Friday, March 30, 2007

jana tha Chennai , magar gaye Mysore

Nope .. not coz we boarded the wrong flight or train , coz it was a bandh in TN where ppl were protesting against the Supreme courts decision to STAY the OBC quota in IIT's and IIM's based on some outdated sensus taken in 1931(!!!).. the whole Nation mourns the anarchy prevalent in India at the moment (yeah rite!)...

We for once had booked our tickets to Chennai this time (the first time we went by Indian Railways, without ticket and the second time we went with ticket in Unreserved sitting near the *ahem ahem* restrooms (WTF TOILETS) ... so not wanting to do an encore this time, we bukd our tickets and were all rearing to go !

We came to know of this on Friday morning (abt the BANDH) and then there was a heated discussion at home, I tried to sit on the fence (according to Bullshee 'la IIM GD style' ) and wen he said that i said bluntly "nope me not coming" and also put in (u guys should go no matter wat! just to rub it in) .. and I left for office grumbling .. my other roomies sat and slept and ate on it .. and by afternoon i got an SMS - " tickets cancelled .. total loss per person 124 bucks" .. i could only smile ( i mean GRIN).

in between all tat i had already bukd my ticket on the trip to Mysore with my branch mates, they had almost dropped the trip due to lack of 'participation' ! So our trip 'defectors' (there were 3 of us who jumped ship) we were on our way to Mysore ..

well the whole thing was well planned by Devassy ( a dumb friend of mine who got a GATE rank of 17 in the ELECTRONICS category after studying EEE for 4 years) -- but the one thing he could not account for was that the major 'attractions' were in itself not quite up to scratch .. the two best things abt the trip were -

1. The mysore palace security guys catching me and Fahad for allegedly trying to sneak out fotos of the interior ( u are not supposed to take fotos inside) and carry out some terrorist attacks there (!!!) .. I was not aware that Fahad was so much into fotographing palaces, but I was busy talking to my roomie who is in the US .. he had called (ISD u c ) .. the security guy interrupts

SG: hey u there, stop .. why are u using the mobile inside the palace??
me: *hear wat he said and do an 'area scoot' (learnt from Mambu) .. and go to the another corner of the room (palatial room ie) and start talking again ..

SG: (hell, that guy was persistent.. he was jogging towards me now.. ) U there , STOP u !@#$ .. give me the phone ..
Me: *shit i am in trouble* .. leave my gang .. run to the next room, mingle with the crowd..phew that was close !

SG: *jumps in from nowhere* ESCAPE, ESCAPE and then some kannada expletives and catches me by the collar and brings me to the crime scene ..(were i was talking in the first place)

FAHAD has already been cornered and is trying in vain to convince them that he did not do anything wrong .. I pass my mobile to Devassy and also try to convince the guy that i was not using any fone ..(!!!!)

after a lot of cajoling and explaining .. he is still not sure and wants to take me to the Security office and register some complaint and also confiscate the Mobile .. thats wen Shimna comes in ..the only girl in the gang . and the SG asks her
SG: wat do you say madam ?? (OMG )
Shimna : sir, please leave them this time ..(a friend in need is a friend in deed .. thanks shimna) * i almost thought she would say, take them to the gallows*

and voila the SG left us without any cases .. another classic case of GIRL power on display ..

anyway for once we were not complaining .. went on with the sight seeing .. (lotsa foreigners were there .. *grin*)

the second one worth mentioning revolved around April 1st and the arrest of some Siddharammiah in Mysore .. will write abt that later ..

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Home sweet home

Its good to be home ,I mean its good to be BACK home .. Esp. for reasons lik u dont have to walk 2 km to get your food(and u dont have to pay exhorbitant rates either!), dont have to clean the room, no office, no worries abt the laundry, or for anything else for that matter.

