From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

Archive for January, 2006|Monthly archive page

sleight of hand…twist of fate…

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2006 at 1:57 pm

Software Engineer living in Thailand. kidnapped one fine day to find himself a prisoner in an anonymous room. Here, he spendsget thisfourteen years before being released! Without blowing the entire storyline, the movie then is about his attempt to answer Why and Who. This was Zinda. This aint a review of the movie, plenty of better qualified links for that. For me, the sequence in the movie after hes released was it! Emerging out of a trunk, Bala (Dutt), finds himself standing on the roof of one of hundreds of skyscrapers around. He spends the next few minutes walking around the streets of Bangkok trying to orient himself. But its a world that’s long passed him by. He looks for landmarks he might recognize but only sees an alien land. He knows noonenoone knows him, remembers him. The background score now plays ye hai meri kahani. The words of the songstringsthe situationthe combination is chilling. The feeling of isolation is complete. All-encompassing. Cant be just me. Koi nahihai koi bhi nahina paasna duurek yaar haidil ki dhadkanCliched? maybebut the words lingerfunnyonly other song to have ever had that effect on me is also by the same bandjaane do

p.s: the title of the post…not mine…a u2 song…guess?

the photograph…mine…taken from my trusty rebel 2000


of hangovers and hattricks

In ISB on January 29, 2006 at 9:19 am

Ever felt like there was a steam-powered locomotive thundering along at top speed inside your head?!
Well, I haven’t either, but yeah, do have a headache that’s bad enough that I’m wincing as i look at my bright laptop screen right now. Yup…had a party on campus last night…about time too! The idea was to lighten the ‘placement’-ridden atmosphere. The turnout wasn’t too bad…and as usual…our gang (well most of it…) was there till the last song was played. Of course…that also means a steady supply of a certain kind of beverage to keep us going. And considering my method of getting drinks is to walk to the bar (manned by huggy and hebs) and say…”use your imagination…”..meant that I ingested everything every kind of poison that they had. Was fun though…except the waking up part for the Accenture ppt.

For those who came in late…there is a code of conduct for the preplacement talks lest we behave as barbarians and roast and gorge on the HR personnel of different companies (don’t think the thought hasn’t crossed our minds in certain cases). So, when the party flyers (read emails) went out…there was a revised version of the same that went…
Please be guided with the message/invitation below – attendance is mandatory.
Do observe the following:
1. Please be present at the venue 5 minutes before the start of the party.
2. DO NOT bring laptops.
3. Do not walk out before the party ends.
4. If you are not interested in drinking, smoking and dancing, please refrain from discouraging others J.
5. There could be some delay in the start/end of the party. Please come prepared for this and schedule your other appointments accordingly.
6. Attendance will be marked at the beginning and at the end.
Please do not send mails regarding swaps, there is no scope for swapping here

Pretty neat huh…J
In other news…first over of the Karachi test match…
and I was there!! (well, atleast in spirit and in front of the tube)…when
4th ball…pitched on a full length…swung away…outside edge (left-handed Salman Butt)…Dravid at 1st slip
5th ball…pitched even fuller…swung in…rapped Younis Khan on the pad…leg before wicket
6th ball…pitched on a good length…swung in AND seamed in!…through bat-pad (Mohammed Yousuf)…bowled!
I was there!…when Irfan Pathan, became the first Indian new-ball bowler (Bhajji took the other) to take a hattrick in a test match!
Later in the day (posted at 5.30pm)…
Pakistan bowled out for 245 and India lose 2 quick wickets to be 19/2 and i find out something about myself.
Sachin facing…Shoaib hits him hard on the side of the helmet with a lethal quick bouncer. That was over 15 mins ago and my pulse rate is only now returning to normal. Its sport, its only natural and i’m rational, even about cricket…can take a loss as much as a win. But watching super slow mos of the ball thudding into the side of that helmet…watching that head snap back from impact…set off a timed detonation somewhere deep inside me. Would be an understatement to say, that one delivery had me smoldering with rage. Took me a while to realise that i had my jaw clenched…and my brow furrowed as i watched the screen with what must’ve been a murderous expression. in fact thats the realization that had me add this to the post.
funny how i reacted…inspite of knowing thats what protective gear is for. funny indeed…

midterm time

In ISB on January 27, 2006 at 3:51 pm

Had the Branding Midterm today.closed book affair. Experience has taught me that the open book kind is about as safe as stuffing deep fried spicy chicken wings deep into your pant pockets and diving into a piranha-infested pool. Either there is never enough time to actually open the book and look for answers or the questions and the text book content look so far apart that you wonder if you brought the wrong textbook. Anyway, the test was kinda cool, with 5 questions of the what advice would you give this company and why? variety.

