Wednesday, May 5, 2010

25 things I did not expect to see, feel or do at Leh

1. Breaking up frozen river tops to see and hear the gurgling water running underneath
2. Apricot trees in deep pinkish blossom
3. Sandstorm cones swirling between icy-mountains
4. Desert-like sand dunes as soft as dust
5. The rare wild Redux jumping on the crags
6. Molten snow recrystallizing to form bars of glassy icicles
7. Brown, Brown and some more Brown for the first three days
8. Skidding and sliding on the frozen Pangong Lake (75% ‘shared’ with China)
9. Army Sergeants making tea, cooking food and managing souvenir shops
10. Entire mountains of Green, Pink, Orange and Purple rock
11. Ice-cold streams running beside soft sand dunes
12. Hot Springs of Panamic with flowing water temp above 70*C
13. The ubiquitousness of Maggi
14. Stray dogs as large as bears roaming around in sub-zero temperatures (probably fed by tourists and the Indian Army)
15. Indigo-ish green rivers shimmering with Arsenic
16. Ladhaki nomads tending Yak and Pashmina goats at temperatures of -10*C
17. Cheesy BRO signboards at the winding roads, one which said: “Be Gentle on my Curves”
18. The Sound of Silence
19. ‘Sea’buckthorn bushes at altitudes 12,000 feet above Sea-level: Nubra Valley
20. Having Ladakhi Bread with Butter and Apricot Jam for breakfast beside a fast flowing stream in Nubra Valley
21. Driving past the world’s highest and third highest motorable roads. The Khardungla Pass and the Changla Pass: 5700 mts and 5350 mts alt (FYI, Everest is @ 8800 mts alt)
22. Getting stranded in the rocks -- literally high and dry -- in the middle of nowhere
23. Jumpin never tasted so great (@ halfway during a trek)
24. Having Mandarin Honey Chicken and Lychee Juice for Dinner
25. Seeing that kind-hearted people can still make a decent living in a dog-eat-dog world

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chicken Mohingar and Bajoe

Burma languishes, Burma Town flourishes. Recently discovered this restaurant and introduced it to LIBA folks. Fans of Kailash Kitchen are sure to like Burma Town. Same kind of tasty, crispy and exotic foodie goodies. For the sweet-toothed: Burma is a little too hot for your tongue to handle, so be sure to tell them "no spicy at all" .. And they'll reply "okay medium spicy" .. then you say "not medium spicy, I want no spicy .. very very mild okay" .. thereon you negotiate and bring it down to edible levels of capsaicin.

There arent too many "varieties" per se, but thats okay -- for the average Indian each of those 8 or so varieties is itself extraordinary enough, if not exotic .. and hey you gotta take this seriously, it is the only Burmese restaurant in Chennai. Theres none other. The guy who runs the show tells me there are some Burmese food stalls of the stand-and-eat kind (kai aendhi bhavan) in North Madras - from where he got inspired. Ofcourse, he aint got a single drop of burmese blood in his circulatory system .. but the chaps learnt his trade pretty well.

Clincher: Burma Town is not an upscale eat-out. It competes with Annai mess and other idly/ parotta stalls on Choolaimedu street for business -- so the pricing is as irresistable for your pocket, as the food is irresistable for your pallette.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Making worthwhile presentations..

Some simple things I learnt over the last 2 years, which can make your presentations comprehensible regardless of the type of audience you are addressing -- from kids to corporates. They may sound simple, but they can work like thunderbolts if you care enough to fire them properly.

1. Contrast and Differentiate:
Black appears blacker against white. No further explanation needed. The cheap and best technique!

2. Quote instances and examples:
It simplifies concepts and makes theory less complex & more interesting.

3. Use Personal Anecdotes:
Now your skin is in the game -- Audience perceives/ acknowledges that you feel and really mean what you say. People (always and everywhere!) like to listen to stories and they will remember them way better. In much the same way that everyone is keen to catch up on juicy gossip although they would never admit. [Now you tell me one person who stopped you or whom you stopped during the last week, from exchanging fresh gossip? :)]

4. Say:
Okay, here is something interesting ... atleast once in your presentation, this primarily serves to wake up the half-asleep acrons among the audience. I've heard people say things like I'll let you in on a little secret ... just to increase the curiousity levels and keep the audience perked up, if not engaged.

