Sunday, April 30, 2006

A cowardly act!!!

It is time we stopped calling these bastards as terrorists and re-christen them as cowards!!! Yeah - that is what these assholes really are. I am speaking about the killing of engineer Suryanarayan by the Taliban. They abducted him on Friday and then they ended it with this. Is this what they do to let the world know of their so called POWER. They don't have any courage do they??? Let alone terror!!!

Whatever might be their purpose, whatever their claims, whatever their agenda - such dastardly acts of madness are not going to do anything for them right!!! It is just an expense of few bullets for these mindless maniacs - it is a big big loss to his family. My heart reaches out to them to share their grieve at this moment of deep deep sorrow.

If they have any problem with Indians working there, they should have spoken to the Indian government. Okay - we cannot expect these maniacs to be politically correct isn't it. If kidnapping is what they do, they should have kidnapped a government official at least. Not that I hate him or something, he is the representative of our govt there isn't he. They should not have done this to a poor soul, who accepts an assignment in a dangerous place expecting to earn that few bucks more to change the fortune of his family.

If they don't have the spine or the potency to take on their real enemies - they should all kill themselves in cowardice. Not cover their ugly faces at the expense of innocent commoners. They aren't winning anything here are they!?!? Apart from throwing such families into life long sorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

How Kavya was INSPIRED, wrote a teeny novel and was caught...

And i hope there is only one part of this story!!!

Whoa!!! That, "I was inspired by McCafferty's works and any resemblance is unintentional", was perhaps the understatement of this century!!! I know the century has just begun, but I wudnt be surprised if this does not get to the top of the list by the end of this century :)

Anyway - anyone who sees this link will laugh their heart out on this stuff!!! Or perhaps get bemused - just like me!!! I mean, it is pretty obvious that Kavya's paragraphs are definitely a lot more than just "inspirations". They are the same sentences, consciously modified by the "author" to make the new version not to remind people about the original version. Nothing more I would say!!!

Now she's gone missing. Out of contact. The publishers won’t open their mouths. McCafferty's publishers are planning on legal action. It is pretty obvious where things are heading to - unless some out of court thingy's happen!!!

Why she did this??? How can we know!!! Well - she really should not have underestimated the knowledge and memory power of the ppl in the lit world. But she is really in a bad soup presently!!! The only good thing for her is that her book has been selling more since this news. Well, while the publishers will be laughing all the way to the bank - this will make Kavya the writer, a notorious commodity. So, if at all she's been thinking about a career as a writer - that seems to be in serious doubt now!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

6th June it will be...

Yeah!!! After all the thinking, thinking and more thinking; I booked my GMAT appointment on the 6th of June 2006.

So, what will it be??? God knows :)

How do I feel now?!?! Absolutely plain nothing :))

How about preps??? Well, I dint touch a book today :)))

Guess this is the mid-season lull!!! Now that I've completed Kaplan 2006, Princeton 2006 and Kaplan 800, I am feeling (over?!?!?) confident!!! The GMATPrep 720 adds to this ofcourse :)

I think that I need a break - to come back with more zeal to conquer the OGs and D-Day ofcourse. From now on it is OG, OG and OG (yeah I've got 3 of them na) all the way!!! Planning to start with the big book this Saturday. Hopefully, I'll have time do the entire set once before June 6th. I actually plan to complete all 3 at least a week early and give the last few days specially for my biggest weakness - SC. Let's see how things turn up!!!

Now - me gonna see my movie of the day "Office Space". Even before I see the first frame, I love the movie. Reason?!?! The catch line of the movie I so close to my heart - "Work Sucks"!!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The OGs are home...

Shud I feel more responsible now?!?! :o
As if I wasn’t already :)

Anyway - Thanks to my Colleague Thiru and his Friend from Redmond (you know where), all 3 of my OG reviews (as seen in the above pic) have reached home safely.

Huh!!! It has been one long wait since I ordered the books from Barnes and Nobles. I had ordered the books on 31st of March and have been waiting for 25 long days to see them. I wasn't disappointed, the books look cool :)

Now that the OGs have come in, I can feel a pretty serious tempo setting in. Two really good things I must mention here. One that I am right on schedule, which means that I will start working on the OGs from next week as I had planned at the beginning. Two, that the enthusiasm has remained the same, if not increased, since day 1. So I’m all the more eager to start working all those 1400 odd questions and all the more ready.

