Day 235: 24th Feb, 2010 - One thing ends, another begins

Wayyyyyyyyyy too many lectures today. Right from morning 9 to evening 6 ... :-(

This was offset by the hysteria that gripped IIM Lucknow mess today - for Sachin's record breaking 200 moment! Starts right from when Dhoni hits a six.. only to be greeted by chants of 'Dhoni.. hai hai' cos the junta didn't want any random sixes - they just wanted the record to be broken. I vividly remember 1st yrs running to the mess after their lectures. All second years having their last exam at that time entered the exam hall 30min late, as they absolutely did not want to miss this moment of history.

Also a very memorable day for a more important reason.. the official farewell for our INDEX seniors. First we gave them a dinner treat at Naush - all of us travelled by a car/cab for the 1st time since our Induction day (mainly 'cos Praveen sold his bike to buy a DSLR (to take pics of .. ahem.. :P)) (nested parentheses are interesting, no?). Pachpan ka dharm bhrasht ho gaya :D with his 'accidental' sip of 'orange juice' :D . And from here it was finally time for the much awaited Tila. Got to hear Praveen's LEGENDARY stories! :D And a lot of other things too. We gave the seniors their gifts..I hope they liked it!

It's funny sometimes how in one small fleeting moment you realise suddenly that things have come a full circle. The journey for our seniors ended at the exact same spot where our journey started. I can sense the way the passion for INDEX has grown over us in this one year and at this moment, I am not sure if I can do justice in guessing the amount of passion that they have for INDEX. Time flies anyways, and very soon, I shall know the answer. 

Three cheers for INDEX! Hip Hip Hurray!

Day 234: 23rd Feb, 2010

Trust Rohit Yadav to always speak his mind out as straight as he can. Today our post-mid adjunct faculty prof for SCM started the course with a very small revision of the terms used pre-mid. He asked if any of us had any doubts. Prompt came Rohit Yadav's God level question: "Sir, I don't remember any of these terms" :D

Finally a pretty decent plan for the extended weekend's trip has now been put into place, mainly thanks to Mr. Rajat Ghate. Am really looking to the trip for sure! The only thing I'll seriously miss is the failure of my plan to see KCK on the day of release :(

Tomorrow we have classes the whole day. Right from morning to evening 6 .. thanks to all the guest lectures. .. !! Shucks! :(

Day 233: 22nd Feb, 2010

Good times come to an end. Back to waking up early and running to the classrooms and back to the lectures!

But yoohoo!.. Party time! We juniors took a treat from the rest of the seniors for their placements. Went to Chote Nawaab yet again. (I went on my bike especially as I had got my helmet back!) The food was better this time though - I need to remember paneer seekh kabab as the starter to be ordered!

Not the greatest of news awaited when we came back to campus though. Sometimes, you just can't form an opinion on certain things.. Sleeping super late relatively.. almost 4.30 am .. even PCOMers have gone to sleep now :)

Day 232: 21st Feb, 2010

I just can't seem to remember the last time I had breakfast on a Sunday. Come to think about it, I don't remember having breakfast even once in the last couple of weeks. But after two days of falling asleep before midnight, I finally managed to wake up a little early to have breakfast as my first meal for the day.

That apart, I am on a marathon LOST spree. Season3 is getting even more weird .. is it even an island? :-|

And finally the PCOMers snap out of their zombie states..

Day 231: 20th Feb, 2010

I remember, back when I was an engineering student, MSN Messenger was the Instant Messaging Client to be used. The whole of college used to be on it. Endless hours of chatting, emoticons, group chats, winks, nudges, custom emoticons, audibles and so on.

Cut back to now. MSN has been replaced by the super bland gTalk; Mainly retaining its supremacy as it is built inside gmail. And it's now the de-facto communication medium on campus. Yesterday I was chatting with a friend inquiring if a few of my friends would be free. The reply - they are idle. And idle as in their gTalk status!

