Sunday, December 30, 2007


Cracks me up every time I see it. Its an old joke, but still !

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I was interviewed by Vaish and here is how it went. we are, to interview our verrry own Shtudd boy... Mr.Kadalai Gopal...oops..I'm sorry ....Abhishek Gopal... :D...Well, it's going to be tough, but I want honest long answers and juicy answers Mr. Gopal!!! So here goes...

Right, I am all set !

1. Let's begin with your talent, your greatesht talent.....putting don't deny it!!! It's a fact that you were king of kadalai at one point of time! Not anymore though. So Tell us about your ability, in detail?

You flatter me with such titles and compliments, I must say! There is no ability as such, it is just a way of life :) I am not denying anything, but at the same time, I am not accepting it as well. And it definitely is not my greatest talent, not something I would put on my CV ever. Let us just say that I like talking a lot, and more often than not, it has meant that people around me assumed that I was putting "kadalai" when all I was trying to do was probably make decent conversation about the weather and seeing whether the other person would draw diagrams on my record for me :) Imaginations can run wild, I say !

2. Interesting, but a lot of details are missing! ;-) I heard about a certain incident that happened while you were in SVCE, with a certain "Anjali Sharma"... what exactly happened!!?

Ahhh!! You are well informed, I must say ! It happened years ago and frankly, it was nothing but a prank played by a few friends. They pretended to be someone named Anjali Sharma, and later told me it was a prank. Quite funny, in retrospect.

3. Fascinating,I'm sure there are other such interesting episodes which we will discover soon, but lets talk a little about academics, shall we. Your blog boasts about it and we all know that you are currently pursuing an MBA at IIM-Ahmedabad. You were all set to do an MS if I am right, but you suddenly tripped and landed here. I know for a fact that you never stepped into any coaching centre before you wrote CAT. So tell us the whole story, right from you deciding to do your MS to you landing up in an MBA at the most prestigious institution in India, if not the world.

Its no story, it kind of just happened I guess, one of those things that you can't explain. Yes, an MS is what I had in mind, but a combination of personal reasons plus other stuff regarding the university where I got financial aid compelled me to do an MBA. I don't regret it actually, its been a fun two years and I have certainly learnt a lot here at Ahmedabad. Yes, I did not go to a coaching center simply because it was not pre-planned. And I am decent at Math and English and just went into the exam hall with the intention of giving it my best shot. It cost me 1100 bucks, after all to write the CAT. I had no intention of marking random answers. One thing led to another after that and I found myself with interview calls from the IIM's. I went to the interviews with the same mindset and made it to IIM A. The rest, as they say, is history.

4. Oooohh.....somebody's a brain boy...but oh....don't hate me for this next question! What is your advice to our regular humankind who are attempting CAT next November?

Advice !! Absolutely nothing. Just keep cool, give it an honest attempt and if its meant to be, it will happen !

5. Ok!!!! That was refreshing....So...heading to our next question...What has been the most embarassing moment in your life ever? How did you tackle it?

That's a good question, but unfortunately, I don't have a great memory and I don't know of too many 'really' embarassing things that has happened to me. The incident mentioned in question 2 is one for sure. Others being when I got sent out of class for sleeping and banged my head against the half open door twice. I usually laugh at myself and thereby the situation really doesn't become that embarassing.

6.Hmmmm...Nice.... Tell us a bit about your School and your school life?

School life was spent at Vana Vani inside IIT Madras. Amazing place, lush green everywhere, amazing teachers, friendly students and superb atmosphere. I spent twelve years there and enjoyed every bit of it. I still go back to school when I get time and try and keep in touch with a few of my teachers and classmates as well. School was to me, a home away from home and I enjoyed to serenity of the place as well. I would recommend Vana Vani to anyone simply because of the location and the kind of students who go there.

7.Thats great, though it was a long time ago! You seem ancient all of a sudden. You're what? 22? My.....that's old :P....But no..actually, where do you see yourself settling down in the future? India or Abroad? and wherever you choose, what is the reason?

