Day 378: 30th Sep, 2010

Class over the past couple of days have passed off in a breeze. That is because of the Ultimate Championship that I am playing with Vanki. Which game, did you ask? Cows and Bulls! :D

The atmosphere was slightly tainted with the tension of the Ayodhya verdict. However, one cannot emphasize the kind of secure feeling that a campus provides. Even though we weren't too far away from the epicenter. Good to hear a solution which appears to be amicable. Things are OK, inside and outside both :-) 

Day 377: 29th Sep, 2010 - Two things are in

Two things are in.

One of those is Varchasva - IIM Lucknow's Cultural & Sports Fest! Now a fest is a real gala time. Sports freaks get to play a lot. The cultural enthusiasts have many competitions where they can participate. These are the obvious advantages. However the slightly hidden benefits are privy to all the couples who are away from each other. This becomes a great time to get your other half on campus, and we are often confused who the new people on campus are :-p. Adding to this confusion will be the influx of students from other colleges, and somehow, the girls in other campuses are always more beautiful! :-p

And the other, of course, is the one that is here to last for quite some time. Yes, am talking about the "cold". Presently, it is a little more than a pleasant chill. But very soon, it's going to become all devilish and freeze the hell outta us. Aww well, but we all know no one can ever do that :-)

Day 376: 28th Sep, 2010

So now comes along the first bombshell to be dropped this term. Our CBM quiz, the first one of the season, has been announced. Need to find out what's going on.

The LTL class today was fun :D. Cold calling would definitely be one of the biggest weapons profs have, and that proved itself today. One of the groups was arbitrarily called out to present their viewpoint on a couple of aspects of the book 'Siddhartha'. Turned out the two people who had worked on their ppt were absent! The remaining guys didn't put in much fight to even read out from the slide :D

Had a warm-up meeting with INDEX facchas. Time to set the gears in motion.. \m/

Day 375: 27th Sep, 2010

I don't know what to make out of the LTL class(es)! As of now, the whole things seems to be a tad too philosophical for me! Made a short trip after that to the city to get my bag. Went alone, so was bored to stop and treat myself to some nice chocolate dish :-S

Another looooooooong INDEX meet. It would be so magical if all of us concurred on one thing :-P . On second thoughts, would it really?

Day 374: 26th Sep, 2010 - Khel khel mei

A three hour Service Marketing class on a fine Sunday morning! Would definitely have found the choicest of words to curse it, but for the fact that it turned out to be time very well spent! We had to play a simulation game designed by a Harvard professor, and I can definitely say it was a fantastic way of "learning by doing". Left me wondering why we don't have these for all subjects!

Came back to my room and started watching a documentary on Shaolin Kungfu. Painstakingly reached till the end; found it to be quite boring. Slept off, partly the documentary effect, and partly of course to compensate the early waking up.

When it rains, it pours. Now that the Brij jinx seems to be broken, we visited it yet again within a space of a week! :D . Had a big discussion on how much freedom a retailer would have in underpricing a product (even by taking loss). Need to find that out from authentic sources..

Day 373: 25th Sep, 2010

Our dear wingie Shomo's birthday last night had an extra element of discomfort - a bucket of water. Blame Pachpan for starting all these wrong trends, especially at wrong moments :-X . Three rounds of assault, followed by the cake smear (a nice heart shaped cake!), followed by a march to the mess, and of course another round from the animals there :P . Even after all this though, I still managed to wake up pretty early - 9 am for a 12.30 pm class! The tough part though is deciding what to do with the extra time (unnecessarily) created. I decided to be a little productive and actually went and had breakfast. Unfortunately for me, it was pretty sad today!

Encountered yet another super example of arbitrary pricing in a Servicing Model. Went to this bag seller to get the chain mended on my laptop bag. He randomly quoted 100/- as charges! I just told him that only a day ago I had enquired at his shop and was informed the cost would be 50/. And lo and behold, his price dropped by 50%. And am pretty sure, even on that, he must be making 80% profit (at least!).

