Cerebral Shangrila

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Bell the CAT

Its start of the next CAT season. Over a Lakh students from all over the Country would be competing for those few privileged seats at the presitigious IIM's (Indian Institute of Management) . After some hard thinking , I have decided to jump in the fray. Having already been unsuccesful twice earlier , this perhaps might be my last & final attempt. So its either now or Never. I always beleive I have it in me to crack CAT but never gave 100% in my earlier attempts & hope to break the jinx this time. B-School has always been my Dream & though I got a good GMAT score , I have to "Bell the CAT " this time else I might have to go abroad to get that elusive MBA. God Bless me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003


One of the most Inspirational poems I have ever read. When the first time I read this , I immediately took a printout and pasted it on my Cupboard so that it serves as an inspiration for me everyday. From Jungle Book to If , Kipling's mastery is amazing.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

TIME's Cover Story "Where the Good Jobs are Going ? "

This Week's issue of TIME has a Cover Story on the Outsourcing Wave to India . Written with a right Balance between Sensitivity and objectivity , It focusses on India a lot. This might raise a lot of Awareness in the US & even be the trigger of a potential backlash . Letz wait & watch.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Was Reading this Article in BusinessWeek Magazine about the Top 10 Global Brands . The Top 10 are :

1. Coca-Cola

2. Microsoft








10. Mercedes

Some Interesting observations , 8/10 Brands are American (Except Nokia & Mercedes) . Coca-Cola Still retains its Position as the most visible Brand on the Planet . Was Surprised that Sony did not figure in the List .

Also did a simple "is it really Global?" Test and found out to my utter surprise that In Fact I use in everyday life 6/10 Brands (Microsoft,GE,Intel,IBM,Nokia,Coca-Cola) listed and sparingly other two (McDonald's & Disney) .

Monday, July 28, 2003


Read Jack Welch's Autobiography "Straight from the Gut" this weekend. The Book has the right mix of Jack's usual aggression with a dose of candor & modesty . India finds a special place in the Book . Jack apparently is an unabashed admirer of India and its Intellectual potential . He writes with unbridled enthusiasm his love for the country and admiration of its people ( of course with subtle snide remarks about the Bureaucracy ) . No wonder that GE turned out to be one of the Biggest "Chalo India "Drivers in the early 90's and one of the key Investor in the Country .


BCL , Saravana Bhavan , Darna Mana Hai & Sai Baba Temple turned out to be the keywords for this weekend. The saturday turned out to be an usual one with a Trip to Saravana Bhavan in Connought Place ( God Bless these guys for the wonderful food & giving me a break from the Roti-Daal - Chaawal routine of the weekdays) , followed by the British Council Library . BCL in Delhi has a fairly good collection of Books , Although I sorely miss the US & Indian Collection of books which I have got accustomed to. Grabbed a P.G.Wodehouse & a BBC Wildlife Mag and we headed to see "Darna Mana Hai". The Movie Turned out to be a Pleasant surprise with a Different Storyline ( Six Stories & 7 College Guys/gals and lot of murder and Ghosts - The Best of the Six Stories was that of Nana & Vivek) . Sameera Reddy looked awesome and had an amazing screen presence.

Sunday was quite Hot and we went to the Sai Baba mandir in the evening amidst Drizzle .

Friday, July 25, 2003


Dilbert has universally been acknowledged as the Ultimate in Office Humor. Recently got this Fwded email which was quite Hilarious :

A magazine recently ran a "Dilbert Quotes" contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real life Dilbert-type managers. 
Here are the Top Ten finalists:

10. One day my Boss asked me to submit a status report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said, "If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!"
(Hallmark Cards executive)

9. We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees."
(Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)

8. My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me."
(Shipping executive, FTD Florists)

7. Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."
(Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)

6. No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them."
(R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.)

5. "Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule."
(Plant manager, Delco Corporation)

4. "This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it."
(Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)

3. "E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business."
(Accounting manager, Electric BoatCompany)

2. "What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter!!"
(Lykes Lines Shipping)

1. "As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks."
(This was the winning quote from Fred Dales at Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, WA.)


I am a Travelaholic by any Standards. Meeting new people , knowing about New Cultures , Seeing the Wonder of Mother Nature have always fascinated me and keeps me moving during most weekends . Most of my friends describe me as a Crazy Travelhog since I dont spare any weekends and also manage to pull most of my friends alongwith me from their happy Weekend Slumber.

