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

Abhinav (Class of '05)
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)
Sriram (Class of '07)
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)


Blogger Friends and Contacts


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Keshav
Sankar


Interesting Reads


A walk in the clouds
Bollywood Blog
Global Trends Collaborative
Sepia Mutiny
The Movie Blog
Youth Curry



Contact Me




All pictures and names concerning Calvin and Hobbes are copyright Bill Watterson


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Monday, November 17, 2008
Mode C: A brief glance down Memory Lane

I don't know why but a thought suddenly came to me making me look back at this blog and see how it has come up over the last four and a half years that it has been in existence. Since May 2004, I have written a grand total of 237 posts (including this one) with the last 37 having taken three full years. The first two years having been spent on campus with so many events unfolding almost every other day can probably explain this.

Another noticeable fact, at least to me, was that there have been two relatively long periods of near complete silences on this blog, the first one after leaving campus and before joining my job from March to May 2006 (3 months with no post). The second one, of course, is attributable to the life threatening accident that I had last year and ranged from February 2007 to March 2008 (1 year and 1 month with 3 posts). Other stand-alone silent months have been March 2005, January 2006, September 2006, December 2006, and June 2008.

May 2004:
No. of posts: 25
Date of first post: 03
Title of first post: One long day
First paragraph of first post:
Another day passes with neither news nor immediate hope of the IIMK results. It is strange, the way this thing has started getting a hold over me. Even after busying myself the whole of the weekend in finally completing the book, Lord of The Rings, I could not help thinking about what will happen.

June 2004:
No. of posts: 08
Date of first post: 01
Title of first post: Working for free
First paragraph of first post:
I have been working for free once again, and that too during my last few days at Infy. I know that it may sound like cribbing but I am ready to challenge anyone who says that they love working and that too, with the knowledge that they will be leaving the company for good in another three days.

July 2004:
No. of posts: 19
Date of first post: 07
Title of first post: Inside God's own country
First paragraph of first post:
Finally, I am in IIMK. After a short and almost uneventful stay in Chennai, I had to pack my bags for another trip, this one much smaller than the marathon Buxar-Chennai one just a couple of days back. With the bag already spilling over and the suitcase packed as tight as any suitcase could possibly afford to, I had to bring my favorite Globus bag in use and the helmet was another addition.

August 2004:
No. of posts: 19
Date of first post: 07
Title of first post: A pi in the face of adversity
First paragraph of first post:
Yann Martel exceeds himself and any other writers of a similar genre as he describes 'The Life of Pi'. The book is a treatise on so many things. It delves into the rationale behind zoos, the psychology of animals, the importance of religion and faith in one's life and above all, the life of a stow-away, the things man can be compelled to do...and so much more that after reading the book, the reader is mentally exhausted because of having to take so much in. Yet, the story doesn't drag, once it has entered its flow. Admittedly, the first fifty-odd pages move slow as we are introduced to the character of Piscine but as soon as the protagonist's nemesis, Richard Parker, comes into being, the complexion of the story changes completely.

September 2004:
No. of posts: 21
Date of first post: 01
Title of first post: Dahi vadai...garam samosa...masala dosai
First paragraph of first post:
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).

October 2004:
No. of posts: 13
Date of first post: 03
Title of first post: 9 days and 1250 kms in God's own country
First paragraph of first post:
It has been a record 20 days since I last wrote in this place in spite of there having been so much to write about in all this time. A term ended at IIM Kozhikode, the end-term exams got over with their own share of highs and lows and most importantly, I am back from a road trip through the length and breadth of Kerala. It was always there somewhere in my mind...the idea of a road trip. I remember being impressed with stories of people who traveled across the country or even the world on their vehicles to promote world peace or some other such junk. Despite not feeling too strongly about the idea behind these trips (world peace, et al), I always used to like the concept of being free with your time and resources and going out in the open with no care in the world. In short, it will suffice to say that the idea of a road trip was not a novelty or impulse for me.