Speaking about gTalk statuses .. a whole article can be dedicated to that, but I'll stick to a para. People have their own styles with it. Some usually just stick with the default ones. A few others put up links that seemingly 'educate' others about topics that might range from gossip to science to philosophy. Many others (me included) just selfishly promote their blogs/flickr streams. Some enterprising ones risk putting up the links to fill up surveys, sometimes even hiding their motives under the tinyurl cover. We have Praveen who is in a different league altogether. Some witty remarks, some requests, some anguish, some nostalgia. And then some plain ones just calling for cooperation - like this one from Bala - "Nebody who has taken my toothpaste please return it to me.......All my wing mates depend on it ." LOL :D

PS: The day began comparatively early with an unexpected call on an unexpected event.. was caught up with some INDEX work.. lots and lots of LOST through the day.. season 3 is weird !

Day 230: 19th Feb, 2010

These few days on campus are super precious. I just don't imagine we will EVER get such days again. Unfortunately I couldn't make and implement any plans to go on any trip, but it's still great to be super-vella (North Indian slang for 'free') on campus.

I have INDEX for me though, so that does manage to keep me occupied here and there. Had to go to the city to meet the RSC guy. Unexpected encounter that one :-| 

Went to the city in the evening to correct my specs. (Ya, had broken it YET again when I rolled over while sleeping :-( .. sheah!). Chatur came along to buy something for her cousins. Met PK somewhere in the city and I was introduced to one fruit called ras-bhari - weird khatta-meetha taste it has. Went to MINT for dinner, but it was booked for some function. Guess that place still ain't got lucky enough to be graced by me. Anyways, went to Chote Nawaab from there. I superbly tapped my sense of deja vu to take the correct turns to land up at that exact place :D . I must say I felt very proud of my geographic sense at that moment :D . Our contrasting gastronomic preferences ensured we ordered something that turned out to be only okay-ish, but theek hai, a nice dinner time conversation compensated for it.

Day 229: 18th Feb, 2010

Heard some not-so-great news about certain loopholes being exploited in certain systems and processes. Simply not done.

Needed to write the summary for those 3 HRM journal papers. Spent a good bit of time fluctuating between the states of 'who-the-hell-writes-such-things' and 'is-this-even-in-english' and 'why-is-it-taking-infinite-time' etc. Spent a little time on actually being productive and wrote the summary for one more paper.

In the afternoon, the rest of us wingies had gone and pestered Bellam for his CFA treat. Unfortunately Bellam was in a 'i-am-playing-CounterStrike-very seriously' mood. And therefore got wild when we disturbed him (though I personally think it was just an excuse at venting out his frustration which actually arose because he was invariably dying within 2 seconds of coming out in the open :D). And even threw away his soap because it got dirty (pretty ironic!).

He did have a change of heart in the evening and we wingies went out for dinner, to the dominoes outlet from where pizzas are delivered to the campus. Man!!'s quite far off!! Anything for a cheese burst pizza though :D. On our return, we promptly changed our gTalk status message to "Long Live CFA Bellam though he doesn't survive for more than 2 secs in Counter Strike after coming out in open"

Day 228: 17th Feb, 2010

I learnt an important lesson in negotiation today. My Dell laptop's battery is horribly messed up, and that too within just 8 months of usage. So I called up their service center and asked if anything could be done about it (obviously I wanted them to replace the battery on their own accord). And they gave the standard reply that battery is a consumable item (i.e. life depends on usage) and it is not covered under warranty. This is when I played my IIM L card and told them how we had gone for a different make of laptops for the bulk deal but I still stuck with Dell. And how it would be an embarrassment for me and the brand if I now end up looking like a fool. And it worked - I was promised a new battery as a sign of goodwill :) Thanks Dell!

