Best Friends to Office Colleagues – Quite an arduous journey!


As someone has rightly said the world is not filled with black or white people. Instead everyone has some grey shades to his / her personality. But in my life interestingly till a couple of years back I had mostly met people who must be 70-80% white or probably I presumed so to say. But over the last few years things seem to have changed.

Taking one for granted, use and throw friendships, being friends for getting some work done, having excuses just to not meet – all this and more are becoming pretty common in today’s world. But then people would say that this existed all the time. There are all kinds of people on this planet some good some not so good and some horribly bad. You can’t make everyone really good, can you?

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April 2nd 2011: A night of mixed emotions


When MS Dhoni smashed a six of Nuwan Kulasekara, there was a collective roar from the 1.2 billion in India as well as thousands of Indians across the world. It was the ultimate prize in cricket. It was the ultimate prize for Indian sport (since Indian sport has sadly been limited to cricket more less). It was the prize which all of us had been waiting for since the past 28 years. And finally when it was achieved, it was fitting that the captain who has led us to the Test No 1 ranking and the ICC T20 WC win in 2007 was at the forefront. The whole nation was on the roads honking with flags, with a euphoria which may have been seen only in 1947 when we got independence.

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6 years of college life – A life well lived!


Going for long walks with your girlfriend or best friends, going to movies after bunking classes, coming late to hostel, fighting with the warden, sleeping while the faculty is telling the most important of things, ogling at all the possible girls in your own as well as the junior batch, coming late to class so frequently that the day you come early, the faculty is shocked out of his / her daylights – College life is about all this and more.

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Circle of Life – What comes, goes away too! (But do I really understand that?)


Don’t know why I am writing this post. Don’t know why such stuff is there in my head. But today I feel a sense of loneliness, a sense of feeling that I am gonna lose something, a sense of something going to go wrong sometime somewhere in the near future. This isn’t the first time, I am feeling this way. Actually I can say I am used to it in a certain way. You must be wondering what I am talking about right?

Life plays many games with you. Some you like, some you don’t while many others you have take with a pinch of salt. One meets new people everytime in life be it school, college, work etc. Some stick for life so much that you can’t afford to let go off them and feel scared at just the thought of seeing them off or losing them (because that’s what you think when they leave somewhere right?). While many others don’t even bother whether you die or are alive.

But in the case of love, things are different most of the time. And that’s why the popular slogan or saying is that “Where love comes, friendship goes for a toss”. As in many of my earlier posts I have spoken about how love can change your life in such a way that in love, you end up doing this which you wouldn’t normally do. When one parts with his / her loved one, there is a feeling which creeps up which one cant describe at all. It feels as if one is moving away from something of his / her own, its as if one has lost a part of his / her own self.

Ok so why am I talking about this and blabbering and boring you all? It’s just something which I guess all experience in life and I have too. But there are some like me who keep thinking about such things more than many others. And today was one day I was back to my old self of contemplating about my future, thinking about relations – friends, loved ones and all that.


And that’s one year since I started blogging and tweeting!



6th July 2009 was when I made my first post on this blog. I give the sole credit to Himanshu Bhagat (2008-10) batch of SIBM Pune MBA Marketing for “indirectly” bringing out the social media guy in me. A team called the Internet Communications and Blogging team was established a year back to maintain the Official SIBM Blog and the entire online communications of SIBM Pune. I applied, got selected and the rest is history.

As my first post says, I used to write earlier in bits and pieces like some articles in Times of Oman and had been a part of editorial teams at college. But my real writing began when I started blogging. Be it my love life, friends, political issues, social issues, economic issues, I began writing about anything and everything. While writing, I realised that there was so much I wanted to speak about but probably wasnt able to. So if one isnt able to communicate very well in terms of physical communication, writing is the best medium to reach out to the world out there.

As I went on writing, I also realised that if I was interested in something, I could write a post about it in just 20 mins. Many people have always asked me as to how I choose the topics for my blog posts. I would like to say that whatever I write, I strongly feel about each of those things. I never make a conscious attempt to think much before on a topic and then write. Whenever I get an idea to write on something, I just pen down my thoughts.

