Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Snapshots from hell, and a few peeks into heaven

So this is my 4th week at scmhrd n so far it’s been a rollercoaster ride!! So here is a look at the highlights- apart from the regular complaints- gym at 6 am, heaps of assignments, presentations, exams, lack of sleep, bad food, dress code, bossing seniors…I can go on and on!!

The Anti Seema Aunty Club: Ok, this is really annoying, but somehow i am a sucker for creativity even if it's not too flattering for me... firstly, my batchmates and faculty make a mess of my name (as expected) n call me Simanti (and not Shimonti), then one resourceful group member decided to change it to Seema Aunty. Now i hv a developed a bad reputation for being a foul mouthed, psychotic, bad tempered girl and they actually gone ahead with an anti-seema aunty club, and the membership is building up fast.
Food or Sleep- take your pick: I have heard a lot of gyaan about Maslow’s pyramid which says that your need are in a hierarchy where the base of the pyramid consists of your physiological needs- food, clothing, sleep… while success and respect come higher up in the order. But I think this college has neglected our physiological needs completely and directly trying to satisfy a higher need! Yesterday, for instance, I was so tired after the morning lecture, I found it hard to keep my eyes open during the MM class even though it was taken by my fav prof, Mr Banerjee! Somehow I escaped without being sent off “to wash my face”, and during lunch break I headed straight to my room to steal an hour’s sleep n gave up my lunch!! So now the trade off is between food and sleep. It seems like MBA cant even satisfy my basic needs, forget about a good lifestyle…

Cake Fund: Almost everyday we seem to be celebrating somebody’s birthday…. N everyday we end up passing around money to the guy who has taken up the responsibility to arrange for the b’day cake…now he has come up with a very innovative idea that we should all contribute Rs 100 to the “cake fund” which will cater to all our b’day needs!! Talk about a business idea… well just in case he manages to flunk his MBA or get chucked out of scmhrd (both options seem very likely to me now) he can always think about developing his business plan…

Bharatnatyam in a track suit: well I always knew I was a Phd in making a fool of myself, but this was one of the best illustrations. We were celebrating a b’day party at our only disc these days (Sweety stores, the extremely profitable retail outlet on campus) and since the cake was delayed, we were amusing ourselves n letting out the artist in us. I was lounging around in a tracksuit so when they dragged me into the middle and started singing a random hindi song, all I could do was a few steps of b’natyam and a couple of typical hindi movie jhatkas- my 15 seconds of ridicule!!!

Sell Anything to Anybody: How do you sell condoms to a girl and sanitary napkins to a guy???? What the hell, you ask yourself? Well if you a part of Scmhrd, these are a few answers you can be ready with! Well my question is simpler- how the hell do you sell anything to anybody??? I have no clue; I can’t even sell myself, let alone a product. I think I need serious help as far as marketing is concerned.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Education kills!!!

If I thought last week was bad, well, I will soon be running out of adjectives within the next few days!!! This week we had our dratted FC exams, and for the first time in my life I actually “finished” a one and a half hour paper in 15 mins… simply bcz I had no idea what to write!!! It’s like I came, I saw and I surrendered. The name of the subject is “Principle of management” and if I manage to score in double digits (out of 50) I would consider myself lucky. My only consolation is most of the classmates seem to be in the same boat as me but there are bound to be a few losers who will score 40 and then make us feel worthless!!!
We have 18 subjects in the first semester, and I can’t even name all of them, let alone know about them. Even some sensible profs (a rare breed) think it’s ridiculous, but since we are in D company we live with it! But one thing I got to admit that most of our faculty, especially the visiting faculty are top notch!! We have 3 IIT-IIM guys, and they really restore some faith in you that our higher education does produce some brilliant people. But my favourite has to be our Marketing professor, and I am not saying this just because he happens to be a Bong… I adore him, not because the way he teaches, not because he is suave and sophisticated, not even because he has a great sense of humour, but because the man is so humble: that is indeed a mark of greatness!!! He has a shining career, but he didn’t even introduce himself or his alma mater and even when we asked him, he just avoided the topic (I had to go online to find out about him). He makes us think simply, and says that he has all the deficiencies of human nature, that he knows nothing, but when he teaches us Kotler, we know what he is made up of! But in class he is very firm in his expectations from us, and his sarcasm can actually make you look down and wish there was a hole through which you could disappear! He is the classic example of the difference between humility and diffidence… you can be humble and yet let your work do the talking and in today’s world when people will promise the moon to get ahead in life and then go back on their word, he is a refreshing change. I have heard some seniors describe him as God; since I am an atheist, I will stay away from that club, but to me, he exemplifies the “Better Man”, and not Robbie Williams (no matter how hot he is)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

J'aime e'eclire (I like to write).. I hope so!!

