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Wednesday, October 05, 2011
A lot of water has flown under the bridge ...

And I am still  learning to swim through it ..

Thought aloud by Shashank at Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Am I back?

I have been thinking of the login details for this blog, for quite some time, and in vain. Today morning I woke up with a thought - lightning had struck me last night, I believe ... as I am posting something in here after almost an eternity.


Not sure how often would I post something anyway ... but feels good to have the option back to scribble my thoughts - life has changed quite a lot since I last expressed myself here, but I'd like to believe that deep down I haven't changed.


Thanks to anyone who hops in here - old pals or accidental visitors; would be a pleasant surprise if I find others reading this post, beside myself. Some motivation may help me put up my next post sooner than in 4 years time ;)

Thought aloud by Shashank at Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, March 27, 2006

Friends are like the walls of a house. Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes you lean on them.

But sometimes, it's enough to know they're just standing by.

Thought aloud by Shashank at Monday, March 27, 2006
Comments (8)  

Saturday, February 25, 2006
Importance of architechture in an MBA :))

Looking for reasons to write; just got one from the most unexpected of sources – a post in another blog, one linked up on my page and one I do read at times. For those who have read it, they can understand why I felt compelled to write so soon after groping for reasons to - and who haven't, feel lucky to have been spared the article. :)


Was surprised though to see what Rashmi had to write about MY campus on the basis of her whirlwind trip there. I had pretty much laughed it off, when I did realize that the timing of the post was much more than mere coincidence. Just when myriads of people would get final calls from the IIMs and make one of the most important decisions in their lives to-date, it is indeed unfortunate if the post was intended to sway them to a specified institution, based on the arguments given.


While I was in campus (not too long back), we had enough discussions whether we too should “hard sell” IIM Calcutta the way a few other institutions did. There was a strong opinion on campus that we didn’t need to, as people who would get through CAT would not take a call based on how good is the food in the city, or what colour the buildings are. If someone is THAT mature to take a decision based on how many bricks are there in a building or what brand the washing machines are – God save him/her.


Having passed the same stage myself, I can safely say that people take up that decision based on a lot of research and some personal biases. Its true that Calcutta isn’t as  ‘hep’ a city as Delhi, Bangalore or Mumbai – but then are we looking to build a career based on the learnings we get in campus or based on how good the “crowd” is in the city?


I had never thought I’ll hard sell IIM-C myself, but just feel strange that people claim not reacting to things as a laid-back attitude. I don’t want to get into a point-wise rebuttal of the claims made in the post, as enough has been said about the same in the comments section there. Yet, I am amazed that if we are as successful in the corporate circles as well as in the academia being as laid-back as we IIMCians are alleged to be, I wonder what would happen to the rest of the world if we actually become aggressive. We surely do kick-ass whenever the situation demands.


Maybe our way of showing aggression is like that of Dravid, while Ms. Bansal prefers the Ganguly mode J …. Either ways, am sure we note that some of the points she has mentioned could be true, but what shows the insecurity is the fact that not a single positive point has been mentioned about the oldest IIM and the one which surely has been the most respected campus for corporates for many years.


Am proud to be am IIMCian – and just hope we can strive to make the IIM brand as strong as the IIT one, instead of bickering over small points which do not make much difference, if any to a student during his stay in the campus and beyond.


A small request to all the young men and women appearing for the GD/PI sessions, for various B-schools, in the coming weeks – Put in your best efforts in each GD and interview, and put off the previous experience out of your mind when you attend the next one. Once you are done with this part, and while the professors break their heads to decide whom to pick –sit down and take an educated decision about your pecking order assuming you get all calls. Just ensure its not based on criteria such as the colour of the building, access to booze, caste of professors, number of lakes, etc. IMHO, neither of them matters much in your career, J while having a good culture on campus and developing yourself as an individual during those two years in a business school definitely does!


Finally in true IIMC style – Good luck folks, Put crack!


Thought aloud by Shashank at Saturday, February 25, 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006
Why write?

Been a long while since I put out a post.

It has also been long since anyone asked me why I stopped writing; perhaps they have all given up on me and accepted the silence from my side. The truth though is that there hasn’t been anything worth writing despite me moving to a new city and a new job (not too long ago). Yet, life is pretty much the same – most days have a set routine, spent between some sector reports and spreadsheets, according to my needs and those of our clients.


In between there have been the bouts of cricket, soccer and other sports. India thrashed Pakistan in the ODI series, out neighbours embarrassed us in the Under 19 finals yesterday, Chelsea lost 0:3 the first time under Mourinho, the Bangalore Lions won the Premier Hockey League (which was well televised and promoted by ESPN-Star), Sania mania keeps going on though she seems to be as successful in tennis as Gautam Gambhir has been in his winning matches for India with his bat.


And yet, there isn’t one great thing to write about. I could write my own analysis of the U-19 final, about Daya Nayak, Salman and his blackbucks ... but then all this would already be present in myriads of reports floating all over the place, as well in the plethora of news channels we seem to have  already.


