Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Hey Guys, it has been long since i ve blogged. Well, my blog was getting (in)famous for all the wrong reasons, so decided to take a break. Now, im back - but with no more of the old stuff !!

Anyways, below is some stuff i had written earlier, but not posted .. and some that i wrote just now... enjoy

I am at the crossroads again. When I look to my left, I see a dull road fading away into a misty dusk. When I look to the right, I see a road with cracks so vast and deep, I’m afraid I might fall into one of them. When I look behind me, I see so much hurt and regret that I don’t want to go back. When I try to see ahead, I am unable to figure out what awaits me. I can see the presence of a light, but my heart believes it’s just an illusion, a fatal trap to capture me. And so I just stand there wondering which road to take.

Random thoughts keep springing up in my mind, thoughts that I can’t comprehend. My mind is in chaos and prevents me from thinking straight. Suddenly the world is upside down and everything seems to go wrong. Everything seems so different, unpredictable. Sometimes I wonder if I should even care anymore. I feel I am so complicated at times that even I fail to understand myself. And then I wonder how, when and why I changed so much. I wonder what or who was responsible for this thick wall of indifference that I have built all around me. Sometimes I want to run away, take some other road that I can twist and turn according to my purpose. Sometimes I feel like hurting myself, wondering how it would feel. From where I stand, I see myself as a broken person who is too confused, too weak to decide which road to take.

Emotions are strange, love is stranger. I’ve had enough of both.
Complications never cease and simplicity is so vague. I want neither.
I am at the crossroads again and I don’t know where to go.


Talking about Crossroads.. we are all now in the 4th month of our MBA . Some came here knowing what they wanted from the 1 year, many came here wanting to “realize” their calling, some came here unplanned. All thought, well, yeah this is it. I ve made it this far. I ll be now take care of.

But ISB is a mess like no other. It is not the result of the efforts, the end of a race, it’s the start of a whole new one. There are quite a few who have figured out what exactly they want out of this one year, what electives they will select, what subject they will major in, what jobs they want. But those are a minority. For each such person, there are many who are confused… OVERWHELMED actually. They just manage to take 1 day at a time & believe me, ISB throws a lot at you in any given “1 day”. For those people, ISB now is like the Crossroads, not knowing which way to turn.

Is it grades that matter, is it competitions, is it ELPs, PaEVs.. and with 570 people vying for everything, some are bound to be left behind. Some are bound to not get a satisfactory answer to their solution. Yeah, everyone will say “ISB is what you make of it”, but well, WHAT should I make of it. There are so many opinions floating around. Who do I listen to, my opinion is already muted in all the barrage of other “knowledgeable” opinions. There are many who feel this, they are lost, confused in this “Truman Show”-esque world !

Have you seen Tom Hanks’ Castaway ? Remember the last scene ? I think that describes this feeling. Perfectly !


Raat ke andhere se haar kar chala tha main
socha tha raahon mein roshni to hogi
dhundla sa kahi savera to milega
Koi kiran badalon se nikli to hogi.

Sab raahon ka ant ho gaya
ab tak gum wo savera hai
socha tha raahon me roshni to hogi
aur yahaan manzil par bhi andhera hai.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ISB 4: Exams & Elections

Here I am !

So, whats been happening…

All roads lead to Rome, its said .. last week – all activities led to Election Campaigning !

We had our mid terms, but more on that later !
1 concerned presidential hopeful mailed everyone saying, “call me if stressed”.

Well, I did not get it. If im really stressed, I would call someone who I a close to so that I can offload n feel better. Someone on twitter commented that it seems like a phone sex helpline ! That’s a bit harsh tho ! but yes, exams also thus became a poll issue

Highlights of the election campaign (Disclaimer: whatever said here is in good humour and ot meant to offend anyone. I respect the intentions of all those who have stood for elections. So, have a good laugh and don’t take offence)

1. Exams becoming a poll issue with 1 candidate mailing students to “call him if stressed” ! Some wisecrack on twitter harshly commented that it sounded like a phone sex helpline ! I think that was quite harsh ! But I feel the mail was pointless – if im stressed, I would rather call someone who im close to and offload my stress.

