Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Disco Dies, Ribbid Rocks

And... as the 51 weeks are over, I am ready to croak once more at:

I am indebted to Chi for putting my official name at ISB on records... here. I won't be Disco again! Good riddance, I say (naah...)

Not much did I have to say on the last day at ISB to the numerous people I met, half of whose next destination in life, I don't remember... 'Have a good life, dude/girl' became my chosen wish. It started off as an affected smile that warmed up automatically as to more and people I wished the same. Before that, on the convocation day, I did not feel small and worthless, I did not feel like an also-ran, because I had everything that is positive in my life now turn up at the ceremony unannounced! And after a failed lunch and a successful meeting with mom and dad, all went just perfectly.

After having stood by as few dearest friends left the campus, and waving many others final good-byes, it was time for me to leave at around 9 in the night. I went to the library to take a couple of tickets printouts. There was no one there. I came back through the rec-centre and SV2, there was absolutely no one there. At the SV1 J block, I went to a couple of quads looking for someone to ask for some milk. Not a single soul... each room was left open with class-notes strewn on the floor and the sheets folded and stowed in the empty cupboards. I came back to my room, brought down the seven pieces of luggage that "how-skipping" helped me lug... and left.

Back at Ribbid Rock, not much blood and honey would be seen again... there would be sensible writing of a sensible life, that has managed, if nothing more.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Lose Loose Ends

Times are positive, so am I
Lose the prim exterior, why?
When life beckons yet bids adieu
What stays behind is me and you
I lose a garment, gain a new
Now I own a looser toga too
Entertain several, preach to few
Clown and friend are purposes two
The party has ended, I've loved it all
The kids are gone, feeling small
The elders gather round, stand tall
Hush-a Bush-a, we'll meet next fall!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What better than this?

The Australian formula 1 race is over, and the best that McLaren/Kimi fans could have had was on the rostrum. A good dream to dream now would be to have McLaren win the constructors and Kimi win the drivers championship this season, what say?

The new kid on the block, Lewis Hamilton, 22, is sure going to bring Britain some good name that Button, though being a good driver could not, given the state the slower Hondas have been. This is how one should his F1 career... captivating, fabulous. Read how... Renault without its star, Alonso, having switched to McLaren seemed uneventful. Can Fisichella do magic without him?

Also, the new regulations about the single-supplier and two types of tyres (faster Soft, and sturdier Medium) that both need be compulsorily used through the sessions, would even out the playing field good bit. Remember Indianapolis, where all but 3 teams withdrew after Michelin issued a warning against a chicane and our Karthikeyan missed the only chance he will ever get to reach the rostrum?

Looking forward to Malaysia, where I could have been the last season... and this season too. But won't be.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


As the F1 season starts once again in Australia tomorrow, Kimi seems to be on top of things with Ferrari! Remember how McLaren and Kimi fans were confused on who to side with after last year-end Schumi hung his helmet and Kimi changed over to the red one. We, who were stock booers for of Ferrari and Schumi too (given his predatory nature as against our gentleman), found ourselves in a strange place. Do we stick to McLaren and cheer Alonso (who totally deserves every) or do we shift our loyalties to Ferrari?
I, for one, decide to follow the man and not the machine. Red is good for me this season. And Kimi, I want the championship from you in lieu of my parting with McLaren. Go Raikkonen!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Aadi Ant Aarambh - Onward Five

ISB turned five this year. We are the fifth batch of future leaders. We would soon target the five hundred graduates mark in a couple of years. We were five musicians on stage that night, doing a couple of indipop numbers to both our and the crowd's delight.

The five year celebration was definitely organized very efficiently. More importantly, though, the five years of ISB has been very nicely coordinated and executed. I had met a 2002, first batch, alum a week ago. An IPS officer, who went to sales and marketing after ISB, and now is back to serving the nation. He recounted the difficulties that the first batch had... bringing the professors, recruiters and also the next batch of students in. Still, there was never a problem with the facilities, the schedules, the stay, the life, the food (ok, i take back the last one - Sarovar, listening?). Even as the excellence was being aspired to, the organization had been perfected since the beginning.

