Arrogance eats up your grey cells more than Love does

October 14, 2007

There is a Spanish couple sitting in the next cubicle and the man wants the woman to get his point of view. He really does. His desperation reflects in his voice as he moves distinctly from articulating his thoughts to raising his voice. How vain that is, I think.

I loved once in my life. When I met her, I was excited because:

I found someone who I could reveal my complete self to – this was great because before meeting her, I felt like I was stifling many thoughts inside of me that, if nurtured, may have given me self fulfillment. Also, the thought of holding someone in my arms gave a feeling of belonging. It felt so good to finally have the freedom to be one with a female that I found worthy of me and who found me deserving of her. Suddenly, my feelings were not just my own! Someone else felt remorse when I felt sad and at times, she felt joyful with me. It felt so nice to pick her up when she least expected to be lifted, to feel her feminine waist and her porcelain skin … and then kiss her lightly while she slept.

And then I wanted to believe that I was the only one that she had loved with all her heart. So I wanted to know everything about her so I could love her more than she had ever been loved. And then when I was done, I began again because of things she did, too. I was up all night waiting for the call that never came. I felt alone again. Then she called and she emailed and it felt good for a while before darkness set in again. I was too passionate. She was methodical. I thought love was irrational. Not methodical. Then I pleaded to her – I was weak, I said, I wanted her love around me as much as I loved her. She said it was okay if I loved her more because she wanted me to.

So I was left alone trying to figure out the exact maths that go into loving her more than she did. I started keeping balance sheets and accounts of our transactions.


And then it died – faded shamelessly after being flared up by my passion of a thousand suns. How drained I felt. Not fair. Let me think about it later. My everything gets sucked into nothing. I wish this was just prose – not the story of my lost love.


May 12, 2007

Time flies here.

This short preamble must have suggested that THIS IS GOING TO BE THE QUICKEST BLOG EVER. Reason: My schedule is busier than what I was ever prepared for. But that does not mean that I will leave without posting a YouTube clip. In fact, I will post 2 videos this time. Though I know that even this will of course not come close to compensating for the lack of my beautiful prose.

First, the updates:

Academics: Did NOT do well at all in P1…tried to catch up in P2

Social: Sadly, the bad P1 results did not keep me from making a drunken fool of myself at every INSEAD party

Personal: Girlfriend almost dumped me. More on that later.

Misc.: Got elected as a member of the Student Council!

Career: Got interviewed by Google, a bank and some consulting firms. I don’t care about others but Google decided not to take our relationship further. Funny how I was so pally with the coordinator from Google and then suddenly she wont even write what went wrong.

I found this one when I was searching for “Israel, Arab, war.” (Hahaa, of course). This woman is not only an INSEAD MBA, she is not only beautiful, but she is also really cool to listen to. Please don’t leave any comment regd what she actually talked about because I was too busy noticing her features:

Bollywood 101 for westerners:

For you, my readers, I am putting my integrity at stake and giving you another video.

For all fans of Steve Irvin: I am a fan too. It was a treat to see his enthusiasm. In fact, when people sometimes ask me (sometimes=once per year, but isn’t this the most important question of your lives?) “H.G., what is the all important criteria to choose a profession?”, I say “do what you are most passionate about.” May Steve R.I.P.

For all budding consultants, this video might prove useful:

Senses and Actions

March 7, 2007

I had a difficult time deciding between having “Exams are Over” or “Senses and Actions” as the title to this post. While I was slacking about it, I came across this video in youtube and if you want to know why I selected “Senses and Actions”, then see the video:

Anyways, lets start from the beginning. P1 exams got over today. The past 2 weeks were stressful enough for me to start reconsidering my notion of INSEAD being a “party place”. We basically covered enough material taught in 4-5 months in other business schools. P1 has been, in general, 2 months of exceptional learning for me. I learnt about the importance of time and setting priorities. I understood the meaning of Spiderman’s philosophy “With great power comes great responsibility”. Most importantly, I came to know a lot about myself and my alignment with the world I want to be in. Ah! genius is boring you with futile generalities. Alright then me hearties, let me wear my pirate suit…

My P1 from a pirate’s eye (the uncovered one) was housing problems – conveyance problems – study group conflicts – social scene mess-up – more housing problems – academic nightmare. With P1, most of these problems seem to have vanished. Today after the exam, the bar area actually looked like it was hosting the mardi gras in France. Beer and nick knacks all over the place. A couple of hugs – people leaving for their ski trips or to see their girlfriends and boyfriends in London. I just went home and slept a couple of hours then I was back at INSEAD replying to emails and talking to my folks back home. I think I will not go to the party at “Bakardi” tonite just to spend some time with myself. Ah! And now genius is so vain. Well, maybe genius just needs some more sleep! 

