Friday, April 17, 2009

The Shoe craze

George Bush might have not realized the huge insult that a show hurl might be in the eastern hemisphere, but the cultural revolution that it has sparked off is quite interesting. It got me wondering about the possibilities that lay ahead with the simple piece of foot apparel.

Think of campaigning political parties. It would be fascinating to strategically plant a shoe-thrower at a rally or a press conference. For a non-descript event happening in a god-forsaken village in the Indian hinterland, the national coverage that it would elicit would far outstrip any ad in a TV channel or radio airtime. This can even be supplemented by fashionable bitching about the opposition.

The politician in question could ask for increased protection from unruly crowds in case the Z-Plus security that they receive is inadequate. But of course, in today’s sporting India, spiked running shoes could soon be a pop-culture and rallies and media addresses could be life threatening for our politicians Amen to that!

Coming to pop-culture, Reebok just hit the jackpot. The special Jarnail Singh limited edition of shoes could soon hit the racks. Having “worked” in retail for two months, I was just imagining the special displays showcasing the wonder shoe. Coming in special felt, it is sublimely comfortable and houses special jelly to let you easily slide your foot in and out of the shoe thus making it extremely easy to wield as a weapon. The soles are made of hard plastic making it light to wield and promise to cause the maximum damage to the target.

India today is experiencing a mild cultural revolution. There is an awakening amongst the youth of the land what with websites such as becoming as popular as they have. What next? A party with a manifesto to hail shoes at all popular tainted politicians, Mr. Chidambaram included. Think of the new wars that would erupt in the legislative Assemblies! Mikes would be passé. Shoo the assembly; pick up your shoe. Of course, the party symbol would be the Reebok shoe. Or would it be the closer to home Kolhapuri chappal?

But leaving aside the humour this spate of shoe hurling augurs well for India. It signifies that the discontent is coming to a head. It signifies that we will not take things lying down. It stands for a satyagraha; one that is not driven by hot headed youths alone, but also the pillars of today’s corrupt politicians which is the middle class electorate. I can’t wait to see how the greatest dance of democracy pans out – who wears the garland and who wears the shoes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lessons from Joka

  1. We got incredibly lucky on a highly error-prone test. This constitutes around 50% of the population and includes me, but this is a significant number. And we need to be grateful to God for this. Whatever happens, the next few years of your life would be defined at least in part by four letters – IIMC.
  2. Walking the ramparts of Joka was an honour. Deserved or not, the place is beautiful, and steeped in history. Stellar alumni and distinguished professors. And even more amazing batchmates. Thank you everyone.
  3. While we might have gotten lucky on that test, all those naysayers, disparagers and patronizing talkers can go take a hike. After all, we did get lucky on that test and then survived IIMC. We are a tribe and a helluva one at that
  4. IIMC doesn’t stand for IIM Chill. If you want to find out, get an admit and accept it. Term I will have you sleep for less than 4 hours a day. I know it! I have done it myself
  5. The best way to live in IIM Calcutta is through contributing to student life there. A campus that is run mostly by students requires this. Follow your passions and align it with the greater good of the students. The much treasured and coveted CV points will follow. Atul is a fantastic example
  6. Life is not only about competition. Pushing others down for your own benefit is the last thing you want to do. If there is one thing that I grew to admire at IIMC is the non-RG culture. And Natty and Lad, the applause you got at your awards might illustrate why that class of 270 people agree with me. While it might be a race against many others, in reality it is a race against yourself
  7. And now a lesson from the birds: “Irrespective of what happens, you never know how far away from crap you are in life”
  8. People change over those two years in Joka. Not only your colleagues there but also people you thought you knew
  9. We have to start giving our Fellowship candidates their due. They do amazing research and break their backs through the year. And people like Satsheelda are truly amazing!
  10. Ajith Balakrishnan is a truly amazing individual. Its an honour having him as our Chairman Board of Governors
  11. Learn to be patient with people. It helps. If you think you will be able to get along with all kinds of people, you are terribly wrong. But learn to grit your teeth and take it. Because you have to
  12. The Dramatics Cell is an experience. The kind of talent that I was witness to there was truly amazing
  13. The kind of work that we would be doing after graduating from IIMC is not rocket science. You are doing it, because you are from IIMC. And so, remember to thank your stars.
  14. Humility is a virtue

P.S: Welcome 46/16

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Life to me seems so much about IIM Calcutta. Sure, its easily my biggest academic achievement, and that too by a huge margin. But I wonder, do you define a college, or does a college define you? Now now, before the self respecting shout in support of the latter, let me say one thing. We are often so influenced by our surroundings. In many cases despite not wanting it, we are spitting images of family members. Ask me for me! A college, aside of academics, is about its culture. And, I must admit, am being influenced by IIM Calcutta. Maybe its a good thing, maybe its not.

