Tuesday, December 11, 2007

she acts like summer and she walks like rain..

Retail therapy…this weekend was by far the most relaxed in ISB…went shopping bought formals..ok this is not working..

Pencil scrawls are so insubstantial but I somehow can’t type if I have to write. Call it a quirk or just a handicap, call it technologically challenged..hmm not really, call it shutting yourself out from any semblance of work or social commitments , call it just an inadequacy, or a desire to “pen” down thoughts, or call it just a lack of thoughts, coz I have been increasingly morphing into a wilted cabbage. I have to write. Devoid of thoughts, ideas and sometimes even emotions. Devoid of any sense of urgency or responsibility. I have to write. Its an effort. I try not to steal glances at my laptop where every minute or so, a mail pops out, reminders and otherwise..

So anyway back to clothes..

Pinks and pastels, cool and silken to the touch , browns and blacks, preening and sturdy, saleswomen nodding and smiling ...like for ever, prospective customers, rich and supercilious. Blue..the cool blue of the appraising glance, blue.... dark around the eyes, lighter as the shadow, lighter still in the stole, red around the wrists, proclaiming, blatant red, red of the finger nails digging deep into that sole support..

Trials and fittings, discerning eyes, scanning shelves, mental calculations, sweeping glances over expensive knits, critical glances, surveying the keep..more smiles still and protestations, cajoling and conniving , indecision and firmness, and the final flourish of that signature and the final swish of that gold card..

Movies and popcorn and a half empty movie hall..the plot a drag, but colors on the screen and larger than life, music and laughter and sketchy characters, desperate to find meaning in their roles, infusing one with their own hopelessness, but there is one actor who is brilliant and he makes you smile and he keeps you there, entwined , entranced, though you know its silly, ( I hate going for movies in a group, never understood the point, I want to watch them undisturbed) , some songs make you smile, some scenes make you cringe, lights on and the crowd, teeming, jeering and unusually loud in their remarks, unusually mirthful in their comments, as if acting themselves, or desperate to prove intellectual superiority..over whom??

Music and snazzy lights, music and dance, music and laughter, music and compliments, music and more music... faster and faster..

Editing word docs..white and vapid..streaks of fluorescent ...of highlighted text, streaks ad hoc when you are bored and guilty, multiple tabs open , many more closed, and opened again…a sense of accomplishment, and coffee and tea..steel grey and black, ginger brown and sugar white, and hot and piping and reviving , like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reruns watched again and again..vicarious pleasures, hot chocolate feel and cookie comfort..

Ok so this was my weekend …

Saturday, December 08, 2007

khoya khoya chand

"kyun khoye khoye chaand ki firaaq mein talaash mein udaas hai dil
kyun apane aap se khafa khafa jara jaraasa naaraaj hai dil
yeh manjilein bhi khudahi tay kare, yeh faasalein bhi khudhi tay kare
kyu toh rasto pe phir seham seham sanbhal sanbhal ke chalta hai ye dil
kyun khoye khoye chaand ki firaaq mein talaash mein udaas hai dil"
and sing again...and sing along
So I am going to rant in this post..I am going to whine..I am going to say stuff I had avoided till now coz of what "people wud say"
I dont care now..I wish I had never cared...But Google interview prep is killing....they expect you to prepare everything in the world for that 45 min phone conversation. ...
I got shortlisted for the role of a product manager..ok so the next time a prospective intern googles for product manager interview prep hopefully this post would show up provided it has
a good number of incoming and outgoing links..and well..no click fraud..n the likes (ok so that’s
the extent of my prep till now)
I had resolved when I came to bschool that I would not go back to tech again..and of course that is exactly what I would end up doing…if not google which is a minisicully microscopically possible given some 13 rounds of technical and design and strategy and calvin and hobbes( ok I made up the last part..but u get the drift) questions. So now that I have gotten over the initial shock of getting shortlisted..(the typical profile of a PM I was told would be a Computer Science Btech, preferably MS with about 8-10 years of work experience in the tech sector)..I am a Chemical undergrad with about 2.5 years of work ex in Oracle..so now that people have stopped expressing shock and wondering which word of my CV got me the shortlist(!!!!)..I guess I have to start prep..
Guess I have been very quiet about my life here at ISB..
The terms at ISB have simply flown by..I have learnt a lot… in the course work mebbe..but otherwise too..about dealing with people, about myself and what matters to me and what does not..actually more of what does not ....(thrs too much of a time crunch here..u have to take a call)..and I am almost on to the placement season …and I will not look back and reminisce..coz that’s very boring and too much effort anyway..but things will surface..
So the action in the placement front till now has been that I got shortlisted for Deutsche bank
..did not make it though..and dats another story..Im not going to make this one of those preparing for Deutsche blogs
Making a CV is a painful process..especially if you are one of those who doesn’t like talking about
herself, or hasn’t thought too much about why she did anything ( well it just happened that way,
doesn’t cut any ice in any interview), was happy doing whatever work was assigned to her, and
never gave a thought to whether she was honing her analytical and problem solving abilities in the process..
But thanks to a few wonderful people who helped me out, a mutinous hastily typed scrap of paper can now join the hallowed ranks of what would officially be called a resume..dont get me started on the EOI..dats another story..well not really coz I still cant write that one..Even while I am writing this I am flooded with phone calls and mails about 3 different assignments, and submissions..but I will persist..But anyway..u live and u learn..(though the learning aspect had been reduced to a minimum for me post term 5)
So switching tracks…
The next post will be different..will I stop feeling guilty about writing!!!! I waste enough time as it is..

Friday, November 30, 2007

ok..I have to write

Anything...but I have to...Im getting worried now...


Im sleep deprived and I cant sleep..humph

Friday, September 14, 2007

Breathe into me and make me real..

Wish I could write poetry.

Wish i could describe in profound , meaningful terms the incredible ennui and tiredness, which which makes you refresh ur mailbox for the 100th time without knowing why, mindlessly delete all the incoming mails, refresh that orkut screen again and again, browse through old pics and try to play around with a few, well ...do everything except what you have to do.

