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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Dear Bloggy Friends

Wish you a very happy new year. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, opinions, ideas, and feedback. :)



The grimy twilight fades into dusk,
and I see them wither and fall,
those drifting leaves of memories,
and I struggle to gather them all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Fourth Idiot

Raju, the chronic worry-wart – Is always frantic about situations, and prays, wears rings of various kinds, and stresses himself out.

Farhan, the dreamer – Wants to be something else, and doesn’t express his choice to his parents for fear of his stern father

Rancho, the maverick – Always questioning tradition, possessed with a probing and inquisitive mind, and willing to invent – be it gadgets, or even excuses

These are not just characters in a movie that goes by the uninspiring name of ‘3 idiots’. Aren’t these characters alive in all of us? Don’t you think each one of is part Raju, part Farhan, and part Rancho? Don’t many/most of us dream of going against the grain to accomplish something different, something non-stereotypical?

Does that give us the role of a fourth idiot, or is it pragmatic to be like that?

What do you think?

Friday, December 25, 2009

All is well…

I’ve always resolutely maintained that Chetan Bhagat’s books are not worth the paper that they are printed on. However, I got the chance to watch ‘3 Idiots’ – a movie allegedly based on his book ‘5-point someone’. I went in with bated breath, with a gaggle of friends, fearing the worst was about to hit me.

Thankfully, I can still maintain that Mr. Bhagat is only marginally better than a monkey let loose with a typewriter. According to the film-maker, the movie has only 5 percent in common with the book. (Perhaps, that’s why I felt that the movie was only about 90-95 percent ‘there’ in terms of quality.)

The tale of a maverick, madcap student who gets admission to one of the most prestigious engineering colleges in India – the Imperial College of Engineering (ICE) and proceeds to question every norm, every tradition and everything else mired in ‘tradition’ is well-told by Rajkumar Hirani. Of course, almost every institute has some stereotypes:

a) A tyrant of a director/principal who is a reincarnation of Hitler

b) The most studious chap in the class who wants to win, win, and WIN all the time

c) Some funny chaps who don’t believe in studying, but are game enough for fun

d) A crazy chap who doesn’t believe in blind authority

At face value, none of these is unique. But, the way Aamir Khan portrays the role of the maverick, Rannchhod Chachar (Rancho), Sharman Joshi and Madhavan – his madcap friends, and Boman Irani the tyrant is fresh. And funny. In parts.

Almost every character – be it the chaiwallah or the principal’s lissome daughter is well-written and contributes something to the story. I did think that this was one of Boman Irani’s less likeable performances, with an affected lisp ostensibly inspired by Shahid Kapoor in Kaminey, and a perpetually grumpy expression that is reminiscent of Wile E. Coyote from the Road Runner cartoons.

But Rancho is an endearing character throughout. Right from the moment he electrocutes a senior wanting to rag him, to when he makes a point to the principal in his inimitable style, to when he uses his innovation to help out with a classmate’s project – a toy helicopter, he displays various sides of his personality. He can be cocky, witty, blasphemous, and practical – all at the same time. One gets to learn the phrase ‘Aaal eej wellll’ (All is well) that makes an appearance throughout the movie, from one of Rancho’s anecdotes.

The second half takes us on a journey with his friends and his love-interest, Pia (Kareena) who are trying to trace him down after 10 years of his disappearance, right after college. The movie has its set of highs, lows, emotional moments, laughs, and a few scenes that can be best described as ‘hammy’. Still, without revealing any further, I must say that the movie is a must-watch.

Yes, if you are a prude, you will find some jokes slightly offensive or below-the-belt. If you need to watch ‘realistic’ movies, this movie will give you a few of those rolling-your-eyes-in-exasperation kind of moments. If you are a college student or were a college student ever, you should be able to relate to the happenings.

The movie is shot in a variety of locations, that are all pleasing to the eye. From the college hostels of IIM-Bangalore, to Connaught Place in Delhi, and the scenic locales of Ladakh – everything is awesome. The music is eminently hummable (even in my eminently horrendous voice).

The bottomline is that you are being the 4th idiot, if you don’t go out and watch this movie. I’m not saying that it doesn’t have flaws. All I’m saying is that despite some very obvious flaws, it’s fun! (I say that after pushing my way through a horde of spectators stampeding through the entrance, sitting on seats with lots of leg room only if you had been born a midget, listening to wolf-whistles and catcalls from the elite crowd every few minutes, and watching some people actually dancing when a song appeared.)

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Media demons…


Sometimes, I really detest the media for the role it plays in shaping public perception. After the 3rd one-day international against Sri Lanka on Dec 21, 2009, the picture above was clicked. The description of the picture on a reputed cricket news website said, “Sachin Tendulkar makes a point to Dinesh Karthik after wrapping up the match…”

The facts of the case were that Tendulkar was batting on 96. With only a few runs remaining to be made, Mr. Karthik decided to have the heave-ho and promptly hit the ball over the boundary to score 6, and end the match. Hence, his partner was left high and dry on the other end at a score of 96, 4 runs short of another milestone, another century.

The picture, with its caption seems to suggest that the legendary man – Tendulkar, was remonstrating with his partner for denying him yet another feather in his cap – another one-day hundred.

Somehow, I refuse to believe that. A man who has served India  at the highest level for 20 years, a man who has left a trail of broken records, and has found a place in the hearts of even his most ardent critics can surely not be guilty of such pettiness.

An anecdote about Tendulkar from India’s tour of Australia in 1991 says that he was batting on 99, when he was bowled by the fast bowler, Mike Whitney. However, the umpire ruled it to be a no-ball, thus rendering Tendulkar not out. Off the very next ball, the great man reached his century and walked up to Whitney, saying, “I’m terribly sorry, Mr. Whitney.”

Whitney recounted this incident later, during a discussion on Tendulkar’s greatness. Bitter rivals like Shane Warne suffered nightmares of Sachin Tendulkar whacking them to all corners of the park. Captains like Steve Waugh shuddered at the thought of setting a field to contain a rampaging Tendulkar. And while the great man is always at his uncharitable best in the middle, he does spare a thought and a lot of help for the economically weaker sections, in need of support.

Of course, with the media trying to grab eyeballs, they have no qualms about trying to tarnish the image of a demi-god, just to generate a bit of controversy.

a) I don’t give a rat’s ass if Sachin actually made a point to Karthik. But, without adequate videographic evidence to support, you can’t interpret a still photo to mean that.

b) Even if he did scold Karthik, it wouldn’t lessen his stature in any way.

The bottom line is that I am not trying to agree/disagree with anyone here. But, my only point is that the media ought to be more responsible before carrying such reports.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Journey to Remember…

Term 6 at a bschool - a time for chilling out, having fun, and travelling a lot. Well, considering it is the last term, one ought to do any or all of these. But, one has recently discovered a new definition to the travelling bit. One realises that some people have been 'travelling' throughout the last few terms. Ah, they've been 'passengers' who have been gracious enough to smile at one politely, despite the bumpy ride.

One thinks it is much more pleasurable to be in a group with a few such passengers, so that they can take a look at the life that whizzes by, while one puts one's sore shoulder to the grindstone and slogs it out. After all, one needs to get some external intervention to realise that there's still life out there somewhere. So what, if one is missing out on it? These nice folks make sure that they watch enough sitcoms, sing enough songs, go on umpteen walks with 'close' companions, and do enough social 'butterflying' (or caterpillaring) to be able to share their experiences, and ensure that one gets to enjoy these pleasures, so what if only vicariously? They also ensure that they sleep for a good 8-10 hours a day, so that they're fresh enough to regale one with their exploits, and make life better.

Of course, there are other losers like oneself, who burn midnight oil and work feverishly, to ensure that deadlines are met, if only by fractions of seconds. Thankfully, one has the passengers who occasionally peer over one's shoulder to point out a few defects or errors, or make their contribution by suggesting ways to con those poor, unsuspecting profs who were born yesterday and know nothing about the 'corrupted pdf' technique or the 'Outlook date format' scam.