5. Dramatics helps:
Be loud, make some noise, start with a quote, mimic somebody, change your tone, reel out a joke - very often I've observed that people decide whether or not to listen to a person, merely by judging the presentation style and never the content (unless theres an immediate takeaway from it - like a burning stock tip). Sad, but true :(

6. Props:
Question the audience, Challenge them, throw a kit-kat reward (dont try this in a board-meeting unless you want to get thrown out yourself!), if possible show even a vaguely related 1 minute video and try to relate it to the central point. I know of a person who brought a packet of lays chips to a class presentation in constitutional law -- to explain some aspect on the preamble of the Indian constitution! And yes ofcourse you'd already know that graphs and pie-charts make comprehension easy, since they tap the right brain for support.

7. Last but not the least:
Make it SHORT and make it crispy. Given a choice, 99% of the population prefers to snack-up on a pack of flavoured chips or crispy chocolate than a loaf of bland bread. Period. No problem if your presentation lasts only 3 or 5 minutes. The only purpose is that the message is conveyed effectively.

Ofcourse the fundamental step of researching and preparing well goes without saying. Unless you're particularly keen on BS-ing :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Whats the writing on the interest rate wall?

Stumbled upon the world interest rate charts today:

One of the things to be quickly noticed is the unmistakeable pattern. The interest rates (cheapest available cost of capital or the risk free rate of return - depending on which side of the transation you are in) of all the countries has consistently dropped over the last 12 months - and importantly, it is a steady linear decline, not a puckered crown or crest and trough zig-zag. The peak seems to have occured somewhere around the 3/4th mark of 2008 (roughly one full year after signals of the sub-prime trigger became public information) before which it was stadily rising. Of all the countries, Australia is the sole exception - showing an uptick in interest rates over the last 6 months.

Especially in times of recession, the countries which give the highest rates are also the countries which that have the highest potential for growth (Why? .. think over it). Here are some numbers: Brazil - 8.5%, Egypt - 8.25%, South Africa - 7% (Yes, Africa is catching up folks, you all saw Africa's show of power at the Copenhagen Summit so don't be complacent of their growth story), Turkey - 6.5%, Hungary - 6.25%. China - 5.31% and India - 4.75%. Iceland's also got a high interest rate (10%), but it is perhaps to counter-balance the bankruptcy risk - much the same way junk bonds have a higher coupon rates due to default risk.

What can we infer? The fact is: Interest rates have NOT started rising. The perception that we're out of recession could still be just a perception - much the same way that the perception of a 'recession' was itself caused only due to widespread loss of confidence and the ensuing decrease in demand. The confirmation that we have recovered from the recession will be given only when the interest rates start rising (and that, is cold hard evidence!). Oh wait! But the stock market has risen steadily during the same period, you might rightly argue. I guess the rising market is not due to fundamental strength, but due to the stimulus packages, financial struts and various other gimmicks and stunts which are propping up the scare crow. So you're thinking "Oh really?". Yeah .. Wait and watch.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

At the billing counter..

Awhile ago I went to a restaurant for lunch.. Spotting some polis (a kind of sweet that looks like a chapaathi) among the knick-knacks and savories beside the billing machine, I asked the girl at the cash counter for one poli, she asked back “which kind”? So I asked her what “kinds” she had and she told me: coconut and paruppu (never knew two varieties existed). Since I wanted just one, I asked her which variety tastes better, and she enlightened me on the specialties of each variety (sweetness, freshness, oil content, energy, etc). Whoa! Good. So which one would you recommend I persisted?

She said ‘both’ .. and then, smiled. Okay, I ended up buying both, not because I was hungry or had surplus cash – but merely for the charm of the moment and the quick repartee.

