Sunday, July 30, 2006


Ok, here's the truth.

The exams finished on Monday. And since yesterday, I've already deleted two posts that I'd begun writing. So, all those of you who've been baying for my blood...hold, baba, hold !!

As I speak, I presume it must be raining outside. And this presumption is on the basis of the continuous rain throughout the day that Ahmedabad has been witness to in the last 24 hours. The weather conditions remain so sexy that it would tempt anyone (leave alone the bechara accha baccha that I am) into bunking classes and lying in bed daydreaming of Angelina Jolie / Sushmita Sen / Sameera Reddy.

***** break in writing *****

It is now quarter past 6 and about time I slept. I have two lectures to attend around noon and I must prepare a presentation before that. Not that it is mandatory, but I would like to anyway. I want to make that effort not because of an extra grade (I think the grades have already been awarded, so the presentation won' t really matter), but because I think a PPT presentation will be able to emphasise clearly the points that I'd endeavored to highlight in my written submission.

I'd thought I'd blog about this later, but I think the moment is perfect.

I feel that labels work beautifully. Try it. Just start labelling someone as a 'great worker' or someone who 'thinks innovatively'. Chances are that he / she would indeed start displaying similar qualities. That brings 2 questions to my mind. Were these folks actually good in the particular activity prior to the 'praise'? And if yes, weren't those around him / her pretty foolish not to recognise this talent?

I do not know the answers and I don't claim to be able to find out anytime soon.

But here's a case-in-point.

I seem to be unconsciously telling myself from time to time that I'm different. Like I said, it is not a conscious decision. The idea just pops up in my head when I suddenly view the different manner in which I approach a problem / situation and the routine manner in which the others think about it.

Everything about me seems to be unique.

My dreams, my aspirations...all seem to be bordering on megalomania. However, that is fodder for another post. :)

As for as my being different is concerned, it isn't that I choose to be different. No! Absolutely not. I am just.....ME. And it is perhaps because of these discernible differences that I call myself a maverick.


(I like the way that sounds. Maverick.)

And look how a 8 letter word repeated enough number of times in the sub-conscious mind can change a person.

Exhibit 1 --> Possibly also the most hotly debated and argued topic currently among my immediate circle of friends: the length of my hair. Now now...before you start rolling your eyes again, I ain't no 70's rock star with shoulder-length hair, but...aaaargh...can't express it in words. So, let me take the help of a friend who recently scrapped me on's a close-up of my orkut profile pic:
And here's what a friend wrote: "aapke [avatar ke] hair bhi aapse kaafi match kar rahe hain - only beard ki kami hai ." Oh ! I forgot to add, I also sport what is a weak attempt at a french beard. Anyway, the point is that I look more like a struggling painter rather than a fellow suited and booted for the corporate world and about to join the 'rat race' in a couple of months from now. And what's more, I'm loving it.

Now the problem is that there's a certain percentage of the female population here in the girl's hostel (and a certain someone back in Calcutta too) who would love to see me return to my shareef baccha wala look. *angry look* How rude !! Especially when a guy has taken so much pains. *grin*

Exhibit 2 --> I play basketball / football / any other the hostel 4 in the morning. This usually happens after the Titans of the world of CounterStrike [CS] and Age of Empires [AoE] are done with their share of conquests and guns and blood-shed. None of that for me (AOE is too complex for a simpleton like me). I prefer the simple and healthy competition at 'scoring' a goal by guiding a football 'woh waali line ke paar'.

Exhibit 3 --> I'm equally crazy about John Denver and Jagjit Singh; as crazy about Bryan Adams as Buddhist Meditation sounds.

I could go on and on forever. But what I'm trying to drive at is the craziness that is involved in being me. And guess what....I don't regret it one little bit, baby !! :D

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sholay rules !!!

Here's why...

33 years after the release of the movie, right in the middle of a b-school's exams, here's a multicast made on IP by none other than the great Neeraj 'Sabka Baap' Sharma. In the unfortunate circumstance of his reputation not having preceded him, just read up the modern take on Jai and Mausi's conversation. It's a blast...

"Amitabh: Mausi ladka TCS main kaam karta hai..

Mausi: Hai ram..

Amitabh: Aajkal allocated hai..

Mausi:To kya unallocated bhi rahta hai..

Amitabh: Ab 1 ki rating waalon ka allocation itni se asaani se kahaan hota hai..

