Saturday, August 23, 2008

Zero IQ talks..

We all paraded to an place in the heart of chennai to eat rajasthani food. It is amazing to see how we all crave for food that even remotely tastes like home food. So after a clash with auto rickshaw, a plesant train journey and a ride in a crowded share auto, we finally reached our destination. After a yumee rajasthani food which we all smacked up in few minutes, one of my friends Ms S suddenly exclaims out of nowhere.. "You know wht, my grandfather was working for the King of Rajasthan". Then Mr R, trying to show off his so called great GK, says "You know, hmm, that king had 120 wives". By then Ms S was in a mood to show off her ancestral power and without wasting any time adds "The king has a huge palace with more than 100 rooms".

There..this was enought to trigger a very interactive and informative conversation. So Mr H exclaims, "So what does a big palace with more than 100 rooms have to do with 120 wives. Or is there a connection.? He probably had as many wives as many as bedrooms in the palace". Mr V innocent (read : dumbest) of the lot asks, "Is it really so? But what if he has a crush on one more woman. Then where will she stay?" Everyone is rolling with laughter by now. Mr A starts applying management principles. He says "The fixed cost of maintaining the palace is the same. So as per the costing principle, more the number of wives, fixed cost per wives will reduce and cost per product..errr...cost per wife will reduce drastically".

"Ok", Mr H says, "I was actually planning to buy a 3 bhk in Pune. Now I know how I could utilise this house better. Maximising profits and minimising cost. So Ms S, when you marry make sure your husband buys only a 1 bhk house, else umm..". Ms S, showcasing women power replies almost immediately, "Yeah so good for me, I will keep 2 husbands...haha".
Everyone was dumb struck by this analysis.

As if this was not enuf, Ms S screams again "I wonder how the king must be keeping track of which wife to meet each day (read: night). Again Mr R "See here we have to be little more analytical.. I come from operations background and this is extremely simple supply chain problem. "The wife must be hanging a oil lamp in front of her room. This way, the King can take a look at the palace corridors from a distance and know where to head to". Quite a thoughtless solution everyone agreed.

All of us were rolling with laughter and the overeaten food was beginning to digest. So sometimes such zero IQ talks are good for health :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The GmaTTer

Past few weeks or rather months, I have assumed the role of a MBA counselor. I take great pride in motivating people to do pursue an MBA or rather take up higher studies in general. Talking about myself, I took up MBA rather thoughtlessly because that i believed that was the only career path available to me at that point. Answers to questions like why MBA, short term and long term goals were crafted very meticulously without even meaning a word of it. But 3 months later, I have realized the power of an MBA. It can transform you as a person. And I feel that is the reason why people should go through the MBA experience.

So, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to get through a b-school through CAT, SNAP, NMAT, IIFT, CET, and dozen such other such exams, GMAT was the last ray of hope for me. So almost year back on 14th August, 2007 I decided to test my luck for one last time. Murphy may have well written his law so long ago but its application could not have been better than it was at my GMAT test.

As the law states it, I chose to take a test date only to find a empty slot in the week of my code delivery. To make it worse, I had a big mouth to go and inform my PM that I was going to take a leave in that week. No sooner did I apply my leave, I got a ping sound on my communicator and I knew I was in for a big trouble. I could have easily got a "jaundice" or a "viral fever". Everyone at Infosys knows how the jaundice suddenly crops up during November and heals magically after the CAT. But I thought that I was not the one who would do this and 2 months was a notice enough for any manager to plan the schedule. But to my dismay, it was all in vain. After hearing a straight 'NO' from her, all I could do was to prepare myself to face the music after my leave.

But little did I realise this was just the beginning of a huge war. Planning has been my strongest asset. I take keen interest in planning my day, my work, my leave, my studies..and I chalk out plans that only few great planners can....the problem arises only at its execution. So as always I was armed with a fabulous plan to crack the GMAT. But i wonder why do I always forget our own Murphy. I was packed with work so much that 24 hours a day seemed to less. Leave had thus become inevitable.

A day before my leave, one of my team mates had some "medical problem" and alas....i it was the end. I was requested..warned..threathened...that u better watch out ur leave plan. But I was left with no way out and i absconded for the preparation.

I couldnt sleep a day before the GMAT....there was too much at stake I felt. After managing to get a bare minimum sleep, I reached the GMAT centre. Checked my passport, wallet and pens. all set...The door opened and names were called out one after the other. The security was enormous as if we were about to witness a nuclear tests inside. Everyone went in one by one except me. Yeah u guessed t name wasnt there on the register of test takers...!!

How can this be possible..I thought. When I enquired the guard about my name, he searched up and down back and forth, but it wasnt there at all. He looked up at me and asked, "What was your date of exam ?". My heart skipped a beat, I mean, what kind of question was that. It is well knows of how miserable I am in remembering birthdays but cmon, I cant be wrong in my GMAT date. I was now unsure myself but gathered enough courage to raise my voice and say "It is today at 9.00 am. Go check properly". He looked at me rather disgustingly and said "Show me your payment receipt". Oops...I had not taken a printout of that..but so was never required. Cursing myself for being so lazy, I again said sternly "It was not required !! They have only told us to bring passport. Go check properly".

