Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Life keeps getting more and more surreal

First I think I almost lose my dad in the 26/11 attacks. Terrorists enter my city, through a place I can LITERALLY see from my balcony. and now, I move countries, to a whole new life - to a new happy fun place - and then this?
I woke up to emails from classmates saying one of them had seen a masked gunman on campus so we shouldnt leave home, whoever hasnt left for school already. At first I thought it was a joke - This cant be happening right? RIGHT?
That was followed by some classmates calling and sms'ing to check where I was and to ask me to stay indoors - thats when I realized it isnt. I ran into my roomates room to check where she was and she'd left for school already. In complete panic I called to ask where she was and she was RIGHT ON THE STREET where this Gunman was. She along with 2 other desis who didnt take this seriously and wanted to find out for themselves how a random gunman can wreck havoc I guess. I fail to understand what can be so important that one would put themselves in harms way - I'd have missed an interview appointment wiith the ONLY job available to me in this country if I had to. Im sorry, my life means wayy too much to me to put in the hands of a maniac on the loose. Armed that too. Funny thing is, the odds of me being in the exact SAME spot as this gunman at 9 am in the morning were HIGHER than me being home, asleep. I was stdying late last night and hence had randomly decided to sleep in. Thank god for strange coincidences.
The good news is - (yes, there is some) that the only person injured was the gunman himself - dead rather. The school was quick to respond with emails, sms's, directions cancelling classe etc, a quicker response time with information dissemination than back home in India during 26/11. This guy was a former UT student - being here two months I feel like I love my school so much. Its absorbed me in its culture, its spirit of comraderie and enthusiasm, its working as hard as I am to make my 2 years here the best two years of my life. Why then, would someone whose been here want to destroy the beauty of the campus with voilence on it? Why would one want to exhibit one's own shortcoming's and crazed demented state of mind to afflict on others? If he had to kill himself, why not in the confines of his own house? WHY at my school, at my library?
I feel violated. I watched my school - the place this man was, is literally 5 steps from my Building - and I see it crawling with menacing police officers with guns and yellow tape and it feels violated. I feel like there's no sanctitity to the places I call home and are a part of my life. Like its in anyones hands to trespass these places and spill blood and gore all over it and ruin its innocence. I do not like this state of being, and this state of vulnerability. And there's nothing. Not one thing I can do about it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Global Business OMFG!

In other words, a case study challenge I inflicted on myself (sincce who needs a free weekend anyway right?). Its a 4 team member all nighter case study challenge in which we will be given the cases to analyze at 9 p.m tonight , to submit a complete analyses and presentation by 8 a.m. tomorrow. It seemed like a great idea initially. Now I wish I had thursday night to dedicate to nothingness. Or the think and drink.

I'm excited about this though. It'll be fun to see how we're gonna handle each others moods post 3 am tonight. To combat team inertia and last minute panic, we have a communication coach scheduled to come over to wherever we will be by 2.45 a.m (a semi-median of the night). He offered to come back by 5 am and check on us so we might schedule another one. Thats one thing I love about this school. No matter how hard your working, there are people working harder, to make this experience count for us. There are people sending emails post midnight and available round the clock for ANY requirement that may arise. These communication coaches for e.g. - They opened their time slots from last evening till tomorrow morning 8a.m. thats more than 36 hours to make available for us to pick random times like 2.45 am.

Anyway, in preparation for tonight I skipped classes took a LO-ONG nap. We're also equippped with our buddies for the night - red bulls, starbucks double dose espressos, food fruits, vitamins etc. Now to time those babies right. Too soon a red bull and well be dozing off by 5a.m - too late and we'll be duracell bunnies during the presentation. I think Ima go research the statistical curve for the efficiency of a red bull and work out the logistics of taking one :-/ wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Waiitt for me!

The life of an MBA in a foreign country in a top ranked school is only any one of the following adjectives - sleep deprived, overworked, mad-ass fun, crazyfucking hectic and or stressful. As I eat me some cereal for dinner and granola bars for lunch at times, I realize what a crazy crazy ride Im on. And how im getting killed with the workload, deadline pressure and basic survival, and yet I'm hoping these two years take their time getting by.

I walk into my room, look at the furniture I bought and assembled (well a little help with that! whats the point of having boys as neighbours if they cant lend a hand right?), at how bare the house was when I moved in and how I cook and clean now as though im playing house. I remember how clueless I was when I first got here, barely two months ago (and still am in a lot of regards) but how this feels like home now. My classmates and study group are the most diverse lot of people Ive ever EVER had the pleasure of being around - the ONLY thing they all have in common is BEING RIDICULOUSLY smart. I need some dumber people to bring down the median of the grade distribution please! The people are awesomely nice, most wonder how I know such good English, and I find it hard to explain how I lived the life of a Mumbai girl which in hindsight I think is quite 'Americanised' to say. It's easier to blend in for me this way - I feel like I took to everything (except the studying) very well and in time.

