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Sixth Edition, January 2011

The Cultural Fortnight @iim b begins with...


Let Your Voice be Recorded for Eternity... EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011


CAT: A Love Story “ So, who said CAT was only about percentiles?”

Why do they call it Summers, in the midst of a chilly B’lore winter!

reminisces Sunil Kumar ... 14

Ayesha relives her experience ...11

I get scared when people say they have a clear direction of where they want to go. says Prof Janat Shah .....13

A Peep in

Tête à tête


Across the Seven Seas




Music of the Waves


A Dark Night




A Dinner with Prof. Janat Shah ..13

Editors’ Globe This issue of Expressions comes at a time when the calm, idyllic campus of IIM Bangalore is bursting into a wild frenzy. The cultural festival Unmaad is here and the stage is all set for Namma Bengaluru’s home grown rock band ‘Thermals and A Quarter’, better known as TAAQ, to set the stage on fire. Moving ahead, ahem..behind from Indi Rock, we also capture the beats of the Exchange Aarambh to provide a firangi touch to this issue. But, before the dance and drama, we turn contemplative with an intellectual tête à tête with Arun Shourie.

CAT: A Love Story


As the talk of nation building grew heavier, we move on capturing the swings of the Summer Placements.

Faculty Profiles


We intend to spill no more beans and urge you to plunge into the pages ahead.

Free Riders Unearthed


Sinh Ka Aahwaan




Woh Sama



And before we forget, we take this opportunity to announce the night long SPIC MACAY fest Yamini on the 25th of January.

Happy Reading! Team Expressions


Tête à tête The youth are concerned. Take the example of the CWG; everybody is ashamed as an Indian. As the Union Minister for Disinvestment, Arun Shourie gathered accolades for his lean and trim administrative machinery. His books like Worshiping False Gods have generated intellectual debate and acrimony in equal measure. But, the man himself doesn’t care for what people think about him. In a freewheeling chat in Expressions on the sidelines of Vista , The Annual Business Fest , he bares it all...

instance, graduates from IIT Kanpur who have done very well in the US should contribute more to the institutions. We have good role models like Mr. Narayana Murthy who has endowed the centre for computational sciences at IIT Kanpur as an Alumnus of the institute. So, I don’t think that’s the correct criticism. But, one of the things is that jobs in the rest of the economy are much more lucrative than in organizations like ISRO and you can’t prevent that because these institutions remain with the Government. So, the chairman of ISRO doing a far more complex job than a secretary in Government has the secretary in the Government above him. So, remuneration, status everything is kept low, and that’s why there is not that much incentive to go into these organisations. That should change.

Expressions:You have written a book on various forms of education systems in India. Do you think that the media is focusing too much on a few premier institutes? Arun Shourie: I think these institutes are the islands of excellence and their autonomy has to be preserved against all efforts to encroach upon them. SecExpressions: Is it also because indiondly, we should multiply such instividuals in our country are not encourtutes and for that reason many things aged to work for the country? Is it that we need to be done. For instance, the don’t try to bring in that feeling of workPrivate sector must be encouraged to ing for the nation to the extent required? setup institutions of its own of excelArun Shourie: Well, yes and no. I find great lence. There used to be a tradition of national spirit among all persons I meet. The setting up fine institutions, the Tatas youth are concerned. Take the example of the did it, Mr G D Birla did it in Pilani. Arun Shourie CWG; everybody is ashamed as an Indian. SimThat has gone out and instead teaching ilarly, when you talk to the young people who shops have been setup. Professionals are into IT, they are proud that they are giving Americans should rate institutions. That should be publicized rather than government control and supervision be- and Europeans a run for their money. So, there is great cause the hand of the state is the worst hand. So, nationalism in India. But, nationalism is not getting ingive great incentives to private sector to set up insti- spired because of symbols of the state. The politicians, tutions through charitable foundations. The private the civil servants, they are not even on the list. The rest of sector should have the vision to leave the institutes the society, I think is much more country oriented than the at a certain distance as the Tatas did. They did not state structure. The youth of the country feels much more interfere in the IISc or the TIFR which they setup. for the country. So, I do not agree with that assessment. So, that’s the model which should be followed. Expressions: We have seen great changes in our Expressions: Sir, we have some institutes of global country in terms of opportunities available to Inrepute in India. But, a lot of people criticize the fact dians. Would you like to point out some posithat the alumni of these institutions have not really tives and negatives of this process of change? contributed to the projects of national importance like Arun Shourie: No, I think what happened was that as those of ISRO or to governing the articles. Why this? Mr. N.A. Palkiwala, the great jusrist and a lawyer used Arun Shourie: No. I don’t think that’s the criticism. to say that it takes a great deal of genius to keep India I think one of the criticisms was that they should down. But, our governments have done it. So, what hapcontribute more to the institutions themselves. For pened was that the hand of the genius was removed and



society then flourished and went ahead. That is the positive side. This is strength and resilience of society. But, a continuing trend of deterioration of quality of the institutions of the state since the 1960’s has continued even after economic reform. So, political administrative reform and constitutional reform has not kept pace. In fact, that has been going in the reverse direction as economic reform.

who did not have the moral stature to, as General Smut’s said, “I am not worthy to even untie his shoe laces.” Lokmanya Tilak had to put up with liars, with adversity. Everything he stood for in a sense failed: Hindu- Muslim unity, fighting for a united India, an alternative to western civilization. But, he converted all these setbacks into opportunities for inner growth. So, one should have a greater autonomy in the aspirations we aim for. Unfortunately in our profession, we become dependent on the acclaim of others and thereby become dependent on others. A balance has to be stuck. If I am an author and I write only for myself ,my books won’t sell. But, if I am writing only for the crowd, maybe even then I would not be making a contribution.

