Snapshots from Hell – 1

Hel(L) finally broke loose. Our formal induction process is over. During the last three days, I could sleep for only 5 hours (and that is a cumulative statistic). These are memorable days. The first few days at any place are always special. We were virtually raped inside out but at the end of the day, we felt it was good! I remember a famous quote by some one who said, “If you are being raped and you know you cannot escape, then lie down and enjoy”.

Day 1: 21st June

We had to collect our induction kit by 9:15 A.M in the PGP block. Most of us ended up reaching the place at the same time. It was a long queue and I had to wait for more than 30 minutes for my turn. Class room 203 was jam packed. Frankly speaking the place was smaller for a batch size of 300.

Our director Dr. Devi Singh gave us the welcome speech. A swamiji from the Lucknow branch of Ramkrishna Mission followed him. He is not a typical spiritual leader. He is a Doctorate from some university in Canada. His speech was good and most of it related to the concept of self development. I liked one thing which I would like to write here:

  • 3 Cs are important for a person’s success: Confidence, Concentration and Cooperation.

This was followed by a session taken by the PGP Chairperson. This one was scary. She made us realize that life is not going to be very easy here. We will have to work hard because the grading system is very strict and one bad performance can kick one out of the college. “Stretch out or Clear Out” is the fundae. I will have to be serious all the time.

One professor introduced us to the case method of teaching. It was good in the sense that most of us are used to the art of normal class room teaching before coming to a B-School. After these sessions we had a tour of the library and the computer centre. In the meantime a notice was being put by the Students’ Council in the mess about a health run at 6:15 and then an aptitude test at 11:30 P.M.

We had to run around the campus twice. It was 5.5 K.M in total… But I managed to be among a few guys who could complete the run. After the run, I was totally stressed out. With no energy left, I had to prepare something for the test as well. Had dinner and then tried to study something. I wanted some sleep so badly but did not have that leverage. The exam started at 11:30 and it went on. The paper was going over my head… The paper was a combination of objective and case based questions which tested us on the three functional areas: Marketing, Finance and Operations. There were GK based questions as well. Well hold on… we are not yet done for the day. After the test got over, we had a video session of around half hour duration. We had to write a 1000 words article on the video and submit the same by 8:30 morning. It was already 3:30 by the time we finished. We rushed back to the room and tried to recollect whatever we saw in the video. It was on some accounting facts which were very complex… I some how recollected something and wrote an article. I could not write more than 400 words.

Finally slept… set the alarm at 7:30 A.M. Time was 4:30 A.M.

Day 2: 22nd June

I rushed to the students’ council office and submitted the write up well before deadline. Had breakfast and had to go for the registration. It was again a long queue and my process got over at around 1 P.M. I had lunch and then there was the second class on the case discussion that we had the previous day. Oh! I forgot… We also had to prepare for the case. We did that while we waited for our turn during the registration. The discussion was good.

After this, we had a briefing by the Students’ Council. They did nothing other than scaring us. We were being told that every year around 40 people get kicked out of IIML… That was intimidating. Post this session, we had a small interaction with the institute doctors.

In the meantime we were given a CV form and allotted four mentors. We had to fill in the “too long” CV form, have it reviewed by the mentors, have their signatures and then submit the same to the students’ council office the next day.

At 9:15, we had a case discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The whole class was not going anywhere but I don’t know somehow I liked it. Probably I was rude at one girl as was being pointed out by many… But hurting someone was never my intention. I spoke bluntly because I wanted that lady to improve. She probably took me in the wrong sense but that is OK with me… My motive was not bad.

After the case discussion, we had a group discussion. We had to dress ourselves up in formals. My GD was not that good… Lack of concentration and I was fed up by then. It was a truly long day.

After all these things got over, I had to search for all my mentors one by one and then have the CV form reviewed. It was like a treasure hunt… I had to collect the room numbers from someone and the phone numbers from someone else. Finally by 4:30 A.M everything was done and I had to submit the form at 1:30 P.M (later that day).

