Monday, June 30, 2008

Who took Yajnavalkya’s cows?

A sense of relief today coz we kinda finished our mid terms, more importantly the paper on ‘Upanishads’, ‘Gita’ and ‘Vivekananda’. I can’t believe that it’s the end of all our nightmares. Most of us are in a state of elation and a feel as if we completed our MBA and it’s our graduation day. It is all maya.

What adds spice to the scenario is the one week holiday. There’s hustle and bustle around with people packing their bags and the college sounds nothing short of a railway station. There are people bidding for tickets, some booking online, some using all recos possible… ahem… I have never seen the college so much full of activity !

And for those of you who are wondering about the blog title, that’s the famous character in ‘Brhadaranyaka’ Upanishad. It all starts with his cows. And that was the first class of our term and the toughest Upanishad, the lengthiest one too. So whenevea someone gets frustrated with the subject we ask that question coz that’s the begin of the entire drama. But today this blog signifies the end .. the end of all the pain and nightmares…. Ufff.. a sigh of relief !!!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

How to carry on the family name

Something caught my attention on the boring Pink paper today. Below is one of 'The early winners at Cannes Lions 2008'. Happy reading !!

How to carry on the family name

  1. Insert a drug called Laminaria into the vagina of a 21-week pregnant woman. This helps dilate the cervix by absorbing all the water from the uterus. After about twelve hours, Laminaria starts acting on the outer uterine lining and breaks the water. The cervix expands to its fullest.
  2. Shove a pair of forceps into the birth canal. At this point the foetus is partially developed and has hands and legs that are capable of kicking. Grab it by the legs and pull it into the birth canal.
  3. Extreme care must be taken to keep the head of foetus, inside the womb as it is critical to keep it alive.
  4. Insert a pair of scissors into the foetus’s skull. Rotate it in both directions and make the wound wide enough for the next pair of instruments to enter. (At this point it can’t feel a thing; the only part of the foetus that is still alive is the heartbeat.) Keep swabs of gauzy handy to soak up the spilt blood and foetal tissue.
  5. Next, insert a large suction catheter, which looks like a small vacuum cleaner, into the skull and suck the brains out. In the absence of a suction catheter, a normal empty syringe will do.
  6. A spoon shaped spatula should be used to scrape out the collapsed skull. It should also be used to clean the womb and remove all traces of the dead female foetus.
  7. After three months, try again for a boy.
In India every year 1.1 million unborn baby girls die before they are born. To stop female foeticide contact,……

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So Much to Blog and So much time on hand

I am out of my hibernation at last. Too much of time on hand is the primary reason for not blogging of late. There is so much to blog but so little energy.

First things first. A gang of 50 of us decided to live our weekend to the fullest and the result was a trip to Pondichery. I kinda remembered my school picnics for once. Why not? I could hear all songs from country and pop to devotional songs. Courtesy : My classmates on the bus. Neva heard of such original signing in my life. Crazy episodes on the beach till 2 in the night and being shirked away by the police are worth a mention. For the first time I saw my folks going senti. Yes, they did. At 1 in the night on the Rocky beach, we lie down with water splashing on our face, and then come the songs ‘ye dil bekarar kitna, ye hum nahi jaante’, ‘ehsaan tera hoga’, ‘dil tere bin kahi lagta nahi’….. What else should I deem them to be if not senti ??

Our lectures and guest lectures being constant, life seemed normal when out of the blue came our prof. Vaidy. With an exorbitant intro of him we got started on our Operations Management classes. His unique filmi style of teaching caught all of us in wonders. He made all of us close to cry on the last day by saying we would miss all these days. Senti No:2 again.

