Friday, December 09, 2005

A Man's Journey Through HelL - IV

And the Good Times Flowed…

Yes, indeed, academics were really something that were cool .The profs were really amazing. So knowledgeable and so crystal clear in their teaching. “Ask your seniors, they will tell you. I will set a good paper. When you see my paper you will think, “Yes, this is a good quality paper by a good quality professor!” I will make you sweat. I will make sure that you get 104 degree temperature on the night before the exam. And you can ask your seniors, I damn care about your feedback.” (I am quoting directly here, so please excuse the grammatical error). Yeah, truly, what a prof! He truly did all he could to live up to his Kalashnikov moniker. His antics and Bond-like gait were legendary. His motto in life seemed to be, “The world’s a stage, and I am auditioning for a part…”

And then of course, there was this IIT Delhi chappie who visited us in an attempt to “teach” us. “Dhyaan se suno, gurumantra aa rahaa hai”. Sad to say, while everyone kept waiting, the gurumantra slipped by unnoticed and unfelt by all. Poor gurumantra; it really must have felt pretty futile… Perhaps the most notable and memorable incident in this prof’s class was when he felt the pangs of jealousy upon observing a certain D7. “So young man, enjoying life? I wish I was in your place”. No, we shall not divulge further details. “What what what what what? You can’t decode?

Oh and who can forget the amazing incident involving Prof. What what (call him how how if you like, but somehow that sounds better with a B before the how), the lady aiming to take over the tag of Sleeping Beauty and of course, the man who will forever be a brother and nothing more…yes, the latter you see has this unfailing knack of begetting from the varied objects of his affection, strings of thread for the wrist…so what if the appropriate day for this gift was 3 months later? My admiration for his persistence knows no bounds. Five down and still at it… *Sigh*…

Prof: “You, you, you. You are sleeping? Not feeling well? What what what happened?”
Brother-man: I’m sorry sir, actually I’m just a bit…
Prof: What what what happened? I was talking to the lady in front of you. You were also sleeping huh?

Commando training revisited

Save the best for later, they say, but IIML had decided to treat this section to the best of the best. “I will make you commandoes of Marketing”. Yes, somehow, the best professors have this fetish for the commandoes thingy…the first term had seen them become commandoes of Accounting, what with the marching and all, and now, this was the second dose…

So, what should a commando reorientation comprise of? Umm…how about trying to read the underlying Marketing fundaas in the political manoeuvrings of Indian politicians…or if that fails, we can do cases about chickens…or of course, women who have cured cancer through mental prowess alone…..ah, that was a classic. He decided to narrate this case to us in class in a bid to “inspire” us. What exactly it had to do with Marketing none of us has been able to figure out so far. Perhaps after reading the following excerpt, you’ll be able to help…or at least be better placed to appreciate our plight when listening to this drivel.

“This woman, she got divorced and then found that she had breast cancer. She had a daughter. She had plenty of relationships. Bad relationships. When the daughter was 7, she got raped”.

Huh??? Child molestation? Nope, he was talking of the mother. See? A good commando would have spotted that. It’s almost certain that he structured that sentence this way deliberately.

The case went on of course. “Then, she decided to attend the mental healing course. And she was cured. So you can see how powerful this is… Now on Page 227 of Kotler…” Yes, the narration actually took almost an entire hour, but I decided that it would be better not to burden you with the sordid details of how the poor divorcee lived off scraps… Amazing how this man ever heard of her… Hmmm… Wanna conjecture??? ;-)

This prof endeavoured to make the point that if you could manage your impression properly you can fool anyone. “Even the people at IIMs.” Yeah, well, after the Accounting course and now you, I think we can safely say that we know this to be true. But hats off to him for continually finding new methods of wasting time… Guess he really needed to, in order to fill in the gaps between his oh-so-entertaining experiences in the deserts of Rajasthan and the eating joints of Lucknow!

The final step of commando training of course, requires that even at 7:45AM on a cold winter morning in Lucknow, you should be awake and in class at that… Well, needless to say, while the “in class” part was accomplished by all that dreaded the grade drop, the “awake” part eluded out limited and frozen mental faculties. “Who’s done Art of Living in this class? Please come up here and do those exercises. And the rest of you, follow them, you, you, yes you mister, it would be easier to do these exercises if you would stop laughing. And these exercises will freshen your mind and wake you up.” What for? To listen to what?

