Term 8 begins

Term 8 started today. I have to take 3 subjects this term. Have got 3 and am waitlisted in 1. So would have to choose 3 out of those 4 after sampling the classes today and tomorrow.

I had just one class to attend today – “Leadership Lessons from World Literature” by Prof. Rajeshwar Upadhyaya. As written by the professor in the introductory part of the course material, “To use some of the best-written books to cull out the meaning of leadership and our roles as professionals, is an overarching objective of this course”. I had chosen this course because I had been influenced quite a bit by Prof. Upadhyaya when he took the Leadership Development Program for us earlier in the core terms. He is a really good speaker. There were moments in today’s class when there was a pause for a few seconds between two lines that he spoke and I could actually hear the wall-clock ticking (I think it was the wall clock :-) ) as there was pin-drop silence then. People were listening intently to whatever he was saying. He is one professor to watch out for when you come to ISB. There is a very high chance that you will like him.

I have three classes to sample tomorrow which means that its going to be a really long day.

Just a little more than a month to go before my ISB stint comes to an end :-(

The Trip to Ahobilam – Part 3

Its been really long since I wrote Part 2 of this thread. One of my friends is planning to visit temples in South India and might most probably visit Ahobilam. He wanted me to complete this thread ….. so here goes …..

(Please click here to access Part 1 and here to access Part 2 of this thread)
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After reaching Prahalada Padi, we visited the Yoga Narasimhar shrine.

Way from Prahalada Padi to the shrine
From top to bottom: The priest, Rajani, Murali and Ramki


The priest (archakar) performed ‘puja’ (archanai) and explained us the significance of the place. From here, we started the most difficult part of our climb – the trek to the top to reach the “Ugra Sthambam” which is believed to be the place with the iron pillar from where Lord Narasimha emerged. The trek upwards was really tough. As I was not aware of the trekking part, I was wearing slippers which made it all the more difficult for me. After climbing for a long time, we finally managed to reach the top.

This is Ramki sitting on one of the rocks at the top

To go to “Ugra Sthambam”, we had to pass through a narrow stretch of rocks which were slippery and had around 2 km drop on both sides. I decided to stay at the top and not proceed to “Ugra Sthambam”.

At the top … the ones from our group in this picture are Rajani (green shirt), Murali (blue shirt), and Karthik (white T-shirt). The one behind in the white full sleeve shirt is the driver for our trip and the one to his left (behind Karthik) is our guide for the climb. The couple behind Rajani came along with us for most part of the climb.

Karthik, Murali and Ramki (L to R) returning from “Ugra Sthambam” while a monkey keeps vigil

Thats me … the one to your right when you face the picture :-) …. at the top of the climb


The climb down was really difficult. The rocks were very slippery and it was proving really difficult to get a firm foothold with slippers on. We reached Jwala Narasimhar shrine after spending a lot of time climbing down carefully. On the way, we saw a spot called “Rakta Kundam” which is where Lord Narasimha is believed to have killed the demon. Near this spot is a huge waterfall. Here are some more snaps taken on the way down ….

Rajani & Venu (the driver) catching some fresh water from the waterfall

More monkeys … a group of monkeys actually trekked along with us for almost the whole of the trip as though guiding us on our way
A bridge on the way

We finally reached the spot where we originally started from and went inside the main temple there to have darshan. We were feeling very hungry by that time after having spent all our energies trekking up and down. Murali happened to strike a conversation with a senior priest there. Don’t know if we told the priest that we were very hungry or he figured it out himself. I think it was the former. When he heard we had trekked up till the very top he was very happy and was kind enough to arrange some “prasadam” for us.

It was almost dark by the time we reached lower ahobilam. We just killed time for 3-4 hours while our driver slept in order to get ready to drive in the night. I think we left Ahobilam at around 10:30PM and reached ISB in the morning at about 6:30 or 7AM.

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Finally, I leave it to you to interpret the following two snaps and to appreciate the similarity in them (I think I am in for some real good bashing from KR tomorrow) ……

Snap 1

Snap 2, taken at the same place immediately after taking Snap 1, although from a different angle

Update on placements

More than 150 offers have been made till now in the first 3 days of the placement week. Today is the third day and some companies that are on campus today are yet to announce their offers. They will be doing so late in the night.

