Saturday, November 26, 2016

Demonetization and what people think

So the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recenly announced that all Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes will become illegal starting midnight of 9th Nov. This according to him, is the first major step towards curbing black money, counterfeit notes and terrorism. 

Within hours of the announcement, there was widespread confusion and chaos. Everybody was discussing the issue with the level of zeal you would probably find a newly wed man to have right before his first night. There were the news channels that were busy zooming in and out the image of the new Rs. 2000 note, there were the Kejriwals who were busy conjuring new conspriracy theories of how this will only help Modi and his chachaji and driver and driver ka dhobi, and then there were the bankers who probably first went - "Abe, kal holiday hai. Chal daaru lene chalte hain. #Modi Rocks" to "Oh bhenc, Modi ne to ham logon ki maar li"

Within all the madness and frenzy, were one set of people that all the uncles and aunties looked up to for their gyaan - The Yem-Be-Yay's.  I mean c'mon - The 20-something MBA grads who have spent lakhs of rupees to read case-studies from Harvard and Yale and Kellogs must know how this will impact the aam admi right. Ahem! Of course we do. The impact can be answered in 2 key words - "It Depends"

Probe a little further and you will see the knowledge bank of this elite species gush out like Niagara Falls after it has smoked up. I had the opportunity to ask some IIM Grads about their opinion on this  - "See. There is a concept called as monetization. When you buy an air ticket from Southwest Airlines, you buy it with what common people refer to as 'money'. This money is then used for improving supply chain inefficiencies, driving core competency, increasing shareholder value and boosting brand perception. This is called monetization. If you don't pay Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 to Southwest airlines, it will become demonetized and hence they might ask you to pay by card instead. Also, this will help reduce black money, counterfeit and terrorism".

*Not sure why he was asking me if there were marks for CP though*

Dare you ask why Southwest airlines? "We could take any other example. Starbucks, Walmart, Ryan-air etc. These are just some that come to my mind". Turns out, these are just the case studies you will find all IIM grads read during their 2-year course.

Nevertheless, I was still intrigued and went on to ask another one what he though - "What about PayTm? How is this decision helping them?" And he replied - "PayTm works on a single-threaded goal to make India cashless. It is in its VMOG statement. I bet they will soon consider vertical and horizontal intergration to achieve synergies in the long run."

Alright. But how will it help curb black money? I mean isn't most of the black money stored in Swiss banks? "Yes. That's a very good question. Let me get back to you on that."

Hmmph. Any closing words? "Bhai, Tere paas Sonam Gupta ka number hai kya?"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

IIM and the fear of acceptance

We had a screening of the movie 'Memories in March' today starring Rituparno Ghosh, Deepti Naval, Raima Sen. The movie shows the grief of the mother when she finds out that her son dies in a car accident. But the story takes a different angle after she finds out that her son was gay and had a secret lover (Rituparno Ghosh)

The movie was not very good. But i felt really sad when people in the auditorium were laughing every time a reference to the love between the son and Rituparno came. If students of an IIM laugh at this idea, how long will it take for Indians to accept this concept? It raises serious questions in my mind if the future managers will be able to be tolerant to the sexual orientation of their colleagues and not let this come in the way of their decision making process.

Why do we have a difficulty in accepting it and what is so funny about it? Do we make fun of physically disabled people? They were born in a different way and it was not their fault. This is not different from the case of a gay man/woman. It is how the person is from within. So what is the harm in professing that love to a person of the same sex? It is wrong to ostracize them and treat them as mental people. The movie deals with this idea in a deft manner when Rituparno asks the mother - "What is more difficult for you to accept? Is it that your son is dead and you will never see him again or that he was gay?" The mother feels betrayed when she finds out that her son did not reveal it to her, but the sole reason for the son to hide his identity was his fear of acceptance from the society.