Wish I could wax lyrical about the way my room looks in the afternoon when it rains and I switch off the lights, draw the curtains and let the delicious earthy , murky greyness and scent seep in..the cool ,calmness ..the stolidity of it, the strains of the music in the background and the whitish softness of the sheets when I lie in bed just like that..

Wish music did not sound so harsh when I leave it on for sometime and return to it after a while, when I am doing something else. The preppy bouncy number takes on jarring ..accusatory overtones and also sounds incredibly loud..

Wish u were not so far away..

Wish I could fall in love with a new song everyday..

Wish I could describe in detail how I feel when i do discover a song I can fall in love with..or the warm satisfaction of repeated playings after that..

Wish I could remember where I lost that book, I am suddenly reminded of it even as I am typing this, and I am upset that I lost it while shifting..

Wish I could be all informed and deep and have an opinion about many things. I dont have an opinion abt most..but I do have the facts( as an afterthought)

Wish I could write well enough to describe the warmth of my hands clasped around a coffee cup on a cold morning..Its like putting iodex or smelling vicks..umm if u care for these things:-s

Wish i could make beautiful music..

Wish I could dream up the lyrics I am listening to right now..

"When ur born ur afraid of the darkness/ And then ur afraid of the light”- Aerosmith, Taste of India.

So when did we stop exploring the world for ourselves and began to believe in what was told and accepted? When did we start constraining what we did or felt because we saw others doing it.. ..and when did we stop believing that we could be otherwise? When did ecstatic happiness give way to measured expressions of joy? When did uninhibited enthusiasm give way to cautiousness, when did the stars give way to practical goals? When were dreams constrained? When did we not want to seek any light beyond what we already knew, and when did we become content basking in its glory? When did we start loving the darkness because it bought the illusion of a new light the next day?? And when was it that we stared saying ...I wish instead of I will..

Thursday, September 13, 2007

raat ka shauk hai..raat ki sondhi si khamoshi ka shauk hai

Should I make this post like most other b-school posts and inform you that we have google , microsoft, Mr Gopinath (of the Air Deccan fame) and Mckinsey all coming to campus in the next 2 days ?And that there is a clash of class n events and we dont know wht to do? Or that term 4 has been riddled with frantic resume preps, alums flying in for case workshops, AD Little creating a frenzy, and the club I am the President of , the Arts n Creativity club calling Julius Macwan and Ms Kalpana Lazmi? I could but then you would be reading all this neway in the zillion other blogs which all we b-schoolers, assuming the moral responsibility of educating the prospective interns find necessary to maintain. But who said I am assuming any such responsibility. Not that any of you prospects read this anyway.!! But for the two people who do, I am sure you would not be interested in the journal of my fourth term here at ISB. Or at the fact that I am totally , absolutely confused about the job I want to do, or the electives I want to take. That consulting, the dream job of the dreamy hopefuls does not seem to be something I would enjoy. Or that Mckinsey or BCG(ok this is in a voice hushed with reverence, thats the kind of aura these firms command here, Im just observing protocol btw), doesnt seem at all likely to even consider me:D..No you would not be interested.. Or would you? Then you would just be amused actually, chuckling and thinking to yourself , who asked her to rush to b-school when she wasnt even sure what she wanted to do? For everything in life you need to have a goal and a plan..you would murmur complacently and suggest that I better start introspecting and find out. Self awareness is after all ..essential. Is it?

I feel this entire goal concept is kind of overrated. I am tired of fending questions about what I want to major in, or the company I want to apply to, or the kind of job I see myself doing some 100 years down the line beacuse the fact is I DONT KNOW. And I dont want to know. Self awareness is just a depressing exercise and the only thing I am made aware of more acutely is the fact that I dont know. And I am happy not knowing. I am happy just learning stuff for the sake of learning( but I do know that I hate accounts), and working on my "socialite club" coz it interests me , and yes it is not a huge resume point and it maybe absolutely unrelated to whatever I finally decide to do with my life, but the fact is it makes me happy now.

And when was the last time we here at ISB did things just because we wanted to , without obsessing about whether it would help us in that dream shortlist?? I did that for some time myself. And I am not sure how much it helped and how happy I was doing it. But then you would say, hedonism is hardly what you came looking for... to ISB...

This would hardly be classified as hedonistic..Ok I think this post is just a fallout of the fact that there has been an overdose of people claiming they want to do such n such just coz it is a resume point..and this is my blog and my ranting space so bear with me..

I dont think it is wrong. I would most likely do the same myself. But there is a time when you need to sit back and maybe do something just coz u like to, study for a course, work on a bplan, organize an event just for the sake of the activity itself, and not wondering whether it would help you in anyway..and you would enjoy it much more....at least I think you would..but enough of this..the people here are amazing, brilliant, talented people and this is just because of the fact that we have too little time, too much to do, and too big a loan to pay off:-s

Neway I am currently crooning this song shauk hai, (film guru), its that ultimate warm doughnutty, candy flossed, hot chocolatey sweet song..u get tired of it soon, but is pleasant while it lasts..

"subah ki roshni

bezooban subah ki aur gungunati

roshni ka shauk hai"

It just going to be dark and the sky outside my room is a smooth silky velvety blue, right after the rains, the clouds form dark shadows but these are fast disappearing..

My room is at the end of the "student village" as they call it here and there is this deserted orange track running amidst the dark greenery. From the orange glow of the night lamps you can sometimes see the occasional stray dog but thats about it.

But if you just press your face to the glass pane, and just look out, the glassy eyed view of that scene (pun fully intended), and u think..well..what do you think....

