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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My Past
Loyola High School Patna
Delhi Public School RK Puram
Institute of Technology BHU
Infosys Technologies Ltd
IIM Kozhikode

My Present
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

My Future
My Life


Project Nanhi Kali for the girl child


Movie Reviews at Mode C

Kaminey
Gulaal
DevD
Guru
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Omkara
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Batman Begins
Viruddh
Anniyan
Dus
Sarkar
War of the Worlds
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Bunty aur Babli
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Kaal
Shabd
Raincoat
Swades
Musafir
Naach
Veer Zaara
Phir Milenge
Kyun! Ho Gaya Na
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Spider Man 2
Lakshya
Yuva
Main Hoon Na


Book Reviews at Mode C

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish
The Inscrutable Americans
Harry Potter - Half-Blood Prince
The Monk who sold his Ferrari
Angels and Demons
Life of Pi
The Da Vinci Code
The Tristan Betrayal


IIM Kozhikode Bloggers

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Aditya (Class of '06)
Alok (Class of '05)
Alok (Class of '09)
Ananya (Class of '08)
Andromeda (Class of '08)
Amit G (Class of '07)
Beena (Class of '08)
Chirantan (Class of '08)
DAR (Class of '07)
Deepak (Class of '05)
Dhananjay (Class of '05)
Divya (Class of '05)
Divyabhanu (Class of '07)
Firdaus (Class of '07)
Harsh (Class of '08)
Hemant (Class of '05)
Hitesh (Class of '08)
IIMK Photo Blog
Jayesh (Class of '08)
Kanav (Class of '06)
Karan (Class of '05)
Narayanan (Class of '07)
Manandeep (Class of '08)
Meren (Class of '06)
Nilanjan (Class of '06)
Paromita (Class of '07)
Pragna (Class of '03)
Pranay (Class of '06)
Prashant D (Class of '05)
Prashant JK (Class of '06)
Pratik (Class of '07)
Priya (Class of '06)
Rahul (Class of '08)
Ramesh (Class of '06)
Ridhi (Class of '07)
Ronald (Class of '05)
Saurabh (Class of '08)
Sheeba (Class of '07)
Shrikanth (Class of '08)
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Suma (Class of '07)
Sumit (Class of '06)
Surabhi (Class of '06)
Surya (Class of '08)
Tity (Class of '05)
Vivek (Class of '09)
Yash (Class of '06)


Other B-school Bloggers


Chandoo (IIM Indore, Class of '06)
Nishith (IIM Lucknow, Class of '06)
Ravi (IIM Ahmedabad, Class of '06)
Shashank (IIM Calcutta, Class of '05)
Sidin (IIM Ahmedabad, Class of '05)


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Interesting Reads


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Bollywood Blog
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The Movie Blog
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All pictures and names concerning Calvin and Hobbes are copyright Bill Watterson


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Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Kahaani Whatever ki

Once upon a time, in a kingdom shrouded by the tombs of mystery and bathed in the razzmatazz of associated glamour, there lived a boy named Whatever (though it might not be apparent, real names of places and characters have been withheld due to obvious reasons). Whatever was a funny boy...not funny in his actions or thoughts alone but funny in his totality. His deliberations on life and subsequent behavior had often landed him in situations from which only funny people could come out...and come out he almost always did!

Whatever studied in a school called Wherever which was THE place to study in that mysterious and glamorous kingdom. As it turned out later, Wherever added quite a lot to the kingdom's mystery and glamour. All this, however, happened after Whatever's time at Wherever. But then again...even when Whatever studied there, the place had enough charm to completely transform the boy that Whatever was before he left his village, Whichville for the big town, Whatopolis where Wherever was situated. Whichville, it must be noted, was the place for the celibate and the retiree to relax and meditate and not for the excitement, mystery and glamour seeking eyes of Whatever. Whatopolis, on the other hand, was the dream destination for many-a-dreamy-eyed boys and Wherever, in particular, gave ample opportunity to Whatever to whet his desire for an expanded and necessarily non-celibate community.