It is a change that Indians should come to terms with soon. And we can only start by bringing the change from within.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The F Word, Diary post dated November 15, 2008

A great man once said that there are 3 phases in a man’s life:

1. When he believes in Santa Claus

2. When he does not believe in Santa Claus and

3. When he is Santa Claus

In a similar classification, life in divided into several phases, College life coming out as one of the most prominent one. And with every phase comes its own special lingo. According to my observation, the F word is used very frequently, and before you let your imagination run wild, here are a few of the F Words I am talking about:

1. Fundoo – Think of a guy who knows his fundamentals right. Add a pinch of overconfidence and laziness and voila, you have your very own Fundoo.

2. Frustoo – He is the person who will go to his room and decode whatever you said into binary or hexadecimal form (just for practice). If you ask him “Whats up dude?”, he will look up and say “Sky!”. But he is the Mr. Dependable of your class, because he is the one from whom you can copy your assignments.

3. Faltoo - There are 3 kinds of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t. These are the third kind; and believe me, a major portion of college students fall in this category. But we are proud of it; because ignorance is bliss. If someone asks you if you studied Fluid Mechanics in college, all you say is “I flunked it. But mind you, I would have got more than 99% if I had tried!”

4. Friend - A good friend is one who tells you to study well, but a best friend is one who stands outside the examination room and shouts
“Abbe kuch aa raha hai ya aur chits fekuuuu”

In this category, you get another F Word: Fun. Whether you are getting bumps for taking a girl out for valentine or whether you were caught drawing the professor’s face and writing ‘Pig Head’ on it when in class, the fun is never complete without a friend. It could be a girl or a boy, but making them a bakra when the professor catches you is the best part.

5. Fame - A lot of college life depends on fame. And there are several ways of getting it. There is a king for almost everything here. You could be ‘Zulmi – The king of ragging’ or ‘Topper – The king of frustus’ (a.k.a Mr. Frusteshwar or Mr. Chintamani).

Coming to the recent college happenings, the Golden Jubilee Celebrations for our college (for completion of 50 years since formation) will start in full force from Oct 10th, the college foundation day. Mr. Rama Lingaraju, CEO of Satyam Computers is expected to grace the inaugural event. Next in line is the annual college Fest ‘Technozion’ ( which will be held in conjunction with Vyas from Oct 17th to 19th, 2008. Student volunteers are busy making the preparations for the event, which will have several luminaries giving guest lectures including Mr. S. Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys Technologies Limited, Mr. Dilip Chhabria, the automobile magnate and Mr. Anthony James Leggett, the 2003 Physics Nobel prize winner.

The administration has granted the students a week long leave for Dussehra after their excruciating mid-sem exams. The 1000 room block is nearing completion and will probably come in use in the next semester. The 3rd mess has been turned into a vegetarian mess to cater to the first year students. The placement season has been good this year. Due to the recession, recruitment for software companies has decreased, but the number of core companies has increased phenomenally. Mechanical Engineering undisputedly has had the best placement season this year.

Before I sign off, I would like to give some tips for living a happy life to all the troubled souls out there. I suggest you take my advice, because I don’t use it anyways.

1. Need a loan from a friend? Borrow money from a pessimist, they don't expect it back.

2. Need an excuse to avoid sports class? Just say “I get enough exercise just pushing my luck”.

3. In an interview: Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.

4. While seeing a comedy movie: He who laughs last thinks slowest.

5. In a viva-voce: If you can't convince them, confuse them.

6. After joining job: Don't be irreplaceable; if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

7. Problem with your computer memory? 160 GB too less? Double your drive space. Delete Windows!

So, Au revoir. Sayonara. Ciao. Asta La Vista. Auf Wiedersehen. Adios. Tot ziens. And for those of you who don’t understand other languages, Goodbye!.

