Thursday, May 24, 2007


Nine months in IIM campus, I hardly every stepped out. The muggai kept me constantly busy. And whenever I stepped out it was usually either in a friend's car or on another friend's bike, straight into a posh mall, either to a branded goods showroom or a cinema hall! Transported from one hi-fi place to another, without any significant contact with the normal world outside!

But since past one month I am in Chennai, pursuing my summer training. Easygoing that the work life is when compared to IIM life there is a lot of free time and so fitness freak that I crave to be, I usually walk the 3-4 kms distance from my hotel to office and back every day. As I walk I cross hundreds of people - but each day, the ones who compel me to think are the beggars. There are quite a few of them on the road that I take. Someday I am generous, other days I just change my course or pretend not to have seen them. Eyes manage to avoid them. Brain does not. Everytime I cross one of them, the same thoughts come rushing to my mind- why beg? Why not just kill yourself?

Ah!! I know it's a terrible thought. But yeah, thats what I think. Why are these people dragging along with their lives? what is it that keeps them going? Is killing oneself that difficult, especially when you don't have anything to live for?

Am not referring to the kids who have been forced into begging. Neither am I referring to the poor widowed mother begging for the sake of her newborn baby. Am referring to the beggars who are very old or are severely handicapped. Poverty by itself is terrible. Poverty with old age or a handicap which renders one unable to work is even worse!

The day the handicap rendered 3 out of 4 limbs of that hapless beggar useless, he would have known his chance of a dignified life in a country like India had become almost negligible. May be he was too young then to think of dignity and life and all that stuff. What concerned him then was his hunger for which he started begging. But as years passed he did grow. he did learn to think. he did observe that around him people did live a dignified life and he, simply because of a cruel stroke by mother nature, had to beg to be able to survive. He was a human being like any other person but unlike others he was living a life worse than an animal. Worse because he could think, he could observe, he could understand what a joke nature had played with him. But he has still carried on. He begs so that he may have food everyday which will keep him alive. What I dont understand is why he still wants to be alive? Killing oneself is not easy. But is it not easy even for such people who do not have a life anyway? Well, I dont know if I am justified in saying that these people have no life. But however hard I may think, I cant figure out what could life be for that beggar. Other than the purpose of completing the food chain as required by nature, shouldnt there be something more to each of our lives?

Then there is this old lady. She is a leper. Has a big hunch. She begs to me when I walk to the office in the morning. She is there begging at the same place, again when I walk back to room, joining hands to people like me who must be of the age of her grandson or even younger. What makes her do this from 8 in the morning to 10 in the night? She doesn't have teeth even to be able to eat. what does she beg for? Her face screams of the extreme pain she is in. She is ready to bear this persistent pain caused by an unattended ailment, old age, constant humiliation and extreme deprivation. But she isn't ready to bear the one time pain of killing herself! Why?

However, my daily list of encounters include a very different case also - A roadside palmist. His props include a crude hand made kundli and a magnifying glass. He sits on the same place every day. Morning 8:30 I cross him, waiting for customers. Again at 9 in the night, I cross him, stil waiting. But not even once have I seen him having any customer. Well Ok. To be honest One day there were two foreigners, out of curiosity, getting their palms read. Other than that zilch! He seems to be in an eternal wait. Frankly, who these days goes to a road side palmist to know their future? And so most probably, that guy earns nothing on most of the days. yet, he has this dignity. he doesn't beg. On the other hand, people who decided to forget their dignity and beg, are earning much more than him on any day. So whats important? Who is better off? The astrologer? The beggar? Should the astrologer start begging? should the beggar kill himself or be happy that at least he is better fed than the astrologer?

I understand that begging would have been difficult only when these people did it for the first time. The bloody human mind gets used to and adjusted to anything if done for long enough duration. And so now dignity is not something they would ever care for. they jus want to survive. What i don't understand is why they want to survive? Why is the survival instinct so strong? God played a joke on them by making then severely handicapped as well as extremely poor. But why should they accept the joke silently and live like an animal all their life? When they had understood that there wasn't any scope for them to lead a human life in this world, why didn't they just go ahead and kill themselves? For whose sake they want to survive? What do they want to achieve by prolonging their own agony? Don't their hearts bleed at the thought of having been meted with grave injustice by God when they see normal people around them?

