Day 325: 31st Jul, 2010

For the last few weeks now, mess food = Aloo. In a fresh bout of creative sarcasm, one of my friends came up with this ALOO exclusive menu, inviting a horde of 'Likes' on social networks :D .
Click on the pic for a larger view.

Today also marks the start of another activity I have wanted to learn and pursue - Bridge! Tiwari knows a bit of how to play; so we have formed a small group of interested people and started playing. Just realised how interesting the game is, it's not just "fun", but you need to be really mentally alert while playing it.

Day 324: 30th Jul, 2010

Yet another night-out. Though, not something I want to remember. One of those days on which you wish the pencilled words could be erased away...

Day 323: 29th Jul, 2010

Committee results!! New members to the INDEX family :) 

Set for more brilliant times ahead! Woohhooo!!

Day 322: 28th Jul, 2010

It's 6.20 in the morning and the rays of the sun crowd through my window even as I write this post. I haven't slept one wink though. Well , none of us at INDEX have. Tomorrow (or should I say today) is going to be one of the most important days for a lot of people - committee selection results are to be announced. I remember well, my own state at this time last year, the curiosity in me, to know where I stood. Today, we were on the opposite end - and let me tell you, it's no bed of roses. All 8 of us argued A LOT through the whole night on A LOT of things - one very high-intensity meeting! Some tough calls to be taken; with only one objective - the best thing for INDEX has to be done...

Sigh, got class at 8.15. Am sure I won't wake up if I doze off now. Guess I'll just stay awake through!

Day 321: 27th Jul, 2010

Back to the sleeping at sunrise phase. And of course, only for INDEX. Had our final presentations today. People like to keep speaking about every single bullet point they have on their presentation; no wonder, we were running pretty late! We started off at 6 in the evening and finished at around 4 am early morning! Got some new and interesting data points though. Some tough calls need to be taken...

Much unlike the weather, which (at least for now) seems to have shed off its coat of cruelty. It was raining/drizzling all day - so the weather is nice and pleasant. Consequently, indulged in some khushiyon ki home delivery - Dominos! And even extended it a step ahead by bunking the strat man class. Would have been criminal to stay in an artificial AC environment in such awesome weather! :)

Day 320: 26th Jul, 2010

Just continuing from where I left, I gave a pretty decent presentation, on the content I prepared yesterday :)

Had another of those market visits. Went to FUN mall in the evening. I took my bike along, so I can enjoy the choice to leave whenever I wanted. Not that I ran off pretty soon, but the bike did come handy. 

Loooooong INDEX meeting today. Almost the end of recruitments now. Umpteen debates on who are the best people to whom the baton should be passed. Final presentations tomorrow - the last chance for facchas to prove themselves, the final lap they have to run. Lets see who makes it to the final cut. All the best to the candidates! :)

Day 319: 25th Jul, 2010

Wow, woke up at 8.10 in the morning - all by myself. Not bad. Rushed for the e-Choupal visit (8 am was the time the bus was to leave, but come on :) , one knows better :P ). I reached at around 8.35, thankfully not much blame on me as 2 others came in after me :D. A two hour journey to a place called Hardoi. I tried to get some sleep, but as usual, wasn't able to doze off in the bus.

The visit itself was quite interesting. We first went to the Choupal Sagar where we had a small session on the way the whole thing works. Came to know that ITC comes second in procurement (roughly 10%), after the government. There is a strong insistence on quality. The whole process has ensured much fairer prices to farmers. And while I was imagining that their biggest obstacle would be to sell the concept to farmers, the ground reality was something that I had not expected - competition from the government while procurement!

Then we went to an actual e-Choupal center a few kilometres away (walking some distance because the bus driver wanted to avoid scratches from the tree branches :-| .. ). We met the Sanchalak, who happens to be a popular person in the village, whose responsibility is to share the information with the farmers. And one of the most noticeable things about both these sessions was the interaction level of the students. Some super-duper CP levels were reached - just shows the students will be enthusiastic if you feed them something interesting.

I guess it's true when they say there is no such thing as a free lunch. Paid Rs. 75/- per lunch - not very subsidised eh? :P . Indulged in a little walk inside the Choupal Sagar retail outlet. Treated myself to 3 hours of my ipod shuffle on the return journey.

