Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol







When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.



   
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Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Dahi vadai...garam samosa...masala dosai

I had promised...to serve masala in this post...and so be it. At the risk of sounding some people off and even making my reputation of being the official gossip even stronger (if at all that is possible), I am back with another story...nay, not a story but as true a representation of thoughts as possible. Well, it has hardly been a point of contention...my facts, that is. What has been worrying people is either my take on the facts and their portrayal as I do it, or the effect of that portrayal on things that are held sacred (the institute name, for example...however, I do not really think that IIMK is such a weak brand after all).

What's with the introduction and all, the reader would say and may be even shout at the bland screen in front of him/her to get on with it. Representing the poor sod that the screen is in such cases, I will make an appeal on its behalf and in the short of the long...let's begin from the beginning. The past weekend at IIMK is as apt a place to start as any because that was what gave all the fuel to the fire that I am planning to stoke.

The IT Seminar was the topic of discussion in the meeting called by the Student Council some days back and the question being discussed was whether attendance to the seminar should be made compulsory. As I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the SCon members rode on a wave and got things round to their view. But there were some people who were not satisfied...no sir, not satisfied at all. Some like Shailendra made their displeasure felt then and there and there were others, too who are what I call the cribbers. Now, this is an interesting class of people and I hope I will be able to devote more time to them some day. As of today, let it suffice to mention that these people have the habit of reserving their comments for the time when they have stopped to matter. There are very few occassions where these people actually take a cue from Kotler's marketing fundas and be proactive.

There is another class of people worth mentioning...and these are the do-gooders who do not want themselves being questioned for what they do. These people are generally too full of themselves and the value of what they have been doing and they forget the fact that they have been doing things because it is of their own volition. They have the feeling that since they are doing something that others are not, they can get away with more than the others can.

What the do-gooders have been thinking of the cribbers

The reaction from the cribbers did come, but as expected, it came when it did not matter. It became a matter of general knowledge on campus (almost like...ye PSPO nahi jaanta) as to what Vinay felt about the way people have to be thanked or what Shailendra had to say about people talking on their mobile phones as they move (rename the mobiles, somebody :-))...or...this one takes the cake...what Kiran felt about rock shows. As was pointed out by the people who worked for the various committees, these people were those who had not bothered to put a foot forward when it mattered and were conspicuous by their absence when the others were running from pillar to post getting things done...cleaning guest rooms, for God's sake. Did they have as much (or even anything, for that matter) to say about the inefficiency of those whose responsibility it is to keep the guest house clean and ready? Did they, for even the remotest moment, think about giving a suggestion as to what can be done to improve things (Anurag, in my opinion, gave a wonderful perspective to it...the difference between it 'should' have been better and it 'could' have been better)

The most absurd part of it was the fact that some people have really taken things for granted and if they feel that by exercising their right to comment on something, they can do away with their responsibilities...they are mistaken. To comment on what happened is one thing, to pass an observation is one...but to actually pass judgement and say things are not acceptable!!!...acceptable by whom? Who set the rules? Have you always done what is acceptable to others? For those who have been missing their meals and spending nights to make the event a success...what is acceptable for them? Is sitting in the room and when forced to attend the seminar, saying that their contribution was not less...acceptable?

What the cribbers think of the do-gooders

Yes, I know that the post has started sounding like a vendetta program and I have actually started doing something that I had been hitting at just a few lines earlier. However, I have tried not to be judgemental and just give the facts as they have appeared in the past few days. In trying to write the opinion of one class about the other, I have only mentioned what I, myself, could gather from the various mails that were exchanged in one of the notorious OCS wars of IIMK.

Let's get on then, if the cribbers are done cribbing about what I have written about them. 

If the cribbers in our batch have shown their potential by trying to find out all that was wrong and point it out clearly and explicitly, the so called do-gooders did not do badly either. These were the poeple who were born with the gold spoon in their mouth. They take their responsibilities too seriously and have the tendency to rush in numbers to the places where even a single person would do. They also talk saintly and do the sins themselves. They do not care enough to do things that they preach and yet, when some one comments on it, they start listing down all that they have ever done for the common good.

It is thus that Pavithra lets us know about the daily routine of the volunteers...and Anirudh, after putting his foot squarely in his mouth during the vote of thanks, asks Vinay if he had volunteered for anything. What do these people think, for God's sake? Admitted that they did a wonderful job in organising the seminar but does that give them the right to silence others? They were the ones who asked for it by volunteering for the jobs...if the job is successful, they take the credit...why are they backing out in taking the blame if things go wrong?

