Thursday, December 30, 2010

Final Day - NMIMS Exams & Classes

25th December. 2010
As exams was round the corner, could not sleep well. Left late for the NMIMS Library. Since it was Christmas – a Holiday – Library was closed. Managed to get the library open and taken one of the big rooms to do self study.

Well – in 1 day – you cannot manage to pull (study) 2 subjects – Manufacturing & IMC. When I finally managed to check on the notes – it was a task to study. Eventually – I realized – we had six papers to study for. The exams were to be held next day i.e. Sunday – starting from 10 to 1 and 2 to 5. Wow, this was a shock of my life.

As a typical MBA wala – planning comes first, later execution. Started with Brand Management and CRM. I just looked up some sites for notes and was trying to solve last year questions papers.

By 1 – I was able to do some revision. I was not feeling well in between – as I dozed off a couple of times. Had to rush home to take rest. By the time I woke up – it was late evening to realize that I had loads to study. Brushed up once again on the Manufacturing notes, had a quick dinner and dozed off,,,,

26th December, 2010
Well, I had dis big grin on my face – whatever happens today – is history. A final sigh of relief – to hell with classes and exams. Today was the last day of NMIMS exams. No more classes on weekends and exams. No more assignments.

A big day for all those 19 souls who struggled to sacrifice every weekend until 2 years – to study and to attain something in life.

5 semesters, 30 subjects, more than 1000 hours of lectures, case studies, presentation, assignments – all sums to add to our wonderful experience here in NMIMS.

Dinup, Akhiljit, John, Rohit, Jambu, Hussain, Rajiv, Bikram, prem, Anupam, Sujit - NMIMS Terrace

WCM (World Class Manufacturing) As the countdown begun for our 1st exam –Manufacturing,,, we got a shock to see the QP. 2 Questions to be done in 1 hour. And the worst part was – it was last year’s question paper. The last year exam time was 3 hours and ours was just – 1 hour. We finally gave an alarm and got the matter sorted. Quickly browsed the net and referred notes to solve the paper- I really do not know what I wrote but giving the deadlines – had to rush on.

SCM – by the time I was out of the groove of WCM – here comes the 2nd paper – SCM. Another deadline of 1 hour. Once again, rushed to check notes and references. It was over by 12.

TOC – TOC was pretty easy. An objective 40 questions paper. If 1 had revised last year’s QP – this was a cakewalk. But only a few managed to study and we were here – just looking for the correct answer. By the time I got over solving the paper – my mind was completely drained out. I guess – we were in a hurry to finish the exams and the deadlines or it would have been a drag till next year.

Post exams-Anupam, me
A quick lunch with a small photo shoot on the terrace. We rushed for the final leg of the IMC exams. Again – it was CRM, IMC and Brand Management to be done in 3 hours.

CRM – As I referred the notes with some case studies on the net - getting to the right point was just difficult. And to complete the exams in an hour – was much more tasking. Whatever diagram just came up – thought for a moment and said ‘I guess this would be the best fit” – here goes on the answer sheet. I was just jumping to points here n there to make one big lengthy answer paper.

IMC – IMC was a bouncer. The notes were exhaustive. I slowed down a bit here as I wanted to finish this at the end. I switched over to Brand Management to check on the Questions paper. Most of QP was a repetition and fairly easy. So took a good time to study the case study and solve.

Brand Management: did the QP in 30 minutes and I had solved the same in office. As net was accessible here, many looked confused to some of questions sir had asked. “What is the positioning of Zara” – I remember – we would not have any idea on this. As the clock struck 5 – It was a moment that I will never forget – exams finally over and done with MBA.

Out was my camera for some memorable moments to be captured - class, friends and books. We hurried to decide on the venue for some beer session.