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I am addicted to coffee. I don’t know when, and at what point in my life did I develop this craving but it has firmly embedded itself in the innermost recesses of my consciousness( I do wax eloquent about it). And I say inmost because it has become my panacea for everything. From sleepy mornings to depressed evenings, a cupful of that brown, thick, sweet manna makes me revive like a wilted flower treated to a generous amount of spraying and sunlight. So when I sit down to write this post the first thing I do is make myself a cup of the holy grail , my brain simply refuses to function without the hallowed steam. And once that steaming cup is in my hands this potent brew can activate dormant brain cells, making me feel all witty and intelligent, depressed neurons and make me all sunshinny and optimistic, cowering neurons and give me the courage to tackle that impossible task, mend broken hearts..er well..u get the drift..
Those two hours after each cup, when caffeine controls my life, are happy and productive hours. And I have resigned myself to this cyclicity of life, like the phases of an unimaginative moon...the caffeinated and the non-caffeinated...
So for everything I do, I need the stimulating companionship of this beverage. Except when I am reading.
Which I am hardly getting time for , this year. Which makes me look back all the more longingly to rainy evenings, to the rising sense of anticipation when I used to return from the library armed with truckloads of books, to night long vigils because you just had to find out what happened..
Books have been an integral part of my life and they have given me experiences I could never have got otherwise. They have shaped my beliefs ..my opinions. And I am wistful about the times when I was reading them for the first time and wish I could get them back all over again..
So Enid Blyton. The secret series when Jack, Mike, Peggy , Nora run away to this idyllic island and spend a year in hiding. The excitement which used to build up every time they thought they would be discovered. The sheer genius of the writer who could make living in caves and making a tree house seem like pursuits granted only to the luckiest kids. Oh how many times have I wished i could own my very own private island and live alone in the wilderness. It taught me to see the beauty in everything. To filter out the doubts, the fears, the preconceived notions and just enjoy something for what it was. And it is a wonderful experience. The cocoa made in a steel tin which vied with a 3 course meal. Oh she was devious about food..
The Five Find Outers with Fatty who I secretly disliked coz he would always claim all credit and Daisy and Pip who I sympathized with coz they were the underdogs.
The Secret Sevens. The entire fairy tale world of snowed in mornings, wood sheds, secret meetings, passwords, hot chocolate and macaroons. That soothing chocolatey mellow feeling. And a mystery thrown in for completness. But the mystery was just always sidelined. To be attended to when you had nothing better to do.
The Wishing Chairs and The Faraway trees. They have to be credited with making me that dreamy eyed, anti social, zonked out school girl that I was. The sheer longing of climbing that tree and meeting Silky, Moon face and even more exciting ...the lands at the top! Lands you could fly to ..in the wishing chair. The number of chairs I have been disappointed with is not funny. How can you expect someone who has been exposed to the Land of Goodies, where one had gingerbread cottages, chocolate streams, biscuit trees( I was all of 10), the land of Take what you Want, the Land of Birthdays and Surprises where at every stage you had wonderful surprises with flying roundabouts, midnight seaside picnics, elfish fairy rings, come back to the drudgery of every day life and not regret it? I am grateful for the magic these stories wove around me. They gave me the most cherished moments of my childhood.
Then came the classics, Jane Eyre, the first exposure to cruelty , death and despair, the first exposure to love and loss, but again wonderfully cushioned with grand parties, dazzling gowns, preening women, very theatrical , very appealing.
Austen, Bronte, Woolf, Mitchell..of wit and innuendo, of social status, of the ravages of war( in small doses though)..Rebecca and Daphne De Muerier..of English breakfasts and morning rooms..of colours..colours galore, of hate and jealousy, of flowers and art and beauty..
The war chronicles..of Leon Uris, of Anne Frank, of desperation and neglect, of fear, of the Odessa files, of hopelessness, Of Agatha Christie ..of murder and intrigue..but very English,..very subdued and Alistair Macleans and Perry Masons..well the American versions..
Of the Good Earth and desperation, of poverty, of destitution , of famines and floods, of lives ravaged, dreams shattered… of Roots(Haley)..of the helplesslessness of it all, of politics, of death, of injustice of inequality..of pain..Of Orwell and Ayn Rand, of corruption and power, of hopelessness and righteous indignation, of the dangers of ideology, of fanaticism…..
Of Pratchett of satire and fantasy ..of cynicism and philosophy..of Narnia ...of pure fantasy ..of utopia..Of Pamuk , Muarakami and Eco..of literature, philosohy and erudtion..Of Jhumpa Lahiris. and Chitara Banerjee's and Roy..of alienation and disconnect..of supressed longing..of imagery and colours and the smells of home..
They say when Picasso started speaking the first word he uttered was "pencil"..Well I can't profess to carrying forward a similar extensive vocabulary from my previous life..I pretty much started with the letters and had to move up the value chain...but words have made me laugh, they have made me cry, they have become entwined with my emotions and my beliefs..and now they are making me express...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fear of the dark

I have the fear of the dark. No I like the song. But really. Seriously. I fear many other things too. But that will come later. If I want to that is. If I feel like it. For I fear I will reveal too much of myself.

I cannot stay in a room which is pitch dark. I need some kinda light, however dim. I need some kinda security, however fleeting. Darkness makes me insecure and helpless, and in the paranoia I cling to the diffused sense of security provided by the night light. And when you are desperate and fearful how important is that feeble ray of light? of hope? How we exalt it. How we feel at once secure and able and ready to take on the world. Basking in the aura of something so inconsequential.

We are optmists . All of us . We are hopeful. We hope to find that elusive ray of light. And we do find it. In most things. Purely because we want to.If it is just a question of will and if we know that the bulb is dispensable why then are we so afraid of the dark? Of loneliness. Of venturing out alone. Of breaking free. Of assuming responsibility. Of taking control. Why cannot we carry on alone in seemingly hopeless situations knowing that it is just our distorted vision, just a trick of the light?

Why do we clutch like a dying man in a sinking ship to any straw that we find and exalt it to a rescue boat? And it mostly sinks. It mostly lets us down. Except when we realize that it is but a straw.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sing for the moment

Empty words..strained smiles...mumbling platitudes..typing politically correct replies...

The melifluous strains of the latest song ur addicted to..u play it again and again...a sudden headrush..a sudden will to break free..a sudden wish to rebel....

The second time you play it..soft soothing melodies..lulling insecurities..

Exam grades...CP propoganda's...pre-read discussions..project plans...tactics and strategies..guarded conversations..self deprecating announcements..5 minute sales pitches...

The first time you listen to that song after a long time..and u hv forgotten just how intricate the beats are..a happy discovery ..a resolve to play it again and again...

Struggling with readings..mechanically typing mails...depressed too..the aftermath of grades ....questioning ur self worth....obsessing abt where u went wrong...