Then there was the Advertising quiz. Knowing the prof from Consumer Behaviour class in Term 5, I was keen to see what he would come up with this time. Sure enough, apart from the usual multiple-choice questions, there was a bonus question that asked us to set a question and give five plausible answers including the correct answer. Then there was the yawnfest ITBS class where I had trouble staying awake inspite of my networked laptop. Think I’m still only recovering from that.

Whole bunch of job postings appeared on the CAS site today, some, more relevant than others. Still clueless about what is it that I really want to do. Wish there was some way where I could sample different roles like we do in the first couple of days of the elective terms. I could then be brand manager for an FMCG company for about a week followed by marketing manager for an electronics company and hell, maybe even HR consultant. And if none of them made sense, then I could go back to the IT’…that phrase almost sounds like a curse. But, to be fair, there are plenty of options there tooBusiness Development, IT consulting, marketing and salesthe list goes on.

Damn! Just read through my post and realized there isnt a single wisecrackits almost like one of those informative blogs! So am gonna quit while I’m ahead

The Best Ad ever!!!

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2006 at 11:15 am

Something brought tears to my eyes todaynothis is not my feeble attempt at conveying my metrosexuality ppl who know me wud be going ya right! just abt now J woh to khushi ke aasoon the!

This was a commercial we saw in Advertising Class that I even copied from the prof later. In fact am gonna narrate the complete storyboard:

Scene opens with a crowd quietly standing in front of a huge television screen

All kinds of people in the crowd, a few with the dabs of paint on their faces depicting the Indian tricolor. The camera pans across as theyre anxiously looking at the screen. A little girl, oblivious to the tension in the air, chomps away on a bar of chocolate.

Theres a background score playingslow, quiet, male voicehumko ye kisne chua hai

A living room: overflowing with people staring at the television.

Backgroundjadoo sa ye kya hua hai…”

A bus stop: a kid in a bottlegreen school uniformbites into a bar of chocolatethen shadow-practices a straight driveshakes his head in disgustthen does it againbetter this timeid know 😉..then nods in self-approval.

Backgroundkhel ka rangchaane laga hai…”

A couple in their living room: the guy is lost in concentration watching the of chocolate in one handas his girlfriend slips the contents out of the wrapper and takes a bite.

Backgrounddil ki dhadkanbadhaane laga hai…”

A barber salon: tv in the corner showing the gamethis guy in the chair with u guessed itchocolate bar in hand watching intently. the barber, in true desi style..twists this dudes head to one sidethe guy keeps turning his head towards the television who the hell gets a haircut when ST is batting?!

Backgroundandaaz badle hue hain…”

Local convenience store: typical middle-aged owner listening to radio. Kid asks for a chocolate when apparently a boundary is struck. The owner signals fourlooks like hes saying Its free”…kid grins and leaves

Backgroundchaaron taraf mastiyaan hain…”

More scenes in living roomspeople watching nervouslythen exploding into celebrationhugs and high-fives all around.

Backgroundchorus..increasing in crescendo..humko ye kisne chua haiiiiii

Final sceneas everyone in the room celebratesthis guy is kneeling at the tv screenas if to feed the batsman his chocolate bar pun intended!

Finallythe well recognized glasses of milk pouring to give Cadburys Dairy Milk Chocolate. Background…”Cadburys Dairy Milkmazaa aa gaya

Damn right mazaa aa gaya! Now, the reason it struck a chordthis commercial was aired during the 2003 world cupand I can almost smell the coffee we used to brew at 4am (central time) in the morning to watch indias games. I was to leave on vacation to India the next day and India was chasing an improbable 275 to stay alive in the tournament.