Its all about fun and work here

January 21, 2007

…and the twain do meet at INSEAD, its just a matter of employing the concept of “tradeoff” (we learn that a little too early here, much before our first class of “prices and markets”).


Anyways, my consistently ignorant punjabi brethen in California posted this video last year which basically made fun of a certain sect of people:

Though I condemn it, I have been told that it was made in good humor. And one of the casts is actually applying to INSEAD to refine his temperament and to hone the faculty to appreciate a different culture.

I like French better than Americans + bonus: first few minutes at INSEAD

January 8, 2007

So I guess I’ll have to explain the title in detail. I am about to leave for my first round of introductions with fellow Fonty INSEADers. I am excited. I found this opportunity to fill in my blog because I know I am going to be influenced by this experience of meeting for the first time, people from 70+ countries in a single day. So, before this effects the content of my journal, let me quickly give you my “top 3” for France vs US:

  1. The French are soft spoken. I heard an occasional “wei” but at the airport I did end up appreciating how quiet and respectful the French are towards other people.
  2. France is undeniably more beautiful.
  3. Unfortunately, France still derives its entertainment from American movies and a little bit of music too. Throughout the airport, I saw French versions of trailers of popular Hollywood movies. But the French have still retained a liking for their own music.

That’s all the insight I can give you right now, this is only so much I have gathered through my limited stay here. Yesterday, around the same time, I went out for a stroll to see my neighborhood, and hit the Veneux Les Sablons train station. Lo and behold, there it was just 2 stops away – Fontainebleau. My woes actually started when I reached Fonty and was told that INSEAD was not walking distance from the station. So I waited an hour for the bus. When I finally got there, I was surprised to find a lot more Dec 07s had come to visit Fonty before our opening day. More surprised to see that most were Indians. I met 2 Jul 07s who were jovial and fun, maybe because a harder part of their MBA was over. They gave us great insight as to what we can expect to happen in the next few days. Made me wish I had not been lazy and actually done a bit of pre-reading.

Then I met some more – who else, but Indians! After introductions we decided to head out for Lunch. Again, it took us quite some time to figure out an appropriate place to get lunch. There were 2 ladies leading the pack – one Indian and the other American, and I guess that was part of the reason why we went hungry for a while. This was also the first time that I realized that maybe I shouldn’t have come because I was freezing to death (remember, I intended to be out of my apartment for a stroll and ended up at INSEAD)

Another thing about life…

October 21, 2006

Just preliminary thoughts…

 * no rationality – love Or God

Where is the world’s collective conciousness headed to?

Guide to Dating

October 10, 2006

update: I met a couple of ppl appreciative of my blog and I like that! but here is my official position for this year: I intend to get it on with books and studies at INSEAD – nothing else. So I wont be thinking or advising much about dating etc.

First off, I am unwillingly posting this blog. One of my friends said to me “HG, you are on your way to become a great consultant, will you please analyze why desis don’t seem to get it on with women?”. In a weird way, he did make sense. Nevertheless, I intend to keep this short and sweet. Actually the heading should have read “for Desis” in the end. But I recon some of my advise would be applicable to many other communities (of FOBs) as well. You as a reader will probably have the following questions (in the following order). Here are my answers:

“Genius, what credibility do you have (concerning the topic) ?”
Having lived in the US for about 5 years, I have mostly used my time to learn the culture. The culture, in brief, is all about socialising. I was a part time DJ in Dallas (I actually just helped setup equipment and changed tracks when the main DJ went out for a smoke) and got to meet some of the most wonderful women.

“How are your experiences relevant to what I want?”
My experiences are not relevant to you if you fall into one of these categories:
(a) You are a desi nerd whose idea of outing is going for groceries to the Indian store
(b) You are happy dating your computer
(c) You linger around other desis and talk to your male friends hours in a row
I am an ardent follower of Friedman and his “The World is Flat” theory. I think the only other “force” he omitted to mention was the force of attraction between people of different races. Alongside contributing (albeit minutely) to open-mindedness in business between different parts of the world, it also contributes to dating between races as is evident from sites like <bleeep>.com and <bleeeeeeeeeeep>.com.

“Ok, I can barely wait, what were you going to say?”
First, please burn your beliefs – walking with your stomach out, chewing with your mouth open, feeling up your male friends, smelling like onions, staring at body parts, talking loudly on the phone, etc – is not sexy in the American context. I recommend Bond movies, watch how Sean Connery carries himself; don’t necessarily copy his dressing style because that will make you look like a war vet.

Second, join some kind of community classes or activities…that way you will not only learn a lot about the American culture but also meet terrific women. If you are really in a hurry, join the alcoholic anonymous groups – these groups always have women looking for a shoulder to cry on. Don’t take my word for this one – I’ve heard this from someone.

