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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Loyola High School Patna
Delhi Public School RK Puram
Institute of Technology BHU
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Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

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Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Veer Zaara
Phir Milenge
Kyun! Ho Gaya Na
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Spider Man 2
Main Hoon Na

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Stay Hungry Stay Foolish
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Monday, July 12, 2004
Crossing the line at MBA institutes

We had the first formal class at IIMK today. It was a class of Micro Economics conducted by a new faculty, Dr Sumit Sarkar. Personally, I felt that he was good to start with. He took the class on a brief introduction of the syllabus of the term and unlike some teachers, actually tried to explain, or at least introduce us briefly to the concepts that are associated with each section of the syllabus. Micro Economics does not look like it is going to be much of hard work and since most of the subject is theoritical for this term, I don't think that it will tax us much either.

State Bank of Travancore turned up for their loan presentation today and although Allahabad Bank which was also supposed to come, gave it a miss, we had some good fun making the poor SBT guy shout himself hoarse. Most of the guys already knew the interest rate and other things quite well and after a round of serious clarifications that lasted for about fifteen minutes, the place became a fish market and there was nothing that the class could have understood collectively. Well, so much for future and current managers!!!

Talking about managers, I read about the shocking incident at XLRI. I was just going through PG when I saw this amazing thread. Really, the guts of those people and the utterly disgusting upbringing they must have had to become such absolute boors. How could they even think, forget actually try, to attack the modesty of fellow female students? Don't they have any respect for them or for that matter, even for themselves and their own families? I am feeling really sorry and angry, to say the least...not because I am very righteous myself or I oppose the concept of ragging in its entirety or anything but after a certain stage when limits are crossed, things do become really bad and that is what happened at XLRI. I just pity all those inebriated souls who pride themselves on their drinking and smoking habits that can make such monsters out of them.

On the other hand, I must say that IIMK seniors have held themselves with great dignity. Even though smoking and drinking on campus are not taboo here either, at least the seniors have not crossed the fact, forget about crossing the line, they are nowhere even near the line. They have been most helpful and co-operative and have actually made me proud of this institute, especially after hearing this thing about XLRI.

Posted at 05:06 pm by Nitai

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Sunday, July 11, 2004
Am I really a misfit?

I don't know if I am right but it sure feels like I am a misfit here. I do not know if it is a common feeling that has come into many of my other batch mates also, but as far as I am concerned, the 'resort' is fast becoming too much for me. IIMK has turned out to be a place where people seem to be trying hard to prove a point to themselves and to the others as well. They seem to be saying at the top of their voices that they are the best and that is why they are here and as such, they do not need any one else or any thing else for continuing their success story.

Things took a turn for the better, however, as we had our first informal meet with the seniors of our hostel (G) on Friday night. This was something that should have happened much earlier but for some reason or the other, seniors were busy giving us thinking material before they let their hair down. And let the hair down they did, as we all had a great time just sitting around, chatting and feasting on some snacks and cold drinks (I saw a Vodka bottle just before the party but some how, as the number of juniors started increasing, that bottle went out of the window somewhere). All of us juniors had to give their introduction which was intercepted by some funny (and sometimes, droll) bantering by the seniors (even the juniors joined in a little later). The theme of the party turned out to be something that I have been hearing more and more about ever since I landed at Calicut. This city is supposed to have a gay culture and all male students are repeatedly being advised by the seniors not to venture out on the beaches alone in the nights. This fact (or alleged fact, if you want to call it that) was at the top of the jokes and the humour that was going around the hostel meet.

Saturday evening was spent at the Kappad beach and that was when I had just had some bad news from home. The news is too private, even for this blog and therefore, I will skip that part. The only thing that I can mention is that I was not at all in a good mood when Ravi and Abhijit dragged me half-asleep to the beach. Added to the thoughts that kept going home every now and then, I had to face the camaraderie that already exists between the people who came here earlier on the 2nd of this month for their preparatory course. I don't have anything against them or their camaraderie but it is really difficult to break the ice if you are not really an extrovert and if you are an outsider in a group that is already in some stage of formation. All this combined in to some thing which always comes up on me whenever I am in this kind of a situation. I made myself unavailable. I know that by being aloof for the whole time, I have already isolated myself from the group of about fifteen people that went to the beach and may even have angered some. The worst thing is that I know that I am not even going to spare the effort to make things right. I know I can do it if I try but somehow, after the experience of the training years at Infosys, that effort is not really forthcoming.