Late at night, got a call from Hariya - our Retail Marketing CR. One of those ominous "Kabira speaking" type of calls which you know is going to bring some bad news :-p . I was told we were to submit a presentation on 2 chapters. I took it up, and spent some 4 hours in building the ppt. I guess it is much more than what I should have taken, but I am hoping the output will be appreciated tomorrow. Lets wait and watch.

Day 318: 24th Jul, 2010

Two guest lectures today. One guy from Ogilvy came for the prom strat class - every time I get drawn and think to myself I should get into advertising. Seems like fun! Had an extra class for Retail Marketing - a lecture from the CEO of Planet M, and an alumnus of our institute - 1992 batch. Good talk - he gave some nice ground level pointers.

Yet another movie! Saw Salt - the Angelina Jolie action flick. Was quite engaging - even though Jolie didn't exactly stick to her core competency :-p . Also, seems like Vanki skipped the show, to avoid "bumping" into us ;-) . Poor fellow, had to make do with the mess :D

Sleeping super late today. It's almost 4. Just gave some feedback to one mentee. Got to wake up in 4 hrs - a visit to ITC e-Choupal planned tomorrow!

Day 317: 23rd Jul, 2010

Slept pretty late yesterday night, completely Agarwal's fault. The idiot started off watching Chak De India on my laptop and left it halfway. And I couldn't bring myself to commit the sacrilege of leaving the movie halfway - so had to finish it :-p

Took a new book from the library. Fiction, yet again. A one-thousand-sixty-eight page mammoth called Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I loved The Fountainhead by the same author, liked the way she portrayed her characters. Looking forward to another similar read. Am giving myself 2 weeks worth of lectures + some extra time to get through :)

Day 316: 22nd Jul, 2010

I have no clue how I missed this!! Played SQUASH yesterday at Umang. My first time in a squash court. I would love to say it was a great experience and blah blah. Except for the fact it wasn't - that it lasted for 4-5 min - in which Mr. Professional Vanki COMPREHENSIVELY beat me! :-( . Won't reveal scores to avoid public embarassment :P

The team building class was FUN! :D (They always are! - don't miss this elective!). We made greeting cards :D . Sketch pen marks on the palm and all at the end of it :D

Spent a good part of the evening taking the mid-term reviews of facchas. Decent work by some of them; and as expected, a few of them backed out. Sometimes, it is interesting to see how a system filters people out just by existing. In the sense, we hadn't even put much pressure. But somehow, there are always people who don't want to clear the smallest of hurdles. Why? - May be they can't see the finish, but then again, may be, they just are that way.

Day 315: 21st Jul, 2010

What sort of a test is this?! We got 48 'fill in the blanks' (yes you read it right) today. Without alternatives! :-| . Sometimes I am just clueless about some things! Oh, btw, also had the Strat Man paper in the morning :-) Was a case based paper - yet another open-book exam where the book didn't come into any use!

But the important part - exams over!! To celebrate (bahana!), we went to watch Tere Bin Laden. Though not "very funny", it has its moments. What I would appreciate is that it was well thought out. Wasn't nonsensical just to be funny; though again, that's not really a problem :D

Now for all the hearsay about Lucknow being a great "foodie place", it is pretty much restricted to a few places and mostly only if you are a non-vegetarian. I hadn't found a single place here which served good dosas, which is pretty surprising considering it is one of the easiest things to make! 
Until today.
Went to this place called Dasprakash - famous for South Indian cuisine. Didn't get disappointed :-) Ate some good dosas and uttappas

A little weather update - the monsoon finally seems to have come to Lucknow. Twice in the morning this week - it got so chill I had to switch off the fan :D

Day 314: 20th Jul, 2010

And there comes Retail Mark to haunt us :-( . 11 chapters from one book, another 6 from another book and 12 presentations. Even MY day is majorly spent with my nose buried inside the 'Why we Buy' book. Pretty easy and light read though.

