Monday, 30 April 2012

Easy hour: A Potpourri of Memories #9

**An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, our college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

Easy hour         

I have always loved the ECR classes. Not only does it provide a comfortable distance between us and the professors but also due to the cosiness it gives. Be it the cushioned seats or the lighting or the awesome air-conditioning, ECR (easy hour) is a getaway for ASBians.

The first memory is when we all ‘suited up’ for some photo shoot. I think Bala sir was giving a mock class for the session. Then we had some of the colloquia conducted there and how can we ever forget the ASB talkies.
Amrita School of Business, Amrita School of Engineering, ECRThere were the Pragati elections and nominations, the pre placement boot camp and the late night SAPG classes with Uday sir. Then Ted-X came visiting ECR and the many conferences that followed.

The ECR sure leaves a lasting impression on the visitors, especially during Pragati. It surely contributes to the paraphernalia every B-school should have which our ASB is in dire need of.

It was during one of the Capstone classes that the Professor moved to write the marker on the board which is used only for projectors and we all let out a collective gasp which surely made his heart skip a beat J .
           The defining moment I will say will be the summer project presentations.

# ECR reminds me of Sub Saharan Africa, MDG and the World Bank. During the ‘Nation – Analysis’ presentations, Prita Mam asked Gilma (Arun Karthik), “How are the health indices of the country?” And Gilma explained eloquently in one word “Very Good!!”  J J .         

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                                                                                                                                              Arun Babu.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Pink slip : A Potpourri of Memories #8

**An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, our college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

The Pink slip

            There are things that money can’t buy. One such is our Gate pass! I do not want to romanticise this as it is one thing we all despise. This grey/pink paper decided whether we should remain confined to the campus or be allowed to the world outside. But thank God! We did not have to endure as much as engineering folks did.

Amrita School of Business, Amrita School of Engineering, Gate passThis is the only pink slip which the girls of our batch love to be awarded with. All of ours negotiation skills were put to test with the wardens for this piece of paper.

There have been times when we had to run up and down from the gate to GB- Once the warden forgot to sign! and then we got the dates wrong. This might be one thing we all love to bid adieu to.

#Gate pass is closely associated with Sharan. He is more of a day scholar than a hosteler. It is rumoured that the college changed the residential course policy as Sharan’s gate pass usage was affecting the hostel budget ;).

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The Easy Hour :
                                                                                                                                              Arun Babu.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Billboards of ASB: A Potpourri of Memories #7

**An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, our college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

Billboards of ASB

          The notice boards (NBs) are the billboards of ASB. Every day, we look for (or rather are ought to look for) new announcements.

The first thing was the trim 1 time table if I am not wrong. Then the various selection lists of forums and the many announcements that followed. The time when they get a lot of eyeballs is when the grades are out – the sighs of ecstasy/relief and at times, despair.

            Be it the various conferences, B-fests, assignment submissions, everything comes up here first. Another time when the Notice boards’ TRPs go up is when the elective lists come out - When we do the umpteen permutations & combinations in order to fit in both our academic and non academic interests J.

Although the group mails and the social media are posing a serious threat which might make the NBs redundant, they have their own charm.  

#  For some reason, NBs remind me of Raghubhai. May be because we come to know of all the announcements through him, at least I do :) .
                                                                                                                      Arun Babu

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Mango Lawn: A Potpourri of Memories #6

**An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, our college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

The Mango Lawn...

          This is one place which is going to be so fondly missed. The mango lawn, just outside the ASB canteen beats any roof top restaurant. After the 5 o clock classes and during the in between breaks, this is where all our happiness spills over to.

            The small talks, the fights, the celebrations, the photo sessions – you name it and the mango lawn has played host to everything.

            Many a time, we have witnessed the drama practices by engineering folks from here.               

           It is here where Nano was kept during Pragati. The numerous pics that we have taken sitting around the rock in the middle and even on it J .

          It is from here that we spotted the forest fire on the elephant mountain.

            Not quite far, the happy benches under the neem’s shade provide solace at those times when the lawn has a ‘Sub- Saharan’ weather ;) (read noon).

            Come dawn and the sodium vapour lamp comes alive and so does the lights in the faculty rooms. When the security bhaiyas are less attentive, steal a moment and lie down on the lawn. Nothing beats the view of the star – lit sky.

          The mango lawn owes its existence to the ASB canteen. The canteen will be more dear to engineering students that to us for obvious reasons :) . The only things which most of us found edible were the ice creams that came towards the fag end of the course and the famed tea!. And for me personally, the cornflakes :) .

