bullock' boy who wins everyone. So, they have their way in this.

As can be seen, the contest is hot, but not humid :) Victory means total fun, and failure leads to humiliation. We don't want those guys to party in our block... that would be miserable.

Only problem: Numbers are in their favour. Their strength is 50% more than us. Lets see what time has in store.

Raring to put up a fight!

Latest update: Have decided to pause playing CS till midterms. Got a lot to study :-(

Sunday, July 25, 2004

A time to kill - CounterStrike

I was sprinting towards the bend near the dark corner door. When I was in close proximity, there was some movement behind me. Was it my intuition, or just a resonance in my mind? Before I could complete a 'U' turn to validate my thoughts, there was a splash of red light around me. Then there was blood falling over, out of my body. My blood. I was bleeding. In a jiffy, I took a shot in the head, and I was history. I was shot down by a terrorist.

Welcome to enthralling world of CS, a.k.a Counter-Strike.

Its a game where terrorists and counter-terrorists battle each other for victory. To win, you need to have a lust for blood, a lust to kill. A longing to massacre. Violence rules. Felony brings you laurels.

That was a short, if not sweet, introduction to Counter-strike. The game truly deserves it. Everyday in IIMI, atleast some 50 students take to this game, to find who's the master with the weapons. We have 2 or 3 game servers running round the clock.

Bullet shots and bomb bursts can be heard till about 4 am everyday. Yesterday, for instance, we were playing till 5.30 am in the morning. What makes it really interesting is the fact that the players are not computer generated. We play over the LAN.

We even have a contest between PGP1 and PGP2 somtime this week. Waiting for it.

CS is a religion. CS is a passion. CS is an obsession. Hail CS. What a difference in an otherwise very monotonic, bland existence!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The fire tragedy - don't we ever learn?

Yet another accident [Link]. Correction - a tragic, devastating accident. People cry and squirm. Lots of attention. Suspension of officials. A 'relook' at the infrastructure of all the schools in India, probably for the hundredth time - whatever that means! Yet another avenue for Paparazzi to fill their columns. Allegations thrown left, right, and all over the place.

Don't we ever learn?

This is not the first time a fire accident is happening in a school in India. Not the first time children are dying. None of this is new to us. But still, nothing has changed.

I remember my school reducing to embers when I was in my fifth standard. We studied under a thatched roof for sometime. Trust me, it wasn't amusing. I still have gory memories of those days. But luckily no one was a casualty then.

Still, after so many - countless is an understatement- lessons, there is a lot to be desired. What is the problem?

I guess its the inherent nature of the bureaucracy in India. Two days back, our MicroEconomics faculty said "To start a factory in Japan, it takes 6 days. It may take more than 6 months or more in India".

The problem is not the funds. It may not even be the mismanagement of funds. Its the intermediate level of bureaucracy that curtails the flow of funds. There should be a fundamental change in the whole political structure. But how? That's the primary question. At the cost of doing an unfinished job, I'll leave the topic at this.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

B'day bumps

19th July (yesterday) was my B'day.

I was kinda keeping it a secret till the last hours. I wanted to shock the guys at I the next day that I escaped the bumps. But alas! Chandoo saw the PG B'day wishes thread and spread the news.

Trust me, news of this kind is hot. It spread rapidly, and it a matter of hours, I was taken to the mess centre by a 'mob'. :) I remember some 30 kicks. Also managed to note a few faces for reciprocation. :)

There I was, was treated with a bucket of cold water first. Then Ashwin poured a bucket of hot water mixed with whatever-hell! who knows. It smelled like Surf. Just when I thought everything was over, there was a spash on my back. One more. Again, one more. Three in all. Eggs. On my head and shoulders. I thought "damn, Im smelling like rotting fish".

Then we (one other B'day victim - Rohan) were made to sit in the D-shaped mess entrance. There was a coupla flashes. Then I slowly walked to the room, egg shells falling everywhere. Took the bath, watched guys playing some LAN games, had some snacks in the mess, more chatting, now back at the room. Its 2.30. How many hours did I spend usefully? Maybe 3/4 hrs after the morning classes.

Tomorrow, nothing much to prepare - 2 Oral comm. and a MicroEconomics class. And Wednesday is a holidady. Have decided to sleep now.... only thing running in my mind... whose b'day is next?

Friday, July 16, 2004

Tams treat to boot!

After all the initial hiccups and hues and cries, we are having a fun time all the way. Lot of good things have happened in the past coupla days.

First and foremost, I collected the bike yesterday from the railway station. It has come after some 15 off days. So much for service!

Second, I got the laptop today. Everything seems to be set. Only studies left. ;-)
The system is cute... looking great, occupies very less space. I've also connected the 2600 watts Subwoofer + 4 satellites speaker system in the room. Music is amazing. Boy! I don't know how I'm going to keep away from the blazing music.

And more importantly, shifting back to yesterday again, we had the Tams treat yesterday. Around 12 senior Tams and some 15 of us were present. They took us to Woodlands hotel where we had the traditional true-to-the-Tam-style idli, Vada, Dosa etc. Never know that delicious South Indian food is available in Indore. Also managed to see the better part of the city - atlast!

