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KISS and Tell
How do people perceive an MBA college? Isn't it supposed to be this all encompassing place filled with intellectuals discussing business, the share market, inflation, marketing and all that blah?? (We definitely do all that in varying measure, lest u get the wrong impression! ) But coming to my point, who would have thought that we would be asked to keep things “Simple” (Call it the the KISS-Keep It Simple Stupid-formula) in an MBA college?? I sure did not! But we were asked to do just that in Business Communication class. I was not a big fan of this particular subject when we started our classes and had prepared myself for a boring 20 sessions of BizCom this trimester. I mean, what could someone possibly teach MBA students (who had already cracked CAT/ XAT and had had enough practice with “verbal” questions) about communication now, really? As is the case 9 out of 10 times with me, I formed an opinion a little too early for comfort and stuck doggedly to it for a long time.
As luck would have it, we were given a group writing task in BizCom and I unabashedly told my group that I would take care of it. They needn't worry! After all, one of their team mates was a great writer in the making! Sounds pompous, I know! But writing is my one true love and I have had enough people tell me that I have a way with words. So I went ahead and wrote out a “masterpiece” for our prof. And forgot all about it after that. We received our graded sheets a couple of days later with some feedback. I expected a great score n picked up my sheet to take a look. I (and my team, thanks to me) had scored a measly 2.5 out of 5!!!! Along with the feedback “SKETCHY INTRO AND CONCLUSION! SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION PASSIVE INSTEAD OF ACTIVE, INFORMATION OVERLOAD!” In that moment I actually felt my heart clench! I wasn't “too old/ too cool to care about marks” anymore. With gritted teeth, I tucked the sheet into my bag and cursed the prof a 100 times! Refused to believe her comments and gave myself 100 million reasons why her judgement was downright b******t! (Oh and of course the pompous ass in me went, I have scored 95+ percentile in verbal in my CAT, XAT and GMAT tests. Who is she to tell me that I suck at writing!!)
A few days down the line, I chanced upon the sheet in question and read through it. To my horror I actually found that every comment that she had made was true. It was a carelessly written piece with no sense of coherence or cohesion. I certainly would have torn the author apart had I not written that myself! From that day on, I started paying attention in class, following the prof's advice and modifying my writing style according to the her directions. It was tough; as they say, old habits really do die hard! Even more difficult was the process of swallowing the humble pie that was handed down to me. But I persisted along and I can now see a marked improvement in the way I write. In just a couple of months, I had been shown a better way to write! Wait.. scratch that!! “The prof showed me a better way to write!” In your face, passive sentence construction!!
This little episode made me realize how subtly but surely Loyola Institute of Business Administration and its wonderful faculty have started chipping away my sharp edges and polishing me. I mean, if this place can help me identify and correct flaws in something that I am supposedly very good at in just a couple of months, just imagine how much I will get to learn in 2 years! I can proudly say that LIBA is a grad school worth its weight in gold. Everyone here: students, faculty, management is a true genius in his/ her own way. I just don't think it gets better than this!
P.S: I have started scoring better marks in BizCom assignments P.P.S: I am gonna get back to reading The Economic Times now! (Haaaahhh!!! Yes! I actually subscribe the orange, scary looking paper nowadays. AND I READ IT. Ok, I only do so coz we have quizzes on a few articles that feature in the paper. But all said and done, I.READ.THE.ECONOMIC.TIMES!
If the topic of this post makes u think of a pregnant woman rather than 'Each of the three terms in an academic year' as dictionary.com puts it, you have been watching too many soaps and you need to get a new pastime. Quick Secret: I know coz I thought of the former as soon as I typed out that statement! (Note to Self: When 4-5 hours of free time is all u get in a day, use it to sleep rather than watch One Tree Hill/ Brothers n Sisters for the hundredth time on your comp! And thus end up relating “trimester” to some chick who's preggers in the soap)
Anyway, here it is! The End of a trimester!
