Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My "fraud" b'day mail

Today is my "fraud" birthday, thanks to my IIMB friends. It was the wildest surprise ever for me. I had gone to L^2 to celebrate other's birthdays, suddenly saw people rushing towards me and then it was all history. Thought I should "preserve" my birthday mail. Here is the "edited" version of the mail.
Strong Disclaimer: This mail has no resemblence to any person or place in reality. It is a fiction work engineered by my friends here at IIMB.


“Go miser go, for money sell your soul.

Trade wares for wares and trudge from pole to pole,

So others may say when you are dead and gone.

See what a vast estate he left his son.”

My motto in life is that every penny is worth a million dollars and spending even a penny on anyone else is a forbidden sin. I am a maha lichhad (ultimate miser and greedy pig) DML2 who does not believe that securing a CGPA of 3.76 is reason enough for a small treat to close friends. My time is also a very precious commodity and I believe that studying with lesser mortals slows me down. Therefore I study in groups only when I see a distinct advantage.

I have an overwhelming programming fetish which I often use for self gratification, and this orgasmic passion has driven me to join SIGMA in search of exotic codes. I have had diverse experiences as a coordinator of SIGMA, where I bluntly dismissed frantic calls for computer repairs and restoring internet connections. At IIMB, I have supplemented my programming skills with ‘Global’ abilities, which is evident from my global CP and a 4.00 in BGS.

Apart from the love of my life, there is another woman (PGP2) behind my success. She is the only one I consider worthy of my Day 0 treat. The fact that I was planning for this treat and refused one to my friends speaks volumes of my judgmental skills and persistence. I am a thorough perfectionist, which is evident from my reaction to a score of 3.59 in QM- “Yaar yeh course to mujhe pehle se khatak raha tha”. My weaknesses are that in spite of being AIR 39 in IITJEE, I am extremely down to earth, simple and honest person.

I believe that my abilities and diverse experiences have prepared me well for a grand hooshing tonight. I am extremely confident that my butt will be able to last the beating and challenge you to prove me wrong.

Credits: Pankaj Goyal

Monday, November 21, 2005

Break over..

Last 3 days were good, infact great. A break after a month almost where preparation for summers had taken its toll on me. Had a great time over this weekend, slept, watched movies, and enjoyed with friends. Missed the class trip to an extent though....
Now all good things come to an end and same for this break too. I am lacking behind by miles this semester in acads and surely need to do some catching. A new beginning from tomorrow.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Galaxy -- Was it worth it?

I thought I had left those memories back. But then things keep coming back to hit you and leave you unguarded. I came across this article about Galaxy by Abhishek Verma and suddenly I found myself struggling with the same question, "Is (Was) Galaxy worth it?"

The question will raise many eyebrows including some of my closest friends'. Galaxy has always been treated by those passionate about it as a sacred truth; no one can question the sanctity of the event. I had been passionate about it myself, though I must admit not to such an extent as some of my wing mates. But, it has been close to my heart, especially since I have seen it being scrapped twice and being subjugated to petty student politics and whims and fancies of certain individuals.

Sometimes not being a blind follower helps you to ask questions. And I was fortunate enough to be in such a position. This question has haunted me right from my third year when I was in the team having the passion about the event. I have been on both the sides - in the first year, I did some "labor" work and then in my third year, I was little bit involved in organizing things as well (For reader's record, both the times galaxy got scrapped).

So, the question remains. Was Galaxy worth all the passion, talk, and hype? As a first step, let's see who gained from Galaxy.

Galaxy was never conceived as an event for experimentation, it was always about excellence. So, who got to participate in all the cultural events like debates, skits, drama, music and dance? Those who already knew it! Same 2 debaters, 5-6 excellent dancers, 3-4 actors and 7-8 musicians were motivated to perform throughout the year at every moment possible. Total number of actual performers did not exceed more than 50 out of a hostel of 500 students. So, where is the learning or personality development of an average guy who has done nothing in his school but wants to try out things here? I will discount all those workshops held in the hostel and few individual exceptions. Those were more "fund generator" exercises than anything. No culsecy felt like really organizing those workshops.

So, what were the other arguments for "motivating" people? "You will work 24 hours for 7 days. You will work for the team." blah, blah.....Fine. Acceptable. But, what will I do during that time? Carry bricks, cots, or be one of those "falling walls". Where is the value addition? How will an average guy who does only “labor” feel passionate about the whole event?

What about ideas? Who generated them? Again, few "das" from Hall 1. No contribution from your side for sure.

I don't want to get into political implications of Galaxy. It was always used by Cul Secys as a guard against doing nothing for most of the part of their terms.

In such a scenario, how was Galaxy helping a majority of students? Institute festivals were screwed, all the Gymkhana clubs were inactive, and all the hostel cultural activities were in jeopardy. Who was benefiting from all this?

I have attempted to bring to spotlight the other side of Galaxy. It is not an attempt to disregard the feelings of people from past batches of IIT Kanpur and my batch who have been passionate about Galaxy, who still can "feel" it. In fact, I demand answers of these questions from them...... After all, I haven't seen Galaxy ever!!

Yours truly In news!

Though it is a shameless footage seeker post, but who cares, this is my blog :)

Thanks to the media cell, IIM Bangalore, I got some footage in media coverage on IIM Bangalore summer placement. Here is one such online article,


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Summer Placement: Emotionally draining

In last 4 days, I have seen it all. I myself went through periods of lows and ups. Sometimes, it seemed all is lost; other times you have a feeling of achievement; and there are some times where you feel; is the whole thing worth it? I have seen people losing hope when they had to go from one company's process to another to another, and continue doing it. I have heard people feeling guilty of coming here to IIMB itself.

By God's grace, I was out of this grilling process quite early. I have been a volunteer from there on and I could afford to have a bird’s eye view on the whole process. People had to go from one GD/interview to another, one company to another; and it continued from 8 AM to 12 Midnight. This has been continuing for the last 4 days!!

Uncertainty, "arbitness" and lack of transparency of the process add to the complexity and anxiety. As some of the seniors put it, "The system is fair to all, unfair to some." If you happen to belong to that "some", you can feel pretty devastated.

What about people with work experience? Well, this place is not for them. In most cases, they don't get what they deserve. Questions like, "How is your work experience related to this company?" are cruel jokes. Recruiters should realize that most of them are here to do an MBA for precisely this reason- shift over from their present field. But, I think I am expecting too much from them considering the fact that some of the recruiters are themselves fresh graduates!! An ISB is always a better choice for people with 2+ years of work experience.

And finally, did one have a choice in terms of type of job or company? Most of them did not. People with interests in IT didn't even get a shortlist from IT companies. Some who hate selling soaps and detergents ended up in FMCG marketing. I am quite sure that even some of those who got day 0 are not interested in I-banks as of now.

Mid-way through the process, it was more about getting "out" of the process, rather than getting an internship you like. One can guess the motivation and enthusiasm levels of people.
I just hope that final placement is a much more logical process.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

CAT: Last few weeks

Don't worry, no gyaan from me. Here are few good articles from Rediff.com:
You might have read some. In that case, pardon me for repetition:


Best of luck!!
Btw, if you are brave enough to take my tips, leave across a comment :)

Summers in Winters!

