Never before…

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

…have I been that regular at getting up early in the morning!

…have I ate, purposely, that little!

…have I tweeted that much!

…have I been that bored of cricket!

…have I been to a lavish Punjabi wedding and had nothing!

…have I been to an even more lavish wedding and had very little!

…have I given that much importance to what people have to say about me!

…have I enjoyed my loneliness!

…have I been that uncertain about the future!

…have I missed being me that much!!!

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After arriving at the Brussels which happens to be the seat of power for the European Union we got on a train to take us to Antwerp. French is all I could hear around me…

I will give you a little background about Belgium. It is an interesting little country. It is divided into two zones – Flanders, which is the northern part & Wallonia, which is the southern part. Antwerp, city that I was in, is in the Flemish region. The official language of Flanders is Dutch while Wallonia speak French. The most peculiar part is that people don’t like Netherlands here and well it is a European thing to not like French so south doesn’t like French!!!

Upon arrival in Berchem station in Antwerp we caught a bus which was supposed to drop us at the hostel which would be out home for the next 80 days. But we did not know you had to make the bus stop else it just keeps going. Having overshot it and reached a hospital nearby, we took a cab. And as you can guess cabs are expensive!!! The smart thing we did was to ask that guy to call the hostel and find out where it is. 400 meters and 5 euros later we were at our “home”!

Week one was mainly trying to find out more about Antwerp. How a bus ticket on the bus would cost 2 Euros while taken on the station cost a much lesser 1.2! So to get to the University…with all the signs in Dutch it was a task for the day 1. Went to a pub one night but were smart enough to take help of a Belgian student so that we could get back home!

Next night was beer bowling. The idea is lots of beer and lots of bowling…though I was more interested in the latter! And I got to meet a lot of people from a lot of countries!! My fellow student was concerned his game would go for a toss with all the beer…but what was the highlight of the evening was a 5km walk home because he was high and didn’t want to leave. Hence we missed the last bus and therefore a long walk home…the temperature hovering about 7-8 degree Celsius!

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…to be continued…

Herinneringen uit België

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

The title literally translates to “Memories from Belgium”! After much thought and a lot of editing [ 😉 ] I decided to post my experiences while I was in Europe on an exchange program. These posts were weekly mails I used to send my close friends while I was there! Here they would be intermittently posted in between the regular ones!

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This 80-day trip to Europe was one of the most anticipated things of my MBA life. What started as a casual thought was close to being a reality!

But before I could embark on this wonderful journey there were a lot of things to take care of! Initially coaxed into it by filling just a couple of forms became a full-fledged preparation as time passed by.

After the admission to the university was taken care of I needed to work on the visa. And foreign currency. And packing. And what not! So these were some of the mountains I still had to conquer before I could step on European soil!

And everything boiled down to the last week! I was so zonked that there were times I slept while writing an exam! Beat that!!! So I would simply write whatever came to my mind and got back to my room to sleep! And it was the same thing the next day not to mention special exams that I had to write for some courses!

Cut to the day I was finally writing the final exams for Term IV.  The day was here. My friend, who coaxed me in this exchange program,  and I were at the airport only to realize the tickets we had to Bombay were actually tickets for the month gone by! Not a very auspicious start I would say. Booked new ones and there we were flying to the financial capital of the country. I did manage to see a lovely rainbow mid-air, probably nature telling me it is not all that bad!

International flight was decent. The planes were comfortable. We had a 4 hour stop at Istanbul where we had Turkish coffee which was pathetic but the only reason we had it was that we wanted to access the internet at that cafe! Mission accomplished @ 10 Euros!

Uneventful journey thereafter got me to Belgium!

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…to be continued…

Herd Mentality…

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Being interesting in knowing how people think and act I ended up reading about famous psychology experiments and how it affects us!

One that was very interesting to me was The Asch Conformity Experiment conducted in the year 1953. In order to test the power of conformity Asch made a simple set up. It was supposed to be a simple vision test! Asch would put forth a simple vision observation question and asked which of A, B or C is equal in length to the one on the left…

Now the actors were made to say the same wrong answer before the subject. Can you imagine 33% of people actually said the same wrong answer after he/she saw 3 others say the same thing? As they said in the article “One in three would follow the group right off the proverbial cliff.”

Now you know why is it very difficult to be yourself and not follow the herd?

It is said, with each right comes a great responsibility. It annoys me no end when a chic in her early 20s asks a man old enough to be her grandfather to give up a seat reserved for “ladies”! Is your desire to exercise a “right” greater than manners?

I have to admit I am not a big fan of, in a 4 compartment train, the first one being reserved for ladies. I don’t have too much of an issue if it is a 6 compartment train though…but in my humble opinion reservation and equality just don’t go together!

I must admit that this decision has solved a dilemma for me! Often it is not the actual act of asking for the seat but the glares you get from the fairer sex that gets you to get up. And I am not even talking about a reserved seat here! As a result I would often stand all the way rather than risk getting “those” looks! Ofcourse I would readily give the seat for an old person or a lady with a kid etc but what makes young women expect you to give them a general seat?

In the recent trip I met another interesting man. He must be in late 40s with greying hair. He was standing 3-4 seats away from me but right in front of a seat reserved for old and physically handicapped. He would not sit on that seat offered to him by the child of 15 sitting there pointing out to me and a fellow sitting next to me…is sitting on a general seat on the Delhi Metro a crime for young men?

Its been a year!

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Been there, done that! However I was never able to put it as beautifully as Ms Rinki Mukherjee has been! Thank you ma’am for letting me share it on this blog!

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A year .

A year of fretting about a strange creature called ‘Boss’.

A year of worrying about whether you will be called to work on a National Holiday.

A year of faking illnesses and wondering which fake illnesses are trivial enough to not require a visit to a fake hospital.

A year of househunting-there’s always one better than the one you are currently in.

A year of fakes-fake rent slips, fake med bills, fake smiles.

A year of limited short term memory loss-remembering only what the cellphone reminder clock and those irritating flourescent post-it notes on the notice board tell you-and forgetting all else-including paying the rent, movie dates and brother’s birthday.

A year of 12 happy days and 353 miserable ones(well mostly).

A year of leveraging the power of retail therapy to the maximum(usually around those 12 happy days).

A year of trying to prove all the ‘Money cant buy you happiness’ believers wrong.

A year of longing and loss,hope and strength, cynicism and wonder.

A year of growing up (finally!)

A year of working.

April 5, 2011 marks exactly one revolution ’round the sun since I started with ********. Though the year has been trying , its also been a great teacher.

Merci beaucoup!

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Beautifully put!

PS : Blanked out the company’s name for obvious reasons!!

Being high!

Posted: April 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

One of the interesting things about being in a place which sells cheap booze is the fun you can have around drunk people! So after each party you have a lot of people who are high…

Talking to such people is mostly very interesting! And we have a lot of mail forwards that list the interesting things guys tend to say when they are drunk! However what it does not say is what girls tend to say when they are drunk!!!

Interesting conversations that I have come across over the phone and/or chat and with amazing regularity is “I am happy with life. I am content…and I have no regrets!” which actually makes me wonder just what is going on!

What else do girls typically say?