Point #1: I wasn’t given a product description, but a sensible comparative analysis
Point #2: The recommendation was quick and carried a ‘punch factor’
Point #3: Smile

I think that’s wonderful customer service. Not just in car dealerships or computer stores, even at idly shops, it helps if every employee is also a marketer. Probably a heuristic that such folks also gain success quickly. Two months later she wasn't there! Moot point?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A perspective that crossed me today ..

Milton Friedman supports insider trading. I didnt know that! He argues it helps in faster and effective dissemination of information. Lets face it, insider trading is difficult to define, tougher to prove and almost impossible to prevent. Come to think of it, even "publicly available" bits of information (perhaps we can call it "outsider information"?) doesnt percolate in the same quantity, quality or time among the populace and very often, investment decisions are made on 'market sentiments' which reflect neither a firm's capabilities nor its decisions -- meaning, investors invest in a particular firm without even knowing the firm's real potential in the short and long term. And in such instances, when they do invest based on a firm's immediate potential -- Daddy-o says its insider trading! Perhaps that bit of information was their competitive advantage. If insider trading is called thievery then heres what Ayn Rand feels, she says the concept of a government is itself nothing but legitimised robbery and adds that altruism is nothing but an excuse for power-grabbing later on. Some cynical rationalism, that?

Regarding the issue of "privileged information" let me make a bold statement, most of the top firms even on Wall Street trade (amply) on non-public information exchanged between employees and this is a fact. They'd vehemently refuse and argue that it is not insider trading, and so we will humbly respect their words for whatever that's worth! But the fact remains and those in the know cannot deny it. Okay, be that as it may, now so many starved paragons of morality are getting ready to feast on Mr. Freshmeat (Raj Rajaratnam). I've heard that only when the tide goes low you know whose been swimming naked - Raj was caught unawares when the tides dipped. This does not mean that he was skinny dipping all the time, and neither does it mean that the others were fully clothed all the time. It merely means that at the particular instant when the regulators lowered the tide Raj was the first fish on the net and desperately trying to cover up. Nothing less and nothing more .. and so he's serving his 'term' for what that's worth.

If equality is what the authorities are aiming at -- let me tell you that equality can never be achieved. In the days of yore physical strength separated the men from the boys, in the current era knowledge separates the haves from the have nots - and for the next couple of years this discrimination of individuals based on knowledge will continue. While we all act as if we're striving towards some utopian social goal of equality, it is fairly evident and visible that each of us is only striving to first fill our own stomachs, then that of those around us and the circle broadens to reach those far away - if we reach that far! Inequality will be there, its sad, but its true. Lets put in our two-cents to lessen the impact.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Answer me ..

What is in life that men seek to see
Twice dead yet unforgiving
Never to mourn, never to care
Is this the stitch of skin to wear?

Uncommon kindness poured out to fools
Changing friends and rusted rules
Scary trenches and Hoola-hoops
Vanishing wealth and plastic boobs

Worthless words and filthy praise
Empty "can"s and famished days
They're nettles and hornets, better be beware
Else trudge in pain for there's none to care

Thought sans action and words untold
Shoving and straining till the gun grows old
But .. Once decided never ever bend
Hail-storm or High-water stay on to the end

There is one life that makes you, you.
Make or break - its just one of the two
Dare to fly and dare to fall
There is no gain in idleness after-all

When all is done there still will be left
Mockers and teasers to thresh to dust
Little known champs of unknown acclaim
Bickering scalawags, now unloved and lame

Why wade through waters daft and unkind
Seeking a harvest that satisfies not the mind
Begging and bawling for causes unknown
Bleaching all, but the heart and the soul

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Zealous Wayfarer

This 'poem' is a compilation of words and phrases that have run past my ears many a times. I believe quite a few of these can be traced to Mark Twain. Its beautiful .. enjoy it

Work like you don't need the money;
Play like its all that you got.
Smile like you never cared for tomorrow;
Live each breath as your last.