One may go on and give an idealistic talk on the value of human life, never giving up, optimism etc etc. But for these people I really don't think there is any hope. They are extremely poor and they are physically incapable. Even if they want, how do they improve their lives? I am not even sure, if they think at all about improving their lives. In all probabilities, their thoughts do not go beyond the next meal and that occasional pouch of 'desi daru'. Worse, the government doesnt have the resources to take care of such people.

You cant do it yourself, government cant do it for you. How on earth do you think will you ever get out of this mockery of human life?

Why not just jump under a train? Will be a matter of only few seconds!

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Love ya paycheck??

I am back. Ah no, not with a Bang! But I am back. Lots of things have changed in the past 6 months since I stepped into IIMB. People say I have changed - they find me healthier ( read fat) and more confident! I have new awesome friends and I now have a different view about myself and the life I want to lead. But then, coming back to the blogosphere after such a long time, I don't feel like writing a serious post. So some other day. Lets just talk about a somewhat humorous incident in my life.

April 2006 - IIM results were declared and I got through IIMB. May 2006 I completed B.Tech. June 2006 I went home for the holidays. Two months is a good enough time for the news of my IIM entry to spread wide in my little home town. The day I reach home my mom tells me about some Mr. XYZ who wants me to get married to his daughter who is incidentally fair, beautiful, adept at household chores and educated ( I am glad he didn't mention "tall" also as all the matrimonial ads do :) ). I asked my Mom to immediately send a photo of mine to the family, betting that the very next moment they would withdraw the offer! After all, who wants to get entangled into Indian judicial system on the charges of child marriage!

But this was funny. ( Well frankly, somewhat ego boosting too! No girl has ever expressed interest in marrying me. And though this time, it was just the girl's father on behalf of the girl and not the girl herself, I still felt thanking IIM profs for taking me in. Long live Ganesh Prabhu and Narayanswamy!! ) The person in question didnt know our family well. We just happened to be of the same caste. He had not ever seen me. Had no freaking idea as to how I looked or what kind of a person I was. Worse, he didnt know my parents also to be able to at least extrapolate and have a guess as to what kind of person could I be. But still, he wanted his daughter to get married to me. Only reason - I was going to be an IIMite and hence in the future, financially secure and if lady luck smiles, even rich! First I was amused - weird materialistic society! Then I was irritated. Had I agreed, the girl would have married me. The girl didn't seem to have much of a say. One of the most important decisions of her life but still she was out of the loop. However, when I thought a little bit more I felt nothing wrong in the girl's father's action. Financial security for his daughter - this is what brought him to make that offer. Isnt' financial security one of the most desired things in life? if the girl's father wanted his daughter to not to lead a difficult life for the want of money, what's wrong? I know a little about love and all that stuff. But love aint everything. One needs to survive, provide education to his/her children, live a life of self-respect and dignity, have some status - and sadly enough, simply love doesn't make the cut here! You gotta be able to earn, and you better earn well!

Quite a few of the readers of this blog will not agree to my point. They will pounce upon me saying that love is everything and that I have a very materialistic view of life. Some of the female readers might even call me MCP for portraying girls as completely dependent on their husbands. Well, you girls will make such a comment because most of you will be financially secure on your own. Here in IIMB, I study with females, most of who will, in a span of a few years, be fighting it out in the top echelons of the corporate world and raking in big moolah. They all boast of that rare combination of beauty with brains and if the big-bad world of jealous males doesnt stop them with the glass ceiling, quite a few of them will be making headlines as leaders very soon. When it comes to their marriage, the only thing that will matter is love. Caste, financial stability, husband's family, horoscope etc. - all these traditional parameters will not make even the slightest of difference. Love will be the sole factor. And status of course!! But then, I am not talking about such girls. The girl in question belongs to a place where girls wearing jeans are still not so common a sight, where an unmarried couple sitting in a public place (maintaining adequate distance) runs the risk of being interrogated by the police and where a girl and a boy if seen alone together will almost certainly lead to people making stories about the girl's character. Well, girls who move out of our town for the sake of higher studies do get to breath the free air and some of them do end up in love marriages. But those who do not move out - love marriages are still a tabboo for them.

