Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Mera desktop...

Tonight... one of those 'Shiv rathiri's again. Got lots of things to do, and my time management is becoming worse by the day! I haven't snivelled much abt these nightouts, have I? Anyway, just thought of capturing my desktop when I was admiring it once. :-)

Click here to view full photo

As you can see, the eternal solace provider - the overloaded WinAmp, the truest company any day any time. Got a funky looking skin from winamp.com. And the inevitable Y!M, the standard messaging system among IIMites. It's overloaded too! You might also manage to get a glance of my event diary... a small piece of thing thats immensely useful for scheduling the day...

Anyway, will come off with some sane stuff in my next post.. ;-)

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The B-school rankings game

The time of the year when the flowers blossom, birds chirp, the time when spring is in the air, has finally come. Incidentally, it is the same time when the bitching about B-school rankings start. The same time when B-schoolers get into the 'My daddy strongest of all' mode.

So many magazines come out with all sorts of ratings leaving everyone perplexed. Aspiring students are left clueless. B-schoolers are in no better position. One magazine says their institute is number 4, and an other equally 'reputed' magazine says their B-school is number 12. Thank God there is no negative ranking! Last year, just the day before my interview, ET rated IIM-I number 5 after IIMs ABCL. An other magazine rated IIM-I 21 the year before. If only B-schools could vault their positions so easily in a year's time! That piece of information only fortified my belief that rankings are as worthy as a piece of crumpled paper in the room corner trashbin.

I was motivated to write about this because I was demotivated by a ranking that came out now. BusinessWorld magazine rated IIM Indore number 28. You heard it right. Twenty eight. As in thirty minus two. Needless to say, all those corner institutes to which you didn't even bother applying are rated in the top-10 list. I was literally thrown out of my chair this time. IIMs LIK didn't find their way into the top-10 list, let alone top-5. All these changes, according to the magazine, have happened in a year. Thank God I didn't follow these ratings then.

Our media committee says that we usually participate only in the BT and ET surveys, and that we didn't even participate in this particular BusinessWorld survey. I'm not trying to defend my institute, but I'm really as cluelessand as helpless as the rest. If there is such a lot of subjectivity in the rating, why at all rate institutes? Do we have anything close to rankings in Engineering colleges? Aren't students and employers inching everytime to Engineering colleges without this information? Isn't 'IIT' a tag to reckon with?

Now, coming to the core issue, what are these ratings all about? and what is the real rating among B-schools in India? Trust me, this is one of the toughest questions to handle. I've never studied in any other B-school other than IIM-I. Is it fair even to try to rate other B-schools? I guess no. I'm enjoying my stay here. I'm really studying a lot. I'm not even sleeping. It's been total fun. But, so does every other B-schooler - or so they claim. Where do we stand in comparison? Only God - and, mind you, NO ONE ELSE - knows.

In all, my take for aspiring students would be: speak to people to whom you are close with. Don't go by magazine ratings. I won't be surprised if IIMA is rated 5 sometime now! Leave the rankings game to magazine wallas and B-schoolers. This bitching is something that's never gonna end.

Addendum: Rumour had it that IIM-I is rated 28, but it was infact IMS Indore that is rated 28. There is no rating mentioned for IIMs LIK coz these instis didn't participate.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Movies and masses

After watching 'The Bourne Identity' a couple of days back, I started thinking about 'mass appeal'. The movie is nowhere close to Ludlum's book 'The Bourne Identity' by any standard, but that doesn't really matter since the pace is good, and the background music/sound kept the flow going. I was surprised to see India in the movie since I don't remember reading references to India in the book. Anyway, its a long time since I read the book. I found the movie very interesting probably coz I knew the storyline beforehand.

The best thing about 'The Bourne Identity' is the plot that surrounds shattered memories. For those who haven't seen the movie: he hero is a CIA agent who forgets everything in an accident. In the meantime there is a plot within CIA to kill him. The hero, as you might expect, comes out victorious.

