Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Poonam Muttreja

I was 31 last month. Age has calmed me down; I no longer express loud contempt and anger at people who litter, buy crackers, or are nasty to domestic help. The feelings remain, I've just learnt to rein them in. And yet there remains a list of realities that can make me cry every time I'm faced with them. 
The partition stories.
Holocaust stories.
Stories about armymen in Kargil.
It's a long list.

What this effectively means is that because I do not like getting upset, I avoid reading books about these stories and do not watch movies in which people wear olive green. I'm done with "Train to Pakistan","Is Paris Burning?" and "Anne Frank's Diary". Ostrich, did you say? Not really - I just like to keep a calm head and function efficiently. 

Which is why this page I landed on today hurt all the more - I just wasn't prepared for it! All I was doing was reading up about the Population Foundation of India as a potential future employer. The Executive Director is one Poonam Muttreja, and I figured I'll google her a bit before I do anything else. All logical and aboveboard. Just what a sincere MBA student ought to be doing in Term 5.

The first thing that popped up on google search was this affidavit. In 35 lines, it's the story of five days in a young woman's life in November 1984. No exaggerated emotional outpouring this - on a stark black background, in matter of fact legalese, it's a calm narration of what she saw and did these five days. And yet the painful drama of it manages to sneak through, as you read the whole thing with heart pounding and growing disbelief. I feel profoundly sad, proud and humbled at the same time. I'd like to work with this woman I think. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

BVFS Class

Sms to a friend in class - "Can't make it to the lecture. What chapter is the prof teaching today?"
Reply - "Your sms woke me up. I have no idea. The white-board is a unholy mess. I'm contemplating suicide."

I so love my friends. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An ordinary morning

I had made some beginning of Term 5 resolutions - no more ODing on coffee, in bed by one a.m., alert in the 8.a.m. classes, no more Facebook...and so on.

It's quarter to 4 in the morning. I don't know how many cups of coffee I've been drinking, but it's been quite a  productive night. I've read two chapters in International Finance (two chapters done, five to go, exam tomorrow), reviewed a friend's resume, written and submitted two extremely pretentious essays - "Are we Breeding Ourselves to Death?" was the title of one. I should sleep.I have a class six hours from now and an exam twenty nine hours from now.

I feel happy. I'm remembering my evening and smiling - about how I spent two hours sitting in the garden with two of my best buddies on campus, grumbling about a billion things, including how I just don't seem to have time! And I'm scrolling through the FB status updates of the four hundred ISBians on my buddy list, chatting with people about random stuff (there are sixteen of them online at this point in time), listening to some old 60s and 70s favorite songs....

..... and I don't feel sleepy at all.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hall of Fame ? Not Really..

So the first foray of the Sunday Brunch Club was not an unqualified success. The food was forgettable and the service simply awful. But did we enjoy ourselves? I think so. Is the president of the club, i.e. me, going to be impeached? I don't think so. Are we going to Taj Deccan's brunch next Sunday? I hope so. :)

Minutes of the first club meeting :
1. Anant, Mehul, Jaideep and Anmol tried really hard to push for my impeachment followed by a presidential election , but gave up when I convinced them that when an ex-officer becomes president, it is usually for life.
2. Neha made friends with her German exchange student Simon. We like him.
3. Anant had tacos that looked like masala papad and Anurag had a long island iced tea that looked like nothing on earth.
4. Mehul appointed himself the marketing coordinator for the club and Jaideep picked the post of Events Coordinator.
5. The post of Transport coordinator and Treasurer are still open. Our super CA Mehul did not inspire much confidence while splitting the bill..."We're 200 bucks short...who's not paid up?...No wait, we have 500 bucks extra...Who paid more.....?"
6. We had unanimous agreement on never EVER visiting the Hall of Fame again. Nor will we recommend it to anyone we like. But then again, as Neha said ...the place has huge screens and comfortable couches. Not bad for watching matches and drinking beer. Just don't order the tacos.

Next week (or the week after that): Taj Deccan (or someplace else).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Sunday Brunch Club is born

Dear everyone,
Welcome to the Sunday Brunch Club, created by me today. Idle mind and what not.
The first brunch will be at the Hall of Fame :
Coming up in the weeks to come –
(As Rahul pointed out, we have only 20 Sundays left; let’s make the most of them J)
1.       Fusion 9
2.       Okra, Mariott
3.       Little Italy
4.       Angeethi
5.       The Grand Wok
6.       Zafran exotica
7.       Ista
8.       Taj Deccan
9.       Novotel
10.    Taj Krishna
(this is my tentative list based on blogs/reviews. Suggestions are welcome. But since I have created the club, the final decision will be, you-know-whose...)