In fact, classifying one's group mates can be an interesting experience. Let us look at some priceless 'exhibits' to understand them better. (This listing includes both passengers and non-passengers, so that their distinctive features are brought about clearly to you, O discerning reader.)

a) Exhibit A - The Workaholic - He/she is always driven by the sight of that deadline zooming in closer and closer. This person will have reminders, post-its, alarms et al, set to make sure that work is divided, milestones are decided, and the entire process is completed on time, with the necessary quality. An invaluable person to have in your group, though one must concede that one does tend to get a little frustrated when Exhibit A does not allow one to behave passenger-ically.

b) Exhibit B - The Righteous One - He/she has a holier-than-thou attitude, a fiery temper, and the inability to tolerate shoddy work. This person detests passengers. Of course, that could possibly be because he/she is one, and there's only room for so many, on a ride. Right? So, beware! If one's work does not match up to his/her standards (which are presumably copied from some website or another) one is in trouble! However, to set you on the right road, this person will claim to have hoarded tons of data, and information that you can use when you eventually stop being useless and decide to work.

c) Exhibit C - The Spanner-in-the-works - In football, there are some players who accidentally put the ball in their own goal, thereby causing more loss than gain. These people fall in such a category, and one finds oneself wishing that one had steered clear of these folks in the first place! One would rather burn more midnight oil and do this person's share of work, rather than let him/her loose and risk spending even more time, undoing the damage he/she causes.

d) Exhibit D - The Who-me? - Aww, the innocent one!! He/she wonders why YOU, the useless freak didn't ask for work to be done? Why didn't you send out a mail dividing work, outlining what is to be done, and set timelines? Sheesh, this poor babe-in-the-woods type was up till 3 am, wondering why no one has been doing anything. YOU evil one, to have caused so much hurt to this poor thing. Awww....

e) Exhibit E - The Creative One - A brilliant asset to have. He/she can think logically and differently, is prepared to work well, and generates lots of quality work. The only possible limitation - his/her batteries die out at 11 pm, so you have to wait for the next morning for creativity to happen. Still, worth every ounce of his/her weight.

f) Exhibit F - The well-oiled cog - A total group player - this person may debate with you, argue, prove to be a tough nut to crack, but will contribute meaningfully to the group. When one is burning midnight oil, this person will be sitting beside you and helping out. Apart from reducing one's workload, this person also reduces one's carbon footprint. How, you ask? Well, midnight oil is divided by two now, innit?

g) Exhibit G - The push-me-pull-you - The name is derived from a fictional animal that had two divergent personalities, in some story that I read as a kid. This person has two personalities - somewhat like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Still, he/she can be useful, provided you only have a moderate sprinkling of other Exhibits in the group. He/she reacts violently to some of them, and is perfectly at peace with the others. If you are sensible enough, you'll value his/her presence.
Of course, there are many other categories too. But, we shall delve into their intricacies later. The list is barely inclusive, and hardly exhaustive. Moreover, some people cut across categories and display various traits. So use your discretion, dear reader when you try to identify these people who are all around you. (Remember, the use of he/she is intentional, so do not make unfair assumptions, relating to gender.)

P.S. I have worked with some of you in groups, and haven't with others. Hence, kindly take this purely in jest, and do not attempt to map any of the Exhibits to your respective personalities. :P

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nostalgia bites…

I walked down the lofty corridor of The Saint Thomas Men’s Residence, with a wistful look on my face. Walking slowly, I absorbed all the sights – the notice board that congratulated the receivers of recent placement offers and had details of some competition or the other in garish colours, the whitewashed walls, and the lack of all human activity.

I smiled as I recalled all those futile trips I had made to the board to check if my name was on the shortlist for some company or the other. I could almost taste the feeling of defeat that had encompassed me on not seeing my name there, and feel the encouraging pats of friends on my shoulder.

I walked to the lift and smiled as I remembered the number of times that it had broken down, and I’d had to trudge up to the fourth floor using the stairs, huffing and puffing and cursing using all the expletives he knew in various languages. I decided to take the stairs this time, just to relive those memories.

Perhaps the current crop of students were on their term break. Perhaps, they were attending the class of a prof who’d have flunked them if they missed. Perhaps, they were sleeping after submitting an assignment due at 9.00 am.

Room no. 414 – the place that had seen fleeting moments of frustration, grief, delight and boredom. Sadly, it was locked. Idly, I wondered about the person who lived there now. Did he also make the room look like a tornado-struck zone? Did he take a minute out of his routine to admire the view from my window? Did his alarm ring incessantly in the morning till an irate neighbour pounded on his door in irritation? Did he belt out his brand of ‘music’ much to the consternation of nearby folks? Did his room also overflow with books of all kinds, shapes and sizes? And most importantly, had he inherited my love for LFC over the years?

If looks could kill, mine would have shattered that lock into a million pieces, giving me access to a flood of memories from the years gone by. But, nothing of the sort happened.

I took the lift this time.

On reaching the ground floor, I decided to go over to Rooms 15 and 16, where more laughs than an entire season of ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ were created and shared. Room 16 was unlocked. I couldn’t resist knocking, almost expecting a familiar voice to say, “Yeahhhh, come in!” and opening the door to be greeted by some of the awesomest people on this planet.

A stranger opened the door, a questioning look in her lovely, hazel eyes. “Yes?” she asked. I snapped my gaping jaw shut, with an audible snap that made her jump. “Oh, nothing! I’m just an alumnus, who graduated in 2010. I was visiting someone in the city today, and decided to come over to my alma mater. Sorry, if I disturbed you.”

She invited me in with a warm smile, but the room felt cold. Gone were the decorations, the charts scrawled with funny one-liners, and the book-rack with the coffee-maker on top of it. Gone were those people, I’d half-expected would be lounging around the place. I didn’t see any of them there, but I still heard the faint echo of their voices and their laughter.

“Are you ok?” she asked, with some concern.

“Yes, I’m fine. Actually, I think I ought to go,” I said, looking at my watch.

I stopped by at the pond with the fountain. Multi-hued fish swam about, frolicking in the clear water. A moss-covered waterbody, with ugly catfish was what it had been, until a friend had come up with the idea to clean it up and maintain it better. We’d all pitched in – some had donated money to the cause, some had helped in selecting the right varieties of fish to keep, and others had rolled up their sleeves to do the ‘dirty’ work. (Of course, some had stood and snickered at the futility of it all, but then looking at the brightly coloured fish today, made me snicker back at them.)

The benches outside the Mother Teresa hostel were unoccupied. A strange phenomenon- made possible only by the fact that the students were not on campus. Otherwise, there would always be a bevy of folks – some reading, some engaged in long, intimate conversations with faraway loved ones, and others simply hanging out.

Ah, a familiar soul at last! Dadu – the proprietor of the campus eatery, warmly greeted me with a cup of coffee and chattered away, trying to bring me up to speed with all the changes on campus lately. I was too lost to respond, and made do with randomly sprinkled ‘hmm’s and ‘haa’s. The old rascal didn’t forget to charge me 12/- for that measly cup of weak, sugary coffee. When I pointed out that one thing that hadn’t changed on campus, was his propensity to fleece his customers, he just grinned and made the age-old excuse, “Kya karen Sumit, har cheez ka rate badhta hi rehta hai?

Deciding to take a look at the classrooms of yore, I felt a twinge of sadness at seeing that they had been revamped completely, with state of the art infrastructure and advanced gadgetry. Having never been especially attached to the classrooms, (since a large component of my learning had taken place not inside but outside them) I moved on to take a look at yet another place that was special – the Placecomm office. For, it was there that the 16 of us had spent long, sleepless nights slogging towards ensuring the best of placements at XLRI. And what a brilliant job we had done too!

I strolled over to the GMP area, the location for many heart-to-heart talks with friends. The silence there threatened to choke me, so I had to beat a hasty retreat and take refuge in the huge common room of The Father Enright Men’s Residence. The old TV where we had watched countless Premier League matches, cheering on our favourite teams was still there. The memory of bunking two important classes and a quiz just to watch Liverpool trounce the Red Devils 4-1, and revelling in the gains from the ‘tradeoff’ I had made was special.

The TT table, a little battered because of the rough handling it had undergone over the ages still stood, a relic of the times when there had been epic tournaments, having played best-of-5, best-of-10, and even last-man-standing games played amongst us.

The last stop was the iconic JLT – which had been the forbidden place early on, but had turned into a regular haunt in the final term. Funnily enough, the XL journey had begun with a dunking for ‘trespassing’ on JLT and ended with a dunking to celebrate getting placed, and the corresponding DJ nite, where all of us had exchanged hugs and fond farewells.

