Sunday, December 26, 2010

Life mein pehli baar..

Wow! This is so incredible! Life mein sab kuchh ek baar pehli baar hota hai!

Never in my life I had thought about this. In fact, two such things happened.

1. I participated in a quiz and almost won it

2. I played for some official cricket team, practically captained it and took it till semifinals

To start with, I have hard time rattafy things and that’s why I usually suck at quizzes. I remember last year I wanted to dodge this same quiz last year but had to participate since one of the super-bosses was coming and lemme tell you I had a very hard time trying to finish that one gracefully (read- I had a very hard time saving my ass). Not to forget a passing comment (satire) by Boss when I said “Pass” and he called “Timepass”- cant forget that one! That was really embarrassing.

But, not anymore this time. We (Halla Bol) did not have a great start and Desi Cowboys took the lead in initial few rounds. But then there was the buzzer round and it brought us back in the race. By the second last round, the difference reduced to just 40 points (i.e. 2 right answers) and we were the only 2 teams left in the race. Wow! Amazing feeling. Second last round was print advertisements – Buzzer round- 8 questions. Halla Bol got 4 correct, Desi Cowboys 1 correct. Scoreline read Halla Bol 240, Desi Cowboys 220. Final round – Video Advertisements- Buzzer round- 8 questions- Gotta be tight.

If you really don’t want to spoil the fun of reading this post you would want to skip the italics. Don’t tell me I dint warn you.

So, Final round – Video Advertisements- Buzzer round- 8 questions- Gotta be tight. But wait, I don’t want to win this!! I can’t. You’d call me stupid for this but this is true. I was more afraid of winning this one than losing it and WTF I was leading the chart by 20 points with last 8 questions to go. Well, Desi Cowboys you just have to answer 2 questions correctly. It turns out it was not as simple as that. 2 questions gone, no attempts by Cowboys. It has come down to last 6 questions- either they have to get 2 correct or I have to get 3 wrongs. Cant take any chances – I have to take the initiative here. [:P]. Well as stupid as it sounds, all of it is true. Finally people saw 3 wrongs in next 5 questions and the fate was sealed. They say it right when they say, “You write your own fate” [:)].

So After final round- The score read 1. Desi Cowboys -220, 2. Halla Bol – 210, 3.TMK – 70 and we lost by a thin margin or as put best- almost won it.


Very frankly, going and playing cricket for Jammu branch was not based on cricket skills or something but was rather a mandate set by HR people suggesting that BMs and ABMs have to be in the team. While BM was the captain officially, I practically took charge of everything in the field, right from batting and bowling changes to the field placements and game strategy. It was fun. Although I have never been a great batsman or bowler (or fielder for that matter) but it was an amazing feeling to be in charge of it all and I think I did a fairly good job at it.

Well, unlike other teams who had played together during practice matches, we were seeing each other play for the first time in the match itself. As a result, nobody knew other person’s forte and style- be it batting, bowling or fielding. Infact fielding was the most difficult part. It was very important to save those extra runs by putting right people in right places. More so, when there are 2-3 people to hide in the field. In bowling, as it turns out, we had 6 bowlers on card but only 4 of them could bowl well. Batting was not that big an issue with 3 good batsmen and 2 makeshift batsmen, rest there were people like me to pitch in with a few singles if required. Anyways, why it felt more wonderful was because with a totally new team, it was like figuring out strengths and weaknesses of people with every ball. There were instructions for the bowler and fielding changes with every ball but what stood out for me was the way the whole unit stuck together. It felt like heading a true “TEAM” and the experience was totally beyond the scope of any dictionary.

Guess what, we won the first game and entered the semis for the first time ever. We lost in semis but that’s a totally different story. We could have won but there were 4 things we didn’t do right but let’s not bring those out in public here and lets end it at a positive note. J

In life there are some good experiences some bad but some of them are great because you never expected those in your life. Both the experiences mentioned above qualify for that greatness.

BTW I have a memento for both. Thanks HR guys for that.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The week that was

It had been a long time since something really happening happened in my life.. but changes are for good.

I was struggling through the earlier part of the last 6 months while getting into the role while the later part was kind of boring with life getting monotonous but the last week or so was sheer brilliant. Not everything was pretty but that was definitely different.

With so many office related activities happening, I did not have any chance of going on tour so then my first tour was planned on 19th Oct.
Got my tickets booked for Jammu on 18th and the time of flight read 1400 hours in place of the usual time 1125 hours. Called up the airline to confirm the flight timings to which they confirmed 1400 hours. Fine. So the next day I went to the office thinking that I would leave the office by around 1200 hours, before I got a call from airlines at 1150 saying that the flight had already departed and I could either reschedule or claim reimbursement. That was weird!

With one day short against the original plan, I had to realign the objectives of my tour. It was interesting to see how different people perceived the process differently and it was further interesting to resolve their issues. It was wonderful meeting people resolving their issues and it felt like I was doing some real job!

The day I was supposed to fly back to Chandigarh, something similar happened as at the time of arrival. This time they called up to inform about early departure of the flight. 1550 flt was scheduled at 1400 hours this time. I called up to confirm the departure time in the morning and well not a big surprise but they themselves were confused about it. Some said 1400 some 1550 while some said it was to fly at 1500 hours. what a chaos that was!

After that it was time for 2 day Bangalore trip. The flight got delayed by 10 mins and the connecting flight had already departed at Mumbai airport. More than 10 people were flying that flight. Then there was one lady who started making an issue about the whole thing, knowing that the best alternate flight is already booked for us.. talking to her I realised she was a Punjabi pop singer-Dolly Guleria and as she told me later in the flight that she was actually going to Bangalore to perform in Vivek Oberoi's wedding! Moreover her residence is less than 100 meters from my residence.