Expressions: We are often told to become a leader or a change agent at institutions like IIM’s. But, at a time when leadership is under clout, we have situations like Enron or the Satyam scandal. Many of our political Are we doing enough for them? leaders have had their Expressions: Throughnames figuring in scanout your career you dals or have cases lodged against them. In such have always stuck to the stands that you take. For excircumstances what would your advice be to the ample, when you exposed corruption in Maharashtra and younger generations? Should they try to be a leader when you spoke against the Bofors scandal. So it’s like per se or should they just excel at whatever they do? converting your difficulties into your advantages. How Arun Shourie: Both things. Be honest leaders. Why easy or difficult is to stick to a stand and face criticism? is it difficult? Narayan Murthy, Ratan Tata; all these Arun Shourie: To handle criticism, you need to have a people show that you can be leaders and agents of thick skin. And you must have some slight contempt for the great change with honesty. So, we should try to be critics. But, I personally never attached much importance to like them and not just leaders for the sake of being my career. And therefore, even if I am dismissed as I have leaders. Dawood Ibrahim is a leader. Veerapan was a been twice, I feel sorry for it but I am not heart- broken. And leader in his own way and he was actually excelling also I have had a great sustainer- my own son. He is 35, he in his profession. So, we have to be agents of change can’t see very well, he can’t speak except syllable by syllaand keep to integrity. And these people show us that ble, he can’t stand, he can’t walk and he can’t use his right in new India, it is possible to be honest and at the hand. But, he is laughing and happy.So, if I am dismissed same time, make a great contribution to the country. or I have a setback, I only have to look at this child and see that he is laughing in spite of his difficulties .I can’t be deExpressions: In one of your interviews you had jected simply because I have lost a job. So, that sustenance mentioned that your life has been a series of lucky has been a great help. It has given me a sense of proportion. accidents. With regard to that should we try to plan our life or should we try to live it with the flow? Expressions: Thank you sir for your time. We will Arun Shourie: I think both things, but the main thing cherish this interaction for a long time to come. would be developing an attitude of putting them to work. Not just for careers and external growth, but for internal growth as well. Then, we are invulnerable. One great example, we have is Mahatma Gandhi. He was sent to prison for six years by persons EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011


Across the seven seas Copenhagen - The coolest capital of Scandinavia

Copenhagen is a beautiful city for the ardent walkers. Especially in the month of September when a clear sky and pleasant breeze pushes you out of your comfortable beds for a stroll, you learn that walking can actually be fun. We had covered most of the popular points, which by the way were not many in Copenhagen within the first week of exchange. Nyhavn and Stroget adjacent to each other are the popular streets as is evident from the crowd they attract. The former is a dock area where it is expected of you to have an Irish Coffee on a sunny day. The latter is a fashion street with all the big fashion brands and popular eating joints. Cafe Hard Rock is a walking distance and worth a evening drink just to see the kind of cosmopolitan crowd around.

The overnight train from Oslo to Bergen was half empty. We were able to stretch our legs as night approached. The morning was unforgettable. We were passing through fjords. Sky high mountains rose from nowhere and the train would have to tunnel through or meander as per the wishes of nature. We reached Bergen at 7. Bergen stands at the north-west tip of Europe. We took an elevator train to Mount Floen. Standing atop, we realized how beautiful the city was. Modern structures stood tall with old docks before the entire city would merge with the Atlantic. Spending a couple of hours roaming around, we decided to go to Voss. It was a quintessential town near a lake on our way back to Oslo.

Prashant Kumar We decided to go to Norway on our Voss was spectacularly pristine. We trekked first free weekend at exchange. Having heard so a good two hours before settling for a top view of the much about the unmatchable natural beauty of entire lake town surrounded by high hills. Settling for this northern Scandinavian country, we could not life was an option I would have accepted then and there. resist the wait. The first point was Oslo with a promising night life and busy harbour area. We de- We went back to Oslo and from there to Stockcided to go deep in to the Norwegian countryside. holm. Rohit was strategically placed at SSE and 5


Cafe Hard Rock Copenhagen

Nyhavn Copenhagen

Liner Dock Copenhagen

Liner Dock Copenhagen

Cafe Hard Rock Copenhagen Stureplan Stockholm EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011



Lake Voss

Stureplan Stockholm

Largest Spherical Building in the World

thanks to him, we had an elaborate plan at hand. Stockholm is a cluster of 14 islands which in itself positions it uniquely among European capitals. We enjoyed an exchange gathering at SSE on our first morning and ventured out for a lunch party to one of the far-side island in the Stockholm Archipelago. The night was for Stureplan. It’s a disc pub in the middle of Stockholm and the most happening place on Fri7

days and Saturdays. Although the entry fee to the discs was on a higher side, we had no doubts that it would be a wise investment. We came out at 3 in the morning. We covered Vasa Museum the next day and ate a sumptuous dinner at night thanks to ready-to-eats that Rohit had brought from India. We planned for the upcoming Oktoberfest in Munich next week and dozed-off somewhere in the middle of planning it out. EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011


