Thursday, December 31, 2009

Annual Report 2009


Haha! I got you! If you expect something related to finance, here ends your dream. I couldn’t think of anything beyond Annual Report because, this is about what the year has been like. Sorry boss, you don’t get to see the Auditor’s report and even if you do, it is very unlikely that you will hear something ‘good’ about this year’s performance.

If I had to describe the year in a word- I’d say – Awe-inspiring! It was almost perfect, and if I had to pick out one year of all my years of existence, 2009 would pass off as one of the best.
It’s been … the words refuse to give way. It was a really really good year! Of all the events, if I had to pick one and call it the best it would be – LIFE. According to me, joining LIFE was the one of the high points in my life this year.

The marks improved. I hope it goes up further! The results are around the corner...

The happiness quotient also increased. I’m a lot happier than usual these days.

Bickering and cribbing have gone down by more than 70%. I’m quite serious about it.

I’ve become stronger than last year, and a lot more determined.

I’ve changed for the better, a little more responsible, a little serious, and the funny-loony-crackpot me is still alive.

Learnt new things- power yoga, and almost gave up on music classes. I’m looking for a nice maami who will be ready to teach me. Ideas are welcome!

My views about people are becoming a little too stronger, in the same breath; I’ve come to respect a lot of people, not just for their age, but for the wisdom.

I learnt the art of saying beep-off.

I made a lot of friends in college, and outside.

I managed to achieve almost everything of what I planned for.

I learnt to deal with people; their tantrums and chucking a few of them off my system.

The BEST thing, that happened to me was – The Cola Company. Like they say, a meal is incomplete without spice, and the unexpected mirchi finds its way into the plate- the same happened to me.

At the end of it- All is Well!

I'm in my element, happiest best! Hope the new year brings in more happiness! To me, and to the people around me at large.


Happiness is here! And where are you?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

All About Fizz

There is this strange thing about my life; every time I reach a set goal, something brings me back down. Downslide is not what I’m talking about; it is called a “Landslide”. The about me in Orkut was written in a spur of creativity. I had no idea, that the Yo-Yo would become an inseparable part of my personality.

I’ll do a quick rewind now…


Class-10: I probably scored the best marks of my life, except for math. My dad was damn proud of me. The man decided that his daughter would make it to “IIT Madras”. PS: it was my dad’s dream and not mine.


Class-12: I got the worst marks of my life. I was in a school which was a part of IIT Madras :P. I made it to a lovely girl’s college!


Under-grad: Years of MPD, not literally though. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be the “Chaamathu Iyer Aathu Ponnu” or the “MOP Girl”. More like, should I go out with a lot of guys/ study for the next unit test. Realization struck, and I managed to find my kind of friends- the good girls who could strike the balance.


MBA: CAT, and the likes, made it to a decent college. Lots of friends, super hip gang! It was that ‘I have arrived moment’. Tragedy strikes. And I returned home. The stint with SSN SoMCA, 1.5yrs passes. Placements start. I don’t make it to the first company I sit for, make it to the next and happiness is expected.


Last Monday: I was the happiest girl on planet earth, or so I believed. I was beaming and grinning from ear to ear. I arrive at the office 45mins ahead of time, and start clicking pictures of the company like a “jackass”. The HR arrived at 10.00 by 11 we were dispersed to depots, and then were sent on the road.


At 12.00 I was C/o Platform. We then rang up a couple of third party dealers whom I thought were employees of the company. I start waxing in ‘englees’ only to realize that they spoke ‘Tamil’. The beat starts. I was on the TP’s bike, the bike was no super bike, but it was called “Zeus” :P. Travel around, Mylapore, Santhome, Pattinapakkam. Walk in and out of 50-60 shops, from ciggy ke dukaan to decent looking departmental store. Add to those inglorious stares from people on the road, and the discomfort of travelling on the bike and in the heat.


I came back home at 6.30 like any other respectable office-going girl. Only addition was a red eye, and I looked very similar to the burnt Kentucky Fried Chickens. I’m not looks conscious, but the reflection in the mirror dint look like me at all.


The next day morning: Red eye becomes the red, which is very similar to the company's logo and it starts bleeding in a while. I decide to call it a day. I did not attend day-2 of the training program.


Fast forward: the going around in the sun, dint go down well with me. The safety was another reason to be worried about. I was shit upset that I couldn’t take up the offer, they paid me peanuts, but it dint matter. The brand was all that mattered at that point.


And hence, the love affair with the fizz company ended. I’m back to the pavilion. The final year project, will be taken up in the company where I did my internship.


You see the High-Low-High-Low yo-yo-ing of my life? I'm waiting for the next High to come around. Until then,


Signing off,


Yours truly


Sandhya A,

(Member of Berozgar Junta).


PS: People who say I quit the job. Please correct your English or check the meaning of the word “Quit” in the dictionary. The correct usage is- I did not take up the offer.