In a new city, a new college, a new hostel, in a room that I share with another girl (a rather sweet girl, I must say. Considering my track record of previous roommates, this is a first and I so appreciate it! Please God, let it not get jinxed just coz I said that out loud!!!), pursuing a long overdue dream. Time flies and HOW! It feels like my parents n I just drove down to the land of all sweat n heat yesterday. Its now been 3 months since I moved to Chennai! For someone who said, “I'll go live in Pakistan, but I will never move to THAT city”, this has been an achievement of sorts!
Now, I realize that Chennai isn't one bit bad, it actually has a certain charm to it n I certainly am warming up to it. But I miss my Bangalore, my life out there. I miss my oh-so-blue room, waking up at 10 AM, walking past ravvi gardenn [:P], boarding 356C to goto work, Infosys (i actually do!), my INCREDIBLE friends at work, my bestie (H) n her apartment that I treated like my own, the “shopping” that H n I did, the gossip, the bitching!! And the weather in Bangalore; don't even get me started about the weather in Bangalore! I could cry bucketfuls and write teary poems about how much I miss it! Now, grumbling is not what this blog was supposed to be about. This was supposed to be a celebration of the completion of a trimester in Singaara Chennai. So, here are a few fun things that I did in Chennai the past few days!
N oh, the last pic reminds me, we had the HRC last saturday! That's the HR Conclave at LIBA [not the Hard Rock Cafe, thank u very much ]. It was by far my most tiring day at LIBA and one of the most productive ones as well! As a member of the HR club, I had a bunch of responsibilities assigned to me and it was super fun wearing formal clothes n looking all important for a change! Some of the speakers we had at the conclave were out of this world. The feminist in me could not help but notice that all the women were much better speakers than their male counterparts (Ha!).
The kind of inspiration that you get when you meet such people is beyond compare. And after the event came to a close, all of us went crazy clickin pictures, as is the case generally. Please refer to FB for further proof! It was a great day indeed!
And you know what makes it even cooler? I got to be a part of a conclave. That's a word I only thought Robert Langdon (a character in Dan Brown's novels, for the uninitiated) would get to use n now it's a part of my vocabulary
It is now time to get back to studying. Our end terms are here and it's going to be a grueling time ahead. But after the tests over, I get to go home to Bengaluru, meet my folks [:D], meet H and the infy gang! And that in itself is motivation enough to get through this week
An old blog by one of my seniors at his sarcastic best on the Delhi case.. Worth a read
“I just want to sleep. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too?”
I am proud of being an Indian. I am proud that I spent substantial time of life inBihar. When I was in Delhi it made me proud that my country has a capital with superb metro service and superb eateries. I am proud that NCR boasts of three women being molested or raped everyday in NCR source. And funny thing is, I write the definition of feminism in my GSB (aptly named Government, Society and Business) examination for marks. In this blog you will find a lot of hate posts about women. Now that makes me a true Indian. A guy growing up in booming. India, in his mid twenties, having a distorted image of women. Aah I am so proud to be in that category.
Last time when I wrote a about the Kolkata rape case, it was not out of anger. It was out of shame. Now I am so apathetic about it that I don't feel even shame. Rather I feel pride. Rambling on Facebook, Twitter and Blog is my best way of feeling proud. My pathetic attention deficit syndrome has finally compelled me to change my DP on FB and I have updated it with a pic that clearly depicts that I am not one of 'them'. I am cool. I am different. I am thinking that I am going to buy a T-shirt that says “Real men don't rape'. They blog – I muttered. I know I am writing this to show off to get more likes from girls than boys. I am one of those middle class boys who grew up in a society of suppressed sexuality.
That is why I gawk at girls as a piece of meat with my fellow friends. But let me forget the blame game here and feel the pride. I am a true Indian who sitting in a cozy room in Chennai with constant internet connection, is writing crap on his pirated MS Word. After this I will lit a cigarette, post the blog and go on discussing girls of my college and how they looked today. That is not pathetic. That is true Indian pride talking.