By now, I had irritated him to the limit. He told me to move away from the door and slammed to door on my face. I stood outside trembling thinking what to do next. I iterated over and over again, yeah it was 14th off course. It can’t be wrong!! There was silence around the floor. I could here every water drop that fell on the roof outside. Distantly there was a car reversing. I started sweating. Remembered all possible Gods and Godesses. Every second that passed seemed like eternity. Thought of all possible excuses that I could tell people for nt giving GMAT….I mean I couldn’t go and tell that I forgot my date…

Finally the door opened and there he emerged as a saviour of all times. He said, “Well, actually we missed your name, you may go in”. My temper almost rose like a rocket, but there were more things to be accomplished. Picked up my bag and walked victoriously inside….

Saturday, August 9, 2008

When things go wrong..

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit-Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Inspiration flows when you read this. But trust me this blog has absolutely no intentions of motivating anyone. Just that past 24 hours I have frantically spent trying to get things in place.

To start off, we studied through the night for our exams. This is required to compensate the sleep that one has had when things were being taught in the class. But even if a cost benefit analysis is done comparing benefits of one sleepless night before exams at the cost of total attentiveness in the class, one night out wins hands on. So after two lectures, one guest lecture and a test, I came home terribly tired almost about to crash. The plan was to take a power nap and get back to preparing presentations to be given on Saturday.

My roommate ( lets call her RM1) was already at home and when I reached home didnt open the door. Assuming that she wouldnt have heard it while snoring away to glory, I rang the bell a dozen times without breaks only to realise that the bell wasnt working. I resorted to banging the door voilently beacuse of which I got suspicious looks from the otherwise not-so-bothered neighbours. I assume my commotion woke her up and only when I walked in, I realised that there was darkness everywhere. I frantically searched for Hindustan Times cause they claim that they can spread light. I stumbled over twice and seeing my desparate search RM1 finally decided to ask me what I was upto. Hearing my enlighting solution she exclaimed with an extremely disgusted look that we had not paid the electricity bill for past 2 months and I even heard her murmur with extreme annoyance "the only way Hindustan Times would provide light is by burning it".

Feeling embarrased I tried my best to divert the topic and thinked about all ways to get back the electricity but all in vain. The other roommate RM2 was enjoying a nice coffee at Besant Nagar beach and she almost flew out of her chair with this news. I tried to sleep in that hot humid weather with no fans but the moment I closed my eyes, the only thing that I could imagine was a creepy lizard walking over my bed. That day I slept over at my friends place on floor within confined space, no mattress and felt like I had become homeless. An MBA can make you do all things that you would have never thought of..!!!

By next day, the house was nothing short of an oven. The fridge was leaking and the milk was smelling. Just then we were about to get into cleaning act, the house owner called us for not paying the rent. Oh god..we were into another mess. I immediately pictured a big tall giant like figure with a whip in his hand walk down our house throwing our stuff out of the balcony. I was pleading him to give us a day and just then he was about to whip me RM1 screamed..."We forgot..we forgot..we better pay".

She rushed to get her share of rent. When she didnt return even after 15 whole minutes i tiptoed into her room thinking she would be probably sobbing over these incidents. And lo..there i got news no 3..she had misplaced her fat wallet ( fat due to hundreds of useless receipts in it)..'Oh no..not now'.. We decided to sit down and call up all people who were there with us yest night while doing presentations. I jumped into action, and dialled Mr. V. But neither me nor she could call anyone...because we had also not paid the phone bill. Now this was the limit. I just could handle it any more.

I decided to tackle it one at a time. My friend Mr A helped me pay the electricity bill. Then I sat down and paid my phone bill. Called up people for her wallet. Thankfully, we traced her wallet and her big fat wallet was saved. But by that time her credit card was blocked. So paid her phone bill by her credit card. Things seemed to working out for us now....

We were so tired that a good dinner was a must. So Mr N, RM1 and myself zeroed in on a restaurant and took a bus that stopped 2 kms ahead of that stop. We obviously had no energy to walk back so we took a bus again which again refused to stop near the hotel. Now at this point,more than getting annoyed by the series of events I had started finding it quite amusing. Even more funnier was that me and RM1 hopped out when the bus slowed down but Mr N couldnt. So he again had to come back..thankfully he decided to walk. We both by then had broken into a laughter riot. So after all this drama, we finally reached our destination and as expected there was absolutely nothing left to eat. Almost expressionless, we walked out, took a rickshaw and went straight to the hotel that we had initially rejected. So we spent almost twice the money reaching the place where we could have reached directly by a rickshaw.

We had almost reached to an acceptance level that anything and everything we do would go wrong. Just then things started getting better. We had a superb dinner, RM2 messaged that the power was back. Came home happily as the power was back. What a relief it was to sleep on my own bed. Hopefully such events will occur rarely in coming future...


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