I had all this in mind wen I literally conned my manager into letting me take the two days off to come down to tvm. Must be his 'baddua' (or for that matter my team-mates who had to share the extra work coz of my Scooooooooot) , but I somehow managed to fall ill and waste the hard earned vacation: having to lie down the whole day without anything edible to eat (who said medicines are edible!!), no TV (damn the doctor) and yeah no pool table get-together with friends , I am hoping Bullshee will update me on that one though ..

well not to be outdone by anyone's 'buddua', I finally came up with a plan to actually not leave tvm with atleast a days enjoyment, and originally slated to return on Tuesday morning, I yet again fell sick and called office saying "I will come in ...*cough* only on Thursday *cough*(!!) " somehow got the leave sanctioned and was pretty eager to start the 'njoyment' .. but alas, all my friends had already left the place and the ones who remained had to go to 'work' .. WTF ! Even my pretty 'next door neighbour' was busy with college exams (or thats wat she told me).. so u can imagine how frustrating it ought to be for me to sit for TWO MORE days doing nothing worthwhile .. *sigh*
Am actually happy that I am coming bak to work tomm, atleast I would be doing something ..(on second thoughts no way!) Managers please note - give ppl vacations like these and it is a possibility that they might end up working better than ever! ( nah .. i have already bukd the tickets for the Easter holidays .. so dont let any wrong ideas into ur brain .. )

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

C - (anti)climax

The final interview of the ordeal (yeah attending 6 interviews HAS to be described lik that) was on the 13th -yeah it was Calcutta ..

The GD was good ... we were asked to discuss abt a low cost airlines and its problems with overbooking .. I had many personal opinions based on the air-deccan fiasco(s) so was able to hold my own in the GD .. all in all it was gud , we were asked to summarize orally .. that was also ok ..

The interview: I went in 4th ..

there were 3 ppl this time in the Panel .. P1 P2 and P3
P1: leads me into the room and shows me to the HOTSEAT
P2: ok, introduce yourself ..
Me: start off with the long by-hearted 'introduce yourself' answer ..

P1: interrupts and asks some arbit question ..

Me: i mumble some answer .. and am not sure whether to start all over again or to continue .. and i decide to start all over again .. *grin* .. keep going for around 90 secs .. and then my prep answer is abt to end. I say, "..., my hobbies include Playing futball, tennis, violin and singing" !!

P3: yeah .. sing us a song, we are really bored .. so please sing us a song..
Me: *trapped* . sir I am not into classical music and al ..

P3: well sing me a film song ..
Me: hmm .. ok .. err .. WTF .. yessir .. sing him a SONG .. 4 lines .. and in the end of it .. they actually clapped .. (i am sure it was meant to be sarcastic .. but ignorance is bliss in these cases)

P2: ok, wat do u think makes a great business leader ?
Me: blah blah .. loads of Bullshit (oops thats my roomies proprietary .. but guess he wont sue me for this .. ) *grin*

P2: ok then name one successful bussiness Indian Leader ?
Me: *rake my brain* .. dhirubhai Ambani ..

P2: he is dead .. name a living one ..
Me: err .. *scratch my head* .. Infy boss . narayanamoorthy (i dont even know how to spell his name .. )

P2: he is retired .. do u know who took his place ?
Me : (i dont even know he is retired how would I know who replaced him .. ) err sir .. i am not able to recollect the name .. (!!)

P2: ok .. then . name another person .
Me: azim Premji .. WIPRO head .. *smile*

P3: ok , name 6 people whom you are comparing him with ?
Me: (dont hear it properly) start naming companies ..
P2: interrupts. and says name people ..
Me: name STEVE JOBS and Bill gates ..

P1: takes over .. asks me abt the condition of futball in India .. how to improve and all that ..
Me: the same Q was asked at my IIM A interview .. so was better prepared than last time .. so gave them a pretty comprehensive answer .. the whole discussion took around 10 minutes ..

P2: comes bak into the Interview .. and says .. I have an imp Q to ask u . u said Steve JObs .. why do u think he is a great leader ..
Me: *gulp* .. sir .. i will move from an eg to the generic .. Talk abt the iPhone ..