Breaking the silence, The drizzle & the breeze played their tunes; I’d like to dance, but can only stare: Watch as the raindrops continue their soulful dance Weaving shining paths of purification...... Blissful cold as I lay helpless, On the metalled blackness, debris surrounding me, I watch, my blood being washed away Along with the rivulets of water Brought down upon the earth, by the heavens unleashed. These last few moments....... I think back..... On all that I had left undone; Unspoken words, which I feared to use To confess undying and eternal love to my soulmate..... Fearing rejection, Fearing avoidance, Fearing a deliberate withdrawal...... A break from our happy-go-lucky relationship Never once looking on the positive side. My regrets are numerous ; Profound and deep Forgotten promises to my parents, Of fulfilling their dreams Of being by their side, Till the very end, Of being there to continue their lineage....... Memories -- a curse ; Remembrance -- a sin ; How could I forget my dearest friend Who was with me through thick and thin Yet to whom I had never taken a moment... To say or express my love, “ Thanks for being there for me” Or, “ I cherish you my dear friend.” Never have been able to bring myself to voice them... Though I’m sure she would have read my mind. Our hearts and minds were so in sync, Still that regret remains deeply etched in my mind. As the essence of my life is ebbing away from my body I remember that drunkard, whose perfect driving Was the sole reason in my being where I am... I think of him and couldn’t find it in myself... To forgive him....Just plain hatred... For not giving me a chance, to say all that I’d left unsaid.. And do all that left undone..... There wasn’t enough time for goodbyes, Nor enough words My life lay strewn around me Down a ravine, all alone and helpless, I can’t do anything about it Not even to lift my hand in final adieu. EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011

Aswathy Honeylal


Music of the Waves

Aswathy Honeylal

Walking on the sands of time I am struck by the aptness of it The Music of the Waves..... Like a never ending symphony They are there to keep me company In the loneliness of my heart ; To soothe my frayed nerves, To console me, To calm me , That I’m not alone In this madness, In this desperation... Many have trodden along the same path Some succeed....Some fail.... Some attracted by the music As moths to the fire Little knowing, the attraction is fatal That their mating is forbidden : Only one ending possible. Some overwhelmed by the silence Repelled by the very thought of it, Refusing to be goaded into her depths Try finding the notes of her music. I am confused, where do I belong? Here also, In life and in death, Feeling left out..... Out of Sorts Heart and mind warring with each other Am I losing control ? Yes, I must be... Life’s numerous twists stifling me, I continue walking along the line Between the spark in me And the flame in her, and her music... Hoping to find a solution And maybe Redemption Hoping against hope that both Heart and mind agree with the other But.... I’m a fighter, Not a coward Who lets the boulder’s in life Push me down and settle over me ; So, I walk back, to my world Echoing what must be for The zillionth time, “ Why me????



A Dark night It was raining heavily. There was darkness all around dizzy and unconscious. Having overpowered the now and it was breached every now and then by the driver, Alex dragged the driver’s body to the side lightning and the thunder deafening. He was stand- of the road. A little morality was still left, after all ing under a tree. Looking up he saw the tree with its a man’s blood on his head was the last thing he over-reaching and sturdy branches, which prevented wanted over his head. He was a religious man and him from getting drenched. But, that was no relief. he feared God. Also, he did not want to go to prisHe still had over 50 kms to travel to reach his daugh- on and leave his daughter “orphaned”. The death of ter who had had another of her “asthma attacks”. Her his wife had had deteriorating effect on his daughasthma had grown worse and the doctors had called ter’s health. By a stroke of luck, no one witnessed in a specialist from the neighbouring city to handle this rash judgement of Alex and he decided to the complications in her case and time was critical. seek the almighty’s forgiveness on his next visit to He, being a doting father travelled to the city in which the church. He started the car and just let it loose. his daughter lived to meet her. He hurried from his of- He was relieved. It was a matter of time that he fice and took the first bus to reach his native city. But, will reach his daughter and comfort her. The the riots in the city by some fringe elements to “sani- immorality of his action was too less a price tize” the city of the “scums” of neighbouring states had to pay to be near his daughter. His daughcaused the bus operators to leave the passengers on the ter needed him than anything else in the world. outskirts and now he was left stranded on this dark, rain- “Dad, where are you?” she asked. ing night on a road, where no one usually dared to drive “I am here.” Alex answered and he clasped and gripped unless he was oblivious to the many criminal her hand firmly. “Everything would be okay” casualties which frequently happened on it. and he looked imploringly at the nurse to echo Overwhelmed by the emotions and a tenhis sentiments. He needed assurance himself. der heart, he could sense the tears blur“When is the doctor coming why is it taking ring his vision. He realized the desperation him so long ?” Alex whispered to the nurse. of his situation. He choked. The thought of “No idea. He should have been here by now. his daugher gasping for breath and panting, Even I am worried. She needs to be examined clutching to the hospital bed instead of her right away. Only the medicine that the doctor father’s hand tore his heart out. The pain was is bringing can alleviate her pain”. “Her conunbearable and he started crying inconsoldition is worsening every minute. We need Shantalu ably, he fell down on his knees and burto act fast or else it could be too late … “ Srivastav ied his head between his legs. The anguish, “Ahhh Papa , take care, I will tell mummy that pain and the feeling of being incapable of you said hi and you still love her ….. bye” and reaching to his daughter was unbearable and he lost to- that was it. The grasp of her hand that went strong tal control of his body and rolled down from the in- went loose. Her dreamy eyes were still open. The cline where the tree stood to the middle of the road. nurses moved in, but Alex knew it was over. The Rain was getting heavier and he lay there unshielded as last string of life of his morbid existence had been each drop of rain struck his face with a biting ferocity. taken away. His hopes of living for his daughter “This is it, let it end here with a vehicle that could just mow were crushed. The tears accompanied with a loud me down and bring an end to this pathetic existence”. moan and groan was all that he could do to accept The parallel beam of the headlights of the approaching the death of his daughter. He ran out of the room. car illuminated the path ahead of him. He didn’t move As he exited the room, a stretcher attendan inch, when the car screeched and stopped just inches ed by around 10 people came in. A doctor before him, but he stayed there and closed his eyes. The with a bruised face, a broken nose was being guilt ridden driver of the car instantly came out the car rushed into surgery. But he handed over someone a and bent over to ascertain any living signs on the corpse. poly bag from his coat with clear instructions “Rush No sooner did the driver came close to the body, a this to the girl suffering from asthma, she needs clean shot on his face followed by another on his nose it immediately. It’s a matter of life and death”. and a kick on his “unmentionables” left the driver EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011