Campus rePlacements, Diary post dated June 22, 2008

Life never ceases to change. Some say that change is good while some abhor it. The same applies to life at college. You come in as the ‘scared to death’ freshman, grow to be the uncooked and arrogant sophomore, get serious in 3rd year and celebrate your existence in the final year. But the only moment cherished the most remains the time when you enter your final year. You are the ‘replacements’ for your uncouth, uncivilized seniors and have to live up to their ‘living-on-the-edge’ repertoire. The 2005-2009 batch is the one out to live that carefree life now and I am the proud member of this batch. It’s the time when you forget what ‘Library’ means, it’s the time when you stretch your budget to the xtreme and it’s the time when your motto is: “Live College Life King Size” (proverb by a great man called Aditya Maira)

India has left its footprint in every format of cricket, be it Test, one-day or T20. And it’s our turn now. The 5 days of serious study for an exam and its faster version of one-day batting are passé. We now follow the T20 pattern: 20 min of study before the xam. The only thing left to figure out is if the college authorities allow cheer girls on the dais during exam hours. (Strictly for boosting our morale, of course). Here’s our new dictionary of Exam terms authored by the luminaries of the ISO-20-20 certified company: ‘4th year rebels’:

Movies related to college life:
Exam - Kalyug
Classes - Kabhi Kabhi
Viva - Encounter
Exam Hall - Chamber of Secrets
Examiner - Mrityudata
Course - Godzilla
Paper Correction - Andha Kaanoon
Person beside u in exam hall - Koi Mil Gaya/Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Exam Time - Quyamat Se Quyamat Tak
Question Paper - Paheli
Answer Paper - Kora Kaagaz
Marks - Asambhav
Cheating - Aksar
Last Exam - Independence Day
Result - Sadma
Pass - Ajooba/Chamatkar
Fail - Devdas
Vacations - Masti
Supplementary - Aakhri Raasta

Well, the college hasn’t been all that dormant either. T & P coordinator Mr. Venugopal has successfully established the official website for college placements: . My motto during my placement will be ‘Faz impression is lasht impreshan’. 3rd year students bagged internships from Schlumberger, L&T, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, Cisco, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Indian Air Force and several others. Placements are due to start on 6th of July. While some students clinched projects in IIT’s and IIIT, Hyd, the others are busy belling the CAT and trying to overcome the 1500’s barrier in GRE. College will reopen with renewed spirits on 21st of July and hopefully, the renovation of the Admin building will be complete by then. While the final year students are vying for rooms in 14th block, the construction of the 1000-room block is nearing completion. Registration on the first day has finally become computerized (Thank God!) and negotiations regarding the inclusion of 2 new branches of engg (Ceramic Engg and Mining Engg) are in the pipeline. Several new M.Tech courses have also been proposed. After the success of Technozion’08, Technozion 2 will be organized in the month of September. Before signing off, here’s a cool SMS I received recently:

School Life vs. College Life:

School: 1 colored dress for 100 days
College: 100 colored dresses for 1 day

School: 2 notebooks for 1 subject (min)
College: 1 notebook for all subjects

School: Most frequent letter - leave letter
College: Most frequent letter - love letter

That’s all folks! Wish me luck for my placements and do leave some tips to ace the interviews. Till we meet next time, Alvida!,

ECE shows its FRUSTUness, Diary post dated February 15, 2008

The month of January was coming to an end. Everybody had gotten comfortable with their new teachers and subjects. But comfort is synonymous with danger. Because, a good comfort level is a clear indication that exams are soon approaching. Nevertheless, the students had a golden opportunity to spend the last few days of Jan adventurously before the exams started. Jan 25th -27th were inevitably poised to provide a feast of knowledge and thrill in the college techfest called Technozion’08. The event was inaugurated in the presence of ISRO chair Mr. Madhavan Nair and was a host to a plethora of other events. But the cherry in the cake was the inspiring lecture by former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The Audi was reverberating with roars of applause as he finished his lecture with an interactive Q and A session. But hold your guns, how can such a magnanimous event end without a controversy? You’re right. It can’t. A trifle misunderstanding due to an unintentional argument was enough to spark off a mass fight between the M. Tech’s and U.P, Bihar during the cultural night. Things began to settle only after the director intervened. On the whole, it was worth the watch as some latecomers mistook the fight to be a skit among the events planned for the night.

