Monday, October 29, 2007


As usual tagged by Fleiger ...
The 5 tag...

5 things in your room
I look around.. The things that I can call mine are:
  1. A Bed besides the window with a pillow and some clothes which are on the chair when I am on the bed and vice versa.
  2. A chair with a pillow – not much difference between chair and bed. Sometimes I use it for sleeping also..
  3. A Table with lots of things – Laptop, headphones, notebooks, files, pen drive, water, biscuits, my friend’s ipod (which I am using these days)– these are some things I can see presently.
  4. A basket to dump in all the to-be-washed clothes. They get transferred to the washing machine when the basket starts overflowing or the almirah looks empty.
  5. An almirah with clothes, textbooks, untouched biscuit and namkeen packets, a box of washing powder, CD folders etc etc

5 things in my Bag
  1. Laptop with Charger
  2. Notebooks. These days I am experimenting with one for each subject (back to school)
  3. A diary – to manage the future manager..(all to-do items that remain to-do everyday are noted there!!!!)
  4. A newspaper – which once goes in, comes out at night and directly to ‘radddi’
  5. Miscellaneous things like Library card, Calculator, Pens etc

5 things in my Wallet
  1. Cash and coins – the core value of the wallet
  2. Debit and credit cards – 2 each to be precise (have not kept all of them in wallet ;))
  3. Driving license
  4. Few Passport size photos
  5. Some miscellaneous papers which I am throwing off now.

Any one interested can take up the tag..

Had some Pics of my room at Chandigarh.. thought they might be of some relevance here..
These show how different the room looked in my college and while I was working..

The 2 walls during college days...

The difference in the environs from the same angles 3 -4 years later..

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Mumbai Spirit

Since the time I came to Mumbai, I have been hearing about the poor human aspect of Mumbaikers which has become non-caring and selfish. There was a case of a women being stabbed in the middle of the road with scores of people just watching her die. Accidents taking place and no one bothering to take the injured to hospital etc etc…
But 2 such incidents have taken place within 4 days which show a positive face of Mumbai emerge out of the chaos we usually see in the trains and roads of the financial capital of India.
The first incident is of course which I mentioned in the previous post, where a bag with mobile phones and plenty of cash had been left in a local train. A good soul had taken care to call a few numbers from the mobile and some amazing coincidences had worked together to land the bag with all its contents (The coincidences were such that they demand another post).
Many said that it was impossible to find a bag left in a Mumbai Local. But it happened. And then to top it another incident happened just 2 days later. Amit, my roommate had given his bike for servicing. While going to get his bike back, he left the packet containing all the papers and driving license in the autorickshaw he had taken to the service center.
To further complicate the problem, there was no local phone number written anywhere in the documents and there was only 1 small mention of the local address. A day later, a person was standing on our door with the packet. The autowallah had taken pains to find the local address, then search for the house and came till the door step to deliver the packet. Moreover, when Amit tried to reward him, he refused to accept anything. “I know how it feels when you lose all your papers”, he said.
Incidents like these go a long way to re-instill the faith in others, in this self centered society today.
3 cheers to this spirit of Mumbai!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Roller Coaster Day!!

The day was quite similar to the roller coaster we experienced at Essel World today. The plan was made yesterday and this morning 28 people from our ‘rocking’ division marched from college to Vile Parle station. It was a comfortable journey to Malad Station from where we caught a ferry to the amusement park after a round of photo session. With a nice 50% discount on tickets, we entered the gates of childhood again. After warming up with trivial rides, we came to the big one – Thunder. It is basically an extended version of the swinging ‘boat’ we usually have. The difference is that the boat in this case turns 360 degrees. It also adds more spice to your life by staying for a few everlasting seconds at the top with everyone literally off the seats, shoulders pinned into the safety harness which somehow acts against an important force of nature – the gravitational force. There were 2 more favorites – the roller coaster which went through a water pool drenching you from head to toe and from outerwear to innerwear. The second one was the crazy cars where everyone played around 3 – 4 rounds. Guess all the ‘focused’ MBA students felt good to be just aimless. A heavy lunch (aloo parantha with lassi.. aahaa) was followed by a bowling session(after 2 years!!!!) and a shake of leg at the disc. The caravan moved to another session of getting drenched and a grand photo session. Overall it was amazing fun and the roller coaster moved up from morning 10 to 6. Now it was time to come down a bit.

The ‘Drenching’ Ride

Ok. So after getting down from the ferry, Pranshu, Stanley and I took an auto to Boriwali station. Some miscommunications followed which brought us in front of the local which had started moving and which had rest of our group on board. Pranshu – the NDA blood, jumped on the moving train. I had already made up my mind not to risk a tired limb of mine for a Rs 6 ticket. So Stanley and I took the next local. On the way I saw photos for the day on Stan’s Mobile. One that I found strange was that of a Blue colored Nike bag on Pooja’s back. Stan said that he clicked it by mistake. On reaching vile parle, we discovered that same very bag had been left in the train – and it had significant cash, wallets, I Cards and around 4 mobile phones!!! Some coincidence ..huh!!