We left for Rendezvous in Koramangala. As the beer kept pouring in our mugs, everyone looked relaxed and chilled out. How time passed – no one knew. 2 years studying and managing work was crazy. Some of us recalled the beautiful moments we shared – khasi wala kutta, prem’s entry to the class (as if no one knew), brand management, our 1st encounters with economics, marriages, most eligible bachelors, Sweden experience, beauty salon case study, what were the best and worst subjects ,,,,the session went all till 7 to wind up on the paan session. The joke finally goes like this – since we were busy all these weekends – many of us thought – what will we do now on weekends – well “it will take time for many of us to realize that we finally finished the course”
Jambu,Rohit, Sujit, Rajiv, Bikram, John, Dinup & Arghya - Rendezvous (Bangalore)

A few of our classmates could not make it – as some had exams the next day and some finished the course much earlier.

Well, it was indeed a fantastic hectic memorable day and a wonderful journey.

Pictures :

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Maner-my roots

Maner (Patna, Bihar)

History : In the early ages, Maner was a centre of learning and it is said that grammarian Panini, and also Bararuchi, lived and studied here. Maner contains two well-known Mohammedan tombs, that of Shah Daulat or Makhdum Daulat, known as Chhoti Dargah, and the other that of Sheikh Yahia Maneri or Makhdum Yahia, called the Bari Dargah. Makhdum Daulat died at Maner in 1608, and Ibrahim Khan, Governor of Bihar and one of the saint's disciples completed the erection of his mausoleum in 1616. The building is exceptionally fine one, with walls containing carvings of great delicacy and high finish. A great dome crowns it, and the ceiling is covered with carved inscriptions from the Quran. Every detail of it is characteristic of the architecture of Jehangir's region, and it is by far the finest monument of the Mughals in Eastern India. Inside the compound there is a mosque also built by Ibrahim Khan in 1619, whiles a fine gateway bearing an older inscription corresponding to 1603-01, and affords access to the north. The tomb of Yahia Maneri lies in a mosque walls and ghats, and pillared porticos jutting out into it, which is connected with the old bed of the River Sone by a tunnel 400-ft long.

All about Maner
Maner is a beautiful town farly tucked away from the hustle n bustle of City life. It serves as a mid point for travellers and is on the National Higway - Patna to Ara.
The total distance from Patna to Maner is a mere 35 kms - thanks to the beautiful roads - and it can be covered in 45 minutes. The only hastle is crossing the Danapur cantonment - where the speed limit is not beyond 20 km/hr.
Maner has it's own charm. From the Maner high school to the Dargah - you will find at both sides of the road - long Pipal trees which serves as a green cover. Now the Dargah has hit limelight and many frequent travellers do make a visit. In Chath - Maner is a favorite spot as it is very near the River Sone.
Maner is also a very safe place to live. People are friendly and hospitable. As Bihta is nearby - it serves as a good spot for commerical business.

Maner Ka Laddoo : too less to write a blog. It's one of the famous shops that sells - Maner Ka Laddoo. Having lived the dark age of political riot of 15 years and the global recession - it's one of those establishment that has it's own charm and way to serve customers. Maner ka Laddoo - you have to be there to taste those laddoo's.
What is so special : as experts say and i have heard - the ground level water - a source from the river sone - is very sweets. So the Boondi - which acts as an ingrdient of the Laddoo - soaks all the water as ras and binds it together to form a Laddoo. And to that - the beautiful essence - Kewra (essence from Kannauj) - it's sold in thousand per KG - gives a more aromatic taste.
Maner Sweets has lived upto to a couple of generations - as the 3rd generation of entrepreneurs run the shop. It is as old India got it's independance. Some of the famous personalities who have stopped to have a taste are Indira Gandhi, late VP Singh, Kunal (bhojpuri actor), Laloo, Rocky & Mayur (Highway on my plate) & Vindo Dua,,long list. Infact, i have seen lot of documentaries been produced.
There is the Ghee Laddoo, Dalda Special and Ordinary Laddoo. They also have a brand in Patna (Maurya Lok Complex).