November 2004:
No. of posts: 08
Date of first post: 11
Title of first post: Not Fair
First paragraph of first post:
There are times when happiness knows no bounds and yet there are others, when there is no limit to the tears that come to the eyes. Some people say that this is what brings balance and fairness to it all. But why does it have to be like that? Why can't joy and sorrow be in moderate measures at all points in life?

December 2004:
No. of posts: 11
Date of first post: 06
Title of first post: Of winning hearts and heartlessness
First paragraph of first post:
Life does seem to have taken a strange turn this term. I have long forgotten the concept of trying to start some serious studies and change myself as per an 'IIM'. In fact, to be true and honest, I never had the misconception that I will find the need and moreover, even if I did find the need, the motivation to change myself, IIM or no IIM. And that is what happened. As I have been cribbing over the last few posts, I gave another door-waala-salaam to the studies and went on another trip to another inter B-school festival, this time at TAPMI, Manipal.

January 2005:
No. of posts: 03
Date of first post: 03
Title of first post: Happy New Year!
First paragraph of first post:
Bombay, or Amchi Mumbai, as the locals call it lovingly and often with an awe-struck catch in their voice, is one of the cities that has its own memories for me. Not that I have been to this place many times, but despite the one time that I have been to Mumbai, the city haunts me whenever I am thinking of something fast and big, both at the same time. Having decided not to spend the new year in the train from home to IIMK, we (that is Aditya and me) had planned to make Mumbai the stopover for the night of the 31st and most of the day of the 1st. Aditya, of course, had his own plans of dumping me somewhere for the new year's but unfortunately, could not devise a suitable plan for the same in time.

February 2005:
No. of posts: 10
Date of first post: 01
Title of first post: Is it the end...or the beginning?
First paragraph of first post:
Two days of frantic activity preceded by three weeks of hope-despair, action-inaction, love-hate, brightness-gloom, success-failure, evolution-apocalypse...Backwaters 2005 has come and gone and left me all drained. There was a time when we had been thinking of scrapping the event altogether and there is now, when we can't help gloating over the congratulatory mails coming in from different quarters about the professionalism of it all.

March 2005:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

April 2005:
No. of posts: 11
Date of first post: 15
Title of first post: Getting a hold over my self
First paragraph of first post:
It has been four days since I joined PwC (as the HR guys requested, I must be careful how I write it, even if it is in the short form...in full, by the way, it is written as PricewaterhouseCoopers with only the P and the C in caps). These four days have been a little confusing, at times raising my hopes and at others, dashing them right down the ground. However, I am rushing myself in excitement of the new things that have been happening in my life without really being what could probably be called systematic.

May 2005:
No. of posts: 17
Date of first post: 02
Title of first post: Birthday celebrations and Patna eat-outs
First paragraph of first post:
It was really sweet of Shanu to have been waiting for me to cut his birthday cake. He has always been like that...a little partial towards me and that is to be expected, too. Despite being a cousin, I guess I am more of a brother to him than anyone could have been and he is the same to me. Ever since he started identifying people, he has seen me around and has spent quite a major chunk of his childhood playing, fighting, going to school, having fun with me. Having stayed with my maternal grand parents for my school education, I have always had the same amount of affection for Shanu as he took away from me, the mantle of being the youngest in the household.

June 2005:
No. of posts: 12
Date of first post: 03
Title of first post: Ye jo world hai na world...

First paragraph of first post:
Amitabh Bachchan tucks in his upper lip while he lets the lower one drool...the eyes are popped open and the eyebrows raised a little...Sharaabi, Laawaris, Amar Akbar Anthony anyone?
Abhishek Bachchan tucks in his upper lip while he lets the lower one drool...the eyes and eyebrows are covered with black glasses...ummm...he also has a red, heart-shaped balloon in one hand and his father's arm in another.