I was off for the day.

Day 3: 23rd June

I woke up and completed the final CV form. Then we had a session by one professor. It was good. Prof. RK Srivastava has been with hel(L) for the past 17 years. He showed us some pics of Hel(L) from the good old days: The first year, the first graduating batch and then how things changed. It was nice to see the transition that has taken place over the years and how my dear hel(L) has become so beautiful and lovely now.

He gave us some nice and interesting facts. The best one is:

  • Gayatri Iyer, the singer in the movie Bride and Prejudice and wife of Kunal Ganjawala is an IIML alumnus. She is a successful model and a singer now. The prof told us that she did not sit for placements. Instead she followed her dream.

Then we had an interaction with the IIML Alumni Association president. He is the global business manager at JP Morgan, London. He was friendly and nice in his approach. He spoke about his days at L and then how things have been changing with time. The best part of his presentation was the account on the traits of so many star alumni that IIML has produced. He did a nice analysis of what helped those people to be so successful in their careers. He told us about the DOs and the DON’Ts here and how a person can utilize his time so that he can gain the most from L.

The interaction with alumni was inspirational and enlightening. After this we had an interaction with the placements’ committee. It was usual gyaan.

Then we had a presentation at 6:30. Our topic was “Red pill or White Pill”. There were ten teams in our panel and the presentations went on till 10 PM. We faschas got to make presentations and the seniors made fun of us and asked questions… But it was good. We enjoyed it.

After all these, all juniors and seniors assembled in one room. The president of the students’ council said that they analyzed our batch during the last three days and our performance was “dismal”. He read out a list of names who would not be allowed to be a part of any committee during his/her stay at IIML due to bad performance. Then there was the list of students who who would not be allowed to attend classes on Monday due to so called “cheating”. Thankfully, my name featured in none.

The whole room was silent for around 2 minutes. All faschas found it hard to digest and there was a natural feeling of sadness inside everyone. Then suddenly all seniors started laughing… All at the same time. Then we realized that those lists were fake. There was a general sense of euphoria… The seniors invited us to a party that was soon to follow. I loved the last few lines spoken by the council president:

  • The last three days gave you a taste of the reality at Hel(L). This is the way we welcome all new batches in IIML. Things will be similar for you for the next two years to come but with only one difference… Now onwards, you all will find us seniors on your side.

That was too good! The seniors rock! Yooooooooooo!

The party was good… People danced to the tunes of the DJ’s “cacophany”. Apparently, there seemed to be differences between rock lovers and Indi-music lovers in the party. He he… That is always there in any Indian “insti party”. People drank enough… many people touched alcohol for the first time. I was happy and contended with Miranda and Real juices.

Day 4: 24th June

We did not have too many things to do in the morning today. JJ Irani, the director of TATA sons is the Chairman, Board of Governors, IIML. We had an interaction with him in the morning. It was nice.

Nothing much today… I am in my room now. Classes start tomorrow onwards. Have an interaction with an alum from Price Waterhouse Coopers today in the evening. Then at 10 PM again we have a session with the alumni association president. It would be fun…

Winding up for the day… Ciao!!!

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Nithari Killings: Is it the end of hope?

Once again CBI has shown its imprudence and incapability in putting a criminal under the guillotine. It has given clean chit to Maninder Singh Pandher, the prime accused in the Nithari killings.

Initially he was charge sheeted with 18 cases out of which he has already been absolved of in 6 and the CBI has clearly stated that it would be next to impossible to convict him in the rest because of his mobile data records which show that he was not in Noida when the crimes took place. That means the whole blame will be put on Surendar Kohli, his servant and Pandher will be freed with a little or no punishment.