I walked out of the campus slowly, as a lone tear made its way down my cheek. I turned up the volume of my iPod to drown out the silence, and those haunting words pervaded my being:

Socha tha MBA kar le, hum tum bhi thoda sa padh len, lo aa gaye hum XLR….

Monday, October 26, 2009

Alive and kicking

Yes, that’s what I am – alive though getting a little kicked. These days are superbusy with the summer internship process of juniors going on. Hence, a major shortage of time for us seniors. Therefore, I will not be around too often for another few days, after which I will begin spamming this blog and your comments sections all too often.

Till then, hold your horses! :D

P.S. Apologies for not replying to all those lovely comments. That’s an item still parked on my list and I will do it (eventually).

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I stare at the limitless sea,
that mass of never-ending blue,
and listen to the crashing waves,
singing to me of you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Some cribs in life…

A tough 10 days are coming up, involving baptism by fire. 10 days that will push me to the limit, test my very resolve and be a hell of a learning experience too. I’m nervous terrified, but excited too. However, there are some things that I so want need to do but am unable to find time. Some of these pet peeves are:

a) Wanting to sleep more than 2 hours a day

b) Wanting to write an article on role of HR in mergers and acquisitions

c) Wanting to read, read, read and read…

d) Wanting to blog more often

e) Wanting to land the job sometime soon

f) Wanting to do a bit of research on some HR topics

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let there be light…

Today’s the festival of lights – the entire world is out there laughing, bursting crackers, lighting candles and oil lamps, decorating their surroundings and having fun. And here I am, cooped up in my dreary room, clattering away on the keys of my laptop with a vengeance.

Why? I wonder, do such moments of joy leave me devoid of happiness? Why does the light outside seem to cast even longer shadows deep inside me? Why do I feel incapable of enjoying the occasion?

I don’t think I have the answer to these questions. I don’t even know what brings me joy any more – if anything does. I don’t know if anyone realises the battles that go on deep within, between my warring selves.

Somehow, one of Longfellow’s poems, ‘The Day is Done’ seems just right for today. Sorry to be raining on your parade, but here it is:

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet.
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Lost Symbol

Intrigue. Mystery. History. Deceit. Name it and the book has it. The moment you turn the first page, Dan Brown leads you on into a journey that’s fast, spell-binding and fast-paced. Mr. Brown weaves together history, legend, science and fiction into a heady mix that keeps you enthralled throughout the book.

Robert Langdon reprises himself as the scholarly professor, yet again caught in a tale of mystery and intrigue – held under the power of an unknown, dangerous man.

5 years of research weaves effortlessly into a 12-hour timeframe, as Dan Brown leads you on into a frightening world of conspiracy and murkiness. Steeped in a deep history of secrecy, the Freemason traditions and customs are brought to light in this book.

Perhaps it is not as controversial as ‘The da Vinci Code’ – which rubbed the Vatican the wrong way, but the book does evoke powerful emotions, and Freemasons will probably not be thrilled with the plot.

But overall, without divulging the story, it can be said that it is worth a read, and one of Mr. Brown’s better works. It does tend to sound like a religious sermon at places, but I guess one can skip over those portions without taking them too seriously.

Happy Reading!!

Snapshots from my life…

Strolling around campus with a gang of friends, right after a spell of rain…

Spending long, sleepless nights in committee meetings…

Stealing quick moments to go out with friends for dinner…

Dozing off in class, right under the nose of the prof…

Putting up Post-It notes on the bathroom mirror, requesting others to wake me up in time for class…

Answering numerous queries that juniors have…

Not answering numerous queries that arise deep within…

Snatching bits of time to read a few pages of ebooks now and then…

Frenetically working against deadlines, trying to beat them back temporarily, at least…

Getting used to returning to my room, when the world’s quietly sleeping…

Trying to work out the functioning of the human mind…

These are some of the threads that currently form a major chunk of my life. Quite disconnected, but yet so connected. Anyway, coherent thought eludes me at this moment, with sleep-deprivation being the cause. Hence, I shall ramble on no more, and leave you to connect the dots.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Good Mood Gig

Dear Readers,

A blogger friend of mine is applying for this freelance blogging position. Kindly vote for her. No registration, no form to fill out, just a simple click of a mouse will do. (Once she lands the job, we'll rope her in for a proper party!!)

So, get trigger-happy at:
Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Naah, this is not a reflection of my current state of mind. Or may be it is. Though, the broad idea here is to talk about a variety of recent happenings in life. (After all, as your bloggy friend, it is my duty to bore you to death with sordid tales of what has been happening in the last month.)

a) Some of the courses in this term are fantastic. We have a course on managing creativity (the reason for my last post), one on strategic HR management (my favourite subject) and another one on personal effectiveness and leadership. The last one throws up some interesting ideas, though I must admit that I find self-help books rather insufferable.

b) I’ve been doing some reading (and not just the academic kind). There’s this compilation of tales from Kerala, called ‘Where the rain is born’. It’s a nice compilation by Anita Nair, with stories by the likes of Dr. Shashi Tharoor.

c) I actually managed to watch a few movies too! Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was the only one of note though. Despite critics panning the movie big time, the fact that it had killer special-effects and a Linkin Park single at the end, made it worthwhile. (Perhaps, the presence of a certain Ms. Megan Fox also had something to do with it.)

d) I want to stamp on my phone and break it. It rings far too often!

e) Surprisingly, by prioritizing my tasks better, I’ve been able to spend more time with friends, even though my overall schedule has become much busier. (The next couple of months are going to be tough, with me almost underground, so I’m doing all the catching up I possibly can.)

f) I think I’ll be docked grade points in at least 2-3 subjects. Gah, 9 am classes – I hate them!! I’ll never make the attendance requirement, at this rate.

g) I’ll possibly be the first person in Jamshedpur to own a licensed version of Windows 7. The DVD is in the mail. Yippee!!

h) I had my Microsoft job interview – the first round, last week. I think I did a decent job, though some questions could/should have been handled better, and not like a moronic half-wit on LSD. (*fingers crossed, and toes too*)

i) I’m supposed to read this self-help book called ‘Happier’ as a course requirement. I absolutely detest the book, and somehow it seems to be mocking me for this, as it lies in its resplendent yellow colour on my book rack.

j) I have 102 followers. Wow! I’m glad so many people have good taste in what they read. ;)

In case you expected some common thread, some line of thought in this post, too bad! The only thing common to all the above points is that there is nothing common. I hope you enjoyed reading. Tee hee!! :D

Monday, October 5, 2009

Creativity – Can one learn it?

It’s an interesting debate. Could one teach a dork like me to paint like Picasso or sculpt like Rodin? With some training for hours, days, weeks, or years, could I be made capable of inventing something even remotely as revolutionary as an iPod?

Some would agree and some would disagree. I wouldn’t do either. That’s not because I’m a fence sitter, but because I don’t think I even know the definition of creativity. Something that’s creative and new for me, could simply be routine, mundane work for another person. Also, something that’s supposedly creative to another person may appear to be totally useless to me. For example, we have had cases of numerous people who have had to eat their words about the uselessness of ‘creative’ objects.

Television, cars, airplanes, and even overnight delivery suggested by the originator of Fedex met with universal scorn to begin with. So, do I have the right to deride a ‘creative’ pursuit today, when it may become the next big thing tomorrow? I don’t think so.

In fact, I guess I’d define creativity simply as a new idea that strikes me – irrespective of its utility or monetary worth. It’s probably a personal definition, if you ask me. Not an organizational or dictionary definition at all. Call it a creative definition, if you will. :P

What say you folks? What exactly is creativity to you? Do you think one can teach it in classrooms?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Every team needs a powerhouse…

One set of professionals I admire a lot is the folks who create ad campaigns. I often wonder, if they just sit at desks, churning out creative pieces like cars at an assembly line, or take long walks in sylvan surroundings to stimulate creativity. It might be a bit weird on my part to imagine, but do they resort to hallucinogens like LSD to amplify their creative capabilities? (Yes, I’m drawing a parallel with Mr. Samuel T. Coleridge’s opium-induced state that led to masterpieces like ‘Kubla Khan’ and ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’)

Of course, the idea is not to cast aspersions at the habits of creative professionals. I merely intend to confer my admiration for them, courtesy a recent ad that I saw for Adidas’s new shoe – the F50i. (Perhaps the admiration also stems from the fact that two legends I worship – the great Zinedine Zidane and the iconic Steven Gerrard are featured in the ad.)