Then there was this fun of meeting old friends- Day1 was for IIMC guys- met Vivek Chatty and Arvind Barny-no planning and total chaos was theme of the evening- went to 3 restaurants before finally having the dinner.
Day 2 was DA-IICT guys- meeting Abhishek Sharma, Saurabh Nandan (Chhotu) and Anand Agarwal- spent for most of the time waiting for Anand while we decided to just chill and relax till Anand arrives. Also met one of the college senior while roaming around in the mall.
Day 3 was again the same set of people but with a difference- this time the venue was chhotu's place. It was amazing and I hope none from my family reads what happened next! (Stupid of me for writing it and then expecting nobody to read it but anyways). It was a full on daru party with Pizza and peanuts and it got as awesome as one can expect. Definitely the most of alcohol I have ever had in one night.
Lucky for me that I could get up in the morning and could catch the flight in time.

To be Continued..

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kuchh yaadein dhundhli si..

I was browsing through some of the old pics and they served exactly the purpose they are supposed to..
Every image has a story to it.. Kuchh yaadein thi jo dhundhli thi.. kuchh sapne the jo adhoore the.. (Certain blurred memories.. certain incomplete dreams..)
Primarily I was browsing through pics from Denmark visit.. and just going through the Ripley's believe it or not album, I was so touched not because of the pics but for the innumerous memories it brought of the whole Eurotrip and also certain similar incidents from recent past.

1. The dark room pic reminded me of how Avik was terrified and started shouting not to proceed any further and to go back to the entry gate rather. Well i am not boasting that I was not afraid etc etc.. in fact it indeed was pretty scary but nonetheless the way he started shouting, it was indeed an experience! :)
Then further this reminded me of a similar recent incident in Bangalore where it indeed was f**king scary.. went in there with Pooja and forget
about trying to calm her (which I did in case of Avik's incident) I, myself, was so damn scared and those a**h*les kept on increasing the intensity near the exit. Afterwards we tried to make
bakra of Rachit and Shalini but a failed attempt :(

2. It reminded me of the beautiful streams of water in Amsterdam (No connection with the images I saw but that sight was indeed heart touching). On the other hand when I tried recalling other scenic sights, none from Oslo-Bergen or Switzerland came to my mind, although I must admit those were registered as the most beautiful sights to my mind at that time.

3. Third thing I could recall was the incident where Avik slipped on an escalator going up and went up and down rolling on it with the luggage. Avik would not like it but I must tell that was hillarious!

4. was obviously the part which i probably can never forget- The trip to Rovaneimi- all alone! and the Aurora Borealis which looked something like this picture. I so hate myself till date for not having clicked one for myself!

and then it reminded me of how things have turned around in just about a couple of years.. those were the days with no major responsibilities, no pressure (European B-school education was hardly 5% as rigorous as ours in India), with all the free time in the world and extended 3-4 day long weekends.. and NOW!! it is all about handling the current pressure well to minimise the future pressure..6 day a week of office followed by the 7th day of all thinking about the office and the things to get done.. fun element reduced to ZERO and the word vacation even sounds a luxury!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Things do change!

It is funny how everything is gonna change at the same office!
Something of the sort: Kal jo apne the aaj paraye nazar aate hain..

Till yesterday I was working with the Chandigarh branch of ITC and from today onwards I will be an integral part of the Jammu branch. Both the branches sit at the same location and as would be expected, there is always a tussle between the two with regards to the information sharing, the types of discussions, the typical office politics etc. (aptly put as RG- in common B-school lingo).

My interactions in the office were typcially limited to people from Chandigarh branch with timepass discussions with Jammu junta at times. 80% of my time in the office was spent either at Nikhil Mathur's or Abhinav Tiwari's desk but look at it now. I dont really know how much of that is gonna happen now. Now my work would demand me to interact more with Prince Balwaria than anyone else and for other branch related gupshup with RK and Manan. Nikhil / Abhinav, although in the same office, probably gonna be outsiders now, as were Prince/RK/Manan till yesterday.

Doesn't matter if anyone accepts it or not but no one likes to share most of the branch related talks with someone in competing branch and that too when your boss is so particular about that competition and rather benchmark everything against the branch sitting under the same roof!

Enough chit chat.. now back to sleep

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Uncertainty prevails

Now before I write this one, let me start with a disclaimer:
1. Having not written anything in a while, I have been missing the thrill and fun I get from writing so this post is actually an act of that desperation and hence the quality of post might not really match up to the other posts in this blog.
2. The contents of this post are not 100% true and has flavours of fiction to create some interest of readers

Three years back, I knew I wanted to do an MBA. I had no idea why!, except ofcourse the money.
Two years back, I was in first year of MBA but still had no idea why I was doing it. Nevertheless, I had made up my mind that I was not going to take up a finance job.
One year back, I was almost on the verge of passing out of one of the finest B-schools in India but still had clouds of confusion surrounding the decision on my career field. Finance already being out of the scene, it was primarily between Marketing and Consulting and the final decision was left to the fate.
AND Now, almost a year into my job, I still dont know which field I want to be in. You ask me whether I want to be in SALES or not, I dont know. whether the experience in BRANDing would be any different, I still dont know. whether sales or marketing is the right field for me from a long term point of view, I definitely don't know that.

SO does that mean I havent really progressed from the stage I was in three years back? Well not really. There is indeed a difference.
Three years back I dint know anything about management careers. Two years back I had a fair amount of idea of that but dint really know my level of interest in the fields of management. One year back, I knew what I liked and what I dint but had only a theoretical understanding of the actual job profiles for the fields of management studies. And now when I know the exact work that is done in each of the job profiles (from my personal and from other's experience), I dont really know which one of the all would I like to devote a substantial amount of my life doing.

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