Don't know whether the net and the LAN must be considered a boon or a bane. Boon because, thanks to them, we spend all our free time watching movies. Bane because, thanks to them, we spend all our free time watching movies! Anyways, without getting into the judgemental aspect, I would just say Chatur, me & Vanki caught up with a movie called 'Se7en'. Interesting thriller, it's based on serial killers :D . Now, who doesn't like them! Hehe :D

In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare aptly captures the protagonist's anxiety with the words - "your mind is tossing on the ocean,..". Well, let me just wish some good luck to a friend, who's probably feeling these words right now...

Day 372: 24th Sep, 2010 - Angrez and Aaloo

Really interesting incident in the mess at lunch. Whilst trying to make up my mind on what would be the most edible choice, my eyes fixated on a plate of what looked like some awesomely cooked plain aaloo. Very happy, I drifted in that direction. And just as I was to take some, that plate was harshly pulled away by a worker citing "yeh angrez log ke liye hai"!! (referring to the Students on the Exchange program). Independence, an illusion in your own country?!

It is always so fulfilling to come up with something creative. Something that you can call - your own, even if it may not be the best. So some designing work came along after a long time - Pachpan wanted me to come up with a template sorta thing. Meddled around a little here and there. Found out this powerful feature - Brushes! Really cool stuff! So much potential to do so much more. Now, if only I had a more designer-oriented head on my shoulders :-p

Well, normally I do not have too many problems with the mess food. However, just as I was going to the mess, I made a mistake of casually asking my friend, the menu. The short conversation -
Me: "Abbe mess mei kya hai?"
Friend: "Hagga"
Which, err, means, ahem, shit (literally). Which definitely is not a very enticing choice.

So off we went to Fauzi for dinner. Oh, but our first one here this term? Pretty late. Had what, you asked? Haven't you like by-hearted the Aloo-jeera, Dal & Roti combination by now? :-)

Day 371: 23rd Sep, 2010

After quite a few days, I am back to my love affair with technology :-)

Spent more than 3 hours trying to install one software. Half of that time went in trying to somehow manage to read .iso files, without trying to plugin the ethernet cable (as I was meddling around with some setup). Didn't manage to find anything like that on my laptop, so finally had to relent and bow to the power of google. And that of course took care of things in a jiffy. A couple of clicks to download the setup, a couple more to install it, and finally a further couple of clicks to mount by creating virtual CDs :-D . But that of course, wasn't the end of it all. Figured out that the key I had to installing the master suite was expired :-( . Full effort waste.

So now I started off with a new setup itself. And the install status bar progressed and progressed, and then abruptly stopped. Oops - that setup was meant for a 64-bit OS.

But give up I don't. At least, not when it comes to installing software I want :-p . Downloaded the setup for yet another version of the software. And yes, third time lucky indeed! :-)

Of course, each time the set-up was running OR I had to uninstall the old version OR restart my system, I had free time. And what better to do with your time than to go disturb your friends :-P . And so I put in frequent visits to Pachpan's room, where he was working on some document with Chatur since afternoon. In one of those visits, I just made a casual reference/opinion w.r.t. the state of Vocational Education in India, and woah, it expanded into a full-blown debate for more than an hour! :D . And this is what I would say is the most awesome thing about an IIM :-)

Day 370: 22nd Sep, 2010

And there happens my first bunk of the season. Had to go to the city for some INDEX work, missed my EPA class. To compensate for the unhappiness, I treated myself to a Rasmalai :-D ;-)

After dinner, myself, Pachpan & Chatur met up on an instantaneous whim to ideate a little on some aspects. That meeting somehow deviated into a very nice cribbing session on a topic on which 80% of all 2nd-year B-school graduates would crib about ;-)

Day 369: 21st Sep, 2010 - Of Books & Crooks

How absolutely drab campus and committee life would be if it weren't for all the tiny and not-so-tiny confrontations that keep happening now and then! :D

So this small issue came up. I have always wondered how sometimes one needs to argue just to ensure something very blatantly and obviously stupid doesn't happen! Well, I agree that not all parties (as a result of not being apriori privy to all information) would know the actual point of debate is silly. But what is even more wondering is this - how one likes to stick to their original stance even after the additional data points come to light.

