Monday, July 17, 2006

1 Down , Many More To Go

So 1 theme is up and I’m all set to move into the dreaded credit based themes from tomorrow . Which basically means no slip shod work , no last minute haste makes waste presentations ( not that we were doing that earlier ) and pulling up of socks and stockings for everyone . Am I excited ? well kind of , there’s nothing quite like staring into the unknown and going in head on unsure of when the next consoling yourself by philosophically saying “ Shit Happens” scenario is going to play out . The big bummer is that I’m supposed to submit a Theme Paper in a few days time which is supposed to be , and I quote , “a learner's reflective, analytical report“ which could , “helps you to introspect where your next destination (at the end of the next theme) is and you may even embark on a small planning exercise.” . Yeah right ….

So what exactly have I learnt or in this case unlearnt in theme 1 ? Firstly , send anyone to a good b-school , he (being a unisexual term) will be unable to speak ‘normal’ English in classes especially while interacting with the faculty . Of course a notable exception to this rule is when students are chit – chatting amongst themselves but that is another matter in itself . Something as simple as throwing a ring onto a stick can be translated in b-school talk as ‘Considering the task at hand and the main objective , I took the minimum possible risk by carefully evaluating all available options and decided to maximize my benefits by moving to the position that offered the least resistance to my goal’ . Well its not all serious , we have proudly inculcated this jargon into our normal day to day conversations and I really don’t think I can count the number of times I hear the words ‘bigger picture’ , ‘miscommunication’ , ‘thinking outside the box’ , ‘natural tendencies’ etc everyday . Its become such an integral part and parcel of our PGP 1 lingo that we just cant do without it , and how can I forget the quote unquote hand sign ( not to be confused with the normal hand sign also frequently used by b-school students ) .

Secondly , We is bigger than I . Most activities are based on team work and though I’m not the most qualified person to be talking about teams and all that , I feel that I’m really lucky to be in a pretty amazing group . 8 people , 1 Asso group . It isn’t the perfect everyone agrees with everyone type of group that na├»ve people wish they were a part of , but when we are on a roll our group can come up with some amazing stuff . Of course , where is the spice in life if everyone has the same opinion ? The word spice these days does bring terrible memories of the unemotional Ash in Mistress Of Spice , but our group is anything but devoid of emotion .

Three , once an engineer , always an engineer . Its easy to make out who is an engineer and who isn’t by watching their style of functioning . Engineers have this tendency to Reverse Engineer i.e clearly define what you want and then work your way backwards to where you are , thus obtaining a solution rather than the other way round . Another useful trait of engineers is their in-built Examination Gas ( E.G) mechanism ( for those not in the know , Indian engineering students have the magical ability to write about all topics under the sun , the moon and stars when they have a university exam question paper in front of them and they know shit . The magical part is that they pass ) This E.G mechanism can easily morph itself into the scourge of B-school professors everywhere – Global Gas ( G.G) which isnt
very difficult to define but the best thing that can be said about it is that you will know it when you hear it . Global Gas is everywhere in a B-school , it could rear its ugly but humorous head when classes are going on , or when an over enthusiastic student is answering or when seniors are giving presentations to us or when we have to submit assignments . Usually followed by a loud sssssss sound from various sources voicing their disapproval in unison . The trend seems to be changing slightly as we have a new challenger to the well entrenched ssssss from our batch , it the Missile Squad who drop missiles followed by various types of explosions . So we have the Bouncy missile , the Disco missile , the Silent missile , the Nuclear Bomb missile , the Machine gun missile etc slowly but steadily rising up the popularity charts.

Four , its easy for an MBA student to turn an unfavourable situation into something really interesting . Faced with a really long session about something that wasn’t really informative or new , some students came up with a really interesting game that involved 2 people playing book cricket , 2 others betting on the game with points at stake and different cricket stadiums up for grabs once a better reached a certain number of points . Buying a stadium reduced your risk while betting after that and they were thinking of refining the model and selling it to unscrupulous elements who make up the cricket betting racket that has its tentacles all over the world . And here they are planning on teaching us ethics ….

To be honest , I didn’t really know how I was going to write a long Theme report , but this entry seems to have crossed the 1 ½ page mark already . With G.G by my side , 6 pages is but a mere baby step for me . Oh no , I can hear the Disco missile dropping already !