Somehow, this was reminiscent of the breathing exercise lessons of the IT prof. Oh, sorry for getting back to Term-I, but this is unmissable. The paper’s started, two chaps are late for it, the doors are shut just as they were about to enter the room and now they’re locked out… Oh well! The prof was standing there so they decided to appeal to any vestige of mercy that his heart may hold…

“See, what has happened, has happened, Jaane do, you cannot change it. Do breathing exercises to relax. See, breathe in, breathe out (What do you think we do normally? Breathe out, breathe in perhaps?). And don’t be tense (We are the ones that flunk, foghead!!! Do you mind???). The doors will open. Jab khulna hoga, khul jaayega.”
(The torture seemed set to end as the doors began to swing open. But…)
“Arre, how are you opening the doors? It’s only 10 minutes. For a 3-hour paper, doors will open after 20 minutes. And you guys, wait here. Now see, in this exercise…” Yep, we have a bunch of Oshos on campus…

The name is Morgan… J Pappoo Morgan

Would any discussion on Term-II be complete without mentioning summer placements? Thought not… Quite simply, they were a revelation. Like the “Aakashvaani ka Lucknow Kendra” (as this is what he was nicknamed) in a Group Discussion. I rather think that this moniker in itself should tell you how much air-time the rest of the “group” got…

Of course, what made the summer placements real fun was one of the more “soft” profs. He decided that he would like to have three assignments submitted in the middle of the process. “You don’t want to submit, don’t submit, but is summer part of PGP program? Not part of PGP program.” His smile, aaah, divinity… I just hope he enjoyed reading 64 identical Excel sheets with just the name of the companies differing on each…yes, it’s a wonderful invention, this thing they call the computer…specially when you know Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V :-).

Perhaps the most noteworthy incident of this process though was the great guitarist who walked into the P&G interview and started off by saying, “It has always been my dream to work in HLL…”

Oh no, change that. This was definitely the most memorable one of them all. I wonder if any of you has indulged in this one, but in one particular company’s GD, the group was given the situation that they were survivors of a plane crash in the middle of the Sahara desert. All they know is that they are 100 miles from the nearest village, but they have no compass. They do however, have 20 items (a list containing it is given to each person) and they were to (as a group) rank these items in order of importance and chart a strategy for survival… Now, one of these items was a bottle of rum. This was to form a very integral part of the GD for reasons that you will discover if you care to read on…

At the very outset a certain AH1 decided that he wanted to really make an impression on the group members as well as the panelists from the company. So he goes:

AH1: Ahem! Haha! That baatle of rum would be really high up if you’re an alcohaalic. Haha
(Given dirty looks by everyone, so he backs off a bit, for a while)
(4 items ranked and AH1 is getting fidgety)
AH1: Haha! If anyone is an alcohaalic, that baatle of rum would really come handy now *shining bright smile to the panellists*
(Everyone, group and panel combined glares back, says nothing and moves on)
(10 items ranked and the scene is repeated with the same results)
(15 items ranked…)
AH1 (now with tome of desperation): Look, I’m an alcohaalic and I really think I need that baatle of rum on that list now…

*Sigh*… Yes, this is the future of corporate India…a teetotaller who descends to this to get attention. Thank you Bangalore for all your wonderful gifts, but we really could have done with being one short…

5 comments:

DJK said...

Summer Placements; Winter Placements; All kinds of placements are the most over rated things about Bschools. No B school fest related Hoo-Haa?

Neha said...

lol..just read the entire series right now.. this is simply too good.. another one of ur masterpieces!
You shud compile all of them together and write a book one day..
didn't noe a b-school was so much fun ;)

Sumit said...

The story is the same across campuses...

The gud thing is your series allowed me to stay awake thru a boring lecture.. :D

Keep the words flowing... And as Neha said.. I won't be surprised if I see u penning a book in the near future...

:)

Zarine said...

That was funny,dude :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant !!!! is all can say :)

rohit