Sunday, October 16, 2011

Powetalk with Praksh Iyer

11.35pm ,15 October 2011

Today is the 2nd day of the flagship event  of our college event Lakshaya. This year there is more addition to it and it is Power talks. Harsha bhogle and Prakash Iyer was invited for the talks.
I have already listened to the speech of both the dignitaries in TIE and Indian Institute of Mountaineering or something like that in words of Mr.Iyer. I was very crazy about the talks and went there 1 hr. before the scheduled time of the event. 

As the event take off, first of all was a speech by our director who announced that Harsha will not be able to make it to our college. The Nitie lawns, where the event was organized was jam packed and it is primarily due to the Harsha Bhogle, who is a successful cricket commentator and columnist in most esteemed sports magazine and newspaper, if he not be a successful commentator today would be a lousy engineer or a bad manager today. Everybody  was shocked and I thought it would be  disappointing for Mr. Iyer. But as he was invited to talk, He begun like that “if you are missing the Harsha, Count me in too.” There was a big round of applause and he seemed to make the presence felt already. He was junior to Harsha in IIM A and both shared some good old memories together. 

In the beginning, the speech was similar to what I had heard already but still listening it live and the author of “The Habit of Winning”, just a steps away was in itself an enthralling and mesmerizing experience. He shared some stories with us which I can think is the best way he can share his pearls of wisdom with us. Suddenly, he said, “Before ending I would like to share …..” It was bit shocking as the time went too quickly, perhaps he made it too engrossing and interesting. He shared his experience and observations from the time  when he was in HUL selling the soap, when he was in Pepsico selling the colas till today when he is the current MD of the Kimberly Clark selling the Kotex and Huggies. 

Questions and Answers session at the end also went quite well. Budding managers asked a lot of questions and he answered them very genuinely. His answers were also quite practical and not ideal. Later, One of our placement Dean in the speech at the very end mentioned perhaps the audiences will not be able to digest the both the talks. And yes, I think he is pretty correct. Like the name of the show, It was much more powerful than I had imagined. After that Signed copies of his book was sold at a discounted price. He was a very down to earth person with excellent sense of humour. He dined at VIP guest house of our college and fortunately, I was present there. Altogether, it was a good feeling with a sense of satisfaction. 

Note: Sharing the tit bits of the speech would not be appropriate as the use of camera/video recording was not advisable during the speech.

Just now, i checked the couple of tweets by Harsha Bhogle. I would like to share them with you.
  • "sorry all you guys at nitie.was really looking forward to meeting you;two drafts of talk ready,all dressed up but pick up car far too late...Tweeted by Harsha Bhogle "
  • "hope you enjoy the session with prakash iyer; he's a lovely man with a wealth of experience and a serious writer............Tweeted by Harsha Bhogle"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tribute to Maestro of Ghazals: Jagjit Singh

Courtesy: Google images
Shaam Se aankh mein name si hai

Aaj phir aapki kami si hai

-By Jagjit Singh for Jagjit Singh as my homage

Jagjit Singh, whom I only saw on televisions and listened on my systems, passed away yesterday. This news was really shocking. As not only we lost a good human being but deprived ourselves from a lot of good music still unsung by this artist. 

As I get most of the taste for music by my mother and brother, I still remember in childhood when my brother brought a cassette of Saher: one of the most spectacular album in which he mesmerize and enchanted people with his blessed voice, I  listened to him first time consciously. Previously, I have listened to his old songs but didn’t know his name or identity. It was after I listened Saher, I explore his more numbers. When I went in college, I explored his complete music. He had sung music for all the moods. In lucknow, I was very passionate about visiting ghazal bars and particularly to listen the ghazals of Jagjit singh and Pankaj Udhas. 