2. All positive steps suggested by students becoming a poll issue with all candidates jumping on the bandwagon. I ll take example of Sai’s mail regarding professor classes. The GSB presidents replied

a. I agree with Sai. We should… (here he repeats full text of Sai’s mail changing 2 words in the middle)

b. “this is an extreme noble intention & I shall support it” (this is also followed by how he intends to follow it – more or less repeating what Sai said)

c. Some disagreed with another 3 page long mails

d. Interestingly all mails started with either

i. “I don’t intend to spam, but…” – dudeif u dint intend to spam – just mail Sai ! I did that !

ii. “My 2 words on the issue….” – followed by a mail longer than my blogposts ! And people tell me that my posts are too long !

e. One guy “sat with relevant people” (stressed it atleast twice) to improve food quality. He insisted that all thanks should go to another guy who had also accompanied him & all faults should be attributed to him ! Very magnanimous, though I don’t know why he would say it. BUT – to his credit – the food quality has markedly improved & im liking the food since the last 2 days – Kudos – my vote might go to him, considering how important food is in my scheme of things !

f. One tagline said, “whatever I touch, rises” Well, think about its multiple interpretations. I rest my case.

g. For a couple of candidates, the manifestos were more about them than their vision.

Anyways, Soapboxes are done, and I spoke a lot many people and everyone said that no ONE person stood out. That just means that this election might be a close one ending up in a 3 way fight with no one getting absolute majority. Should be interesting.

But, a couple of things worry me

1. A third of the people dint attend the Soap Box

2. MANY who attended thought no candidate stood out
Will this lead to a low voter turnout. The election will be won mainly through lobbying & not through popular vote, I feel. Lets See. Hope the guy vote for wins !

Meanwhile, the ironing guy (lets call him IRONMAN) had misplaced my clothes & inspite of repeated follow ups with him, the maids and security in my SV for over 3 days – I did not get my clothes. I mailed operations and thought if nothing still happens, I ll do the only thing that’ll get my clothes back – inform the Presidential hopefuls ! This would ve been another poll issue, with everyone trying to get my clothes back. Fortunately, Ops guys managed to resolve the issue. But this issue would ve got me a clear inner of my vote ! 

Now, MID TERMS – will finish in a few words, actually one abbreviation – WTF !!!

Gossip Corner:

Ah, the only thing that makes people read my blog ! some people even told me that I should cut out the “useless” stuff & jus report the gossip. That was heartbreak !
Well, I have no gossip unless you consider the following of any interest

1. Another couple making out in one of the SV lawns. Ah, the thrill of PDA in the open outdoors !

2. A couple making out on the school terrace ! That’s something new ! im expecting a lot more visitors to the terrace now, especially when it gets dark

Yup, that’s it .. lots of stuff happening on campus, but a lot of it in the above categories, so its Gossip no more..

Well, there are an exciting 10 days ahead of us, with our GSB prez going to be elected, mid term results being declared & a thousand projects assignments & submissions. . . .all culminating in the END TERM EXAMS.


First round election results are out.

And so is the news that LRC will be open till 2 a.m. from next week onwards till exams end. This was mainly due to efforts of a couple of people - Sai, Krishna etc. And this time - NO MAILS to Sai congratulating him !

Is there a link ? Go Figure

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Calm, The Storm & well, The Gossip !

The Calm
O week was soon over. Talen Nite done, Sports Final done, all other activities done. And our Section – B, was by FAR the one with the lowest aggregate score. Ah well, we said, “ There’s more to life !”

Anyways, now was a week of peace, relaxation & no pre-planned activities. It was time for Pre-Term courses.

There are 3 pre term courses – Accounts, Stats & Quant – all designed to
1. Get ppl up to speed on these topics if they ve forgotten any concepts
2. Teach ppl basic concepts in case they ve not encountered these subjects before
3. Get ppl into Study mode

These course were optional & I had opted to NOT take any of them (something that many ppl congratulated me for & were actually happy for me !)
So, this week, I SLEPT – almost 8-9 hours daily.. sometimes even 10 hours. Considering that there is a Tshirt sold here with the following tagline on it – “ I went to ISB and all I got was 4 hours of sleep”, this was substantial amount of sleep that I was getting.

More seriously, this was the week that I got to know many people. Till now most interaction was limited to a few sentences, exchanging & forgetting names, maybe recollecting faces. I had met ppl during meals, parties, fun activities and never got beyond a few sentences

1. What’s your name
2. Hmm, full name ?
3. Oh yeah – I ve seen you on google groups…
4. So, what SV ?
5. Oh cool, section ?
6. Anyways, catch you… u coming for the party tonight ??

Meanwhile, I would be giving out similar info at the same time. Lets say this was Mr. A. By the time I talk to Mr. E, I just remember the face of Mr A & maybe say hi to him at the party & pretend that I know his name ! im sure he would do the same.
I had just interacted a bit more with my section guys due to Talent Nite, so I knew their names properly! But this week – I got to know the people behind the names. And, that, I think is the most important takeaway that all of us will be getting this year. The people we meet & befriend, the relationships/bonds we form.

