Thursday, 13 November, 2008

The Southpaw - Part 1

Ramesh bhaiya, sixer maaro” – cheered 6 year chintu from his balcony cheering his gully cricket hero to complete his century, something that the locality had never witnessed.

12 year old Ramesh nicknamed ‘Jayasuriya’ after the recently concluded 1996 Wills World Cup was not an exceptional cricketer but excelled at Gully cricket – played with plastic balls, unlabelled bats with cycle tire as grips, cycle rear tires as stumps and some weird set of rules. Bholu bowled an off spin which Ramesh miscued and the ball headed the famous ‘Maut ka Kuva’ (a section of building with as many as 70 window panes). The ball crashed on to a window pane and Ramesh was declared out. 5 short of his dream century at his ‘Lords’ of gully cricket.

Once the match was over, a dejected Ramesh reached home to study for his test tomorrow. Just as he switched on the television, an India Vs England test was being telecast at a beautiful ground with wooden stands. Not a great cricket watcher other than often spending time watching highlights of days play and knowing a couple of famous names like Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammed Azharuddin, Sanjay Manjrekar etc, something made him stuck to the screen. As a slim and thin moustached Indian southpaw was gracefully hitting boundaries off almost every English bowler. He could never dream of anyone hitting the ball with such immaculate perfection and flair on the offside. When the southpaw reached 90s, Ramesh earnestly prayed that he should nt meet the same fate Ramesh met earlier in the day and moments later when the rookie completed his maiden test century, Ramesh was elated. Next day the cricketing fraternity heard a new name – S C Ganguly…

When the fate was repeated in the very next test match, Ganguly was one player Ramesh started liking to watch. A series of matches went by and gradually Ramesh’s interests starting increasing. His room was filled up posters of the Kolkota lad and he started collecting the smallest of newspaper articles related to his newly found ‘Guru’.

Ganguly s inclusion to the ODI side brought Ramesh closer to watching the shorter version of game completely – something he had never done previously. He often went to an extent of physical fight with his 22 year old brother (a Tendulkar fan) over who was a better cricketer – Sachin or Sourav..

An year later, an Indo-Pak series at an unheard cricketing destination – Toronto, witnessed Ramesh s icon winning 4 man of the match awards (and his first Man of the series) and India wrapping up the series 4-1. Ramesh s jubiliation was at its peak and he started imitating Ganguly-giri in his gully cricket. Such was the inspiration that Ramesh started learning Left handed batting and was reasonably successful in that too. Coca-Cola at that time offered to exchange 3 crowns of coke bottles for a Ganguly Flicker book and 5 crowns+ Rs 25 for a Ganguly autographed mini bat. Needless to say what was Ramesh’s favourite drink at that time.. In a month, he collected 5 flicker books and 3 bats..

A year later, as India faced Pakistan again in finals at Dhaka, the Pakistanis piled up a huge total of 314, a virtually impossible target for the Indians to achieve. Loss of Sachin at 40(28) resulted in every one at home switching off the TV and saying ‘Sachin Gone, Match Over’.. Ramesh fought with his parents, and stuck to watching the match till the very last ball. The 124 by Ganguly was a visual treat for him.. And when the captain Azhar called him their ‘Secret Weapon’, Ramesh showed the newspaper to his family members a dozen times the next day to tell – ‘India can also win without Sachin Tendulkar’

The World Cup England – 1999 started and Ramesh s board exams were on. But with an intention to watch his icon playing his first WC match - against South Africa, Ramesh completed the next examination’s course a day in advance. India batted first in the match and the Ganguly-Dravid duo provided a solid middle order partnership. As Ganguly reached 97, a confusion between the captain Azhar resulted in Kallis playing a role in his run out.. Ramesh used choicest of words on Azhar and Kallis and prayed for South Africa to lose. The proteas won the match but to Ramesh’s respite, Jacques Kallis got run out at 98.. Needless to say, he was elated.. Unbothered by the match result..

