Slumdog Millionaire

A few days back I watched the most talked about film in recent times Slumdog Millionaire. It is an awesome film, not only because of the fantastic cinematic technicalities and Rahman's sweeping tunes but due to its inherent simplicity. Inspite of being made by a foreigner, it is totally an Indian movie which tells the rags to riches story against a backdrop of struggles in Indian slums, love lost regained etc. Hundreds of films have been made in Bollywood on this theme but Slumdog simply stands out due to its masterpiece execution and innovative storytelling.

Some of my friends were however more cynical. They felt that the movie really maligned India since it only projected the dark underbelly of Mumbai and not the shining part of it. Not everything is bad in Mumbai they reason. My only answer to them is to look out of their train windows when they travel to work. You can literally see both sides of the railway tracks filled with these slums and the scene of answering nature's call in the most unhygenic conditions is extremely common.

I think its time we stopped living in denial. Agreed that India has made rapid strides in the last decade but to think that all its problems are gone is height of foolishness. In fact most of India still are starving from clean drinking water and sanitation facilitites. So much so for India shining.
The problem with Indian middle class (I am taking some liberty here to paint everyone with the same brush) is that they want to live in the small cocoon they have built. They can afford a car,  have a nice dinner as a plush restaurant, go dancing to a nightclub and come home and sleep with the AC on. They want to believe that life has improved for everyone. 

One of the best things in the movie is the way how the Indian energy has been portrayed. Indian people are fascinating in the sense that every day they wake up and muster the enthusiasm to work hard to make their lives a tiny tiny bit better. It is this constant push towards betterment that drives them on. And the director has done a fantastic job to capture it. I just happened to come back from a meeting with a Dutch delegation from Amsterdam and they wanted to interact with the students at ISB. During the interaction, one of them asked an ISB International student from Spain as to what has been his best learning experience at ISB. He said competitiveness and ability to strain yourself and test your limits. He said openly that Europeans in general have become more laid back and it is high time to sit up and take notice at the changing world order. It is important more so today to make yourself saleable and more lucrative for the global labour market. Point right on I felt and the delegation seemed to agree too.

Slumdog Millionaire in spirit is a movie about all Indians. Their aspirations, their struggle, their persistence and the never-say-die attitude. "Jai Ho"......

Here is to wishing Rahman a best of luck for the Oscars for the two songs below


Today I had a dream...It felt so real that I woke up sweating...Yet I know that it could not have been the reality... I do not know how to explain but sometimes minds play such tricks with us.

Anyways the reality is I am sitting in front of my computer staring at an assignment and a presentation I need to give in class. The reality is that we are having the FT15 celebrations lunch and party today on campus. The reality is that I am missing out on 10 marriage invites of family friends and relatives because I am stuck here in Hyderabad. The reality is I am feeling hungry but I dont want to make breakfast for myself. :(

The reality is My dream is to high

FT 15 [ Hats off to MR]

Its official now...We were waiting with anticipation, fearing how the school would do in the Financial Times UK ranking of global B Schools. Last year's rise to 20th was a mammoth achievement in itself and we all basked in its glory for a while. Jury was out on whether we would be able to maintain our position in Top 20 this year. And lo and behold we are 15th this year.

Although not a firm believer of the different rankings, I think they give an indication of where the school stands and how the world views it to an extent. It also helps build the brand considering a school as young as ours.I think the ISB management specially former dean MR Rao deserves a real pat on the back for helping establish the school in the global arena. In spite of the flak he has received for the unfortunate Satyam fiasco, I think this news will make him feel real proud. The alums should also be applauded since their success 3 years out of the school plays a key part in the success in these rankings.

These days it is a tough ask graduating from a B school due to the uncertain economic circumstances. But if ISB continues with the current trend, it will achieve a lot in the year's to come. Here is to ISB. "WE ROCK".

Real good news coming through on the Republic Day. Jai Hind!!!

For the curious, please click on the image below to see the details of the ranking.

Happiness comes from sharing

Good news at last!!!!! Got the job I I am happy :)

Bad News...suffering from what I call withdrawal symptoms...When you have worked through the year so all of a sudden you fill the motivation of doing assignments, attending classes all goneeee...

