Vapi to Pondicherry…

Chennai (surprisingly but also due to recession) has a lot of people from IIM Lucknow this year. Some of my very good friends are working there… Suddenly they made plans of having a Get Together and asked me to come over… I had never been to Chennai before and thought it would be a good occasion to see the city. Also, we were supposed to go to Pondicherry from Chennai… which looked like a decent plan to me.

The least did I know that on the very same day when I had to fly to Chennai, I had a visit scheduled to one of the Contract Manufacturing facilities of our company. That facility is located in Vapi, Gujarat, some 150+ KMs away from Mumbai… Take traffic bottle necks and bad roads, travel time would definitely be more than four hours…Although my flight was at 8:30 in the evening, I was a little concerned.

I managed to be back in Mumbai on time, thanks to my friends and our HR specially who ensured that we did not waste much time in the facility… It was a good experience being there… Making medicines is not a simple thing… With all the safety protocols and standards that need to be followed, a facility has to be very careful about what is being produced… One small mistake can kill thousands, if not lacs.

My flight landed on time and I halted in Chennai for a night (on Friday) at Sattu’s place before moving to Pondicherry next morning. We had two cars (including Sugam’s new FIAT Linea)… It was a good ride all the way from Chennai to Pondi. The best thing about it was that the sea was pretty close to the road… The view was awesome.

fotu 012In Pondicherry, we stayed in a resort which had its ‘private beach’… The beach was good there but the water was very rough. Bay of Bengal is known to have high tides… Therefore, we did not venture much into the sea… also we could not spend much time on the beach because it was deserted and the resort people warned us that the local fishermen could come and steal stuffs from us if we stay late there… All this happened after the sunset though… Before that we had our share of drinks and food and afternoon siesta because most of us did not have proper sleep the previous night. In the evening after visiting (literally) the beach, we went to the city and spent some time a trance bar… It was loud & boring and the music was incomprehensible to me so could not enjoy much. However, had nice time walking along the rocky beach.

On Hammock

Back in the resort, view from my room was amazing. It faced the sea and had bigg windows… Since Pondi is on the eastern coast, people say the sunrise is very beautiful. All of us slept inebriated on Saturday night… 😛 So waking up in the morning to watch the sunrise was out of question but even then I could see it from my bed and it indeed was very beautiful. Was too lazy to take a picture though.

We came back to Chennai on Sunday in afternoon. I had a flight to catch in the night… Overall it was a good trip.

It was my first trip to anywhere south of Bangalore… I surprisingly found Chennai to be very clean. Friends say that is not the truth… Chennai is very well a part of India! 😀

However, to my surprise, I was left to guess the reason behind not serving lunch after 3:00 P.M. in the afternoon in any of the restaurants in Chennai… Can some one throw some light on the logic behind?

One more thing, it is not a very good idea to go out on a trip with couples when you are single… it is actually worse with new couples… You are left to do nothing all the while the couples are coupling… 😛

Pursue Joy, not happiness!

What is the difference between joy and happiness? How does one pursue joy and be happy? What exactly is joy and how does it impact happiness? Ever wondered or pondered about these?

Well, I recently read an article by Mr. Guy Kawasaki. He was delivering a speech to some high school students where he spoke about different things which one should do in life. One of his suggestions was to pursue joy, not happiness.

Now, as far as I could understand, happiness is a state of mind. It is a greater term which has a broader scope. Happiness is a never ending pursuit… A healthy body, a good income, nice family life etc. are some of the determinants of happiness. But do they really ensure happiness? I don’t know. Can anyone say with full authority that if he earns X lacs of money every year, his wife is the most beautiful lady on earth, he has every conceivable luxury on earth and he does not have any health ailments, then he will be happy?