Interestingly on the same day I joined Twitter too. This was also too for the team work. But I did create my account because I was told to do so. Truthfully speaking I didnt know anything about Twitter before and had the usual question as to what should I tweet about. Till November I had just about 150-200 tweets. But then all of a sudden I started tweeting like crazy. As I started getting the hang of it, I realised the importance of networking. This is the reason I improved my Linkedin account to what it has become today.

And so today, I am connected to 280 odd people on Linkedin, have 12,600+ visits on my blog with more than 7000+ new visitors with a rank of 72/100 by Indiblogger and 550 odd followers on Twitter. The statistics apart, I have realised the importance of having a very good social media presence in these times.

There are a couple of things I know I still have to improve on my blog like the design, making it interactive etc. Its all a work in progress and I am sure with time I would able to improve a hell lot.

Lately I have began my biggest ever project ever – Writing a novel. I have miles and miles to go before I sleep and I really want to be in this field for a long run.


63 hours, 3 cities, 4 people, 1 presentation – My South India sojourn!


The pre – Valentine week as they call it was a really interesting one for me. 63 hours, 3 cities, 4 people, 1 presentation – That’s how I can describe my 3 day sojourn to Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy for short) and back from 11th – 14th February 2010. As soon as I was back, there were the 2nd internals to contend with. 9 exams in 2 days – 15th and 16th February 2010!!! So it was a week before I really got some proper sleep. But the trip really was an amazing experience to cherish!

First things first! One of the reasons to go for the trip was also the fact that I wanted to meet some of my friends and also make a trip to South India (which as all my family and friends know I feel very close to despite the fact that am a North Indian). So getting selected for a paper presentation competition was surely a good enough reason to go :P. But most importantly, the opportunity to give a presentation on “Viral Marketing through Social Media” (one of the fields which probably I can claim myself to have some decent knowledge of!!) in front of students and professors at a national level was one that I wouldn’t want to miss.

As I left SIBM Pune on 11th February by the 5 30pm bus, the main thing I was worried about was the fact as to whether I would do ok in the coming internals because they were there immediately the next day after I came back. I had all this tension despite the fact that my friend Priyanka Negi had taught me the entire Business Law portion and I had also gone through few other subjects before. An ice-cream at Baskin Robbins, pasta at Pepinos and two packed 6 sub sandwiches (WOW what variety!!!) was my dinner that night with my friend, Forum Parikh (ok guys before you think anything, that’s her NAME…Yeah and she’s a Gujarati..It means fragrance in Gujarati) before I boarded the Volvo Bus to Bangalore at 9pm from Swar Gate. Reading sometimes, sleeping, getting up, listening to songs, talking on phone, eating (had two more ice-creams that night on the way to Bangalore at a place the bus stopped) – and thus 15 hours (the travel time from Pune to Bangalore: 760 kms) passed by.

Since Trichy is not properly connected to the rest of the country, one has to go through Bangalore or Chennai to go there. And since Chennai isn’t connected by bus to Pune, I decided to go through Bangalore. Immediately after reaching Bangalore at around 1pm on 12th February 2010, I went to the Forum Mall (it is one of the most famous hang out spots of Bangalore). I am sure you guys would be wondering what the hell? He didn’t brush or take bath or whatever. How the hell can he just go to a mall? Since, my bus to Trichy from Bangalore was in the night at about 11pm, time was at a premium and I had to meet quite a few of my friends. In Forum, I met Yaamini Radhakrishnan (Mini) and Priyanka, both Indian School Muscat friends. After having “Emerald Ice” (don’t know why I always order that..GOD!!) at Java Green and a strictly OK! lunch at Transit, we bid Priyanka bye since she had to go to a marriage function. Then I met Nupur Duggal, one of my VIT friends who I had also met at Transcend ’10 (SIBM Pune’s management and cultural fest). It was really amazing and beautiful to relive old memories with all my friends. It’s not everyday that one gets to meet people whom you have told bye at school or college. Finally I went to Mini’s house to change, take bath, freshen up and eat HOME FOOD. When one has not gone home for 1 year like me, HOME FOOD anywhere feels delicious. But aunties, amazing mix of vermicilli with dahi and masala, rava idli and sambar and another kind of rice was as they say FINGER LICKING GOOD!!!! After such an amazing day of meeting friends and having excellent food, it was time to take the Airavath Volvo bus to Trichy.

