Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The wind chimes are today very calm
They wait for the breeze
They are bound in their freedom
The wind chimes want to resound

The book rests today very solemn
It waits for the student
It is bound by its freedom
The book wants to be held and read

The football sits today very uneasy 
It waits for the kid
It is bound in its freedom
The football wants to bounce

Why do we think of freedom as all that we want
When we are actually waiting for our purpose
When are bound by the purpose which defines us
We all want to achieve and accomplish something 

And that makes us free

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pune Bomb Blast... Pray for the departed and the injured

I got a shock when i was about to leave for a party and i saw the news about the blast in Pune. It was a refresher again for the common man in India, to say how we are not secure at all. I have full right to put the blame of this debacle on Shiv Sena also, simply because of the violence they provoked the police were busy patrolling the cinemas than the roads and general establishments. Having said that Me and my Dearest Friend Adolf had a nice chat about this. I thought I would post it in here for every one to see.

Abhilash Menon Blast in German Bakery in Pune, Koregaon Park, near Osho ashram... Pray for the departed and ones in the hospital...
Adolf Dsouza
abhi we do pray but how long this will continue ?r we so weak that we get indulge in films n politics n totally forget about defending our country ?old men and PHD graduates should hv no role in politics n national affaris ... bcoz that blood never boils ...in ancient india such men were called pandits n the king n warriors were always Kshatriyas ...it is we who must take over ... as sometimes war is necessary for peace .... no man can b friends with someone who comes n teases his mother, wife or sister....we must rise as old men will do nothing except talking n more ppl will die ...
Abhilash Menon
I agree that our politicians are thinking only about the stuff that will grab attention of the public for votes and nothing else... if police were not out there patrolling the cinemas they could have looked at other things... Not to say that the police are even more lethargic... (not every police officer i would say)... but security is too much of a precious issue to be sidelined by these incompetent idiots...about the issue of who is governing us. I think currently about 70% of the people sitting on chairs are worthy and are doing their job... but the rest need to be thrown out... Security needs to be increased... intelligence for the security needs to be increased... we need people who are willing to forego bribes for the benefit of India. Having worked in India, I know that everything works with a caveat in the beginning and in the end... and this is really the crux of the issue. There needs to be a drastic change in the nature of peoples behaviour to have these changes....And my dear friend Addie.... Unfortunately... I have no faith that this will happen soon... Not in the near future... not for some time at least... I need a future where i can confidently tell my kids to go play in the park and go to a cinema or go to a simple bakery.... But the time may not be soon... not too soon..

God Bless....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Half way through Michelmas.

One of my closest friends Abhay, reminded me the other day that i hadnt blogged for over a month and that he isnt getting the inside info of what happening at Cambridge. So here i am after a huge gap writing.
The reason that i have not been writing anything has not been that there have not been reasons to write about. On the contrary, i have so many things to write about that i keep losing track of where I should start from. Now that i am half way through the Michelmas (first) term of my course, let me go in reverse order of how things have been unravelling here.

Today i was almost trashed by employees of my Magazine Company, because i was talking to them after i had fired 30% of labour and expected the rest to get the work done without a pay hike. I was given a barrage of questions to which i quiet frankly did not do the worst jobs to be alive. This is what happened in my Organisational Behavior class today. I had 15 minutes to device a strategy to motivate my remainder employees to work extra hours for me without the extra pay. Real life... I think so... The passion that exists in the class to interact and get the answers out of each other was explicit and makes for fantastic class-room experience. The Cambridge Experience.

I was burning the night oil yesterday for a competetive project which my team and i chose to run for, which is purely optional and working with a new team, comprising of friends you know cos you chose them makes for an exciting experience as it may not always be what you expect as rosy a picture that you wanted. You start having arguments and clashes of opinions just because you have no idea where to start or where to end. But in the end you find the right answer cos you have a Brazilian, a Macedonian, an American and an Indian perspective working towards gaining a solution. You have to love this team-work. Just another gem from Cambridge MBA.