PS1: Next time anybody tries to act smart with me; I’ll track down that guy who drove me around in his “Zeus” and will make sure you get kicked by the same bike. Don’t try to pull me down to that- You also quit your job community.


PS2: Thanks to the friends for being supportive! :D It feels good to wallow in self pity once in a while. But it doesn’t gel well with me.


PS3: I still have the pictures taken at their office. Should I press the delete button and forget all about it or keep it as a memoir?


PS4: I don't have "sad" songs on my playlist yet. I'm happy, shining and looking at the sunnier side of my life. The nay-sayers shall not be forgiven.


PS5: I have nothing against the company / the Job/ The profile. I'm very proud of the fact that I made it there, and very ashamed that I couldn't live up to my dreams. If I get another opportunity to work for them I'd be the happiest. Give me a job inside the office please.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Open Happiness!!

The firsts in our lives are always memorable. The first Job, The first day at work, the first pay cheque, the first Kiss, The first date. For most of us, it would be the first job! Is stands out as the best for the simple reason that- a job gives us an identity, that sense of responsibility, and most importantly; the financial and economic independence!


The job thingy was at the back of mind all the time. I couldn’t imagine myself staying at home for the next 6 months, working on a project from home, and killing time mercilessly. I dint fancy bumming and lazing around, somehow they dint conjure a pretty image. This was for two reasons; I’ve never stayed at home for more than a week with nothing to do (We had holiday homework in school mind you :P), and my parents are workaholics.


With this, the job hunt began, applying to companies on the job portals. This worked out quite well; 2 top companies and one chintu-candy shortlisted me. But they dint select me. Then the college placements started, first a software company, I chucked it, next was the FMCG- A very good company. I gave it my bestest shot, and it was shootout No.4 in a row. And then the BIGGIE I was waiting for. I dreamt about it, fantasized and there was this jalti-aag which said “Go for it Tiger”. I was a wounded tiger; the FMCG rejected me, because I was too soft. And it upset me. A little tear did escape the eye.


And thus, the cola chase began. It was the day of fear, nervousness, excitement, and HAPPINESS! Happiness is not the word, Euphoria-exhilaration, ecstasy- rupture-cloud-9, all rolled into one big bundle! Every round cleared, created a flurry of messages. And the final verdict what all that mattered! I clinched the deal! :D I just made it sound like a piece of cake, but I was this super nervous wreck, ask the people, they’ll give you a first person encounter of how cantankerous I was! At the end of the day, it was so endearing to see people that people really cared for you, a lot of them were ‘genuinely’ HAPPY! I’d cherish that moment till the day I breathe my last.


When the Cola dudes informed me that I was selected, it dint register at first. My personal interview was abysmal. The minute I answered the first question, I reduced my chances of getting selected by half. And then, they call! I stammered, stuttered and finally managed a “Thank You Ma’m”. What do I do now? Scream/ squeal/ cry/ laugh/ jump off the bus?! It was still hazy out there. I was in a crowded bus, with no room to jump. The first thing I did was call Amma. “Amma… I made it!” sadly, it dint register at the other end also :P! I started messaging friends, calling the Profs. So much for a job you may think, it feels so damn bloody good! A whole bunch of people are genuinely happy, and quite a few of them are green eyed. It feels good either ways. Balances the equation you see. :D


The job hunt has taught me a few valuable lessons.

1) Believe in yourself. Lend a deaf to all those freaks who try to pull you down to their level. Show them your middle finger if you can’t take the bullshit. Remember that there are only a handful of people who genuinely care about you. Keep them close!


2) Listen to your parents. Very important. This doesn’t mean, you blindly accept what they say. You can reason out with them. But all that they say comes from 25yrs of experience. Amma has been my Ambuja cement pillar of strength and greatest support system in all my 22yrs of existence. And in all these years, there’s not been a single unanswered prayer.


3) Respect the teachers. Remember Mata Pita Guru Devo? The teachers are at par with uparwala and your folks. The job would’ve never happened if not for the guidance and the gyaan from two very important Profs.


Kannan sir for the constant guidance, he’s put me back on track every time he thought I was straying away from away the ultimate goal. He’s kept me going with words of encouragement and chiding me when I was chickening out or when he saw me wasting time. Sir Ji, tussi great ho!

Kumar Sir for clearing the cobwebs at the right time. Sir if not for you, I’d still be in fantasy land, building castles in the air with bricks of unrealistic expectations and improbable events. I wouldn’t have taken up Sales otherwise. The session that day was not for me, but it did put things in the right perspective.


4) Hardwork takes time to work, but you’ll definitely reap the fruits. I was damn upset after the FMCG debacle. But it made me take another look at myself. Maybe I was a little too soft. So what? I should work on it.