With all of this set, there is still one thing yet to be done - booking my date with GMAT!!! I still haven’t decided between 6th and 13th of June. Will have to do that and register by tomorrow or the day after at least :)

And then, it will be boom, boom, boom time ;)
Hopefully - I’ll be the one laughing at the end!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

GMATPrep Test 1 - scored 720

Now that feels a lot better :)

Since I’ve been prepping for quite some time now and my level 1 prep schedule is almost complete, I decided it is time to give my first serious test. This is the first serious test since I have already given 5 or more sample tests just to get a feel of the whole thing and because I wanted to get familiar with the tests. Though I gave these tests seriously, I dint have any strategies and there was zero preps for some topics too. Naturally - I dint do well, but all that experience helped a lot today!!!

First to my score - I scored a 720 (Q50 V35).

I dropped to a 50 in Q solely on DS questions. I got 6 of them wrong. I got all my 22 PS questions right. Considering the fact that I haven’t prepped for DS yet, I wudnt crib. But looking at the mistakes, I think I can do better. Perhaps the preps will straighten my DS approach. I've always been good in math and so this is a strong hold. 50 is not-up-there. But there is scope to improve.

My verbal was dismal. 14 of the 41 wrong!!! But there is only one culprit - SC. I got 9 of the 16 wrong and that is really BAD!!! Gotta work some more on this. As such I’ve planned to dig out Verbal during the last 3 weeks of preps and hope that'll help. The other 2 sections were good. Just 1 wrong in CR and 4 in RC (the RCs were sapping, to say the least. I wasn’t particularly in a "reading" mood). I guess the secret in upping my score into the 40s lies in SC.

Overall 720 doesn’t sound bad. That's more than the average score of any B School. But I think I can still improve on that. Being in the competitive IT-Male-Indian pool and all, it is good to have a great score :)

I haven’t booked my GMAT Date yet. I’m looking at an early June slot. The whole month is “untouched” as of now – so no worries on that front. I’ll be booking my date by the middle of this week after my OGs reach me. Wanna sketch the schedule of prep part 2 to the dot and then book the GMAT.

That's it for now as I’m gonna celebrate my 720 score and watch my second movie of the day :)

Ciao peeps...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

All work and no play...

Long time since I did anything that was fun :(

It all started with last September-October when the SimCATs were picking up speed. Then it was 3 months of CAT, the full December and January and half of February for all the other exams and results.

Since February, it has been one hell of a project I’m doing in the office. Real good (read intriguing) design discussions with some of the best minds in our office - always a plus anyway, but sap u so badly!!!

This wud go with those long nights when I wud investigate about all those firangi B schools. And then there were the GMAT preparations I began in late March.

Really for the last 8 months or so, I’ve been running, running and running - all in search of that single MBA seat :) Today - I am really a very tired man. Still worse, I am looking at least one more month of hard work, before I appear for the GMAT.

Well, once that is done, I’ll probably have one hell of a vacation...

But hey - did I forget to say that the whole thing is, was and, hopefully, will-be FUN!!!
There is no pleasure in this world, equivalent to dusting out those once-i-was-as-quick-as-fernando-alonso neurons of one's brain and seeing them back in action :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday morning syndrome! Huh...

Whoever coined the term - IÂ’m sure he's not an IT professional. Because for ppl like us, there is no difference about the day. Everyday, we face the same thing. Boredom...

One more day at the office and I came back with the now common thought - what did I do today?!?! And there was the common answer to it - nothing :)

No No No. That does not mean that I am on the bench or IÂ’m doing nothing. I'm supposedly on a very important project, that has been running for the past 1 yr or so and is something eagerly followed by the client. I do spend all my time in the office working on this. At times, I do get a chance to do interesting work. But what does that do to me??? Zilch!!!