#The mango lawn reminds me of Soumyaji. I don’t think anyone among us appreciates and enjoys food the way she does. The visual that I get when I think of the mango lawn is munni devouring a chocolate or even our canteen tea!

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Billboards of ASB :

                                                                                                                         Arun Babu

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Night Walks: A Potpourri of Memories #5

**An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, our college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

Night Walks

            In the University, there are some privileges that come by if you are a student of ASB. We are a class apart - or so we believe J . We are a more liberated bunch, thanks to our dear Professors. One such liberty is to be out of the GBs (Gautam/ Gargi Bhavans) till late night owing to our group projects.

            Post dinner and of course post assignments ;), we set out on a walk along the by lanes of university.

It is during these walks that we get to see up close n personal, the flora and fauna of our beautiful campus. It is then when we discovered the banyan tree near CIR, the plants on the pavement of university building which bore different flowers every other season, the well right in front of estate office, the haunting palm trees near Gargi...

We have come across rabbits, wild bores, snakes, mongooses, and some other creatures which we think are unique to Planet E!. Once we saw a huge pig crossing our path with a dozen piglets following it in a line.

            It is then that we discuss the most trivial of things and yet laugh our heads off. It is said these long walks have played a huge role in many a ASbian’s life in changing their ‘single’ status on fb J.

            We always used to walk till the university building and then take a U-turn lest the watch men get over concerned ;)

#The night walks remind me of Sreekrishnan sir. However late we returned to ASB from a night walk, we could find Sreekrishnan sir there. Guess he works on a different time zone altogether as do most of our System guys,rt sir? J

It also reminds me of the Pragati time. The promotions that we put up late night in the ASB lawn  and how Gokul anointed Deepak as the ‘creative head’ are always reason enough for a hearty laugh.  

p.s. I think the photographer should be thanked here for the beautiful pic .It is Kris Menon who took the pic :)    

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The Mango Lawn :                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                               Arun Babu

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

In the Nick of time: A Potpourri of Memories #4

**An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, my college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

In the Nick of time

          The otherwise bland walls of our CR(Class Room)s are adorned by a clock – One each in the CRs, all in different time zones. None of them ever show the same time.

            We are all thankful to these clocks for being there to stare at – a stare that speaks volumes about our impatience when a professor transgresses in to our precious little tea/lunch time. We also got in to debates with professors when there were disagreements between their watches and these clocks. Aswathi will know what I am exactly saying J.

            There were times when we made certain ‘interventions’ when the clock hands defiantly refused to move, especially during post lunch sessions. These brown circles of time calibrate our endurance to the incessant flow of knowledge. In other words, they will always remind us of the lectures, mostly interesting and some bore some.

# Many a time, our friend, Pappa couldn’t bring himself to agreement with professors on the aspect of time. Neither could these clocks.  

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The Night walks :
                                                                                                                           Arun Babu.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

7 Pillars of Silence: A Potpourri of Memories #3

**An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, our college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

7 Pillars of Silence

          Living up to how a 'cool' student should be, I also love to hate the library. The number of visits most of us have made to this sanctum sanctorum of silence will be countable.

The only time when the ‘Lib-mall’ gets some decent footfall is during exams. The 1ast minute/11th hour doubt clearance sessions or worse if you forgot to take the text book for an open book exam J  is when we visit the library.

The first acquaintance with library was when a bunch of us were given a half an hour session on how to use EBSCO which made us take a walk down the  siesta-street.

Most of the time, we reach the paper stand outside the library, but then get too busy to get inside J . I must mention our librarian who has been very cooperative and helpful towards all of us.

If at all the 7 pillars were to start speaking one day, they will have a lot to tell about those among us who are ‘Just good friends’ and spend a whole lot of time in the Lib ;).

#For some reason, Mohan comes to my mind whenever I think of Library. It might be because of the fact that he is a man of few words albeit being a power house of knowledge. So is our Lib mall!

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In the Nick of Time : 
                                                                                                                                              Arun Babu.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Four Seasons of ASB : A Potpourri of Memories #2

**An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, our college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

Four Seasons of ASB

            The four classrooms (CRs) are akin to four seasons of ASB. Each has its own charm and character. CR1 & CR2 will always remain close to our hearts, they having given us the very first lectures in ASB. The orientation classes with Bala sir’s ET reading sessions feel like yesterday. The BC presentations, the group works, the quizzes, the first ever midsems – the CRs served as a Colosseum for all those.

