Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happiness comes from sharing

Good news at last!!!!! Got the job I wanted....so I am happy :)

Bad News...suffering from what I call withdrawal symptoms...When you have worked through the year so hard..now all of a sudden you fill the motivation of doing assignments, attending classes all goneeee...

I went through hell for the last one month and at last there is some ray of hope.Some hope that only bad things do not happen to me. Anyways lot has been said on this topic already. I also realized that to be really happy you need to share the happiness with someone. My parents are happy at last. They went through most of the emotions that I went through as well. They were concerned whether their only son would come out of the state he was in.

I admire my dad...He lost everything in life when he was in his teens..Settling in a new country with nothing..no money...was one of the scariest stories I have heard. But he fought his life out of it and ensured that he gave me good education and all the things he could not get in life when he was growing up. I guess when you go through things you see life in a different perspective than people who have had a more comfortable one. I can still picture his face with tears in his eyes as he stood on the Hollywood walk of fame last year. He said he got more from life than he ever imagined.

I inherited the fighter in me from my dad and I am proud of that. It has helped me survive odds and come out of it clean. And I hope I can always be the down to earth fun loving guy who likes to look at the world simplistically without bias of money or status. Someone who never forgets his roots and the realities of life....who can love and be happy. Anyways after all this senti talk...let me stop...You all take care and wish me luck with rest of ISB.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New address

Should have put this up a long time back - ISB has a new blog address - our batch has started the ISB official blog: http://isbweblog.com

As for me - I have also shifted my blogs:
Photo Blog: http://controlyourproject.com/PhotoBlog
Blog: http://controlyourproject.com/blog

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ISB Energy Conclave | 25th October 2008

The Energy, Manufacturing and Operations Club at the ISB is hosting The ISB Energy Conclave – Gearing up for the energy challenge: Energy strategy – challenges and opportunities

India is the fifth largest energy consumer in the world, and its demand for energy is expected to increase further in the coming years. Moreover, India has the largest incremental energy consumption in the world and despite the country being the seventh largest producer of energy it is a net importer of energy.

On the one hand this poses a challenge to meet the increasing demand, while on the other it presents a great opportunity for the country to emerge as one of the most energy efficient countries of the world. There exists new energy paradigm that can fundamentally alter the ways in which the energy is produced and consumed. Emerging economies like India have the potential of becoming energy innovators in the future as they are confronted with the high cost of energy. In a bid to understand the changing dynamics of the Energy Sector, and explore the road ahead in India, Energy, Manufacturing and Operations Club (EMO) at ISB is hosting the ISB Energy Conclave.

In line with the theme, some of the topics that will be discussed are as follows:

1.      Energy self sustenance for the world – is it possibility?

2.      Challenges and opportunities considering growth of India Inc

a.       Hydrocarbon Opportunities in India.

b.      Nuclear Energy – the future opportunities for India?

c.       Opportunities in Alternative/Green Energy

3.      Emerging business model in the energy sector

4.      Rural energy problems – scope and economic feasibility

 The Conclave is primarily targeted at the students in the school with a limited external participation.

The flagship event of the Energy, Manufacturing and Operations Club has been initiated for the first time at the Indian School of Business (ISB) this year. To address the dynamics of the energy sector with changing times, the club hopes to make this a regular event. At the Indian School of Business, the student body in general and the Energy, Manufacturing and Operations club (EMO club) in particular are very keen on understanding the current and future Energy trends and the ways to meet the future energy demands. The EMO club also focuses on identifying new opportunities in this sector and is looking forward to understand the future implications of the same. The club therefore, proposes to organize a panel discussion with the key energy producers in the country to understand the strategies to meet the impending energy challenges.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Term 2 - Photowalk

I promise to keep this one as short as possible – its not going to be as long-winded as the earlier one about term 2. Mainly because the only thing that changed was the subjects we were being taught now. Let me see – they were Competitive Strategy (Compstrat), Decision Modelling and Optimisation (DMOP), Global Economics (GLEC) and Marketing Decision Making (Markstrat). [I cheated – there was no way I was going to remember the subjects I did soo long ago]

Actually that's one of the chief features of life at ISB – the days move along so fast that they're a blur – but when you look back they seem so far away – probably because so much has happened since.