Anyways, one always hears about making an opportunity of an adversity. Today got a chance to implement it. Not entirely, not even in part, but just kind of sowing the seed in the mind. Suddenly remembered an old idea and discussed it amongst my colleagues. Lets see where that eventually ends..

Got two more books for the Leadership Through Literature course. And one of them is in Sanskrit! :-|

Day 368: 20th Sep, 2010 - Address Change!

Sudden whim & I changed the URL of this blog to something a little more in sync with the semantics. I hope I don't lose my sincere followers :-)

Before the infinite time got to my mind to make it a devil's workshop, a new hobby or rather a new challenge has come into my life. The best-selling toy of all time - The Rubik's cube! So what happened is, yesterday a random discussion centered around the Rubik's cube started, and it culminated in Pachpan spending the night learning the algorithm from the net (YouTube rocks!) and proudly showing off a re-constructed cube in the morning.

But I though an algo makes things too mechanical, and so the entire day I have been trying to solve it just by logic/intuition, with some hints on the right anchors. Was pretty successful till reaching an intermediate stage. But am big time stuck after that. Now every time I try to bring about any improvement, I mess things up and end up back at square one! :-( 

But, the fight ain't over yet!

PS: Wrote (rather finished a month old ) a new poem after long ->

Day 367: 19th Sep, 2010

And of course, today was a Sunday, which meant even more free time. I even woke up a little too soon (10.30 am! :-P). It is getting even more difficult to while time away. I saw Toy Story 2 & 3 . Very nice series :D . Went swimming in the evening later on. Good fun, more importantly, good tp :D

Another thing - It's suddenly raining marriages! Even as we came back to campus after this term, I got the news about a few more marriages-to-be. And then, just yesterday a school friend called to tell me he is getting hitched (officially :-p). One of the protagonists of this entire episode is our dashing hero Shomu Da. With him, we made a deal, which incorporates a certain budget for party, and instead of blowing it all up in one shot, we'll go out on multiple weekends :D . Today was the 1st of those, and we went to Pizza Port. Had pizzas after a long time! :D . Followed that up with a Sizzling Brownie and Chocolate Fantasy at CCD :-) 

It was raining when we came out of CCD. So we took refuge under a roadside roof. That is when India's great dichotomy greeted us. Two small kids (12 years & 8 years respectively) selling Balloons. They made around 100-120 rupees amongst them combined. Dad worked as a cycle rickshaw driver and mom as a domestic help. Man, life is so tough for some people...

But somehow, such feelings are always sublime. We were totally drenched on our return journey and these troublesome thoughts had left my mind even before I had changed my clothes...

A small unplugged singing session at Kisaan's room. Came back and started watching episode 2 of the Harvard Justice series. But pretty tired and sleepy now. Will finish the rest tomorrow. Good night :)

PS: Blog now available at

Day 366: 18th Sep, 2010 - Standstill !

Days pass off super slowly. I seem to have absolutely nothing to do. 

Actually it's not just me. These days, if anyone hears any sound in the corridor, immediately people come out to check out what's happening, to check if they can get a few minutes of tp done :D . And for the exact same reason, the regularity of visits to the mess is also higher - not because junta is hungry, but simple because there is nothing else to do! Luckily for them, at least they have some awesome projects to work on, thanks to INDEX :-)

Saw 2 movies today. Revisited Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na - why do I feel the movie is getting better every time I watch it? Also saw Toy Story 1 , and as expected (animation movie!), I liked it :D

Day 365: 17th Sep, 2010

The urge to avoid the right-up-the-front benches is pervasive across all student communities. I have usually always been someone who magnetically gets attracted towards the back benches (in school because of height, now because of name, but mostly because of choice). And of course, the last bench phenomenon is an interesting game. Sitting on the very last bench is risky; high chances of being called ahead! It is safer to take a middle position in the last but one row. However, in a land where this kind of smartness permeates every brain, it also becomes very difficult to get that place, because of the high demand.

