Images from the Placement week

Right now, I am at Shelters resort near Mahabalipuram. Placement week starts in a few hours. We started this afternoon from college, to arrange for the logistics at the resort. Right now, have started work, but came back to freshen up, and get some tea and hot pakodas.

Thats my beach facing room where I am staying right now.

Its been a couldy evening so far, and I can hear the silence of the resort punctured by the raucous sound of the waves behind the resort.

Keep cued into my blog for more updates.
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40 Hours to Placement Week

Its been a busy week, which has seen a lot of activity, and we are now down to the final stages of preparation. The Placement committe met yesterday and had a final jotting down on companies that were coming to campus. One or 2 last minute pull outs, some last minute insertions, managing the schedule of slotting companies, and sending resumes. I see people who are tense, people who are cool, and some who dont know how to react, to the enormity of the task at hand, as the tangible benefit of the PGPM course is all set to be had in some 40 odd hours. I myself havent prepared on any subject, and have been trying to figure out, how do i distract the interviewer to ask questions only that I like. I should be trying to jot down some notes from saturday night for some key subjects that I have flaunted as my area of interest in the resume. Its a little easier going into placement week, as I observe that having one pre placement offer, from the company I have interned, largely makes you feel, as this is just another event.

I am all set to attend my engineering college Alumni meet today and also attend the Lucky Ali and Karthik music show at Saarang, later this evening.


T.N.Seshan Joins Great Lakes as a Permanent Faculty

T N Seshan, the fiery former election commissioner of India, has joined Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai as a full time faculty. He took his introductory class on January 21.Mr. Seshan shall be teaching a course on Leadership at Great Lakes called Leadership, Influence and Managing power from February.

The 10th Chief Election Commissioner of India, T.N. Seshan served in office between December 1990 and December 1996. Born in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, he is known for his introduction of many electoral reforms and his uprightness. Prior to his stint as the CEC, he served as the Director, Ministry of Atomic Energy; Joint Secretary, Ministry of Space; Secretary, Department of Agriculture; Government of Tamil Nadu; Member (Personnel), Oil & Natural Gas Commission(ONGC), Additional Secretary, Ministry of Space, Cabinet Secretary and many other posts.
During his stint as the CEC, he came in confrontation with many politicians because of his strong desire to ensure free and fair elections in many parts of the country. He contested for the post of President of India in 1997, where he lost to K.R. Narayanan. He was awarded the Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 1996.He has been active even after retirement, founding the Deshbhakt Trust, an NGO devoted to social reforms in India.

The founder dean of Great Lakes Dr. Bala Balachandran was present at the occasion of Mr Sheshan’s introductory lecture.

At Great Lakes there was a palpable excitement among students and all of them were looking forward for the course to formally begin. The introductory class was listened to with rapt attention. The Lecture can be heard at this location on the web.


100 hours to Placement- Part 6

Birthday Cake all over Rishikesh Sinha, as Anubhav seems consoling him, to leave the last bit of Chocolate cake for him.

Abhishek Rai and Himanshu Pahuja, exchanging pleasantries! (errrr.....!!!!)

Vibhor, with the ruins of the "cake battle". His glasses were quashed in the mad cake melee
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100 Hours Before Placements-Part 5

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100 Hours to Placement-Part 4

Talk about Yuppy Onsite Dreams to USA!

Shweta Reddy dozing over business news!

Shweta Reddy trying her best to come over dozing at the Library. Funny antics a'int it?

2 in the morning, and some people never get tired!
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100 Hours to Placement Season-Part 3

Pravar Saxena, seems more bothered about hefty biceps and abs, as a method to cool off before placements

Sudhir has his goals for corporate life, LOUD and CLEAR!

Prakritish, generally a Travel/Audio/Movies freak, has changed for the call of the moolah.
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Placement Season-100 Hours to Go- Part 2

Swaminathan, seems to be making last ditch efforts to collect more xerox copies of notes,while also simultaneously slogging out as part of the admission comittee.