One of the more interesting parts of the term was the markstrat simulation – where each study group was allotted a firm and we had to compete to gain profits, market share, etc. Good fun !

Anyways – the term started with the skies clouding over, and impending rains on the horizon. The campus looked beautiful as the sky simply accentuated the buildings.

And our first rains – when the mirror pools filled over and we got back to our childhood – making paper boats and playing J

Monday, September 15, 2008

Real Estate Club – Infrastructure Summit

The Real Estate and Infrastructure Club at the ISB in partnership with Indu Projects and Ernst & Young, is hosting the ISB Infrastructure Summit on September 16, 2008. The aim of the Summit is to bring key industry leaders from both the public and the private sector together to share their views on the current trends and challenges faced by the Indian Infrastructure industry. The theme of the summit is "Indian Infrastructure – Status, Trends, Issues, and Challenges".

India has made rapid progress in the Infrastructure sector in the last few years with the private sector playing an increasingly important role. Over the next five years, the Indian Government has forecast a total infrastructure spending of USD 600 billion of which 30% is predicted to come from the private sector. While the sector offers immense opportunities, there are several hurdles and issues that need to be addressed if these goals are to be met.

The Infrastructure Summit is one of several key initiatives that the Real Estate and Infrastructure Club at ISB plans to undertake in the course of the year. A tremendous amount of emphasis has been put on infrastructure development for sustaining the Indian Economy's phenomenal growth. The role of excellent management talent in the Indian Infrastructure industry is becoming increasingly crucial with the infrastructure sector becoming more organised, increasing competition with growing private sector, innovative partnership models including public, private, and foreign players, and complex financial structuring of infrastructure projects. The Infrastructure Summit is aimed to showcase the ISB as leading the push for infrastructure development in India by training future leaders for the industry. The event will serve as a platform for industry leaders to interact with the premier management talent of the country and share the opportunities available in this dynamic industry.

The event would involve an inaugural session and three panel discussions:

Inaugural Session :

* The Infrastructure Sector – Progress and Learning

Panel Discussions:

* Concession Agreements

* Financing Infrastructure Projects

* International Perspectives

Please register at http://www.isb.edu/SeminarsConference/Infrastructure/SeminarRegistration.aspx

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Term 1 - Photowalk

I think Whirlwind is one word that I'm going to use very often - at least for the next one year. The last month and half have been absolutely crazy - and yet there's always been time for the myriad activities that vie for our attention. Actually I think I'll make more sense if I do this chronologically. Started from Delhi on April 11th in the train. Was joined by quite a few "future" classmates. We had planned to take the train - even though it was almost 36 hours. But it was worth every minute - it probably led to formations of life-long friendships - not to mention the fact that we "Reely Reely" enjoyed every second. I had brought along a bottle of Absolut Pear - which we judiciously finished over the course of the day. We chatted, played cards, watched a movie, chatted some more and partied all the time. Don't think that words can really describe the amount of fun we had - so here are some pictures:

Reached ISB in the morning and went straight to our rooms - was pleasantly surprised at the amazing campus (even though I had seen so many photographs on the net - none of them came even close to the real thing). The rooms were perfect - neat and clean and spacious and I must mention the great quality of the hot water showers. We got ready and went straight for the registration - which was a loooooong affair - mainly because of the HUGE rush at the SBI counter. But we got through and by evening we were true-blue students of ISB. So it was time for some champagne - to mark the start of what we hoped (and which I can vouch for now) would be an amazing one year. So a few of us got together and opened the "bubbly" - of course there was lots more after that - but the details are lost in the endless glasses of "daru" :-) There was a nice dinner (though no Hyderabadi Biryani) where we got to interact with our batchmates and alums. I'm sure I still don't remember half the names I heard that night. The next day "Sunday" (At one time Sundays were a holiday - I wonder where that time went . . . . . ) started off our whirlwind tour of ISB - orientation to the various clubs, the acads, and what not. Not a very interesting day from my viewpoint - but I'm sure many people enjoyed it. And at night we had a great party - organised by the alums

