Growing up with the Indian Cricket Team

There’s always something about the ball sweetly striking the middle of the bat and racing through the covers for a four. A stroke that’s sweet, grounded, and effortless. Something we don’t see as much anymore in the brute hitting that’s come to characterize modern cricket. I like Glenn Maxwell, and AB and the big hitters that we’ve all seen, but the classy play of a Hashim Amla, or a Virat Kohli grafting a brilliant innings together is what I cherish more in a game of cricket.

There’s much more love I have for Test Cricket though, and the matches played on fast seaming pitches are one of the most exciting matches that can be seen. Pitches and rules today are biased to batsmen to such an extent, that commentators have started considering economy rates of 5 a good one. Gone are the days when Glenn McGrath would beat a batsman 5 times in an over, on any pitch.

India’s tour of Australia, though it ended winless was a beautiful display of test batting. With Virat Kohli’s imperious form, and bright spots like Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane, Indian Test Cricket seems to have a bright future up ahead.

For all the love Indians have now started professing for the Manchester Uniteds and the Liverpools of the world, if its the last over of an India-Pakistan game, every single Indian tunes in.

As India won their 9th World cup game in a row today, by beating Ireland, I look back at some past world cups through my eyes, and some memories that are strongly associated to them. Somehow, they’re all vivid, and every single run scored is something I remember.

The 1996 Wills World Cup

This world cup is a faint memory, where names like Kaluwitharana & Jayasurya would evoke terror in the hearts of my cricket loving parents and uncles. I dont remember too much of this one, but there’s still a certain fondness for the cup, considering that’s when I became aware of Cricket for the first time. But this World Cup did turn the game on its head.

The 1999 Cricket World Cup

This totally had my generation hooked!

This totally had my generation hooked!

This was the time when every single kid was devouring packs and packs of biscuits. The ‘Britannia Khao, World Cup Jao’ ad campaign caught on like a bush fire. Every single friend I had was busy collecting wrappers to exchange them for a ticket to the world cup. I remember, there was a flurry to get the scratch card booklets, so one could actually get something. I was convinced I’d get a Britannia Bat, and with Dravid and Ganguly both batting with Britannia Bats (I was too young to understand that the Britannia was a sponsor, and not the maker).

But gimmicks aside, this was the one World Cup that put me into the Sourav Ganguly fanclub (and since then, I’ve been a big fan of Left handed batsmen. There’s something simply classy about a southpaw). The 183 at Taunton agains a Sri Lankan attack was probably one of the best one day Innings I’ve seen Dada bat in. Ably assisted by Rahul Dravid, it was one of my favourite performances of the 1999 world cup, along with the 5/27 by Venkatesh Prasad against Pakistan at Old Trafford. I was hugely impressed with the New Zealand team, with Geoff Allott’s strike bowling ability, Gavin Larsen’s economy, and Astle’s sheer destructiveness. It was a fun world cup, that one, and sadly, inspite of collecting a lot of wrappers, I never even got a keychain. But even though India didn’t reach the semis, a passion for cricket in a 10 year old had been born.

The 2003 Cricket World Cup

If 1999 belonged to Dravid and Ganguly, 2003 belonged to Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Nehra. Yes, Ganguly did hit three tons (two against Kenya), Sachin played that blinder (with that six!) against Pakistan, but the consistency of the Indian Pace trio was fabulous (the game against Sri Lanka didn’t even need a fourth bowler. Haha, revenge for 1996!). I could have never imagined Indian fast bowlers being as good as they were. While the final (cruelly so), slipped away from us because of Ponting’s brilliance, there was a new found belief in the team that Ganguly infused. All of us thought, maybe West Indies was the place where we’d conquer it, once and for all. The Indian team did bunch together and play a fabulous cup, but in the end, Ponting’s squad were just too strong. A far cry from the underdogs who won the 1999 world cup, gone were likable medium pacers like Tom Moody and Paul Reiffel, and the ferocity of McGrath, Gillespie and Lee was too hard for anyone to handle. That team, was a great team.

This world cup is also the one where I became an absolute fan of Rahul Dravid, for his keeping and the way he took one for the team. There are very few cricketers who are as amazing as he is, and maybe, the hurrah with which India reached the final had a lot to do with the game’s ultimate gentleman being behind the stumps.

The 2007 Cricket World Cup

2007 was an aberration. Matches at ungodly hours, halfway across the world. If the ICC would have learnt one thing, it’d be never, ever, host a World Cup in the West Indies ever again. A forgettable world cup for India, with defeats against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh sending us back, and killing my interest in the tournament. I didn’t even watch any of the games after it, which is a shame, because I was told Glenn McGrath had a tournament to remember.

And the earth did shake.

And the earth did shake.

A defining memory of that world cup is the Bermudan player Leverock taking a great catch to dismiss Robin Uthappa. Literally made the ground shake, that catch.

The 2011 Cricket World Cup

What a win!

What a win!

 

2011 was a fairy tale. The defining moment where M S Dhoni launched Kulasekara over long on to fulfill dreams of the Indian crowds is still imprinted in my memory. That night was the crowning glory for all us cricket fans, with the beuatiful batting of Sachin, Yuvraj’s all round performance and Dhoni’s captaincy. But events leading upto the final were more special, with Ponting’s ton in the quarters in vain, the tie with England, the defeat to South Africa. Emotions came pouring out that time round. It was the year when I finished of college and was about to start working for GE.

As the 2015 World Cup goes on, I realize I’m about to start working again as college draws to a close.

While this world cup has been dominated by stories about Southee’s yorkers, McCullum and Maxwell’s big hits, there’s a strong Indian story developing, with Kohli and Dhawan in great form, Dhoni having his instincts intact and Shami and Co hunting in packs. Even Ravi Ashwin, who gets a lot of stick about overseas pitches seems to be in control of his spells.

So, to wrap this up, I just hope that work starts again the way it did after 2011. With an Indian Win.

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Step Out, PNK

This is a momentous post. So much that I’m taking the liberty of modifying the words of a song the great poet Roger Waters wrote.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find two years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

– Pink Floyd, Time, The Dark Side of the Moon

Two years (well, a quarter short, but then who cares?), quite a rollercoaster ride. The memories are so many, and my words too mediocre to actually even make an attempt to summarize it my own words. Except state that yes, two years have gone behind me.

