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.

<< May 2004 >>
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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

IIM Kozhikode Bloggers

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Beena (Class of '08)
Chirantan (Class of '08)
DAR (Class of '07)
Deepak (Class of '05)
Dhananjay (Class of '05)
Divya (Class of '05)
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IIMK Photo Blog
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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)
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Ronald (Class of '05)
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Tity (Class of '05)
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Yash (Class of '06)

Other B-school Bloggers

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Nishith (IIM Lucknow, Class of '06)
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Monday, May 31, 2004
A long weekend

A very eventful weekend this one has turned out to be. Starting with clearing up the flat and ending with a completely tired and worn out dinner at the restaurant down the road, the weekend was anything but dull. I may not be correct in saying that I enjoyed everything that happened over the last two days but I certainly will not be off the mark if I say that I am exhausted this Monday morning after two days of 'engagements'.

I had to get up early on Saturday morning to go to the Cancer research Institute regarding Abhijeet's mother. The doctor there was very helpful and the long wait in the queue proved its worth when I actually got to speak with the doctor. He sounded very practical and did not give out any false hopes. At the same time, he did mention about cases where chemotherapy has actually helped increase the longevity of the patient. I hope it does so in this case.

When I came back from the CRI, I had this very severe headache and I had almost given up on my plans to go for the freshers' party in the evening. In fact, I was down in the dumps with my face buried in the pillow, trying to escape this Sinus-infected unbearable pain when Yogi came in. I guess that he was annoyed to see me this way and when I wouldn't even get up to talk to him, he must have got pissed off. I couldn't have done anything else at that point of time as I could hardly hear his words, the pain was so acute. During my long pain-induced siesta, the TV got sold off finally and Puneet had to do some packing and moving along with the guy who had come for the TV all the way from some remote location in Chennai.

Luckily for me, the pain vanished in the afternoon and we were able to have a good lunch before getting the LPG connection cancelled and returning the Set Top Box to the cable operator. By the time we reached home, the movers and packers (I think that it is the other way round, that is, packers and movers, isn't it?) people were already there. Another half an hour of frenzied packing saw them off with a payment of Rs.3500 (huge amount for moving three cartons to Bhilai) and a promise of safe transit of goods (hopefully, they will keep it).

It was time already for the freshers' meet, which I was looking forward to for a long time. As per the ambiguous (or manager-like, as Prithesh said) dress code, I decided to make it simple with my typical white shirt and blue jeans combination. I reached the place about fifteen minutes late and as I was parking my bike, I saw this lady turn up with her scooty. As is my habit, I gave her a look down and thought that she seemed quite nice looking with an elegant dress (another of the casual, bordering on formal stuff). I even  thought for a moment that she might be one of the people in today's party but then I gave one 'naaah' to my self and went up the floors to reach Saagari, the place for the meet. Since I have already been to this hotel quite a number of times for project parties, I knew the way around and the kind of food, drinks, etc to expect. The thing that I was not prepared for, however, was the warm welcome that I received. The seniors were all there, waiting (as it turned out later, desperately) for the freshers to arrive. I was asked to put up a sticker announcing my name and batch so that the others could identify me by name. I had hardly settled down and started talking to some of the alumni gathered there when I saw the same lady I had met in the parking lot coming in. Pavithra, as I found her name to be, will be joining IIMK in our batch (I can listen to a few catcalls already :-)). She has had a work experience of 7 years (three in HDFC where she is working right now and 4 years prior to that in ANZ Grindlays) and as one of the alumni also pointed out, I really admired her perseverance when she told us all in the intro that it was her 5th attempt at CAT that has got her to IIMK.

The gathering was pretty small (some eighteen people in total) and though the ice did not really break in the entire session (the alumni and some seniors had a lot to catch up with, themselves), it was nevertheless quite informative and warm. The formal introductions were just that, formal. Despite few valiant attempts by Ravi from the alumni and Karan from the senior batch to lighten the mood, the drinks didn't really get spilled over on to the floor (as in a manner of speaking). As I mentioned to Pavithra, I was hoping for some sort of a ragging session when it came to the freshers' introduction but unfortunately, even that did not happen and it was all pretty decent and peaceful despite some different questions (again from Ravi from the alumni and Karan from the senior batch). The session was immediately followed by the food and some general talk with the alumni about their experiences and some Gyaan by the seniors on academic rigor at IIMK. The party broke with Archana (from the senior batch) singing two songs before she left. The songs were exceedingly good, judging from the reaction of the crowd. Even though I could not understand the language, the melody did appeal to me, too. Soon after, Pavithra and Niranjan, the only others from my batch, had to leave. The alumni made a move, too and by 11:30, I was left with nine seniors, few of them drunk, few trying to get drunk and all of them enjoying the party.