I also spent some time (finally) with my study group – went out for a fun dinner with them. These guys are going to be the ones I interact with the most over the next 6 months and I really wanted to get to know them, n get along with them.

Another set of people I went out with were my quad-mates – we went to a tiny little punjabi dhaba that served awesome food & then went for a movie. I guess that’s the max time I ve spent with them considering now we have different schedules n I don’t see more than 1 of them at a time & don’t go beyond saying, “hi, how was your day” ! But they are really cool people !

I went out into the city too a couple of times. The most fun was when 5 of us went out, had awesome Chaats at Ohris that reminded me of Mumbai ! and then, I looked around for Aam-ras at over 6 food outlets, but with no success. I mean – summer without aam-ras is just pointless ! but, rest assured, the search shall go on ! whenever I have the time.

Well, the week reached the weekend – and we had leadership development sessions from 9-7 on both days + readings to be done for the terms, so the weekend jus went by, though there was a party & a karaoke night + screenings of the IPL semi finals & Finals that we managed to squeeze in somewhere. I ve realized that I tend to do a lot more with my time here. I ve been playing & losing squash & badminton on a regular basis, but I feel im getting better. Its fun.

People around – faculty, alums etc keep scaring us about Term beginning saying that we wont know what hit us once term begins, that it ll be a flurry of continuous activity & you wont ve time for anything, that anything that you do over classes, projects & meals will eat into ur sleep time. Well, I say, we’ll cross the bridge when we some to it. 3000 people ve done it, and 580 shall do it this year. And I will be one of them. Amen !


The Storm

Yesterday, the famed ISB infrastructure leaked water from all cracks & crevices.. There was a mini storm with heavy rains & very high speed winds that blew the furniture in the atrium all over the place & I know atleast 2 girla who while crossing the atrium were pushed sideways by the wind, even tho one of them was holding on to me ! All in all – it was awesome weather. I, for one, love the rains & felt like getting drenched. My laptop on my back stopped me.

This was a storm of nature, very different from the storm brewing on campus !
Term 1 had started. Lectures from 8 15 in the morning, tons of pre read (which yes, as the alums predicted – I ve been avoiding ), assignments, quizzes, tests and of course parties, club presentations, outings, etc.. etc & some sleep amidst it all.

Life is absolutely crazy here.

Studies – well, the quantum is not very much, its quite manageable – but im having trouble with eco & stats, but yeah – trying very hard to get comfy with them.
Parties – I dunno how to say this, but im tired of the number of parties. Last weekend, there were 3, this weekend, there were 2. I just go for a couple of hours and leave. I really see no point in spending more time. But maybe, its just me !

But, our section had an awesome party at Hard Rock and I ve had lots of wonderful dinners at places around – Haveli, Ohris, Little Italy, Wonton etc etc.

Assignments – I shall only talk about marketing here. Over 70% of my time apart from sleep was spent on marketing last week. It just doesn’t give you time for anything else. There was a case study that kept half the college awake at any point of time over 2 days. And at the end of it, I still find myself asking WHY ? The subject marketing is teaching me more about group & people management than about marketing. One ends up spending so much time with the study group, you get to know their peculiarities, working styles, likes, dislikes, irritants, quirks… I ve quite a good study group – I don’t agree with them on all things, but we manage to get by pretty well !

Also, I finally spent over half an hour – at a stretch – with my quad-mates. FINALLY ! we watched “Love, cash .. something” on Channel V. hahahah ! Quality Time, eh ? Chick, aren’t we ?

Talking about chicks, well – they r all married.

Here’s an actual conversation – I was party to it. Girl – A, Guy B & Me

Guy: dude, there are no single chicks on campus
Me: Yeah – they are all married
Guy: no one is cute
Me: Yeah, they are all married
Guy to girl: Can you do a survey of all available single chicks for me .. plz..
Me: No use dude.. the single ones – they too are married !

Another. Guy A & Guy B. (maybe one of them is me )

A: dude, the girl you were eyeing yesterday – she is married
B: (trying not to show any emotion): who ?
A: (says the name)
B: oh, is she. Hmm, doesn’t look like it
A: I know !! when I got to know, I was shocked too
B: but she doesn’t even wear her ring !
A: yeah, I checked out her FB profile, nothing mentioned there too
B: this is just unfair – its ok if u r married – atleast be open about it. you should let people know !
A: I know ! ! ! forget it.. the sad part is, all the others have boyfriends.

So, yes – there are tons of things here, but time is made for everything. Sleep is the only ting compromised upon, and for that – we have Thursdays !

Mid Terms ! Exams ! What, already ??