Je m’appelle Shimonti
It means My Name is Shimonti in French…. Had my first French lecture yesterday. I had never done it before unlike most of the other students, so learning a new language at this ripe old age is a big thrill. And probably after a million years I again got to write (and sing) the ABCD song as well as numbers from 1 to 20…. It was quite an experience. Now we had a choice between French, German, Spanish and Chinese. While only one person (now she has become the most admired person in the batch) dared to take up Chinese, most of the other people like me who had no background in Foreign languages took up Spanish as it was the easiest to scrape through in exams. I still decided to take up French, not for valid reasons like it’s a romantic and beautiful language, or that it’s very widely used, but b’coz I loved my room mate’s reasoning- we all dream of a dream honeymoon in Paris and it is then when our knowledge will come in handy. Or it will be really romantic to propose somebody in French. That ways, he might not understand what I am talking about, and I can always say he misunderstood if he happened to turn me down!!!
We also had a Vedanta session at 7 am. Now the guy who came to lecture was a really good speaker (and really young; you usually don’t subscribe that much wisdom and spirituality to such young people) but somehow most of the speakers fell asleep. Spirituality and Sleep isn’t a very good combination. But he did raise some valid points about life, about ambitions, about happiness, about satisfaction. I know we were all here working ourselves to death for a cushy job and material comforts but at the end of the day, we would be fooling ourselves if we thought it could lead us to peace. Happiness is a matter of choice and I choose to be happy in spite of four hours of sleep, in spite of boring lectures that simply goes way above my head (the other people seem pretty okkk, it must be only me), in spite of the looming foundation exams which I am sure to flunk.
Bon Jour
Right now my French vocab is very limited… will come back with more next week!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Phew- what a week!!!!

If you ask me about my first week at a B-school (specifically SCMHRD), you are likely 2 get the same answer if you ask a juvenile delinquent who is serving his sentence in a prison....
Anyways after the induction on Saturday, we had the Outbound Learning (OBL) on Sunday. We were taken to a place called Lekha Farm and spent the entire day there. We were divided into a few groups and we had games, competitions, activities (including rope climbing) and an interview session where we got to knw each other betr. for the first time, we actually felt we were part of the same planet (all be it a concentration camp) instead of aliens. I was part of a group called Spartans and in spite of most of us being small, we performed really well. This OBL was designed to improve our co-ordination, communication, team skills- i dnt knw whether these objectives were fulfilled, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
The bad things started from Monday. Typically we would wake up at 5:30 am, drag ourselves to the gym, come back to steal a few winks of sleep, get late in the process, fight as to who gets to use the bathroom first, grab some breakfast, rush to attend the 9 am lecture (and more importantly the attendance), bore ourselves to death for 8 hrs- this week, the most frequently used words have been: assignments, presentations, class participation, credits- none of which i particularly like!!! Here they call it a "learning institute" and teachers are there to facilitate learning, and not merely teach. I love the concept, but the implementation is taking a toll on me. Apparently, you have to come prepared for a lecture even BEFORE the topic has been discussed in class. Now I come from a typical graduate college (a great college), where the concept of "preparation" (befor or after) a lecture simply did not exist. I mugged up notes and xeroxes one week before the exams n that was enuf to fetch me a University rank... N suddenly at the ripe old age, I am expected to study!!!
Anyways the highlight of the week was that I bunked our dear old subbu (the director himself) sir's lecture and got caught... well am a bit rusty after a 2 yr break 4m college, but m sure by the end of the semester i will get back my old touch!! got blasted for my "atrocious behaviour", didnt get attendance and have been threatened that I could be called to the Director's office soon... not really looking forward to that. Neither am I lookin forward to next week when we are going 2 have a string of exams and presentations- not a great start, but I'm enjoying the bitter sweet (mostly bitter) experience!!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Induction at SCMHRD

