Saturday, May 31, 2008

Past perfect!

At Great Lakes the schedules are so tight that we seldom get more than a few fleeting hours to submit an assignment. One such assignment in Macro Economics that our Prof. gave us the other day involved having to analyse a plethora of raw data regarding GNP, NNP etc from 1950 onwards. There was a total of 456 values that had to be analysed in less than 4-5 hours. 

Naturally, right after class our group (11 of us) sat down to make sense of it all. Now, the beauty of an MBA education is that no one tells you what to do or even what is expected out of the report. We are expected to know what needs to be done and if not figure it out. An intelligent group will be able to, eventually, come up with the solution. At this juncture i think it will be fair to say that our group was never even near the solution :-D

Anyway, 5 minutes into the analysis we started receiving mails from Mr. D which had wierd looking graphs in them. While I ignored the first few, once it became too frequent, I had to ask him "Dude, we know what all kinds of graphs are there... before we use them we need to understand the data" 

"No man, these are graphs of the data set!"

No way! thats impossible! How could he start making graphs when we had not even looked at the data? They weren't even typed in!! 

I did a quick review of the graphs and realised that they actually made sense (well, atleast to my nincompoop brain...). 

I asked him a small question about one of them and he quickly went to work on them. I saw his hands move at such speed that i felt dizzy just looking a them. Within 20 seconds he had another 2 graphs with my clarifications in them. 

I was impressed! Must definitely have been some hi-fi investment banker or someone in his previous life (read before Great Lakes). How else can someone shell out graphs and stats at this speed and accuracy. Great! good for the group... especially since it was macro economics.

I decided to pose the question to him... about his sheer efficiency and mastery of excel... and about his bank.

He replied.. "Oh No.. I was not working with any bank... I've had lots of practice doing this.. I was a PM at Infosys!"


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

To Elope... or not to elope...

“Dear all,
I am getting married to Mr. A on 6th of June at Chennai.
It would be really nice blah blah blah..”

We got this mail from our classmate Miss R the other day. It was sent at 5 PM and since I was already home for day, I made a mental note to congratulate her the next day.

But as soon as I reached college the next day, another Miss R in class came up to me and said “Hey George, did you hear the news? Miss R is getting married to Mr A! Oh My GOD!! And its only been 3 weeks into our course!!”

I’m not the one to talk so I politely smiled at her and went about with my business. Up until then I dint know Miss R was marrying one of our own classmates. Maybe they knew each other before joining Great lakes.

No sooner had I entered the seminar hall did Mr S came upto me and said “Dude, you know the deal right? We are planning a party for the happy couple. We want Glick (the photography club at Great lakes) to cover the event.”

“Sure, but its on the 6th right? Don’t we have a Mid-Term on that day? “ I replied.

“Oh yeah! I dint think of that!” He ran off to discuss it with the group planning the party.

“Y’Know, you are right. I wonder how they are going to manage the Mid-Terms in between all this. Are the going to go get married and then write the the exams? Or are they going to write it and then go get married? Maybe they are going to get married right here in the hall... That way all of us will be saved of writing the exams.” That was a Miss L talking in a very hopeful tone.

The entire class was abuzz with the news.

Like, I heard Miss K say, “Woow.. Its chhooo chweet na? I think they make a lovely couple. Maybe we will have a Baby Great Laker by the end of the year too!! That’ll make us 166 in number!”
Or Mr D sayin “Man, Mr A is my roomie... And he never mentioned anything of the sort or even gave a hint that he knew Miss R!! Looks like we will need to put up an ad for a new roomie now”

Suddenly I heard a huge commotion at the back of the hall. And I could see Mr A talking animatedly. Not knowing what was happening, I enquired with the friend standing nearby “Dude what happened to Mr A?”

“Dunno, but he seems upset!” she replied.

There was a big uproar and Mr A announced “ITS A BIG FAT LIE. I’VE BEEN FRAMED. I haven't even talked to Miss R till now! How can I be marrying her?? Gerroffame.. I DON’T WANT YOUR CONGRATS!”