Know your object of interest. American women are NOT submissive or meek in any way. They have strong opinions about everything that they want to talk about. I guess, what I am saying is that “let her speak” and be a good listener. Read this:

Please do not fall in love with strippers in strip clubs. These women do what they do for money, on other words being nice to you is their job, do not assume this to be a “come hither to my secret garden”.Build confidence…I guess if you are a punjabi, you have probably stopped reading by now because you already know what to do. For my other people from the subcontinent please listen to some of these folks – Bally Sagoo, DJ Swami, Mentor Kolectiv, Juggy D, Thunda Tung, Dr Zeus. If there is one thing that did wonders to me in my endevour to become a confident guy, it is this. Listen to these guys, watch them on youtube, worship them. Listening to David DeAngelo and Tom Leykis also helps. These people are superheroes in this domain, they have tried and tested methods.

Well, I did not mean this to be a very long post. I just wrote this quickly in a couple of minutes. To give you last words of advice: be true to yourself – know what you want out of the woman you are dating. Second, I am just myself around women. They are lie detectors. There is nothing better than a guy who KNOWS where he wants to be 5 minutes, 2 months even 5 years from now – and someone who is in touch with themselves to such an extent have the capability to laugh at themselves, too – there is nothing better than creating awe in your woman…this awe should be strongly coupled with a deep trust for you.

My biggest mistakes – getting bored too soon. In the western world (I do not intend to be demeaning, I am just stating a fact that desis sometimes ignore), men are expected to exhibit strong (think neaderthal man) type of characteristics. Have a deep voice, look enthusiastic, have some mojo. Soon after our second date, I called up a girl that I really liked twice in 2 days. She lost interest. Its as simple as that.

Being cheap. That was the beast in the world of My badness. I used to go out on a lot of dates and spent lots of money (oh, and you pay – always). So I figured the one way to save some money is to hold back on big tips. I once took this extremely beautiful woman to one of the most expensive restaurants in Chicago. We were having a great time – the ambience and the high class of the place helped build up chemistry. Then I blundered – I tipped 5% on a $180 check. The server came straight back at me and respectfully said that “sir, if you loved our service, I think 5% is slightly less than what we expected” (Note: the server was surprisingly good at maths!). I did not sleep, with or without anyone, for a couple of days after that.

MBA – A Haven for an Escapist Or A Bigfoot Step to $$$?

October 10, 2006

Here’s a list of top 3 “eat-shits” in my life:

1. Obliging a complete moron with status reports, etc. Because he happens to control 15% of the variable part of my salary
2. My absolute loneliness. Coupled with growing frustration (these are related so I will not have separate points for each)
3. The fact that I am growing older without enhancing the quality of my life

You, avid reader, obviously identify with the above or at least think “genius-at-large is fecking pathetic” but you are certainly not without a myriad of feelings. So 3 months ago I decided to change my frustrated life. I started working out because one day I saw 2 of the prettiest girls in the gym, as I was walking by. On my second day at the gym, I lost my iPod. Since then, I can’t bear to go towards the gym because it just reminds me of what happened to me when I thought “positive”. “Positive Thinking” is the latest “eat shit” in this world. People should learn to see things for what they are not what they look like when you cover them with icing.

So I tried staying home. I tried getting certified in Project Management Certification. The people at the interchanged my first name and last name and 2 weeks into negotiations, they were still not convinced of their mistake. (Added on 31st Aug->) As it turns out, there was a major confusion about my records. The certification is a very stringent process which requires you to have managed projects for thousands of hours and also undergo a formal training in PMP. The procedure is organised. And I finally got a green signal to take the exam, that I scheduled for 31st Aug. (<-Remarks end) That was a development! Inspired, my happy brain cells started a cascading effect and woke up the dormant “effort expending” cells…So I gave my GMAT and applied to INSEAD. To cut the long story short, I got my offer letter today! Now I look at the facts. It’s going to cost me way more than a ferrari. Then, getting a >$200,000 job is not guaranteed. Worse, I’ll have to move from the US and leave my (prospective) girlfriends behind. Then I re-read the last few sentences. Are these really that bad? I am off to France…wait..lemme use google language translate tool to express myself…”J’aime les femmes françaises.”

My life has certainly taken an interesting turn and lets see if I make millions or if I eat more shit.

Why are Stupid People Talkative?

October 10, 2006

About 20% of you will believe in the title. Other 80% of you reading this post are talkative.

As 50% of you reading this already know (Jose I bet you dint know), I am a small town guy who found himself in a big town school one day. And before I could say “Wha…Where…?”, I landed in one of the biggest cities in the world, NY. I needed things to slow down so I took a step back and got my boss to transfer me to Chicago.