This, therefore, was the point where Whatshername entered into Whatever's life and swept him off his feet. Not to be confused as a sweeper, Whatshername was the prima donna for Whatever, the dreamy-eyed boy who had never seen what it was to stare into eyes as deep as the ocean, as blue as the sky...who had never known to gape open-mouthed at the sweet words coming out of those perfect pair of lips that moved in cohesion with his own heart beats...who had never known the joy of watching the swaying of body to the tunes of the sweetest octaves known or unknown to the world...who had never been encompassed by the blackness of the tresses, which for a change, was not frightening like other forms of darkness but instead, carried with itself, the mystery, glamour, and soft yet vast dreaminess that whatever had always wanted to find some day.

Needless to say, Whatever was besotted with Whatshername's charms but given the funny nature of Whatever and his actions, it was not long before the eventuality occurred and the twain could not meet. This was not the end for Whatever, however because though he had lost out on using Wherever to his advantage (as some maintain was the simplest of tasks that anyone could have done), Whatever was still young and still dreamt of that ultimate Nirvana. So it was that Whatever graduated from Wherever and moved on to college in the city of Whatsgodswill. The celibate and retiree nature of Whichville being reflected in Whatsgodswill, as well (perhaps owing to the fact that the city was quite close to Whichville, unlike Whatopolis), there was not much that Whatever could do to move forward towards his goal until he went to Whatada, the city where he started working for a living.

It was in Whatada that Whatever met Ohmygodlovely and fell in love for the first time (Whatshername was just an infatuation, Whatever's friends told him). Thus it was with Ohmygodlovely that Whatever went for the walks, shared the chocolates, wiped off the tears...Whatever was lost once and for all in that lovely pair of ear rings, those haughty nods of head, that free flowing laugh, that impish smile, the melody of voice, the tune of songs, that dismissive gesture, those twinkling eyes, the mystery, the glamour, and the dreams. Funny that Whatever was, he did not waste time in creating situations that made Ohmygodlovely bid goodbyes to him and move on to saner pastures and leaving whatever alone with his dreams and memories of what his dreams could have ended in...the ifs and the buts and might-haves.

The episode at Whatada had made Whatever into the cynical soul that landed at the shores of Whatroad whence he went back to academia to try his luck once again and see if he can move ahead in his quest for mystery, glamour, and dreams. However, Whatever had become too funny by this time and regardless of the mystery and glamour and dreams presented by Whatroad and its inhabitants, nothing could deter Whatever...nothing could make him lose his insanity yet again...not even Whatallulikeya, the one with the gait to shame the elephants, the one with the face to launch a thousand suns, the one with the attitude to drive men nuts. The only problem was that funnier and funnier had Whatever been transforming into, and a funny thing he did with Whatallulikeya, too. It all ended for him but then, he had never wanted to start...not after Ohmygodlovely...he couldn't have. So ended the fun for Whatever and so ended his story or did it?


Posted at 04:20 pm by Nitai

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Monday, July 18, 2005
Quidditch...on the rocks


By this time, half of the world knows who gets killed in "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" and the other half is fast getting filled in with the help of some rather unkind zeal on part of the first half. But readers of this blog need not worry for this post is NOT a SPOILER. All that the post shall try to do is to give a dispassionate (and rather partial, as per my individual views and inferences) overview of the way the sixth book in the legendary series is placed and without going into the nitty gritties of the story at all, try to interpret the phenomenon that Harry Potter has undoubtedly become.

Since it is hardly any use mentioning the popularity of the series, it might be a better idea to think of the reasons for the same. Ever since the first edition of the enchanting series came and readers got addicted to the tales of a young boy studying magic in a school for magical folk and playing a strange game called Quidditch, while defending the Philosopher's stone from the dark side, the story has just been one roller coaster ride after another. We have all seen that boy, Harry Potter, brave five years in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry along with his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger and we have all been entertained by three movies that have come up so far on the series (with the other books being covered, as well).