The Bag

There was a pandemonium outside station master’s cabin who was perhaps enjoying being in the limelight in a regularly mundane routine of his. 2 people had been sent in the next train to the last station - Churchgate where the train was scheduled to stop for few minutes. The timings were being discussed. Key problems areas were being outlined – will they be able to reach on time, how much time will they have to search etc. After gathering more information it was known that they won’t be able to reach on time. Another search party was sent to Bombay Central to intercept the train there on its return journey and try finding the bag. The help desk was in place with real time monitoring being done on the groups, their timings, train’s timings and communication (with 4 less phones though!!). Another noteworthy problem that was at the core of issue was the colossal rush at that hour from churchgate to boriwali. So as a backup measure Bharath and I left for Bandra station to increase the interceptor points of the incoming train (it was a fast local which stopped at few stations only). Never before had I been a part of such a big search operation covering half of Mumbai. The train was scheduled to come into Bandra at 9.14PM on platform 4 (check out the’preciseness’). The timing was too perfect for us when we reached Bandra. We had to change platforms. This was the point where Bharath and I lost contact. I rushed to platform 4, managed to find the right compartment and somehow managed to get inside that also. I penetrated deep into the bogie scanning all bags on the shelf. There was humongous amount of rush – something that I had seen on news channels only. Then I got a call that the bag had been found at Churchgate station and had been deposited at police counter. I breathed a sigh of relief. The roller coaster was coming up again – but there was a small hiccup in between. I realized that Andheri station had come and I was like Abhimanyu standing in the middle of a chakravyooh. I fought – and fought really hard – using every muscle I had ever spent pumping in the gym. The gate was near, people were abusing right and left, I carried on. The train started moving. I believed in myself. I could make it. I pushed people harder. On the gate now. But train had gathered speed and I was advised not to get down. Next thought I got was that I was in for a long ride to Boriwali – back to square one as they say. I touched my wallet to make sure it was still there and realized that I had zero cash with me. The key problem areas had another dimension to it now. It was turning out to be a steep fall for the roller coaster. Luckily for me, the train had turned to slow train after Andheri and it stopped at Jogeshwari(next station). I managed to get down here. After all this, coming back to Vile Parle was a child’s play. So after starting the day with childhood ‘jhoolas’ it was back to a child play. The roller coaster after the full round had come back.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coming through.....

It is strange, how days can be entirely different. One day, you fail in everything you do. And the next day everything starts falling into place and the same you succeed in what you are doing. How it happens is the intricacy of the human brain. But it sure does happen.

The exam time was a tough, sleep depriving time. But the tougher times had to follow - the summer placement time. When you see 250 people sitting in a room, vying to become the couple of people that a company selects – then you know what competition is! Actually the same happens in during MBA entrance also but somehow it didn’t feel that way then. Things here are definitely different considering that the 250 people with you are the ones that have been creamed out of 35000 in the country.

Anyways, the first day of the summers was a big disappointment. Around 10 companies, 5 shortlists for GD’s and not a single convert. It was the first time I experienced mass recruitment – that means many companies coming in a single day within hours of each other. As soon as you are out of 1 GD and reach the waiting room, calls are being made to locate you for the second one. And to add to it, you need to submit CV’s for another 2 companies. It can be quite harrowing at times. More so when you are not getting selected. Starting the day at 6.30 and running to college with no breakfast. 3 Group Discussions in a row and it is almost lunch time. And when you are called for another discussion without anything in your tummy for 20 hours, then sometimes the expected happens – a black out. Blanked mind. That was exactly what I experienced on day 1.

Day 2 started not very differently. No breakfast and running quickly to be in time for CV submission. First GD was a surprise for me. I had never done that well. Result: selected for the interview. A considerably long interview and as I come out of the room, I am being looked for another GD. Then as soon as I am out of that, I am being called for another interview. The mind actually gets numb and sometimes you mechanically move around. And one thing I noticed. When before the interview you have time in hand to think about things, then inside the room it doesn’t go well. When you have time to think, it allows the nerves to get in and sometimes a mixture of negative thoughts. It happens the same way in cricket also. When you start thinking about the next ball you are going to face, about the bowler, about how he spun the last ball viciously etc, you are bound to get out. That is a question I have always wanted to ask greats like Sachin that what do they think between balls. Rahul Dravid once said that he concentrates on his breathing between balls. That is how he keeps himself from distractive thoughts.

Anyways coming back to interview. With 4 people before me, I had plenty of time to think before the 1st one. And that reflected during the process. It didn’t look natural. To some of the standard questions like Why MBA, Why marketing etc, there was no spontaneity – all answers coming from the short term memory where they had been stored minutes before the interview. The second one was different. It was almost like out of the GD room and into the Interview room. No time to think and so the answers came more naturally instead of vomiting all the crammed answers. Result: on spot selection after the interview. The thought is bit scary though. When you know that a spot offer policy is being followed and when at the end of the interview the panel just says, “Ok. Thanks for your time sidharth” – there is a definite feeling of uneasiness.

Anyways as they say, everything is well that ends well. And sure it did.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Rare Holiday

A rare holiday after exams. It was decided to go for an excursion. Though it didn't turn out to be as planned.. but there were enough memories - both in mind as well as in form of 200 photographs..

Never in exams had we got up at 6.30... But had to do it to catch the train in a non-rush hour...

Breakfast @ Churchgate Station

No Autos in the poshest area of Mumbai.... so a Taxi ride to the Gateway..

The Taj - Mumbai one... can be said to be one of the wonders among the hotels...

'Chal dhano...'

With Dhano on the move.. its time to enjoy the serene surroundings

A magnificent view of Taj and Gateway together

The kafila moved to Haaji Ali after the boat ride...

Beautiful Nakasshi inside the structure

'Dhal gaya Din... Ho gayi shaam'..incidentally the previous evening was also spent at the same place

Catching up with the lost sleep of 10 days... The train is a lovely lullaby