Back after a long time....Had a great vacation which was essentially an India tour. All great things said about the connectivity of Indian Railways, it still takes 40 Hours to reach Delhi from Bangalore. Same time in which one can travel across globe 1.5 times!! My recommendation: No train should cover more than 24 hours of journey, reduce air fare so that people like me can afford....
Back in my den, a new semester, a new beginning. Frankly, nothing new. Same old classes, schedule, and IIMB life; all with new players (professors) and scenes (courses). All this coupled with one great thing: Preparation for summers!!
I must have attended atleast 15 PPTs including of some of the companies I never heard of. Same old screenplay: Consultant thrashing the I-bankers (leaving the pay part) and i-bankers making fun of the consultants by doing some arbit NPV calculations. Damn it!! who is going to stay in a firm for the next 15 years. One I-banker had an interesting reply, "You can't compare the excitement in trading of millions." Man, go to a great casino in Las Vegas, you will enjoy there much more with all the "excitement".
Saw all sorts of PPT CP, ACP, and DCP, desperate ones trying to make a pinch of impression anywhere its possible. Frankly, I did some of it myself :)
Do you think it's over? No. The real "Battle" begins from next week, 8th Nov to be precise. All are waiting for the shortlists......

Say best of luck to me!!

Monday, August 29, 2005

My First Play: "A Heap of Broken Images"

No, I haven't started acting (though it is one of my top 10 wishes). It is just that I saw a professional play for the first time. Invitation to watch a play was exciting and dangerous for me. Dangerous because 100 bucks were at stake, and exciting because I have never seen one. ATM card in my wallet prompted me to take the risk. And, it paid off greatly!

Play: "A Heap of Broken Images" (English)
Director: Girish Karnad
Cast: Arundhati Raja

It was the first play in Kannada, with strong technical input. Use of technology in the form of live recording, and use of Television synchronization added a unique dimension to the play.

Scene 1: A Kannada writer, Manali Raja, is being interviewed on Television on the recent success of her maiden English novel. She makes a emotionally charged speech, and devotes her novel to her husband and disabled sister (on whom the novel is based).

Scene 2: Manali is challenged by her inner self (showed on a TV screen on the stage). Manali admits of having a distressed relationship with her husband (who is now settled in US), and her hatred for her late sister. She can't run away from her inner self, nor she can hurt her ego by accepting her defeat at the hands of her sister, who was more beautiful, talented and smart of the two. Manali suspected of an affair between her husband and her sister. But, there was nothing she could do, except watch silently and accept her defeat.
Her sister's death gave her an opportunity for revenge., and she got an intrinsic feeling of victory. But, it was shortlived. Her inner sense of guilt and defeat broke the shell of victory she tried hard to build.

Performance was par excellence. But, as stated earlier too, great use of technology was the unique point of the play. Live and recorded parts of the play were absolutely well synchronized. So much so that we noticed only 1 glitch in a 45 minute play. Amazing!
Good thing about metro cities, like Bangalore, is vibrancy of culture and the kind of varied experience you can have. And you get the infrastructure support too. The theatre was as good as any movie theatre in India, and more importantly, it was full.

Waiting for much more during my stay here....

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Power of Orkut

Saw the power of orkut for the first time, when I came across one of my classmates of class VI. Now that is after 10 years! I had completely lost touch with all my classmates. It was simply great to get across my friend. Thanks to orkut for that.
Certainly, world is no longer big enough. Distances are shrinking, and becoming insignificant in this digital world. Community theorists believe that internet is leading to decreasing associations between people in society. As a result, social capital is eroding. Cites are threatened by lack of mutual trust, cooperation and associational linkages.

On the other hand, you come across such instances where internet is helping people network in a much better way. Although, it may lead to a situation when you may be in touch with your friend 2000 kms away, but not know your neighbor!

But still we have a long way to go in India. The fact that most of my friends even don’t have a mail id indicates a huge gap. I can’t label this gap as a digital divide; rather it’s more about acceptability of new technology and embracing it in normal life. So, “e” is going to stay. Expect more e-friendships, e-marriages, e-dating, even e-sex (not able to visualize it though()

Other side of coin

I have been here at IIM Bangalore for the last 2 months, and the experience, to be fair enough, hasn’t been great. And the reason is not academic rigor. Surely, there are enough quizzes (surprise and scheduled), lectures, exams, and assignments to keep you engaged for days, weeks and months. But, it is not new for me, especially with my 4 year stint at IITK! So, why is a sense of disillusionment creeping in?

Coming from a middle class family, I have always followed the crowd. Be it choosing engineering in Class X, or preparing for JEE, or taking up Comp Science at IIT Kanpur. Now, I was coming to this prestigious management school of India, with an aroma of innovation, creativity and what not. I expected a different dynamic culture based on out of the box thinking, breaking the shackles, so to say. I come here; I find the same rat race!! Right from day one, there has been only one thing haunting all of us here, our summer placements. All people (including me) think about is job, job and job. So, what are the typical issues to talk on here: “Hey which investment bank is the best? How many “bullet points” have you got? Teri to life chill hai, i-bank pakka hai!”. Where is thinking, innovation, creativity? Peer pressure is too high. No wonder, one of the basic problems with B-schools worldwide is that they produce managers and not entrepreneurs.

Course material doesn’t help either. Freedom of arguing with professors, and being a rebel, that I enjoyed most of the times in IITK, is absent here. You have to accept the system; otherwise it’s going to destory you.

Few minutes back, I met a senior of mine (IITK and IIMB alumni). He is currently working at a leading consulting firm in India. He told us an interesting distinguishing feature between analysts recruited from IITs and those from B-schools. Those from IITs tend to get frustrated soon as their work is not to their expectations (no revolutionary thinking, etc.). But, B-school graduates understand this “global stuff” in a much better manner, so are much more satisfied with their jobs. Is it good or bad? Do B-schools “widen” the scope of thinking or “erode” thinking itself?

Trust and binding in the student community is lacking. I come as a fresher here and from an environment where I could blindly trust most of the people around me. Not true any more. Here, people take competition and relative grading too seriously. Who will tell them, lower score of one guy in class won’t affect your grade? Cooperation and trust is very low. Perhaps, people who work in industry learn these traits!

All said, I don’t want to be a rebel here. So, I also think about how to be a part of the system, I also think about getting grades, and a job. I do not want to separate myself from the system, as I am a part of the system and I take full responsibility for it. At this point, I remember a dialogue of a Hindi movie (I am pretty bad at remembering names), “System ko sudhaarne ke liye system kaa hissat hona padta hai”.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Blogger for Word

Google has launched Blogger for Word, a plug-in to publish directly from Microsoft Word. Check out the new feature at http://buzz.blogger.com/bloggerforword.html !! A great plug-in giving you much better control over your blog.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Miscellaneous stuff!!