“Hey, you are Mr A from Anna Nagar right? It says so in the mail!” someone shouted.

“Yes, I’m A from Anna Nagar. But I’m definitely not the A that’s marrying Miss R!!!”

“Boss, looks like you are having second thoughts. Calm down and think it over.. Think of her...“

“Why should I think of her??! I don’t even know her!”

Ok, something was definitely wrong. I hate scandals, and this sure was turning out to be one. I needed to go to the class behind the seminar hall. On the way I had to pass Mr A. I tried avoiding eye contact. I hate having to listen to these sob love stories. But he wouldn’t let me pass without his explanation. “Someone believe me! Hey George, really man.. Its not true. Its all one big frame-up. Pleaseee”

“Alright.. Alright.. Dude, calm down. Go and talk to Miss R and see why she sent the mail out. Hey, maybe she like you!” I tried consoling him.

“But I’m not ready for a relationship! I’m here to study! Cummon guys, stick with me!!”

I got out of that awkward situation soon enough and sat down at an empty seat waiting for the Prof. to come to class.

Then there was a second uproar and I heard a girls voice, screaming at the top of her voice... It gradually trailed away.. .as if she ran out of the hall. People rushed into the seminar hall to get a look. Apparently Miss R had come to class and Mr A went chasing after her!

We didn’t see either of them for the rest of the day... Rumours were abundant and floating about like dust. None of us concentrated in class that day. We were all excited about the entire incident. Groups were already formed to handle he situation. Some supporting Miss R, some Mr A... All in all, it was one of the most exciting days in college...

Later in the evening we got a mail from Miss R which cleared up the entire controversy.

“Hello everyone, 
I seem to have created some confusion by mentioning that I am getting married to A as if its someone you know. 
Well I’m writing this to clear that confusion. This guys name is A B and it’s not someone any of you know.
 Sorry about the confusion.
R D”

Sunday, May 25, 2008

165 X 1... Disaster!!!

Solve this riddle: What happens when you pit 165 of the best brains in the country against one of the best professors in the statistics? Who wins? The Prof or the students? After all, its 165 against 1. The odds for the students winning is almost a given. Ahh well, such a battle was played out at Great Lakes on Friday.

4 weeks into our course we had our first twin mid-term exams – Financial Accountancy and Statistics. First up was Financial Accountancy. It was challenging. 3 Qns, 1.5 hours. We came out of the exam hall all confused about the answers. 165 of us had 165 answers. Well, atleast we had answers!!!

Then after 2 hours of Macro Economics lecture, we went in for Statistics. Our professor Prof. Vishwanathan had told us it would be an open book – open laptop exam! Cool.. No need to study any formulae.. No need to do any revision... What more could we ask for... “This exam’s gonna be a breeze, man” I heard someone say...

Well, he could not have been farther from the truth. Prof. Vishwanathan projected on to the screen what he said was a “simple problem designed to challenge our minds”. That was the understatement of the year!!! Before we knew it, we were hit with one single problem which encompassed almost everything that was learnt so far in statistics. Decision Tree, normal distribution, MVP, etc, etc, etc...

By the time the stipulated half hour was over ( Prof. Vishwanathan even granted us 15 minutes over the limit), the entire class was in a kind if trance. Some we gawking around open mouthed, some were staring at the board with a lost expression, some were even crying... All-in-all, we were stumped!

Prof. Vishwanathan had, in his own simple and humbling way, shown all of us our rightful place. Hats Off!

For some reactions during and after the test, please see pics below. 

What?! Is that a question?

Eeehhhh.... {Drool}

Dude... I dont even know what that means!!

AAahhhhgggg..... I dont know what to do for the answer!!!

Boo hoo hoo... There goes my grades...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The mystery of the disappearing food...

Back when my sisters and I were studying in school my mom experienced a series of very surreal and bizarre incidents involving what she thought was a haunting. 

It all started with food vanishing from kitchen tops, even though they used to be covered. My mom attributed these first incidents to a few cats that were living in the vicinity. This belief was reinforced when she caught a cat red handed at the act of stealing food from her reserves. But try as she might, she could not see any way by which food was disappearing even when covered. I mean, cats could not eat food and then put the lid back again to cover their tracks could they? 

