Friday, January 31, 2014

We need to talk

A year and a half later, I wake up and decide to write for the sake of my readership, both of whom have pestered me enough to revive my blog. As I look through my older posts, I realize I have embarrassed myself in public way too many times to let it bother me now.

Then comes in the next bit. What do I write about? Should I write about politics or the environment or poverty or hunger? Or should I blabber for a little longer, write random things, make a blog post out of nothing and end it before anyone realizes they just wasted two minutes of their lives they are never getting back (the usual)?

Inspiration hits me. And I decide to write about something I re-discovered recently.
The beauty of conversations.

Long, deep, interesting, unending conversations. Conversations that keep you up all night, and get interesting by the minute. Conversations that may start with a question or an innocuous remark but end with narrations of anecdotes, expression of feelings, confession of doubts and acceptance of fears.

Conversations that make you think, introspect. Conversations that make you go silent, that keep you up when you are in for some sleep. 
They may be few and far between, but they are worth the wait and the effort. The effort that comes with ignoring the cell phone, and blocking every piece of information we could do without.

Easier ‘said’ than done? Maybe.

Monday, July 16, 2012

While the world was interning..

Almost a year since I wrote something. Something apart from happy texts, nasty texts, frustrating texts, smileys and their likes.
Almost a year since I actually visited my own blog. Pink and hideous. My first thoughts.
Thoughts like ‘What was I thinking when I wrote that’, ‘Whatta drama queen’, ‘Gimme a break’ followed.
And then, a simple realisation, I loved it nevertheless. Like old pics of days when I looked like a girl and dressed like a boy. :P

B Schooling has been such a roller coaster. Friends, committees, parties, hang outs, summers, and absolutely no studying. :D
NITIE so far has been a joy ride. Something I will surely reminisce about years after I've left. But till that time, I can’t help but muse over the most fascinating two months of my summer internship.

Nestle, India.

A group of 14. Blue eyed. Big brands to back them. A, B, C, L, FMS, TISS and the good old NITIE. J
Irrespective of how much one socialises over Facebook, meeting people, socialising, and making friends is a different ball game altogether. Especially if you are capable of being socially awkward. Especially if you are me. Thankfully, this time was to be an exception.

The first week of internship kept gave us an option to stay at the company guest house. And viola! What a place! J
We bonded while we waited for food, while we ordered the most expensive items from the menu, while we waited for the experience to start. After yawning through multiple presentations, a market visit and a plant visit later, where people enthusiastically, asked questions and clicked pictures, we finally met out ‘mentors’. We waited for the projects to start. For our chance of making earth shattering revelations. For our moments of glory.

Little did we know ;)

In what I believe was an HR plan, the interns were made to sit together. Maybe to network. Maybe to learn. Either ways, we had a time of our lives. 14 people, such different personalities, so much fun.

There was the hot shot guy every one kept asking about, the Rajnikanth fanatic, the ‘Gyaani’ with exceptional PPT skills, the guy who tried selling ‘Dahi’ to kids, the guy who got frustrated with South Delhi housewives (Purely professional reasons ;p ). The guy who holidayed, the guy who slogged, the guy who came in late, the guy who could tell if a match was fixed. The HR girl, the girl who talked about dope on day 1 and the girl who only made graphs on excel (yes, me).
We had them all.

The team, as a ritual would be first for the meals, the soups and the salads. Desserts would be eaten in bulk. With a ‘SPOC’ getting them for everyone. The after lunch hours were reserved for discussing questions on ‘Lateral thinking’ which we graduated to after irritating each other with PJs. The sessions that started as a stress buster (cos you know how very stressed all of us were :P), ended only when we realised that we had made the best of our internships, and it was now time to work :D

The trips to Convergys dhaba, the essential gulping of Nestea, the fretting over projects, the bitching about people, the trip that never happened.

It is said that a great bonds are capable of transforming the most difficult of situations into the best ones. I can say that for sure.

The two months have made their way in my book of exceptional memories.

Meanwhile, my blog remains pink and hideous, the blabbering, dramatic. But I hope to smile every time I read this post and reminisce about the days when the world interned.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In the middle of nowhere!

It all started 3 months back. When a bunch of unsuspecting, blue eyed kids were selected for a committee that doesn’t sleep. And that never visits home. Prerana Management Group has been all that and much more. But more about that later. This post talks about a “legendary” trip that just happened. No home on Diwali can make the otherwise zombie-like creatures come to life, plan out and have fun. In style.