5) Opportunities will come your way if you make the right moves. You don’t need recommendations to clinch that dream job. Perseverance works fine. An important take away from this would be; never belittle any job or a company. Say an FMCG wants to recruit from your college, go for it! Don’t look at it from that crooked view- stop thinking that you are going to sell sad bathroom cleaners or floor cleaners. Instead, you must understand that you’re a novice and you are learning the tricks of the trade.


6) If you live in fallacy that you are working only if you are given your ‘worth’, I think you are wasting away your precious life, for you will be frustrated forever expecting the impossible to happen.


7) You are never too good for any job. The whole perception of *I’m An MBA, how do you think I’ll do something as menial as this*, is not going to take you anywhere. You can never learn a language without knowing the letters and you’ll never learn an art without the basics. Same applies to a Job as well. You’ll never learn to market/ brand a product unless you know who buys it.


8) Take things in the positive spirit. There’s nothing that works like a good laugh after a bad day. Take life as it comes, one thing at a time and one bite at time. Keep yourself occupied. There’s more to life than Acads. Add a dash of colour and vibrancy. And most importantly- remember it’s your life!


9) Things don’t always move at the pace you want them to. They happen one by one. You can never be airlifted in the first step of your career. Start small, but aim big!


I think that’s enough gyaan from my side. :P It’s been a long article in a long time. The views are completely personal, and have come from experience of watching people go mad and also from pages of my life.


I think I must call it a day now. Office awaits me tomorrow. Wish me luck :D


Good luck to all you people who are still looking for jobs.


Cheers!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Exams and the Works


My tryst with examinations started when I was going to Class-1. The teacher pulled out a vegetables chart, pointed out to ladies finger and asked me “What is it called?” I answered “Vendakkai”. The lady was very disappointed with my dismal performance; she informed my mom that I’ll have to study Junior First instead of the usual Class-1, because I had “under-developed speech abilities”. This incident stands out as the most comical in my life till date, and I keep telling my mom, “Amma if she’d asked me what 1+1 is, she would have happily told you that your daughter was unfit for school”.


I was a kid who flatly refused to go to school. I had to be cajoled every morning, pushed out of bed, and getting ready was a herculean task. I had a hanky pinned to my pinafore, a bottle of Complan to give me company, and a bag which was twice my size. Slowly I started enjoying school, and the only thing I hated about the system was - “exams”.


KG to Primary, middle school, High school, Class-10, Class-12, under-grad, and now post-grad- WHEW!! It’s been one rollercoaster of a ride. Every time I cross a hurdle I look up to the stars and thank them. The only person who refuses to believe that I’m done with exams is my Mom. To her, I’m still that little kid, who rolled on the floor refusing to get ready, or that kid who came running towards the gate after being made to sit in a class. Yeah, I’ve been a prat, and I think I’m still one, but a little more responsible now.


Looking back, I’ll miss those classroom sessions.. Gitu and I were discussing how uncomfortable the desks in different engineering blocks were, and I said, “Macha, I prefer the desks in SoMCA, they’re so nice and comfy, you can just spread your arms and sleep”. She replied back saying, “Girl, those days are over now”. Hmmm yeah! They’re over… :(


It suddenly feels like being cut off the umbilical cord, I’ve been so used to. It was so comfortable sitting in class, sleeping away to glory, taking down notes and when I pleased, poking fun at people, clicking random pictures, burning the midnight oil before a test. And worrying about portions to finish, ppts than ran to several slides, rummaging through pillow sized textbooks. Suddenly there is a void. What will I do now?


… And on this note, I’d like to declare that I’m done with exams.


Now that my exams are over, I leave it to the Anna University Evaluator. See uncle, I’m done with the grueling sessions. Now it’s upto you to mark me properly. I would never be able to track you down. So, be nice to an unknown child :P


And.. This would be the last time; I can bullshit in a paper and get away with it. I feel really guilty for crapping so much in my papers. My condolences to all my prof's, teachers and Unknown unseen evaluators of Anna University. So much bullshit, that my answer scripts can be used as readymade manure for my crops in Farmville. Bless you evaluator, pray for me folks!


AMEN :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The People

Like I mentioned in the previous post, I strongly believe that it is the people component that keeps me going. I associate myself with people whom I get along with. I have realised one very important aspect of me in the course of time is- I'm not mass marketing material. Mass marketing as in- I'm not your super friendly girl who gossips with everybody. In a class of 60, I talk to say 30 of them and that's that. Of this, I'm very close to 4, good friends with around 6, Hi hello buddies with 20. And to the rest of the class- I don't exist and vice versa. I don't see mass marketing as a vehicle to instant stardom in the class or any place for that matter. I'm very choosy about whom I speak to and hang out with. I agree that I lose out on a lot of support- but I like it this way. I like keeping myself to myself. The reticent attitude gets passed off as "she's got some major attitude". I've become quite obdurate to these comments. Here's my thanksgiving to the bunch of people who've made my stay memorable. This comes in no particular order.