Do see the ad below and decide for yourselves. And of course, pour in or at least trickle in your thoughts.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Guess who’s back!

Yes yes, I’ve been missing for almost a month now and not responding to emails, blog comments and messages. It wasn’t intentional though. Just that the maddening pace of life tore my attempts at getting a life to shreds.

Since the end of the MBA that I’m pursuing is in sight, these are busy times indeed. The last month has been particularly excruciating. And the next one month promises to be the same, if not worse.

Still, I’ll keep trying to pour in some banality here, like always. More than writing, I’ll be happier if I can do a bit more of reading because these days, whatever I write sounds choppy and unconnected to reality – much like my own life.

The last few days have been incredibly tough, personally. However, now that they’re past, I’m hoping things will look up again.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be back here more often. Till next time…


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Some of you, dear readers would recall a certain Greek scholar, who was struck by a great realisation, as he dipped into a warm bath, that he ran around the streets naked, yelling, “Eureka, eureka.”

I always thought the man must have been mad. Till today. When I experienced the feeling for myself.

No, don’t get me wrong please. I’m not Greek, much less a scholar, and well, I am not guilty of practising any form of nudism. However, I have been struck by a realisation with great force. I’ve just had what is known as an epiphany.

Well, after I had posted some thoughts born of deep despair and gloom in my last post, my blogger friend, Corinne wrote something that hit with the intensity of a thunderbolt. I was struck speechless and realised the mistake that I had been making.

Thanks Corinne! You’re a wonder! :) And you’re absolutely right. I can’t tell you how touched I am by your gesture.

P.S. Another quote from Richard Bach:

Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?

Monday, September 7, 2009

There’s no such place as far away…

The last few days have been odd. Suddenly, from a hectic, bustling life, it seems as if I’ve been sentenced to solitary confinement. Seriously, it would be no exaggeration to say that I feel a little like ‘Linc the sink’ from Prison Break.

I was reading this old copy of ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach – one of my favourite authors, and came across this line,

You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.

Is it really so? I know I would probably not want to choose a different past. Some of my major blunders in the past have taught me valuable lessons, that I wouldn’t want to part with. But, can I choose a different future? Can I take my life in the direction that I want to? Can I break away from the shackles of the present? Can I shake her out of her reverie, and make her realise that I love her? Can I choose a future of togetherness for us, Mr. Bach?

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.

Well, is that seriously true? If it is, then it means that she and I are soulmates. We care for each other, despite the distance between us. We pretend that there’s no chemistry, though the sparks fly each time we interact. Soulmates... is it really possible? I adore her, love everything about her. I could just spend a lifetime listening to her, or watching her smile at my clumsiness.

I feel uncomfortable and unclean, because there is some part of me that I’ve always kept hidden from her. She still thinks the world of me and it scares me.

She doesn't know that I keep pining for her, on those sleepless nights. She doesn't know I could do anything to be with her, even for a fleeting moment. She doesn't know that I replay each conversation we have, over and over again. Or does she?

Mr. Bach, you also said that ‘There’s no such place as far away.’

I wish that were true.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Delhi, O Delhi – An unplanned sequel

The last post I made, with a similar title, was rather misinterpreted by certain sections of society (read some of the regulars here :P).

I had not intended to indulge in Delhi-bashing at all. On the contrary, I love the city and get defensive/offensive every time someone says something derogatory about it. I don’t subscribe to the negative connotations people ascribe to ‘Dilli ki ladkiyan’ or ‘Delhi males’ either.

What I had meant to convey was that despite the idiotic auto-wallahs, pollution, traffic, chaos, and overall madness, I still adore the city. I’ve lived nearly one-third of my life in Delhi and well, I can’t think of a city that feels more like home. Nope, not even my home city – Chandigarh.

Given a choice, I would love to settle down in Delhi – the land of culinary delights, the land deep-rooted in history and enigma, the land filled with nice  and friendly people.

And of course, the amount of warmth and affection I have got in this city from various people is unparalleled.

If you, dear reader, are from Delhi, I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

And if you, dear reader, are not from Delhi, then you really ought to come to Delhi and experience what I’m talking about.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Delhi, O Delhi…

I stretched my tired limbs as I got off the train. But I couldn’t take too long to stretch like a lazy cat. I had to watch over my precious luggage. After all, this was Delhi.

After wading through rows upon rows of seedy, betel-chewing men, offering rides in autos and taxis, I made it outside. (The tone in which they spoke made them more likely to be pimps than auto-drivers, so I stayed clear of them. After all, this was Delhi.)

Eventually, once outside, I breathed in the fetid air, and caught hold of a somewhat non-shady auto-driver. After bidding goodbyes to all friends and peers, this friend of mine and I sat down in the auto, having negotiated the necessary fare. (The auto-wallah claimed that the meter didn’t work. After all, this was Delhi.)

Right next to the station, there was a massive traffic jam with people honking all around. The prompt and worldly-wise auto-wallah promptly mouthed a few obscenities aimed at someone’s mothers and sisters, looked at us for support, and proceeded to carve out a route by going against traffic in a one-way lane. After all, this was Delhi.

The next day, at the bus stop, I saw the usual urchins leering at the pretty girls, the crowd rushing to get on to the already overflowing bus, the conductor trying to fit everyone into the bus, and passengers shoving others in. After all, this was Delhi.

And now, at midnight, as the dust settles, I look at the city lights twinkling merrily at me. I hear the sounds of the city, as it whispers to me. I hear its heartbeat, I hear its plaintive cries asking for relief from what we are doing to it. I feel one with it, I feel as if I belong…for, I am its soul.

After all, this is … Delhi!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guess who’s back!

Thanks for all the exam wishes, people! I’m back, in my favourite city (Delhi) and at my favourite place (Bloggersville). The exams went by reasonably well – no surprises and no complaints. So, I guess I get to maintain my status as the class dimwit.

Anyway, it’s nice to be back and to be able to use the internet for non-academic purposes too.

Just because I haven’t been here for a while does not mean that my mind, which always harbours a maelstrom of thoughts has been quiet. If anything, it is more stirred up than ever.

I’m trying to figure out how it is possible for two people to love the same music, love the same music, love talking to each other, love the same hangout places, love spending time with each other, care enough to keep track of birthdays, exam dates, assignment dates and all sorts of random dates, but not be in love with each other.

In this context, there’s a wonderful quote that I came across a couple of days ago:

In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.

P.S. Work on the template is still in progress. I kinda like this one for its simplicity and clarity. Will ensure that it is fixed soon.

Friday, August 28, 2009

W.I.P. in Peace

Yes, the exams are still going on and our institute has not been flattened by an Iranian nuclear strike. The reason I’m back here is because I opened my blog yesterday, and didn’t like what I saw. All the images had been replaced with a photobucket message saying ‘bandwidth exceeded’. Consequently, I had to duck in here, and make a temporary fix at least.


So, here I am. Ostensibly not with the best of templates, but at least it works. Personally, I prefer something simpler and less jarring to the eyes. But, I’d love to have your opinions on this.


Kindly pour in your thoughts, and I shall make the necessary fixes once exams are over.


P.S. I think my comment about 3 months was misinterpreted. I don’t intend to disappear for 3 months. What I meant was that I’ll fight these exams and drive them away for 3 months, meaning after that, they will be back – more evil and more strong.


P.P.S. If you haven’t voted so far, kindly do so. I’m leading the contest, but just barely!! :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here today, gone tomorrow

It is with the deepest regret that we inform you of a scourge having struck down the author of this blog, rendering him incapable of blogging till further notice.


The symptoms of the disease include sleeplessness, palpitations, hypertension, and small pieces of paranoia and schizophrenia. The patient suffers from delusions, loss of appetite, and an overall feeling of morbid depression.


No, the disease is not swine flu, it’s something worse.


What I will be facing tomorrow is the worst four-letter word I’ve ever heard. It’s called ‘EXAM’.


