Thursday, March 22, 2007

life, liberty, & ...

'pursuit of happyness'

Just finished watching Will Smith and Jaden Smith (Will's son in real life too) starrer 'pursuit of happyness'.... and as mentioned in the American Declaration of Independence - 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness', the movie, based on a true story of Chris Gardner, now a multi-millionaire, just so succinctly reiterates the theme and the message of 'the will to carry on in the pursuit of happiness' - which we all crave for, strive for. Specially stirring emotinally are the moments between the father-son duo and the ones where will Chris Gardner (Will Smith) simply cannot break-down in front of his son. Good Watch.

... to mention another movie that I saw recently, 'Blood Diamond'. Set against the backdrop of civil war and smuggling of conflict diamonds in 1990s in Sierra Leone in Africa, the movie has Leonardo Di Caprio starring as Danny Archer, smuggling diamonds out of the war-torn region. He teams up with a local fisherman, Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) who has suffered in the war in their quest for a rare diamond - albeit for different reasons of their own. Violent, the movie is a gripping tale of greed, exploitation and the price that is put to conflict-diamonds - the price in terms of human lives. Leonardo Di Caprio in one of his best performances ever, plays the character to the core, incorporating the multiple nuances and shades with an excellence.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Let the world change you

'It isn't a tale of heroic feats. It is a glimpse of two lives that ran parallel for a while, with similar hopes and convergent dreams' - Ernesto Che Guevara

The next movie you decide to watch......let 'The Motorcycle Diaries' be the one.

Based on Ernesto Guevara's memoirs - The Motorcycle Diaries, the movie is a true account of a journey undertaken by two friends: Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granado through Latin America in 1952. 5000 miles in 4 months.
These two medical students from Argentina leave on their motorbike to discover the land they live in, the land which they've read about in books. Chasing girls, having fun...soon this expedition of theirs bring them face to face with the real life in South America - the poverty, the oppression of the poor, the injustice...

The film captures the origins of revolutionary spirits within Ernesto quite succinctly, with impeccable acting by all the lead players and amazing directional craft. Music score and some breath-taking natural beauty adds to the charm.

The movie ends at the hints of this transformation - Ernesto symbolically swimming across Amazon to reach the oppressed inmates of the leper colony.

As it stands, Ernesto 'Che' Guevarao went on to adopt Marxism and became a great revolutionary for social justice and upliftment, rising to be an inspirational leader for the masses of the whole of Latin America.

Rightly said,

'Let the world change you.... And you can change the world' - The Motorcycle Diaries

There's always room

So, my strife in being regular on the blog continues. Much has happened since my last post. Term II over. Currently in the midst of term III, trying to grope with corporate finance, operations management and the like... and the mid-term exams hovering around..

Watched this movie yesterday - 'Hotel Rwanda', based on the true account of the 1994 crisis of Rwanda.
An inspirational movie, that just makes you think so many things -
about the human nature, the hatred that 'God only knows why' is sweeping all around, the state of International Politics, the ineffectiveness and helplessness of organizations like UN.
But then, even in this darkest of hour, there are certain souls, who have the courage to take a stand and to serve selflessly with their heart...when there's no hope.

Starring Don Cheadle, as Paul Rusesbagina, the manager of a 4-star hotel in Kagila - the capital of Rwanda, this 2004 movie brings forth the horrifying Tutsi and Hutu clash of 1994 - to which the rest of the world simply shut its eyes out.
Amidst this macro-event, this is the true personal story of Paul and his courageous attempt in saving more than 1200 lives.
Though sad and disturbing, this movie is, on the contrary, about courage, hope and compassion for our fellow beings.... no matter how constrained, how tough the times may be.
As Paul says towards the end - 'There's always room'

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Term(-Inal) Velocity

At this speed, the object ceases to accelerate downwards and falls at constant speed (gravitation equals the drag).
The 6th and the last week of term-I at ISB did just that.
All directed with their terminal velocities towards the final exams. 4 exams in two days, and we hit the finish line.

Term-I : What a whirwind tour it has been. Each of the four subjects were well justified in they being the part of the first term. If I were to put all in unison, they equip you with the basics (alongwith some advanced concepts) to analyze, think structurally, quantify and help you move towards making a right decision when faced with seeming Uncertainties.

Of special mention are the profs we had for this term. Stupendous by all means, at all levels.

Statistical Methods for Making Decisions - Prof. Robert Stine and Prof Richard Waterman made us grasp the importance and application of stats in all walks of life. It was nothing short of an enlightening experience for most of us. The witty, insighful and animated comments both of them made in their lectures, went all the way more in making their lectures fun to attend.

Managerial Economics - Prof. Amit Bubna introduced us to the fundamentals of economics, the ubiquitous MR=MC, Demand=Supply, Elasticity, the various curves.... To build up on these fundamentals, Prof. Rakesh Vohra stepped-in. The Game Theory. His style of teaching has been starkly different from any other I've come across till date. Non-bookish. Non-formulae based. Relying on reasoning and sound logic alone. Amazing. The only caveat here is that 2.5 weeks we had with him was too short a duration and maybe it will take some more time for the knowledge and approach he has shared to sink in and be absorbed.

Financial Accounting for Decision Making -Prof. Mark Finn made us imbibe the concepts at ease. His balanced approach, towards the subject (also reflective of towards life), enumerating examples from the real world to make us actualize the topic effectively and explaining the various 'accounting shenanigans' like the Enron, the Worldcom made us realize the importance of accounting methods and standards all the more.