July 2005:
No. of posts: 16
Date of first post: 02
Title of first post: They are here...run!!!
First paragraph of first post:
Right from the mitochondria to the cells to the organisms to the planet and the universe, life has so many things and so many wonders hidden inside it that it is almost impossible to contemplate on what might happen next. This is the idea that had prompted HG Wells to write a story that turned out to be a sensational success, the stuff legends are made of, when relayed over the American radio one fine morning. The story comes back to treat us to the possibilities of annihilation, this time in the avatar of a movie. And before you reject it outright as a stale idea (after the success of Independence Day and even spoofs like Men in Black, the idea does seem stale), let it be known that the person who has directed this movie is none other than THE Steven Spielberg and the lead actor, none other than THE Tom Cruise.

August 2005:
No. of posts: 09
Date of first post: 01
Title of first post: Can you decipher this?
First paragraph of first post:
One of the courses this term that I have been really enjoying is Prof. Uday Damodaran's Portfolio Management. A change from the somewhat theatrical to a definitely more structured course being one important parameter that has grabbed our attention, there are several other reasons why there is almost full attendance in his classes, even if they are held at 7 in the morning.

September 2005:
No. of posts: 02
Date of first post: 02
Title of first post: Little updates from the little birdie
First paragraph of first post:
So it is about time I update my blog readers (I have ceased to wonder about the reasons for their existence apart from the ikka dukka ones I know of :-)) about what is happening in my life apart from the cribs and the rants and the sobs and the frowns. So here goes, something fresh from my garden, for all those who care to have a whiff.

October 2005:
No. of posts: 05
Date of first post: 08
Title of first post: I am alive...still
First paragraph of first post:
I have been meaning to write something on Mode C for long but fortunately or unfortunately, things out here in Paris have taken such a hectic pace that it has become increasingly tough to just keep abreast of the proceedings, forget writing about them at two places (the other blog is in deed alive, and doing well, thank you). However, Mode C and its readers (if they still come back to check, even if it is once in a blue moon) do deserve more than the neglect I have been able to offer so far.

November 2005:
No. of posts: 03
Date of first post: 05
Title of first post: Blog Mela Update
First paragraph of first post:
Blog Mela delayed due to unavoidable circumstances.
The Mela will be up by the night of the 7th of November India Time. Sorry for inconvenience, if any.

December 2005:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 02
Title of first post: Le Coupe de Feu...Perils lay ahead of you, Harry Potter
First paragraph of first post:
As the huge stadium comes into focus, and the magical creatures, witches and wizards cheer the seekers, beaters, and players of the teams of Ireland and Bulgaria, we dive headlong into The Goblet of Fire.

January 2006:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

February 2006:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 05
Title of first post: Too much water under the bridge
First paragraph of first post:
I can't believe that it has been one whole term since I last wrote on this blog. But believe it or not, this is true and for someone who used this blog as a tool to get things out of his system, I guess there were too many things bottled up this time to get out at all. Come to think of it, there are so many things that this blog needs to be updated with, that it is going to take me one lifetime if I start at it now.

March 2006:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

April 2006:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

May 2006:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

June 2006:
No. of posts: 03
Date of first post: 07
Title of first post: Still there
First paragraph of first post:
This is just to report that I am still alive and so is this blog. I will be back to regular posts pretty soon.

July 2006:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 22
Title of first post: Continuing from where I left!
First paragraph of first post:
The journey never seems to stop but there are so many stoppages en route that at times, it becomes very difficult to maintain the same continuity from one destination to other. While there was a time when I used to think, write, and act in a routine manner, life currently has stopped giving me the same privileges. It has become increasingly difficult to really reflect about anything. Memory seems to have lost the knack of keeping things in limbo for at least as long as there is time to analyze them for whatever physiological gains one might think of.

August 2006:
No. of posts: 02
Date of first post: 09
Title of first post: Dham dham dhadam dhadaiyya re
First paragraph of first post:
Pardon my language but Omkara could possibly not have been complete without the use of such and more foul language. Shakespeare would never have approved of the same, what with his medieval English ruling the roost as far as the original went, but in the Indian context, if Vishal Bhardwaj had to show the baser instincts of men, he could not have relied on the Gentlemen's language, could he?

