Some Story Telling Session…

25 03 2008

This moment is filled with sheer nostalgia. A chip off the memories at the IMDR personality development classes.. I do wonder at times about the things that haven’t changed, looking back at those days when we did that four princes story telling session and impersonated one of the prince’s exile story with utter glee. What I loved was the beginning of the story, the entire group gathering and the joy of offering the non-material gifts.

That was some day when that sane wise man started his session like this: “Once upon a time, long long ago, just about yesterday, far far away from here, just around the corner was a kingdom a kingdom not too large, not too small and like all kingdoms its boundaries extended to East, West, North and South to the extent of the known world…” And then we went through a racy ride over a kingdom blessed with four princes, each with his own unique skills and two unique gifts from his fairy grand mother, all set to reign the world.

The two gifts for each prince were intriguing too. While one gift fetched success in public, the other gift acted as a mirror in the closed quarters. First Prince got the Book of Knowledge and an Ever Smiling Doll, the Second Prince was gifted the Magic Sword and the Roaring Mouse, while the third prince is left with the Magic Box of Potions and the tear bag and the Fourth Prince had the Magic Cap and the Magic Wand. Faced with a challenge to live a two year exile period out of the comfort zone of his kingdom, each prince marches in the designated direction at a certain age to make his life. There the story was left open and the participants made their own journey impersonating the prince of their choice.

Little did I know at that time that my instinctive choices haven’t changed even after three long years. I am still that rolling stone, the prince of laughter, gifted with magic cap and magic wand.. What felt like fun sounded frivolous at times, yet I guess the beauty of that experience lies in its inherent contradictions. It engaged our creativity while making us introspect and reflect on our choices. It held our interest and spread a lot of cheer while making us ponder over the deeper implications. We all need mirrors at times, to see how we have evolved and how we have changed over the sands of time.





My Convocation!

27 01 2006

I went to Pune on this 21st of Jan. 22nd Jan was our batch convocation at IMDR. The moment Chennai Express reached Pune, every grueling moments of the 23 hour journey was forgotten and I was giggling like an idiot! I never know that I was suffering from such heavy dose of nostalgia! The train journey was quiet enjoyable, thanks to my batch mate who gave me a good company. I went to my old flat at Mini Apartments on Bhandarkar Road. Everything seemed so normal…

I met an old friend there. He became sick without proper food and a lot of tension in life. Well, he is working in sales in the financial sector and guess there lies the reason for his unbalanced life. Financial sector frightens me with a strenuous work life. I just wonder about those poor souls who are facing the heat! I spent the evening with another friend over dinner catching up with the old times. Nothing changed infact!

On Sunday Morning, I had a great time running to the railway station for booking my return tickets.. That was quiet a long walk which rejuvenated my old memories. Infact, I went for walking for about 4 km a day throughout my stay in Pune.  I went for the convocation dressed in the Maroon Sari, a tradition of IMDR. I was feeling curiously strange as the convocation discussion was a little off the track. Surprisingly, I was a little tensed! Ultimately I was called on the podium as I stood first in Lady Students of our batch. I won a cash prize called “Late Shri. S.G.Barve free studentship.” Well, I felt strange that they decided to have a prize for a ladies topper and that ended up to be me of all probabilities! I was happy that the most creative award of the batch went to Reema Sahay. Who else? I can never forget the beauty and simplicity of her poems.

After the convocation, I had a grand lunch with my Mentee. There is a thing called Mentorship in IMDR where one senior takes the charge of one junior in the process of begadofying and guiding. That’s quite a fruitful relationship as it creates the pegs and relationships across the batches. After that hearty lunch, I went to my relatives place. I love their daughter, who is just 6 years old. She is too sweet and pleasant. Infact, I extended my trip in order to spend decent time with her.

My Observations

One thing that echoed common among a lot of my batch mates is disillusionment, as their expectations are no match to the kind of profiles in which they all ended up. I could sense the dilemma and the turmoil. Life has become a struggle in work life with the emerging challenges. The desire to keep the dreams alive is dwindling and life is rolling in pursuit of mundane tasks. Sad, yet true. I felt little lonely in the campus, guess that’s because of the lack of the comfort factor. A lot of things changed, isn’t it? That’s all about my convocation..





A Fresh B-Schooler Attitude…

5 10 2005

In my three months of working life, I have had a lot of fights with my own fresh B-Schooler attitude. When I was in IMDR, I used to make strategic analysis, resolve case studies, making reports and giving presentations. It sure gives a kind of hype as to the future roles. Yet, when I look back, joining a B-School straight out of college has its own disadvantages. People tend to generate their own assumptions without a realistic exposure. The live projects do give a glimpse into the real scenario and they can be shaped in a more better manner.

When I joined TCS, I had a straight 40 days training where I was introduced to the software industry background and the TCS business areas. All I could take away are the life skills classes. The training was not focused or tailor made to suit the kind of roles an MBA is expected to perform. Its like asking too much because there were 200 batch mates and each would be put into different roles which have their own responsibilities and requirements.

I landed up in an in-house R&D project of TCS where I have to plan the marketing of the products designed by my team. Life is quite relaxed in TCS as I don’t have to strain myself and the work pace is quite relaxed. Sometimes, I got all the time in world for myself. I have all the freedom to explore library, or the Internet.. The way I respond to the situations depends on myself and my attitude. Things are done quite differently once I have started working.

One doesn’t need to be a Jack of all Trades. I need to focus on the current job and need to say myself that ” I am going to do the current job better than anyone who has done it earlier”. Competing with oneself always pays. It keeps me in better health and in better pace. The moment I start worrying about the future and the fast track growth (a gift from my fresh B-Schooler attitude), my mental peace is gone down the drain. Life is pretty much simple, I try to do what I like the best. I need to keep that constant urge to better myself alive.