If you thought that was a great multi-cutural diverse team, get this my Cambridge venture project has 5 individuals, a Thai Genius who cannot be beaten at numbers, an English Lawyer whose points of views and perspectives are the most unique, a German political scientist whose love for music gave him the chance to change the supply chain industry forever, a Japanese who worked all his life in the biggest business industry there is - China, and an Indian Artist who pretends to be an engineer and loves being part of all these teams. We are the Stealth Eagles who are working on a Marketing project for a local venture company to expand its horizons to markets they dream to be serving in. Bringing in so many nationalities together has not only ensured cultural growth in each individual, but also the sensitivity to each individuals strengths and weakness'. I am sure this will help us make better managers in the future. Possible in a small hanging workspace at the Judge Business School.

Just last week we were visited by two of the world's leading CEO's, Mr. Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo (Nokia) and Mr. Graham Mackay (SABMiller). Two hotshots in one week, I know this is pretty much at par with any other leading MBA school. But which school offers you a chance to have lunch with the CEO of Nokia. Well it happens in Cambridge.

Did i tell you two of my friends actually met face to face with the living legend, Dr. Stephen Hawking. I came to know that the legend lives just 5 minutes from my college. I have no other word than 'Amazing' for this experience.

On the extra-curricular front, i am now part of my college rowing team. Makes me feel very proud as this was one thing that i really wanted to do in Cambridge. There are only a few places that one can experience this beautiful team-sport. I also had a great Cricket nets with some of my Pakistani friends. I tried finding the reasons how they are able to produce world class bowlers at the click of their fingers. Also pondered where is the English cricket team going wrong, when they have some of the best training facilites in the world, whereas countries like, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan produce players from nothing. Enjoyed having tea sitting with Indians and Pakistanis watching the best Cricket ground in Cambridge - Fenners Cricket Ground.

We also managed to teach a French guy the rules of Cricket. Pretty amazing I think.

There have been many more experiences, which i am not able to understand where to start from and where to end at. Hence i leave with a promise that Abhay, will again remind me of writing a blog and i shall write more of my experiences.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Cambridge So Far So .. Excellent ...

After all the jitters and the all the apprehensions that i had taken off from Mumbai to Heathrow enroute to Cambridge to pursue my dream MBA, I have finally managed to land at Cambridge. After a day of solitude and rethinking the decisions i made in the last one year i now can proudly say this my dear friends was one of the best decisions i made ever.

Day 1 - landed at Heathrow early morning 7:30 BST and was expecting to wait at the Central Bus station for some time to catch the 9:40 bus to cambridge. But alas the immigration had other plans for all the students. we waited in the line for immigration for over 4 hours. I guess when i had heard earlier that many of the SEA students have problems conversing in English, i had to see it for myself to believe it. It took many SEA students a long time at the immigration to get thru the conversation and explaining the answers to the questions put forth by the officers. It is a very good thing that normally all univs here have a language program before start of the course. I know one of my friends is benefiting from the same program.

anyways i finally managed to reach the national express terminal and got my tickets ammended for a nominal charge and got on to the bus to express bus to cambridge. The staff at the bus station were helpful and courteous; it felt good. The bus service on time precisely at 1325 and reached cambridge as schduled at 1545. British punctuality at its best. The ride was fantastic with the best sceneries ever. Coming from India i am used to seeing scenic landscapes but the ones here stood out and had a charm of their own. Again loved it. After reached Cambridge Parkside, i had already called for a cab from a pay phone at the airport, and that too was there on time. Finally reached the college and i finally started feeling like a student.

The gentleman at the porters lodge were very courteous and directed me to my room and when i reached my room i was a bit... hhhmmm... sad. i come from mumbai and i am used to sounds all around me. the hustle and bustle of perhaps the busiest city in the world was soulfood for me and now the silence of beautiful cambridge surrounds me and i finally understood what people meant when they said that the silence was deafening. the next day i got my internet running got my college welcome pack and went to the city centre to get my bank documentation completed. The branch manager Steve Linell Atkins was extremely helpful and courteous. Also met Mark and Karen; nice people.