A person is never sure what will give him happiness. He is always moving in darkness in his quest for happiness. Some say eternity is bliss… religions say that death will bring happiness to the soul after it coalesces with the universe. Philosophers say happiness is inside… It is deep within… Over the centuries people have tried different ways of finding happiness. Some leave their cozy jobs and move to the mountains in pursuit of happiness… Some meditated & got enlightened and spread words of wisdom. At the same time, some became serial killers in their pursuit of the so called happiness. But the biggest question is whether they were really happy?

Now for common people like us who cannot of course go to the mountains or kill people or get enlightened, what can we do to make ourselves happy? We should pursue joy, not happiness. Joy, according to me, comes from every small thing in life. You go out and it suddenly rains… You get drenched and come back happy. That is joy. You met an old friend of yours out of nowhere and you chatted with him/her for hours… it took you to your old days… That is joy. What I mean to say is that joy can be found in every tiny little & seemingly insignificant thing in life. It is doing things which make you happy. It is like trying to become a kid. Remember those days when falling rain drops mesmerized you. Remember the time when you spent countless hours chatting with your friends in a small room without worrying about the next day’s assignments. Things like that… Joy can be found in every thing that you usually tend to ignore.

If you want to be happy, try doing things which give you a feeling of instant happiness. Make a painting… get drenched in rain… take a random trip in the local train from one end to the other end without getting down anywhere… sleep on the beach one full night… Surprise some one with something special and make his/her day… spread joy and you will be happy.

That’s why, pursue joy, not happiness.

Adieu HelL

Here I am… back in blogosphere after a long pause. I abstained from posting because of my laziness coupled with lack of enthusiasm; but for all the ears accustomed to the clichéd answers, I will say that YES I WAS BUSY.

Many things have happened over the past few months. Most important of all, Manfest 2009 came to a successful end; and to our utter delight, Businessworld rated it to be the largest business school festival in the country. It was an honor to be a part of such an extravaganza. Also, I got an MBA degree: D. I am proud to announce that I am “Partha Pratim Basumatary, PGDM IIM Lucknow” now. Hey, I also got placed. I am going to join a Pharma major soon. 🙂

I have a lot to write about many things but I think this post should entirely be dedicated to IIM Lucknow. I got to spend the two best years of my life (at least till now) at HelL. It was an amazing experience being among a coterie of people who were so enthusiastic and full of energy about absolutely anything & everything in life. Back in 2007, I was worried about leaving IIFT Delhi for IIM Lucknow because I was not sure about the ‘returns’ (in strict MBA parlance). Today, I can say with full confidence that joining IIM Lucknow was one of the best things that I ever did.

In the hindsight, if some one asks me to pick up a few things from my ‘IIM Lucknow memories’ – the ones which are very close to me, then I will choose the following:

·         Manfest: Eat Sleep and Drink Manfest. That had been the motto for all eight of us from Manfest core for the past two years. We did absolutely nothing other than conducting two successful editions of Manfest. Everything in our lives; be it academics, parties, celebrations or sadness – everything had been governed by our aim of making Manfest successful. We played ‘games’ with others, we strained our relationships with friends, we cut short our personal commitments, we bunked classes & took grade drops in some of the most dreaded subjects- all these without any kind of remorse – only for Manfest. We fought with each other at 2 A.M in the morning but went to Taj for breakfast the very same day at 7 A.M. The best part of this team was that you could shout at anyone on top of your voice least expecting a strain in your personal relationship with that person. People will call that professionalism – I will call that understanding. The most important reason why this team had been successful was that we never stopped arguing about a particular point until and unless ALL eight of us were CONVINCED. For example, during the selection of our juniors, we spent more than 24 hours discussing ONE particular candidate – and mind it, that was not a joke. We discussed, had breakfast, came back, had lunch, started discussing again and it went on till the next day.