Another thing that happened in the past two days was the Budget analysis on Friday night (just before the hostel party). It was done by a chartered accountant (I am not able to recollect his name) from Chennai who writes regularly for The Hindu and Business Line. I went there, expecting a brief yet exhaustive analysis of the chief features of the budget. I had read up a little about the budget on the net and knew about the basic features but wanted some clarifications on many of them. I was not expecting the speaker to drive home the point in a way that I would really be able to understand clearly but all the same, I expected some idea to dawn on me. I, and I am sure that many others, too, were pleasantly surprised. The presenter used a unique style to present the budget to the lay person. Speaking at the Indian Institute of Management, he was still very precise in his use of words that could be understood even by the lay person who does not have any knowledge of finance or commerce. The only problem was that he had little knowledge about any thing else other than the part of the budget dealing with Direct Taxes, or at least that is what he claimed. He dealt with the amendments to the Direct Taxes that were made in this budget and the way he did it, full of anecdotes and an excellent sense of humour, was extremely interesting and a refreshing start to the proceedings at IIMK.

The good things at IIMK continued the next day with the first case study for the batch. All groups of 5-6 were to prepare the presentations on a case that appeared in the Harvard Review. The class which was to be an introduction to the case study approach, was conducted by Saji, one of the better known and more admired Professors on campus. I must say that he was really good. The presentation that my group had made, did not deal with the case at all. The way Prof. Saji explained it made us all appear to be fools. I hope that I am able to see problems in this way soon.

Sunday was totally free and although almost half of our batch went to Mahe beach today, I thought it better to stay back. Yesterday's experiences notwithstanding, I was also feeling sleepy and dead tired. The good part is that I was able to continue with my jogging and gym on the third consecutive day and if this becomes a habit, nothing like it for my currently unfit, flabby body.

I went to the city in the evening with Abhijit on my bike. The city is decent enough and the markets, though closed, looked promising. We had some snacks at a place called Al-Bake near the Baby Hospital circle. We even went to the Crown theatre and watched the evening show of "Walking Tall". This movie stars The Rock and there is nothing to write about it except the fact that it seemed to be inspired from Mithunda flicks of today. The movie had nothing but guns and more guns. Rock plays a character who comes back to his hometown to find that it is infested by drug trafficking and gambling. He makes it his duty to cleanse the city and that is what he does...end of story...end of movie.

Last but not the least, if the readers of this blog (are there any???) are wondering about the length of this post or about why I did not post yesterday, the reason is that the computer center at IIMK was down for maintenance and it is only now that the machines are up and running after some two days of maintenance work.

The people who went to Mahe beach are not back yet and I guess that they must be having a good time. I don't know what is happening but what I do know is that if it goes on like this, I for one, am sure going to be an unknown quantity in the batch of 2006 at IIMK.

Posted at 10:11 pm by Nitai

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Friday, July 09, 2004
Some more disillusionment

Life here at IIMK continues to amaze and disappoint me. Is there absolutely no difference between the first year of an undergraduate degree college and that of a professional institution like IIM giving an MBA degree? The immaturity is the same, the shouting is the same, the utter lack of mutual understanding and respect is the same, so how the hell can this be called a premier institution of higher learning? I know that what I am writing may be called frustration and initial blues of some first timer but a first timer, I certainly am not. I have been a part of the hostel life on two previous occassions and I could understand the way things were at both the places, that is in my higher secondary school and in the engineering college. However, I completely fail to understand that in a batch of supposedly high work experience graduates, how can people still stand on a podium and shout down on others as if they are holding some political position and gracing the others with their views/words?

I can fully understand and appreciate the kind of work they are doing to strike deals with dealers for utilities like mobile connection and laptops/desktops but are we really so immature as to gather in the middle of the night in the Open Air Theatre and get up on a podium and shout like kids? Do we really need to carry forward the meaning of enthusiasm in such a childish and negative manner? Is it fair for people who are graduates with a good two years of average work experience to fight over petty things like who is going to talk about what and take credit of what? Even in the college, by the time we were in our second year, all this was passe and a strict no-no. We knew that each one of us had a mind of his own and respected them for it. There was hardly a need to ask people if they are following what is being said (apropos yesterday) at the podium by the self-appointed leaders. I know it sounds like I am cribbing because I was not one of the people shouting from the top of the podium, that I was not one of the so called leaders but honestly speaking (whether anyone believes it or not), I don't care two hoots about these things now. Having come across so many people and so much at school and college and even at office, I don't think that I need to prove anything to myself (Even at the risk of sounding immodest, I think I have already got over the need of proving anything to others).

