From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

Archive for March, 2006|Monthly archive page


In ISB on March 31, 2006 at 9:26 pm

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.

Tom Stoppard


the nominees are…

In ISB on March 31, 2006 at 4:03 pm

With the amount of interest in the ISB, lots of prospective B-school grads around the world look for this information with the simple task of typing in ISB or ISB Blogs into the multi-colored know-it-all(google of course!) And am sure theyve been well-rewarded with information through the various excellent weblogs that my batchmates update almost religiously. And there are blogs like this one that really should only be read when one is the mood for a complete lack of structure/content/insight.

However, as graduation day draws closer, am wondering whether the aforementioned prospectives arent wondering if theres something wrong with google as it seems to point them to all these sites that seem to be very Oscar award like. People waxing eloquent about how all thats been gained here is coz of these people in their lives. This is in no way a slur on those meaningful and heartfelt expressions of gratitude. Its indeed nice to see that almost everyones evaluated this experience, not on the basis of details printed on their offer letters but on the friendships formed, testimony to the fine group of individuals thats called this place home for a year

The list of my ambassadors of kwancoming soon


In ISB on March 30, 2006 at 3:52 pm

Term Break…day 1…oh wait…can’t do that this time. Since am done with classes and exams and the one submission due Saturday, this really is like any other break. Except that, instead of the usual rush to catch up on sleep/movies/alcohol/food/loud music, this time around it’s about Movers & Packers/Back ups/EXIT PROCEDURES (in caps coz that’s how there were in the friendly l’il email).
After having hit the ‘Postpone’ button on the Outlook reminder that’s been popping up from that email I mentioned, I finally had a look at the contents today. Turns out it’s a list of ‘to-dos’ before we can be allowed off campus. Stuff about getting our laptops formatted, books/dvds returned, apartment inventories checked. Each activity, with a deadline attached, a form to be signed and an ‘exit-pass’ to be issued once everything’s been checked and found to be in order. Makes sense, doesn’t it. I mean its highly possible that there might be a large number in the batch of ’06 who might’ve quit their jobs, moved from different corners of the world, basically, put their lives on hold for a year for the sole purpose of infiltrating this place with the intent to swipe a couple of books and maybe (gasp! )even a fork or two! I even suspect there’s increased security personnel around lest the more enterprising (read hardened criminal minds) might just think of digging a tunnel or constructing some kind of flying machine with the tools at our disposal! The wardens at Alcatraz would be well-served to study the processes here to make sure that they don’t release mass-murderers into the general peace-loving populace. Good job indeed!
In other news, there’s this ‘Wembley’esque structure being erected on the lawns (on the side of the exit to SV3)…the venue for all the hoopla (read graduation ceremony). This too had been the subject of controversy when we were told we could get 2 passes and any additional guests would have to be paid for. Not so much that, as much as one of the inconsequential ‘admins’ sending out an email about how free-loaders are waiting to come in and have a free meal at the school’s expense. Don’t get me wrong, am as excited about it as anyone…black gown…formal shindig. Quite a departure from my Bachelor’s graduation where the degrees were handed out from a counter at the University office in a “come-if you-care-enough or whatever” fashion.
So its finally happening…can imagine about 420 odd folks from the incoming batch starting to pack their bags and get nervous about what’s in store…all that eagerness to find out what they should do and read and wear etc etc. for them, all I’ll say is that prepping for their time here is like tying to prepare for a tornado that’s headed ur way…in their case…they’re actually going looking for it. But then, there’s something about the thrill of anticipation don’t you think… 🙂

your mother warned you there’d be days like these…

In ISB on March 29, 2006 at 6:55 am

To say that I’m gonna miss scrambling to make it in time for the 8.30am or miss the momentous struggle to stay awake in the 2.30pm would be just reaching for reasons to feel bad. What will be missed though are the 2 teaspoonfuls of bitter overpriced coffee that the vending machines dispense, hurriedly procured during the 5 min break. The sms surreptitiously (well kinda) exchanged, the numerous gtalk windows (some connected to the person sitting right next to you). Not to mention the ‘stimulating’ discussions held in numerous classes (read as those with a Class Participation component of > 10%). Yup…as could be guessed from depressingly similar posts 😉 on other blogs…my last class ended about an hour ago. Marketing Strategy…was a low-key affair…but fun albeit…dynamic churn models (yeah, listened enough to pick that up).
Ok, just in case you’re almost about to hurl coz of all the nostalgia spewing from this page…some choice comments I’ve heard profs make…