Soon after the fest, people had to dust their books, remove the cobwebs and start studying for the mid-sems. The global elective subject was shifted from 4-2 to 3-2 (because everybody bunks the classes in 4th year). CSE Department offered ERP (Enterprise Resource and Planning), the lectures of which were taken by professionals from Accenture. This automatically meant that the classes had to be in tune with their feasibility. As a result, the students had classes from 8 am to 6 pm non-stop on Sat and Sun. This was bad news for the Hyderabadis who vanish from the college the moment a weekend approached.

Nowadays, ECE is coming back in form just like our Indian cricket team. It is living up to its reputation of being FRUSTU. I personally have had tormenting experiences this sem. First, Ravi Kishore, Asst Prof of ECE catches me in DL (Digital Library) while checking my mail. And then, there is this new rule that cell phones are banned in college. It comes everyday in the notice board and everyday people laugh at it becoz no one really cares. But ECE does. And when I was writing my global elective exam in the ECE department, I was one of the unfortunate souls who got caught with a cell phone. And as a result, I had to pay a fine of Rs. 100. Well, maybe my Vaastu is not in good terms with the ECE department nowadays.

For those in ECE, cheating in exams is really tough. But branches like Chemical Engg are experts at it. (Some of us dream of becoming cheating consultants in future). Writing on legs and hands, getting chits to the hall is passé. Now, people have become more creative. Some make Micro-Xerox and staple the booklet inside the jeans. Some put a sheet of paper on the answer book and emboss the answers on the answer book before taking them to the exam hall. This way, only the student can see the carving at a specific angle of light and no one else! Who said we cannot innovate?

Another thing to cheer about for all the ‘couples’ in our college is the newly opened Amul outlet near the Guest house. It’s a good change for people who have got bored of ‘Swiss Bakery’ and Karim Bhai.

As the semester is nearing completion, most 3rd years have secured summer projects to keep themselves busy for the vacations. Some of the elite few have got intern opportunities from companies like Morgan Stanley, Voltas, Cisco, IBM, L & T and Accenture, while some have applied for off-campus interns in Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Yahoo etc. Owing to the dollar slump, most of the students have their fingers crossed as the placement season approaches.

Before I sign off, here are the top 3 comedy lines in college life:
1. Don’t Disturb, I want to study

2. No class. Lets go to library

And the best one is:
3. Sir……I have a doubt!!!

The above are the results of a survey taken without taking anyone’s honest viewpoint into consideration and the surveyors are not responsible to answer to anyone’s claim that the results have been fabricated

Life At NITW-Seasons in the Sun, Diary post dated November 27,2007

The end-semester examinations have come to an end and the students can now breathe a sigh of relief after the excruciating and tiring night-outs. But as you look beyond the materialistic freedom attained for a month of winter hols, you realize that the semester passed has been a rather eventful one. A jolt to the system was felt when our mid-semester exams got postponed by 2 days because one of the mess ‘saru’s’ assaulted a civil prof because of a dispute over the tender for 6th mess. The student council, as usual, cherishing the moment went on a riot till the director’s office and the director kept saying “We thank you for your co-operation”. Ironically, the students were trying their best to start what Gandhi calls a non-cooperation movement to get the exams postponed as much as possible. The second jhatka came when one of the junior’s complained of raging and TV9 (a famous broadcasting company in AP) came to innocently cover the issue while students gathered around the camera innocently to get their faces on TV. An eventful sem as I said.