I LOL-ed on the fact that people are writing sorry to Damini. Why say sorry? She deserved it. That's a gift from an Indian to a fellow Indian. She was barely called by her name in media. She is always objectified as the victim. Now that portrayal will surely evoke emotions within us. She was just news and will fade away easily. Busy life, busy people. Busy in raising children, rapists. Few hours ago somebody posted that the 'victim' died. Aah that's a relief. Now I can go back to my hilarious posts on 'December Fool's day' and all Mayan Calendar. We make jokes on 'end of the world'. No one realises that India is already dead.
-Fellow proud self-loathing Indian
[Thinking about the next doomsday joke - the 'in' thing]
P.S. Vande Mataram means I salute to (my) mother. Did you note that India is also a woman?
'Independence Day Article Writing Contest' screamed a mailer from the Student Affairs Committee at LIBA a couple of weeks back! And WHAM, I was hooked. So after a looot of deliberation and some major postponing, I got down to writing an article on a prescribed topic. The results just got out and I dint win!
But a good friend of mine (AM) did, and that is more than a consolation! AM makes me proud in so many ways! A woman-child who can go absolutely nuts doing her trademark Mario Dance one minute and discuss at length about any issue under the sun with as much passion and vigor as fellow bong Arnab Goswami the very next. A woman of words, a passionate Scorpio, a bundle of contradictions, kind, courageous and oh-so-sexy (when she wants to be); she unabashedly stands by her choices and doesn't take orders from anyone! She's one of those people you just cannot stay angry with! She lights up a room with her antics and her insane (read dirty) sense of humor. And she is one of the very very few people that I do not mind losing to. So this post is to congratulate the deliriously crazy and the incredibly wonderful Miss.M!
P.S: Below is my entry to the competition. For memory's sake
“Is India Really Free? – By Archana Rajkumar
Independent, Democratic, Secular, Republican, Tolerant, Hospitable, seeped in Culture are a few terms we all use so proudly to describe our nation. And I believe that no generation other than ours (Gen Y, the millennials, call us what you may) has leveraged all these titles for their true worth post-independence. Honestly, the nation was in doldrums from the late 1940s till the 1980s. The inheritance that our elders passed down to us was Corruption, Bureaucracy, and Unemployment, etc. And yet, the India we see today is a country that stands proud among the top world nations. We have carved a niche for ourselves at the global level and are an economy that is looked upon world-over with interest and caution, a first in India's post-independence period.
So what is it that still makes us question our freedom? Why is it that even after 66 years of being “free” we still find the need to dissect our freedom and justify it? The answer is simple really. We are a nation of contradictions; a nation of diversity – be it cultural, social or economic; from multi-millionaires to citizens who get by with less than Rs.20 per day, from multiple degree holders to those who have never seen the insides of a classroom all their lives, we really are formed by a juxtaposition people of varying kinds. So, naturally the question of us being 'really free' arises.
I feel that like most other things in India, our freedom was till a few years ago very patchy and came with a *conditions apply clause. You were free till you minded your own business; women were free so long as they dint step out of their homes unaccompanied; men were free so long as they dint raise their voice against the atrocities committed against women; people in general were free as long as they learnt to “adjust” to the way our inefficient government and public sector organizations worked. And for 40 odd years after independence, we had actually lived by these norms. But there has been a sea change in our attitudes over the past couple of decades and that is why I say that the Gen Y has truly taken advantage of the various resources our country has to offer and put us on the world map as a country to look out for.
To be fair, this change in attitude is in part due to liberalization and the opening up of our economy to foreign companies in the early 90s. But I take no credit away from our generation that has made maximum use of the opportunities that we have received either. From a country of blissfully ignorant, gullible citizens to people who speak their mind, voice out their opinions and make an effort to do the right thing, we have come a long way indeed!