Jaideep Chanda generally doesnt make sense, when he reads a book, as he gives me hot competition to doze off, but since moolah is at stake, JD is all about Brands, and would love to sell himself as the self proclaimed progeny of Kotler.

Karthikeyan, seems to be pissed about something, as he chats with friends over careers in the Financial domain
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100 Hours Before Placement Season!-Part 1

Even I have started to visist the library, as I need to get some gnyaan on Marketing.

After Nihit did his internship at Fashion Networks, he seems to have learnt to
pose like a model

Akash Vaze, seems to be sunk in the wave of the Sensex crashing, and is keeping track of what stocks to sell and buy.
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Placement Week! in a 157 hours

This is that time of the year, that every one has been waiting for. The mercenary part of the MBA shows itself up. Every one is immersed in his/her own world, imagining numbers and fat perks and great profiles. Some are thinking of the loan to be paid back, while some are willing to compromise their ego's in getting a better profile, by having a lower salary. There are others who have their ego's as their benchmark for salaries, while some eye all the locations of the target company, other than India. I remember when Infy BPO came for the pre placement talks, I was curious about what domain operates out of Mauritius, and pat came a stern looking reply that it was their Disaster Recovery centre..tch tch...not an MBA job at a disaster recovery centre.

I am not too cued in on going abroad, but woudlnt mind, if I have assignments on Honolulu or Jamaica. I guess I am the only one cooling my heels and playing Cricket 2007, when I time off from placecom work, as all others immerse themselves in putting on a serious/studious make up for a week to blow the socks of interviewers. 157 hours to placement week, as I write this post, so the countdown begins. I will be taking some sneak preview pictures this week, to record the placement week blues.


Congrats Medini!

It feels good when a close friend makes it to the big stage. I am speaking about MEDINI MANGALA, one of my friends from CLINIC ALL CLEAR DREAM JOB -2. After her rather unceremonious ouster under reality show madness, during the quiz round on the show, she has made it big by joining Cricinfo. She hosts this show called Cricinfo Talk where she chats with former players after the end of the day's play. I knew how bad she felt, after being ousted out, as she was someone who came to DREAM JOB with that passion to speak cricket. After hearing her on Cricinfo Talk, it feels really good to see a fellow compatriot doing well.

Tam Hyprocrism-Shriya Falls Prey!

(Shriya at Sivaji 150th Day Show)

Tamil Nadu, a Land of Culture and Traditions- It sure is, but a few folks take it too seriously and we have a new concoction called Hypocracy. There are some folks in Tamil Nadu, who I just cant digest, in terms of the level of hypocrism displayed. The latest incident being, the Shriya Saran case, when she came to a Sivaji Silver jubilee function in an attire ' not beffitting Tamil Culture'.

If Tamil culture can tolerate Shakila,Namitha and Silk Smitha in their sensual innuendos and that can not be ascribed to vulgar culture, then why this stray incident against Shriya. The Tamil politicians and a section of society literally pilloried Khusbhoo on her statements on sexuality a couple of years back. Khusbhoo, as a citizen was well withing her rights to express her views, and that too on a phenomenen that was very well known. Its just that some TAMS pose as hypocrists and start to critisize.

God Save us


Cribbing me? Never Again

How much ever I crib against the lack of time for doing all my actvities properly, I seem to have fallen in love with the fast paced life at B school. I was home today for a grand sunday brunch, and fell asleep for 5 hours after that. After I got up, I felt guilty... never had I slept so much continously in a day.(Though I still seem to doze off during class, without much effort).

I seem to feel unchallenged if I am sitting empty, just vegetating. I have a few plans starting tommorow to be more mentally agile at B school and also be more efficient in managing goals and plans. Lets see how the week kicks off. Its back to the all night slog week, with placement season nearing at Great Lakes.

Back to work...