First, a new look to my blog. Will be making more changes soon....
Internet speed at IIMB really sucks! In the absence of my comp, I am being mercilessly slaughtered by the deadly combination of slow net speed and IE. Browsing on IE is really a pain in the ass, with windows popping out of all corners, giving mating calls through a blue indicator and what not!!
Academic rigor hasn't yet started, so its cool life till now. 1:30 hours class can be really charging on your eyelids due to the heavy weight they need to sustain throughout the class. The very first class was a real fun with people jumping out of their seats to "participate" in class....enthu seems to have shattered from there on, particularly after realizing that there are no marks for class participation.
Got the HLL balance sheet for 2004 as our case study today, and the very first line projected the status of HLL. It goes like this:
"2004 was a good year for Indian economy. However, FMCG market continued to suffer in the form of decreasing sales."
-- Adapted from Hindustan Lever Limited, Annual Report, 2004
(emphasis added)
One of my dear wingmate won't like this!! I am sure all of us use the same volume of soaps, detergents, toothpaste, beauty creams etc. Why the sales have decreased then? No clues!!
Did you notice my deliberate effort to give proper reference to each quoted sentence. Well, we have been warned 200 times regarding plagiarism in IIMB. So, just practicing a bit!!
I was really getting bored so decided to write this one. Hope to come up with something better later :)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Orientation Programme- IITK vs. IIMB

I have been through two orientation programmes- one at IIT Kanpur and other recently at IIM Bangalore. Two were contrasting in structure, content, and effectiveness. One at IITK consisted of tours to labs, which most of us end up not visiting ever again, and sitting in L-7 giving ragging to seniors. I could never understand why a computer science engineer should visit a glass blowing lab at all. The orientation programme gave no insight regarding the life at IITK, the academics, extra-curricular, what the institute expects of me, etc. All of us were left strangled in our JEE moods. Can't say seniors presented us the true picture too....In the second year, when I was a part of the Counselling service, I thoroughly enjoyed ragging girls during our lab tours :)

Here at IIMB, orientation programme was much better planned and thought out. So, we didn't have tours around the campus, or lectures by wardens, or walking in straight lines for hours!! We started off with short 10 min. speeches by the Director, the Dean and Chairman, PGP Admissions Office. Next day, we had an outbound session in "Breakthrough", where we had fun playing games and learning management fundas. Though, for me, management fundas like team work, trust, blah blah can be learned only through personal experiences. Nonetheless, at least some learnt from it. I had a great time in many other ways, not to be discussed here :)

Next day, we had ABACUS, which was essentially a meditation cum artistic cum creative session. We were taught meditation techniques, surya namaskar, and simple exercises. In addition to that, we had fun exercises of developing a film script, guessing products for ads, etc. All fun and learning at the same time!!

Final day, and we had a truly great session with Mr. Sudhakar, entrepreneur whose FabMart is a great success story. He talked about his experiences in IIM A, how to enjoy your stay here and lead a balanced life. He laid great stress on Integrity in corporate world. Don't know how many of us will actually do that!!

It was followed by another wonderful session by Abhishek Thakore, who has just passed out of IIMB (the guy who was there in the BusinessWorld). He talked about the life at IIMB, how to enjoy it, the dos and the don’ts, how to handle stress and manage time, the importance of academics, and how to balance acads and extra curricular. The most important thing he did was he reminded us of our dreams, and ambitions. That really helped me to introspect and reassess our position.
There was another orientation programme, which was being run in parallel by our seniors. I won't divulge the details here for the sake of tradition :)

IIT Kanpur seriously needs to replan its orientation programme. People come to IIT in JEE mood, all ready to rock, completely forgetting that its just a start. I have seen many of my batch mates losing their focus, indulging in gaming, and being screwed in academics. The academic performance at IITK is on a low and getting worse day by day. Perhaps, a better orientation programme which can remind first yearites of their goals and ambitions might help them to focus better.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

ISKCON: Spirituality vs. Lavishness?

I visited the grand ISKCON temple here in Bangalore yesterday. Its the largest in India and truly grand with gold plated sculptures, and marvellous architecture. It must have taken a huge investment for sure. But then, ISKCON is about spirituality and renouncing desires for material pleasure or Mayaa. Is it contradicting for a cult popularizing this philosophy to have such a grand temple built? Do the followers or chanters need such a lavishly built building to chant? Is it a marketing gimmick to attract more visitors (who can then turn into followers)? These questions have been really bothering me since then.
Official website, http://www.iskcon.com/, states that the 7 missions of ISKCON. I found 2 interesting:
  1. To erect for the members and for society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
  2. To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life.

To achieve (1), ISKCON temples have been built. But, (2) is a little confusing. Is is only relating to personal life, and not applicable to temples? Afterall, grandness in architecture is not a natural way of life. Followers will be leading a simple life, but remembering/chanting god rhymes in a lavish environment! Lavishness at all possible levels should be avoided according to ISKCON philosophy. Then, why do the followers need such huge temples to chant and pray? Is a simple temple, with spiritual environment, not good enough? Aren't these temples built as a marketing tool? Afcourse, there is no harm in marketing your way of life or philosophy, but marketing should not shake up your own philisophical foundations. Wouldn't it be better if the money invested had been used for educational or social purposes?

I have in touch with few ISCKON followers. Debating them is quite a tedious task as they derive their thought process from Vedas and other scriptures. I can think of one possible explanation from their side: "Followers are not affected by the lavishness of temples. They have insulated themselves from materialistic pleasures." Accepted. But then why need lavishness at all?

I have not been following ISKCON philisophy. Some of my inferences may not be complete, looking for an informed explanation....

Saturday, June 25, 2005

New Journey Begins @IIMB

Blogging after a long time, and for the first time from IIMB. Reached here yesterday and have been haunting around the campus for the last two days with 2 IITK juniors. Just went to MG Road and ISCKON temple today.
First, about the city. What's best about Bangalore is its damn cool weather. Having returned from home (Rajasthan) where sun is scorching at around 46 C, really enjoyed the cool winds at 25 odd degrees. Apart from that my first impressions about the city: Bangalore was never meant to handle so many people! Too much crowd, traffic, really destroys the beauty and calm of this city. Infrastructure is certainly being pushed to limits. BMC has given a beautiful caption for Blore: "The city of Gardens, lakes, empowerment, knowledge."- which suitably captures the importance of this city.
Will write more about Bangalore later. Afterall, I have 2 more years to go here (and probably more because of job).
Next, about IIMB campus. No surprises, especially after coming from IITK. Lush green, pretty small one though, with 24 hour canteens, a CCD (known to be the worst in Bangalore), library, CC and not to forget, our hostel. Things are pretty close by, which is a big respite from 1 km journey to Department in IITK. My batchmates haven't started coming in large numbers. Met a couple of seniors over here. Can't really comment on the aura, people, etc. just now.
Finally, no one really knows IIMB here!! A big change from Kanpur, where you can get away from any damn thing in public in the name of IIT :)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Movie Review: 'D'