A very close friend of mine here got an offer yesterday and has accepted it. I feel really happy for him. Aditya got two offers today and is almost certain on which one he wants to accept. He gave us a pizza party today. AG, my friend from Delhi, has also got two offers and is almost decided on where he wants to join. Like them, many people have got two offers and are now out of the placement process. Some have decided where they want to go while many others have some time left to make their decision. S, K & A, who were a part of my focus group for interviews have also got offers.

More later …..

Its all started

Placement week has started. All the consulting biggies were here yesterday to have their initial rounds of interviews. A few more firms also had their first few rounds yesterday. All these firms will be conducting the remaining rounds of interviews today and are expected to declare the results by tonight. Wishing all ISBians the very best !!!!

Here are some snaps taken yesterday. These are the guys apart from me who are present throughout the day in my quad:

This is Alok, undoubtedly the brainiest of us all. This snap was taken just before he was leaving for his interviews yesterday. He has cleared yesterday’s rounds and will be interviewing with two firms today.

This is KP …. even these days you will find his table more cluttered than those of the placement co-ordinators. Without him, the quad wouldn’t be as lively as it is. He is our primary source of entertainment :-)

We were discussing yesterday that if the interviewer asks him whether he can handle stress or not, he will say: “Stress .. you call your job stressful …. come and live in my quad for a day and see the stress that I go through … you will just stop calling your job stressful” :-)

This is Aditya with his corporate finance course notes. He lives in the quad opposite ours (officially)

This is Vikram. After waking up at 1PM, he has started giving fundas at 1:05PM.

A typical day (these days)

This is how my typical day looks like these days:

8:00AM – Get up. Call Alok to see if he is up (he usually is) and ask him if he will come for breakfast.
8:30AM – Have finally gotten up, brushed my teeth and am off to the student dining room with Alok.
9:15AM – Decide to return back to room after a lot of gup-shup over breakfast. Decide there is a lot to be done w.r.t the placement preparation.
9:30AM – Check mails and go to take bath
10AM – Browse net for arbit stuff and chat with a few friends
11AM – Suddenly realize that there are applications to be submitted before 12 noon. Take the EOI and resume that was used for the last company, change the name of the person to whom the EOI is to be addressed, his designation and the company name and a few other things here and there. Check if all traces of the previous company that was applied to have been removed from the EOI. Resume looks fine … nothing to modify or say in addition to what has already been written for the previous company.
12 noon – Trying franctically to upload the EOI and resume on the placement website before the link gets deactivated. Finally successful. Feeling really happy about the achievement :-)
12:30PM – Everyone in the quad is up and watching TV except Vikram who slogs in the night and wakes up in the afternoon
1PM – Someone in the quad shouts “yes”. The intensity isn’t too high which means that he has not been shortlisted and is happy that one more application has been freed (we have an upper limit on the number of applications that can be in process/shortlisted at a time). He can now apply to one more company :-)
1:15PM – Everyone starts discussing as to what company might declare its shortlist next
2:30PM – We suddenly see that its 2:30PM and its high time we had lunch. Discussion starts as to whether we should go and have lunch or have Maggi instead. Maggi wins sometimes.
4:00PM – Decide that we need to study something when suddenly there is a very loud “yes” from one of the rooms which means that someone has been shortlisted. The next 1 hour is spent in congratulating that guy and unsuccessfully trying to get him to treat us all. Finally decide to ask A who lives in the quad opposite to us to make tea or coffee for all of us.
5:00PM – KP is off to play tennis. Time to check mails again.
6:30PM – In no mood to study …. we all again gather in the common room and start talking about life in general and about whatever comes to our mind.
8:30PM – Time for dinner …. we go to the dining hall expecting something good will be there but as usual get the same menu.
9:45PM – Call up Bharani and ask him if he is ready to go for the focus group meeting. Reach the venue in 15 minutes. Others start trickling in.
10PM – Discussion starts on the shortlists that have come in on that day and what might be in store tomorrow
10:30PM – Decide that its high time we did something in the focus group meeting. Start discussing some arbit topic. Go on for about an hour when we decide that we need to break for the day and apply to companies that have deadlines at noon the next day. Meeting over.
11:45PM – Back in the quad … trying to see what applications are due the next day. Chat for a while, watch TV, talk more about the shortlists that happened that day, check mails, write something on the blog, decide to postpone the application activity to next day morning and hit the bed.