Summers FEVER It was a chilly morning on the 9th of November. The categories of students in the MDC area – extremely PGP1s of IIM B woke up to find a small piece of pabored or extremely excited. There was a surprise visit per slipped under their doors. It was a note from by a consulting firm which had not released shortlists PGP2s wishing their fachchas & fachchis good luck earlier. They ended up recruiting quite a few candifor the strenuous week ahead. A slight smile spread dates at the end of the day. It was a joyous moment across my lips on reading the note. At the same time, for those candidates since they had not expected a feeling of extreme lightness and a tinge of nervousto get placed on the very first day of placements. ness swept through me. With that bundle of mixed As the sun went down on Day Zero of summer placeemotions and a thousand butterflies fluttering around ments, the crowd thinned and shortlists for the next in my stomach, I proceeded to get ready for the much day of placements were released. The group discusfamed Day Zero of the summer placement process at sions for Day 0.5’s biggies kick-started at around IIM B. Starting from that day, a week had been al7 PM. As I rushed for my GD, I could see that the lotted to ensure that the biggest ever batch of IIM B mood was now more sober, the trackers were more comprising of 375 students got an internship opportutired and the candidates were looking a lot more irnity. Like me, most people were not looking out for ritated. Around 10 PM, we were officially told we anything special on Day Zero since we had not been could leave for the day. At the end of Day Zero, a shortlisted for any firm. I made my way to good number of people had been placed. the MDC area only to find myself lost in a Day 0.5 of placements followed pretty much sea of black and grey suits. Each one of us the same routine as Day Zero. The marketing looked our smartest best that day. I sifted and general management firms were the big through the crowd to spot my friends and takers of the day. The PGP1s who were alsettled down with a cup of tea from the ready placed were seen volunteering in hospivending machines put up nearby. I looked tality. Soon, Day 0.5 came too came to a close. around to see that most people around One thing was noticeable though. As the days me were happily chatting away. Expecprogressed, the process became tougher. The tations were low. Smiles were broader. GDs were arbitrary, the interviews seemed I could see the placement representatives unpredictable. Many candidates rushed form Ayesha escorting the company executives into one GD to another unable to contribute wholeAbuthahir heartedly to anything. The interviews became various rooms allotted for the interviews. There were quite a few PGP2 trackers runstranger by day. Some went on for an hour. And ning around with headsets and microphones some, lasted just 10 minutes. There was an inmuttering away protocols to the control room. Their stance when a candidate was interview by an IIM B eyes moved expertly through the crowd as they realumnus who asked the candidate to find out inforcorded mental images of who was sitting where. Every mation about him and get back to him. The candidate now and then a mobile tracker would silently creep up was seen rushing out of the interview room busily behind a candidate and usher him away for interviews. on the phone. Quite a few thought he bagged the ofAt around 8.30 AM, as we were lounging away in fer. But, he was only calling up his friends to search the couches, I started seeing some beaming faces and information about the said alumnus on Spidi. After a handshakes being exchanged. The process was offifew more antics like these, the candidate did bag the cially on a roll. Within the next one hour I heard that offer at the end of it all! There was also an instance of most of the cream had been lapped up by the enthua popular confectionery company who insisted that siastic firms eager to get the best from premier instithey needed to do some group activity and the rooms tutes. Meanwhile, the snack stalls were making great were not spacious enough. The volunteers had a business like never before. Especially, the Dominos tough time searching for open spaces and finally took outlet which was making hot molten choco lava cakes them to the park near MDC. A while later, unable to and smoking hot pizzas was on a roll thanks to the two stand the torture of mosquitoes, the last group was



moved to the room. Volunteers were taken by surprise when asked to bring raw eggs for the conducting the activity. Nevertheless, the sporty volunteers

Cheers and hoorays resounded through the MDC area. The placement team was given a standing ovation by the enthusiastic PGP1s. A champagne

were seen rushing to Athicas and came back with the eggs in no time. Finally, the company recruited a decent number of candidates at the end of the day. On Day 5, at around 5.30 PM, the summer placement process was nearing closure. We heard that around a few candidates had signed out of the process to pursue opportunities in their respective fields of interest. We eagerly waited for the final announcement from the PRs. We could see the PGP2s grinning away as we waited in anticipation looking at the balcony of the MDC area. Finally, the entire placement team came together on the balcony. The announcement was made. The biggest ever batch of IIM B had been placed. It was the most successful placement season ever! P.D. Jose, the chairperson of placement, IIM B observed, “While the summer placements this year were a clear testimony to the revival of the industry, a lot of the credit can be attributed to the diversity of the batch.”

bottle cracked open and celebrations begun. A loud chant of ‘Hoosh ! Hoosh!‘ started. The PGP1s ran up to the balcony to perform the IIM B tradition of hooshing to celebrate the end of placement season. A few PGP1s were seen profusely thanking the members of the tracking and control team. None of the PRs were spared from the hooshing. Soon after, cameras started clicking away. The students were seen posing happily with their friends and classmates. It felt good to see those broad smiles which had been missing for a few days, back on everyone’s faces. After all, All is well that ends well!