The young and the old have all been giving rave reviews to the way in which JK Rowling, the high profile author of the Harry Potter series, has been giving shape to her characters and story, year after year...all aimed at one grand finale, the seventh book of the series that she is working on right now. In the meanwhile, there has been an evident shift in her story telling style over the six books that have come out so far. Starting from an out-and-out kids' book, the joy and kiddish mystery that the first book stood for has been, to a large extent, replaced by the chilling sequences of the latest that shall probably appeal more to the slightly older generation...not that the kids aren't interested any more...the craze is to be seen to be believed. Even the latest book had crowds of children thronging the book stores right since midnight when the book was to be released with book reading by the author from a castle in the UK marking the occasion.

The Half Blood Prince takes the Harry Potter story forward to Harry and friends' sixth year at Hogwarts. With Voldemort having risen to full power in the last book and the dark side consisting of Death Eaters becoming more and more powerful, it is now time for Harry to grow into what the prophecy intends him to be...the chosen one who can challenge the dark Lord himself. It is also time for people all around to be growing out of their childhood into the stages of adolescence and of course, the consequent series of infatuations and affairs. Amidst all the evil and the natural cycle of emotional maturity, the lesser things like magic and house rivalries between Gryffindor and Slytherin, and even Quidditch have to take a back seat.

The Order of the Phoenix had already set the tone for something similar and with the declaration by the author of a high profile death in Half Blood Prince, nothing less in terms of the darker overtones would have been expected of the latest, either. The book does fulfill all those expectations but unfortunately, it does only that. In fact, it seems as if the book has been written with the single purpose of killing that high profile character. Apart from very little clarity (it has actually been dealt with quite well, but in too subtle a manner for the younger readers to appreciate) on the reasons for the character's death, the book hardly advances the story any further in an apparent manner.

The relatively lame beginning and shortage of joyous distractions (like Quidditch) in the middle had to be compensated by a fitting finale which was not present at all. The totality of the book was sacrificed to create proper impact through the totality of the series and the fitting of the book in the scheme of things. The book, rather unfortunately, has been reduced to a repetition of an already proven formula. Throw in one evil guy, one match of Quidditch, one suspicious act by Snape, one kind act by Hagrid, one unraveling of mystery by Dumbledore, one Harry, one Ron, one Hermione, and some spice in the form of romance budding amongst the growing teenagers and voila! You have Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.


Posted at 01:34 pm by Nitai

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Innocent...who, me???

The morning class of portfolio management was at 7:00 AM today and after the way Dr. Uday Damodaran had ended yesterday's interesting class in typical Ashok Kumar's Hum Log style (ab tak aapne dekha ki feasible aur efficient frontiers kya hote hain aur kal, kya hota hai optimum region...dekhenge Hum Log :-)), I couldn't have possibly missed today's class. This would logically mean that I should have gone to sleep early enough last night to be able to attend class (even in the condition of being only fitfully awake). Early enough I did sleep...at about 5 in the morning and before you start saying your prayers for the lost soul that you must think I have become, please do reserve your judgement for a while as I was not, as you might have thought (even for a while), studying.

There were more pressing matters to attend to and the top of them all was the blogosphere, specifically my own blog and that of Aditya aka Indiagenie. It all started with some innocuous (seemingly) comments on the fruitfulness (or the opposite) of putting the movie review of Anniyan on my blog. It also went on to discuss the changes that have come in Indiagenie's blog and actual deliberations on writing a term paper in the final term (in Human Resources stream, for those who are interested) on the psychology behind blogs and bloggers.

Regarding my blog (which is what I am interested in right now), while one opinion maintained that the Anniyan review was just a filler and had it been the older Mode C, either the review would not have appeared at all (for no lack of bloggable masala in my life) or even if it had, the treatment would certainly have been different from what I have been dishing out over the last few movie reviews that I have daringly (because of my incapacity to review, of course) put my hands in.