And therefore, what makes me wonder is the mental state of such girls in these crucial years of their lives. Insecurity - that is what must be ruling their mind. Just as that girl's father approached my family, he would approach few more families one of which would agree and the girl would get married. She would have not known the guy or his family in advance and therefore the constant fear of what kind of home she is getting into will certainly be traumatising her. The feeling of being left at mercy of someone else, of not being the master of one's own life, is really terrible. I did experience it briefly few months back and i felt like shit! And therefore I feel quite sympathetic for such girls. But I don't see a solution right now other than wishing them good luck. However the ultimate solution is education. Provide every girl with adequate, quality education so that she becomes financially independent after which her emotions will matter more than the guy's earning power!

Friday, May 19, 2006

No more by thee my steps shall be……

12th May - This date is one of the most important dates of my life. It is my parents' marriage anniversary. On this date in the year 2002, I wrote the entrance exam for DA-IICT. And on this date, in 2006, I became en engineer.Ain't it interesting - DA-IICT saga started on 12th May and even ended on 12th May.

Yup, I have become an engineer. It feels so great. I am on the cloud number nine right now. Am experiencing a sense of achievement. I cannot put in words what I felt when I stepped out of the presentation room in the morning of 12th May.

However, along with all that ecstacy due to the succesful completion of my engineering, is the inevitable pain of bidding adieu to my friends of four years. Our hostels are deserted. I have been in deserted hostels all my holidays. But this time the silence is having a different, a disturbing effect. Because this time, I know, the people who have left that silence behind are not going to return. And very soon, I too am going to add to that eternal silence. One of my best friends left today, and hell, it hurt! Till last moment, we were pulling each other's legs, but within, both of us were yelling - "No! Don't let this moment pass, because with every passing moment, the farewell is approaching closer." But neither of us was powerful enough to stop time from ticking away. And so the hour of final goodbye did come. He left and I was left behind, thinking, "Where's the good in goodbye?”

Back in my room, I could not help but feel nostalgic. This is the place wherein we grew-up in the true sense. The counseling day wherein we were made to dream as never before, the first lecture wherein a certain professor scared us to death, the cycling from sector 7 to college in the first semester, the rush to occupy the first seat in the first few weeks, the first exams, the course BEC wherein half of the batch was certain of failing, the gradual coming out of the school type mentality and developing a college-lad attitude, bunking of lectures, computer games, festivals, clashes with seniors, internships, placements, DC++ - ah well, I can go on and on. This place has made me experience every kind of feeling – ecstasy and frustration, hope and disappointment, success and failure, pleasure and sorrow, love and anger.

Away from home, left to fend on our own, we lived an entirely different life here. Being located at an isolated place in a not-so-big city most of our time in the past four years was spent within the boundaries of this 50 acres campus. When we came here, except for a few buildings here and there, it was all jungle. As we grew up, along side this place has also grown. We have been fortunate to be a part of several "firsts" in this college - "first" rural internship, "first" occupants of the hostels, "first" issue of college magazine, "first" elections, "first" Synapse, "first" ragging-victims and several others.

What did I learn at this place apart from "ICT"? Well, I learnt everything. I learnt to take most important decisions of my life on my own, I learnt to handle relationships, I learnt the value of money, I learnt the importance of true friends, I learnt to survive competition, I learnt to dream big, I learnt to have fun in life. My four years here have resulted into an immense value addition in me in terms of a human being. I will not be exaggerating if I said that the foundation of the life that I will have to lead in the outside world has been laid here because it was here that for the first time I lived outside the cocoon of my family. And perhaps, this is the case with most of us.

Living in hostels, the friends became family for us. Whether it was much needed counselling, or care during illness, or money when we were bankrupt, a shoulder to shed a tear, a company to share a joke, an appreciation for some achievement - these and much more was provided by friends. Selfless relatioships - they are possible and DA-IICT taught me that.
Having been closely associated with batches other than my own, I have been able to know a lot of people here. It is the wonderful people that I have come across here that makes this place very very special to me. The talent, ambition, competitive spirit, selflessness - I hope I find such people wherever I go from here.

A few days more and then this place, which was my home for four years, would become foreign to me. I will need permission to walk into the gates of DA-IICT. 200201151 will cease to be my identity. Someone else would have occupied my hostel room. Alumnus - Yeah, this is what I would be called! Am I sad? Yeah. I am. I am terribly sad. But then, as it is said “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” DA-IICT was perhaps one of the best things to happen to most of us, at least to me. We came here, we saw, we will always remember! And we must try that we again come back here, we see and then we do the needful in our capacity so that we can take this institute closer to the status it deserves.

