Thursday, July 24, 2008

Great Expectations!

So I keep running away… I run and I run, and yet I can never run far away, far enough from myself, my expectations, my fears, my anxieties, my insecurities…

And 2nd year is supposed to be better: we get to choose our subjects, we study only what we want to, what we feel is relevant for realizing our long term career path, what we enjoy learning. Yeah, sounds so easy right? Or so bloody confusing and depressing! I mean look at me, an Economics topper, with work ex in a bank, summers in Deloitte, not too mention a CA dad- am I made for Finance or what? A no-brainer if you ask me. But ask me, damn it!! The thing is I had always wanted to do an MBA, for the first time, it was something I really wanted to do, and not something my parents wanted me to do or my friends were doing. Then, now that I am more than halfway through, honestly I think I have had zilch value addition, I don’t want a glamorous career in corporate finance or investment banking, and worst, even the money isn’t a good enough motivation. With each Finance lecture, each FSA case, and each balance sheet, I get even more disgusted, I cringe till I can’t stand the sight of it. So what is it I want to do? I DON’T KNOW! Or may be I do, but right now, it’s so vague and so obscure that I am too scared to even admit it to myself. So I ask my dad, I run away to Bombay, AGAIN! He rationalizes with me, he makes a balanced argument, he says I am an escapist, he says I am looking for the easy way out, he says I have just opened the door for opportunity and it’s stupid to give up on it without even walking in through the door, he says that it’s a challenge, and the only way to taste success is to overcome the challenge instead of running away from it. And then I feel like a coward, but I defend myself that I am not running away, that I am ready to throw away a safe career, the money, the glamour, all because I am passionate about something- it requires courage! But he is a seasoned parent, he always has counter arguments- like I will regret it later if I give up right now, that it may sound extremely idealistic to sacrifice everything for a passion, but he knows how frustrating it is to have potential and yet be poor, that even writing isn’t as easy as it sounds, that it requires loads of experience, traveling, interactions to write one decent novel, that I can always do it whenever I want… and that was that. I wasn’t convinced, I wasn’t happy, but I was fair enough to concede that he had a point.

And so I am back, back to the campus, to my claustrophobic life, to my close group of my friends, so my safe social circle… But Bombay has a therapeutic effect on me: it represents everything that I don’t have in life and I crave for- freedom, dreams, and a glorious past and the romantic notion of a bright future. It’s back to the good old days: U, me and the sea!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When I got robbed...

The last couple of weeks have been a story of stark contrasts: thrice a week, you will find me struggling miserably in the different Finance lectures, especially FSA where half my energy is consumed in trying to hide from the faculty, so that he doesn’t ask me questions and avoid the obvious humiliation. On the other days I have a blast, eating out, disappearing to Mumbai or hanging out in the cafeteria. These days you will find most of the batch outside the cafeteria, surreptitiously checking out the juniors for a potential Fresher’s date. Now that we are inching closer and closer to THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY which will allegedly establish your coolness quotient, on which depends your social life, basically which decides your future, subtlety has given way to outright leching in broad daylight. The next desperate step is to call a “counseling session” for the juniors and force them on dates with random people. The grand finale is to make the junior go through a round of humiliation in the middle of the campus as we make them sing, dance, recite poems, go down on their knees, gift chocolates, and propose in the most hilariously romantic manner- as they say, it’s all in good spirits and it helps if you are a peg or two down.

I guess I had far too much fun in all these extra-curricular activities and others and was generally feeling very happy with myself. So the fall was inevitable! So on Monday morning, like a good little girl who has a FCQ in the afternoon, I decided it was high time I figured out the syllabus and get a hang of things. So I went to the library, kept my purse on the rack outside and went in, determined to make the most of the few hours I had before the exam. A couple of hours later, when I came out for a coffee break I found that my purse has mysteriously disappeared. First I thought I must have forgotten it somewhere else, then I decided it was one of my sad friends with a sad sense of humour trying to play a prank, then I thought somebody had picked it up by mistake, and finally it struck me that there is a vague possibility that I have been robbed in broad daylight from my very own library. And then I got all panic stricken and appalled. My purse had my driving license, my atm cards, ID cards, library cards, my accessories, fair amount of cash and worst of all, my Ipod. After I had done the usual rounds with the authorities, put up a dozen notices, blocked my cards, been subjected to enough sympathy, unsolicited advice, support and chocolates, I sat for the test and royally screwed it up. Then I did my rounds to the police station and the lawyer for lodging a FIR (I think I am done with my share of shady places and shady people). I was planning to go on a shopping spree with the sale season just kicking off. But slight change of plans: I borrowed money from my room mates to have bhelpuri in the evening! I have instinctively visited the library every hour in some faint hope that the thief has had a change of heart and returned my purse, but so far no luck. Even my friends are observing a “one day mourning period” and so nobody has made fun of me in the last 20 hours: kind of a record!

Update on the robbery:
My bag was found a couple of days later in the D hostel, sans the cash, atm cards and sniff sniff, my beloved Ipod :( only consolation, my driving license and ID card and room keys were returned so it saved me further trips to the shady lawyer and the ploice station. But today my room mate's bag was again stoeln from the library. Thankfully she had enough brains to carry all the valuables with her. but nevertheless her pen drive and our room keys have been taken. So we are really worried, that whoever this desperate thief may actually pay a visit to our room. Don't know whether it's a personal vendetta against our room or just an indiscriminant act of deliberate and shameless theft, it's kind of disgusting and I feel extremely vulnerable and insecure in my own backyard.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Moving On...

Corpcom has given me something that nothing else ever had: SATISFACTION! For the past one year, I have done a lot of donkey work, formatting, copy pasting but I also had enough opportunity to be creative, to be free and I made full use of the so-called, “creative license”, i.e. I got to abuse people and be appreciated for that. Unlike most committees, this one is more of a self-motivated one: either you have it or you don’t, there is no two ways about it. No amount of jazzed up presentations, no amount of hard selling, no amount of luring can make you passionate about writing or designing. If you like doing it as a hobby, if you like doing it for yourself, you do it for college too. We are never in the spotlight, we don’t have funds, we don’t have computers or even a room, and we definitely don’t have too many exemptions for bunking lectures. But like I said, this is not the best way to pitch to 20-something juniors, awestruck by flash presentations and the glamour attached to certain other teams. We are the poorer cousins, the black sheep of the family, and yet, we offer the best in terms of quality work. The juniors run the show here with very little interference and lots of responsibility.

Last year, our seniors had a torrid time finding four new people and they picked most of us from different committees. So this year when we had as many as thirty five people applying, we were pleasantly surprised. We even had the luxury to conduct two rounds of interviews along with a written test. Man, we have come a long way!! I have attended a lot of interviews during my MBA entrance exams, and to put it mildly, it hadn’t been a very good experience. But for the first time, I was on the other side, and for the first time, the grass was definitely greener… for three nights we ripped apart the juniors, questioning and cross questioning, making them sing, making them dance on the table and draw and sell stuff: all of it spontaneously without much time to think. I don’t think I would have ever cracked such intense stress interviews. But these guys were good. I thought I wrote decently, but when I read some of the stuff they submitted in a short span of time, I was put firmly in my place… so after three sleepless nights, I am satisfied! We are ready to hand over the baton and sit back; no more editorials forced down our throats, no more boring GLs, no more 11th hour presentations… man, I am going to miss all of it!
But hey, having fun at the expense of juniors seems promising, if the interviews are anything to go by…