I went through hell for the last one month and at last there is some ray of hope.Some hope that only bad things do not happen to me. Anyways lot has been said on this topic already. I also realized that to be really happy you need to share the happiness with someone. My parents are happy at last. They went through most of the emotions that I went through as well. They were concerned whether their only son would come out of the state he was in.

I admire my dad...He lost everything in life when he was in his teens..Settling in a new country with money...was one of the scariest stories I have heard. But he fought his life out of it and ensured that he gave me good education and all the things he could not get in life when he was growing up. I guess when you go through things you see life in a different perspective than people who have had a more comfortable one. I can still picture his face with tears in his eyes as he stood on the Hollywood walk of fame last year. He said he got more from life than he ever imagined.

I inherited the fighter in me from my dad and I am proud of that. It has helped me survive odds and come out of it clean. And I hope I can always be the down to earth fun loving guy who likes to look at the world simplistically without bias of money or status. Someone who never forgets his roots and the realities of life....who can love and be happy. Anyways after all this senti talk...let me stop...You all take care and wish me luck with rest of ISB.


Suddenly today I remembered about a movie I saw a long time ago - SEVEN. It was a nice movie, a crime thriller...Anyways thats not the point. The point why I remember it now is that out of the seven cardinal sins mentioned in Christianity
1. Lust
2. Gluttony
3. Greed
4. Sloth
5. Wrath
6. Envy
7. Pride

Greed is what is coming back to haunt us again and again. People keep talking about the developed world, problems of emerging economies and bla bla...One underlying trait that cuts a swath across geographies, cultures, age, sex and religion is GREED. Be it the sub prime crisis or the latest Satyam (the name sounds so ironic now) fiasco. And its not just one person who is responsible. Its the collective greed of millions of individuals.

So as a whole the world suffers on and some poor people will be victims...collateral damage..but thats moves on....

Ahh...well we desperately need a saviour - how I wish for an incarnation of ALMIGHTY(who I hope would not be lured by the attraction of options, futures, derivatives etc) to descend on earth and fix up the mess!!!!!

Once in a lifetime.....

Are we lucky? or Just the people in the wrong time in the wrong place? Well two schools of thought. One set of people believe that the current financial meltdown is a once a lifetime thing never seen since the last depression in the 1930s. That means we are witnessing something really historic and epochal. So we are lucky.....

Or are we? Maybe 20 years down the line, I can fondly look back at time and say yaah...I have seen the historic event unfold in front of my eyes. Lots of learnings, lots of new changes, transformation of businesses etc etc...But right now. Life is a bundle of uncertainty. With less than 3 months left for graduation and the contagion hitting India, the ROI on the ISB MBA looks more and more risky....The morning newspaper makes me depressed each day but today is another "historic" day. Today is the day when the Indian "Enron" story is being scripted. After allegations of corporate governance failure, Satyam chief admits to a 1230 crore rupees fraud of bungled accounting and inflated cash balances. The details are yet to be public but from the looks of it this is going to send shock waves across the Indian industry...All the fundas learnt in class - accounting, frauds, corporate governance, buyout, mergers, acquisitions are just playing out in real in front of our eyes. Again, is that we are lucky to be witnessing it and learning from it?

Well only time will tell....For now just want to leave with a quote from one of our strategy professors "Tough times don't last but tough people do"

Food for thought

The last of the three days of the Term break. Tomorrow morning we start the penultimate term at ISB. Three months and we are done. But its still a long way to go. Need to get a job to feed myself post ISB and the batch needs to be placed well as a whole so that we can enjoy Term 8 to the fullest. However nothing in the present circumstances of economic gloom and doom seems to cheer us up.

I originally had exotic plans for the term break and the first few days of Term 7 but they all came out a cropper. It feels so weird....I don't know.

Last night went out to the old part of Hyderabad with my roomie since his brother and his fiancee have come to visit him in ISB. Charminar looks really nice at night, in fact much better than I had imagined. We went to Lad Bazaar famous for their gaudy churis and fancy pearls. Then walked back to Shadab and had some of the best biriyani ,Sami mutton and Pakistani chicken ever. Although the icecream at Famous Icecream parlour was a let down, nevertheless it settled the curiosity associated with the place since we all had heard such a lot about it. Hyderabad is really one of the best places to satisfy your appetite. So here I am, trying to eat my way to happiness in these times of uncertainty.