I remember some of his best creations which make you nostalgic and which are evergreen songs. After I heard this bad news, I checked papers and facebook. Almost every passionate ghazal listener had uploaded a message on facebook or tweeted something about him to pay him the homage. The papers are filled with the columns by the people like Khayyam who had worked with him and many others. We have lost a great musician. May his soul rest in peace.
There are some moments which we cherished throughout our life and it was when I thought about those golden moments, I always able to associate song with it. Like when I was in love, I spend my days and nights listening to his number, “Hoshwalon ko khabar”, he sung in the movie Sarfarosh. During some sad days, I remember when my room partner was requesting me to change the song as I was playing his no. “Tere bare mein jab socha nahi tha” continuously for days and nights. I always want to give him the credit for my good results in exams because without his songs, night out had not been possible.

One of the Hotel in lucknow, I didn’t remember exactly his name perhaps it was Deep palace used to play the ghazals of Jagjit singh every day in their bar section. I am talking about 5,6 years back, it was used to be very expensive as we didn't have the money then . But we used to go there, never ate anything, just ordered cheapest drink and have compliments and sit there for long hours. Waiters asked many times but we didn’t have the money to order. Those were the nice days. It was our love for Jagjit Singh that we used to visit that place.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Courtesy: google images

I opted to read this novel as i found it very high in ratings. It was also among top 250 reads of the century. I like this novel but dont know why. Perhaps, i had already made my mind that this book is sort of classic as i have not seemed to enjoyed this book much. But when i watch the movie, it was awesome and quite emotional. I wasn't able to imagine emotions that far.

Let us come back to the topic. As soon as the book begun, the Protagonist woke up as a different creature, most probably, ant. It is not mentioned anywhere but he matches with the features of the creature author talked about. He was the traveling salesperson and was the only earning member in the family. After seeing his this position, family became disturbed about the expenses of the family.  But somehow all the other members, his mother, father and sister begun to work.

It was his sister who fed him and who taken the job to clean his room. She was quite understanding and never entered in the room if he was not hide under the couch or somewhere else. As she knew that if he watched her watching him, it will make him embarrassed, so she always took care. He also heard the family conservations and was hurt deeply once when his father said that they cannot change this big apartment due to him. He thought he can be transferred easily anywhere within box with hole in it. In order to earn the money, the family also let the apartment to be shared by the 3 other persons who upon finding this creature said against it to family members. Listening to all the problems that have been occurring in the family due to him, he decided to kill him. When his family found him dead, the 3 lodgers came and asked what had happened, the father simply asked him to leave the apartment. At this time, family felt relaxed and decided to take off a day from their work to went to a stroll.It was a long time as they cannot leave an apartment alone.

Later they found that this incident had really turned their animated daughter into the more real one and the time has come to look for the suitable groom for her. It was an Happy ending.

How the man turned into the ant overnight is beyond my imaginations but nonetheless it was a fictional novel and i enjoyed it. This novel changed my way i look towards the ants.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Corporate Atyaachaar by Abhay Nagarajan

This book was very easy and light  read but somehow under delivered what was expected from it by reading about the last page or Introduction. However, nonetheless, I would like to appreciate the Abhay Nagarajan for his debut novel. Let me share my observations and experiences about the book.

The story started with the placement time in B-schools and ends with the completion of 1 year journey of the newly recruit MBA guy. It started with very good pace and the scene of the interview was very nice as something similar had happened with me lot of times but gradually, i find it over descriptive and also there was similarity in various chapters as all the chapters consists of the meeting of the newly recruit with the clients. As presently, i am in B-school, i was able to connect myself well but in the end, i found it boring. I was expecting some more stuff like how recession effected their life and what happened when recession was in full boom but that was not covered in the novel. Scratching by the his Boss in his private parts amused you initially but its over description make you irritated.

Besides for those pursuing MBA in finance, it would be a good book and taught you something that finance is more than excel and numbers and how important is networking in this competitive era to get the new business. Also, his boss HBS (Human Ball Scratcher) was describe very autocratic and aggressive, which most of the bosses are and thus it prepare you for joining the corporate world.

