Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Great Indian MBA dream..

"IIMA Grad bags 1.2 crore package"
"Its E for Entrepreneurship for Management Grads"
It all starts with such flashy headlines in newspapers. And hence begins a cascade of expectations and dreams. The rookie engineers, the commerce pros, the science geeks and all everyone who is anyone starts a pursual of the dream towards which the Indian MBA is moving.
The long nights for the entrance exam preparations (read preCAT preparations), the applications, the GDs and the PIs and finally the results of various prestigious B-Schools of India. It is a grill where everyone from coaching institutions to publishers and the B-School rating magazines to the B-Schools themselves are trying to bake their cakes on.
But amidst all this begins a hope for a sparkling career. Also a race against the "best brains of the country" and even more, a race against "time". The effort to score, the effort to enroll, the effort for a CGPA/CQPI and finally the effort for a great placement. There are a lot of success stories again. A lot of them again make it to the print.
But then there is a darker shade to it. Here, the race begins in an aptly similar manner. The same old aspiration or imposed aspiration. But then not a similar twist in the tail. There are shattered ambitions. There are people taking up not-so-premier institutes and eventually repenting in ways they can't admit to people. Many of these MBA grads with promising dreams about the future in the sought after corporate houses get pragmatic. The realization, of course, comes at a huge cost.
Here begins the phase of a debt track. Most of the students belonging to the rising middle class of India are generally not able to afford the educational cost rocketing into lacks of rupees and hence go for the easy option of educational loans. The seemingly simple trick goes real bad in case of a certain student failing to acquire a job and the EMIs starting to eat into the already small middle class revenue basket.
Hence results a helluva frustration and haplessness. Most of all, such situations tend to beat out the confidence out of these fortune seekers and make some of them "marked" failures. That probably is the only reason why every recession or economic downturn affects two things the most; the stock market and the B-Schools which face fading recruitment scenario.
And whats more to it? The B-Schools still keep on making lofty promises and newspaper headlines still keep on displaying myriad of success stories and hence there is another generation in the making of The Indian MBAs.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How We Live

I've been into a habit of generalizing things. And its really not new to me. I've been doing it since ages. I really have no regrets as it has been as unintentional as possible. I have clubbed types of people, made strong statements about how behaviours can lead us to our fates and how by acting in specific manners, you can control or lose control over you own destiny.

Eventually, I come to find that people think that I am very decisive and have a strong set of inflexible premonitions about life which I am not ready to change. So, be it. Maybe I am all the rigidity and stubbornness in thought I am accused of. So what? Does that change anything? Probably yes, probably not. That is not something to be written about, just because it wont serve any purpose in a monologue. This is about something else. Not about reasons. Neither about consequences. This is hardly about anything else except for the ACTIONS themselves.

We think, we aspire, we dream, we plan, we strategize, we act, we implement, we succeed, we fail, we rise, we fall, we try, we accept, we believe, we doubt, we love, we hate. Still, at the end of the day, we are not able to decide whether the We behave is exactly what We are or an effect of something else.

We think because we are able to rationally differentiate between shades of life. The sanity of the thought process, hence, depends upon what rationality we are a part of. We aspire because we think that things that are already with us are simply a launchpad and the real goal lies somewhere else. We dream because we love challenging the reality in lieu for something so real that it is simply unacceptable not to have it. We plan to reach the same reality. We implement strategies and wait for the distances between us and the final moments to become acheivably small. We act when we see that, practically, it is possible to gain what we aim at. We implement those ideas which are either risk free or guarantee a return large enough to motivate us to take the risk. We succeed or we fail, and that is just a reflection of efforts and perception towards the degree of success that we carry. We may rise to glory or fall to ashes and that determines a lot of things about the future path of life. We either try to make things better in life or we simply accept what has been imposed, because there is seemingly no other option. We believe in what we think is worth it or what comes from a source which makes it reliable. We doubt things in quite a contrary way. We love what we want to and hate what we wish. There are no explanations, till date that could explain love and hate.

So, all in all, we live by ourselves and live an image which is personification of a figment that had sometime arose in our lateral thinking process. We either believe in that figment and try hard to live up to our own expectations or become dubious of it and continue living up to other people's expectations.

