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

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Batman Begins
War of the Worlds
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Bunty aur Babli
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Veer Zaara
Phir Milenge
Kyun! Ho Gaya Na
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Spider Man 2
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

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Beena (Class of '08)
Chirantan (Class of '08)
DAR (Class of '07)
Deepak (Class of '05)
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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)
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Ramesh (Class of '06)
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Tity (Class of '05)
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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)
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Sidin (IIM Ahmedabad, Class of '05)

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The Movie Blog
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Sunday, May 16, 2004
Getting addicted

Last time when Yogi, one of my might-be classmates at IIMK (he is still to decide between IIMs I and K), had his way, he treated his friends to a splendid dose of Govinda as he literally dragged them to a show of the movie Aunty No.1. This time, the ones dragged were the poor me, my room mate and one of my colleagues from Infy, and the movie was Charas. Right from the word Go, we were all (that is, except Yogi) a little apprehensive about the whole stuff of going to a theatre to watch a low key movie like Charas but ultimately, nonsense prevailed and the four of us started towards Melody, one of the few theatres in Chennai that show only Hindi movies.

The scene that greeted us was prophetic. There wasn't a single bike or car parked in the parking area of the theatre and even the ticket counters had not opened and all this when there were only some twenty odd minutes to the start of the movie. We went out to an eatery nearby with the hope that when we return after some time, there will be a sizeable crowd waiting to buy tickets for the show (it was an evening show on a Saturday, by the no chances of a poor gathering because of the show timings). All or hopes crashed, however, when we found that when we returned some fifteen minutes later, we were still the first to buy the tickets. More to this, I thought I heard the ticket counter guy saying to his assistant after we bought the tickets..."ye waala show chalaana parega"(We will have to run this show)

Despite all the background above, the point is not that the total audience for the movie was hardly into two figures, or even that it finally dropped to single figure after the intermission. The point is that this movie, Charas, starring no stars, following no formula, produced by Yash Raj Films (yes, the same Yash Raj films of the fame of so many BIIG hits), was actually a different movie. I won't say that I loved the movie but it will be wrong to say that I simply abhorred it, either.

The movie begins and ends with Charas (Resin from the mature cannabis plant, for the uninitiated). A botany student from London decides to take a walk in the jungles located on the mountains of India and gets captured by a gang that is actually involved in the production of Charas and its illegal trafficking in the national and international market. This gang is led by Policeman (Irfaan), who has not been out of the jungle for a long long time. He co-ordinates his operations through a minister in Delhi, and a minister of the British Government in London, amongst others. An officer Dev (Jimmy Shergill) who always gives his name as Dev...Dev Anand (James Bond, anybody?) and tries to swagger like the actor Dev Anand in a number of scenes and songs, is sent to India to search for the botany student who disappeared. Even if it is a little unbelievable that an officer of the Scotland yard is sent after one British national who is just a student and not even a big-shot, the story still goes ahead and we meet Ashraf (Uday Chopra), an undercover cop with the crime branch. He has been asked by his senior officers (who are hand-in-glove with the charas traffickers) to keep a watch over the British Officer Dev who might uncover the charas trade (that is not the reason they give him, however) in his quest for the botany student. In a purely western movie style, the two heroes start towards these mountains on Harley-Davidson type bikes (actually, the Yamaha Enticer) and break into songs wearing leather jackets and believe it or not, cowboy hats!!!

The story moves into the next gear as the heroes meet Naina (Hrishita Bhatt) enroute, give her a lift, space to stay for the night, and find her gone in the morning (luckily she did not take away any of their belongings). Next, they reach the village at the foothills of the jungle that they plan to visit and Dev starts investigating. He gets in touch with Piya (Namrata Shirodkar) who is actually an undercover journalist investigating the Charas trade. She cajoles him into believing her (in true phoren movie ishtyle, even gets into bed with him to get the news) and steals the information which our Dev Anand toils to obtain. Things get more hot when a report is published in a magazine about the drug trade and when almost simultaneously, Policeman murders a member of the Italian Mafia (pretty naive guy, this, member of the Italian mafia, could not even defend himself...did not even try). The Mafia wants Afghanis to take over the Charas trade and kill Policeman and his team. The movie tries to do a lot at this stage and goes into flashback to show that Policeman was actually a police man some years back. He got disillusioned with the Government when some Afghanis (itís all connected, you know) kill two members of his team, and are still let go by the Government. Our undercover cop, Ashraf, was also a part of Policeman's team but was never really accepted into the team because of his being a Muslim (I know, too much of the coincidental attachments!!!) and he wants to prove his point to the team leader (now Policeman, but Ashraf doesn't know that yet) some day.