Monday kicked off the orientation activities with a treasure hunt. The alums had gone to a lot of pains to ensure that we understood the entire layout of the campus. Of course an easier way would have been to give us all maps - but this was more fun - even though it was tiring and hot and sunny and sweaty. Though we did get a beer in the middle upon reaching the Event's Lounge (where most of the parties happen now). And I was "dunked" into the pool on finishing the treasure hunt. Man that was refreshing (Did I mention that the pool is really great - even for non-swimmers like me - its 5' all over)

Orientation week went faster than we had expected. There was a plethora of activities ranging from bind and unwind to talent night to inter-section sports. A few photos to show the various things we went through: Section A Cheering squad:

Our very own macot - Arbit:

Making an 'A'

Relaxing while other's worked ;-)

Talent Night - Goodness Gracious Me:

However the pre-term courses were a pure waste of time and money. Didn't get any great insights - but wasted an entire week which could have been used to enjoy the campus more.


The bondings made in the train led to the creation of amazing friendships and we started the term with a small party at the "D-Lounge" we drank, we danced and we had our very own live music - courtesy "talli" aka Pratik - who sang for the sole benefit of the "blushing" Guntas. A perfect start to the year none of us would want to forget. The singing and the drinking started around 3:00 (we were partying outside before) and went on till the early morning . .

Talli singing for Guntas:

The much needed "Maggi" Break:

And all that remained afterwards were the empty bottles - our first (and hopefully last) experience with Cobra and King Cobra beers - were we sloshed by the time we went home (5:30 AM):

This was the start of many amazing parties at the D-Lounge. We've had parties, and parties . . . Many of you would be wondering - what is this guy saying - ISB is supposed to be synonymous with pressure, studies, nervous breakdowns . . . . . you may be correct in many ways - as we found out on the first day of class. If any of us were expecting that the first class would be like an introductory session - were we shocked - it was RUN from the first instant. The time allotted for each subject is just enough to finish the curriculum. On top of that we had the infamous "class participation" - where everyone has to participate in class and you are marked for the same. The frenzy this caused in the first term was absolutely crazy - people had their hands up all the time, desperate for something (anything) to say. So we had our very own "CP King" and "CP Queen" contests - the winners got dunked (alongwith half the section who went in just for the fun of it)

The Queen:

The King:

And the praja:

It was soo much fun that none of us wanted to get out of the pool. And of course the CP went down to "near acceptable" levels :-) Then came the first marketing assignment - The Gillette case - the case which made half the batch boycott Gillette (not because there was anything wrong with Gillette - we were just sick and tired of hearing the word) and stop shaving. To mark an end to the assignment - what do we do . . . we have another party:

ISB works on what we felt was a very peculiar system - each professor comes for two and half weeks - takes 5 classes for each section and goes back - so by the time you get used to a professor - its time for him to leave.

By now I'm sure you can guess what happened when the first set of professors were due to leave - Yup - you guessed it - we had a party - a huge blast with champagne flying around and the professors partying with us.

Next came the mid-terms -- I think ISB is the only place where you have exams every 3 weeks - and since these were the first set of our exams - the entire campus went silent - people cooped up in their rooms or LRC and started slogging like crazy - the tension went up so high that you could taste it in the air. But as with everything else - they finished almost before they had started and the campus was back to its crazy pace. Then we had the CAS photo sessions - and you saw a remarkable change in the batch - we had people shifting from T-shirts, and shorts into Suits with Ties !!

We've done a lot of crazy things - one of them being - making pakoras at 3:00 in the morning:


Alongside all this - the studies went on and before we knew it the end-terms were at hand. This time the silence was not as profound and we could actually see some people chilling out even the night before the exams. And whew - I'm tired now - this has been a long winded blog - but any shorter and I would not have done justice to the parties :-)


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

ISB Private Equity Conference: 6th September 2008

The Finance Club at Indian School of Business will host the ISB Private Equity Conference on September 6, 2008. This is a unique event and the first to be held by a B School in India. With so many M&A deals happening in India and abroad, PE suddenly has become a hot sector. Many global PE companies have also set up shops in India and are looking for some attractive opportunities. It is anticipated that the global slowdown will spur the PE activities, as companies become more attractive during the recession times.