Since I was really tired, I slept “nearly perfectly” on the journey to Trichy. We reached Trichy bus stand at about 5am on 13th Feb, the day of the presentation. As I got out of the bus, I could immediately feel the strong humidity (characteristic of Tamil Nadu) in the air. Before arriving, the organizers had informed me that there would be a van waiting at the bus stand which would take the participants to the college and after freshening up, all of us would be taken to the hotel where the competition cum conference was being held. But lo and behold! When I called up the organizer, he was completely clueless about a van coming for a pickup at the bus stand. The organizer told me to take the local bus to the college. Incidentally Bharathidasan University was the place from where I started my journey of paper presentations during my B.Tech Biotechnology days at VIT University. So it was fitting in more ways than one that I started my journey of paper presentations in MBA at Bharathidasan as well. Finally the organizer realised his error and informed me that the van would be there in few minutes. I finally reached the campus at about 6 30am. Few things which one can’t but help notice is the fact that the college is located in a vast expanse of nothingness. The only thing around is the magnanimous Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). It is soooo big probably as big as a cricket or a football stadium. The hostel just starts all of a sudden. There doesn’t seem any outer boundary. I didn’t get to see the college campus because truthfully speaking I didn’t know where it was located :P. Would have surely been very far from the hostels though! Since the intake is very small, the number of hostels at BIM is very less. Instead of proper rooms in hostels, there is this thing like villas (which are very horribly maintained with the most pathetic thing about them being the toilets!) where 3-4 people stay together. After a decent breakfast of uttapam and meeting a guy AGAIN from PSG Institute of Management (GOD..How do I end up meeting so many people from PSG??). And guess what he was telling me how good PSG Institute of Management is, because of its toilets!!! WTH!!!

And then we were off on the college bus to SRM hotel (supposedly the best in Trichy) for the event. After the registration and the “BORING and DULL” inaugural speeches, the time for the presentations finally arrived. As I had informed the organizers about my exams the next day, my presentation was the FIRST. Now that made me a bit jittery (till that time I was cool) because being first, the onus was on me to make a good impression as everyone would be very much awake as well as attentive at that moment. And mine being a new and innovative topic, things could be all the more interesting. The presentation went off pretty well as I answered the 3-4 questions asked by the BIM Trichy students with ease. They did seem really interested in the concept and one of them even commented that. The judge wasn’t exactly convinced because for one I didn’t feel that he knew too much about this field (not saying to blame the judge but then I personally felt he wasn’t equipped to judge this kind of topic). One of the greatest things of the whole event was the fact that one of the professors asked me a copy of my presentation because he was really interested to learn more about it. Now what can get bigger than this? A professor asking a student for a copy of his presentation. AWESOME!!

I was finally free at 1 30pm and since my bus to Chennai was at 11 30pm, I had ample time to meet another of my VIT University friends, Fazal. He came to pick me up in his Nano along with one of his friends. (was an interesting experience to sit in it for the first time – it is cute and for sure an engg marvel..Splendid stuff!!!). Going to Marry Brown, then roaming on the roads of the Trichy – Salem highway trying to find a petrol pump, going to a dam, then again roaming around in the city in the Nano, spending some time in Fazal’s house, having dinner at Spice 6 restaurant, going to the Trichy Airport to CHILL OUT (Yeah people YOU ALL HEARD IT RIGHT!! Trichy Airport is like a proper hangout place in the sense nice green bushes and cool and calm and serene atmosphere to take a walk and just sit and talk..I know it sounds like a park :P) Guess this is because one doesn’t have many places around Trichy to go and take a peaceful walk. Finally they dropped me back to the bus at 11pm and I was off to Chennai.

I had already heard that both – Sruthi, my VIT friend and Sindhuja, my ISM friend who are in Chennai wouldn’t be able to meet me. So when I reached Koyambedu bus stand, I was already prepared to go directly to Kamaraj Domestic Airport. I reached there on time and in due course boarded my flight Jet Konnect to Pune at 9:55am and reached Pune sharp at 1pm.