So, yours truly must march out to face this monster, and eradicate it, or at least beat it black and blue for 3 months.


Take care, people! As the Terminator said, “I’ll be BACH!!” (Till then, you can be Mozart or Beethoven, or whoever else!)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Games People Play – II

I write this post with a smirk on my face. People who turn abusive or vitriolic for no reason at all amuse me, rather than irk me.


Let me quote one such example:

Your blog title is just right. It really matches you. You are INSANE if you think you can get away with all those fake accounts, comments and votes.
The Slideshare team has already been warned of your doing and you should see your account suspended in a few days. How does that sound to you? :)

That is a comment made on my last blog post by some really courageous person going by the name of ‘Anonymous’.


Well, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, I think you’re just someone who wants to take my case. Go right ahead! Though, I’d probably take you much more seriously if you’d identify yourself.


Take care!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Games People Play

All right, here’s another shamelessly self-praising post. Thanks to the support shown by people, my presentation is now ranked 9th worldwide, out of some 1150-odd contestants. With another 18 days of the contest to go, there’s a strong chance of making it big.


I’m embedding the presentation right here, for your folks to see it. In case you like it, please do vote for it.


Irrespective of whether you vote for me or not, do write back if you like it. Even if you don’t, please convey the improvement areas I could work towards.


Also, I’d appreciate if you share it on blogger, facebook, twitter or any other medium you like. (In case you’re tweeting about it, please use the tag #bestpreso).



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Surge ahead, democracy!

Yet again, the writer of this blog has resorted to a misleading title. Yet again, you will probably stop reading soon or curse him or both!

The scene is that has launched a ‘World’s Best Presentation’ contest. And yours truly, being reasonably adept at making presentations has decided to participate. Of course, in the hope that his friends and family will go all out to enlist support for him.

The contest is scheduled to run for another 15 days, and the leading presentation so far has 111 votes. My target is to get at least 200 votes, and lay my filthy paws on a shiny, new Mac.

Hence, I’m counting on you, dear reader to back me up and vote for me. Please visit and do the needful.

I assure you of a grand treat, in the event of my winning any of the listed prizes.

P.S. I don’t know if I should be advertising myself so blatantly, but what the heck! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Great Deluge…

The professors at XLRI seem to be inspired by the great flood. Like the gods angry with humanity for its sins sent the great flood as punishment, the professors here seem to have decided to do the same to us poor, hapless students.


Sadly enough, I don’t have a clue about how to handle this situation. After all, I’m not Noah. So, no Noah, no ark.


Overall, a summarization of the last few days goes like this:


a) Had a viva on ‘training and development’ – messed it up totally! Out of the 6-7 questions I was asked, I could not answer even one. (I was underprepared.)


b) I am perpetually short of sleep. There is no teacher who has not had to wake me up in class. (YAWN)


c) I’m perpetually irritable too. In fact, anyone who has been looking at my facebook/gtalk status messages would know. (They range from “…”, “bored”, “frustrated” to “AAARGHHHHH”. Sometimes, in an intellectual frame of mind, I even go as far as “Who is John Galt?”)


d) I think I’m frustrated with the way things are. There are some milestones I want to reach soon, and I see myself nowhere close. In fact, I’m not even on the right road, I guess.


e) I’m probably turning into an individualist from being a strong team player. I don’t like that, but people have left me with no choice.


f) The world is selfish. There are people who pretend to be your bosom buddies, just because they need something from you. After they are done, they treat you worse than a used piece of toilet paper.


Kindly pardon me for ranting and venting some frustration here. However, I think I talk more to my blog than to real people these days.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Today, I came across this song on someone else’s blog and simply loved it. (It’s by a techno artist called Moby. The track is titled ‘Porcelain’. Short, sad and lovely. Haunting too.



Here are the lyrics for your reference:


In my dreams I'm dying all the time
As I wake its kaleidoscopic mind
I never meant to hurt you
I never meant to lie
So this is goodbye
This is goodbye

Tell the truth you never wanted me
Tell me
In my dreams I'm jealous all the time
As I wake I'm going out of my mind
Going out of my mind

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Martyr


I savoured my evening drink in my room,
as my bright fire shut out the gloomy twilight,
my wife and daughter peacefully slumbered,
and I smiled at the precious sight.


I was startled by a knock on the door,
there was someone out in the night,
I crept to the window to see who it was,
a lonesome figure stood, his face weary and tight.


“Come in and warm yourself,” I said to him,
“have a drink or two at the very least,”
replied he, “I have no need of your hospitality,
you don’t have to offer me a feast.


He bent and lovingly unwrapped,
a piece of cloth from his tattered bag,
saying, “This shall always keep me warm,
the saffron, white and green of my flag.


I’ve been part of many a battle,
I’d fight against one and all,
I’d kill a man or more,
to ensure this flag doesn’t fall.


Tell your mind to be bereft of worry,
have no fear, harbour no fright,
go back to the fire in your hearth,
for you and your loved ones will be all right.


I said, “But is there something I can do,
for you’re wet from the rain and sleet,
come, enter my warm home,
have your fill, and be replete.”


His eyes welled up with tears and he said,
Mortal things are no comfort for the soul of the dead,
value thy freedom, respect my sacrifice, and remember,
you breathe this air because, I fought and I bled.


Note: I wrote this one a couple of years ago, but never posted it to a blog.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Independence Day

He felt tired, oh so tired. It had been a fair bit of time since he had been fighting along with his comrades to break through the bars of his cage, where they kept him. In vain of course, otherwise he wouldn’t still be there. Some of the others were still foolishly struggling and straining against what kept them from spreading their wings, from soaring to unchallenged heights like they used to. Before ‘they’ came and trapped him and his ilk.


It had been a struggle that had lasted far too long. Probably, because his brethren were not united amongst themselves. Some of them believed in constant struggle and violence towards their enemies, while others advocated a path of perseverance and non-violence.


He had been torn between the two options, his confused mind unable to process which one was better.


Now, he lay there bleeding, broken in spirit and body, all the fight knocked out of him. But somewhere, deep within him, a faint voice whispered to him. A voice, that was frail and weak, but a voice that stirred his very being. It asked him to stand up and fight just a wee bit longer, and success would come.


He reckoned that it couldn’t possibly do any harm. What if he got himself killed while struggling against his captors? It would only improve his lot, wouldn’t it?


With this thought in his mind, he resolved to launch one final onslaught and attempt a ‘do or die’ approach.


With hope in his heart, he issued a clarion call to all his peers asking them to throw himself against their bonds and break free. They were sceptical at first, but he managed to win them over. With a huge war cry, they broke through the barriers that had held them for so long.


It seemed unbelievable! To breathe the fresh air again, to flap his wings in the familiarity of his beautiful meadow. He uttered a shriek of delight as he flew past more of his friends enjoying themselves thus.


His cries of joy turned to those of outrage and pain. He felt a sharp beak pierce into his shoulder and turned in surprise to see someone who had been his friend trying to attack him with malevolent rage. He expressed his anguish and wondered why he was being attacked. His ‘friend’ told him that he was no longer welcome among the ‘different’ birds.


Bruised and battered, he made his way dejectedly to a distant corner of the meadow as he saw various groups of birds fighting it out with each other. Soon, he was joined by a bunch of his own kind. Angry at being shunned by the others, this group attacked whoever strayed into their territory.


It still hurt him to think about the irony of it all. When they had been slaves, they had toiled side by side and striven for freedom, and now when they were finally free, all they did was squabble amongst themselves.


But, he did not have the will to rebel against his fellows. So, he trudged on, keeping his feelings bottled just to keep his tribe happy.


Eventually, all the groups gained control over territories that they guarded fiercely. Any truant bird who strayed here or there was dealt with strictly. There was an element of mistrust in the air all the time.


Suddenly, he hit upon a fantastic idea. To protect himself and his tribe, he devised a mechanism to keep the other birds out. He would construct a barrier that prevented his tribespeople from straying out, and other tribespeople from straying in.


The others loved this idea and hailed him as their hero, their messiah. He assembled a motley gang of enthusiastic workers and set to work.


One day, the fruits of his labour were ripe. The barrier was ready. No longer would their children have to fear attacks from others, no longer would there be a chance of anyone straying. The barrier would ensure that everyone would be safe from marauders.