Consequently she started keeping the food inside the fridge so as to thwart any attempts by cats at gaining access to the food. A few days passed peacefully and Amma had all but forgotten the incidents. She now truly believed that cats were the reason for the food crisis at our house.

Then it started again. Food started disappearing from inside the fridge... and she would not even know of this until she opened a dabba to heat the food for us during lunch or dinner time. This was coz the vessel which contained the food would not seem to be touched in any way. It would be inside the fridge just as she had kept it the previous night... but the dabba itself would be empty!!! There was no sign of entry or any proof on it being handled by a human being. To her,  it was the real sign of some unearthly presence. 

"Maybe it is the Athma of a poor soul who died of hunger" she would tell us.

This really freaked her out and after this happened a few more times I noticed that she started praying a lot more. She became a lot more pious. She was convinced that this was a haunting. She even started keeping food outside the fridge for the "poor soul". After this food began disappearing from both inside and outside the fridge. Evidently, the neighbourhood cats were having a gala time. Try as he might even my dad could not drill sense into her.

My sister finally got through and convinced her that it was all quite impossible and that there had to be some rational explanation to this. She convinced Amma to sit up with her the next night to finally see what was going on.  

So the next night my mom and sister hid at a corner of the kitchen strategically placed to observe what was happening. My mom was obviously in an excited state of mind. Around the twilight hours, they heard the door creaking open. The creak was so faint that they wouldn't know it unless they listened carefully. They heard the muffled sounds feet. The perpetuator opened the fridge and took out one of the vessels with a quick sleight of his hand and started hogging the food. 

With not a moment to loose, my mom and sister moved in to apprehend the thief - the one who had my mom at her wits end for the last couple of weeks... They pounced on him and overpowered him in a swift motion. He did not even let out a scream or shout... rather he could not...

My mouth was full of the stolen chicken!!!


Monday, May 19, 2008

A birdie story...

Ahh, what a lovely day it was today... Hot.. But lovely. I reached Great Lakes and was greeted by lush green trees and lawns, blooming flowers, birds chirping, birds chirping, birds chirping... Hey, there was something wrong with the picture... Too many birds chirping... Well we do have many birds in our class but their chirping is different... And lovely in a different sort of way...

This was the real thing. Hmm... Is it migratory season already? If so, why have they all descended on Great Lakes? Maybe they have bought a bunch of Love Birds. But the chirping was too loud to be that of small little Love Birds.

I looked around for the source and finally tracked it down to it coming from our Resource Centre (Library). And there was a bunch of people at the entrance heatedly discussing soemthing... Maybe a flock of them got in somehow and were holed up inside. For sometime the sound seemed to have abated. I moved in to see what was happening. Just as I passed thru the door the chirping restarted...

And that’s when I realised it. Apparently there was a short circuit and the RFID detection machine had gone bonkers. Whenever anyone with the ID tags passed thru the door, the blooming thing would chirp!!

For the rest of the day our classes were amidst nature calls (in more ways than one). Gurukul System at its best

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Clubin Champs...

TCB – What does it stand for with reference to GLIM? The Champions Batch... But more relevant expansion would be The Clubs Batch... I reckon that’s what we are going to be known as.

Why? Coz as of the last count, there are 3 new clubs formed by members of the present batch. GLick – The Great lakes Click a photography club, The Fountain – A management book discussion club and a Yet-To-Be_Named Financial markets Club. Mind, this is apart from the umpteen number of committees that we already have here at GLIM. And I’m pretty sure there are a couple more ideas floating about in people’s minds.

They say that the idle mind is the devils workshop... But I beg to differ. We dint come up with the Clubs for the sake of it. There is an agenda behind each of them which is integrally connected to GLIM in a direct way. If The Fountain is striving to instill the habit of reading up on and understanding management books so that managers can take better decisions, the Financial Markets club is trying to teach interested parties the nuts and bolts of trading and investments while GLick is heavily into branding on the institution. Ours is a very gung-ho batch with a never say die spirit. By the looks of it each of these clubs will not only survive, but go on to be quiet successful setting precedents for the coming batches.