Ten on Ten for Aamir Khan

Taare Zameen Par was one of the best movies seen in recent times. The movie connected me with my childhood days and it was like going through a time machine.When the movie starts, the teacher spells out marks and when Darsheel Safary's marks come out, It was a surreal experience travelling back a few years to my life. It wasnt a long time back, that my report card had not so great marks, and my parents wondered why was that I never managed to excel in subjects of logic like Maths Physics Chemistry while I weathered the storm of Biology(slowly getting better), and rode like a colossus in language based subjects like Hindi and English at School. Single digit marks out of 25, seems like rewinding 10 years back.

TAARE ZAMEEN PAR when advertised, looks like a kiddo film, but as the story unfolds, you realize that the story peeps into the mind and heart of a kid, his interests, his hobbies, his strengths and weaknesses. If you have ever been like that before, It makes an ever bigger impact on you as the movie unfolds. I will give a detailed review in the next post, but for now am delving into a bit of the connect I saw between my life and the movie. Dont expect anything great below, just a few ruminations from my side, on my life so far.

As a kid till class 12, I had been a latch key kid, and being alone most of the while, I experimented with a lot of naughty things in the house, from innocent things like wanting to feel how an electric shock looks like, to pointing a topless picture in a magazine to my mother and asking " why is she puppy shame" ? My world was always a make believe world that was either playing book cricket, playing cricket with a plastic scale and a miniature rubber ball, or immersing myself in THE SPORTSTAR. I never cared for what others thought of me, as my hobbies and needs were different. Folks in school found me funny and an object of laughter as I innocently seemed the first guy to get involved in any kind of comic trouble. Why did I never care? Probably it was the impact that make believe world had on me. I would feel itchy, if I didnt play my dose of vernadah cricket, and those were the days when India woke up to flood lit cricket and third umpires, and I switched on 5 of the neighbours 60 watt bulbs to make the light for night cricket with Green and Red cardboard cut outs for third umpire. People thought I was a mad kid, with misplaced priorities.

My parents would be most worried that their son, was not going anywhere towards being a top ranker or someone who even seemed studious. They had their reasons for being cross, as I never seemed to put efforts towards studying for Maths or science, as I dreaded them. As soon as I started studying I would see crazy dreams of theorems and axioms coming and asking me to chase them around my apartment. The problem started to happen when I realised that my interest in cricket was also taking me nowhere as I didnt get selected in the under 13 Tamil Nadu Trials. I was a decent pace bowler, who was just too innocent for the hard competitive game of cricket, and some of my cricket team mates took advantage of this, by taking most of the oppurtunities leaving me little laurels except a honest love for the game, but that doesnt take you anywhere, so I decided to opt out of cricket and concentrate on studies.

I was in this huge fix, on what to do, and when I made a trek to the Himalayas in 1997(Kangra Valley) with my classmates, I found that even though I was skinny, I had more energy to trek through the mountains day long, and when I saw that I was better than a few of my classmates on that trip, I asked myself how could this be possible...that I was better than them in any field, and it was then that we had a guide who spoke about mental attitudes and toughness required to climb mountains. I dont clearly remember what got into my head, but I decided that I will work harder on the dreaded MCP trio, and with concious efforts in class 10, I managed decent marks in the trio, and suprised quite a few people. That was my moral first victory in life, and as life moved on, I realised that quizzing was also my forte, winning many quizzes in 11th and 12th and that added a lot of confidence to life, and also discovered that public speaking was also an area of strength. Life just needs one instance of "confidence boosters" to try and enthusiastically start looking for more such instances. One led to another and life changed over the next 7 years, until I landed in Infosys as a Software engineer.