P2: asks abt the selling points of iphone ..
Me: name around 5 -6 ..
P2: asks the price range ..
Me: 500 -600 dollars ..
P2: ok , I can get all these features for the same money on nokia or Moto, why Iphone ..
Me: sir, luks have a major selling point .. give the example of Moto Razr (say no features but sold 70 million units ..) Everyone laughs ..
P2: so what is Moto doing to counter the threat by Iphone ..
Me: name the drawbacks of iphone ..
P2: see you are contradicting yourself . you said Steve Jobs is a great leader and now u say that his product is worthless .. so wat does that mean ?
Me: *shit* sir .. i meant sir .. err ..err .. sir the market for Iphone and Moto is diff .. so there is no conflict .. thats wat I meant > *lame smile*

P3: ok .. thanks a lot you can leave now ..
Me: thank U sir ..

well no acads .. but Steve Jobs .. I have to learn to keep my mouth shut wen I dont know anything abt wat I am being asked .. *hindsight, nah .. al the interviews are over .. why bother changing*

yeah its great to be back to the lazy old self .. no more magazines reading more editorials ( god knows how I read all that) and no more Thereja .. !!! its good to be back .. and yeah if u are reading this .. welcome to the world of "employed but workless (worthless??) " gang of ppl ..

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A -- Agonizingly close

On 5th I had my A interview .. the biggest of 'em all .. and it seems befitting for the situation that there should be something 'extra' for the occasion .. or so thought the intitution (mayb the profs are fed up of teaching and want to roam around brigade for a change .. ) so there were 3 instead of two .. everything else was the same .. the same waiting rooms .. the same GD rooms .. and more than that my GD group had 6 ppl (out of 8) the same as in the IIM L interview .. ( we could hear ppl saying : "Last time (during L) , u spoke so much, is bar aisa karega maar daloonga !!" )

We entered the GD room, got three papers on our seats, (one with the case study, one paper for rough work and one for summary) .. and the prof told us "no writing TWO or THREE extra words after I say STOP .. ) and I was like *wat the hell .. who is listening to this crap*

the GD was abt some transcriptionist company on the boom and some recruitment problems faced by them .. I was making a very conscious effort to come in early in the GD and brought out some obscure point that I myself thought would be of relevance in the later part. I was given some 5 seconds to elaborate my point and then the whole group shot me down *whooooosh* .. I tried to listen and then wen the oppurtunity presented itself made an attempt again .. this time mayb they gave me 3 seconds , *bang bang* and then i decided that it was better to keep my trap shut and nod my head at the points that they were dishing out ...

Once the GD was over, we were given 5 minutes to summarise. I was the BEST listener (!!!) in the group and obviously had a lot to write down (in chronological order) and by the time I reached the long term solutions discussed, the Prof said STOP, but me in my endevour to bring out the best summary, kept writing furiously. The next I noticed, everyone in the room is staring at me, including the Prof (the one who had said NO writing once i said STOP) , I tried to mumble something .. but alas .. no cognitive syllables came to my mouth. that I thought was the end of my A interview.

Came bak to the waiting room, and we discussed and cribbed ( and I was sulking) abt wat transpired in the GD, the other 7 were happy that they got to speak , two of them even ventured on to say " maine aaj tak itna kisi GD main nahi bola .. aaj to maza aa gaya" (at my expense, of course) :(

I was no. 4 in the panel, biding my time by feasting on the tea (n coffee n biscuits and snacks) made available by the Hotel .. at last my turn came and in I went ..

there were 3 of them .. P1 (the one who was staring at me) P2 (a paavam person) P3 ( lukd lik paavam .. but naah 'first impressions can be deceiving' ..