Sigh ! I do feel old. Yeah, been over five years since I left school. And honestly, I don't know the answer to your question myself. It looks as if it will be India. I want to remain in India simply because it is an amazing place to live. I love the chaos and the lifestyle here. I still have a few months to decide though.

8. Super.... you're a true Indian, heart and soul!!! Okk... I'm boring you....and I'm also getting last question.....What is the one thing you will do anything in the world for to achieve/do/get......and why?

Strange as it may sound, I don't have those extreme desires at all. All my ambitions have been within normal limits of achievability and I have never really wanted anything very badly. Most things in this world are achievable if you put your heart and soul into it, and if you don't get it even after the effort, maybe it was never yours in the first place.

That was amazing.... Thank you so much Mr.Gopal, for your time and energy! I'm impressed by your answers and most definitely entertained! :D Wish you all the luck and good fortune in the future!

Thank you very much! It was a pleasure talking to you!


Do YOU want to be interviewed?

Interview rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and may offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them questions.



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Elevator Fiasco

A couple of guys from China called us home for dinner one evening. So off we went, across the river, to a place called Deutz. Li was going to meet us at the station, since we did not know their house. We followed the Indian Standard time and reached a respectable 10 mintues late, but Li outwit us and reached a further 15 minutes later.

When we reached the apartment building, Xing came down to let us in. We trooped into the elevator and were joined by a German speaking Moroccan student as well. Note that the fact that she knew German would assume significance later.

When the seven of us are inside, and the doors are shut, the elevator suddenly decides that it does not want to 'elevate' us to the seventh floor and stops functioning. Moreover, it refuses to open the door to let us out so that we could trudge up seven floors or use an alternate elevator. For ten minutes, we try pressing all the buttons but to no avail. Our cell phones did not work either.

Then, one of us has a brainwave and presses the alarm. Someone outside says hi on hearing the alarm. We say hello to him and he wishes us a good evening and walks off :(. Fortunately, the apartment manager came and tried resetting the elevator and doing some adjustments but that failed as well. This is where the German speaking ability of the girl was useful because, the scene would have been so comical if we, in our broken German, and they, in broken english had tried to converse! So he had no option than to call the technician, who on a saturday evening we assumed, would already be downing his fourth or fifth beer. Note that we had already spent close to a half hour in captivity.

Xing meanwhile realises that he had left rice on the gas to boil. After 30 minutes, he realises this! He calls out to the helpful friend outside and gives him his apartment number and asks him to tell the roomies to switch off the gas. This guy goes up and comes back in ten minutes only to tell us that he couldn't find his apartment. Another five minutes and the fire alarm triggers. We thought that someone had activated this to rescue us. But no! This was because our man Xing had left the rice on. Within two minutes, the elevator doors opened and we were staring at firemen asking us to get out of the building as they had to evacuate it. Five fire trucks in a matter of minutes, an ambulance and a police car. That is what is German efficiency !! Sadly, it doesn't apply to elevators I say !

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dada Rocks !

Back to back centuries. One at his home ground and one at Bangalore. That too a double hundred !

Sachin not playing, even better ! :)

Go Dada! Go India !

Saturday, December 08, 2007


I am taking this course on Political Institutions, and for that, I need to write a paper. My topic has something to do with the Indian political system (the politics freak that I am) and I am googling for some information. Guess which site gives me what I am looking for ??
This one.

The United States Dept. of State !!!

Highly ironical I think.

Ah, back to writing.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

A new month, a new post

Its december, the last month of the year. Quite a few things happening this month though!

For starters, it is the business end of the trimester and one has work to do in order to pass courses. Such a pain, I say ! Especially considering the fact that I haven't done anything academically noteworthy during the past few months! I have a term paper, a couple of presentations, a couple of exams and numerous other formalities before I leave for India in roughly 3 weeks.