There’s no easy way to summarize how this course has been, except maybe using the phrase, life affirming.

There are somethings at TISS, that puts it apart from the rest. The neverending credit facility at DM canteen, the sessions of drinking in the room, or the amphitheatre, Hans Zimmer and Pink Floyd playlists on never ending loops are just some of the things that stand out, but its really really hard to pin it down.

As the last lecture ended a couple of days back, there was a strange sense of disbelief. The end of student life as I’ve known it. In my days at GE, there was always a belief that a few months or years down the line, I will quit the job to go back to academics. As I look at TISS and the end of days, it seems sad that I will be unable to go back to assignments, crazy deadlines, walks in Bombay, early morning tea at the Taj among other things.

2014 was a year that was, by far the toughest I’ve had, with internships, academics, existential issues, a general state of being unhappy and facing issues of credibility, both personally and professionally. But then, I put all of it down to character building, and to the fact that good things in life, are never easy.

So let me recap a few things that I believe made TISS very special for me, and I will always keep them very close to my heart.

The Placement Committee

Brothers-in-Arms!

Brothers-in-Arms!

Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I’ve valued the 5 other people who are a part of the TISS placement committee with me. Placement committees, historically in colleges are a bed of intrigue, a melting pot of conspiracies, but for us, I think we ended up being the best of friends through meetings that would last entire nights.

While a few of us did have certain personal commitments to cater to, the committee came first (on most occasions). Being one of the few committees to have an exemplary track record, we humbly accept that none of it would have been possible without all of us. The ingenuity of Anurag, the ability to see the bigger picture of Akhila, the doggedness of Srinidhi (find someone who has the enthusiasm she has for meetings and I’ll quit my job), the out-of-box(or window) thinking of Bhat, the sheer brilliance of Meghna, and well, my ever constant presence brought together what was an extremely high performing, yet a well gelling team. While there aren’t too many happy memories, considering the pressure we operated in as a committee, the questions we had to face, the days where we couldn’t believe what the insecurity of a few individuals could make them do, we understand that we got through the tough days because we stuck together.

It’s a curious thing, insecurity. We all are insecure, but it’s how we deal with it, that makes us different from the rest. Life is not about channeling insecurities negatively but having faith in yourself. There’s no one who is out to purposely ruin things for us. Our enemies are the creations of our own minds. Life isn’t a movie, where there’s an arch enemy. Differing opinions exist, and Tiss has taught me that they need to be respected, and not hated.

The Room

From A-602 to C-302. A pleasure indeed.

From A-602 to C-302. A pleasure indeed.

I’ll quote my good friend Damahe here ‘the first set of friends we make in college are more incidental than by design. They’re more a matter of convenience’ and three of my closest friends have been my roommates. Damahe, Godara and Saha, from A-602 to C-302, all four of us have come a long way. Three of them are fairly well settled when it comes to life, with priorities pencilled in, and what makes me sad is that inspite of there being a lot of commonalities, the bond is not as strong as it once was. I don’t know what or who to blame, but there’s always the hope that things will be back to the good old single days at Nandanvan, where every drunk was not enough, and every laugh would not have an end.

The Course

Compensation, Advanced Compensation, Labour Law, Diversity, Employer Branding, OB 1, these are just some of the subjects that were an absolute delight to study. After all, we come to Tiss so that we learn some HR too. I loved an internship that I had at Mondelez and the chocolates that accompanied it. Never did I learn as much about human resources as I did at my month there.

Godara and I were once talking that every single advanced compensation lecture was like a hidden gem. We’d never want a break, nor would we want it to end. A seminal article, ‘the pretence of knowledge’ by Sumantra Ghosal is one that’s imprinted in my head, and shall be for a very long time.

Those classes were fun, challenging ourselves, trying to put in as much effort as we could and also realising that our boundaries were set only by us.

The parties

The last party!

The last party!

The parties at TISS have always been a cut above the rest. After all, put 120 drunk people in a room and what you get is mayhem (as owners of Sindhi Society and Oasis will tell you). I’ve been a part of a few crazy ones myself and its a great thing that I remember almost nothing.

The People

Bunch-o-crazies!

Bunch-o-crazies!

There’s a lot I’ve written about my class but a few of my closest friends have been those who I’ve never shared a classroom with. A really close friend being Hamsini, who is, in all probability going to work in chennai and will be tough to trace going ahead, but she and her gang have provided me with peals of laughter (of late, I’ve been returning the favour), good moments, and crazy head blowing movies. (kingsman, ftw!)

My classmates have always been a source of support when I needed it, criticism when I deserved it and help when I was lagging behind on assignments. A big thanks to all of them.

The lessons

Everyone’s read Tuesdays with Morrie, and it remains, one of the best quick reads that have had a profound impact on me. While life’s lesson wasn’t taught to me like Mitch was taught by Morrie, I’ve had many Morries, whether it be Malvika who propped me up in a really tough phase last year, the Placecomm girls who always made me believe in myself, my superboss at ITC, Mr Sajiv Nair, who told me that I give up too easily and kicked me into action, a certain gentleman who lives in Mysore and is fond of the Laphroaig who’s been riding shotgun with me every way of these two years, telling me when to speed up, or Hams, Nen, Shreya and The tall one, who’ve all been my Morries, giving me life lessons, one after another.  To all of them, I’m grateful. And if you’ve been reading my blog, you know I don’t take names easily here.

So to close this rather sentimental post, I’ll leave you with a thought.

Step out, 2015.

“House on fire, leave it all behind you
Dark as night, let the lightning guide you”

Sisyphus and some Economics

(This post is built out of several ideas I had been working on simultaneously. While they could not each become substantial posts in themselves, this aims to be something of an anthology that brings these ideas together. It also, I hope, explains my hiatus)

There’s an ancient Greek myth I’d read about when doing a Coursera course on Greek and Roman mythology about Sisyphus. As I was randomly scrolling through some of my Dad’s documents, I came across an HBR article called the Sisyphus Trap, which draws parallels between Sisyphus, and working for the Government.