September 2006:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

October 2006:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 25
Title of first post: DELHI - Flatmate required for a 3 BHK flat in Patparganj, East Delhi
First paragraph of first post:
1 Flatmate required on urgent basis for a 3BHK flat with details as follows
Location - Patparganj (11 kms frm CP, 8 kms frm Noida, close vicinity to some 5-6 malls, just off the National Highway and 2 kms frm Anand Vihar Bus Terminus so well-connected)

November 2006:
No. of posts: 02
Date of first post: 02
Title of first post: On a fine Delhi morning
First paragraph of first post:
It has been ages since I wrote my last real post on Mode C and the blog, I though, was as good as dead. But then again, as Pavan says he keeps hoping for, the suppressed finds utterance yet again and here I am, typing away on this keyboard of mine. It is a great morning in Delhi with just the right amount of chill, just the right amount of visibility or the lack of it, just the right amount of traffic and of course just the right kind of songs playing on the car radio.

December 2006:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

January 2007:
No. of posts: 04
Date of first post: 04
Title of first post: Adieu to my childhood, adieu to the child in me
First paragraph of first post:
As I left for the railway station, Pappumama's words kept ringing in my head (however melodramatic the ringing idea may seem), "kewal itna kahenge ki jis hak se nana nani ke samay aate the, usi hak se aate rehna" (all I will say is that keep coming with the same feeling of right as you used to during Nana-Nani's times). Will it ever be the same, I kept asking myself and despite the assurances I gave to a crying pappumama, I could not bring myself to believe that it will ever be anything close to what it was.

February 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

March 2007:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 31
Title of first post: Outclassed, outperformed, and outplayed
First paragraph of first post:
Inspired by a relatively superlative performance by a couple of players, Gaurav XI rode all the way to the lunch table in style, and in the process, comprehensively beat Kotak Wealth by 78 runs.

April 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

May 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

June 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

July 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

August 2007:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 23
Title of first post: Am I back or what???
First paragraph of first post:
Over the period that I have been absent from this space, I have been dead and re-born so many number of times that I have absolutely lost count. I never thought that I will be writing about all this but given the amount of time that I have at my disposal and given the fact that I can't make better use of this time at office, here I am, ready to recount what has been the most memorable episode of my small life so far.

September 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

October 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

November 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

December 2007:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

January 2008:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 14
Title of first post: Lull after the storm
First paragraph of first post:
Things had been pretty topsy-turvy over the last few months, what with the accident, recovery, joining work after such a big sabbatical, and many other things associated with the same. However, once things started getting back on track, there has been a sort of calm and dull cover enveloping the daily proceedings. In a nutshell, life goes by, currently, at an even pace without much to force the ripple, so to say, in the still waters.

February 2008:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

March 2008:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

April 2008:
No. of posts: 03
Date of first post: 15
Title of first post: A new update from a new city
First paragraph of first post:
There has been a lot happening around me that I should have written about but I guess I have been just plain lazy. It is difficult to put pen to paper or finger to key when you are engrossed with so much else that is going on in your life.

May 2008:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 21
Title of first post: Exploiting Market Imperfections and a visit to the scientist
First paragraph of first post:
I have been wanting to write on so many things over the past week or so but now that I finally sit to write, I can't recollect anything at all. Hopefully, now that I have started to roll, things will come back to me as I keep on writing and deliberating and moving ahead thus. So, before the first of these topics hit me, let me place it on record here on this blog that I am not that disappointed with Mumbai. In terms of roads, green cover and infrastructure, in general, the city obviously does not show even a light to the grandeur of say, a Delhi. However, in all other respects, it is not too bad. The work culture is professional enough (not to say that it is in any way much better than Delhi), people smile here, too and at times, also have time to exchange pleasantries. Taxi drivers are a pleasant lot and generally tend not to cheat you off your last penny (though the same can not be said of the auto rickshaw drivers at all). Traffic is bad but coming from the congested NH-24 in Delhi, that does not seem too much of a bother either. Trains, of course, are bloody efficient even though they are perennially crowded, smelly and sweaty.