The tooth fairy- the first person I got in touch with before joining the class. Until then she was the dell laptop girl. She exudes what is called- girl's college exuberance! I'm sure the co-ed folks would never be able to appreciate this inert quality. Smiles 24x7, and makes sure you do the same. The apt example of mass marketing; I still wonder how she manages to pull it off. Gitu is synonymous with all things nice. I'm not ashamed to call her my alter-ego. She knows exactly what's in my head with one look at my face. We've gone window shopping, line marofying, hogging, watching movies in the hostel, or just sleeping when the classes get awfully boring! Fellow enthu-pattani, entrepreneur and co-partner of SoMCA stores. Calling her a super talented girl would undermine her ability- does things her way; aka Gitu way! :) If you guys ever want somebody to participate in any hartal, get in touch with her. She'll be more than happy to squat :P what say? ;) Girlie, you know what? "Macha chill, it's ok" works wonders! Lowes di :)

The Thanga Padakkam (Gold Medal), we're not discussing that old tamil movie. We're discussing this sincere girlie. Simple, level headed and very clear about what she wants to do. I'm in awe of her determination to make it big and she takes everything seriously. Nothing ever bogs down. I love pulling her legs, calling her names and the best of all is irritating her. Prasee means different things to different people. If you don't know her- you'd probably think she's one major padips, very serious and has no sense of humor. Only when you start talking to her, you get to see the reality. I think this image is a manifestation of her workaholic attitude- poor thing ends up doing the work of all her other teamies and takes unwanted tension to her head. Loves poking fun at me and vice versa. Wakes me up when I'm fast asleep in the middle of a lecture. She is the Finance Titan :P The ONLY one in the whole group who'd finish a portfolio management assignment :P (Now you know how vetti she is :P) Can't swear for the life of hers. I've tried my best to impart a few swear words into her pure as platinum brain. It fell flat :P Prashee? What's your Rasheee ? :D She calls for product differentiation.

Sowmi- Has more degrees that Kumbakonam Degree coffee :D. Padips, na padips semma padips! Blink blink! Thankfully, the padips nature isn't her only profile. She's got a fun part too. She'll give you these survival tips to wade through Anna University exams, or how to escape from SPAM class. Beauty tips, sleeping tips. Semma talented, sings like an angel. (Pay me 100bucks for this manasakshiye illada compliment :P). Kareena Kapoor would be dethroned from her size zero status if she gets to see this 0.5 lead! She's what you call the so-called senior. The timepass, the unlimited phone calls- we're the biggest contributors to Vodafone's Top line. She finance, I marketing- opposite poles. Super cook, will do anything to feed you when you are hungry! Be it at her place or in college. One sms would do- Sowmi, bring something to eat ok? And she'll get you awesome roti and cauliflower subzi with lots of love! I can go on endlessly! I'm indebted to this girl for being there at the right time. Bless you di!! Lets start a korathi shop ok??:P

In every organization you look for people who share the same vision and mission statement as yours. She's the one who nicked me "Masakali", much to Prasee's annoyance. ( Unna poi samadana pura nu kupadrale :P) Thinks I'm as free spirited as the bird itself. Another product of the product differentiation factory. Knows me inside out, somebody who understands me and my quirks and puts up with my incessant mood swings. One the first friends I made in this class and I love her attitude towards life. She'd make a great scribe- SoMCA's free journalist. She publishes whatever happens in college on her blog. Fellow MOPian, who shares the enthu pattani tag. Makes a super HR, pet of all the teachers :P epdi di?! She's the exact opposite of what I stand for :) Raji- You are simply superb di :D

Buggie!! :P Narcissism will have to rechristen itself Swaroopa in a while :P You should see her pictures man! Wonder how she manages to give those beautiful poses.. have camera will pose syndrome wali ladki. Shares this loose character streak of mine. Me+Gee+Roo= Sure hell :P She compensates for the lazy bum attitude of me and gee! Together we've come up with wacky tags for profs. Very very sincere sigamani version 2.0! SoMCA stores, lays hogging, vetti scene pottufying. Lowes presenting - roo makes ppts, sandy gives ideas! Girlie- the classes would've been such a bore without you around. We come up with amazing business plans and other allied plans .. Roo remember ;)?



Thank you lovely ladies for being there for me! :)
Lowes
Sandy :)


Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Ppt's will go on...

A year and a half back, when I walked into the class of 59; I had no idea, I'd become a part of the class which was already set in moulds. I was very apprehensive I would ever be able to break that mould and become one among these people. I was 15days late, and had already lost out on the competitive advantage of making friends. And thus, the journey started...


This period has been a mélange of -Fights, gossips, seminars, case studies, midterms, end-terms, sleeping sessions, movies, masti, Daksha, ppts, stores, photos and a lot more... It's all over now! Saturday, Nov-7th 2009, signaled the end of my classroom sessions in a long time to come. At this juncture, I would like to reminisce on all the good things that this place called SSN SoMCA has had to offer.