Till how long will criminals like him go scot free? It is clear from his past track record that Pandher is some kind of a psychopath. Is it not understandable to the CBI honchos that a servant cannot commit such heinous crimes with the owner of the house being in oblivion for such long time? Are mobile records sufficient enough data to absolve a criminal when there are other proofs against him? Skulls and skeletons were found in the back yard of Pandher’s house. If he was not at all related to these crimes then why did not he inform the police about the carcasses found behind his very own house? Plus the killings took place not in one day. Instead the poor kids were being murdered brutally one by one over a period of one or two months.

Had it been for the kids of some rich people, I am sure Pandher would not have been acquitted. The poor daily wage laborers whose children became the savages’ prey cannot do anything because of their social as well as economic backwardness. This again brings to light the continuing discrepancy in the Indian society where the poor are denied justice at every step. This is a shame on the part of the country that criminals like Pandher can live peacefully when they ought to be behind the bars.

For me I have lost faith on the Indian judiciary. My family’s personal experience has also not been good. I agree there are instances where people who deserve justice get the same but in more than 80% of the cases, the people on the wrong side win. And the rest 20% who are lucky enough have to toil real hard and that too not for one or two months but for years at a stretch.

Delay in justice is equivalent to justice being denied. Cases go on for years… maybe for decades at times. Common people lose track of their cases after one or two years and this is when the opposite party (usually the crooks who are expert in dealing with such situations) take advantage and tilt the case in their favor without the other party knowing anything. Corruption in all levels of the judiciary starting from a peon to the judge upholds this trend.

There is one another issue which poses big problems for the commoners. The common people do not understand the rules of the game and end up committing mistakes. There is a big need to make things transparent so that atleast the educated people can understand what goes on inside the court room. Otherwise what happens is that they are left in the mercy of their lawyers who are more interested in extracting mega bucks from the clients. Leniency on the part of the lawyers also delays hearings etc. which lead to the ultimate delay in the final verdict.

It is high time when the judiciary becomes more professional rather than being political in its approach. It should look at the improvement of its own ‘processes’ rather than wasting time on every small issue being raised by some Tom Dick or Harry through PIL.

DISCLAIMER: Strictly my opinions above! 🙂

Enigma!

I ask myself a question. The person whom I probably hurt the most is also the one for whom I care the most! WHY? Relationships are complicated and life is long. It is difficult to find answers to many queries … Probably that is the enigma of life. Smarter few can overcome this but the fools get veered away by the tides…

I love you all my friends. No matter what happens, you all will have the same importance in my life as has always been… 🙂

For a change, I took some pics of the campus today. Check this: http://picasaweb.google.com/pratim.partha/IIML03

Hel(L) is paradise in disguise :)

I suddenly wake up and see the time by my watch is 7 AM. I felt my bed was moving and then I realised that I was about to reach Lucknow. It was 10th June morning, my reporting day here @ Hel(L).

I was traveling from Delhi where I stayed for a day. I came to Lucknow from Hyderabad via Delhi because I had to collect my baggage from IIFT hostel. Meeting my IIFT mates was a like a small home coming. I never thought that I made some good buddies there… but I am happy now chasing my dream at a new place.

10th morning was quite eventful. I reached the Lucknow station and felt as if I was a VIP. There were people from a bank to receive me. They handed over a bottle of mineral water and offered me a seat reserved by them. After some time, I was given a draft of 49K for my registration. They were distributing drafts like pamphlets. After all these things were done, I got a free cab ride from the station to IIM Lucknow. Got to save around 150 bucks on travel.

Now this is the worst part. IIML is situated outside the city. In fact, it is 23-25 KM away from the station. SOB SOB 😦

When I entered the campus, I suddenly felt a bit of pride inside. It was a moment of happiness and I felt how much I longed for this moment. I thank HIM for everything that he has bestowed upon me with so much love.

All formalities were carried out sooner than latter. People here seem to be very cooperative. Even a mess walah tries to behave nicely. My hostel registration was done and I immediately paid my advance fee for the mess services. I got my room in the CITY*. For all those who don’t know, City is the group of new hostels at L and the slums are the older ones. Rooms are allocated purely on a lucky draw basis. I was lucky enough to get a room in one of the newer hostels.