This Conference serves to bring together private equity professionals, industry leaders, students, alumni and faculty to discuss recent trends and emerging issues in the private equity industry. It will provide a platform to discuss the opportunities and the challenges for private equity investments in India. Further, it will act as a forum for private equity professionals to interact with pre-eminent business leaders and India’s brightest human capital present here at the ISB.

The daylong event would involve a keynote speaker and two panel discussions on:

Quo Vadis Private Equity? Sunrise sectors, deal valuations and exit strategies. The panel will discuss topics such as ‘Are education, healthcare and media the new poster boys for private equity investments?’ and ‘Exit Strategy: Are the investment horizons shifting?

Private Equity: Adding value to India Inc's business practices. The focus here is on family businesses opening up to private equity as a source of investment and whether private equity firms are ushering in a new wave of corporate governance norms.

Many top speakers have signed up for the event, some of the prominent one are:
Nainesh Jaisingh: MD, Standard Chartered PE
Deepak Shahdadpuri: Founder MD, Beacon India
Shujaat Khan: MD Blueriver Capital
Gaurav Mathur: MD India Equity Partners
Satish Mandhana: MD, IDFC PE
Gul Mukhey: Director, HSBC PE

Heads of other leading PE firms and also eminent business leaders from South India will also be participating in the event. This promises to be an interesting and exciting event. Well, this is the part of the deal that a global B School offers :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

ISB hmm

ISB ISB ISB ISB ISB (then a deep sigh!)
thats how i responded when a dear friend asked me hows ISB..this blog and a few coming after this are dedicated to all those who are curious abt ISB and want to know every gory detail abt the horrors it contains. Let me begin by throwing in a disclaimer every experience of ISB is unique..so while a particular person may find the going tough it might be cakewalk for some one else. What u see here is a self confessed Regular Jane's view of the world. So take it with dollops of salt. :)

How is life at ISB? hmmm imagine all human emotions the gud, the bad and the ugly and then add a few more and this what life at ISB is . Its all that u expect and a lot u dont ! let me begin by saying that there is tremendous scope of learning and growth and how much of it u r able to accomplish depends totally on u. The trick is to identify what is it that u want from ur stay here and work towards it. That said let me tell u figuring out what u REALLY want is decidedly one of the most difficult thgs to do. i mean i still feel like i am standing in front of a lavish buffet with all sorts of exotic dishes with a fork in hand !! Ok thats a bad food analogy..skipping dinner tonite was not a gud idea! What i mean is u just have so much stuff going on that choosing what to do becomes the key ..and the choices are quite stark..markstart decision (grades matter dude or dont they !!!)or say attend Kiran Shaw's talk..u got to choose and manage ur time well..this i think is going to be one of my biggest learings at ISB..i mean the most precious commodity at ISB is time and u better spend urs wisely.

The faculty ..truly world class (well most are anyway!!) i have been taught by some of the best teachers in the world and that has twin benefits : one is obvious ..u end up understanding the most obscure / the most boring subjects and the other follows from it..if u still dont understand the concepts after attending the sessions taken by these gentlemen GIVE up (on that subject that is :) ) the second point is debatable but i kind of stand by it . what i mean is if after sessions by robert stine and richard waterman u still dont get stats leave it !!! try mktg instead !!!
i had my aha moment in the Fin accounts last term.. i finally got it !!! accounting that is and i also realised that its not all that crappy ..an insight that made me warm up to my CA mates (my husband included !! ). the first term was bad ..i mean a lot if us took time to settle in to the ISB way of life ..its a different world all together ..a world were a gud night's rest means 5 hrs of sleep ..where parties typically start at 1 am..where u throw ppl in the pool when u r happy..where u develop a love hate love relationship with ur study group ..where ur self esteem sits on a roller coaster ride which has more down slides than up..where the engineers (IITians ) are gods walking on the planet with a halo around their head (the dean's list) ..well i exaggerated a lil on the halo part..its not always visible..u got to stand close and observe maybe then if u r lucky u can see it :) I am kidding life's not all that bad ..:) i wudnt exchange my ISB days for anythg with any1 ..okay now a lil abt the ppl here ..needless to say they are a talented bunch but i will not gush abt them right now..let me just say that i already have a couple of ppl who are my 2 am friends..i call them when i am happy and more importantly i call them when i have made a mess of things which is quite often it seems these days.oh well..i will consider myself very lucky if i am able to make and sustain a few gud friendships out here..i like and admire so many ppl here ..some for their intelligence..some for attitude and some for sheer goofiness :) the power of positive attitude, the willingness to laugh at oneself, the ability to cheer some1 else these thgs really matter at here