After a quiet first over from Akram, Shoaib to bowl the second to Sachin

Ball 1: shortwidequick! ST stretches and goes at it with everythingball takes the top edge(they say its medically impossiblebut am pretty sure my heart stopped at that instant)but the ball soars over thirdman into the crowdfirst ball and SIX!

Ball 2: straightFAST!defended

Ball 3: good length…outside off. ST punches of the backfoot..through the coversfour.

Ball 4: just outside offleft alone to the wicketkeeper

Ball 5: fast, overpitched and on the padsdont bowl there!:)clipped sublimely for four in front of square. (by this time the 7 of us in the room are bowing in reverence, arms outstretched, palms facing down…am not kidding!)

Ball 6: good length..straight. ST stands tall and plays defensively. Except that the ball races to the long on fence. Noones supposed to be able to do that!


18 runs off the over. Sir Donald Bradman who?! J end of the over, the ad I just described in graphic detail appearsnow you know why the tears J

Cant help but recall the last line of a print ad I’d seen in an Adidas showroom some 6 years ago

When Sachin batsall elseis irrelevant

Amen to that!

On an unrelated note, all kinds of job postings appearing on the intranetthe latest one as I was writing this post?… whod have figured J

thats not in the script

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Its going to be 24th Jan 2006 in a lil over 20 minutes. There wasnt anything significant about that date up until 10 months ago. Not quite so nowtill about 5 months ago, if I had to anticipate how tonight would be, I’d sayin one wordFUN! Being a weekday with classes in the morning, am guessing thered be a gathering of a select bunch... at your place right about now. Thered be general leg-pulling and then the customary dunking in the pool. I think itd be safe to say that youd be dunked four-five times for good measure accompanied by several others who, many of who wouldnt have bargained on getting wet. This would be followed by some messy cake-cutting and picture-taking. Considering your new-found appreciation of the finer grape juices, there might even have been a bottle of champagne to pop open. Most of tomorrow would be spent with me ribbing you about how its all downhill after a particular age and thoroughly enjoying the look on your face every time I said it.

Doesn’t seem like a long while ago when you were making wide-eyed plans to have me wear white linen pants to my dunking. 12 months ago, would not have had any inkling about the kind of friends I’d make herewould certainly not have counted on finding as good a friend as younot in this take-no-prisoners environment. 5 months ago, would not by any stretch of the imagination, imagined that I’d be sitting hunched over the keyboardwith my head in my handson this dateat this time

You don’t even realize when some people become part of your critical support system and as if on cuethey arent aroundas if to drive home the point. I guess its taken me this year to figure out that things just do not have to go according to scriptthat there is in factno script. Many Happy Returns of the Day Nmay God bless you

assessments and DISC

In ISB on January 22, 2006 at 7:34 am

Trust googles technology to do the the unexpected! In keeping with my last post about how I (over)slept all through Friday night into Saturday morning, adsensegoogles intelligent web-advertising algorithm that is supposed to display advertising that is relevant to the content of the webpage its onshows Hypnosis for Better Sleep and Great Night Sleep Remedy on my blog. Very perceptive I must say, considering my rant was about how I slept way more than I’d intended to!

In other news, yesterdays ppt by Agilent Tech created quite a buzz around campus with their astronomical offers, albeit for fairly senior level positions. More companies hiring for senior-management positions, that’s what would go a long way in establishing the ISB brand as a top global school.