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Munnar Christmas Trip-06

The initial planning was quite difficult as we did not know where to head for. The South India TTK atlas map was so big that we were just guessing places where to head for. Beaches, Mountains or Bangalore. But then, we just had the quest to conquer or explore new destinations in South. What came to our mind was "Kerala" - it was just simply the brand name or probably the ' God Owns Country" that we had to visit. I don’t know how we started our planning - but the Google search was the ultimate experience - God - the websites and the photos of Munnar seemed to be great and when we went there - it was something elicit!!!!!

We did not know how many members would hitch on the rip but we just had to get out to celebrate Christmas!!!!

2 Days of Planning - and we finally settled to a destination called "Munnar" – in Kerala - approx. 12 hours of Drive.

Travellers - Sujoy, Pratima, Nitesh and Rajiv
Date of Travel: 23, 24 and 25th Dec.2006

Day 1 (23rd December, 2006):

As usual, our itinerary was set and we had to leave at sharp 4 in the morning. Since we got slightly wee drunk, the alarm rang at 4. , but Nits. woke us at 5:30 a.m.

Washing his dashing Tata Sierra was hell lot of task to get it ready for the big 12 hour journey. Sujai was on his regular cigs. Early in the morning. We left bang. at 5:30 and could see the vehicles heading to get out of the city. "My god" it’s Christmas Celebrations ----- The two hour drive was quite fast since we covered a great amount of distance. i guess the morning rise helped to cover a great time.

I knew the way from Bangalore to Salem as i had done a couple of rides on the Bike, so till Salem was a smooth ride - i was giving more tips on how to explain more on till Salem route. I had taken tips from Muthu - my RTMC friend -way to Munnar. Our first stop was near Salem - Reliance Petrol Bunk - god damn. We lost 40 minutes to get some Idlis and Dip Tea. It was useless. Some photos shoot at Salem University. The 2nd stop was on the way to Pollachi. We found out that we did not take the Erode -Coimbatore Route since there was heavy Traffic and roads were bad. So the "Chai Wala " suggested to take the Bus route which is quite empty in the day time. A deviation now – and we found out that it was exactly the same. Sujai did take some wrong turns here n there but we managed to hit the Junction at Pollachi. On the way - we found "Aunty's Dhabha" - an amazing place which should be featured in the Lonely Planet - Amazing food at just Rs.30 and she knew English - Rotis, Chicken n Saambar (yummy)

From Pollachi via Chinnar were the ghats - some 80 kms. Ghat Section - it was quite a long journey,,once we entered Kerala, we could feel that Munnar was not far - The Mist n cool breeze real meant that we had come to "Gods own Country " - all the while - i was busy calling Travel Agents for Bookings since it was Christmas time - so we expected lot of rush. We reached Munnar late wee dark - 8ish . So in all - it was hell lot of Driving for Nitesh and Sujai. We finally stayed at "Tristar Resorts " a big resort . On net - it looks awesome - the pics. but on reality - it did not seem so. We tried to bargain a bit but Mr. Jobi did not offer discount. Sujai hit straight for the bed as he was not well. As this was a long ride n the deal we done, was not all that good - we had some drinks. After 2 hours - Mr Sujoy - woke up. As usual - he was n his mood for the drinks. So the night was long as we enjoyed the fresh air of Munnar.

slept late,,snoring

Day 2 (24th December, 2006):
The Tristar People did not treat us well with the food - i guess they ran short of staff or they were too commercialized. Anyways - we paid our resort bill - clicked some fotos and wished the group ,,,”christmas hain bhai” We left for the City so that we could go for the next destination - Cliff huts. Brunch was at the main stop in Munnar - Omlettes, biryani, and Sujoy special - after food - soup. I don’t know how he manages with his tummy but hats off to his drinking and food. Kahi - Steppe kha jati hain ya kabhi kuch khaya hi nahin,,,,,,,, after lunch , i had to get Senthil and Sajan - experts in Trekking - there one of the best Trekking Guides in Munnar. Most of them only cater to Germans and hard core Trekkers,,,,i guess so . you have to be ECO friendly n real understanding as to how the Entire Trekking works out to be. After the deal - we left for "Cliff Huts" with a local guide. So on the way - we saw Mattupetty Dam and some local stuff. we had a Local guide to escort for the entire day. The trip from Munnar to base camp - cliff hut was a nice drive. So we were close to a point near the old Trolley - which is a natural tourist destination. After 2 hours - about 4ish-- we reached the base camp, parked the car, n head bang for the trekking to the Cliff Hut.

