Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lines written in a daze...

You ignite a thousand sparks in me,
You know not who your biggest fan is,
A hopeless romantic knows only verse,
Alas, he knows not how to converse!

The graceful mien, the flutter of the lips
the wavy hair as it gleams on the tender kiss
of the faint breeze - this is bliss and agony.
The joy of admiration, the (un)expressed words,
the (un)stolen glances - let them lie concealed,
let the veil not be shred and discarded, oh,
if only all of us know the heights of illusion,
we can take comfort in the laps of allusion!

In every breath you take, may rosy smells await,
in every path you tread on, a thousand joys erupt,
you have the environs gaze in wonder, at the
improbable creation you are, even the faint hints
of blemish would shudder to disturb those beautiful
tresses. A poetry in motion, you are and you would
always be!

In admiration of beauty and elegance, written in a state of daze...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On addictions and assignments!

Today marks the end of the first month at Great Lakes for some of my classmates here. One month has gone by in no time. It seems as if it was just yesterday we came back from the trek or sang along to some beautiful numbers! Time is indeed a great deceiver; it tricks us into believing that grief is long and happiness is transient and illusory.

To an unabashedly self proclaimed romantic like me, to whom the idea of beauty expands readily to encompass things that would appear silly, this place offers many addictions! New to hostel life, I am loving every bit of it now. Be it, the unexpected knocks at the door, the amazing views from outside my room windows, the walk along the corridor while talking over phone, the friends in my adjacent rooms, the rhythm of it all - it is truly something to cherish.

The plants lining the stretch from the mess to the academic block, the classrooms named after lakes like Ontario and Veeranam, the very shape of the academic block and the little temple at one corner of the campus - all these serve to elevate the place into something more than just blocks of concrete. The wonderful friends I have had the good fortune to make - even though we are not finding time to talk to each other as the rigor of the course sets in- have given me something to hold on to, something that I can confidently count on hereafter and draw strength from. At times, it does annoy me that we can't have enough fun, but it is all a part of the package we committed ourselves to. I have also got a wonderful bunch of simple people in my study group. We get together, work for sometime, talk more than we are supposed to and suddenly find a mountain to surmount. In time, We are going to rock!!

I have come to believe in the laws of attraction very firmly for I never once thought that I would feel out of place here and it has never happened so far. That I consciously strive to see only the best aspects of every person I meet makes things a little easier, I suppose. For once, it hardly leaves any room for judgment, complaints and brooding. I am getting used to the course rigor, by that I mean the language of prereads, quizzes, mid terms and case studies. 

All of us, every moment of our lives, gather memories; to savor them or loathe them is incumbent on us. As I hear a birthday being celebrated now, I am tempted to name this post 'On addictions and assignments'. Indeed nothing can be a better word than "addiction" to describe what this place and my fellow gladiators have done to me. So, until the next time I get a break from assignments, adieu!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Navigating the MBA melting pot

300 students drawn from all over India belonging to diverse backgrounds and communities and speaking different languages come together at Great Lakes Institute of Management in a village called Manamai, 8 kms from Mahabalipuram on the East Coast road. This aspect alone, to a curious person like me, opens up a lot of opportunities to learn immensely.

Whatever the effectiveness of textbook teaching, as one of our teachers said, learning in a MBA course is to a large extent, experiential. The teachers sharing their experiences and the students assimilating it and expressing their own makes interactions lively, engaging and brings a lot of perspective to every class. To me, this is the beauty of the course, the value lies in the journey and not in the destination which is just a byproduct. 

Having taken this view, there is something that every student should remember. This post is like a checklist to me and countless other students all over the country who undertake this journey.

  1. "To start with a conclusion puts a stop to all thinking" - J Krishnamurti, eminent thinker and philosopher. Imagine if we try to judge every fellow student from day one. We not only commits the mistake of foreclosing acquaintances and friendships, but also forget the fact that it is not for us to judge others. (On a less serious note, Oscar Wilde says, "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."!)
  2. One of our teachers put it beautifully in the last class she took - "Connect with others honestly". Networking, she said, sounds like a transaction and a deal. Though it is the buzzword in the industry for career advancement, it doesn't leave a pleasant taste in the mouth if one thinks hard. So, "connecting honestly with others" is the key; as long as people are able to see honesty and sincerity in us, unless we can fake it really well, they tend to warm up to us. Superficiality and duplicity can only take us so far. It is hard to wear a mask 24/7.
  3. It is easy to lose our originality and identity in a new environment brimming with tension and competition in a ruthless manner. Whenever anything seemingly insurmountable looms near, connect with your core identity. All of us have one, our identities are our anchors. Connect to them and draw energy from them. This word, ' identity' is a unique one. It encompasses everything we are - our strengths, our friends, our tastes, our dislikes, our passions, our weaknesses...the list is large. Very often, redefining it to ourselves makes its roots stronger.
  4. Monitor the Ego - Ego is the biggest impediment to success and from my experience, a potentially explosive one for relationships. Constantly monitor it, never feed it.
  5. Application - A very senior manager told me as I left the company to pursue this course, "Siva, take this from me. Always think of application. Learning is just alphabets without application". How very true! Whether it is applying oneself honestly everyday and every moment to the task at hand or thinking of applications to the concepts we learn, it encompasses a lot! 
  6. Appreciate beauty - Never lose the eye for beauty in little things in the midst of the rat races. This can be a succor anytime; it costs nothing and has extraordinary power.
  7. Maintain a record - Experiences like this can't be relived. Have a record of the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the boring and the interesting elements. Memories, especially the good ones are precious.
Hopefully, I remember these points through the year ahead. It would serve me well if I manage to! 

P.S: I would try my best to update this blog on a regular basis. After all, it is hard to keep one's passions under check!