As I turn the pages of the book of our life and begin a new chapter, I seek the blessings of all the faculty members

To all my batchmates:

“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

Good luck and Good Bye!!

By the way, check out this lines from the poem "A farewell" by Tennyson. They are touching indeed!

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver:
No more by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
A rivulet then a river:
Nowhere by thee my steps shall be
For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder tree
And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Saturday, April 22, 2006

what's wrong with India??

An article in today' TOI said that government is thinking about prohibiting courier services from carrying mails weighing lesser than 300 gms. This is being done to protect the postal department which is in bad shape and because of which the livelihoods of a large section of society are in danger. The news particularly caught my attention because of the book "Atlas Shrugged" that I am reading these days - A good book except for the excessively elaborate description at times. In the book, Ayn Rand, the author scathingly criticises the philosophy of communism - from each as per his ability, to each as per his needs.

In the novel, the protoganists are ruthless capitalists for whom profits in their businesses is the only thing that matters, not that they are suckers of blood of poor people. They are intelligent, hardworking, honest people who deserve the profit they make. But their government is made up of self proclaimed humane moralists who cannot see the plight of people in poverty, in spite of that poverty being the result of inefficieny on part of those very people. And so they try to curtail the progress of the efficient capitalists in the name of equality of opportunities and responsibility towards under-privileged people. Indeed, communism is redistribution of poverty.

The novel was set in a different age, years ago when communism was gaining popularity, because people didn't have faith in their own abilites and wanted to piggy-back on the succes of others. But Indian government is doing a similar thing in today's world, where every body has been convinced that capitalism is the way to go. If postal department is not efficient, why should I care? Why should I be concerned about the livelihood of people related with postal department? It is their own problem and they themselves should gird their loins if they want to survive. For me, the important thing is that my letter should reach on time and in a good condition. If the services provided by couriers is more reliable, why on earth should I care if the postal department goes to dogs?? Competition is the name of the game today and those who cannot survive competition have no right to survive at all.

In a similar other situation, the government is mullin of quots in IITs and IIMs. Here again, the superficial ideology is the same - equality of offportunities to all, though it is apparent that the actual purpose is to garner votes. Equality?? Gimme a break!! What makes the politicians think that just getting into an IIT or IIM would make the OBC students equal to others? True equality comes when equality is achieved in terms of capabilites and not in terms of admission seats.You think someone who scores 30 in CAT and gets into an IIM will be able to compete with those who got 60? No way! His 2 years will be another experience in frustration and a reinforcement of his inferiority complex. If you want equality in terms of opportunities, work at the grassroots level. Improve the schools, have quotas there so that by the time the students appear for IITs and IIMs, every one is on an equal footing. What could be expected from those students who need someone's mercy even for post graduation? There are just 1100 seats at IIMs for general category students and you want to reduce further this number. Have you ever tried getting into an IIM? DO you realise how difficult a thing is it? if you had, you would have never thought of offering an IIM seat on a platter to some undeserving candidate who even after an IIM would still be very much the same because the problem lies with his fundamentals which are weak. You want a skyscraper when the foundation itself is in tatters! If you have great institutes, let their education serve only those who can really benefit from it and add to their greatness. And let's face it - not everyone is born to be successful. Some people have to face hardships more than others. Equality is a myth. Cest la vie!!

Actually, as one of my friends pointed out, the real problem is with we so-called educated people. We do not vote. And then we cry foul when such situations arise. But I strongly feel that apart from elections, we should have a referendum system in our country for such important decisions. No sane person is in favour of quotas in IITs and IIMs and yet I am afraid the bill will pass because the elected representatives who are sitting up there because we people didn't vote, are spineless traitors. But if there is a referendum, even those who don't vote would queue up when the matter concerned is as important as this one.

I wonder what PM Manmohan singh is up to. I understand that the idea has his nod. But I know it is because of political compulsions. He is educated enough that he would never be in favour of such ideas. Why then he does not resign? I know that his resignation would spell doom for congress and it would mean an end for his political career. But his resignation would bury the idea of reservations at least for a decade to come. He has an opportunity to do a service to the nation. Increase in quotas at IITs and IIMs would be a retrograde step for the nation. He is in a position to stop this step from bein taken, albeit at the expense of his political career. If he lets this opportunity pass, he would end up doing considerable harm to the nation. And hey, I understand that Manmohan singh has political compulsions. But why is kalam not speaking up? At least he should resign.

