Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Six Questions*

Here they are:

1. How was CAT?
2. What are the other exams you are writing/have written?
3. How come you're on bench?
4. When are you getting married?
5. Wassup ( in all the ways that you can spell that)?
6. Are you busy? ( this when my status on a chat application says I'm busy)

* that you should not ask me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not(e) to myself

I haven’t written about the mba journey thus far, but since it is occupying majority of the space in my head, I have to write about it. Like I was telling 'smee the other day, writing a piece is like delivering a baby. You have to have it fully formed in your head before you can let it out. My whole mba thing has been in my head for too long now, but I always feared that if I wrote about it and it didn’t come through, for whatever reasons… So I’ll start off with a few things.

If you have been lazy till today then banish it right now. There is no room for lethargy and sloth in an mba run. There are a thousand different things to do at any point in time and though prioritizing and list-making (like yours truly who is a compulsive list maker) helps loads, eventually you have to get all of it done, and all action items checked. That would include calls to your evaluators to wish season’s greetings.

We have a tendency to think in terms of stats and numbers – typically any online discussion board would have name/gmat score/ no of years workex /quality of workex (IT, mech, consulting etc). Good ways to categorize your competition pool but a really poor indicator of your standing vis-à-vis them. Case in point is a friend in Wharton. Her stats would read Name/7xx/2/IT… But it’s so much more than that. I don’t know all of what she has done, but I know she has been damn busy in her 2 years of workex and I am not referring to office work. So all of that matters more than the stats thing. Sure a 7xx gmat score tilts things in your favor. But if I make a success story out of my applications this year, then it would prove that even sub-7xx can make it through.

Banish negativity. It’s easier said than done and in my run so far, it is proving to be my biggest enemy. I just have to read other applicant blogs and I’m depressed. People seemed to have done so much and studied for gmat AND got stellar profiles at work. Well too bad I didn’t do all of that. What I can do is work harder on my essays. Easy to say? Nearly impossible to do!! I can either fall victim or continue to swim against the tides.

Taking a break. SO very necessary, this aspect! My iGoogle sticky on a Friday morning is a clean slate. By Friday night, it’s about half a screen in height, full of things to do for the weekend. I have to list even a beauty parlor visit! Needless to say, most of the stuff on that list never gets done. In fact, I can barely concentrate on essay work on a Sunday. I am lagging behind terribly thanks to this. But at least I am not suffering from writer’s block on Monday when I decide to tackle essay writing once more. You have to decide what you’re going to trade for what. And then once you’ve decided, you ask your conscience to take the day off. Really. Otherwise you’ll go insane.

They say you have to abstain from socializing. I couldn’t agree more. I don’t seem to want to talk on the phone either, except to very select people. In the two years since I’ve left college I’ve forgotten most of my classmates’ names. I think by the time I have to leave for my bschool, I won’t have any names on my mobile phone book to call to say bye to. Tough luck, but I’m ok with it, provided that the day actually does come. Indulging in mindless channel surfing is not included in socializing, thank god for smaller mercies! There are times when even astha* channel will seem interesting – those are mini-alarm bells telling you to take a break because you’re fatigued.

Take yourself seriously sometimes. At all other times take a chill pill. Lay off a little bit and (this is a note to self) stop constantly revisiting your lists. Yes, that includes adding new stuff too.

Now if I could just listen to myself every once in a while...

* Since only Indians are reading this I am not explaining Astha channel here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Of Life, Dreams and Maturity

First off, I will have to say that I’m really surprised that I haven’t written about this earlier, because god knows I’ve talked about it to a lot of people. I guess it takes another (and most likely final) blow in the coffin to actually bring to focus the irony, if you can call it that, of it all.

It has been a long standing trend in my life of never getting what I want but always getting, too easily at that, what I least wanted. This isn’t to say that what I finally was given was something I did not desire. Rather I would say it was something that was never in my list of wanted or even unwanted things; it was just never in the periphery of my mind.