So yes, India is free today. Because her children are free – in thought and in action. Because we know that the clothes a person wears, the colour of their hair or the colour of their skin do not define who they are, because we don't think that sitting outdoors on a chilly winter night, peacefully protesting for the rights of a nameless girl who was ravaged by a group of monsters is an exercise in futility, because we question everything – from government policies to movies which discriminate against a certain sect of people, because we call a spade a spade even if we know that certain posts on Facebook would result in imprisonment, because we can look beyond our differences in states, languages, religions and castes to unite for a good cause.
And on a personal level, because a 25+ year old like me could one day just decide to quit my job and pursue my dream of management studies, without worrying about getting married and being a “good, family-oriented girl”; something which would have been considered scandalous in my mom's generation is no longer looked upon that way. In addition to being devoted to my family, I am allowed to have a career, to have fun, to make my own decisions and to have a mind of my own!
Finally, as Malcolm X said, “Nobody can give you freedom! If you are a man, you take it”. And by virtue of its citizens becoming more responsible and accountable, India is a free nation – not just on paper, but in spirit. She is experiencing freedom in its truest sense for the first time in years. And things can only get better for her going forward.”
Love is what makes the world go round!
By Arathi Anu
LOVE- this four letter word is more potent than any poison! You accept it or not that's immaterial, it definitely can seep in through all nooks and corners. Love is the fuel of any relationship. It propels the relationship ahead and it's the everlasting fuel which gets replenished with time but is never exhausted. Love is something which touches every chord of our soul. And trust me you can feel that when you totally immerse yourself in it. It's like we have an idea of the ocean's depth but only when we plunge ourselves into it, do we grasp its depth! We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and it's the only end.
Sometimes it so happens that we shy ourselves from love. The reason maybe because of fear of rejection OR we don't wanna accept its love OR we are unsure of its future. But isn't life all about taking a risk- a leap that could reinvent our lives? But afraid of failure and disappointment we often move backward instead of moving ahead. There are no guarantees with love; it does not come with a disclaimer which ensures everything will be bright and happy! It would be imprudent of us to turn our backs for taking the next step. And sometimes it so happens that we do take the first move but what do we get in return-rejection, distress, pain… we might then even regret our decision to even considering falling in love. But why are we expecting something in return?? Love is purely selfless and unconditional. You don't fall for someone because you want him to love you back! And you are not irresistibly drawn towards him because of receiving something in return! You can hope and wish for the same kind of adulation but it's not a mandatory requisite.
Love as they say, just happens. And when it does u just savor the feeling! There are no apt words to describe it. There's no turning back too. There's a saying-To love and to be loved is to feel the love from both the sides. Let's embrace the sunshine of love and bask in its grandeur glory. They say, the best feelings in the world can't be described! And, love is definitely just that! And when in doubt where love will lead, remember this old saying-“Love like a river, will cut a path wherever it goes!”
LPL - LIBA Premier League:
Two years ago, some of the students in LIBA wondered why IPL had to be restricted to cricket alone and if it could be extended to the grounds of LIBA. Thus, the brainchild from that thought was LPL – LIBA Premier League. The second version, which was held this year, included plenty of lively events and activities which were not included in the premier edition. The LPL consists of 8 teams, auctioned out and given to the highest bidder – as in the original version of IPL. As it is there, the teams will choose a female and male star player.
This year's edition of LPL witnessed a total turnover of approximately Rs.2,70,000 from the auctions, with the Chennai Singhams team auctioned at the highest price of Rs.53,000. There was no shortage of fun and entertainment for the three months of LPL, with teams competing with each other on the pretext of events and matches set up as a part of LPL. The events in this season included arm wrestling (male and female), table tennis, carrom, chess, movie making, photography contest, gully cricket, shuttle, collage making, Save-your-island, quiz, group push-ups etc.
LPL 2013 came to a stunning close with the Culturals performance, where the eight participant teams danced, performed and kept the audience spell bound on Oct 12th at the LIBA OAT. This year's title winners were the Kolkata Kingpins team. LPL is a platform where all of one's team management skills and decision making prowess is best tested. LIBA believes that the LPL would help students go beyond the books,and apply their knowledge in real life situations. It is a game of brains and brawn, and LIBA certainly proved that it has got both in this year's play!