To recap, the Legend of Sisyphus is about a treacherous Greek King. He was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. Even the French absurdist, Albert Camus, in his famous essay ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ goes on to observe that Sisyphus was the absurd hero who lives life to the full, hates death and is tragically condemned to a meaningless task.

This story becomes important for the likes of us, the batch that will be stepping out as managers, consultants (that term makes me laugh, but I’d not want to paint the profession with my myopic, and negative view) and entrepreneurs, into a country where ease of doing business, inspite of the government going crazy in PR exercises is abysmally low. Camus is interested in Sisyphus’ thoughts when marching down the mountain to start anew, and calls it the tragic moment, when Sisyphus becomes aware of his wretched condition and does not have hope but still keeps pushing.

It is this moment that I’m scared of. The moment where I realize that I’m too small to make a difference, but have no other option but to do so. My greatest education in these 18 months at TISS has been my stint as a member of the Placement Committee. Conflicts, crises and celebrations aside, this stint has finally attached a tangible meaning to the phrase “Character Building”. As my responsibilities drew to a close after running two placement processes, I realized that what bound our committee together was us being oblivious to Sisyphus’ tragic moment. Because once that hope disappears, no matter how hard you push, your mind works lesser, your bones ache more, and you yearn to not reach the top of the mountain, because the boulder’s going to roll down anyway. However, maybe it was the boldness of our ambition, our the naivety of our thoughts, or the fact that we didn’t know about Sisyphus, that such a day never came about. And sadly, as the term slowly, but inevitably draws to a close, the anguish of being close friends who never hung out just to chill out together has slowly started creeping up to us.

I was having an interesting discussion with a professor a few days back, about how I really hated studying science as a kid. Now don’t get me wrong here, everyone who knows me, knows that I love science. And not only Asimov’s science, but studying science in general. My interest worked in the opposite way. Through history. The heroes of Bletchley Park and more importantly, Los Alamos, made outstanding contributions to science, and it was this very fact, their genius, coupled with their heroism, that made me feel that science was something I’d like to learn. After all, Fermi estimations just become a whole lot cooler, when you realize that Enrico Fermi built the first nuclear reactor on a racket court. Maybe it is the geek inside me, maybe it is innate curiosity but Oppenhiemer and Hiesenberg competing against each other to build the bomb first was something that made me read their works in greater detail.

Simple enough, no?

Similarly, my liking for economics is fairly recent. Sylvia Nasar’s work, ‘A beautiful mind’ made me read up about the Game theory. Another instance is Levitt and Dubner’s debut work Freakonomics, which made me explore the neoclassical microeconomic concepts of rational-utility maximization, something I’d have consigned to a few notes taken in a class otherwise.

Another book I’ve recently picked up is the new sensation that’s outselling both fiction and non fiction on Amazon, Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. A book replete with charts, tables and equations, Piketty’s magnum opus (as the Guardian puts it) in its graphic Ivory and Red cover is unmistakable. Even though I’m only a 100 odd pages through it, it says as wealth grows quicker than the economy, (a concept, Piketty captures elegantly in the expression r>g), there will be soaring inequality, unless there’s a global tax on wealth. I quite like the idea, taxing the rich. If Robin Hood were an economist, he would be Piketty. I will be writing more about Piketty as and when I finish parts of the book, but it is, if nothing else, an excellent link between history and economics.

The last part of this post is again, as unstructured as the parts above, and mainly recounts a recent evening spent at one of the popular clubs in Bombay, the Big Nasty. For someone who’s been averse to going out partying in huge groups, this was a welcome change. An overcrowded pub, a fun bunch of people, good food, and Miller High Life. Quite an excellent start to February, I’d say. Everyone had fun, whether it be headbanging in the course of a normal conversation, bumping into an old acquaintance after 7 odd years, spilling Millers on a friend’s clothes (and not getting beaten up for it) or just screaming out north Indian names in a heavy, pronounced south Indian accent, it was a fabulous evening.

That's a Nasty bit of fun!

That’s a Nasty bit of fun!

However, what was interesting to note was a particular guy, who made constant attempts to hit on a couple of my friends, through the DJ, through shady compliments, a bottle of kinley water (he said, “you girls are so hot, so I brought along some cold water”) and at one point, he even tried to make me drink Blenders Pride straight from the bottle. (Blenders’ Pride? Some class man, if you’re trying to join people having better stuff?). He was one of those muscular brawny types, but didn’t have a lot of brains, apparently. And then, I remembered the famous scene from A beautiful mind, where John Nash trashes Adam Smith and says that no one should go for the blonde. This guy, however, decided to go for everyone. It was quite funny. Also funny was the fact that I was thinking economics with “This club can’t even handle me right now” playing in the background.

To close, I’ll quote the American Economist Robert Solow, “Everything reminds Milton Friedman of the money supply. Everything reminds me of sex, but I try to keep it out of my papers.”

The Pilgrim – II

(A continuation of The Pilgrim (read the first part here), this is something that tries to build a backstory to the plot, and set up the scene for a (hopefully!) riveting few chapters ahead. Do pass on the feedback!)

The Stock Tip

5 years before Vikram’s disappearance

There’s an abandoned mill compound in South Bombay, called Apollo Mills, and right across the road stand a set of skyscrapers, the contrast between them startling. Black stones with brown moss growing on it, caved rooftops and foliage complement what, across the road, are buildings with shiny panels of glass, glaring at humans like monsters in a concrete jungle. Nature’s ravages and Man’s creations, standing face to face and staring each other in the eye.

One of these buildings was the VermaNet building, and the home of its smallest, yet most prominent business, the Indian News Network. A network, with the tagline, “Built to Last”.

Meera graduated from the Government Law College in Mumbai and was interviewing for a position in the legal affairs department of the Indian News Network. In an economy where good jobs were not that easy to come by, she desperately wanted this job. As she paced outside the interview room nervously, she was wondering about how the interview was going to be.

She snapped out of these thoughts when Peter Noronha, the General Counsel for Indian News Networks beckoned her in for a quick chat. And like most interviews she’d given, this again did not test her on her knowledge of law, but was an old fashioned, CV based interview. She absolutely hated it.

One of her friends, Meher, a Human Resources manager with P&G once remarked.

“The difference between Life and CVs? CVs don’t list out your relationships, and that’s where you learn the most”

So when Mr. Noronha asked about here relationships, she instinctively lied, and said she had no attachments.