MBA has been a different ballgame all together. To be very honest, I've never loved any of my courses as much as I enjoyed this one.A course where amazing Profs imparted knowledge. Every Prof has contributed to the culmination of what's called an MBA. Each one of them is special- sparing a few. The group sessions- where we really worked, played and fooled around. I've learnt a lot more than what the course has had to offer.


There were different people with different facets. I have learnt to take these people in my stride. By not looking beyond the façade, accepting them as they are, and most importantly not subjecting people to my "multi-filter" elimination technique. The gossip sessions have been very cathartic. The best ones (10%), good ones(40%), bad ones(15%), some rotten (15%) and others beyond redemption(20%).


The Classes- I got back to being my usual self, something that I discarded back in class 11; answering in the class. I knew at the back of my mind, that this will be my last leg of academics in a long time to come, and I was determined to make the most of now offer. I answered like there was no tomorrow. I wouldn't care a rat-ass if people thought I was a geek. I took down notes, absorbed what the Wise Old Men of Management had to offer. It has done a world of good!


The Placement Brochure- Lovely stuff! Quoting Kumar Sir, I'd call it "Intelligent bull-work" :P LOL! Me, gee and roo were in charge of the placement brochure, and I came up with content. The document went through some half a dozen filters, and only 2 corrections were made. The final content was the same as what I had initially submitted. This is my first published work! Any company which decides to visit my college will have to read through the "real" stuff written by me! YaaaY!


The SoMCA Stores: A lot has been written about it already. But there was this lump in the throat moment; My sales Mgt Prof wanted muruku and there were none at the stores. I told him , we're not in charges any more, ask the juniors. He looks at me and says “You will always be the stores girls for me". The stores were the bestest things about the college, and a lot of people associate me with the stores. The juniors gave me the "3-roses award" for waking up people, whilst the profs put them to sleep :P


The Vanishing Lunch Box syndrome: I've never seen people lap up food faster than this. Open the dubba, look around, and it's over in minutes :P People seem to love my mom's curd rice too :D It doesn't matter what your bring, there is always somebody to finish it up.


My blog has become some Celeb blog types only! The blog has somehow become my brand identity (if only something like that exists). I love writing and I’m amazed by the kind of popularity it has garnered. Thank you folks! What’s surprising is- why pick my blog when people like Raji, Prasee, and Gitu write better stuff? I’m a great fan of their blogs J


The tests and the cases- LOL! There were so many of them that I’ve literally lost count. But they’ve been real good learning experiences. You learn to be the Driver, the passenger and the nonexistent one with equal ease.


These 1.5yrs have changed a lot of facets in me. I have changed for the better, yet keeping intact the real me. J The credit for this goes out to a bunch of people- and it would be unfair if I just wrote a few lines about them. I'll thank them in a separate post!

And… the ppt’s shall continue! :P

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Farming on Farmville

Sample this: A Lonely Pink Cow strayed into my farm- Would you like to adopt it?

Comment | Like| Adopt the Cow

Somebody was farming when a sad, Lost Turtle wandered onto their farm in Farmville. This little guy was running a race and lost his way. None of his friends are anywhere to be found. He feels very sad and could use a new home


There were cows, black sheep, ugly ducklings, lonely brown cows. People were getting weird coloured ribbons- Farming architects, somebody was movin’ up Farmville. All of them had one option- Play Farmville Now!


My initial reactions to these were – What the Hell! Jobless buggers with absolutely nothing to and they’re “farming”. How stupid! Who wants to indulge in such a mindless activity of farming- Blah! It’s boring. And one day- there was a corporate finance class and a test in international business post lunch. I logged into Facebook out of sheer boredom.


.. And I have been farming ever since. 10 days – 51,000 coins, 4970-XP, 19-FV Cash, Level 15 ! Not bad eh? :P


I had no idea, I’d become such an addict, I’m not yet that oh-my-god Farmville addict, I’m that- let me see if my crops have grown addict. I planted a few raspberries and forgot all about them, by the time I came back home from the gym, they were all wilted.


I never knew I’d come to the level of discussing farming with people- I get tips on how to grow my crops- how to gain XP, sending gifts across. People ask me “how is your farm and restaurant doing”. I inform my friends that I fertilized their crops and ask them to return the favour. I add neighbors and intend to add my junior’s sister and all her friends because I need more neighbors.


Messages like the following have become commonplace – Hey Sandhya! Raccoons- Ransacking my farm, can you shoo them away? Do you see these Leaves, will you please Rake them up for me? These Crows are eating my crops, can you shoo them away? These Foxes are scaring my animals- this is in case of farms where there are no animals too. These Gophers are Munching on my crops. Please clear the weeds. I know it’s mindless, and yet I perform these activities with great diligence.