Another RGV flick! I had been waiting for a while for 'D' after following its promos and publicity. Finally I got a ticket for it after several failed attempts, and that too right in the first row. Watching 'D' from row 'A' didn't defuse my spirits though. What certainly disappointed me was the movie itself.
RGV has been accused of being obsessed with underworld. But, to his credit, he has been the torch bearer for the new wave in Bollywood, which promotes experimentation and deplores chopras-johars-barjatiyas typo movie making. Among his underworld based movies, "Satya", "Company" and "Ab tak Chhappan" have been successes. 'D' is unofficially supposed to be the prequel to "Company".
The strongest point of the movie is its cast. Deshu (Randeep Hudda) is a Dubai-returned mechanic, who is astonished to see gnagster killings in his uncle's house. Deshu refuses to recognize the killers who belong to the Bhai, Maangli.He approaches Hashim Bhai (Goga Kapur), the rival Bhai and proves his mantle by killing Maangli in his own den. "Mein kismat nahin maantaa" is Deshu's philosophy.
His rise in the gang is envied by Hashim's two sons, Mukarram (Sushant Singh) and Shabbir (Yashpal Sharma). However, Deshu gets a trusted aide in the form of Raghav (Chunkey Pandey). As the enemity increases within the gang, Deshu and Raghav are transferred to Gujarat.
Love angle is given by an actress, Bhakti Bhatnagar and Raghav's wife (Isha Koppikar).
Mukarram and Shabbir try to disrupt Deshu's success by killing Raghav and his wife. All efforts for a peace fail and rest is climax.
The high point in the movie has been the performance of Randeep. With his beard, goggles (which resemble those worn by Dawood !!), cool style of slowwwly smoking a cigarette, and tight-lipped dialogue delivery, he has been able to make his presence felt as a brooding, cunning, hard hitting and ambitious gangster. Chunkey Pandey has made a good come back. Sushant Singh has been grossly under utilized. No need of even mentioning the roles of female artists in gangster movies (unless it is based on Monica Bedi herself :)).
Debutant director (Vishram Sawant) has come up with a confused khichdi of Company and Satya. He hasn't been able to come out of the shadow of RGV, and hence, completely lost touch of the soul of any movie, the script. First half is ok, second half drags and sucks. The style of slowly muting dialogues in a scene merging it with loud background music was used many times. Its excessive use resulted in too much predictability and loss of effect. Music director needs to learn some music before giving unbearable pain to audiences' ears.
RGV factory has produced off the track films. RGV, beware, you might just be creating a track of your own for your movies. It will kill your creativity!!
Finally, one thing to learn from the movie- "Don't drink to be successful" !

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Finally, Graduated from IITK

May 31, 2005 was a big day- the 37th Convocation of IIT Kanpur. The degree of Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering was conferred upon me. We have always heard about the grandness of IITK Convocation and the thrill associated with it. Well, our expectations were met to a greater extent. Dr. Kasturirangan, former Chief of ISRO, was the Chief Guest for the function.

There are few exciting things regarding any convocation. First one is afcourse, the Convocation dress, or chogga, as we call it :) It was a lifetime opportunity to wear it and we made the best out of it by having extended photo sessions. Thrill is at its peak when academic senate enters the audi in the background score of "Chariots of Fire". Till last year, the whole batch used to enter the hall this way, which looked quite dramatic and sensual. Somehow, this practice was not followed this year. Getting the degree formally wasn't a dramatic event though, just a 10 second affair, with the HOD calling out the name, bowing to the Chief Guest, shaking hands with the Director, and then quietly walking away. Lucky ones had a soft applause too. Not an appealing exercise :(

The Chief Guest's address wasn't enterprising, with most of us enjoying a nice nap. BOG Chairman Prof. CNR Rao made a very important point- "If you want to become successful in life, become famous". I will remember that....

The reference to a recent DataQuest Survey which rated IITK as no. 1 in India was not befitting to the occassion. Cheap publicity stunt!!

The conclusion of the ceremony left all of us, with our parents, open in the blazing sun with only cold drinks to "chill" out. We didn't complain though. Pics from every possible angle, in the same old chikkat poses :) Many hugs, chats, emotional talks, blah, blah....

An unforgettable event.....

Sunday, May 29, 2005

IITK in 2030

As the date of my convocation nears by, I am starting to feel a little 'awkward' for sure. Can't say the feeling to be a nostalgia. I don't know what it is. Nevertheless, the stay at IITK will be the most cherished and unforgettable. I owe so much to this institute, which symbolizes technical excellence in the middle of the traditional heartlands of India.

So, what would IITK be like after 25 years? Difficult to predict. Rate of human civilization's development over past century has amazed even the most apt fortune teller. Here are a few predictions:
  • Stature of IITK: The role of IITs will change from preparing undergrads for US schools to producing excellent research and technical value in India. IITK will play an increasingly important role in the international scenario, with branches extending over South, South-East Asia and Europe. New disciplines like Economics, Bioengineering, energy conservation etc. will gain primary importance. IITK will have more industry sponsored projects, leading to meaningful outputs.
  • JEE: Online examination, followed by interviews through video conferencing. Perhaps, even genetic blueprint might be used. No. of seats would have certainly multiplied. Only post graduate admissions. Undergraduate education will move on to the NITs.
  • Departments: Biotech/Biosciences will be the most preferred one, followed by Energy/Environment Engineering. Computer Security might be the most preferred field in Computer Science. Nanotechnology will hold strong ground. Traditional departments like Mechanical, Material Sciences will move towards their modern forms such as Nanotechnology, etc. Aerospace will hold key to the man's pursuit for finding new energy resources/civilization in the universe.
  • Campus@IITK: All the available land will be used. An additional CC, Library, Auditorium and hostels. Old labs like workshop will close down. Lecture halls equipped with tele conferencing facilities, computer on each seat. Buses inside the campus. HC will undergo an extension. A proper fencing will be done from nearby villages. A Railway station at IITK might be a possibility. Can't see Kanpur having metro by then...
  • Hostels@ IITK: Multi storeyed Hostels. Hall 1, 2,3 might be at the verge of reconstruction. Wireless terabyte network, central air conditioning, McDs inside the hostels, single rooms, lifts in all the hostels.
  • Education and Courses: The concept of virtual classrooms will gain strength. Class room teaching might die a slow death, to be replaced by video conferencing sessions, online courses. Courses taken in collaboration with US/European universities. Notebooks, pens and pencils will be things of the past. Hopefully, emphasis on practicals will increase. More industry collaborated research projects, better research papers, and increased research output of IITK. Each field in a department will have its own lab, with multiple PhDs working under each professors.
  • Life @IITK: Festivals like Antaragni, Techkriti will scale up. But the input of student community in the organization will decrease. Event Management companies will take over these. Students will be less social, and hence, dull. Computers/ Laptops will be the best friends of most. Girls to boys ratio will improve. Afcourse, society will be much more 'open', and minis, skin shows, sutta, daaru, sex will be quite common.
But, there will be certain things that won't change. IITK lingo, MT, lala's udhaar, magga, desperation and frustation for hot cheeks, and most importantly the spirit of adventure, exploration and the spirit of IITK.....

If by God's grace, I am there in 2030 and in a condition to update my blog, I will verify my predictions.
Meet you in 2030....

Friday, May 27, 2005

Wanna adventure? Travel in Indian Railways!

