Wednesday, April 02, 2008



Ended the first year of my Post Graduate Programme in Management. Won’t say that time passed away in a jiffy – it didn’t! Courses, with however little to learn from; projects, with however worthless endeavors; term papers, with however smart Googling; and exams, with however sleepless weeks – time crept slowly. Students’ Council work was a tough fun; joining the Council after two terms of a somewhat chill life at IIMK wasn’t an easily affordable luxury, I must admit.

An year at a B-School might not give someone much edge in the ‘science’ of management, but it surely gives a ‘feel’ of it. A sneak-peek into de-la-corporata; a feeler of work, life and related imbalance; an aptitude to pay utmost regards to the four sacred whole numbers – 23:59; and an acumen to perceive what can go wrong – guess that sums up the last nine months at college. The coming two months of summers at Hyderabad are going to be the first-hand trailers of the corporate oven.


The city has welcomed me with open arms ever since that wet morning in the early July of 2006 when I had first disembarked at the Kalasipalyam bus stop. I miss IBM, and work as well, the sole reason probably being the life at Bangalore. The city has never been too harsh – it provided me with ample opportunities of drenching in the rain, driving out in the night, and lazing around facing the winds in the office food-court after lunch. The mini-ISM Dhanbad at BTM Layout has lost very little of its sheen with a few defectants moving out. It still gives the luxuries of sitting in circles, talking the same language, drinking the same way, smoking the same brands, eating the same food, playing the same card-game – reliving the same times.

Experience this time was a feel-good as usual. Relieving the stress of exams in the past week was easy with just the smell of city air – was fed up with the purity of oxygen in my nostrils while living on the hills and needed a break. Home and food were relishing after mess and NC and spending time in cooking was awesome. Met a friend after quite a few months. Witnessing a cheerful face of the one who has seen almost all vagaries of life has been inspirational – guess her smile would keep me out of my fits of cribbing about life for quite some time. Missed getting back to those whose office addresses shifted to the northern and eastern ends of Bangalore, or to other cities altogether.


Travel back home this time was memorable than ever. Was lucky to get a 09:15 Jet Airways flight to Calcutta at a cheap price. Thankfully the airport hasn’t yet shifted to that no-man’s land 40Km away from Bangalore, and catching a morning flight after a ‘high’ night is still peaceful.

Apprehensions of missing the 14:10 train from Howrah due to the 30 minutes delay in departure from Bangalore were swept aside in a corner with the flying experience. The poignancy was accentuated because probably for the first time I didn’t fell asleep flying, and because the skies were crystal clear all the way from the source to the destination and one could actually ‘see’ the earth even at the flying altitude of around 10 Kms. The child in me always gets back during ascent, the houses becoming smaller and granularity gradually fading away. Witnessing a whole, a continuum, an equal world, a uniform patch where ‘humans’ live; provides probably the best semblance of equanimity.

Calcutta bound flights from Bangalore ‘break-off’ from land twice to fly above the sea, once somewhere along the Eastern Ghats in Tamilnadu or Andhra Pradesh to fly over the Bay of Bengal, and once again after crossing the Delta in West Bengal. The first break-point is wrapped in simplicity – the nature probably shying away innocently from showing off its might to the unaware soul wandering 10,000 mts above. A uniform patch of viridian green, a yellow-ochre streak of sand just a few centimeters in width, then an almost non-existent faint white probably suggesting that waves too exist there, followed with a plain, almost uniform expanse of cobalt blue. Looking from the window towards the front gives a glimpse of sky almost trying to establish the law of symmetry – matching itself in colour and form with the vast below. Nothing, not even the tiny Boeing 737 seems to disturb the tranquility of space.

