Days of our Lives!

March 31, 2010

IIM Indore, Class of 2010

Filed under: I at IIM I,Top Draws — Santhosh @ 2:44 AM
Strange how, when we think back on these two years from the perspective of all that’s happened, it seems like an eternity. Yet, when we look back and remember everything so clearly, everything so recent, everything so close we could stretch out and touch them, it all seems like it really is not that long ago. When we first came, we were hesitant, we weren’t sure of what we were getting into; we weren’t even sure about what we wanted.
It’s said the beginning is always difficult, and it was especially so for us thanks to jogs at unearthly hours and truly SAD classes. From such physically painful days and the mentally painful ones of Chunauti, MAC classes and our first microeconomics quiz (remember? remember!), over the last two years, we’ve all come a long way. From the wide-eyed Tonty-somethings that we were, we can now fit the world into a 2×2 matrix. We can now walk up to any company and confidently announce in our best Savlon-voice that we can “strategically realign their organization to external exigencies using a process driven approach and scalable, replicable models that offer long-term sustainability.”
We’ve shared movies, maggi, bikes, cabs, rooms, notes, assignments, wake-up calls, proxies, doodles, after-dinner walks, suits, seats, fights, secrets, time, fun, and love. We’ve scrambled to class with a minute to go, yakked away for hours in the mess corridor, loafed around TI, swapped chapters on exam nights, and let the batch decide. Over our two years together, we’ve all grown close and helped each other grow. There will be some whom we’d like to have known better. And some we shouldn’t have known this well for the sake of our grades. What each one of us has done though, is to leave a mark in each others’ minds and hearts.
As the answers to “Why MBA” show, the reasons we came to the hillock were various: from the refreshingly truthful “Money” to the very honourable “to impress girls” (I’m still figuring this one out though); from the truly global “in-depth understanding of the market dynamics and to broaden my horizons for a long-term global perspective” to the very philosophical “Because I managed to crack CAT”. Some of us managed to switch careers, got the profiles and jobs we really believe in; some of us are walking out with dollar signs as eye-balls; some of us did wonderful community service, others served the community as office bearers; some of us found love; some found ourselves. Over time, hopefully, we would look back and realize that we managed to get exactly what we came for. Except the part about the girls, that is!
Finally, now, the bloody joke’s on us for thinking that all this will always be around. Yes, we’ve all hated waking up for 08:45 classes, getting memos from the PGP office and having to sit up all night for projects. Yes, we’ve all whined about the 100% attendance rules, the sex-ratio, the internet speed and our mess food – yes, OUR mess food. However, right now, each of us would gladly take all these for a chance to re-live our two years here. Now. Now when we look back at the mental portraits of all those friends, all those hangouts, all those small incidents that make up life, all those (mis)adventures, all those special people – all so fresh in the eye it seems strange that we have to move on.
We are not saying goodbye to each other in the real sense of the word, because we aren’t really going anywhere. We’re leaving the most precious part of ourselves here: our memories in these walls on the hillock. And we’re taking the most precious part of us with us: our memories of the two years spent in IIM Indore.
Where we go, we mind of
How we be, we know naught;
But, together we shall stay
all thro’ this life we’ve sought.
For ’tis in our Hearts and in our
Dreams that we together swing away!
And so, to each other, two hundred and thirty eight times over (see, 100% attendance!), HERE’S TO THE CLASS OF 2010!
Santhosh Kanna,
Class of 2010
~ Editorial for the Yearbook 2010

IIM I – the 2 years

Filed under: I at IIM I — Santhosh @ 1:56 AM

I loved

  1. DC
  2. Campus
  3. Community Service
  4. Sunset Point
  5. Holi
  6. D-block cricket
  7. Student Exchange
  8. Exchange students
  9. Facebook
  10. Markstrat and BCP
  11. Bakra in PGP-II
  12. Sabby in class
  13. Borrowing your bike
  14. Group projects
  15. Melting Pot at 00:00
  16. Mashaal and Sayaji
  17. Night walks
  18. Night outs
  19. Masala Maggi and Aaloo Pyaaz
  20. iDope
  21. Sleeping in Bhatta’s class
  22. Open Book Exams
  23. iDanim plays
  24. Tummy aches and Dembani
  25. Unlimited gulab jamun
  26. Placement treats
  27. ahvan, Mridang, Marathon
  28. Football at sunset
  29. Shantilalji
  30. The Yearbook Team 🙂
I hated

  1. You-Know-Who
  2. 8:45 am
  3. 100% attendance
  4. Guys with 100% attendance
  5. Slow internet
  6. Swamijis & guest talks
  7. Us meeting Placom
  8. Placom meeting us
  9. Placom
  10. Markstrat reports
  11. Bakra in PGP-I
  12. Sabby teaching in class
  13. Lending my bike
  14. Individual assignments
  15. Melting Pot at 00:00 on my birthday
  16. Mess food
  17. 01:30pm quiz announcements
  18. Talking about 3 Idiots
  19. Iterative resume building
  20. Sex ratio
  21. Fixed seating
  22. Desperate CP
  23. Reliance’s network and bills
  24. PGP Office memos
  25. Pure Magic stock-outs
  26. 11pm curfews
  27. Dogs in hostels
  28. Laptop deals
  29. the 20kms to the city
  30. Leaving campus on March 30

March 30, 2010

Section D, Class of 2010

Filed under: I at IIM I — Santhosh @ 5:06 AM
First of all, we’re Section D. And, doooode, essentially, that means we’re the best section. Yes, no questions about it. See, even TSV has no questions on this. Oh, and our Guruji has something to add here. Uh, who woke Kanodia? NO, Avinash, we don’t want to know what SEBI and UNESCO think of this. No, really! Ah, Nithin’s absent again, I see! And Kamal, why do you always have a Sprite bottle on you? Umm, Vishnu, the Cuckoo…? Nimmu’s engaged? Again? Yes, Rama, Good Morning and how are you all today?
We first saw each other, together, for the first time in Nutty’s session on case analysis all those months ago, the people we’d spend a major part of our time here with, and some of who’ll be a part of our lives forever. How eerily predictive that session turned out to be! Those who were late to class that day were always late. Those who talked excitedly about the globe being globular continue with the same excitement. Those who hadn’t read the case, well, we sure converted a few more.
Some of us felt we were hard done in terms of faculty allocation (the rest of us would truly have trouble even identifying them from a lineup), but all our memorable moments in class have been an extension of who was standing there in front of us. We’ve had them all. We’ve run through them all. The one who could pull in Freud, Sachin, Games People Play and OB into the same discussion and who actually made us read HR books. The one who ran old email forwards by us. The one who was our friend, guide and philosopher. The one we’ll think of every time we look at our Seagate hard disks and wonder if they’ll crash. Heck, we even had one whom we had to brave our interest in finance through. And no, I’ll not mention the one who resembles a banned comic character. Er, by name I mean. But, like I said, I won’t mention that one.
We had our first official party on Aug 23rd (which each of us would remember for different reasons :P), but it actually was one hell of a huge party through the entire first year. The reason for that first party was also that we had the highest number of elected SAC members. Given the responsibility, competence, trustworthiness, skill and patience required of an office bearer of Planet I (yeah, truly!), if that’s what everybody on our batch thinks of us, well, we humbly concur.
The general enthusiasm and fun we shared was best illustrated in how all of us worked for the amazing Talent Night show we put up. We had the most number of toppers too, even if wasn’t necessarily a great thing, because, thanks to them, the rest of us suffered in relative grading (grumble grumble!). We also swept away everything on sight on our Sports Day, which comes as no surprise, especially considering how fast some of us zoomed out of quizzes.
Experience is a function of what we do and who we do it with. We have all played a part in each others’ life over the last two years, over classes, parties, elections, assignments, projects, submissions, deadlines, extensions, seating, good profs, not so good profs, desperate CP, challenge CP, seminars, presentations, attendance, placement talks, gyaan sessions, quizzes, and exams. We’ve needed each other, each of us. Together we have come thus far, and here’s hoping for much more! Cheers SECTION D!!
~For the Yearbook 2010

February 10, 2010

One final roll…

Filed under: I at IIM I,work(place) — Santhosh @ 9:45 PM

May 6, 2009


Filed under: I at IIM I,work(place) — Santhosh @ 10:18 AM

The list of restricted categories of websites access, where I’m interning (click to enlarge):

No wonder they say they look after us like parents!

March 1, 2009

Farewell PGP2

Filed under: I at IIM I,Top Draws — Santhosh @ 11:37 PM

This is the farewell article on behalf of PGP1 that I wrote for the 2nd yrs’ Yearbook.


‘Tis an oft-used line. The one about not knowing what we have until it’s flown. In our case, though, we did. Truly. Which makes it all the more harder to let go of a year of being together. It’s said the beginning is always difficult, and it was especially so for us thanks to jogs at unearthly hours and truly SAD classes. From such physically painful days and the mentally painful ones of Chunauti, through our Summers of 09 days and shared maggi, bikes and movies, with letting the batch decide thrown in somewhere along the way, we’ve all grown close and seen each other grow.

Thanks for being helpful whenever we’ve come to you, and in fact actually going out of your way to do so – so much in fact that at one point some of us had 6 different mentors each :). We just hope you continue to be this large-hearted, unsparing and noble of spirit forever. Especially since some of us will be interning in the same places as you’ll be drawing salaries from (Hint! Hint!).

There are some of you whom we’d like to have known better. And some we shouldn’t have known this well for the sake of our grades. What each one of you has done though, is to leave a mark in our minds and a legacy in our hearts to remember and carry forward. We certainly appreciate your intent and work in trying to improve the system and ensuring we as a batch didn’t make the same mistakes that you may have.

Finally, we do think that the bloody joke’s on us for thinking that you’ll all always be around – for a talk at any time of the day, for that ‘one more‘ game of cricket, for answering our cries of distress by sharing your assignments, and just for plain old worldly gyaan in front of the mess.

We are not saying goodbye to you guys in the real sense of the word, because you aren’t really going anywhere. You’re leaving the most precious part of yourselves here: our memories of you. And you’re taking the most precious part of us with you: your memories of the two years spent in IIM Indore.

Where you go, we mind of
How you be, we know naught;
But, together we shall stay
all thro’ this life we’ve sought.
For ’tis in our Hearts and in our
Dreams that we together swing away!

And so, for you all, two hundred and forty three times over from all of us in Batch 2010 (see, 100% attendance!), ALL THE BEST!

Cheers guys!

Santhosh Kanna,
On behalf of Batch of 2010

February 25, 2009

Session by BSF officers on strategies

Filed under: I at IIM I,Top Draws — Santhosh @ 4:28 PM

To solve a problem, you should enter inside it. Only by getting to the middle of it can you see what it is and solve it.

Looks like the usual management gyaan (or globe) that one’s subjected to in a B-school, doesn’t it? Yet, not one of us uttered a murmur. Not when the ‘problem’ was a fire set by terrorists to the gates of their hideout, from behind which they were firing automatic weapons, and getting to the inside of the said problem involved armoured ‘moving bunkers’.

The gentleman talking to us was a senior officer from the Border Security Force and the session on 13th Feb was a special class on strategies for some 20 of us PGP participants here at IIM Indore. Another dozen or so BSF officers were also part of the session which was centered around Operation Gazi Baba. Gazi Baba (original name Rana Tahin Nadeem aka Shahbaz Khan) was the late leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the militant organization responsible for the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and also implicated in the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

They talked us through how the JeM was formed, what their operations were and what had transpired before this Operation. The operation itself involved ‘forced’ interrogation of ‘sources’, tracking the movements of his ‘associates’, Gazi Baba spending only a few hours each day at a particular hideout, reconnaissance, hidden rooms behind mirrors, trapdoors, jumps off terraces onto mattresses, evacuation of civilians, multilevel cordons and charge groups, and even a concealed infrared CCTV. About the actual details of the entire operation, for purposes of self-preservation, I’ll not repeat here. The videotaping of the session was asked to be stopped during this part and we’ve been asked to try and not talk about it. I don’t want to step out of my hostel room to find two jawans waiting for me, do I? 🙂 You can find a version of the events here though (you have to scroll down a bit).

They talked of how they strategize based on threats, constraints (time, manpower, narrow lanes where only bicycles can pass, civilians, etc in this case) weaknesses, logistics, and the lot. The success of the operation, according to another officer, was because of a focused intelligence grid, sustained interrogation, quick reaction, aggressive action, well knit cordons, and most important of all, a single command and control. Also interesting was how they take as few men on the actual charge as possible, simply because the fewer the men the lesser the chances of casualties.

Trust me, it was a little eerie to be sitting there in the darkened room, listening to words such as ‘G’ sources, civilian casualties, armoured bunkers, and of accepting one casualty per such operation. I can’t even bring myself to think about how a set of people set out on a mission, knowing that at least one of them will not make it back.

As they walked us through the powerpoint presentation (now here’s one area we MBA types are definitely better), with each point coming onto the slide with the sound of a gunshot, I suddenly realized there was now a whole new meaning to bullet points.

With the below Sanskrit quote as the background slide,

Agnih shehsam runah shesham shatruh shesham tathaiv cha punah punah pravardhet tasmaat shesham na kaaryet

another BSF officer explained how the BSF went ahead and shot down JeM’s first and second in line commanders also (Rashid Bhai and ), to leave JeM leaderless.
Agni (fire), Runa (loan), shatru (enemy), if [either] remain even in small trace[s] (shasham) [they] will grow again (punah punah pravardheta), so finish them completely (tatah shesham na karayet).

We were then shown a 11 minute video (supposedly specially made for Vajpayee, the then PM) of how the entire operation played out. They also showed us snaps of the actual hideout where the operation took place, the dead terrorists in all their gore and blood, and how they identified one of the dead as Gazi Baba (he looked like some next door uncle, as compared to the photos of him with the turban and beard). Just to remind us of how real life resembles reel life, there was a photo of a Delhi map on one of the walls with colored pins stuck on it to indicate God knows what. When they showed us photos of the weapons used by both sides, it was our turn to make their jaws drop by identifying most of them. Years of Max Payne and Counter Strike do serve some use every now and then, you know.

The other BSF officers – there were some 10-12 of them in all – also joined in for the Q&A session that followed. When someone asked about the Indo-Pak borders, we got a sense of what it must be like to stand guard at a nation’s borders, when the answers ranged from -50°C temperatures to 120 feet of snow. However, it was also while on this topic that we realized why exactly we as a nation are plagued by issues prennially. The BSF and the Indian Army jointly guard the Indo-Pak borders and I would like to think they do work it out between them on who does what and where. However, the BSF officers started blaming the Indian Army, whom they sarcastically refer to as the Big Brother, of being inefficient because of which the BSF also have to pay a price. Yes, there may be issues between the two services, and maybe the Indian Army are at fault, but there is a time and place to show the bad blood, and that is definitely not in a public forum of civilians.

For the expected question on what role the media plays in such operations, they spoke of appointing dedicated media interfacing personnel, common understandings and how they promise the media exclusive whole stories just to get them off their backs. They also spoke about how terrorism is an industry in Kashmir and how many more years may be needed for permanent peace. It was also eerily funny to hear them say how the Indian and Pakistani forces mutually decide to retreat from the borders for the peak of the winter and when the Indian forces come back they find Pakistan forces occupying Indian territory, claiming this is where they were previously also. Talk about neighbourly squabbles!

When someone asked about the porous Bangladesh border, the answers, as expected, were not simple and involved geographic, ethnic and economic issues. The many rivers, streams and tributaries in the region change course often over the year and there are large stretches of barren land which in spite of lighting, partial fencing, regular watchers and tactical shifts just cannot be monitored 24*7. They showed us photos of the Bangladesh border and it was a strange sight to see border markers (3 feet high pyramids, and called ‘pillars’) between houses and in the middle of cultivated land. I mean, one can wake up in Bangladesh and cross the street to his aunt’s in India for a cup of coffee. Also, it being the subcontinent, there were kids playing cricket with the border pillars as stumps. Now, who says India don’t host the Bangladesh cricket team often enough?

February 16, 2009

Theory of relativity?

Filed under: I at IIM I — Santhosh @ 7:03 PM

10 minutes before the test/quiz…

Machi, run by me whatever you know for the test, something may stick.
We have a test today aa? In 10 minutes aa? Seri, tea?

Dude, run by me whatever you know for the quiz, something may stick.
For today’s quiz? 350 pages in book 1, 220 in book 2, 4 HBR articles, our prof’s slides and my class notes. In 10 minutes??!!

As you can see, the reply’s the same (“can’t”) in both cases, but like Shane Warne said, “it’s not where the ball pitches but how it got there.

February 9, 2009

The French connection

Filed under: I at IIM I,Travels — Santhosh @ 3:26 AM

“Neenga endha college?”
College aa? Naanaa?

Remember the face of the girl who asked that question in the ad? Now replace it with a crestfallen face of a once hopeful looking guy who’s just heard the response. That pretty much sums up how us guys feel about our French tutor. Some bugger got lucky.

The classes are all in French with not a word of the Queen’s language, so that it pretty much resembles a kindergarten class with us 20 somethings repeating after our instructor’s sing-along voice. And I’ve started realising how beautiful French is. Especially since Jennifer Decker in Flyboys happened.

French is such a soft language though – no harsh consonants or abrasive phonates. So it’s no wonder that French men are considered sex gods. I mean, all he would have to do is wonder aloud if he’s about to fart, and the lady he’s with, if she can’t understand the language, would start giggling away with “Oh, naughty you”s. Even “oru romantic smile” Goundamani needn’t have to give orae oru romantic smile if he spoke a little French.

Now, why the sudden love for the French language? Two words: Student Exchange. I’ll be in Germany for their fall semester and well, a bit of French isn’t going to hurt, is it? Wink, wink!

A few classes have gone by and the number system is what has me pretty interested. Take a look at the table below and you’ll also join me in wondering how two drastically different civilizations could have such similar phonetics for numbers.

French pronunciation


The craziest part is the number system. I mean, how lazy should the Frenchman who thought their number system up must have been to make his entire countrymen use addition and multiplication tables to spell out half of it. The numbers have individual names only upto 69 (yeah, 69’s a pretty important number in the romantic language) and after that you either add up from the 60s for the 70s, or in the case of the 80s, multiply from 20. For example, 80 is 4 times 20 (4*20), 81 is 4*20+1, and so on.

But, what’s with the French and not ending anything fully anyway! I mean, why have such long words if you’re just not gonna use the final consonant?

For all that I’ve said here, though, the classes do seem to be progressing pretty well. In fact, I think I know more French than I do Hindi, which isn’t necessarily saying much, but still!

February 2, 2009

Oh O Obamicons and my finance paper

Filed under: I at IIM I,My Cup of Socie-Tea — Santhosh @ 4:50 PM

Obama and the human race (at least the Western version that watches cable TV):

Me and my Finance course:

…and a few more (from the net)

Create your own Obamicons here.

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