Today was no different as I went through site after site to gather info reg that ever so confusing tree algorithm and also spent some time on that doc to be submitted on Wednesday. Even after all that - I came out of office with an emptiness I am not able to fill. I'm looking at spending at least 1 more year here - god save me and my office :)

Back at home, now I a’m doing something that interests me. Slogging with my GMAT books. Really, these days work for me really starts after 10 in the night. In the morning - I do what I miss in the night ;)

One thing i can be assured of for now is this - Monday Morning syndrome will be the same on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings too.

Saturday and Sunday - I never see the mornings ;)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dont Quit

I hit on this in some blog and found it to be inspirational...
Thought i'd share it with the world that knows me :)

"Don't Quit,"

When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things go wrong that you must not quit.

Rajkumar passed away - but why kill the others???

I find no reason???

To some extent, I hear, they brought it on themselves. But my common sense (however little it might be) says that in any scene of violence, the real people behind the violence never get hurt!!! They know when the violence begins and they know when they've to flee. It is always the common man who ends up getting hurt or losing his life. Somehow, that same common sense says the same thing happened here.

While I am in no position to give any first hand info on what happened, my friend here can. He works in a software firm in Bangalore. While I accept the fact that RajKumar was a highly respected and worshipped person in the state of Karnataka, I cannot comprehend the reasons for the sort of behavior displayed by his so called fans. I say "so called" because I still believe that the common fan would never have done anything of this sort.

There could have been reasons under which the emotional outburst would have seemed more reasonable. Had the person been killed by someone, or because of somebody's wrong doing - anything where the death seemed unnatural. Here we have a person who was aged, to begin with and he had a very natural way of death - let his soul rest in peace. But what followed was completely stupid. I've got no other word for it. I mean, it made RajKumar's wife, under such emotional stress, to make a public request to the fans asking them not to involve in such violence. That was a great gesture for me from her - but the "so called" fans did not seem to hear.

I'm using the so called term because of the kind of things I get to hear. Why would a fan want to burn public transport vehicles??? What does he gain out of it??? Why would a fan want to wreck havoc in corporate offices and shopping places??? I've got no answer!!! The king of all things - there are reports about what the fans did on Friday when RajKumar was being cremated. The fans could not get a last view of their hero and violence broke loose. They turned their attention to a nearby hotel. Glasses were broken, vehicles set to fire, foreign travelers attacked and, listen to this, looted!!! Shameful really!!!

All in all, the whole thing seemed nothing but an "use this opportunity" thingy, which had left a pretty bad impression on the ppl of the state. In my opinion, no fan would do such things in such a time. Having said all this - where was the POLICE?!?!? I've been to bangalore quite a few times and I've seen the police at all times. Morning, noon, evening or night - there has been some police somewhere. Even at 2 in the night. Where were they. If things went out of their hands on day 1, why weren't there more on day 2???

Too much questions. Too much loss, I hear, too. Overall - this is not the way the great man would have wanted him to be remembered. Especially not on the lines of "when this man passed away - so did some of his fans" or "when this man passed away - Karnataka suffered so much loss". For a man who loved his state and his fans, that is really bad for him.

This GMAT thingy...

It is long and boring.
And it is tiring...
And it is just the beginning :(

The minute I decided to give GMAT, the whole ordeal began. The first thing to do was getting the books, and getting them in the best deal possible. That was the EASY part - obviously. Now that the books are all in, time for preps full time. But then, who'd do the work I get paid for?!?! Me, Me, Meeeeeeee...

To heck with it. To work for more than 8 hrs every day and then sit through the GMAT books in the night - and to do this day after day for at least 3 full months. All this sounds too tiring...

But then, the GMAT is the single most important thing of the entire MBA application process, and the only thing u get to do alone :) Score well in the GMAT, it is half the sea crossed. Things that keep ppl motivated. Ppl like me...

If all that sounds too bad, check what follows. I've been doing this thing for the past 3 weeks. Day after day following a rigorous schedule. Have an improved - I dunno. Have I prepared enough - I dunno. Am I ready - I dunno. But I know this - I’m enjoying this. After a long time, this is something that's triggered those rusty neurons back to life. They are definitely rusty and I’m backing on them coming back to life when it counts more - the D day.

Till then, it's preps all the way.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Long time no blog!!!

