Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Maid of Honor

The most difficult task of surviving in Chennai , after bargaining with the auto guys of course, is communicating with the maid or ‘domestic help’ as they call it in some sophisticated localities. Safely assuming that neither my paychecks nor my house gives any indication of “affluent” lifestyle or even a lifestyle for that matter, I shall continue calling her ‘maid’ though I love the word ‘bai’ used back at my home.

So everyday sharp at 6 a.m. our door bell used to go “kharr..kharr…” mind you it does make this noise unlike the popular nursery rhyme that makes the bell go ‘ding dong’ as the pussy falls in the well and nor does it go ‘ting ting’ like school bells and no fancy music no songs….just plain “kharr..kharr..” and then more of it. So the mundane usually started with this shrieking bell creating a riot at the said time be it a weekday, weekend, festival or not a festival day. But soon she realized that these permutations of ‘Morse codes’ are inadequate to stir us and she replaced it with a prolonged “kharrrrrrrrrrrrr…..rrrrrrr” and more of this “...rrrrrrrr…” till either of we sleepy heads are irritated enough to open the door to cleanliness!! This is however just the beginning.

Most of the times, the door is opened in a zombie state of mind and then we get back to the ‘Alice in wonderland’ which is quite intimidating for her though, after all how can we sleep when she does all the work!! So she comes up with all sorts of creative things to talk about and wake us up yet again. It can be ‘vim bar getting over’ – as per my cleanliness standards it could last for atleast a week more but then that’s a reminder which can be repeated every single day thereafter until she can get a empty soap case and stick it up to my nose with a victorious smile. Or it could also be ‘get a new broom’ – I wonder how the broom gets unusable so often because the angle of her bend is not even 10 degrees while she performs the so called sweeping act. So when she enters our room, we lie still and freeze, lest she should see our nerve move, she would go with another whole lot of complain riot. Moreover, we can't converse in a common language. She clatters in indecipherable Tamil and leaves us speechless – another reason for her victory smile.

If somehow she isnt able to come up with anything, all she does is switch off the fan in our room under the pretense that the 'garbage' collected, of which I have seen none, at a minimum of 15 feet away from the fan goes helter-skelter. And I need not talk about surviving in Chennai without a fan!!

However, if we do manage to survive this dreadful 15 minutes, yes she can do all the work in the world in that time which explains for the numerous cobwebs spotted in our house, we are all set to use the freshly cleaned utensils and sip on some tea!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Things I will miss @ Great Lakes

10 things that I am going to miss at Great Lakes -

College building – The ancient relic is being struck off the heritage list of the archeological society, cause finally it vacated, dismantled and moved to a posh, new campus. Ever tried finding the Mansarovar hall in the building? You really need to be a kith and kin of Sherlock Holmes to do so. Not to forget the numerous secret ways and staircases to reach Veeranam. The seminar hall was the best idea of the architect. With huge screens and speakers placed all over the place, I have had the pleasure of adlabs movies in my own college. And off course who would not want to capture a chair behind the pillars in classes and complete the unfinished sleep!! The college would have moved to platinum rated building with the best facilities, but this old treasure hunt structure will always be for me, the place to be in.

Examinations – I guess these were the most victorious moments in our year. We used to bet on who would be the first one to leave the exam hall. Not to forget our dearest colony aunties (read: supervisors) who thought that it was their moral responsibility to disturb us by threatening at least few of the poor souls who used to supposedly cheat (read: blink, sneeze or coughJ). Now this was lol…cheat from whom was a question though…because no one ever knew what the right answer was!! The worst of the lot were the open book and open laptop examinations. With internet being switched off for these tests, did they know that our bluetooth enabled machines did bridge the required gap…....J The group studies on night before the exam was extreme fun. Life would put forth many such tests in our life ahead but never any such preparatory leaves.

Tapri – If you are a Great Laker, your day could not end without at least one tapri visit a day. I am sure most of us would have a 100% attendance if it would have been taken here. If I wanted to find someone, I always knew where to go. From innumerable b-plans that have taken shape here to discussions on clueless placements to come, from F1, cricket, squash, and football, from politics to college events, from birthday celebrations to exam after shocks, you name it and it was discussed here with the best tea that you can ever get in entire Chennai. It is rightly said that the time that you enjoy wasting is not a wasted time!!