I only complain about my time management skills right now. I have estimated, using intense mathematical and statistical tools that in order to complete everything on my plate on time, not miss a submission and or a planned event, my productivity has to be 'any 3 errands per minute'. This of course is in simplified terms for the blogverse. I missed the Indian Bhangra night on friday night as a result of my inability to assign time well, and boy what a miss it was. ONLY a million people went, all my friends came back home drunk out of their minds with a whole lot of gossip packed into that one night. Correlation between number of people drunk/quantity of drunkeness and hook ups that night? VERY HIGH. Being a bystander is fun. But now, after what Ive gone through just making it to today, I need to be very wasted sometime this week to get accounting out of my mind. In other words, this is get serendipity drunk week, and every one's invited. and expected to support :D Did i mention the official 'Think and drinks' we have each Thursday night (yes, I have a 3 day weekend) which are organised by SCHOOL? School is very supportive of our extra curricular activities, for sure. I always knew I selected it right :D

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Two selves dwell within our beast

--- From Goethe's Faust.
I was studying Microeconomics since a while now. It is therefore possible that the forthcoming analogies could be a derivative of the words I've read and the correlation with events surrounding my life consequently.

Today was a day of scattered thoughts, of insistent surprises, of periodic reminders of how acting in one's best interests is actually the best way - the ONLY way to really live life. Living with parents and being surrounded by people who love you and will willingly adjust to your whims and fancies and be your comfortable fall back armchairs makes a person soft. I am soft. I am also an idiot. I trust easy and love easy and believe in the general goodwill of life. While I love spending time by myself (it is essential to reflect on oneself intrinsically as much as externally) the very idea of individualism gives me a sense of overwhelming claustrophobia. I love being surrounded by people, by open spaces, by atmospheres of symbiotic existence. I love being cared for and caring, being loved and loving, giving of myself and receiving of another - I just cannot imagine an existence contained within myself.

Thus when I live with someone who cannot see a life beyond herself, who doesn't feel the need to be considerate or even slightly caring to someone shes living with, I just do.not.associate. Friends kiddingly refer to my mother henly tendencies as funny sometimes but then again, I just disclaimered y'all right? I cannot imagine thinking of and for myself in everything I do.

On the other hand, I was shocked at the turn of events this morning when a friend I was counting on for something of monumental importance gave way at the very last minute. I was blindsided by his response that he dint do what he had promised me he would - this very nearly was a very expensive mistake for me, one that I could avert but only after time and energy spent that could have been easily avoided. He was aware of the importance of this extremely tiny favour he was doing for me - one that I was obligated to ask for since he had access to certain facilities I did not, at the time. Still, he ended up meeting me at the function wherein I needed these documents and informs me that he dint get mine! I was in a fix. It took all of my energy not to panic and lose control of the situation at that very instant and figure out what best to do.

It worked out in the end, but it was a learning experience for me. I forgot that I'm in an atmosphere of academic competition, survival of the fittest. Even if I was inherently aware of the underlying competition, I always thought that dirty games and being underhanded took away more of a persons energy than added to his advantage.ill never manage the stress of being petty and shrewd. smarter? yes, I have to get. a better judge of character? hellyeah. its now or never!

Moving countries has a lot more to teach me than I thought and obviously 26 years of being a grown up doesnt mean I know the ropes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The one where Serendipity is getting killed.

It seems like I got here a month ago and school started just 3 weeks ago and midterms! MIDTERMS! Those exam like things in which you're expected to study and know your shite. Of course, I had to take it easy. I had to party every weekend, hang out, waste time making a million friends dig myself into a hole, and then, panic.
It's difficult being in an envoirnment as challenging as this. Every aspect of your being is put to test - emotional tenacity, physical endurance to 12 hour days with assignments coursework networking events, while eating out each day. This is my first major exam away from home - come to think of it, this is my first ANYTHING away from home. I know realze the calming influence of having mom hovreing around somewhere in the house, the chai that would magically appear periodically on my desk every once in a while, the food that would be healthy and oil free and to my liking right before my exams. In short, it was your average Indian parents doting on child syndrome.
Its a true test of my character fortitude if I can make it through this semester, unscathed by which I mean none of the follwing should happen to me - 1) Put on 1500 kilos 2) Lose 1500 kilos (or in hindsight thats not such a bad idea) 3) get a failing grade in any of these exams 4) lose all my hair in stress. Real peach of a mood right now right? Im running away from finance right now. Which is to say Ill blog, surf, walk, make chai, bathe and text message everybody in all parts of the US i can text (for free) until I have no choice BUT to open this godforsaken book.
Of course I also have the normally distributed grade curve working against me - my class is full of CPA's and Finance guys with an average of 6 years of work experience and 29 years of age, skewing the mean of the grades towards obscene levels. My pittance of 4 years experience and 26 year old mindset is just wondering what exactly Im contributing to this envoirnment except sarcastic facebook updates about how sad my fiannce and accounts situation is right now. Im counting on people from the liberal arts background (are there any in this class?!) to be equally (or more) flummoxed by these subjects else im'a be the tailender of this class. oh well.
Im hoping I read this blog post in a while (prefereably wednesday after the exams) and find it funny. I hope that isnt expecting too much :-/