The ‘re-entry’ zone of the aircraft offers a splendid view. The majestic area of the Ganges delta is magnificent for the uninitiated – while flying, one moves in the opposite direction of water flow, from the sea towards up north and the aircraft flies past through almost all colours of the spectrum. The visible land merges into the sea in an unidentifiable boundary – a burnt sienna amalgamation of land and water stretching across thousands of kilometers feebly demarcating the estuary. Followed by this black-brown span is the heavenly glimpse of numerous tributaries and distributaries of the Ganges forming strange shapes. Thousands of streams appear to be white, glittering snakes lazing in the sun fostered with each other at different places – an artist’s daydream with multitude of colours. A few minutes further, boundaries between the land and the water become clearer. Interspersed with black-brown patches of islands in different shapes (one almost looked like a giant pomphret fish and other like a dolphin) is the huge green-blue water mass, probably the Hooghly. The aircraft starts its descent by then and luckily, a few steamers (or ‘launches’ of Kolkata) might be visible as tiny dots followed by white streaks in the water.

There is yet another break-off point to the Bay of Bengal somewhere amongst this after which the descent to the visible land is more pronounced. Wet palm tree-tops extend a warm welcome to the humid Kolkata and one can almost see the moisture laden air of the city. Welcome to Netaji Subhash International Airport.


Irrespective of how much I detest the Bongs and associated ‘intricacies’, I have developed a somewhat penchant for the city Kolkata. The reason is probably my numerous transits in recent years through its antique streets and lanes and saranis every time I travel from the airport to the station. Kolkata offers the first smell of home – north India to be precise – it’s humid and somewhat stale air puts one back into the hot, populated India which ‘goes-on’. It’s strange how I feel more at home amongst the sweating crowd reeling under the hot sun rather than in a city full of air-conditioned cars.

Visual delights of the old-age Indian charm, buildings and shops with inscriptions saying they were built in that year (which is normally decades ago), people thronging all possible alleyways narrowed down with peddlers and hawkers, crowd with a mix of every possible income group in the budget announcement, from the worker carrying wheat bags on his back to the paunchy merchant chewing betel leaves outside his shop or office, trams still continuing sluggishly at a few places trying to find their way amidst the rogue taxi-wallahs edging their way past everyone with scant regard to those faint, almost grayed out colours at the signaling posts, people clutching the handle bars of the over-filled city buses, rickshaw-pullers perpetually ringing their small bells in desperate attempts to get the humans and animals away from their path, hand-rickshaw pullers still continuing in their plight with utmost tenacity trying to pull the triple-sized ladies with double-sized shopping bags, non-initiated-to-real-life teenage couples outside AC Markets and other areas probably whispering to each other that ‘life is beautiful’, hawkers selling everything from books prescribing home-treatment for all ailments, general knowledge and learn English to torches and belts and key rings having glowing LEDs – Kolkata offers the largest gamut of ‘Indian’ experience. It’s great to roam around the city observing life of all sorts trying to ‘live’ and the city moving on.

By the way, I didn’t miss my train from Howrah.


A very old television commercial of something started with an NRI girl returning home and exclaiming – “kuchh bhi to nahin badla” (nothing has changed). The same feeling comes back irrespective of the gap after which I visit Jamshedpur. The town continues the same, and so the people – local Hindi newspapers still continue with their decade old claim of the place becoming a ‘model town’ in the ‘near’ future, MPs and MLAs of different parties state the same thing year after year, people do not bother about what’s being said, written or done, but still continue with the faint hope that utopia for the town is just round the corner! Irregular constructions here and there have filled up the skyline of Jamshedpur but the cleanliness hasn’t been done away with completely as of yet. Stories at home about the entire locality pour in – that one’s husband went to Germany from Tata Steel, that one’s son has joined a hotel management course, that one’s brother was asking about your number to enquire about CAT, that relative’s daughter is getting married the next month there.