Here is a chronicle of my Farming activities:


  • I log into FB at 9 every night, and have a look at all my gifts for the day. I set them on my field and make sure I harvest my crops.
  • I plant crops which can be harvested in a day or two. The harvest in 2hrs raspberries, 4hrs strawberries, and 6hrs Aloe Vera don’t attract me.
  • I fertilize my friend’s crops everyday to gain coins and XP, and publish them on my homepage.
  • I’ve expanded my farm twice in the last ten days.
  • I look at my friend’s farms for planning initiatives- I see how they’ve arranged their crops and their animals and try to incorporate them into mine.
  • I make very important capital budgeting decisions like- should I expand my farm now or buy new grains, should I buy hay bales to increase my XP and move up to the next level? Do I have enough cash to invest in a dairy farm – can I shell out 10000 counts and still stay afloat? What’s the whole point in buying lanterns when I already have two on my farm?
  • I buy fences and hay bales when I have too many coins and just need a few XPs to get to the next level.
  • I wonder if I should buy too many trees and animals. I have 8 horses, 8 sheep, 8 cows – includes 2 brown cows and one pink cow. 3 ducks, 1 chicken, 2 turtles (lonely things which lost a race, and landed in my space), 1 pig, 3 goats and 1 ugly duckling which just became a beautiful swan!
  • There are space constraints and my plants are all placed chock-a-block. I’ve been planting daffodils, rice, cotton, wheat, soy beans, bell peppers, peppers, squash and rice. I intend to plant Pineapples and red tulips after my current batch of daffodils are harvested.
  • I have a whole bunch of trees, I don’t know their names- I’ve bought two trees in the last 10 days, and the rest have all been gifts by friends.
  • 1 picnic set, 2 wells, 1 butter churn, one farm-wagon, one white stool. I plan to buy a small pond, water trough and a feed trough.
  • My farm needs some serious farm planning. I have to allocate a separate space for the animals and the trees, push them all to one nice corner- give them a fence and keep them happy.

LOL!

I never knew I’d become a certified farmer :D

And here is the proof:

A friend who wanted me to proof read his doc, pinged on FB- I said wait, give me two mins. He: You can't be busy, you are on FB. Me: Dude! Wait, I'm farming :D

A lot of my non-farmer friends have been furious at my farming activities; eg: I asked for Gitu’s laptop, Gitu says- “Sandy, you are not signing into Farmville ok?” , Neesu-“You too?, what do you see in such a stupid game” LOL