Dinner with Prof. Janat Shah Behind the stoic face, behind tion: ‘Is it so difficult for you to relate to your teachthe undulating focus on achiev- ers that when you re-enter IIMB at some point in ing efficiency in class and in life, that you can’t go ahead, meet him and say hello.’ operations, lies a person IIMB Questions kept coming: But why teaching? You could’ve knows as Prof Janat Shah or worked in a corporate? Well, it gives you control. A life as ‘Ops ka God’, as some of where you decide what you wish to do and how? his students fondly call him. It was the first ever informal People interpret it as a life of ease. I think it is a life of meeting set up organized by choice. Here he gave an example of Prof Ramachandran Gurukul. The agenda was sim- who stays in office till 9/10 PM most days including Sunple. None.The conversation days and ensures he is adequately prepared for the benefit began by brief intros by people gathered. of the class. Lots expressed their background & career objectives, both short and long. Placement choices in life for students inTheir love(read hate) of Operations be- ‘I actually wasn’t sure terested in operations as a career? cause it is more of common sense and if teaching was where the like. To which the ever-calm, the For this he pointed out that for people inI wanted to be, it just terested in operations as a career, “Operasteadfast thinker replied: ‘I get scared happened because I when people say they have a clear tions consulting” offers great prospects. joined a programme direction of where they want to be.’ called FPM which paid It is also important that alumni comesHe recounted his decisions in life, students for studying’ back at regular intervals to share their one which included his lack of diexperiences. This includes you too, rection of what he wanted to do. once you’ve spent 4-5 years out there. ‘I didnt have any direction for Take up mentorship for new batches. sure’ But inquisitiveness took the better of the conversation and someone asked: At this point, the cold dinner was completed and the Then why did you choose to become a teacher.? day ended. But memorable as it was for us, we hope that Prof Shah doesn’t need an invitation next time. ‘It just happened. I never planned to be one. I did my engineering. Had a two year stint in a job as plant manager. That didn’t interest me much.I heard about this programme called FPM in IIMA and I joined it as it paid students for studying.There I had no idea of what specialization to take up. I met someone called DVRS (for the uninitiated, Prof DVR Seshadri happens to be the professor for the course Business to Business Marketing in IIMB) and he told me to take up Production and Control like himself. I liked it. I wanted to pursure research and teaching thereafter and joined IRMA. Came to IIMB in 1991 and it has been a pleasurable journey ever since.I always know 2-3 students closely from each batch, recount their names, have been to their weddings and am still in touch.’ So concluded the first interaction. We have had the fortune of more such interactions. The highlights He candidly recounts the experience of 1 ex-student of these interactions will be presented in future who started a venture with Prof R T Krishnan as its issues of this magazine in the form of snippets as CEO. He fondly recollected the aspirations and hopes “GuruSpeaks” columns. of students who he had taught. And asked one ques



CAT-A love story Zoon…zoon…trin…trin…zoon…zoon… trinnnn…trinnnn…zoon…zoon…trinnnnnn… trinnnnnnnnn……..the mobile alarm started to vibrate with its volume increasing slowly. I love to wake up this way rather than by the shrill noise of a table clock. It’s analogous to a lullaby- it makes you go into sound sleep slowly and the mobile alarm wakes you up slowly- “Zor ka jhatka dheer se”. I switched off the alarm, got out off the cozy blanket and rushed to get ready- to waste another Sunday. Yes, giving a mock CAT was nothing more than wasting a Sunday. These Mock CATs had indeed been mocking me for a long time and I was still struggling to figure out what was going wrong. But the struggle continued and like last few Sundays, I woke up early morning, got ready and left for the test centre. I parked my bike and took out my cell phone from my jeans pocket which was vibrating for long. I found three missed calls from Andy and a text message written ”I’m in room 201, come fast, ve kept a seat for you.”

It was now that I realized she wasn’t wavSunil Kumar ing at the boy but to her friend in the next row. And the guy was indeed responding to one of his friends standing behind me. I was relieved!! At the same time, I was surprised to find everyone reserving seats for their friends. It was now that I realized that I had completely forgotten about Andy. But girls are always more important friends - I smiled and took anFriends are the than other seat in the adjacent row. As I ones who will occupied the seat, there was another exploit you message from Andythe most and “Come fast, paper being distributed” they are also I replied - “Ya, was late….sitting in the ones who some other room” would be the I was about to switch off my mobile first to come to phone, when I received yet another help when in message from him“Saale, funde mat de….i saw what you need!! were upto when you were crossing the second floor”.

I rushed to the second floor but as I reached the first floor, I saw one of the fairest girls (among the Indians, of course) I had ever seen and she was equally beautiful!! I followed her with the intention of getting a seat in the same room as hers. She entered a room on the third floor. I was right behind her trying to make sure that I occupied the seat adjacent to her. As she entered the class, she waved at a guy in the far corner and the guy also responded.


“Damn, is she already committed??”- I wondered. She then moved towards him but surprisingly took a seat in front of him which was already occupied by one other girl.