I participated in a protest march. I can't figure out what else to do.

Someone please save this country.

Monday, April 10, 2006

7 things

Well, Steve has tagged me. A pretty easy tag and so I decided not to procrastinate it at all.

I am supposed to list down 7 things in several categories. Fine for the 7 things I can do, I can't do and I want to do, but in other categories, I had to struggle to complete the list. For example, I just couldn't find out 7 things that I said the most; I haven't subscribed to any typical lingo. I could not think of 7 crushes, which shows how much am I committed to Aishwarya Rai!! On top of all, I had a very tough time figuring out 7 things that attract me to the opposite sex! Now this is worrisome. And finally, I could not think of 7 people to tag!

Here goes my reply to the tag:

I. 7 things I want to do before I die:

1. Give back something to DA-IICT and my school
2. Make my parents' dreams come true
3. Make sure that all my sisters are safe and happy
4. Be an authority on something at least
5. Resume my sporting activities
6. Work for a social cause
7. Stop looking like a kid!!!

II. 7 things I can do:

1. Laugh uncontrollably
2. Smile at everyone (except at my interviewrs :( )
3. Keep quiet
4. Daydream
5. Write real long mails
6. Control myself at anything
7. Forgive and forget

III. 7 things I say the most:

1. I mean
2. Like
3. Ch****apa
4. Kya baat hai
5. Abe
6. Hata
7. Bade wala hai

IV. 7 things I can't do:

1. Lose my temper
2. Hurt someone
3. Smile during interviewes
4. Waste time
5. Concentrate
6. Be serious for more than a few minutes
7. Express my emotions

V. 7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:

1. Smile
2. Ambition
3. Long face
4.Child-like cuteness
5. WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get)
6. Not being too much aware about her appearance
7. Wit

VI. 7 Celebrity crushes:

1. Aishwarya Rai
2. That Matrix girl Trinity (forgot the name)
3. Neha (kareeb fame)
4. Priyanka Gandhi (Vadhera) :))
5. Sri Devi
6. Lisa Kudrow (Friends fame)
7. That Heena lead (who recently acted in "being cyrus" as Saif Ali khan's sister)

VII. 7 people I want to tag:

1. Honey
2. Shikha
3. Luv
4. Morey
5. Riddhi
6. :(
7. :(

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

post-interviews, pre-result feelings

Am filled with a mix of feelings right now - thoughts about leaving this place very soon, nightmares about my BTP and the course ADSP, anxiety about IIM results, memories of the time spent at Mumbai with my cousins, thoughts about people who are dear to me and a lots and lots of nostalgia.

Well, am done with my interviews. It feels like I just finished an important chapter of the book of my life.The last two months will be etched in my memory forever. Met some old people, some new people and learnt new lessons. Most important of all, gained some much needed confidence.

I wanted to make this post before the results come out because I do not want the results to affect my opinions in any way.

A novel experience indeed for me. For the first time in my life, I shamelessly boasted about myself. hell, I needed to sell myself. I hated that but I had to, I had to somehow portray that I was the best, I had to highlight my nondescript achievements and make them appear as if I had did something pathbreaking. I had to be extremely careful that the darker side of my personality didn't get exposed during that fateful one hour.

Back at college, we mostly move around in shabby clothes and dishevelled hair. But for the interviews, I tried my best to appear civilised and formal, clean and well ironed shirt and trouser plus a tie and shining shoes. Here among friends, we are instoppable at 'bakar' but when it comes to some sensible discussion, I talk only when I really feel like. But during the GDs, point or no point, I had to talk at regular intervals, I had to put up a smile but never really succeded in that. I had to convince the panelists that I am a group-worker and also have leadership skills!! During the interviews, I had to look at all the panelists, had to maintain a stupid smile on my face (again never really succeded), had to look into the eyes of the panelists and had to be "politically correct" while answering! I must admit that how to be politically correct was something I really learnt very well from this process.

I do not blame any of these things. Obvioulsy, we would be expected to dress properly for an interview as it reflects the sincerity on our part. We would be expected to talk a lot of sense because we are supposedly the future managers who would lead giant organisations and generate wealth! And when you are struggling to make a mark in the world, you can't rub the powers-that-be the wrong way. You have to be politically correct. But it just gave me an inkling of how life as a grown up would be. Once grown up, we would have to adjust our behaviour as per the expectations of the society and not as per our wishes. You either fail yourself but succeed in the eyes of the society or you please yourself but fail as per the yardstick of success followed by the society. I recently read somwhere - "The price you pay for conformity is that everyone except you yourself is happy with you."