June 2008:
No. of posts: 00
Date of first post: NA
Title of first post: NA
First paragraph of first post:
NA

July 2008:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 31
Title of first post: Professional Entrepreneurism
First paragraph of first post:
One of the activities that I have been involved in recently as a part of my work involves a major shift in strategy for the business that my company deals in. Although it is interesting to see how new things are unfolding and how life is going to change for all stakeholders of this new business sooner or later, what is more interesting is to observe the sheer inertia that governs the lives of people in any business. The resistance to change, in whatever format the change may be is so strong that it is difficult to envisage, forget execute something drastically different from what is already present.

August 2008:
No. of posts: 02
Date of first post: 12
Title of first post: One more time
First paragraph of first post:
It is time to give it another shot, take another chance and this time, do it with some faith and belief in the possibility of it working out after all. I am off to Kerala (to Thodupuzha, a place about 60 kms off Cochin) for the treatment of my peroneal nerve, and I am off for a good 20 days (a source of some envy at office, I am sure). For those who have been coming to this space over the last year, they would be undoubtedly aware of my condition which I keep bringing out in each of my posts in one way or the other (not that I can't help it but somehow, it does come out, what with it enjoying some tremendous top of mind recall).

September 2008:
No. of posts: 03
Date of first post: 07
Title of first post: A long vacation
First paragraph of first post:
A vacation of almost three weeks in Kerala is almost invariably associated with the image of backwaters, hills and lakes, house boats languishing in still waters, as if for eternity, snake boats famous on account of the race standing still or breezing past in all their glory, the beaches that are more pristine and yet less commercial than what the most exotic ones can claim to be. My vacation, however, was of a different variety. I spent three weeks at Thodupuzha, a small but busy town situated about 60 kms from Cochin right at the foothills of the Idukki district's ranges. Amongst a few other things, Thodupuzha is known for some Ayurvedic hospitals and treatment clinics that use the herbs grown in Kerala's hills, mix them with the hundreds of kinds of oils they have gained expertise on, and treat the most chronic of ailments with such efficiency as is rarely seen in any other contemporary form of medicine.

October 2008:
No. of posts: 01
Date of first post: 24
Title of first post: Cheers to the tough times!
First paragraph of first post:
October is almost about to end without a single post this month and that is something one can't allow, can one? So after thinking about what to write, even going to the extent of trying to copy ideas from some of the blogs I have got into a habit of reading every day, I have sat down to write...well, something.

November 2008:
No. of posts: 04
Date of first post: 04
Title of first post: What a Diwali!
First paragraph of first post:
It is that time of the year again when the streets are lighted and the mood festive, children out in the courtyards gleefully bursting firecrackers (the milder ones nowadays, of course), and people all decked up in their ethnic best. Diwali has always been one of the festivals I have looked forward to and it brings to my mind so many joyous memories of togetherness, with family and friends. This is one day in the year that I absolutely hate being by myself because it makes me feel really sad and grumpy listening to other people enjoy the festivities while I long for the company of my loved ones.


Posted at 04:54 pm by Nitai

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Just how hungry starts getting foolish

It has been ages since I last wrote a review of any sort and it has been one remarkable book that has made me take this up after such a long time. Titled "Stay Hungry Stay Foolish" after the famous concluding words of Steve Jobs at a B-School convocation, the book tells the stories of 25 IIM Ahmedabad pass outs who made it big as first generation entrepreneurs. The book contains stories as implausible as the ones of Naukri.com and Shree Renuka Sugars to ones as different from the league as GiveIndia and Ekalavya School.

All 25 stories in the book are as similar to each other as they are distinct which goes on to show, in my mind, the talent of the author, Rashmi Bansal, an entrepreneur herself. Rashmi writes a popular blog Youth Curry and is the founder and editor of the youth magazine JAM. In this book, written with as much fluidity as is found in her blog, Rashmi uses a generous dosage of her own insights, opinions, and views without introducing any bias in each of the stories. These insights, often expressed employing very matter-of-fact mannerisms (read, in italicized Hindi), are what make the stories believable and at the same time, grand and singularly unique.