Today was the last day of our corporate finance lectures by another great professor. These classes are beyond any words. Probably just our sleep sagas could explain better. The class was in extreme jubilation today while seeing him off. Don’t know why. Seriously, I don’t know. He had this out of box thinking and as a result of it everyday we get to hear some motivational quotes and a story or two to inspire us. BUT today, the feeling was somehow different. There was no lampooning around when he played for us the song ‘chodo kal ki baatein… Hum Hindustani !!’ Am sure all of us were in the spirit of it in the heart of our hearts. Senti No:3 (I know it’s an overdose, yet can’t help it)

How can I forget to mention the Vedanta classes we are attending? You need to believe that we ought to read ‘Upanishads’, ‘Gita’ and Vedanta. This is a core subject meaning no free riders. There’s an end term exam of this paper on Monday. Towards the end of this subject it is certainly an understatement if I say we are at the verge of insanity. Outside the classroom, inevitably everyone lands up using the terms ‘Atman’, ‘Brahman’, ‘Mind, Body and soul’, ‘Prana’, ‘OM’ …. Every conversation has to land up with a Vedanta tag to it, be it at the chai stall or at the resource centre. God Save us !!

For a change I started giving up in life. I dono if this is an indication of becoming wise and shunning the kiddish attitude or may be it’s a polished way of being complacent. For the first time I was using these phrases – ‘a few things are just beyond my span’ ‘If it were meant to be, it would be’, ‘you really can’t force some things in life’… Well, all I can say is ‘It is so much unlike of me’.

And above all the strange feel that something is missing in my life, not jus missing but direly missing and I have no clue as to what it is. Did you experience this before? If so, leave a note. May be you will help me figure out…….

Saturday, June 14, 2008


End of term I and it has been really chilled out for the last couple of days. Life has been on a different scale for the last month and a half – Mid term to end term, assignment to submission, Pre-read to deadlines…. Well, all the while when time was a crunching factor, I could manage my day better and would take time out for my blog come what may. And now, there’s lots of time but….

For the last 3 days it has been a totally different world. For the first time in our MBA we had the luxury of an afternoon nap. N sleep means a lot here. And yes, 10 DS is O’some on Thursday night coz its karaoke night. Imagine a gang of close to 40 folks singing in the most murderous tones possible. We tired to be at our creative best. We do not believe in Plagiarism. We were so good at it that we were denied a second round of signing, All in all it was loads and loads and loads of fun !!!

Came across this brilliant piece of Swami Vivekananda and no wonder the world was swayed away by him and I am no exception…

Work through freedom! Work through Love! The word ‘love’ is very difficult to understand; love never comes until there is freedom. There is no true love possible in the slave. Every act of love brings happiness; there is no act of love which doesn’t bring peace and blessedness as its reaction. True love can never react so as to cause pain either to the lover or to the beloved. With love there is no painful reaction: love only brings a reaction of bliss; if it does not, it is not love; it is mistaking something else for love.

Wherever there is attachment, you must know that it is all physical, attraction between sets of particles of matter; something that attracts two bodies nearer and nearer all the time, and if they cannot get near enough, produces pain; but where there is real love, it does not rest on physical attachment at all. Such lovers may be a thousand miles away from one another, but their love will be all the same; it does not die, and will never produce and painful reaction.

If you can invariably take the position of a giver, in which everything given by you is a free offering to the world, without any thought of return……

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

End of term 1 – 12.5% MBAs and Celebrating !!

It was a scene worth watching in the cafeteria today. Why not? It was end of term I and more importantly the examinations – Uffff….. The marathon assignments in between our exams didn’t let us sleep for more than 2-3 hours a day for the last 2 weeks. It was a sigh of relief when the clock stuck 4 today. The campus just sounded like a primary school after the final exams. Some people left on a 5 day long vacation, a few for a Pondicherry trip, Some of em going back home, some lucky ones have their spouse coming in to visit them. Oh my God! - That is all I can say. May be they all have to be reminded that the madness has just begun and we are yet to jump into the fire!!

We have an illusionary holiday tomorrow. With a guest lecture on schedule, a couple of assignments, submission of project report, documentation of one subject etc due for the day after, what else would you call it. Half the crowd has left for a movie, half of the remaining are out pubbing, another half of the remaining are out on adventurous freak outs, and the remaining if any decided to cool their heels at home. Needless to say that I am one of them or may be the only one. My to do list of 40+ certainly demanded my ‘undivided attention’, another favorite phrase of mine.