Never in my life will I be nervous befor an interview. I still need to work upon the art of expressing myself well, because I really suck at that, but at least I have gained the confidence to get myself interviewed by big shots without being nervous. And I experienced first hand that confidence comes from preparation. I was well prepared except for some subjects and so never really felt afraid of interviews. It's really important to not to let insecurity creep in your life. With too much of insecurity around, life becomes tough and depressing thoughts come haunting every moment.

But I missed out on two very important experiences - being into a stress interview and being interviewed by a lady panelist. I wish at least one of my six interviews had provided me an opportunity to experience the above mentioned things. That would have made me even more confident and matured.

Results will now be out any time. I am enjoying the pre-result anxiety. Visiting PG every day to see if there is any update about the results. When I key in that TR number (btw, I will remember this number for the rest of my life) and the birthdate, what would the first word be - "Congratulations" or "Sorry"? Forget it! Whatever there was in my capacity, I have already done. Now all I can do is hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.

IIM or no IIM, I will remember fondly the past 8 months of my life because the destination is indeed important, but more important is the journey to the destination.

And the song by Aersomith that I am listening to right now is doing wonders to my spirit:
"Dream on, dream on, till your dreams come true!"

Sunday, March 26, 2006

IIMI GD/PI experience

Last one of the season for me.

Here goes the description.

Date; 25th March
Venue: IICM, Vashi (UTI institute, 3rd floor)
Time: 2:00 PM
Panel: 1 (not sure)

Case study:

8 people in the group, one lady. I was the only fresher. Vinz also in the same panel. 5 minutes to read, 16 minutes to discuss, 5 minutes to write the summary. Summary to be written down on the back of the yellow form. The case was about a person who joined family business after studies and did pretty well there. Thereafter, he entered into the education field which was quite close to his heart. He set up schools and colleges. Then he plunged into politics, became an MLA and then an MP and was, in all probabilities, going to become a minister soon. The management of the schools and colleges was looked after by his family members. But a week before the celebration of the completion of a decade of his schools and colleges one of the schools of his is derecognised by CBSE and the colleges also face some case in teh court. To add to his woes, the HRD minister cancels his visit to his celebrations. So what should he do?

Utter crap case. Of the one page write up given, 3/4th page had some of the other information about the person in question. Only the last 1/4the section spoke about the problem and so the problem wasn't clear at all. And therefore, we had quite a lacklustre discussion.


They were calling people in random order. LUck wasn't with me this time. In 3 out of my previous 5 interviews, I was 2nd and in one I was 1st. But today I was 7th!! And with the panel spending 30 mins with each person, it was a long long wait for me!

P1: Bored interviewer
P2: cordial interviewer
Me: Yours truly

When I was called for the interview, I went to the door and knocked to appear civilised. But the room was designed such that the sounds from inside could not be heard outside. And so I could not hear when they asked me to come in. I knocked thrice, then made sure that I was knocking at the right door and finally barged in!

P1: So vivek, How are you?
Me: Fine sir.
P1: Long wait for you huh? Must be bored?
Me: Yes Sir. A long wait. But I was busy solving sudokus.
P2: So, you are very much interested in sudokus?
Me: No sir. But a good way to spend time.

Now, without any other formalities, P2 just jumped to acads.

P2: You have this course probability and statistics? Why this course in IT?
Me: Explained that mine is not IT but ICT where we have subjects from IT, CS and ECE. The course is relavant for CS and ECE fields.
P2: Ok. What is Baye' theorem? (Hands me a sheet of paper)
Me: Told.
P2: What would be P(B/A) if P(A/B) is given?
Me: Told
P2: Give an example of Baye's theorem.
Me: After thinking for a while, started telling about different coloured balls in a container and drawing balls without replacement.
P2: No. I don't want this bookish example.

Before I could think of another example, he asked the next question.