One of my memories is that of being ousted from Bhavana mam’s classes – for both subjects in two different semesters – that is no mean achievement ;) .

            The under-the-desk smses, the ‘open book’ quizzes, the ‘calling in sick’ when you just cannot stay awake will always bring a smile to our faces.

            Then came second year when we all graduated over to the second floor –CR3 & CR 4. Nothing much changed except for the breathtaking view of the mountains. And the number of students came down as electives came in. CRs started to get less formal. And yes, how can we ever forget CR-5 when we all undergo a metamorphosis in to ‘serious students’, thanks to Achath sir.

          The microphones which occasionally became aakashvaanis through cross connection and the noisy fan in CR4 are unique to ASB. All the forums’, committees’ selections and meetings also took place in the CRs.

# Speaking of CR reminds me of Nirmal n Prashant. I don’t remember which presentations they were – half way through the ppt, Nirmal proclaimed ‘I am blacking out’ which had us in splits and Prashant came in a suit, yes a SUIT !! like Barney ;)

It also reminds me of Daada. I have heard of the phrase ‘bring the house down’. But bringing the fan down and still asking the professor to continue with the class, that only dada could do J.

Continue reading at :

7 pillars of silence :

                                                                                                                             Arun Babu.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

ASB Memoir: A Potpourri of Memories #1

*An ode to my Alma mater, Amrita School of Business(ASB)...The time when every day was a celebration, our college days...Here is an attempt to revisit those fond memories...

Our Wisdom tree

       I still vividly remember my first day at ASB. What caught my eye was the Wisdom tree standing tall and mighty in the courtyard. It gives the much needed greenery inside ASB which the lawn fails to lend. Many a time, we all have taken pictures sitting on its ever extending roots. Be it the fresher’s day party or the various high tea parties J for Utsav, Pragati , Farewell and any  such get together, it all happened in the shades of the wisdom tree. It even lend its branches for Pragati promos too. 

          The fluttering leaves and the wavering branches were a solace amidst the marathon lectures. Whenever I come back to ASB, this wisdom tree will be the first thing my eyes will look for.

#We cannot imagine the wisdom tree as a sapling. So is it with our beloved Ashaan J. It seems both of them were born mature and that’s exactly why we all love them both dearly.

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4 Seasons of ASB : 

p.s. Inspired from the thread ‘47 things I will miss about ASB’ by Anita Kaveri.
Photo courtesy  : Kris Menon

                                                                                                        Arun Babu

The Four Letter Word!!! : Blog # 8

                  The Four Letter Word!!!                         

*An evening at Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore

I woke up for the evening tea. I am always cranky after a nap; add to that the ongoing ‘Midsem’ massacres.  Vivek and I headed to the pavement en route the UG hostels. I desperately need this peaceful time before heading to the college for next day’s paper prep. A seemingly innocuous guy approached us and asked where the UG hostel is. Being not out of the cranky mood, I kept staring at the Elephant Mountains, sipping tea. Vivek  showed him the way. He said that he is a 2008 batch alumnus. He went on to add that the campus has changed much and it is always great to come back to this place.

Then he asked what course we were in. Vivek very proudly proclaimed that we are MBA students. Never the one to lose a networking chance, he added that our average CTC is 5.5 Lakhs and that we had 90%+ placements last year. Then this person asked if Deepak sir and Kulkarni sir are there in ASB. We said yes. He said he also completed MBA this year. We with our “chip on the shoulder” attitude ;) , asked him which college. We were expecting a Venkateshwara or a San. But then he very humbly told “XLRI”!!! I turned around and Vivek said he will never forget the look on my face!.

I have never been humbled like this in my life. We were amazed at the humility of this person. His itinerary for the day included a walk around the campus and a short sprint in the pool. No doubt he ll be known by the four lettered XLRI tag from now on. But the humility that he carries is the gift of being an Amrita alumnus. Love it, Hate it, but this is a university with a difference.

                                                                                                                    Arun Babu

When the Second floor fell silent...: Blog # 7

When the Second  floor  fell silent...

*Adieu Second years...A blog bidding farewell to our seniors

Woh pal haemin yaad aayenge...woh kal yaad aayenge...” Overhearing this in the train, on my way back home made me write this  ...or was it the boredom that set in when Vivek slipped in to his usual ‘power nap’....

Saying Good byes have never been fun, well there are exceptions though ...J..For us, we know we all will be back in the comfort of Ettimadai by the onset of monsoon...But it’s not the same with seniors...