A couple of matches later, one of the worlds deadliest spinner got a dose of his tough times in life at a venue named Taunton. The crafty spinner would have never expected any batsman to step 3 feet ahead of the crease and hit balls outside the stadium – thrice. Infact a duck by Tendulkar added a smirk on his face after which he pulled his brothers leg for several hours. Ramesh wished Ganguly had made 200 in that match, but when he perished at 183, he stood up along with the entire masses at the ovaloid stadium. That innings was indeed special.. In the post match interview, Rahul Dravid gave a new nickname to Ganguly – otherwise called ‘Prince of Calcutta’ by the legendary Geoff Boycott. . “The God of Off-side”. The next day, in his gully cricket match, Ramesh (now intentionally got his nicknamed changed to ‘Prince’) tried the front foot lofty shots.. The result was a broken window pane and 3 hours of scolding..

The year 2000 involved Ramesh watching every match of the season since he knew the next one year, he would be aloof from everything preparing for his HSC examinations. The Carlton & United series witnessed India losing 3-0 down under and India could not manage to the Best of 3 finals too. But Ramesh was unfettered as he was gifted with a meticulous and one of the most attacking innings played by Ganguly against Pakistan - a gigantic 143 with the most beautiful off drives, cover drives , square drives and lofted shots. Infact for an over, the captain Wasim Akram attacked him with a packed offside (8 players guarding it) and Ganguly still managed to pierce the ball in between gaps in 3 occasions off an over.. Ramesh watched the innings glued to the television set as India registered its first and only win in that series.

The year 2001 witnessed the Match fixing controversy surface which helped Ramesh concentrate on his studies. But South Africa toured India in that year with an ODI being conducted at Ramesh’s city. Before the series began, Tendulkar hung the boots of captaincy which forced BCCI to look out for Jadeja or Ganguly as the future captain.. Ramesh prayed all night and the next day jumped with elation to get the news that his icon was the Indian Captain for series. The 4th ODI was scheduled in his city and the series stood at 2-1 (India leading). It did not come as a surprise that Ramesh bunked his mathematics test at his tuitions and got tickets for the match. The scarcity of tickets forced him to share a seat with an 80Kg friend of his who saw the entire match sitting on his lap. But the treat of a quick 80 given by Ganguly provided a soothing feeling as Ramesh, who was on cloud 9 watching aggressively tackling Elverthy, Hayward, Pollock and finally succumbing to an off spin by Peter Strydom. India went on to win the nail biting finish thus sealing the series 3 – 1 . . Ganguly s first victorious tryst as a captain.. In the 3 hour long traffic jam outside the stadium, all Ramesh could think was the Indian captain lifting the Trophy.. What a moment of pride it would be for him..

As Ramesh cleared his HSC with (not so) flying colors, he got admission in to a reputed Engineering college where he literally continued the trend of fighting with groups which was huge fan of Sachin Tendulkar. On any occasions, Ramesh alone was debating a dozen and still aggressively debating on Ganguly’s greatness. The next 4 years in both Ramesh’s educational life and Ganguly’s captaincy era witnessed some of the greatest achievements and infact the in between conducted Natwest Trophy Shirt stripping done by Ganguly was imitated by him in an interdepartmental cricket competition where Ramesh (calling himself Shy-er version of the ‘Maharaja’) stripped his Sweater in exactly the same fashion. The final year of his college gave him an opportunity to lead the department student association and he got a feeling what Ganguly experienced 4 years back.. Addressing a large gathering of students as the President of the student body, Ramesh went to the extent of citing his hero’s example on several occasions on several fronts – Planning, Passion, Aggression, Backing the right talent etc.

In the interim, India also managed to reach finals of World Cup at South Africa where ‘Dada’ took two of the bravest decisions ever taken by any captain on field – Added batting depth by enforcing wicket keeping on Dravid and convincing Javagal Srinath to play for one last time as the team needed him. The finals was practically over in the first innings and the stint ended on a disappointing node. Ramesh earnestly prayed to God to repeat that one day in his life so that India could win the match.. But alas, it could never happen. Till date he dreams of Sourav Ganguly holding the world cup for India on that eventful day.

In 2005, Ramesh now 21 year old was about to join a reputed software industry. However, the sad part was his interest in cricket was fading on account of an emerging problem in Indian Cricket - - supporting the ‘Captain Courageous or Player Outrageous’?? Ganguly s dismal performance and spat with the coach Greg Chappel lead to his ouster and went into darkness India’s one of greatest cricketing heroes – The greatest according to Ramesh.

