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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Thursday, April 28, 2005
My squirrel is fairer than yours

It's that time of the year again as the squirrel gets its share of heat and the war beckons all and sundry warriors whose swords and shields had come close to be declared out of service. Yes, the time is ripe once again for the famous Squirrel wars of IIMK (comes as a sequel to OCS wars, the multistarrer superhit caper that had audiences gasping for breath and rooting for more). The best part about these wars is that they are started by the most unexpected of people on the most trivial of issues (or even if the issues are not trivial...have to say this or I run the danger of being hanged till the next squirrel war...the treatment of the issues definitely is :-)). This time around, it is all about the access...access to what, you may ask...well, of all the things on this universe, the war is about access to the information about the incoming batch at IIMK.

Points are being raised about inadequacy of information preventing people from approaching prospective juniors to make them more aware about the institute and attract the best of the lot towards IIMK. Personally, I feel that it is more to do with getting the email id, yahoo id or phone number of whatever few girls there are in the coming batch. More than anything else (this is not an all pervasive statement...excludes the really serious will-do-anything-for-the-insti sorts), people are more interested in how soon they can make a pass at the fairer one-twentieth of the batch (or is it even less this time?). With the Student Council members wisely restricting the yahoo group (made exclusively for the doubt clearing for juniors) membership, nearly a dozen feathers were ruffled yesterday and I am sure that the mail box is going to be witness to a few more ruffled feathers before long...the SCon reply is yet to come, is going to be fun and for a change, I shall have something to look forward to in the day. :-)

On a more serious note, I believe that IIMK has a lot many things going for it and we do not really need to bother too much about always keeping the sunny side up. Of course, we are the brand ambassadors of the institute as of now, and if the incoming batch (whether the particular person joins IIMK or not) has any doubt about the institute, it is our duty to clear the go out of our way to attract people is perhaps, in my humble opinion, not something that any of us are going to need to do in the conventional sense but when it comes to war, there is nothing that is unfair...or conventional.

With even well-established institutes like IIMC and IIMB doing it, we, being backed up by some really good things to market (our small batch size, our campus and infrastructure, to name a few), can always take the aggressive route and market ourselves well because obviously, it is the students and future alumni who are going to shape the destiny of any educational institute. It goes without saying, of course, that aggressive marketing does not mean telling lies about your product (and in effect, being insensitive to the career plans of people, as in this case) because in the long run, it is the product attributes that are going to sell and not the catchy slogans. All that is needed is to prevent misinformation, ensure information and the rest should follow.

Talking about the students of IIMK, I and Sandipan went to IMS yesterday to play our role in the crusade and talked to the center manager there. It seems that we will be able to get a list of people with K calls and who are likely to have calls from no other higher IIMs...contacting them and arranging an informal meet with them should help. We also had a meeting arranged yesterday with a few seniors (three of them, in fact...Gautam, Pralay and Rupam) and one person of the incoming batch. I can't really call him a junior and once you get to know his profile, you will know why not. An MBBS of the batch of 1996, two years spent doing something in radiology...joined Civil Services in 1998...placed in BSNL right now with a work experience of six years to boot. And so it was that Mrs. and Dr. Jaidev Rajpal were with us as we made our entry to the pub, Someplace Else, at Park Street. This place has a nice lounge bar kind of ambience and is ideal for a little, though expensive, chit-chat. The happy hour allowed us (or should I say, the three seniors) to get away without a serious dent in their wallets...or at least, not too serious :-)

With my long-suppressed desire of having a pizza (it had been ages since I last had a pizza, what with Calicut being such a modern city and all that) coming up at just the right moment (with the seniors subtly hinting that we should foot the dinner bill and we knowing that it will never happen), we went to the now-famous 22, Camac Street. The place being deserted at the time, I did not really carry back the first-timer's fascination with the environs that I had heard about from many first-timers to the place, but the oldest Pizza Hut in Kolkata did not disappoint. A huge place with some colorful decor and more colorful people (by the way, people at Someplace Else were colorful, too and despite Mrs Jaidev bringing some decency to the rogues' group that we were, most of the guys in the group still feasted their eyes on the absolutely obscene and over-the-top skin show), Pizza Hut was good and the pizzas even better.