This difference, it was said, is most obvious in the increasing mention and discussion of technical aspects of the movie in my reviews and not, as earlier, of what I personally liked or disliked about the movie. In effect, I have been playing to the audience which I did not do earlier...or so was mentioned. Also, doing a review of Anniyan and neglecting a movie like Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi that would have been normally closer to my heart and home and emotions, consequently, just goes on to show how much have I been able to change the nature of my blog. It is no longer, they say, my space but has become what others would like to read.

The blog posts, too have become of a particular type and although it was admitted that it is still difficult to predict what is going to come next, the style has become fraught with filters...filters that decide what I am going to write and what I am not, thus killing the freshness, exuberation, joy, sorrow, and the innocence that Mode C had when it was unaffected and raw. In fact, the only instances when I came close to the earlier Mode C lately, it was said, was when I put down the posts about the long face and the why not the trip (the regular readers, if any, might remember the said posts).

Though I did disagree to a lot of points that were mentioned quite particularly, right now I will not like to go into the arguments that I put forth. Rather, I just want to jot down a few pointers on what I believe most of the bloggers feel when they start a blog and sustain it through highs and lows of their lives and in the process, realize the consequences of their writings on their own and their close ones' psyche.

First off, it is naive to think that a blogger does not realize the consequence of what he/she is writing. Even when (s)he is writing something scathingly bad or excruciatingly sweet about somebody, (s)he knows what that can lead to and before writing, (s)he weighs these consequences with his/her acceptance threshold. (S)he always asks, "Is this something I can afford to put up?". The answer depends largely on the emotional state of the person at the time being. If the person has not had the realization dawn on him that the blog that (s)he is writing can touch more chords than (s)he had imagined when (s)he started the blog, the threshold will obviously be quite high and the consequences will not matter. A more mature blogger, however, will not write something similar as his/her threshold might be quite low (due to experiences, reflections et al).

This, therefore, means that the blogger has not changed any filters or applied any new ones...filters are the same old ones, re-calibrated. Once I say this, however, one logical and I would say prejudiced opinion would be that the blog posts are driven by the realization of these consequences and more often than not, consequences drive what is written and not vice-versa. I would beg to differ and though I do accept that at times, a blog does become a medium of conveying your message but all the same, there is a very thin line between trying to modify readers' perception intentionally on one hand, and expression of self on the other.

To bring this discussion to a logical conclusion, I would like to say something fitting even though I don't remember if I was able to do something like this so forcefully in the last night's discussion but then that is one of the benefits of writing a blog...unless the comments start coming, no one can dispute you. As for the blog, therefore, as a final remark, I do maintain that most of the sensitive (and sensible) bloggers (not that I claim to be one) first think on what they want to write and then look at the consequences as far as they can, in line with their emotional maturity at the point in time. It does not happen the other way around unless one is really out to gain brownie points by praising someone to the hilt or be extremely vengeful by washing someone's underwear in public.


Posted at 10:37 am by Nitai

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Monday, July 11, 2005
Is it wrong to be right?

He who comes from Hell
is not afraid of the ashes


Shankar, One of the costliest directors in Indian cinema, brings another of his opulent movies to the screens and like previous occasions, seems to have succeeded this time, too. Right from re-creating the famous Thiyagaraja Festival to shooting the songs in Amsterdam and getting the best of visual effects for the action sequences, there has been no stone left unturned in Anniyan. A progressive idea but deep rooted in the Indian psyche is the formula that Shankar has been using for a long time. Be it Boyz, Gentleman or Anniyan, the director has kept at what he does best, and has come on the tops time and again.

Anniyan, literally translated as "The Unknown" is the story of Ramanujam aka Nambi (Vikram, in a terrific performance) who is a straight laced Brahmin lawyer who believes in principles and doing things the right way...always. As expected, he does not get his way too often and even his close friends rubbish his good ideas. Nandini (Sada, in a rather plain appearance and without much scope of a performance), the neighborhood girl he loves, does not find him attractive and is fed up of him being a stickler of rules. Having seen his sister die in childhood due to negligence of the electricity department and having grown seeing his father's helplessness in not being able to change the world all alone, Ambi's frustration with the system has been building up for quite some time.

