Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just another day

“Bharadarajan Bharadarajan” a shrill voice woke me up from my sweet dreams so early in the morning. With a grin on my face, I babbled something about my professor and tried concentrating on the class. First Day of B2B marketing class and we all hoped that we might have a bearable prof, for a change. And hope as always betrayed us !! In the wee hours there stands a man who lectures on how managers should act, how decisions ought (not) to be taken and everything under the sun for ‘B2B Marketing’. The horror part was we had to answer a quiz on the very first day of the course. And the horrorer (if ther’s eva such word) part is that we would have one every day based on our pre-reads. Huh !! Would the Profs ever cease to be merciless?

After a heavy lunch in the afternoon
I was late by 2 minutes to the class and when I opened the door to enter the class room I was astonished by the fact that the entire class was standing there as if to welcome me. To my relief it weren’t the truth. It sounded like a fish market and I asked them why were people behaving as in a fish market. And my friend pats on my back and says ‘my dear, we are simulating a market and trying to learn experimental economics’. Huh again. I need to congratulate my fella folks on successfully re-creating a market which the Prof. himself couldn’t control. End of it, I have no clue what I have learnt about markets; so don’t u dare ask me about it.

Keats was a Tuber
“wow.. see those dears” said someone and lo behold there was a heard so close by. This is the IIT Madras campus. A never ending campus it is. The greenery inside, the libraries, the auditoriums.. you neva know how many are in there. I went there to watch a play ‘Keats was a tuber’ and it was worth a spend.

The play is a tirade against the present system of teaching English in most of the schools and colleges in India. The locale is the staff room of the English Department of a small college somewhere in Tamil Nadu.

Some quotes here and there from the play

Charles Lamb's essay, A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig ... That's what I have to teach today. I have to take apart Lamb's delicate whimsy to boys and girls who are first generation literates. And worse, much worse, I have to talk about the mouth-watering and irresistible taste of crackling of roast pork to a group of students, a great many of whom don't eat meat and over half of whom are Muslims".

Mrs. Nathan asks him not to waste students' time lecturing on Karl Marx and communism, when Raghu says, "Why shouldn't I do that? I am expanding their minds, helping them grow, that is what teaching is about. Real teaching. Not this cramming and vomiting out that you and your colleagues expect them to do. Memorize, by heart, mug up!"

While chanting, he goes on to say "Keats was a tuber... Keats was a tuber... Keats was a tuber... culosis patient... culosis patient... Is that all you can tell them about Keats? That he had tuberculosis? And so it goes on.

"Literature goes beyond the question of language, it has to do more with experience... "

"Why would any Indian woman want to be compared to a summers day"

After a sumptuous (free) dinner in the IIT canteen, I have realized that we need to walk back 5-6 KMS to reach the main gate. Phew!! We waited for a free shutter bus along with the scores of IIT kids. I just loved their enthusiasm and spirit, the hope and aspirations, the sparkle in their eye and the playful mood in the air. Everything around was so different. The bus driver played a song from ‘Arpil Madathil’. I have no clue wat the song means but it was full of pep. So here goes it for my readers..

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Know it alls

Amongst the numerous encounters with people, this is one clan which amuses me to a great extent. I would never miss on an opportunity to interact with these people coz I learn from them how not to live life.

Scene 1

Prologue: Before the start of the Business Ethics class – one of the best courses that we went thru during our stint at Great Lakes.

G : What the hell does this man teach?
Me : Ethics

G : Sure, but he is supposed to teach business ethics. Where is the business part of it?
Me : Well, that depends on your definition of ethics and business ethics. In my opinion being ethical in personal life or business doesn’t vary much. It’s gotta do with your integrity basically.

G : Yaar, still I don’t agree. Take for example ‘International Entrepreneurship’ course. I know what I know before going into the class and what I learned after the class. There is nothing I am learning here that I can count or recollect.
Me : Why dontya listen with an open mind. Be it ethics or Business ethics, may be you would learn something at the end of it. How does it matter what the title is?
G: Nah. Doesn’t make any sense. If he is here to teach he ought to teach Business Ethics and nothing else. How can I learn anything which is not supposed to be taught???

Scene 2

Prologue: In the canteen, during the lunch one of the gals strikes a conversation with a chap who would never ever say any prof is good or that he learnt anything in the course. He bullshits every famed professor and all that they teach. I would like to believe this fella is gyani who knows everything under the sun but unfortunately……

Miss R : Hey how is ‘….’ course going on? I heard that it is too good and the professor is doing a wonderful job.
Mr. H : What the heck. He is so dumb. He doesn’t know what he is talking. I cant stand him. And anyways don’t we know all that he teaches?

Miss R : Hey. I always wanted to ask you something.
Mr. H : Shoot

Miss R : What is your expectation out of this course or for that matter even MBA?
(I am searching for words to explain the expression of Mr H’s and everyone else around)