Also, people I know are getting married and settling down in life. I feel so old, *sigh* ! And the worst part is that I won't be able to attend these weddings! Damn, that's a lot of good food that I will have to pass. Here's wishing you a very happy married life.

It feels christmasy in Cologne and the christmas markets have started already. Maybe I will go and buy something. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and in a holiday mood. My christmas is going to be spent in Madras this year. Last year, I remember, it was spent mugging for end term exams.

Ciao for now. Back to work :(

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chennai 03:11 Pm

Its an initiative by a few friends. More at
their website.

What is this?

You have to capture what you're doing on Saturday, 03rd November at 03:11 Pm, on your camera and post it online. More at their website and on Suraksha's blog

Monday, October 22, 2007

The American Dream

No, not me ! I am still very much Indian and study in India as well. The title and the post itself is inspired by a comment made by a friend. We were generally having a conversation about future job opportunities and I was asking her where she would like to work. At this point, the reader is advised to note that the aforementioned friend resides in Uncle Sam's land and is studying towards a MS degree.

I asked her whether she intends coming back and she affirmatively said no. When asked why, she said I will wait till my kids are born so that they get American citizenship before coming back. The logic behind this being that higher education then becomes cheaper. Talk about long term planning !!

Anyway, it raised a couple of interesting questions in my mind. What do you think will be the state of Indian higher education twenty years from now? Will the country be subject to reservation of all kinds, or will we see a more open system which grants equal opportunity to everyone. What I like about the system abroad is the academic freedom and responsibility given to students. One is responsible for everything, right from choosing courses, to obtaining the required reading material, to preparing for exams and applying for a job. Sadly though, in India, the scene is different. There is still a certain amount of spoon feeding that still goes on in the system, well into graduate school. I would certainly like to see more institutes for other majors (apart from the IIMs, and the IITs). Maybe more institutes for Political Sciences, Economics and the like. We produce thousands of engineers each year, but very few graduates in other disciplines. We have only one NID, one IISc, one AIIMS, very few good law schools, one DSE for economics and hardly anything for Political Sciences and International Relations. Instead of opening more IIT's and IIM's, Dr.Manmohan Singh should be looking at other areas as well.

The other interesting question that popped up is that whether the craze to run abroad for higher education will be the same twenty years down the line as it is now? It is a very subjective question and a personal choice for many based on a variety of factors. I am thinking that the craze would still be there but people returning would be more simply because India is a great place to live and work in currently. The economy is growing at a healthy rate mainly due to IT and IT enabled services but slowly, I am hoping that manufacturing will contribute a lot more in the coming years. The standard of living in India is going up definitely and there is more opportunity than there was before.

Aakhir, Dil hai hindustani :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Choosing a title

Whenever I start writing a post, the first text box is the title box. Now, I, being creatively challenged grope around for one and come up with very innovative ones likeRandom Thoughts or Tagged and then repeat the same title a year or so later so that the unassuming reader (if (s)he ever bothers to come back) is fooled.

Anyways, this evening, I decided that it was time to pay this dying web page some attention and clicked on new post. And then I sat. The cursor was on the title box and I was lost. I then decided to see if there were any draft posts worth completing but there weren't any that interested me. I then decided to write about choosing a title simply because, then, I could creatively call this post "Choosing a title". * Waits until the applause dies down *

I say that the title box should be kept at the end of the post. You, the smart and wise reader may argue that it is just way easier to omit the title, and come back to it at the end. I, the not so smart blogger would say no, because, I don't like to leave a task preceding the current one unfinished. In simpler words, I wouldn't want to proceed with writing unless I fill the title.

Or, you may just take the easy way out, write about titles, or simply call your post "Untitled" and increase your post count !!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Physics Nobel

Announced today for some awesome work on nanotechnology. Interestingly, one of them was a German whose name was mentioned in a gathering of exchange students that I attended this evening.

These guys have used the spin of the electron instead of the charge to transport current and alter magnetic fields thereby allowing data to be written and erased on disks. Very interesting I must say!