i am in Sec e ..and i swear its the kewlest section !!! we spam like crazy and i love it :) i mean we have had 200 mails in a 2 hr DMOP class, 2 am poetry competitions, a dunk ____ campaign, and hoax mails on just abt everythg from water on mars to kingfisher calender !! the CP is our section is gud ..we have had some gems tht i willl possibly share with u later and yes i think we are the only section that conducts in session polls..ie the class is on..the professor is explaining conjoint analysis and my neighbour passes me a sheet stating - poll of the day -- who is going to start snoring in class today . option 1 , 2 , 3 or 4. i check around to see all the nominees ..needless to say they are inches away from their afty siesta and after much deliberation i put a tick next to my fren's name and then dutifully pass the sheet along ..let me add we all take our voting rights seriously including the TAs. :) last poll list was passed to the TA too

oh that reminds me i didnt mention the sleeping cell of E ..there are a few famous ppl in our section..famous for their ability to fall asleep during all sessions and still get straight As.. thats the sleeper cell ..no i am not a permanent member of the cell (i aspire to be but thats for another day) rather i am the life time member of the Arbit CP (class participation) club..they have put me in the last row at the rightmost corner - the worst place for CP (the prof never sees u) but i am on to them..down but not out..thats the motto here :)

my study group is a unique first at ISB three girls and a guy! so u can imagine :) and no hes NOT having a gud time trust me :D

the markstrat world (for the uninitiated - just know its a simulation we play in marketing class that makes us want to hunt down our competition and beat the crap out of them ) is one thg u will encounter in the second term and let me tell u nomatter what u do ..u will either be screwed by the competition or by the customers ..heard at a markstart meeting :

she says : our product didnt sell
he says : why
she says : it turns out our customers were braindead irrational morons who commited mass suicide!! (translation : no units sold, huge inventory on hand)
he says: oh that explains it ...i thot maybe we took a wrong mktg decision somewhere

i think i have rambled enuff for the day..if u r still reading this ..i just have one question
WHY? :)

btw i heard piece of gud news today after a really long time ..am going to be involved in a very unique project at ISB..really excited abt that but have been asked not to talk abt it so will share it with both of u (the 2 who r still reading this ) later :)

on another note i want to thk a special person in my life who really helped me thru some stuff today..thx dude.. appreciate it big time :)


more arbit stuff later :)
take care

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Term 1 Ends !!! - 12.5% MBAs

Term 1 ended 5 min back with the completion of the marketing term exam.

The enlightening, rollercoaster ride through Managerial Economics, Financial Accounting, Statistics and Marketing Management comes to an end. And boy what a ride it has been, the first term at ISB, so much gyan coming from all directions, so much to learn, so much to cope up with , lots of unlearning and lots of ego bashing and humbling.

The back to school experience has been both unnerving and fun. Now its time to take stock of the situation, plan our strategies for remaining terms(hoping that we have understood a bit of how ISB works) and to party and celebrate this success of living thru term 1 .


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Its raining! LRC and Above

Its raining, all sorts!
mid terms have barely gotten over, marketing case study, class quizzes, elections, club meets, industry visits! Damn! Its rain of sorts!

Tired of the above rain, I was secretly wishing to get an escape route! and...Guess what! Half hour back it rained for the first time for Class of '09 here! The original inhabitants of the campus, read the wrigly, jumpy creatures must be having a rollicking time out there playing in water after surviving soaring temperatures here.

The oh-so-drenching 'rains' have taken us all by a storm! Most of us have lost track of time and space and living from assignment to quiz to exam. Time is literally flowing on campus here. It seems like the O-week ( orientation week) was ages ago! Imagine, mid terms have gotten over just now and I realize that end of term one is just 15 days away!

PS: If you are still under the impression that the topic hints something on LRC: the learning resource centre, Dude, chillax ! you been studying too much, it's left, right and centre!

