Thursday, September 23, 2004

Yez! I did it! I'm on the net!

I was expecting myself to keep away from any sort of work during vacation. What's happening is far from it.

First things first. My net connection didn't work. What a world without internet! I battled with my old comp for a day. Nope. My self-respect hit a rock in the bottom. I pick up the phone and dial the customer service. "Tata Indicom: What can I do for you" says a sweet voice. I'm tempted to say: "Hey, gimme a break. I'm sick of English". I recite the problem for half an hour - only to find out that I missed out a domainname while typing the username. So much for being 'called' a techie! My computer boots, works, hangs in two mins time. Windows 98. It boots the second time, works for 15 mins and the monitor slowly fades to black. Poor guy, it has served me for 5 long years. It's counting its days.

I try connecting with my laptop. Windows XP. Problems galore. Customer service again. English again. One hour chat this time. Sick of hearing "Click on My computer icon in desktop, click on control panel...". My laptop refuses. Memories of browsing center flashes in front of me. Suddenly I get enlightened and I change the dial mode from 'tone' to 'pulse' and the laptop logs onto the net. Restored my pride that I still am one of those confused techies. My sagging self-respect already knows how rock bottom looks like. It didn't have the depth to witness more.

Thus begins Home-alone part 1. I'm home. I'm alone - coz none of my friends are near my home. I thought I'd out be out of stuff to write during my vacation - but alas! I only have a lot of things to record.

Shot 1 from the train journey. We had to stay from midnight till 5 in the morning in the Bhopal railway station waiting for absolution (Titanic style) ... train, that is. Thanks to IIMI, I don't get sleep till 4 in the morning. Running out of choices, we saw a movie in the railway station. Must thank myself for carrying the laptop. And then the fun. 4 of my friends had booked the tickets for a train in August instead of September. Why worry, we told ourselves. We are in India. And the adjustment technology (trademark India) always works. It sure did. For a cool 100 more bucks for each, 4 additional people traveled from Bhopal to Chennai. No wonder BJP lost when it said India is shining. :)

My stay in Chennai was fun. Despite being hot, and contrary to what many people think and say, Chennai always captivates me. Everytime I go there it looks more developed. Then there are always so many friends. Anyway, lemme stop here. I'm thinking of taking a 'India after independence' book, for lack of a better thing to do...

BTW, it took 20 mins for posting the blog from home. Duh!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Paradise beckons!

It's the last day of our first semester. Got two exams - Microeconomics and Organizational design - tomorrow, and thats it. Home beckons. Family. Relief from the concentration camp. My city. Friends. Bliss. TV. Cars. And ofcourse, good spicy south indian home food. Ahaa! the prospect sounds mighty awesome, and I can't wait to start. Nearly 3 months in Indore under the given conditions, I just can't explain how the whole prospect of home sounds! Given that the two exams are going to be of objective type, I don't have any mood to brush up stuff. I'm relying entirely on my memory, pre-exam preparation and luck to do the rest.

What's going to be my schedule like? Well, I really don't want to have any sort of plans. I just wanna pass time without any sort of obligations. Now this might sound like crazy, but aimless wandering is something that we can't get easily. I just have a brief idea of what I'm going to do. 15 movies stored in my laptop. A couple of novels. My plans end there.

I'll stay for a couple of days in Chennai during transit, and the remaining 9 odd days in Coimbatore. I'll probably browse once in day for a brief amount of time. Not sure if I'll come to the blog. I hope I don't! ;-)

Three exams over. I've done moderate-to-bad in 'Human Behaviour at work'. Contrary to what our prof said, the questions were of the 'rote' kind. I hate mugging, and the result is quite obvious. I guess I've done ok in Quants and Accounts. Its quite surprising that I'm quite cool and relaxed about these subjects now. 24 hrs back, it was an entirely different thing. With little luck, I'll avoid a 'D' in accounts. This is something I myself didn't expect. Anyway, happy that the number-crunching part of the subject is over.

Well .... paradise beckons.... !!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Janmastami vibes

Although I'm late in recording this, I just can't ignore this event. Thanks to our cultural committee, we had a totally unexpected fun-filled Janmastami celebration here.