Read more here

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I want to

- be able to cross the road wherever I please

- Eat street food (read as Pav Bhaji, Bhel Puri and Vada Pav) and enjoy them

- Go to a supermaket and be able to understand what the packaging says. Though, off late, it has been getting better.

- Be able to pick up the phone and call V whenever I want to

- Lie down on the couch at home and be pampered by Mom and Grandma

- Not having to worry about money, paying bills and cleaning, not to mention cooking

- Not stand in a line at every place possible

- Eat something that does not have cheese or butter in it.

Oh, the joys of being in India!! The best place in the world I say.



Another month goes by and it is time for another post on this blog. Yeah, I somehow post once a month like clockwork. Sometimes more, but definitely once a month. More recently however, I told myself that I will post more often. Lets see how that goes.

Anyways, the old saying goes, "
When in October, do Octoberfest
or something like that :) If I still have your attention after that, then read on.

I went to Octoberfest yesterday, one of those over hyped things like most of Europe is. Basically, it is just a big fair with rides, reminds me of fairs at Island Grounds in Madras. You get Cotton Candy, groundnuts, walnuts, juice, ice cream and all families come out in dressed in their Sunday best (Ok, it wasn't a sunday yesterday but it was a public holiday nevertheless) and roam about the fair grounds, kids all over the place, parents buying souvenirs and also denying kids their chocolates and things like that.

After a while, I decided to go off on my own exploring the fair grounds and found some innovative ways to make money. Wish I lived in Germany where I could make money like this. I realised that it was time for my train and rushed to the train station to board the last train to Koln. I slept intermittently on the train and as luck would have it, slept when Koln arrived and woke up after we passed Koln. Got off at Dusseldorf, which is about 25 minutes from here, took a slow train back home and reached at 2.30 in the morning. The perils of sleeping, I say !

Auf Wiedersehn

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Cheats

Expelled ! Mclaren ! I would say deserved punishment. For more read this.

Poor Hamilton. This was seriously his season. Now, he will have that tainted tag about him.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

From Deutschland

Hello readers, (Yes, you and you !!)

Arrived in Deutschland about ten days ago and had my first class yesterday. Good fun. Was a light lecture with a lot of laughs in between. We have exchange students from as far as Japan and Argentina as well alongwith Turks, Spanish and Italian students. The new experience is enlightening.

Koln as a city is nothing to write home about. It was bombed during the war and they hurriedly built it back in the 1950's and it isn't what anyone would call an architectural masterpiece. The public transport is good, not as great as London's Underground but good enough considering it is a smaller city. It is a student town, houses the nation's biggest university with over 50000 students. People are very nice and helpful, although in the first week, without knowing any Deutsch, it was kind of hard managing in supermarkets and banks.

My first mis-adventure was the fact that my bags did not accompany me on the flight from Dubai to Frankfurt. The connection time which was originally an hour and 45 minutes got reduced to about 45 minutes due to my Chennai flight arriving late. I transferred successfully, but my bag did not make it. They sent it home to Koln two days later. Sucked ! But there is nothing I could do about it. Thankfully, it came in a good condition unlike a friend's plight with a different airline in which his suitcase was damaged.

I also went into the wrong classroom and sat there for ten minutes before realising that it was a class taught in German :-) Hastily made a retreat. The professor could not pronounce my first name which is good because that will involve less cold calling. Yay !

Also visited some nearby towns last week. You see one place, you've seen them all. They all look the same and are all on the banks of the Rhine. Very picturesque.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Radio One - 94.3 FM. And also, why is there no hindi music station here?

I am hooked to this station everyday. The only time I listen to the radio is when I am driving. Earlier, when I was in madras, I used to listen to Radio Mirchi regularly, mostly because it was a good station and my bus played that on our journey up and down from college. I used to listen to Suchi and some chap in the afternoon talking and entertaining listeners. And the songs were not too bad either.