Besides, corporate life has taken an even bigger toll on a few of my friends who happened to start blogging around the same time I did. Lakesidey and Nitid have hectic schedules and sadly jobs which don’t allow them to spend time on the Net as mine does. Can’t blame them though to stop writing, as there could also be the added reason of what to write about.


Can think of one topic which might be relevant for some people in a few weeks – campus placement time at the big brothers in management education in India. Looking at the way the economy is booming and the job market is surging, don’t think there would be any problems for anyone getting a job and packages are going through the roof already. Still, not a bad topic to write about – if I feel like writing J


Oh ya! Could have come out with my version on how I think about Valentine’s Day, but then does anyone really care what I feel about it J … lets face it, a few words spoken for or against an event which people believe in so strongly is not going to change things one bit. So WHY bother to write such silly things.


Now apart from this, if someone gives me reason to write – I would write.


Thought aloud by Shashank at Monday, February 20, 2006
Comments (3)  

Thursday, February 02, 2006
Key to being a great manager

Found an article worth sharing, so here it goes.


The prime impetus to pursue a management specialisation is the fact that it is the most sought-after qualification today. There is no denying the importance of management education, since it is the acquisition of this knowledge that instils a new confidence and poise, making individuals ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of the corporate world.

But beyond the management concepts and skills that you imbibe at B-school, the one critical aspect that makes or mars your career is attitude. The right attitude centres on the WIN principle -- Work hard, Innovate and Never give up.

Most people work for 25 to 30 years, which can be broadly divided into four phases of five to seven years each. The first lasts roughly five years during which you learn to perform as an individual and as part of a team. Along the way you learn the significance of individual performance to the results achieved by the team.

In the second phase, when the individual leads the team as a manager, he learns that he is as good as his team. If he is able to motivate his team to put in 100 per cent, he can deliver 100 per cent. In the process, he hones his people management, relationship building, crisis resolving and decision-making skills.

The third and fourth phases are the most critical, where the practical training and exposure of the first two phases are instrumental in helping you withstand the pressures of the top and succeed.

In the fourth phase, you are expected to take care of the CEO: Customers, Employees and the Organisation/owners. That's where your experience, foresight and understanding of the business model and its needs come into play. Remember, the top of the pyramid is narrow -- there's room only for the best.

Original article can be found here.

Thought aloud by Shashank at Thursday, February 02, 2006
Comments (2)  

Thursday, January 26, 2006
The Solitary Reaper

One of the unforgettable poems, which came back to haunt me when I was sitting alone and wondering how different people handle life with an extra dosage of solitude :)

The Solitary Reaper

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
0 listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands;
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring-time from the cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings? -
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago;
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending;
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.

Thought aloud by Shashank at Thursday, January 26, 2006
Comment (1)  

Saturday, December 31, 2005
Happy New Year

As the New Year beckons, I thought its just natural to wish all you "survivors" who still drop in here to see how long have I managed without writing.

Hope you all have a great year ahead and fulfill all your dreams. A Dilbert just to celebrate the occassion, and to show what should not be mine and your story in the coming year.

Thought aloud by Shashank at Saturday, December 31, 2005
Comments (8)  

Sunday, December 25, 2005
The Hare and the Tortoise – Part II

Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on the route and started the race. The hare easily shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he'd sit under a tree for some time and elax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and eventually slept off.

The tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The hare woke up and realized that he'd lost the race.

The moral- "Slow and steady wins the race. This is the version of the story that we've all grown up with."


There are few more interesting turn of events, which continue as follows...

The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realized that he'd lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there's no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.

The moral - " Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. It's good to be slow and steady; but it's better to be fast and reliable."


The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realized that there's no way it can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted.

It thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed. They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a few kilometres on the other side of the river.

The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

The moral - "First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency."


The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better. So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time.

They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the riverbank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they'd felt earlier.

The moral - "It's good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you're able to work in a team and harness each other's core competencies, you'll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you'll do poorly and someone else does well.

Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership.

Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could."

In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.

The hare and the tortoise also learnt another vital lesson. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better.

To sum up- the story of the hare and tortoise has much to say:

Chief among them are that fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady; work to your competencies; pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers; never give up when faced with failure; & finally, compete against the situation - not against a rival.


Thought aloud by Shashank at Sunday, December 25, 2005
Comments (5)  

Monday, November 28, 2005
Thats all folks!

Have heard from enough people asking me why I haven’t written anything for a long time. Was just wondering the same, but then have not wanted to write anything at all. Writing with a real name isn’t an easy task as at times one has to rethink before expressing all thoughts and emotions. I had not started blogging to write stories or to analyse news articles. It was about me - my thoughts and how I see and live life. Somewhere down the line I have realized that my life isn’t really of much concern to others; not that I expected it to be.


Yet, the way life has taken a turn – not in the best possible way, I feel myself unable to share my thoughts here. I think I’ll take a break from here, unless someday I wake up with a sudden realization that I have to write again. Maybe I’ll take a cue from a very close friend (I think so) who refuses to share a blog URL with me.


Besides I have probably just understood  what I had quoted here some time back.

Never explain yourself – your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe it.

Thought aloud by Shashank at Monday, November 28, 2005
Comments (8)  

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