The surprising attitude boils down to another aspect, too and that is the sex divide that exists in this campus. It looks so funny when you see people divided across two different domains because of their sex alone. It was much better in the software field from where most of our batch has come. At least I did not feel guilty and self conscious while speaking to a girl. In fact when I finally met Divya (from the senior batch) today in the mess, I could hardly speak a word apart from introducing myself and turning aside (might even have appeared rude to her). I have never been an extrovert but at the same time, I am usually not at a loss for words either. It seems strange, therefore, when I am tongue tied and almost embarassed when there is any need (why is there a need to find a need???) to talk to the opposite sex in this campus. I can not say that it is something that is a personal problem. It is not something that has been an issue with me ever in my life. I have studied in co-education schools and college and have had quite a bit of interaction with girls. I know that there is always going to be that bunch of guys who will be at the beck and call and carry out the smallest whims of their friends. But isn't the situation supposed to be different in a place like IIM where girls as well as guys know what they are going to do with their lives and are mature enough to realize that demand supply laws do not essentially have to work in emotional life?

Today was another round of orientation programmes at IIMK. I have been put into Section A which is supposed to be the more comfortable one because Dr Suma Damodaran is not going to be teaching our section this terrm and that is supposedly a reason to celebrate. The library at IIMK seems to be well equipped (at least from what I could pick up from the post lunch, half-asleep session today) and I am looking forward to check out their fiction stack. As of now, some of the guys from our batch are planning to pick up our bikes (me inclusive) and go for an outing, perhaps a movie or to some natural bonanza more cribbing later...

Posted at 04:43 pm by Nitai

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Thursday, July 08, 2004
The very first day of Life@IIMK

The first day at IIMK is finally over and life goes on. The strangest thing about this place is the absolute lack of bonhomie that is actually supposed to make up a college. I don't know if it is because the people out here are trying too hard to be professionals, to actually separate themselves from the run-of-the-mill college junta or if there is something deeper running within. I can understand the hesistation of the junior gang to actually gang up but the way the seniors have been behaving looks to be pretty senior-ish, if you know what I mean. I think I saw a lot of people I could identify with from my previous chats, blog comments, etc but I could not really talk to them. I could probably identify Prithesh, Divya, Ronald from the senior batch and Neeta, Malini, Vidhyut from my own batch and as I mentioned, if talking to seniors was a luxury, my own batchmates did not provide any thing free either. Perhaps we are all a little afraid of each other, all a little apprehensive about what the others will make of us and so we are all a little cautious to begin with. I know that a major part of the blame lies on me, too but the kind of atmosphere that's been created somehow prohibits much interaction.

The very first gathering of seniors that addressed us was actually for a committee called Konsult, which is a marketing consulting committee of IIMK. I know that it looks like a good idea to impress firmly over the minds of the future IIMK-ites that people here, especially the seniors, mean business but it doesn't really look like good sense to actually torture people on the very first day with some CNBC crap by Sumantra Ghoshal (God rest his soul in peace). If the seniors did really plan this, I must say that it was in poor taste. We could and should have had an informal gathering to start the proceedings and committees like Konsult could have possibly waited for a more opportune moment.

All the cribbing above apart, people here are in deed very very interesting. Inspite of the engineering college and Infosys experience and the DPS experience much before that and much more enriching in terms of content, I think that this is the most varied gathering of people that I have come across. There are freshers and there are people with 7-8 years of work experience. There are people in jeans and tees and there are the simpletons with formal shirts and trousers. There are the studious kinds with a dead-pan look on their face whenever there is talk of studies and there are lazzards (I invented the word) like me who give a sheepish grin to show their intentions on these occassions.

As I go on writing my blog, I don't know if I would be doing justice in assigning names to the characters that I meet and interact with during my two years at IIMK. It is good to be honest but I don't think that it is my right or anybody else's to publicly pass comments on some one. On the other hand, I think that this blog of mine has seen some of my private moments if it has been home to some well and truly public reviews of books and movies. I don't know how many of my batchmates actually read my blog but I do want to mention that even if you do and if at any stage of my two years here, you find something offensive in the blog, please do not take it to heart as it is just the ramblings of my mind and might as well turn out to naught before long.