As Ramesh saw Ganguly boarding a Toyota Qualis after being left out from the ODI side of team, he switched off the television set, he thought to shut off himself from the cricket world with just viewing the scores (just as he used to do till 1996) and reading the match reports sometimes on news papers.. As Ganguly moved into oblivion, Ramesh got himself detached from cricket… As he switched off the TV on that day, he told himself ‘If only my hero was given a respectful farewell, I would have respected the game’..Ramesh knew that his passion to watch cricket had faded away..

Off went the Television.. Which was switched on with a similar zeal and interest after 10 months !!!

(... To be continued)

Thursday, 10 July, 2008

Thoda Crap Thoda Bad Luck !!!

Disclaimer: This is NOT a review of the movie, this is what I genuinely feel if I had been one of the characters in the movie

Coming out of E-square after watching "Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic" was a different experience altogether. The movie theme was quite mundane but it stimulated an otherwise slumber brain of mine to think. Just as God saw the state of the kids and sent an angel to rescue them, I quickly flashbacked to the last quarter of century (since I blessed earth in 1984) to think if everything wrong happening around me can be attributed to a similar supernatural force. The movie show 3 pitiable and cute looking kids, that were constantly examined by God who sends His best angel to earth to rescue them. Now the Chemical Engineer in me, who truly believes in the First Law of Thermodynamics (The total amount of energy in the universe remains constant) – felt to nullify the positive energy, there should also be a Demon who constantly checks earth and targets the weirdest creatures and sends his worst Devil to pester, torture and make every stint of the target a failure. It was highly probable that I was the devils target bunny. What else could be responsible for a series of unfortunate incidents I have had so far.

Now imagine this, what would have prompted a 12 year old kid to fire his first rocket bomb of his life, crashing through the window pane to the bed room of a neighbor who apparently gifted him with the same rocket bomb the very evening. The devil obviously would have a major role to play in that.

Or imagine this one, the same boy (14 year old now) playing cricket with his friends, who was a batsman cum bowler – a unique distinction. He was called a specialist batsman when his side bowled and thus was avoided any contact with the ball. And was called the lead bowler when his side batted. Now after aeons when his prayers were answered and a generous captain threw a ball at him to bowl at an 8 year old No. 11 batter, all he could do was bowl a full toss that hit the target. The target was nt the stumps, it was an old lady s head. This incident was followed by fainting of the old lady, immediate damage control and tons of scoldings. Poor chap.. The devil at work again.. phew..

The Devil s shenanigans kept continuing with a number of other interventions in my stints. Like for instance during the School Captain elections, it was unofficially announced that I was the chosen one. Little did I realize that my class teacher s son used his sources in the recess and the election finally turned out to be a selection. Post recess, I stood at the usual podium guiding the fellow juniors expecting the announcement, only to hear the announcement “Boys and Girls, the new School Captain is Master Kapil Sehgal..”.. It seemed eternity, there are at times you feel that the land cracks and you hide yourself inside. The devils stroke was a master success…

They say that the right man comes at the right time when needed. I guess my “right man” got hit by a truck. And the right time, well I have been waiting for that for a quarter of a century.. All I can say to the angel is “Mera Number Kab Aayega !!!” ;)

Thursday, 26 June, 2008

Gurukewl - Handling a drunkard !!!

Disclosure: All characters mentioned in this article are fictitious and bear no resemblance to any person living or dead. And any resemblance if found may be purely coincidental. :D:D

“Sir, last glass of Champagne.. Only for you”.. Winked the waiter at the Gurukewl night for Interns of a reputed FMCG company.

I smirked and joyously accepted the invitation and awed at his generosity as if Warren Buffet has donated a few Billions for charity. We were a gang of 2 dozen paying utmost attention to the CEO of the company who gave a passing remark “CSR and Altruism is in our DNA..”.. I could nt differ as this credo of theirs has percolated even to the waiter who showed his utmost concern towards a alcohol view tongue wagging individual like me.