Day 1

The Beach

The day, as usual, was an extension of the night. The junies just continued living their nocturnal lives through the next day. The good thing, they were on time for the departure. The bad, no senior present to appreciate them :P

So after a hour and a half’s wait, the Gods appeared, the cabs were quickly occupied, the Mumbai traffic beaten, funds collected by the self appointed accountant. :D

After the ‘Chai-nashta’ that went horribly wrong, we were ready to hit the road again. This time with a lot more conviction. Alas, the same could not be said for the drivers who had plans of their own. So one would be woken up in the middle of the ride because suddenly the cab had come to a screeching halt, the drivers had switched the A.C off in that freakishly hot weather and gone away to eat.

As for us poor souls, it was a choice between dying of suffocation inside or dehydration outside.

After a rather adventurous ride with a phenomenal musical talent singing (yours truly :P ), a kid with the ‘Toy gun’ (in true Diwali spirit), the Joke book that truly was, a joke, and multiple pictures of the ‘Model’, we were finally there. Diveagar.

A thrilling foosball session, a hearty meal and the check in into the hotel later, the group of 16 wallowed in the sea for hours. Way past sunset. But then it was Diwali. Had to be traditional. The realisation struck and out came camera with the picture of the deity. The prayers were quickly downloaded, and religiously sung (While the ice box made its way to the dining table).

The fun had just started. Pegs after pegs were drowned. Songs that had “dard” were sung. The drunkards giggled, laughed, cracked jokes. The sober ones watched. And I hated to be in the latter category. X( (Not for long though :P )

Soon the crowd eased out. Few stayed back. And then started a great great debate over something I fail to fathom now. Heated yet candid, if you were there and you missed it, too bad! (Suck it up! :P )

It went on for hours, was continued on the beach. At 3 A.M. Pitch Dark. When it was time to leave, we had a sob story of ‘The Broken Chappal’ holding us back. But what the heck, we made it to our rooms! Tipsy, but there!

Day 2

The Fort, the Guide and the Shayari

A fort named ‘Jaljeera’ (Or something similar) :D. A ferry ride took us there. It stood in the middle of water. In the middle of nowhere. The blistering heat was just the first if many surprises.

Sample this:

“Dil jigar hum bhi rakhte hai
Ankho se katl karne ka dum hum bhi rakhte hai
Kissi se mukurane ka wada kiya tha humne
Warna ankho mein samundar to hum bhi rakhte hai”

:D :D

Surprise, surprise! This was the best part about the fort!

Cringe. Cringe some more! :D

The day soon came to an end and we started with our journey back. Just when I thought that it had come to an end, my stars betrayed me again and made me change my cab. And I was in for the longest, most embarrassing game of dumb charades of my life. The memory of which has scarred me forever. The lesser said about it, the better. :P

The trip came to an end. But it did more than what anybody had hoped for. Here’s one to the Prerana family. The legacy . The memory. Sheer awesomeness.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It’s a jungle out there!

Four months into NITIE. I’ll not bore you by saying that it feels like yesterday when I entered the lush green campus that would be my home for the next whatever.

I’ll also not tell you how you get in here, or how things work around; neither will I tell you about the placements (yes, you do get shitloads of money and an MBA continues to be the most overrated degree).

What I will tell you though, is how I see people here. (The other way round might not be very pleasant)

Bright eyed, hardworking, smart, raring to go, they all want to make it big and make it really, really fast.

So different, yet so similar.

You have all varieties:

People who study, people who don’t, people who sing, people who dance, people who write, people who brag and people who whine. The Street-smart jugaadu, the multimillionaire, the cool dude, the college sweetheart, The sweet innocent one, the proud owner of HIMYM, Dexter and Friends, Mr. CFA, the one who asks too many questions, the achiever and the Dark horse.

The girls, as a rule, never pretty enough, the guys, chauvinists.

Everyone is nocturnal, everyone a broke.

The place bustles with energy, with passion and sometimes with a perpetual fear of being left behind. But it sizzles. It moves. There’s a Prerana. A Lakshya. And an NPL. The whackjobs make all of it work. And how!

Welcome to the world of orderly chaos!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NIT(I)E Out!

It was late at night. The figures emerged from nowhere. Dark suits, sunken faces, hollow eyes. They talked hurriedly. Walked past each other. No pleasantries exchanged. Just a few questions:

Which one was it?
What preference did you give it?
How did it go?

This pretty much summed up the sentiment on Day 1 of NITIE interviews for the various committees. What went inside those small, dingy holes that pass off as rooms of double occupancy, varied.
They simulated situations you may never get into, asked to sing, asked about drinking habits, the boyfriends, commented on people’s voices and convinced a few that they were actually not fit for any work the world had to offer.

You could see anger, frustration, impatience, and in some cases, extreme amusement on the faces of the applicants. “What do they want!”.

Timelines were compromised on, meals missed as the queues outside hostel 4 grew.