Acads and Admin – Great Lakes would not have been the same if it were not for them. We must have gone to them numerous times complaining to about every small thing – timetables, exam schedules, course materials, canteen food, A/C, college timings, every small thing. We have made much fun about the frequency of changing timetables of the course. We are sorry for all the pranks and fun that we played during the year. The help that you all provided through numerous events, placements, admissions, exams will never be forgotten. We know we can count on your blessings for the rest of our life.

Library – Whoever put the ‘Silence Please’ board in the library would by now realized that it was worthless to do so. It was the noisiest place during the day in the entire college. Though we were threatened many times to be thrown out for talking loudly, with the air condition working to the best of its abilities and the t/v and media room just a stones throw away, the librarian had a tough time during the year.

Shimla kitchen – The ‘Shimla Kitchen’ located on a not-so-Shimla like place was where we ate and cursed, yet ate the sambar masala filled chole and oil dipped bature for an entire year. Not to forget the numerous morsels of rice that I gulped down my throat so as to avoid stimulating my taste buds. We were sometimes blessed with a stock of Parle-G and Maggi that used to be served with much reluctance. Yet the lunch break was the most sought after time during the day. We may dine in a posh hotel or eat the best cuisines in the world, but it cannot match the fun of standing in long queues and fighting for an extra papad.

Grades – This was the time when some of us felt completely elevated while some completely suicidal. It also gave us another reason to crib about the normalization techniques used to give the grades. The happiest of the lot were the ones who used to bag an A grade by free riding on a group project.

Events and Parties – Who says that you cannot have fun in a one year MBA course. SWIM, HR Conclave, the numerous power talks and the most awaited Sangamitra. Bombarded with numerous assignments yet determined to put up a great show, we had our dance rehearsals from 12 am to 3 am in the night. The list is incomplete if I do not mention the numerous birthday parties celebrated at 12 in the night, movies at Satyam, the trip to Pondicherry, dozens of cheese burst pizzas ordered from Dominoes, the new years party, holi celebrations, the frequent visits to Ascendas. Even the thought of these times brings a cheer.

Lectures and professors – From days when I was filled with guilt because I was almost caught napping to days of happily snoring away on last bench. From days when I read pages and pages of pre-reading material to days when I walked in the class completely clueless. All of us have gone through this. Class presentations were always fun. All the animosity would come up when we used to trouble each other by asking numerous questions during class presentations. People who bunked classes often ended up feeling stupid with nothing to do. They would miss the fun that they could have had in the class itself!! We really appreciate all our professors who kept our spirits high through endless days and who were never tired of solving our numerous doubts. The knowledge and the experience that they shared with us is something that we value very much and as we take a leave from their classes, we hope we do make them proud some day.

Friends - This is the best treasure that I carry out of this college. It is said that the friends you sit with on the graduation day turn out to be your friends for life. I wish the same for me and every other student of the Champions batch. We are bound by similar experiences and memories of a time that will never come again. In the end, I would just say that our seniors were a little too early and our juniors a little late. Because there can be only one Champions batch – champions once, champions forever !!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Winds of change

As I walked down the streets of Srinagar colony on a unusually hot Chennai afternoon, my eyes blurred, only this time it wasnt because of the sun. Like Rocky Balboa says 'if you live in one place long enough, you are that place'. Everything associated with 24th South Mada Street, the place where Great Lakes stands tall - the tapri, the icecream van which kept us cool on hot summer afternoons, puru where we must have gulped down litres of sambar, kowsi where we actually spent more time waiting for food than eating, the temple at the corner, the shops where we bought most of our stuff, the college itself and offcourse my home which I shared with 2 other friends and a dozen other lizards, just everything flashed in front of my eyes. This place was because of us and we because of this place.

