2006: The year I completed my MBA

I never thought that I would pursue a post graduation degree till I was in my third year of engineering. It was only in the final year, that I decided to get an MBA.... I wanted my last degree to be from a reputed institute....In my case - Symbiosis, SIIB (http://www.siib.ac.in/) .... Because, I have realised that the type and quality of education plays an important role in one's maturity levels in life...I took a break after my B.E....Joined a coaching class and started to train myself to score decently in the entrances so that I may secure admission in one of the reputed colleges in the country.

After all the entrances and the GD/PIs.... SIIB was it.... :-). The session was to start on June, 10, 2004. From then on, it has been one interesting ride. Hostel life of an MBA institute is strikingly different than what you normally see in engineering hostels. If engineering hostel is about growing up, making friends, having fun and lastly studying.... hostel life during your MBA is just the opposite... Well - for starters, you have individuals who already have formed their personalities...are focused (most of them), know for a fact that they have come here to get a degree and a well paying job, make an impression upon your peer group and faculty and lastly, if you have time, make a couple of friends...with whom you can hang out with.... you may / may not share the same level of comfort after you've graduated or one may just be in touch via a social networking site....:-) Well, thats MBA hostel life for you....Not to undermine it though, had a fantastic time out there ;-)
Going by my past experiences, I kept a very low profile here. Was cautious in my approach...at the end of it, didnt have grades to be proud of ...but yes made some damn good friends...:-)
Munish Aggarwal: A very decent bloke (especially coming from Delhi)....not at all like your typical Delhi MCPs.....We were in the same class, shared a bench in our Spanish Class....In fact I remember, sharing a bench with him for my entire 2nd year....almost...first bench in the right hand-side corner...:-) An honest and trustworth guy...He was trusted with the class attendence (inspite of a class representative already appointed) by the coordinators during the placement season and the guest lectures (which tend to be boring...) so much so that when word got across that Munish Aggarwal is taking attendence, automatically, the entire hall / classroom would start filling up with students....Oh...we cursed him a lot..., we are in the same group, ek proxy toh banti hai....but no....he wont budge...there were a lot of people who paid fines (running in thousands) due to their lack of attendence....thanks to him :-P well, Megha & Harvind were one of them ;-). To give him due credit, he was always there... for all of us...and many a times, him and me ended up arguing and not talking for months...but we shared the bench !!!!  A good friend of mine....who I realised very very very late in my life (well, relatively - will become my future life partner <3)!!!!!
Abhimanyu Sharma: Damn good guy.... my teddy bear friend.... hard core foodie...knew him from my coaching classes in Ahmedabad...and we landed in the same campus...well, he landed at SCMHRD...and me at SIIB...rival institutes....I think it was me who introduced him to beer for the first time at a local restaurant Tammanna...:-P ....
It was the 2 of us who hogged 2 family size pizzas at Pizza Hut along with 2 servings of Garlic bread and Pepsi...:-P (yeah - it was)...never hogged all at one go...soooo much...
I cried (literally like a baby) on his shoulder when I feared that I wont clear my Capital Budgeting project....:-)hehehe...But hell yes - he is a darling....:-)
Currently he is based out of Bangalore and engaged to be married in 2011.

Girl Gang: Well, to boast about ourselves...we were the only girl gang that exists even till today....from our batch.... well, there were others.... but most  of them had very bitchy fall outs...over boys / boyfriends / roomies, over rooms, over partying, etc etc... I mean we were infamous.... there was a lot of gossip about us....I mean what do these girls talk about....how come they are together...why havn't they fought....yet..... In fact one of batchmates, went to the extent of assuming that all of us had a thing for him o_O (what a nerve!!!!!) :-P.....but we stuck along....for good or for bad.... Shobha, Ekta, Soumya, Megha and myself...there were fall outs...and in future also, I guess, there we will be fall outs....but I guess, thats just a part and parcel of the game.

