December 26, 2005

Airport ordeals & the festive season

Fog has crippled Delhi airport. Or is it a scapegoat?? Dunno, but whatever it is, I was made to wait for a lifetime, the logistics at the counters, boarding pass counter, security checks and other formalities was so long I was pooped by the time I boarded my flight. But that wasnt the end of it. We had to wait for a full 2 hours more till we got permission for take off.

Travelled by Air Deccan for the first time. The interiors look almost like a Mumbai local with ads springing all over the place. The pilot openly admitted to reporting 'false data' to the control tower so that we could get an advantage in take-off position over the other planes. Apparently they could not handle the load. Bad crisis management I must say. Anyways, me was on one lucky flight which made it Mumbai at precisely 8:30 pm. A enthusiastic taxi driver then displayed some Formula driving skills to help me make it home at 10:00 pm. Placecoms training in quick dressing came in handy as I was bathed, out and into fresh clothes and made it to the service in time.

Was a tired day at the end of it all. Couldnt help it. Was lucky that I was one of the few people to leave Delhi. Praise God for that. Thats it from here. Today (26th) is Mama's and Daddy's anniversary. 27th is another party and so on... The celebrations and the festive season has just begun!!!

December 24, 2005

Urs Foggingly and byebye for a week

Yesterday Term 2 ended. I am now roughly 32 per cent of an MBA. As I evaluate myself on the huge costs (opportunity and real) that I have incured over the past 6 months, I ponder on the learnings (Cudn't help it fellow ManDevIans... WAC ka bhoot utara nahi hai!!!).

1) MBA is about making shit look like hot shit.
2) The faster you understand and implement point 1 above the higher will your Grade Point Average (GPA) and hence CGPA be, and the less expectations will you have, and consequently your satisfaction will be maximised.
3) Recruiters dont give a damn to how many Balance Sheets you balanced, how many models you optimised, what strategy you proposed (for the googled project you did for an MNC which you dint even visit once), what is your understanding of human resource mgmt, what is the positioning of the crap that FMCG companies generate, your exposition on world economics,.... and I could go on.
4) B Schools pressure and academic rigour are myths.
5) People will give their left ball/boob for an extra grade and RG a fellow batchmate.
6) Point number five is very valid in the corporate world too.
7) Job Job Job... is the light at the end of this MBA tunnel; at least in India.
8) Management is about bullshitting with elan and quoting esoteric gurus (with keywords thrown in for effect) to fool others. Finance guys fool investors, Marketing guys fool customers, HR guys fool employees, Operations and Systems guys join the fun (and the chaos and end up fooling each other)

So in the end its a fools game. I dunno why companies come in hordes and recruit MBAs in such large numbers?? I dunno.. seriously.. hope I am proved wrong!!!


So since exams are over and the term break is on, Im off to Mumbai. Waiting to see home and family. In the meantime, fog has descended on us in the North. 'Kohra' as they say has caused havoc in all transportation systems across the North. Delhi airport is clogged. Flights are cancelled. Trains are held up. Highway traffic is moving at slow pace. Its frustrating. I have to complete the marketing assignment (whose deadline was postponed till tomorrow night), complete a friends report, catch up on much needed sleep, pack my belongings, etc. My flight is already delayed. Air Deccan has been kind to SMS me the news. Other friends are stranded at the airport with cancelled flights et al.

Will be back after a week. I might blog.. I might not.. Till the next post goodbye!!!
and since its already Christmas Eve, Compliments of the season!!! May the Lord bless ye all and ye families.

December 19, 2005


On 16th we had our Student Council elections for the next year, and boy have they thrown up a number of surprises. After the speeches interspered with hooting, cheering, booing, applauding, jeering, clapping and the voting which lasted for a cumulative 5 hours, we were left with a new council and Sharmaji, our canteen man was left with nothing (That was coz the new council treated us ... and we looted them ... literally!!!)