The arrangement of author's thoughts is well brought out as it starts from her own notions and expectations about the entrepreneur and his/her story. Moving on to the facts, the author provides clear insight into the background from which these entrepreneurs started out. She then moves to the interview approach which is more like a free flowing thought expression than a Q & A. Even though it is obvious that the author had a certain set of questions she posed to all interviewees in the book, the way she has avoided putting the questions down and the manner in which she has stopped short of publishing responses to all such questions for all interviewees shows a fair amount of discretion.

The final section on advice for entrepreneurs is really icing on the cake as it puts across the personality of the entrepreneur and his/her story in a nutshell. Drawing from their own experiences, the entrepreneurs very succinctly put across their take on the entire journey and the struggle to achieve what they have. Although the takes are as different from each other as chalk and cheese, they still provide a profound perspective into the decisions that the concerned entrepreneur took and what anyone in a similar scenario should logically go for or avoid.

Notwithstanding the insights and views included in the book's narrative by the author, there still seems something missing as far as an independent take on the entire subject of entrepreneurship is concerned. An additional chapter on the author's own opinions, though not holding a torch to the other chapters which necessarily deal with all these fascinating stories, would still have gone a long way in threading the thoughts and ideas together. As of the moment, though there are many of them and this should be appreciated, they are just floating in the air right through the pages. For all you know, such a chapter may have just answered the question that the title of this blog post poses.

Before getting started on this book, I had thought that I will be able to truly relate to two specific stories where I have been personally associated with the protagonists at a professional level. However, it was a pleasant surprise to finally discover that my bonding with the book's stories ran deeper. To say that the book was inspirational and provided motivation would definitely be an understatement. I could almost see the past, present, and future of myself and so many others like me in one story after another and that, Ms Bansal, is quite creditable from where you stand as a debutante.


Posted at 12:18 pm by Nitai

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Monday, November 10, 2008
The curtain falls

It almost feels sad to see the pictures of Anil Kumble and Saurav Ganguly bidding their final adieus to world cricket. When we, as passionate yet unrelated followers of the game are feeling the pinch, it seems impossible to even hazard a guess as to what will be going through the minds of those two. Though called retirement, it is not really that in true sense of the term for these cricketers. It is not as if they have had a nine-to-five job for the last thirty five odd years and now that their sight and sharpness of wit are not as much of assets as they used to be, they are hanging their boots.

Here, these players are still in the prime of their lives (not even forty yet, any of them) and still it seems as if they have done grave injustice to their chosen professions and their employers by probably staying on for just that little bit more. They are fit, most of them, of course not as fit as a modern cricketer is supposed to be but still many times fitter as compared to many others their age. Unlike the normal retirees, they can not just sit in the verandah, on the armchair with the daily newspaper, starting to get used to the morning walks and carrying milk, grocery, and grandkids home (maybe not in the same order).

The only thing that is probably similar between other retirees and these players is that they have left an impression through their illustrious careers that can not be easily matched, leave surpassed. Having achieved in one and a half decades each of their careers more than other people do in their lifetimes, they do deserve their retirement. But ask them if they want it and the reply will be a vehement negative for who doesn't continue to yearn for the stage and the lights.

It is the limelight that has goaded them on, it is the praise and glory that has made them gun for more, it is the attention focused on each and every act of theirs that has made all their talent and lack of the same visible in zoom mode, and it is their accountability to the general public that has made them call it a day much before they would have liked to.

All good things must come to an end and if they come to an end in appropriate time, the better for them. (I am talking only about good things so any references, however much in jest, to any soap operas are not appreciated).


Posted at 04:48 pm by Nitai

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008
What a Diwali!

It is that time of the year again when the streets are lighted and the mood festive, children out in the courtyards gleefully bursting firecrackers (the milder ones nowadays, of course), and people all decked up in their ethnic best. Diwali has always been one of the festivals I have looked forward to and it brings to my mind so many joyous memories of togetherness, with family and friends. This is one day in the year that I absolutely hate being by myself because it makes me feel really sad and grumpy listening to other people enjoy the festivities while I long for the company of my loved ones.