We all took out bikes to Indore.. the hotel was about 20 Kms. Never imagined that I would go in a bike mini-tour when in an IIM. We took the Agra-Bombay expressway during return. Boy! what a round. Not a single speedbreaker or distraction anywhere. Was clocking 90 to 100 Kmph all the time. All others *tried* to catch me.. alas! ;-)

All in all, it was total fun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

My CAT story - Inspiration (??!!) for the late starters

Please don't take these if you are real serious in preparation. If you are lagging in preparation, I guess this post will zap you up.

Starting problem:
I took the first CAT in 2001. I didn't know anything about CAT, the competition prevailing, and the type of questions that can be expected. I didnt know the USP of different institutions either. I took it just because I wanted to do something useful during the last of my college days. I already had a job in Oracle which made me as lax as a guy can be.

I remember taking 5 full time tests, at home, in total. Obviously the test bombed. I wasn't least expecting to get a call. Fortunately the scores weren't disclosed that time.

Second try:
I was too busy with the work, doing good stuff there. I was also enjoying a good reputation in the company, and most importantly I was enjoying the work along with a good pay. But since coding was something I didn't want to settle with in the long run, I wanted to take CAT in November 2004 with 3 yrs experience. This was in June 2003. Since there was 4 months left for Nov 2003 CAT, I just wanted to give a shot, a serious one.

I enrolled in IMS correspondence. I didn't take the full course because I had a real tight schedule in the company, and I was always thinking in the back of the mind that Nov 2004 CAT is for me. Materials started piling up every week, and didn't even touch. And then, one fine day - the usual enlightenment wake up - made me take the books. Then I joined PG, and closely followed the things here, and suddenly I wanted to give a full try.

I was overconfident about English, and I didn't spend a single minute for English apart from the 40 minutes in exam. This I suspect was a real mistake. I only concentrated (???!!) on Quants, and I was confident that DI will automatically come (Second mistake!)

I was never in the top 100s anytime. My usual IMS ranks were in the range 600 to 1000 kinds, with intermittent trespassing either sides. The highest I got was some 201 once. But take home tests (AIMCAT papers) were the real cushion. After evaluation most of the time I found that I was close to AIR 50s and 100s. Don't ask me why I didn't get such ranks in SIMCATs. I don't know. But then, I must add: SIMCATs really sucked. They were outdated - to say the least.

I guess I had a consistent average performance in both the CATs - the leaked one and the next one. I remember getting some 60+ in the leaked CAT. Low by all standards.

The 'real' CAT was equally bad. I remember getting some 50 to 55s, as per the IMS key. But people who claimed 60s and 65s got lesser than me finally. So, I really don't know what my score was. All I know is: I got 98.1 percentile, calls from L and I.

L interview was a nightmare (as posted in PG), the worst one can expect. I interview was cool, and naturally I'm in I now.

Wanted to post this for a long time, and got the time now - tomorrow is a holiday for us here. Some friends say I must have went according to my original plans and should have taken CAT seriously next year to get into A/B/C. But I'm in IIM-I, what the heck? Feeling satisfied.

P.S: I posted this PG, and wanted to capture this in my blog as well.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

A volte-face!

After a week of hectic work, cruising at break neck velocity, yesterday was a bouncer, an unexpected volte-face.

We had some classes yesterday, which were mostly the non-taxing kind relating to communication, presentations etc. In the afternoon we had some miscellaneous work. Then, s I was planning to spend some time with books, I stumbled across the Volley Ball field, and ended up spending 3 hours there. After having some snacks, I went to the Gym with Srickant. I made a resolution to visit the place once every week, and he made it a point to visit it everyday. ;-)

Then there was the cultural night where we had loads of fun performing the 'vintage' last benchers role - whistling and shouting all the way. At about 11.30 pm, the party started. Till 1.00 am I whiled away time eating fillers and taking soft-drinks. Then went to dance ... went on with frequent intermissions till about 2.30 am. Down and out, short of energy, I had some 'Maggi' in the mess, and went to sleep at about 4.00 am. Woke up at about 10.00 am today. What a change.... lots of work awaiting me.

Friday, July 09, 2004

One valuable lesson

Almost 10 days in the campus. I've learned one valuable thing. On an average, there are some 60 odd pages of book to read, a case study to do, and some other group presentation/preparation work in a day. All this easily consumes all the available time, leaving 5 to 6 hours for sleep. So, the conclusion is, anything extra I do - chatting, browsing, blogging, playing - anything - it can directly be subtracted from the 5/6 hours I get. Its scary. Guess I need to become a social-anathema-animal. :)

I really was hoping, against hope, that all the rigour stories were somehow very exaggerated. Much to my agony, it doesn't seem to be so. :-( Some funny things are already happening. 2 guys have reportedly quit, one to K. Some of the guys, on a lighter side, are already joking that 115 are left, instead of '2 left'. [Hope the pun is clear!]. There are also the usual ramblings like "Why the hell am I here", "Fun is the ultimatum in life, and I was having it until I came here" etc. All in the game I guess. :-)

I'm already totally used to the place, and feeling like I'm in a different planet, out of touch with most of the world. We get all crap newspapers - TOI, Express etc, and the the only worthwhile newspaper - Hindu - comes one day late. Anyway, I'm not even reading the Express thats coming. So, not much of a difference.

Sleep caught - Consciously calculated:
3 days back: 4 hours.
2 days back: 3 hours
Day before yesterday: 3 1/2 hours.
Yesterday: 2 1/2 hours
Today: Looks good, mebbe 5 hours.

It actually makes more sense to calculate how much we really spend in studying/reading. WIll do that from now.