I think the phenomenon has been around in my life for a really long time but the only time I started to take notice was two years ago. The mechanigal had been led to believe that no core industries would recruit her at the end of her degree. Lucky for mechanigal, since two months on shopfloor of a CPG major’s chemical plant convinced her that shopfloor was not her do! So here I was all, deciding to put a foot in at a CAD company once engineering was through, when suddenly this job happened. It’s sudden because up until a year ago, the company would not allow us folk to sit for their placement process. I didn’t know what to make of it. I had not even begun my job thought process, let alone the search. I had an offer letter from India’s most respected company and I didn’t know if I should be amused or bemused! I had taken as given that I would never set foot inside an IT company but here I was trudging my way to Mysore!! Then at work, while I grappled with seemingly nonsensical bits of code and trying to put a foot in to bschool, the visa happened. Now armed with an h1b I am awaiting deputation – without ever wanting it! I still don’t know what I’m doing here, much less what I will do if sent onsite – for all practical purposes I know nothing in technology and just marginally more in domain. I just know that this where I do not want to be! That’s some clarity!!

Right now I’m clueless about what I am doing! Going through the motions with applications on my gmat while a million what-if scenarios keep running through my head. I plan and plan and plan and finally what happens is the one thing I would not have planned for. On the one hand there are my dreams and aspirations. On the other there is the need to deal with all the failures and screw ups keeping a straight face all the while – hibernating in the Himalayas after denouncing the material world isn’t an option, most unfortunately. And then, there’s life in itself, the one that’s threatening to spin way out of my control.

Regrettably, I really do know what they mean when they say that life’s what happens when you’re busy making other plans

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tring Tring – Silence!

Whatever happened to the regular telephone ring?
I cannot remember the last time I heard the trrrrrrrrrng!
I was not trying to make that rhyme.
I was just a little hard pressed for time.
So here I was on a regular Monday morning,
I had a test but instead I was yawning.
When suddenly out of the blue
A mobile phone rings, I don’t know who
Left it on full blast – it startled me
It was a popular rock song, it played on fully.
Other people poked their heads out
I also looked up to see what it was all about
Apparently the music was too loud, the volume high
But was it only because it was something they didn't like?
So later today when another phone rang
And the latest Tamil movie song it sang,
How come no one seemed to mind it?
It rubs me wrong; that’s an unfair bit!
If it’s English it’s too much noise,
If it’s Tamil, then it’s a beautiful voice?
Why do you want to be such a hypocrite?
Why can’t you instead keep your phone quiet?
Nine hours a day, with many a clickety click
Do we need more sound, even good music?
So please remember dear colleague or friend,
When you get to work, put that phone on silent!

Comfortably Dumb – Ver2.0

I finally got down to getting another tooth extracted. It was long overdue (here is how long!) and was ignored because it was being good. But then it decided to revolt and I had to make that long and agonizing detour to the dentist… who, by the way, is different from the other guy but with an equally sadistic sense of humour!

Just how sadistic you ask eh? Picture this. You are scared to look at those shiny instruments she’s holding and advancing towards your mouth. So you look up at the ceiling, hoping to find some pale pink Nerolac, enough to lose yourself in. Or you imagine you are painting your next masterpiece on that smooth bit of brick and mortar. So whatever be your inspiration or desperation for looking up, you do it. And instead of your bit of canvas up there, you see polished tinted glass panels. Now if you can put two and two together and arrive at twenty-two, then you would realize that looking up would bless you with a vulture-swooping-down-on-its-prey view of what is going on in your mouth. And if you’re like me and getting your tooth extracted, then believe you me, it is ANYTHING but a pretty sight. Of course you might settle for that torture if I told you that the old dentist used to keep up a running commentary of exactly what he was up to!

So basically, I was dumb once again, much to the delight of the plebs at home, who do not value my pearls of wisdom. Oh whatever!
Like I was telling a friend this morning, so long as it does not offend my religious sensibilities or tilt my already delicate cosmic imbalance, it’s okay!


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