This is a short book of 200 pages and will not take more than an evening. I would not say it is a must read but yes for those in B-schools, it would be a good read.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The works of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle: In short

Disclaimer: I am not sure how well i explained these theories. I only present themselves to the best of my understanding and comprehending of the resources. Sources are the novel “The Republic” and Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Courtesy: Google images
Socrates espoused that we possessed the whole knowledge from the time we were born and therefore he adopted the technique of questions to answer some very basic questions. He never revealed the answers. According to him, we did not learn by experience but we recall the things which we already know by our experience. He only advocate the people to ask question from themselves. He show the students how to extract the truth from their inner self. He was known for his art of asking questions and then reach to answer by reasoning. He never write anything about his philosophy and the reason we came to know about his ideas is due to the heavy published work by one of his student, Plato. Socrates was a man of independent ideas and a critic of democracy. He described philosophy as an activity and not theory and thus taught the  philosophical methods like clear thinking to arrive at the truth. He was found guilty for corrupting the minds of the young generation and therefore was impeached and killed by giving the drink containing poison in the prison. Plato  try to help him to escape from the prison but he simply refused as opposing the idea of the jury fall outside his philosophy. 

Courtesy: Google images
Plato published the “The Republic” which is about his dialogues with Socrates and demonstrated the ideas and the ways of Socrates about getting to conclusions by questioning and reasoning. Both were of independent ideas and not satisfied with the current society system and therefore give ideas to change the society. Although it is not clear yet whether Plato really explaining the philosophy of Socrates in “The Republic” or was using him to explain his own ideas. He described democracy as just “charming form of government” and also called it tyranny when Socrates was taken to prison. After absorbing the knowledge from Socrates for about 9 years, he was then forced  to leave the Athens for his good. Then begun his journey which continued for next 12 years. He roam around the world published many of his works. The central feature of his philosophy is his theory of ideas or forms which he continued to derive whole his life. According to him, the physical world we perceive is in continual phase of changes (and these moving images are what we call time) while what is perceived by mind is immutable and eternal. Everything we perceive around us like table, food, light are merely appearances, the true reality is the realm of ideas from which these forms are derived.  Everything, every form such as roundness, beauty, man are like patterns for the particular objects of the world and these particular objects are only imperfect and ever changing copies of these universal ideas. That means beauty is not limited to just objects, it also exists as some universal idea somewhere.With rational use of mind, we can refine our notion of these universal ideas and can apprehend them better. In this way we can approach the ultimate reality. This approach organized itself in hierarchical manner  with the most abstract idea like that of God at the top. His ideas were very much criticized. It was said that they were merely his imagination and of no use or understanding or little to do with real world. His death was quite a mystery.

Courtesy: Google images
Now comes  Aristotle, who was a student of Plato. He had published extensively on many subjects ranging from Maths, science to poetry and politics. He was the one who introduced the logic and reasoning. Later that was formalized to propositional logic. He was of the opinion that knowledge is not present by birth and can be learned with experience against what the Socrates believed.  He also rejected the Plato’s theory of forms and said forms are extrinsic to the objects and cannot exist apart from them while Plato had said that beauty and other properties are universal entities and exists independent of the objects.

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Why Steve Jobs was one in millions?

Yesterday, when I woke up, I heard the bad news that Jobs had died. As the day passed, the eulogies, tributes begun to appear for this great man who change the world. I had never seen such a grief in an online world as yesterday, whether it is Facebook or Twitter. He was ahead of his time.

From my childhood, I was always interested in the conflict between Jobs and Bill gates and watched dozens of documentaries on the subject and that is how I begun to appreciate the Steve jobs. 