Had my induction on 2nd June, 2007. This was the first time the entire batch was coming together for the first time… I was hoping to meet some nice guys… come on, ever since I stepped into Scmhrd, I was packed off to the girls’ hostel I had spent most of my time either with parents or with girls; now it was getting on my nerves!
Anyways, since we were supposed to wear sarees for the Induction, I decided it was prudent to start getting ready early in the morning, because I never prided on my saree-wearing skills. But it wasn’t too big a deal as my mom was there to all the hard work, not just for me, but for my room mates as well! Sometimes, I think this world can’t get along without my mother, or anybody else’s mother for that matter. I wore the SCMHRD uniform that was handed to us on reporting, and I DID NOT LIKE IT!!!! I looked old and aunty like (no offence to aunties, but am not ready to be one just as yet). What followed for the next eight hours can be described in one word: PAIN!!!!
First of all, all my hopes of getting to know “nice guys” were dashed, as most of us were sitting with parents, and treated each other like aliens from another planet. The ceremony started off on a positive note with a presentation on the symbiosis family- its genesis, its journey through the years and all the colleges under its ambit. It was quite amazing what one man (in this case, Dr S B Mujumdar) can do if he has the vision and of course, the courage. Then there was a speech from Dr Mujumdar himself and I really liked him: simple, soft spoken, humble and with no airs of graces. It was followed by a LONG speech by our chief guest, Jagdish Khattar, the MD of Maruti. Well, I hadn’t heard of him till a year back- my GK used to be pathetic, but a few months before the entrance exams, I mugged up the names of 200 CEOs and Mr Khattar was just one of them. But seeing him in person, was kind of well, exciting! Surprisingly, unlike most chief executives, whatever he spoke, did make a lot of sense (though he wasn’t exactly a great speaker), and I was surprised that I didn’t fall asleep…. Gosh, I must be growing up!
The final speech was by our Director, Mr Subramanium (popularly known as Subbu Sir). He made it amply clear that there is going to no love lost, that he was going to be a major pain and that the chief aim of his life was to inflict as much stress as possible. But thankfully, he didn’t resort to abuses (as he had allegedly done last year), so there weren’t any shocked parents.
My parents left after the induction, and no matter how much I profess to hate them on their face, I was kind of sad as also deeply grateful for so many reasons…
The post lunch session was exclusively for students and we had the best speech delivered by Col Mohan- it was humorous, it was depressing and interspersed with warnings, admonitions and a LONG list of “what not to do at SCMHRD”. We also had a nice session about the Symbiosis Health Centre. The good news is that all of us are insured which means that we can actually get drunk, drive at a fast rate, get injured (within limits), get spoilt in the health centre, miss college and not pay a penny. The bad news is that it only starts after 5th June. So I have to behave myself for the next few days.
Thereafter we had our measurements taken, a photoshoot and were handed over the college T-shirts and tracksuits. Of course, after walking around in high heels and stumbling over the stairs, getting tangled up in the saree, I could barely walk….
But when I spoke to one of the seniors, he unsympathetically dismissed it as “welcome to SCMHRD; your pain begins here”.
Well, our aim, as appropriately articulated by Col Mohan, is to get out of this place as soon as possible with not too many broken bones. 686 more days to go!!! Till then, I am in bad company, the D Company.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

1st day at SCMHRD!!

Well, it was one of the most eagerly awaited days of my life, and now it's past me... my first day at what most people would describe as the central jail of Pune!!
I reached the city yesterday morning and on reporting, I was handed over the welcome brochure, my schedule, a rose and yeah, the much hated saree! After making arrangements for my parents in the guest house I allocated to my new hsotel room- it was a spacious 3 seater, with a bed, a pillow, a table, a cupboard for each of us as well as an attached bathroom... i had stayed in a couple of hostels in Bombay and this is my fifth year of hostel life, and compared to what I was used to, this was HEAVEN!!!
Well first day was pretty chilled out, i showed my parents round the campus, opened the account at SBI, applied for a new mobile connection, got acquainted with my two room mates. In the evening went to Pune city where my mother went berserk for 2 hours as she behaved like a teenaged shopaholic (worse than me, and I am tough competition)
Well, the campus itself was pretty amazing- it was completely self sufficient: from a health centre, a well equiped gym, yoga centre, swimming pool, basketball court, TT board, a general store, cafeteria, juice bar, mess and photocopy centre- there was indeed no need to go out. However in case we felt like some contact with civilisation (come on, we do need to visit a bar, or smoke, or watch timepass movies unlike the highbrow stuff showed in the auditorium, or just get away...) there were college buses in the campus which will take us to the city!
It was kind of a dream come true- I had always wanted the feeling of being on campus: it makes your education complete in diferent aspects and also the experience is enriching... well I guess I will come out from my girlish notions pretty soon, but until then, let me just sit back and enjoy the symbiosis experience!!