Anyways, I digressed again. Even as we became comfortable in our chosen thrones (location-wise), the prof asked everyone seated behind to occupy the benches in front - because - we were having some sort of a photoshoot! :-P . Trying to capture students while they are learning in the classroom ;-) . Now things like that are no attraction to me. But to one self-obsessed guy like Pachpan, it was an opportunity that just should not be missed. So, off we were, to the 2nd bench or something. Can't remember the last time I was encountering a lecture from that close a range :-| . In all fairness to the prof, he allowed students to go back once the photoshoot was over :D , but I was overcome by too much inertia to change my place again.

Had an INDEX meet at night. Turned out to be one helluva discussion. Rules, rural, rumour. But always interesting to see extreme views eventually converging at one single point :-)

Day 364: 16th Sep, 2010 - The jinx is broken!

Heard the entire ProjFin lecture today, but didn't manage to understand a word :-( . Tragic!

Last semester saw us making numerous attempts to dine at Brij ki Rasoi. All of them, by some quirk of fate, turned out to be unsuccessful; with the universe going so far as to create sandstorms to throw water (err, sand?) on our plans! But this was a new term, and it would call for a new attempt. With crossed fingers, and tossing minds, we finally plucked up enough courage to withstand disappointment that we might face. But, as always, fortune favors the brave :-P , and after over 5 months (2 summers + 3 last term), we finally had dinner at Brij!

Had an INDEX meet after that. I was super sleepy, but then I started randomly playing and tapping the guitar. And then, not just me, but nobody was sleepy :-P

Day 363: 15th Sep, 2010

Started reading this one book we got for our LTL class (in another lecture of course :-P). The book is 'Siddhartha' by Hermann Hesse (no, I didn't add any extra letters in the name). The book I thought would be on the early life of Gautam Buddha. I am through with 90% of the book and very much confused. And that is because Siddhartha and Gautam Buddha are two different characters in the book!! :-| . Hopefully the last 20 odd pages will have some CID types climax and put the jigsaw pieces together.

Also restarted my swimming session. The pool today was quite literally a sea of humanity, super crowded by people of all ages, origins, sexes and even race :D (now that we have STEX people :-P).

Just finished watching TROY. Heard great reviews about it, but I didn't find the movie mind-blowing. Definitely nice though. And boy, how nice would it be to be Achilles! :D

Day 362: 14th Sep, 2010

Woke up really early today - 6 am! Mornings are really beautiful :-) . Listened to music for a good 2 hours, side by side finishing off some pending work.

Had a productive CBM class :D - I drew caricatures on my INDEX core friends :-p . Whatever anyone else may think, I felt very proud of myself ;-)

It is funny the way paradoxes keeping popping up. I just finished my Service Marketing class and went to the local SBI branch to get some work done. And felt 5000% that the fellow on the opposite side should be attending the class :-S

It is equally funny (but not surprising) how everyone is always available for a treat :D . Becomes so very difficult to get everyone's approval for a party or a meeting, but mention a treat and wagging tongues show up in no time :D . The occasion was the celebration of Chatur & Kisaan's PPO/PPI (resp.) in INDEX - with Vanki's addition today! We went to this new place called Zaafran, which claimed to specialise in Mughlai cuisine :-P . Didn't seem like that, but the place was pretty ok. Super quantity though! Not having looted the treat givers enough, we made our way to CCD. Unfortunately, my recently discovered chocolate indulgence Dark Passion wasn't available :-( . Settled with Devil's Own. Not bad ;-)

Got back and we had a small INDEX meet in my room. Few updates, few plans, few arguments. That ended at 01:00 am. 