Sunday was spent lazing around before I got a call from Raghunath Sir at TIME coaching to come for their seminar. Had it been some office staff who had called, I would have surely refused. Since it was Raghunath Sir, Puneet and I had to go to T Nagar and I even had to go up to stage to answer a few questions specifically addressed to the work-ex people. The front row people were those who were selected by some IIM or the other and they all had really taken CAT seriously. In fact, sitting in the middle rows, trying to avoid the eyes of Raghunath Sir (so that he would not call us up on stage), I was discussing this with Puneet and we concurred on the fact that we were one lazy bunch of guys who should have done much more (???) than what we did for CAT preparations. I met Lax of the 2003 IIMK batch there and he really sounded sorry for having missed the party at Chola. Abhay was also present and we went to Cafe Coffee Day for some time out before I dragged Puneet to T Nagar to get an Idli Cooker for my Mausi.

T Nagar's market is as popular as it is crowded. As usual, by the time we returned from that place, I was totally exhausted and had completely frayed my nerves, driving through the teeming (!!!) multitudes. My bike sounded tired and worn out, too when I tried giving it some accelerator treatment after coming out of the human swamp of T Nagar.

Posted at 12:26 pm by Nitai

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Friday, May 28, 2004
The story of journalism and long named awards

"Common Minimum Program of the United Progressive Alliance Government is out. It is predominantly left handed."
"Australia won the second one day international cricket match against Zimbabwe by a huge margin. Zimbabweans hardly have any team"
"After a crash and the mania of the manic Monday, Indian stock markets have stabilized"
"Narendra Modi is face to face with the RSS, facing dissent in his own bastion"

Sounds like the Rediff homepage, doesn't it? Or even the Times Of India headlines if you include some more masala information about the latest movies on the circuit. The strange part, nonetheless, is that the lines above are neither of these and do not belong to any other place that you would think they normally should, if they are behaving like the just born and not like the one who has had the first hand experience of the world for more than a day and has already started appreciating the charms of the nurse/ward boy. These are the brain children (is there any such word?) of some of the bloggers that I have come across during my voyage through the net. During this most fortunate part of my journey called life, I have had the rare fortune of reading the same news over and over again that I had already read in the morning, and not just read but also discussed (with the hapless neighbor) and analyzed them before removing the rein off my roving mouse and pointing it to the imaginary world of Blogs, Inc. I know that I must be wrong somewhere because however hard that I try, I do not get the logic of repeating the stuff that you read in the morning, verbatim on your private (or public, as in the case of blogs) journal. The point is that if you have a view, a stand on the issue and you are putting it across (in the hope that it will fetch you one of those long named awards (a la Raman Maggi Sauce somebody), then I perfectly understand that and actually empathize with you over the issue. I have had similar desires myself (the beard of RavindraNath looks cool, doesn't it?) and will hardly like to prevent anyone from indulging in such novel (read nobel) exercise.

But why, oh why dear Lord, do people shred away even the last shroud of decency and become hell bent on beating Mamta Kulkarni in the race? Plagiarize, please do. The respectable bloggers, however, should take the other Mamta as the example instead. The firebrand from Kolkata (the brand of whose fire has lost some equity after the recent elections) is actually a good case in point. She digs dirt and digs deep but when she actually comes out of the hole, I am sure that she adds her own bucketful of sand to the dirt. I know that the analogy is a bit difficult to comprehend but it has been designed considering the people who are going to win the Raman Maggie Sauce award some day. So, even if you don't understand my post today, blame it on the capitalists who have started such joint ventures between Raman of the Diamond Comics fame (who is the creation of Pran, who has links with the underworld, because his namesake is from the film industry) and Maggi sauce (Maggi hot and sweet, its different)

The point (undecided on whether it wants to tend towards the bloggers' circle or ride along my line) is that I personally feel that if a person maintains a journal for the sake of journalism (what else can a journal be used for, the Raman Maggie Sauce non-awardees may ask), he or she can go ahead with rephrasing and repeating headlines and even copying them verbatim shamelessly (and in the process, pipping Mamta, of the Kulkarni and not the fire brand, to the post).