Exhausted but happy, he went back to his nest. After all, like every year, he had an Independence Day to celebrate.

Desolate Thoughts…

Echoing laughter,

a voice that lingers on,

crying out in anguish,

at finding you gone.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stumbling Blocks!

I was thinking that there are so many people whose blogs I’ve simply stumbled upon through links, social networks, and god knows where all.


However, if I find a blog worth reading, I don’t currently have any way of promoting it except to advertise it on facebook/orkut/gtalk. Someone suggested using the site StumbleUpon, where if you like a site you can ‘’like’ it and if you don’t, you can choose to not like it.


I think that could be a great way of sharing the right kind of content with people. What say?


If you do have a StumbleUpon account, do add me at


If you don’t, get one before you’re considered as ancient as a dinosaur!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pay it Forward

My blogger friend Scriber, comes up with some really awesome concepts. She is super talented and has a rocking sense of humour too.


One of her ideas I loved is the idea of ’paying it forward’. In her own words, here are the rules:

  • I make a handmade gift for the first three interested people who leave a comment on this post.
  • I have 365 days in which to do it. What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise!
  • The catch is that you must participate as well: you must have a blog and continue to pay it forward. Write a post on your blog about paying it forward and invite your readers to participate. Keep the fun going.
  • Anyone who is interested in receiving a hand made gift from me must provide a shipping address to me in an email.


Now, I’ll not pretend to be extraordinarily creative and say that I’ll make you the moon and the stars. But I shall be diligent and sincere and do the best I can.


I had read Scriber’s post about paying it forward earlier too, but was not quite sure of whether I’d be able to do it or not. However, I’ll give it a shot.


Are you game? :)


Edit: I would recommend that you be circumspect with giving out your address to an absolute stranger. Thanks for the observation, Megha.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Mockingbird

He was a mockingbird, a little hatchling. He had newly learnt to fly, from his parents. He dreamt - of flying to faraway lands, meeting other birds, and talking to them. He dreamt of making a nest in a faraway land. He told his parents of his wish. They were sad, but told him to go and chase his dreams and fulfil them.
One morning, he flew away. He flew over mountains, and rivers, and dense forests. He flew as far as his wings allowed him to. Tired, he stopped to rest. He found a cool stream nearby to quench his thirst. There were trees laden with exotic fruits to satisfy his hunger. There were none of the predators that his worried parents had warned him about. So, he was happy and content. He decided to stop chasing dreams, and enjoy reality for a while.

Over time, he forgot all about his dream. To him, his current surroundings seemed like paradise. He grew fat and lazy. Then, one day, he woke up to hear a new voice. The voice belonged to a beautiful sparrow. She asked him to tell her the story of his life. She made him dream once more. She made him believe in himself again.

He had his doubts, but he started readying himself for his long journey for he had begun to love the sparrow. But since he was busy regaining his strength for his journey, he was able to devote less and less time to the sparrow. Gradually, the two broke apart. One day, the sparrow flew away. He was heart-broken. He remembered all the happy times he had spent with her, and cried. He did not want to pursue his dreams alone. But, he forced himself to work hard, and prepare for his journey. He resolved to proceed on his journey alone.

He was almost ready to leave, when he heard a beautiful song. A little dove was singing a song - of sorrow and joy, of hope and despair. The song brought tears to his eyes. He requested the dove to sing to him everyday. And each day, the lovely dove would sing a special song for him. He began to look forward to listening to her each day. She became his isle in the middle of a desolate desert of emotion. Without even realizing it, he fell in love with her.

One day, when the dove sang a song that told a tale of love, he could stop himself no longer. With tears flowing from his eyes, he told her of his love for her. The dove smiled through her teary eyes, and told him that she loved him too, and wanted to be with him through his journey towards his dreams.

At the first light of dawn, they flew away together towards the horizon... towards their dreams...


Author’s Note: I wrote this close to two years ago. It’s not quite the best piece of writing I’ve done by a long shot, but it still is special to me in a unique way.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You rock my world!

Ah well, I hope the post title did not lead you astray. I was simply referring to the late night earthquake that hit Andaman yesterday. Tremors were felt in my current dwelling place of Jamshedpur too.


Since we guys were on the fourth floor, we did experience a fair bit of shuddering as compared to some of the ground floor junta who slept through it and are disgruntled because they ‘missed the fun.’


I’m just thankful that no casualties from across the country have been reported though there are warnings of tsunamis on the coast.


No, this is not meant to be a newscast updating you on the latest bit about earthquakes in India.


I guess I’m just using an earthquake as a metaphor to refer to things that are rocking my boat these days. I won’t talk about them for now, but hopefully some day I will. :)


And here’s a happy thought from the late Michael Jackson to close:

You rocked my world, you know you did
And everything I own I give (You rocked my world)
There is love you'll need to find
The one that you call mine (You rocked my world)
You rocked my world, you know you did (Girl)
And everything I own I give (I want you, girl)
There is love you'll need to find
The one that you call mine (You rocked my world)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Magnolias Still Bloom

Some friends who were going through the story suggested that I include a post which links to all the chapters in the story together, to make for easier reading. So, here goes:


Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII


Once again, I must thank all you folks who read the story and kept me going throughout. Thank you!

I have miles to go to be a better writer, though this story was one of the more satisfying pieces I have written so far.


Yes, I know it’s been another trip away from Insanity Avenue for me. However, life has been pretty busy with poor me being carpet bombed with assignments, exams, deadlines, group projects and god knows what all!


One of the highlights of the week gone by was the submission of an assignment on Gandhi. One of the Hindu scriptures, the Mahanarayana Upanishad, lists down some 12 pillars of leadership excellence. We had to evaluate Gandhi according to those pillars and comment on him.


I do have my reasons (or biases if you want to call them that) against that half-naked fakir. However, for academic purposes, I decided to be as fair to him as possible.


I don’t really consider him the architect of our freedom. In fact, personally I think we won freedom not because of Gandhi, but despite him. However, I do appreciate the fact that he was a man with an iron will, and was truthful throughout his life.


Still, I don’t think sleeping with two naked girls embracing you just so that you can prove your chastity and show the world that you shun sexual pleasures is not noble, it is sick! (Especially if one of those girls happens to be your grand niece.)


Also, my research indicated that he was not really trying to do some good when he refused to disembark from a ‘white’ compartment in South Africa. Apparently, he was just trying to protect the rights of upper caste Indians. (In fact, he wrote many letters to the South African government referring to the blacks as ‘kaffirs’.)


Agreed that he did practice penance and self-denial. However, the Upanishad says that self-denial practiced to attain some goal or purpose is ‘asuri tapas’ – meaning it is somewhat devilish or satanic. (Not exactly though, but the English language has no suitable translation there.)


One positive about him was that he was frugal and a man of few needs. He didn’t mind touring abroad in just a flimsy loincloth.


The conclusion that I reached was that being a human, he did have his set of failings and weaknesses. However, there were many positive contributions also that he made. Still, I think that ‘Father of the Nation’ is a bit too much.


Your take?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Karma, eh?

They say that a man’s ‘karma’ eventually catches up with him. It looks like mine just did.


After having ranted about Gandhi, Lord Rama, and Lord Krishna’s ahem… not so respectable activities, what happens next? We get an assignment – a 1000 words essay on Gandhi.


What’s worse is that another assignment on Lord Rama is expected to follow, sometime soon.


Hence, I think I shall reserve my comments on Krishna for the time being, lest he appears in some exam or test or maybe another assignment…

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

100 not out!

All right, folks! This is a definitive moment for this blog. You see, this post is the 100th to mark its presence on this space. Heck! 100 posts of insanity? In less than 6 months, wow!


I would like to thank my mom, my dad, my brother, my ex-roommate, the washerman, the sweeper, the guard, my profs, all you wonderful folks at Bloggersville, the stray black cat downstairs, those folks who play blaring music around and yada yada yada… *wipes tear from cheek*


I think verbal diarrhoea just manifested itself here. Or maybe narcissism, or may be both.


Anyway, let me shed the ‘Mr. Mope’ tag that has been bestowed on me by my dear pal Ramaa and talk of happier things in life. Well, firstly a clarification. I do not mope! (Though I do concede that there are some occasions when I crib. So what, huh? Don’t you? HMPH!!)