Dance like nobody's watching;
Love like you've never been hurt.
Sing like nobody's listening;
Live like it's heaven on earth.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Be Smart .. or Stand in Queue!

What-d-ya know! The Indian railways has introduced something that’s called a "Smart Card". Sounds like smart? Indeed, if you care to safely avoid the sweaty and smelly ticketing queues and blues!

Common sense told me that it would cost a bull-dozer. I decided to check up at the ticket counter at Saidapet without waiting for the snaking queue and figured that it would cost me a maximum of Rs. - 2/= (Minus 2 rupees).

You pay Rs. 100 and get a Smart Card loaded with Rs. 52/- (no forms to fill, no questions asked, no name, no contact info, no nothing!). You can use the card to purchase tickets for your self, family, boyfriend, girlfriend .. Heck! you can even start a ticketing stall next to the machine for passengers who wouldnt mind paying you an extra buck or two for faster service! Lets assume that you're honest and do not wish to make an entrepreneurial venture out of this ticket vending "b-plan" (or "plan-b" in times of recession!). When you dont need that card, you can surrender it at the counter and get a full refund of the security deposit (Rs. 50). Total value gained from card: 50 + 52 = 102/-. Amount you pay = Rs. 100/-. Therefore, Cost of card = Rs. - 2/- .. and this calculation doesn't yet consider the opportunity cost of the time saved.

Take a minimum estimate. Say, you wait at the ticketing queue for a total of 25 minutes every week. This works out to a little over 107 minutes a month. If you are earning ~ 400 rupees per hour then, per month:
The time saved is worth = Rs. 714.28 + Flexibility of giving it to your friends/ family (legal) = Rs. 100 + Avoid getting yelled at for not having exact change = Rs. 200. Total cost saved = Rs. 1014.28 .. and if you quantify "escaping the agony" aspect of waiting in a sweaty queue, its much higher! Okay, stop reading my blog. Get a Smart Card.. get smart. Now!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Abracadabra ...

Theres a curious experiment I'm considering ...

I came across an article in the Reder's Digest on how to improve your IQ to make it to mensa. Some of you may rightly wonder .. so what IS 'mensa'? Simply put, its a highly selective association of high IQ-d individuals and the society admits only those whose IQ is at or above the 98th percentile (132+ per the Stanford-Binet scale or 148+ for the Cattell). I read this article about a year or more ago and among the various suggestions and recommendations, I found a curious mention of a particular drug starting with the letter "M". Online 'research' told me that this compound promotes wakefullness and brain activity and keeps the people extremely alert for extended periods of time. Surprisingly, it is NOT addictive and doesn't make you oversleep for all the sleep-time you lost .. I mean, what more can you ask for?! I've read personal experiences of people using this compound and the claims they've made seems decent, worthwhile and fair. So could it be the wonder-drug that can transform Clark Kents into Superman? .. I'm not really sure. May be. I dont know .. I really dont know and so I decide to try. Trying something personally is the ONLY WAY you can be ABSOLUTELY sure if something is TRUE OR NOT. Here is some worthwhile background info ... This compound was discovered somewhere around the elate 70s, but only over the last 2 -3 years militaries around the world have been extensively testing it - esp. US and UK who studied its effect on bomber pilots who need to be awake, alert and astir sometimes for upto 40 hours straight! (Life in the defence forces isnt all that easy for tall the "Ray-Ban" glamour that it carries, huh?!) This compound is not available over-the-counter (OTC) in most countries, but in the place where I live .. this is an over-the-counter medicine (its not even a Schedule 'H' drug). But, sorry I wont reveal the compound name or its manufacturer(s). I'll give you a tough clue though .. it is priced in the range of 65 to 85 rupees for a strip of 10 tabs (100 mg strength) and is freely available almost all the worthwhile pharmacies around the city.

So I've made my 'confession' formal .. I'll be taking this compound on particular days (double blindfolded / placebo mix test) on some days over the next month. One Mr. Cat-in-a-hat (name changed for security reasons) will be assisting me with regard to 'randomising' samples / selecting and administering placebos.