So heres presenting the new Students Council at MDI:
Gen. Secy : Subrat
Imperium : Sravan
Illumina : Harpreet Bajwa
Delphique : Samrat
Alumni : Ashish Singla
Corp Comm Cell : Karishma
PG Rep : Sanjay Mohta
PGHR Rep : Thariyan Chacko
Monetrix : Bhavin
Marquity : Makesh
HRDirection : Vishal
Iterations : Ramesh
Sports n Cultural : Vaibhav Mathur
Treasurer : Harshit Jain
Hostel n Mess : Nitin Sharma

That was the entire list. As for me, I ut my time to productive use. Read a book on 'Low Risk Investing' in the midst of the chaos in the Audi. ;-)

December 15, 2005

Of sub zero temperatures and survival guides...

The cold has hit a new low. It has become unbelievably cold in Gurgaon. Though it is a bit of a chore to dress up appropriately and take the necessary precautions so that tropical freaks like me dont exfoliate, the experience has been great. The maximum that my exterior has been subject to has been the cool environs of Matheran, Mahabaleshwar and the summer 'cold' of Nepal. This winter just a few hundred kilometers from the Shivalik (the foothills of the Himalayas) is a new thingie for me. The weather forecast has been sub zero at -3 to 0 degree range for the coming week. So I am told by an email shot off to the entire batch by the benevolent Singla.

Winter here means layering your skin with moisturisers so that it doesnt look like you seen a ghost or rather people mistake you for a ressurected being. (Dehydrated skin can give you a ghostly look). It also means wearing heavy clothing. Something new again for the equitorial me. Jackets over sweatshirts over Tee shirts over vest over skin is a must to prevent shivering. Also one has to supposedly wear thermal 'inners'. The first time I heard the term I thought it was some gizmo made from fundoo materials with heating properties. Looking at the model on the cover of the pack at the store I decided against it. He looked more of a ballet dancer. My shorts serve me better.

There are 3 zones of contact where you can 'get' cold. First its the ears... If not properly shielded with a monkey cap, shawl, etc. the winds of Rajasthan that blow with gay abandon over the plains of Haryana can give you a pain in the head. Second its the feet... here it is advisable to have them covered with socks or better still wear shoes. Inspite of all this they have the tendency to freeze your toes and boy can that hurt. Last but most important of all are the family jewels (at least for the guys... dunno abt the gals ;-p ...) Keep these guys reasonably warm and you can rest assured that they will keep all other fraternity guys warm. I have already explained the futility of the thermal wear.

Another point of caution.. DO NOT wash hands and then directly launch into the open. They hurt bad. My palms have been hurting coz in a display of scant respect for the winter air, I waltzed out of the washroom with wet hands and as the temperature of my palms reduced exponentially I felt a sharp surge of pain. It takes a long time to go. So beware!!!

Well for a guy nothing can be as irritating as dandruff problems. I have never, I repeat never, ha dandruff problems in my life. Here with the onset of the winters my scalp has chosen this occassion to make up for all the years of my existence. Every morning I play this silly game. It's called 'ScalpScratcher'. I vigourously scratch my head to shake of the dandruff that builds there over the past 24 hours. Mom says that I must oil my hair and wash it regularly. Alas! the oil that I use has solidified. I have to place the bottle under hot water and even after that effort all I get is the equivalent of flatulence from the blocked nozzle.

They say that this is not the least. The mercury is yet to fall to its lowest. The locals are awaiting the fog. They say its colder then, and claim that visibility is so poor it is limited to a few metres. I havent seen much of fog. Or was it mist?? Frankly I dunno... but what I know is that the winters here are a great experience. Just as the lusty showers of Mumbai, the winters of Delhi (and surrounding areas) have a charm of their own.

December 10, 2005

What Pattern is your Brain?

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.
You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.
People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.
But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.
What Pattern Is Your Brain?

Got the above link from Amit Goyals blog. So simple nah! Just look at a pic and it guesses your thinking pattern, mental process. In the words of my Operations prof, so much inn-no-way-son!!! ... They just stopped short of predicting the mental attributes of my yet to be born children.

December 9, 2005

Management S&M

In the pursuit of our MBA degrees we are supposed to have a wholistic view of Management Science Models. Though many of my analytical friends will swear that it is one of the better subjects to study, and I dont blame them coz this is the only soccour to those enginneers where we get exact solutions (in an otherwise choatic world of mgmt.)