The year gone by has been exciting to say the least. I remember that first day in class. I remember that first quiz, the rush of being home the first time, that placement season, the XLRI - IIMC sports meet, the pain of that miserable first quiz in Financial Accounting and Statistics, the disappointment of that miserable term III mid term and the breakdown that ensued, and the pain of separation from that campus as I left for home for summers.

Speaking of summers, it was good. I managed to do ok I guess. My batch at IIM Calcutta has done well too. Pre-placement offers have started trickling in. Its something to look forward to everyday. Those congratulatory hugs are both fashionable and required. But there is joy for him/her. Its never about, "I didn't get one, and yet that clown has one!" I guess thats IIM Calcutta for you.

I love my wing. In fact I admire each and every one of them. I love it that I leave my door open through the day. I love it that the water can is in my room, and people come to my place to drink from it. I love those bakar sessions where we sit around and discuss absolutely anything. Second year is going to be fun with these guys. I really wish that Sugeet and Vijay didn't have to go abroad for Term 5. Conversations range from movies, to professors, to classmates (read bitching), to women, to the economy, to us, and God knows what else. I shall miss all that soon. But this term promises to be heavily loaded, though not suggested by my posts on successive days.

This has been a drawl at best. I have really become rustic when it comes to humour. I am unable to unravel the sardonic wit that I possess. I have sworn to write regularly this year. A resolution of sorts. Till the next one, Au revuoir!

Realizations (II)

The day I decide to update my weblog is here finally. I have had those crazy phone calls late at night, pleading for me to update this blog of mine. Those frantic females needed to be assuaged. But then my 'hectic' schedule at college, and at work had me pressed for time you see. Nonetheless, I have decided to oblige all those fans of mine. Being the quintessential engineer (I spent four years in a nondescript, unknown college), I shall try not be overly garrulous and verbose in my sentences, and try to attain grammatical correctness and coherence in bulleted points

  1. You inevitably falling in love with situations. Damn, I remember having issues in those first few days on campus. I remember the yearning for home. But, I also remember missing Joka so terribly at home. Those little conversations, those brothers called wingmates, those insanely Gtalk conversations substituting rendezvous, and that Xanadulike campus in medieval Calcutta.
  2. Mothers can convey missing you by those hugely expressive of theirs.
  3. Bombay is home. It will always be. And so will Chembur. Those trees, that quiet. Tranquility redefined.
  4. If people think that walks in the morning are good, try doing it late at night.
  5. Le Cafe rocks. Its expensive, and has hugely profited from me, but it rocks!
  6. Roommates are nice to have in a company furnished house. Thanks Praveen, Sameer and Kapil
  7. I can't believe I love this campus which has an insect crawling all over my study table.
  8. I am autistic. Especially when it comes to people. Ironic for a loudmouth for me.
  9. Luck, and honesty are nice things to have. It gets you things that you really really wish to have. Ask me. Maybe I shall get rich!
  10. I still can't believe I love this campus. The insect is getting really close to the keyboard.
  11. I have become extremely blunt. You are really dumb to read this drone!
  12. Barbers shall henceforth rejoice upon my arrival in his store. Quick money easy, arrives.
  13. Term 4 at IIMC is loaded.
  14. Maybe a debate topic for later. Iconoclasts are actually subconsciously conventional.
  15. This done is getting really monotonous now. I shall stop.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Bonfire

There they were - little logs kindling the fame. They shone brightly as the burnt, each and every one of them, and then lying by the flames as little embers, glowing ever so lightly in the warmth of the flame. The flame herself jumped from her confines, rising way above the logs that lit it. The logs themselves came in different sizes, and burnt in different hues. Some were big and shone like the moon on that starless night, and yet others were tiny little ones, that contributed towards the flame in their own little way. That was a lovely picture.

I stepped a little further back, and pored over that flame again. She shone just as brightly, but the logs seemed a little different. They still were the same in terms of diversity. They were still the same in terms of effulgence on ignition. But then they walked. They talked. They danced. The seemed to applaud a band named JBS BaroC. I noticed a few logs didn't burn. They were just sitting by the fire, probably enjoying the warmth. They seemed darker logs, probably ones that had been in the fire before, or maybe it was just age.

