Monday, October 17, 2005

Leopold CST Marine Drive Thane

There was a party this weekend. The party was big - 15 of my colleagues turned up. We went to a place called Leopold in Colaba. They make some of the best cocktails in Mumbai. The atmosphere there was awesome & some of the foreigners there esp. people of African origin danced in such abandon, and also with such grace, that we simply had to watch. After the party we were of course too late. So when we reached the CST station, the last train for Thane (the place I stay in) had already left. Some people left by taxis and autos to their homes. But I made a decision to stay back & leave by the morning train. Some of my friends also living in Thane decided to stay back too.

We stayed in the CST station for some time. The whole of the station had this sleepy feeling around it. We saw all the people sleeping on the platform and the waiting area. We saw many policemen (don’t know what they were there for) lazing around in different places. We saw the main station area that at any point of time had at least 100 people on it had become a vast empty space. We saw all those shops that were usually bustling with activity with shutters down. We had difficulty locating a chai wala (tea salesman – I always have trouble translating stuff. The translation gives a completely different feel to it). What we found was the tea container with the salesman missing. After making some appropriate noises the dude dozing nearby who was listening to a walkman got up. He gave us the two mini or rather micro glasses of tea and charged us 6 bucks for it. My friend in his inebriated state started to protest. I had to make him quite. We then stayed there for a while steadying ourselves & taking stock of what we had in store for the night ahead. It was then decided that we go to Marine drive.

Now Mumbai beaches and sea is nothing compared to Vizag, but it still has some life in it. We sat lazily on the small wall along the footpath, chatting, just looking at the vast expanse of the sea & the Mumbai night lights. It brought back memories from Vizag. The lights were especially captivating. I am not very good at describing the beauty I feel, so let me stop here. Soon it was morning - we came back to the station & left for home.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Journey vs Destination

So what did I do this Dushera. Well, since there was nothing planned, and Pune is one place close to Mumbai, and since I had still not been around Pune, it was Pune for this Dushera. So me, and two other engineering college buddies living here went along to Pune. The expressway between Mumbai & Pune is a welcome change from the potholed excuse that the Mumbai roads have become. One of my friends has a brand new Indica. He also has music system with a 12' lcd tv installed in the car. So while he was busy driving and checking the car’s mileage on the highway, we simply sat back and enjoyed the ride, a movie and most of all the music.

Pune itself was pretty uneventful. We went around some of the happening places there, met a lot of other friends, tried go-karting but found that they had closed down. Nothing to talk about here.

The return journey was where we got a bit adventurous. While going we took care that we followed all rules & slowed down at turns. But while returning it was a bit rougher. It was 80 kmph all the way. So on some of the tight turns, we were pushed to sides because of the centrifugal force. The music played in high volume pumped up our spirits. The two drives were much more enjoyable than the actual Pune visit.

It’s always like that with me. I like the journey more than the destination. When I reach some place, I want to travel more. I enjoy the changing sights during the travel more than the bliss of having reached somewhere. The passion of being on the move is always more than the satisfaction of having reached the target. As a kid when we used to visit relatives in summer holidays, the most exciting part of the holiday invariably used to be the train journey.

I always used to wonder why some people esp. girls take so long to shop. I guess this could be the answer (at least in part). The excitement of buying something new, of trying out different things, of the anticipation that soon she’ll be owning a new dress is more pleasurable than actually wearing or using the item.

As I ponder over it, I can’t help but think, is it the same with me in life? Whenever I achieve something big, I don’t enjoy it much. What really brings me happiness is the path, the journey, just going through the motions of achieving the target. This thought has helped me get some peace in my life. I now know that achieving something is not going to give me much. It is more about those small things that I am going to do along in my life that will bring happiness. Now the pressure of successfully achieving the goal is gone. It is replaced by the need to enjoy in whatever I do, to work for my own satisfaction and to let the goal be achieved on its own merit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

IIPM is doomed

My blog is my thoughts for the world. It is my channel of saying whatever I want to convey. These are strictly my thoughts and mine alone. I believe I am entitled to my opinion, as long as it is expressed in an agreeable language. It is after all an opinion.