With a strong resolve of not to study for the day and tomorrow, come what may, I have decided that my blog needs its feed. While I lay my hands on Paulo Coelho’s, ‘Brida’, and my messy is room craving to be in place and my heart’s aching for some beer and sleep, I’d sign off only to come back with a bang.

You win some, You lose some !!!

The title says it all. Doesn’t it? I was watching a movie way back, the climax of which was strongly embedded in my heart. The kid, who plays the lead role, picks up his journal and writes: ‘Winning is not always a Victory and Loosing in not always a Defeat’. How true. It’s all in your attitude. How many times have you lost out and yet had a sense of pride? And aren’t there instances when you win but you are not exactly in a state of ecstasy? The win is in the fight itself; the stronger the fight, greater the fun And also in knowing that you have to lose sometimes to win !!!

No one would want to lose or get a ‘NO’ as a response. And when it happens it best suits to be optimistic, rub your collar and say “Well, it wasn’t in my hands” and get on to your mark for the next challenge ahead. Over years I have realized that I have two choices in life. First – To keep looking back and crib over all that I have lost, Second – To move on in life clinging onto those small opportunities that I see ahead. The choice is a quite obvious one.

And that is exactly why I say – ‘You win some and You lose some’

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Those were the best days of my life

It was my ‘Happy Birthday’ yesterday. Well, this is exactly how I used to refer to my birthdays when I was a kid, hell bent on making it a happy one. When I was a kid, I awaited my birthdays in great excitement. Those small birthday parties with all kids around, my news dress to flaunt, that tempting cake and snacks and more of all I being the limelight of the evening, was so much fun. As days passed by and I supposedly started growing up the syndrome took a

‘U’ turn. I grew up enough to understand that there’s one year that went by and I am growing old by a year. When birthday parties burnt my pocket money and I never got the dress I wanted, it was no more fun. Life changes, and very soon !!

Though it’s an open secret that ‘Time flies by’, I can’t believe that more than two and a half decades passed by after that pic on the moped with my mom. Those were really the best days – Stopping every visitor at our door for a packet of Cadburys Gems, tumbling down from the stairs of our bedroom to reach kitchen, my favorite play with tomatoes, waiting for my dad to come home for that ride on the moped, my hide and seek games with my mom beneath the cot, running towards the rail track behind the school when I hear the engine whistling and have the staff running behind me, threatening my dad for chocolates by sitting on the roads and crying aloud (beating my legs and hands too), my mommy’s spanks for being the naughtiest kid ever, playing on those sand heaps with those street urchins…..

I guess this phase happens to all of us. When we were too young to go to school, we cry and break the hell loose to go to school, and then when it’s time for you to go to school you wouldn’t want to; when in school we badly want to surpass it and get to college and when in college you would do anything to start working and earn money; Once tangled in the corporate conundrum you want to go back to your college days !!!!

Too many birthday blues for the day.. But it wasn’t just that. My birthday special included an assignment on Harvard Business Review of ‘India on the Move’ till wee hours, classes with a gap of just a couple of hours and an exam scheduled the next day.How can I forget to mention the greasiest cake that went splash on my face at 00:00 hours in the college. I guess it’s an indicator of how much we would stick to each other for the coming one year and for a lifetime ahead…….

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Madness begins

At the end of a tiring day full of lectures, pre-reads and assignments this is what the class had to say. Some felt they needed Rehab too. With downpour of marketing jargons and a macro economics class on Monetary and Fiscal policies what else can one say? Then comes the usual – Assignments, submissions at wee hours and pre-reads. This has become our respiratory system at Great Lakes. You might not wanna know what’s in store for the coming week, but I would anyways mention that – Loads of Pre-reads, Harvard Reviews, Macro economics End term exam, Marketing Project submission, Marketing End term exam, Fin Accounting End term Exam, Stats exam, Psychology exam, an assignment in Chinese, Another Macro assignment, Mad search for research guide and in between Place comm. Meets and tasks………I felt like running away from all these, probably into some woods and live in peace !!!

