Wisdom from across the ages

Chandramukhi and assignments

Rajnikanth’s latest tamil movie “Chandramukhi” was screened (by a student) here in one of the student villages yesterday night. About 15-20 enthu people, including me, turned up to watch the movie. There were supposed to be many more in the audience but I think the upcoming statistics mid-term exam and the assignments to be submitted tomorrow kept them away. The good part about most of Rajnikanth’s movies is that you can enjoy them whether you understand Tamil or not 😉 . We had a really great time and, as always, enjoyed the stunts, the dance sequences and the english dialogues spoken by the Tamil superstar. The junta went hysterical at one of his dialogues in which he mentioned the word “psychosis” in his usual accent. Long live Rajnikanth !!!

The whole student community is either busy doing assignments or reading statistics. There is a mid-term exam this Friday. I haven’t started reading Statistics yet and have a lot of work to be done. I think the whole of today will be spent in completing the economics assignment and the marketing case study. Was planning to go to the city today in the evening but looks like I will have to drop the plan considering the crisis situation I am in, w.r.t studies.

Its weekend :-(

Its weekend and we again have assignments to complete. The load is supposed to be less as compared to last week as we need not submit the marketing assignment for grading this time. Thinking of going to the city tomorrow. Have seen the ISB gate only once since I arrived here.

We have a football match today between the sections. My section (D) again plays section C and as usual I will be there to cheer my mates. I think my section is the best when it comes to cheering from the sidelines. Revenge is the word in everyone’s minds. We narrowly lost the basketball match last week. There are also volleyball matches planned … I think it will be on next weekend’s agenda.

The stats and marketing profs joined us yesterday at the dinner table. They are so humorous and witty. Usually myself and Amit (the guy who gets dunked everytime) keep laughing after cracking some joke or the other. So what else would you expect when four like minded individuals meet? We were all laughing for the entire 30 odd minutes we spent eating. The profs found it really difficult to understand cricket & Indian politics. They said they tried to read about politics from the daily newspapers but there were too many initials in the names and it was really difficult to remember who is who. Wondering whether they read some local south indian newspaper !!!

We were busy explaining things like “why the batsman is not given out LBW everytime the ball hits him on the pads?”, “what is a lakh and what is a crore?”, “which is bigger – Tata or Reliance” etc.. The profs are trying to follow the ads on TV. They especially liked the Tata Indica ad where the guy in question gets punched whenever he says something or even remains silent.

Met a guy today who told that he had not been sleeping before 4AM daily. Looks like we are all turning into owls. I start sleeping whenever I open any textbook and so am usually down by 10:30PM, unless of course when I am roaming around, chatting with friends or playing TT.


We have name cards here indicating our seat in the class. Yesterday, somehow the name cards got shuffled (accidentally, as claimed) and the seating arrangement was the exact mirror image of the usual one. It was real fun watching people getting into the class, seeing someone else sitting in their seat and getting thoroughly confused. Luckily I went slightly earlier when there weren’t many people and so had to suffer lesser embarassment. It was more fun watching the people who entered right on time when the class began. The class was almost full by then and they really didn’t know what had happened. One guy in fact turned towards the door thinking he had entered the wrong class !!!

Question: What do students use to get out of their rooms here more often – the doors or the windows?

Answer: The windows !!! The windows here are in fact like sliding glass doors. They are almost equivalent to the doors in height and students here find it easier to come in and go out through the window. So does that mean that anybody can enter into your room ? Of course not …. you can open the windows only from inside the room when they get locked.

The plot thickens !!!

Our professors are really humorous, especially the ones for stats and marketing. Their instant wit rocks !!!! Heard this yesterday from a friend of mine in the other section: The stats prof (Robert Stine) was showing some data which didn’t seem to follow any pattern. The distribution seemed to grow denser from left to right. One of the students asked Prof.Stine – “How would you name this distribution?”. Prof Stine says – well you can call it the increasing density distribution. But I would say that “the plot thickens“.

While working in office, we used to anxiously wait for the weekends to come so that we could relax, spend time with the family and if time permits, chill out with friends. In ISB, it seems as though we do not want the weekends to come. Looks like students wait for the weekdays to come so that there are no more lengthy assignments to do.

I have now got used to the locations of the different student villages, the class rooms, the recreation centre etc.. It was initially difficult for me to find my way through to any classroom and then find the way back to my student village. Had to completely trust the signs in the corridor of the acad centre to reach anywhere.