Yet, those Philip Kotler days in IMDR come to my mind. IMDR was an oasis which sheltered me for two years. It was a different world, yet it makes makes me comfortable with myself. May be this self-awareness is one takeaway which I name from IMDR. Now, the journey is on and life rolls on..





Chennai IMDR Alumni Meet..

30 09 2005

Yesterday we had an IMDRite get together at Dhaba Express in Cenotoph Road of Chennai. Thanks to Juniors and thanks to Placement preparations, I could see a lot of IMDRites. It was a small gathering of around 15 people. There were a few who were about 5 to 10 years seniors to us. I really liked their commitment to come after this many years.

The gathering brought back quite a lot of memories.. Sitting under the Bodhi tree, fighting for the computers, gossiping with friends, arguments with Doc, the serene quadrangle and the feeling of Bhupi’s presence. Every moment seems the Best. I am pretty impressed by the feeling of unity among the alumni. Really, its very important to have a sense of identity and IMDR has a unique culture of itself. IMDR makes one simple and down to earth. It made me more introspective and observant. Down the memory lane, I know that IMDR has made a big impact in my life.

For a moment, I wished to be at IMDR.. To silently walk around the campus, to see Bhupi from far (I am a little hesitant to talk to him,as always), to sit on the stairs and to listen to the humming of the birds. It really made me nostalgic. I know its not possible, yet, its great to have good memories, longings and a sense of belongingness. When I was at IMDR, I never thought of the feeling of being an alumni. The corporate life is quite a shift from the sensitive culture of IMDR. Yet, I need to come out of the shadow someday.. To realize myself and to be myself.

Why Robert Frost comes to mind always? May be his poem is very exquisite. It sums up my feelings..

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.





Last day at IMDR as a student..

22 04 2005

Don’t even know what to write. Its one of those days when my mind blanks out and heart feels heavy. There are still a few classmates around in the insti. Today seems like a normal day but I know its not the same. Today is my last day in IMDR as a student and I know that I can never get back to these days again. A phase of my life is ending and I am in a transition period caught in between the aching sweetness of college and the lure of the glorious future.

When I think of the days of IMDR, all I have is memories to fall back to. The days of Hip Hip Hurrays, those playful taunts, running for printouts, those naps in classes, that Time Pass in cases and those group arguments.. All and almost everything will make me miss IMDR more. I will miss all the IMDRites, those familiar faces who are friendly and trustworthy, those steps in quadrangle which seem inviting to spend hours together with pals and lots of Gappa, the Bodhi tree which is the platform for all the gyan sessions.. But then, once an IMDRite, always an IMDRite and memories never die. The feeling of belongingness I have with the IMDR community will always stay afresh in my heart. Life goes on collecting memories and memoirs.. What say?





Chinchni Trip..

13 04 2005

I went to visit the Pravin Chordia’s Chinchni farms as a part of our Science, Techology and Ecology class. Pravin Chordia by sheer grit and dedication has taken up around 200 acres of barren land at Chinchni to turn it around to a fertile soil with the organic farming inspired by the ideas of Shripal Achyut Dabholkar.

The idea here is to do a multi-level farming by incorporating as much varieties of plant species as possible. It helps to enrich the soil, as different kinds of plants give and take different kinds of nutrients. The various levels are planted this way. Fruit trees and immobile plants are surrounded by movable vegetable plants which are further supported by the biomass plants. This creates a bio-diversity, which makes a forest-like ecosystem, thus there is a symbiotic growth of all plants. You can find an odd sunflower, rose, teak, spinach, tomatoes, papaya, mangoes, curry leaves, henna, and just about anything. Diverse needs of the people are also kept in mind, for example, Eucalyptus for bio-mass; or Teak, Sandalwood as cash crops, mangoes for economic returns and fruits to be self-sustaining.

The soil is made fertile by a process in which 9 alternating layers of ordinary soil and biomass are made. The biomass is covered by a soil heap and then diverse varieties of seeds are planted to regenerate the soil. After 21 days one-third of the plants are cut and kept in soil and this process is repeated thrice, which enriches the soil and makes it ready for farming.

The experiment has proven successfully that a 10Gunta or a one-fourth acre plot can support a whole family and also provide them with a decent living. Truly, we undermine the potential of the soil but it is a living soul which is like a mother to the mankind. The use of chemicals over the years has made the soil sterile, which could be enriched again only through Organic Farming, or farming which is compatable with nature. Man should realize that he is a child of the nature not the master. I hope its not too late before it dawns upon him.





Factory Visit to Pravin Masale

9 04 2005

This weekend we went to visit the Pravin Masale factory, which is into a variety of products like turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, chatpata masala, Biryani masala, chaat masala, etc. We saw the processing of base raw materials like turmeric, chilli and coriander. Each spice is processed in a separate division and each has its own set of workers, dressed in the corresponding coloured uniforms, Coriander ones wear green uniforms, Turmeric ones wear yellow and the Chilli ones wear Red.

The raw material is fed into machines and there are several steps where the dusty particles, stones and adulterants are filtered by the machines like pneumatic blowers,shakers, vibraters, sorters etc. Then the clean rawmaterial is roasted and grinded and then sent to packing. The printed flat plastic roll through the machine, making a cylindrical shape along the way, where it is filled by the required spice and sealed after specific intervals using form, fill and seal type of packaging.

And then moved to the quality control section. Here shelf life analysis, raw material testing and grading is done. The parameters for which the testing is done are: moisture content, flavor, ash content etc. The whole visit reminded me of my graduation days, and bought me back memories of our food technology labs..