The God of All things!
By Archana Rajkumar
One of my earliest memories from childhood is that of Dad, Mum, Grand-mum n my brother (Vish) finishing up their chores for the day in a big hurry on what would otherwise have been a lazy Sunday, finding the most comfortable seats, with food supplies n what not and settling down in front of an ancient Optonica Television. The Event? India Vs –it doesn't matter which team– And that is when I started understanding that Cricket was the one, probably the only thing that my entire family worshiped with a single minded dedication. To the point of being fanatic! Watching my otherwise calm and composed dad show some serious anger when India did badly or cheer his lungs out for every boundary or sixer we scored; mum saying “verrry good” to any Indian bowler every single time he took a wicket; Vish forbidding any of us from moving from our respective seats, spouting crazy facts and figures about both the teams, asking mum every 2 minutes what the current or required run rate was (given that she is the Math genius); grand-mum turning a deep shade of crimson during nail biting finishes, praying to all her Gods to ensure an Indian victory. Having grown up watching all this, what choice did I have really than to turn into a die hard Cricket bhakt?
Cricket, quite simply was the first thing that I truly felt passionate about. I hated it when boys thought that girls couldn't understand Cricket, hated it when they registered surprise when I told them about facts n numbers related to the game (that I learnt from Vish in most cases, if not all ) that they hadn't known, hated that Cricket could be their religion but not mine! But my issues with male chauvinism and the suppression of females in our country is a whole different topic and it would elicit a blog dedicated to itself.
Not digressing from the main objective of this blog, let me get straight to it. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar – more commonly known as 'God'! My childhood hero, the unquestioned king of every Indian Cricket Fan's heart, the man who shouldered the responsibility of fulfilling a billion dreams single-handedly for more than two decades. I've never had it in me to put down in words exactly how I felt about Sachin. Because I firmly believe that no words can do justice to the greatest Cricketer who walked this planet. And yet, here I am, doing just that. The trigger? His pending retirement from all forms of Cricket. Not having looked at a Television for almost 2 months, with a rather questionable internet connection in my hostel where online streaming of matches is an impossibility, my 2 main sources of information are the papers and facebook. While the former is filled with homages to the little master, the latter's servers might just crash given the number of people who are discussing the issue. My wall has been flooded with people who are sad, depressed, downright heart-broken at the news. And then of course there are those crazy 'sons-of-you-know-whos' that think that not liking Sachin is their ticket to being cool, it makes them different, nonconfirmists of sorts, and who are ranting on about how 'fresh young blood can now take his place in the team'. Choosing to follow the 'dog barking at the Sun theory', I refuse to dignify such idiots with a response as a matter of policy.
Coming back to the larger issue, Sachin's retirement! I've tried so hard to turn a deaf ear to it all, because I'm not ready to face it yet, am not ready to say good-bye to the one cricketer who I have adored from the age of 3, at least not like this! I would do it on my own terms, watching and re-watching every single movement he makes on each of his last appearances (t20, one-days and tests) and till I get to do that, I will not join the rest of the world in bidding him goodbye. But that resolve was broken today when someone played a video of the Master batting during our College culturals. Right there, in the middle of the Open Air Theater, standing amidst a couple of hundred other students, my resolve came crashing down. And when a friend turned around and said to me, “dude, they are gonna make me cry by playing his videos!”, the realization slipped in – as sharply as a knife would slip through cheese – this was it! This was the end of Cricket as I know it.
Never again will God walk into the stadium with his trademark swagger in the No.10 jersey, never again will we get to see the most honorable son of our country wear the colors of the Indian cricket team, never again will the country come to a stand-still when he bats, never again will the nation be on tenterhooks when he is batting in the 90s, never again will a single man hold the hearts of a billion people in his hands when he walks in to bat, never again would we see mortal fear in the eyes of opponent bowlers, never again would one man's injury be a cause for every Indian's concern, never again will God descend upon the cricket field, never again! And that thought is enough to break my heart. A thousand times over!