First assignment over !!!

My study group finished the first serious assignment of Term1 just a few minutes back. It was a marketing case study. Hope the solutions proposed don’t come as a shock to the professor … will have to wait and watch his reactions in the class tomorrow. Hope he doesn’t read it before he comes (or read our solutions aloud in the class). We decided not to use the product on which our assignment was based, for the rest of our lives. Its another thing that we tried our level best to create a really good (read funny) marketing plan for it.

Feeling a bit relaxed. One more assignment to be completed before 8AM tomorrow. Had thought of spending this weekend studying at least some portion of what was taught last week. Assignments ate away all the time. Looks like the backlog will keep increasing.

Have to go now …. one more assignment deserves yours truly’s attention. I better complete it fast and catch some sleep. Wish me luck !!!

Basketball match ….

All students in the campus are busy with the assignments. But this didn’t prevent us from having a basketball match between two of the sections. As you would expect, my section lost, though by a very small margin of 2 points. Of course, I was not playing. But I did cheer from the sidelines in the latter half and it was real fun.

Our group is busy discussing the marketing case and its already 1:15AM. I am feeling damn sleepy. Looks like I am going to wake up really late “today” as our discussion on the case doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. There is another big economics assignment waiting for us in case we manage to complete the marketing one.

Okay ppl … time to go now …. my group has started cursing me as they suddenly discovered that I was missing from the discussion. Will go back before I get beaten up.

First week of classes over !!!

First week of classes got over yesterday. I have a huge backlog and we all have assignments to complete and submit before Monday, 8AM. Yesterday, there was a party at one of our student villages. Looks like there will be a party every Thursday night.

All profs teaching us are really good. Two of them – Prof. Scott Ward (Marketing) & Prof. Robert Stine (Business Statistics) are very humorous. Their classes are very interesting.

Classes begin !!!!

We had our first class of Term 1 yesterday- “managerial economics” taken by Prof. Amit Bubna of ISB. Prof Amit looks really young. You could easily mistake him for one of the students. He connected well with us. We then had a “marketing management” class taken by Prof. Scott Ward. He was just too good. He is from Wharton and has received the “Excellence in Teaching” award 7 times from Wharton’s MBA students. To read more about him click here.

One of our batchmates got engaged and he was dunked yesterday. Needless to say Amit was also dunked along with him. Earlier Amit used to come with his mobile phone, wallet, wristwatch etc and had trouble handing all his stuff over to a bystander. These days he comes empty handed (read prepared) for getting dunked. If you are wondering what’s all this dunking and Amit about, please read my earlier posts.

My section has classes from 2:30PM to 7PM, Monday to Thursday every week. From what we have heard from our alums, we will get so many assignments that we won’t have any free time in the weekends. The alums who were here on campus have all gone back. A special THANKS to all of them for helping us settle here and for giving us all the GYAAN.

Talent Nite followed by Labour Day

Yesterday we had the “Talent Nite” where the stundents of Class of 2006 and their families showcased their talent on stage. We had songs sung by the music group, traditional kuchipudi dance recital, salsa, tango, bhangra, kids fashion show, lifestyle show (fashion show put up by the Class of 2006), skits, monoacting, poetry, exhibition of photographs ….. and the list goes on and on. So much of talent around in the campus !!! The kids stole the show with their attire. (For people who might be wondering where did kids come from : there are married students in ISB who come along with their wife and kids and they form an integral part of the ISB family).Well talent nite is now over and today is Labour Day …. and synonymously all the slogging has started. There are some 350 odd pages to be read before the first class for two of the subjects and there is also a marketing case to be prepared. So everyone is slogging it out either individually or in groups. The ride starts tomorrow and looks like its going to be real tough.

On a happier note …. yesterday we had one more dunking session in which 12-13 people got dunked. Only one of them was the birthday boy. Rest were just picked up and thrown into the pool by the crowd. My close friend Amit gets dunked everytime anyone has a birthday. I was not disclosing his name in one of my previous posts but it became difficult to refer to him everytime; so decided to come out with his name. Amit got dunked yesterday too. We are thinking of dunking him everyday now and he is busy making escape plans.

Eyes are almost closing, sleep is taking over me and I am struggling to stay awake. I have to read another 270 pages before I go to class tomorrow. Luckily my classes are there in the afternoon this term. So I will get some time to study tomorrow morning also. Thats it then for today.

Party, party and party hard …..