P1: so you are working at Motorola for the past 8 months ?
Me: yessir (please ask me abt Motorola)
P2: Please name 4 methods of coding ?
Me: (!!!!!!!!) wat sir ?
P1 :repeats the same thing again, this time slowly. methods ..of coding ??
Me: sir, I did not understand .. *err, this is not going according to plan*
P1: there is one method where you do a requirement document and then plan and then code ..
Me: *very eager to tell him the rest* ..sir thats the way coding is done at Motorola, thats the process that we follow.
P2: *sigh* so can you tell us the other methods of coding ?
Me: no sir, am not aware of 'other' methods...*voice trailing off*
P1: ok, leave that .. then wat are you doing at Motorola ?
Me: try to emphasise that the project is mature and we just do maintanence and no coding !!! also mention that we are the best in the market in streaming ..
P2: hmm.. what is streaming? and is it used in india ?
Me : explain .. also try to hint abt 3G phones .. (luckily they let me lead them on .. )
P3: so, wat is 3G ?
Me: explain.. bandwidth, downlink rates .. streaming RDJ, video telephony .. etc etc. also put in 3G licensing in India.. (but they dont fall for that)
P1: which countries have 3G ?
Me: explain .. europe and all .. also mention abt Japan and Korea (pioneers and all )
P2: what abt 4G ? what is diff?
Me: try talking abt QOS .. and also higher quality services .. and Japan .. and Nextel and al
P1 : ok what is the difference between RDJ and normal FM ?
Me : explain that also in detail ..
P1: ok, I will come in later .. now you can grill him .. (luks at the other two .. )
Me: (turn my head to them) ..
P3: Do you watch movies ?
Me: yes sir .. a little bit .. (i did not want to get into that ..)
P3: have you seen 'Pyaar ke Side effects' ?
Me: Rahul bose and Mallika Sherawat ?
P3: *impressed* yes ..
Me: sir I have seen the ads and the posters .. but did not get a chance to see the movie.
P3: but still persists .. did you see Mallika's coffee with Karan yesterday ?
Me: No sir I missed that also ..
p3: then no point in asking you abt Mallika then (sad luk on his face .. wat does he want me to tell him .. that she thinks that she is 'Viagra to the Indian movie industry' and that i completely agree on that with Ms Mallika ??? )
P1: ok, which is the last Movie that you saw ?
Me : sir I watched the 'ghost rider' (thats one shitty movie btw) day before .. at REX (and at this point i point to the theatre which is a stones throw from the hotel)
P2: no no .. the last Hindi movie that you saw?
Me: (smell sumthin fishy) .. I go for ..DHOOM 2 ..(no story, no suspense, so no chances of questions on that one ..)
P1: hmm .. thats so old ..
Me: i watch more regional and English movies .. (excuses *grin* )
P3: ok leave that, what is the single most important event that happ to u this week ?
P2: and please NO budget and NO samjhauta express !! (gud I had forgotten abt the samjhauta one .. )
Me : *move the conversation to futball* .. sir the victory of Chelsea over Arsenal in the Carling cup final .. talk abt Chelsea n the owner .. Ramon Abrahmovic .. billionaire et al

all three were not that into futball .. but gave me a patient hearing ..

P2: ok ok .. you said you played in the Calicut district league and the inter-university for NITC ?
why did you move from Tennis at School to Futbal in colg ?
Me : explain abt 'team game' and also abt being versatile and ability to think and intercept ..

P1 : ok, Tennis has atleast some appeal in India, with Sania and Leander and all .. futball not even one star is there .. then why futball ?
Me: passion, live your dreams .. blah blah .. worlds most watched game .. global appeal .. blah blah

P1: name 5 indian futball clubs ?
Me: name around 8 teams .. (he asked me to stop at that time .. )

P1: if, Ramon Abrahmovic (he had listened to what I had said!!) comes and invests in India, what can be done to make India world class in 5-6 years ?
Me : There are two methods, either Import talent (Malaysia did that) and other grow talent, this will take a lot of time though.

P2: lets grow talent here itself ...
Me: then it will take around 12 -15 years .. have to train from a very young age .. have to target niches like Kerala, Kolkata, Goa etc ..

P1: do you think Media also has a role in this ?
Me: yes .. only then the talent pool would be larger .. otherwise parents would not allow their children into the game ..

P1: hmm . how many ppl watch games in kerala, I can tell you East Bengal and Mohan Bagan play to empty stands in Kolkata ..
Me: in calicut, the matches are played to semi filled stadium .. around 5000 ppl watch the game .. (wat the hell .. we used to play to absolutely empty stadiums .. not even ball boys *grin* )

P1 2 3 : surprised !!! explain ??
Me: sir, akk the league players have free pass to the games, then there are tickets for 50 bucks, those seats are full. Other costlier seats are not occupied .. so there is enthusiasm for the game .. maybe the revenue is not there.