Food is great, visits to relatives’ places are too many, friends are too few but the relaxation is complete. Lazing around, surfing and waiting for my departure to Hyderabad. Signing off.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nusrat Saahab

Revisited the maestro after a long gap with "Ye jo halka halka suroor hai". There's this strange thing about music and literature - whenever you re-visit them, there's always something new you'll notice; in effect, they never go old! This was the surprise today:

साक़ी की हर निगाह पे बलखा के पी गया
लहरों से खेलता हुआ लहरा के पी गया
रहमत-ए-तमाम मेरी हर ख़ता मुआफ़
मैं इन्तहाँ-ए-शौक़ से घबरा के पी गया

पीता बग़ैर इज़्न ये कब थी मेरी मज़ाल
दर पर्दा चश्म-ए-यार की शह पा के पी गया
समझाने वाले सब मुझे समझा के रह गए
लेकिन मैं एक-एक को समझा के पी गया

पास रहता है दूर रहता है, कोइ दिल में ज़ुरूर रहता है
जब से देखा है उनकी आँखों को, हल्का हल्का सुरूर रहता है
ऐसे रहते हैं वो मेरे दिल में, जैसे ज़ुल्मत में नूर रहता है
अब आदम का ये हाल हर वक़्त, मस्त रहता है चूर रहता है

ये जो हल्का हल्का सुरूर है...

Garnished the mood with "Hai kahaan ka iraadaa" and "Pilaao Saqi"; and topped everything up with "Wo hataa rahe hain parda". One nicely spent midnight, eh? :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Life is moving sinusoidal. And the amplitude is high. And the frequency too. Its not a great feeling to 'feel' too many different things in the same day, many a times within hours or minutes. Its been this hip-hop of moods for quite some time now, and I'm fed up of it. Whoever stole it, give back my calmness to me prick.

I'm overworking. Or might be busy for nothing. I've to study a lot, might be I'm just feeling that I've to, for the sake of it. Started swimming once again. Feels good - not as good as it used to be in Bangalore. Possibly because I was 'freer' then, at least mentally. Quizzes keep on cropping up here and there; they stopped mattering long ago, still keep on nagging me. Term papers and projects are due, well I'd learnt long back the technique of 'sticking to the deadline' - the pester at the back of mind however prevails. No one called up since many days, personal 'network' problems I guess. As a timepass, fortunes and unfortunes of the senior batch guys in the placement season keeps on coming up from here and there. Small small troubles forced me to take a few tablets and capsules too over the last week, aggravating the perpetual dizziness I've been slumbered into since the beginning of this term. No time to continue Doctor Zhivago from where I'd left it a month ago when I was traveling - I've almost forgotten the story and would have to re-read, if Hyderabad summers provide me some semblance of peace. Newspapers are a bore, would change the subscription to something else, just for a change; getting time to open that business magazine only in the class, yeah there are too many of classes as well. And finally, cribbing for no time perpetually. That friend is correct - Life is random, so am I.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

कब आओगे तुम

Having problems viewing the text below? Click here for help.

आसमाँ का नीला रँग उतर सा चुका है
हर वो बादल गरजकर थक सा चुका है
रातों की चाँदनी स्याह हो चुकी है
ठण्डी हृदय की हर आह हो चुकी है

रँगों का वो भेदभाव नष्ट सा हुआ है
अवसादित श्याम रँग स्पष्ट सा हुआ है
चीत्कारता हृदय अब परास्त सा हुआ है
कब आओगे तुम, जीवन निरास्त सा हुआ है

तुम्हारा संदेश पढ़ने को आँखें पथरा चुकी हैं
एक स्पर्श भर को उँगलियाँ थर्रा चुकी हैं
सूखे होठों पर विरह बरस सी रही है
गले लगाने को बाँहें तरस सी रही हैं

हर वो छोटी बात बताने को व्याकुल सा मन है
तुम बिन हर सफ़लता इक निरर्थक सा क्षण है
अनायास ही ध्वनि तुम्हारी सुनी हो, लगता हरदम है
कब आओगे तुम, अब तो मृतप्राय संयम है

तुम भी कदाचित होगी थोड़ी तो व्यथित
नहीं, ये सिर्फ़ हृदय के विचार नहीं कल्पित
याद है मुझे, थोड़ा सा प्रेम तो तुमने भी किया है
प्रतीत न करवाओ ये सिर्फ़ मेरी मृगतृष्णा है

शायद आजीवन तुमसे फिर मुलाकात न हो
अमूर्त से मेरे प्रेम पर भले तुम्हारा हाथ न हो
सच कहूँ, मैं सजीव नहीं जब तुम साथ न हो
कब आओगे तुम, तब तक कहीं सब समाप्त न हो

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Mahé is the only west-coast district of Pondicherry which is a Union Territory consisting of four small unconnected districts. The other three, Pondicherry and Karaikal (both enclaves of Tamil Nadu) and Yanam (an enclave of Andhra Pradesh) are on the eastern coast of India.

