Bangalore 2.0

After I got to know that my summer training would be in Bangalore, the only thing that worried me was the ‘forthcoming experience’ of the infamous Bangalore traffic. I was otherwise happy. My office location is the Electronics City (EC) campus of Wipro and I heard from many friends of mine that it would take me three hours from IIMB(the place where we are putting up) to reach the office. That means six hours of traveling by bus during the entire day. I asked many people who had been to Bangalore but never got a convincing answer. Everyone had his/her own theory and it ultimately increased my tension. I started planning for some accommodation near the office so that it would not be difficult for me to travel.

I reached Bangalore on a beautiful morning. It was a nice experience seeing the beautiful empty roads so early during the day. I was dropped by my Volvo bus (coming from Hyd) at the FORUM mall. I took an auto and came to my friend’s place. Everything was nice; I was just worried about the “traffic” problem because I was not clear about the situation by then. My induction was done on 13th April. That day many of us who were inducted a day before told me that it did not take them more than 40 minutes in the morning to reach the EC office. In the evening however, the bus takes a different route and so it would take around one hour and fifteen minutes. Thank God!!! I am relieved.

Bangalore’s population has increased tremendously over the past few years but the infrastructure supply has not been able to keep pace with the demand. With the IT junta willing to spend a lot during the weekends, they find very few places to hang around. I had the unfortunate opportunity to visit the FORUM mall during one of the weekends and I was shocked to see the human rush over there. I had to walk carefully lest I step on some lady’s delicate feet. I saw people everywhere… the only places which were empty were the shops. People here do what we Indians are good at doing, i.e. Window Shopping! J

One another problem which is severe is the lack of sufficient parking spaces. A friend of mine brought his car one day and we had tough time trying to find a parking space for his car. He told me that there is no parking place near the all famous MG and Brigade Roads. Very unfortunate…!!!

While going from IIMB to the office one morning (Hosur Road), I tried to analyze what is worse in case of Bangalore’s traffic situation: The infrastructure or the traffic sense of people? The answer was very easy. People here are real rash drivers. The buses change lanes without following any order. There are no blinkers near the crossings. People do not follow the traffic signals… Usually one would see one or two poor traffic ‘people’ who would try to moderate the traffic motion. Pedestrians would find it difficult to walk on the roads here because there is hardly any ‘foot path’. There are heavy vehicles plying on the roads which make things worse. One evening, I had to stay back for sometime in the office. I took the 7:15 bus instead of the 6:15 bus. This bus takes the normal route through the Hosur Road. The weather was bad and it was raining hard. The traffic situation got worse… I thought it would be better for me to take a nap. I was really very tired that day, so I could sleep easily. Before sleeping I saw one hoarding at an angle of 60 degrees from my eyes. I slept for around half an hour and when I woke up; I was shocked to see the same hoarding this time 60 degrees (negative) from my eyes. That meant, all the time I was sleeping, the bus could proceed only around 400-500 meters. That was my worse experience with Bangalore traffic. It took me around 2 hours 30 minutes to reach IIMB that day. A friend who worked here before told me that sometimes walking takes lesser time than going by a bus. Very true!

Being a manager, I should be a part of the solution. As far as my understanding goes, the traffic situation in Bangalore is worse during the morning and evening office going time. To reduce the problem, the government can block the heavy vehicles from plying on the roads during that time of the day. Apart from that the companies like Infosys, Wipro and Siemens which have many buses carrying employees at the same time can change their timings with a mutual agreement. Wipro is planning to go for flexi timings which will definitely help in improving the situation. I believe discipline in driving habits can also save much time. Lanes should be specified for smaller and heavier vehicles so that time is not wasted. Usage of modern technology like traffic sensors etc. can help people in guiding themselves regarding the traffic situation. Apart from these things, the government should be proactive in dealing with the problem. The metro project has taken years to start. The flyovers are being constructed at snails’ pace. I never understand why a city like Bangalore has such a corrupt municipal body in place.

Looking at the slow pace of work in the so called silicon valley of India is very irritating. The city needs changes. Otherwise, it would not be far when the city collapses.

One minute @ the American Diners

All my IIM interviews are over and I am a free man now. My last one (Indore) was in the Indian Social Institute, Lodhi Road. It did not really take me too long to find out the place because of the smart “mapping” by some friends from IIFT.