P2: Is Baye's theorem applicable to all kinds of events?
Me: Tried to say something about if there are B1, B2 ... Bn events and they should be independent.
P2: No. what should be the relation between A and B?
Me: Couldn't really understand the question. So clueless stares.
P2: Have you heard about mutually exclusive and independent events.
Me: yes. Explained.
P2: Given an example of independent events.
Me: Questions asked by this panel and those asked by the other panel are independent to each other.
P2: What happens when A and B are mutually exclusive?
From this question, he led me show that the theorem cannot be applied when A and B are mutually exclusive. I wasn't really convinced but let it pass by accepting whatever he said.
P2: Where can be Bayes' theorem be applied in electronics?
Me: Couldn't think of an example there.
P2: In communication?
Me: Talked about information theory. Told them about the probability of receiving a message x1, when the transmitted message was also x1 and when the transmitted message was other than x1.
P2: In what type of practical channels the prob. P(X1/X1) would be 1 and where would it be less than 1.
Me: In no practical chaneel it would be 1.
P2: So, in the decreasing order of prob. what would be the list of channels?
Me: Optical fibres, copper cables, wireless.
P2: Working principles of these channels.
Me: Told.
P2: Why more noise in wireless. Tell mathematically.
Me: Gave a physical explanation. Told them that didn't know the mathematics.
P2: How can the noise be compensated?
Me: Told about repeaters.
P2: Give a practical example.
Me: Told about optical amplifiers used in optical fibre channels at appropriate intervals

P2 now signals to P1 to take over. All this while P1 gave a terribly bored look. He seemed to be very tired and didn't show any interest in my answers. And when it was his turn to interview, he asked pure GK questions.

P1: Which states are ruled by BJP?
Me: Told.
P1: CMs of these states.
Me: Told and added that wasn't very sure.
P1: Which states ruled by Congress.
Me: Gave some names.
P1: Cm of karnataka.
Me: Don't remember the name but Dharamsingh was repalced by the son of Dev Gowda.
P1: CM of Kerala?
Me: Don't know.
P1: WHo rules in J&K?
Me: Congress with NCP.
P1: NCP??
Me: I am sorry. NCP is in Maharashtra. It is NC in J&K.
P1: In UP.
Me: Told
P1: Which of these governments is more development oriented?
Me: Told about Gujarat and Maharashtra.

All these while, I would look at P2 for assurance because I wasn't very sure of my answers and P2 was giving a nod whenever I gave a correct answer.

P1 signals to P2 that he is done.

P2: You have campus placement?
Me: Yes, in __________.
P2: It's a nice opportunity to get some good experience. Why not go for it?
Me: Told about willing to have a continuity in my academic career.
P2: Thank you vivek. Take a biscuit.
Me: Thank you.

THis was it. 20 minutes. Compared to others I had a pretty easy interview. One guy in the other panel was asked to explain every single thing written on a pencil (HB Bonded lead etc.) A lot of direct GK was being asked. DOn't know how does that serve any purpose.

Thus ended the season for me. Now begins the nail-biting wait for the results. Hope my first tryst with CAT becomes the last one too.

IIMB GD/PI experience

Here is my experience with IIMB.

Date: 22nd March
Time: 9:00 AM
Venue: Mumbai
Panel: 3 (Though there were only two panels on that day)

Case study:

Only 6 people in the group. 1 lady. anandv and awr also in the group. Vinz was with another panel. The room was very small and so I felt like really sitting in a group for some dinner table discussion. We were given the instructions: 10 mins to think, 15 mins to discuss, 15 mins to write the summary. Summary to be written in running English, with complete sentences, not in points.

Title of the case was "six of spade or pass" which made no sense to me. The case was about an oil company with a name IVL similar to ONGC videsh. The manager KK had a $3 bn bid proposal on his table for an oilfield in Ecuador. The manager was worried about a Chinese competitor CNOC because it had outbidded IVL in past several bids, of which two examples were given in the case. KK felt that CNOC was banking on a rise in oil prices in the future for its not-so-competitive bids to work out. But since last two years CNOC was heavily in the red. In the last bid which was for some $500 mn, CNOC had approached IVL for a JV. KK was now wondering whether CNOC would do the same this time too? Or would it bid separately. We had to discuss about his plan of action.

Because there were only 6 people, everyone had enough chance to speak. We had a good discussion, with some repetitions indeed. There was one person who did lot of one-to-one discussion. But all in all, very peaceful and civilised and almost all possible aspects of the case were brought up and discussed.


I was the first person to be interviewed.

Two panelists. They had introduced themselves before the GD began but I forgot their names.