P1: *sighs* ok do you like Math ?
Me: yes .. (apprehensive)

P1: ok .. do you like Calculus ?
Me: sir .. err .. I have done calculus .. (was sitting on the wal on this)

P2: ok draw a graph for the function ..y2 =3x2 + 4x + 5 without plotting points.
Me: convert it to a parabola and draw it ! *phew that was easy*

P1: how do you define differentiability of a function ?
Me : explain .. continuity and crap ..

p1: is |x| differentiable ?
Me: at which point ?

P1: at zero
me: (very confidently) yes it is .. (is it ?? if you know please let me know )

P1: ok , wat abt |x| / x .. at point zero ?
Me : no it is not .. since the left hand limit is not equal to the right hand limit .. so not differentiable.

P1: hmm .. think abt that .. anyway thanks a lot .. have a toffee ..and please bang the door wen u leave
Me: yessir .. and abt to get up ..

P3: wait .. who wrote the application form for you ?? (wt kinda question is taht ?? )
Me: sir I wrote it myself ...

P3: but your handwriting is so diff wen u wrote the summary ..
Me: sir, have two handwritings, one for assignments and one for class notes .. (smile .. ) *luckily for me they also smile*
moreover there was not enuf time to write neatly, so I was writing fast even then i could not finish .. this sir (point to P1 at this point) was glaring at me for not stoppin after he said STOP ..

P1: *amused* yes .. I did .. (and then he smiles)
Me: *phew* lucky esscape ..

P1: ok u can leave now ..
Me: thank you sir..

well all in all it was much better than building an SEZ in calicut .. but the GD was not upto the mark .. well dont want to crib abt that now .. watched Nishabd after that .. how bad can things get .. a y60 year old guy gets a 18 year old girl and a 21 year old guy is sitting without one ( ME ME ME ) .. *grin*
well as the 60 year old guy found out later in the movie .. girls are a pain .. (no i did not mean to the heart !!) .. so I am not complaining .. 'single and not ready to mingle' is the best way to be .. wat say guys ??

Friday, March 2, 2007

B - Bannarghatta massacre

The bells were knolling and the butterflies were flyin (no not really) .. here I was standing at the doors of IIM-B trying to reason with the guard there to let me in (i forgot my interview letter at home..*grin*)

hmm .. the place does have an aura that tends to put ppl off guard .. (i think the profs got that from the place or vice versa ) .. well all said and done, the panel was already decided and everyone from my panel were already there (i was last as always *grin* blame it on the guard who gave me wrong directions !!) .. after a round of introductions, I came to know that the panel had a senior of mine, two ppl whom I had met at TIME classes and some 'friends of friends' .. small world huh *sigh*

anyway, the GD was pretty ok .. we were asked to discuss abt some case wherein some 'rustic' small time actress with an attitude problem was goin to make it big .. whether she should go to finishing school, or wud that polish her off as too sophisticated .. the only problem in the GD was, one person consuming too much 'airtime' and not contributing ABSOLUTELY nothin to the grp .. i was damn sure that if one person had got up and hit him on the face (which the person next to me was abt to do ..) everyone wud have 'avered' with him quite vociferously !!! well all said and done .. 15 min to discuss (8 to that guy and 7 min to the other 7 .. ) it was well discussed .. were asked to write a summary and then were asked to march off ..

The interview started soon after .. mine was 5th .. all the interviews would take somewhere around 30 min .. every time a person came out .. they would be all beaming and saying ."bahut cool tha yaar, no ACADS, no work ex, just general stuff .. " .. i was very happy coz i hate acads (i got screwed on acads for the last two interviews :( .... )

well mu turn came and IN i went .. two profs P1 and P2

P1 : so u are also (!!) from NIT Calicut .. so many ppl from NIT calicut today .. we had two in the morning, do you know them by any chance ?
Me: yessir (all excited with the easy opening gambit) one is my batchmate and one is my junior.
P1 : Suppose we have only one seat have to choose among u three . whom would u choose ?? *devilish grin*

Me : sir, I dont know their motivation to do an MBA, and that should be the main parameter on which you ought to choose .. so I cant compare myself with them .. I can give you reasons why I want to do an MBA and then you can decide coz u ppl have already interviewed them.. (quite satisfied with my answer)

P1 : hmm .. ok lets make life more miserable for you .. suppose they come to Motorola for interview .. and u can choose only one .. then whom wud u choose ?