Marketing Management -Prof. Asim Ansari's half was an easy rider (or to say amiss). It was only when Prog. Jagmohan Raju started with the second half of the course, that we all confronted marketing. The 4P's, 5 C's, 7 M's and their significance. The need and ways to structure and quantify. The marketing fundamentals.

This brings to end Term-I (or the completion of 12.5% MBA). Before Term-2 starts, its time to chill. Catch up with movies, friends, sleep.... Some in-class insighters from Term-1

'World is fundamentally uncertain'

'We humans are genetically programmed to find patterns. The genes that couldn't distinguish between a bush and a-bush-with-a-stealthy-tiger-behind,went into the bush, thinking it was a bush..... and never came back'
[Well, so what remains are, but obviously, the only ones that could distinguish, and hence our pattern-recognizing abilities]

'Real data is dirty'

'I'm a statician. I abandoned the search for truth a long time ago. All I see now is a statistical approximation to reality'

The omnibus 'Laugh Test'

Friday, May 26, 2006

The defining moments

Hold on. I have an arrière pensée o'er here. There are many a interesting moments in classes here at ISB, that one really starts thinking about not missing them. [high cost ssociated with each in terms of content and $$$ adds to that resolve].
Of particular interests are the ones where one learn some real-life funda from those Prof's insightful and worth contemplating one-liners [will cover them in some later post]. Still others are those where a student, intentionally or unintentionally, comes out with a class-participative remark, with it's own stamp of class.

In today's eco class, we had such a 'defining' moment.
Our new eco prof, has an inclination towards asking for difference of opinions and then refuting that with his own reasoning.
There was this game model going on and the example was such that there are two products - Red and Blue and the market consists of Red-Lovers and Blue-Lovers.
Now for a certain scenario, prof asked for some difference of opinion to what he had just said. There was this guy, who raised his a chance to explain.... and guess what was the only reason his gave - 'Love is irrational' :-)

And, for the first time we found Prof to be at loss of words.... he tried hard to come about with some reasoning so that he could refute that...but was clearly at a loss of words...finally admitting - 'Well...I can't counter anything with an opening line like this' :-)
The whole class burst into peals of laughter and was a great moment...!

Well, the way it stands unrefuted, does it mean that love is actually irrational?
One may like to explore the thought further, but for Section-C of the Class of 2007 at ISB, it surely is.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


At ISB, I always carry 2 keys with me - one of the apartment's main door (shared by us 4 quaddies) and the other one of my room. Both the locks being the same make, the keys are identical looking. [unless you strain your eyes to read the actual no. written on them - which is obviously different]

A concept, followed by subsequent recording of observations over last 21 days, and the final NULL Hypothesis test [the one we N(M)ulled over in our stats class] has led me to formulate the following law empirically [with a reasonable amount of acceptable contention :)] -

Among a set of identical looking keys, the one that actually opens the lock, will be the last one among the lot - no matter whichever key you start with.

Reflecting upon it, it turns out to be a corollary to Murphy's Law - adding the count of no-of-corollaries-to-Murhpy's law by 1.

Murphy's Law states: If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way.
The more popular formualtion of the law being - Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Interestingly there are a number of interesting corollaries to this law [Ref. Author Arthur Bloch's compilations]. Examples -

- A slice of buttered bread, when dropped, will always land butter-side down
- If it jams - force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway
- The other line always moves faster

Presenting this law as a life philosophy, it talks about making leeway for the possible flaws in anything to everything that may come across our voyage called 'Life'.

Monday, May 15, 2006

30 days

Fine. As always, I do take my time in settling down at any new place.
Done so. Again.

A month has passed since I landed myself at ISB.And it's been truely transformational to say the least. Life @ ISB, in many a ways, seems, is what I had wanted since a long time.
Lots to do at any point in time. Lots to ponder.
Lots to interact.
Lots to experience. Lots to explore, develop.
Lots to reflect upon.

Well, this does give me my options to exercise. This is what makes me love this place.

The orientation, the pre-terms, the Term-1 with its crew of good profs, the dunkings, the parties, the study-group, the section, the assignments,the quizzes, the CPs, the LDP - sure lot has happened over the past 30 days,with much much more evident in the foresight.

So, what is going to be my take-away from here?
Learnings. A job. Experiences. Realizations. Perspectives. Friendships. Memories.
[Maybe not a whole new me, but a signifacntly enlightened/ enrichened me]

Thursday, April 20, 2006

As I cruise along...

Welcome me to the blogging world!

For a long time I held on to the view that blogging is not for me. It's not that I'm against it, but somehow I was averse to the idea of sitting in front of the system, connected to the net and penning down my thoughts, to let the world read them.

The change in my original viewpoint has been brought about by none other than the blogging world itself. Reading some of the blogs off-late, I've come to realize it to be a whole new world out here - a world where opinions are stated, thoughts are shared, information is exchanged, people are connected - as if a whole new society is evolving.
Being a part of this is surely going to be interesting I believe. So why not give it a shot.

Something about myself, did my graduation in IT and having worked in IT (Telecom & Datacom domains to be precise) for more than 5 years, I have finally joined ISB, Hyderabad for it's 1-yr MBA program, in the class of 2007.
So, a whole new dimension too being added to my life at the moment.

As for the name of the blog, it just came about with my take on life so far - I really take it as if on a cruise, cruising along - sometimes through serene and calm waters....sometimes through some turbulence.... often through the familiar waters/shores... and many a times through un-charted waters...

So, here I am, hoping to be as regular as possible on the blog, as I cruise along...