The five year celebration coincided with the ISB Leadership Summit. Nuff has been written about it elsewhere. here. In spite of the fast pace of ISB, we still managed to come together and setup a slew of performances that evening of the 5th year celebration. A fashion show, two band performances, three skits, many singles and duets and the grand launch of the ISB Radio. What I will remember also was that the little kid, Tanmay was a hero on stage that evening. Video here soon...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Aadi Ant Aarambh - Placement @ ISB

The start, the end and the new beginning - each a thrill, each a trial and each a prize.

It's the forty-sixth week at ISB now, and there remain five more before graduation. Let's start looking at a few things at ISB in backward slow motion.


One blessed week, when four hundred careers were sought after. Into the magical hat, each thrust his hand and pulled out a rabbit with a hue ranging from snowy white to dusty grey. It all started with a big bash of interviews of the MBAs by MBA (Mckinsey, BCG, ATKearney) on day 0, when months (weeks in my case) of case intervew preparation was brought to the altar and commanded to do the 4-beat jig of Define, Structure, Solve, Synthesize one last time. Well, I've always had two left feet when it comes to dancing, no Ash... so I fidgeted and faltered through the whole process. No worries though, what I've got is worth it's weight in gold... umm, which is not much gold, but is enough for life. For many fellow aspirants, the dream did materialize and as for the firms themselves, it was a bumper harvest as our best were handpicked and will soon be jet setting across the world carrying the ISB brand neat and high with them. Rock on, guys!

There are close to 200 companies visiting campus this season. Two hundred?!! ejaculated amazed a few friends back at Baroda, and struggled a bit to say the next word which was Wow. On campus, though, that doesn't mean a thing. We can't just take ANY job, we need what we want. But, were we able to wait for the right one? Not many of us, I hazard. The pressure was maybe telling on many a resolve to wait out for the dream company/sector/industry. Umm... TWI (Thomas Weisel) is today and I have signed out of the placement process. Surely not dream company... but dream industry?

The process, then.

  1. You register at the placement website and receive an id and a password
  2. As recruiter companies are bowled over by ISB Business Development team or by themselves, they register for placement
  3. PPT's happen throughout the month of January, upto 4/5 a day, where the hallowed firms brag and the less shiny ones pitch
  4. You pick a set that you find matches your capabilities, or aspirations, or rarely both, and apply online. Some of them also have a tedium of form-fillings. Others just have these:
  • The Resume: A contorted 'activized' picture of your professional life, where you struggle to not lose the prominence of what you did in those relevant necessary words.
  • The EoI: Expression of Interest... or for us career-switchers, an Endeavour to Overshadow Incompatibility. I tried hajaar and one creative bursts in those EoI paragraphs. I knew they don't matter much, but I felt good about making those 3 paragraphs as interesting as I could, possibly just in the hope that some cute HR in some company would read it, like it and note down the phone number at the top.
  1. Come the D-Day, and you scurry to the magic hats to pull out your rabbits.
  2. Shortlists and Interviews are often very much inter-twined almost as close together as a fresh couple on lonesome place besides a lake. You get one night to prepare... I got half a night for one of my fav companies.
  3. After you have managed to impress and prove that you had really 'pioneered the new perspective on' whatever technology, you get a 'Letter of Intent'
  4. LoI converts to offers the same or next day (a maximum of two offers across days, unlimited on the same day)...
  5. An excessively formal, but quite visibly self-conscious placement team member congratulates you.
  6. You pick your choice within the stipulated time (1-x days), sign at the bottom of the form and make a dotted line beneath if you wish.