PS2: Oops, gotta sleep, Eco class is exactly 5 hrs from now!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Exams Ache Hain

2 Mid term exams got over today. I am back to my room after experiencing a severe bout of happiness after the exams. You should have seen the crowd outside "The Cafe". Everybody was smiling, joking, laughing and enjoying. At the risk of being labeled as a spoilsport, I felt that people were behaving as if they have achieved something great. But I must say that the happiness was well earned and deserved. Tomorrow is Accounting mid term, but i don't feel like studying, neither do i feel like sleeping. So what's the next best thing to do? Blogging.

Have you seen that Surf Excel advertisement, "Daag Ache hain". I liked the tag line and it has nothing to do with the marketing course that i am doing currently. The Tag line goes something like this, "Agar Daag lagne se kuch acha hota hai to fir daag ache hain". Translated to the context here, it means that if something good can be derived from the exams then exams are good. Today the mid term exams of Statistics and Managerial Economics got over. Everybody was so tensed before the exams. The tension and the stress was palpable. You should have seen the students last night and in the morning today. Everybody was frantically going through the notes, discussing abstruse concepts with others, and swearing at the system that made them slog like anything. And the atmosphere in the evening was starkly different. You could feel the joy and happiness in the air. You could see people indulging in harmless banter and endless chat. Plumes of nicotine smoke and tonnes of caffeine. What made the difference? The pressure and stress was off. Everybody was relieved that in the end its over. Nobody was worried about the performance, since that hardly mattered. Everybody was collectively extremely happy. I could bet that the average happiness quotient had gone up by several notches today. People were never so happy, after joining ISB. I felt like asking Xenobia "I feel so happy, Am I normal?"

So if the aftermath of exams results in increased happiness and joy then I would reckon that exams are good. It was like our Economics professor, Amit Bubna, would say "Nirvana". Don't label me as a jingoist, but I felt today that exams are good and they help in increasing the net happiness quotient of the batch. Everybody was emoting, "Dude, its over". Did anybody say that the Marketing Case study submission is due for Tuesday and Statistics Quiz is there on Tuesday too. But for now, let me sleep for an hour before hitting the books again :(.

A BIG SPLASH is planned for tomorrow night. The mid terms end tomorrow. People will celebrate and party like anything, coz they have survived 1/16 of the MBA course ( half of the term and there are 8 terms, Math is easy guys). I just can't wait for tomorrow evening.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Network,Network and Network!

With modern business practices into play, I have come to realize how effective it is to have a large network and a social following. To build a large social or a business network one has to effectively communicate and converse. The Persian poet Hafiz in describing conversation once said,"Most speaking really say, I am hungry to know you”. That little exchange in the lunch room, those fine pleasantry exchanges on the alleys adds much value and gives me the much needed zest to kickstart my day.

Sometimes I feel really down on days when I have been bogged down by study and not had that chance conversation with someone. I believe it is the inert nature of humans to connect with each other as social beings that makes them tick. This is also empirically and statistically backed by results that show the happiest man is one who is socially supported by both his family and circle of friends.

My life in Sydney for the last few years has certainly nurtured in me the importance of strong business networks to thrive in corporate life. In a corporate life it takes tremendous guts to walk up to a stranger and strike a conversation.What if this conversation opens doors to a brighter future or to a pathway for a business proposition?

It is really hard to break off that comfort zone, but out of the circle is where opportunities exist. If one is not an extrovert by nature, networking and conversations can be certainly graced by sheer practice. There is nothing in this world that cannot be learnt by application and effort.

Often plain conversation over coffee on a lazy weekend is an amazing experience where you simply swap pleasantries with the other person over much laughter and intense listening. I am reminded of the ad which is centered on the theme “Much can happen over coffee”. People have this potent to simply reciprocate the way you treat and give it to them. When you expose yourself with fine details over conversation that is when you simply connect with the other person, in turn inducing her to reciprocate. One of my friends in depicting conversation wrote in the Columbia University student rag “Conversation is not about the prefunctory hello, but that sparkle with teeth shown and eyes lit up”.
ISB is certainly the place to build this massive network and I firmly believe thats the reason we are here at a B-school. A picture insert here of my team at the Dumb-C last weekend-man it was so much fun and laughter we shared-Thanks Guys!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Its been a month!!!

