Thursday, November 22, 2007

Those days

It seems just like a breeze,
That touched your face and left,
Days at ISB are like perfume;
The ether goes leaving the effect
Just the other day,
I subscribed to “isb-pgp” yahoo group to find,
Alumni answer questions swirling in my mind
The application and interviews followed,
Some reached salvation, others returned to ground zero.

With bubbling curiosity,
I entered the “Indian School of Business”
Passed the peacock crossing,
Found people of different types looking eager and fresh
The larger-than-life alums, their gyaan, and scares of huge work load
The scare by professor Ramachandran on “Honour Code”
Life started for 420 of us on a roller coaster ride
Our only solace - the counselors stayed nearby.

The strangers on the first day,
Assumed names as days went by…
Sections stuck together, six-member groups huddled
To solve cases - hours started to fly
Submission boxes were
“Suspicious and unwanted objects” lying around,
But authorities wouldn’t register
Any complaints on compassionate ground.
Late night parties were our saviors,
Where we danced/drunk the night away
Endless hours online, networking,
Speaker bhashans with a promise that it will pay

Soon we were throwing our caps in the air
Graduating Class of 2007 and families – ISB became a fair
Jobs sought, dreams made or the promise to fulfill
We were MBAs - What a feeling of thrill!
Now, we are alumni,
With a halo behind our head
Life @ ISB – what a journey we’ve made!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rural Bengal

My work with Airtel took me to rural bengal. Though I've spent my formative years in Bengal, my life was limited to Kolkata, with yearly visits to my grandpa's place in Dushghara (a town in WB, basically a village). My knowledge of village life and conditions were all that I assimilated during those visits...

My project needed me to travel. From Kolkata to Murshidabad's interior and almost inaccessible villages. More than a week on the road on a Tata Indica. I was lucky, the driver didn't declare a bandh against me even as some political groups brought bengal to a standstill. Clocking almost 10-12 hours a day, with a hurried breakfast and no lunch. I think it was a little better than MTV Roadies least, I was not a bike on the bumpy roads.

It was a learning experience. Life in the village is much tougher...made me thank God for being born and brought up in a city. People have more time on their hands...the idea of telecommunication is yet to catch up. Coz, most often it is "word-of-mouth" and face to face.

These guys stay together, and know each a shopkeeper knows his customer much better than a city guy would ever know. People talk and discuss more, with more time on their hands. The need to communicate on the phone arises when one wants to travel, or show the fact that he's better off than the rest of his kind. Certain answers, which I would have never been able to get from a city shopkeeper seemed like obvious knowledge to a small retailer in a village.
Events that would not draw a glance in the city attract crowds in villages :D
The travel helped me know a little more about bengal...a mixture of good and not-so-good memories.

Back in time for Diwali, or Kali Puja as we call it here. My car was stopped "n" number of times on the roads in the villages, as young men blocked the road till they were paid the customary "chanda" for the puja. Being back, I love my life here more than I did when I went there.

Happy Diwali!