All in all this was a trip filled with tiredness, achieving greater heights in terms of getting selected for bigger competitions, becoming proficient in a the field of social media and viral marketing which I am really interested to build my career in and last but not the least meeting old friends.

A TRIP TO REMEMBER FOR YEARS TO COME!!!


Transcend ’10 – The journey of Team Ecclesia!!


TEAM ECCLESIA


BEFORE



After – Surf Excel Safedi!

Finally my long awaited post on the journey of Team Ecclesia – The literary events of Transcend – SIBM Pune’s cultural and management fest is here. This post is not about Transcend ’10 – that is the events, the fest, the participants or about the different events that were organized over the three days – 5th, 6th and 7th Feb 2010. But it is about one specific set of events called Ecclesia – The literary event “bouquet” (I came up with this word :P) of Transcend ’10. Its about the journey as to how a team of 5 at first was reduced to 4 and then it practically though not literally became a team of just two individuals. But despite all the hardships and difficulties Ecclesia had to face and the fact that it was one of the underdogs, it proved all the critics and naysers wrong with amazing participation from IIMs, XLRI, SP Jain, NITIE and FMS to name a few.

It was almost the end of December I think and I as usual was wondering whether I would get a chance to do something during Transcend ’10. I have always had this interest in working in different things – and working for the college fest is one of them be it Riviera at VIT University or Transcend at SIBM Pune. One fine day, I got a call from the Co- Curricular (Co-C) team saying that they wanted me to report to the Team Room by so and so time in the evening as they wanted me to be a part of a team to organize some event. When I reached there, I found 4 other people along with the Co-C team. People most of whom I knew but some I didn’t but none to whom I really spoke much to. As time went by, the Co-C team explained that they wanted us to organize the Literary events for Transcend ’10. They gave us an idea of the theme and the scale at which it was going to be organized. The number of events, kind of events, judges, rules everything was left to our discretion. Lo! Till then I was wondering whether I would get to do something for Transcend and here they had given us the entire charge of organizing a set of events from scratch. Now this did seem big!!!

As the work slowly started, the number of members dwindled to 4 because one of the team mates decided that he wouldn’t be able to give the event enough time as he also had his duties for the council team. In the meanwhile Priyanka Negi, the only team member who I hadn’t interacted with ever before and me started meeting up to discuss as to how we should go forward with Ecclesia – in terms of the number of events, rules, kinds of events to be had etc. Before meeting up in the Co-C room for the first time, I had known Priyanka as Preeti’s sister and I “guess” (because not sure :P) that she had probably heard of me as some “blogger”. But many more meetings later, where most of the times despite our incessant calling the other two team mates didn’t turn up (though sometimes they did), we came to know each other much much better. She started calling me Frusto (short for Frustogi – now that’s what many of my friends used to call me at VIT because I easily get frustrated) and also told me about how and why people call her Didi – The DIDI of the college :). The sad part was that for many of the meetings with Co-C also, our whole team wasn’t present.

But the greatest thing which I have gained by working for Transcend ’10 is the fact that I have got a really sweet and simple friend like Priyanka. I guess the biggest problem with me is that It is difficult for me to find people who match with my wavelength or with my thought process many times. After living in the conservative and much more orthodox and simple environs of South India for four years, it was a big change for me when I first came to Pune. People trying to be unnecessarily hep, stylish or showing off when not needed are the biggest turn – offs for me. Obviously all are not like that. But then one has got to take the pain of finding the simple ones out of the huge sea of attitudish ones. The way I can be myself and talk about my life with her without being worried as to what she will think is really nice :).

Over different meetings among ourselves and with the Co-C team we finalized the events – Parchment Power paper presentation and Spar Wars – The ultimate public speaking event consisting of JAM, Extempore and Debate. Ecclesia was the only event in Transcend ’10 to be partly cultural and partly management. A paper presentation competition was organized at Transcend for the first time. But the number of entries (35+) it attracted from the top institutes of the country showed the fact as to how much the top colleges value events at SIBM Pune and Transcend in particular. After some initial problems on finalizing the judges, we managed to finalize them a couple of days before the event. In between all this, Priyanka and me had also worked for an HR Case Study in DOMS IIT M for which if we had been selected, we would have had to go on 30th Jan 2010. In hindsight, both of us were happy that we didn’t get selected because if we had gone, then Ecclesia wouldn’t have been half as successful as it was.