Holiday season is on. Time for travel, masti, adventure. Older, lazier souls among you choose a traditional holiday packages to Nainital, Manali, Kashmir or some forgotten hill station. The more young, heavily pumping hearts look for a mind blowing adventure. Rock climbing, cycling, biking, rafting, paragliding etc. are the obvious choices. I suggest a new adventure ride which will test every paradigm of your skills, be it physical, mental, or emotional. Travel without ticket, or with waiting ticket in Indian Railways!!
Now, this is serious. I assure you of extreme pleasure and pain. Expect the unexpected. Be ready to take on the police. Be ready for the kill. And all this, from my own personal experience.
Board the train. Great, you have already done the first adventurous act, you have broken a law. Travelling without ticket is a well known defiance of law, but most are unaware of the fact that you are also not allowed to travel on a waiting ticket. The rule says that you must get down at the very next hault. But, adventure is about breaking shackles, isn't it :)
Next mission: find a place to rest your ass. You may choose to rely on your legs, but over longer distances, it might be physically painful- oops, another scope for an adventure!! Now, finding a seat will require great observation skills. You need to spot a 2*2 feet empty space in the boggy. Look out for singles, side berths; keep away from ladies, families; upper berth may be empty. Still, (fortunately for you,though) you don't get a seat.
Now, enter your communication skills. You are a student, there are some middle aged uncles around, their son might be of your age, may be in the same school, some connection here and there- aha, this might work. I played this trick many a times. Immediately disclose that you study in IIT. Great, mission accomplished. You got a seat. Oh no!! you were here for an adventure! Situation changed, you still don't get a seat.
But your legs are aching. This is getting painful. Suddenly, you see a suitcase on the floor. Place your ass over there. You might be sitting in the most awkward position, with half of your bottom without any support, but remember you are getting what you are here for!!
Next mission: Escape the claws of TT. Now, this is a great hide and seek game. You will get a feel of escaping from a beast in a jungle. If you don't have a ticket, run away to the toilet. No other place to hide. Toilets can be extreme adventure, but your hanky might help you to resist. If you have a waiting ticket, it's safe in most places. Ask TT with a whisper, "Berth milegi kya?" The usual answer will be "Train full hai, baad mein dekhte hain". Don't get disheartened, wait......
As sun looses its dominance in the sky, a wave of restlessness travels through the compartment. Those with tickets spring up in action to arrange for their sleep and kick out 'outsiders'. But those without berths are the real anxious lot. Where to sleep?
A new avataar takes birth in the train: the TT. Soon, he will be distributing amrita in the form of berths. There is a price to pay though. The real face of Indian administration is revealed. Corruption at your foot step. TT might agree in 50 or 100 bucks, or even more depending upon the size of devotees' queue. You chose to be more adventurous, and ethical. "What a shame? I won't bribe him. This is rediculous." You forget one thing- you are on the wrong side of law yourself.
Finally, you don't get a berth. It's going to be the longest night of your life. Either you will be standing, or being kicked by a person on berth, hopping from one seat to another. Your spirit for adventure is slowly dying out......Utter frustation won't help. Longest wait for the destination.....
Finally, destination arrives. It has been a great adventure: physically demanding, emotionally drenching and mentally painful.
Thanks to Indian Railways for 14 hours of continuous adventure for just 300 odd bucks!!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Grading @IITs

This is in continuation with my rather serious articles about IITs. You can say I am suffering from nostalgia or it's just a phase of introspection. Anyways, I read this article regarding grading at IITB in the past. Author has raised questions regarding the effecitveness of the grading system at IITs.
Grading is such an important issue in India, especially at highly competitive places like IITs. Talking more specifically about IITK, we will hear both sides of the story. Some appreciate grading, while for others it's not more than a civilized crime against student community.
My view- grading is important and a must have.
  • In any society, you need quantification of excellence/performance. Grading provides just that. What's the way to find out your academic performance for a company which wants to recruit you? You definitely won't submit "character certificates" from 40 different professors!!
  • I don't buy the argument that western society (specifically, american) pays less heed to grading. Grade is the measuring yardstick during admissions to US colleges. US society is afterall highly competitive too.
  • Why fear from grading? Your performance will be gauged throughout your career. It's just a small beginning. Face the reality.
So, what's the catch? Why people loathe grading, or why grading hasn't been able to emerge as the right quantification tool?
Fault lies in not the grading, but the way grading is done. Exams are given much more importance than practicals/homework/assignments. A few points:
  • In IITK, the usual marks distribution for a course is: Examinations (end sem, midsems)- 80%, homework/assignments/attendance- rest 20.It boils down to performing in 5 hours of examination, rather than throughout the semester.
  • Short cut for students- definitely, mug up just before the exams and you are through. It all depends on your ability to collect class notes, mugging the "right" things, memorization skills, and if you lack any of them, your guts to cheat :)
  • Short-cut for instructors: This grading policy is usually an easy way out for instructors. They don't have to grade assignments, take pains to solve assignments, and more importantly, catch copying in the assignments. Professors! don't blame us only, you are equally at guilt.
  • Learning curve is also low in exam based grading. To learn, you must ACT. Assignments are the only way students can really act. Perhaps, this is the reason of the famous saying- "Never depend upon an IIT Electrical engineer to fix up your wiring problems". They will keep applying Ampere's law, circuit law, etc. None applies in any practical situation :)
  • This is the reason US schools are much ahead. Emphasis is not on exams, but practicals, projects, assignments etc.
Solution- Professors, wake up! Don't simply blame us for all the bad things. Fact is that amount of effort put in by most intructors in IITK is dismal. 10 years old lecture notes,
repeated examinations, not grading answer books, poor presentation skills, etc. In one course
his semester, professor didn't have classes for one full month, and no make up too !! He didn't check mid sem copies (rumours were that he had lost those). His final words to me were- "I have more important work to do than give Fs". Amazing. Did he have a right to give any F in that course?
Professors, think and act soon!!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Is IITK supporting Piracy?

Just received an .XLS file of a course's marks from a Professor here at IIT Kanpur. As I was going through it, a thing struck me. No, not that I had performed badly in the exams! If I didn't have Microsoft Office software on Microsoft Windows OS, how would I view that file? This is not a unique case. We have Microsoft Powerpoint Presentations, Microsoft Word Documents, Microsoft Excel Documents, etc. being frequently distributed by institute authorities (Course intructors, DOAA/DOSA offices, etc.). Several issues arise here:
  • It is being assumed that each user (student, instructor, other institute residents) has the means/tools to use a format of file, which is supported by Microsoft Softwares. Now, this leads to copyright issues of a commercial software. All users can't afford a valid copy of MS products, which results in widespread piracy. It is a fact that piracy is rampant in the campurs. But, are the official authorities encouraging/supporting/assuming piracy in the campus? Afcourse, there are Open Source Tools available (Open Office etc.), but if I send a .ppt file to somebody, I assume that he owns Powerpoint to open that file. Also there are technical issues regarding the quality of format conversion etc.
  • Shouldn't be the format of files be platform independent, especially if these formats exist? I know it's going too far, but aren't the authorities promoting/supporting MS products in the campus?
  • Lack of awareness among the authorities regarding the copyright issues and widespread piracy in the campus. Even in the CS department, most computers in the lab have Linux as the OS . Linux is run most frequently even on the dual-boot machines. In this scenario, I find it amuzing that some CS professors still distribute course material in MS Office formats !!
  • Quality of documents: I doubt whether MS office is the best software for documentation. Latex for reports/presentations, Open office, Prosper can solve the purpose. And, there are commercial softwares available to convert MS Office documents to pdf format. Institute will have to buy these, atleast it will make whole thing legal.
Piracy and copyright violation are big issues in developing economies like India's. While software vendors make hue and cry regarding their revenue losses, some have even claimed that piracy is an ideal model for these countries to access the latest in technology. Without going into this debate, I seriously believe that people in IITK campus (infact, in campuses all across country) should campaign for distribution of information in electronic formats, which are platform independent (.pdf, .ps etc.) . This will have several benefits:
  • Platform compatibility. So, I don't have to switch from Linux to Windows just to view a document :)
  • Uniform format for Information in the campus
  • Increased awareness against piracy (it is atleast illegal, whether good or bad is debatable :))
  • Educational institutes across developing nations are moving towards open source softwares. IITB is an ideal example for this. It leads in Open Source (Linux) usage and awareness. May be this will be the first step towards it in IITK and lead to increased awareness/usage of Open Source softwares. Afterall, best way to curb piracy is to use freely available softwares ! May be this could also result in few sleepless nights for Bill Gates :)
IITK, use .pdf/.ps instead of .ppt/.doc.....

