Thursday, October 27, 2011

Time flies

Here I am, as the October of 2011 dies, many miles away from the place where it all began, resurrecting my dead blog. I pen my thoughts, with a strange feeling of distant wonder, of the things that were, things that are, and the things that lie ahead.
One of my good friends is tying the knot this week, and it just jolted me into wondering where all these years have gone. It seems just like yesterday that we used to go to learn music together, still young and without a care in the world. It seems scary at times, the way we grow up so fast. Perhaps a little too fast. The last few years have changed me so much, it seems surreal, as if everything is a blur and I'm just hurtling towards an unknown destination, without stopping to enjoy the view.
Finally free of the shackles of studenthood, this side of the world seems to be exciting. I just don't know if I'm using these years to really reach out and do something meaningful. Sure, I'm working and taking on real life responsibility in a different country. But it just feels like .. a bottle waiting to be opened. A cork waiting to be unscrewed. A bubble waiting to burst.

I don't know if I'm making any sense, or whether this is some form of a mid-mid-life (or a quarter life) crisis manifesting itself in the form of an out of the blue post. I just wish time went by slower, so that I could savor the sights along the highway that my life seems to be speeding on.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Organized Chaos #1

RainShadow, my first attempt at bringing about some order in the musical chaos in my head :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Objective Subjectivity

A lot has been said about IIMA's shortlisting criteria this year, for CAT aspirants and applicants. "This system is absolutely unjust."
"What have engineers done to deserve this?"
"Why don't they tell us before hand that they would be having such a system, I would not have applied at all"

You get the drift. There is some merit to these grumblings. In fact, had I given CAT this year as a fresher, and even gone and scored 100 %ile, I would not have made it to the IIM Ahmedabad interview roster.

But then, CAT was never meant as an IIMA-only exam. It opens up a variety of options in the form of admission to so called B-Schools. People crib about the quality of education in India, about the herd mentality, they compare IITs and IIMs to the MITs and Harvards. They complain about the hype surrounding these institutions, the hallowed portals that they have become in the minds of the Indian public without actually deserving it. They complain about the 6 and 7 figure salaries paid out to 'mere engineering graduates'.
And again, a lot of it has merit, and this comes from an insider. But when these questions arise, there also exists a persistent effort from those who care to change, from those who know that these problems will in the end be the cause of our own undoing. And stemming from this, is an outcome that is not aligned with the trend of the past. It is a deviant trajectory, in stern defiance to the well established but often ignored norms of meritocracy.

One such instance is this year's criteria for calling candidates for interviews for admission into IIMA. So you think CAT is a good judgement of one's meritocratic superiority? You say that it is a way to wash away past sins? There is no such thing. For a long time, I have wondered, why do they still have this over dependence on CAT, which is nothing but a mundane and outdated way of knowing the intellectual capability of an individual. By not giving undue weight to CAT alone, but dividing the weights to assess the consistency and persistent motivation of a candidate to excel, IIMA has just gone one step towards testing a candidate on more than just his ability to grind for an exam that tests concepts that should ideally be tested on an above average 10th standard kid.
What do the Ivy League universities across the world have in common with regards to the admission procedure? They choose who they want. They choose their criteria. They choose the overall profile of students they want in their university. Where are all the dissenters? Isn't subjectivity a damnation of meritocracy? Would you not give Gmat, simply because Stanford GSB decides one fine day that they do not want IT Engineers from India this year?
IIM A, by giving differential weightage to the undergraduate disciplines, is merely cognizant of the fact that to scale up to a level where it can be spoken of in the same breadth as the best in the world, there needs to be one extremely important ingredient: Diversity.
So is this at the cost of meritocracy? In India, we have such a mutated version of meritocracy, that any version different from it is deemed to be not worthy of attention. Just ask yourself - If you are an engineer - did you seriously go into engineering because of interest? Rather, ask yourself whether you would have had the sheer guts to even propose to the society to leave engineering for, say, Arts? To those of you who did, how easy was it?
And what is the difference really, between the one who scores 99.01 and the one who scores 99.7 percentile? I have long felt that IIMA would produce much better managers if only they would let loose their extremely strict adherence to CAT percentiles, and give a little weightage to the overall performance of the candidate.
Which is exactly what they have done. The intellectual capacity of the average IIMA call getter would not be substantially different from the previous batches. However, I am pretty confident, it augurs well for the entire post graduate experience, if we are more than just a bunch of engineers following big bucks, much of which, I must add, is overly hyped up.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I had forgotten