The interview went well… I spoke quite well in the GD. Once or twice, the points were being carried forward as well. That proved that I spoke substance. The case given to us was really very confusing. I used the whole discussion to understand what the case was really talking about. Interview was nice and a very cordial lady (from the panel) started by asking lots of questions on my hobbies, Wal Mart, Sam Walton, Assam, photography, blogs etc. etc. I had a few hiccups in answering to some questions on International Finance because the questions they asked were primarily fact based, which is like G.K. I anticipated questions on the concepts… Anyways I covered up well and I ended it with satisfaction. I now have a long wait before the IIMs give the final verdict on the same.

Right now, I am on my way to Hyderabad. As usual is the case, everytime before boarding the train, I looked at the list and was really happy to see some “F22”. Fate was bad and when I encountered the reality, I felt I was doomed. It sucks man… I don’t know when the so called adventure would happen to me… LOL… J

I wanted to write something about my experience in the India Habitat Centre and the Khan Market post my last interview but believe me the 12 hour sleeps over the last few days prevented me from venturing out into the act of writing something worthy. I planned something with GG and I hope it turned out well and nice albeit in an adventurous way.

My interview was over. I dialed GG’s number. GG picked up and the conversation started…

GG: Hey Honey! What’s up? Where are you?
Me: Hey! M done… can you come over here to ISI?
GG: Oh yeah! Just go to the top floor and wait for me in the canteen.

(I took the lift and went up to the top floor only to get dejected because it was stuffed with so many people and all were looking at me because of my Englishman style dress. Probably someone might have thought that I was being mad wearing coat and tie when it was terribly hot in the Delhi Summer. There were a few others who were in formals… Probably they were waiting for some other interviews… I removed my tie and put my coat over my right shoulder and came down and waited for GG to appear. GG’s home was 20 minutes walk from ISI.)

Suddenly my phone vibrated and it was GG.

GG: Hey honey! I will take some 10 more minutes. Where are you? Enjoying up there in the canteen?

Me: HELL NO! Come over here soon and we will talk.

GG comes and we went out. It was pleasant and I discussed something with GG… all about my GD and PI. I was happy it was all over and I was ready to launch myself into a great big break to redeem my lost pride… (Wow! That was extraordinary… Not pride… It should have been lost … ummm… err… I don’t know I lost something)

My purse was empty and I wanted to fill that up with a few currencies. For that I need an ATM machine which was no where nearby. Me and GG went and asked many people but nobody had an idea about an ATM… precisely SBI’s ATM. At last, I withdrew some bucks from AP Bank ATM.

We went to the India Habitat Centre directly. GG told me that he would take me to the American Diners. I initially could not understand what he was talking about. I thought he was talking about some place where we could give some soothing effect to our tortured out eyes which were desperately looking for sources of enjoyment. I also thought that experience would not be very taxing on my finances. We went inside… It was cool. I was dressed semi formally and GG was in his usual hang out dress wearing a spiderman T-Shirt which reminded me of our apna Sardar. The guard at the door was looking at us with his prowling eyes probably thinking that wrong people went inside a wrong place.

I seriously did not have any idea about that place. We went inside the restaurant and the waiter comes up to us offering a seat. One another came to us and asked if we would be taking mineral water. GG said no and looks up into my eyes. We understood that a great deal of embarrassment was on its way. The menu came and I saw the cost of one small burger was Rs. 250/-. I guess that was truly American… Believe me it was very much apparent that they were simply taking loads of money from people without giving anything in return. That place did not even have any proper ambience per se. But GG was constantly telling me it was high time we ran away without giving any orders. I was feeling very shy initially because I had never faced anything similar in the past. We waited for some more time and when the waiters were busy with some other customers (or consumers?) that we decided to run… Thank God! There was another door near the table which was an easy way out for us. I did not look back and rushed out as soon as possible because I knew the waiters would be looking at us with confused eyes. It was my first such experience but it was bound to happen when I was with our DON of IIFT Delhi, i.e. GG.

It was independence and I asked GG not to take me to any such place any more because I was very thirsty inside. We headed towards the Khan Market and had a glass each of fresh juice. I must confess that was the worst glass of juice I had ever taken in my life. Khan Market is all famous for its kababs. I and GG went ahead to an all famous shop “Khan Chacha”. It was a very small one we ordered Mutton kababs. One plate had eight pieces and believe me those were the best pieces of mutton I ever took in my life.