It was a mixed bag of feeling which was observed in the night there. A few were victoriously gulping peg after pegs of liquor for completion of their projects and there were a few who were aimlessly taking unending rounds of liquor to hide their sorrows with projects. One such individual was Nikunj who sat at one end of the hall with a silly brat Vamsee, who normally speaks 10 folds more than he listens. Blame it on the effect of alcohol, he was as silent as kindergarten kid who has just peed in his half pants and desperately waiting for it to dry to avoid embarrassment. It would nt be an understatement to say that the meeting had a Keshto Mukherjee s heir who did every possible act to make his soul proud. (Un) Luckily, the party ended and the behemoth task to taken a 80 KG drunken brat back home (which none of us was aware of ) fell on my shoulders. It did not come as any surprise to me as rains started pouring once we initiated our itinerary back home (Nikunj s home to be frank..).. Nikunj s problem was he was posted in a deserted area called Ankleshwar which was in a dry state, with scanty greenery (with respect to the crowds ;) ) and no work. The former two would have made any soul on earth’s life miserable but I would love to trade the last aspect of his internship programme. But he was nt ready to do so.. Karma as its called…

Vamsee kept Nikunj busy criticizing me as I kept myself busy trying to get auto rickshaws for our conveyance to the Railway station 4 miles away. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Nikunj caught hold of an auto, asked the driver “Ankleshwar chaloge kya…”.. Boy, does he remember we are in Mumbai about 200 KMs away from the place he is talking about. Vamsee finally spoke in his south Indian – hindi accent “Yaar, isko to total Chad gayaa..”… The confused auto rickshaw driver sped away from us to avoid more problems. 15 minutes of struggle and we were awarded as another generous person – an auto driver stopped near us and agreed to take us to the station. Trying to reach early, we settled to take a short cut.. The road no one takes - to cut short the time and reach our destinations early.. And to be frank – to relieve off Nikunj s inane shenanigans as quickly as possible.

For those who think it was tough managing Nikunj, well you are wrong. It was a total torture.. Imagine Ganesh-otsav when we often witness huge and behemoth Ganesha Idols sitting on Rats.. Poor creature.. Do we ever think what goes to the lil rat.. Carrying the entire weight of Lord Ganesha.. huh.. Well to tell you, I was no less than a rat carrying the entire weight of Nikunj.. Just as we had settled for a few nanoseconds, off came the champagne, the wines, the cocktail - everything from Nikunj s belly.. The brat puked.. And Puked all over the auto.. all over me.. all over Vamsi.. I always thought there can nothing be filthier than the open lid garbage bin found in most of Mumbai streets.. The condition that me and Vamsi were in would have made any sanitary worker of Mumbai municipality proud of his sanitation..

The shouting vamsi voice became more prominent as the sound of the auto engine plummeted and the vehicle came to a complete standstill.. The auto wala helplessly tried starting the vehicle only to give the usual “keeekeee keee keee” sound.. The auto failed to help us in the ludicrous position we were in. Vamsee kept his cool and gave his managerial suggestions “Yaar.. Tu calculate kar.. yahan se paidal challenge is #$^$##% ko lekar, to 1 ghata ho jaayega.. We ll better push the auto and start it.. It would help us”… Nikunj heard the conversation and the drunken – puked chap caught hold of the auto driver sleeves “Saale ##$#$#^#, Gadi chalti nai kya teri $^$%#$^.. Chalu kar &$%##&&#”.. It was showering rain outside and inside Nikunj was blessing the auto driver with the choicest of the auspicious words any hindi lexicon could boast of. Most people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them..After consoling him, vamsee and me (who were also partially drunk) came out to push the auto.. with the driver and an 80 KG Ganesha (pun intended) inside. Several attempts but no avail.. After 3 attempts, the effect of the Champagne had evaporated. Having failed to start the auto, we started our stint towards the railway station, carrying Nikunj on our shoulders..