This blog had taken birth as an aimless, directionless entity that began as a whimper, and stayed shut for many months. However, a chance trip to Simlipal and Chandipur-on-sea gave it a new lease of life nearly 5 months ago, and since then the insanity has only grown.


I’ve ranted about my miserable life, dumped some amateurish pieces of writing at people, tried being funny, and sometimes just blabbered on without reason. And well, Google Analytics tells me that nearly 2700 unique visitors from all across the world have been tearing their hair apart over the last few months, having made 6000+ visits to my blog.


Thanks to Google’s eye that spies on people much like Sauron’s, I know which area you’re from, which OS you use, the name of your browser, and yes, the colour of your family dog. (The last one’s a lame joke, eh! Don’t take it too seriously. But the rest are all facts. *evil laugh*)


I didn’t know if I’d be able to post as frequently as I do now, but it’s mainly thanks to you, the readers who keep egging me on. (Your fault, ha!)


It’s been fun, and I hope to write with regularity from now on. Thanks for reading, and appreciating.


Also, another thing that’s making me happy is the launch of my own website. It’s a site dedicated to HR and can be viewed at eleventHR. It’s in collaboration with some of my friends and we intend to run it like a business. A lot of sections are still under construction but we hope to launch in about a week.


Do subscribe to it please, and share the link on your blogs too. We can do with the free publicity. :)


Meanwhile, your bouquets and brickbats will be appreciated. Keep them coming.

What lies beneath…

Beneath the confident exterior, there’s a world of insecurities.


Behind the veneer of calmness, there’s a hurricane of worries.


Beneath the rainbow of dreams, there’s a spectre of nightmares.


Behind the sardonic smile, there’s a world of sadness.


Beneath the beautiful fakeness, there’s an ugly reality.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Some random thoughts…

I’m bored of this term. I wish I could take a long vacation where I could read lots of books, write a bit, watch loads of movies, and sleep blissfully with no alarm to wake me up.


It’s good to be back to prolific blogging. About a month ago, I though I’d hit a trough that I’d never get out of. Thankfully, that’s not the case.


Ghosts of the past do come back to haunt me. I have no clue about how to exorcise them.


I see my juniors at XLRI and think of how far I’ve come in the last one year. Wow!


I wonder if Richard Bach was mistaken when he said, “Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”


I am beginning to think that this blog needs a facelift (much like my life). What say?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Life in Term IV…

It was almost a year ago, that some starry-eyed juniors watched jealously as their seniors made merry, while they themselves slogged it out in the first year of their rigorous MBA course. They dreamt of living a blissful life with fewer classes, more chilled out profs, and loads of juniors flocking around them for those elusive bits of gyaan.


Today, those same starry-eyed folks are bleary-eyed seniors watching jealously as their juniors make merry, while they themselves slog it out in the second year of their rigorous MBA course. They dream of living a blissful life with fewer classes, more chilled out profs, and no juniors flocking around for scraps of gyaan.


Now, you might want to sagaciously add that ‘The grass is greener on the other side’ but I’d warn you against it. After all, we might be bleary-eyed seniors, but we’re not cows hankering after green grass. (On a personal note, I’m not a junkie who is looking for grass of the other kind either… ahem!)


If one had truckloads of work in previous terms, now it has got magnified to mountain loads. What with subjects like Managerial Ethics and Global Business Turnaround.


In fact, I still feel that we don’t need tutoring in ethics. If I’m already ethical, the course won’t be of much help, and if I’m willing to stretch my integrity like a rubber band, well, no prof who is advocating ‘the greater good of the greater number’ is going to be useful to me. (Unless of course, I’m the kind who will guffaw at the naivety of the poor, ethical morons.)


As far as Global Turnaround goes, I had walked into the class with visions of me stepping out of a black Mercedes, immaculately clad in an Armani suit, sporting Gucci glasses, and talking incessantly on my Vertu, into a board room. And there, some of my minions – all these senior vice-presidents and global heads of operations fellows would listen in rapt attention while I narrated my strategy to get companies like GM and Ford back on track and the world out of the recession.


Alas! That was to remain a fond dream as I slogged it out with reading lengthy articles on ‘urban blight’ and making assignments on ‘revitalizing Jamshedpur.’ Aargh!!


Perhaps, the administrators included a course on Indian Philosophy and Leadership Excellence (IPLE) just to counter the violent thoughts conjured by some of the other courses. Well, we’re studying the Holy Geeta, some parts of the ancient scriptures, and also how despite his promsicuity early on, Lord Krishna was a transformational leader. So what, if he resorted to a few underhanded tactics to win the Mahabharata war? After all, ‘Winning is not everything, it is the only thing!’ Also, we read about how Lord Ram refused to take his wife’s word on her chastity, but is still to be revered as a great leader of men (and monkeys? :O).


Another character that I rather object to is Mahatma Gandhi. I might be ruffling a few feathers by saying so, but I think we give too much credit to that one man for our independence. He may have been a major contributor, but ‘Father of the Nation’? Oh, please!! Of course, of course. He was leading the nation to victory over the Brits, and so what if he neglected his own family, right? After all, ‘the greater good of the greater number’… BAH!


Anyway, I think I shall leave you to read my ramblings and comment (hopefully) while I study the Geeta for a test tonight.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Three Things In Life…

I opened an old mail dating back to 2004 and saw that my email signature had a quote that I totally loved.


There are three things in life: earning, learning, and yearning.

I think it’s a beautiful thought. What do you think?

The ABC tag…

Dear readers, you can accuse me of narcissism for creating this post. But, how could I deny you the pleasure of reading ‘The ABC of me’? Of course, even if you do believe that I am narcissistic, you should write to Roshmi and accuse her of letting loose that streak in me (again).


Anyway, so let’s give my itchy fingers some rest, and without blabbering too much, I shall get going!


Here are the rules:

a) Link the person who tagged you. (Check one completed)

b) Post the rules on your blog. (That’s precisely what I’m doing!)

c) Share the ABCs of you. (In due course of time…)

d) Tag 3 people at the end of your post by linking to them. (NOOO! Don’t run away yet! Puh-lease…)

e) Let the 3 people know of the tag by leaving them comments.

f) Do not tag the original ‘tagger’. (After all, you wouldn’t want to read another set of ABCs about the same person, right?)


Here’s the ABC of me then…

A – Available/Single? Would it suffice to say that somewhere mid-way is where I am? :D
B – Best friend? Riya
C – Cake or Pie? Now that’s a real dilemma! Can’t I have both? Please…
D – Drink of choice? Thums Up
E – Essential item you use every day? Dell Inspiron 1525
F – Favorite colour? Red
G – Gummy Bears Or Worms? Yikes! What the hell is this? But if I had really wanted worms, I’d have been an early bird, which I’m not. Hence, the answer is Gummy bears.
H – Hometown? The City Beautiful - Chandigarh
I – Indulgence? Sleep (which I’m getting lesser and lesser of…. *yawn*)
J – January or February? Are you selling me calendars? Dumb question! Anyway, February it is.
K – Kids & their names? Not applicable
L – Life is incomplete without? K (Stringent privacy regulations prevent disclosure of name here.)
M – Marriage date? You mean what date I’d like to get married on, right? *sigh* Any day’s a good day!
N – Number of siblings? One
O – Oranges or Apples? Oranges
P – Phobias/Fears? No fear is the name of the game! Ha!
Q – Quote for today? Richard Bach’s “Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?”
– Reason to smile? Do I need one?
S – Season? Autumn
T – Tag 3 People? Of course! I’ll make sure others also get to answer some dumb questions. :D 
U – Unknown fact about me? I can’t sing to save my life. (Of course, if you ask my neighbour, he’ll vehemently protest and say that the fact is not unknown in the least.)
V – Vegetable you don't like? I am an animal lover… meat is the way to go! 
W – Worst habit? Procastination – I never put off till tomorrow whatever I can put off till next week.
X – X-rays you've had? This question deserves the ‘WTF’ prize – by the author of this post, for being utterly dumb and irrelevant. (Btw, I have had too many X-rays to count.)
Y – Your favorite food? I could write volumes about favourite foods. But let’s say ‘Rajma Chawal’ and leave it at that. 
Z – Zodiac sign? I am an Aquarian – the water bearer.