Yesterday night, our batch threw a big farewell party for all alumni who were there on campus. They have been extremely helpful and this is the least we could probably do as a mark of appreciation from our side. They were offered free beer. I came back from the party at 3AM after dancing for some time and playing table tennis in the TT room near the dance floor (which was the mirror pool in our student village) for the rest of the time.


The alumni also gave lots of presentations yesterday about how to survive on campus, how to manage acads along with socializing, how to take forward clubs like the sports club etc.. There was a presentation by Tarandeep Singh Ahuja, last year’s topper and as expected he said that we have to study very very hard to survive here. Someone from the audience asked – “If all this is what we have to do to survive, what do we do to excel?” There was also a presentation by Siddharth Sinha about the general life @ ISB. It was a very humorous one and Siddharth got a standing ovation for 2 minutes from our class when he finished. I think he is joining as a COO in some company …. some are telling that he is joining Apollo Hospitals …. I am not sure. There was also a presentation on stress management earlier in the evening by a psychiatrist which increased my stress levels and just fell short of psyching me out.


On the acad front, we had a listening session on Thursday and a group dynamics session yesterday. The group dynamics session was video-taped and played back so that we could observe how we went about the given task and learn from whatever mistakes we committed. It was a good fun-filled learning experience.


Classes start from Monday and from what I hear, we have to read more than 350 pages of our course material + prescribed textbooks before we land in the class. We also need to discuss some case studies and be prepared before we face the prof. I have started feeling the heat and its going to be really tough.


Feeling really sleepy after the late night stint yesterday ……. was thinking of reading the course materials but will have to postpone that ….. will upload the photos promised later …… zzzzzz zzz zzz zzz

Dunking + other regular stuff

Dunking is one of the traditions started by the founding batch (or the batch next to it …. I am not sure) and is religiously followed every year. The birthday boy or girl is dunked into the campus swimming pool. It usually happens that one or two more innocent souls also get dunked in the enthusiasm, although they may not be having their birthday on that day.

Went to a dunking ceremony 3 days back. Two birthday boys got dunked. Someone called out another name from behind the pool ….. maybe he was looking for that guy … when the attention of all present there turned towards the guy in question and he was also dunked. I am not revealing the name for fear of getting myself dunked.

Couldn’t post yesterday due to some problem with this website. We had an interesting “group activities” session yesterday. Had different tasks given which were to be achieved in teams. Was a good learning experience. Had a lot of fun too.

Saw two more movies on DVD yesterday (old ones) – “My Cousin Vinny” and “Mousehunt”. Went to Hyderabad in the night to celebrate the birthday of a friend. This was the first time I ventured out of campus since arriving here. Felt good to see the entrance gate after such a long time. Seven of us went to this place called “Ohri’s” in Banjara Hills. Had good north Indian dinner. Don’t know when I will get the next chance to go to the city, with a really tight schedule expected from next week onwards when Term1 begins.

The batch size this year seems to be around 347. The intial target was 320 which makes the number 27 more than expected. ISB says that the number is 19 more than expected due to a sudden increase in the number of waitlisted people accepting offers, contrary to trends seen in previous years.

Term 1 classes start next week and going by what seniors say, its going to be really tough. So most of us are trying to have whatever fun we can, this week.

Going to put my clothes for washing in the laundromat. Will be back soon with some photos of this beautiful campus.

I am back …..

We had a session on Leadership Development Programme taken by Prof. Rajeshwar Upadhyaya yesterday. He was simply awesome. He was one guy who knew how to control arbit questions in the class and answer only the meaningful ones. We will be seeing more of him in the next two weeks. We also had intoductory sessions on the PGP program and the academic services today. Seniors are here on campus and there are lots of “gyaan” sessions arranged in the auditorium that go upto even midnight.

Today we also had some distinguished speakers from the corporate sector come together for a panel discussion on career perspectives. It was a good session.

We have a welcome dinner being given by ISB to the Class of 2006 tonight and I will be leaving for the same in a few minutes. Feeling too hungry even after having a sumptuous lunch in the afternoon. Maybe because I played a lot of table tennis in the breaks I got between the sessions today.

The wait is over !!!!!

Feels really good ……. after all the wait, I am finally a part of ISB’s Class of 2006 !!!

Apologies (to anyone reading this blog) – I had promised to update this fairly regularly but its a long time since I wrote anything. I will partly blame this on the fact that I got my laptop only a few days back due to some warranty related issues on IBM’s side.