Come back if you care to know more about this. I'll be posting my experiences regardless of its efficacy or its appropriateness! I dont belong to any pharma company (although I have been indirectly involved in fundamental drug discovery research at one point in my career) and this blog-post is no marketing gimmick to boost sales .. and I really dont care if the sales of that compound goes up or down, as I dont own a single share of the company .. and there are better ways alert people can chaperone firms into profitability, during times of economic mediocrity and turmoil.

Some of the what-if "thinkers" among you might rightly wonder: What if this compound makes my descendants die of brain and drain cancer after 43.67 generations? :-)!

.. Buddy you'll never know if you'll leave a legacy 43 generations down the line! Medical trials havent proved much to counter the claims made .. so why bother about whats gonna happen 43-and-three-quarter generations down the line?? .. You have just one life. Make it, dont lose it!

"Test everything, hold on to what is true"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tic tac .. and toe

Here are some pics I shot last week ..

Kaka on a hot tin roof! (a-la cat on a hot tin roof)
Note: Same kaka stars in both the pics above.

The simplest way to understand 'exponential growth curve'
(BEACON Chargers all three!)

"Mirror mirror on the wall whoz the darkest of them all?"

No elaboration. The quote has no correlation of any kind to the pic (except for the 'mirror' overlap) and it is not easy to grasp either. However, those who've experienced it will understand the deep seated significance of the above-mentioned quote. What say Fred?

What is 10 times rarer than a UFO Sighting?!

As much as I loathe blogging about my friends, here is something that I couldn't but blog about.

The picture below is strange. Strange cause it contains 2 extremes. One part of the picture is such a common sight, and the other part is sooo so rare that this pic was clicked by a member of my class (no worries there, I wont reveal the name, and that's a promise!) during the lec, lest its idiosyncratic-effect disintegrates during break-time.

Time for some explanation .. First the uncommon sighting. The gentleman you see on the extreme right is my compatriot Sayuj, the blue-shirt is Rhys and the lady is Sam. This pic was, is and will be the first and the last time that either of these three superstars will have ever set seat on the first row in any class!

Now for the second part which is soooo so common, infact so common that its not quite talked about. The respected scholar standing at the door is our very own 'Pratik-turned-Patrick'. So what's so common about him standing at the door .. you may legitimately wonder. Well if you were keen enough, you'd notice that he's actually walking into class a good 15 minutes late (observe that Sayuj is already in). Aw-right, okay .. you werent observant coz that's so common too :) ... and they used to teach us in kindergarten that walls have ears and potatoes have eyes. If that can be true, then why not mobile phone cam lenses. Say what?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How to treat ~100 friends @ MBA School @ 82 paisa ..

.. not just get away with it, but also get appreciated for it!
Well here is the mother of all 'How to' guides ever! The very elixir of modern management. The million dollar answer to the question on how to treat ALL of your known and unknown friends for dirt cheap (less than 2 dollars in total) .. Not in a meek rural hamlet but at the heart of South-Asia's 4th largest metropolis - Chennai ... make an impact and get appreciated for it. Not once or twice, but 14 times for it - incl. faculty members :) Ahh .. Now you wanna know, right? Then read on ..
I'm sure 5.99 sigma (the shaky ol' half-brother of six sigma) taught some of you folks why creativity doesnt help. Why creativity is such a drain on your precious "resources". Why you should succeed the very first time you try anything at all and *never* ever fail .. with an accuracy rate of 99.999% .. Phew! (Read more on the tiff between 6 sigma and creativity/innovation by clicking here, here and here). Here is a short personal incident which explains how creativity can come in handy, even in the short run .. help scale-down your expenses (atleast 6.6 times better than classic six sigma style), and get you some worthwhile publicity!
I celebrated my silver jubilee (25 years of age, not the 'silver hair' connotation of the word 'silver') and had this interesting decision to make. Pocket spending on was on a shoestring (as usual) since it was the second half of the month. I hadn't celebrated my birthday for the last 730 days and so had to either scale down Bday celeb OR 'think creatively'. How easily said, than done!
No. of people who were offered the 'treat': 98 (approx)
No. of people who took it: One less than the above; 1 person refused (due to health reasons!)
Variable cost incurred: Rs. 80/=
Fixed cost: None.
Cost per person: Rs. 0.82 (82 paisa)
No. of commendations received: 13, excluding 1 from a professor.
So .. what exactly did I give?
S*** P****i
Its a "soft - fine" secret. And I will not be posting the answer for some time :( .. If you are *really* as curious as me, then ask one of my classmates at LIBA or heck, give me a call!.
I originally titled it "Sweet Nothings" .. but then changed it to a more racy, more salesy "How to .." guide. For you-know-why ..