It was around 10 AM and we were very hungry. I was accompanied right from the station by Nainish (my NIT Surat senior who made it to L this time). I also met some other faschas who reached L that morning like me. We went to the mess and had a nice breakfast. The mess is awesome. I had a feeling of being in Hogwarts. Everything here is unlimited. Juices, sweets, fruits, milk, desserts, appetisers… sab kuch. The only thing I am worried about is that I am surely gonna gain more weight if I do not work out.

The campus has good sporting facilities. We have courts for tennis, badminton and basketball. There is a huge field for soccer and cricket as well. I hope I can utilise my time properly to tone myself down.

There are some shops in the commercial plaza for daily needs and if someone wants to visit the city, then buses ply within a gap of one hour from L to the city office of IIML and vice versa. 17 of us had a small and nice outing yesterday. We went to the Sahara mall and Hazratganj area of Lucknow. I did some shopping and it was pure fun with new friends. We returned back as late as 11 PM.

Coming to studies I have understood one thing that it is going to be two years of tension full life for me. You cannot chill out here… That is good for me infact. I want to be very busy with my academics. I have done a good thing by attending the prep classes because I forgot many things which are being taught here now. It is nice to build a base before the actual rigour starts.

Lucknow was steaming hot till yesterday. Rain came and it is all good now. The weather is pleasant and everything looks greener. To dodge the heat, I used to come to the Computer Centre or the Library. Library rocks here… It is beautiful and big. The Library has a central AC and those who want to sleep in AC are more than welcome here as they allow people to sleep 180 degrees flat on sofas. That came as a relief for me…

The actual classes will start from 25th June. Before that we will have an induction by the alumni and seniors.

I will TRY to come up with some more posts but I am not sure if I will get enough time when Hel(L) lets itself loose upon us. Optimism is the key now and I hope I do well here. Ciao! 🙂

Adieu Bangalore :)

My summer internship is coming to an end. Tomorrow I will be off to Hyderabad enroute Delhi-Lucknow. I feel it was only yesterday when I came here with so much enthusiasm about the ‘first’ corporate experience, excitement about meeting old buddies and also having the much sought after ‘Bangalore’ experience.

My project started and I immersed myself into work during the first month. I used to stay back here in office till 8:30 when my fellow interns left as early as 12 noon. I found my work pretty challenging and I wanted to give in my best.
Our buddy asked me and my project mate Sheleja to study the *** industry and make a presentation on the same within the first week itself. I was a bit apprehensive initially. It had to be a quality presentation and both of us wanted to make the best impression on the first go itself. We divided our work and started ‘googling’ here and there. I personally downloaded some 200MB worth of data from different sites. We compiled our data, formatted the slides, gave a structure and made the presentation. I was not really happy with the presentation. The observers gave good feedbacks but I did not like the way we structured our content. It should have been more concise and crisp. Probably it was not coherent. We seeked some time for improvements and then we modified the presentation. The second presentation was satisfactory and we were on track.

Second week onwards, both of us got our individual works. I had to develop *** and Sheleja had a similar work. The beauty of our project was that both of us got live topics. When you get a live project, you ought to be more responsible because the stakes are usually high and the fall out of the project is treated with importance. Initially I was being told that I would be traveling to Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad on project related purposes but later that idea was scrapped.

Amidst all these, I was worried about the impending CAT final results as well. Thankfully after much of bull shitting around, the government gave the go ahead to the IIMs to declare the results. I made it… IIML! Here I come. After the initial euphoria settled down, I had a wait for the IIMB waiting list clearance. I could not clear but then it is ok. I am happy about having IIML.

In the first month, my weekends were usually boring. I would go to Suman’s place and have lunch with him. We would chat for hours and then take a siesta before coming back to the hostel. At night, I would play badminton with some friends in the IIMB court and then watch a movie before sleeping for the day.
IIMB has a lush green campus. I used to stroll around all alone talking to myself. I tend to become spiritual and philosophical when I am with myself in such serene and fresh environments. I keep talking to myself assuming someone is listening to me. Again sometimes I feel there is some unknown power which is participating in that conversation in a subtle manner. While taking such walks I could realise what would make me happy in future. I could become optimistic again which gave me enough confidence inside.

