Friday, 29 August 2008

10 working days & 3 weekends more !!

28th August 2007 - our accommodation was confirmed on campus and the room was allocated - Heronbank it was.

29th August 2007 - Exactly a year back - this day, I began counting days to leave for England. Everyday I would go up to my mom and tell her - __ so many days left and I am out of here.
She would get angry and pretend like she dint hear a thing. But in her heart she always knew that the little girl she chased around the house, around the building, up and down the stairs to feed her daily meals, someone she had to wake up everyday, someone she would call atleast thrice a day when she hadn't returned on time, someone with whom she would fight very often on curfews, someone with whom she actually enjoyed shopping but never accepted it; finally had to leave the comfort and security of the four walls she had created.

Today I am counting days to go back home (for awhile). To go back to that place where I know my privacy and freedom would be curtailed, where I would have to take mom/dad's permission to step out. Where I would have to justify why I am going out, why I am on the internet, why I don't want to eat, why I prefer this to that, why I would like to have a night out, why I would like to go for a drive, why I would want to visit my friends, why I would want to listen to music at this time of the hour, why I would want to stay awake, why I would want to watch a movie ...

The list is endless.

At the end of the day the list of reasons why I would still want to go back to that place I call HOME is small and could be counted by the fingers in one hand.

The one reason that beats them all is the love that they would show when I have returned home after months.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Mood Elevators !!

Several articles in the past have reported on various instruments that act as mood elevators. Movies, Music, Chocolates, Ice Creams, Friends, Family, Books etc...

Ever wondered how the human brain works ?

Its a question that has no conclusive answer.

The mind is way too powerful. Thats the reason they teach us about will power.

A recent conversation with a friend on the topic of placibo effects - made us realise how powerful the mind can be.

Surveys have shown that amongst most things that students download on campus - music tops the list.

It has also topped the list of mood elevators for decades in a row. The mind seems to understand and relate to the tones of music better than anything else. I haven't met anyone (yet) who doesn't like music. Everyone seems to enjoy music and the choices are endless.

Shivers down the spine, goosebumps, tears in the eyes, a smile on your face, nostalgia ....

We have all experienced this at somepoint or the other listening to music.

The soundtracks from the movie Lord of the Rings, inspired me to write this blog today.
Enya's voice alone can take you to places to have been before. Try watching LOR without the soundtrack - trust me its bad.

Remember the famous song " Don't worry be Happy" - thats an all time favourite and the best mood elevator I have come across.

Get your list of mood elevators, you would never know when you would that one song to cheer you up.

Concluding this blog, I have realised that there is a lot of potential in the music industry and its the one market where there is no recession, no lay offs etc. ...

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Whats nExt

Coming to England a year back, I was clueless about setting things up. I still remember, I brought something to cook and then realised the cooking utensils I would need. Gradually picking up pace, I brought almost everything one would need to cook.

The university accommodation came with certain basic amenities. As time passed by I personalised the little space to suit my needs.

Now this life is coming to an end. 3 more weeks and I am out of this room. Sept 13th - the lease ends.

What have I learnt ?

1. To set up a small house - I guess
2. To cook decent healthy meals - for myself
3. To manage time - :-P
4. To shop for groceries - for a change ;-)
5. Understand how to keep things clean *
6. Understand the life cycle of edible items - Mom's job is tough
7. Manage finances - Mom knows to do that well
8. Manage the earnings - Dad hats off to you
9. Understand: the government is out to get you - Taxes have to be checked regularly
10. Life is short - LIVE IT UP !!
* subject to market risks - as suggested by a new friend

This is my story so far, I am sure corporate world has more to teach and I shall update it soon, with what I learn by setting up a small apartment, managing monthly expenses when there is no venture capitalist funding it and managing a full time job. :-)

So far - so good :-)

Thursday, 21 August 2008

THe story of a CrAB...!!

The MSc in Finance course has nearly ended, and having been asked to read the economic times for the past 6 years has finally paid off. Reading the financial newspaper became interesting over the years. Not because I was "financially" inclined but because they started reporting on companies that interest a teenage girl ( couple of years a ago :-P ). Words like Chanel, Gucci, GAP, Christian Dior, Armani, on the pink paper suddenly made a lot of us. And the combination was splendid - the best brands on a friendly colour paper ( remember Legally Blonde ? - The pink resume !! )

After being neglected for years as a significant English speaking market - we have been spotted. We are now the hot spicy curry driving most of the balance sheets around the world. Magazines like Vogue , rock bands like the Rolling stones, U2 are all making their way to India. These companies are spending millions to make a grand entry into the market. Remember Virgin's Sir Richard Branson's stunt ? Nationally , the Tata's tookover foreign brands, Taj took over a hotel in New York, Infosys and Wipro are common names in the US now.

This blog would fail in its duties, if I forgot to mention Lakshmi Mittal. India's brand ambassador, who still holds an Indian passport and is an Indian Indian living in Britain. Then there is Zubin Mehta, Salman Rushdie, Amartya Sen ...

My question is - Would they have achieved the current level of success had they remained in the country ? (India)
It is a known fact that they have failed to replicate their success in India.

This was reported in the Times Magazine :

Some of this has to do with the mind-set of India's bureaucracy and the hangover of the old-license raj, with all its petty meddling. Then there is our traditional envy of success. Every child knows the story of the basket of Indian crabs: it did not need to be covered because every time an ambitious crab came close to the top, the other crabs pulled him down. It is no accident that many of the men who feature most often in our business magazines are nonresident Indians who live beyond the clutches of the bureaucratic establishment. But much of it also has to do with us. We are still a society that does not prize excellence and one that demands too little from our bureaucrats and politicians. Elections are still won and lost on populist slogans. Voters seldom reward good governance with renewed mandates. And Parliament and state assemblies are full of legislators with criminal records who neither believe in ideology nor bother about performance.

The crab story. This was narrated to me when I was 14 and I remember it till date because it seems to apply forever. Spend a year abroad and go back. You would know what I am talking about. The mind set of the Indian economy and the corporate world doesn't allow young Indians to break the traditional boundries. Whatever said and done, any ambitious Indian woman is "branded" before she is able to showcase her caliber. Hear the success stories of most Indian woman and you won't be surprised to hear how much they had to struggle, more than men ofcourse, first to prove a point that they have the potential and second that its not always about Women's "duties".

One thing is for certain, although I am proud to be an Indian, but I am sure that unless I am very strong mentally, succeeding in India would be a painful task. One would lose their friends, their identity, and probably forget who they originally were.

I now fear going back to make a corporate career. Will I get sucked into politics that involves talking about what I am wearing to work, to who I talk to , who I eat lunch with, who I went out with ?

I have been warned and its as follows :

know this for sure - things will be different when you get back.
people will claim you have changed, and some will also say not for the better

the fact is you will have changed, but in the end, we all do. and every experience we go through in life does change us in some fundamental way

the way forward is to defend who you are now while not forgetting who yo uwere before. and being comfortable with all of that :)

A long lost and found friend - gave me this warning, considering she has been through the same. All I have to say is, I intend to make a career in a field that involves talking, networking, speaking to random strangers etc.

I only hope and pray that the Indian youth changes its ideologies and understands one fundamental fact : the world is larger than you think and is way beyond the neighbourhood you live in.