Ok folks, it’s just a phase- I’ll be out of it in a while. :P

Until then,

Signing off,


Sandhya

Architect Farmer :D

Sunday, October 25, 2009

MBA In A Nutshell

It was one of those, awfully boring days.  Gitu and I had decided to do some 'group study' of economics, and like always nothing worth mentioning was getting into our heads. Economics isn't a boring subject, but it can get really boring when it's 2 in the afternoon, all you want to do is sleep.
Hey! This post isn't about economics, so don't close the window. Economics gave way to food, and food to the lack of it in our block. Voilà! An idea struck- Why can't we set up the stores in our block? Good idea, right? Trust me, it was a great idea, and the Big Boss of the department, gave us the nod- Thus SSN SoMCA stores was born!
All brilliant ideas, take time before their manifestation, and ours took a fairly long time to go on the floors. And it did on- One fine august day, it really was an 'august' day. We re-opened the stores. The place which was once the stores-then became the coffee shop had now become the stores again! The stocks arrived, and it was open to public. We've been feeding hungry tummies since then. We started functioning on a non-profit basis, it dint deter us though. Every day at 8, we opened the doors, sold out coffee, tea, unhealthy lays and biscuits; not to forget unbranded murukku :D
Like all shops around the corner, the customers did not pour in; they trickled by one after another. If I had to describe the stores in a phrase it would be- Fun Learning. We had lots of fun; after all, we were doing social service- feeding hungry folks. (Quoted by a Prof). He actually thought it was a great students' initiative. The fun part was not just feeding tummies, but it was that sense of accomplishment- something like "We are the people of the Stores".
We the people of the stores get ragged everyday in class by our Sales Mgt. Prof. He picks on me like picking cheese on pizza. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the last row or in the front; he’s got these hawk eyes which are trained to look out for the sleepy head ME! Gee and Roo get picked on too. It all depends on his mood. The worst thing is- there was a question in the test about how to sell certain products at SoMCA stores. We should be given royalty for using our patented names without our permission :P
Like all stories, this one was also meant to be fun. The learning part just happened.
Like you learn the supply-demand concept; when the shelves are almost empty, everybody wants lays. When there is yellow lays, people want green lays.
Managing the accounts- making sure the stocks sold tally with the cash in hand.
Analysing consumer needs and wants- you can do your bit of marketing here. Determine the needs of the consumer, see what you can offer, and stick to your goal of making money. Knowing your customer is another important thing. Who likes what, and sell it to that person. Enticing new ones too.
Organization Behaviour; Not all employees work with the same gusto :P Some people do only their part of the job, and will not cooperate with you when you need an off. While, some others are more than happy to come with you, even when it is not their turn. Learning to trust the other dept people. Politics exists everywhere; even inside a 3 walled room!
Service quality and promptness. You can’t do much about the quality of goods, but you can sure be nice when you serve them. Learning to smile at people whom you don’t like. Take back biscuit packets when they are damp. If somebody’s coffee has an ant in it- don’t be cheeky and say; be happy it wasn’t a cockroach, instead smile and give him/ her another cup.
Profs are to be given special importance. The store also gives you this avenue to talk to the wise old men in the college. Serve them nice coffee- strike a conversation and this way you can also become worldly wise.
Consumer behavior- a great platform to absorb all that’s taught in class. People who pick the new flavor of biscuits unmindful of the taste are the Variety Novelty Seeking folks, people who pick only marie biscuit are traditionalists or kanjoos or on a diet. There are people with compulsive buying habits- MD sir loves murukku during the break, Ram is obsessed about eating lays twice a day, Badri likes ONLY tea, Aishwarya loves green lays, but wants to eat only marie biscuit now, stuff like this.
Sales- how did I miss this! We work on pure sales :P You learn to forecast the demand for green lays, if the stocks don’t arrive on time, we try to push off the old stock. Not everybody wants to buy from you- convincing Kannan sir that, it’s ok to go off the diet for a day.
I think the biggest learning we’ve had is- a company is a going concern. The people who run it are not the ones who ‘own’ it. L We’re finalizing the accounts this Friday and have to hand over the keys to a new bunch of caretakers. When Roo broke the news to me, I was really upset. How can we just give up on, what we’ve worked for? But yeah, we have to.
Finally, we’re recruiting! We need sales persons- remuneration would be- 15% profits. Interested candidates may apply!
I agree, that the topic dint sound a little too high and mighty, but take it from me- I've learnt a lot of the concepts in this tiny little room, and the learning goes a long way, in establishing a lot of facts. The SoMCA store is one of those things that made SSN a better place to be in. Gave me a little sense of belongingness and achievement! I’ve been a part of something substantial, and I just hope the coming batch of students make something good out of this.
One day, When I visit the place after a few years, I should be beaming :D LOL
High hopes eh?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

D-BUG

When I was a little girl, me being skin and bones worried my mom to no end. I wouldn’t eat, and even if I did, it was only a few mouthfuls. Food did not excite me. I used to loathe food. Even if I smelt food in a distance, I would run far away from the place in the fear of being fed. Most of my childhood games revolved around food. Running and catching is simple- my mom was the catcher and I was the runner. We used to run all around the house, from one room to another, in the pursuit of being fed. Hide and seek: if I spot my mom with a plate in hand, I used to find the best places to hide. Under the bed, behind the cupboard I used to wrap myself in the curtains to be protected from food. Lock and key was simply the best because; when my mom tried to feed me I used to scream, “Amma waitees! Lock”!


I hated solids, but loved liquids; my mom was a real smart woman. She capitalized on this. She spot the love for milk and quickly replaced everything with it. Thus, Complan- “the complete planned food” became my national drink. Along with this, came two other new entrants; pediasure, proteinex and weird hunger inducing tonics. I can tell you from experience that Proteinex is the last thing you should ever drink. It tastes worse that karela. Words can’t describe how bad it tastes.


We had a poem in English, called “For Kalpana”. It talks about this skinny girl called Kalpana, and how worried her parents were, when she dint eat. Every stanza ended with “Eat my child eat; how thin you are”. One fine day, in class 8; something miraculous happened. My then classmate, now best friend had brought about a change. Change in the way I looked at food. Suddenly, I was awake to the smell, colour and yumminess of food! I took a tiny little piece of her roti with a lot of trepidation- trust me; I fell in love with food, right there. My mom was stunned when I helped myself to pappu mummam with ghee and potato fry. And the rest like they say is history.


Fast-forward:

Today afternoon, we were having lunch. I asked my mom to pass on the vadai. She gave me this look, and said “no kanna, you’ve had enough. You’ll become fat if you eat too much”. Well, this wasn’t the first time this was happening. She did the same on Saraswathi Pujai. She gave me one vadai after the pujai, two during lunch, and another one while having coffee in the evening. Now, she is paranoid about what I eat, how I eat and how much I eat. Her argument to the case is; I becoming fat and one day I will blow up, become unrecognizable. She makes the whole thing sound like doomsday conspiracy.


We’ve enrolled in a gym now. She’s my exercise buddy. She says ok to anything the stupid instructor says. He says no curd and rice; she deprives me of it. I have everything against my instructor. How can he think, a die hard, tam-bram who swears by her thayir sadam can survive without it? Are you nuts? Lost it eh? Idiot!