April 12th 2008, we set foot at ISB and then commenced our PGP in Management. Its May 12th 2008 today and at the risk of quoting a cliche "time just flew" , It was hectic, It was demanding, It was fun, It was puzzling, it was interesting but whatever it was we have conquered this last one month and its now behind us. I hope the remaining 11 months fly this way too.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Operation Rescue Dolphin

Contributed by Nalin:

I was working in oilfield 20 Miles offshore of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. A triad of one FPSO (Ship with production and storage of oil) and two Oil platforms made up for production of 35,000 BBls of Oil every day. I was stationed at the ship as Head of Marine and Safety department. On the afternoon of 16th November’07, we had a SOS call from our Oil Platform, 1 Mile East of us, that one Dolphin has got tied herself up in a fishing line and even after struggling for more than 2 hours has the line all around her nose.

Taking two guys, I lowered the rescue boat and we went on the mission 'Save Dolphin'. Since rescue boat is very low in height our view and horizon was very limited, however as we approached East Tower we were helped by the people on the platform, who were at a vantage position due to height. Every one was showing us the Dolphin's location and hurling us strategies to rescue her. Despite loosing our boat hook, bringing in a new gripper (with weight and a long line) and all the sincere advice from East tower operators, Dolphin eluded us. We still could not catch her because every time we used to go close to her she used to dive deep into the water clear of the rope and hook we were trying to pull her with.

So it was time to take the tough decision; to call the experts i.e. Fisher man. Now this was a catch 22 situation. We always shooo away the fisherman whenever they approach within the 500m zone of our territory however now we were inviting them only 20 metres from the East Platform.

We could spot a fishing boat 1Mile away from East tower. Swallowing my pride and ethics, I decided to call them for this (Dolphinitariun) gesture and we caught up with them. Thanks to expertise in French language, of Sr. Cargo operator Ouattara and GPO Silla we convinced them to help us 'release the dolphin' and brought them to the site of rescue.

It took fisherman about half an hour before they were able to fish out the 6 feet long dolphin from the water. Poor creature's nose was badly cut with the fishing line; several other fine cuts could be seen on her body. I am not a mind reader but for sure Dolphin must have thought "Here I go, let me say my last prayer to lord Neptune". Between claps and cheers all around on east Tower and our rescue boat we released the Dolphin who slipped away from the fisherman, dived and swam away.

Pity we didn't see her flip.

Lessons learned:
1. Our line was made of polypropylene, which floats in the water, hence didn't allowed the sinker to go down deep enough to catch the fishing line around dolphins nose.
2. There are no permanent allies or adversaries; there are only permanent interests! So embrace the adversary if the situation warrants and it is to our advantage.

Lesson to learn:

1. We went there to help the Dolphin, but she was suspicious of our intentions hence we could not help her as much as we wanted to. Similarly in our daily life how many times someone tries to reach out to us however due to either preconceived notions or cultural differences we are not sure of others intention and we can not make that connection. Is there any approach we can take to avoid this dilemma?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Matter of the grub

Like I mentioned in one of my previous posts the food here will not win any culinary competition anywhere. I miss my fish & a whole lot of other good stuff. Last night as we were having biriyani outside (pretty good, I must say) I was thinking back to the food scene back in Delhi. Now anybody who's been in Delhi knows that Delhi rocks in terms of food.

Admitted there are lot of traditional goodies which I have not tried out - kulfi, chaats etc. I have not been to Chandni Chowk, Parathewala Gali or other such places. But I have been to some good places some of which both me & Mousumi ended up being quite 'fida' about.

  • Italian at Flavors - There is something quaint in this place. It's our favourite joint in the city. Sitting outside beside the lawn, the general confusion in the service & the fab food. We've gone here umpteen times during the close to 4 yrs we've stayed together in Delhi.

  • Chinese at Oriental Bloom/Mainland China/China Club - All there are great places. Mainland China is the most affordable while Oriental Bloom has the most amazing dimsums I've ever had.

  • Spanish at Sevilla's - Ooh la la....what a setting & what great food. Very steep on the pocket. I would definitely recommend this for celebrating a special night.