·         Controls: Very close to my heart again, it was one group which actually redefined the term ‘hard work’ in my dictionary. A controls team runs the final placements process for the seniors and the summer placements process for the juniors.  If some one has to experience pressure, be a part of this team. Before we got to conduct the actual placements process, we had to go through a lot of dry runs. After hours of bashing cum discourses being given by the Senior Controls Team, we used to spend a lot of time inside the ‘Den’ trying to find solutions to the confounding problems. The team had only two months to fully understand the ‘art’ of conducting the process and prepare itself for it. It was a small time for any team to perform to its best considering the fact that the enormity of the task at hand was unquestionable. Also, we had less time to be a ‘team’ rather than being a group of individuals. One major difference between Controls and Manfest was that in the later case, we had enough time for all of us to understand each other. But, in Controls, it was a pressure cooker situation. Anyways, We used to spend our time in the ‘Den’ till 6-7 AM in the morning, then attend our classes, come back and sleep in our rooms before going back to the Den again at 6-7 PM. This cycle continued… We missed all the Instis, we took a beating on our academics but we conducted the process which saw IIM Lucknow receiving the highest number of offers in its entire history. That made us proud… but the best part of being in Controls was that I made a lot of very good friends. These people created a lot of difference in my life.

·         Instis: Ideally, we should have had Instis every fortnight. But, due to some reasons, their frequency decreased. One Insti a month or two was what we had to be contended with. For those of you who do not know what an Insti means: Instis are the institute parties. People come, get drunk, dance to the fullest, head bang to the Bhangra beats, get senti, puke everywhere in the campus, spend nights staring up at the sky… and do much more. I will miss those Insti parties. The best part of an Insti party is that the behaviors of people change once they are drunk. Some become emotional, some start giving sermons thinking they are very wise, some start speaking their heart out, some one who is very recluse also starts gelling with others… I guess alcohol puts off all your inhibitions for some time. Probably a person starts listening to his heart when he is drunk… he does not worry about the society or for that matter anything other than himself. I was at the receiving end of some of the ‘legendary statements’ made by some of my best friends after they were drunk. 😛

·         Football: I became a true fan of Football only after I joined HelL. I met many football lovers there… We watched so many EPL, La Liga or Champions League matches together. Fighting over clubs, trying to create Pool vs. United rivalry intentionally, passing Anti-Chelsea rants: P, discussing team selections as if we were the experts and celebrating goals – some of which were ‘unscored’ as well: P… I enjoyed all these thoroughly. I also found a way of putting all my worries and tensions on the back burner – whenever I felt low I would watch soccer videos of the clubs that I support. I have become a big fan of Manchester United. I also support Real Madrid and like AC Milan’s way of playing. BTW, I tried playing this game… as a defender. Size does matter here [: P]. I was successful in blocking some of the best players’ advances on the IIM Lucknow football ground. I also played in the inter-hostel football tournament for my hostel.

·         Kababs & Pizzas: Lucknawi delicacies… Ummm…  This place is heaven for non-veg food lovers. I will miss those Galawat kababs. 😦 They are so famous & tasty that even the companies coming to IIM Lucknow for recruitment would take a break for two hours to go to the city and have them. Tunday, Naushi Jaan, Dastarkhwaan – I will miss them all. :(. Also, my bulging belly would be a great testimony of my love for Zinger burger from KFC and Cheese burst pizzas from Dominos.

·         Rural Trips: We developed this unique way of doing our bit of CSR. Whenever we found ourselves having some free time in the evenings, we ventured out into rural Lucknow with beers and bikes. Go to any random village, drink beer, watch the sunset, jump on the hay stacks, click some photographs and come back. This was our way of ‘giving back to the society’. 😛

 

IIM Lucknow, for me, was a very fulfilling experience. I actually got everything… did many new things… got to feel every bit of emotion. Of all the points that I mentioned above, I did not mention anything about the people I met there. Off course, no experience mentioned above would have been put to sense without having good people around. I don’t want to name any one on this post but I am glad that I got to meet some of my best friends at HelL. Never did I expect that I would find such good people at the post graduate level. I have made some amazing friends over the past two years… Starting from Group-1 to Manfest to Controls to the rest, it was great to know you all. Every bit of memory that I share with that place will speak countless lines about each one of you.   