I Tag... in Alphabetical Order: Aparna, Choco and Nikita. Ladies, get going!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Great Escape…

I know, I know! I’ve been missing for too long from this space. Well, if I hadn’t gone away, would you have missed me? Obviously not. (I’m making the gargantuan assumption that you did miss your favourite blogger*, so just play along puh-lease, ok?)


*This is another assumption, within an assumption. So, I presume that my programmer friends will call this a nested assumption. :D


On Roshmi’s demand, I’m posting a picture of the escaped convict look that I mentioned in an earlier post. I’m nowhere close to my handsomest best**, I guess, but presentable enough, right?


**Now now! You’re pushing things a bit too far. That is certainly not an assumption, for God’s sake!


The Dark Lord


I shall expect you to be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise’. If not, then I shall rightfully presume that you’re still from the Jurassic era and have not had the chance to thumb through Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to win friends and influence people’.


P.S. This post is called ‘The Great Escape’ for two reasons:

a) The pic should give you some idea of what an escaped convict ought to look like. (Believe me, the chocolatey folks you see in Prison Break are not real. The ruggedness of the pic above has to be seen to be believed.)

b) I managed to escape the drudgery of daily chores to make this post. Yay!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Surreal Dreams…

I sit beside the shore of the sea,

and hear the waves sigh.

I look at the stars shining so,

in the moon kissed sky.


I smile at the antics,

of the frivolous frolicking fawn.

And marvel at the coming,

of yet another beautiful dawn.


A teardrop escapes my eye,

as I hear the beautiful lark sing.

Thinking about you,

I let my dreams take wing.


I'm can’t enjoy the dreamy surreality,

and I don’t cease to wonder why.

There's so much life around,

and yet....deep inside I die....

Comfortably Numb

I think I’ve mentioned before that sometimes songs get stuck in my head and keep replaying themselves like a broken record would do.


For the last couple of days, there’s been a song that just refuses to budge from my sleep-deprived, caffeine-kicked brain. I don’t know if I can really relate to it at this point of time, but it sure does seem so. Here’s the video link to it:



Linkin Park’s raw lyrics seem to capture everything I feel at this moment of time. Here are the words to the song:


I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface
I don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes

(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Can't you see that you're smothering me?
Holding too tightly, afraid to lose control
’Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you

(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)

And every second I waste is more than I can take

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do

Is be more like me and be less like you

And I know I may end up failing too
But I know you were just like me
With someone disappointed in you

I've become so numb I can't feel you there

Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I'm tired of being what you want me to be
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I'm tired of being what you want me to be

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Call me a narcissist if you want to, but this post is dedicated to ME. Obviously, someone as talented, brilliant, and superb does deserve at least one post, right?


Well, the entire idea of this post is not just to praise myself to the high heavens. (Though of course, that will keep happening intermittently.)


I can’t believe it’s been just two weeks since I got back to the beautiful XLRI campus. For the first few days, it was tough getting used to the sultry heat of Jamshedpur, after the beautiful climes of Bangalore. (I appreciate ‘sultriness’ in certain other forms (wink wink) but surely not in the weather.)


However, what added to the excitement was the presence of 240 new juniors. It sure is a good feeling to attain the status of an all-knowing, wise, exalted senior. (Little do those poor newbies know that we seniors are not so wise and intelligent after all.)


And what has been killing me is the fact that I have zillions of classes each day, loads of assignments and projects, juniors to mentor, and of course my Placement Committee work. I totally enjoy the last bit – all the thrills, spills, and grills (you get the picture, right?). Of course, it keeps me occupied for long, but then as long as I enjoy it, that’s good enough, I guess.


Another significant incident that took place this week was that I finally picked up enough courage to express my love to a girl. I’d been trying to say it for weeks. Sadly enough, she gave me the ‘Golden Boot’. But, she and I stay good friends, and that does matter. Significantly.


The coming week promises to be even tougher, and if you could just see the bleary-eyed, wild-haired, unshaven writer of this post, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking that he bears a rather striking resemblance to an escaped convict.


I’ve been meaning to join the gym to get rid of the camel-esque storage of resources that I’ve been carrying with me. However, time just seems to fly by each day, and by the time I pause in my busy schedule, most of the day is already gone.


I may soon start showing signs of narcolepsy, if the schedule doesn’t ease up…..zzzzzzzzzzzzz….

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Books and Beyond…

This is not a promotional campaign for the store. It’s a tag on some of my favourite books, passed on to me by Roshmi.


The rules are: "Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag up to 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose."


1. Macbeth – Shakespeare’s characters are horrifyingly real. The image of Lady Macbeth trying to wash blood off her hands is a powerful metaphor.


2. Winning – It’s a joy to read Jack Welch’s insights into business. He avoids too much of jargon, and writes stuff that is awesomely readable. For any aspiring manager, this book ought to be one of the top-reads.


3. The Bartimaeus trilogy - (comprising The Amulet of Samarkand, Golem’s Eye, and Ptolemy’s Gate) This chap called Bartimaeus (henceforth called Barty) has an awesome sense of humour. Jonathan Stroud wrote this book for teens, but I think Barty’s wisecracks would have anyone in splits.


4. HMS Ulysses – If there’s one author whose war novels are irresistible, it is Alistair Maclean. I love the way he writes about war because you learn to not take sides. You don’t subscribe to the conventional notion of the holier-than-thou Allies and the evil Axis powers. All the killing that happens in incidental, and is almost regretted by the author. I rate this book better than ‘The Guns of Navarone’.


5. The Lord of the Rings – If you hadn’t guessed it already, I’m a sucker for the fantasy genre. (I guess the real world is just too brutal and ‘unreal’ sometimes.) Tolkien’s masterpiece is one of my favourites in fantasy. The entire realm of dwarves, elves, hobbits, ents, orcs, men and what not is simply magical!


6. Illusions – Richard Bach’s book is like a bible. Whenever in doubt, one could just flip it open, read the few insights on the page, and draw an entirely new meaning out of the words, than one did last time. Simple, flowing and poetic…


7. Murder on the Orient Express – The queen of crime, Agatha Christie weaves a plot that leaves one gasping for breath till the tense finale. It has to be one of THE best murder mysteries that I’ve read.


8. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish – A compilation of entrepreneurship stories, by Rashmi Bansal of JamMag fame, this is an inspiration for any budding entrepreneur.


9. Gerrard – The autobiography of one of the best footballers of our era, and my favourite player – Steven Gerrard of Liverpool. It is awesome to read about the 2005 Champions League final and see what was going through the minds of the players as they made one of the most historic turnarounds in the history of football to win the club. You’ll never walk alone!!


10. Atlas Shrugged – The masterfully crafted characters, the impeccably woven storyline, hold you spellbound as you are taken in by Ayn Rand and her theory of objectivism. Wonderful reading!


11. Brave New World – I wrote about this book earlier, and I find the satire created by Aldous Huxley both amusing and horrifying at the same time. It is terrifying to think of the lengths to which our society goes, in order to build conformity.


12. To Kill a Mockingbird – This has to be one of the best books ever written. Scout is a wonderful story-teller, and all characters like Atticus, Jem, and even Boo Radley are nicely fleshed out. Fluid and subtle, this is a wonderful book.


13. The Tale of Two Cities – The lines ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’ are immortal. I seriously salute Mr. Dickens for this book. I read David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Hard Times, Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations, but this book is simply incomparable. Fabulous job, Mr. Dickens! Take a bow. :)


14. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad writes about imperialism, the brutality heaped upon African ‘natives’, and how greed ruled the colonial powers. The horror of what man can do to another man for a few pieces of gold is shocking.


15. The Count of Monte Cristo – A tale of love, lust, betrayal and revenge is that this book is to me. Alexandre Dumas brings out the transformation of the innocent and naive Edmond Dante into the cold, calculating, suave Count beautifully. The best part is that he does not kill off the love Dante had for Mercedes. Even after coming back as the Count, Dante still dotes on the lovely Mercedes. In fact, Stephen King’s ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ also draws some loose parallels with this book.


Now, I get to decide who should be tagged for this. I choose to tag Carol, Floreta, Neha, Harshad, Himanshu, Ram, and Scriber for now. Of course, I’m supposed to tag Roshmi again. I’ll think of tagging more of you soon.