how much I loved music. Yesterday was the first music club performance I was not a part of. Why? I had simply faded out of touch with music over the last couple of months. After the insanely awesome IIMB trip, music somehow just slipped out of my life. And I hadn't realised that till yesterday, when it hit me full on.
Right now, I'm extremely guilt ridden, and the reason i'm posting this, when the final PGP1 exams are just round the corner and there's no dearth of stuff I've to do, is that I just realized this morning how empty, how colourless my life has become without music. Over the past week, in the post-placement season lull period, I've been watching movies, going out with people every other day, playing sports, catching up on some sleep, and doing all the other things that had been unthinkable before. Suffices to say, I've been neglecting music, something that has been a part of my life since before I can remember. I do not want this to happen again.
I needed to get this out somehow, and I saw no better way than to post it on a rusty and forgotten blog which no one will probably read again. Suits me. I'm feeling somewhat better now, and I'm off to break my musical hiatus.

Monday, January 4, 2010


There's this strange feeling. Something I've not quite felt before. It seems far away, yet near enough to leave a prickling feeling at the back of my mind. Can't quite pinpoint what or where or why.

It feels horribly like fear.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Its that time of the year again ...

Its christmas time again ! \m/
This has always been my favorite time of the year... everything and everyone around is so ...happy :D
I thought about it today, and discovered that there are many reasons as to why I like christmas time more than any other time of the year:

1.) Its just a purely happy time :D, although other festivals like diwali also are similar in theri happiness quotient
2.) There are festivities all around, everything just becomes so colorful. I like that :D ( again, diwali scores here )
3.) The holidays are neither too short, nor too long. Diwali time, the holiday is generally too short :-/
4.) Even after christmas eve and christmas, the holidays continue for a few more days at least. And theres also the new year which is another happy day. That keeps up my optimism :D
New year is also a happy time, but there's the whole new year ahead, that somehow feels like a monday :| . Diwali, of course, is standalone.
5.) There are no colors or crackers or insanely loud sounds that one usually experiences during Diwali or holi. I like this way better. Of course, the year would be too empty and drab without the diwali and its crackers and colors, but once a year seems to be just perfect.
6.) The whole world celebrates ! I like to imagine people in various countries, celebrating in their own way

there might be some more points, but I'm too happy to think of any more right now :D
There's this carol singing that the institute has organised, and I just came from there... although I'm bang in the middle of term end exams, today's the day when I blissfully enjoy the moment :D

Just felt like posting and spreading some of this happiness that invariably swells up inside me every year during christmas :D
merry christmas and a happy new year to all !

Monday, November 30, 2009

Musical musings

I always associate a particular song with a particular period in my life. I don't do it consciously, it just sort of associates itself with that time, and whenever I hear that music, I'm flooded with memories of that particular period. Memories that are surprisingly rich in detail.
The problem with this is that I can't really subjectively simply enjoy the song from that point. It has a 'tag' etched in it forever, which I can never really disassociate from the song.
On the plus side, I like it when memories come flooding back. Be it good or bad. Good, because it makes me smile, bad because it makes me smile that I somehow got through those times.
One such song is floyd's 'high hopes' , which is exactly what I was listening to right now. It reminded me of my last 2 weeks at BITS.
Even as i type, a new song is getting associated with this time of chillmax life, when the usual assignments and quizzes etc fail to really burden you anymore and in general that's about all there is to academic life right now.

I'm learning the guitar on my own now, though it sucks that I have to make a tremendous effort to actually put it down after a while and get on with some courses that i'd rather not spend any time on.
Its CAT time again, heres wishing all the candidates the best of luck :)
thats all folks!