I am so thankful that I was able to watch Sachin Tendulkar play through most of his career. To me, he really was Cricket. And with him gone, I see very little reason to follow the game with as much interest as I did earlier. Like I said, to me, Sachin was cricket. Period! He was the reason I followed the game so closely and was introduced to my idea of a perfect man, my first love and all time favourite, Sourav Ganguly (who again is a topic for atleast 10 other blogs ). For that and so much more, I will always remain grateful to Sachin. And it devastates me to see him go.
But I also am eternally thankful that I was born in the era that he played, that I got to watch him in his prime, watch him make all those records, all those runs, savour and celebrate all of his achievements, celebrate his victories and shed tears at his rare losses. And of course it was nothing short of a dream to see him fulfill his long standing dream of winning the world cup. I feel sorry for all those who could not see him play, feel sorry that I would not sit down on a Sunday and cheer for the man himself with my kids, feel sorry for the generations to come who would only be able to see him in Cricket archives, feel sorry that Cricket no longer holds that much importance to me. Even the recent whopping 360 odd run chase dint enthuse me enough to try and log in to cricinfo.com just to go through the highlights like I otherwise would have.
Sachin's retirement is not just the end of a career, it is the end of Cricket for so many fans like me. The game, truly would never be the same again
Guest lecture on Neuromarketing.
On October 15, 2013 Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai, had a session on neuromarketing by the guest lecturer Mr Sudio Sudarsan who hails from Hault International Business School and is a renewed Strategist, author, and academician.
It was a great learning experience for LIBA students. Sudio's hold on the subject and style of delivery was impressive. He has been doing research in the field and kept the students elude with his experiences and findings.
Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing research which involves neural response of the customers to product stimuli. It involves detailed study of human brain and its reaction in different circumstances. Neuromarketing aims at positioning the brand in consumers mind such that the brand becomes the obvious choice of the customers. The subject also deals with consumers' perception of consumers for different products. Apart from the core product there are many facts that decide the sales of a product.
According to Sudio , it is possible to embed the value of product in the consumers mind by using strategies of neuromarketing. He also shared a video from his research which involved marketing water brands in USA. He created few hypothetical brands with attractive logos and well designed bottles. The bottles were filled with tap water. The same were served to customers in a restaurant and were asked to rate the water according to taste. To our surprise, customers not only praised the water quality but also gave different rating to those bottles based on their content and taste; they also expressed interest to use the same brand in future.
Later it was fun watching their expressions when they were informed that bottles contained water from same tap and had no difference at all. There were many such examples which proved the potential of neuromarketing. Overall it aroused curiosity among students with its effectiveness.
Do we really care for the environment?
Nov 11, 2013
Everywhere around us there are umpteen discussions going on about the environment. Pollution, global warming are some of the words that have become an intrinsic part of our vocabulary. But, do we realize the weight and importance these words have on our lives? How much of us actually know what all these words actually encompass? As students, we are more familiar with these words because 'Environment Education' has become a part of our curriculum. But, are we actually giving it the importance it deserves? Unfortunately, not.
Environment Education has become more of a burden and we hardly even glance through the books as we study. Meanwhile, we keep littering the place around us, use plastic indiscriminately and use resources inefficiently. Where exactly is the learning going? The sole purpose of this subject is to educate us and develop an understanding in us about the environment and the need to conserve it. However, it's far away from achieving this goal.
As for us, I think it's time we wake up and take up the environment challenge. There's absolutely no need of going overboard and doing the so-called 'big' things. The small things are the ones which the environment needs and don't you think it's high time we start doing our bit? It doesn't matter if our peers are not bothered about caring for the environment. If you think you are responsible and there's a way you can do it, then go ahead.
I am not going to give an outline of what we should and what we should not be doing. It will be very lame if I get preachy and jot down points about do's and don'ts. I am sure all of us know what exactly the need of the hour is and how we can do our bit. Let go of preconceived notions about why you should be correcting the damage of what someone else has done. Just do what's supposed to be done.
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