Tuesday, April 27, 2010

43/13th Batch Testimonials

Its 2 years since I graduated from B School. The last few weeks of the B School become busy with a plethora of things to attend to, like placements, wing parties, trips to Sikkim, last few visits to Oly Pub and last but not the least writing testimonials for your friends and wingies, hoping they will appear in the Batch Yearbook. I had written quite a few of these testimonials for my friends, though none of them appeared in the Yearbook, thus reaffirming my writing credentials and ability. But what the hell, I have my own blog now and so I can post some of the testimonials I had written back then. For non 43/13 junta, you can safely give this a miss.

Sudhir Sriram
He goes by many names, few being SuSri and Sri Adhikari Brother and others which should not be mentioned here. He is the guy who needed 4 visas to go to France, but once he arrived, there was no stopping him. Certain people in Lucknow and Poland would be glad to testify for that. It was great knowing him more in 2nd Year in IIM C and in Reims and one thing I will miss when I leave this place is the PJ and bakar sessions that we had and which few of our wingies appreciated. His friendship is precious to me not only because he is one gem of a person but also because he is one of the few persons who appreciates my jokes.

Self composed testimonial of Sudhir: This person truly embodies the core values of an individual who had moved up the value chain.The paradigm shifts he caused in the dynamically changing campus environment had led to the re-orientation of goals and visions of the institutional frameworks.The deep insights that have been developed due to my interactions with him truly qualify him as a future visionary global leader.He has effectively conquered team dynamics and given moral support during team presentations(Free Rider)

Sugato Dutta
Sugiyama, another member of the growing bulge of bongs at IIM Calcutta. He says he has an natural disliking for fin subjects, but when it comes to maximising ROI, there is no one beating him. He spends more time in Anirban's bed than in his wing. For one week in Term III he impersonated Safal Batra, much to my chagrin. Anyways a real cool guy and never really bothered about following the herd. Open a restaurant soon and give me lot of free coupons.

Menongitis is brain fever redefined. Never argue with the Menon is something that I have learnt in my two years in Sandazz. He has off late starting giving me some credit for sports quizzing which has come as a huge surprise to me. He is the funniest guy in Joka and you can always bet on him to come up with the smartassest of comments and the funniest of one liners, one of the legendary ones being the Lead India Interview joke on Pawar (whether Sharad or Romesh no one is actually sure). He has lately been winning lot of prizes and so people have been investigating his dietary secrets. I have even knicked food stuff from his room in the hope of getting lucky.

Rambo, Pseude Anna and what not of various names and fames which are best not mentioned here. Whatever I am writing here is based on my impressions of him in the first year as I think he has changed hostels in the 2nd year but no one in NH is actually quite sure about that. My first impressions of him remain his Jumping Jack JeetuJi Act while presenting some case. In general he is capable of infinite globe about anything under the sun and hence I always tried to be in his marketing groups. Its sad that I rarely get to meet him these days; there is greater probability of finding him strolling the campus with his better half (or is it halves, that I do not know) than in the hostel. A nice guy by heart who stole my Term Paper with BBC after I presented his case to the prof. Jokes apart, a really great guy whom I wish all the best in the future at HydroChloric Acid Technologies. Stay in touch and have a blast.

Tonushree Goel, she is one of my few female friends at IIM Calcutta. A real fighter to the core and always pursuing perfection, she gets frustrated by other people s incompetencies. But sometimes she should really chill and play it cool. She is frank and really takes no prisoners when it comes to the important stuff in life. She helped me a lot during my CV making; after her comments my CV was more like a few black spots in a see of red and I was like staring at it in shock for a few minutes. But anyways this testimonial is about her and so without meandering any further, I would like to wish her all the best for her future professional and personal endeavors. It was really great knowing you for the last 2 years and hope to stay in touch with you for aeons to come.
PS: Thanks for appreciating my jokes; you are one of the few people in the world apart from Sudhir perhaps, who understands my jokes. Lately she has also taken a liking for burning down campus infrastructure.

Rancho is the has been IBanker and would be consultant of our wing and has been living out of a suitcase for 7 years now. He is a very simple guy with very basic needs in life namely cornflakes, milk, orange juice, coke, Youtube and Hull and FRM Books and not necessarily in that order. He is the fin stud and RiskMan stud of our campus and people from far and wide come for his crashers. We had great fun in Reims and in Europe where the European students mistook him for a Pakistani named Rashid and were amazed by his studapa in acads and his awesome presentations. He even topped the marketing courses there just to prove his all round knowledge of the various functional areas of management education. May you retain your simplicity in life and inculcate an appreciation for my jokes.