Trekking - this could be the special thing we had during Christmas - as we never thought it would be such an experience. Within 20 mnts. - all of us were panting like dogs- the extra weight we were carrying n Sujoy who found "steppe" pahari kutta. I dont blame him for this as it was his first time seeing one- lots of mist and leaches we found on the way. The Cliff hut is a private house / rent property owned by the Trackfinder Adventures. Its right up in the mountains in the Western Ghats - you have to have adrenalin to go to these places,,, not that touristic stuff which most of us do. We reached in an hour’s time- "Cliff Hut" by joe - tents, old house, mist, leaches and Steppe. I mean u have to be in such places to get the experience and see it. We relaxed for a while and then decided to do some more trekking, so i had all the gang trekked back to the base camp. The guide had to go back since he had to get some German guests coming the next day. So we trekked with him on the same path,,,,,, after a while he left us and told us to return since it was getting dark.
Cliff Hut Top- Munnar
We came back to the base camp – to settle for some snacks. Our drinks were out within no time – as it was getting colder. A few pegs down our belly’s, we were enjoying our Christmas in Munnar. Amidst nature – there is nothing so beautiful that you could ever have. The leeches were causing a problem as we could not sit. Steppe – the Pahari dog was a good company. We soon settle for bed. In the night, I could hear Sujoy – can I have some food. I was totally surprised. What I later came to know was – Steppe (the Pahari Dog) had eater Sujoy’s food – and he could do nothing but have some crispy chips for dinner.

Day 3 (25th December, 2006):
Sunrise was not be missed at Cliff Hut. If we had spent all this time travelling to Munnar – Sunrise was the key attraction, finally, managed to wake Sujoy-m sure – he must have cursed me out. We took a guide to take us to the Top of Cliff Hut. A small trek uphill – 30 minutes climb – was worth the visit. The Sun was not out – and we reached on time. When we reached the Top – a 360 degree of the mountains, tea gardens and the clouds below us. It was an Unbelievable an spectacular sight. I would have less words to describe this place. Absolute beauty in wilderness.

Our Christmas Trip to Munnar was a success and worth the visit.

As the Sun rose high, the clouds faded and we could get a better glimpse of the town. Me and Sujoy froze for moments – just to take a breeze – of the wonderful sight we had seen.

We soon left from the Top to base. Nitesh and Pratima missed the sunrise as they settled for a late morning. Got ready, had heavy breakfast and bid farewell.

On our way back – we stopped for some more shoots, visited a Crocodile farm (Sujoy’s interest) and head fast for Bangalore.

Driving back home was not an easy task. 12 hrs. Nitesh had to take break so that he could catch up on sleep, in the wee hours at night – I helped Sujoy being the navigator. We stopped near Salem for Dinner late night and reached home safe.

Wow – a trip that we will never forget and always be cherished.

Sujoy,Rajiv,Nitesh & Pratima - enroute

Trin Trin - Project 6 - Toastmasters

Mobile Phones have become a necessity in today’s world. It has been wrapped as a commodity in which – everyone uses it for communication, updates, live events and business.

Phones are so unique that you update what u r doing logging onto social networking sites, can transfer any amount of money, book train and airline tickets and above all – can talk to your friends and family with a minimal cost.

But I am here not to speak of the benefits of a Cell phone – but how to handle those unwanted calls & trashy messages

Wait, wait, wait – I think I am getting a phone call

Trin Trin !!!