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stepping stones to Success

So what was that 'thing' which served as a steeping stone to success? .. Failure .. Failure? .. Hmm. Yesterday was a successful day.

Two is company, three is a crowd they used to say .. So the first 'thing' to give me company last evening was the RBI. They probably realised after my interview that I might start a sting operation and embezzle all their money out! .. Fair enough. I'd asked them for a project to correlate RBI's policies with the immediate and prolonged repurcussions it had on the stock market. Guess I asked for a pie-in-the-sky! .. and I also asked the interviewers exactly what all they'd do with the Forex reserves to mark-up or mark-down the value of the Indian rupee - which technically isnt a right question to ask or answer. Well, I probably asked for more than I should chew and promptly paid the price for it. Whateva!

The second one to give me company was goody goody google. How? .. by duly rejecting my ad-sense account application. After 6 hopeful days of nurturing dreams of becoming an instant karode-pathi (crorepati) -- a young 'n' successful "daat caam" millionaire entrepreurner ;), here is what I was informed:

"We're unable to approve your AdSense application at this timebecause we feel that your site does not comply with the Google webmasterquality guidelines. More specifically, we believe that your site does not add value or provide unique content. For a complete list of the webmaster guidelines, please visit"

Ah well .. "Don't be evil" they say, eh?

And there was one more .. but I'd rather not mention that one here!

Alrite, I'm not in my modest best. I'm in a bad mood .. so what?

Update at 6:35 am. Back in action. Sure all these would help. forgot the silver lining. The COMA test went really well. See I forgot! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

What did the Black Cats do on Republic day?

So what were the black cats really up to on Republic day? Good question (will blog something about this phrase some other time .. an incident that kept me running all over the office). However, this is not about the Black Cats that guard the high and mighty and are entrusted with the security of the nation. I have a lot of respect for them, and my respect knows no words.

The black cats I'm writing about are LIBA's very own Black Cats, who were a part of outbound@dawn - the outdoor equivalent of Samanvay '09 at IIT Madras. To all those pigeon-holed chipmunks who chose to sleep safe in their burrows .. here is a sneek peek on what you guys didnt deserve to be a part of :)
There were 9 teams of about 8 - 10 members each and all the members of every team had to participate in all the 9 physically enduring games: Tunneling, Cross Country, Lake Rafting, Monkey Crawling (rope hanging and reverse locomotion), "A" Frame, Trust Fall, Snake Rings, Caterpillar Walk and Burma Bridge (rope).
Enough of words ..
the Black cats (minus one cat)

And I still don’t believe that man came from monkeys :) Jus kidding! .. A class act by Christo

Who else? but good ol' Sayuj .. fastest team member in that event.

Treasure(less) hunt ..

Wassup Boni?

Where's Burma? Tell me, quick!

Cost of capital (participation): Cuts in the palm and a handkerchief that dived into the water while I was crossing the burma bridge.

Sincere thanks to the IIT-DOMS folks (Dept. of Management Studies IIT-Madras) for organising Outbound@Dawn and Prof. LSG (the last letter is 'g' not 'd'..) for his kind personal invitation. Thank you once again, Sir. Way to go!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Believe ..