He never completed the college nor went into the B-school yet possessed the leadership qualities that very few on this earth possessed. He always believed in himself and was never been a part of flow. He changed the way we works. He is the other name of the innovation. Once when asked in the press conference that, how does it feel to you that Gates is a richest man by selling your ideas (not this directly), he replied, “The goal is not to be the richest person.”He was one of the most motivated person and even when we sometime feel low, we switch to the speech delivered by him at Stanford University where he said, “Don’t be a student who came here to study, Be a person who came here to deliver the speech.” That speech was one of the most fantabulous and motivated speech that I heard in my life. In that speech he shared few stories of his life. He told them the secret of his success: ”Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by the dogma-which is living with the result of other people’s thinking.”

From his numerous stories that were made available by his colleagues, it was apparent he was a man of details and was even concerned about the details of colors, fonts, packaging material and many other things of the products. He is was always the one who creates the benchmark and then the other companies struggled to keep them in the market. His products are one of his kind. We indeed have lot to learn from this personality. Some have compared him with the Edison and the other great inventors. Yesterday, I also saw the tweets like,” the heaven is blessed now”, “he is not dead”, “he will live in our heart”, “he is god” and so on.  Here is my Homage to Jobs- I am proud to be born in your era. Though you have died but you will always be alive in our heart.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nothing Extraordinary...No need to read

Doing nothing important and in fact bored, It was my birthday last night so I just went ruminating the old days and recall my some of the last birthdays. 

2011- I went to marine Drive with my friends Keerti and Shubham in Mumbai.
2010-Last year, I was at NITIE on this day and went to Maharaja in evening to celebrate.
2009- I was with my Brother and Bhabhi and went to Dragon restaurant in Dwarka, Delhi.
2008- I was at my relative’s home in Ghaziabad (one of the rarest day when day went without consuming alcohol on birthday)
2007- I was in final year and the treat was sponsored by Prateek Jain , first time encounter to Vat 69 and 100 pipers.
2006- I was in 3rd year. I didn’t able to recall.
2005- I was in 2nd year. Went to SR bar in evening and FKD on 4th .
2004- 1st year in engineering college. I went to Moti Mahal with my friends in Lucknow. (Didn’t start drinking by that time)
2003- Not able to recall except the fact that I was in school.
Life goes on. Time passes so quickly. In just a flash of second, my whole life is in front of my eyes. We have too little time to waste and hate people. Life is short enjoy it to the fullest. Always live in present.

I am so happy today and at the same time nostalgic. We drink like anything, did the most unusual stuff, live like anything. Perhaps this is life. We discuss a lot about marriage and other useful stuff. Really love the today evening and Kareena and Karina

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Discussion that does make any sense

We were having the discussion in the balcony of our room over a glass of alcohol on the occasion of completion of our exams. We love to have senseless discussions that perhaps matter to none but to us. One such discussion i would like to share with you people as well as i also wanted to remember it.  Discussion was about girls, girlfriends and all such stuff.

X: If you think closely, most of the people who went for higher studies after their engineering from our college are committed.
Y: What does that mean? Is commitment ensures good career? Y felt out of depth
X: Not exactly. But think of some names.
Y: Let us classify the people we know in our college into 2 categories, those who take admission for the sake of admission or without the availability of any other option and another one is those who cracked the exam with flying colors and went into the Best B-schools.
X: Now, consider the 2nd category. SA,Raja, SP,SS, AS,me,C M, PG,  all are in good colleges.
Y: Its great. What an analysis? But tell me one thing what about me? I am single.
He was amazed. He tried to recall some more names and they are all committed
X: But what about then when you are preparing?
Y: I was always single.

We discussed more and more and finally, i was flabbergasted by his analysis. Rest of the discussion is not suitable to write her as it can hurts the sentiments of many or fall outside the levels of decency, i have maintained for my blog.

Let me jump directly to the conclusion of our discussion.