Nikunj tried stopping every auto on our way and abusing any living creature he found on the way.. When no rational human gave him a damn, he caught hold of a street dog and continued his “Ankleshwar” chat with it.. The 2 miles walk seemed ages with the rain showering at its peak and Nikunj tormenting us further.. They keep saying the right person will come along, I think mine got hit by a truck.. Absolutely no one Our eyes lit up when moments before reaching the station, we had an auto driver agreeing us to take us directly to Nikunj s place.. The problem was still not over, both me and Vamsee dint know where does he stay.. We called up friends to get his address and asked the auto driver to take us to Andheri.. Peace finally – even if it was for a few mins.. A short nap was interrupted by the auto driver asking where exactly to head in Andheri. I sensed peace in the 2feetX4 feet auto, Vamsee was sleeping, so was Nikunj. The raucous vehicle horns woke up vamsee but sweet Nikunj was still delirious. Confused as we need to take a left or right, we woke him up after several unsuccessful attempts. Nikunj erupted “saale #%^&^&$#, sone bhi nahi dete mujhe tum #$^&%$@.. Yahan se left le lo”.. He said pointed towards his right, adding to our frustration which way to head for. Vamsee played the role of a guardian “Dekh Nikunj, teri bhalai ke liye bol raha hoon, kis direction mein jaana hain.. Tu left bol raha hain and right dikha raha hain..”.. Nikunj erupted again “Saaale $%&&%$, samaj nahi aa raha, left lo,, left.. kahan se aa jaate hain”.. Nikunj showed his right by his hands yet again.. Just as vamsee was about to ask him again, I had to interrupt “Bhaiya, right le lijiye..”.. A couple of kilometers later we again reached a road where we had no clue wheter to take a left or a right. I glaced at Vamsee.. Vamsee was back in action “Arey Nikunj, dekh hum tere ghar ke kitne nazdeek hain, bas ek baat bata,, ankhen khol aur bol left or right from here.. ”.. Nikunj saw the place and said “Right”.. We took left..

A series of such Lefts and Rights took us to a dilapidated building which was no less than a paradise for me, as that was the place where we could dump the 80KG human mass we had been carrying and tolerating all his idiosynacracies.. It’s a great feeling to get tired and feel relieved at the same time.. Vamsee said before dropping me at my place “Kya din tha yaar, Gurukewl ne bahut kuch sikhaya aaj .. ” and winked.. Its not new to find our lift in a repaired state but that was the last thing I wanted to happen.. Step after step, I reached the 5th floor as my roomie Sid was celebrating his birthday having beer.. “Hey,, good that you ve come,, wanna have something..” he offered his toast to me as I showed my finger to him and headed to my bed..


Sunday, 11 May, 2008

Mumbai Local

"Platform no. 2 pe aarahi local Churchgate ke taraf janiwali dheemi local hain. Yeh local har stanako pe rukegi".. Greets the announcer at the Vile Parle railway station each morning as I motivate my lazy limbs to go over the bridge to the platform where the train to Dadar is expected.

Presently pursuing my summers with a reputed FMCG company, interacting with my fellow interns makes me scratch my head as why do they feel mumbai local is crowded and the traveling experience is straining. I always felt at home whenever i travelled by local trains. The reason is that the situation at my present alma mater is no different. The favourite hangout place (the quad as its called) boasts of a population density higher than that in bangladesh trains and bears heavy resemblance to the crowded platform at Vile Parle. The fight for occupancy in last benches in class is a zillion folds more than that for a standing space at the local. The chaos and the level of noise at both the places is also no different. And one of the biggest similarities is the crowd we have at the ticket counters is almost similar (both in quantitative and in qualitative terms) to that at the college canteen. So in a nutshell, whether we were trained to managers or not in the last 10 odd months is a question to be answered later, but one thing which I am sure of is that we were simulated to handle the local train tamasha which I do with utmost flair as compared to my fellow interns.

One interesting aspect of the Mumbai local is that the coach quotas assigned are more than the number of religions I can name. (difficult to say if its my ignorance which is more dominant or the number of quotas in the trains). With great difficulty you reach the platform and wait for the train only to find that the place where you ve stopped is the one where Ladies coach is expected. Now by the time you realize and quickly see as in on which side is the 2nd class general coach is nearer, a huge crowd amasses near the entry of every coach as if free food is being distributed to the destitutes of Ethiopia. Blame it on my spinal cords’ faulty signal sending mechanism to the brain, even if I realize that the general coach on the left is nearer to me than the one on my right, I end up taking the longer route. I rush to the ‘farther’ coach only to see the train moving at a faster speed than me. Alas!! I miss the train…

Making a conscious effort to be at the right place on the platform where general coach is expected, I prepare myself mentally to tear the crowd and move into the train and prove myself that even I am capable of traveling in the Mumbai Local. Everything goes as per plan, Train arrives, General coach stops right in front of me, and with all energy I barge into the coach.. Elation, Excitement and Satisfaction.. It feels as if I ve beat Carl Lewis in a 100 mt sprint.. As I wipe my sweat to feel more comfortable, I get the jolt of my life when I realize that I have caught the Central Line Train – the one that has a different route. To add to my woes I also come to know that the train is a fast train and stops at only selected stations.. Damn it.. With great difficult, as I reach my office hungry, I find the canteen closed.. The coffee vending machine comes to my rescue as I can atleast satiate my tummy with a stimulating cup of hot coffee.