Meera didn’t get the job, and hated the Human Resources team for sending her the news through an automated email.

And that’s where her career as a Public Prosecutor began. Specializing in White Collar & Organized Crime, she’d decided to earn her living the hard way. By taking on the mighty, corrupt and the Powerful

Peter Noronha, in his late nineties, almost 40 years later would go on to remark, “I didn’t know why I didn’t offer her the job. I think she said the year of some obscure Act incorrectly. Stupid mistake. All the bloodshed, all the chaos, all the destruction, I could have stopped it.”

All of this started at a nightclub, on a Saturday Night. Meera and Meher, after a really hectic week, decided to head for a girls’ night out, at Felix’s in Bandra. Dressed to kill, the two ladies had no idea about how they’d meet someone destined to change Meera’s life forever.

Meher and Meera walked into blaring music, and an overcrowded bar. It was a Saturday night, and the young working folks in the young folks in the suburbs had (mostly) a forgettable and ordinary week to put behind them.

Meher happened to be dating a successful executive from a media firm, and he’d invited her to Felix’s. Meher thought it was only logical that Arjun met Meera. After all, Meera’s approval was essential. It always had been, right from school days, where the shy and reserved Meera, formed a very unlikely bond with the rich, spoilt and outgoing Meher. Every boy Meher dated, Meera would have to approve.

Arjun was waiting for the two of them with another companion. Tall, a little older, and grim looking, he seemed to be very serious, even about having fun. That was the first time Meera met Vikram. Very soon, Meher and Arjun were on the dance floor, jumping away to some new Honey Singh song that was ruling the airwaves, and Meera and Vikram were left in each other’s company, trying to strike up awkward conversations.

Vikram was a little odd, Meera thought. One look at him and she could see expensive gadgets, designer clothing and an attitude of success dripping down. His complete disinterest in striking up a conversation with her also struck her as weird. Suddenly, the odd feeling became uncomfortable, as Vikram never met her gaze, and when she tried to make eye contact, he would consciously avoid it. Maybe he also understood that this wasn’t turning out to be such a great idea, so he decided to step onto the dance floor.

Maybe it was an impulse, maybe it was the fear of being an intruder in Meher and Arjun’s moments, Meera also stepped out. As she did come out onto the street, she felt alone. Apart from one man in an overcoat, talking in a hushed voice over the phone. His back was turned to Meera, so he couldn’t see her, and Meera could just about hear snatches of his conversation.

“….. Keep Selling … we have some ways of keeping the price up on Monday…. Keep Selling, but not through the same broker. Spread it out, but sell on Monday”

“… The board has agreed…”

“…. Just sell…”

“….Then? Then dump it all!!! Don’t worry about insider charges, this is a secure line…”

“…. Pheonix shares!…”

“There’s a story breaking on Tuesday,… just get rid of all our shares… trust me…no?…fine… trust the pilgrim! ”

Meera wasn’t a whiz at the stock market, but in the snippets of conversation she’d managed with Vikram, he’d mentioned something about being an Economics graduate. She was keen on knowing if his knowledge of economics extended to the stock market as well.

She quickly went back into the club and found Vikram in an animated conversation with Meher, which had her angry again, because she realized that this man does talk sometime. Just not to her. She walked upto Vikram, grabbed him by the hand and said “Mr. Verma, we need to talk, and its urgent”, and dragged him towards the exit. Once they were out on the side walk, Meera pulled a somewhat surprised and confused Vikram into her small, second-hand hatchback.

She relayed what she’d heard, and was surprised at Vikram not taking too much of an interest, again.

“Seems like a speculating broker, you find them in all parts of Bombay. Must be trying to give some trading instructions to an intern”

Meera was livid at this man not taking her seriously, so livid that she didn’t even bother saying Goodbye. She knew Meher would find her way to Arjun’s place, and she wanted to figure this thing out on her own.

As expected, the Stock market continued its bullish run on Monday, rising up by over 2%. And the run continued into Tuesday. Maybe Meera was wrong and Vikram was right. She called Amit, a friend who was into the market, just to check what was really happening.

“Meera! You and stocks? When did the nerd become a money-maker!?”, hollered Amit on the phone.

“Amit, shut up, and gimme the dope on Phoenix Infra. I don’t have a lot of time”

“Fine, it’s a Nifty component, fairly stable Real Estate and Infrastructure company, and a family run business. Dips are hard, and it is a stock that’s known to create shareholder wealth. Even with two hours left to go in today’s trading session, I can bet that it’ll close above its 50 day moving average.”

“How are the Volumes?” said Meera

“High. For a stock like this. Its actually listed as a Volume shocker on money control. Which is a little surprising, but that shouldn’t be a cause of worry for a stock in green”

Happy with her research, Meera figured she may have been wrong after all. And much to her anger, Vikram had been right.

After a coffee break, she thought it was time to check the Twitterverse and see what was happening. After going through some tweets by a retired judge out to expose the judiciary, the PM talking about the India growth story, and retweeting some of Rohan Joshi’s jokes, she felt it was time to call it a day, when suddenly, #Phoenix started tending

A network error led to her blackberry not loading the tweets for a few seconds, and she kept tapping till it did.

With 400 retweets in 60 seconds, this was the Big news. And had emerged from a handle called the Soothsayer. A first tweet, with a graphic image.

“#Phoenix CEO, Rajiv Puri jumps off the 17th floor of the Phoenix HQ in Mumbai. Suicide or Murder?”

She opened moneycontrol to see that the shares had tanked almost 15% to 500, and seemed like they would be going even further down in the last 15 minutes.

She put her phone back in her pocket, a little shaken by what she’d seen, when her phone buzzed.

It was a whatsapp message from Vikram (she had no idea how he got her number, must be Meher), and it read, “Seems like you were right, and this is really bad news. Maybe if I listened to you, I’d be a little richer. So buy me a coffee?”

The Pilgrim

(Typed out after a conversation with a very close friend, this is a feeble attempt at writing Fiction. I finally plan to start, what I believe will be my Magnum Opus. As of now, there is no title, but someday, if these stories are good enough, there will be. The stories of Meera & Vikram are very close to my heart, and while all the stories are fictional, I pour a little bit of my soul in my characters. I’d really like some feedback if you have the time.