IT is the chillest guy in campus; nothing bothers him man. Spending time with him in New York City was awesome. He really opened my eyes to enjoying life and not getting flustered by stuff. From taking on our landlord in his own territory, to running 7 laps of the campus, to not giving 2 hoots to the system, IT is unmatchable in whatever he does. I wish I could ever be as cool and nonchalant as him. I am glad that had the opportunity to spend time with a person like him during our Bloomberg days.

Urmila, the girl with really cool tattoo and star of the IIMC-XL meet. She really shot into prominence with her time keeping work in VidJha s classes when with one thump of the desk she scared the hell out of people, even the ones presenting the case. Those section C days were really amazing. It was awesome fun playing messenger between you and Harmonic Series in the last few days though I do not think you really appreciated it all that much. I hope you like the book that I made him present you. It was great knowing you these 2 years at IIMC and stay in touch for the future although I would appreciate if you could appreciate my jokes a bit more.
PS: Now I really want that green book and yeah, no new messages.

Is he an Arithmetic Series or a Geometric Series; wrong question, he is actually a Harmonic Sheries as he sings so well. He is the voice of IIM Calcutta and he along with Tanmoy took our college band to a new level with original compositions. Really enjoyed attending the JBS sessions in Sandazz. He is a great TT player who I always aspire to beat but have not managed till date. He is the hero of the campus and serenaded his way into the hearts of females and males (ask Sood) of all ages. Hope he achieves his dream of becoming a playback singer and makes all IIMCians proud.

Paula, our resident World Cinema connoisseur and food expert is the favorite among DCM girls. The fact that he has never formed a DCM project group with guys in a college with 90% males just proves his immense Anil Kapoor like popularity amongst the fairer sex of IIMC. He is the guy who set up the Esoteric Movie Club in our college and who knows all the restaurants in Kolkata and perhaps the only NH resident who does not buy from Kotler s shop. I seriously hope that he sets up a very successful restaurant chain in the future with his playtime bedmate SugiYama.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Unrequited love and all that

How to draw the boundary between liking a girl and falling in love with her? That is something that I have found increasingly hard to define as I have grown older, right from my first tryst with love while in school till up to the present day. The fact that it has almost always has been a one-way street has not helped either. Well a girl liked me once (at least I think so) when I was not fat for a brief period of time; I was between school and college and had not started balding then. But as Graucho Marx said and which Woody Allen reiterated in Annie Hall, I don’t want to belong to a club that will accept people like me as a member. So I ignored the arguably better looking girl who liked me and sought to woo the girl I thought I was in love with.

To quote the evil Anakin, I am still in love with the idea of falling in love. So even as I am a couple of years away from touching thirty, I am often in a dilemma, trying to decide for myself whether I like or love the girl whom I have recently become friendly with. The whole thing is so confusing and painful at times but thankfully it takes me back to my teenage years. It is those years I look back at with lot of fondness; I would like to believe the reason is not because I am still in love with the girl I liked back then, although I was sad when I heard she got engaged and subsequently did not attend her marriage. It was the in last few months of school that I really began to like her; though she flatly refused my proposal, I tried to become friendly with her after school was over and even in the first year of college. It truly was the age of innocence; the things I did to impress her and talk to her, right from losing weight, to writing awesome answers for her on Shakespeare’s plays in the English literature syllabus, to visiting her house miles away to give her a book she had casually mentioned, to being awake the whole night before an exam thinking of what to tell her when I would meet her the next day at school, to missing Laxman’s 281 at Eden Gardens, well the list is endless. It was not only a different time, but a different me as well. I had dreams in my eyes and a passion in my heart; I would love to go back to that time maybe not for the stupid things I did then like selectively flunking non-Calcutta college exams (I cannot believe I chose to be in Calcutta for college to have a chance with her) and liking the movie Mohabattein, but I would surely like to write as well as I did back then and lose some weight. It is a pity that back then when I used to write well, I only wrote in a diary whose pages I tore off and threw away into the EM Bypass one day in a fit of rage and today when I just about make the mark of being readable, I have the courage to put this up on a public forum, where at least ten people will be reading it.

Back to the present and I am still grappling with whether I like or love someone and if unrequited love is really love or just liking someone and which did not go beyond liking? The way it goes is that some girl is friendly with me and then I really start liking her, with man main laddu futting and all that. The desperation of the school days is not there, of calling her and boring her to death on the phone with hour long conversations. While the zeal of youth is no longer there, there is at least some control on the mind, of trying to get her out of the mind space when I get hints that she is seeing someone else, but then again sadness creeps in when I actually see her with that someone else, and the realization of the future, the future where she is not part of my life.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bangalored - Part 2

Many of my engineering college batch-mates were not too pleased with my previous post (Bangalored - Part 1) where I was not exactly full of kind words about my alma mater. Quite a few of my friends expressed their displeasure regarding the post on GTalk, although I would have preferred them to post their comments on the blog’s comments section, so as to carry forward the discussion. This post is the 2nd and perhaps not the last post on the “Bangalored” series; I would try not to be sarcastic and take the high moral ground as I give a personal account of some of the most cherished days of my life.