But the internet is a very powerful tool. It is possible for a blogger to influence a large section of society. Naturally with such immense power there is bound to be some responsibility. As a responsible blogger I will accept any miscommunication or misrepresentation & correct the same. However that will happen only if I am proved wrong.

Gaurav Sabnis is a blogger. He had an opinion about IIPM (a management education institute promoted by Arindam Chauduri). The opinion was not so nice & had also cited JAMMAG, a publication of Rashmi Bansal, another popular blogger. As a responsible blogger, he would have posted an apology if he was proved wrong. But IIPM did nothing of that sort. Instead it started applying pressure both on Rashmi and Gaurav to withdraw their opinions and apologize. This is like school. IIPM is the big bully who says some lies. Rashmi & Gaurav are the kids who point out the flaw in the big bully’s talk. Since big bully cannot argue with them based on logic, he starts bashing them up, warning them of dire consequences unless they take back their words. Both the kids stand their ground in spite of the bashing. So the big bully crosses his limits. And now Gaurav has to quit his job.

This is unfair. In school, there used to be bullying, but there was also the teacher who used to control those big bully’s and punish them for such acts. Who will control this big bully that IIPM has become? I find that there is no institution that will do that. So we do what us small kids used to do when there was no teacher. We fight collectively. So what if I am a small time blogger averaging single digit hits per day. This post is about that collective fighting that we individual bloggers have to wage against this mammoth, heavily funded, influential institution.

Any institution however mediocre can improve with time. A commitment on providing relevant education over a period of time is bound to bring results. IIPM has taken a shortcut by blanking out all other institutes from newspapers through its heavy ad spend. This is forgivable. It can still improve if it has commitment. But this big bully has put its weight in crushing any voice raised against its false claims. This clears all doubts. If the promoters itself have no sense of ethics or responsibility, there is no hope for this institute. I am just sorry for all the gullible students that are and will be studying in this institute. I wouldn’t advise even an enemy to join this institute.

IIPM is doomed!

To keep updated on the IIPM fiasco visit Desipundit.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I have survived

A while ago, when monsoon was just showing its face in Mumbai, I had written this. I had just lost my second umbrella of the season and was angry at myself for loosing it. The decision to not use the umbrella had come partly because of my stubborn resolve not to use the umbrella and partly because I had convinced myself that the umbrella was not required.

The concept that I was dependent on the umbrella was what I hated. At that time it was just my resolve not to use it that drove me. Now the monsoon is over for all practical purposes. I have gone the distance. I am here typing these ramblings and am sure I won’t be missing an umbrella again at least in this season. I have survived perhaps the greatest monsoon Mumbai has ever faced without an umbrella. I can now reflect back about whether I really needed the umbrella. I have mixed feelings on this. I really needed the umbrella 2 to 3 times during the entire monsoon. The 26th of July was not one of those days (when you are knee deep in water, you don't care about your head getting wet). On other days I was glad I was not carrying that unnecessary evidence of my dependence on things with me. I know one thing - My knowledge of whether I need or not need an umbrella is much more profound & rich now that I have experienced the monsoon without the umbrella. It is not in answer in Yes or No. There are many possibilities, situations & requirements that need to be taken into account before deciding on the answer.

So why am I going about this "umbrella" thing over & over again? Hasn't this concept already been abused more than required. I am thinking maybe there is a reason why I am doing what I am doing. When I decided not to buy a new umbrella, I took a risk. At that time I had some vague notions about my need for the umbrella. Had I not lost the umbrella & consequently my temper, I probably would never have taken that risk. Now once I have taken the risk, and experienced the whole of the monsoon through the whole trecherous rainy season, I am much more wiser. I no longer have vague notions. I know. I know because I had experienced. I would never have known had this thing been taught. I never would have really known if someone gave me a complete description of what would happen if I not use the umbrella. The feeling of actual knowledge is liberating. Knowledge gained through experience dwarves all the other knowledge gained by amny other means. The old adage "You learn from your experiences" still holds a lot of water. This adage too was no more than a mere phrase in the memory bank of my brain. I had to go through this experience to realise the importance of this adage & the true meaning of it.

You definitely learn from your experiences