Recently, Chennai seems to have a new station. Radio One rocks. I enjoy their programmes and its very entertaining, especially between songs. I like their spoof on police in Chennai. Totally rocking. The RJ's aren't too bad either. In fact, I am told that Suchi of RM fame has moved here. Wonder what drew her. Anyway, competition is good for the market. Helps radio channels innovate continuously.

Which makes me think, why isn't there a radio channel that streams hindi music all day long? The answer to that lies in the fact that it does not seem to be a lucrative proposition. Let us look at the target segment. Who do you think listens to the radio?? Mostly, it is the auto drivers, tea shop owners, iron shop guys and the like. Now, the chances of them knowing hindi are practically nil. And if there is no audience, who will advertisers target? And if there are no advertisers, how will the audience make money. There might be a huge hindi speaking population in Chennai, but not all of them listen to the radio. Maybe its tamil which will rule :-)


Another Tag - this time its question time

Was tagged by
Vaish. So its Q and A time. Here I go.

1. (a) Pick out a scar you have.

A scar about 15 cm long on my left thigh.

(b) Explain how you got it ?

Fell off when my bike skid about 7 years ago.

2. What does your phone look like ?

It is a Nokia 6630. Looks kinda big, but I am used to it now. I can make and receive calls, send and receive messages and it acts as a good alarm. Good enough for me !

3. What is on the walls of my bedroom ?

On campus, I have a mirror, a white board with some graph on it. At home, I used to have a poster of Brian Lara. But not anymore.

4. What is your current Desktop picture?

Currently, its a pic of me in a Manchester United jersey that she gifted.

5. Do you believe in gay marriages ?

I can't answer that as I am straight.

6. What do you want more than anything else right now ?

I already am satisfied with everything. Can't ask for anything more.

7. What time were you born?

2:20 am on May 12

8. Last person who made you cry ?

I don't cry usually. Last person was her. Though I was happy when I did. I don't cry otherwise.

9. What is your favorite perfume / cologne

Roger and Gallet (Open). Can't beat that.

10. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?

Black or brown. And reasonably long hair :) Eyes, no prefrence. Brown eyes would be good though.

11. What are you listening to?

Nothing actually. The cell phone beeping occasionally indicating the arrival of a message. And the fan above me.

12. Do you get scared of the dark?


13. Do you like pain killers?

Anything but injections :-)

14. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

No. Not at all :-)

15. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

Mmm. This is a toughie. I would say Home cooked rasam with potato curry :-) Rocks. Also thayir saadam. Yay !

I tag



Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Tag to bring me out of hibernation

This blog had almost died, and I had committed blogicide, Well Almost.
She tagged me and well, sometimes it takes a tag to write.

So here they are, things I like best

  • Cuddling up with a book on a dark, gloomy day and fall asleep reading it
  • Talking on the phone for hours, at all hours of the day and night with her
  • Doing Crossword puzzles and breaking my head over simple words
  • Aimlessly surfing the internet and refreshing websites faster than they update them
  • Irritating people with PJ's, something that I am proud of :)
  • The smell of wet mud just after a drizzle
  • Train journeys in India, especially second class. The lush green fields, the different people you meet
  • Watching Manchester United play, no matter how many times
  • Driving around the streets of Madras, even though they're becoming crowded by the day
Will post more later.

And I tag anyone who wants to do this.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Want to be a cop?? Break rules :)

An interesting sentence from a magistrate in a Delhi Court. A guy was arrested for drunk driving and in return, he had to manage traffic at a busy intersection in Delhi to make him realise his mistake.

Wish we had more such magistrates who look to correct the individual rather than pain him.

Full article

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday Mornings :(

Mondays are a painful day to work. Its the start of a long week and not something that I look forward to normally. Especially if the day is light as today is, you just don't feel like doing that little bit of work that you're supposed to.

Fridays are the same. I am looking forward to the weekend and don't feel like working in the afternoons. That leaves me with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesdays are boring because you've come to office twice already and you realize that there are two more days to go :(

P&G, where I work in, is an amazing place to spend time in. The work is fun, the people are ossum and the culture excellent. However, I don't like Mondays !