Call whoever you like - forward the invite to all your foodie buddies.
Send me your confirmations by tomorrow so I can call up the place and book. Transport not provided by the SBC – only bookings, and entertaining and insightful company.
Whether it’s 4 people or fourteen...Let’s just go !!

I got replies within the hour : 
Awesomme idea Manjot... I am so happy to hv made d cut. We foodies rock.Yash....
Awesome idea! I am in and so is Komal J....Namita Pant....

Awesome work !! 

Lol! J...
Anmol Joneja...

Dr Sundeep Reddivari...

Oh jee, shukriya, vadda changa plan hainga!!!  Hun to aana hi aana hai!!! 
Gaurav Shukla...

hey great idea! 
Ananya Ukil....

Brilliant Brilliant idea :)
...oh n also gr8 list..
Ipshita Sinha...

This is awesome!!! I'm floored.. Member already. Any core positions open? :P ...
Hum ko count kar lijiyega madamjee…Regards,Udayan....

Hey Manjot, 
Put my name also in the list(if its not too late). 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I want to become a poet

When it rains like this
I want to become a poet.
How wonderful must it be
to get all the confusion and conflict out of the head
- and see it become words that make people smile
Thoughts that chase each other in circle after annoying circle
to see each thought rhyme with another
and become a song.
How wonderful must that be.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

So Happy...

I ran in the rain again today. And remembered so many things.

Seems like such a long time ago...
the days of running in the rain,
the days when this love of running began,
when it was the running that made everything else bearable.

I remembered so many things today
all the demons that I've now made peace with
all the days when sweat, rain and tears mixed so well on my face
all the times when I never wanted to stop running.

But all that was then.

I'm so happy,
All's well with my world.
And I ran in the rain again today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sentiments run high after the Corporate Finance exam today...

From: A V Hancock Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 4:37 PM
To: Section C
Subject: sentiment after corp fin exam
Mail to be sent to corp. Fin. Prof.
Dear Prof.,
Which of the following is most correct?
a) Everybody got screwed.
b) You derive sadistic pleasure out of it.
c) Due to oversubscription of finance courses it is one of the measures adopted by the school to dissuade people from taking up finance.
d) Cheat sheet could have been substituted with the front cover of playboy which would have provided higher utility value.
e) All of the above
One of the silent sufferers of ‘financial distress’

Monday, June 21, 2010

I've been here for more than two months - ten weeks and two days precisely. I'm at the school that Financial Times ranked no. #$ in the list of the world's best B-schools, surrounded by 579 brilliant minds, being tutored by a jaw droppingly impressive faculty, I can now make sense of a Solver report....but I don't want to write about all that. I will, but not tonight.
One memory stands out in this 10 weeks of organised madness. Finishing lunch after the morning's classes, as I picked up my bag to leave, Amit Dhingra, who was eating at the same table as mine, asked - "Going back to village? I'll come with you."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Macroeconmics book says about chain weighting -

Chain weighting. The US and many other countries, too now uses a method that's somewhere between fixed weight and xed-basket methods: chain-weighting. It mitigates some of the problems of applying the same prices over long periods of time (when relative prices often change dramatically), but doesn't eliminate them. If we told you exactly what it is, your eyes would glaze over. But trust us, it's an improvement.

 I read this and laughed out loud, and continued laughing, for five minutes. Something terrible has happened to my sense of humour.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


12 FEB 2010
Getting a brother married is not easy - the day began with a cold shower at five in the morning for everyone on the first floor of the house because I had forgotten to switch the geyser on at night. And Jivtesh got dressed up and dressed at 5 a.m. for what may be the first and last time in his life. It could’ve been love, happiness, the previous night’s batna – or maybe all three- but what a glow there was on his face.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Best Wedding - III

Sunday, 07 Feb 2010. We celebrated the fact that the wedding was exactly four and a half days away by waiting for a table at Mainland China for 50 minutes. It was a very constructive 50 minutes; Leena, Rubal and I made lists and crossed items off them (always such a thrilling exercise for me). I’ve known Rubal for some three years now and I had never seen her as happy as she was that night.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Best Wedding Ever - II

My brother and I turned from enemies to best buddies somewhere in the late 90s. Among the few things we had in common was a dislike for attending weddings. I hated dressing up but could sometimes be lured by the promise of great food.

Friday, February 26, 2010

On the Best Wedding Ever

Professor Jeffery Sachs is my new hero. I’ve been reading his book – “The End of Poverty” for the last 10 days and it is more unputdownable than a Ruth Rendell whodunit. But this post is not about him, nor the book. Today I’m sitting marveling over the fact that I have somehow reached this place in my life where Fiscal Deficit makes more sense than Fibrous Dysplasia. That my desire to understand the physiognomy of Inflation seems far more than the curiosity I ever had for the pathophysiology of Ischemia. And that it’s exactly two weeks ago that Jitu got married.

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