My greatest respects for the company, but as time moved on I realised that I couldnt code for nuts and when coding assignments were given, I usually finished last in completing my work. I was willing to put efforts to get past this barrier in life, but the stress factor of doing something against the will of the heart was too much for me. Every day while travelling in the Infy bus, I was staring bleakly outside the window, feeling guilty that I was in the best Indian company, but couldnt code for nuts. Every Tom Dick and Harry seemed to code, and I could hardly do that. This led to a phase where it started eating into my confidence, and with an absolutely selfish team that I landed with, they made sure my mental state went from bad to worse, when they tried playing politics at work. Life probably was not so rosy, in a software company unless you enjoyed the work. Comparing it to Taare Zameen Par, it looked I had coding dyslexia and could never figure out how to get around the problem. I distanced myself from most friends, as they would talk about their coding adventures at lunch, and thats the last ting you want to hear when your confidence is like a weak flag about to be uprooted in a storm.

Was there something wrong with me? Hmm possibly yes and no.. I had won a few intra BU events and that seemed to convince me that I was still normal, and not mentally unstable as my team lead pointed out :-). Add to that the pressures of competing for CAT, I had virtually no time for spending a few minutes with myself. Somehow over a cup of tea, by accident, I met the CEO of Sulekha.com and got a job at Sulekha as a Channel Manager, and did things that I had only dreamt of in the last few years. I was back to my creative best, and enjoyed working long nights as work was more about enjoying the moments there. I lived every moment until further roadblocks came...but that changed my life for ever. After that quite a few things have happened that in some small way have given me fame and respect, and I am fully aware of my strengths and weaknesses today and thanks to the MBA program, you start realising the power of attitude in taking where you want,as you nose your way through the maze of ego's and networking to the top. Life is good, and feels even better when I see Taare Zameen Par, which seems in a small way, a reflection into my troubled past :-) and I keep reminding myself, however ordinary I am, I must believe that doing the extraordinary is possible. Life is looking good :-)


Loosen Up!

Midnight binges of finance books and discussions on derivatives, seem to dominate one set of classrooms, while the other class rooms have smaller group giving the last minute touches for the assignments in ERP, while the HR students seem to be involved in some activity, as the class room floor is strewn with straws and origami designs. It seems like a battlefield that is active at all times, except between 6 am and 7 am, when silence prevails as students use this time to head back to the rooms and get some rest. The last few days have been tense, running from one assignment to the other, burning the midnight oil for the finishing touches to the CGPA's before the placement season starts. Hunger and sleep seem to be my main issues, as too many cases and promises stack up. I feel like a over worked battery that has lost the enjoyment in the MBA program.

I just rewound life over the past 3 years . I was dyslexic to coding at Infy, and after 14 months of confidence taking a beating, I decided to quit Infy and join a job that allowed me to breathe. Sulekha seemed the right panacea, but at as time wore on, the enjoyment in the job was slowly getting lesser, due to some politics played by some higher mandarins of power. I battled on challenging myself parallely with CAT and GMAT preparation and finally reached a stage when I again reached a stage where I wanted to breathe again. CAT and GMAT didnt go as well as I wanted it.

I got a new lease of life with an employment in Delhi, but that was shortlived as the Great Lakes MBA call came along after the Otto Beishem admit fell through due to visa delays in a student schengen visa. April to January, I have run this race and discovered some great friends, some free loaders, some brainy nuts and in the process have observed like a passenger observes for hours at a station, with trains one by one passing him, to the extent that he doesnt even remember which train passes, but just remembers that the chillness of the air, when the train passed was an experience to cherish.

Now Cases and assignments dont really get me started all up. I have taken in too many things and am just waiting for a break, but as soon as I get a one day break, the feeling of guilt breakes through, as some case/assignment would lie staring at me. Nor have I got peace nor have the assignments got my attention fully.

There is a sense of tension in the air, as the mind is mentally prepared to adjust to the workload that the excel file instructs to complete, and sometimes a sense of resignation too. For the past 2 days, I had taken some long walks around the campus area into saidapet, with the music on, and that seemed to have cooled my frayed nerves. Frankly that's the best part of the 24 hours that I look forward to thinking about a make believe world, with the songs buzzing in the ear, as I walk along.... thinking about what I want to do about my life.