This encounter and also my tryst with some INDEX brochure designing attempt ensured I was to stay hungry till around 3 in the afternoon. Went to this place - Manbhavan Dhaba on the highway (take a right from .7 then further ahead around 200-300m on your left) with Saurabh. The best thing about these places are they are pretty economical. A sumptuous lunch for 2 cost us 75/- (including a bottle of bisleri) :D

Day 227: 16th Feb, 2010

Blissful days are here. Woke up at a cool 11.30 am. Did absolutely nothing the whole day except for a little INDEX work where I was the man with the golden arm wrt the tanishq thing.

Had this cheese pasta (a new Nestle product) @ Just Tea. Was pretty nice!

Day 226: 15th Feb, 2010

One of the things I miss about school or engineering is after the holidays that we would get after exams. Here bloody we had 2 exams on a Sunday and regular classes from Monday onwards (today!).

One very different thing was that I was quite attentive and *participative* during lectures today. Our new Marketing Research prof for MM2 post midterm has a reputation that precedes him. Of course, his lecture today didn't reflect much of that, but was super fun thanks to his pronunciation of certain words :D . We were to have read about a case for the session. I, for once, had actually done that, though I didn't make it nor intended to make it very public. The funny thing was the prof randomly picked up a group number (no prizes for guessing it was mine) to ask a question. One very special thing that happens in my section is when a prof calls out a group number, for a good one minute nobody gives any response. After the long pause, we raised our hands and were immediately bombarded with - 

Sir: "So, have you read the case?"
Yet another not-so-brief period of silence.

Sir: "Arre kuch toh bolo.. yes or no.. I am not going to kill you"

Me: "Sir we have read the case but not discussed the case."

Sir: "Uska kya matlab hai?"

Me: "Sir.. matlab hum ne read kiya hai par aapas mein discuss nahi kiya." (absolutely the same thing in hindi .. as if I was giving a whole new insight)

Fortunately, sir shifted to asking a couple of questions about the case. They turned out to be pretty simple (or was that because I had read the case?) and I answered them quickly. Felt nice to play the knight in shining armour in the academic battlefield :D

But of course, the CV point earned today was on a different plane - finally made our gujju bhai Sanghvi give his PPO treat :D . Phirbhi saale ne teen log ke paise pe paanch log (pachpan, shady, chatur, sanghvi and me) ko treat kar diya :D ... LOL! (Sanghvi please don't stop following my blog after this :P)

Day 225: 14th Feb, 2010

I wrote and wrote but little thought
What sense there was to the answer sought

Ultimate globe marathon today. Reaped the benefit of doing the MM project (communication mix) on my own as I could reproduce the same thing almost verbatim in today's paper :D . The HRM paper greeted us with this Calvin and Hobbes (my favourite comic btw!) strip.

I also added my own comment in the last box - "So do I. Though I din't find any in this paper :-(" in the copy to be submitted to the prof :-p . Another unique piece of advice in the paper was "Closed book, open mind" examination.

Having exams till 5pm however left us with little time to enjoy Valentine's day (read alternating between the 2 states of cribbing about singledom and then praising it for self-consolation :P). Went to see My Name is Khan. (Much against my wishes.) And so much struggle for the ticket. First went to catch the 7pm show at Wave. They said tickets were available only for the 7.50pm show. We being 'busy VVIPs', went to Fun to find another show. No tickets. Came back to wave and got tickets for the 7.25pm show! (Whatever was the ticket vendor doing previously! :S) Thankfully my expectations were below rock bottom, so I could sit through the movie.. I didn't die.. I didn't die.. eeks!

PS: IIM I's debating society were to have a debate on the thought provoking topic - How should 440 guys and 40 girls celebrate Valentine's Day? :D . Pity it got cancelled! :(

Day 224: 13th Feb, 2010 - Maggu Divas

I read for only 2 hours for the MIS paper (an hour yesterday + an hour in the morning) and regretted wasting even that much time. The exam was full globe. We had one case study on eBay followed by three questions worth 5,5,15 marks resp. I (and most other people) have simply combined ans1 and ans2 to get ans3 :D