Mumbai Local helps me a big way in early mornings to get up. Since my house is only a few feet away from the tracks (so close it is that at times I really feel that the commuters hanging on the coaches would alight at my doorstep), the array of trains from 7 AM hooting when it passes by serves as the biggest alarm even the Sultan of Brunei cant boast of. And these days being a regular commuter through the Local trains, if any rookie wants to take my advice on when to board a train, there is a simple principle (ThoughtFOOL’s Law of Train Boarding.. as I call it) – Look in through the window and see if you can see light at the end of the other window.. If you can see even the faintest of light source at the end (which wont happen in most cases), hey presto, you got it. This is the train.. But if you cant, then prefer waiting for the next train to come.. It’s a china wall between you and your destination, which you cannot pass unless you are David Blaine.

Hoping that these ThoughtFOOLness helps you in making a better journey with the Mumbai Locals.. You hate it, you scorn at it, you criticize it, but at the end whether we like it or not, its an integrated part of every Mumbai-kars life.. Hail the Mumbai Local….

Inspired by the 7 A.M. Local train - The worlds biggest alarm..

Wednesday, 30 April, 2008

Business Line Vs. Tinkle

Mumbai Central carries a totally different look at 4 AM. With a few minutes in hand for my train to depart, the thought of buying a couple of Business magazines passed through my mind. The trailer stall had just opened and the shopkeeper asked me to wait for 5 minutes before which he would finish his morning prayers. Suffering from "Not minding my business syndrome" ever since my birth, I searched through the racks of the trailer as if i was to find my misplaced brains there. My sleepy eyes fell on a Tinkle issue - a magazine of which I was a voracious reader as a kid..

A virtual war between Uncle Pai and Jehangir Pocha started at Mumbai Central with just few minutes left for my train to depart. The engines hoot brought me back to reality and having regained my senses, I bought an issue each of Business world and a Tinkle. Blame it on the B School work culture, with the two issues in my hand, strange thought passed through my head which is otherwise an epitome of sluggish tendencies. I thought what would each characters of Tinkle major in had they been MBAs. What would happen if Tinkle goes for an hostile take over of Business World.. What would happen if Pocha would replace Uncle Pai as chief editor of Tinkle??? Some answers to these set of questions is what kept me busy for the next few hours.. The following are my nominations for various posts in the merged entity.

Suppandi - the CIO : The adorable goof who keeps trying new things to please his employer but ends up making a complete mockery of himself and his master. Changes masters in every issue just as IT employees change companies regularly..

Shikari Shambhu - the COO
: The stout and obese jungle explorer cum hunter who is afraid of every specie under the sun. Tries his best to avoid problems but ends up solving the most complex problems by hook, which is considered as an OUT OF BOX thinking . Silly and inane concepts are given huge and complex names like TQM, JIT and SCM.

Doob doob and Chamataka - the Joint HR Managers: The crocodile and fox duo always make the best of the plans only to get themselves trapped at the end. Never known in history of 'animal-kind' for giving feasible solutions and kill all the time and resources on the least value added job.

Tantri the Mantri - CMO - The CMO is normally the CEO in waiting and so is Tantri. And quite predictably, his wait never ends. His networking and consultants under him devise the best strategies but ultimately ends up making a mockery of himself. His wait for the peak is like an envelope without an address on it - going no where..

Anu Club - Head R&D team
: The most neglected portion of tinkle as a reader. Anu comes with the most unpractical (yet theorotically correct) findings to be incorporated and can be the undisputed contender for this post.

Raaja Hooja - the CEO : The character who has been irreplaceble for nearly 2 decades. The only change is him is he is becoming plumpier as days go by and his successors just dream of replacing him one day. Uses no rocket science or rationality and heavily relies on his ministers' suggestions for prosperity of kingdom.. Obviously takes all credit at the end..

