Friday, February 18, 2011

The End of the World

2012, a movie which talked about the impending end of the world in the year 2012, was a painful movie: to put it mildly. I distinctly remember wondering in the first half that the only good thing about the world coming to an end in 2012 is that the movie will also end. In the second half, I didn’t bother to stay up, even if it meant wasting a first day-last show expensive ticket. But the movie got me thinking: what would I like to do BEFORE 2012, if the world did come to an end? Of course, it was 2009 then, so I had plenty of time. But now it’s 2011, I have been through a lot in the last two years and I also have JUST one year to accomplish/experience everything I want to before I die…

For starters, I would quit my job and work on that book now that things like money and future are no longer in the way…

I would travel to all those places that I had been postponing because I don’t have the time/money. But guess what, I no longer have that time…

Now that I don’t have a job, I would move to Goa for the cheap rent and alcohol, the beach and the peace…

I would have flings with a Brazilian, a celebrity, a sportsperson, (what the hell, I don’t have time, may be I shall have it with Gustavo Kuerten: he is all three rolled into one, provided he is willing to have a fling with me)…

I would meet Silvio Berlusconi, Brad Pitt and Abhishek Bacchan and ask them, “What the hell were you thinking?”

I would get married but wait till the last day to make sure the world IS actually coming to an end…

Oh, and I would DEFNITELY not watch 2012: a waste of a precious three hours when I have only a year ahead of me…

What would you do?

Friday, February 11, 2011

The MBA Arranged Marriage Market Analysis

There are guys who fall in love and live happily ever after…
There are guys who fall in love, break up and never get married again…
There are guys who just sleep around without getting into a relationship…

And the rest of them (the vast majority), turn to their parents, who in turn, gleefully turn to the elaborate ‘arranged marriage’ mechanism…

So, if you are a guy from a premier B school in India, and you ONLY want to marry a MBA girl from a good institute and from your community, what are your realistic chances?

Now, I have appeared for a fair number of interviews, and a lot of them have asked me ridiculous ‘logical’ questions like “How many mobile phones are there in Pune’ or “How many tomatoes are sold in a day in Jaipur” or “How many agarbattis are there in Mumbai?” and similar such market sizing analytical questions, most of which I have goofed up.

But here is one analysis that may be valuable to all you single MBA guys out there:

1.You want to marry a girl from the top 15 B schools in the country.
2.You want to marry someone from your community, i.e. Mallus, Gujjus, Bongs, Marathis, Punjabis, Tams, so on and so forth, who have a fair representation in a B school.
3.You are looking at women from your batch and plus-minus 2 batches. So for instance, if you from 2008 batch, you are open to someone from batches 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Now let us consider this Mr. X from 2007 batch, who is a Mallu. So what is his potential market opportunity?

•Consider an average batch size of 150 students.
•Now let’s be optimistic for Mr. X’s sake, and assume 33% are women. So average number of women in each batch is 50.
•Assume 10% of these women are Mallus. So number of Mallu women in a batch is 5.
•Extending this to 15 colleges, total number of Mallu women for a single year is 15*5=75.
•Further, extending this to ALL the women in the five years (viz. 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010), the total pool of Mallu, MBA women is 75*5= 375.
•But before you smile and think you have plenty of options, here is the spoiler: a majority of these women are married or in various stages of commitment (in a relationship/rokaoed/engaged etc. etc.)
•So let’s now apply weighted average to this total of 375. For someone from 2006 batch, the probability of her being married/committed is 90%. Similarly, for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, let’s assume the probabilities as 80%, 70%, 60% and 50% respectively.
•Now, that reduces your universe of ELIGIBLE Mallu women to: (75*0.1) + (75*0.2) + (75*0.3) + (75*0.4) + (75*0.5) = 112.
•Out of this 112, some may be settled abroad and our Mr.X is not looking to leave his beloved India. So making an allowance of 10%, the pool reduces to 100.
•But good chances are that a significant chunk of these women are sinfully ugly/boring/unmarriageable/annoying. But, again, let’s be kind to Mr.X and assume that proportion to be a lowly 25%. So that now makes the total 75.
•Also, Mr. X is in Bangalore, and he doesn’t want to disrupt his life by moving jobs/cities/houses/bars. So he wants someone who is also from Bangalore or will move there to be with him. Now, since by now, we all know that Mr.X is not exactly god’s gift to women, we assume that no successful, educated, good-looking, eligible woman will throw her life/job/family/friends for him. So we look for women who are also in Bangalore, the probability of which is not more than 10% (given the placement history of MBAs). So that reduces the pool to 8.
•However, Mr. X is also traditional, and he doesn’t want someone who is earning more than him. So assuming a 50% probability of the women earning higher than him, the number now becomes 4.
•But, 50% of them are taller than Mr. X which is also not acceptable to him. Thus, the pool reduced to 2.
•Unfortunately, one of them is a lesbian.

So our talented, educated successful Mr.X has ONLY ONE women out there for him (and that too after being very generous in our assumptions).

So if you thought, finding a girl is a cakewalk, think again!

P.S. Guys don’t freak out… remember, I suck at math and market sizing analysis!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Purani Jeans

I have been seeing my CKB friends a lot these days, willingly or unwillingly. Of course, you don’t have much of a choice when people from different cities just land up at your place at night. At least for old times’ sake, for all those days you shared a room in college, for all those times you confided in each other and for all those annoying study sessions you shared, you just have to let them in, throw some stale food and some dirty clothes that you never wear and hope they leave soon. But of course they don’t. The cab they are supposed to take is also an accomplice it seems. It just refuses to turn up! Whatever you do, don’t book a Meru in Mumbai if you have to catch a flight…

And it was back to college: the same old songs, the daaru, the cribbing sessions: some things never change, even if the circumstances are different. Nothing like old times and old people to bring back the faith, the trust and the happiness. And sometimes, just sometimes, new people also add to it. And new experiences like exploring quaint old places or local festivals help you discover the hidden charms of Mumbai. Of course, we reduced the artistic aspect of the Kala Ghoda Festival to leaching at the scantily dressed crowd or gathering enough data points to discuss at lunchtime at work and show off our ‘acute appreciation for the finer things in life’: a desperate attempt to impress your boss or a colleague for a date…

Finally, Yeh Saali Zindagi is quite a treat. I am not ashamed to declare that I find Chitrangada Singh very attractive.

And what do you know, may be, just may be, zindaagi aint such a bitch after all…

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Confessions of a Listomaniac

My favourite pastime at work when I get bored (which is often) is to make lists (now that I don’t have access to gtalk)… It’s a bad habit I picked up from my dad during the 1996 World Cup, when we would bond over lists like “The Dream Team: The Top 11 Players of 1996 WC” or the “Top 11 batsmen” or “Top 11 bowlers” or… you get the drift. Of course, since then I have moved on to cooler lists, like the top five celebrities I would like to sleep with (has never happened but I have had great pleasure making that list), or the top five books I have read, or the top five places I would like to visit (this year I plan to visit at least one of them) so on and so forth…

Ever since I watched Despicable Me (a welcome relief from the cribbing nagging Jennifer Aniston movies), I have been totally blown away by the funny dialogues. So here is a list of some of the funniest movie dialogues I have come across:

“I live at home with my parents. It’s just temporary… till they die…” – Gamers-The Movie

All I have ever wanted was an honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work.” – Sgt. Bilko

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” – Fight Club

“That sex was the most fun I have ever had without laughing”- Annie Hall

And my favourite:
“The physical appearance of please doesn’t make any difference!” – Despicable Me

(never understood why people use PRETTY please.)

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