I remember our struggle to reach at class at 9:00 am sharp.... to eat break fast before that.... and if its a friday, we were in for one tough ride...it was compulsory for us to wear a sari...oh!!! how much we struggled....to get ready, eat breakfast and go for a guest lecture (usually from an eminent personality from the industry)....:-)....
I remember us hogging on food on special occassions...Republic Day, Independence Day, etc...
I remember us trying to atleast keep our eyes open while mentally we were elsewhere...to a greener pasture...
I remember us (in my case Ekta and me) struggling with our Capital Budgeting Assignment....and trying to submit it on time....
I remember, me struggling to keep awake in the middle of night (especially with books) since I am NOT a night person...
I remember me, awake till 5....when I watched the collection of 9 Drew Barrymore movies...in one shot...
I remember us, especially Shobha, Ekta, Soumya and myself awake for an entire night in their room watching movies till 5...
I remember our pool account for maggi...hogging maggi and relishing it....
I remember how each of us would take a book / novel for the presentation when a company used to come visit....waiting and reading...for the guest to ARRIVE and start presenting....
I remember, how each of us would wait with anticipation of all the interviews and their results...to see, if this is the company which is going to get lucky :-P...
I remember, how everyone was tensed..since I was the last in our group to get a campus placement...
I remember, how we went disc hopping, well, literally.....3 discotheques.....and all free free free!!!!! ;-)
hmmmm...I remember a lot of things...but cant really write them down :-)
Apart from them, there have been a lot of people with whom I had limited interaction in college.... but am in touch with them regularly...:-) apart from the social networking sites....:-)
Harpreet / Happy.... he was more pally with Munish....well, initally...;-)..but when we were all in Mumbai, got to know him better.... We both went to our Jive classes together.... and I must admit, he caught on the steps much faster than I did :-P... I was really really distressed :-P.... Ok..in my defence, he is Tall...i mean really Tall...atleast 6 ft 2 "...we look like bachaas in front of him.... When he left Mumbai, to join an IT company in Hyderabad, I felt very sad...much more than I thought I would be....:-(

He is now in Bangalore and is single....Looking for some Hot, single, Punju / Sardarni.... :-) to get married too;-)

Aditya / Adi...a very lovable guy....ready to listen....helpful....a computer addict....very very active on anything / everything related to the internet, social networking, blogging, word press, twitter, etc etc.... My best time with him was when we went to the German Bakery in Pune....and of course, whenever I landed myself in the computer lab :-). Someday, I hope to have nice blog like his... http://www.adityasanyal.blogspot.com/

Namit is one smart cookie.... very witty....full on chit chat.... we chat online a lot... infact, there was a time when we played online scrabble ( http://www.lexulous.com/ ) a lot.... :-) He is a smart person, yet single...looking for some Hot, single, sindhi female for him...... I've promised him that I will dedicate an entire post on him...
Well, I am in touch with more or less all of them....we've grown over the years...personally and professionally... we meet now and then.... especially when people keep flying for "official" work....:-).

Its been a good experience.... the range of the experience limited due to my overtly cautious stance.... but hey, no regrets!!!! :-)

2003: The year I became an Engineer

Studying from an not so popular town (*not city) with mainly 2-3 restaurants worth eating at, with movies being the only saviour, at 3-4 single screen theatres and a joint near college called "Maurya" which served a pathetic Rs. 6 coffee (*but served the purpose) would be main locations which I would identify with my years spent pursuing engineering.
From a convent education background from Ahmedabad, which is a major city in every sense, where "hanging" out with girls and boys together, going for late night parties and Navratris was a sharp contrast with respect to 'life' at Dhule.

I had got a rude culture shock (since all the above mentioned activities were highly looked down upon) when I started realising where I had landed and this is what my future moments would be comprised of....o_O ...Well, for starters, I was simply horrible at studies... simply horrible. Words cannot describe it. Wanted to be an architech. Had cleared the entrance for CEPT, Ahmedabad and JJ College of Arts, Mumbai but my dad was adamant that I pursue Engg (*sigh!!!!). Was more of people's person and without any discrimination made myself a lot of acquaintainces (*who I thought were friends). Well, there were a lot a teething problems but had not been for my cousin, adjusting to a life overthere would have been difficult. I learnt to make friends fast... well - I made enemies faster :-P. Enginnering hostel life taught me a lot. From being an easy going, non chalant character, I became a "relatively" cautious and a quiet person (People who know me know would not agree!!! :-)). I learnt to be on my own, I learnt to stand up for my beliefs and what I thought was right (but what may actually be wrong !!!).
There a lot of people who made a very strong impression on me when I was in college....Many of my "best" friends, I am yet in touch with (Thank God!!!). Many of my "acquaintances", I am yet in touch with o_O :-)
Many of my friends which I made there, are not a part of my life now....I realise that they can be easily traceable on Facebook or Orkut...but I lack the incentive and the initiative... But I am happy, everyone's at peace in their own world...settled...

Alka: We have a history :-). When I say history, it is one. There have been phases in our relationship. A phase where we have been roomies, a phase where we have been on a cold war, when we fought, when we flunked, when we were in the opposite "warring" groups :-P, when we were at each other's throat, and also when we spent 10 days together at Pune going from MG Road, FC Road to Lonavla :-), when she was working in Pune and I was studying in Pune.., when she got married, when I went to Mumbai (at her "sasural"), when she flew to Cannada...when she keeps coming back to India intermittently...:-) ... we've spent 12 long and wonderful years going through these phases...and I cherish the relationship we share!!! She is now based out of Toronto, Cannada and has a loving husband and extremely pretty daughter.