I stepped further back. But strangely enough, the bonfire seemed to raging higher. The flames were leaping higher, trying to catch the sky. And they were succeeding. Some logs were no longer seen, but the bonfire was intact. Some of those older logs were burning now. The bonfire was glorious.

I asked myself about the bonfire. It seemed a little too familiar.

P.S: Our alum reunion at IIMC rocked last night
P.P.S: IIMC rocks

Labels: ,

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cast(e) Away

Being extremely passionate about mythology and more importantly the Mahabharatha, history would be something that I would come to love naturally. Despite being a rather docile fellow myself, the gruesome tales of death depicted in the Hindu epics, are well received by me. Pondering over such moot questions are somethings I enjoy, as like an MBA would put it, it would to self realization which would lead to the path of success. Anyways, thats hamming enough for the introductory paragraph.

We have a course out here on the Indian Social System. I find the course extremely intriguing, as I gain insights as to why we Indians are what we are today. In this day of caste battles, and caste polarization, existence has come to be defined by what one is born as, and not what one yearns to be. I have come to realize that India's caste system is India's comfort zone. The more progressionist we try to be, we try to warp ourselves in this unnecessary labyrinth of castes.

Castes, created (proof required) to serve as job stratifiers, have subsumed the very religion which has given birth to it. Hinduism, that held casteism within it, is know an pejoratory reference to the existence of casteism. Castes define not just where we work, or in some cases, dont work, but also the way we think. Rural India makes castes an example for excesses that people seek or have sought. Rapes and murders are justified using this crutch that props up a man who can walk, nay run a marathon. I have read that through the ages, its Brahmins who have held the thread which makes the Indian fabric. As much as my chauvinistic inclinations dissuade me, I have begun to realize, that at some level, it possibly is true. Untouchability, which is something that I shall never come to accept as a necessary evil in my life, has been wrought on this society, by the ruling class and the Brahmins. This is quite ironic, since the concept as such never existed in ancient India.

Castes have become a bane onto our existence. Varnas alone cant define occupations or people anymore. We have differentiated our Varnas into miniscule castes that the same Varna. In days gone by, kings got their daughters married to other kingdom's princes, irrespective of what kind of Kshatriya they belong to. Such things are blasphemy in the India of today. Even the most secular or liberal individual shirks away those virtues when choosing a partner. This would only mean more chauvinism in the genearations to come.

India is growing at a pace that requires us, the Indians to contribute. That would require participation together and not be prohibitive towards individuals. Its not about discriminatory on racial or religious lines either. Its about being inclusive. Its about meritocracy. Its about representation.

And its definitely not about CASTE

NOTE: The authors views are strictly personal, and does NOT, in any manner, reflect the views of any group, institute or organization he belongs to. Any citations of part/whole of this text without this clarification shall deem to be a violation of copyright.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

One step closer to Nirvana

I have journeyed home this weekend. To call it a short trip would be imprudent, as it was almost ephemeral. I write this at home, wishing that my stay could be longer, wishing that I could soak in the scents this wonderful city, my home. But fate and responsibilities are mistresses of mine, who are playing truant today. I shall have to return to my lovely college, to my friends there, to academics. I enjoy all those lovely things, but I can't help but think of Bombay.

Sometimes even tiny associations are greatly fulfilling. Thats the thing with these time compressed relationships. You don't have expectations of them, because you know that parting is a given. But living those moments are like elixirs. Energizing, invigorating you almost. But the harsh wand of reality still waves frantically around that head of yours. And reality hits you as hard as it can.

The trip was lovely. The joy that I could see in my grandmothers' eyes was enough to quell the disappointment of my quiz in Kolkota. But then there was more to follow. Providence had in store for me friends, a mother whose eyes were large with emotion, a father who wished to act, but couldn't contain the joy of his seeing his son again, rapprochements if you so deem to call them, both with myself and others, and conversations with friends that I shall always cherish.

Suddenly, I snap back into reality when I look at the incoherence. I realize the outcome of my nostalgia. But maturity, whether it stems from wisdom, or age, tells me that this emotion is ubiquitous. Even caterpillars ensconced in their cocoons experience it, thanks to memories of crawling along tiny twigs that the butterfly shall not be fortunate to have. This reality bite make me realize that this trip was an awakening to me. And just for that, this trip was priceless.

Bombay is known as the city of dreams. I was dreaming, Bombay awoke me in these three days.

Labels: , , , ,