    Umm... people who excel in the end are mostly people who have focus or who have ma fate. I had a little of both. "I accept the offer and am willing to opt out of the placement process."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Hello World,
I want an answer. I am not okay with Forty-two.
1) The Trinity Gods just looked at one line of the CV and selected me, while all others (8 thus far) looked at the whole thing and found me wanting in calibre in addition to wanting the job. i.e. my CV was the letdown.
2) The Fins thought I am IT, the tier-II Consults thought I am straddling between finance and telecom, the Medias would think I am nowhere.
3) Career switching is not possible or easy, and Cisco is my life savior... for now at least.
My head is 'eating circles' with What-if questions now. And it's just the beginning. I cant complain, I agree.

Dekho, wo aa gaya

Har kadam par hai naye mod ka aagaz, suno. Not necessarily though. Chalte chalte kadam thakne ko aaye the, tab kahin jaa kar ek right turn mila tha, teer ka nishaan bhi bana tha 'This Way'. Ab manzil pe aake dekh raha hoon to bade bade bold red aksharon mein likha hai 'Members Only'. Soch raha hoon kitne lagenge...
Three days to the start of the Rodent Derby at ISB! (to quote Mundi). Let's go stomp on the large pie, fellow rats and make it messier. Let's then fall on our bellies and eat belly-fulls of it.
Happiness to all, success to the deserving!

Friday, February 02, 2007

See'ed Saw'ed

When I was a kid, our house in Subhanpura, Baroda (Vadodara, or Banyan-in-the-tummy city) had a nice garden... To set expectations right, it was around 25 ft x 10 ft; not huge, but big enough to fuel a child's fantasy. Now, there was this seed peddler who used to come on a bicycle with a rectangular "hold-all" military green bag, full of white sachets of seeds, tied to the carrier. Nothing great, told my mind to me, boring looking sachets with tiny equally uninteresting seeds.

Then one day, he brought seed sachets, which had colorful pictures of the vegetable or flower that it promised to deliver in due course. It kick-started my curiosity and my fascination with those sachets. Mom would buy some 10-20 of them - tomatoes, peas, marigold, chillies... and stack them up on the rack besides the bed. At first opportunity, I'd take them out, lay them side by side on the bed, like you do a pack of cards, look at the bright pictures of flaming red tomatoes, seemingly innocuous green chillies, peacefully yellow marigolds and sunflowers, and wonder when our garden will bloom with such life and green.

Well, the garden remained largely the same. Those tiny lemons never tasted any better than bought ones. Brinjals never turned purple like the sachet had promised. The tomatoes were always the worst letdown - the plant never bore any tomatoes! I kept imagining for a while and then gave up. Mom kept buying for a while and then gave in. Dad went and hired a 'maali' who changed the garden over to lots of easy-to-grow greens and no vegetables - money plant, office flowers, and others that I don't know the name of. However, he knew his roses well... and boy, did we have one great winter when those five rose plants were on a roll churning out gifts by the dozen every week!

Agreed, there's no point. But, seeing those tiny seeds in splendid sachets gave me the kicks... and they were fun to play with.

I weed weed
I need seed
I did deed
I Saw'ed See'ed
(Shut up, stupid,
'ere you become a kid)

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Kitne malaal-e-peer mar chale
Kitni khushiyan jee uthin hain
Khatir kiske zubaan muztarib
Khwab mein kiske zehen girift hai
(When grief dies of old age, 
replaced by new-born joy...
for whom I wait anxiously,
of whom are dreams slaves?)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

They're coming!

A little boy had a dream one night. Two Gods visited and said he was going to be an Angel soon, if only he behaved from now till the Valentine's day and memorized his prayers and read the Holy Book daily. He woke up in the morning to find he was still a shepherd's kid that he was. The same old goats he'd been tending to for 5 years were bleating outside, pleading to be taken to the lush green farmlands. After all, there was so much of delicious greens to be grazed in there, and the goats, who had no idea that soon they would be delicious mutton, wanted to have it all.

Well, the little boy picked up the phone and called Gods' messengers and re-confirmed that the deal was on on both sides.