Foot in the mouth incident for the day

After being rejected by loads of guides for my empirical research, I decided I will be nice and paly with one of the Asst Profs so that she would help me with a guide. As I entered the room, I observed she was carrying and she also mentioned that the baby was due in 2 months. In an effort of rapport building my usual questions followed – ‘Where do you hail from? What’s your background? What made you choose Research area? And then comes the bang bang question – ‘Oh! Are you married?’

Some one please kill me !!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Age is an Attitude

It was a much needed coffee break after a very long lecture. All of us set out for a chai and thus goes the discussion between me and my class mate, who is a year younger than I. If you are wondering the relevance of age, you need to be more patient and read on..

My Friend : Oh my God ! We might be late (may be by 15 seconds) – continuous panicky
Me : Chill lady, the professor is not so strict and he wouldn’t mind it.

My Friend : Nahi yaar, we need to rush back. We will be late and people will stare at us. Lets go. Lets go. Lets go.
Me : Grow up yaar. Its ok. Chill

My Friend : Yaar you don’t take tension and you are pretty relaxed coz you are elder !!!

Now this line of hers, for a second, made me feel like I am her mom. Indeed it turned my thinking process on. Has age got anything to do with one’s attitude? Now what’s the correlation, if any and how does it influence??

When I rushed back into the lecture, there was our most energetic and jubilant professor I have ever seen in my life and all my peers would agree to it. He is our professor for statistics, Prof P.K.Vishwanathan famously called PKV. The radiance he emits in the class, the exuberance he exhibits, the energy levels he has, the love for the subject – I bet no one can beat him. He does some salsa, jive and cha cha cha in every class he teaches. He gets so engrossed that he has this 1000 Watt glow when he successfully explains some intricate concept. All the 165 of us are JEALOUS of this great man, his attitude and flamboyance. Here comes the news – He is just around 65 years old.

A while ago, when I attended a training session, there was a mix of age groups. There were people ranging from 25 year to 70 year old. The trainer to split the audience, asked – ‘How many of you here are youth’ and the first hand that shot up was from a 70 year old man. His justification – ‘Age is in your head. Would anyone want to contest that I am not youth?’ Needless to say, the only expression we had was – ‘Wow’.

Now, I am not someone who explains the most obvious facts. I give my readers freedom of interpretation and to draw the point I wanna drive home. I believe you are smart enough, if you have read so far.

A bit here and a bit there

Marketing Management classes: Goddess of sleep takes us over in the classes and we humbly give up. I bet there is not even a single fella who didn’t sleep for atleast 5 minutes in these sessions. The best part comes when all of us are so damn fresh and full of pep after just after the class. Someone tell me the secret. As for me, I have been successfully sleeping in the visible proximity of our professor who smartly ignores it and goes on with his class.

The Best part comes today as we had no sessions all day long and our first and only session is of Marketing at 4:45 in the evening. With a strong resolve to defeat the Goddess, we step in with all armors and shields. At 4:46, I see people collapsing and hitting the desk in front.

Idea of the day comes when the prof. mentions that there are tools to allocate costs to products and same with revenues but there isn’t any to allocate profits. And if some one came up with it, that’s invention. For this, one of the students out of deep sleep says – ‘Oh! It’s so simple. It should be reverse of cost tool’. Did you say a ‘Wow’ now? You betta do.

At coffee break – The hot topic – ‘Techniques to evade sleep in marketing classes.’