Did a second trip to the market that day to get some groceries and daily supplies. thank goodness that sainsbury is gonna be open till midnight from now on. finally realised that the first thing i need to do the next morning was get a bicycle and well thats what i did. i went to the doctor to get myself registered. went to my school for the first time, met James Barker and and a few other friends i made at the Granta's the earlier night. I then headed off to the cycle shop. I thought of going all the way to mill road which for me would have been over half an hour walk (i am re-learning to walk btw) so i decided against it and went to a cycle shop which i faintly remembered seeing when i first came to Wolfson. My sense of direction thankfully is working fantastic in cambridge and i reached the place without hassles and got myself a good deal on a used cycle. (now i am relearning to ride a cycle).

That evening i went to the Red Bull pub to meet fellow Wolfson mates and the others, but i managed to meet just one wolfson guy (Charles). We wondered if the wolfson guys were sitting someplace else. I found out that they were sitting inside the pub and we a group of around 20-22 were sitting outside and we never met each other. Funny i guess... We had fun at the Red Bull though. Finally although i was enthusiastic to do salsa, all the cycling and walking made me think twice and i decided to hit the sack.

yesterday i attended a seminar on "The globalisation of Bollywood and how it is taking over the West". Personally i think its the other way round and what Mr. Anupam Kher said that its the right time to invest in India, is the correct thing. Its the west inflow into India and the increase in investment rather that India spreading its wings by selling "Bollywood" movies abroad. Its all about the money. Mr. Patrick the COO of Adlabs India, said that its "Business only". So as long as money flow happens either out or in. Trade is good and i guess that is good news all around. we need to think about it globally to find the good part about this business.

Then i finally got my new mobile connection. Got a vodafone number. I have put it up on FB and Gtalk. i raked up a bill of 8800 on my vodafone India number. my wife is gonna kill me.

Last evening we had a granded meet of the MBA students at the Eagle. (the discovery of DNA was announced here btw) i am guess around 45-50 students were there last nite. Many headed off to Hughes Hall and many stood around. it was a fun night. the wolfson guys there decided to meet today afternoon for lunch. Looking forward to that now.

Will keep you all posted on the travails of my Cambridge life. Till then take care guys.

P.S. dont mind the english. I am writing directly without MS Office. its crippled me actually. ;)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Finally the day arrived and i am now unemployed. Even though by choice of being a student i left this work of mine, I am happy that i did at this juncture of time. I would have always wondered what lies outside of this shell of ours, and i now i am out to explore.

Liberty. Thats what they call it in Navy parlance. A short break to yourself, a breather before you start your mission once again. I will embark on a new mission in a months time from today and i need to recharge myself for that.

I would like to send out love to all my friends from work, you have been inspirational and supportive. Thank you for being my first work place buddies.

Till the next time, i see you all working. Tata... Ciao...

and yeah...

See you when i see you... :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Online Admissions Servers Crash, MNS run riot.

The headline today morning in the paper - Online Admissions Servers Crash, MNS run riot.
I am a proponent of increasing IT in general, and when i read about the Online Form filling for junior college admissions, I was very happy and very very afraid. I was happy since it was extremely necessary for such a system, as the old system of slogging it out in the rains to each college was a waste of time and energy, and stress for parents more than kids.

I was afraid of the whole new system because of all the bitter experiences i have had with government agencies handling IT matters. Every time i have had to log on and view my engg admission details or even as menial as to see a new notification on these government run websites, it invariably takes half of my day. Earlier i used to blame it on my dial-up connection, but even with broadband they still remain the same.