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Kashmir Issue: Think out of the box!

Unlike Agra'01, Delhi'05 was much more pragmatic and eased out event. I still remember news channels holding 10 min. debate on the way Musharraf shook hands with the Indian PM! This time around, the expectations from the visit were pragmatic (which is the nearest soother replacement for 'low'). Nice to see that Indian media is finally coming out of age.
At the end of the visit, we can sum up the position of two sides as:
India: Stop supporting terrorism, build upon CBMs like buses, trains, visa regulations, free trade etc. to increase people-to-people link, no re-drawing of borders.
Pakistan: Solve the Kashmir issue first, think out of the box to solve this issue, supports the "struggle for independence" of Jihadis, rest(CBMs) come later.

Well, nothing new in these views/policies. Both sides have failed over the last 58 years to recognize the problem of Kashmiris. I really feel that both sides should think out of the box to sort out this issue, with an active participation of Kashmiris. Here are certain issues that have been constantly neglected/forgotten/hidden by two sides:
  • Kashmirs (Indian and POK) are one of the most backward provinces in terms of economy, infrastructure and various social indices. Unemployment is a huge problem, tourism is suffering due to the state of insurgency, industrial growth is lackluster, and corruption is paramount. There can be several reasons for this situation, apart from the demographic disadvantage. Lack of planning, prolonged militancy, insecurity, etc. But the most important reason for me is the lack of participation of the locals in governance. We will never know whether people go out willingly to vote or at a gun-point. Both governments have failed to take locals in confidence.
  • Demographic, religious, and cultural divisions of Kashmir in the form of Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh regions. The basic rule of Religious majority, which was followed at the time of independence does not hold any more due to widespread migration of Hindu pandits.
  • Lack of "proper" representative of Kashmiri people. Hurriyat no longer enjoys clout in Kashmir. Kashmiris lack a strong presence on negotiation tables in Delhi/Islamabad. I must clearly state that the Central Governments at Delhi/Islamabad DON'T represent Kashmiris.
  • Most importantly, what does a common man in Jammu, Srinagar think about the issue? Keeping aside my patriotic feelings, I feel that a large section of people in Kashmir feel themselves closer to Pakistan owing to cultural, religious, historical and emotional reasons.
Both sides must now rethink their positions, and think creatively to address these issues. Similar problems have been solved previously in world history. Possible solutions include: turning LoC into international border, joint administration of Kashmir, providing adequate autonomy to Kashmir with supervision of both countries, implementation of joing development projects for Kashmir, etc.
These solutions require strong political will from both the sides. It's amazing how the fate of about 5 million Kashmiris lies in the hands of other 950 million Indians, most of whom don't understand the issue at all! It is this set of people who will immediately question the patriotism of the person proposing such solutions.
If a political party thinks out of the box, and takes a risk, history will be made. Sure, it may loose next elections or even after that. There might be a "wave" against it, But, have confidence in the new generation. New generation is eagerly waiting for this issue to be solved, so that concentration is on improving the standard of living of people, instead of # of submarines other country possesses. This generation is the one which will ensure that the party returns to power 5-10 years henceforth. The stakes are high, benefits are higher.

Monday, April 18, 2005

BTP- Finally over!

Finally, my B Tech Project (BTP) got over today with the final presentation and report submission. Feeling quite relaxed after that!
My BTP was related to "Program Analysis for generating Sandbox Policies". It's a topic related to an application of the compiler technique of "Program Analysis" in computer security. My guides were Dr. Deepak Gupta (DG) and Dr. S K Agarwal (SKA).
Things getting a little technical here, but you got to bear that (afterall, it's my BTP!).
Just few thoughts regarding this year long project. The topic was certainly not what I intended to work on. I was more interested in system level application in computer security, but ended up with algorithm and theoritical work. Anyways, found the work interesting enough later on. DG was particularly helpful during the work, and surely enough he is currently, one of the smartest professor at CSE Department of IIT Kanpur. He is damn sharp and has a great research inclination. I, still remember his disappointment when I told him that I am not going to apply for Graduate Studies :)
Honestly, I should have worked harder on the project. But then, got busy with Techkriti and CAT. I have enough excuses :)
None the less, the demo worked in the final presentation. That's what matters.
What did I learn from my BTP? Coding and executing a lengthy project. As a computer science engineer, I still have a lot to prove regarding my coding skills, and more importantly, software development skills.
Overall, a nice experience !!
You can find my BTP report at CSE Deptt. Report Repository (I am sure not many will be interested).

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Preparing for CAT: Few Tips

"IIMs have the most random, absurd and opaque selection procedure in the form of CAT". This comes right from my experience over the past 6-8 months. No body knows what conspires in the selection procedure, what each IIM looks for, etc. In this article, I will make an effort to help you about in your preparation for CAT. This year, only 6 IITK freshers made it to IIMs, which is really an exceedingly poor performance in comparision to any other IIT. I wish more people from IITK make it through IIMs, and here is my helping hand. Articles of others are also listed below.

First of all, I begin with my profile:

Gave CAT in 2004, got calls from B,C,K
Got an admission in IIMB
CAT %ile- 99.3
Deptt: CSE, Decent CPI, Good extra-curriculars
Job: Inductis
Note that I have only mentioned things which matter in CAT.

Before starting with tips for preparing for CAT, I would like to say something about "Why one should go for CAT ?" Here are few benefits from my side. Heavy salary packages. Yeah, for sure, but don't expect a $150,000 package!! Definitely, average packages at IIMs stand at about 7 lacs (that doesn't include salaries in dollars). An MBA degree afcourse, gives you an edge in your career graph growth. Why MBA just now, and not after job experience? Definitely, job ex helps. But, then why not now itself? You never know what happens in future. Go for the KILL right now.
I will now discuss various aspects of getting through CAT. This will be followed by my ranking of important factors considered during selection by IIMs. The ranking is highly subjective.