As I had mentioned earlier I was living in a flat in BTM Layout with my friends Shashi and Deva. Well Deva is actually Debashsis, but due to his misadventures in love he is called Deva, inspired by Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic work “Devdas”. I had cajoled Shashi to stay with us and initially he was not thrilled to bits at the prospect of staying with two fairly boring Bongs, who would converse all the time in Bengali, oblivious to his presence. We had a 2 BHK flat and I was successful in arm twisting the others to get a single bedroom for myself, and that too the bedroom which had an attached bathroom.

My life followed a fairly predictable pattern; I woke up early on the weekdays so that I could easily get a seat or two in the company bus. I was reluctant to wait for my other two room-mates lest I miss the bus or do not got a seat. Shashi and Deva were not really the “early to bed and early to rise” types and would often miss even the last office bus at 10 am. On such days they would be found strolling into office at about 11.30 (almost my lunch time) after paying the quintessential Bangalore auto-wallah over Rs. 100 for a Rs. 60 auto ride.

Although I was very particular about reaching office punctually, I hardly had any work at office. I was put on one of Infosys’ famous internal projects, aptly named “Center of Excellence”. No one cared for such projects and the Project Manager on my project changed at least 5 times during my 1 year stay. My 8 hours in the office were mostly spent having breakfast and multiple tea-coffee sessions in the canteen, surfing the internet, visiting the library to read newspapers and sleep there and timing my lunch so that I could “accidentally” meet one of the girls who I liked from the Mysore training days and who was also posted in Bangalore. Even when I accidentally met her, I could hardly muster the courage to join her table for lunch, as there was another guy always hanging onto her coattails. So my lunch companions were always either my college or other Bengali friends and the normal lunchtime discussions centered around the disgusting practice of use of coconut oil in food by South Indians, the love of fish and whether PwC was hiring in Calcutta.

Since I had very little work to do in office, I invariably took the first bus home which left the Infosys campus at 5.30 pm. On the way back home I would generally visit the BTM Sweet Chariot pastry shop, hoping to strike a conversation with the cute girl who worked there. I did not know her name and so Shashi and I referred to her as the Sweet Chariot-waali. Although she would speak to me out of courtesy, she was interested in Shashi; this was the north Indian connection working much to my chagrin as she was also from Delhi.

My evenings were spent watching my at times colour and at time black-and-white 14 inch TV which my father had graciously carried on train from Calcutta to Bangalore. But I would soon get bored of watching TV and then start calling my other 2 roommates, asking them to come home early and arrange for dinner.

The weekends were more interesting when Shashi and I would go over to the house of our friends Dippy, Abhishake, Haju (all from JU) and Shamik (Bengali guy from NIT Nagpur). I was supposed to share houses with these people but an unexpected turn of events forced me to ditch them at the last moment. (I am grateful to them for they still entertained me at their house during those days and also for them being friends with me to this present day.) Deva generally did not join Shashi and me for these sojourns as he spent his weekends on the phone, trying to keep alive his long distance relationship with his girlfriend back in Calcutta. This was also the time that I grew distant from Deva, as my friendship grew with Shashi and Shamik, partly due to Deva being occupied on the phone and partly due to me getting exposure to college life anecdotes from DCE and NIT and realizing what a waste my college years had been.

The weekends spent at my friends’ house were mostly spent drinking and discussing about the future, how most of us wanted to do MBAs in our lives and that we all would collectively set up our own company and hence always be able to stay in touch with each other. It is not without a tinge of sadness that I remember those days as we have spread to different parts of India pursuing our own respective careers and hardly get to meet each other even once a year. We might be earning much more than those days and living much more comfortable lives in bigger houses with our own cars, but somehow I feel that spark in our lives and the dreams in our eyes have gone. Back in those days there was always this sense of yearning to achieve something in life, to build our careers and so on, but as I write this post today, it is only a sense of emptiness and vacuum that remains. The sacrifices and prices paid for reaching where we are today, where our egos are so enlarged that some random girl can break our much cherished friendships, where I hardly talk to a guy with whom I spent my every other weekend, and all the surrounding mental baggage are perhaps just not worth it.