Okay, I realize the importance of being healthy. I don’t want to become size zero and look anorexic. I’m ready to exercise, but don’t make me live in denial of all the good things life has to offer. I enrolled for Yoga classes in July to lose weight, and believe me; I have come to enjoy working out. But, it’s not easy for a foodie to de-addict herself. I know lays chips are nothing but junk and every time I’m tempted, I say this little prayer; “Give me not into temptation; deliver me from evil” Evil in this case refers to “lays and all the junk”.


Every day, I hit the treadmill with vengeance and hope that, the weighing machine will tilt in my favour. When I give it the disgruntled look, my mom smiles reassuringly and says “Sandy, eat less; you’ll lose weight” Oh yeah? So, maybe I should start smelling food. Yes, smelling! Look at vatha-kozhambu, imagine what it tastes like, and gulp a glass of water and say, “Amma, its yummy!”


The dieting game has been going on and off. It’s a lot like my mood swings, ok now but not ok in a few days. I read random articles on how to lose weight. Search the net for healthy salads, I’ve learnt to eat roti without ghee, and look at Frito-lays and not get tempted. At the end of the ordeal I just hope I lose enough weight and get back in shape. I really want to fit into the jeans I wore to MOP in 2005.


The latest addition to the diet-tips gyaan is the book by- Rujuta Diwekar “Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight”. She is the one who gave Kareena Kapoor her famous size zero. I read the book in 2hrs flat and drew up a base chart. I’m going on that diet from Monday. Let’s see how much I lose!


Wish me luck! :D

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wake Up Sid

Wake up Sid for starters is the movie about a Lazy-Young-Man; who is L.A.Z.Y. period. Cares for nothing, super-duper aimless, absolutely clueless, all he wants to do is have F.U.N. This guy is so random that he’d give all the random people in the world a run for their money. Life is served on a platinum platter, and the best part, this guy doesn’t realize how valuable it is. Life is taken for granted and one fine day- his final year results are out, and a bolt out of nowhere, strikes his filled-with-domino-pizza-brain. Our man, who was living in vanity, finally wakes up to the realities of life.
How he ‘wakes’ up is the story. The portrayal of his transformation isn't very realistic. But there is no masala, no melodrama. The young man learns it the hard way. The characters are etched out really well. Two people who are like chalk and cheese trace their journey of life. It is Simple, yet striking. Thankfully, nobody performs that typical Karan Johar 3-hanky act. The movie does have its share of clichés, but I’d like to ignore them for a change.
No matter how sarcastic I’m about the premise; I could see shades of me in his character. I’m not all of the above, but some of the above. The movie to me is closer to home, because; in exactly 6-months, my dad sponsored vacation of 22years will come to a grinding halt. There was so much in my head that made it me draw parallels.
My room like his is messy beyond description. It doesn’t matter how hard I try; it remains messy all the time. It’s not dirty, it’s just cluttered. To be precise, the messiness of my room changes with the amount of mess in my head. E.g.: Lesser the mess in my head; cleaner the room and vice versa.
I click a lot of random pictures when I’m studying :P I sleep off half way through a mugging session and wake up with my head buried inside the textbook. Even a whole flask full of coffee fails to keep me awake. I set the alarm for 3.00am and wake up at 7.00. :D I have a fetish of arranging the books neatly in a row, click pictures from every possible angle, my room when it’s squeaky clean. I click just about anything.
I’m awful at accounts & finance, I can’t tell credit from debit. My Dad for one is a chartered accountant. He’s tried his best to set me up with the game of numbers, and convincing me that debit, credit, tax and crap; are the best things around. Somewhere, deep down inside his heart; he hoped that I’ll take charge of his tiny little firm and become a CA. I’ve taken finance as a major to pacify him; I can tell you for a fact that I’m not making a career out of it. Quoting Sid; “It’s just not me”.
Just like Sid’s folks, my folks think I’m wasting my life sitting in front of the laptop and watching movies/ listening to songs. They think I was born to waste time. Regular seminar sessions are a common sight. My dad’s favorite dialogue is “I was earning when I was your age”. I really wish I could retort back saying, I’m half an MBA. But I don’t if it’s actually worth it. He takes every opportunity to tell me & my bro, that he’s worked really hard to reach where he is right now. Good point, but I think it’s every child’s nature to rebel against it.
Apart from this- I have nothing else in common with Mr. Sid. I'd like to be independent, earn my own money, work for a great marketing company, do branding and new product development. I just hope, a day comes when I can handover my first pay-check to my folks and say this is for you :D And I'm not becoming a Chartered Accountant. Never.
On the whole; I loved the movie. Most of us around are a lot like Sid. Some of us realize it and try to mend our ways, while others live-it up the way they want to!

Verdict: Wake up Sid- A lot like me!