Day 313: 19th Jul, 2010

Finally one of those days when I sat down to study for the exam :P . That's the thing with fin papers - they are not open book exams :( . Had Int Fin today. Lots of subquestions - the maximum weightage a question carried was 2 marks. That's nice :D

Went to PVR to watch Udaan. But it's luck is turning out to be like Brij :-p . Apparently some server was down at PVR :-S . Those buggers didn't even care to inform at the entrance - bloody they must have been made to reimburse the parking charges. So this became the second time that the plan was made but didn't get executed successfully! Worked well for Vanki though - we went to Wave and saw Inception - repeat for myself, Agarwal and Shruti. Watched it "analytically" this time :D 

The best part - I rode a car after ages! :D . Only from the campus gate to H14, but nevertheless, enjoyed it totally! :D

Day 312: 18th Jul, 2010

I think I am getting incredibly large number of holidays :D . What else can explain this blissful existence of sleeping till 10am, having a leisurely bath and lunch, making plans for TWO other movies in the afternoon which eventually get cancelled because you dozed off for an afternoon siesta? Exams seriously are the most chill times on campus!

Didn't want to have dinner in the mess, especially as the menu for Sunday dinner is usually quite boring. Suddenly  remembered to go to this place called PizzaPort. Decent choice - nice pizza, VFM. The garlic bread was no match to Domino's though.

Must make a note of the weather too. Been raining all day today. It's even kinda cold! Great atmosphere!

Day 311: 17th Jul, 2010

What is the worst preparation one can do for an open book exam? Yup - Not have the book itself! Just wrote this to let you know there were people much worse off than me. Atleast 3 people (including pachpan) sourced books from the prof himself today morning. And I know one guy who issued an entirely different book from the library as he hadn't collected any of his books!

Went for Inception at WAVE - for the night show. The interval was awesome - half the hall was IIM L junta! And all PGP2s; bloody, who would say midterms are going on! :D . Great movie! And of course, the super brilliant bike ride back, WAVE to campus in 13 minutes :)

Day 310: 16th Jul, 2010

Can't believe my exams are going on! If you were anywhere around me, you wouldn't either. Spent an absolutely JOBLESS day!

I really can't remember anything noteworthy about today. Except for not one, not two, but THREE call backs from a certain authority (much to the jealousy of my colleagues :P). Finished the book - Go, Kiss the World; the last 40 odd pages are really nice! Highly recommended!

Day 309: 15th Jul, 2010

So there begin the exams. Our new PGP chair also did this super job of reducing the time duration of exams. Which means we now spend only 1.5 hrs in a midterm exam as opposed to 2 hrs earlier. I guess we can bid good bye to extra long cases :)

Had prom strat today. 60% was MCQs - so cool - you can attempt everything :D. Second part revolved around an old Pepsi ad. This one:

We had to analyse if the commercial was worth the $50mn spent on it, back in 1983. Wrote my 2 cents worth of stuff.

My next exam only day after - that too in the evening :D . But, do you really need an excuse to remain chill? :)

Day 308: 14th Jul, 2010

Oh my my, why did I just wish for *drama* yesterday! Vanki was such a brilliant scene today in conB! :D . Caught repeatedly, over and over again, even for smiling! I escaped by showing off my PromStrat polycopy, unfortunately Vanki and the sleeping Ramasaravana got 70 page assignments :D. Damn! I seriously should have wished for something meaningful! But then again, this was priceless :D

Re-entered the gates of knowledge, Gyanoday - the beloved library - for academic purposes! Seems like ages since I did that :-P . Yes yes, you guessed it - exams from tomorrow. Not to worry much though - cool course (Prom Strat), cool prof - 2/3rds of the paper was to be MCQs. Got a quick brush-up from the super-sincere Britto in around 3 hours. Will probably go through some slides tomorrow.

Day 307: 13th Jul, 2010

It is always a super feeling to not have any classes in the morning. The downside of course is the fact that you end up sleeping right through your breakfast; but then again, you avoid the pain of skipping it so you reach class on time.

As usual, took the chance to pay a visit to the city. As usual again, not a very useful trip. But then again, I know many such useless trips will lead to one useful trip.

I remember being at Puranaya Chowk at 3.32. Managed to reach college just in the nick of time - even grabbing my favourite Kool Koko! Ohhh, I just remembered - the Amul stall (which was ALWAYS closed last year) had reopened - and now I have access to my favourite drink - Amul Kool! Yippeeee!!

I played a little bit of the revolutionary - sending mails and following up with the MessComm on certain aspects that I thought should be changed. \m/ Glad to see all my suggestions implemented. \m/ Had Maggi in the mess today, thanks to me! :D . Suddenly remembered the conB extra class and DASHed for it. Now in order, we INDEXians were getting caught. So it was but natural that Vanki would face the music today. And that is what happened :P . Caught, while he was replying to me :D . Not enough drama though!