And eventually, we all get defensive. We all know that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is foolproof and perfect, yet we tend to project outwards that whatever the world says, self-acts are the most thoughtful and flawless actions. We tend to forget that everyone is a patient of this ailment and hence, by a li'l bit of speculation, can see through this projected self image.

But then why to care for it, We are what We are. We haven't changed for anyone and do not intend to do so in future. So what the heck am I still trying to prove by writing this? Ohh!! Maybe I am just getting a li'l defensive..

Ahem! So the moral of the story is, live you life as you want to and trust me, everything you do or want to is justified to the world as far as it is justified to you because the entire world works like this.

Friday, May 30, 2008


May there be no pain,
No malaise, No hate,
May there be no vice,
No gloom, No spate,

Tell them to rejoice,
Every moment of pain,
Every dice on the board,
Every drop of rain,

And to desire let us say,
You may not now stay,
Like clouds in autumn,
You could now drift away,

'Cause in life we've learnt,
This lesson a hard way,
To want and demand,
Means to lose everyday,

So behold all claims,
Of right and might,
Which take the day light,
Out of sight,

And lets hold on,
To the pilllars of the dome,
That covers us ever,
And leads us back Home..

[Communique means an announcement, a public declaration made to the masses.]


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Theory of Simplistic Approach

Life gives you so many choices. Either you select the choices or you let life make a choice for you. Either ways, you decide the course of your life; either actively or passively. The course of action that follows is a sum total of the efforts and choices made by you and the consequence of your ability to utilize your time, talent and toil.

This of course means that you are a part of a master plan set my Someone, with your own set of responsibilities, choices and perception. This still doesn't make you a slave of the so called Destiny. When people say they made choices in life and became successful, Someone was always there to give them the choices. When people say that they submitted to the Destiny, it was their choice to do so.

Eventually, we come to realise at times that we are in a flustered state with nowhere to go. Complications start taking a toll of your rational thinking and you find yourself in a vicious circle with nowhere to go. You want to hold on. You want to set lose. You want to be free. You want captivation. It's all Oxymoronic, it's Paradoxical.

You simply want to escape and subconsciously pray for a saviour to come and rescue you but hopes are low. You would wish you were never stuck up in such a situation and look for the one thing, which if reversed could lead you back to a comfortable cruising life.

But wait... Hold on... Did you just realize that you walked into a trap? Or did you just miss on the Great Overpowering Existence of the Master Plan? Standing by my statement that their does exist a Plan, a Role for all of us, isn't it still evident that we actually and literally walked into it?

If you walked into it, you made a choice. If you made a choice, you had reasons for doing so. If you had reasons for doing so, you either still relate to those reasons or have simply stopped associating with them.

In either cases, situation is reversible. Just stop thinking about the reason if you have stopped associating to it. In case you still respect the reason, or the cause, soulfully and honestly follow in without regrets and your path will be re-illuminated.

This is the Theory of Simplistic Approach, as I call it, or Simplicism. It has helped me through thick and thin. Lets hope it lights a few more paths.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Light at the End of the Tunnel


Life has been hectic for me. Lot of stress, too much of rush, umpteen number of obstacles and myriads of nerve jamming "to-dos". All in all, recent times haven't been so very smooth. But then who ever has had a life with no struggle and hassle? Isn't this the story of almost all of us?

Well, keeping the generalization part out of it for now, let's look at the bigger picture. As kids, we had exams, which were supposed to be the most excruciating experiences and the only relief was the holidays which followed them!! Later came the boards, which had their own trauma. But then they assured us of a college life that would be fun and frolic. Eventually in college, there were those hysteric moments of extravagance, emotions and ebullience. But they promised a later life of peace, solace and abundance if you worked hard to make a Great Career.

But eventually you come to find that even while working, earning and filling the bank accounts with the Green paper, alias Vitamin M, you still couldn't reach the state of solace you wanted. You write it off for post-retirement life and promise yourself an early retirement full of foreign holidays and carefree outbacks.

But would that ever come? Or is it a similar dangling carrot which has been laid for the endless bounty run towards something you will never achieve? Isn't life supposed to reward you for doing so much of hardwork and taking up all the herculean tasks in the prior stages of life? Or is it simply unjust to everybody?