But now it's 3.40 am. And guess what, I am ending my day exactly as it began - another 2 beautiful hours of music. C'est la vie!

Day 361: 13th Sep, 2010 - Ink wars!

My timetable for this term is bad!

From Mon-Thu, I have the first class of the day (8.45 am), the last class of the day (4.30-6.00 pm) and one random class in between. Which basically means a lot more sleeping - what else can you do during those short periods of rest? :-p

The Service Marketing class has turned out to be a surprise packet. The prof kicks ass! :D . The guy has industry experience, and spices up the class with a good number of real life examples and jokes. A sample - try figuring out what USA and OUU can stand for in Consumer segmentation (TG: SEC A, 35-45 years)!

Pachpan's finally back on campus. So as always, my white board and laptop became entertainment hubs. And all of a sudden, in spite of my warning, they pulled out the plastic wrapper on the sound panel. That set off similar triggers as on this day. Today's weapon of my attack was this bottle of INK I found in Kisaan's shelf. Splashed a little in both their rooms :-p

After an exchange of promises of revenge :D, Kisaan, Pachpan and me went out to get our handsets repaired (weirdly, everyone's piece had a problem). After a Lucknow tour by Kisaan (which I don't know whether it was a part of a plan to frustrate or not), finally only Pachpan managed to get his charger. Went to Dasaprakash for dinner - it lived up to its reputation. Revenge for yesterday :D

Day 360: 12th Sep, 2010

Dabangggggggggggggg-ed!! :D

Super movie - full masala :D . Sallu doesn't even have to "act"! 

PS: NEVER eat South-Indian food at Richi Rich

Days 358,359: 10th-11th Sep, 2010 - Taj Mahal :: check!

So often I have cribbed here about not using my weekends to go on short trips. Well, just as I saw a billion plans bite the dust (once again, and as usual!), the trend changed. Came to know of this group who were going to Agra, and tagged along with them :D . Wasn't feeling too well, but I couldn't let that stop me this time.

So this spot decision happened at 3.30pm and at 3.45, I was on my way to catch the UPSRTC bus. Was really lucky to get a seat in the same bus as my friends, a guy who came in 5 seconds later (when I was waiting for my ticket print) didn't get the seat! Mine was the last it seems - super - providence does seem to have interfered!

The bus journey (7 hours) was as usual for me - selfish uncaring passengers who deem it their right to recline their seat right on to my lap, noisy burping males etc etc. What made it characteristically uncomfortable was the freezing levels AC! In any case, I just can't seem to put myself to sleep in a seating position and so remained awake.

One more thing that I just don't seem to do is initiate conversations with people I don't know. (With people I know, I am not so good at sustaining conversations. No wonder I bought a book called 'Emotional Intelligence'. I must stop digressing now!). A young guy next to me however was more enterprising. Turns out he was made for the skies! He was a student of aviation - who had rejected a Civil Engineering seat at BITS Pilani - because flying was what he wanted to do. I must say he rose a few inches above the ground when he took that decision. Learnt quite a few things from him - what they do, their studying methodology, career options, etc etc. 

At 01:00 hours, reached some place in Agra. Stupid bus driver had no clue about anything. Fortunately one passenger on the bus could guide us on where to go and get some decent accommodation. Went to a hotel there, and the fellow didn't seem very interested in giving a room at all. May be because we disturbed him on his nice little nap; but not a great thing to be sleeping on job anyways right? Went to another hotel, guided by a rickshaw driver and got some comparatively cheaper lodging.