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

An unforgettable WC finals

11.40 P.M 9th July 2006 : Axel and I are discussing what time we should head to the college auditorium to see the battle of the 2 ( undeserving? ) giants – Italy and France in the World Cup finals . We’re the only 2 football fans left in the hostel , just about everyone else headed out more than half an hour ago . Call up Steam Engine to confirm that the match is starting at 12:30 , I’m told that the match has already begun and France are 1 goal up , shit ! Hurriedly wash the rest of clothes and grab my trademark NY cap and my jacket . Blasted Shakira …..

11.47 P.M : Not one to give up on tradition , Axel has already lost his umbrella in the 3 weeks he’s been here . As we begin our 10 minute walk , I mention that the worst thing that could happen now ( besides us missing another goal that is ) would be the fact that the rain gods could decide to shower their ‘blessings’ on us after a whole evening of no rains .
The crappy thing about the weather here is that when one leaves college , there’s no sign of any rains but within the 8 – 10 minute ritual of ours it usually pours , leaving us drenched despite the presence of umbrellas and just before we’re in the hostel the rain gods have decided that they have had enough fun and are ready to piss off someone else .
Anyways someone up there seems to have heard us as it starts drizzling at first , and the showers follow pretty soon after . With my jacket over our heads , we continue our steadfast march through the puddles that have suddenly filled up , unmindful of the stares of the few other souls huddled together in front of a tea shop as the rain keeps pouring down without remorse . Little do they know the prize at the end of our mad scramble . In true filmy style we see the outline of an auto heading towards us in the by now really heavy rain , its dim headlight barely illuminating the road in front of it . Fortunately it’s empty and we hop in , 2 minutes later as we reach college and walk to the auditorium the rain settles down into a drizzle and stops the moment we step into the block . Sometimes I wonder …. Oh yeah more stupid Shakira ramblings .

10th July 2006
12.00 A.M : We walk in with scores tied , the whole of my right side is soaked while Axel’s left side is in a similar condition with his 66 looking like its just taken a bath . End up sitting with the Italy fans ( who were fewer in number ) , something we didn’t initially know . Each half chance is greeted by loud Oohs from their fans with hands on their heads and all , while the other side grabs the chance to push a couple of insults through . Half time and our seniors have arranged for hot tea & coffee along with pakodas . 3 cheers for our welfare comm. ! The 1 huge and I mean huge problem with the DD telecast is that they get really lousy ‘experts’ ( smell the sarcasm ) to bore us to death during the breaks . I thought we MBA students were good at doling out Global Gas ™ , but these guys beat us hands down , no more can Tampmians claim the GG tag after that half time show . To add to the agony they refuse to show the goals that we’ve missed . All because of Shakira ….

9th july 2006
Around 10 P.M : No one is really sure about what time the match is actually starting . So far all the matches have been at 12.30 A.M , but the paper says that its at 11.30 P.M . Someone mentions the fact that there will be the whole closing ceremony thing happening with a performance by shakira . Who wants to see shakira shaking her hips when we’re worried about the World Cup ? Besides I’m not a shakira fan , so I decide to skip the ceremony and head there in time for the match . In hindsight I probably would’ve been there by 11.30 and seen the whole match had the name shakira not come up .

10th July2006
Who cares what time it is : France comes out with all guns blazing in the second half and I’m pretty sure that Zidane will leave the football world with the 2006 World Cup added to his list of accomplishments . Despite starting off as a neutral observer , I’m leaning towards France by now , not a good thing as I’m sitting behind guys who are swearing away to glory at the French players . However the signs aren’t good for the French , Viera gets substituted cause he cant continue & very surprisingly Henry gets substituted as the match moves towards the inevitable penalty shootout . Zidane with an open header that is kept out only by an amazing Buffon save , a little wider on either side and the French players would’ve felt the Cup in their hands . However the highlight of the night was saved for the end , as Zidane headbutted Matterazzi in a moment of stupidity and was sent off after the referee consulted the other officials . Italy don’t press for the win in extra time and its penalties time . The rest as they say is history , but the Zidane incident left a bad taste in my mouth .
A flurry of sms’s follow the match , opt to walk back to the hostel with Drummer-nan for company . Nothing like a good walk with lots to think about and a cool breeze . Of course Cristiano has major post match analysis to do at 3:45 A.M , which means I’m left woefully wondering the eternal hostelite question immortalized in Munnabhai MBBS – ‘ What is the procedure for changing my room ? ‘