When the alums said, that the year would be a fast paced conveyor belt, we didn’t realize it’ll be this fast. Exams are on our head already. Suddenly I see so many people, including me, spending so much time in the LRC or in the confines of their quads / studios. Not that we are all very studious, but the fact is that, no one has studied anything till now & when people get back to studies after 3, 4, 5 years of last seeing a book over 100 pages, it takes time for the gyaan to sink in. The struggle will continue till Saturday next week & then after a day of partying, Term 1 part B will start wit exams in, wait for it, another 2 weeks !

Gossip Monger Corner (if this doesn’t make my blog famous, nothing will)

Ok, its been 2 weeks on campus. Before coming, all friends had told me abt how there’ll be many hok ups on campus n stuff. And, I was waiting for news to percolate – well – I have some now. I cannot reveal names & details n I really don’t know that much, but well – gotta create interest in the blog na !!
So, here goes – again, this is only what I ve heard – some might not be true, but im pretty sure its all true.. hehehe.. I ll substitute names with letters of alphabets & not disclose who is the guy & who is the girl.

1. X & Y were making of at one of the parties. X & Y have been seen together by all & sundry. Their stuff / belongings – books etc is mostly lying at each others places. They come to class together and leave together. Both are late together.

2. A & B have been seen together since almost beginning of term & apparently A had eyes on B from before ISB via FB. Well, it seems to ve worked out well for A, coz B sure seems smitten. But, wait – there’s a third spoke in the wheel – C ! C has eyes on B too & well, lets see where tht story goes. I ve heard B is playing for time n not making a decision. A sure has a huge lead.

3. P & Q were allegedly seen making out at one of the SVs. Now, I don’t understand why one would make out in public if everyone has rooms here, but you never know . I don’t know the status on P & Q, but the street says that Q is not the kinds that would take any such things seriously. But you never know. Well, here there is R too, who, allegedly again, has the hots for Q, but has been looking quite “lost” these days. Last seen – Q & R at an SV were P resides. P not seen there.

Well, that’s all… maybe I get more gossip & further updates, maybe I don’t. Next post will most definitely be after Mid Terms. So, ALL THE BEST GUYS !!!

P.S. - in the last 3 days, atleast 5 people doubted my being a CA, saying stuff that ranged from

" you can't be a CA"
" you dont look like a CA, chashme nahi hai"
" scope hi nahi hai .. you dont look like or seem like a CA"
" a person who is so verbose, cant be a CA"
" hahahahahahahaha"
" if you are a CA, howcome you just got 18 on the accounts quiz"

Well to all of you - i really dont care !!! :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

ISB 2: "O" Week

“O” Week stands for Orientation Week. Since ISB’s is a 1 year course, we do not get time with alumni to get general gyaan, guidance n to know them. So, the alums stay back the first 10 days of our time here to spend time with us n arrange lots of activities n parties n gyaan sessions for us.

Basically our O week comprised
Team Building Activities
Talent nite
Club Presentations

I will not describe each n everythng that happened, but will give you the highlights.

It began with the Dean’s address.. apart from stressing the need to enjoy n not get lost on the rat race and the whole melee of activities, he said – “we are your family here and wont let you feel away from home… if there is a specific way your parents scold us, let us know – we will scold you the same way !”
Such things stay with you. They show that we, as students, as people, matter to the institution. It makes you feel welcome, and for people like me – away from home for the first time – it makes you feel home..

Now, on to the other stuff !

We, the students are divided into 8 sections of abt 70 each – A-H. I will have my classes for the first 4 terms with my section. There will be very little chance of me interacting with the other 500 ppl. So, this orientation week, we were all jumbled up for each activity, so we get to know diff people in an informal environment. It was extremely tiring all week, with me getting just a few hours of sleep daily-4 hrs on an average.

We had a painting competition where each team of abt 30 was allocated an alumnus of a particular yr who would describe his experiences of that yr and then the team had to paint those experiences on a 10 feet long chart paper – painting to be done using only hands & feet n nothing else !

Then there were those usual office off site outdoor games that people play – those were organised for us for 2 days from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m…

There was a treasure hunt that helped us get to know our campus better. We had to interprest 8 clues n go to those places in that order. At each place, we had to take signoff on a sheet of paper from an alum, but they gave us a certain task to do before the sign off. People were made to sing, dance, put up a show – guys had to take off their shirts.. guys had to kiss other guys .. girls had to propose an alum n convince him to take her 1 case, 1 team member had to finish a huge bottle of beer – almost 750 ml & whenever he/she stops in the middle, the remaining team members were to be sprayed with water from a hose pipe !!!
In 1 instance, the alums told us that we have to do anything that shocked them ! after failing to cinvince 2 girls to make out, I came up with another plan. We were 10, so 8 of them did a mini dance in from of the alums, when me n another guy came up from behind n poured a bottle of water on the alum’s head !! needless to say, they were “shocked” ! FUN !!!