P1, P2: interviewers
Me: yours truly

P1: So, you are studying.
Me: Yes sir. Final year engineering.
P2: briefly describe yourself
Me: Answered. Told them about my interest in reading.
P2: So what do you prefer to read?
Me: I prefer biographies/autobiographies.
P2: Which biograpies you have read?
Me: Told
P2: Any particuar book that inspired you?
Me: yes. Iococca's and gave my reasons for that.
P2: ANy Indian personality who has inspired you?
Me: Gandhiji. I was fascinted by his will power. That is something I would like to have in myself.
P2: So you aren't strong mentally?
Me: No sir. I am very strong. But the level of will power that Gandhiji exhbited was different altogether. I would like to achieve that level.

P1: what is this controversy about Google earth
Me: Told
P1: WHo would need sensitive informaion about our country?
Me: Terrorists blah blah.
P1: Why did then google develop such a thing?
Me: Students of geogrphy. teching in schools. Travellers blah blah. Every technology has good and bad uses...

P2 is back

P2: If you were the securiy advisor of India, how would you analyse the problem.
Me: A very brief answer.
P2: So simple?? Ok, what do you think should Google do?
Me: Should agree to India's request.
P2: But you being a techie must know that technology cannt be restricted. If not google, someone else would do that.
Me: Agreed Sir. But google has the technological and financial soundness and also has an immense reach in masses. So a software developed by google would be better and more accessible to people which would mean an easy option for unscrupulous people. n the other hand, if some secret agency tries to develop similar thing, it wouldn't be as good as google earth and would also not be available to so many people. So google should be more responsible.

P2 signals P1 to take over.

I had a project with Reliance Digital world in the area of GIS (Geographical Information System). I had mentioned it in the form in the part time training/work-ex section. It was a pretty interesting project and I was expecting that there would be some questions on it. And there were indeed. P2 and P1 asked me several questions about the project, softwares used, outcomes, utility etc. I am happy at least in some interview, this project came up for discussion.

P1: SO vivek, why MBA?
Me: Told.
P1: Why not
Me: My reasons.
P1: 5 years down the line?
Me: Gyan

P2 also chips in.

P2: Why not your own company? It takes hardly any thing to start an IT company?
Me: Not prepared for this thing. Do not have sufficient knowledge.
P2: So you are risk averse?
Me: Nope. I take risks but only calculated risks. I feel starting a company at this stage would be a blind risk.
P2: But gujaratis have entrepreneurship in blood. Take Dhiruhai Ambani. Did he have any expereience when he started on his own? Why not you? (Me a gujju). Has the college education spoilt you? (laughs)
Me: Attempt to justify myself. said that I do a thing only after I feel that I am completely prepared for it.
P1: So, you think you are prepared for an MBA now.
Me: Yes sir. I am as good as any other candidate.

P2: vivek you told that you are from a very small town (in my introduction I said that). SO what is difference you felt in yourself now that you are living in a big city?
Me; competitiveness at the college. resources at my disposal etc. Told them that only after I was out of such a small place which did not even have a library that I discovered my love for reading and in the past 3 years ended up reading lots of books.
P2: How do you find time for reading so much books? Isn't your college schedule hectic?
Me: Told something about being a fast learner.
P2: Didn't write IIT?
Me: Did. couldn't clear mains.
P2: Why? Didn't go for coaching?
Me: brought in the small town thing once again. Lack of proper guidance. Gujarat board curriculum not comprehensive enough.
P2: How do you rate the students at your colllege?
P2: How do they admit students?
P2: QUestion about Placements and Reliance recruiting students.
P2: My placement
Answered all the above questions.

P1: When does your engineering end?
Me: Told
P1: Any chance this might be delayed?
Me: Nope. We are autonomous. Our own schedule.
P1: WHich university does award you degree?
P1: You haven't sent your marksheets along with the form.(were we supposed to?)Give them now.

give them.

P1: Any questions you would like to ask us?
Me: yes sir. I had one. Now after the GD, I have two.
P2; Go ahead.
Me; If you don't mind sir, what did the title of the GD mean?
P2: Laughs. You find that out. It's an assignment for you. When you come to Bangalore, tell us the answer.
I too laugh and then ask my second question to which P1 gives me a detailed answer. And then Thank you.

This was it. 25 minutes. Completely HR interview. Though I fumbled in that why MBA part, all other things were fine.

No acads. Are yaar, koi to acads puchh lo. I prefer that! At least, I can say don't know. In these HR interviews, there are no don't know questions!

Last one is Indore on 25th.