Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bday bashes



Birthday bashes usually go badly for the guy in question namely the 'birthday boy' since the bash turns out to be more of an excuse to give the birthday boy a bashing on the day he graced earth with his presence.
My birthday 'bash' turned out on the same lines. However if there is one thing I regret, its that I didn't get to taste the cake which was so beautifully kept for me. As the photo shows, people felt I should not have the cake and eat it too....

One funny habit people have here: that of wasting coke by drenching a person in coke/ mazaa/ minute maid. Very crazy habit!!! Who wants to waste that much coke??? 
Lucky for me, there were three other people who shared their bday with me and that saved me from a resounding thrashing. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The vagaries of Mess food

In the last few days, there has been quite a ruckus about the quality of food in the mess, not to mention the presence of 'animal protein' i.e insects in the food. Several photos of the debacle have already come up on our newsgroups.
Somehow the very perception of a "mess" has eternally been an eternal mess(pun intended). Earlier memories of mess food include NIT mess food which, to say the least , was not something I would wish for my worst enemies, leave alone poor frail engineering students such as myself. Very quickly early on during ragging, our seniors used to take us to the local canteen known in our campus as Jhoops and open accounts for us at Jhoops. That benevolent man used to supply us on credit. For the next four years, it would be the eternal adda spot, the place where we sat down to finish assignments or just plain laze around. The ledger books would get thicker with our entries as we accumulated credit, paying for it at the end of a term or sometimes after we got a job. My final year was spent half the time at Jhoops lazing around between my rare classes. Sometimes even the profs turned up for tea there!
I miss the concept of a canteen/ jhopdi/dhaba here at IIM I.I cant have tea or snacks when I like. Punctuality is a must. If I come before 8:00 AM or after 10:00 AM, I dont get breakfast and so on. The night mess is ok but it neither has the ambience nor the cost benefits of the dhaba. Frankly even now, nothing beats a cup of simple chai along with a Bun sandwich and Todphod at the night jhoops(cheap at 8 bucks for the lot).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sounds of Silence

Its been quite some time since I listened to Simon & Garfunkel and my new Logitech speakers just begged to be allowed to go out full blast. So I put on a playlist on Simon & Garfunkel and sat in the dark listening to the lyrics. One of the most touching songs of their collection is undoubtedly The Dangling Conversation. There is this one part of the song which almost always brings tears to my eyes.:
Yes, we speak of things that matter,
With words that must be said,
Can analysis be worthwhile?
Is the theater really dead?
And how the room is softly faded
And I only kiss your shadow,
I cannot feel your hand,
Youre a stranger now unto me

Every time I listen to this song, it reminds me of an old friend who was also a passionate lover of Simon & Garfunkel. That friend of mine died more than 2 years back but this song brings back strong memories of him talking to me, riding his moped,playing cricket and our going for quizzes and debates together. We were close friends once but drifted apart once I joined college and didnt interact that much. Now I wish I had known him better.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Simple Pleasures

From a Reader's Digest articles I can remember two lovely quotes of Lin Yutang, a chinese scholar and philosopher. They are:
"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. "

"If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. "

Alas, most of us have forgotten these. Life is a rat race where we are the rats and we keep running on the treadmill till we collapse exhausted or clear another hurdle to find a faster treadmill awaiting us. Very few of us stop to appreciate a beautiful sunset/sunrise or a pretty scenery. Even fewer ever chucks our jobs and say " I am gonna laze away this afternoon" . Its sad to think of all the afternoons and evenings we let slip.
So from now on, I have a new resolution: Skip more assignments, free ride more often and relax coz life is gonna go along without me anyway.
P.S: This starts this week, I aint doing the MIS assignment On the heads of the rest of the group be it

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apps, Apps and more apps

The beginning of the new term augured well, We seemed to have some chilled out profs who didnt mind if we slept in class, we had a few fun teachers and I seemed to have kept my head above Sea level. But I should have known all this was too good to last.
I need to know exactly how much B.S can be tolerated for answers such as " Name one incident in your life where you had a significant paucity of time". This is not to forget the same age old questions: Name some academic achievements , name the most important incident of your life. But all said and done, I slowly achieved a Zen like state where I could write total B.S answers for arbit questions thrown at me in a dozen forms. This was to come and bite me back in the ass later during an interview.
My B. Tech degree finally came of integral importance to me. One of the companies actually cared about the branch we had attempted to study in college. I turned out to be the lucky opener for IIM Indore(much like the first warrior of the Greeks Protesilaus in the Trojan War.Legend has it the first warrior to set foot on the shores of Troy would be killed. Protesilaus bravely jumped on the shores and died soon) In a similiar fashion I was called, the sacrificial lamb itching towards slaughter. I was informed that the 1st lamb had quietly sneaked off in anticipation of murder and hence I was the chosen first sacrifice on the altar of the interviews. The interview went by like a blur except that one of them had immense pleasure in picking up each of my markseets and sniggering at my amazing marks. Whenever I said words like "determination"/ " hard work", he would cast a meaningful look at my resume and marksheets and snigger a bit more.
Later interviews were more on a common line. Y marketing? Y do u think we should take u? The answers to these I repeated and repeated till I grew bored. Funnily wat was scarier was not remembering what I had written on the forms. So half the time I would be thinking back to that night when I had filled out the form sleepily . I would wonder which incident I had put down and then probe the interviewer carefully to see his reaction. Quite a few times, I could see the interview perplexed. Promptly I would say another such instance... and so on.
One of the few take aways(in business terms) from this whole process has been my growing acceptance of a suit. Earlier I was extremely uncomfortable in suits and couldnt imagine wearing one for more than an hr. But thanx to this process, I now got used to wearing it for a whole day (with a tie to boot).

Few days of solace and happiness


At the end of the first trimester, I knew only a few things while I was packing:
1) We didnt have a confirmed ticket for our journey
2) The car seemed to be late
3) It was good I was leaving the campus after the debacle of the endterms.

The details of the journey to the railway station is a story worthy of another post some other day, when I shall talk bout the vagaries of potholes, the awesome roads in Madhya Pradesh, the beauty of the solitude of stations such as Bhusewal and the applications of Murphy's Laws to journeys through the middle of nowhere. Rest aside, once I had landed back at Calcutta, I was pretty confident that I was through all my troubles and what awaited me was a beautiful week of pleasure and fun interspiced with good homecooked food and the opportunity to sleep for more than 16 hrs at a stretch.
Little was I to know that Mamata, the leader of the "oppressed masses" would choose that very day to unleash her vitriolic skills on the masses of Calcutta not to mention blocking all paths to the locality I needed to reach. A half hour of frantic circling later, the cab driver accepted defeat with a philosophical shrug and dropped me off at the Metro station. 45 mins later I was finally at my uncle's house. That afternoon I reached home and enjoyed 4 beautiful days till I had to board the train to come back to IIM I.

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