It is said that There is Light at the End of the Tunnel, but isn't it quite evident that the Light is emanating from a lamp-post leading to another Tunnel? While running behind the so called rewards to be received after sets of stressful tasks, we tend to forget just one thing. The most potent runs often lead to Mirages. Just like the Great Gold Rush of the 20th century.

So.. Is there any existing rationale which explains this rush, this endless marathon which seems pointless when you just cant reach the finish line and this failure to reach the final echelons? Well, there definitely is a justification for everything.

Maybe He, who wrote all this for us, wanted us to take life as it comes, and enjoy all the moments in present without bothering about the future to come. Maybe He told us something in the cipher and we deciphered in a modified format. Maybe that was His Master Plan for us.

Whatever it might be, eventualy you have to get back to the endless race expecting some placating rewards, which might never come.

With all due regards to His Master Plan, at least I am loving it!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yeh India hai Boss.. Idhar Sab aise hi chalta hai..

“I am a peace loving and law abiding citizen of India. I hate crime and criminals. Terrorists should be dealt with an iron hand. We should follow an Israel approach in dealing with cross border terrorism and an US approach for dealing with in house crime.”

Don't the above statements sound like being discussed at a coffee table, in canteens, at dinner tables or while travelling in a train? The other day while travelling in the Delhi Metro, I was caught up in a similar conversation. After an hour in the discussion, after evaluating all necessary parameters, we concluded that it was due to the relaxed and corrupt approach of politicians and their under-table relations with criminals that Our Great Nation is not progressing. I agreed and alighted at my destination.

On my way back, I found that one of the members of the elite panel who was discussing crime, law and criminal with all zest in the metro was caught by a traffic cop for not wearing a helmet. He passed on a Rs. 100 bill and conveniently went past the cop.

So.. What else should he have done? Paid the full fine and take the receipt? Are you nuts? This is India man.. Idhar sab aise hi chalta hai..

But I keep iterating this to myself. Do we really have a right to comment on the faults of the judiciary or the understanding between the politicians and criminals or say corrupt cops when we ourselves are always ready to buy our way out of problems? Who is at the root of the problem? Are we naive enough not to know answers of these questions?

I have full faith that I or for that sake anyone who reads this will agree that to stop the corruption, belittle the effects of malpractices and curbing down misappropriation of funds, we should actually probe into our tiny hearts and see if the problem is outside or inside. I really don't see any reason why one should not consider that it is his or her personal responsibility to bring in a change.

If it’s not possible to become a demagogue, at least one can become a responsible individual. Just think how much the world would change and become a better place to live if each one of us checks the self and tries not to walk out of the ways of civic societies.

I believe it is difficult, but definitely not impossible to implement these things. But then, Yeh India hai Boss.. Idhar sab aise hi chalta hai..

Friday, April 25, 2008

Solitude is Fiesta

Being alone is something I thought I could never comprehend. I have always wished and imagined myself in togetherness. With family, with friends, with colleagues, with classmates, with this, with that. That always told me one definite thing. People who are alone are either not social enough or not worth socializing with.

But that was me a long time back. Now, when I sit alone and reflect upon myself my life and moments i have lived or just spent, I get to know a lot more being alone than being with people. I have a lot more to crystallize, a lot more than I thought I would ever have to think about. To put what I feel is a cognitive dissonance or a perpetual dilemma. To be or not to be. When I am alone, I want to be with people so that I get to know them better and I can think about them in Solitude. When I am with people, I want to be alone to analyze what I feel or think about them.

Well, quite foolish of me trying to figure out things which hardly make sense. But then that is what life is all about. Man, through the eyes of reason, has since the day of formation has been looking for the answers to the three basic questions as stated in Vedas;
Who am I? (Ko ham)
Where have I come from? (Kuto Ayata)
Why am I here? What is my purpose? (Kim uddeshyam)

So, if I am not content with the amount of knowledge, or for that sake type of knowledge I have, I believe its nothing more than the age old human tendency to look for meaning wherever there is confusion. This is fairly similar to looking for shapes in the otherwise random skies or looking for a pattern in an otherwise incoherently occurring incidences.

I don't know if I would ever be able to complete this quest for the self, solitude and togetherness. It looks as unlikely as finding a solution to the time-gravity equation. But that fact is surely not disparaging enough for me to stop looking for answers.

After all, as they say, Life is Confusion.