The widespread corruption, small things that each one of us do to avoid unpleasantness, get the work done, etc are all observed by Ambi whose silent anger with it all makes him turn into Anniyan, the avenger who does not differentiate between wrongs on the basis of their intensity. Whatever is wrong is punished by Anniyan, whether it is the person who refused his taxi to be used for getting an injured person to the hospital or the contractor who supplies sub-standard food to the railways. Anniyan follows the Vishnu Puraanas to find ways and means to punish the wrong-doers as he puts himself into Yama's shoes and brings hell's fury on to the earth.

Once bitten by the Multiple personality Disorder bug, Ambi does not waste time in changing to the fashionable Remo, who is a ramp model and has no problems in wooing Nandini off her feet. Also, the expensive song and dance routines are facilitated by the arrival of this character and some of the songs (especially "Remo Remo" and "Nokia") do deserve the focus for their shear brilliance of execution, if not anything else.

In the midst of all the executionary powers that Anniyan has taken over, there is minor resistance, as well. The police officer (played by Prakash Raj rather effectively) who is handling the case is as puzzled by the entire episode as the common folk but that is only till he starts using the latest techniques like DNA tests to find the identity of the cruel judge that Anniyan is to him. By the time he gets to Anniyan, however, the movie is almost over but for the climax which has to be seen to be appreciated properly. Kill Bill and Matrix combined, the action sequences can give any movie a run for its money and even the logical conclusion to the movie's central theme which is a relief, in a way, after seeing so many good ideas getting undone due to a weak climax.

The movie can truly be said to be Vikram's best performance till date. Right from the Undertaker style get-up Anniyan to the dashing Remo, Vikram is in his dream performance. The ever flexible changes of character that he performs towards the climax are really full of good stuff. Sada looks amazingly good in the songs but minus that, her role is rather wasted not just due to the story's demands but also due to a weak performance. Rest of the actors do not have much to do in terms of the stage presence but of the support cast, Prakash Raj as the police officer impresses with his expressions, both when he investigates the case as disguised prankster as well as when personal angle comes into the case after Anniyan murders his brother.

Shankar is in his element as usual and performs an all round job. With all ingredients of a masala film, the treatment is appropriate, too. Although the social message is all there and the climax has Vikram waxing eloquent about why we should all stop doing even small things wrongly, but in the process, the director has not lost sight of his focus, an out-and-out commercial venture. Cinematography, aided by the brilliant action, stunt, and dance choreography is a treat to the senses. The visual effects, one of the best in the contemporary industry, add to the overall impact of the movie.

Anniyan is not about something novel. Multiple personality disorder has been broached upon by Indian film industry earlier but the way Shankar does it in this movie is what has finally mattered. The voice inflexions, the songs and dances, the costume design, the sets, and of course the brilliance of Vikram help him achieve the effect that few others have been able to touch upon.


Posted at 07:48 pm by Nitai

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Sunday, July 10, 2005
A page in my journal

It's been a long time since I posted something about what has been happening to me and my life. In fact, ever since I decided to change the shape of Mode C and make it what it can possibly be - my face to the world, I have been writing stuff that is as far from my life as possible. This helps me avoid any unpleasantness that inadvertently occurs when I get too close to my emotions and feelings about something that has been happening around me. It helps me avoid absolute (negative or positive) references to real events and people and thus, exonerates me from the sins of life blogging...or that is what I would like to believe, and that is what has made it possible for me to retain Mode C in whatever form it exists today.

All the same, in nature with the public vehicle that Mode C has now become, there is another angle that can be touched upon and that is, to let people (who are interested, of course) know what has been happening in my life without going any deeper. So here is an account (warning: those not interested in me or my life may skip this post right now and wait for my next movie review :-)) of what's been up since I landed at IIMK and moved into G hostel (which is the last Mode C knows about my life)...