Msgr: (over crackling long-distance line) Have no doubt! There are some hundred prayers to be internalized and there is a religion to be assimilated. And then you win yourself the cloud #1.

Sboy: I don't believe in God, but I don't believe in goats either, and I don't believe in mutton for sure. Can I maybe switchover to milking cows... I hear there is money to be made in dairy.

Msgr: All hell shall break loose on you, boy, if you don't try to be an Angel. To try and fail would be pardoned though. Now, now, don't you find those feathers that come with Angelhood rather nice?

Sboy: Umm, yes. Will I get to play too among the clouds, and... you know... those heavenly beauties?

Msgr: Take your pick, lad. We believe in work-life balance.

Sboy: Awesome, I should start the first prayer then... Pratham Patit, Paap Punya harit...

Days passed... the boy had managed thirteen prayers and only half the holy book in preparation of Angelhood. The goats had all run out to feed themselves and escaped fated muttonhood. His luck in the milking cow business had run dry for good. Then came the Valentine's day... and he ran into the woods.

Shouting "They're coming, they're coming!"

Monday, January 15, 2007

ISB Radio - Compare

We play good songs for the junta and play the guitar at ISB Radio for the media. Sample these media clips:



Times NOW:

And then, compare all the above guitar playing to this. If I ever see this guy in my life, I will be willing to let him make love to me.

Winning over watching over me

It is not easy and it was not easy in the beginning. The stupid little black kitten kept jumping around smiling, grinning, giggling, laughing her guts out, and always managing to stay just out of reach. Seemed like a wild goose chase, only difference I wasn't even sure I was the hunter, and before long I was out of that jungle and into another one - ISB. Later that year, I tested waters and found it freezing cold. Then one day, the geyser switched on suddenly and the cat jumped in and started splashing around with the tiny toys in the bathtub. The water is health-spring lukewarm now, and it feels good that as I watch over someone, someone's watching over me.
Blah... it's impossible to encode bare facts. I am sure even a Christ College grad can figure this one out.
In other news, placements are on. Have BCG in the kitty besides having the kitten in the kitty. Life is coming back to life.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New New Year

It's been long. I'd tell you why if you were me...

I've got to extract my pound of flesh from 2007. 2006 was a mixed blessing. Failures dressed up gaudily like successes, which in turn wore a shabby torn bloody orange tee-shirt with the devil on it. ISB Rocks! People here came to know me finally as that other guy who was a commodity guitarist at the 'Five year celebration'. My relatives are now proud of me for showing up on T.V. and advising the Prime Minister himself on policy changes. Watch:

All I really did was to blurt out the only idea I had learnt well in the Government, Society, Business (GSBC) course... (Blah to the media, fie on glossification).

I glossified my resume to a point where the important details of what I did are nicely obscured by dollar figures and action verbs. When I sat down to undo the (c)harm from the CV, brought on over the last 2 months under the effect of boastful self and helpful peers and alums, I found there was absolutely no value in it left for a telecom company, say, Cisco, where I can very well end up given the scheme of things. Placements are on... placements are on me. I am under placements, and if it was meant to be a good place, it's perfect placement.

Bangalore, the crazy city doesn't leave me... I am not done with you yet, Richmond, Brigade, Koramangala. I will be back. Need I? I undid the harm. What remains is what survived and what died was... aborted, loosely. Happiness all around and joy to the world, the Lord has come! I played the guitar with the Carol group as we went from student village to student village on eve before the eve before Christmas eve, singing.

It was nice to have so many alums come down around Christmas for Solstice and tell us something we all wanted to hear about the funny way fate starts behaving around now each year at ISB "You're not the only one. We've seen it too. This too shall pass. You will get a job. You will like your job or you'll find another one." Yeah, we have it in us! Or rather we have it on us... the ISB brand that is, and we shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome, one week.

I read this and see a divide between my positive and negative sides. Every one around me who has kept me uncomplicated enough, thank you and have a great year ahead!