P.S: This post reflects my personal opinions. Please contact me before quoting anything in any kind of media.

                                                                                                                                                – Partha Pratim Basumatary 

Switching loyalties

Isn’t it amazing how the soccer players switch their loyalties within no time?

International World Cup qualifiers are underway and the club players are playing for their national teams against their very own club mates. And they are playing alongside players who are their ‘foes’ for most part of the year.

It is the height of professionalism? Is not it difficult for the players to adjust? A thousand case studies can be developed on this subject…

Life roxxx!

My carelessness towards my blog is unacceptable… Long time since I posted the last time. I am trying to be back.

Life has been good here… Work is there but the fun element has increased. We friends hang out together, party more often and watch movies whenever we get time. These are the days which make one feel that time should stop… Everything has been just perfect… or at least near perfect. I am enjoying every bit of my stay here at L because I know life will change once you are into the corporate world. I won’t pass any judgments on my life which is yet to come but I know one thing for sure that people do change once they start ‘working’. And most of the times, the change is not pleasant…

‘Controls’ has started again and preparation for Manfest is already underway. Oh, BTW we have launched our first event – Karvy Online -a live stock trading event which is the biggest of its kind in the country. Mega bucks to be won plus there are a lot of other takeaways like the ‘gyaan’ of trading at a time when the market is in a slump… Also, you get to trade in commodities as well… So, form a team of 2 or 3 and register here. You can also play it individually if you want to do it alone.

On a personal level, I some times wonder how long it will take me to understand my own self. I am discovering and rediscovering myself over and over again. Every other day I find something new and I say to myself, “Oh Wow! I am like this as well…” I some times think I am becoming a better person because of this but at the same time I also feel this is hampering my natural instincts… I have become more and more conscious about who and what I am… It restricts my emotions… my actions and my reactions…

FYI, College has suddenly become ‘greener’ because of ‘imported pastures’ from Europe. 😉

It is sometimes amazing how time passes by and how people come to your life and change it for good or bad. I am still confused as far as my personal life is concerned… Maybe that is how life is.

‘Happening’ days

I feel like writing today. The last few days have been very ‘happening’ and I have had a bag full of surprise elements in my life.

Mid term exams are over. I never thought they could be as simple. Half of my exams were open books and the rest were application based. I love such papers where I get the opportunity to think and write. I hate mugging stuffs and reproducing the meaningless frameworks and theories on the answer sheets.

I like marketing. I want to pursue a career in hard core marketing. People think it is all GLOBE. I say, “No! It is not” Marketing is all about common sense… It is about understanding yourself and others. A person who can keep his eyes & ears open and who can understand others can only become a good marketer.

I had the chance to talk with a very close friend from the past. It was nice to have a feeling that I got back my best friend. 🙂

Life in general

Some things are better unsaid but I beg your pardon for putting personal stuff on a public domain.

Before some one gets me wrong, I would like to clarify that I am perfectly fine. But, being a person who probably introspects a lot, I felt I should pen down a few things.

After coming back from summers, PGP2s have established a trend of taking long walks around the campus almost every night. I have also joined the bandwagon, though gradually I have become a regular walker… I sometimes walk even twice. The cool breeze, lonely roads and relative isolation give me enough time to think about myself and my life.

I have some very good friends here in L… And it would be wrong to say that I am lonely. I have people to talk to, friends to rely upon and ears to listen to my litanies. But, as some one rightly pointed out something is missing in life.

I don’t know why I am thinking like this… Maybe I should not. But, even amongst people who are so good, why is it that I feel so isolated… so engrossed in my own thinking that I cannot keep pace with the external world. I find myself so lonely even in between a group which cannot get better. There are no answers… at least for now. Second year for me has been relatively chiller academically. I expect the load to increase soon. Things should fall into place once I am into a lot of responsibilities. The screw is getting tightened gradually…