Take an other movie with a similar storyline for comparison. Fifty First Dates (FFD). Drew Barrymore at her charming best. A famed comedy. Again, for the benifit of people who haven't seen the movie: Barry has a short term memory loss and forgets everything during sleep. She even forgets her own lover and has to be reminded every morning about it. [Do I hear a 'duh!'?]

As far as my ratings are concerned, Bourne Identity was a far far better movie any day. The plot was good, the music was good, the movie was riveting. Other hand, FFD, apart from the Barrymore element and some jokes interspersed, didn't have much. Adam Sandler brought his usual nasty jokes with him. There wasn't anything close to a story or a take away element in the movie.

But then, markets feel otherwise. Fifty First Dates supposedly appeals so much to audience, and hardly anyone saw Bourne Identity. It didn't even wait for me for 10 days in the theatres. I'm still wondering what appeals to the audience en masse...

Thursday, August 19, 2004

IIMs and Accounts - WTH!

Picture this:

1) There are about 10 CAs and an equal number B.Coms in our batch. Not one is amused with the rigor of this particular paper. Not one solved the cases in midterms convincingly.
2) The faculty himself had accepted last year that the paper would take 5 hrs for him solve, but we are given 3 hrs coz we are IIMites.
3) A Calcutta university accounts topper couldn't complete the case in the question paper. Far from it. He was finding it miserable.

I was almost convinced to tone down on the heading. Infact my conservative self within me is persistent in toning down the subject line. But then, my honest self asks me to write whatever I feel like. And I really feel like: Accounts - What the hell?

So many questions have been lingering in my mind about this particularly not-so-funny subject.

1) Why should all managers know accounts?
2) Even if we have to know, why so deep?
3) Case studies for preparation? You kidding?
4) Application oriented number crunching question papers? WTF!

The plus side of knowing accounts:

I agree that managers should atleast understanding the accounting jargon, and they should understand the importance of all those financial statements and the like. Particularly interesting in accounts is the 'fraud isolation' chapter to find out how companies can distort figures - like what happened with the infamous story of yester years - Enron.

Accounts is also very important for a manager since potential dark horses can be isolated for analysis if one is clever enough - something like a huge amount being channelized to a grey area.

But I really fail to understand the meaning behind the course being this rigorous.

What the course has been:

We started off with a balance sheet on Day2. Even in a standard accounts course, I'm told' the balance sheets are introduced after 6 months. That's not all. In session 10, the case that we were supposed to solve would have qualified as a question in a ACA final exam paper.

This doesn't stop here. We have 2 more courses for which whatever we study now is going to be the base.

Translated to simple English: they are most likely 3 D grades in store. :) [Hopefully I say I was kidding...]

Friday, August 13, 2004

Of larks, owls and nightouts

We love dawn. Early mornings. 2 am to 6 am. The time when owls haunt, ghosts supposedly move, when even burglars snooze off. The time when normal people are supposed to reach the seventh heaven where everything is possible. The time people in B-schools love for reasons unknown and unstated.

Ofcourse, we've proved that we are not a part of the sane crowd. That's the first qualification for cracking CAT. We're also capable of random insane meaningless chatter whenever needed. That's how we made it into an IIM.

If only people read faces and statements!

A friend of mine asked: What time do you sleep?
I retorted: Generally at 4 to 4.30 am, with occasional nightouts.

I didn't lie. But I didn't state the complete truth either. I slept between 4 and 6 pm in the evening, and I'm about to get a comfortable sleep between 5 and 9 in the morning. Who cares about a morning bath anyway? In all probabilities, the neighbor too is going to stink. Be a Roman in Rome.

Now, don't ask me if we all love this schedule. No one really knows. Someone in a B-school sometime back started saying that staying awake late into the night is bliss. The rest of crowd followed for fear of contradicting the statement and fear of staying out of the crowd. Slowly, everyone forgot what their daddies taught during school days - "To maintain health, sleep between 10 pm to 6 am". Maybe everyone's grown up, and rational thought process has set in. The real question is whether rationality has set in or irrationality has set in. Its a really difficult question to answer.