If at all I become the Prime Minister of India some day (reminds me of the 'If I become the Prime Minsiter' essay that I wrote in 4th grade to impress the beautiful English teacher), I will make it mandatory for all bloggers to declare their journalistic tendencies on a scale of 10. All those with a score above 7 will be stopped (with immediate effect, that is within the next 5 to 10 years) from posting any new headlines (old headlines might be allowed as a part of compromise with the left) verbatim from any newspaper, web site or secret and confidential sources. People...oops...bloggers with a score between 3 and 7 will have the freedom to reproduce, without the risk of violating any IPRs, any and every thing that they want from any and every place. All those who scored less than or equal to 3 because they are still wondering how I could be dirty enough to make passes at my teacher in 4th grade, will be executed...hanged till death.

Posted at 03:06 pm by Nitai

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Thursday, May 27, 2004
Maa, I look so good, na?

When I was in school, they told me that I resemble Ajay Jadeja. I remember gloating on it because Jadeja was very popular among girls and if I did resemble him, I should be popular too...or so I thought. Unless the girls harbored secret feelings for me, I never got even the slightest hint of my popularity. At that time, I did not understand the reason for this distinction between Jadeja and me, I mean, both of us having the same (almost similar) face and all that. I knew the reason when I went to college and they compared me to Bhim Rao Ambedkar. In fact, for one whole month, they changed my nickname from Sheru to Bheema, as if that was going to make any difference. To say the truth, I did get a little bogged down when they compared me to the father of the constitution (such great responsibility and all). Adding to this, the Varanasi water and climate cost me quite a lot of hair and my already prominent forehead became all the more shiny and glorious. That was when I left college to join Infosys and they welcomed me to the corporate world by saying that I resemble Mukesh Ambani (why not Anil, pray?). And thus I lived for one and a half years after joining Infosys, in the shadows of the great industrialist until one fine day. This fine day, we were having a project party and one girl (imagine, a girl!!!) from our project said that another friend of hers (also a girl :-)) had told her (why???) that I resemble Calvin. This one, dear friends, is the latest and is also one of the reasons for naming this site Mode C. For the information of all those zealous souls who are going to take this opportunity to study my picture and post comments about how it resembles someone, I have now decided not to take any more resemblances seriously. Unless there is a solid proof (pixel to pixel mapping, for instance), I am going to be Calvin (I really like his style, you know).

Going back to some facts, last night's experience was one that I would not forget easily. It was only yesterday when I was laughing about the incident at Prithesh's house in Gurgaon and joking with him about the seniors being blown over and here I was, being almost blown over myself the last night. I had decided to have dinner at office and was staying back for some time. I also needed to scan some photographs and talk to Abhijeet. The long and short of it is that I was in office at about 8:30 in the evening, talking to Abhijeet on the phone in the adjacent cubicle, when I saw Bijon talking to someone on my phone. He was indicating to me that the call was for me. I asked him to say that I was not there and he did that. I peacefully finished talking to Abhijeet in another 15 minutes and was about to leave office when Bijon dropped the bomb. He said that there was some Severity One issue with my project. I thought that he was joking and started laughing. The laugh, however, turned into a whimper (I could hardly hear myself) when he told me that the person on line was some Powell (some Powell??? that guy is the project manager at Microsoft, primary client contact for my project).

With the client calling offshore, it had to be a serious issue and when I checked my mail, I knew just how serious it was. It appeared that he had sent a mail yesterday morning at 5 regarding some severity one issue that he wanted fixed and which was actually stopping the site from launch. The mail was not copied to my Infosys Id and somehow, I missed it on my Microsoft Id. Nobody else was in today, Sankar and Sathish being on leave and Gomathi having just arrived in India. It also appeared that when he did not find any replies to his mail when he came in to office on his morning (after the working hours at offshore), he got really pissed off and sent a strongly worded mail and copied it to almost everyone at Infosys who is even remotely related to the Microsoft account (and that included a lot of senior people). I even got calls from the account manager in US on the issue.  It took me 3 hours of conference calls with locations in Chennai and US to finally solve the issue and soothe the ruffled feathers. I am expecting a follow-up today and a big blood bath with some sacrificial goats (hope I am not one of them :( )

The latest mail on the fresher alumni meet says that *quote Dress Code is casual bordering on formal *unquote.  Now what the hell am I supposed to make of that???

Posted at 10:42 am by Nitai

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Wrong side of the bed

I am in a very bad mood today and things that have been happening since the morning are not helping at all. I couldn't even possibly have got up on the wrong side of the bed because the other side is too close to the wall for me to get down unless I (or someone else) moved the bed during the night. To start with, something seemed wrong with the bike while I was driving in the morning...somehow, it was just not running smooth...even after having checked the petrol and air pressure yesterday. For breakfast, I got the last parathas in the container. They were cold and uncooked in parts, but due to some strange reason, I did not (could not?) ask for replacement.