Seena: :-). She is such a darling. My coolest friend from T.E.. She is been one of my pillars of strength in the 3rd and the final year. I have relished the Mallu food at her place for 3 weeks in row and God, I cannot forget those gastromically delicious days, that to date I still remember those 3 weeks. She has married Rajanikanth Rao, my senior from college, an amazing guy, very witty and very smart...and what a sense of humour. They have a beautiful daughter and are settled in Bangalore.
Geetika: She has been one of my best buddies, my roomie for 2 years and the most funny and fun loving person. Have spent a great amount with her and Parminder (then boyfriend, now husband). A very very close friend. These two were my "backing" in college :-). We had a fall out in the last days of college but we got back in touch (thanks to her - my inflated and misplaced "ego" does not allow me to call people) a couple of years back.

Manjusha: Ho ho....Manjusha Singh became my guardian in College. She was my senior. We used to hang out quite a bit in college. She was one girl from whom even the guys were scared of taking panga from!!!! hehehe...But ya, she has a very peculiar habit of dissappearing from the horizon now and then...She is now in Mumbai... We meet on and off...and yes - I would really like her to married and settled down :-).

Himani: I knew her from childhood. My first roomie, Ahmedabad buddy, family friend. Our folks have known each other since the last 30 years. We came to this college together. We really didnt hit it off at the beginning, but over a period of time found our spaces with each other. She shares her birthday with my mom's and BTW, my mom suggested her name "Himani".

Bhawani: My buddy. The guy with whom I used to hang out with. Rumours floated amok. Then GF didnt like me. I didnt like her. We "separated"..... We got back in touch in the last year of my college and till date, we've been friends.... :-) I thought, he is going to  be an eternal bachelor...but thankfully, he has been hooked by the right girl in 2010 and is roaming the world with her :-).

Vikalp: I really dont know what to tell about him. Well, the guy is just there. Always, ready to listen, ready to give advice and yes - ready to eat (dont mean MTR, he is a hard core foodie). He is a "binder"... "glue".... if you know what I mean.... He "made" Geetika and me talk :-O :-) and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for this. God bless. He is married and has a good looking hunk for a son :-).

Babbli: My Manipuri friend. She left her engineering mid-way and dissappeared. But now I am back in touch with her again after a long gap of over approximately 7 years (maybe). She traced me on Orkut. She now works and lives in Noida.
Urvashi: I cannot cherish my memories of college without cherishing the relationship I had with Urvashi. She was my confidant. My problem solver. My agony aunt. My Mirror. My friend. We had a fallout (my fault). We never got back together again (my fault, my inflated ego, etc). I think I feel the void sometimes, but with time, I guess things..fade....
Puchu: My cousin. The reason my father could trust me in a strange land. I never thought we'd become friends. But then I never thought, a fight between us would turn ugly that even now after like 10 years... we dont talk. We "communicated" once or twice maybe, but then that was it. My mom keeps taunting me about it... but even that does not do any wonders.... I guess we just went on our different paths... I guess we both were stubborn...egoistic...(maybe)...
Pritesh: Nice guy. Been a good friend. But he found it hard to understand that a No means No. Would have been good to be friends with him though... but I am kinda out of touch...
There were a lot of other names... lot of other faces which I remember....lot of other events, happenings ....which is difficult to write about all in one go.... Regret not maintaining a diary...But over a period of time, as and when I remember, will keep posting...

There are a lot of people who came, impressed a thought and left..... They are one of my innumerable contacts on Facebook.... I know whats happening in their lives.... I keep commenting or "liking" stuff...give my contribution....and revel in the thought that "hey, we are in touch".... but its just not the same.... I guess, time flies...leaves a footprint...some are cast in stone...some in sand....some are washed away.... with time....
2003, shall and will always be an important chapter of my life!!!!