It's only the start of globe for the day though. Today the whole of PGP25 is celebrating 'Maggu Divas'. 5 chapters of MM and 12(!!) chapters of HRM to be mugged :-| . Am trying my best to motivate myself to study.. but even 5 min after I read something, I can't seem to recollect it :-(

The weather's beautiful though, just pleasant. Beautiful precursor for Valentine day tomorrow. If only I didn't have these exams.. and while wishes are being made.. if only I had a Valentine :-p

Day 223: 12th Feb, 2010

I thought the QAM paper was pretty lengthy. It took me the full three hours inspite of the fact that I didn't know one question at all :-p . And therefore of course, the lengthy paper only works to my advantage :D ..Muaahahahahahahahaha! (evil laugh!)

My annual fast today :) . Not even the customary two glasses of tea this time!

Day 222: 11th Feb, 2010

Having 2 exams / day is nice. At the end of the day, you are pretty happy to see the exams rushing by quickly. (Of course, if you subjects like FM and HRM on one day, you may not even survive to see the end of the day.)

Another first here - I took a supplement in the SCM paper :D (sshh... won't speak about the blank pages I left).

Mad rush at the photocopy fellow. Why couldn't the other idiots be more responsible and have their notes ready beforehand?! :-p . Consequently, I didn't have the case booklet for the first three questions. Fortunately, ma'am got a few extra copies and I could attempt them later on. The thing did cost me around 10min of idle time, which was quite a bit considering the paper was already lengthy.

Day 221: 10th Feb, 2010

Life here is becoming more and more random! Today somebody played a prank - and what a prank :-| - by creating a very authentic looking marriage invitation card celebrating the bonding of two batchmates and .. you guessed it .. mailed it to the entire batch! And mailed it by somehow getting access to the said person's gmail account! Ridiculous!

Had our FM paper today - 3 questions, 10 marks each. Read this line from the second question - "the sales will increase at the rate of 10% each year for another four years but the sales will erode at the rate of 5% p.a. in year three and four". Whatever are you supposed to make of that?! :-O . And the entire sum depended on this interpretation :-S

Day 220: 9th Feb, 2010 - Are we choosing the right leaders?

The post has nothing to do with what is happening at the macroscopic level. It is about something that is happening here.

I have no intention to wash dirty linen in public, but suffice to say, no person anywhere can get away with abusing a position of authority (and responsibility!) for long. The title of the post is actually the subject line of an email sent by an esteemed professor of our institute to the entire student community, appalled by the behaviour of a certain student representative. The said "Mr. Leader" has slipped way down the popularity ladder ever since he was elected and today's action just added fuel to the fire and started a tirade of insults pelted at him. I hope everybody would always remember the famous spiderman quote - With great power comes great responsibility. The super talented Mr. Vishrani came up with a brilliant caricature summing it all up!

As I write this post, I suddenly recollect on a couple of events that I totally missed out! (Though I may be repeating this :-p). Senior council elections are over. Most seats went uncontested, which is not very cool in a democratic setup, though I must add that some candidates are totally worth the positions (ironically, in stark contrast to the paragraph above!).

We have also re-started Channel Hell - IIM Lucknow's very own radio channel. It typically runs weekends. Tonight of course, there was a special coverage - Leadership awards!

Chalo anyways, exams from tomorrow. Best of luck to you and me!

PS: Got our 2nd term CG. The whole batch has taken a hit - and INDEXians have outdone others!

Day 219: 8th Feb, 2010 - Monkey Management!

Our section is quite (in)famous for asking for deadline extensions. True to the record, a few guys had been asking for postponement of submission of a couple of assignments. The efforts did pay off - the boring HRM journal reading task had been extended. But our FM prof's style of putting through the same point for his subject was awesome :D . His mail -
"The date for the first assignment submission is extended to 16th Feb 2010.

A line of advise for the lobbies. No more extensions on any course related matters will be entertained. You manage your monkey and I will manage mine.