The room was pretty decent. We got a couple of extra beds. But then again - the mass murder weapon came into action. The AC came to life, and pretty much did its best to end ours. Tried numerous buttons, but couldn't switch it off. Called the reception and we were instructed to find "a red button behind a cupboard" to turn it off. Obviously, the untraceable button remained just that. Some of us took refuge in blankets to get some rest in the little time we had for us now. Some brave hearts decided to take on the cold. I was in the former group and later came to know that members of the latter group kept going outside the room at intervals to get some warmth :-|

Got an Omni to take us around the next day. Visited Fatehpur Sikhri, Agra Red Fort and Taj Mahal. I liked the places in the same order :D . Interesting incident at the Taj Mahal. We reached the entrance only to find a loooooooooooooooooooong queue of people waiting to get in. And where there is a problem, there are our jugaadu touts. For some not-so-less money, they promised to get us in through a "VIP entrance" immediately. The queue was pretty lengthy, and so we agreed. What they did was take us to another perfectly legitimate entrance, which probably hardly anyone knows!! The part of no queue was true, but parting of extra dough for a 5 min walk momentarily irritated us. But then again, the guy was just using "information assymetry" to his advantage. 

Meanwhile, I still didn't have a ticket back :-P . At 7pm, I booked a WAITING tatkal ticket on the same train. Reached the station to find out (not unexpectedly) that it hadn't got confirmed. So there I was - stranded without a ticket. But hopes do not die in India so easily :D . Managed to make "thoda sa adjustment" with the TTE and get a place with my friends. Slept on the floor, that was not so bothersome. But, once again, the murder weapon swept into action - the killer AC!! I have no clue how other passengers could sleep through that! I spent the last hour and half OUT of the compartment. That turned out to be pretty awesome too, as the sun was just rising and the orange hues fell on vast expanses of green :) What wouldn't a city-dweller give for such a glimpse.

Back to campus. 7am. Time for covering up lost sleep. Good night :)

Day 357: 9th Sep, 2010

Back on campus! Surely an achievement considering Kingfisher's consistent attempts to not let that happen. 

First they cancelled my flight. After some pestering, they gave me an alternate flight. When I called yesterday to confirm my flight details, I was abruptly told that I HAD MISSED THE FLIGHT! Turned out someone at their end had wrongly rescheduled me to an earlier date. But all this came out after 4 hours of going back and forth. And then they told me that the flight which I had originally asked for was full! :-S . 

This happened at 01:30 hours, when my flight was scheduled for 08:05 hours (factor in reaching an hour prior to departure, and of course the additional 1 hour travel time!). And then in the morning when I called up again at 06:15, they said they had accommodated me in some 07:15 flight :-| . Another 30 minutes of argument. Finally got a confirmation in the 08:50 flight (08:05 running late).

Phew! Feeling vindicated to be back to helL! Am a little unwell with all the travel, and weather. Will retire early - one huge slumber dose to compensate for late nights ahead :D

PS: Awesome choco la choclate at the Delhi airport! Bought by a ..psst.. it's a secret! (And NOT what you think! :P)

Day 356: 1st Sep, 2010

Bye for another week :)

PS: Strat man was simple. RM was weird :-|

Day 355: 31st Aug, 2010

Just when we all thought 2nd year exams are chill (at least those of us who didn't have CorVal had rights to harbour such thoughts), came along this sinister paper to mock at us all. The only thing I can be confident about is the few numbers that I had taken apriori on the textbook :-P

MadMan as usual lived up to his name. Today suddenly we realised the dude hadn't booked a ticket home because he had other "plans". Yeah, right! Thanks mainly to Pachpan's drive and my resourcefulness, we did manage to cost-effectively route him to where he should belong!

Celebrated BigGuy's birthday, a day earlier since most of us are leaving in the day tomorrow. We had a guest today for celebrations - Chote. And let the name not fool you, the hardest hits (by far!) came from him! Anyways, lucky for him, some hard hitting batsmen weren't there today. Anyways, the dude is set in for a separate dose from the Tam Gang. Ah, being the president of such a community, sometimes it is not just your shoulders where you feel the pressure :-P