Mausi: To kya 1 ki rating bhi aati hai uski..

Amitabh: PL (Project Leader) se ladai karne ke baad 5 ki rating to nahin na milti hai mausi..

Mausi: To kya ladaku bhi hai..

Amitabh: Ab onsite jane ko na mille to ho jaati kabhi kabhi anban..

Mausi: To kya onsite bhi nahin gayaa abhi tak..

Amitabh: Ab civil engineers ka Visa itni jaldi kahaan lagta hai mausi..

Mausi: To kya ladka civil engineer hai..

Mausi: Kaunse college se kiya ..

Amitabh: Uska pataa lagte hi hum aapko khabar kar denge..

Amitabh: To kya main rishta pakka samjhun mausi..

Mausi: Bhale hi hamaari ladki call center wale se shaadi kar le par TCS waale se katai nahin karegi....... "

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Maverick Profile

Hi. I'm taking time out from between hurried efforts at completing the Services Marketing assignment that needs to submitted tomorrow and frantically searching for my lost napkin (to be later converted into a mystery titled "The Case of the Missing Napkin").

Maverick Profile is a component of our Services Marketing module, wherein we need to profile a "non-placement office choice of an MBA". So, here's what I wrote.


“Never Give Up, Never Give In!”

This is the account of a man who had the courage to climb the highest mountains known to man.

Not opting for campus placements from one of the premier management institutes in the country was just another pebble in the path.

Malli Mastan Babu was born to a farmer’s house in Gandhi Jana Sangam village in Andhra Pradesh. He attended Sainik School at Korukunda, where he came in contact with army mountaineers and was fascinated by their sense of adventure. “Lt MUB Rao was with the Indian Army Expedition team who lost their lives in an avalanche while trying to scale Mt Everest,” Mastan says.

Whether it was this hero worship, longing for adventure or just a natural talent that had to surface, we do not know. What we do know is that Babu started excelling in sports and academics early on. He won the best swimmer award, passed NCC A&B Certificates, obstacle competition races and stood in the merit list of National Level Science Talent Search exam at school.

Babu went on to complete his graduation in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur (1992-1996). Here too he continued to excel in sports; he became the athletics captain, was a runner-up at the All India Volley Ball Tournament and stood 1st in a 6 km cross country race.

Next, the man from Nellore headed for IIT Kharagpur (1996-1998) to pursue his Masters of Technology in Electronics. Here too his passion for sports showed up. He won prizes in water polo, aquatics and volley ball tournaments.

He went on to work as senior software engineer at Satyam Computer Services Ltd for three years. This was followed by pursuing an MBA degree from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (2002-2004).

Here, ambition started taking a more definite shape.

Mastan Babu founded the Adventure Club of IIM Calcutta. The club organized several events ranging from health weeks, hiking, high altitude trekking (upto 15,500 feet), skiing, snow climbing, ice climbing to Yoga, Art of Living and Vipassana meditation course. For his initiatives at IIM Calcutta, he was awarded the “Dr. B.C. Roy award for best outstanding contribution to campus life”.

However, mountaineering always remained close to his heart. He attended several mountaineering and adventure courses in the Indian Himalayas. He underwent snow and ice climbing training. He also did several solo high altitude treks in Gangotri region such as Tapovan and Nandan Ban including spending a solo night in the formidable Gangotri glacier.

The time had come to take a decision.

Malli Mastan Babu opted out of the placement process in 2004, opting to start his own adventure tourism company by the name 'Mast Adventures'. But first, it was the call of the peaks.

The Nellore man now wanted to set a world record by scaling the seven highest summits in the seven continents in the shortest time. And in the process, also become the first Indian to attempt the 7 summits.

Obviously, climbing these mountains is no joke. From Malli Mastan’s website (, “Oxygen deprivation, 40 degrees sub zero temperatures, wildest snow storms, avalanches, extreme fatigue and exhaustion, days of despair and whipping weather are the unavoidable challenges encountered by those aspiring to achieve this feat. Physical stamina, mountaineering skill & experience, mental strength and complete knowledge about these peaks will only prove to be very good tools of survival.”

Lack of oxygen was not a problem for Mastan Babu, but lack of funds was certainly a problem. The cost of the seven climbs worked out to $ 110,953. Babu sought help from friends and alumni of IIM-C. Help came in the form of veteran mountaineer Capt. (retired) M.S. Kohli of the Himalayan Environment Trust in New Delhi. The trust sponsored Babu's ambitious project to climb the highest peaks in all the seven continents of the world within six months.