Cheers until then "

Allowed myself to bunk a QAM class in the morning today to enjoy the luxury of some extra sleep :D :D

The next MIS class was the usual - scrambling to copy the assignment in the first 5 min, listening as the prof whiled his time (and ours) rambling on something that has no coherence or relevance to what he should be speaking on. Doesn't seem to be a good course at this juncture in the first place. Would have been much more logical to have a strategy course now and keep this as an elective next year.

INDEX room is now spacious, thanks to kisaan. Poor fellow had to become a mazdoor to unload the boxes at the shop :D . Had the extension of yesterday's meeting today. Things came to a logical conclusion.

Have my exams from day after. Doesn't seem like that at all. I have friends who are worried about tests a few days away.. and here I am to restore nature's balance.

And just as I finish writing this post, it's started to rain. Wonders never cease!

Day 218: 7th Feb, 2010

After quite some time I donated blood. Thanks to the camp organised by Bhavishya. Got three punctures on my body, two attempts in vain as they tried to find my vein. Third time lucky when they tried to find one access point on my left arm. Pachpan's case was funnier. They found a vein on his right arm and inserted the needle. 1 min gone.. 2 min gone.. 5 min gone.. but no blood came out! :D . Then finally they shifted to his left arm for some success :-p

As part of our HRM submission, each group needs to read and summarise 15 journal articles on any one topic. I was alloted 3 articles from my group. Mahnnn.. I have no clue how people write such stuff! I was boreddddd to death (well, almost) reading one article. God knows how I am going to complete the other two.

It's almost 5. Were to have a brief INDEX meet at 2 .. for around 15-20 min. Turned out to be anything but that.. was the longest INDEX meet we ever had yet.. def a meeting to remember..

Day 217: 6th Feb, 2010

Boy, as I write this, my alarms to wake me up are going off :D . God knows why I set alarms at 6 am.. (Does it matter that I had a small nap from midnight to 4 am ;-) :-p )

As I spoke about the MIS class incident two days back, turns out the prof eventually asked the poor fellow to say sorry in front of the class. I don't think it achieved anything other than satisfying his ego.

Had a lecture on BTL marketing by a couple of guys from 141 Sercon. About the increasing relevance of using non-traditional methods of marketing esp. social networking. You could get more details on the session at my friend's blog.

Had our second SPIC MACAY performance, this time by the flute maestro Pt. Rajendra Prasanna. I don't understand much about the technicalities in music, but those natural sounds are very pleasant and soothing to hear.

Deshpande, Sud and me decided to have pizzas for dinner. We were randomly calling people to check if they would join us. Aman was one such call.

In that context, the conversation should have gone as:
Aman: Hi
Me: Oyee, pizza khaega?
Aman: blah blah ..

But it went like this:
Aman: Hi, who is this?
Me: (oh! so he doesn't recognise my number) .. (tough voice) Is this Aman Arora?
Aman: (a little nervous) Yea..
Me: This is the UP state police department speaking. (!!!!!! I have no clue why I thought of that!) Do you think you can get away with anything just because you are an IIM student?
Aman: (I can feel his voice becoming more tense) Sir, what have I done?
Me: (Raising my voice) Don't try to act. We know everything.

and so on for a good one minute.. and that was because I just HAD to laugh out loudly.. so I disconnected the call :D . Of course, we did tell him who we were in the next couple of minutes :p.

Chatted along for a while waiting for the pizzas. Ghate and Yogsconnect joined in later. Dominos cheese burst is so wow! :D

Day 216: 5th Feb, 2010

There are some things that only a middle class upbringing can make you value. Like not wasting stuff. Around 10-12 days back, I thought my toothpaste tube was over and got a new one. But somehow, everyday, I have been able to squeeze enough paste from the old tube itself and am yet to open the new tube! :D

Had a marathon 3 hour MM session today, after which I finally decided to finish the session. Missed two outing invitations because of that. But I like marketing reports. Why, eh? Simple, fathom this - I had some 3.5-4 pages of text and wanted to increase it to around six. What did I do? I just inserted some nice screenshots of advertisements :D

Day 215: 4th Feb, 2010

One thing I don't like at all is when profs continue teaching beyond their stipulated lecture hours. A one-off incident is OK, but some of them do this repeatedly. Two reasons why I don't like this happening. One, I feel a prof must have the ability to time his content. And two (more importantly), we often miss breakfast or even otherwise feel hungry after a session. Students look forward to grabbing a quick bite in the 15min break, and this is not possible if a prof extends the lec by 5-7 min.

