With love… From Mumbai!

Random collection of notes from Mumbai.

## I love the fact that the city is always abuzz with activity. Be it the middle of the night, you will still find people on streets. Autos and taxis are not as difficult to get. A lot of food joints are open till very late.

## I love the fact that autowallahs travel by meter. If you have ever been in Delhi you would know what this means. There is no haggling over price, and they do not take you through a convoluted way. The latter of course is the result of the structure of the city which does not allow too much change in the routes.

## I love that Parul can go to her house in an auto late in the night without us being worried about her. Again, Delhi walas would know what this means. The city is safe, no matter what time of the day it is. This again stems from the fact the city is always active.

## The Mumbai local – the lifeline of Mumbai. These things allow you to get from place A to B in the quickest and the cheapest way. There are people of all classes in it, right from an office boy to a high level exec. They all use it. I have still not gotten used to taking the same train everyday, but some people do. I saw a gang of people playing cards on one of them a number of times, and when I asked they told me that they all take the same train after work. The 7:14 to Borivali I think it was. Also, it’s amazing how they concept of private space exists in such crowded place. No one is peeking into what you are reading or tries to eavesdrop on your conversation. Having said that, it could have been much better done. The stations are a mess. No effort has been made to manage the number of people who use the local every day. Public services are absent and no effort has been made to streamline the flow of passengers.

## I hate the stench the city has. For someone who lands for the first time it’s very easy to detect. Even for someone with as little a sense of smell as me. And every morning as I take the train to work I can feel it.

## I hate the fact that Parul will not be here in another couple of months’ time. Same might be true for Sandy. In a place that can make you feel very lonely despite the crowd, these people will be sorely missed.

## I hate the crowd in Mumbai. The ‘gardi’ as they call it. It’s everywhere. From the train station to the malls. From food joints to coffee shops. Everything is crowded!

## Finally, I hate the fact that I can’t seem to get a place to live here. No one seems to be willing to rent out a decent place to bachelors. I would have seen at least 30 flats, and have been close to paying the deposit thrice. And yet, no luck! Meanwhile, I have happily stationed myself at Jeete’s place, but hope to get a place soon. Pray for me people!!

As for work, it’s a different experience altogether. It’s my first time at a place not full of engineers, but Pharma and Med grads. And most of them quite senior to me. Their way of thinking is very different from what I am used to. While I miss the earlier bunch a lot, I also like learning about their perspective on business in general and the industry in specific. My VBA coding skills are immensely helpful, both to me and my team mates. Thanks for that Bansal. Overall, keeping my fingers crossed for a great experience!

The year that was…

So I thought that I would do a customary year end review of the year that passed by in, what seemed, like a flash!

Professionally it was a mixed one. I was selected for a conference and I could not attend it due to visa issues. I took a sabbatical to complete the MBA. A lot of people from the team I was a part of have since quit, and it would be almost like joining a new place. The job search here at ISB has not started in earnest, but the things are looking positive so far and I think it will be a good 2010 for all of us on that front.

The biggest news was the ISB admit. After a lot of consideration, I decided that I wanted to join, and boy am I glad. The time here so far has been brilliant. Met a lot of new folks, made some life long friends, and learnt a lot of new stuff. In between the hectic schedule, also found a lot of time to party!! I know I will carry some fond memories from here even though I have spent very little time here. Special mention here for my study groupies – Kirti, Malavika, Megha, and Sunil – you guys were awesome. Almost forgot my quaddies here – Sam, Avin, and Raj – keep rocking!!

Another big change was that a lot of close friends decided to join the dark side to get married. Misra and Parul, Sudeep and Divs, Yatharth and Akanksha, and Kaustubh and Shubbu jumped on the marriage bandwagon. Congratulations and best of luck all of ya!! A few others are joining it in 2010 and the trend seems to be on the upswing 🙂

One major upside of all the marriages was meeting all the friends after a long time and loads of fun was had. Misra’s wedding trip was one I will never forget all my life!! The look on Sudeep’s face when Thax flew down for his wedding was another priceless moment.

As Misra RTed one of his friends –

Beginning of the decade – Started college, making new friends and aspiring for a great job! End of the decade, still doing the same! Life comes a full circle.

Happy New Year people!! May it bring joy, happiness, and health to you and your loved ones!!

Quarter life crisis

Term 2 at ISB got over yesterday. While walking back to my room, a friend remarked that everything was flying past so fast that she was afraid. Out of sheer (false in hindsight) sense of bravado, I remarked that she shouldn’t be afraid, and that it was expected.

I don’t know how convinced she was, but as I got thinking later in the evening, I wasn’t convinced myself. I did not know what was it that troubled me, but there was some fear of months flying by in such hurry that you feel everything else is a haze. It seemed that people are so focussed on the end, that they miss the beauty that lies on the sides of the race track. It reminded me of a couple of line from this forward I once got.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over

I did not know what it was that troubled me. It was certainly not about getting a job. After a lot of thought I realized that I was afraid of missing a chance of knowing some amazing people I have met here. It is not about, a term I have come to hate, “networking”. I know I am thoroughly incapable of doing that. It is about making friends. Ones who will last a life time. One of biggest reasons of leaving a job and coming to BSchool was to meet some fantastic people. However, me being the kind of person I am, take a lot of time to open up to new folks, and I was afraid that I would miss a wonderful opportunity.

However, many of these ghosts were buried yesterday evening. We, the study group minus Megha, went out for a thoroughly enjoyed dinner at Ohri’s. This was followed by a gen laccha session at Kirti’s place with music and some fine Absolut and Megha did join us this time. A lot of gen discussions and bitching took place. We do a lot of gen laccha in team meetings, but yesterday was different. Yesterday, we did it without any other reason. Simply for hanging out together. One of the more memorable evenings here at ISB.

As Kirti said, hope we will have many more of these in the future!!

I will be there for you…

Listen to this.

This is all TK said before he made me listen to “Tere Bin Nai Lagda Dil Mera Dholna” (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan). And, almost immediately, my mind was transported back in time.

It was Oasis of 2004 and Euphoria was playing during Prof show. Those were very sentimental times. Your last sem on campus, close to people you love. We (Bansal and I) had requested for them to play “Ab Na Jaa” which used to be our favourite since Misra’s psenti sem. And when he did, I remember calling Misra and others and making them listen to it on my cellphone, as me, my wingies, and some other friends got super emotional.

I don’t know which show TK was at today, but boy it felt awesome! He knew I love the song from the East India Company show we attended in CP a long time back.

Thanks man!! <hugs>

To tea or not to tea

I must confess that I am tea addict. And ever since I have come to Hyd, I had not had a good cup of tea. You see, Hyd believes in this concept of over boiled and extremely sugary syrup that they like to call the “Irani chai”.

Having lived in one of the best tea growing areas in India, this just wasn’t good enough. Even Gurgaon had decent chai. From being someone who made at least a couple of trips to Subhashji’s place everyday, be it summer, winter, or rains, I had become someone who had not had good tea for four weeks!! Sheesh..

Anyhoo, the jinx was finally broken today. Megha, one of my study groupie, treated us all to authentic north Indian chai. Believe me, never had a cup of chai looked so inviting. It was pure bliss. Thanks Megha 🙂

By the way, my other groupies are Sunil (CA Sahab), the profound thinker Kirti, and the sleepy head, yet amazing, writer Malavika – go check her blog.

PS: Go watch Vinicius – a Brazilian documentary on the life of the brilliant composer of “The Girl from Ipanema“.