“Folks…You’re all here to polish your diamonds” – the managing IT prof makes a decidedly sexist statement
“ISB is not a swimming pool…if you all go in…everyone won’t come out wet..” same prof…reveals his new dunk-proof compound
“So you’re saying that his only achievement was to be a member of the lucky sperm club” Strategy Implementation prof’s tirade against all methods of contraception
“Zara is basically Dell on steroids” the Business Performance Measurement prof calls for testing of corporates
“That’s nothing but a Mickey Mouse example” Customer Focussed Product Development prof’s response to a Disney fan’s pearls of wisdom

Spaced out circle

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2006 at 11:44 am

as you’ll find in my HBR article…

In ISB on March 27, 2006 at 9:05 pm

It’s been that kinda dayone of thosewhere you think theres a conspiracy on to exasperate you. I wonder though if there might be a correlation (however weak) between having a bad dayand the following:

Þ Staying up till 5.30am with an 8.30am class to go to
Þ Consuming copious amounts of alcohol in the process

Hmmm…I just might be onto something heremaybe should consider publishing an article in HBR about that.

So, heres the synopsis

Take 1: woke up to the shrill jangling of the phoneKs wakeup call8amjust time enough to make it to class. Sat through 2 hrs of the most unapologetic kind of self-promotion you cud hope to see. Someone actually counted the number of times he talked about his articles in HBR (hence the brainwave above). 16 at the break. In an attempt to further my learning…downloaded and installed the NFS underground Rivals demo. But the game wont runand whats worsemy machine then slowed to a crawl. Snapped laptop shut with a snarlluckily class ended 5 mins later.

Take 2: second class…I cudnt possibly afford to break my streak of paying absolutely no attention to what was said in class for this subject. Think even the prof ran out of stuff to sayended class 20 mins before time. seemed more like wed gone over by more than 10 times that. Laptop still behaving weirdstarting to get worried…

Take 3: The heavenly feeling of dehydration makes itself felt nowmake a pretense of lunchhomecheck my email? Machine still giving troublechuck ittake a nap. Had promised to help G and A with this enterprise of theirsbut apparently was dead to the world…didn’t wake up to 8 missed calls…

Take 4: time: 6pm. Woke up…I swear the room was moving in slow revolutions (the jury might not buy that). Finally steady the roomlaptop still spluttering (later found it was a virus)looked outside windowbeautiful sunsetnote to self: not gonna be many more of those here. Grab my Powershot and go outside. Think the SV3 K-Block wud be an ideal vantage pointfire off some shots outside my quad, then sprint towards SV3. Turns out hangovers and sprinting dont mix (imp finding for my article). Reach SV3 heaving like I’d just run a marathonget into positionguess whatsun goes behind a bank of clouds low on the horizon@#$%&^!

Take That! Hours laterfixed the laptopattended section partydid not so much as glance at the crates of beertook a shower…relaaaxing…things looking up. its hot in herelook for AC remotepress Poweryou guessed itaint workingmother#@$%!&!

’06 party marathon – stage 1

In ISB on March 26, 2006 at 12:19 am

5.17 amend of partyfirst party since placement seasonabout timegreat time! Vibes? Naahmore likely imagination As certain Profs of marketing would say…”Who nose?”…


In ISB on March 24, 2006 at 10:10 pm

Didn’t even hit me till much later. That was because unlike other terms, this time my end-term was scheduled on the same day as two lectures. But, as has happened too many times this term, my alarm sold me out and I woke up 10 mins into the 8.30am lecture, which is finebutwas still in my bed. Too bad ISB has a dress-code (meaning u have to be wearing one)…else cud’ve just dashed to class 🙂 Attended the other section to compensate for it, the TA even knew my name and had marked me present, surprise surprise! After that, had the Negotiation End-termslick affair2 partsone based on the cases done in class and the other was supposedly a real-life casethe set of handouts helped. Later saw the email about the cancelled Marketing Strategy endterm. Means I just gave my last exam in this placetrivial to all reading thisbutstill has some significance9th april is not going to be easy

Watched a couple of the cricket games between sections (other than mine of course)not something I care for too muchto sit around tearing my hair out wondering as to why the bowler keeps pitching it up to a batsman who so obviously can only play off the front-foot. Resorted to heckling some of the players(enjoyed it!)sheesh

Went out laterwas a planned thing unlike most of our other spur-of-the-moment affairs. BottlesNChimney...loud musicusually decent mix of rock and hip-hop..but tonighttoo much latino salsa crap I thoughtbut the food was nice..or so I hear J We left at closing time, after having severely depleted their stock of alcohol. Didn’t know itd be possible for six ppl to run up a tab in five figures!