Here is an old story about Vikram, but Meera makes her debut in this piece)

Prologue : Into Icy Depths

November 15th, 2013, Midnight, Off the Coast of Greenland

Vikram was onto his 6th drink for the night. And for some reason, his mind was crystal clear. The bartender passed him his 7th with a look of concern. Vikram was onto his 7th drink. As always, Glenmorangie, on the rocks. Apart from the fact that his eyes appeared bloodshot from heavy drinking, he appeared as sober as ever. His steely gaze had a purpose.

Vikram wanted to forget it all. Every single bit. But they call it undying love for a reason. Grey haired, in his mid-forties and successful, Vikram had a million reasons to be happy. And one to be sad. Unrequited love.

Vikram walked towards the hull of the yacht on which they were cruising, somewhere in the Arctic. He took off his shoes, and his socks kept his feet warm and safe (albeit briefly) from the ice cold water that had splashed onto the deck and was now seeping through the wool. His tie was billowing in the cold arctic winds, and his silhouette, moved quietly, one step at a time. Vikram was wearing his favourite Chelsea tie, a tie that he’d worn on every important day of his life. And of all days, today.

It hadn’t started like this, this day, but a startling discovery about Meera’s death made him take the decision he had. As he stood on the ledge, his arms stretched out like the statue of Christ the Redeemer, he wondered, wasn’t his life supposed to flash in front of his eyes at moments like this? And all he could see was Meera’s face, with her misleading, gorgeous smile and as she bled to death in his arms, he could just hear her last words “It’s gonna be okay, don’t worry, beautiful”. Meera, as fate cruelly would have it, was his life.

As Lemony Snicket once said, “It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. It’s like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down through the air and there’s a sickly moment of dark surprise.”

Vikram took that extra step, and went sprawling into the icy cold waters, his last moments as a Media baron devoid of any grace, his eyes, devoid of any hope.

3 Months Later

Vikram Verma’s disappearance wasn’t very widely reported probably because a body was never found. However, his last will and testament, which was to be opened if he wasn’t found for 90 days, had to be executed. The lawyer, Peter Noronha final opened a buff envelope, in presence of three witnesses to read one paragraph, handwritten on a blank piece of stamp paper.

“In case of my death, or disappearance, I decree that Ms. Meera Mehra be appointed the Chairperson of Verma Media Networks. All of my stake in Verma Media Networks is to be sold, and the money raised is to be put in a trust fund, that can only be accessed by my legitimate heir, if found. If none of this can happen, then the company is to be run by the board of directors, as they deem fit”

Peter Noronha was a seasoned lawyer, but never had he seen such a will. Meera Mehra was dead. And Vikram had no legitimate heir.

A billionaire had gone cuckoo.

6 Months Later

Vikram Verma’s archive of videos had been found in one of his bedrooms. A keen photographer, it seemed as if all of the videos had been shot with a Super 8 Camera. They videos were all the same. They were pointed at a framed portrait of Meera, on a fireplace, with Vikram’s voice in the background, recounting every single day he’d spent with Meera. There were countless films, countless dictations, and all full of every single moment Meera and Vikram had spent together.

His last video, however gave hints about his disappearance.

“I will be back. When you think you’re happy, when you think you’re safe, when you think no one in the world can touch you, I will lake it all away. For I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”

1 Year Earlier

Meera’s gruesome Murder had been in the news for weeks. Shell Shocked, the city could not believe that one of their best lawyers had been murdered in cold blood. The Police seemed in no hurry to investigate the case, because Meera had taken on some very powerful people. Working up the chain as a public prosecutor, she’d taken on the corrupt, the high and the mighty. A feared and famous public prosecutor, Meera was never going to look back.

One of her most famous lines in an interview was “The day will never come, when I forsake the citizens of this city”.

She’d been shot by a sniper, during a press conference after the arrest of a Member of Parliament for a case of Fraud and Forgery. A murder that was streamed live, the last shot of her, that was splashed over the newspapers was her in a white shirt, fast turning red with blood, dying in the hands of Vikram Verma.

Incidentally, it was the last time anyone ever saw Vikram Verma in public too.

The murder shook the Police Department, the lawyers and even the judges. Corruption, evil and Crime was back to Bombay, and with vengeance. The assassination made an example out of those who dared stand against the might of the dreaded kingpin, the one who they called “The Pilgrim”. No one really knew much about him, apart from the fact that his tentacles had completely spread in the world of crime.

Vikram had wanted to take him down, but he didn’t know how. And The Pilgrim knew Vikram was out to get him. He was a very cautious man, the Pilgrim. No one could find a trace of him. No photos, no records, no known aliases. He was an Urban Legend. He was off the grid. He was but a whisper, in the backalleys of crime, a whisper, menacing enough to destroy anything.

The only way for him to draw The Pilgrim out would be to disappear himself.

Vikram would have normally smiled, but today he didn’t. But he knew how he was going to avenge her. And the first step would happen a year from now. A year after Meera’s assassination because, as the Pilgrim had said, no one hunts a dead man.

To be (free), or not to be (free), that is the question…

The heavens have opened up in Bombay, (in evenings) and the Jim Morrison’s voice crooning, along with a hot coffee would be a perfect start to this long weekend.

The Doors have created some mind blowing music. And now, after almost a year of crazy committee work, internships, academics, assignments, I have absolutely nothing to do, so what’d be better than hearing Jim & Co. sing ‘Riders on the Storm’ and devouring chocolates, courtesy of my field work organization, Mondelez.

Presents for the festive season!

Presents for the festive season!

So, my insane efforts put in my summer internship at ITC have paid off, and I shall be joining ITC next year after being awarded, what in B-School lexicon is called the ‘Holy Grail’, or in simpler terms, a Pre Placement Offer. All those days spent reading about competencies, Validity and statistics seem to have paid off. And with most of my committee responsibilities done, I can look forward to a relaxing few months ahead before I rejoin corporate life. These few years have been so different. From doing an engineering role at a global industrial powerhouse like GE to a Human Resources role at a true blue Indian FMCG company is a remarkable transformation indeed. Even when it comes to dating, before TISS, I dated a psychology graduate in a whirlwind romance almost half a year, in a relationship like no other. A relationship that does not have too many memories due to its very alcohol induced, hazy nature, but was a great one, none the less.