As the day dawned nearer, the excitement was palpable in the air. The paper presentation was the first event of Transcend ’10 at 11am on 5th Feb. Contrary to our expectations we did have a lot of work on the final day to in terms of the audio visual system, buzzer, taking care of the judges etc. The standard of presentations was really good (obviously it would be because they were the top 6 selected) and XLRI with the presentation on “Management Insights from Mythology” emerged as the winners. Spar Wars (An event where there was initial apprehension from the Co-C team as to organizing JAM because they were worried about who would judge) turned out to be a cracker. It was 3 hours of ultimate objection, arguments and interesting speeches. In the end Avinash from Symbiosis Law School and Sanjeev from SIBM Pune emerged as the winners. Spar wars was an on the spot event while Parchment Power was a pre – registered event.

All in all Ecclesia turned out to be a tremendous success and the biggest thing other than the certificates and working in a team and all the blah blah which I gained from this event is finding a friend like Priyanka :).

THREE CHEERS TO TEAM ECCLESIA!!! IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME :)


Feb 09 – Feb 10: Reminiscing the times


For all those who are wondering, why I am writing an entry about what happened from Feb 09 – Feb 10 instead of Jan, its my birthday today, so this entry is based on that. First things first, finally I have crossed the adult barrier of 21. So finally by all means, there is no scope for anyone to call me small (age wise) :D. A hell lot of stuff has happened in my life, in India around the world everywhere in all possible fields. But I will stick to writing about stuff that’s happened in my life during the last 365 days. And believe me, there’s a hell lot of stuff thats happened. Get set for a lovely journey!!

Last year during this time, I was in the final lap of my life at VIT.  I was doing our stupid final year project in VIT with Ranjani (Ranju), Shahid and others in Karthikeyan sir’s lab. God! Those times were so good. Used to sleep at 3-4am and get up at 10-11am. I was always late and Ranju would end up yelling at me. But me being me, I never improved =P. I joined B.Tech Biotechnology because I was really interested. But as is the case, over the years it just became a mug and vomit and mug and vomit and mug game, though I did take part in quite a few paper presentations and other competitions. Even though we didn’t do something really useful in our project, I really loved whatever we did. But I guess then it was too late :(.

During this period I was also busy in my applications for different B – Schools for pursuing MBA. I had applied to so many colleges that I don’t even remember the total number. But had just got call from SP Jain that too on the basis of my profile. Sadly, neither  my CAT nor XAT score was anything to talk about. In the end, I did manage to clear the first round but got eliminated in the second. I think I did perform commendably though considering the fact that both were group interviews and in both the panels I was the only fresher. But as they say all’s well that ends well (or in today’s lingo all izzzz well!!), I had SIBM as the last option. I did apply after a lot of natak and nautanki over not wanting to be an NRI again and blah blah and got through. The rest as they say is history.

One of the best things to happen during this period was to “re – discover” my friendship with Yaamini Radhakrishnan (Mini). She was in my class in 9th and 10th but both us didn’t speak much then. By a stroke of luck when she sent me a message, we started chatting on gtalk and phone. And lo, I was wondering how could both of us not talk when we were in the same class. It felt like looooooooong lost friends talking to each other. Its really been an amazing journey since.

During this period at VIT, even though there was nothing to study or no classes to worry about, there were other things to think (or be frustrated as my friends call me “frustogi”) about. The biggest problem a person faces in life is when he / she has to distinguish between the person he / she loves and who is his / her friend. People have always had this problem of not wanting to disappoint both their friends and the person they love. But sadly they end up doing that. I was in a similar situation and it was seriously like a storm inside me. But thankfully I managed to come out of this unscathed.