One month into Bangalore and Anshuman (my very very good friend) came back from Orissa. He is working in IBM. Typical to his style of being a responsible friend, he would not stop criticising me for all the mistakes I had committed. At the end of the day, my self worth would be reduced to zero and I would feel as if I am the worst person on earth having nothing good left in me to be alive here. But I would come back again the next day to face the same old criticism which very often gets complemented by his strong punches on my biceps. A strange thing about him is that he is blatantly true in whatever he speaks. And that has helped me. It is always good to listen to people criticising because not everyone does so with so much accuracy.

Meanwhile, my project was well on track. I could complete my work properly and all my deliverables met deadlines. I used to have great time in office as well. Sheleja has become a good friend. A few summer interns (5 or 6 of us) would have lunch together in the cafetteria. Not really interested in work… take a break. Roam around the campus. Want to leave early… Tell your buddy and leave. I had full independence to live my life… I really enjoyed a lot here . Probably my best times since I left NIT Surat would be the ‘Summer Internship’ days. A friend rightly pointed out yesterday that it was not an internship/project period. This period went past like a short and sweet summer break.

Ahem… went on a ‘semi’ date as well. It was great… We talked more than we ate. 😀

Monsoon made me love this place more. I agree I had to wade through dirty water more than once but really, Bangalore rocks. Weather here will take away every pain of yours. Anshuman taught me one good thing: I was averse to the concept of travelling by bus but he made me travel by the city buses which helped me in saving lots of bucks. Thanks ‘Bandov’!

People say that IT companies become monotonous with time. I agree but believe me if some one wants, then he/she can avoid that feeling. Do not have any fixed schedule… Try to change the way everything works. Do not go to the same food court everyday. Try some other menu today. Talk to people around when you are bored. Walk around and see how things work… Try to day dream. Do not make anything look ‘routine’. Life will be beautiful.

I am full and content with my experiences here at Bangalore. There will be many memories associated with this place but the best thing is that not even one of them is bitter! Life is beautiful! Live it love it! 🙂

Man carves his own destiny

Why do our eye brows get raised when we hear some one (not from a priviledged background) doing well? Is it so hard to digest or don’t we tend to look at these kind of things from a very narrow perspective?

We often hear such morale boosting stories where people have fought against odds to achieve incredible success in their lives. Lionel Messi, the Argentinian soccer player suffered from growth hormone deficiency when he was young. His family did not have enough money to pay for his treatment and the collapse of the Argentinian economy added to his problems. Look at him now. He is one of the most promising players in the world of Football now. He plays for Barcelona FC and the Argentinian National team.

There is one another example of my personal favorite: Kaka. He is a Brazillian but he plays for AC Milan. He scored the first goal for Brazil in the 2006 world cup. He is considered to be the next one who will be taking over the reins from Ronaldo and the likes. Kaka suffered from a career threatening injury which induced paralysis due to fracture in his spine. Surprisingly, he recovered well and the rest is history.

Lance Armstrong fought cancer and he recovered when the actual chances of his survival were merely 3% as put forward by the doctors. He even went on to win his first Tour de france three years later.

What exactly is common among these achievers? Is it their strong will power or is it simply luck? I believe luck favors those who are brave. In my opinion, the following factors could guide these people to achieve heights amidst harsh circumstances:

  • Strong grit and determination
  • Never say die attitude
  • Willingness to perform
  • Patience and persistence
  • Faith in themselves and their abilities
  • A dream which is high and which drives them to its completion.

Life is not always about luck. It always accords a person with chances… It is upon individuals to grab them and do well. A hero could be made in a day but just look at the efforts put behind in making of the hero… That must have taken no less time.