Day 306: 12th Jul, 2010

It feel real nice to wake up a good 2 hrs before class. That way you can stop (not snooze!) the alarm and get back to sleep. What's not cool is that the next you wake up, you realise you have overslept by 7 minutes and missed the class :-( . That's the story for Retail class today.

Have been more or less adhering to my compromised every-alternate-day-swimming schedule. The more interesting game however was the ones I played after that. Armed with ONE table tennis bat and a ball, we went to the TT room. The usually present common TT bat wasn't available. So lack of resources prompted creativity. Started playing TT with hand. Also tried playing it with chappals. Finally zeroed in on playing a highly modified version of squash - single player, TT ball, TT bat, wall :D . Was SUPER fun though!

Day 305: 11th Jul, 2010

Almost as if God reads my blogs :) . I slept off ranting about the heat. And what do I know - it rained heavily at dawn, and I woke up to a really cool and pleasant morning :D

Nice lazy Sunday otherwise. Had a late breakfast, late bath, late lunch :D . Pretty interesting lunch convo with Vanki and Pachpan - a complete discussion on Vanki's "choice" of "Indian" movies, with one final conclusion - Vanki cannot understand the Indian Consumer's Behaviour :D . The guy didn't like Koi Mil Gaya. We were going to put him through the acid test - Jab We Met .. :D . But unfortunately, he hadn't seen that movie!

Started watching LOTR - part 1. Got interrupted midway over the Retail marketing project. Spent a good 3 hours over it. Interrupted by yet another plan to go to Brij ki Rasoi. The jinx continued - this time, the plan was shelved even before it took off :-p . After another little struggle for the project, I came back and finished the movie. And I was disappointed!! The movie, even with a running time of 3 and a half hours, did NOT finish! :-O There is a clear continuation and dependence on Part 2 to take the next logical step forward. Pretty silly, ain't it?

Now am back to my room after watching the Footie final at Samanjasya. Pretty tough match!! Though I personally would prefer one with a lot more goals :P . Anyways, congrats to Spain and well-played to the Dutch. Though they won't be remembered much. Aakhir, jo jeeta ..wohi sikandar!

Day 304: 10th Jul, 2010

Today definitely seems like a day God made to test the melting point of Lucknow citizens! The weather's been super hot and sultry today. Have been trying out the ELTC (Evaporation Leads To Cooling) technique all day long, spraying water all over the room (walls and floor both!). But not much success. Not cool, literally.

FINALLY, finished the entire season of LOST. Kinda lost though - what exactly happened :-S .

In the evening, I attended a session on entrepreneurship by Nandini Vaidyanathan. Found the session OK. But that's just a personal opinion :) Many others found it pretty good. Maybe, I just have too high expectations :-p , especially after hearing Sunil Handa Sir :D

I just had another shower to cool myself. But my room is literally a boiler today. Especially as I have closed the balcony door to keep off the flying insects. Am going to put off all lights and put myself to sleep now. So long then!

Day 303: 9th Jul, 2010

A little regression and analysis (the MBA show-off giri) and some basic common sense (the truthful reason) made me realise that the highest frequency of missing my breakfast happens on Fridays and Saturdays. Must be because of this odd timing of the Prom Strat class - 11.45 :-|

Spent a typical afternoon - getting some INDEX work done with Vanki, in the city. Had a never-done-before interesting experience on our way back though :D - riding over a railway track! Actually the lone flyover to reach our college was blocked (innovatively, using some cycle rickshaws!) for some Queen's Baton or something. So off we went searching for a route from under the flyover. And that is when we realised we needed to cross a railway track, and that too not our any proper road! There was a narrow path where at one point, a few stones were arranged to give a little elevation. Was fun :D

Went to Cellar for dinner - Mine and Shanky's PPO treat! My first visit there actually. Italian fare mainly - surprised to find one at Lucknow :-p . Food was pretty decent - though the mocktails, desserts weren't too great.

With heavy tummies and sleepy heads, we still motivated ourselves to have a short meeting. Work is work - no compromise na :) . Just some updates, some allocations. And then the customary night visit to the mess, a milkshake on Shanky's account, and a good good night.