Through all these activities, now I realise, I met so many ppl tht I ll probably not even meet for the next 6 months coz our class timings might be different n stuff. It was really cool.

Then there wer the sports – cricket n football competition.. I participated in the football. Was slated to go for cricket too, but I was enjoying playing badminton that time, so backed out !

Also, there was a section gyaan session with my section (B). In that, we had to get up, say our names n say 1 exciting/whacky thing about ourselves –n ppl have done seom crazy things.. the most exciting – unheard of things I ll tell u
1. One guy had a pet snake – a boa constrictor !
2. One guy said, “My name is Al Ameen, and I am not a terrorist !!”
3. We have an army colonel ! He said, “My name is Rajeev Sekhar and I have killed 2 pakis !!!” The whole class was stunned into silence !
4. One guy can play the mouth organ like a dream !!
5. One guy said, “im a metrosexual.. I use all those face creams..” hahahaha .. I ve already named him METRO & the name has caught on !!!

The parties !!! We ve had 4 .. one was a welcome party for us – these was BACK TO SCHOOL – we had to dress up in shorts, shirt & tie.. it was fun.. everyone had dressed up. The parties go on from 9 30 to abt 5 in the morning. Bad part for drinkers is that booze is not free, it doesn’t matter to me. There was a BOLLYWOOD theme party and another party that we had thrown for the ALUMS – booze was free for them. I went for the 1st party at 9 30 sharp n was exhausted dancing by 12 30, went home n slept. Next day I learnt tht party picks up abt abt, I went for Bollywood Party at 12 30 n was there till 3 30… The Alums party was a boring affair coz I think ppl were exhausted of this lifestyle n many chose to sit it out. I too went at 2 & left at 3.

The Talent night was awesome – I did the salsa ! It was “ok” coz we were 2 couples n synchronisation was a problem coz of lack of practice. Also the other guy was a 5 yr salsa veteran, so it was tough for me to learn all the steps.

BEE - Our Mascot !!

That apart, I must say the talent in this batch is AWESOME. There is a girl drummer, who is, there are awesome singers & composers. There was a jugglery act that mind blowing. There are awesome guitar players who sing and play at the same time n to hear them is pure bliss. There are jive, salsa & hip hop dancers as good as my salsa instructors in Mumbai. I must also comment here on the diversity of people – there are doctors, lawyers, A Tamil Actress, a boxer, a district level badminton player, a UP Superintendent of Police, an ex-army colonel who has served 22 years in the army, a Japanese Monk, a few Spanish guys, one of who speaks impeccable hindi and can even sing hindi songs. He is now learning Tamil. We have professional photographers. There is an ex rock band member with tattoos all over his arms. It is overwhelming, awe inspiring & makes you feel small !

Talent night was yesterday followed by individual parties by some sections. So, I got home at 4 in the morning & finally got a 6 hr sleep from 5-11. I was sceptical of having to sleep for 4 hrs all yr, now I think I can manage a few days of 4-5 hrs at a stretch if I get a 6-7 hr once in a week ! This is what O week has done. Taken me out of my comfort zone & made me OK with a 4 hr sleep at night - somethng i was dreading and thought would never be able to manage with.

Also – I ve been playing a lot of badminton, including sometimes at 2 in the night – it is FUN. There is a music room too with people jamming there all night. There are lawns in each SV where people sit & jam n talk all night – its just a wonderful environment .. but yes, studies havent started yet. Things can undergo a drastic change.

That’s all the updates I have from you. The next mail could be a very boring one coz im free all week n planning to rest a lot.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ISB 1: The Journey Begins

11th April, 2010. Sunday

Hey guys, I got my laptop today ! I ve been here for just 4 days, but it seems like a long time back that I actually left Mumbai. Leaving home – it was not easy. When the train left Mumbai station, it felt as if the train was moving, but I was still there. Still home. Just still.

But soon, I reached the city I will be staying in for the next year – Hyderabad.

The City – is divided into Old Hyderabad & New Hyderabad. Old Hyderabad has tourist attarctions like Husainsagar Lake, Charminar & Golconda Fort. Its heavily populated with Muslims and in general has lost its charm. New Hyderabad is basically areas like Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills etc. – this is the usual metro city set up with malls, and more malls – NO FUN ! The food everywhere is Biryani, other kinds of rices, lots of non-veg & lots of veg south indian. There is a huge restaurant chain called Chutneys here. It has some awesome but quite expensive south indian food with an awesome collection of chutneys that we’ ve never tasted before. Anyways, enough about the city.