Credit Card Conversation
Rajiv : Hello, Rajiv here.
Basanti : Hello, Good morning Sir. Am I speaking to MR . Rajiv. Sir, is it a good time to talk to you.
Rajiv: Well, it’s 10 in the morning – I am trying to catch on work. Well, anyways – since you have called. Tell me.
Basanti : Sir, we have Citibank Gold Credit Card – life time membership is free. As you are a value customer – would you like to avail this card.
Rajiv: Basanti, you need to check. I already have an HDFC Credit Card.
Basanti : Oh, Thank you sir.

Trin Trin !!!

NGO Conversation
Manjunath: Good Morning Sir. Manjunath calling from ‘Diksha NGO”. Sir, would be interested in donating money to an NGO.
Rajiv: but, from where did you get my number. And how do you know – that I would be interested in donating money to an NGO”.
Manjunath: got your number from the database.
Rajiv: well, you need to check your database – cause I spent all my money on financing my MBA. Contact Mukesh Ambani – whose electricity bill last month in Antilla was a whopping 50 lakh. He will give your more to manage for the entire 10 years to come.

Friends just entered into office and I’ve been showered with phone calls.

Now, let’s dive deep into the problem, we have to see how to handle the unwanted calls & trashy messages – i will 1st discuss on the problems and then the solutions.

1. Database: You should be wondering – where is this database, how do these people get these numbers.
2. Office Hours (ethics): why do these people call during a meeting or while I am driving or even at odd hours.
3. Messages: How come the message count increases from Friday to Sunday – I mean – everyone would be busy deleting those unwanted messages on weekend.
4. Privacy: is my number given to everybody and anybody.

Situation: Now just think for a moment. If were a handsome hunk like John Abraham or the gorgeous girl next door – Deepika Padukone –how would you maintain the secrecy of your telephone numbers.

Well – you cannot. Most of these flamboyant stars change their numbers every month. This is to avoid the junk calls they get from fan followers. Well, I am not those lucky stars. I have lived in Bangalore (garden city) for 5 years with the same old number.

1. The Database is with the Telephone operators and our very own companies who sell the database.
2. Office Hours – tell them to call later. The credit cards/ offers can wait. If you attend take these calls – give them a blast or politely say – Pls. do not call.
3. Messages – don’t update your numbers when giving out surveys, or while shopping. Tempted by free gift vouchers – where you have to give your numbers – never update your numbers.
4. Privacy – DO NOT Call – update ur number to the do not call registry

Well, I had a terrible time taking some unwanted calls. I finally got a youreka idea from some of my friends -

All those unwanted numbers can be stored as Junk. Ex: Junk 1, Junk 2.
So if anybody calls – you would know who is calling. At least, it will help you not taking those unwanted calls. Don’t worry - this will not take enough space.
Friends, advice comes free. Take it. In today’s world, no one has time to take those unwanted calls. A few measures can save lot of time,,,

Let me share a message what I received this morning,,,

Why did God create the man first and only then the woman? ...... Everyone makes a draft first!!!

My Experience,,
As you deliver more projects in Toastmasters - you become a better and cofident speaker. Experience counts and when the adrenalin comes into you to deliver better - there is no stopping.
My P6 script was one of the easiest to learn and practice. But getting on the Vocal Variety as required in the guideline is a daunting task. You really have to clear your throat to get those alterations in tones, pitch and level.

Need to work on :
Feedback session is one of the best. Thats' when you come to know - how good and bad you are.
I was not at all good with the Zero position and should have given more emphasis on usage of words in the conversation.
Good ones:
Facililitate vocal variety with different characters in the speech. Good pitch - pleasant & friendly. Ensured of the risks & solutions. Speech organised well - logical flow of ideas and quiet descriptive.
Timing: 6 Mnts. 36 secs.
Thanks to Veronica for her wonderful evaluation.

Let's see how it goes for P7.