Day 302: 8th Jul, 2010

It is not everyday when you get acclaims for your "heroics" in class. Today however was one of those special days when I got picked on even though I did nothing. (Nothing much at least i.e. wasn't sleeping, and wasn't really talking).

Just happened to ask one question to Pachpan sitting next to me. The conB prof saw me, and immediately attacked me with a question. The guy in front ever got scared and started answering :D . Good for me, until then. Barely 5 min later, I get picked on AGAIN, and this time for doing absolutely nothing. And I was summoned from the ultimate last bench to the 1st bench. And while I was slowly shredded to pieces with the sharp blades that asked me about everything to my opinion on the case (which I hadn't read) to factor analysis and what not!

Day 301: 7th Jul, 2010

Here comes again the season of genocide. A billion weird looking, winged irritating creatures have descended on the campus. And for some reason, half of them have decided to make my room their abode. So there I was, armed with a folded newspaper as the danger weapon, murdering those undesirable elements in cold blood. Well, at least the newspapers are useful in some manner :-p

Bunked the two morning classes to go to the city. Lots of waiting and then finally no meeting!

We released the shortlist for the 2nd round of INDEX recruitment. Called them to the Convocation stage. Alloted them mentors, tasks. Lets see who lasts :-)

Day 300: 6th Jul, 2010

Had that proper romantic weather today. Cool, a little cloudy, the clouds a little dark. And then the skies opened - and it rained :D

It would have been criminal to go to class in such an awesome weather. Laziness crept in and I bunked strat man to ... watch LOST! Am almost at the end now, finally ! Just one episode to go.. LOST, but one. Hehe.

BTW, 300 days at hel(L)! Woah! :)

Day 299: 5th Jul, 2010

I had subscribed to the assumption that the mess has some sort of hidden under-the-table contract with Guptaji - the juice wala. The food has been so bad on quite a few occasions that it has kinda become mandatory to gulp down a milkshake with every meal. Now of course, the mess has done a smart thing - they are offering the milkshakes themselves! (at an additional cost of course :P). Jokes apart (though not too much of a joke), something seriously needs to be done about the mess. Under mysterious circumstances, they even took off the popular items like maggi (during snacks).

Hectic day academically. Had to review 12 articles for our RM prof. Had to search for another 3-4 articles for our ConB prof. Argghh!! We have access to a whole bunch of good databases from our library, but still found that it took ages!

The best part of today was however the last part of the day. Me, pachpan and kisaan riding triples on my bike - headlights not working - and going for a purposeless round around the campus :D

Day 298: 4th Jul, 2010

Just as little things keep happening which irritate you to the max, little things happen which can make you amazingly cheerful :D 

Just the day when I was to be back here, I had asked one of my friends to pick up a pack of Krishna Sweets Mysore Pak (it's a heavenly sweet!! - just melts in your mouth!) for me. He forgot.

So when I came to know one of my friend's parents are coming from Chennai, I didn't waste any time in putting forth my humble request. And lo and behold, there lies a box of that wonderful stuff with me :) Yippeee!

Had Parichay today - the first chance where the PGP1s display their talent (and PGP2s their decibel levels :-p). And must say there is quite a bit of that (or so I heard :-p ..I left halfway). Went swimming - the water seems to have become a little dirty.

Day 297: 3rd Jul, 2010

Marathon interview session - from 4pm to 2am in the morning! :-O

Days 295,296: 1st-2nd Jul, 2010

Usually what they say is the grass is always greener on the other side. This one occasion, the grass does seem green at one side only. Last year around this time, I had thought it would be fun to be sitting on the side taking the interview rather than the one giving it. And how true it is! It's been quite some fun taking interviews - especially the unique informal interviews we have at INDEX. It's hectic - stretches up to 3am. Haven't yet got into any major fights over choices though - but I guess it is impending :-p

Went with Kisaan to the city yesterday to take some prints. Gave the order and later realised neither of us have sufficient money on us :-P . Stupid printing place though - charged three times of what we paid elsewhere!

Day 294: 30th Jun, 2010

And then there was light! Huh? :-p . Fixed up the electricity connection to the INDEX room - some re-wiring work during ours summers had damaged it ! Also got a 15V connection in the room, for it's latest entrant - the chill factor ;-)