The song plays on and u sing along...u resolve to learn the words..and are for a moment diverted..happy....inspirational thoughts...promising futures..a sense of accomplishement..an urge to reward urself..And so end the first three terms at ISB..the most hectic of all terms.. We can live again..or so I have heard

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Managed to get it the first thing in the morning..managed to finish it before coming back..sheer bliss..
now back to assignments...my very own dealthy hallows..
but I hv to post smthng abt potter...or are there too many of them already?
Ok in this three day term break I read rowling, haruki marukami , pamuk and pratchett..
Potter is ubiquitous..no more abt him..but I wanted a different ending!!!!!!!!
Marukami..good..though slightly dark
Pamuk brilliant..I love his imagery..his similies..his descriptions
Pratchett..too much has already been said..
But I got this cool new haircut and yawned my way through the order of the phoenix(film)
It wasnt bad..but it wasnt great either
Saw jhoom barabar jhoom..loved it!!!! It was as bad as I expected..infact worse in some places..I told you I have a weakness for the tara-rum-pum clan...
This is just a preface..more to come..once I submit sm mad cap assignment

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ISB MBA?? Before the end terms

I feel lost. I feel inadequate. I feel like life is rushing past and leaving me gasping in its wake. I am trying hard to catch up but I just can’t.

Remember BW aka Beggar Woman. Well here is a sequel, or first a refresher. Well she was a pretty little thing(always helps to put things in perspective, and this puts it in a way in which nothing else can), a little lost, well lets say very lost, but then I have a soft spot for BW so cant be too harsh...

Its been long since I read a book , there is just sooo much to catch up on, Istanbul , Snow(Pamuk), Umbert Eco, Pratchett , my manna, Shataram, all perched tantalizingly on the teak wood shelf while I connive for project teams, tussle for company projects and dream up uninspiring business plans .And I do have to study. Though that I gave up a lost cause the last term.

So BW had been suitably catharsized with the chance encounter with the witch and that had quelled her queenly ambitions for sometime, and she decided to pursue more constructive hobbies like learning how to read. Not that she trusted books anymore after having been painfully betrayed by one but it always helps to research your enemy (I should be calling this a competitive advantage but I really cant bring myself to)

BW had become an avid reader, and was currently reading the biographies of jack, snow white and all her old cronies. She kicked herself for not knowing all that before. She could so easily have avoided being duped(refer BW blog for the uninitiated)

BW came to the life changing conclusion. It’s all there if you just know where to look. I mean which book to look into.

Knowledge is an overpowering emotion. It instills in you a feeling of power, of confidence, sometimes misplaced, but overpowering nevertheless. And you feel ambitious. So BW decided she could still pursue her dreams. Only now that she was a beauty with brains (as she liked to call herself, a queen seemed too ornamental a career goal. Also she had been following the news, and it seemed that the place was abuzz with the coming of a new factory which had people moving around with video cameras and shooting her friends. Animations they called it. And they even paid you for it.

And this was just one of the many things the corporation did. They were into a zillion other activities, all of which sounded very exciting to our freshly minted scholar. She decided the future lay in that corporation, and the people who worked in them. They had a funny name for them. Many Busybodies Active (MBA).

And I walk past the corridors of the library looking for that elusive book. Its exam time here. Everywhere u see groups of people huddled together, channeling their collective energies to solve such metaphysical mysteries of life as DMOP( Decision Models Using Optimization), MarkStrat(Marketing Strategy), CompStrat(Competitive Strategy) andGLEC(Global Economics), the 4 courses we have this term.
Vocabulary seems to be limited to a permutation of these 4 terms with prepositions thrown in half heartedly.
Nothing instills comradeship more than imminent exams.

Its raining outside and that makes me calmer. It seems to wash away for the time being all insecurities. The sky outside is a deep, dark musty grey flecked with specks of startling white...the last valiant attempt of the sun before it succumbs. Deep dark musty grey but now flecked with more somber shades, still white but duller , calmer now, as if triumphant but tired and unsure of conquered glory .The clouds crawl through the landscape, slowly very slowly , lazily, hazily like grey moss, like a dirty stream listlessly bubbling through the grass..the grass is green painfully so, blatantly green, it resolutely attacks the stream as if wishing to smother it under its ever proliferating expanse, and now the stream is lost...but the grass is darker too, moist and murky, as if suppressing an ugly secret, and unsure of the imbibed glory.

BW sits by the stream, now lost in tangled undergrowth. She feels the chill of the wind but its a pleasant sensation. From the distance she sees the cold hard grills of the factory. They look forbidding.

But she wants be famous so she sets about her education. As she knows, its all there if you only know where to look. But its sundown and she sees the workers teeming out of the factory. She sees them looking in her direction, cool appraising glances and hears snatches of “brand repositioning, she would make a good seductress, we need to cater to that niche segment”, or “oh don’t u see, she is the perfect helpless waif, ideal for the singles!!!, they are a growing segment after all”, “it’s a perfect strategic fit, murder and revenge, who wants tht Shrek hogwash anymore!!!”, mushy and moronic, “ok lets conduct a conjoint for the same”..

And she is filled with misgivings.

Monday, May 28, 2007

And God said let there be light...

The shutters let in the light, mellow at first, warm and dewy with that delicious thrill of the early morning breeze, that sharp nippy air, in an instant so cold that it brought goose pimples and a wild burst of euphoria.

The night air had been warm and stuffy, but now she loved the cool feel of the pillow against her skin. That brief steamy grayness flecked with gold, like someone spraying grey ink on the canvas of a long forgotten painting..that of a tempest..smoothening it out, so that the waves looked calm and still and the occasional ripples of gold as they glowed in the sun only held promise..

She shut her eyes to that image and held on to that promise….

But the light was too harsh… too demanding…too fraught with worry..restless with the guilt of unfulfilled promises..

And the day wore on dull and listless..the air smelled dank…heavy with despair..

She closed the shutters as the evening approached and the wind …as restless as ever was lashing out with a wild frenzy…And she waited. Her thoughts were dark and brooding, mirroring the transition of the world from a hazy practical blue to a slate grey…dark and obscuring…comforting and she grew calmer as if lulled into a false sense of security..enveloped and hidden by the fast approaching gloom..She found solace in that gloom..