In another life the same things I studied under the moniker of 'Operations Research' and boy! did I kick ass then. Assignment models, PERT CPM, Linear programming, Simplex were like brothers. Now we are estranged, me after a stint on an MNC shopfloor where I was saw that they weren't as effective as academic oracles back at engineering college claimed them to be. In fact what worked best was the out-of-the-ass solutions that me and my colleagues worked out. Out there I learned to abhor theory and those serpentine formulae.

So today, when I am told that some linear graphs and similar methods are the answer to management jigsaws I find it hard to believe. I dont know why such subjects are taught to us. I dont think that 2 years down the line when I am Manager of some function will I be worried about the sensitivity of some god forsaken 2D line drawn by an MBA still wet between the ears.

Other than being a teaser for those with an analytical bent of mind, for lesser mortals like me who are petrified by too much of math the subject is psychologically a pain. I prefer to call MSM Management S&M. Yes friends, the subject is precisely that; its Sadism and Masochism in Management education. But then I'm happy to be studying it. Why?? ... Reminds me of those glorious engineering days. Reminds me of SG Patil (The who taught me OR) and all the fun we had in his class; and all the imitating that I did. Yes it is gratification, by pain. True S&M!!!

December 7, 2005

Movies to watch when your stoned, drunk, are frustrated with life...

1. Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
2. HitchHickers guide to the galaxy
3. Monty Phython series... 'Life of Brian', 'Meaning of life', 'The holy Grail',
The script of 'Fellowship of the Rings' is available at this link.

Well for now watch these... I'll add more if you are really that stoned/drunk...


The whole day today was spent on evaluating the benefits of studying (rather visiting) Europe as an exchange student. After a thorough analysis of the pros and cons I have decided against it. The were only two institutes I was interested in. European Business School (ebs), Germany and Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark. Though both institutes have a stipend that makes the total expenses quite manageable, I am not too keen after lookng at the course content of either institute. Also the courses that I would miss over here are important core finance courses that should ideally not be missed in a Finance major.

So thats the end of a dilemma. Mebbe I'll visit Europe some other time.

The Great Bong

Ramesh has introduced me to a very interesting blog. Following is the link of a hilarious (brilliant.. as put by Ramesh) post on GreatBong.

Do read it!!!

December 4, 2005

Salaam Namaste

Watched it finally.. a hindi movie after a long time... the last hindi movie I watched was ...shit dunno... it was so long ago that I forgot :-p

I believed that SN was decent until the last 20-30 minutes of the movie had me thinkin otherwise. Damn... people might say big 'crap' ;-) abt it showcasing the realities of modern Indian society. Agreed that to an extent it does... but then the movie doesnt live upto the climax it that shows a total disconnect between the 'cool' attitude and the slapstick comedy that is potrayed towards the end.

This is another reason why I dont like watching Hindi movies. Themes change abruptly, Plots follow convoluted paths and in the middle somewhere a song and dance routine is thrown in for good measure.

On the positives of the movie, I'll say that the direction and cinematography was excellently done. The photography is good. Saif dancing skills are well hidden by the zooming cams, the colour roit and other similar methods (as observed by Mansur). The movie could have really made it big with the sensitive issue it generated. However they lost it in the end with the 'crap'.

All said and done, it was a good way to spend 2 hrs on a saturday night.

December 3, 2005

Retail or Corporate?

That was the question that vexed many an eminent panelist who congregated onto our hallowed campus to debate the issue in the post lunch session of our first ever 'Annual' Banking Symposium.

Well for starters we wore our suits/blazers for the first time on campus. Formal wear for the winters we were told. Unfortunately some a***hole decided not to turn on the air conditioning inside the packed and sealed (may I add) auditorium. So there were we all dressed and cooking inside our 'formal wear'.

The roll calling done (its a tradition to be followed... who cares a damn whether you are interested in the proceedings or not!!!) the panelists were escorted to the dias. I must say that the organising committee did a great job on the celeb front. We had the whos-who and the whos-going -to-be-next-who of the financial world. The keynote speaker was the Dy. Gov. of the RBI. (Forgot her name...forgive me!!!) and the rest of the guys were senior bankers/VPs/diros of firms like Ernst & Young, ICICI Bank, SBI, Yes Bank, StanChart, Amex, Citigroup, NCDEX, etc etc.

