Wednesday, April 27, 2011


picture from Fall 2008, welcome picnic for CO2010 at Flagler

Being loaded on medication and working in your pajamas gives you plenty of time to think. And be introspective. And acknowledge emotions you have suppressed because of your daily routine of being too busy.

A couple weeks ago, my Strategy professor from Darden, Prof. Greg Fairchild, was in San Francisco to discuss a case born out of his research into social enterprise. We discussed a venture capital firm that believed in investing in companies that brought in a double bottom line – social good as well as the profits. I remember sitting in a class during the first couple of weeks at Darden – don’t remember which – where we repeated in unison to the question, why do you do business – “to make money.” Graduation and plus-one later, Darden has been great about drilling into my head that a business is about more than just the money. I cannot tell you how many times in the last year I have reminded myself of that lesson.

I took a friend with me to Greg’s case discussion. My friends and family being in India, and my own lack of words to describe my experience at Darden, I have never been able to fully share what it feels like to be sitting in a Darden class. So when the opportunity presented itself, I took one of my closest friends to the Marriot for this discussion. Driving back home and ruminating on the experience and the discussion, she told me that that evening was the happiest she had seen me in a long time. At the time I assumed I was just happy to meet a professor whose class was one of my favorite ones at Darden. My friend argued that there was a certain energy in the “class” – and in me – that evening that she had not seen before (and she has known me for over six years now).

This weekend is my first year reunion at Darden and I will not make it there. As I read blogs of current students at Darden, I almost wish I was back there. I’ve realized what my friend was talking about. I miss Darden, so very much. I miss being there, being challenged every day, being forced to think about big pictures and social good and learning life’s lessons. I have realized that my ability to throw myself completely into something I am doing has resulted in me filling up my calendar with “work” things and forgetting about big picture living. And when I am with my Darden crowd – at a brunch, at a case discussion or a happy hour – I come alive, because here are the people that prove to me every day that it was not a dream. That it happened and that I will always have those two years at school.

I stand by my decision of not attending reunion due to various constraints, but come Saturday I will be wishing I was sipping wine at Flagler Courtyard and catching up with friends and professors and the staff at Darden, telling them of all my adventures since I graduated last year.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And the Groom Wore Flip-flops!

Post backlog...

In February, I headed down to the Florida to participate in my first American wedding, to be a part MV’s very special and very beautiful wedding. It even ended up being a reunion of sorts! A bunch of us from the Bay Area met up at SFO and flew in to Fort Lauderdale together. From there we drove down to Islamorada, the venue of the wedding and the resort where we were to stay the weekend. There we met up with classmates from different parts of the country. And best of all, we had friends coming in from London and Paris too! It felt like Beach Week all over again – lazing by the pool, Bloody Mary’s for breakfast, beautiful sun and ocean… and I even saw a Jelly Fish (now I know what they look like!)

MV, a fellow section D’er is the epitome of grace and everything that’s classic and timeless. And her wedding was just an extension of her personality! The night before the wedding was a barbeque by the pool where the guests mingled with the couple and other friends. It was great catching up with people I haven’t seen since graduation, finding out about their new post-Darden lives and exchanging stories… People seemed happy in their new routines and yet nostalgic about their time at school. The wedding was beautiful; the couple took their vows as the sun set and a gentle breeze blew in from the ocean. MV looked more beautiful than ever, if that is even possible! She was radiant in her wedding gown. The groom wore a casual khaki suit and flip flops! After the ceremony, we gathered at the pier for a picture of the couple with their Darden friends. The couple took the floor for their first dance to lit sparkles and warm fire on the pier. And then a lovely dinner, where MV and CG had ensured that the vegetarians had enough options. Dancing followed and then we hung out by the pool one last time before we left after breakfast with the couple the next morning.

My first American wedding was more enlightening than I’d ever imagined. I don’t know any two people who are as good together as MV and CG. I was touched by their warmth to their guests despite it being their special day, touched by their thoughtfulness (welcome packets of aspirin, beer, granola bars etc) and as always, in all admiration for their beautiful ceremony.

It was a wonderful weekend, one that I’ll remember for a very long time. Best wishes MV and CG! Here’s to a life full of happiness, laughter and love.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin