Archive for March, 2005

Diary 31st March 2005

March 31, 05 by Bharani

For the past 1 week, I am receiving many calls from my relatives and old friends. I conveyed to each of them about my plans to pursue MBA education in ISB. Unfortunately none of them knew about ISB, which is quite understandable because of its relatively new entry into the market. To make matters worse many of them didn’t know about IIM’s too!!

I have left the efforts to make them understand the calibre of ISB. I am just telling them that I am going for higher studies and that it will be over in one-year.

One of my neighbour’s son is doing distance MBA from IGNOU. The total cost of education is 12,000 Rs. The total cost of my education is 15 lacs. Why so much price difference for same degree? This is another question that I receive. In spite of my best efforts to make them realize the quailty of student body, opportunity to network with some brilliant minds in business, lifelong bonding, faculty quality etc., I am unable to convince them on the cost of education. I have started facing the pressure now…In case something goes wrong (can’t rule out this option completely), no.1 response will be around the 15 lacs!

With all due respect to ISB, 15 lacs is a huge sum of money in Indian context. Only very few appreciate the intention to spend such a sum on education in India. I am happy that my parents are in the very few. That’s enough for me..

I have decided to follow the silent saint philosophy..I will get on with my pursuit without getting disturbed by responses and ignorances of others. When I get the results, world (my environment) will take a notice on me..Until then, BE HUMBLE, BE SILENT..

When I was in Belgium, I was determined not to worry unduly about the cost and to enjoy the one-year ride whilst being focused. But now after one week’s of stay in good-old home conditions, the cost factor has increased the pressure on me.

Diary 29th March 2005

March 29, 05 by Bharani

One of my aunt (quite elderly) is going to Muscat to visit his son living there. She will be there for 6 months and this is her first abroad trip. Visited her on Sunday and wished her. In order to not waste my valuable trip to chennai city, I purchased some casuals from Chennai silks. One job finished.

When I left Belgium, I thought I will not look at some stupid, rubbish tamil films. Alas, I have fallen in the trap of tamil films..Somehow, I have started watching films..Cricket was disappointing. Very sad to see the state of Sourav Ganguly. The very leader who was cheered across the nation is now booed relentlessly by all sections of the crowd! Guess, this will be his last captaincy in tests…He is heading towards the abyss of his career..

I planned to revise some statistics concepts and maths concepts. But I am struck and unable to overcome the inertia. I have signed for Intermediate Statistics and Intermediate Quantitative methods pre-terms.

I was happy to see the visitors count for my blog crossing 10,000! Also, my blog turns up first when someone searches for “Bharani”. Good!

A get-together among chennai admits is planned for the upcoming weekend. A lunch and movie session is planned I guess. Will be good to meet up some fellow ISBians.

Talked with Kaushik, Karthik and Vijay. Each one is different in a positive way. Planning to talk with Prithvi, Arun and Krishna sometime this week. By hooking with more people, breaking the ice will be relatively easy once I am in ISB.

My blog provider has upgraded the WordPress engine to 1.51. So there are some minor imperfections in the blogs. Especially my layout of the sidebar is weird. Hoping to rectify this as soon as I get the facility to modify the templates and CSS.

The internet connection in home is dead slow. This is discouraging me from making the posts :-( ..Thankfully, my blog reading is still on with wonderful Feeddemon. RSS rules! A bliss for such slow internet connections.

Back in India.

March 26, 05 by Bharani

Atlast I am back in India, enjoying good-old home conditions..Weather is the biggest change. Hyderabad will be worser than this!!

Have been sleeping, eating mom’s food, watching cricket and chatting for past 2 days..Will be same till sunday..From monday, I will start networking with admitted students in chennai, purchase dresses, order blazers, finish eye-check up (if possible and compatible I will go for Contact lens!), finish general health-checkup if possible…

Lot of changes weather, no job, to studies, no more salary, etc., and expecting cultural shock (in working conditions, interactions etc.,)..Everything will be fine by the time First term starts..

Bye Bye Belgium…

March 23, 05 by Bharani

The last day in J&J, Belgium was very memorable one. I received lot of well-wishes and I need those :-) . There were some emotions going on within me, but I prevailed over them. It’s always tough to say good-bye…Well, Now I can proudly say that I have very good friends in Belgium..

Also had a long exit discussion with my boss. He provided some promising insights into his future plans. By the time, I complete my studies, I might have some interesting role through him..I will wait and watch..If the role is interesting, I am all for them..I received Experience certificate and Reference letter from him too..

I gave away the cycle, exercising weights and some small things to my colleague. He was kind enough to take them.

Since there is no internet connection, I am writing this as a draft..Will publish it once I am online..

Tonight, I will try to finish as much packing as possible. Tomorrow will be busy day with formalities in bank and other stuff. Tomorrow night I think I will not sleep, as the taxi will come at 3:00 a.m the next day..I will catch all the sleep in the flight.

I have spent 3+ years out of my 26 years in Belgium. Almost 12% of my completed life :-) When I look this way, it appears a long time..

All in all, a very enriching experience. An experience which brought me out of the pigeon-hole..Now with the new set of wings that I have developed during my stay in Belgium, I will try to fly as high as possible..

Here I come ISB and India….

Farewell Lunch

March 21, 05 by Bharani

Today I gave farewell lunch to my colleagues. The Lunch was good. The restaurant was surprisingly quiet today and it provided a isolated environment for us..

My colleagues presented me a nice Executive bag. A very thoughtful gift and I will need it in my B-school and in my job as well. They also gave me a nice write-up about my experience here..Great gesture! They took care to remember all key happenings during past 3 years. They are an amazing group of people..It was a privilege to be part of such wonderful group… heart is getting heavier as the D-day approaches..A mixed feeling..I will miss belgium, workplace, serenity, peacefulness definitely…and choclates…

These are the moments which is leading me to a question…”Am I taking the right decisions? Is the sacrifices that you are making worthwhile?”..

2 days to go…

Zeeland – A trip to cherish!

March 20, 05 by Bharani

The weekend was one of the best weekends I have ever had in my life!

The weekend began with a trip to Zeeland. All 40 people turned up for the team-event. The Bus departed exactly at 9:00 a.m. I was surprised to see a heavy breakfast as against the promised ‘light’ breakfast..(May be light for belgians, just kidding). Around 8 people were picked up in Antwerp. During the travel, the Vice president of Treasury team announced the agenda for the upcoming hours. He had split up 40 people in to 6 groups. The division of groups was based on random number generation and it was good to see a good mix of diversity! Each team was asked to choose a captain and a name for the team in 15 minutes. I suggested a name ‘Atlas’, for his mightiness and for its representation of world (Indian in a team!). It was well received by the team and was accepted unanimously as the name of the team. Finally the VP announced the names of all the teams..Fun to see some names!

We reached Zeeland sharp at 11:01 a.m, 1 minute past the deadline! I was surprised to see an entire 4 star hotel booked for us, with all 40 rooms booked..I was given room number 5..Everyone was asked to assemble in 10 minutes..When I reached my room, I was surprised to see a letter from Treasury department and the list of activities for the 2 days…It was becoming a ‘Apprentice’ show!!

We had a walk in the beach for one hour. Came back and had a good lunch (My vegetarian dishes were taken care and I have never tasted better vegetarian food from european hotel before..awesome and hats off to the organizer). Around 2 p.m, the biking tour was organized. Each team was given a route and a GPS to assist us in the route! We have to reach each point and do a assigned team event. The information of the event was available only at the location..We had 3 team events..It included sack jumping (with 4 people on board!) a distance of around 25 meters and solving the “Towers of honoi” through tyres and poles (5 tyres). There was another person who knew the solution apart from me and with his assistance we enacted the iterations in record 2 minutes 40 seconds (The supervisor was able to complete it in 7 minutes!). The total bike trip lasted 3 hours and we covered 25 kilometers against wind! Was pretty cold..Fortunately they gave each one of us a wind/water protection suit..

In the evening, we had some time for refreshment. Around 7 p.m they had a “Wine Tasting” event. A wine manufacturer gave presentation about some of the best wines of the world and offered us samples..I decided to give a shot and tasted some wine..Felt very sour! and couldn’t differentiate between wines..Some were commenting “Fantastic wine”, “Awful wine” etc.,

Then the results for team event was announced..Immediately after that a 5-course dinner was offered. Again, my vegetarian dishes were ready! It was the longest dinner I have ever had in my life…lasted around 2 hours and 15 minutes..There were magicians entertaining us throughout our dinner..Great!

Around 10:30 p.m, the dinner for completed and people started boozing beer..I decided to stick with coke and water..Joined them in poker game and card games..Everyone dispersed around 1:30 a.m.

Next day morning began with a heavy breakfast..Checked out the hotel. We were taken to a harbour in Zeeland. There was a sailing boat waiting for us. Quite big and there was a antique look in it. The entire boat was rented including the services of crew and bar! We had to do the entire sailing activities like lifting the sail and dropping the sail..Never thought operating with ropes could be that tough and dangerous..burnt my fingers by running the rope through my hands!

After 3 hours of sailing in to the sea..we returned to the shore and headed to one of the finest restaurants in the region “Brasserie Maritime”. Again a long 4-course lunch, which finished with an exotic icecream dish..

After that we were taken for a guided city tour. The tour finished after 1 hour and we were taken to a pub for a good-bye drink.

Everything was organized very efficiently and professionally. The execution was seconds perfect!! Hats off..I felt the lifestyle of royal and rich for 2 days..I mean how many of us can afford to rent an entire hotel, services, sail boat!! All in all pretty memorable event..Will cherish the memories for long..

The hotel and the bus

The room in the hotel

Lunch in the first day.

Me standing near the bus

Me in the bus

My team during biking event

Wine tasting event

Dinner with magician

The sailboat with team

The sailboats in early morning dew

People busy with lifting the sail

Lunch after the sail

Guided tour

Team Event.

March 17, 05 by Bharani

The client team has organized a team-event for next 2 days. All of us [around 30 people] are going to a place called Zeeland, Nederlands. It’s close to the beach. Well-known for water adventures. The stay has been arranged in a hotel. The transportation will be by bus. The actual agenda for next 2 days is secret! Let me see what’s in surprise..I will be back by Saturday evening. Will be fun…Looking forward to it and I need this change..

Tomorrow morning, the internet connection in home will be disconnected. That makes the current post, the last post from my apartment in belgium…

My next post will be on Monday from office! I will miss my blog and yahoogroups very much, for 3 days..

Will make my gear ready for tomorrow’s activities now…I am feeling slightly feverish, will go and get a good night’s sleep..

Diary March 16th 2005

March 16, 05 by Bharani

Each and every time I interact with kids, I love the experience..Yesterday my colleague brought her kids to office. A 3 year old girl and 8 months old boy. They were such a dolls. Cute looking. The little girl was not reacting to anyone. I tried to interact with her sometime, and I managed to bring a million-dollar smile on her face..She was beginning to feel comfortable with me..I felt so good..I seem to have a good knack of getting along well with kids quickly..

Today, while I was travelling in bus, there was good crowd. A little boy came and sat beside me. He should be around 4-5 years old. After some time, he started sleeping by leaning onto my shoulder. I didn’t disturb him and I didn’t even move for quite some time…I felt good while he was sleeping peacefully…

Whatever tension, worries you may have, everything vanishes when you look at/interact with kids..

I went to hair-dresser today. There was a good crowd there too (At last spring has started in Belgium and days are becoming longer). The hair-dresser was trying to cut a little boy’s hair. It was great to watch him get on with his business while engaging the kid with some dialogues..If there is one thing that I see across all type of workers here, it’s the passion for their work..Be it painter, cleaner, shop-keeper they love their job. This manifests in the way they behave to the customers..

Well, my internet connection will be disconnected by this Friday. Life at home will be so different then. I am used to high-speed internet connection for more than 20 months, and I will miss the internet badly in home. May be this is a god-given free time to give rest to my eyes! My blogging will be sporadic till I reach India.

Will I Lose this blog?

March 15, 05 by Bharani

Nothing much happening. Just enjoying my final programming days and days in Belgium.

Blogsome is giving me jitters…My blog was down for most of the day..What’s strange is that only few users of blogsome were affected and I happened to be in that lot :-( . If something happens to this blog, I will not restart all over again. I will just maintain my own private diary..Looks like even blogspot faced problems somedays ago (Unable to comment and server was slow), but it has been reliable for so long..After all, these are all free services, we can’t sue them if something goes wrong..Best option is to buy my own domain name and web hosting package. Will run this thought in the background for sometime..I think I am sounding as head-weight in some places, infact I am not..It’s just the excitement manifesting in the word form..

Well, there was some good news for me today :-) Ebloggy managed to retrieve their old databases, and I got access to my old blog..Still, 7 days of post were lost, made during the key period near the admission results. Anyway something is better than nothing..I have ported all those entries to the current blog [Can be accessed through archives/November]..It was great to relive those 2 tense months!

Eklavya (a.k.a MIB) mentioned that the average GMAT for this year could be well above 710! Hmm..I don’t know what to say..just imagining the brain power of incoming batch…

Gaining Visibility

March 14, 05 by Bharani

For past few days, the visitor count per day has been increasing. Most of the hits are coming from Google Search and Technorati (Blog search engine).

I just went to Technorati Search Engine and searched for “MBA”..Mua came in the top search results! But this keeps changing as and when new posts are being made..Now search for “ISB”, all the ISB bloggers post will turn up! That’s cool..Technorati is gaining popularity very fast, as the one-stop search engine for blogs..So if we manage to get ISB related blogs on top for the search phrase “MBA”, that’s a great contribution to the school…I will dig deep now!

There is something called tags, which allows the post to be categorized. Search for the Tag:MBA…Cool huh?