I know vegetarians would not understand what I am talking about. 🙂

I was not in a mood of coming back so soon to the hostel so we decided to talk a walk around the market. I also secretly wanted to taste those kababs once more after some time. We were walking through the same place over and over again. There were small streets between the tall buildings. Somehow I felt as if I was in some European city. The roads were clean and neat. There was no direct sunlight. The area was peaceful and cold (not cold but it was pleasant). The buildings were old but the brands were new. There were bill boards and posters that spoke of the resurgent India. There was some beauty which cannot be described but only felt. GG went to London around a month back and I asked him for some expert comments on the same. He also seemed convinced that I was talking sane. Plus, there were many foreigners out there shopping in those small shops. It was nice and I got time to be a bit philosophical.

GG told me that God has been very unkind to India on two fronts. One, they have given the best climate to the Europeans. Second, (which is more important to us 😀) God has been very partial against us in terms of female population. GG and others devised a formula about what kind of girls would be termed as good looking in London.

Good Looking = All females (1 – % of females who are FAT or OLD)

That is certainly not the case here in India. I used the term “good looking” to keep modesty in this blog. Otherwise the readers can derive as many meanings as they want. J

There were many good looking foreigner females in the Khan Market and it was only the capacity of our brain that mattered because “downloading or uploading” every thing into your brain is not humanely possible.

We were gradually tired of making rounds of the same place over and over again. We went to Khan Chacha again and had one more plate of Kababs. We completed our feast by having cold packed juice which was sort of a toast for both of us.

I took an auto rickshaw back and took a nice sleep for the day before I realized that it was 10:00 at night.

Like every good thing, it was really a very nice experience for me because I enjoyed a lot. Life is beautiful and there are many things which could be cherished in life. People are not always bad… and places don’t always suck!!!

🙂

A Day @ IIFT

Peggy! Peggy! What’s the time?
Modi! U r late…
Oh fuck man!

Peggy and Modi, our loomies in great conversation every morning. One is in the loo and the other inside his cozy blanket. I realize my day has begun. It is 8:55 A.M. The class is about to start… Typically every day i get up only after my roomie Paji gets up. With a frown on my face, I curse myself for choosing to do an MBA. I am not the 4 hrs’ sleep types honey! Welcome to a high profile corporate life… The day has started rolling in (or rather steam rolling… :D)

Run! Run! Run! Run to the loo… Run for the queue… Run to the bathroom.. dress for the run (:D) and you realise that you are late by more than 1000 seconds! Have you seen today’s time table? The automatic question that comes into my mind is “Was there any home assignments?”, “How can I be so irresponsible?”, “Partha! You are a manager… Shit on you! How can you forget?” No no.. These are not sermons… In fact these are some greetings from my brain to my heart. And this happens when I am running… U know what I mean by “running” right?

I am dressing up! Where is my watch? Arre cell kahaan hai? Who took my pen dude? All these small but important things have the habbit of disappearing into thin air when they are in great demand. I finally manage to get hold of my books, collect a newspaper lest I get time to read and take some more important things …. loads of tension for the day! I have a presentation to make. The ppt is ready but only googling is not recommended. The profs are smart enough. Oh there is one corporate interaction also… Who is coming BTW? Might be some CEO or VP or some foreign delegate. I tell myself… Whaaaaaaaaaaat? Sonaaaaaa hi toh hai!!! Then I remember I have a batch meet at 10:00 p.m with the IMF (Not the monetary fund thing.. it is the IIFT eeeeestudents’ body). With books and the laptop, I reach the class room within 30 seconds (15 seconds error acceptible). Did anyone realise that I bypassed the mess (only smelled the beautiful smell of the morning breakfast)? This is just the start of the day.

I reach the class room but sir is already there. Thank God! had this been the first trimester, I would have been kicked out not without a kick on my ass. One good thing is that I always find someone or the other coming after me… So I am not the last one to enter. The corporate “gurukool” as we call it is on for the day!