Malli Mastan Babu’s conquest over the next six months can be summarised thus:

January 19, 2006 à Mt. Vinson Massif, Antarctica

February 17, 2006 à Mt. Aconcagua (Argentina), South America

March 15, 2006 à Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Africa

April 1, 2006 à Mt. Kosciuszko (New South Wales), Australia

May 21, 2006 à Mt. Everest (Nepal), Asia

June 13, 2006 à Mt. Elbrus (Russia), Europe

July 10, 2006 à Mt. Denali (Alaska), North America

Barely a week ago, Malli Mastan Babu has smashed the world record to become the fastest to ascend the 7 summits (171 days).

Next on his agenda?

“I want to roll out my own business by promoting adventure sports for personality development,” says the electrical engineer, management graduate and adventurer.

Doesn’t opting out of the placement process by an MBA sound almost mundane in comparison to Malli Mastan Babu’s other achievements?


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Warren Buffett, main aa raha hoon...!!

Ok, in case the "Sage of Omaha" does actually end up on this blog...dear Sir, the title of this post is not in the least to offend you. It is more like an incantation to the lord of the world of stocks. Bhagwaan jee, kripa drishti rakhiyega is bande nawaaz pe.. Like many dreamers in the past, I too have borrowed a couple of books from the library, hoping to pick up tips on how to choose stocks and build a brilliant portfolio. More like, "Chalo, ham-au stocks khareed aaye...".

For the time being, however, let me again immerse myself into the world of books [err...academic books, that is] for my mid-term exams begin from 20th. So, side hato Mr. Buffett, and observe how I march head on to meet some of my greatest challengers, namely M/s. Consumer Behavior and Investment and Portfolio Management. Har !! Har !! Har !! Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mumbai blasts

Make a difference, go here. MUMBAI HELP


Mom knows that I rarely keep track of events outside the business world, except when it comes to sports, perhaps.

I was asleep when the message beeped on my cell phone.

"5 blasts in Mumbai local trains"

I woke up, read the message, asked my room-mate to read out the contents of various news websites, shrugged, put on a t-shirt and went out for dinner. On the way down, I stopped at the first floor TV-room, saw a few visuals of the devastation and walked away cursing those who were responsible.

I am ashamed to admit this. As I walked to the Dhaba with a friend, we debated what could be the possible reason for the blasts. "They've attacked at the heart of Mumbai when they attack the local railway lines," I said with an air of supreme knowledge about the city, a city in which I have only spent 2 months for my summer training. "If they, whoever 'they' might be, think they're going to be able to upset the stock markets by this, they're highly mistaken. The markets will react only for a day, two at the most, but the credentials of the economy are strongly in place."

Rightly said, mate. So what if you've been voicing your opinion against a particular system; you've been through MBA training for a year, and that is bound to have some effect, on you, right? Of course, the so-called-manager that you're gonna become must be more worried about money and nervous reactions of the Bombay sensex rather than the naked dance of death that had created havoc.

I came back to the hostel, and had to wait till a multicast on IP from 'Nike' put my brains back to the right place. He sent a link of a news report which included a video of the aftermath of the blasts.

That is when it happened.

All I could wonder, as I viewed this part of the video was, "What was HIS fault?"

He could well have been my brother or my next door neighbour. What was his fault?


What was the poor man's fault? He was just another Mumbai-kar, working hard to make two ends meet and travelling by the same local trains by which millions travelled each day. Did he deserve this death? Did his parents deserve the death of their child? Can you imagine a white haired gentleman standing with tears in his eyes, wondering what to say to a wailing mother who has lost a 30-32 year old son? What consolation does one give to the dead man's young wife who had perhaps dreamt of a wonderful things in the future?

What did the people responsible for this attack gain by this young man's death ??

Life goes on...I am about to head down for a cup of tea so that I may stay awake for the next few hours, reading a chapter out of "Investments and Portfolio Management". My IP messenger is flooded with requests for "Superman Returns" and "Corporate". Someone has also requested for a romantic Hemant Kumar number, which on ANY other night, I would've heard with a smile.