I knew I was going to be ragged by my friends once I went back home. Friendship is the best relationship God has given to the mankind. Friends are the ones who will exploit you the most and they are also the ones who would be


the first to come to help when in need!! And I’m really blessed to have some wonderful friends!! After 3 hours of grueling tests, we came out of the classroom and I followed the girl. As I reached the ground floor, I saw Andy already waiting for me. I told him I was going after the girl and asked him to accompany me. But then he reminded me that we were invited by Nikita at her house. We were meeting her for the first time after she got married. I told Andy that I would join him later at Nikita’s house. But he gave me that look which meant I was only calling for trouble. So, I gave in and we left together for Nikita’s house. It was Monday morning. I got up to see yet another early morning and soon headed for the bus stop from where I was to board the company cab. The cab arrived in next few minutes. I entered the bus and to my utter surprise, I found the same girl sitting inside it. She was looking outside the window and did not notice me. The seat adjacent to her was empty and so were many other seats. I thought of sitting beside her but then felt that it might not look decent on the very first day. So, I took another seat. During the lunch time, I met some of my friends in other teams over the afterlunch walk and told them about the girl. I came to know that she had joined the same team as that of Hamish. With the help of Hamish, I found her on Orkut. FB was still not known to many of us three years back. I spent most of the second half in Hamish’s cubicle but couldn’t find any chance to talk to her. I don’t think she even noticed me. Now came the Tuesday morning. I entered the cab and this time, she did look at me but then turned


her face to the other side. I was now scared to sit beside her. Another chance went begging. I had made up my mind to sit beside her the third day but before I could take the seat, it got occupied by someone else who was also waiting at the same stop. Fourth day, as I entered the cab, I found her bag kept on the adjacent seat. As I approached her seat, she looked at me and I gave a smile. She also returned my smile and moved the bag from the seat to her lap. She did this even though they were still many empty seats. “Was that an invitation to sit beside her?” I wondered. As I came near, my colleague sitting at the back asked me to join him and yet another chance went down the drain. It was Friday morning. As I entered the cab, I saw her giving a glance at me and then turning her face away. Even though I wasn’t good at reading girl’s mind using their reactions (unlike few of my friends), I could easily see the anger because of what happened the previous day. I wouldn’t dare sit beside her. In the evening, I left the office with disappointment that I wasn’t going to see her for the next two days. Then it struck me that I could She was still meet her at the shocked mock CAT centre. I was never so eager to get ready for a mock CAT ever before this particular Sunday. I went to the centre but couldn’t find her. It was too huge a place to find someone so easily. Another Monday

and told me that she too wouldn’t appear for any of the interviews if I didn’t.


morning came. Now I realized that it was too late still in shock when Priya came to my cubicle and didn’t have much confidence to sit beside her and informed about her three calls, IIM-B, I after all that had happened the previous Thursday. and L. I was very happy for her. But then she I felt it was over before it even started. But luck fa- asked me for my scores and I told her that it voured me yet again. It seemed as if the whole uni- was not good enough to get a call and that I verse was conspiring in favor of me. One fine day, didn’t even check their website. She asked me the cab from one of the routes was not repeatedly to check the website, but working and few people were asked to I was too stubborn to do so. Once take our cab. So, when the cab reached our argument was over, I suggested I doubt what my stop, it was already sufficiently octo her that we go out to celebrate was happencupied with only few seats left empty, her success. But she refused. Even ing. I knew it unlike earlier when more than half of after my continuous requests, she wasn’t very difthe cab used to be empty. I entered the didn’t agree. This time, she was too bus and I found that my most coveted ficult for a girl stubborn to hear me but I knew of her calibre how she felt and there wasn’t anyseat was still empty. I always wondered why that seat was never getting occu- not to get se- thing either of us could do. pied. May be there were many like me lected. - I smiled at the thought. I went near The next day, she pinged me in her seat expecting her to move her bag the office and asked me to meet and she did. I took the seat and that her in the break-out area. When I was the first time I talked to her. reached there, she surprisingly hugged me in the presence of few other colleagues of mine, We soon became good friends. We started to have and informed me that I had a call from IIMour lunch together. I asked her out on one of the K. It seemed she took my registration number weekends and she readily agreed. I took her to from my mobile while we were travelling in The Bombay Post. It had always been my favorite the cab early morning. She was happier than I place. Though a little costly, it provided the per- was. Now she wanted to go for a dinner. I infect ambience for the first date. Slowly, we started formed her that I never intended to join IIM-K spending a lot of time together - more lunches, and that I’m not going to appear for the interdinners and movies. Finally, I felt it the right time view. She was shocked and told me that she too had come. And I proposed to her. In turn, I was wouldn’t appear for any of the interviews if I rewarded by our first hug. She then disclosed the didn’t. I was very sure that I was not going to fact that she too had been noticing me right from join that college. So, to ensure that Priya prethe day when we first met at the CAT centre but pared for interviews well, I joined her for the she had not revealed until now. Things were mov- mock GD and interviews. I wasn’t surprised ing very fast and were moving for good. to see that she was doing extremely well in the group discussions and I knew she was smart Then came the big day - the CAT exam and enough to handle any interview. then the results. I was in office when I received the scores as a text message on my mobile from The interview day arrived. She called me to wish the CAT examination committee. It wasn’t good me luck. But she was the least bit aware that I enough to get a call. So, I didn’t even bother to had no plans to attend the interview. I met her check the website if I had got any call at all. I was in the evening and told her that I attended the EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011


interview and everything went well. She appeared for all the interviews and I myself dropped her each and every time. The interviews results were announced and as shocking as it may sound, she didn’t make it through any of the colleges. I doubt what was happening. I knew it wasn’t very difficult for a girl of her calibre not to get selected. Though I never mentioned that to her, I felt that it was her deliberate attempt not to clear the interviews. I think she knew me more than what I knew of myself. She seemed glad that we would be preparing for next year’s CAT together. Now was the time to take this relationship to the next step. I proposed her to get married and she seemed to be on cloud nine. I asked her to talk to her parents and promised to inform the same to my parents as well. Being from a rural background where parents are generally orthodox, I felt it would be difficult for me to convince my parents. But after lot of efforts, they finally agreed. The fact that I was the elder son and I always had a say in important family decisions might have worked in my favour. My father has always considered me as a responsible person and often used to seek by advice in making decisions related to his small agrarian business. It was more difficult for Priya to convince her parents but they also finally agreed. Both parents came down to Bangalore and talked for the first time. They all soon parted on a good note. I was glad about how things were turning out to be. Now, Priya became a regular member of our group. She often accompanied me in almost all parties thrown by my friends. But one evening, Priya gave me a call and informed me that her as well as my parents were again not ready for our marriage. I wondered what could be the reason now. She told me what I thought to be one of the most lame reasons ever. It seemed Priya was few months older to me and according to the Hindu mythology, the groom should always be older to the bride. This was not the end of our problems. Priya was Maanglik