Life poses many questions with many unfinished ambitions and desires, all of which takes a back seat, during the mad-helter-skelter life at B school. Am I working more hard to get more of this in the years to come? Sometimes when I ask myself this question, I go numb, as the more I work at things that dont exactly give me time to breathe, I go claustrophobic and the small break becomes the whole object of reward for the work, which ultimately affects the work and the break. I spend the whole day wondering why some crazy bunch of CEO's took some path breaking decisions, and suggest ways to break the problem, by some obscure imaginative reasoning, but when the same applies to decisions in my life I just freeze.

What decisions you may ask? Its like a fight between ego, fame, ambitions and the risk factors and the monetary factors. Newer factors get added....to add to the confusion, when life presents with you with too many options. Strange isnt it? You come to the MBA program to have more options and when you have more options in life, it leads to even more chaos when it comes to choosing. I anyway take decisions based on gut feel in the end, after worrying days over it, so I guess nothing new this time around.

Just feel better penning my frustrations. I guess all this would be laughed at when I take a look at this post 2 years later. Thats life... you keep progressing from one state to another, but the catch is that the problems increase in magnitude too :-). So that pretty much means I have to loosen up for the final leg of this 1 year race. I am 75% complete with the MBA....


A New Email Forward doing the Rounds!

New rules to be adopted By ICC....

(1) Ricky Ponting – (THE TRULY GENUINE CRICKETER OF THE CRICKET ERA AND WHOSE INTEGRITY SHOULD NOT BE DOUBTED ) should be considered as the FOURTH UMPIRE. As per the new rules, FOURTH UMPIRE decision is final and will over ride any decisions taken by any other umpires. ON-FIELD umpires can seek the assistance of RICKY PONTING even if he is not on the field. This rule is to be made, so that every team should understand the importance of the FOURTH UMPIRE.

(2) While AUSTRALIAN TEAM is bowling, If the ball flies anywhere close to the AUSTRALIAN FIELDER(WITHIN 5 metre distance) , the batsman is to be considered OUT irrelevant of whether the catch was taken cleanly or grassed. Any decision for further clarification should be seeked from the FOURTH UMPIRE. This is made to ensure that the cricket is played with SPORTIVE SPIRIT by all the teams.

(3) While BATTING, AUSTRALIAN players will wait for the ON-FIELD UMPIRE decisions only (even if the catch goes to the FIFTH SLIP as the ball might not have touched the bat). Each AUSTRALIAN batsman has to be out FOUR TIMES (minimum) before he can return to the pavilion. In case of THE CRICKETER WITH INTEGRITY, this can be higher.

(4) UMPIRES should consider a huge bonus if an AUSTRALIAN player scores a century. Any wrong decisions can be ignored as they will be paid huge bonus and will receive the backing of the AUSTRALIAN team and board.

(5) All AUSTRALIAN players are eligible to keep commenting about all players on the field and the OPPONENT TEAM should never comment as they will be spoiling the spirit of the AUSTRALIAN team. Any comments made in any other language are to be considered as RACIALISM only.

(6) MATCH REFREE decisions will be taken purely on the AUSTRALIAN TEAM advices only. Player views from the other teams decisions will not be considered for hearing. MATCH REFREES are to be given huge bonus if this rule is implemented.

(7) NO VISITING TEAM should plan to win in AUSTRALIA. This is to ensure that the sportive spirit of CRICKET is maintained.

(8) THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE : If any bowler gets RICKY PONTING - "THE UNDISPUTED CRICKETER WITH INTEGTIRY IN THE GAME OF CRICKET" more than twice in a series, he will be banned for the REST OF THE SERIES.

This is to ensure that the best batsman/Captain will be played to break records and create history in the game of CRICKET.

These rules will clarify better to all the teams VISITING AUSTRALIA

Crossing The Ball of Fire!