But the sharp flicker of the street lights being turned on, the unforgiving orange glow which hurt her eyes and drew out beads of frustration, that sharp jolt back to reality..the snapping of a thread

It was night again..


So why do we derive a morbid pleasure from watching the silliest of flicks and reading the most inane of columns ?Its addictive for sure and really makes one think, if one wants a popular show or a book, why aim for perfection? Why not resort to the opposite. Reverse your efforts. I think the chopra clan is practicing this Zen like philosophy for WHY ELSE would they subject an unsuspecting audience to ta-ra-ra-rum-pum-chum?bum?dum(b)?hummmm?humph...I could go on..this is addictive for sure.
I saw this a while back, since earthly pleasures are few and far between when I am thus cocooned in the ISB scheme of things and expected to hurry my transition to a full "fledged" MBA propelled by pre-reads , cases, tests and other such evolutionary forces.
So the prospective high fliers had ventured out to the movies, since the only purpose of newspapers in their hamlet was that there were stacks of it kept outside their quad(hostel room) impersonating as doormats, till someone tripped on them in the middle of the night or had these rare moments of insight when they realized that there is actually a "larger scheme of things" and a world beyond the pearly gates of ISB.
So the fledglings innocently trooped into Ta-ra-ra.. Though I have thankfully managed to forget most of it there are a few instances which I morbidly recall.
So why is having a pillow fight the only sign of a happy family?I can forgive the TRRPM family since intelligible conversation of any kind was obviously beyond them but why must they squiggle like the dog in that film every time they have a truce ? I mean once or twice is enough..gets the message across quality time and all dat..Not like a screen saver...I thought the "dumb animal" was supposed to be just the dog..
The dog was smarter..The same cannot be said of the plot.So business tycoons daughters marries car mechanic..car mechanic discovers latent talent..catapulted to success. Fair enough. We expect that. Happens all the time. Car mechanic has a traumatic experience.

Erstwhile dare devil who cruised through the streets of London in a taxi cab?? :OOO practicing for the race track, is a broken shriveled up man who trembles and howls only near the finish line of every race. Owing to this jelly like behaviour pattern he eventually becomes “poor”. Now this is the yash chopra poor, which is a candy flossed , sugar coated, poor only when we want it to be kinda accommodating poor. So Rani M prances about in designers and splashes in public fountains , but steals from parties to feed her priggish kids(??)(shudder)So when one of the kids(with the unique chopra blend of uncharacteristic maturity (read priggishness) and nauseating lisping tactics) falls ills…cab driver is traumatized again. So both cancel each other..one good trauma deserves another, and negates it and all is well with the world again.

Ok I need to sleep

Friday, April 27, 2007

About ISB..on second thoughts no..

"Says it feels right this time
Turn around, found new high lights
Good day to be alive sir
Good day to be alive, he said.....
Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Is just a freight train coming your way"-Metallica , No leaf Clover

Well almost..not quite so fast though...but a glance at the first week in ISB..and the word which comes to mind in speed..or rather rush, an urgency.There is a motion picture quality to everything, the screens zipping across really fast..and slightly unreal at that.It is unreal since everyone is unsure, everyone is guarded. "A sea of humanity" would be a very very apt term for what I am feeling right now, and its a very restless sea at that!!!But the campus is sprawling, the people are friendly and the facilities are awesome.But moving on to other things..ok before I digress, we do have a lot of parties here..they are loadz of fun and everything , but can someone PLEASE stop playing the "Summer of '69" like an anthem at every meet!!Its become like the background score to my life..
Ok I am sounding cynical..its the fossilization..age n wisdom creeping up kinds:D
Umm ok will try to be sunshiney and summery(the 69ish ones at least)
So on to Terry Pratchett..he ROCKS..thats it..that says it all..
So world changing activities have been happening while I hv been secluded.Ash finally "unentwined " herself from the arms of the banyan(or was it neem tree?) and said I do..in a highly sensational ceremony marked by literally swooning maidens( on account of slashing wrists..read ur papers) .And Richard Gere did some calisthenics with our very own , self proclaimed desi Angeline Jolie..why is this news??yawn..give me rakhi savant any days..she has set standards that one..everything else seems lukewarm..."overshadowed" as it is by the bulging Mika Singh.
Anyhow saw "The Namesake".Liked the film much better than the book..the book was frankly a disappointment..the usual Indian(read Bengali) diaspora feeling unsettled. Jhumpa Lahiri had already explored this theme exhaustively in her Interpreter of maladies, where we had a story about a confused mom, grandmom, daughter..the entire kyunki saas bhi clan.But the performances were touching.
At ISB we were told on the very first day of orientation, that they work on the maxim "Trauma Transforms".If these words struck a chill in our tender hearts there was more to come. they have a scary 10 commandments kinda document called the HONOR CODE. You are supposed to drop your voice to a reverential whisper when uttering these hallowed syllables. Since not too many of us are of a religious persuasion they have a system in place to detect honor code violations.So for all those who digress from this Middle Path, we have a committee which conducts investigations, hearings..u name it!! We are just short of the electric chair, but if u suggest it, it would be a good "initiative".
But all said n done..this place is cool,..and I really hope I get what I came looking for.
Till then sing for the moment
" I wish I may
I wish I might
Have this wish I wish tonight
I want that star
I want it now
I want it all and I don't care how"-Metallica, King Nothing

Friday, March 16, 2007

Of enid blytons and posing for photographs...

Ok after ranting and raving in the previous blog..here is a breather.

Ok before I begin, I have deleted two comments fr my previous post entirely by mistake…so wud the people who commented plz resend it? Really sorry..but I was kinda groggy at 3 in the nite….thnks tho!!!Ok back to business..

There are 2 kinds of people in the world, I am secretly jealous of…..the first are those who can marry Abhishek Bachhan( I have a narcissistic streak in me..) and the second class of people are those who manage to resemble themselves in their snaps.

I have gone through life trying to keep my passports, ID cards and all those cruel docs which demand a photo id hidden from public view. Because I know the person with the vacuous smile and dopey eyes who stares back from each photograph, is just not me!!! There is a conspiracy here!!! However much I try, my snaps unfailingly fall into one of 3 categories. I have classified my snaps as the Demented, the Depressed and the Doped.