and another rule of Hindu mythology states that a Maanglik girl should get married only to another Maanglik boy. I was still to hear anything from my parents. I was wondering about how to go about this problem when I got a call from my father who told me the same story. I tried to convince them but they were not ready. I thought it wise to talk to them in person rather than discussing things on phone. I took leave from the office and left for home. This time, I found it difficult to convince them as they were afraid that getting married to a Maanglik girl might mean risking to my life. But after lot of efforts, even though I couldn’t convince them, they agreed for the marriage. Priya was also trying her best. But they were completely against this marriage. It was turning out to be tough job for her and the situation further worsened after her father got hospitalized because of chest pain. Few days later, she returned from home and joined the company. She had completely changed now. She was trying to avoid me. Finally one evening, she called and asked me not to talk to her anymore. She was worried about her father’s health. I didn’t want to force her for anything but I still tried to meet her in the office with the hope of everything settling down in the future. But she continued avoiding me. Few days later, I found that she wasn’t there in the cab and it continued for few more days. So, I met Hamish to find out what the reason was. He informed me that she had left the company. I asked where she had joined but he didn’t have any information about that. I wasn’t ready to believe that he wasn’t aware of her whereabouts as they were very good friends. But I felt he was doing what he was asked to do. She was gone now and the best way to get rid of her memories was to indulge into something serious and what else could be better than starting the preparations for CAT. I started the preparation and was finally selected for IIM Bangalore. I had still not forgotten her, or maybe I never wanted to. Weeks and EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011

months passed by but still, even the hectic schedules at the campus were not enough to stop me from thinking about her. Not a single day passed by when I didn’t think of her and all good times that we had spent together. It was the time of ”Samhar”- the sports mega competition between the three elite B-schools- IIM-A, B and L. This time, it was being organized in our campus at IIM Bangalore. The first day started on a good note for the college with our teams beating other colleges in almost all the games. After watching the evening match of basket ball, I went for dinner. After completing the dinner, I walked towards my room as it was the time to do some studies. On the way to my room, to my utter surprise I found Priya wearing an IIM-A T-shirt. My happiness knew no bounds. It was the day I had always been dreaming of. But I had never thought it would be this way!! She too looked happy as we hugged each other. She then joined me in my room where we talked the whole night even though she had to participate in few events the next morning. Next day onwards, we tried to spend time together as much as possible. She even missed few events intentionally. It never seemed as if we were separated for so long. She too was over what happened almost a year back. At the end of Samhar, IIM Bangalore, as usual, topped the list in almost all the events followed by IIM-A. She left with the promise of staying in touch. From then onwards, I often had many night outs- not to study, but to chat and talk to her. We now used to be on the phone even more than what we used to during our initial days at the office. She recently informed me that she got a PPO from one of the most reputed consulting firms. I asked for a party just out of fun and she sincerely asked me to join her in Ahmedabad. I knew it was difficult, and so was she. But one fine day, she EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011

flew down to Bangalore to meet me. It was a big surprise for me. But I was loving each and every moment of it. Everything seemed to be going well, when there was another twist in the tale. I was happy for her but then I did something really stupid which again separated us. I had informed Nikita about Priya when I met her during Samhar. Nikita was one of the best friends that I had during my graduation and we both used to share each and everything. When I told her about Priya’s job offer, she brought another angle to this love story. She knew my marks weren’t good enough to get a job from a consulting firm and suggested that there would be ego clashes if she would be earning more than me. I suggested that it totally depends on an individual whether it would lead to any ego clash and I doubted if it would be so in our case. She was indeed talking about what is the most common school of thought in the Indian society. But she finally convinced me. It was now my job to ensure we did not talk anymore. So, I stopped taking her calls. She even sent me few text messages asking about what the reason was but I simply ignored. I felt it was good for both of us. Few days back, my parents came to see me at the college. I told everything to my motherright from how we met to why I ignore her now. She asked me if I really loved her, which of course I did and finally suggested me to talk to her and tell her what I felt. I am planning to call her now but I am really worried about how would I talk to her after all what I did to her. Would she even pick my call?? Or would it be a good idea to fly to Ahmedabad and meet her in person. I was still thinking about what to do as I kept my head in my mother’s lap while she moved her little fingers in my hair. I had finally decided what to do and went for a sleep in my mother’s lap itself- the place where I have always found peace. 18

New occupants of Faculty Block CHETAN SUBRAMANIAN Economics & Social Sciences Associate Professor Ph.D., (Economics), University of Southern California My love for Cricket has brought him back to India. I am a big fan of sports and given a chance I am ready to compete with students in a sports tournament

SREELATA JONNALAGEDDA Marketing Assistant Professor Ph.D., The University of Texas, Austin B. Tech IIT Madras My interest in the field of teaching and research has brought me to IIMB. I am passionate of mountaineering and will probably carry out a Himalayan trek in the near future.

