A Day in Term 3

7:30 AM: I get out of bed after having snoozed the alarm for the last 30 minutes. My eyes are all red as I slept at 3:30 AM in the morning after completing an assignment.

11:45 AM: Somehow manage to read through 80 pages of case and 30 pages of articles before submitting another online assignment for a different subject.

12:00 PM: Rush to meet ISB official to finalize the plan for a high profile speaker(President and COO of Computer Associates Inc) visit in the evening.

1:00 PM: Walk back home after co-ordinating the activities for the evening.

2:15 - 6:45 PM: Classes and Classes.

6:45 PM: Rush to Deans office to receive the guest speaker and show him around the academic centre

7:00 - 8:00 PM: Introduce speaker and listen to the captivating talk on successful technological mergers.

8:00 - 9:00 PM: Check mails and reply to the important ones.

9:00 - 9:45 PM: Attend a meeting with other professional club presidents

9:45 - 10:00 PM : Somehow gulp down my dinner

10:00 - 11:00 PM : Team meeting for status updates of my club

11:00 - 12:30 PM: Discuss and narrow down list of prospective ELP projects to apply

2:30 AM: Doze off to sleep with the casebook still open while reading another case for the next day's assignment due at 10:00 AM next day.

There is pressure and then there is Term 3. Its an uphill battle and will prove to be a test of my time management skills with all the added responsibility. Lets see. Wish me luck.

Here is a picture from the Computer Associates session that evening

Nagarjunasagar Dam Visit

The end of Term 2 break proved to be much smaller than we thought originally. Most of the 5 day break had to be sacrificed to complete the Compstrat assignment. However yesterday we finally broke free from our shackles and escaped the prison of ISB - destination Nagarjunasagar Dam which is around 200 km from Hyderabad.

The gang that got together for the trip was very nice and with the exception of about three or four of us everyone else was with family and kids. The bus ride of about 4 hours was great fun with chit chats, light humour and pranks. It was a long time since I had an opportunity to watch India up close. I feel that if you have to experience true India you need to travel by road. Although a lot has changed, yet the farther we got from Hyderabad, the large houses and supermarkets gave way to smaller houses to thatched ones. And there were roadside dhabas and nondescript teastalls doing brisk business. We stopped at one of them for breakfast. To my amazement, even the foreigners in our group did not need second invite for the hot puris and some yucky daal. And the best part of it they are all alive and kicking today, a day after this. Talk of health consciousness.

Anyways we reached Nagarjunasagar around 11 AM and the dam was pretty nice. Although the gates were closed, we could imagine the imposing scene when the gates might be open and million cusecs of water gushing down the slope of the dam wall into the riverbed below. An hours boatride took us to an island in the middle of the huge reservoir upstream called Nagarjuna Konda. There is a nice museum where the local archaeological artifacts dating from paleothilic age to buddhist times were on display. We also had lunch in a local restaurant and after a long time had some nice fish fry.

Ettipotala falls was not as pretty as it might look after the rainy season. Yet the vista point, the adjoining park and the cafeteria provided a nice place to hangout. After ages, I rode the swing and the see-saw and felt like kids. I wish I could go back to that age - an age where there were no worries apart from homework after class.

Amidst all this fun and frolic, I felt strange...well somewhat empty. How I wished that the person I love so much was with me. Ahh wishes....Anyways after a nice evening coffe, we headed back for campus, feeling wonderfully refreshed but a bit down as the enjoyable day had come to a close. I stared out of the window of the bus and see the scenery rushing past and I felt that it is the same with me.

Just for the memory, following are a few of the pictures from the trip.

The path to Nirvana

Will we ever fully understand ourselves? I guess not. There are times we feel that we know what we are doing. We feel we are doing everything for a purpose. We feel happy, content and lucky. But I wish that life was that simple. Just when things seem too easy, predictable and obvious something changes and all your ideas, beliefs and the obvious are no more and you look like a fool for having been so naive.

Life these days forces me to make a choice in even the most mundane of things. Should I have breakfast at Goel( the cafeteria here at ISB), have it at home or skip it altogether. Should I spend the extra hour on one subject for a lost cause or spend it on something else where there maybe better return on marks. Should I attend a party or catch up on some precious sleep. Choices choices and more choices. I sometimes so wish that these choices were not there. Our lives would have been so much simple. Anyways even before I came here I had to make difficult choices. Should I change jobs and settle down in the US, should I quit my job or take a leave of absence, should I study at ISB or go for Cambridge...the list is endless. And I made each of those choices, worked through them one at a time...fought with my fears and apprehensions but I believed I made the right choices. Well the only problem with the definition of "right" is that it makes us happy. So when the scenario changes, happiness moves further away and then all those decisions do not seem so right anymore.

Now when this happens what do you do? You feel disoriented, frustrated and helpless...and just wish someone would help you...You stretch your hand out in the hope someone will hold you and guide you out. But it is India where nothing can ever be right and just like the Hindi movies there is no help when you need it. The police always arrives late.

So I resolve to keep fighting. I resolve to wade the shit and come out on the cleaner side where the lawns are picture green, the water is crystal blue and the air is pure and fragrant. Hope that would after all make me Happy. Would it? The personal battle wages and end is not in sight....adios

Zipping through Term 2

It is a story of so near yet so far. Germany came closer to the crown. They came third in the 2006 world cup. In the 2008 euro they came second. But while I felt heartbreak to lose to Italy, I did not have the same feeling to watch them lose to Spain in the final of Euro. Spain played beautiful football throughout the tournament and in the final and totally deserved a title to put their under-achiever ghost to rest. Anyways a fitting finale to a wonderful tournament.

The term is breezing past. I really cannot express how busy days are. So much is hapenning on campus. The clubs have finally got their core teams in place. I had to sit for four hours at a stretch to take interviews of my interested batchmates.And to tell you the truth, I also realized how hard it is to make decisions. I mean ISB is full of superstars and everyone is capable. So to select someone over the other is a challenge in itself. Anyways I finally have my club team in place. And in the very first day, the team performed phenomenally to pull of a perfect session involving some very senior Google officials on campus. I also got to meet a lot of our alums in Google and chatted up about their new lives post ISB and they tried to relive their days in Term 2 through us.

The club activities mean that I end up emailing the whole day. Even now, I have been planning to go to bed for the last 30 minutes and have been replying to mails and getting items checked from my to-do list. My personal life is also taking a hit with my super busy schedule. I wish I had some more time for the people I love. I know they understand but sometimes that is not enough. Anyways thats life at ISB.. My life zipping ahead at galactic speed. Now off to the precious few hours of sleep.