And though the humdrum of life carries on, in my mind, I can still hear shrieks of a woman who has lost her son...a son who I didn't know, a son who I'll never know. All I'll ever know is the statistic that one more person died at the Mumbai blasts that rocked 7 suburban railway stations on 11th July 2007.


[Appended at 3:09 AM, 12th July]

Bravo. Like I said I was already "more worried about money and nervous reactions of the Bombay sensex". Seems like I'm thinking the ET way. And of course, concerns about stock movements can be well hidden behind headlines such as "Bombed but not bowed".


To hell with the 'matlabi' khabar... check this out for help on the Mumbai blasts.


Sunday, July 09, 2006


The titans go head to head. Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal.

Yeah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


May the best man win....(but I'm still rooting for Federer). ;)

Don't have the time, or else, would've recounted the kind of ding-dong exchanges that happen here when someone openly comes out in support of Nadal.

By the way, here goes...

But I said was a Federer fan, right ?

Well, the truth is, to imagine the amount of damage that Nadal can cause, you need to see a picture to understand the brute force that he brings to Centre Court...for Federer, one needs to view a video to understand the cold and ruthless manner in which he demolishes the opponent.

But, for an unbiased opinion, read this.

A few words and quite a few pics

My bed in its usual condition

Not that my room-mate is doing any better

My study table

The picture of Gods...Mom n Dad on the left and Lord Shiva on the right

Exactly how a bed-side table should be bag (to grab and run first thing in the morning), or, if you have the time, use the contents of the shaving kit. Also, notice the loose change lying right there. Helpful when you want to make a dash for 'chai'.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Life in a college, away from home, can be really crazy. And what's more, it stinks (and quite literally, in a boys' hostel)!!

But tell you what....I WOULDN'T WANT TO HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY !! ;)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Project Report Hangover

Apologies for a late post. It was inevitable. What with the Summer Project Report which had to be prepared, printed, and presented...all in a matter of 72 hours, the delay was inevitable.

But wasn't that on Monday ? Who you think you're kidding, huh, smart guy?

Err...agreed. Lekin, mai-baap (no special Nirma puns here), I've also been through a tremendously busy week. And the class schedules have really gone haywire in the second year. Here's what. Firstly, most of my elective classes aren't scheduled for the usual 9:30 AM, as it was in the first year. So, the main incentive (rather, the ONLY incentive) to get up early and dash off to the college goes 'poof'. Due to this, I sleep really late at night trying to access websites which, if the 'Naari Jagran Manch' were to get hold of, would cause a en-bloc heart attack to the members of the respected manch. (Nah!! Just kidding...I'm an innocent boy...All I look for on are TV ads..I swear!)

Now, these late bouts of sleep ensure that my room-mate has a field-day waking me up the next afternoon (ladies & gentlemen, special attention on the use of the word 'afternoon' instead of 'morning'...ahem). All kudos to him for ensuring that I haven't missed more than the stipulated number of classes that I can miss in any particular subject. Further, let me also notify the public that all the classes that I've missed till now are result of what I call the 'what-the-hell-I-can-bunk-this-lecture-let-me-sleep-now' syndrome.

So, as this week comes to an end..I'm left wondering here what the hell have I done this week? Well, nothing much. Then what in the world am I so excited about?

You guessed it...the Book Club.

SUMANTRA has officially started off the second year of its operations. And this time, things look extremely promising. Provided we're able to maintain the kind of perseverance I was able to display last year, the Book Club should be rocking by the time I leave Nirma. Of course, the perseverance I showed was much due to the guidance of the faculty and one particular senior student. I hope I'm able to guide, motivate and lead a young team just as well.

And looking at the number of junior co-ordinators that we plan on getting, we're betting that quite a few activities get going. Of course, the weekly book reviews will form the pillar of our activities. But tomorrow itself we're adding a Video Lecture Series to our repertoire. Under this program, we plan to show recorded videos of classes conducted at the Harvard and Stanford Business schools. This should provide good exposure to the students, and also (hopefully) make the lives of our professors a little tougher. *devilish grin*

We're also thinking of inviting authors and management gurus to the campus to speak to the students about their books. That will obviously require great management skills, but should also be a load of fun.

All in all, things look promising.

And while I head back to my bed (it is 4:09 AM), I leave you with a video that I'd prepared to welcome the junior batch, but which I couldn't show to them because I was in Delhi for the weekend when they had the Fresher's party. Anyway, I hope at least a few juniors do view this.