It was with incredible Disbelief that I heard that July 4 was going to be Holiday for me (Its funny & Ironical that in India I was getting a Holiday for the American Independence day , but then I was Servicing an American Client and entitled to such perks !!) . July 4 fell on a Friday , which meant that it was going to be a long weekend of 3 days holidays. Having Recently moved to Delhi and having already seen Agra , Mathura , Vrindavan , Dehradun & Mussorie (will post those travelogs later) , I had only two Destinations in Mind viz Nainital or Amritsar . I also managed to convince a few colleagues to join me (They Sheepishly did so -- poor guys ) and we booked an Ambassdor Car and decided to leave Friday early morning . We were a Sleepy Bunch of five Guys, who merrily crawled into the car and the Drive turned out to be a rather pleasant one. The Roads were excellent & thanks to the new Toll roads the Journey was swift and enjoyable. Naintal is 325 Kms from Delhi and duringmost of the Journey I was singing old Hindi Songs with another friend for company. (Although my Hindi at best could be termed Quite average) .

We Reached Nainital at around 11am ( a 6.5 Hours Journey ) and were welcomed by the Naina Tal Lake ( What a Breathtaking view , I fell instantly in love with the lake ) . The Legend goes that the eyes of Parvathi had fallen in this place and hence the name (Naina = eye , tal = lake ) . We Decided to take a Dormitory just adjacent to the Lake , so that we could have the splendid green lake view. We got freshened up and were ravenously Hungry and had Lunch ( a pretty bad one , I should say ) and started out for the Zoo . I am always fond of Zoos ( In fact anyone who travels with me always complains that the first place I go to in any city is the Zoo !!!) . The Zoo was a very steep Climb but housed some really rare Mountain species like the Snow leopard , Siberian tiger , Mountain Goats. From there we headed to the lake for boating but a dense fog made most of our boating a very difficult exercise , since we could hardly see more than 5 feet ahead. We then retreated back to the Hotel for a well deserved Rest .

The Next day started with a Brunch ( which turned out to be a equally bad one , But I learnt a very valuable lesson in Culinary choice viz Never Order South Indian Food in the North (esp in Hills) & Vice - Versa ) . We Went to the Gun Hill from where we got some incredible views of the Hills & also went to visit the Hanuman grahi temple. We later went on a incredible Horseback trip to the Dorothy's seat ( An Incredibly beautiful view from the top of the Entire Naintal & the Hills) . I decided it was time I get myself a Good SLR Camera to capture such beauty and give some rest to my 20 year old Yashica Point & shoot camera ( I am still googling a lot about the the Best SLR camera to buy in my budget !!) . Had a few anxious moments while returning when my Horse was chased by the street dogs & fled from the owner's control ( I somehow Managed to control it and felt like Alexander the Great controlling Buciphalus !!!) .

We decided to start early next day since it was risky to drive in the night and after a tedious journey reached Delhi at around 8.30 and had some Great south Indian Food at Andhra Bhavan near CP and retired back to our cosy homes.

Looking back at the Trip , Naintal is easily one of the most Beautiful Hill Stations I have ever visited , the Green Lake & the surrounding verdant locales , still remain etched in my memory. I also made thick friends with the colleagues who came with me and thus ended a very satisfying long weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2003


Here is a Surprising find to Support my earlier post. Was Skimming through the pages of the Latest "India Today" Issue , when an article on the Indian Economy caught my eye. From a perpetual Borrower in the past , India has now transformed into a Creditor to the IMF. We have pre-payed a $3 Billion worth of Loan to the World Bank & have also lent monetary assistance to Countries like Brazil & Burundi . So does this mean that India is on the slow growthpath towards Economic progress & Independence ??


Patriotism seems to be the Flavor of the season , with "Indian-ness" being a key Brand Globally these days . After almost a decade of liberalising the economy , we are finally seeing the fruits of it with the Forex Reserves touching a new High and India emerging as a key player in the Global IT Outsourcing wave. In spite of the persistant Rampant Corruption , Poverty & the "babudom"still plaguing and inhibiting growth , India undeniably has made rapid strides towards Globalisation and Economic Development . Everyday we hear stories of another Fortune 500 Giant moving / Outsourcing some of its business to India and newer jobs being created here as a Result. We stand at the threshold of a tremendous future , Which I hope we catch up with inspite of the Page 3 Headlines we continue to make. I choose to remain an incorrigible optimist in this regard preferring to see the half filled glass ( IT/Pharma progress , Growing Literacy , Growth of an educated & talented working class, Bulging Forex Reserves ) than the Half empty ( Political Instability / Corruption , Skewed Outdated Policies still in some key areas , Poverty ) . Lets all Hope & resolve to build a stronger & Vibrant nation for the future .

Wednesday, July 23, 2003


Got introduced to the World of Blogging thru a friend of mine. As a person filled with chaotic ever flowing thoughts , Thought would pen down most of What I Read & observe through this Forum.