  1. Some one tries to take notes but still doesn’t work coz after sometime he lands up with drawing lines. After conscious efforts his eyes are open but he looses the power of distinction (coz of sleep) and thus writes even ‘Any questions?’ ‘Now let’s do this task’. Someone help him please!!!
  2. Someone does close to ‘Kathakali’ changing postures. And still doesn’t help.
  3. Some try to ask sleep questions. The Prof answers the same one just before a second and he gives a quizzical expression. Now someone help the Prof please.

Ab thoda senti: I was watching my sister’s wedding video and pics and I couldn’t believe that it was the same sweet lil sis who used to trouble my mom playing in the froth and never let her wash clothes. Very inadvertently, without the help of a time machine, I go back in time and a tear rolls down…

Musical night @ Veerannam: Mind boggling singing performances, head banging on Altaf Raja songs, Dances on Govinda and Illa Arun songs at 2:00 AM midnight. Oh! We would do anything to keep our sleep at bay.

Great Lakes Jargons:

SP: Special Chai on the street corner chai stall. We wouldn’t have survived without it so far.
CoCo: Course Co-ordinator
CoCi: Feminine gender of CoCo
ER: Empricial Research
LS: Lake Superior
LV: Lake Veerannam
LM: Lake Manassarovar (All these are our classrooms. Now you know why it is Great Lakes)

Flash Flash: There’s a Chennai bloggers’ meet on 8th June at 16:00 hours, where all bloggers down south are meeting up. Looking forward to it.

Its 4:00 in the morning and how I wish the Goddess of sleep takes over me now and not in my marketing classes.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Arrogant bunch of little rascals

When’s the best time you’v ever had on a weekend? Let me take a guess. Probably during that night disc or on that date with that beautiful gal or is it on those booze parties with friends or may be during re-unions or on those wild goose chase long drives and gupshups with friends……. But for me @ Chennai the last couple of weekends have been, what should I call them? – No words would gauge even a miniscule of it.

When the ‘Champions’ (that’s the Co 2009 @ Great Lakes) set on their new journey @ Great Lakes, little did we realize what was in store for us. All other mild shocks and startles being constant, we experienced a slight tremor when one of our dear professors announced that all the groups need to work on a project ‘Karma Yoga’, to serve the under privileged and the needy. It got even better when we came to know that we had to do a mandatory number of hours per week service and we would get our credits based on it and no wonder what followed was cribs, moans, sobs, bawls, wails, weeps and everything you can imagine of.

And then…….

A month and a half down the line – there’s one group who passionately works with some NGOs for abolishing child labor, another who is working on anti tobacco and smoking concept, some helping rehabilitate the fire victims in the college vicinity, there’s another group who travels all 4 hours one way to just see those broad smiles of the physically challenged kids, a team who would reflect what the world looks like out there to all those blind kids, one bunch which would cater to the slums (in the actual sense) and help them learn living skills, a gang who tries to motivate all those drop outs and people who gave up hope in life… This list is just a never ending one and I mean it. It’s not just the list that should touch you but the amount of effort and conviction each of them puts in.

While my team puts in their relentless efforts to teach those school drop outs some much needed Hindi and English, I love watching the rest of those tiny weeny creatures playing away to glory on the sands of the tsunami hit area, their cute smiles, their long wait for those chocolates, their sweet greetings of good evenings and hellos in that incomprehensible English. A bag of chocolates vanish in just a nanosecond and they would come and wish you ‘Happy Birthday’ and they wouldn’t heed to you when you say it isn’t your birthday. Arrogant bunch of little rascals eh?? How I wish I could have brought them all back home and snatch my share of those reasonless smiles while playing away to glory with them. I can’t wait to get back to them…

Now we don’t care if we get those Credits or not. Each of us is thoroughly engrossed in a new world, carried away by its winds and breathing anew in life. We for sure will take some time to come back into this world.

And yeah it’s breezy and windy in Chennai. Probably a herald of a tycoon of assignments and group tasks, a hurricane of deadlines and submissions, tornado of pre-class reads, whirlwind of committee meets and tasks and a typhoon of lectures.

Let me survive these storms and those adorable sweety pie creatures while you wait for my next post…..