I started from New Delhi on the 14th of April by AP Express and reached Secunderabad on 15th night. We had called up ISB people from the train itself and asked them to arrange some transport for us from the Secunderabad station to ISB, if possible, as there were around 10-12 of us in the train, some with their families, with loads of luggage and as we all were new to Hyderabad/Secunderabad. We found the ISB admin staff very responsive and they agreed to send one of the ISB Swaraj Mazda vehicles to pick us. The ISB campus is quite far off from the Secunderabad railway station. We reached ISB at around 10:30PM and were given our accomodation details at the entry point itself.

Registration for all people taking pre-terms was scheduled on the 16th. I will come to what pre-terms are in a minute. The registration process was fairly quick and all formalities except for the bank loan agreement got over within 20 minutes. For some it took more time. I am funding my entire course through a bank loan and hence had to do oblige the bank with my autograph on a lot of papers.

Pre-terms started on 18th. Pre-terms are optional and include basics of subjects like Accounting, Quantitative methods and Business Statistics. People can pick and choose what course they want to attend and have to pay the pre-term fee accordingly. I chose to attend Accounting and Business statistics and now regret that I chose to attend stats. The accounting prof (Prof. Mubeen Rafat) was really good. I really enjoyed attending her classes. The stats prof was way too boring and sleep inducing. In my personal opinion, its better to study basic stats yourself even if you have had a previous exposure to it only in your school days and have forgotten everything. I didn’t choose the quant pre-term as I thought I could manage to cover it myself and was also encouraged by prospects of saving some money for other things.

Our seniors are there on campus and they do rock !!!! They are willing to help all the newcomers in their queries. ISB’s PGP program being a one year course, seniors are not there in the campus to guide us through the year but I have heard that the Alumni network is really great and the response time is also really good.

Ever since we have come, there have been a lot of parties. There were two parties – yestarday and the day before that and we had lot of fun. There was music, dance and beer. I don’t drink and hence was content to shake my leg a bit and watch the proceedings from the sidelines. Day before yesterday’s party went till around 3AM. I came back really early from yesterday’s party as I decided to watch the “Catch Me If You Can” DVD that I got issued from the ISB library. I watched ” The Gods Must Be Crazy – II” day before yesterday and really enjoyed the comedy.

We had our orientation sessions yesterday. ISB’s dean (Prof. M.R.Rao), deputy dean (Prof. Ajit Rangnekar), associate dean for the PGP program (Prof.Savita Mahajan) and the Director of Admissions (V.K. Menon) addressed us. Mr. V.K. Menon shared the batch profile and there a lot of people around with absolutely stunning curricular and extra-curricular achievements.

Our batch has been divided into sections and each section further into study groups. There are 6 people in my group, including myself and all are from either IT or engineering background. It would have been really helpful to have at least one Chartered Accountant(CA) as in many of the other groups. CAs and people from finance background are always in great demand as they have already studied a lot of finance/accounting stuff.

Our first term will start from next week onwards and we will have profs from ISB, Wharton & Kellogg teaching us. Going by what seniors say, the faculty who come to teach at ISB are the best in the world and its a real enriching experience learning from them. I am looking forward to it. Its going to get really tough for us from next week onwards with loads of assignments and lots of reading to be done. I have heard that Term 1 is especially very difficult as many people come back to studies after a long time and its really difficult adjusting to the really tight schedule all of a sudden. In fact, many people have taken pre-terms just to get used to sitting in the class for a long time and doing assignments, before the actual slogging begins.

We have this week left to enjoy ourselves. There are many sessions scheduled for us this week also but we still have ample time left for other activities. There will be a “Talent Nite” this weekend. Its a show put up entirely by our class. I am looking forward to contributing something to the music show that some of us are trying to put together.

Some good ISB related blogs

Here are some good ISB related blogs (click on the name to go to the respective blogs):
1) Raja Banerjee’s blog
2) Ramki’s blog
3) Sumit Dhar’s blog
4) Sujayath’s blog
5) The collaborative blog

Lots of info there in these blogs. Raja Banerjee, whose blog is the first in the list above, helped the batch that will join this year a lot during admission times, despite his busy schedule at ISB. I would really like to thank him, Vineet Jain, Dharma Teja, Padmanabhan and so many other people in the Class of 2005 who patiently answered our queries in the isb-pgp yahoogroup.

More in my next post.