Our MIS prof today asked us to start our presentation just 5 min before the lecture was to get over. Now that is unjust on two counts - no student would be interested in our presentation and our effort just goes waste + we miss our break. Even after pointing this out, he was pretty unrelenting and asked us to give our presentation anyways. A few people walked out, and unfortunately, one person was singled out by him. Not the kind of behaviour I would expect from a prof to a post-graduate student.

Had our first INDEX KT session - started with Shady's ancient wisdom. Session surprisingly went much beyond what I thought it would. The great thing was that it ended with us managing to convince him to give us all a treat (combined with Praveen). And so off we went to Genesis, all of us on bikes. Kisaan and Pachpan managed to even pull off the stunt on the pebble-laden road. Had a fun time there. I am loving INDEX more and more as the days pass by :)

Day 214: 3rd Feb, 2010

Management is a lot about introducing efficiency to save money, time or any such resource. And this is applicable to even small actions. I personally, over this one year and especially this term, have managed to improve one small action of mine which is extremely helpful every morning. And that is drinking tea while walking :-p

Had our CFM presentation today, which wasn't much of a bother because it was decided that I wasn't the one who was going to give it. Except for a small hiccup today. It suddenly came about that the task of giving the presentation somehow fell back on me. I was giving a stock reco report in a CFM class! The less I say about the content the better (though I doubt if I can say more in the first place). I only hope the evaluation is on the communication aspect :)

Day 213: 2nd Feb, 2010

Marathon in the library. Sat from 3pm to 3am straight. Working first on the MM report - made a mental (?) mind map. ('Coz the actual one is supposed to be drawn on paper :-p) Chucked it midway to start working on the higher priority CFM report.

One would feel in this age of internet, you would find information easily. But yet, when you are looking for specific data, it just does not seem to exist!

Though this has now introduced me to some aspects of IIML infrastructure which I hadn't used before - databases. I have heard seniors/alums say IIML has a great library and I always wondered why. Now slowly I realise that we have access to a lot of proprietary databases providing a lot of data on a lot of issues. After all this description, the anticlimax is that I was still not able to find the marketing data I needed :D . But I tend to feel that it's because I am not very familiar on which databases to use :-p . Saurabh did eventually point out the way to access the stock reports required for CFM.

The special thing about today's project effort was that my group tried to do it collaboratively using Google wave. I found the use interesting though I guess there is ample scope for improvement.

Had an HRM presentation in the morning. I keep landing in situations where there is little time for the second half of members of the group. I have become quite a pro at handling such sitations and skimming through the slides quickly :D. This was followed by the CFM presentations, people are going crazy over this - one team actually turned up in business formals! ( Aman, Yogesh, Soumen!) . Yuck!

Day 212: 1st Feb, 2010

I have seen peacocks on campus before, but today, one of them came right up to the common area between our hostels. I clicked this pic from some distance.

And even as I took just one step ahead, the peacock flew a whole two floors to reach the terrace! Woah.. I had never seen a peacock fly before :D

Had our QAM quiz. A 20min quiz for a problem that could be solved in 6-7 minutes, typical BKM :D . I still bungled up with the objective function! :( . Very very silly.

As I said, huge workload in the pipeline. Got bored of the whole thing in the evening and went for an 'introspective walk' :D . Stopped by at the temple. And also bought myself a snickers bar :D . Suddenly missing the snicker bar shake @ Mocha's! [if you are in Bombay, you just CANNOT miss it! it's divine!]