Got my profiling done by Thomas assessment yesterday…essentially a questionnaire followed by a detailed report about the kind of person I am, in 3 situations: my usual self, at work and under pressure. They use the DISC profile ( Was surprised to see no expletives in my report J it did say some funny stuff though about me being friendly? Logical? Systematic? Positive? Anyway, it didnt say what I was counting onthat i was not a good fit in any managerial role and should focus my energies into becoming the son-in-law of a rich man with an only daughter J sigh…

Now…ghirti deewaron keaanchal mezinda hoon…”


In ISB on January 21, 2006 at 5:32 am

my eyes open graduallyGROAN!(loudly) and close them immediately because of the blinding light in the roomtakes a minute to sink in that its maybe just daylight coming in through the windowopen them againthe ceiling reluctantly swims into focusstrangeI feel disheveledno wonderam still dressed in what I’d worn to class i try and remember where I amthe last thing I recall is collapsing into bed for a half-hour nap at 11.15pm with great effort I crane my neck to see the digital face of my bedside clockits 9am! What the ####?! i was out for almost 10 hours! missed my focus group meetingsee missed calls to that effect toowhats worse…dont feel like getting out of bed even after that sinful orgy of sleep i just participated in!…cant believe a sore throat and a touch of fever did that! feel like crap…now to get my bearings and start the day


In ISB on January 19, 2006 at 10:38 pm

Recently, I did something I hadn’t done in a long time…even though its something I’ve always claimed to enjoy. No…I’m not referring to a four-letter word followed by ‘off’.
I read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’. The choice of title was essentially driven by the fact that this was the least intimidating to look at in the store with a simple white softcover edition with the title printed in blue. Not a bad choice after all…it’s about how snap judgments are not necessarily a bad thing. He reasons that the human mind is capable of processing a huge amount of information and yield accurate assessments of people and situations in remarkably short intervals of time (hence the title), when unfettered by prejudices formed from prior experience. A good light read.

Apart from my ‘intellectual pursuits’, there’ve been the usual battery of ppts to attend everyday in addition to the myriad assignments I’ve had to submit this week. Courtesy those, I managed to oversleep today and miss the Branding session, that too, after having read the case for discussion! Had a 2 hour session with DiamondCluster today, was given by CEO and the head of the soon-to-be-launched India operations. Its amazing how much more impactful a presentation and pitch is, when the presenters have a sense of humour, unlike the presentation by a certain petroleum company from the land that invented my favourite sport. Slick job all-in-all, certainly piqued the interest of the 100 odd people at the session.

Now to get back to reading about possible strategies in China of the 80s, for cosmetic companies with exotic names, tomorrow’s Branding discussion…thought I was done for the week but was informed otherwise 😦

Powered by intellect…driven Crazy!

In ISB on January 16, 2006 at 8:21 pm

You tell us where you want to be and well decide where we want to put youa reassuring comment(?) by the HR manager. Yes, it was the turn of Indias 3rd largest (or is it 2nd?) largest IT services firm Infosys and my ex-employer to strut its stuff in the preplacement talk. Infy had leveraged its biggest assetthe truckloads of ppl it has J in sending 4 top managers to field questions from the bright-and-eager ISB batch of 06. Going by the attendance, there seems to be enough interest to fill their 28 (believe it or not!) available roles.

In other (insignificant) news, had an advertising class watching different car commercials and critiquing them, my kind of class this J. The prof made an observationsayingwe tend to associate things that we see together, as having a connectionand as example saying how, from watching a guy and a girl together on campusppl would draw the conclusion that they’re a coupletell me abt it! J Data Mining was the usual k-means nearest neighbourno, its not a cryptic admission of my feelings for someone who goes by K…it’s a method to predict an outcome given certain attributes.

Tomorrows kinda big on the ppt calendar with IBM, Microsoft and E&Y scheduled. Have 3 cases to read and its 1.20amdamn! who said time only flies when youre having fun!

p.s: the title of this post is a work of fiction and any resemblance to the slogan of any company, living, dead or otherwise, is purely coincidental J


In Uncategorized on January 14, 2006 at 2:31 pm

U2BadBorrowed words…reason for some to dismiss thempowerful words…could try for a lifetime and not say it half as good…Bono at his brilliant best…

fade (defn): become less clearly visible or distinguishable; disappear gradually or seemingly

If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would
Let it go


If I could throw this
Lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I’d lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

To let it goAnd so to fade away
To let it go
And so fade

I’m wide awakeI’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

If you should ask then maybe they’d
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide in blood shot eyes

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would
Let it go

This desperationDislocation
In temptation
Let it go

And so fade awayTo let it go
And so
fade away
To let it go
And so to

I’m wide awakeI’m wide awake
Wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

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