Now on to the campus. If I had one word to describe it, it would be breathtaking. If I had more words, I would use beautiful, clean, beautiful again, awesome, beautiful once more !!! It’s a campus sprawling over 260 acres, lush with greenery all over. I ll try explaining the structure now and I ll also introduce a few new terminologies and acronyms that I ll be using over the next year in my mails ! Also, there are come peacocks on the campus grounds too 

The Academic Block (the building where our classes take place)is a square structure with outlets on all 4 sides. It has a circular structure within it (remember my Yes Bank Worli office – similar but half its height & much more in diameter). This circular structure is a 5 storey LIBRARY ! It houses thousands of books, a radio club / radio station, a hude DVD collection, magazines & research reports & the IT dept of the campus. Its is jus beautiful with its spiral staircase and nice, filled bookstands. There are reading rooms on each level & also a computer lab. The square structure surrounding it has our classrooms and a bhaidas like auditorium. The classrooms are beautiful and sitting in it, I realised they r quite conducive to studying, I don’t know why though – but you actually feel like studying inside them !!! Classrooms are curved with the seating in a semi circle kinda thing (remember Munnabhai 1 ka class – same shape, but smaller – can seat 70). The classrooms are called AC 1/2/3/…8 LT/MLT. AC stands for Academic Centre , there are 8 of those – 4 at the corners of the square structure & 4 in the mid point of each side .. hehe.. LT – Lecture Theatre, MLT – Mini Lecture Theatre.

There are even a couple of LTs with 2 ceiling to floor LCD screens in it for conducting lectures via video conferencing. That’ll be really cool, I think !!
There are 4 hostels – called Student Villages, and they actually are villages. Each house about 200 people – considering there are families with kida also on campus. There are 2 kinds of rooms – a Studio & a Quad. A studio is for families – it’s a proper HUGE 1 room kitchen – bigger than a 1 BHK of Mumbai. A Quad is shared accomodation – 4 people share it. It opens into a huge rectangular hall with 4 bedrooms at the 4 corners & 2 bathrooms. So, I have my personal bedroom – its quite comfortable – abt 140 sqft & has a single bed, study table, ceiling to floor windows that open into flower beds (its on the ground floor) and a cupboard, side table & study book cabinet.

Other wise the facilities in the studios & quads are – 1 refrigerator, 2 clothes drying racks, 1 television, and since our SV – SV4 is the latest to have been constructed – it has nice marbonite flooring and a 32 inch LG LCD television !!! Awesome – tho I ve not yet watched TV after coming here !!
Apart from all this, there are many facilities on campus – there is a Departmental Store – MORE, a 4 bed clinic with a resident doc n nurse, a medicine shop, a counselling centre for ppl with depression issues, issues of fitting in, marital discords sue to stress of the academic yr etc etc…. then there is a amphitheatre, a open air bar & lounge wher we’ve been having parties every alternate day from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., a recreation club with snooker, carrom, badminton, squash courts, a huge gymnasium & na huge swimming pool. There are 2 tennis courts & a football ground…. There is bloody so much, it feels bad that one has to actually study. The spouses & little kids have a fun time all year. The kids have a small nursery & a playing garden for themselves.

Anyways, that’s all from my side till now – have lots of other stuff to tell you’ll that I ll post about in a few days...

Click on link below for snaps:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rajasthan Trip: III

Day 3 - The Long Drive

The Long Road Ahead

My birthday today !! And my friends gifted me a day long drive on absolutely awesome roads. We had to cover approximate 700 kms and we did it in 10 hours !!! The roads were beautiful & smooth, with our average speed over the last 3 hours coming to 110 kmph, this without unnecessary speeding. We passed through a lot of dry land, with salt pan on both sides of the road. This is where we got a glimpse of the “cracked ground” like that of drought areas.

Salt Pans


We reached Mt. Abu when it was dark & booked into a nice hotel that gave us a huge room – very cosy & comfortable. Varun went to get us some hard drinks on a bike of the hotel manager & came back frozen !!! The bike was speeding in the cold & windy roads of abu & poor Varun was its victim. He had held the vodka bottle in his frozen hands, and we pretty much didn’t need ice in our pegs after that !!

Kaushik & Varun had got a cake for me & we celebrated the cake cutting with no one singing happy birthday, me wishing myself as i cut the cake & Varun dancing his crazy dance !