The wierd and inane thoughts would have continued for a longer time had it not been disrupted by the TTE who woke me up 2 hours later by a vigorous shake of my shoulder.. "Tickets Please.." !!

Sunday, 16 March, 2008

Chemical Analysis of a MBA Student

Tired of the ubiquitous SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, WACC method and Cash Flow calculation, which still makes me scratch my head thinking how does it help one in taking strategic decisions with 6 minds taking 7 decisions based on the analysis, I come back to something which is more substance-ful and something which any Chemical Engineer is good at.. Chemical Analysis.. This article is meant to dissect a MBAs Chemical Analysis..

Symbol: St

Atomic Weight: Incomprehensible, uncertain


  • In canteen with Laptops open (and Packman being played)
  • In cinema theatres (Matinee shows, resultant after a process called bunking)
  • In coffee houses discussing the plummeting stock market
  • And rarely in classes.

Allotropic Forms:

Found in two allotropic forms males & females. A few rare species with a good overlap between the two are also sometimes encountered.

Free State:

Seen in the library, the Chai stall outside college and occasionally in class room.

Combined State:

Found in couples who are oppositely charged and very temporary. Some in transition are found wagging their tongues at the view opposite to the college.

Physical Properties:

  • A MBA student is a smart mix, carries Dell Laptop and blesses the library with a prolonged presence till late nights (only in the case of endangered species called bookworms)
  • Good conductor of latest fashion
  • A bad conductor of studies or advice
  • Boils at insult point, melts at flattery especially from oppositely charged species (temperature vary from individual to individual)
  • Good conductor of gossip, gyaan and criticizing the IT industry
  • Occasionally found well dressed with blazers on

Chemical Properties:

  • Great affinity for case studies, Sutta song and presenting PPTs
  • Reaction to water: Insoluble, usually bathes once a week.
  • Repulsed by textbooks, especially reference materials.
  • Neutral to advice
  • Reacts with studies under high pressure and temperature
  • Found with a high usage density of words like leverage, brand equity, hedging and product mix.

Purification Techniques:

Can be purified by complex process called exams (Surprise tests in particular) after vigorous shaking to awaken from constant hibernation.

Friday, 7 March, 2008

Super Prime Crisis

Second chance lending and Sub Prime Crisis has become the flavor of every unending discussion in any B School today. For the non B School Junta "Sub prime crisis is the result of the practice of giving loans to borrowers who do not qualify for the best market interest rates because of their deficient credit history. " (Hence the term "Sub-Prime")

My repealing attitude over financial subjects needs no mention and the fact was elucidated when I scored a paltry 4 off 20 in a recent class test we had. This was inspite of me being confident that I understood every term and word the teacher taught. My stint with such Sub Prime scores is not a recent phenomenon as numerous other single digit scores have graced my result card in school, college and my corporate life. This brings me into a strategic crisis which I call it a Super Prime Crisis i.e. inability to score even double digit marks which i rate as my Prime level.

This reminds me of my Project Manager, who once barged into my cubicle complaing that the latest issue that I had resolved had ended up making the system 10 folds slower. (the issue was to make the system slightly faster.. ;)) and thereby justifying my appraisal rating of 2/5. The ten minutes he spent in my cubicle seemed ages and when he asked a justification from me, all i could do was "Yawn...". Irritated, he left muttering a few graceful words in his mother tongue. I felt an eternal bliss. You see, everyone has the ability of making someone happy, some by entering the room, others by leaving it.

Both in my professional life and redeemed student life now, I have seen dozens of hardworkers (GMs as i call them - Gadha Mazdoors) around. Hardwork seems to be the essence of so many people around me. Some work hard on certifications, some on corporate project while some slog for the numerous committees and some get engrossed in case studies. Hardwork seems to spotlight the character of everyone here - Some turn up their sleeves while others turn up their noses.... And amidst the population are also "Sub Primers" who just don’t turn up at all..

With the results of our 2nd trimester round the corner, the fear of "Super Prime Crisis" still haunts me and each passing day makes me feel that the bond between me and the crisis is as strong as a covalent bond.. Sometimes it just seems that such "Super Prime Crisis" is like a lollipop in anyone’s life... It sucks until it is gone!!!