So when this headline flashed in the papers today, I was left feeling both the pain of the students, the pain of the few good government men who thought of making this system work. How much do the IT technicians or administrators who wrote the source codes for these admissions network get paid. Do they even know the seriousness of the work they do. Do the officials overseeing them know the mental trauma just one website crash can cause to the thousands of students out there. Believe me you there are many frail parents out there than there are students. Or are the officials still working with the chalta hai (let things be) attitude, which is the bane of Indians in general. We live with a very short memory span and sooner rather than later things will be pushed under the rug. We have to get rid of this attitude.

Hence again when i saw the attack that was done on the Maharastra Knowledge Corporation Limited office, i was sad that again MNS workers have resorted to violence to resolve any matter. But then I thought about the chalta hai attitude, that must prevail within the governing bodies of MKCL. I don't support this violence, but a question arises in my mind that, Is this violence a stick on the knuckles of the MKCL to take things seriously and act more responsibly?
I am glad to see that there is a support structure for students in distress for such things where politics can flex its muscles. Reminds me of the lost ABVP. looks like MNVS is looking to take that mantle away from the shiv sena supported ABVP like the parent MNS is trying for every other thing. Let me stay away from this topic for now.

But surely there was a way that the crash of the admissions site could have been taken care off. I spoke to a few friends of mine working in some of the top IT firms in India. They said that before any such site, even for internal purposes are set live in their firms, there are rigorous tests and overloading done on the servers to ensure that once the site went live, there would be no hiccup. Who holds the MKCL accountable for this small but important failure??? Can anyone answer that.

All i am asking is, 'Will some heads roll at the MKCL to ensure that no such thing happens in the future?'. 'Will the MNVS be held responsible for riot and vandalising?' 'If so will they be duly punished or will the officials sit quiet not to stir the party bosses?'

I am happy that the papers are bring to notice the inadequacies of our education e-governance systems. I am happy there are groups out-there to help students realise their goals, with or without force. I am happy people are raising questions. I am happy that even though with their inadequacies there is still will in the government to bring in e-commerce and e-governance and bring education to the masses. (read about the MKCL here - http://www.mkcl.org/corporate_mmt.htm). I just wish that they had more tangible and plausible and measurable goals stated on their website. If i were to set such goals at my organisation, our division head would roll his eyes and say that you are wasting your and my time, and dismiss the paper from his presence.

Also read about MNVS here - http://mnvsena.org/index.html. They have listed some good work they have done on their website. Loved the part about the work they intend to do for Valentines Day celebrations in Mumbai.

I shall dedicate another blog on another article about how some 'International Schools' who charge people 2 years CTC for admissions and then have tie-ups with 'Private Coaching Classes' to extort even more money. Untill then.

Cheers and Listen to MJ... Let his music live on :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One of my icons left us all today...

I am writing a blog after a few days interval and it is a very sad thing that i write about...
While driving down to work today i heard on the radio, that one of my icons and so to million others has passed away.
Micheal Jackson - Music for the kids of my generation was defined by this one man, every school dance, every party song was an MJ number. Everyone wanted to moonwalk and everyone wanted to squeal in high pitch every now and then while singing. His power was such that even when you talk to a village urchin if he knows english music, the first thing that came to his mind was Micheal Jackson. Today he leaves behind all his fans with memories of his famous rise and fall... A rise so spectacular that gives hope to even the most down-trodden, and a fall to mighty that leaves the most ardent critic in a sombre mood.
Reading through the headlines and eulogies pouring throughout the world, I am compiling some and posting it below. I am left sad by both his demise and the way he left. I only wished he could have sang to some packed houses in London before he bid his final farewell.
Micheal Jackson - We love you ... Owww

Pop icon Quincy Jones, the producer of Jackson record-breaking album ‘Thriller’, said. "For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don`t have the words. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I`ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."

Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy said, "true musical icon whose identifiable voice, innovative dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and sheer star power carried him from childhood to worldwide acclaim".

Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of colour - way before Tiger Woods, way before Oprah Winfrey, way before Barack Obama," said black leader Al Sharpton. "Michael did with music what they did in sport politics and music. No controversy will erase his impact."