Of course, its never incomplete without an appearance at Ohris, the one place, legally open till 2am. Ppl tucked into the midnight buffetme – had too many daiquiris/tequilas/bangers etc etc sloshing around in meso had a sandwich. Then a formula-one dash to campus. But it was never a fair fightwe made it with time to spareluckily unscathed J

The countdown on Bs blog says there are 13 days, 20 odd hours to go for graduationhow come I’m not looking forward to itwonder if others share that sentiment

1 ball – 4 runs…

In ISB on March 22, 2006 at 11:37 pm

“Well begun is half done”…heard that somewhere, haven’t we all. Bollocks! It doesn’t matter how well you begin, or continue or whatever, if you don’t finish it. Substantial amounts of frustration coursing through my veins…inter-section cricket tournament as part of the end-of-course festivities here. It’s all in good spirits…couple of teams from each section to an initial round of elimination before proceeding to more elaborate round-robin games. Our team D1 lost their game yesterday and we, as D2 were looking to make amends. Won the toss, put the opposition in, made sense since all totals had seemed gettable in the previous games. Bowled an expensive 1st over mainly because of a misunderstanding about the no-ball rule and took 1 wicket. The usual throwing the bat stuff got them to 83 in 8 overs. Our last over was the most expensive of the lot, but then that’s bound to happen.

We started off at a decent clip but then lost a few wickets in succession. K and I had to make sure we didn’t lose our wickets and we did a decent job. 3 overs – 37 to get turned to 1 over – 13 to get. I faced the last 5 balls after a single off the first. Could’ve scored ‘em, Should’ve scored ‘em! But R maintained a good length that didn’t allow the lofted shot straight back. All my shots went skewing into the side walls to fetch 2 runs. 1 ball to 4 to get…short-of-length…my heave went to the top corner to the right…2 runs only. We lose by 1 run. On hindsight, maybe should’ve charged, might’ve just gotten to the pitch…who knows?! Its irritating more than anything that a stolen single somewhere or one less extra and we would’ve played some more cricket (I know I know… I can never seem to get enough can I).

To be able to finish games…now that’s certainly some skill…

p.s: the inordinate amount of frustration over an innocuous game is in no minor part exacerbated by the fact that I have a Corp Fin. assignment due in 2 hours…grrrr….

stirred…not shaken

In ISB on March 20, 2006 at 10:00 pm

Been at it since soon after dinnerthat was approx. 41/2 hours agomy usual sequence in such a span of time wouldve consisted of about 3-4 breaks to rest my eyesby watching TV (pre net-nanny days, it used to be assorted sites). Instead of those, there has been no break save for the occasional 30 sec kind to stretch my stiff back. But then this ain’t too bad a way to be working…AC6…comfortably climate-cooled…music from the classroom’s substantial sound-system – all of us toiling away…rt now there are some murmurs of going to ohri’s for satiate midnight hunger pangs. If I’d applied this kinda effort to those subjects in the core terms, I’d be closer to that list that the Dean brandishes than the one that Black carries (ok…I know that’s pathetic but its 2.46amso sue me) No, this is not some kinda Johnny-come-lately transformation that my parents had been praying for since the day I attended my first day at school and slept through it blissfully. The best part of last night and early morning have been spent proof-reading, correcting and classifying our venerable batch-mates. 343 profiles 6-7 people to tackle them at any one time and you get the idea.

Ok, some elaboration might be in order. The theme of this years yearbook is Spirits’…nothing to do with oriental mystique and search for the inner-soul and self-actualization. This falls much nearer to the base of Maslows Needs pyramid – The need for inebriation. Basically, if we were to think of people as cocktails, as a combination of different characteristics with a particular method to brew em, what would it be? The teams come up with a set of 12 drinks (read as profiles with really cool names) which will be attributed to people depending on the descriptions we find. Were relying on close friends (read quadies, study-group mates et al) to be able to concoct a recipe. Little did we know that getting people to pen down their thoughts about their closest friends would make pulling your own teeth with a set of rusted pliers while at the same time being administered an enema, seem like a walk in the park! After much cajoling and not-so-subtle threatening, we now have the bulk of the material for the batch (barring a few). The current flurry of activity is to get the stuff collated, organized and sent to the production ppl/printers so they have enough time to finish the job before we are evicted from campus. Else of course, like it said in one of Ks messages, we could all collect them at Solstice (the annual alumni meet) in September J

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