Can be dismissed as being forwardsy (and it is!) .. But its good and worth the time. A diamond among the rocks. Read on .. slowly.
I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if
We understand that friends change..

I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
(and the same applies to money)

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant
That can give you a heartache for the rest of your life.

I Believe...
That it's takes a long time
To become the person one wants to be.

I Believe...
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe...
That we are responsible for what
We do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done
When it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...
That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe...
That my best friend and I, can do anything, or nothing and have the best time.

I Believe...
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you
When you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
And what you've learned from them and less to do
With how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...
That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.

Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe...
That our background and circumstances *may* have influenced who we are,
But, we are entirely responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
Two people can look at the exact same thing
And see something totally different.

I Believe...
That at times your life can be changed in a matter of minutes
By people who don't even know you.

I Believe...
That even when you think you have no more to give, when
A friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall can never make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That t
he happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything.
"Its okay if you have tried and failed, its not okay if you haven't even tried"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekends here .. say cheese .. smile please!

Here is an interesting sequence of 3 pics clicked in the order presented. All these creatures co-inhabit the 3rd floor of the LIBA Hostel (where these pics were shot). The grad-day ceremony of Batch '08 was just moments away. Way to go (un) mask-eteers!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone .. Say cheese ..

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Last morning we dicsussed the research design aspects of a HBS case: "Boston Fights Drugs". I found this short poem interesting enough to be blogged about .. notice that there are no 'powerful' words, all are common-place lingo and yet this ad of the mid-eighties caused a stir among the drug-dazed student population of greater Boston (population: 3 million). This post has been very loosely titled crack-jack (in fond memory of the sweet-n-salty biscuit snack I loved during my school days), the implications though are rather deep. Sample it ..

"Take me out of the ballgame,
Take me out of the crowd,
Buy me some pieces of crack, Jack;
I dont care if I never come back ..."

Whats in Reserve?

Well yes, I was interviewed by the famed 'Reserve Bank of India' for a Summer Internship position. My my .. I couldn’t believe what I saw. The interiors were so plush I'd rate it just half-a-shade lower than a 5 star hotel, by which I mean the Taj Krishna and Taj Banjara in Hyderabad and the Taj Hotel on MG Road, Bangalore (I forgot the name). I mean there were marble floors, leather sofas, full-glass tea-poys, professional bankers, a powerful a/c, top of the line cutlery, jaded carpets, pretty high profile .. and certainly a far cry from the dinghy "teller" counter I used to deposit my pocket money in -- as a little boy many years ago.
Was a bit unwell and trembling with shivers while interviewing. The HR General Manager, a kind gentleman, personally took care of me with coffee, medicines and snacks and propped me up for the interviews. By God's grace I did the interview to my satisfaction - the results will be out in another week or so. FYI, my interview was held at the RBI Governor's office (RBI Gov is the guy whose signature is there on the indian currency notes). So what else did I see at the RBI Headquarters?
I'd love to tell you, but .. hmm .. I'm so sorry, I've signed that non-disclosure policy.
... Too bad :(

I did see a lot of other *very* interesting things, though - stuff worth writing home about ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

suddenly SOMETHING ..! I did it. I've made it! .. Yes, I've done the third best-thing-to-do while at b-school. This '3rd best thing' will serve as a cogent black-board for me and double-up as a 'johari' window for those who are curious enough to know what I'm fiddling with from time to time .. thoughts, ideas, people, experiences and of-course .. just about anything. Going by the number of '.com' success stories and instant crore-pathis, I can perhaps dream that this web-site (an unappealing way of addressing a 'blog', stripped down to its functional skeleton) would soon catapult me into the 'been there, done that' category .. well, enough of counting the chicken, before even the eggs have been laid!

Guess what the top 2 things to be done at b-school are?
First is f**l i* l*v*, second is g*t a g**d j**)

Your comments, wise-cracks, suggestions (some hyd folks may identify the source of this famed phrase) .. all except physical manifestations of the same are welcome!