Girlfriends bring some intrinsic motivation. More serious are the levels of relationship, earlier they began to think about their future.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The call of the wild by Jack London

It was one of the different and interesting read. It was a story about the Dog called Buck.
The motivation to read this novel comes when I was watching the movie “Into the wild”, there was a scene when the Hero was reading this novel. I paused the movie to find out the name of the novel. When I went to crossword, it was in the child section. I didn’t purchase it. I thought of ordering it from the Flipkart to earn discount but it skipped out of my mind.  Recently, I found the audio book of this novel. It was terrific. 
Courtesy: Google Images
 It was the story of the metamorphosis of the dog amidst the wild dogs in most dangerous of the nature conditions. He was living the very comfortable life in estate when one day he was sold. He was not used to the life of the outer world. He lost his weight, his health when put in the business of sled where he was required to move the sled. As he was not used to such difficult life, he became very depressed. But gradually, he realized, he learned. He once again comeback . He fought with full strength to regain his supremacy over other dogs. One of the line taken directly from novel was , "He was in full flower at the high tide of his life overspilling with vigil and virility."
The transition was amazingly mesmerizing. During his first night in the forest, he didn’t able to sleep due to cold, then he learned from the other dogs, his peers how to sleep in the snow laden grounds. One can also compare it to our lives. The transition and cultural shocks in human lives are no different. When we leave our home for the first time, we feel depressed, we are haunted by the external environment but gradually, with time, we learn from the outer world and peers the art of survival. 

At one of point of time, I was so engrossed that I forgot that the buck is a dog as the author beautifully brings all the positive and negative emotions like envy, passion, greed, anger in dogs and show that they are not much different  than humans. We are ready to trade them but the dog always shows the faithfulness towards his new master who are emotionally intelligent. 

I like the way author narrated the story and present all the intricacies of the Dog and master relationship.  There are some very beautiful lines like how the buck loves to watch his master, his every move. At last, he was became habitual of living in forest. His experienced and exposure under different masters taught him , eat or be eaten, kill or be killed. He was also very friendly and was accepted by the wolves towards the end of the novel when he became free from any master.This was again a cultural shock to him and he longed very desperately for his last master. But he learned that the life goes on.
If you like to read about nature and jungles, then you will definitely going to love this book.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks to Divenita for giving me this wonderful book and to Blogger for giving me the good friends.

Although it is a thin book having just 70 pages, believe me it is not an easy read. I really struggle with the heavy vocabulary and style and it sometimes happened with me that I have read 2,3 pages without comprehending it but patience is the key. There are 2 essays in novel: Self reliance and prudence. 

Self reliance is about the importance of individual and completely different from Ayn Rand philosophy(which stresses equally on rationalism). It says we should always follow and trust our inner instincts. What so ever is achieved in this world by the people like Newton and many others is just the result of their self belief. The reason we are skeptical about instincts is that others have no other data to compute our orbits than our past data and we hate to disappoint them. What if you contradicts yourself? What if you are misunderstood? Why you care so much about society? Newton, Socrates, Phythagoras etc. all are misunderstood. One of the quotation from the novel is “To be great is to be misunderstood.”There is no point in saying what you don’t believe just because you think what other people will say if I contradict. 

After all, “your life is for yourself and not for the spectacle,” another quotation which I like very much. Another thing he stresses on one can’t be happy if he is not living in the present. Also, Peace is something internal and nothing can bring you peace but yourself. 

Prudence is another essay. He says he love the man who does not have perception. He brings the qualities of nature which we fail to acknowledge. It contains some very powerful quotations and you love to read them again and again. Let me share some which I really understood.
  • Every man is actually weak and apparently strong. To himself, he seems weak: to others, formidable. 
  • Time is always bringing the occasions that discloses their value. 
  • They measure each other esteem by what each has rather by what each is. 
  •  Society never advances. It recedes as fast as on one side as it gains on the other.  
  • You will always find the others who think they know your duty better than you know it. 
 Finally, i 'd  say one should miss this book. One other post Book GiveAway is dedicated to her.

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