This feeling had sunk in 2 days ago when I finally removed my suitcase from the top shelf and began packing. As I opened my cupboard, I could see the entire year stacked up in front of me. My first presentation in class and then many more, my first test when I studied through entire night to giving a test being complete clueless, the innumerable assignments and deadlines and struggling through books of finance, from the days when I was tired and exhausted yet still kept going to days of complete laziness, attending classes till 11 in the night and then relishing on domnioes pizza, from wasting a complete day in library reading magazines just to avoid the heat outside to running to tapri in every break to gulp litres of caffeine, all this and more was all associated with the past one year.

And offcourse where there are friends there have to be celebrations too. The numerous birthday parties, kicking sessions at 12 in the night, celebrating holi, new year, christmas, onam, independence day and u name it festival, waking up the enitre batch at midnight by banging on their doors to wish happy freindships day, converting the seminar hall into adlabs after submiting assignments at midnight, ordering dozens of dominoes cheese burst pizzas and asking for free garlic bread with it, making kanda bhajji at home while it rained outside, giving a continenntal touch to our food by adding cheese to maggi noodles, sangetha dinners, dancing my heart out in parties, roaming aimlessly on the streets at night, watching Fed vs Nadal in college media room and fighting on who should win, even a thought of these times brings so much cheer.

So now after a year, as I walked down the streets and passed the building, I felt all this and much more. I felt I have come a long way through the past one year, a lot has changed either with me or with the world that surrounds me.

On a lighther note, CAT/GMAT is no longer my priority and thank god for that. For once, I dont have to wake up early on Sunday mornings for mock tests and thank God for that too!! I was just sick of finding the relative speed of two trains moving in opposite direction. I never understood why on earth was it so damn important, I mean for a passenger in one train the other train hardly matters otherwise why on earth would he be on this train and for a 'observer' as the problem states, both trains dont matter. He is just a bystander anyways and can be conviniently ignored. Oh yes I would definitely miss having the 'CAT jaundice' in November, but I would rather prefer spending my Sunday mornings lazying around.

The year was tough. A year ago when I left my job, the economy was flying high with tremendous confidence, and it is just quite opposite as I pass out today. I have seen placement days vanish in thin air leaving me with nothing and I have spent hours thinking about them. But all this has only taught me not to be regretful. There were times when I thought and wished that I should have passed a year ago but such thoughts dont clog me anymore.

In all this, I hope I have learnt not to stumble under circumstances that are not under my control. I also hope that I have gathered enough strength not to be pressed under despondency and dejection but to keep moving ahead. And I have finally learnt to accept that to keep going, I do indeed need to believe in something, like my destiny , intinct or whatever and always trust that among this crisis, newer windows of opportunities will emerge.

I have learnt that failure is inevitable and that it was Ok to fail while doing what I want to do. Like every generation that has faced its challenges, these are just another ones and these tough times will pass, they inevitably always do.

As Shashi Tharoor stressed this to us in his speech, I have come to agree that giving back to the society is important not just because it has helped me become what I am today but because it is my moral responsiblity to be a part of collective effort in bettering the place and life of people around me.

I have learnt that nothing is achieved in isolation, nothing at all. Every achievement, small or big has many stakeholders and it is as important to stay humble as you rise the ladder of success as it is important to take pride it. Yes I have discovered that it is a difficult potpourri to make - valuing every small success yet preserving humility, but this to me is the mantra of life, the mantra of happiness.

As I walked down the lane, I took one last look at the building... I carry all this with me as I bid a farewell to a wonderful year well spent. I consider what I learnt in these very premises not just as a foundation, but rather as a spring board that will help me bounce higher and achieve more. In the end, at this turning point, I finally hope that I am going out with a big heart and big apetite for adventure and create newer paths for me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The last lap..

A picture is worth a thousand words....
There is too much to write about and talk about the last few days...but with so much happening, I will save it for the end...

For now... i see the finish line very near..

Courtesy : Kaydee

Sunday, March 8, 2009

cause gurls just wanna have fun ??

As the sun shone brightly in the sky, I woke up today rather lazily. Today was going to be just another sunday...in classrooms and library. As I hurried myself for the lecture, I saw my cell was showing 3 new messages. I wondered if lecture was cancelled postponed and if I could go back to sleep. What surprised me was I had messages wishing me "Happy womans day". I mean wow, I didnt know people celebrated it so passionately.