The students have now found a new way to while-away their time and avoid studying. They are now watching seasons of famous sitcoms available with friends on the LAN. Prison Break, Scrubs, Friends, Heroes, My name is Earl, How I met your Mother, Dragon Ballz, Naruto, Life as we know it, Alias, Criminal Minds, you name it, we’ve seen it. The students complete the seasons faster than the seasons change outside. To add to the fun and frolic, the students went on Industrial tours to places like NTPC, Ramagundam and Nagarjuna Sagar hydel power plant. Of course, the top of the lot was the tour to the esteemed ISRO, Sriharikota for all the IEEE members. A strange initiative has been taken up by the director. We are now supposed to write exams in evaluation books rather than answer sheets. The funda is that if the student feels he has been awarded a wrong grade, all the teacher needs to do is show him his book. (It dosen’t make sense though, as the same could be done with answer sheets). Anyways, for us, its like when our parents ask for our answer sheets, we say “Mummy, is baar director ne bola no wasting paper, so no answer sheets, so no exams”

A new theorem also has been proposed by us:
Equation 1: Study = Don’t fail
Equation 2: Don’t study = Fail

Add Eq. 1 and Eq. 2
Study + Don’t Study = Fail + Don’t fail
Study (1 + Don’t) = Fail (1 + Don’t)
Thus, Study = Fail.
So don’t study.
Hence proved.

In other words, thousands of yesterdays are gone, millions of tomorrow’s will come, but the hopes are still alive in the students that ‘Tomorrow, I’ll definitely start studying’.

The dates for our techfest Technozion and Vyas have been announced and the students are busy planning the events. You can check out what you might expect from the fest by clicking on these links: and So for all the readers, its Sayonara for now

Life At NITW-A Bitter Sweet Experience: Diary Post dated August 15, 2007

National Institutes of Technology (NITs) are claimed to be one of the best technical hubs in India. Well, atleast the 1st day of college doesn’t prove that coz it is this day when the students are tormented to death.

The student is firstly greeted by a long line where he is expected to pay his mess dues followed by a separate line merely to get a no-dues stamp. And that’s not all, its like ‘buy 2, get 1 free’. Because you have to once again buckle-up your guts to stand in yet another tunnel-long line only to know what your room number is, and mind-you, no proxy’s allowed here. Just when this comedy circus seems to come to an end, you’ve gotta think again. You then have to run around the entire institute in search of Hameed, the man with the magic key to your room. And finally, after the bitter-sweet treasure hunt, you have to bribe him with a sweet smile on your face and act as if he is your biggest saviour. The Sharukh Khan of Main Hoon Na or the Hrithik Roshan of Krishh. Well, this marathon-run seems completely senseless to me because, “Hello!! Has anyone heard of the computer?”

But when you look back, you realize that it’s not all that bad as it looks. Coz you get to catch-up with your old friends, see the crazy hairstyles they’ve grown in the hols, say Salaam to Karim Bhai, you even get to exercise your lazy bones with all the running around you have to do in the campus.

As for the day when class-work begins, it’s inevitable that every student attends the classes, not because he is the serious-types, but because it is crucial for him to do a fool-proof research on the lecturer’s attitude. His aim is to find out if the lecturer will be giving an attendance shortage at the end of the sem or not. If his attitude is lite-lo kinds, that’s going to be the last class the student attends before the end-exams.

As for the developments in the college, students have started getting LAN connectivity in their rooms in addition to Internet at snail’s-speed. But, with all the proxy sites of Orkut blocked, students have no another option but to surf technical info. The college also organized a grand-fest for the ’78 to ’82 batch students who had completed their 25 years of graduation. The sullen-mood was jived-up with a musical night followed by a DJ-night to celebrate the momentous occasion. Dr. Anand Raj, a prof in the Civil Engineering department has been chosen to be the next Chief Warden. Honestly, he is a master of simplicity. He comes to class on a cycle. People call him Jumanji because he badly needs a haircut. But as they say, ‘looks can be deceptive’. Because, his stern discipline and attitude has led to a tremendous decrease in ragging and you can be sure that he is not a guy you would want to mess with. The grapevine tells us that we may have Technozion2, a sequel to the tech-fest conducted earlier in Feb this year followed by Vyas’07, the annual IEEE tech-fest. The latest branch of our college is Bio-Tech Engineering, whose department was inaugurated recently by the director.

With all the student clubs releasing their deadlines for applications, while companies vying to recruit students for jobs and internships, all I can say is that ‘The journey has just begun’.