May 15th – May 18th 2009 were the days when all of us parted from each other, some to work and others to study further in India and abroad. Parting from Ranju after ten yrs and also Padhee, Anish, Sruthi, Giri, Mohsin (MBL), Arun (ADG) and others felt really painful. The fact that Giri, MBL and ADG came to drop me all the way up to the airport was so touching that I would have cried if I had stayed outside the airport with them any longer after they had dropped me. Somewhere deep down I did wonder as to how would I survive without Ranju by my side. Signing t – shirts, diaries, books, hugs, tears, goodbyes, promises of meeting up again, staying in touch were all done.  And thus came to end my “Happy Days” at VIT University.

After a short visit to Muscat of about two weeks, I was back to SIBM Pune to begin the second and final innings of my educational career. Another friend who I “re-discovered” was Forum Parikh. She was in my class in 6th. But after that had lost touch only to meet her up in Pune after 9 years. Now that’s a looooong looooong time. I met her once before she left for a sojourn of US for 4 months. But we frequently chatted online and maan the way we chatted as is the case with Mini, it didn’t feel like we had been far away for so many years. Since coming back in October, she’s been my Pune tour guide too taking me around the city.

Before coming to SIBM Pune, I had heard so much ki MBA is this and MBA is that. But after a period of approximately one year, I really feel its been an amazing experience in terms of learning, activities and also meeting different kinds of people. There was a sense of apprehensiveness in me about the kind of people, studies and also whether I’ll be able to settle down fine because Mom & Dad didn’t come. They were like ” Beta tum bade ho gaye, we came to VIT..Now you go alone and get settled”. I was also wondering how it would be to share my room with someone considering the fact that I had become used to staying alone all my life. I did have early jitters considering the number of subjects we had (17 – 18 I think). But as time went by I did settle down.

Before coming to Pune, I had entirely lived in the South which is much more conservative and orthodox. Therefore, after coming here, it was an experience in itself to meet loads of people who were really “open” (“literally” & “figuratively”). especially the ones from Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC) =P. Meeting people with work ex who were elder to me and learning different things from them was also an interesting experience.

Considering my itchiness to do stuff other than studies too as was the case at VIT, I did apply to the council teams as well as probably every other team possible =P. This system was completely different from that at VIT where for every fest or competition a different organizing team is there. At SIBM, each team handles a set of activities. Each candidate has to go through an interview to get selected. At one time, my roomie was like “U keep attending so many interviews. What do you really wanna join”. But when I joined Netspeak, I hadn’t realized that it would be my true calling. But as time went on, it opened a plethora of opportunities for me.

Netspeak is the Official Internet Communications and Blogging Channel of SIBM Pune. This team opened my doors to the world of Twitter, Blogging, Social Bookmarking, Podcasts and other Web 2.0 tools. This led me to my summer placement at Silicon India, made me start my own blog, led me to open my Twitter account and network with many people across the nation, learn to use the Web 2.0 tools to popularize my own blog, become involved with the online marketing of the South Asian Youth Camp and also a startup venture and also get the responsibility for all the Online Promotions related to Transcend ’10 (SIBM Pune’s management and cultural fest).

Scoring 2.65 out of 4 in the final exams was like theek hai chalta hai especially after the number of hours I used to sleep before every exam. Maan I was so chilled out. At VIT, I used to be more tensed and worried and think about not wasting time. But here despite the fact that all the exams were continuous, I was really chill. One reason was the fact that the internals have 60% weightage which makes the finals much more easier.

The student research publication – Shodh, Prayaas, Netspeak, Organizer of Ecclesia – Literary Events of Transcend ’10, Winner – Infosys Case Study Competition which was a cross cultural learning exercise between SIBM Pune and WP Carey School of Business Arizona, the online marketing team of a startup, online promotions of Transcend ’10, paper presentation competition at BIM Trichy and much more – as usual I have been at work here in SIBM Pune. Haven’t been able to go to either Lucknow or Muscat since coming here and have really started believing that I am what everyone thinks “a workaholic”.

Its been a great 365 days with rediscovering my friendship with Mini and Forum and also experiencing life at a B – School. Even though I was sad at parting away with Ranju and my other VIT friends, God has given me the chance to rediscover my long lost friends. Some one has said it right that “Jab ek darwaaza band hota hai, tab bahut saare khul jaate hain”

Here’s hoping for a great year ahead!!!