Since I seem to have come out of this dilemma and seem to have finally decided, thanks to writing this entry, that I am going to name my characters and continue being honest to my blog, I hope that life does not become too difficult because of this.

Yesterday evening was spent shopping but not before I met Yogesh, one of my class mates from DPS. Ever since I had heard the name Yogesh Goswami in the roll call at the IIMK gate, I knew that it was going to be the same Yogesh. I won't say that he has been amongst my best friends but we certainly have spent a lot of time together and it was a pleasant co-incidence to see him here. Yogi joined Abhijit, Ravi and me as we took our two bikes (Ravi's ThunderBird and my poor Caliber) down to Kunnamangala to get some utilities. That done, we had another horrible meal in the mess (I can't really believe Ravi when he says that the food actually used to be good before we landed up), which was followed by the absolutely boring, stiff and sleep-inducing session of Konsult.

Posted at 10:44 am by Nitai

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Inside God's own country

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.

I was planning to get my bike to Kozhikode sometime next month but the managerial skills of Ravi have already started showing effect (after all, he is attending the remedial classes). He convinced me to get the bike along and that's what I did. After a little shopping at Spencer's, I went ahead to Chennai Central and booked my bike in the train. The cost was not too much, considering that the porters there looted me for some two hundred bucks for supposedly packing and loading the bike. Since Kameshwar had the tickets, I did not have to do anything else but wait for the train. I went back to Bijon's place (incidentally, I also met some of my K classmates there at Bijon's home when I reached Chennai, all Calcutta Bongs, going a day earlier by the same train by which I travelled yesterday) and had a good long bath before going to the station to meet my new friends for the next two years.

All of them were there except one, with their luggage all loaded. Vikram was the first one I met and he was in deed the same as I had thought, a lean guy with a good sense of humour and a somewhat funny Hindi accent (perhaps because he has stayed in Chennai throughout his life even though he is a Rajasthani). Kameshwar was next and he turned out to be diametrically opposite to what I had guessed. Instead of a tall guy with a serious expression on his face, he turned out to be a rather short, chubby and sweet guy with a pleasant disposition, the most likeable of the lot. His mother was sweet, too...she gave chocolates to all of us :-)

I had already met Niranjan in the IIMK fresher alumni meet and as usual, he was a pack of energy, chatting at a speed faster than my comprehension at times. Rahul was again an exact image of my thoughts, a serious enough guy with a smiling face, the typical Infoscion look. The journey was cool and short with all of us chatting for some time, throwing open our horoscopes, as Kameshwar said, and later going to bed for a comfortable (but jittery, for me) sleep.

Kozhikode (in Hindi) or Calicut (in English) turned out to be a pretty small station (definitely bigger, however, than the other stations of Kerala that we encountered on the way) and the Parcel Office was even smaller and more so, slower. It took the porters almost one hour to unload my bike and get it ready for release. I seriously wondered (and not for the first time) about the hardiness of my bike after seeing the kind of stuffing that the lugage van and as a result, my bike had to endure. With some two more bikes proudly occupying the supine position over my bike and some dozens of cartons hiding any signs of my bike from sight, I almost got confused if this was the luggage van that I had got my bike loaded into.

Some seven eight seniors (God bless them) were at the station with a Volvo (or Valvo as they liked to call it) bus. After waiting for the Mangala express coming from Delhi (which gave me ample time to get my bike released), we were ready to go. The institute is some fifteen kilometers from the station and the highlight of the journey were the numerous supermarkets with bakeries. I don't know if it is the norm in Kerala but all the supermarkets in Calicut did have bakeries with them.

Journey from the IIMK main gate to the hostels was fascinating and for me, who has not been much among the hills, specially so. I have enjoyed the oceans and the plains a lot but the hills and trees are almost a first for me. The campus is in deed very good and beautiful and the hostels are even better. With brand new rooms pleasantly reeking (???) of the smell of plastic paint, the next year at IIMK promises to be auspicious.

I met a lot of my batchmates today and with names flowing across like Tabu's hair in the Siberian winds (wow, what an analogy!!!), I am not sure how many I am actually going to remember. I haven't met many seniors yet but I guess, we will have some meetings and not before long. Another thing that I am sure of is that there is going to be a lot of masala for my blog out here, considering so many people in the college (of both years), their differing characters, and my undying hobby of character sketching.

Posted at 04:29 pm by Nitai

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