zzzzzzzzzZZ …… zzzzzzzzzZZ ……

Concerts in Delhi

This one is for all carnatic music fans in Delhi or visiting Delhi towards the end of this month. Delhi’s Sree Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha is organizing its annual Thyagaraja Music & Dance Festival this year from 25 Feb to 5 March, 2006. The following is the concert schedule that I received …. not sure if there will be any changes to this:

25 Feb 2006

  • Inauguration
  • Bombay Jayashree Ramnath (Vocal)

26 Feb 2006

  • ‘Uniqueness of Tyagaraja’ by Prof. T.R.Subramaniam (Lec-dem)
  • Mambalam Sisters (Vocal)
  • T.M. Krishna (Vocal)

27 Feb 2006

  • Vidya Srinivasan (Vocal)
  • A. Kanyakumari (Solo violin)

3 March 2006

  • Meenu Thakur (Kuchipudi)
  • Roja Kannan (Bharatanatyam)

4 March 2006

  • Gayatri Venkatraghavan (Vocal)
  • S.Sowmya (Vocal)

5 March 2006

  • O.S.Arun (Vocal)
  • Sudha Raghunathan (Vocal)

4 days to the D-Day

Four more days to go for the placement week to begin. An IT company announced a part of its shortlists yesterday. All of its postings are for locations in the US or Europe. Interviews are being held today and they are expected to make up their mind by tonight. Pretty fast considering that they would have received all applications only by noon yesterday and the first shortlist was out by yesterday night.

Akshay celebrated his first wedding anniversary yesterday and threw a dinner party at ISB for many of us. Sarovar would have had a significantly reduced attendance in the dining hall. Meanwhile, Sarovar has decided to do something different tonight. It is “celebrating the spirit of love and friendship” by having a candle light dinner for all the students. ISB is doing its part on Valentine’s day by deciding to show us our (evaluated) Branding mid-term paper.

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day !!!!!!

Leaving you with an old Chloroform ad on the same ………

Rang De Basanti

ISB had booked the entire 2pm show of Rang de Basanti at Prasadz today and what more, the movie, popcorn and coke were all on the house. The movie ran almost housefull possibly indicating that everyone here badly needed a break !!

I liked the movie a lot, though I did not like the way it ended. There were many people here who did not like the movie much. I won’t speak anything else about the movie just in case you haven’t watched it yet. If I get a chance, I may even like to watch the movie again.

Amir Khan is one of my favorite actors and off late I have made it a point not to miss any of his movies. It is easy to keep track as he usually does just one movie per year. Amir has acted well in this one too. I was also impressed with Atul Kulkarni and Kunal Kapoor.

There is a scene in the movie where Amir and his three other friends remove their shirts and start waving it Ganguly style. Don’t know if they got the idea from dada’s act but Amul has certainly got an idea for its ad from Amir’s act. Here is the latest Amul ad I saw on the net today ……

The guy in the front looks more like dada than Amir. Poor Kunal Kapoor … I think the depiction of his character in the above ad bears a closer resemblance to NDTV’s Prannoy Roy (or more so to our head of admissions and placements Mr. V.K. Menon)

Rajnish: In case you are reading this post, I would strongly recommend that you watch this movie. You will surely like it.

Tennis @ ISB

The tennis court is probably the only place I had not visited on campus. KP (my quaddie) and Aditya play tennis regularly. Though I have been following tennis on TV, I hadn’t got an opportunity to even hold a tennis racquet till about two days ago when Alok (another quaddie of mine) and I decided to try our hands at tennis and accompanied KP to the tennis courts.

KP plays tennis really well for a guy who is unable to even walk fast to the class in the mornings when we are getting late. The way he ran around the court reminded me of Arjuna Ranatunga, former Sri Lankan cricket team captain :-)

Here are some snaps ……..

Alok gets ready to try out his first serve

Aditya serves

Aditya rushes in after serving

KP in action
Thats me … getting ready to try out my first tennis serveI can’t believe this …. I made a seasoned player like Aditya run for the ball

Gautam getting ready to serve in a (serious) doubles match

Gautam serves

More shortlists

British Telecom (BT) released their shortlist for interviews. This time, CAS (our placement cell) decided to mail each of the shortlisted guys individually instead of sending a mass mail to all junta giving the names of people shortlisted. They did the same thing for the shortlist that Macquarie Bank released a few days back.