Now I know I am not ambitious, but I like to think of myself as very driven and motivated. So I googled these keywords:

harvard admitted students class of 2006

And one of the links that showed up on the first page was “A Day in the Life” I was re-directed to this site by an involuntary action of my fist or my hand or my finger (I dont remember, which):

Okay, so I see Les singing “Hallelujah!” to his life in Harvard:

7:00 a.m. The alarm blares. I hit the snooze button.
7:07 a.m. The alarm blares. I hit the snooze button.
7:14 a.m. The alarm blares. I hit the snooze button.

As you can clearly see, the 3 very things that he does even before he wakes up in the morning are done with precision one after another, I wonder if he mentions this as one of his strengths in his app?

Lets skim right to 8:30

8:30 a.m. I high-five the cafeteria workers as I navigate through the fresh fruit bar and the English muffin station, grabbing a cup of water and a to-go bag as I dance out of the cafeteria in a frenzy. I was so wrapped up in e-mail this morning that I forgot about my study group review, which began at 8:10 a.m. No worries, I’ll catch them tomorrow.

Like Les says above, why worry about studies at Harvard; I am sure he based his decision on the fact that an alumni of Harvard is the President of our country, and “he is talkative, just like me!”

Okay, readers, lets go to 10:20 a.m. now where Les draws a parallel between a corporate high performer and a professional sportsman! Here, I have no words of praise for Les because his reasoning is flawed. He overlooks the basic fact that the first example talks of Employer-Employee relationship and the parallel he drew (very proudly) was of a Colleague-Colleague relationship. I guess the whole class was laughing at him but he took that as a gesture of appreciation…another strength that brought him to Harvard – “Don’t get bothered by Negatives.”

I was devouring the “Day in the Life” of Les at Harvard when at around 12:00 p.m. my ADD took over and I impulsively closed his blog. Before doing that, I couldn’t help going through the word “grab” in the post. If you do a word search, you will see Les has “grabbed” food articles and weights about 5 times in his “Day in the Life” at Harvard. And my skewed mind is thinking – “That meeting he had with the female student about some BBQ in which he agreed to run the idea with administration” – if we add the aftermaths of that appointment, the number of total grabs go up to 7.

Not bad. A Day in the Life at Harvard is not bad at all.

An INSEADer’s Point of View

October 10, 2006

(I had posted this on 11th August. I realised that many who had received admits from INSEAD were trying to make up their mind. I did not want to influence their decision making in any way so had withdrawn it…)

Two weeks into spending hours researching INSEAD: its, alumni, philosophy, mission, etc, I can solemnly say “INSEAD is the business school for the world.”

To all future MBAs let me tell you what you will miss out on if you don’t go to INSEAD:

1) Making Friends from Everywhere in the world. My batch has almost equal representation from 70+ countries.

2) The most diverse professional backgrounds. Every time I go thru the “selected students” message board, I come across amazing profiles. For example there is a guy who was a team member of the US 2004 Olympics team. There is also a top model in my class. (I am already sharpening my math skills to be able to help her out)

3) An MBA in a year! It is strange why the “Ivy League” schools are still stuck with 2 year MBAs. Things have picked up since the easy paced days of the Victorian Era. You should he enterprising enough to get it done with your MBA in a year.

4) Have I mentioned the fact that though it is considered to be the best “general management” school in the world, if has the best finance professors too.

5) INSEAD’s December batches have had comparable placements with the US top 5 – Wharton, Hrvard, Stanford, Kelloggs and Chicago.

6) You can stop having nightmares about loan sharks following you for the $110,000 that you need for the US top 10. INSEAD will get you a World Class MBA for about $70,000 inclusive of everything. And then you start making $$$ one year early (US Top 10 are all 2 year courses).

7) Your job is not dependent on any economy. If you graduate in a year when US economy is slowing down, you’ve had it unless you are an INSEADer – because companies from all over the world come here.

8) And companies that visit US Top 10 also visit INSEAD and pick an almost equal number of dudes and duddettes.

9) Female ratio is the lowest in INSEAD. Is this something good? Well, INSEAD selects people on basis of merit rather than to maintain a healthy sex ratio. Then there are 2 schools of thought. One, if you are a guy, you will be less distracted in your studies. Two, if you are a guy then you will make efforts to impress the one female in your group and study harder! If you are a girl, you will be oblivious to what’s going on and you will study harder to catch up with rest of the group.

10) Since I want to make this a “10 reasons why” list, I will combine 2 points to make one. INSEAD gives you a fair chance to go to Wharton for 2 months. Second, you have a choice of going to Asia for a part of your course – it has a campus in Singapore too.

My ever esteemed readers, the negative part of your thought machinery is saying “How did genius-at-large get through to INSEAD in the first place?”

But then I implore you to listen to the fast diminishing positive vibe in your machinery saying “genius-at-large has again lived up to his name; INSEAD must be the best business school in the world but then would if add any value to this already well established consultant of consultants?” (Ok, I admit no one is thinking that)

And to that, my ever humble answer is “Yes, my friend, yes.”