Back in hostel 5, you could hear people yelling, venting out what they thought was their angst against the system. “They gave me a write up”. “Me a website to make.” At 6 A.M. To be submitted in two hours! Smirk. ;)

Earlier in the day

“Sleep tight. These committee interviews go on till late.”
“Bleh. Hum to waise bhi late sote hai. Ab b school life ki aadat pad gayi hai.”
The same people later could not be contacted for comments. :P

The day never ended. It went on and on. There was no night. The sky changed its colours. Blue, grey, black, grey, blue. No one slept. Meal at Nescafe was followed by meals at ‘Muddu mess’. Assignments were submitted yet again, marketing strategies thought in a couple of hours, events conceptualised. They may never see the light of the day again, but then, you are either a part of the system or against it.

God bless the Indian B schooler!

Friday, May 6, 2011

How NITIE happened and other stories :)

Warning: Very long(boring) post. Read it only if you've prepared for CAT atleast once.(Necessary but not sufficient)You might want stop reading midway otherwise :P

As I stay up on one of my last days in Bangalore, a city I’ve befriended, and loved, I think about the last two years. I think about the next two years. And how the former shaped the latter.

I think of my engineering. The most demotivated years of my life.

I go farther.
My school. And I how I loved it. And how I still love it. And how it, to date, remains the most important factor that shaped me. For hadn’t it been the confidence in myself I’d pretty much gathered during my schooling, I’d have been, what they call, a Loser. Big Time.

It all started when I got a 68 in Social Studies in 10th. This meant 88% in boards. How I cried my heart out for days. Funny how the mood of the examiner could’ve changed a lot in my life. (This realisation came just a couple of months ago.)
So Boards were sour grapes. I never wanted them. 81% in 12th pretty much closed it. Or so I thought.

I didn’t make it to any A-list engineering college. I didn’t care. About the grades or the classes or the assignments. And how it paid me back with a measly 66%. . The only concession being a likely B School stint that might change my fortune.

And so CAT was my new road to redemption. The only way I could get out of that life of complete ignominy.
CAT 2008:I joined CL, missed zero sessions, took the mocks. Mostly didn’t do well. But sometimes, did well too. That was enough. I knew all it would take was a good day. And I was all geared up.

Form rejected. No signature. HAH!
Yes, shit happens.
Managed some calls from Non-CAT colleges. Didn’t make it. Didn’t care.

Placements brought Infy. Infy meant a 70 percentile in CAT 2009.
No problem.
It was impossible to prepare with Mysore, and the training anyway.
But then came the XAT result. A 99.53 and a PMIR call. And suddenly I woke up from my slumber.
And I cared. So much as I’d never cared for anything else. I gave up everything. Infact, I gave up the only thing I was doing those days. Studying my ass off in Infosys.
I prepared all that I could. In all the time that I could manage.
Introduction, hobbies, past, present, future, MBA jargon.

And I fumbled. On the D-Day. I was too much in awe of the situation. A direct reject.
And a couple of days later, I flunked the most important exam in Infy and for the first time ran the risk of losing my job.

So there it was. Rock Bottom.

I had never doubted myself so much. Maybe this wasn’t meant to be. Maybe the days at school were just an illusion. And maybe CAT and the likes were meant for a species of a different kind.

But I didn’t have much time. I had to save my job. And I got to it. And I did it. First things first.

Then Bangalore happened. And I was ready to take the plunge again. This time with a lot more conviction. When I look back, I feel, that nothing really changed since I’d taken my first interview. But somehow, it felt so much better. I prepared. I took the mocks. Without a laptop at my disposal. In cyber cafes and through printouts. My score ranged from 60s to 90s.

But none of that was a cause of worry. It was my VA that was troubling me now. It had always been my strongest, my fastest section. And it had ditched me. So two days before CAT 2010, I borrowed a laptop, took some 12 VA tests on the trot, and left it only when I scored what I deemed was a good score. I slept peacefully.

CAT 2010 was something of a surprise. With a few simple and few tricky questions. Mixed feelings.
I scored 98.15.
And I knew that meant no IIM calls .
But then it might have. Had there been a 90% in my CBSE Boards-You get the picture.

I had four calls. SCMHRD, NITIE, MDI and MICA.
SCMHRD gave me my first convert. And I knew this year would be it.
I didn’t block my seat.
I made frantic calls before the NITIE interview. On how things worked. I prepared. And I got through.
It was the news I’d been waiting for.
A top 10 college.

MDI came out. A PGP-HR looked likely.

But I had made up my mind.
After Delhi, Noida and Bangalore; it had to be Mumbai.
It felt perfect.Finally.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This is not a dead blog!


I'll take an ego trip and find out if people visit my blog without me having to tell them.(I'm sure this is gonna backfire)
So if u're reading this, kindly comment :P