Whatever the reason, no one knows why sleepless nights are fun. No one really knows why nightlife is better than daytime. Science contradicts popular thought. Now that we've completed school, why care about Science? Even in school, it was a difficult subject to handle.

End of days and years, its generally spoken of that nightlife is fun. I'll join the gang. I'm no different you see.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

It's now or never. I ain't gonna live for ever

Most of us have read about the night life in Metros. Nightlife at B-schools is 'fundoo' too. It's amazing to see people who are used to sleeping 8 hrs acclimatize upon coming here and joining the gang of 'the inane' who take pride sleeping after 3.30 am.

Classes get over by 1 pm, and there would invariably be a quiz till 4.00 pm. Just imagine the time left to us. 4 pm in the evening to 3 am next day, or even 4 to 4.30 am the next day (like my case). 12+ hrs approx. Seems to be quite a lot of time. As I write this, the figure looks daunting.

Actually, as you might expect, there are people who utilize atleast 6 to 8 hrs everyday. They stay in their rooms (there's a word for it... agoraphobia?) and worship books and nothing else. These kinda people don't amuse me since they are real boring! Study alone isn't life. Or is it?

And there are the real freak outs who manage to while away all the time in the world. Give 'em 10 hrs a day, 20 hrs a day, they manage to have fun. They play, they party, they booze, they loiter, they linger, movies, music, masti, mazaa... these people just manage to have fun. I kinda admire these people just for their 'sangfroid' nature. It takes a lot to have fun when the whole world is raving mad.

Next is the 'sleeping child' kind that you just can't ignore. Probably they took the line "Sleep gives the 2nd best happiness in the world" too literally. I always think there are certainly better things to do than sleeping for 10 hrs a day - probably because my sleep record has been awry in the past 6 or so years!

Last is the most admirable kind. People who manage to freak out a lot and still study and get grades. I just revere them. Keeping the concentration in studies and having fun at the same time is... for lack of words... celestial!

Quite frankly, I don't really know which category I fit in. I have decent levels of concentration many a time, but the 'fun loving' part has been the dominant force till now. I'm slowly trying to put myself in the last category... coz, for one thing, I just wanna ensoi life.

My life. It's now or never. I ain't gonna live for ever. Cliched isn't it?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Random scribbles - Party, clime & elections

The clime here is awesome. The rain Gods gave the maximum blessing till yesterday. Yesterday's very soft drizzle was idyllic in particular. Being from TN, I know the value of the rains. This place is blessed with lots of it. 24 hr rains seem to be a norm rather than exception. There is a layer of verdant green everywhere. This is really something to relish for someone from South India which is relatively in perpetual drought!

We had our Official freshers welcome party yesterday. It's been one month since we came here and we have already had all sorts of welcomes. The news of another welcome party was a shocker, despite the obvious fun element. I asked a senior: A welcome after a month? He retorted: IIMs are still under the Government. Holy hell!

The pic here was taken yesterday in the party. This was the first time we all wore a blazer for something real serious (excepting trivial things like IIM interviews :-P). T'was quite an experience looking like hi-profile grown-ups! We took loads of snaps.

Row one: Kishore and Jam
Row two: Me, Senthil, Aravind and Pradeep.

We also had our elections for various committees today. I was contesting for the ITCOM position - was one among the 4 candidates contesting for 2 seats. I lost the elections. I managed to get just 31 out of the 115 or so votes. Anyway, I don't have much to worry since I really didn't do anything for IT com as of now. The people who got selected really deserved it. Have to reconsider my decision before the next round of elections. First mover advantage is something to reckon with!

We got our first midterms next week. Things are real tight.. almost 2 quizzes a day, usual assignments, class preparation and stuff...