The final half hour of the movie is like that of any other pot-boiler. The Afghanis come to the forest, three initially. They call on their other friends and kill the entire gang of Policeman. But our heroes Ashraf and Dev come to the rescue and kill the Afghanis, too (by the way, what happened to the Mafia???). The two heroines are also there at the final scene (Naina was also a part of Policeman's gang and don't ask me what Piya was doing there...) and finally, all is well. The botany student is also found out. He has turned into a scientist who is actually experimenting on Charas to develop better varieties of the drug.

So much said in the movie, but to what purpose? Was it an art movie, as the term goes? Was it a documentary on drug trafficking? Was it a commercial thriller? It was none and all of the above and that is the doom of Charas. Despite brilliant cinematography and passable acting by the actors, the movie bombs on its face because of a lack of purpose. The story teller tries to imbibe too many dimensions into the story and in the process, lets go of the main thread (not that it was there at any stage, though). The movie does remind you of Hare Rama Hare Krishna, with more foreign nationals in the frames than Indians, but compared to the older classic, this movie does not seem to belong, neither to the times nor to the theme. The hippie culture that the movie tries to portray may be a reality in some parts of the country but is something that an average cine-goer like me can not identify with. This is a period when only the feel-good (Even after the election loss!!!) movies like Main Hoon Na are appreciated and movies like Charas that try to show the other, hidden side, are shelved before they even get off the shelf.

First resolution and advice: Think twice before going out for a movie that does not have star power.
Second resolution and advice: Treat Yogi's taste in movies with caution (just kidding...)

Posted at 06:31 pm by Nitai

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Friday, May 14, 2004
Introspections of an idle mind

The mind wanders...although it is not yet time to introspect on my past two years with Infosys, that's the direction my mind has been taking whenever it decides to go for a stroll. This stroll thing has been happening more and more frequently now, what with me getting away from office at a decent time (not the usual 9 or 10 PM slots any more, thankfully) and getting loads of time to let my mind go wherever it wants to.

When I started with Infy two years back, the thought that I had was to try to develop a contact base. I seemed to have an idea that the more people I am going to have in my group, the more interactions I have with my colleagues, the happier I will be. Traditionally, I have neither been an introvert, nor an out-and-out extrovert. To my loss, I decided to change myself for the beginning of my professional career. I became a loud mouthed extrovert who cracked jokes on others' expense and tried a little too hard to be the life of the party. The things were going fine and I did not feel the pinch, not until one fine day, when I found myself isolated and marooned on an island where my own jokes started to haunt me.

So many things happened to me that I lost count of reality. I thought I had found my best friend, I thought I lost him. I thought that I can be happy only if there are people around, I thought that I don't need anyone...hell, I even thought that I was in love...and all this just because I could not cope with the changes that I, myself, had intentionally brought about in me. In the end, it all came to naught and thankfully so.

Thanks to some heartbreaks and receiving some tough talking from others and later from myself, too, I could finally see the path. Whether the path is right or not, I still haven't found out. By the time I had decided how I am going to get back to my old self, I was actually denied the chance. All my friends, the entire gamut of people for whom I had changed myself had left me alone, some leaving my life intentionally (getting tired of me) and some simply had to go.

With IIMK looming large ahead and a new set of people with whom I am going to interact, I just wonder what is going to happen. Will the old me appeal to these people? Worse still, am I, in asking this question, again trying to change myself? Do I come across as someone else when I talk/chat to my new friends? Even if it is true, shouldn't I come across as such a person in spite of what I really am, considering that this is a B-school that I am going to join? So many questions and hardly any answers...

Posted at 10:09 am by Nitai

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Thursday, May 13, 2004
Closing of a chapter

One more chapter of my life closes today. I formally resigned from my job at Infosys just a few minutes back and believe it or not, I can not feel any difference. It is not just because I still have to drag myself in every morning for the next 20 odd days to office. It is not just because I will have to slog in office for some more days. And above all, it is certainly not because I am tired of people asking me about my interview experience at IIMK. It is just that I don't seem to get that enthusiasm going in me. It doesn't look like a big change to me...well, at least not yet. From reports by seniors and others who 'know', life at IIMK is going to be a real challenge as far as taking time out to sleep is concerned. Malini, one of my would-be class mates, says that she is trying to compensate by lazing around at her home this entire month and even the next. But at the same time, Prashant, one of the other guys who are leaving Infosys to join IIMK, wants to utilize this time in brushing up on accounting fundamentals...