Our 75 Km journey to this 9 Km square small picturesque town started around afternoon. With plans of witnessing a sunset over the sea, we comfortably reached Mahé by the evening. The town is small and quiet and possibly the vicinity of Kerala seems to have encroached its French colonial outlook. I was expecting a stark difference from the rest of Kerala, somewhat like Pondicherry which stands out from Tamil Nadu. Mahé isn't much different from a regular coastal town in Kerala apart from a few architectural citings and churches spawned throughout the city, which, probably, compensated towards my discontentment.

We saw the famous St. Theresa's Church from outside and decided to enter that while our return journey, though that never materialized. Our next stop was the Thalassery Fort. Around 7 Kms from Mahé, this small fort is around 300 years old. It is said to be a formidable strong hold in the past and is currently a national heritage monument.

We had plans to visit the 400 years old Ramswamy Temple at Thiruvangad and the Overburys Folly in Thalassery town, but in our excitement for the sunset, we decided to head straight to the Muzhappilangad Beach instead. Muzhappilangad is 14kms from Mahé and is Kerala's only drive-in beach. The fun of sitting in the car and driving along the waves on the sand was an experience which promptly led me to the resolution of revisiting the place within a few weeks with my bike.

Black rocks protect the beach from sea currents making it largely shallow with extremely calm waves. The best beach I've ever been to, one could venture inside the water to as much as 50 to 100 mt without the water-level rising above the belly. The beach is said to be a swimmer's paradise and I'm grateful to my Goan friend who taught me the best swimming position I've ever learnt - lying lazily on the back, gazing at the sky and letting yourself float without efforts.

It was an experience of a lifetime, giving yourself to the majestic seas, without efforts, without filthy fights - those desperate hands and legs movements to prove yourself superior to the infinitum. A peaceful surrender - complete obedience to the vast. And then comes the beautiful part. Sleep on the waves, gaze at the other blue infinitum above, while the waters would caress you, let you play on them like a cradle, slowly and slowly drifting you to drop you at the shore! It's the vibrancy of life I felt. Let yourself flow with the waves of the uncertain future without as much as caring about drowning in them, and you lead the best existence on earth.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Food for thought II

"You are generally sadder by what you couldn't do, than happier by what you could. That's the cause of most of the troubles in life."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Reality: The illusion caused by lack of alcohol

How did I suddenly become so boring! It's a terrible feeling - finding haze all around. You are neither happy, nor sad. Neither good, nor bad. You are doing something and you don't know why. You say you don't like doing this, and you can't think of anything else which you'd like doing perpetually. You say this place is bad, and you can't think of any other place which was always good. You thought you need to talk to people, and you feel worse.

A type of madness is induced by alcohol. Another type is probably induced by the lack of it, or by something which I can't understand. And the former one is better.

Friday, November 23, 2007

पिछली मुलाकात

Having problems viewing the text below? Click here for help.

सामने बैठी तुम तो लगा मानो
संसार इतने में ही सिमट सा गया हो
इस बार भी "पहली" मुलाकात के लिए
हर बार की तरह समय थम सा गया हो

पलकें उठीं तो लगा जैसे
संसार में अब भी काफ़ी कुछ अच्छा सा है
पलकें झुकीं तो एहसास हुआ
मेरा प्यार सचमुच सच्चा सा है

मुस्कुराई तुम तो संतोष हुआ
नाममात्र ही सही, थोड़ा प्यार तो तुम्हें भी है
शरमाते चेहरे की लालिमा से आभास हुआ
तुम्हारे हृदय के एक छोटे कोने पर अधिकार मुझे भी है