A couple of mails before the event mentioned what our CulCom had in store, but I brushed off the mails after a cursory glance expecting nothing more than a prayer and snacks session. But what turned out was very surprising.

We finished the prayer prompty at 12 midnight, had the usual 'aarti', then the snacks etc. Then I - without any sort of expectation - followed the crowd, and was astonished to see the 'mukti-phod' there. Since its a new word to me, I'll explain what it is: the formation of human pyramid to break the color-water-filled-pot handing far above in the air.

Here's the image I got from Chandoo ...

Being from deep down south, I've seen this only in movies but for last year when I witnessed it when I was in Bangalore. But such an event at an IIM, of all places? It was awesome fun... the usual make and break of pyramids, the accompanying commotion, the hullaballoo, pouring water as they climbed ... a sight to relish, and remember.
Ignore this: Vying for "The best Indian Business School Blog" . How to really become the best among the Indian Business School blogs when there are thousands of blogs from Indian Business school students, each vying to the best?

Monday, September 06, 2004

You gotta minute? Just a minute?

It doesn't have to be like this.
All we need to do is make sure we keep talking
-- Pink Floyd

Some words those...

Our first (Just-A-Minute) JAM session was organized this Sunday, at 6 in the evening - an abnormal time for any activity in a B-school. Add the fact that a cricket match was going on. The turnout was very poor.

For the uninitiated, it's a session where participants have to speak continously, without repitition, without grammatical errors, without slurring, without stammering, without pausing, without digressing, without beating around the bush, and clearly all the same for as long as possible. The longer you speak, more the points you get. You interrupt anyone for making mistakes, you get points.

Now that you know what I'm speaking about, lemme get into the session details per se.

Noneless, determined to make it happen, six of us participated.

Some of the topics I could remember...

1) Too much Viagra causes a stiff neck.
2) I was just looking at your name tag... honest !
3) Suicidal twin murders twin by mistake.
4) Constipated people don't give a crap.

Typical JAM topics.

I was going good in the first three topics. In the last round, a new rule was added: any one objecting a speaker gotto first praise the JAM master before spurting out the objection. This proved a disaster to me. I objected eight times in all, and everytime forgot to praise the JAM master. I guess I gave away 8 times 5 points each to Jammy and Prakash. I finished 3rd atlast. I guess I recorded maximum objections (bungling them is a different thing!), Jammy recorded the single longest sentence along with the maximum convertions of my mistakes :), and the second prize scorer found the maximum grammatical mistakes.

All in all, as any JAM session, twas total fun. Looking forward to the next one...

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Some guest lectures. Really.

Oflate we are having some really good guest lectures.

A week or two back we had Mr. Robert Blake, Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy at New Delhi to give a talk on Indo-US Bilateral Relations. The lecture was captivating since it was designed primarily to be a question-answer kind of a session. I noticed a couple of interesting things. One, Mr Blake was all praises for IITs and IIMs and he plauded these institutions and their contributions to countries (both India and the U.S.) often times. In contrast, I noticed in students a stark negative attitude towards America. All queries were sarcastically structured to question the motives of America. I attribute this to the post-Iraq incumbency... That he diplomatically evaded all sensitive issues is a different thing altogether. Afterall, he is a true diplomat!

Today we had Mr. Adi Godrej (Chairman, Godrej group) in our campus. He's apparently been to our old campus during the convocation for the third batch of students. That was the time when the new campus just started. This time around he explained about the success of Godrej, and the internal policies and efficiency measures leading to it. He mentioned about a lot of innovative things happening in the company. I had a couple of questions for him. First of the two, he mentioned that anyone from Godrej family who's got an MBA or equiv degree will be entrusted with the director level work. My pretty obvious question was: how could anyone be sure that an MBA would perform the job? That too without any field ex? He didn't have time to attend all questions.

What is the true purpose behind these lectures anyway? My answer is simple. It instills a strong feeling of importance just getting the privelege to listen and question such speakers.

Running afront: We are also expecting our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in a month or two. It should be exciting. Waiting to hear what he has to say...