2010_The decade that was

By and large, 2010 was good. Memorable in some ways and well, as I look back.... I will cherish this decade.... :) for a lot of things...
For starters, I began with the 2nd year of my engineering at Dhule.....3 years of my hostel life....made some wonderful friends :-)...and even more amazing enemies...:-P... some enemies became friends and some friends become enemies... and well - some - fell in almost categories.
Now that I have started writing, I feel I have so much write... so much to tell.... that makes me think I will divide this blog....
2003: The year I became an Engineer from SSVPS COE, Dhule
2006: The year I completed my MPIB (Finance), Pune
2006: The year when Munish and me decided to spend our lives together
2006: The year I lost Puneet, my 19 year old star brother.
2007: The year I left Deloitte to join ICICI Prudential AMC.
2007: The year I got engaged to Munish
2008: The year I got married to Munish
2008: The year we honeymooned in Dalhousie and I formatted the camera by mistake and lost all pics in the process
2009: The year we went to Goa
2009: The year I left ICICI Prudential AMC to join Universal Sompo GIC
2010: The year we went to Ladakh. The most awesome ('est) trip.
2010: The year I went to Goa for the 2nd time. Realised Goa is no fun without Munish :-)
2010: The year my brother Mayank got engaged.
Planning to divide it in 2001-03, 2004-06, 2006-08 and 2008 onwards.
Till I post again!!!! :-)

2010_The year that was

2010 was a decent year.... A couple of trips, some events on a personal level... but nothing much professionally..... In short, it was Maska Chaska - 50-50 :-P. Guess that was a poor joke.
It was a year of nothings I guess!!! But yes - there is a silver lining to a dark cloud....there were a few wonderful highlights.
My brother's engagement  (December 2010) was like a milestone achieved in our family history. With a background belonging to a of very traditional "extended" family, it was a huge task of convincing almost everyone in the family to agree to a proposal of him getting engaged to a girl belonging to another community!!!! Especially my 90 year old grandfather... But looking back now, feel that he had more common sense than most :-). Had it not been for the diplomacy of my dad and my adamant mom and of course my undying support to my brother's decision, it would have taken another couple of months !!!! But all's well that ends well I guess!!! :-)
The trip to Ladakh was the best thing that happened in July 2010 A lot of firsts in a lot of regards... The first road trip....The first trip at 17,500 ft without any major health issues of puking or fever or symptoms of mountain sickness...The first time, we (Hubby and me) took more than 2000 pics from our first DSLR Olympus E520. It was an awesome trip, which gave me a taste of what travelling "seriously" would be like....It gave me a feeling of being so small and insignificant in this world, the magnificence of the Himalayas.... the different cultures... people, food, language, art, dance, climate, landscape...the beauty struck me... never seen anything like that....never been exposed to something so enriching and wonderful. This trip also introduced for the first time to joys of capturing pictures...it introduced me to the world of photography.
Only regret is not being able to visit Nubra Valley (the Aryan civilization) 
Guitar (Since July 2010) was an instrument which I had been meaning to learn to play since I was like 13. Finally, after a lot of deliberation, I have started to learn to play the guitar. Have learnt scales, now working upon it. There has been a slow progression to chords as well.
One of the regrets being I had thought of appearing for the FRM certification but in the end I dropped the idea... now I regret it... Will be appearing for the Level 1 of the certification in May 2011 now.
There have been a few learnings as well. An easy, stress free job is good but not for a long time. It does not add value to you professionally. Its very important to be a bit agressive when one is young in one's professional life...can take it slow when old. Learning being, there is no gain without pain. Also, this year has sort of been a differentiator in a lot of ways. I have realised the important of family ties, learnt to discriminate and differentiate between acquantainces, fair weather friends and friends and professional buddies. There are some ties which you do not label. They just are....
By and large, 2010 was good. Memorable in some ways and well, as I look back.... I will cherish this decade.... :) for a lot of things...

My new Guitar

Needed a new guitar....Hubby decided to sponsor it as a Christmas and a New Year's Gift :) Yippeee... Well, first things first...JustDial came handy... asking for information on all guitar dealers in the suburbs. Pat came all the smses...:) and also a call of Musician's Mall, Khar. The dealer was hell bent on selling me a guitar on phone...and went out by criticizing my choice :-X which I didnt like one bit. Hence, he got a curt reply and the call disconnected :-O. Well, we went to Raghuleela Mall, Kandivili (W). A nice gentleman had his store on the 2nd Floor. Par afsoos, the options weren't enough...We chit chatted and left :-).
Some more R&D later, we decided to go to town... Yikes... on a sunday afternoon... Now I am at my laziest best on Sunday afternoons...had it not been for the instrument, I would not have moved my lazy self. So, we went to Town...South Bombay or SoBo as it is now known - sometimes... Shalu Musicals (http://www.shalumusic.com/) it was... the Dealer had a range of guitars.... electronic, acoustic, semi acoustic, amplifiers, the works..... tried my hand on each of them... and finally settled on a beginners guitar... Hobner... :) Yay!!!! I then became the proud owner of my first NEW guitar :)
Will get it tuned by my music teacher.. hehehe...dont want to experiment by pulling the strings especially when I dont know how !!!!!
Check out the images....