मेज़ पर अंजाने में ही तुम्हारा हाथ छुआ तो लगा
थोड़ा ही सही, मेरे जीवन को आज भी अवलंबित करती हो
खत्म न हो रही बातों से लगा तुम मुझमें
आज भी उत्साह के कुछ शब्द अंकित करती हो

वापस जाने का वक़्त हुआ तो लगा जैसे
उन कुछ क्षणों में कैद मेरा संसार हुआ
थोड़ी देर रुक जाने को जब कहा तुमने
तो मानो हृदय पर ही प्रहार हुआ

किस गति से निकले थे वो कुछेक क्षण
अभी तो तुम्हें बस देख भर पाया था
हमारी पिछली उस मुलाकात की यादों का
सिलसिला आज फिर ख्वाबों में आया था

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Food for thought

"Some emotions don't make a lot of noise. It's hard to hear pride. Caring is real faint - like a heartbeat. And pure love - why some days it is so quiet, you don't even know it's there."

- Erma Bombeck

Friday, November 16, 2007

CAT Tips: What to do the day before and on the D-Day

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

- Elbert Hubbard; The Note Book, 1927

The penultimate

Relax! Your part of the job is already done! If you happen to be an engineer too (which I presume with a 90% level of confidence), recall the days when you used to laugh looking at people messing their heads with “Irodov” and “Krishna’s IIT Physics” on the day of the JEE! If you weigh intelligence and perseverance in terms of importance towards cracking CAT, trust me, this cat is way too sexy to be tamed just by slogging hard for it – I would rank intelligence higher when it comes to getting her! If you count in attitude and thinking-on-the-toes as components of intelligence, you are made for an IIM. Tomorrow is your day to prove that you are great not because you are amongst the crowd of those two hundred thousand guys writing the exam each one of which has the brains to solve those easy Quants and DI problems, but you are great because you are more intelligent in terms of choosing the right ones out of the twenty five questions and calm enough to crack them within fifty minutes. Adding to it, you should be intelligent enough to understand that you don’t need to slog tonight to prove yourself tomorrow!

If you want a personal experience, I had enjoyed a mug of beer in Bangalore’s “Just Another Pub” at Koramangala the day before CAT, chilling out with a bunch of college friends (and I got a “blacki”!!) The point out here is not about alcohol (remain strictly within 50ml!); just relax in the best way which suits you. Stay calm, have a dinner with you girlfriend (if you aren’t as lucky as me who doesn’t have any such filthy burdens), and remain confident that you are made for the big day. It’s meant to be a laid back Saturday, let the essence remain – you’re doomed to be back again to the rhetoric of office or classes from Monday!

The ultimate

Ever actually seen how “mornings” are like on Sundays? The exam is at ten, make sure you wake up in time keeping in mind your transit time to the examination centre. You haven’t taken a bath for past 4 days, do it today (yes, do it even though it’s a “sun” day; it’s the second best thing in the world to refresh with a cold water shower on a November morning!) Feel like revising formulae or something? Personal opinion – it’s of no use. It’s only the easy formulae – which you already have used a lakh times – combined with your sheer presence of mind that is required to sail through CAT problems. Get to the examination centre by 09:45, check out all girls allotted the same centre if you are writing CAT in a real town and, finally, take your seat at 10:00.

The 10:00 to 10:30 period when you’ve to wait in the examination hall for the question paper is the worst torture you might have ever faced in life. Here’s how to make best use of the time. Get your brain working before the exam starts. After you are done with the form filling stuff, this is the time to revise your formulae. Your brain is already at peace with the relaxation you offered it yesterday, let it start afresh. Mentally start recalling simple geometry and mensuration’s areas, volumes, equations and stuff. If you remember some problem you had ingeniously solved (ever), think about the solution again, you’ll bolster your confidence. Start building your focus fifteen minutes before you’ve got the papers. Once you get them, it’s the regular easy trick. Pick up the most comfortable areas (personal favorite – geometry in Quants); steer through rough uncomfortable terrains the last. Constantly look for easy problems, spot them right and you are through the cut-off. Get ready to enjoy the Sunday evening once again!

All the best!