1. Preparing for CAT written test: Most believe CAT is about speed and accuracy. I believe CAT is about two Ps, Practice and Persistence. You got to practice hard, and you got to practice regularly. A serious preparation for 3 months is good enough. I didn't take classroom coaching, so really can't suggest whether coaching helps or not. CL and IMS Test series are good. Coaching can help you to learn few more tricks and techniques. Other than that it's all about YOU. I discuss each section individually.

A. Verbal Ability: This section haunts IITians. Don't get disheartened with your low scores initially. You can definitely improve. For improving vocab, mug up any word list(Baron/ CL).
Do it in the first month of your preparation. Vocab. is not all about meaning of words alone, but also about the context of usage. The number of questions related to this are increasing, and the trend is likely to continue. After one month, analyze how much you have improved. If vocab. is proving too difficult, switch over to RC. RC is all about practice. Work out your technique to handle the comprehensions of various types. Here are few from me, but you should always decide based on your strengths and comfort level.
INcrease your reading speed.
Don't try to read the whole passage.
Try to go from questions to passage, rather than vice-versa.
Go for accuracy. Try not to make mistakes. Afcourse, all this comes through practice.

Work really hard in VA, as it usually is the "Make or Break" section in CAT. You need a score of 20+ in CAT, as the cut-offs are usually higher for this section.

B. Data Interpretation: A section to score. Mr. Neeraj Prasad is a master at this. Mug up %ages, square root tables, etc. One important thing: this year's DI was not based on calculations, but on logical reasoning. I think the trend is likely to continue. This can turn out to be in your favour, as you can really outscore commerce guys here. So, practice logical reasoning well. A "Mental Ability" book for NTSE preparation might be a good choice.

C. Quantitative Ability: You are a master at this, isn't it? Well, rethink. CAT QA is about tricks, right question selection and accuracy. Minimize the number of mistakes, instead of maximizing the number of attempts. Also, don't give too much time to this section. Remember the individual cut-offs.

2. Before and during the Test: One month before the test, you should be ready with your methodology of giving the paper. By methodology, I mean the order of attempt of sections, time devoted to each, the order of attempting questions etc. It should be a well tested one. Now, comes the 'D' day. Perform BEST on this day. Be cool, but don't let your brain cool down. Keep working out problems till the last minute. Even a single mark can make or break the day for you. Don't ever think that you have done enough to get through. I did the same, and sat there relaxed during the last 10 minutes. Later, I found out most of others have done much better than me :(

3. How do IIMs give out the calls?
Nobody knows. But, a balanced scores in all the sections(usually 95%ile+ in each section, and overall above 99%ile) is required. Good score in English is required in A, C lays stress on QA. B gave out calls to 95%ile people this year !!

4. GD/PI: You will have 1.5 month to prepare for it. You can easily prepare for it. Start reading business magazines, go through your important deptt. courses, current affairs, hobbies.

GD: There are few well known tips such as speak 2-3 times with good content, rather than speaking crap 10 times. Control your body language, give everybody a chance to speak, be assertive, yet not aggressive. You will get better with more GDs. In the end, if you think you can't really speak well, wait for your turn, and make smart entry 2-3 times. You will be through.

PI: The most important thing is: Know your strengths and weaknesses.You will have to divert your interview to what you want to tell the interviewers. Before the interview, decide upon what you are going to tell the interviewers, and then just tell them those things. Afcourse, this comes through practice. I have given a brief of my interviews on my blog. Nobody asked me any acad question because of my CPI. Otherwise, you are likely to be grilled on your deptt. knowledge. PUSH in every good thing you have in your CV, be it your excellent internship (foreign exposure is weighted in IIMs), extra-curriculars, or a competition you have won. Regarding low CPI, you simplly can't defend it. Accept your mistake. Don't contradict yourself during your interview. One important thing is your career plan. Be pretty sure about it, as clarity of thoughts really helps you in interview. Be confident and cool.
Believe that you belong to that place.
Have few mock interviews definitely.

5. Important Factors for CAT preparation:

  1. CAT Score: Most Important. Do your best and get it as high as you can. 99.6+ will take youto a safe zone. I made a blunder in the written test, don't do it.
  2. CPI: Unfortunately, YES. You should have a decent CPI, i.e. above 7.5. If you are below this, score more than 99.8-99.9%ile in CAT. Then, you have a fair chance. So, don't be disheartened if you have a low CPI. You can still make up !!
  3. Extra-curriculars: Nobody looks at your certis. Fraud certis are freely available in the market, isn't it? Your extra-curriculars can help you to guide the interview and gain command over it. The important thing is that you must tell them the difference you made while engaging in an activity. But, remember, all this comes only after they have been through your grade sheet ;)
  4. GD: least important. If you are not good at it, just open your mouth 2-3 times in the GD. That is enough.
This ranking is highly subjective and debatable. Take it in that spirit only.

You must show a SPIKE in CAT to get through. This may be in the form of your excellent CAT score, or CPI, or extra-curriculars to some extent.

You can post your specific queries/comments on this article. Please give your mail id so that I can reply you back.

Happy belling CAT!!
Related articles to read:
Vyom Kr Gupta(Y1 Batch)
Vikas Kumar's blog
Why MBA?- By Nakul @IIML

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Got through IIMB!

At last, got through IIMB :)
Feeling great about it......after the wait list at IIMK, it was certainly a good result.
8 is certainly a lucky number for me, I got my job on 8th Sept, then got my IIMB result on 8th April...
Nothing more enjoying than celebrating the success with wingmates, had a champagne and then a drink party sponsored by bhatti.
Also feeling great for Malai (vikya) who converted his sole call...great work done by him......
Enjoying these moments.....

Monday, March 28, 2005

IIMB Interview

IIMB interview was certainly the most important one for me. After an initial confusion regarding the venue, the process finally started at about 10 am, an hour late. First was the Case study.
Case was related to a young manager, who is in confrontation with his boss regarding the publishing of an encyclopaedia on Indian mythology. His boss favoured a print edition, while he favored an interned edition. The group again consisted of "us" only, i.e guys from IITK together again !! Good enough GD for me.
Interview: I was a little confused whether interview will be based on acads, or HR, or a mixed. Anyways, the first question was "Tell me about yourself." Some other questions, as I remember were:
Why do you need to do MBA for setting up ur own company?
Why did you mention your research projects to us? Is it for increasing the market value of your CV, and not interest?
Who is a techno manager?
Dont you think you will be left behind technology, if you become a manager?
You are the event manager of a marriage. Tell us the various arrangements that you need to make.
What will you do if you are not able to do MBA ever?
Where is your job, and whats the work out there?
After an MBA, what kind of job will you prefer, in IT sector or marketing or finance?
I know you will end up in US, and not stay in India.

Amazingly, not even a single acads question was asked in my 3 interviews !!
I think the interview went on well. Waiting for the results now :)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Is Sachin the greatest?