Too much of work :)

The Entrance exams, the failures, the few success stories and running around for these ppl, the investigation on firangi B schools, the GMAT prep analysis, running around to get these books in the best deal possible, the GMAT preps!!! There has been no time to breath, let alone blog :)

Now that some of these are complete and the others are rolling well, I can get back to things I always want to do - one of them being blogging.

So - with nothing I hand, what next?!?! Well, GMAT for me. Planning to give GMAT by mid June and take things from there. The schools I'm looking at??? Look no where but to ur right on the firangi list. Big names right - big things start with big dreams :)

I don't want to look at anything into these colleges till I'm done with GMAT. So - come may, it will be mission MBA version 2.0 part 1.

I'll keep blogging the progress in this page of course...

MBA entrance season 05-06. It's all over...

Yeah!!! It is all over...

The whole B school fiasco that started with CAT in the month of November 2005, followed by tests all over the next 2 months, applications to various schools - it is all over. With the results starting to pour in by Jan 2006 - it was all over for me when I did not get through anything. But there were 2 people who kept me interested in the whole thing, and this post is about them. 2 contrasting and interesting stories I’ve got here

The first person - I know him for more than 6 years (u'll understand why I’m saying this here when u read abt the next person). He was my college buddy, presently working for an IT firm here and always wanted to do a Management course. His heart was always there. With his family not expecting him to work, unlike me, he tried his luck with these tests every year and always ended up as an "almost close" case. This year was different.

He dint do well in CAT but XAT was a different story. He did enough to fix up an interview for their PMIR course (the best course in Asia in the field of Human Resource Management). And so we started to discuss in length regarding everything. He did a lot and always kept me in the loop - I dunno why, really :) I'd always give him my 2 cents on anything he asked me about and I used to ping him up pretty frequently - I was always concerned and wanted him to get thru.

He had his interview in Chennai - something that lasted for a mere 15 minutes. He dint know what to make out of it. But he got thru. He's gonna take it and I’m really glad for him. He has a penchant for details, from the number of lamp posts in his street to things like GDPs of countries. He always enjoyed knowing these things other people tend to forget. He was famous for such things in college. I guess this is gonna be the case in the statistician rich XLRI campus. Good Luck dude - u're sure to reach places.

The second person - I know her for mere 2 months (that's the difference). I used to spend a lot of time in an MBA forum, even after all my results bombed. One fine day there was this message in my inbox "I've got all 6 IIM calls. I need to discuss something. Can I have your number???” I was like ".

That's the first time in my life when I ever got to know someone who'd had an IIM call - let alone all 6 :) The reluctant starter I am - I send a reply "Could we, err, discuss this over mail. This is my id!!!" This could have been the end, but the stubborn female replied to this new id I gave her and the one phrase that made me do it was this "Gimme ur number. I won’t bite you". Okay - this person has some nerve. I wanted to talk to her.

That night - we spent 3 hrs over the fone. She had an interesting life, and she wanted all this to be presented in the best way possible, to the Interview panels. Why she wanted to ask all that to me, someone who has never seen anything beyond the test halls, is still a big question to me. who cares :)

When I look back - that was probably the only time we did some interview strategizing. After that, I just kept pinging her up frequently for status updates, as she went roaming for interview after interview. "Don’t ask me", "It was horrible", "Insult, Insult and more Insult", "Let's speak of something nice" - these were what she'd say after each of these interviews. To me that sounded strange - she was a really smart person. She couldn’t have screwed up so badly. But how do I know. I just kept saying, more in hope to make her feel better, "Let the results come".

They came. And how?!!? She got through 5 out of 6!!! And yeah, waitlisted for the 6th (I had to edit the post as she got mad at me for not saying this. MBAs and their Egos :) ) And she's all set to spend the next 2 yrs in the most sought after campus in India - IIMA. I'm glad for her. And I’m happy that she'll now have to take me out on treats - hardly a few hrs of effort and I get to empty her purse :)

So - these 2 ppl kept me in this thing till yesterday. With all that gone - I’ll now have to look at myself now and do something to change what I am now. there's no point in cursing my fate anymore.

Through this post - I salute their perseverance in trying the test year after year and their belief, which gets tested the most in the face of defeat. I wish them great luck for their next 2 years and still greater luck for everything beyond that!!!

By then - I should become something so that they can even mention abt me :)