The Placement season is nearing, 20 odd days remain for me to salvage some lost pride over the MBA I have slept over. In these 20 days, I will also solve irrelevant cases, do some crazy assignments, make B plans, do pre reading wherever possible, do my consulting assignment for the place where I interned, type and co author a research report with a Harvard pass out and an MD of a US firm, attend Pre Placement Talks, assist in the placecom activities and in between all this also make my fundamentals slightly better to get a job. I see the next 20 days and literally stare at the multitude of tasks remaining and the consistent quality of output that is required to make every activity worthwile. It should remain the ball of fire, for me, as I have fundamentally remained a lazy bum, all through my life, with weekends devoted to hedonistic activities like lying on bed, reading magazines, and watching Television.

After some interaction with alumni, during our alum meet last saturday, I have realised that my analysis of employment has not been well thought of, and it requires far greater understanding of the subject as well as the market. It looks as if I have suddenly woken up to the magnitude of things piling up, and this will actually be an acid test for me to go beyond just planning. Its about execution in these few days that will decide the course of life for the next few years. So even as I jot my tasks down on outlook with reminders, hunger pangs reminds me that I havent had proper food through the day...which was littered between a quick noodles in the morning, to some awful lunch at college and some not so good Vadas at the nearby Tea shop.

Time for dinner....


Holiday, Mr Bucknor? Try Jamaica not the Randwick End

Steve Bucknor, left me with adjectives..fuming out of my mouth, from the time he made some ludicrus decisions against India. Steve Bucknor, till a few years back, was one of the most respected umpires, until he started giving some crazy decisions from his stubborn self. The first "shocker" from Bucknor came when I was a jumping jack in class 5, 1992, where Javagal Srinath's direct hit, had Jonty Rhodes, short of his ground at Johannesburg, and Bucknor's ego told him not to move his hands animatedly towards the umpire watching the idiot box.

Steve Bucknor with a 120 matches, must realise its time to move on, as such stubborness in not referring to the third umpire is certainly not the way to go about when so much of Technology is available. Umpire Mark Benson, too played his part by contributing his chunk of errors towards compounding India's misfortunes. It'all the more heartburn as these decisions stand in way between a victory and a devesatting defeat.

There have been some marked men in the past, who have been India's nemesis in the past like Darrel Hair, Asoka De Silva and Bucknor-Benso combo seem to be fighting it out to compete in the India Nemesis Team-Of the men in white coats(Alright! its a T shirt Now). Mr Bucknor, you are ageing, and its time you move on before more disgrace covers you in shame. Your eyes have enough vision to saunter around the Jamaican beaches to have a lovely retirement, basking in the glory of your service to cricket as one of the most longstanding umpires. This isnt the time for you to alternate every 4 minutes between the Randwick and Brewlongle stands at the SCG.

And what happens to me??? Damn I invested 8 hours... at a time when my compatriots are busy burning midnight oil over assigments cases and placement related issues, and all I get is Ponting and Gilchrist showing their fingers at television, as if bad mouthing the avid Indian fan. Frustration it certainly is, and how much ever, India loses, who knows even on placement day, I would spend the minute before my interview sending a message to 57333 for the cricket scores.



Cricketing Memories

12 Years back as a student in Class 8, I was watching this match on New Years Day. Incidentally that was the time when ESPN came into the Indian Sports Televesion Market(95/96) and started giving Prime Sports a run for its money(Star Sports was called Prime Sports then).

Those days were the days before pinch hitting became assosiated with most teams. Pinch hitting was seen only as a strategy tool in key matches like world cups before it became the norm. Pinch hitting was brought into focus by Greatbatch for NZ in the 92 WC, after India adopted it i 94 with Sachin, and then in 96 when Jayasuriya and Kalu took the world by storm( They started in 95, but became famous only in the 96 WC).

Anyways...Happy new year to readers of this Blog, and enjoy the match in the youtube link. Its hard to believe that its more than a decade since this match happened. I am getting old :-)

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