All in all it was an awesome night & the Rajasthan leg of the trip began on that note !

Day 4 - The Great Hotel Hunt

We woke up late and checked out of our hotel only by 10. We thought we were late, only to find out that Dilwara temple opens only at 12 !!

We visited Nakki lake first. Nakki Lake derives its name from the famous mythological story that lies behind the creation of this lake. It is said that Devtas ( Gods ) had dug this lake in the centre of Mount Abu using their nails or nakh. This lake is the only artificial lake in India.

Nakki Lake

Ducks at the lake

Here Varun got his snap clicked in royal Rajasthan clothing – a tradition for him – he does that in almost all places he goes to. After a heavy breakfast, we visited the dilwara temple.

The Dilwara Jain Temple is one of the most famous and beautiful Jain temple in the world. The architecture and stone carvings are something note worthy. The interior decoration of the temple showcases the architectural brilliance and the grandeur of human craftsmanship. These temples were built in the period between 11th to 13th centuries A.D. The ornamental details carved out of marble on the ceilings and on the pillars are extremely beautiful.

The drive to Jodhpur was absolutely rocking. Rajasthan roads are as good, if not better than Gujarat Roads. We reached jodhpur in the evening and then began the great hotel hunt.

Once you enter the city, you realise that it is full of 2 wheelers and rickshaws crawling all over it. Roads are confusing and hotels are mostly scattered. Most budget hotels are found on “nai sadak”, but many are dingy. We finally managed to get into a semi dingy hotel, for lack of choice and also because we were super tired and irritated.

And then my major shopping. I bought kilos and kilos of sweets – gajak, revdi and tal papad. This was all done in some random wholesaler shop in random “jodhpur ki galli”.

One of the Jodhpur ki Gallis

BUT, this offered kaushik some awesome opportunities to click some postcard snaps and also practice night photography. These snaps are almost magazine worthy.

Electricity in India


Local Cricket Team

The rickshaws of Rajasthan are huge – with atleast 2 times the leg space of mumbai rickshaws, and they are colourful and decorated. Varun wanted to sit in one and we decided to make a visit to the umed bhavan palace travelling by rick. Now, visitors post 5 p.m. are not allowed through the gates.

Umed Bhavan Palace by night

But we told the watchmen there that we would be having dinner at the palace, so they let us in ! Hehehe. We went in, clicked snaps till the guards shouted at us not to. Happy, we left and went back to the hotel. The blue city was waiting for us tomorrow !!

And another day ends, another sun sets

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trip to Rajasthan - II: A Royal Visit

That's me looking forward to the day !!

Day 2 began on a lazy note with us leaving Diu at 10. We were expecting the drive to be long with bad roads, but luckily the roads were very nice only with some bad patches. We just took about 3 hours and we were at Gir. Varun ensured that this time the hotel search did not take much time & we had a nice big room for 500. But the best part was the sitting area outside our room. It was covered with trees, protected from the sun & offered the perfect ambience for some drinks & hukka. (neither happened though !!!)

After a quick but tasty lunch, we hurried to the lion safari spot where the rides were to begin by 3.

Now there are 2 types of safaris

a. Where you take a private jeep into the jungle for 3 hours. This charges you Rs.900, but the catch is that this goes into the open jungle of area of 1400 sq km and covers only a set path of 20 km or so. So, NO GUARANTEE of seeing the lion
b. Where you go into the jungle in a 25 seater bus. BUT, this bus roams around in an ENCLOSED area of 4 sq. Km. which reportedly has 16 lions in it !! Thus, a
sighting is all but guaranteed.

You don’t require brains to choose between the options !!!

Seated in the bus, with 2 cameras and 2 window seats (Kaushik, legally & Mihir, illegally !!) with Varun ready to jump on any side depending where the lion was sighted, we left.

After random deer & sambars, we made a sighting . . . and what a sighting it was !

We saw a dark maned lion, 2 lionesses & 2 cubs (quite large, though). The lion lived upto its reputation of being a lazy animal (it was sleeping throughout the 10-15 minutes our bus was there. It slept through all whistles, noises we made, roar of the lioness, noise of the bus and yes, an attempted stone throw on it by Varun !!!

Mujhko neend aa rahi hai, sone do !!!

We were super excited and went on a photo shooting spree. Everyone in the bus was falling over each other in order to get a better view.

A prince was lying just in front of my window, say 20 feet away. It looked at us, it sneezed, it yawned.

After the sneeze

Yawnnn !!!

The other prince was walked towards it and played with it for some time. These were unbelievable scenes for all of us !

The playing cubs

Can you see the similarity with dogs here ???