And that’s what you get when a group of highly motivated MBA grads are holed up in a seminar hall and left to fend for themselves. They come up with the weirdest and innovative of ideas... Pitch it to the Professors and students... Gather support... And make sure that they see it to completion. At first glance, it seems to be a very ambitious to have so many Clubs, committees apart from all the extra curriculars coming our way. I mean, the seniors din’t have any of these clubs and associated extra work to content with and yet they barely scraped thru the year due to the nature of the course. With work and studies piling up, all of us have started to feel the pinch too.

So the real question is, is our enthusiasm misplaced? Will we succumb to the pressure and get bogged down? Will the clubs meet a premature demise? Will Harry meet Sally? So many questions, so lil time to answer...

Its true that only time will tell, but sometimes you just know, y’know...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Casting couch...

If you've been to school and have not broken a bone, then I'd say you've lost out on half the fun. For the record, I've had one and a half times the fun compared to the non-bone breaking guy. Two of those incidents were so... well, embarrassing, that I'd rather not mention it. Reason being there was not much punch to it. On the contrary it was I who got punched.

But the third incident was different. It put me on the school map. The guy who... well, let me not spoil the story before you read it below. 

I still remember that day. It was just perfect Kochi weather - hot and humid seasoned with a li'l bit of smog from the nearby industrial area. We had 2 hours of back-to-back PT. (I believe one of the teachers fell to the ravages of either the smog or the students. Which is worse, you decide.) Being the athlete that I am, I usually used to walk around giving pointers to the rest of the junta playing everything from badminton to volleyball to football. 

Back then it was a lesser known matter that I had absolutely no idea of these games and did the above just so as to create an aura of being a person in the know and to escape having to play. Whenever someone called me to play some game, I'd either go deaf or pretend that someone just called me from the other side of the playground. Sometimes, there would not be anyone there and people would be all confused. But on that fateful day, all this changed.

Looking back, I guess I pulled the "Someone calling me" stunt a bit too often. There were a bunch of guys playing football and one of the 2 teams had a player short. I was on the edge of the ground shouting pointers to the teams. After a few minutes, one of the members of the disadvantaged team came up to me and asked me to join them. Before i cud pull my time tested stunt he said:
"George, there is no one calling you for help. Join us if you are a man!"

Well, that did it! I could not back out now. My girl fan club was close by looking at me. I had to join the game and prove my manliness. 

Reluctantly I stepped in amidst cheering from the girls. Man, I really had to put on a good show now. I was given the opportunity to kick off the ball from our end of the ground. 

I scanned the ground for the teams.
I dint know which guy belonged to which team.
Frankly, i dint care. I concentrated.
I had to get the ball to the other side of the ground.
The ball was a standard football made of black and white hexagons sewed together. 

I ran at the ball and with all the strength I could muster, gave it a powerful kick. Simultaneously I heard a crack... and I passed out. When I woke up I was in the nearby hospital with  my leg on a cast. I had broken a bone on my leg from kicking the ball :-S

For the next 4 weeks, I was limping on crutches and my secret was out in the open. 

Luckily my girl fans took pity on my condition and I was able to use a couple of them as live crutches atleast for a few hours a day. Sigh! How I wished my cast dint have to come off so soon... 


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hamare Paas...

We were discussing work experience in class the yesterday. Most of us came out with figures like 3 years, 4 years etc... through all this Miss P (of Role fame) was quiet. When it came to her, she blurted out the figure.. 8 years!!! 

Woow... that was the highest years of experience I had heard here in class... Heck! that was the highest figure that I've heard even among my colleagues at the various companies that I have worked in!!! We were shell shocked at this revelation... especially since she dosen't look that old... (actually she is a very young n sweet person and has just 2 yrs of exp, she was exaggerating too...) I think she is taking a leaf outta my book... hmmm... gotta copyright this funny bizz ;)

Anyway, later during the day, we had a small falling out with another group over a project. Their arrogance was apparent in the way they tried to undermine us... One of the ladies in the group came up to us in the heat of the exchanges and in classic style stated...

