Saturday, December 18, 2010


A romantic January night. Cool breeze from the window. Dim lights and some soft Elvis number pouring out of the speakers. I saw her for the first time. She was just perfect. Flawless. Awesome. I wasn't expecting her, like, at all. She was way out of my league.
I had fantasized about her in times of loneliness and despair. Lust knew no bounds. And I wasn't even ashamed. If only I could have her just one time! And here she was. Mine. All mine. The very sight of her gave me goosebumps. It was surreal: beyond all limits of conceivable thought.

But destiny had it's own plans. We soon had our differences and the damage was beyond repair. It wasn’t like she went out of my life. I bumped into her time and again in the arms of others, often being shared by multiple partners. It was painful. I even began questioning her character. Having no hopes of finding her back, I succumbed to anonymous mediocrity.
She was the first A I got in XLRI way back in Marketing 2. Eleven months and three trimesters down the line, I had her again. (And again, today! :D)
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Why MBA?

Type a 'why' on Google and the first suggestion that it throws up is 'Why MBA'. If you've landed here through Google search, I pity you. Please do not be under any illusions of enlightenment. Leave.

People all across the country, even Sri-sri-ek-hazaar-aath Arindam Chaudhuri, have torn their hair apart only to find themselves more confused every time. Some versions of Ramayana narrate the sleepless nights Rama spent in the endless pursuit. Even some great saints have been known to observe extreme penance to find the Ultimate Answer.

I still puke at the sight of brown newspapers. I still can't figure out the head or tail of an annual report. I still think that market research and statistics are buckets of shit. I still don't know how a stock market works.

But it's not been for nothing:
  • I can define 'core competency' without falling down laughing
  • I reply to 'What's Up' using a SWOT Analysis
  • Requests for financial aids to parents are referred to as IPOs
  • I ask my four-year old niece what the 'mission statement' in her life is
  • I advise friends to lend some semblance of 'sustainability' to their relationships
  • I talk to my girl about our future in terms of all the 'value' we can 'co-create'
  • There are never less than six tabs on my browser
  • 'Ctrl' is the most pressed button on my keyboard
  • 'Reply to all' is my default action on reading a mail
  • I make daily diary entries in MS Power Point
But the biggest 'value-add' to my life till now has been the mastery over GASing. For the uninitiated, GAS expands to Global Action Strategy. It refers to the art of blabbering/typing absolutely fucked up bullshit to a captive audience.

It usually starts with an epiphany - "Damn. I do not know jack about this" - usually followed by a quick reference to The Handbook Of Versatile MBA Jargon starring the likes of 'value', 'sustainability', 'strategy', 'organisational', 'leadership', 'hierarchy' and 'culture'. And then starts the quest for the Holy Grail: Frameworks!

Frameworks have been the most crucial inventions to mankind since sliced bread, wheels and condoms. For starters, these are lethally effective weapons of gas construction sired by jobless academicians and money-laundering consultants available to the rest of the world in hour of need/greed. The best of lot, my personal favourite is called a "Two-By-Two Matrix". TBTM is a motherfuckin' gem that swears to generalize even the most specific phenomena on earth. No person, animal or thing has ever been able to escape it's venom.

So, why MBA? The closest-to-acceptable answers are fat pay cheques and networking. If grades are any indicator of the cheque's flab, mine is bound to be severely malnutritioned. And networking, tch. My scorecard on this front shows all red. 553 days into the hallowed portals, I'm still as clueless as Manmohan Singh!

Here's FedEx take on the evil.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Grand Old Sleeper of India

The good old times were so bloody different. Or probably, it was the ignorance-induced-indifference of my age. Whatever be the reason, the sleeper coaches never used to bother me. They were taken for granted on a family trip. Travelling in air conditioned compartments used to be considered extravagance of the highest vulgarity.

22 hours in the sleeper coach of Purushottam Express brought back everything. It was a kaleidoscope of all the possible colors, dialects and cultures. The toilets stank. Males ogled blatantly at the plateaus of female anatomy. Discussions ranged from instantaneously solving political quagmires to making roadmap of the Indian cricket team to the WC. Hawkers sold spurious packaged drinking water with impunity. Some destitute-turned-junkie swept the entire coach with his shirt – that he would still wear after the exercise – for quick change and some glue to sniff. Ticket examiners made moolah at the expense of the employer. And everyone seemed to flash their ‘chai-neej’ phones squirting the latest Bollywood chartbusters that superimposed with one another making me beg the Lord to enlighten them about earplugs!

Today, I’m one friggin snob. Today I cringe in disgust. Today I travel AC.

Today, I travel with the crowd that throws huge words like ‘civic sense’ and ‘etiquette’ in a split second. The crowd that changes colors like a chameleon. The crowd that does “upar neeche” with the TTE without the slightest of hesitations. The crowd that uses the choicest expletives once it gets out of the coach. The crowd that thinks the world is it’s dustbin. The crowd that contributes more than it’s fair share to the smelly heap of garbage next door. The crowd that knows just one game: that of blame.

Will the buck ever stop? Will Musaddi Lal ever come out of the lazy reluctance bred by the ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude? Will we ever start using dustbins, however scarce they might be? Will we stop promoting beggary by offering them food instead of hard cash? Will the stranglehold on spurious water bottles ever tighten? Will the TTE’s wings ever be clipped? WILL PEOPLE EVER START USING EARPLUGS?

P.S. I’m totally convinced that the education system in UP sucks. This is Ishika (niece)’s take on English:

…C-A-T cat, D-O-G dog, E-O-G elephant…