Very very generously, sir allows me to sit but with a dialog which symbolises the true “screwing” spirit of the profs here. “Mr. Partha! You are late… I must say again. You know time is sacrosanct here in IIFT”. I wonder “Is there any simpler word to describe the same?” But promptly reply … “Sorry sir! was awake till late last night”

There is no empty seat in the last rown. Find a seat which places me away from the direct gaze of the teacher. The litany continues. Some ACPs* and DCPs* are asking questions. I wonder whether the question freaks are never at peace or do they want to gain some valuable points? For those who do not know, in every subject, 10 marks are allotted for class participation.

Whenever I pay attention to what the teacher is saying, I feel guilty. I plan for my next class and plan that I would be prepared by the next discussion. Don’t think about this class… It is over and you know that every thing is going like Shoaib’s bouncers.

4 classes everyday with two hours each. 15 mins break between two classes. 30 mins lunch break. Post class I have tons of work… make a presentation, prepare a report, surf the net, get a nap, eat the dinner and stay put in your room. This is how life is at IIFT. We are busy every day, every moment and every second. Miles to go before I sleep!!!

There is no time to think… People here are so smart that given a moment, they would not think twice to take away the piece of bread you started eating. Maybe this is what professionalism is? I believe there is nothing wrong in it. After all, everybody cannot be a friend and off course not all are enemies. Who constitute the rest? I mean who is there who fills the gap between friends and the enemies? They are the professionals. And one can learn the most from these professionals only.

For all my friends who have been complaining about my blogs, I promise this is a new start!!!
🙂

ARM Mid Term!!!

My head is spinning!
After an overdose of Statistical Analysis and so many different jargons, I am stressed out. I have a mid term exam tomorrow. ARM (Advanced Research Methods) is a newly introduced course. The prof. is a tough one and according to the seniors, we can expect some ‘F’s in the final mark sheets. ARM is a highly analytical subject where one cannot GAS! So… Do now or Die tomorrow.

I started by my own. I could complete only a few topics but i was overloaded with so many doubts. The whole batch is dependent on a few selected individuals who take the pain of taking proper notes during the class. There are even few who could understand what was being taught. All of us (the lesser mortals here) had to learn from them. I am sure I am not well prepared. But somehow I have lost the fear… Kya hoga? Maut toh nahin hogi na…

Today when I called up my mother, she told me that she has been feeling very low for quite sometime. She asked me about my health. My physical health is ok but I am totally unfit as far as my mental health is concerned. She as a mother could guess that. Telepathy is very active for a mother. She can always sense if something is wrong. This is the power of a mother… she is the most precious gift the almighty has given to us.

Ciao…..

Trimester II coming to an end!!! :)

The last blog that i posted was at the end of the first trimester here at IIFT. I don’t know how and why it happened, but to my pleasant surprise, the second trimester is also coming to an end within two weeks’ time. Hurray!!! I am really very very happy. One of the reasons is that I am going home again and the second is that my stay at IIFT is becoming shorter.. I really want to leave this place but for my own good!!! I hope 2008 comes tomorrow… That is again hoping against hope.

This trimester has been very entertaining one with so many parties happening, booze flowing unlimited, B school competitions coming up and summers placements coming to an end. I came back from home and was surprised to find the amount of load that suddenly came up on account of the summer placements starting the very next day.

There were many big names lined up for the process. There were as many as five companies per day and that made it difficult for us because one had to prepare for so many different companies at the same time. Going through the details of the different companies at the same time was a big deal. Plus the pain of getting rejected was always there because I could not clear the first company where I got shortlisted. As a whole, the summers experience was very good and I got reinforced in one thing that if somebody wants something from the core of his heart, then the almighty always gives that to him. I always wanted an IT company and I got the same. Wipro was a dream come true. Our seniors who got placed in Wipro last year told us that the “Wipro Experience” will be one to be remembered for the rest of our lives. Fun at work and the would be “Bangy” experience will be moments to be remembered.