With a full stomach and a good dinner conversation, I was in for another late entry into the PG. This time, I made the journey from Camac Street to Park Circus in a cab (charged me a bit more than it should have, I guess) and from there to Salt Lake in a shared shuttle van. I must say that Kolkata streets and the vehicles that ply on them are unique...different from any other place in the country. In no other city would you find tram lines intersecting the roads (even the most posh and famous of them) right across and giving a roller-coaster ride to the people sitting in the taxis, cars, scooters and three wheelers. Talking of three wheelers, I feel that it is a sacred and unwritten code for the three wheelers in the city to have as non-existent brakes as possible. I mean, I have had my share of loose brakes in my own motorbike a number of times, but the three wheelers of Kolkata beat me hands down on any given day...scares me stiff especially when they come near a signal at top speed and have to swerve in all possible (and impossible) directions to avoid a major accident and loss of limb (my limb, that is...since I mostly get the front seat...the privileged one, right besides the driver).

Once inside the PG, there was the serious choice that I had to make between a movie and sleep and I am glad that I made the right choice, what with the busy schedule that I have been having at work for the past few days. "When Harry met Sally", the "inspiration" of Hum Tum, and one of the defining romantic movies of Hollywood, was worth the one and a half hours that I spent on it last night. With Meg Ryan looking a million bucks and Billy Crystal making the picture complete with his often-dazed and expressionless expressions, the movie was good. I specially liked the parts where couples kept talking about their experiences between scenes and then the movie subsequently showing Harry's and Sally's lives as being so different from those experiences. 12 years and 2 months...don't know if I will be able to wait that long for anybody or for that matter, if any body will wait that long (or wait at all) for me...but then again, a good story...touches the heart strings some what.

No work seems to be coming my way this week and with the salary processing date coming close, my guide (and the entire HR department) is still busy...I wonder if I will get to leave for Patna tomorrow. If I do, it is good bye to the blog for three days...should be making an update on Monday with the Patna experiences and in all probability, a review of Kaal (the movie releases this Friday and my cousin is hell bent on making one of the first few shows...on my sponsorship, of course :-( )

Posted at 12:02 pm by Nitai

April 28, 2005   01:36 PM PDT
u saying
mayank, tarun, abhi, etc r interested only in the gals of the incoming batch?
thts most unfair and irresponsible, i must say.

how can u even dare to hurt the sentiments of the esteemed gentlemen who, for all YOU know - you pipsqueak, might be even more interested ;-) in the GUYS who r going to be our juniors.
pls IIMK is in Kerala, dammit.

pls issue a clarification, explanation, obfuscation, mendacious comment and of course apologization immediately.
April 28, 2005   01:51 PM PDT
(this is not an all pervasive statement...excludes the really serious will-do-anything-for-the-insti sorts)

Read the post carefully, you will find the answer to your HOT question.

As for the people interested in males, I admit I missed out (oh could I :-( ) on them. BTW, we do have some dozen-odd girls in our batch apart from the true-blue...or should I say red Calicut denizens
April 28, 2005   02:44 PM PDT
Watching Kaal? ATB. I am not venturing into hindi movies after the shocks of Lucky and Waqt! That was an intersting profile that u mentioned - MBBS+Civils.
April 28, 2005   03:52 PM PDT
nitai .. i guess u missed out on one important point which i guess lot of guys i know are interested in apart from looking for gals and being patriotic for their instt. Lot of people want to interact with new guys joining and make friends with the incoming batch irrespective of whether they are guys/gals
April 28, 2005   03:58 PM PDT
are Ravi dost, dosti karne ke liye to poora ek saal pada hai, why do such people need the contact info right now, right here...they can wait till the new batch comes to campus and then...Ye dosti... :-)

Yes Ramesh, Kaal it is and actually, I am looking forward to it, despite Lucky (which was ok, I felt) and the absolutely tortuous Mumbai Express...yet to feast myself on Waqt :-)
April 28, 2005   05:50 PM PDT
I think its a great way to help the incoming batch. If there is an ulterior motive, so be it...the intention is all that matters. And patriotism for one's institute is most credible.
btw, enjoy ur trip to Patna.
p.s: why dont u start a separate blog devoted to movie reviews?
April 28, 2005   06:38 PM PDT
It is in deed a good way to greet and help the incoming batch and has become a sort of tradition with most of the B-schools (I know for sure that it is true for all the IIMs).

In fact, apart from the informal doubt clarification meets, we also have formal alumni freshers meets lined up in all major Indian cities for the confirmed entrants to the Batch of 2007 at IIMK, exposing them to the limited but highly successful and well-placed IIMK alumni pool that we have.

I know it has started sounding a lot like selling biscuits but got to keep the patriotic spirit going :-)

Yes, will try to make the most of the Patna trip and a separate blog for movie reviews...hmm...not a bad idea...sochna padenga :-)

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