Coming to think of it,  this may not be the time to really  'celebrate' International Women's Day. Just recently, women were beaten for sitting in a pub; one was forced to strip naked for an FIR to be lodged against her husband.  I read an article somewhere which said that - "woman is raped every 35 minutes in India; female child mortality is higher than male by 25%-50% in India, Bangladesh and Nepal; about 60% of women all over the world have complained about sexual harassment and that the average South Asian woman's risk of dying in childbirth is a hundred times greater than for a woman in an industrialised country (1 in 43 for South Asia and 1 in 4,000 for the developed world)". How do we react on such statistics?. 

All echo in one voice that nothing can be changed unless the women are empopwered. But the point is that if everyone knows this, why isnt it being done ?? And if its being done, how long do we have to wait until we finally see the results. Can we atleast hope to see the results sometime?

The Taliban are now terrorising the Swatis, Pashtuns and what is shocking is that they can, at will, blow up girls' schools and colleges, burn down music shops and punish women who go out unaccompanied by a male relative.  In the name of implementing Sharia law, such actions will actually be legitimised and the worst sufferers will be women.

Whenever there are celebrations of women achievers I have always been confused on how to react to it. Yes there is no fact denying that we have had Kalpana Chawala, Indira Nooyi, Aishwarya Rai, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Naina Lal Kidwani and many more like them. And there are no qualms about their achievements. But I dont think they really represent the women of India. And why them, even a ordinary girl like me doesnt. 

I dont come from a family who denies me education for the sake of my brothers studies. I am not made to cook because studying is worthless for me. No one ever tells me that education is waste cause ultimately the only thing I have to do is to manage someones home. The only place where I have known about child marriage is in books or magazines and never seen it happening. I dont have to wear a saree that covers me head to heels even in scorching summer days. My opinion is actually asked, valued and counted.  I am not beaten up by someone who comes home drunken. I have a dream that is cherished, valued, protected and promoted by my family freinds and colleagues. These are just few of the basic things that make me misrepresent todays woman in India. When I look out of my window onto the slums adjacent to my house, I feel this profoundly more than ever.

I know I have grown up in a very safe protected world and may be I do not even have the remotest idea of what the plight of women really is. But now after the Mangalore and the Bangalore incidents, I feel theatened, angry and helpless all at the same time. I wonder whats next and now I dont even know whether I can go out and celebrate Womens day today without being beaten, or even killed !!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Emotional atyachaar...

As the countdown begins...you can see the difference in peoples attitudes, their sentiments, their talks and even their gtalk status messages. It is that time that everyone wants to pause a moment and look back at the time gone by.

I know its a little too early...there are almost 60 days more....but in a 1 year course like ours..days weeks and months hav just zipped by without even leaving a trace. Well the only physical evidnce that we have are a little worn out laptops, lean figures and dark circles.

Thoughts of exams,assignments, grades, lectures, nightouts, placements that once flooded our routine and our minds have suddenly taken a back seat. Previous job comforts, left away appraisals and hikes, hazy future and scary thoughts of jobless days ahead somtimes now clog our eyesight now. 

But the spirit never dies. We all find relief in laughing at each others plight, laughing about how we all have become bankcrupt in past one year, how the next job could actually pay less than what we got earlier n lots of stuff like this. Best way to vent out ones emotions is by using gtalk messages.

Some funny, some inspiring and some of them that make you feel really nostalgic..
"The only thing stopping you is YOU" 
"Memories are good as long as you dont have to deal with it"
"Do not fear going ahead slowly, fear only standing still" 
Some even get devotional with "Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram" 
One of the most interesting message that I came across in past few days was - "Yesterday I was clever.  So I wanted to change the world.  Today I am wise. So I have decided to change myself".  Who says nothing is impossible. I have been doing nothing for sumtime now" 
"There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all".
"Mera Number Kab Ayega?????"
"I am interested in It Telecom Consulting jobs in 'Forced2' initiative. :) "
"Who says nothign is impossible. Ever tried slamming a revolving door"

So heres the story so far...My heart is stuffed with a little too many emotions to handle... Happiness to get out of Chennai for once...God the weather here sux like crazy... Sad because rock and roll times are about to end and 162 of us will never ever be together again..anxious because am yet jobless with nothing on my radar...Tired and weared out of all the nightouts and assignments. But one thing thats for sure is that may be crisis times like these will come and go...but college days will be gone forever...  (sob...sob)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ek chotisi naukri...