Tomorrow would be the last day of classes for me in Term 7. Each of the study groups has to do a presentation on the company they have chosen in the branding class tomorrow. There are no usual end-term exams for me this time around as the subjects I have taken either had a mid-term or have projects and other kinds of submissions to be done. One more assignment remains to be submitted tomorrow, after which there would be about 6 days left to prepare for the placement week.

I have applied to about 4 companies till now and going by the huge number of application deadlines that have gone by, I am either too focussed or too foolhardy. The companies to which I want to apply are coming from day 2 onwards which means that in all probability, I will be sitting at home on day 1. Only time will tell what is in store for me from day 2 onwards.

Shoppers’ day out

Four of us decided to go shopping for stuff essential for the placement season last Saturday. It had been quite some time since we had gone out of campus. We took an auto from ISB to Hyderabad Central (a mall here). Since we barely know the way around the city, we were very busy and happy siteseeing when, after about an hour’s time, we suddenly saw something that resembled a overhead electric line seen usually over railway tracks. Upon enquiry, we discovered that the auto driver who was supposed to take us to Hyderabad Central had thought that we had to go to the Hyderabad station and taken us there. After exchanging a couple of rounds of pleasantries with him, we asked him to take us to our original destination. A tour of the city followed which finally ended when the mall came in sight.

E bought a business suit and the rest of us bought full sleeve shirts and neck ties. We could see ISBians in every nook and corner of the mall. After finishing all the shopping required, we decided to have dinner late night in a restaurant called Southern Spice. The time we entered the place was when they were deciding to close down for the day. Had some real good fun over dinner (details cannot be shared :-) ) … kept laughing and laughing till we weren’t left with any energy to continue doing so.

On to some lighter stuff ….. the data mining class just got over. A small duration of time during the class was spent discussing about what one should do regarding placement of goods that people usually buy together in retail stores. M took bread and eggs as an example and started discussing it. One of the best CPs (class participation) of the term happened just then when H, a batchmate, responded with this comment: ” There is a subtle difference between a bread and an egg”, to which the professor responded: “yes, I agree with you completely” :-)

Musical Evening in Mumbai

My brother, R. Shridhar will be giving a carnatic classical vocal concert today at Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai from 6PM to 8:30PM. In case you are in Mumbai and want to listen to some classical music, do check it out.

News from here is that one of my quaddies has been shortlisted for interview by a leading Australian I-bank and he is really excited about it. Hope he cracks the interview(s) and gets the job.

63 days to graduation

Its just 63 more days to graduation …… yes …. 8th April is when the ceremony is scheduled to happen. Looking at it from a different angle, its just 64 more days of stay at the ISB and we were reminded of this fact by an email on the graduation ceremony from the administration which asked us to vacate our rooms by 1400 hrs on April 9th. The thought of leaving ISB and going back home to Delhi brings in mixed emotions. I have kind of developed an attachment to this place ….. it has been my home for the past 10 months and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every bit of my life on campus (except the exams, of course).

As soon as the mail from admin people came in, airlines and railways saw frenzied booking of tickets. Most students have started planning about bringing their near and dear ones to the campus for the graduation ceremony.

The activity that consumes most of our time these days is applying to the different job postings. With placement week just about a fortnight away, increased number of postings are being put up on the internal placement website. There are at least 2-3 application deadlines almost everyday.

The tiering process for the placement week was completed this week and the schedule was released yesterday. Students have to bid to indicate their preference for companies and there is a lot of diversity in terms of past work experience of students and post-ISB profiles that are being sought. As a consequence, for each student, there would be at least a few companies which end up coming on those days when he/she doesn’t want them to come. There is bound to be some amount of job loss due to this (in terms of the fit being sought) and the challenge will be to minimize it as much as possible.

Professor of the year – Core Terms

Prof Krishna Kumar, who taught us Macroeconomics in the second term, was voted as the best professor of the year for the core terms by the student community. He had been voted the same last year too. Prof Anjani Jain (Decision Models & Optimization) and Prof Mark Finn (Financial Accounting) came a close second and third.

Here are a few snaps to revive old memories:

Prof Krishna Kumar (the one in the white shirt)

Prof Anjani Jain with half of Section B

Prof Mark Finn