The Demented: The problem lies in posing for the camera. I still haven’t figured out where exactly to look. If I look straight at the camera, I get really self conscious and trying to smile at those moments is a Herculean task. The most I can manage is a semblance of a happy sneer (is that an oxymoron?).This involves pursing the lips and stretching them horizontally as far as possible (I avoid baring the dentures, for reasons to be disclosed later), which kinda accentuates my wholesome cheeks and makes me resemble a smiling hippo.

The photographer has often gone into fits of helpless laughter and instructed that I try not to look at the camera, if that makes me feel less like a goldfish in an aquarium.

I don’t know if I am unconsciously muttering a prayer to the heavens but in these endeavors, my eyes seem to be focusing on some giraffe standing right in front of me…(dilated pupils are wht one is trying to express here).My face is a homogeneous blend of a forced smile and a furrowed brow which leaves me mystified. I do go through an emotional turmoil!!!

The Depressed: I decided that smiling for photographs was not my forte since when I tried that “natural” laugh and smiling eyes look…..like the harbinger of sunshine and warmth, I bared too many of my teeth, and displayed a more werewolf resemblance than any non member of the species would be comfortable with. Plus no one I know associates a were wolf with sunshine and warmth.

The Doped: So for me it was the philosophical pose, lips clasped firmly together, do not giggle, do not look at the camera. Most of my snaps show me as about to burst into tears and have drawn many concerned queries about my suppressed sorrows. I guess I can live with that,..coz when I tried a few other variants, crinkling my eyes, squinting at the camera, lips half parted..the quintessential seductress….they could have used my poster as a mascot for the Stoned and Happy cult..

But this was a painful subject. The other day someone reminded me of Enid Blytons(thank u btw!!!).

When I was young reading an Enid Blyton was pretty much like opening a treasure trove.

I would open every book dying with anticipation and wait to be mesmerized by the Faraway trees ,Wishing Chairs, Silky, Moonface and amused by the Malory Towers and St Clare kids, not to forget the famous Fives, the five find outers…the list goes on.

They transported me to an alternate reality and it was difficult to break free, I would always stop a book halfway and spend the rest of the day in a dreamlike haze, trying desperately to postpone the inevitable end. I am sure most of u wud be mentally classifying me in the weirdoes section but bluhh!!

The three of us (me and my 2 younger sisters) were very taken by this entire English environment. We would tirelessly work at producing our very own pantomimes, plays and operas. Our “captive” audience, usually our polite parents would be subjected to these soporific renditions. After sitting through too many of these and tired of our incessant demands for meringues, seed cakes, macaroons, our parents decided that their demented daughters needed to get a grip. Especially after they found us combing the garden for a dark patch of grass (the entrance to the wising chair for the uninitiated).(I am really not making this up!!!)

So my dad decided that it was high time I read a few serious books. Maybe the shock was too much for him or he wanted a radical cure, the first book he gave me was the Autobiography of a Yogi. This was followed by Conversation with God and the Celestine Prophecy. Recipe for instant nirvana!! I was twelve then. And totally at sea. I tried reading the books, gave up pretty quick and then demanded of Dad as to why he thought being a nun was a lucrative career option, reminded him of the fact that I was closer to 15 than 50, and that both of us need not necessarily read the same books. He realized that he had gone overboard, but that was just a natural reaction, when we demanded chocolate blanc-mange instead of the gajar ka halwa, and vacations in Cornwall.

But the point being , he realized that to understand the deeper meaning of life, his daughter needed to live at least a shallow one for starters and he gave me my very first Agatha Christie. So I was again embroiled in a web of intrigue, romance and mystery.All was right with the world again, and I was no longer a prospective intern for a sisterhood.

I did finally read a few serious books and all the ones I mentioned. And I did stop dreaming of trifle puddings. But I still hope that I would find that darker blade of grass, that fairy ring. And if the faraway tree is anywhere near, I would be the first to believe it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

To all ye who pass judgement...others can skip..

What gives people the right to judge others? To callously, and at times patronizingly dismiss their worth and achievements? To malign someone u envy, with that casual remark and that arching of ur eyebrow? You have sized up the world. You have found a way to belittle her achievements. You have airily dismissed her worth. So are u satisfied now? Or are u still envious, burning with jealousy, cloaking it in these nonchalant speeches?

An achiever, u would dismiss as just being very "studious", uttered disparagingly, as if that explains everything. That explains why u could never be like him which exalts ur lack of determination into something u consider worth bragging about and underscores all his achievements .Is that what u think? Or r u still wishing very hard, to be like him?

Because people who pass judgments obviously do care. They care enough to contrive a thousand excuses, look for ways to justify their not being that way. Oh they care a lot!!!

When someone is popular, u call them promiscuous, when someone is envied, they are just very proud, when u really are in awe of someone, but would hate to admit it, well they just have an attitude problem, when ur dying to talk to someone, but they may not, well they are just too flirtatious for their own good. U don’t want to have anything to do with those kinds, with a righteous toss of the head!!!

You turn up ur nose and roll ur eyes when u talk about "geeks". You are obviously more socially accepted and artistically inclined than them. And u may be perfectly right. But why would u hate them so much for it? Why would u care that they r not?

I was once told by a misguided fem, that the "finer" things of life meant nothing to people like "me". People like "me"? What gives people the comfortable assurance that they can typecast everyone in their myopically defined molds?

What we don’t realize is, that when we judge someone we r just trying to calm our own insecurities. We voice our opinions, find a few others to ratify it and hey presto!!! We are lulled into a false sense of security. Who are we kidding?