RITU TRIPATHI Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management Assistant Professor PhD (Psychology), University of Illinois at Chicago, 2010 MA (Psychology), University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007 MA (Psychology), University of Allahabad, 1999 BA, University of Allahabad, 1996 The campus— grey concrete juxtaposed against the green foliage –seems to reflect an underlying intellectual spirit as well: the proverbial grey cells ceaselessly at work in the global village. I feel so excited to be here

SRINIVASAN RANGAN Finance & Control Associate Professor PhD (Accounting), Wharton School of Business A.C.AB.Com,University of Madras IIMB is in a very unique stage in its evolution. The faculty now has an exciting mix of research and consulting experiences to share. This should reshape the way of Indian managerial thinking and student learning.



Free Riders Unearthed “Free Riding” is something worth trying at least once in your life at IIM Bangalore and I can bet you will simply enjoy doing it. I tried looking for definition of free riders on web and found quite a few interesting ones. “Party that enjoys a benefit accruing from a collective effort, but contributes little or nothing to the effort.” “a benefit obtained at another’s expense or without the usual cost or effort; also : soft or easy treatment” - With these definitions around, it should not be a daunting task to point out a free rider, isn’t it? But in reality it is as tough as figuring out a disguised thief wearing the mask of a saint. And free riding is such a frequent phenomenon on the campus that you will face it at least once or twice in your stint at IIM Bangalore. It may be more depending on your luck (fate) but certainly can’t be less. Common Characteristics of a free rider - Will never reply on time. “My outlook is not working or I was not in my room, so I could not see your mail.”- Will not take your calls when you have important meeting scheduled. “Sorry yaar, my phone was on silent mode or I left my cell in my room” - Will panic the most towards the end of project when deadline is closer. “Yaar, we should have started earlier, we don’t have much time left.” - Will never be prepared for the meetings even if he attends. “Oh, were we supposed to read American Connector? I read Donner instead. Can you quickly brief me about this case?” - Will always have another meeting to attend just after the current one. “Oye, complete this meeting quickly. I have XYZ club’s meeting. Types of Free riders Proclaimed Free Riders - These are born free riders EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011

and are always proud of this status. They don’t fear about the negative publicity but rather enjoy this status. They will make it clear to you about their abilities and inabilities in the beginning itself. You can’t do much about these types of free riders other than cursing your bad luck. Situational Free Riders - These species of free riders are usually observed when there are too many hard working people in one group. They are not free riders with intention but leverage the advantage of being in a good team to the fullest extent. The team members listen to the excuses in initial days and later the situational free rider declares himself to be hostile. Situation on the last day would be: “How dare you say that I did freeriding? I have attended every f******g meeting.” Gyaani/Talkative Free Riders - Don’t get surprised if you find a DML to be a free rider at the end of the project. These types of free riders are the most dangerous ones. They will talk a lot but will never walk the talk. They will bring all the innovative ideas to the table in the meeting, but will never do anything. “On the d-day, the presentation day, they will be the ones who will speak the most and make the professor feel that he is THE guy who burnt the midnight oil.” Demanding Free Riders - These free riders make your life more miserable as they are the resources who never work and keep threatening you as well. They will send you dreaded mails accusing the entire group for the current mess. They can pull off any time demanding and citing something unusual. “If you don’t tell me what I am supposed to do in next 30 minutes, I won’t entertain anything.” “I normally sleep at 10:30 PM. If we can finish the meeting by then, I am in. If not, you guys carry on 20

Credits: Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson with the rest of it.� Free riding Scale Now something for the free riders, how can you measure how much successful you have been at your free riding skills? Less Successful: If the group sends a mail pointing you to write executive summary and give the presentation tomorrow, you can consider yourself to be less successful at free riding. Moderately Successful: If the group tells you to do the report collation and editing, title page creation and to take print out, you have been moderately successful. Successful: If the group tells you to take the print out and submit the report to the PGP office, you have been successful. Extremely Successful: The group does not believe in you that whether you will take print out also, so they assign this work to someone else along with you. You 21

have an option of not taking print outs also. This is the pinnacle of free riding. Few Hypotheses 1. If a PPO holder recommends another PPO holder for a project group, the probability of free riding doubles. 2. If a team member asks about the project every time you meet him and pretends to be most concerned about it, the probability of free riding increases. 3. If a person contacts some other project group and does not join group of his near and dear ones, there is some certainty of free riding. The author is a seasoned free rider and very carefully selects papers where the group work amounts to more than 50 percent. However, he always gets disappointed at the end of each course as somebody else does more free riding than him. He is indebted to his friends for sharing valuable inputs and real life examples. EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011










A river, is full of glimmer; Created with His mirth, the various torrents on their birth, flowing down the valleys and leas: Revealing tranquility and peace, Are themselves manifestations splendid; While behind a mound, it hid. The river is a place of paradise, putting many in a trance. The silvery water under the sun or rain, soothes the pain, and relieves the tense: whilst strongly appealing to the sense. Just the sight of this living liquid trickling down, in the midst of a boisterous town, gives us the utmost pleasure, that would melt any other treasure. During showers, it is filled to the very brim, moving according to its own whim. In the night, there are two skies, above and below, the very trees and hills seem to bow. The river, like a thousand lights lit, Is the most fit gift from God, ‘the eternal lover’, giving it the mesmerizing power. Such divine beauty, that to appreciate is duty. Come what may…. will my charm for you ever cease? Nay ! Priya Mouli EXPRESSIONS, ISSUE 06, JANUARY 2011









Priyanka Gautam 29


The Cultural Fortnight @iim b ends with...


Expressions Jan 2011 issue  

6th issue of expressions, IIMB

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