What I think about the whole thing

I don't think that my opinion matters at all...at least not to the cribbers or the do-gooders I have been writing about...they will continue with their lives as they were (I will be surprised if they will not). However, I have promised to my blog that I won't pass any judgements on any body and whenever I start doing that, I will pull down my entire blog. It is only my perceptions that I am going to record here and if they do change at a later point of time, I hope that I will be faithfully able to record that, too.

So, what I actually do perceive out of the entire affair is that the issue is not about doing good or cribbing. More than that, it is the basic ego in all of us that is to be looked upon. For people who have not done the most of what needs to be done, something going wrong is perhaps a vindication of their deciding not to do anything in the first place. It is like an opportunity for them to raise the issue which makes their own stand amply clear...that it is not that they could not have done it...in fact, had they done it, it would have been better, and what went wrong would have been just right...perhaps the alpha male playing out his part, though in a slightly different way.

There are those who think from the other side, too. I have done this and I have seen that and I have worked on this and that...who is the one challenging my superiority...I am sure that what I did was the best anyone could have done...they can not really be serious when they say that there could have been anything done better than this!!!

And to top it all, there was some talk of inter-year rivalry too. With the goof-up by Anirudh (which was not a goof up from his standards since he knew the pulse of the people being addressed) and not many in the senior batch turning up for the seminar, there was another set of cribbers (mostly from the first year) who spared no time to start the blame game (which they call exercising their rights)...the case of I won't do it myself but if you do it and do it wrong, I sure as hell will get your neck.

The game continued with the first yearites being blamed for talking too much before they actually do anything...another case of I have done it, prove that you can do it better before you criticize me.

What is the point in all this...the lesson...the moral? The idealist would want the egos to be suppressed, and more people coming up from both the gangs and joining the community of those who do things and do not speak about it (oh how I wish I could be one of them but kya karein...control nahi hota). However, the things do not happen that way. Egos will always play a big role in a place like this where achieving is everything...where failure has very high costs and success very high rewards...look at the Gods...Rama...Krishna...has anyone ever been immune to it???

Posted at 01:54 am by Nitai

Mayank
September 1, 2004   02:28 AM PDT
 
Wth your entire RCA, i think you have hit the nail on the head - when u zero on to the actual reason -> EGO.

And as long people have vanity about themselves, OCS wars aka Star Wars will continue...

till another one erupts (waiting for that), happy baba reading !!!
Nitai
September 1, 2004   08:14 AM PDT
 
Actually, I don't think that any one can practically stop being vain about one's self...so more start wars on the way...
As for the happy part of Baba reading, don't know how many will agree to that :-)
Name
September 1, 2004   01:36 PM PDT
 
Nitai, I don't understand why this is degenerating into a volunteers Vs non-volunteers match. Volunteers made mistakes and since people learn from mistakes, the next seminar will be better(I hope).
The concept of "I have volunteered and hence am not to be blamed for mistakes" is stupid.
Coming to the point of listing the daily routine of volunteers - the point was to show why volunteers needed to talk on cells i.e to co-ordinate and get things done. The Onam holiday threw a spanner in the works.
That I thought would put things in perspective. Incidentally, I didn't miss breakfast/lunch, etc. Was talking about some people who were not even on committees and were called in to volunteer and did their best.
Nitai
September 1, 2004   01:53 PM PDT
 
You should have given your name but if you are who I think you are (it is pretty obvious, though...don't know why you did not give your name), the routine mention did not convey your intention at all and instead of putting things in perspective, it actually enhanced the so called volunteers-non volunteers divide and opened up an entirely different perspective.

In fact, the mail came across (as I am sure the reply to the mail proved) as an explanation of why rules can be bent by those who create the rules...because they had the opportunity, willingness, guts, capability...to frame the rules in the first place.

Though I do admit that the the intent might have been something entirely different but in group dynamics like these, one has to be prepared for twists in the tale :-)
Name
September 1, 2004   04:38 PM PDT
 
The mail and your infamous blog fall into the same category - the intention was completely different from the interpretation. He he..
About rules being bent by the people who frame them - Gosh I didnt even think of that one. Sheesh - fool that I am, I let all those opportunities to show off my privileged status go waste. Thanks for enlightening me bout the possibilities - will defntly exploit them at the next event :-) About my name, samajhne waale samajh gaye he; naa samjhe woh anaadi he.
gumnaam
September 2, 2004   01:38 AM PDT
 
hey Name urf pavitra jii !!! u have committed sacrilege by starting Star Wars on this sacred site. You have the entire space on OCS Wars to enlighten ignorant people like us about your "other" perspectives.

expecting u not to repeat the same again..

Jai BABA ki !!!

gee.. do i see another OCS War erupting !?


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