That's how much weight I've lost!

That’s how much weight I’ve lost!

So, yes, I’m at a happy place in life, and I absolutely cant wait for the coming vacations, because of planned trips to Jim Corbett, travel plans with close friends, and party plans with family. These vacations will probably be the first set of stress free holidays I’ve had. Sometimes, I’d wonder how poets like Wordsworth or Tennyson could immortalize Daffodils or a Brook. Now I know , that you truly need to let nature touch your happy soul, for words like that to emerge from your pen.

'To be or not to be?'

‘To be or not to be?’

I’ve been reading a bit of Shakespeare of late. And this odd choice (today in the world of Rowlings, Martins and Levitts) was because of how impressive I found the trailer of Shahid Kapoor’s upcoming movie, Haider. After all, is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I remember, my first introduction to Shakespeare was by this 2 hour play I saw in Calcutta at Kala Mandir, which covered all 37 plays of Shakespeare in 120 minutes. An absolutely rip roaring comedy, it made me delve deeper into the writings of the mysterious man from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Hamlet’s brilliance lies not only in its plot (which is full of mystery and intrigue), but also the complexity of human emotions, where love and lust lead to incestuous relationships, ego towers over love and jealousy brings the worst out of men. A potboiler, indeed. One of my favourite plays of Shakespeare however, remains King Lear, maybe because it is a simple story of a father. And it is touching, to say the least.

I’ve been called opinionated, strong headed and on many occasions, unreasonable, but I have a firm set of beliefs (one of them is, be smug!), which I do not compromise on. Of late, I’ve noticed people form judgements and opinions without having complete information. And these very people were characters Shakespeare made legendary. Brutus, Ophelia, Othello, all of these characters made the same mistakes, because they didn’t know what was happening, and they chose not to find out too. My advice to all such peers of mine is to please, form opinions and judgements on complete information.

So moving away from Shakespeare, and back to TISS. TISS is a wonderful place to be in now, for people like me. No effort needed for office, no effort needed for lectures, its just a countdown to the days when I can be back home in Delhi, with close friends, family and good food. This, I think is going to be an absolutely fantastic set of holidays.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on forever.

Life, The Universe and Everything

There’s a very famous question.

What’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything? And the answer, has always been, or will always be, 42. (If you don’t believe me, ask Google!)

Check this out!

Check this out!

So every time I’m looking for answers, I just open to the book (which very famously has Don’t Panic written on it), and read any page on it. Any page. Yes, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has the ability to answer all your questions. Even the most ultimate question of all. (The answer to which, as Adams said, is 42)

Beauty in simplicity

Beauty in simplicity

As Adams says, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is even more controversial than Oolon Colluphid’s four famous books, ‘Where God Went Wrong’, ‘Some more of God’s greatest mistakes’ and ‘Who is this God Person anyway?’. He then goes on to use the Babel Fish argument to release a fourth book, which was ‘Well, that about wraps it up for God’.

This book, simply put is a must read for everybody, because its a philosophical marvel, that has you in splits. I understand Nietzsche is an essential read, but he could’ve dropped in a small joke too.

So enough of Philosophy, let’s get to the point.

The universe has a very strange way of making its presence felt. Imagine standing on a cliff, under a starry sky, and feeling the atmosphere engulf you, with a slowness that is both definite, and scary. If you’re doing it right, suddenly, you don’t feel like your soul is trapped in your body. You’re free. To roam around the world, to see dreams, to cross boundaries built by society.

The road Ahead.

The road Ahead. Or the road forgotten?

Simply put, there’s the road ahead, and the road forgotten. The road forgotten is your past, the road ahead is your future. The Present is momentary, its your inflexion point. It’s the time you decide whether you accept the status quo or not. I have a very odd habit, of writing letters. Our generation is lucky, in a way that the dawn of the digital generation has happened in front of us. So from putting pen to paper, its now become putting fingers to a keyboard, and the scribbling sound of a pen has been replaced by the tapping sound of keystrokes. he emotion, however, remains the same. There are a few friends, who once in a while find an email in their inbox, which is written in a moment of distress, in a moment of longing or in a moment of joy. A lot of times, these emails go unreplied, which makes me question, whether it is worth writing these mails or not, but there are occasions when, these mails remind you of the days you’ve been through, the joys you’ve had, and they chronicle your past. So, yes, while being a ‘man of letters‘ might be an old fashioned notion, all the letters I write are generally very personal, very thoughtful and, in most cases painful reminders of my own shortcomings.

My previous relationships have all been very different, and have all been an education. They have taught me the value of patience, of forgiveness and of the differences that exist between individuals. I was talking to a friend who lives in Sydney yesterday, and we were punching holes into the entire dating hypothesis. Yes, people say one should never date a friend, and I believe it has a sound backing to it, but when it comes to choosing someone for the long haul, wouldn’t you want to wake up next to your best friend everyday? Wouldn’t you want to be with someone who understands that your anger, your words, your mistakes arise out of insecurities and not spite? A little heavy as a thought, yes, but do reflect on it.

I was watching the movie, ‘3 Idiots’ yesterday, and then I realized that even at TISS, we’re not pursuing excellence. We’ve fought for summer internship offers, competed in case studies, insomuch hidden crucial information from people when we thought it benefits us the most. For what? An extra bit of money? Approval by peers? A better offer? Why race, why compete? Isn’t excellence achieved when you exceed your own boundaries, and not those set by anyone else?

I like to think now that I have a set of regular readers, and they must be wondering, what I’m getting at? To be frank, like the director of an arthouse movie, even I’m not sure of what I intend to achieve through this post, but as I said above, every action is not meant for achieving something. Its just like a feather, floating in the wind, carefree, relaxed and simple.

My aim in life has always been to yearn for simplicity, and that simplicity is not very easy to find.

‘The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.’

P.S. : This post has been written in record time with minimum revisions. Maybe soaring body temperatures do that to you. Now where’s that strip of Paracetamols?