Then the Queen walked towards the kids. And this was a scene straight out of Kaal, just replace the tiger with the lioness. She played around with the kids & sat a few feet away. At this time, Varun bribed the bus driver to go a bit closer to them. Rs. 20 did the trick that a lot of convincing could not do !! And, we were closer. More photos followed. Videos of “the walk” were taken too.

About to get up !!


As a gift to us, the lioness roared for us too, showing her jaws in full glory. And what a scene that was !!


This was turning out to be a once in a lifetime experience for us. Unfortunately, we could capture the King Lion only in his sleeping posture.

On our way back, we were just looking at the photographs, least interested in the remaining part of the safari. It ended soon & we were having the feeling of a “vasool” trip.

Varun actually named the trip the “chill” trip. With no drinks, chilling took a different meaning though. Dinner was sumptuous in pure gujju style – we had bhakri, ghee, jaggery & khichdi among other things. The Menu was the most funny and so it deserved the snap attached here !

Check out the spellings - of everything !!!

Next day did not sound as interesting with a 750 km drive to Abu ahead of us. Let’s see what’s in store ! Keep checking this blog for more !!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Trip to Rajasthan - I

Day – 1 – Life’s a Beach

The trip was to Rajasthan with Diu & Gir added in for good measure. 9 days, 4000 km,3 roadsters – sounds like fun ! So, here goes..

Start Point: Borivali, 12 a.m., 12th Dec, 2009
End Point: Diu, 14:30 p.m., 12th December, 2009
Distance covered: 825 km

We had decided to leave from mumbai at 8 p.m., but extra office workload delayed Mihir & we ended up laving from Borivali only at 12:00 p.m. With Varun having taken leave for 2 days prior to the trip, he was the one at the wheel. Kaushik & Mihir were keeping him company intermittently.

With nice roads & soothing music, our trip began. Mostly uneventful, it was a smooth ride. But, yes, we satisfied our hunger pangs !! We had already had had dinner, but managed to consume 4 aloo parathas, 4 sandwiches, 4 kokis (a type of sindhi paratha, the most heavy snack of all), 30 theplas and a packet of potato chips by afternoon.

A Mountain of SALT

2 things hampered our smooth ride;

a. A major traffic jam comprising hundreds of trucks at Bharuch. Luckily we found some place to off road on the left, and that helped us overtake the trucks quickly. It took us about half an hour to get through the jam, but we easily saved atleast an hour more !

b. Bad Bad roads towards the end of our drive. The last 50 kms (from Mahuva to Diu) were absolutely bad roads – uneven with the top washed off. These 50 kms spoilt our speed because it took us an agonising 2+ hours to cover.

This is where the Fevicol ad originated

And then we reached Diu.

Diu is a small place – you can drive from one end to the other in half an hour tops. Roads are nice and it’s all beach side. The beaches were cleaner than expected and if you discount the crowd there, quite beautiful too !

Places to visit in Diu – Nagoa Beach, Diu Fort and a sea shells museum. The beach is clean, but crowded with rowdy types people mostly ! You may venture on it during late evenings. The fort is nothing too exciting, but yes the seashells museum is worth checking out, it’s quite interesting.

Some views of the Beach

After a long long search (as per Varun, our longest search till now in all the road trips put together), we found a decent, reasonable hotel. Immediately after booking the hotel, we went for lunch (yes, we were still hungry) and at this beach side restaurant called Dub Chick (nope, no chicks there), we ate – ate from 4 p.m. to 8 30 p.m. continuously. Obviously, accompanied by drinks. Post this combined Lunch & dinner, we were too exhausted, drunk and full to do anything else. We just crashed on our beds as soon as we reached out rooms.

Start of the food binge at 4 p.m. - thats me

And yes, we are stil here at 8:30

Yes, how can one forget to mention the newest gadgets we carried – a canon eos 500 D (15 MP camera with a 100 different modes !) and an Acer netbook (a 10” screen, 125 GB hard disk laptop). It’s the age of live updates, isn’t it. And if my blackberry was compatible with the laptop, you would ve read this daily account as and when it happened. Maybe next time !

All in all, it was a lazy day once we reached diu. Just eating & sleeping. Best summed up in this conversation that happened when Mihir woke up in the morning

Mihir: (still half asleep): Kaushik its sunday today na ?

Kaushik: (almost fully asleep): yes, why not(as if it matters)??

Tomorrow was the day when we had an appointment with The King of the Jungle. Watch this space for more !

Some other photographs

Mai nikla gaddi leke

No Smoking !! - My friends-Kaushik & Varun

Phool Aur Kaante

The Beach at night

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