The juniors have come to the campus, one hundred and sixty six of them (minus a couple who have left for greener pastures) and they certainly have made the campus more colorful in terms of their shear number and of course, the initial enthusiasm that a generally high work-ex batch brings with it as a part of the two year holiday package. There are quite some married people in the batch and one couple is actually staying together on campus (and no, not both of them study here). They have been doing the usual, getting bulk deals on laptops (a good deal they got, too), arranging for the lowest possible bank loan interests (which has been dealt with properly, too), and of course getting involved in the politics as committees start getting nominations and the election dates come closer.

Talking about elections, Backwaters received 43 nominations amidst widespread allegations of misconduct by Backwaters committee members in trying to influence the nominees' choices. sTrEAM Backwaters, of course, maintains that the large number of nominations was all due to the "different" presentation they had made to the junior batch. Getting that presentation together had been a delight, of course. I had a basic idea which was further sharpened by the sTrEAM's inputs (especially Pakow's Troy idea). Although there was initial skepticism about the entire thing, the team that we are, all of us got round to executing the thing with full gusto and the result, a presentation that was something that has not been done before. Although it could have done with some editing, I am still proud of my sTrEAM and the way they believed in a vague idea and made it a reality...a small thing for some, perhaps but not at all inconsequential as far as I am concerned.

Konnect had a presentation, too and although I had decided to remove or at least minimize my association with Konnect, somehow I got involved in this one, too. Another something that has not been done before...more of a performance than a presentation. With editing proving to be our nemesis yet again, the overall impact was nevertheless, quite decent.

Recently, I have been inching away from Konnect to make sure that it gets owned by more people in the batch and does not end up being the dream of an individual. For me, it can never be an individual initiative and unless the batches here take note of it and start setting foundations for Konnect, there is no chance of any tradition being born. There will be problems galore and some of them have already started creeping in. Even as of today, Konnect is not considered official (not a committee, neither an interest group) and perhaps, it should not be made official by force or persuasion. Perhaps, there is much more to be done yet before the current batch realizes that there is no other option but to give a standing to Konnect's popularity...but as I said, unless this dream is owned by more and more people, there is no going forward.

Once I have started on Konnect, let me bring things to the logical sequence by talking about the Treasure Hunt that Konnect organized a few days back. I had to get into the thick of things yet again despite having yearned for seeing people take the entire thing up by themselves...but there has been progress, no doubt with more people joining the Konnect bandwagon. Kudos to the Konnect Team for organizing a splendid first event of the year and kudos to those who participated in Kaptain Konnect's maiden voyage (especially people from the senior batch who proved the dictum wrong that only juniors participate in anything requiring enthusiasm and seniors either sleep or sleep soundly).

Things have actually come to a passť as history repeats itself and my over indulgence in public activities (read taking random initiatives) once again received flak from unknown sources. Like in college, there has been nothing directly spoken to my face (how I wish that had happened, instead) but there have been what can be called feelers (direct or indirect) that point to the futility of it all. Kdio had not been my idea but I had taken it up for the good initiative that it was. After the most polite of hints that I received from some body who wants to know "how many people think Kdio sucks", I was pissed off but later, saddened...more due to my lack of understanding than that of the person(s) involved. Now again, I am going into my emotions which I had promised I will not. So let me end this particular episode by saying that counter to that one action by one (or few) individual(s), there have been so many supporting me that I am sure I will be back with Kdio (and other such initiatives, of course) sometime soon.

In the meanwhile, classes have been pretty sporadic and given the schedule of the visiting faculty for most of the courses, the trend is likely to continue. None of the marketing subjects that I have taken this term have started yet and it has been a dosage of finance that has been keeping me busy so far in this term. Fixed Income Securities, Management of Banking and Financial Services, and Portfolio Management have all started and apart from FIS, I am comfortable with the other two and of course, with the compulsory Strategic Management course. As far as FIS goes, I have to brush up more of my basics (well, almost all of them) if I am to enjoy and utilize the immense knowledge and experience that the course faculty brings to class.


Posted at 08:55 pm by Nitai

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