Luckily, Diwali this year was different from any of the sort and I was blessed with the company of my parents and more importantly, my Grandfather. While Papa was here about two weeks ahead of Diwali, Maa landed about a week later and in the middle (more towards the end, actually) of the Bihar-Maharashtra brouhaha, Baba accompanied with Bua came to town just a day before Diwali. In fact, I was so very worried that the plans of Baba to come visiting after so many requests from me and my sister may actually come to nought because of all this tamasha but thankfully better sense and peace prevailed and he was able to make the journey.

The love, affection, and blessings in the eyes of my family members is enough to make any day special for me and this Diwali was no exception. With a bhara-poora ghar, it was a completely amazing experience this Diwali and even though there was not much of firecracker bursting or diya lighting but even the bit that there was seemed blissful. After the traditional Lakshmi Puja and lighting of diyas, we started on a tour of Mumbai to experience the famous Mumbai style of celebrating this festival. It was an anticlimax, however, as we saw a deserted Juhu beach and negligible lighting even in the posh localities of Bandra, Juhu, et al. The only saving grace was Nariman Point and Marine Drive which, if you didn't mind the traffic, made you enjoy the proceedings with people out in the open, slowdown and markets be damned.

Baba's stay was just for about a week and what a packed week it was! From meeting relatives to planning outings to Lonavala, Khandala, movies, beaches, it was one roller coaster and the best part about it all was that Baba loved it. Except for a day when he was tired and slept through the day (after the Lonanavala trip), Baba's health also kept up with him by Godís grace. In his own words, it was a very satisfying trip. No amount of material benefits of any sort could have had me in a happier state than the one I was in on hearing these words as I saw Baba and Bua off last night at the railway station.


Posted at 11:19 am by Nitai

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Friday, October 24, 2008
Cheers to the tough times!

October is almost about to end without a single post this month and that is something one can't allow, can one? So after thinking about what to write, even going to the extent of trying to copy ideas from some of the blogs I have got into a habit of reading every day, I have sat down to write...well, something.

For starters, things are becoming increasingly mundane at work and have come to such a head that at times, I keep getting into one of those introspective moods thinking about the reasons for existence and all that. Broadly speaking, there is lack of enough work and even the work that is there lacks any amount of application of intellect, constituting things that any thirteen year old can sleepwalk through. There is a limit to which you can make excel sheets and send mails and sit angrily thinking about what is going on behind closed doors that does not need your presence and is yet obviously strategically important given the recent times.

I have even started questioning the reasons for joining this job in the sense that the expectations I had from it are perhaps not coming across the way I thought they would. In fact, while reading a book I recently picked up (more about the book in some other post), I realized how effective such a profile as mine has proved for many successful entrepreneurs when they started out post their MBAs. I had thought that it will be the same for me as well (even without the benefit of having read this book and known this fact earlier) but somehow, whether that will actually happen is now getting questioned.

On top of all this, financial services as a sector and even the equity markets are at an all time low and like always, I am short of confidence on job prospects in this area and more importantly, short of cash to buy anything at the bourses. It is so uncannily similar to such situations in the past that even my credit card bills at these occasions have been very close to each other with the difference between them hardly exceeding 5000 (the bills, as you may have guessed, are obviously in the higher thousands bracket for 5000 to be such a small difference).

The silver lining, of course is that it is festive season and Maa Papa are here with us in Mumbai to make my time at home real quality time. If things go right and Raj Thackeray and his counterparts in Bihar stop making a horrible mess of it, Baba and Bua should also be here before long and this Deepawali shall be one fantastic celebration for me...really looking forward to it all. Priya is super excited, as well and has already coaxed me into getting a 42 inches plasma and a home theatre system at home (there goes the secret of high credit card bills). In times of cost cutting, job layoffs, and job insecurity, here's to the Goddess of Wealth...cheers!!!


Posted at 11:17 am by Nitai

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