Subtext

I’m the guy who plays with fire. After all, I’m writing a blog post before a taxing Taxation Exam. But as I’ve said numerous times, my creativity goes up by leaps and bounds during all exams. (I hope my professors don’t realize how much creativity I’ve used in my papers! (Game of Thrones references in Negotiations Management and Jose Mourinho’s examples in Strategy being prime examples)

There’s a book by Richard Feynman, and the great physicist subtitles it as ‘The Adventures of a Curious Character’. We’re all curious characters, and if we become half as good as Richard Feynman in the way we tell our stories, life would be very interesting indeed. After all, Zade’s ‘News’ and Malik’s memes need an outlet to do them true justice!

My parents are, lets say, very old school romantics. So yes, my father still believes in getting those bouquets for Mom after work, Mom always helps him knot his tie, and all in all, they’re two very happy people enjoying and celebrating life without the need to have anyone but each other. Right from reading excerpts of books to each other, to settling down with a bucket of popcorn to watch ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, they’ve done it all, without ever letting age be an embarrassment.

Couldn't resist checking for Subtext no?

That’s Subtext! Copyright : XKCD

I’ve written a lot about Love in the past, and for good reason, because there’s a certain old-world charm associated with ‘falling in love’ with someone. But Love isn’t all powerful. I learn about subtext from my great Tamil friend Ananth Subramanian, when we’d sit and read XKCD for hours, Randall Munroe’s subtle subtexts (the text that appears when your mouse hovers over a picture) would have us in splits.

So yes, coming back to Love, it makes no sense to fall in Love without a subtext but unfortunately, a World War doesn’t happen when we want it to, so yes, we all have to look for that subtext in simpler things, like College, like a common theme in life, or in management jargon, Shared Values. So instead of my love story being titled something as ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’, or ‘Nights in Rodanthe’, it’ll probably be something like ‘Love in the times of Competency Mapping!!’

'Quite Apt, No?'

‘Quite Apt, No?’

We had an interesting discussion in our last Group Dynamics lecture, where the teacher asked the girls of the class what they find most attractive in men, and then she quoted a study, where women find ‘Risk Taking Behaviour’ attractive. Now, I know I’m stretching things too far, but our Compensation professor taught us that using equity based pay as a part of a compensation plan promotes risk taking behaviour too. So for all those people getting paid in Stock Grants and Options, Women are totally gonna dig y’all! Lucky chaps, eh? (Off the record, I indulge in a lot of risky business myself! Ask Godara about the 500 Rupee bet that I lost in ACB class! 😀 )

So how does one find Love as a subtext in today’s fast paced, tough and materialistic world? No one really believes in the ‘At first sight’ concept anymore, but everyone still watches heart warming, heart rending movies, listens to music that lights up their souls, or makes a teardrop glisten in the corner of their eyes. I do. And always will. I’ve written a lot about my favourite movies, and a lot of them are about this funny emotion, this giddy feeling that one gets when we’re in the company of the one. Sometimes, I practice jumping and clicking my heels, because I know when I find the one, I need that jump and the click to be perfectly timed. Whether it be David Bowie, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, or among recent names, Arijit Singh, have voices with that power, while Kazuo Ishiguro, Daphne DuMaurier and Sebastien Faulks have pens with the ability to go right down to your heart.

The first time I read about Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone with the wind’ was in Jeffrey Archer’s (Inspite of what people say, I love his books!) Kane & Abel, where William Kane’s best friend Matthew Lester’s passing is written as ‘Matthew died on a Thursday, forty pages still to read of Gone With The Wind‘. I could never grasp the significance of that one line, not till I read Gone With the Wind a few years later. The significance of Subtext.

Sometimes Love is as simple as can be, sometimes, it just cant make sense. Therein lies the beauty, and therein lies the subtext, I suppose. After all, there’s reason to why Freddie Mercury calls it a, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’

‘I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day’

One More Shot!

There’s something about alcohol or substance induced conversations. Till they get to the point where your speech becomes slurry (where comprending is a challenge), they actually are the most interesting conversations one can have. Last night was one of those nights when Sindhi Society (yes, that place again!) played host to endless such conversations. After all, the Junior Batch had to be welcomed, in what is ‘our’ style. (Douse them in alcohol, and set them alight? Haha.)

That's a snap!

That’s a snap!

Right from Juniors finding a date from the Senior Batch (and yes, some men / women were in high demand!!), there was a great buzz about this party. ‘Who’re you going with? Why’re you blushing? She’s so hot! He’s a total Stud!’ were phrases flying around across the last two days. It came to such a point that our batch became frustrated with our last lecture yesterday which extended for 30 more minutes. After all, we couldn’t wait to wear good clothes, blow dry our hair and look Good!

So yes, the explosive cocktail of the Freshers looking to have a good time, seniors looking to unwind for the first time after their summer placements turned out to be so incendiary, it would put Molotov to shame. So while there were people swinging to typical indian Dance numbers, conversing over a few drinks, there was a feeling of camraderie between both batches, which in my interaction with the junior batch, I’d found missing till lastn night. Maybe, with a few drinks, shots, brilliant conversations, that feeling is slowly beginning to imbibe itself.

The Shot Contest!

The Shot Contest!

Batches in a b-school are different from those in an engineering college or in undergrad, where they bond over three to five years. If college is like a drink of single malt on the rocks, where you wait for the ice to melt, the drink to become smooth and take small sips, being at TISS (or any other bschool, for that) is like taking a flaming B-52 shot. It’s a life on fire, and gets over in an instant. So it was fitting, that at the Party, the Bar was opened by a Shot Contest (where the seniors were magnanimous in defeat), with salt, lemon and Vodka all around.

I know I shouldn’t quote Sylvia Plath in a happy post, but my past struggles with depression and acceptance way back in school made me resonate very closely with some of her words. As she says in The Bell Jar, ‘I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.’

There’s always an element of feeling godlike after downing a shot. What else would explain the thump with which the shot glass is put on the bar counter, the clink before the drink, the small nod of respect, and the fight over your facial muscles to keep them from contorting into faces of unspeakable horrors?

That's a conversation!

That’s a conversation!

