Mia san mia! Und: Mia san Meister! (We are who we are! and we are the champions!)

Okay...I am still here...a couple of months without any blog must have been one of my longest periods of absence. Needless to say there were reasons - work, personal things to take care and all...but anyways I am back to one of my passions and I want to dedicate this post to another of my passion - football and specifically Bayern.

Louis Van Gaal has transformed Bayern this year. The team which was till November last year coming to terms with a new style of football finally has started delivering and on the verge of a historic treble. The league is in the bag with the dutch coach and captain lifting the championship trophy ( also known as the salad plate) to the evening sky at Berlin yesterday. Who would have thought about this last November. Not even me one of their most passionate supporters. Bayern were on the verge of being knocked out of the Champions League after 2 back to back defeats to Bordeaux and were languishing mid table in the Bundesliga 9 points of the leaders.

It all happened that magical night in Turin. Just like the sweet click when the lock is opened by its key, the team clicked into place when in the corner and with a true German legacy delivered a sucker punch to steamroll Juventus in front of their crying fans 4-1, sneaking into the last 16 at their expense. The team had come round the corner. In the next 4 months, the world witnessed the will, determination and improvement of one of the powerhouses of club football. Fiorentina pushed Bayern to the brink but Arjen Robben's wonder goal ensure a place in the quarters against mighty United. Not many gave them a chance against United though, one of the best teams on form after Barcelona this year. And it again came to the second turning point of the season.

Trailing 0-1 at home in Munich, Bayern somehow managed to draw level against United. The prospect of the seemingly impossible task away to United loomed large. And with virtually the last kick of the match, Ivica Olic beats Van de Saar to squeeze out a home win. The ghosts of the 1999 champions league final was finally vanquished and a week later, Bayern completed the task losing to United 3-2 but progressing to semis on away goals. Even Sir Alex Feguson could not keep his calm - Typical Germans he said...what a compliment.

Bayern, in the interim had not lost a single league game, were on top of the Bundesliga standings and went on to annihilate Olympique Lyon in the semis. To be honest to the French champions, they clearly looked a deer in front of the headlights. Playing their first semifinal in the champions league, they clearly looked overawed and below par. And to add insult to injury, Bayern started operating like a well oiled machine, with the territorial dominance theory of Van Gaal reaping rich dividends. Schweinsteiger and Van Bommel revelled in the defensive midfield role to screen the defence and start most of the attacks and Ribery and Robben teased opposition defences at will. However, 3 youngsters deserve special mention -Muller who surprised europe this season with his knack of scoring and his physical superiority. At 20, he is a veteran german international in the making. The other youth products, Holger Badstuber and Diego Contento too showed their prodigious talent in defensive roles they were handed out included important games like champions league semis. So it is, Bayern stand poised in front of history making couple of weeks. Whether the dream treble will be achieved is only a guess, but no doubt this season has made all fans proud. Mia san Mia! Und: Mia san Meister!

Work finally catches up!

This is something I always knew was going to happen and finally it has. Work has become most part of life these days. The time between Sunday evening to Friday evening just moves by in a jiffy and a week is gone. Weekends seem to go past so fast. I look back and it has been 4 months I have been here and it seems like yesterday. I always wanted to work in this role in sales but little did I realize that the role is all about being the eternal hustler. It is really a reflection of life. Just as in life day in day our we are seeking happiness, similarly in work we chase opportunities. And it is illusive as always. And even if you feel you finally got it the feel good is just temporary adn then again it is back to chasing something else. It took some time but now I feel I have started running on this treadmill and the speed is getting faster. But I also feel that the next few years of my life are the most significant in terms of my career. It is a new start, a new role, challenging but rewarding. So I guess I just haveto keep running and hope it will lead me somewhere. Ahh well we will see.

I am also learning to deal with new paradigms. Trying to imbibe how to get job done by others, how to align misplaced agenda of everyone, how to have a never-say-die attitude and how to always think through a problem as if the buck stops at you. Trust me these are not the things they tell you at a B school (not even a premiere one) and there is only one way to learn - the hard way. When I was doing my MBA, we used to live in a fantasy world when all it took was to write a report about the theoritical situations, problems issues and believe that it is really simple. Actually, there is nothing glamorous. Hard work, determination, adaptability and will to succeed are the only eternal qualities needed on the field.

So here it is another of the non-descript weekends and there is nothing better to do than sit in front of my computer thinking what to do next. There is a report that needs to go Monday morning, there are dishes that need to be washed, clothes that need to be ironed and and empty fridge crying for a refill. So its bye for now and I promise to write an interesting post next time if you do bother to check my blog. :)

Portland Trip

I never thought a business trip would be so much fun. I mean starting out I planned my travel in a way that I could be in Portland Thursday and Friday, spend the Friday night meeting up a friend and then head back home. But what I did not realize that catching up with the old friend could be so much fun.

Ever since the evening 6 PM it was just fun and I felt like being back to school again. The Portland State University(PSU) campus is located near downtown Portland and has a distinct European feel to it. Large old style buildings, student residence halls, green lawns, open air cafes, cute streetcars and above all the buzz of a campus. Went around and met a few friends of my friend and soon we were headed to a local pub. Had a pitcher of beer, some thin crust pizza and one of the most amazing french fries I have had. Fast forward and we were in a student dorm on the 8th floor drinking our way to glory while one of my friends made real tasty dinner. But having seen the dorms in US schools now, I can't help appreciate what wonderful facilities we had at ISB. Trust you, this is just no match...The party was nice and happened to strike up an interesting conversation with a guy from Africa ranging from the potential of African markets to some of the common myths associated with African men. ;) Also interesting was watching a group of drunk students playing ball on a 3 lane street in front of the dorm at 2:30 AM in the morning or another group heading out only in their T shirts. Uni days are really all about fun...I wonder if this time, carefree joy ever comes back to our lives again.

Morning woke up late...Had a nice Thai lunch where three of us were made to cry by a "mild" Thai dish and these are guys who are used to hot and spicy food. Then went out to the river front. It was very beautiful and serene watching small fishing boats lazing around and a ferry passing by. Portland is really a very beautiful city..It has the Willamette river flowing through, nice hills lined with juniper and ferns and on a clear day you can see the snow capped peak of Mt Hood on the horizon. As I sit at the Portland airport waiting to catch a flight back to the bay area, I can't help feel bad...It was truly a very nice weekend in a while. I really would love to move to Portland. Let us see what future has in store....

Miss those days

Its been 9 months now but I still miss the days at ISB. With ISB getting into top 12 in the world, mind ran back to the same time lat year when we were on campus....The frenzied cake cutting at the Atrium and the gala party at nite with fireworks... Man those were the days...I was just going through some old photos and videos and remembering the countless hours spent planning events, organizing sessions, studying, solving cases and still fnding the time to bond to create some of the closest friendships...

An internal video we created for ISB Leadership Summit BTC track last year. I miss my club team who had to bear with my requests for time and worked with me through the year inspite of the unbelievable pressure of aspirations of the student body and the academics that go with it.

Additionally, Kudos though to the current batch of 2010 for starting a separate BTC flagship event which was a bigger success...Way to go!!!!