Me : our policies dont allow us to interview ppl we know before hand .. *grin*

P1 : ok .. *frustrated* you have two CV's , based on that whom would you choose ??

Me : tough decision .. *smile again*

P2 : ok leave that .. well you know Calicut is a very underdeveloped area, what can you do to improve the place ??
Me : (i wanted to circumvent the topic, so .. ) Sir, I am basically from Tvm, not from Calicut

P1: ok ok ... the capital .. there must be some development there .. but bak to Calicut .. what can you do improve the place ??
Me : Sir, the major money comes from the Gulf from the Expatriates .. so maybe we could have some projects, with partial funding from the Govt and the rest from the Expatriates.

P1: ok .. why would they want to give you money to set up some industry ?? why their money??
Me : maybe we can persuade them to give money, if we give them TAX exemptions .. this would also prevent money laundering .. *phew that was close*

P1 : hmm .. ok what kind of projects do you want to set up, so tat it would improve Calicut as a whole ??
Me : thinking on a large scale, we could implement something lik STPI (s/w parks ) or some SEZ in Calicut .. It would usher in a lot of growth ..

I wanted the interview to go towards the s/w park thing .. but alas ..

P1: aha .. SEZ .. ok .. suppose we get you a piece of land earmarked as SEZ .. wat now ??? wat industry are u going to set up there?
Me : *SHIT, now I am dead* Sir .. supply wise .. raw materials .. monazite sand, thorium and Titanium only available .. maybe we could set up a Titanium mining and its secondary markets there ..

P1: hmm .. ok .. what is Titanium used for ?
Me : err .. sir .. i am not sure .. but since it is being mined .. it ought to be used for a lot many things .. (i knew i was in deep shit then .. )

P1: then why dont u think of some other bussiness then ??
Me: ok , (remember the Vasco da gama thing) there is a very gud port there .. maybe we could emulate the Kandla port .. India's firt SEZ .. and start an export oriented SEZ !! *triumphant luk*

P1: ok ok .. so what do you think is the cost required to set up a shipyard ??
Me: hmm .. (wat the hell) . sir I think I can give you a ballpark figure .. hmm no sir .. i dont know ..

P2: ok we will give you two minutes to think and wont ask u anything during that time . sit and think and come up with a plan ..
Me : ok.. *sit and stare at their faces for two minutes* .. then sir I cant think of anythin .. :(

P1 : are yaar .. cmon .. atleast open a Tea shop !!!
Me : hehehehehehe (rub it in bastard .. rub it in .. !!!)

P2: ok leave that .. tell me what you need to start a business ?
Me : demand for the product, market to sell the product, transportation, availability of resources, cheap and skilled labour, blah blah ..

P1: ok then ..
Me : then start the factory and start producing ..

P1 : wat abt the license from the govt ? ?
Me : (oops) yeah tat is also required ..

P1 : why do u need a license?
Me : oligopolies, restriction into the market and all that stuff ...

P2: leave telecom .. if I open a BOMB factory .. wat then?? there is a demand for that .. *smiles*
Me: *i also join in and smile* ..yes sir, there is .. but since it is detrminental to national security ..there wil again be a restriction ..

P1: *exasparated* .. hmm suppose I start a cloth factory ,wat then?
Me : sir , again emission levels, non compliance to labour laws etc ..

P2: hmm ..ok , what if i am ready to pay a price to the neighbours and they are also willing to suffer (for the money ofcourse ??)
Me : no not possible .. norms are to be followed .. after all the govt is basically there to regulate and thats the reason why they regulate ..

P1 $ P2 : burst out laughing ..
Me : confused but I also smile meekly (wat was so funny in that ?? )

P1 : ok u can leave now . thanks a lot ..
Me : thank you sir ..

Once outside .. everyone expects me to be all laughs .. but I am like 'why does shit always happen to me ' why why ??? (thats a rhetorical question, I dont expect an answer for that !! )

wel on second thoughts ... if you do have a remedy for it .. please lemme know .. :)