Next came the string of different events like the alumni night, the reverse freshers and the B School fest Quo Vadis’06. It was a good experience interacting with the alumni who have done wonders in their respective fields. One feels proud seeing people who are so successful in their professions. I can just hope I do well and be a manager with a difference. I want to become someone who is doing well but at the same time, keeping his morals and ethics intact. Lets see how far I reach.. because I have serious doubt on my abilities. 🙂

Yeah the best experience of the last trimester has been the IIM A experience. Confluence’06 is the B school fest of the best B school in the country. We had to write a paper on the Indian SMEs and propose some innovative methods of financing the same. The greatest paradox is that although the SMEs are the largest sources of exports for the country as well as the largest employers in the manufacturing sector, they do not have the advantage of having easy finances. The banks feel that they are risky and so they prefer giving loans to the bigger corporates. We did some research work on the net but the valuable suggestions came from our faculty members. They gave us the know how of the actual problems that these small units are facing… we are thankful to them because those inputs made us more confident and helped us in winning the third prize at IIM A. We stayed there for only one day but the confluence of the best minds from across the globe, the treatment and the aura of the campus made us realise that IIM A is not just a brand but it is a place which make one feel great. a sense of ownership and a sense of belongingness develops.. For me and my colleague, it was sadly for one day but even then it was a great experience.

I am writing this sitting inside the coziness of my blankets. The temperature has dipped suddenly here and “Dilli Ki Sardi” is coming true in the harshest of its terms but i am enjoying it.

I believe in only one thing… I don’t want to outscore others.. I do not want to out do others.. I do not want to hate others.. But why is it that I feel as if everyone outscores me? Everyone outdoes me? and everyone hates me? There was a moment when i did not want to think negative.. Now i feel.. i feel sad that i think only negative. I am writing this because this blog is my current state of mind. I want to see how i change after say a year or a decade.. I would like to write these things so that I do not forget the past and the pains that i got chasing my future. The best thing is to lay back.. do your work judiciously.. and leave the rest on the almighty.

That’s all for today!!!
Will come up with another post on a visit to meet some special children.

Till then……. Ciao!!!

Night Life???

Staying awake till 4 or 5 in the morning and getting up at 7 is not a very good practice for the body. But it is a daily activity for a B School student. Being in an Ivy League or Super league B school makes u do that because one cannot afford to be complacent. We have a position and a credibility in the industry… we need to maintain that.

Time is running so fast. I am already one trimester old here in IIFT.. I feel as if i have been here for ages.. I have started loving this place.. not for the people or frenz but for something which I cannot define. I am being too philosophical these days.. I love being a philosopher. I am lost into some kinda wilderness and i feel as if i am going towards my goal.. albeit unknowingly.

Tons of loads up on my head.. Had two presentations today.. each one is being complemented by some document files which one has to send.. on top of that we had the shock of our lives when “JnJ” came to the campus :).. session ends on 27th.. exam starts on 21st.. i just completed the assignments of Psychology, Principles of Management and marketing.. It is around 3 a.m and i feel like giving some “Gyaan”

Today i asked a few questions to my own inner self.. I am not being “frustu” now a days.. I have got another name here.. At least my roomie calls me a “Psycho”. Maybe i have bcome.. can’t say guys.. noone knows what people perceive n hw they perceive… neways going back to the questions…I asked myself.. What does a person do when he can’t even express his love to the person for whom he can lay down his life??? What if there are so many unanswered queries inside…??? What does one do when he sees only a foggy road ahead… the temp is down… he is not even wearing a jumper and there is no fire within??? Maybe these questions will have many interpretations or answers.. What if someone is so valued in someone’s life??? What if someone does not get what he deserves??? Is the funda of “even end” valid???

I don’t know.. I don’t think i will be able to continue nemore..
Good night.. Pass on ur comments if u feeeli u kno the answers to these qns..

🙂

IIFT Lingos

I guess the beauty of every place lies in its lingos. IIFT also has a few lingos which are quite “Business” like. There is a reason why i used the word “Business” here.. I leave that upon the readers to guess.

QIA: Qutab Institutional Area; the place where IIFT is located. It’s a beautiful locality having serenity and nature at its best. It over sees the green ridge near the Qutab Minar. I don’t think there will be any place in Delhi which is so close to nature.

Gyaan: You are speaking sense.. but sadly the audience is not in a mood of listening to your litany. You are trying hard to impress the crowd around but your efforts go in vain…

Globe: Well, you are speaking no nonsense but you are not speaking sense either. The audience will commit a make you chase a rat as punishment if they get the chance…

Gas: The lightest of all.. You are simply bluffing. You are speaking simply non sense and the listeners are having a ball of time planning your executiion.

Roomies: They are the room mates.

Loomies They share a loo.. The loo is too small between two BIGG rooms.

I remember only these many till now.. Will give more updates as and when i come across some more.