  • Bengali at Oh Calcutta - Food which went out of vogue with grandmothers. Traditional delicacies which these days you only may get to taste at weddings. Intricate cuisine which me & Mousumi will probably never be able to cook. Go here to find out why Bengali cuisine is probably the best cuisine in the country.

Food wise Hyderabad is also quite hep. The only problem is that the city is a distance away & it's not feasible to go there all the time. But we shall endure....& wait for our first royal meal at the City of Nizams. Till then I can

Thursday, April 17, 2008

1.5% MBA and already scared!!!

5 days out of our 357 day course ends today and I am sure i speak for everyone when i say there are been a Gyan overload. The environment here is exuberant, the alums are all pumped up in helping us settle down, giving us gyan, my batchmates are full of ideas and everyone wants to come up with something new of their own.

I am sure if i had a machine that could detect ideas I would find several floating in the air. But with all due respect to my team I must mention though that there is a slight ego/selfish tint to all that is done here and that really cant be denied. But who said we came here to be saints, we came here to be leaders , and most leaders if not all start with a selfish outlook and once they settle into social service become selfless(or less selfish)

Managing time, getting up early in the morning, participating in all the activites and above all that remembering everyones name, address and X-occupation is very demanding. I am a bit scared how the load and time constraints will be once the course starts in full swing, afterall as yet its only orientation thats in progress.


Friday, April 11, 2008

And the journey begins!!!

Is it normal that I am shaken cold?

When I am passed this important baton to hold

Some are born great, Some achieve greatness

But seems the ISBian tag upon me has thrust greatness

But is becoming an ISBian in its own right glory

Or is glory, were I will get if I don’t make ISB sorry.

Hopes of many vested on me

While my own goals, clearly, I am yet to see

I am told this journey might hurt, sometimes I might even hit dirt,

But only if I fight with tremendous success I can flirt,

Now having heard that I am scared to enter, leaving my comfort zone

But then I am promised, me as a person this place will hone

But before I begin this journey its time now for goodbyes

Its corny, sad and there are some drops of tears in my eyes

Oh, near and dear, wait a year and I will be back

In the mean time, God willing, records at ISB and history I will crack.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Finally... The wait is over

It has been more than three months since many of us got THE mail from ISB. Since then I have been itching to get started with life@ISB. However, the interim period has been anything but drab.

The first two months were work, work and some more work! It was a brutal stretch at office where people were keen on sucking every ounce of the juice of life from me before I departed. Nevertheless, I not only survived the ordeal but also came out of it a full month before my scheduled release date! That meant that I had the whole of March at my disposal.

After leaving work, I too took off on a pan-India trip visiting new places and meeting old friends. Be it the white water rafting in Rishikesh or the trek into the mountains in Mussourie, there is a lot of fun in travelling without any plan and just enjoying anything that you find appealing. Of course, I have not been as diligent as Dushyant in capturing and sharing the sights. (@Dushyant: Really cool pictures buddy) The holidays also gave me a chance to catch up with old friends, some of whom I had not seen for almost a decade! Spent quite a few evenings lost in nostalgia reminiscing the good ol' days. The entire trip took about 25 days but each and every minute was worth it. Rarely does one get so much time to just travel and explore places without a care in the world. It was a liberating experience and it definitely did “recharge” my batteries J

The action did not stop on the ISB front as well. I used to think that giving GMAT and getting into ISB was tough. How completely wrong I was!! For the poor souls who decided to bank with SBI, the last month and a half has been nothing less that a soap opera with all its twists and turns. Compared to this the GMAT and ISB application seem to be a cake walk. From the dreaded loan application form and the affidavit in the initial application to the PDCs, another Affidavit and all the signatures needed in the post approval formalities. The entire procedure has been a farce and it really showed the government institution in all its ugly glory. Without the help of a few kind hearted souls like Natarajan, I do not know how we would have successfully navigated the labyrinth that is the SBI loan procedure!

Anyways, the wait is finally over now as we have less than a week’s time before starting off what I believe is going to be a truly amazing year. At this point, my mental state is akin to that of a little kid, who, candy in hand, has been standing in the long queue for the roller coaster ride and now that he is at the front of the queue, is all excited to finally take the plunge.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fasten your seatbelts.

Its Showtime!!!