"Hamare paas gaadi hai, latest laptops hai, mobile phones bhi hai... Tere paas kya hai??"

Pat came the reply from me pointing to Miss P... in true Shasi Kapoor melodrama... 
"Hamare paas... Maa hai!!" 


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The race to nightingale-ness

Today I heard one of my classmates humming a tune. Since I'm interested in music, I listened in. But try as I might, I could not make out the words. 

"Maybe its a song in some vernacular dialect" I thought.

I listened harder. But again, I could not for the world make out what she was trying to sing. 
Finally, exasperated I turned and looked at her. 

And thats when I realised, she wasn't trying to sing at all...
All she was trying to do was to practice some sentences in Chinese... 

For the uninitiated, Chinese is a required subject at GLIM.

Role reversals of today...

In the days of yore (and by that I mean up until about 5 years back - Hey, thats days of yore nowadays!) whenever there was a marriage proposal at hand we used to hear the guys say things like:

"I want the girl to be able to cook"
"I want her to be respectful to elders" etc, etc, etc. 

And the gals would say things like:

"I want my husband to love me"
"I want to be able to bear him 3 children" 

All this seems to have changed in the last few years. Girls have become a little more demanding... Why, just today I heard my group mate Miss P say:

"I want my husband to cook for me"
"I want him to clean the house"
"I want him to wash the clothes"
"I want him to do the dishes"
"I want him to wait on me head and foot" 

My advice to her? Get married to a Software Engineer who has been onsite for atleast a year!!! 

P.S: Honestly, I'm really glad and relieved that she dint say "I want him to bear 10 kids for me!!!"


Thursday, May 01, 2008

An Obituary!

"I'm so sorry for your loss..." This is a sentence oft expressed at funerals. This was uttered to me today by one of my classmates though in a different setting and situation. 

The conversation between Miss D and Me went as thus:

Me: Hey D... Good Morning! :)
D: Hey George... GM! :)

After she had settled down, I asked her...

Me: Listen, what's the name of that tall, fair girl who looks like a foreigner?
D: It's S! You din't know that? 
Me: Ahh.. Yes... now I remember...

With a sly twinkle in her eyes, she looked at me and said... 

D: Why George, what's with the inquisitiveness? Hmm? Why all the questions?
Me: Dude! She is the only other person in class with a Mac! And hey, if you dint know... Im happily married you know!

She dint even hesitate to think... and immediately replied...

D: Oh! Im so sorry George!


I've become defenseless

Everyone has their own way of facing sticky and life threatening situations. Some find an alternate route to circumvent the situation. Some face the issue. Some even put their lives at risk and show heroism. 

I for one don't do any of the above. :-S 

 I have 2 extremely effective ways of escaping a scary situation. 

1) Run away - the most effective. :) 
2) Use my head - literally...  i use my hair as a defensive weapon.

Yes, I have a Sai Baba style hair. And my hair is probably the coarsest on planet earth. In fact, my friends use it to scrub grime off soiled plates. It is so coarse that I have a special barber trained in the delicate art to cut my hair. And it takes special equipment too. Considering that my  hair is probably the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man, it takes a specialised lawn shear tipped with some space age materials to get the job done. 

Now that you have a background about my hair, whats the technique I use in the face of an attack? Well, id like to think that Zidane learned the art of head-butting from me. All I need to do is face a potential attacker, run at him and head-butt him while also scratching the very skin off the area in question by shaking my head. You get the idea right? almost like a porcupine in attack position... only I'm more effective.

Chennai being Chennai (hot and humid), I had expected my hair to become even more lethal. and I was banking heavily on this aspect to get thru life at this city. But a week from landing here and taking bath in the salty murky waters of Chennai, my hair has started to from coarse and powerful to soft and silky!!! So much so that if this level of degradation were to continue, ill be modeling (at-least my hair) for Sunsilk shampoo soon. 

And ive all but lost my defense weapon... rendering me virtually defenseless :(