Well they say music transcends all barriers.
I dont know about that for sure but it sure saves me from wasting my laptop battery for writing what we are going through right now...

This has been the song of the campus for quite some days now...
Well hats of to Kishore Kumar and the lyricist to write this song so many years back...the song of the future...true visionaries.. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Boli Lagao...

Finally some cheer in the college. Apart from the frequent whinning that prevailed in the college about how uncertain the future is, there is hardly anything that I have heard in past few days. With whole week blocked for  "THE week" of MBA, there was not much to do for the past 5 to 6 days but catch up on some old time classic movies, have delicious food @ Mariott, listen to great music and lie tirelessly on bed refreshing the mailbox every 5 minutes. So we really couldnt believe when we saw the timetable for the following week...three lectures of 3 hours each on the very first day after this vacation. 'How can people be so cruel', I thought. 

But past two days have been quite happening with with auctioning and bidding tactics. This was the experimental economics class - a required elective ( I wonder how an elective can be required....but neways...let me not digress) by Prof Shyam Sundar of Yale School of Management.

As I waited for the class to begin, the housekeeping staff in the college began repositioning the chairs. What on earth is going on, everyone wondered. Row after row chairs were removed from the huge seminar hall. This guy seems to be crazy, is he really going to show us experiments or what !!. 

The professor explained us the rules of the game. The whole class was divided into buyers and sellers. The buyers were given a slip with a perceived value of the good. The sellers had given a slip with the cost of production of the good. Each buyer and seller had difefrent amount. The strategy for the seller was to find a buyer who was ready to pay more than the cost of production. The strategy for the buyer was to find a seller who would sell at a price lower than the perceived value.

This was not all, the auction was supposed to be over-the-counter auction. So the auction opened for 5 minutes and there was open outcry for the price. As the market opened, there was huge bidding going on in every corner of the room. People rushing everywhere to find the best deal.


Some were risk averse people who settled for small profits and closed deals early on. Some wanted to wait until they got a higher value. Seemed like a fish market.  Session after session we did this auction. Sometimes I managed a huge profits, sometimes less and sometimes I couldnt sell. A great experience and sore throats in the end. He explained to us all the results and how markets work in reality. As we got more and more experienced, we could see how we became more efficient. The class seemed more like a picnic place.


Second day was even better. We had a closed bid tender game.  Each of us was given a perceived value of the item to be auctioned and we were divided into random groups of 10. It was necessary to bid higher to win the auction, it was also necessary to bid lower than the perceived value in order to avoid loss and thirdly we didnt know the bids of the other members of the group. We played several variations of closed bidding - second price auctioning, common value auctioning etc. At the end of each game, we were taught different strategies on how to maximise winning chances while minimising losses.

There are few cynical "know-it-all" minds that feel this whole experience is just not worth attending. But past 2 days have been a great learning experience for me. With only 3 months before we close this course, all I want to do is to enjoi this time before I get back to that sad corprate life again..(This is called height of optimism....confident of a job even in such times) Whether I will ever participate in bidding in my life and use these startegies is really irrelevant to me now.  :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It is that time of the year again..

Well not really a great post to open this years account. With less than 24 hours to go until we begin with this years placement season..eh er..week..er..days..whatever...,the scene is quite gloomy. The coats and shirts that would have been by now kept neat clean and pressed and hanging somewhere in my cupboard. The books that would have been revised and re-revised are just stacked up with no intentions and motivation to be opened again. Where companies would be fighting for the day zero slaught, the colleges are struggling to pull them till the campus this year. Well seems like tough days ahead for all of us. All that can be done is hope that Obama's winds of change reach India as well....

HeartFelt Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design and Bukit Gambang