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

An interesting e-mail

From the Housekeeping office,

"We have found a set of Keys : The loser may please contact the Housekeeping Office @ 4677."

What a judgement !


Monday, March 26, 2007

I love Office 2007

It can do APA referencing, something I have never been able to do since the time I have come here. Professors here are very particular about referencing and insist on APA style. Now that I have Office 2007, it does it automatically. For a change, Microsoft rocks !

Friday, March 23, 2007

Question - Will Bermuda beat Bangladesh

Even if they did, I don't think our boys deserve to play the Super Eights. A dismal performance to say the least. And all you Sachin fans out there, this was one more example of a situation when he din't perform when absolutely necessary. He should hang up his boots and retire gracefully.

I can go back to hoping that West Indies will finally have their glory days and lift the cup ! And that the Indian team is safe!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Day of Upsets (?)

India (quite deservedly) have lost to neighbours Bangladesh. And as I write this, Pakistan are well on their way to become the first team to book seats on the plane back home. For players like Inzamam, this would be his last world cup. Sad ! Oh Yeah, they might as well go now as O'Brien has smashed Shoaib Malik for a six as I type this.

Coming to the India match, I don't have anything say as it was a completely listless performance. Its like they din't turn up to play at all. In what was a good Queen's Park Oval Track, they could manage 191 only, that too thanks to the last wicket partnership. Losing 5 wickets for two runs means you don't deserve to be in the World Cup, let alone win it !

I shudder to think of the kind of money that people would have lost today via betting on the W/C matches. Both the favorites were beaten, and comprehensively. Oh wait ! A wicket.. Pakistan need 5 more and the Irish need19. Whattay !! If India bow out, it would be the sponsors losing a helluva lot of money because the viewership in the subcontinent would obviously decrease !

Am off to watch the last few minutes of the Irish Match ! Cheers

Monday, February 19, 2007

Half a term more :-)

Another half a term and I would have completed the most gruelling part of my academic life ever ! Its probably the most gruelling part for all of us ! 19.75 credits would have been completed. Each credit comprises of 100 hours of work including 30 hours of classroom contact hours. I did some rough math and it turns out that a minimum of 5 hours of work would be required every day of the week throughout the year to satisfy this requirement. All this translates into one word - INSANE !!

By the end of the third term, we are just about ready to give up, if we haven't already ! Third term involves more group assignments than any other term with the quizzes drying up, courtesy MANAC. I shall save MANAC for another post, its a story in itself. Ask any IIM A student about MANAC and tell me what he/she tells you :)

Mid term exams due towards the end of this week. Lets see how they go :)


P.S - Do check out the video in the next post.

Manchester United - The New Era

Watch this - All Man Utd fans. Some of the greatest moments ever :-)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Been a while ! But I am back

Yeah i know, I have been saying that once too often, but I shall attribute it to the hectic schedule as always. The third term started with jet lag for me. I had travelled approximately 24 hours halfway across the world and sat in a WAC lecture. For the uninitiated, WAC stands for Written Analysis and Communication, quite a painful course. It consists of 3 or 4 classes and about 3 written reports, all to be submitted on Saturday evening. There is a famous tradition behind all this known as the WAC run. This run is done when people finish their reports at the last possible minute and run from their dorms to the classrooms in order to submit the report. Sometimes, as I personally found out, students are locked up in their rooms and not let out until the last possible minute. All the tuchchas gather in the long pathway from the mess to the new campus underpass and shoot videos as some fachchas run. Its another WAC weekend next week and the case is frigging 27 pages long. And I have a class tomorrow.

I also have a marketing quiz tomorrow, one of the few times in the first year that quizzes are announced. Our professor, voted unanimously by all as the chillest prof here. Where else would you find a professor, who announces a quiz, then feels all guilty about it, gives only multiple choice questions, attaches last year's paper and explains in an email why a quiz is necessary.

Well, am off now. Going to mug (or atleast try to)