Office has been bad since the morning, too. There is a big group of children come over for some summer camp. I do like children and love talking to them but half of them understand only Tamil. Also, whenever I approached some kid, prompt came the instructor to ward them off from me (as if I was some monster thing straight from Harry Potter's Azkaban). On second thoughts, it would be great to look like one of the Dementors. At least I will know for sure that the reason some of these kids are running away from me is that I simply scare them witless (and not just my monstrous looks that might have been scaring them off). These kids have been making a racket and from sounding cute this morning when I came in (even after the biking experience), it started to gradually get on my nerves and now, I can hardly shut their voices off from banging into my head.

Bijon got his stock options converted today. He sent the exercise request three whole days after I did. I know that it sounds childish but what the hell, I have not even received an acknowledgement of my request. I was about to send a hot mail to the HR on this but was finally able to calm myself and sent them a mail rich on satire. The prompt reply said that they have not even received my request, and they are telling me now, 12 days after I sent the damn thing. I rushed up to the dispatch section, fully prepared for a fight and scored a duck there, too when they showed me their records with the IOC numbers and the WOB numbers and I don't know what else. I noted down all the numbers and sent them all to HR again...waiting for their response and hopefully, a big fight now.

It is strange how things go wrong all at the same time. Yahoo messenger is behaving oddly (not that it ever behaved correctly) and I am getting disconnected 5 times a minute. The net connection is pathetic and I don't have anything to do. I can not work (because there is no work and because more importantly, I don't want to work). I can not surf or chat (because of the God-forsaken connection). I can not leave office (they have started monitoring the In and Out timings, or rather the difference between the In and Out timings)

Hopefully, I will be updating the blog with some of the saner stuff tomorrow if things don't go from bad to worse too soon...

Posted at 05:28 pm by Nitai

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004
The last salute before goodbye

I finally got my official release date: June 4. Suresh, the Delivery Manager who had to officially accept my resignation, was out of town for the past two weeks. He came back on Monday and I went to see him last evening. He was very professional, as expected and did not waste too many words in the discussion (I had not expected any delay, either). He talked about the feedback that he has received about me from my colleagues and my manager. He sounded quite sincere when he said that people have told him and he himself feels (he does know me by name and face) that I have had a good track record of technical and communication expertise, and I do take initiatives...this was when his voice broke and gave me the hint that he is just saying what he would have told all others who would have resigned from his department earlier. He was just repeating stuff for the sake of it, but I think even that is good, decent and as professional as one could expect.

One of the interesting things about yesterday's conversation was that Suresh asked me to get back to him anytime for a referral letter if at all I decide to come back to Infosys after passing out from IIMK. I took the offer at its face value and said thanks to him and came back. Ravi, my project mate who is going to IIMA, actually suggested that we should ask him for a referral or a recommendation letter straight away, even before leaving Infosys, but somehow I don't agree. I think that there is still a lot of time before I decide on what I want to do after passing out of IIMK. Also, Suresh is in a position at Infosys (he might be another couple of steps, long ones though, from the Board of Directors) where he won't obviously be leaving the company in a hurry. I can keep in touch with him and ask for the favor/referral if and when required.

Another thing that was in the pipeline got some clarity today. I (like all others of my batch who have joined the e-group for IIMK) received a mail from Prashant, my senior at IIMK about the alumni-freshers meet. The Chennai meet is scheduled on the 29th at The Chola Sheraton. Now, I am confused after hearing about the venue. On reason is that it is the sea-food restaurant at Chola Sheraton (the restaurant is called Saagari) that is mentioned as the venue, and I don't know if, being a vegetarian, I am ready for the Kerala cuisine yet. The other reason is the ambience and reputation of the place which is quite formal. If I remember right from my past experience at Chola Sheraton, this place is quite a decent hotel (a three or five star one) and I hardly saw anyone in casual attire during my last few visits to the place. The question, therefore, is the question of more than a penny worth. Is this meet going to be a formal affair, one of the first that we might be expected to attend as a part of being groomed (???) as an MBA? I know that the alumni are all going to be there but in the case of IIMK, they are all quite young and hardly out of B-school. Do we still need to be in our light colored full-sleeved shirt, dark trousers mode (more on a psychological than literal level) when we go to this meet next Saturday?

In the meanwhile, there is still no news of the stock options for which I have already sent the exercise request and completed the fund transfer. I am actually getting worried over the thing because it involves quite a big amount of money and I don't want to goof up here. I tried calling up the concerned department in Bangalore but can not find the person at her desk, not even after 10 attempts since the morning. I have sent a mail to the HR people about my concern and have been waiting patiently for their reply ever since...nothing, so far.

Posted at 06:01 pm by Nitai

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