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