As for me, I am certainly not going to study, despite what chimpx (why the x, though?) says about being ahead of the competition on Day Zero. I believe that there will be Days 1 to 365 to worry about that (it is another matter, however, that I may not worry about it even then) and a lot of other things. And the other thing, sleep, is also not within my grasp right now. Most probably, it never will be. For the next few days, at least till June 4 when I actually pack my bags and leave Chennai, it is going to be work for me. When I reach home, too, it will be pretty hectic with so many relatives and friends pouring in to see me for one last time (it really scares me to see the way they are treating going to if it is my death knell or worse still, as if I am getting married).

Having volunteered for moderating the e-group of the 2006 IIMK batch, I really don't know what I am supposed to do. It is not that I know something that the seniors don't. At best, I might be at par with the average guy who is going to join IIMK this year, with a number of queries of his own. But I guess that Karan (the e-group owner and Student Council Coordinator at IIMK) must have had some purpose for that so I think that I will have to wait till he decides to let us lesser mortals know of our real purpose (aka Morpheus in The Matrix)...

Posted at 03:14 pm by Nitai

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Group Dynamics and others...

Am I really past my prime? Was it a bad decision to wait for two years before giving a serious shot to CAT? Could I have got a better deal had I not wasted my time in GRE preparations in college final year and concentrated more on CAT instead?

All these questions come to mind when I see people who are fresh out of college being apprehensive of studying with the people having work experience. In fact, even some of the seniors at IIMK feel that the people with work experience are actually their seniors and not juniors. I personally don't want to be a part of such group dynamics and the sooner the attitude changes, the better. Traditionally, in the Indian education system, it has been a norm rather than an exception for people to carry on their studies without any breaks and any kind of break in studies is actually looked down upon. The kind of culture that a US University has, for example, is very clearly not evident in Indian schools as far as the 'gaps' are concerned.

The question that is burning my grey matter right now is whether it will really matter if a person has 2-3+ years of work experience, when he/she tries to blend in the group. Are birds of the same feather going to flock together? I hope not...

I have just started interacting with a lot of my would-be batch mates at IIMK and it has been quite an experience so far. They are a bunch of interesting people, no doubt. The posts on the e-groups along with the chats on the messenger have already started building a relationship that I hope, is going to be long and lasting one. This batch at K (I am sure all others before us would have said the same) sure looks like an interesting batch as of this moment. There is this guy, Nilanajan who keeps on posting all the junk stuff in the group, and then there's Neeta from Raipur, interested in stuff like Bungee Jumping and Paragliding. IF we have Malini from Hyderabad who is so very quiet, we also have Abhijit who has been working on Bio-Technology at TCS (rare, that?), and Ravi, who has been giving me the shoulder to cry on (as I have not received my call letter so far). So many Bengalis, too with Sandipan, Debojyoti making the can also find Arpita in Ahmedabad, trying to get a study leave from IOCL and Surabhi in Bangalore, waiting to rock IIMK. Yogendra from Wipro, Chennai is confused between IIMs I and K (lucky chap...more than one calls and converts, too) and on the other side, Prashant Joshi (no relative of the great MMJ) is planning on a whirlwind tour of India before packing up his bags and coming to Kozhikode. Man, what a gang!!!

Posted at 02:05 pm by Nitai

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Monday Blues!!

The whole of Sunday spent in watching all three parts of Lord of the Rings, I was completely spent yesterday. It seemed as if there was nothing to do, nothing to think of except the beard of Gandalf, the eyes of Ghollum or the sword of Aragorn. And to top it off, I got a throat infection and believe me, nothing like a throat infection to dampen your mood if you are not in one of your brightest. There I was, to my utter surprise and even contempt, thinking happily of going back to office on Tuesday. Monday being a holiday on account of elections, I couldn't even find any net cafe in the vicinity that could serve depressed junkies like me. Another dose of movies on HBO was what saved the day for me in the final run.

Above everyting else (even the throat infection), I had this thought of wanting to check out the people who have joined the yahoo group for the batch of '06 at IIMK. I wanted to read more on the blogs of the seniors to know what they think of this period and whether any of them are nostalgic about it, seeing the enthu of us people (I found one nostalgic lady in Divya Iyer). But for all this, I had to wait till Tuesday, when I joined office again and had the world wide web at my disposal. Sometimes, I am seriously led to wonder as to what the world will come to if there is no internet. I guess the people who came much much before us thought the same of books. Information has, in deed, been fascinating right from the origin of time and the sources of information valued above all else.

Posted at 02:45 pm by Nitai

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