The entire thing would have been another also ran thingie at MDI had it not been for the sardar from SBI who livened up things at the fag end of the session. He rocked the place with his sharp wit, humour, sarcasm and hilarious stories. The other guys did a marketing job of their resp. cos and the ICICI bank dood did a typical MBA style presentation with lotsa data and the ubiquitous 'sa pa da pa'

So finally the conclusion... we need a balance of both COrporate and Retail banking... knew that was coming right!!! its a typical MBA answer politically correct and vague as hell... sardar dood was bang on target when he said that retail banking depends a lot on corporate banking. If firms borrow and grow, the returns flow towards the household sector who in turn then can drive retail banking. Way to go paaji... you probably said everything that had to be said in short sentences, in succint language and served with doses of common sense that probably they dont teach at BSchool

And this number is dedicated to....

I cherish this song... Other than being one of the fave numbers I love to dance to each word is meaningful to me... I've been listening to it continuously for quite some time tonite...

This is dedicated to you .... Audrey ... Bryan Adams with "Heaven"

Oh - thinkin' about all our younger years
There was only you and me
We were young and wild and free

Now nothin' can take you away from me
We bin down that road before
But that's over now
You keep me comin' back for more

Baby you're all that I want
When you're lyin' here in my arms
I'm findin' it hard to believe
We're in heaven
And love is all that I need
And I found it there in your heart
It isn't too hard to see
We're in heaven

Oh - once in your life you find someone
Who will turn your world around
Bring you up when you're feelin' down

Ya - nothin' could change what you mean to me
Oh there's lots that I could say
But just hold me now
Cause our love will light the way

N' baby you're all that I want
When you're lyin' here in my arms
I'm findin' it hard to believe
We're in heaven
And love is all that I need
And I found it there in your heart
It isn't too hard to see
We're in heaven

I've bin waitin' for so long
For something to arrive
For love to come along

Now our dreams are comin' true
Through the good times and the bad
Ya - I'll be standin' there by you

December 2, 2005


Today was my shopping day... After attending a sad PPT and a good workout, Ramesh, Pradeep, Mansur, Sethu and me went out shopping... We had a good time and followed it up with dinner at McDonalds.
What did I get???
A pullover, a winter cap, a cool jacket and a tee. Was going to buy cargoes but didn't like the designs. Will do so in Mumbai.
Missed the CRC meet... damn... but alls well that ends well... me off to finish Season 3!!!

Late night ramblings....

I have always imagined what it felt like to speak in the cold wheather and have moist vapour escaping my mouth. I have grown up seeing the BBC corresspondent reporting from Sarajevo spew vapour while giving the final touches to the telecast. Today it finally happened. After a screening of 'My brother Nikhil' at the auditorium by the 'Samaritans' - A club oriented towards social service- we went for a coffee and there I was with 'smoke' when I spoke.

Well me going to watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Season 3. Gotta thank Anee for the CDs!!!


22 more days to go before I land at home. Mannnn... its the Christmas season and Advent (The Christmas season) started last Sunday... The end terms are also just 2 weeks away... Projects and lotsa work lined up.... AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!! I wanna go home!!!

December 1, 2005

A day in the life of Gordon D'Souza

2:30 AM
I called Audrey. Middle of the night I know. And she was busy playing with chemo drugs. Wrong time to disturb a person I say. Like they say at CCD's "A lot can happen over chemos".
3:45 AM
I complete the HRM presentation on training of senior managers of a banking company for leadership skills.
8:15 AM
Alarm rings......
9:30 AM
I wake up ;-)
3:45 PM
Back from class....
5:50 PM
Back from the gym
8:15 PM
Finished chatting with Audrey...... ;-)
9:00 PM
Dinner with chole and puris with lotsa jalebis :-)
9:30 PM
My brother Nikhil screened at the Audi
11:45 PM
Me blogging this!!!!

So that was today... and its been a week like this... completely chilled out... dunno if I've got used to the system or wot???

Also, wonder what happened to the guy who was being administered chemo drugs... Smiling and joyful nurses can heal what chemos cant ;-)