So the next time you raise ur eyebrow and declare sentence, think about how it would affect the other person. He would obviously not care. But u would show that u really do. Which is exactly what u wanted to avoid isn’t it?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Of colors and people

The last few days have been a whirlwind with my getting into ISB, and hence coming in contact with a wonderful bunch of people. Its interesting how people can find a connection..
You would have a colleague or a batch mate you hardly interacted with, and you meet him in the next college you go to, and u meet him with elation, with uninhibited warmth. Its familiar and the familiar is always comforting. But there is also the bond which forms when u spend 4 years in the same environment without ever talking to each other.
It is the same bond which forms, when you meet people who have read the same books which u did and liked the same characters. You feel you can relate to these people better.Its amazing how happy we get when we find someone from our city in another country..u immediately have expectations..u feel familiar , you feel u hv a bond, so u naturally expect.The same person in ur own city.... u may never speak to him..he was just not your type..
All of us are basically more alike than we ever imagined. We can find familiar ground with almost everyone.

And the rest is just colors.
I cant imagine a life which is black and white...a life which is devoid of colour.For colours are emotions.....
Green...the golf courses in the hill stations you walked on…. invigorated, intoxicated, absently admiring the dark green of the thicket in the distance, …u feel alive ..ur thoughts are vibrant ,refreshing, fertile , ur thoughts are green....
Blue ...the sky on the morning of the anticipated day..when you wake up early..and look out of the window devoid of thoughts and worries..like you havent done in a long time…
The denim of ur favourite pair of jeans..tossed carelessly after returning from an exciting evening..whn ur excited to get on the phone..
The mottled colour of the sea..striking against the cliff, which u dream about....
The frothy milky blue which hits the beach on ur vacation..
The royal blue of the ink which smudges over, after u sign ur name with a flourish..
Red..the original colour of the flames before it lashes against the yellow and the blue ..the warmth of ur face when u sit too close...the colour of ur skin when u switch off the lights..and put ur hand close to that flame.
The orange glow which bathes everything on tht candle lit evening, the slate gray of the sky on the morning that it rains..of the pullover that u wear to work..hassled and depressed..the colour of the day that stretches before you…lifeless and dull….
The colour of the world when u get into an airplane and of ur thoughts when u close ur eyes during take off..and imagine urself on a giant roundabout, which pushes u higher and higher and at the same time backward, the more u tilt u head...
The sky is grey and ur that tiny black speck, on that roller coaster. U open ur eyes and the lights are dimmed, the early morning world is grey and white. Yellow... the shaft of the sunlight which comes in when u open the shutter, the delicious warmth which spreads over and ur thoughts..yellow and mellow, warm lazy and honey coloured….
Black..of the purses, and wallets, of the cellphones and diaries, of ur thoughts concise and business like.
Of when u shut yourself from the rest … and imagine the darkness swallowing u..
Of rose tinted perfume bottles, and pretty pink slippers, of roses and lilies, and of ur viewing the world though tinted glasses…pink and careless, bubbly and happy.
Dark brown of the chocolate and coffee…indulging, stimulating….and of ur senses…excited, energetic, earthy and brown
Of purple capes and hats in the fantasy stories….of jewels set in gold and silver of the shiny new cars...making u feel royal and powerful..

The maker sits with a blank canvas. He dips his brush into the Red paint, and scrawls across the page with a vehemence. Anger, passion ,pain and sorrow spew forth.
Orange from the easel, milder and wiser, signifying the wisdom of centuries, abstinence and determination. The Yellow of the sun, the giver of light and warmth, and the Green of the trees, spawning fertility.The Blues and the Indigos, almost indistinct, spurring aspiration and harmony. The magic and aura, of that smattering of the mysterious Violet.

The maker doesn’t have the perfect creation. But he does have a rainbow. And the rainbow is hope.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Of friendships and Orkut

When I initially started writing this blog it was just for me. I wrote what came to my mind and it was an exhilarating experience. But the moment people started commenting on it, I felt wary. I felt responsible. There were expectations, demands and judgments. As long as this was about me, I was unfettered. The moment I connected it to people, I felt restrained.

Society is important in that it forces us to exercise some basic restraint when dealing with other people. This is what makes a community function and is important.

And so we make a compromise. And we stifle our imagination. We create imaginary boundaries. And we concur. Somewhat. We all do. Humans are amazingly receptive. We concur without realizing that we are. Every time....everywhere.

But enough of this. This blog is about Orkut, or should I say about Orkut and well meaning prospective friends...with the likes of whom we are supposed to tread on "rocky roads of friendships"..or “stormy seas??” depending on preference.

So u have people coming to your scrapbook and posting a "hai!!!!!how hv u bin?"..with other innovative variants of the English language...and color codes..so that u have fluorescent looking blobs..in place of strategic letters..(its a gud tactic, if ur not too sure of the spelling..kudos!!!), and whilst u blink trying to recollect when u met venkatesh or is it chiranjeevi?? or rajnikanth last, complete with sunglasses of shades which merge successfully with skin tones...

Whilst u do that…there would be another epistle from some cOoLDuDe(is this some kinda secret code??) ABC with a "lonely and depressed" or a "waiting for love" or some such declaration trailing after this Morse coded name….announcing "myself ABC..friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddddddzzzzzzzzzzzz"..with a determination designed to make u notice, if at least the irritating scrollbar which appears when the zzzzzzz's are stretched to infinity!!!!

Or you would have this taciturn dude who plainly believes that brevity is the soul of wit (or a hit?? depending on short term goals)..

So every time u refresh your page there would be a "hi"...and then another...and after a few hi's floating around your page, u would find him getting restive and there would be the last determined effort which would be a "hiiiiiiiiiiii".Talk about words filled with meaning!!!

Some domineering ones would also demand "why you not RePlY me!!" and end the scrap with a "keeeeeeeeep scrapppppppppppppin''..which makes you wonder if an MPD(multiple personality disorder for the uninitiated ) might not just be more common than actually believed.

Since my imaginary boundaries are screaming a red alert at this point, I shall clarify here that I think Orkut is a great way to make friends and keep in touch...and discover people with similar interests, these are just random occurrences and are NOT meant to deride anyone…and the bottom-line, these are after all just my thoughts… so peace..

So anyway, back to business :D..and again if u happen to be a presentable looking female..u would be flooded with "u luks lOvElY"( again a coded message which I am sure is a word filled with meaning and implications;)..if I can just read between the umm..caps locks??)

or a drawing of a questionable chick??duck??rose??..an entire farmhouse..with a greeting.."for my most sweeeeeeeeetttttttttessssssst best friend"..ok..this dude sure doesnt have too many expectations from life!!!! or from the more emotional ones.."myself XYZ..will u JOIN with me??"..umm join with u??this early?this has to be one presumptuous guy!!!!