As I’ve grown older, my taste in alcohol has evolved. From Vodka, to Beer , to whiskey and finally Single malts. Expensive taste, that one. I’d kill for a Glenmorangie or a Glenkitchie, but I’ve also realized that gone are the days where one could pour endless number of drinks down my throat. There’s an oldworldly charm in drinking Single Malt with a fire burning in a grate by they side. Vivid Images. While such days will come in the future, last night was not that night. A night where the clock was turned back, where dance steps sometimes bordered on obscene, where the women looked downright stunning (Oh my God!), and where men were accused of emptying the nation’s stock of deodrants, it was an absolute blast. A blast where I felt I was back to college again, where conversations were sometimes silly, sometimes insightful. A friend walked upto me trying to convince me to get back into the dating game, a girl told me I was fairly intimidating as a person. I was made the host for the night, and I’m a mike hog, if there ever was one.

Screw Philosophy, all we wanna do is dance!

Screw Philosophy, all we wanna do is dance!

No post of mine is complete without a set of reflections about life, about where we’re headed, about how life is going to be. We’ve all lived our lives in a very tough way. Whether it be a privileged upbringing, or one fraught with struggles for survival, life is never easy. We’ve all had our battles with demons, with rejection, with failure and with life. Alcohol is a getaway from sadness, a getaway from strggles, but its a two way street. After all, there’s anly a certain bit of pain and grief alcohol can wash away, a Wizard in all of us, aching for a bit of Firewhiskey.

There’s a famous quote, ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, and nothing exemplifies this better than a alcohol and a party at TISS . Simply unbeatable, because some memories are formed, some friends are made, some stereotypes busted, some monologues performed and some simplicity brought in life.

The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts?

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts?

After all, as F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his magnum opus, The Great Gatsby writes “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”. Maybe all of us found our bit of intimacy, and made one great friend, because I know, I did.

‘Wake up late
Honey put on your clothes
Take your credit card
to the liquor store
That’s one for you and
two for me by tonight
I’ll be loaded like a freight train
Flyin’ like an aeroplane
Feelin’ like a space brain
One more time tonight’

Through the pages

Today was a funny day. I slept through my morning lecture (and lost a precious 3 hours of attendance), attended a lecture on M&A Strategy and ate a sub with extra eggs.

A good enough day to retire to bed without really doing anything meaningful. But then, I happened to unpack a small carton, and voila!, there were three notebooks, all with a significant part of my first year at TISS packed away.

I’ve seen a lot of facebook posts put up by students of the junior batch where they’re learning to love their classes, their course, and TISS. And their posts, enthusiasm and experiences made me reminisce about my own. So here goes.

Stepping in

I still remember the day I wrote the TISS exam, with my best friend and my ex-girlfriend in an engineering college in Greater Noida. A simple test (read more here), followed by a night spent getting drunk on absinthe was how I remember that weekend. Simple days, where life revolved around pumping as much alcohol into the body as it could take, I’d give an arm and a leg (and half my liver) to have them back!

Why HRM? From my DAF. Haha!

Why HRM? From my DAF. Haha!

Time flew, and TISS it was. Bumping into Malvika under the tree near DM canteen for the first time, pushing off to Marine Drive in a deluge of rains, the death defying Trek, and committee work. It was a hectic a gruelling semester, on which rewarded me with grades and a great summers offer. But putting the tangibles (yes, HR Lexicon in play!) aside, the intangibles, like the Pasta Making Experiment (turned out quite well), making posters for elections (Amit Sharma still maintains that the Poster I drew him cost him the bloody election!) are what made life at TISS totally worth it.

Silence-Violence-Silence

Industrial Relations, something every TISSian claims to love in Sem 1. Unions, Collective Bargaining, Employee Relations, LTAs, these are certain words that excite all of us. We all wanted a plant in Sem 1 of fieldwork, and it was our Dean, who taught us Industrial Relations with the mantra of ‘Slience-Violence-Silence’, who made us feel excited about the subject. Industrial Relations is all about ‘trust’, he would say. I don’t know much about trusting unions, but the class, by the end of the first month had started trusting itself. Its a very critical period, the first month, before all the committees are formed, assignments catch up and life becomes a blur.

Silence-Violence-Silence
Silence-Violence-Silence

A few of the best bits of IR were taught to us by our Labour Law professor, Mr. Iyer from Asian Paints (his blog can be read here) with stories about Balasaheb Thackray, Justice Y.V. Chandrachud and his brilliant boss Mr. Chary punctuating discussions about Standing Orders, Conciliation Proceedings and CLRA. Mr. Iyer was someone who could spin a brilliant tale, keep you engrossed, and shout out ‘No’ in his booming voice, just to encourage you to participate more in class. Fabulous teacher, if there ever was one.

Messrs. Marx, Taylor, Sen and Foucault

 

The Marxist Manifesto!

The Marxist Manifesto!

What was Marx doing in my notebook in a Management Course? And why would I be studying about the Oedipus Complex instead of Business Strategy? Some questions that came to mind in first year, and are still unanswered. As a professor put it, ‘You kids use these courses to throw Foucault at IIMA Chaps’ and come to think of it, its probably true. My summers were spent talking about Welfare Economics to IIML and NITIE chaps and combating a horde of Pro Modi Supporters with sound logic (but now, its always #PMkoPranam) apart from working.  So yes, these lectures add a lot of value and demand a lot of effort (ask Menon about our Sociology Group and how we worked. I still remember Elton Mayo’s work thanks to her, though I doubt any of my group remembers Marx). All in all, just like Beckett, we all are waiting for some meaning to emerge out of life, and this knowledge goes a long way in helping us wait for our own Godot.

Regressing to the mean

The above statement was the answer to one of my summer interview questions at ITC. ‘Why is Regression called Regression?’and I responded by saying that the values were such that they regress to the mean, and form a straight line. There’s a life lesson on Multiple Linear Regression too. As Malcolm Gladwell says in his book, Outliers, ‘Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig’, a life without meaning is a life regressing to the mean, a life decidedly average, and a life with meaning is a life we love, a life that’s brilliant and a life that makes us outliers. So juniors, don’t run after grades and assignments. Catch that movie at Sterling, that show at Prithvi, the food at Colaba, the jukebox at Mondegar, and the herb induced spinning of the fan in your room. After all, it sucks to not be an outlier, right?

Regression !

Regression !

To sum this post up, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”