I wrote this in 2005 - how time flies! I would now change the order to (only modern time batsmen included):

1. Sachin Tendulkar
2. Ricky Ponting
3. Rahul Dravid
4. Brian Lara
5. Jacques Kallis


"Sachin crosses 10K mark in Test matches"-- headline of every newspaper on that day. But there was a difference, the news didn't create much hype. Are the likes of Dravid, Sehwag taking over the "prime" role in the team, and more importantly in people's perception? This is not the question being discussed over here, though, just a food for thought.
Let us analyze the 4 others who had crossed this mark. I will not go into statistics for comparison. Instead, I consider other factors, which are undoubtedly, subjective and open for discussion.

Sunil Gavaskar: Opening batsman, easily the best Indian batsman for long. He played against the fierce pace attack of W. Indies (the famous 4-tuple), and Aussie attack(Jeff). His record of most runs in a series against W. Indies in W. Indies still stands. He didn't have the luxury of all modern protection equipments. Making runs while facing new ball, against the best attacks, with little support from the team, on seaming wickets, with minimum protection: really puts him in the Ivy league of batsmen.
Allan Border: A low middle order batsman, one of the finest captains in the game's history. Had to face old ball, or the second new ball. His strengths were performing in critical situations, partnerships with lower order, and setting an example as a captain.
Steve Waugh: Very much like Border. Middle order captain, great captain, known for his match winning innings, run accumulator.
Brian Lara: Highest individual score: 400. A middle order batsman of high class. When his bat comes down on the ball, from a high back-lift, for a flowing drive or punching pull, it really created fuzz around the stadium. His flow of batting is really exasperating  His career has been marred by ups and downs. But, the number of test matches, he has won single handed for W. Indies, really represents his high class, and temperament.
Sachin: Middle order batsman. Best in technique and makes batting an art. Enjoys an iconic status in India. Truly a "master blaster". Has only recently started getting support from the team. But, hasn't won enough test matches for India. Unfortunately, not a big match player.

Ranking them will be difficult and dicy too. While Waugh and Border represent the spirit of the game, Lara and Sachin represent the "aura" of the game. Gavaskar is the symbol of "class" of the game. I will put Gavaskar on top, as he was an opening batsman, got his runs against the best on juicy pitches. Lara will be above Sachin, for he has won more matches single handedly, played with an all time worst WI team, big match player, and has really set the batting standards high. The two Australians, were better captains for me, who were the masters at getting the team out of trouble.
Hence, the ranking is:
1. Sunil Gavaskar
2. Brian Lara
3. Sachin Tendulkar
4. Steve Waugh
5. Allan Border

Comments invited:)

Friday, March 18, 2005

IIMC Interview

Date: March 17, 05
Place: IMI, New Delhi

Just a reminder, IMI is a great place to be in:)
IIM C interview was expected to be a tough one. My panel consisted of 8 and all were IITians (all from IITK) !! The topic of GD was "Educational Achievement is primarily dependent upon family background". We were all familiar with each other as we had done ample number of GDs together. So, no leadership role, no dominance, lots of high pitch voices, etc......as expected. Nothing too outstanding for me in the GD :(
Then the PI. Mine was the third. This time I will list almost all the questions posed.
Prof: Tell me abt yourself.
Me: A well mugged up essay. Gave reference to my internship in EPFL , and research paper.
Prof: (Looked like he had been to switzerland), did u move around switzerland? Asked me about Lausanne, Geneva, Zurich, Luzern etc.
Prof.: Where have you been in India?
Me: Banaras, Goa. (I regret this reply)
Prof: Which is the most famous ghat in Banaras? What does the word mean?
Me: Gave quite a close answer.
Prof: Goa enthusiast: Which is the river in Goa? Which beach did u stay at?
This section was particularly goofed up by me :( I had completely forgotten everything about Goa.
Prof: You have wasted ur time in extra-curriculars. You could have had better DR.
Me: Another pet reply.
Prof: Last ques: What causes the phases of moon?
Me: Don't know.
Prof: Last ques: Where have u got calls from?

Can't say much about the interview. I told them what I had to, but made a complete mess of other answers. Well, lets see the results.

Monday, March 14, 2005

SWOT analysis of a girlfriend

This blog is targetted especially at my wingmates, who suffer from gyaencomania(fear of girls).
The question that is being raised is : Do we really need a girl(friend)?
There are related questions, such as are we capable/qualified/bold enough to have a gf? Why do we feel we need one? Why will a girl ever come with us? Is it a sexual question only? or do we really need a female companion in our fuckingly boring "man"ual life? After all, why are we FRUSTATED over this issue? Hey, wingmates, be with me on this issue atleast :)
Frankly, these questions haunt us whenever I think abt having a female (24*7*365*22 days)!!
So, let us do some SWOT analysis of why female is integral to man's survival.
1. She is "she". Isn't that enough? Aren't you bored after living with dirty, hard, harsh and intelligent males for 15 years ? You need a change yaar!!
2. There is a POSSIBILITY of mental, spiritual, sensual, and in rarest of the rare cases, physical pleasure. Although, financial dissatisfaction may be on the cards :(
3. Yours pride, neighbour's envy...Hahahahaha...feel like laughing like ramanand sagar's rakshasa. Bakaitti at its ultimate !!
Personality development: Just adds on another flower in our bouqette of personality ....
5. May be understand the architecture of GH too !!
6. May be girls are good buddies, who are always there when you need them (maybe not all the places :)).

Can't see any more benefits?
Now, comes the cost involved, and believe me its a huge list. Special thanks to all the bulla of 4 years that has helped me to compile me this.
1. Wing mein booking. For others, its pretty bad to be target of 18 other guys after 12 in the night. Till then you can be safe with ur gf though :)
2. Loss of independence: Are tum kahan jaa rahe ho? Tum usko kyun dekh rahe ho? Aaj tumne shave kyun nahin ki (remember, guys!!)? tum shaam ko kahan the ?? Save me God!!
Our "type" of sense of humor is at risk. Tumhari writing kitni gandi hai, ha ha ha. Woh dekho usne kaisi jeans pehen rakhi hai, ha ha ha ha!! Some girlish jokes I have ear dropped. Come on yaar, give me a break!!
4. Our "esteem" , naak nichi nahin honi chahiye bhai.
5. Financial burden. Canteenwalah doesn't know my room no till now !!
6. Endless chutiyaaps . Valentine day, b'day, treat, movie, long chats, ruthna, mananaa .......
7. Most importantly, you will end up spending less time with ur friends.
8. Lastly, why the damn are we ruining the life of the silly girl !!

So, we see, costs dominate benefits. Then what, still we wish we had gfs. Why??
We don't need a companion, our frnd circle is excellent, we care for each other, spend time together... then what??
Is it just being the "one" to "achieve" that, or mere "testing" ourselves at a foreign pitch, or is it just lust?? I guess, a nice recipe of all these factors.
Finally, what r the choices we have? (btw, do we really have a choice? umm, topic for my next blog....)
1. Say ALOUD we don't need a girlfriend. ..........and wait for your parents to come into action!!
2. Say ALOUD I am looking for a girlfriend. Fuck your blog, mr. Pankaj
3. Well, I am still doing the analysis.........................essentially, I dont need one.

Now, my answer would be 2 & 3, which combine together to say this:
"I am the biggest FATTU" ever to live on the earth.
Choose your choice. The question is open till you get married...