Another class are the "wanderers", people who just "pass through" your profile on an average of 8 times a day..They would go "Hai(ok this is one version of the greeting which never caught one with me)..how HAVE u been?was just passing thru" and u would wonder at the description of your profile as a stop over on the road to.."higher profiles?"

So u decide that you have had all the well wishes to last u a lifetime, and u cordon off ur profile with a "private property..DO NOT trespass"(read..I DO NOT add people i dont know..or make friends with them), u would then be paid a visit by the "Thinkers".

It is the lot of the thinkers to gently advise people trespassing from the "all encompassing love" of their friendships" with aphorisms.

So u are flooded with metaphysical queries.."If u don't add people u don't know..how wud u know them??"
Now this is a vicious cycle..a question comparable to the proverbial chicken and the egg theory and my mortal unfriendly brain really cant come up with a solution!!!

And so we create boundaries…and then we try to digress..all of us..sometime or the other…and then people mock us, question us…and some of us conform…

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Of fairy tales...or mebbe not

Life can be pretty scary sometimes.
There was once a poor maiden who dreamt of being a queen(no this is not Cinderella..thts just so passé).This is a modern day fairy tale, the kingdoms and queens are just for atmosphere.
So armed with her favorite book she set out. No she couldn't read, but she had found the book lying near the brook one day, and the embossed gold lettering had fascinated her(In those days, gold not diamonds were a girls' best friend).She instinctively knew that it was meant for her. Now our pretty little beggar woman (BW), (and yes she was pretty) never bothered her head too much over such trivialities as ethics and possessions, I mean get a life..she was a beggar, so obviously she would grab it.
So she set out to where she knew the castle would be, it was dangerous terrain, through a forest, and the usual paraphernalia. She could see the spires of the castle from her hut. She was excited.
On her way she met Jack, of the beanstalk fame. He had just purchased the magical beans and so was thrilled. He hailed her. She was impressed with the sparkling beans and her eyes nearly popped out when the beanstalk grew.
"Lets climb", said Jack excitedly. Now our BW was doubtful for who knew what lay ahead? And besides she couldn't climb to save her life, having tried it once when chased by the neighbors’ Alsatian.

But this climb was simple. But she was scared of what she might encounter.
"Well from the little general knowledge I have:, said Jack,"u are accosted by a giant, u kill him and then we can be king and queen", he said looking at her fondly.
Now BW was practical. The probability of being a queen after being "accosted" by a giant , seemed pretty microscopic. But she was sorely tempted when she heard the queen part.
In a fix, she opened the book.” Run away" said the book(she could understand what was written, fairy tales don't bother with such technicalities, nor do the K serials and both are equally popular). Chuck this Jack, I’ll find better looking guys. I mean no offense meant , he might be brave and all that, but Jack was hardly a Brad Pitt, and one did want some romance in ones life, even when one was a queen.” Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown", she thought in a moment of inspiration, but it should be regal looking head at least.
The day wore on, and she carried on. Our BW was a determined one. But she had had nothing to eat all day, and fainted on the way. When she woke up she was in the house of the 7 dwarfs. Moody the talkative one , being in a benevolent mood, came to her kindly. She told him about her ambitions.
"Well that’s easy", he said.” Statistically speaking, if u stay with us and cook for us and the likes, there would be a day, when u eat a poisoned apple and die and are then rescued by a prince".
The mortality rates for wannabe princesses seemed to be unusually high, reflected BW."What if I die?", she ventured.
" What is life without a few risks?”said Mopey uncharacteristically.
The BW considered this and agreed. But the days wore on and she grew impatient. Plus these dwarfs were a demanding lot. She finally decided that the elusive apple could be eaten by some other nutty maiden. She opened the book.” Run off ", the book suggested again.
On her way she met Jack, now a king with a beautiful though anorexic looking (she thought unkindly) queen, and felt a stab of jealously.
She noticed a tower with a beautiful maiden, whose unusually long braid hung from the tower. It, was tempting so she climbed up and heard Rapunzel's story.
She was irritated. The world seemed to be full of these starry eyed maidens all looking for careers in the queening department, and willing to go to any lengths (literally!!!), and letting their hair down(again literally!!!!), in the disgusting fashion, for every passerby prince.

She thought fast.” The prince is already married", she told Rapunzel."U had better escape. Here, let me cut your hair and tie it to mine, and then u can escape."
Now Rap, sans the weight of her heavy locks was actually a feather head.
Our BW settled herself at the window and began a soulful rendition of "Unbreak my heart”. Sure enough the prince arrived and began climbing up. But the knot was not strong enough and a horrified BW felt it loosening and before her eyes her prince charming fell flat on the ground sustaining a broken rib by the sound of it. He was rescued by Rapunzel who had lingered on, near the bushes.

In desperation BW turned to the book. A blank page stared at her. She felt a movement behind her and saw the witch.” It wont tell you anything ", said the witch. This book only tells people what they most want to hear. Its one of my favorite bits of magic ",she said proudly.

“And what use is that?,” said BW unkindly. "Well its for people like you, who are too scared to follow their own hearts, but readily agree when it is sanctified by someone else even someone as insignificant as a book. Plus my dear you never had it in you to become a queen. You lacked the courage of Jack, the patience of Snow White and the perseverance of Rapunzel".

Oh don’t sound like one of those self help books”, said BW crossly. "All these emotions are so outdated!!!"

"Well you don’t have too many brains either", said the witch now affronted. At this our BW burst into tears, and the witch felt sorry for her.” Well think of a fairy tale you want to be in, and I promise u shall be the queen if you stick it out".

But BW was not sure. She glared at the book which was now flashing "Cinderella" in gold leterring" .I am not even sure I want to be a queen", she ventured.” But I don't want a life which is pre-decided for me at least".

And she went back to that brook and kept the book beside it. She was a spiteful one, and knew there would be many more wannabe princesses, u just couldn't be too careful in these matters. Being a queen was serious business.