It dawned on us when after visiting dg sir for summers, we looked across the second floor...and what we saw was closed classrooms and a deafening silence.

It was comforting to know you were there for us...even if for a trivial thing like getting a calculator or to get some gyaan on placements...

We could always ask what to do in a professor’s class or more importantly, what not to do ;)

Just to borrow a text book we misplaced at the eve of the exam, or about how to get things done for Utsav or Pragati, we knew where to turn.
Now that you are gone, surely it leaves a void...

As Murthy sir says, as you move on from a state of zero accountability to one that holds you accountable for every deed of yours, we wish the all the very best for you...

Dear Seniors, a few of you have left a mark in our minds and we missed out a few...But all you guys will always remain close to our hearts.

                                                                                                     Arun Babu

Those droopy eyes... : Blog # 6

             Those droopy eyes...                  

*A short story

            Ray and Lekha were not married. They did not find the need to give a tag to their relation. Both were doing well in their careers- two happy contented people.

            Lekha woke up to the morning sun beaming through their french windows. They had light orange fabric on them which gave the room a golden aura. Ray had already gone for the morning jog. She went on to the balcony, watering her favourite roses and stealing a smile from the aunty in the opposite balcony. Lekha wished if it were a Saturday .The calendar said it’s only half way through. It’s a Wednesday.

            Lekha sat with her coffee sifting through the Times. It seemed to her that the recession is here to stay. Ray walked in and stole the paper from her, as usual. One of Ray’s habits that she happily put up with.

            They met the neighbouring couple in the elevator. Lekha noticed the ambipur in the car is about to get over and made a mental note of it. Ray turned on the FM, the only respite in the Bangalore traffic. Being January, the VJ talked about resolutions which reminded Lekha of her own – to work out – which as always, did not work out.

            After a usual tiring day at work, both of them came home. They went for an evening walk and some window shopping. Lekha’s eye caught a litter of puppies for sale on the road side. She poked Ray and sensing danger, Ray said “No way!” .She again gave a futile try.

            The next day evening and for a day after that, they saw the puppies again. Ray gave in. Lekha walked towards the cage and a dreamy eyed tan coloured Labrador looked at her. Ray called it Droopy. 

            Came December and it was Christmas time. By now droopy was easily above Lekha’s knees. But it was a joy coming back home now. Droopy will be impatiently waiting at the balcony by 6. Since it’s a 1st floor apartment, Lekha would call out to droopy from ground floor. He would start howling n barking in joy. And open the door; he is up on two legs resting on her shoulders.

            Droopy would go out on morning walk with Ray and jump right in to Lekha’s lap when Ray steals the paper. Now she knew it is not without a reason, that dog is called man’s best friend. Droopy was always there to lighten up her life.  
Ray called up by around lunch. He was ecstatic. He got the much awaited on site project. Lekha felt a tug at her heart. She was happy for Ray but what about Droopy! She had no qualms in giving up work for a year or two and joining Ray. She went home. She did not call out to Droopy from the ground floor. She opened the door and a surprised Droopy came running. She held Droopy’s face in her arms. Droopy ran towards the balcony and waited for his daily dose of milk.

            Ray came home and hugged Lekha. It had been a long time since Lekha saw him this happy. They decided to eat outside. While driving back, Lekha asked, “Ray, what about droopy?”Ray said “what about him? We will put him up for adoption.” Lekha’s heart sank at the thought.

They put up an Ad. Lekha found a family apt for droopy. They had a school going kid also. They came home and droopy also seemed to like them.

            And the time came. Lekha took out Droopy’s collar. Droopy started barking happily. For him, collar meant going out. She tied it around his neck. He licked on her face happily. While going down, she reminded the family that Droopy is scared of lightning and that he needs a lot of water. She took him down and got him in to their car. She knew it would be hard, but this was like someone was tearing her heart away. She asked Droopy to get in to the car and he did. As they lowered the glass, she kissed droopy on his head. As the car started moving, through her tears, she could see droopy looking at her – the same dreamy eyed look she saw the day she picked him up from the kennel.

                                                                                                                    Arun Babu

The Most beautiful smile I ever saw.. : Blog # 5

The Most beautiful smile I ever saw...          

* A short story            

           A bright Sunday morning, the millennium year, city of dreams-Bombay. I woke up to the first photograph I ever took-of my then eight year old sister’s. For some reason, I liked it more than any other, much to my sister’s disagreement. I never liked working early morning, one of the perks my profession allowed, that of a photographer. But today, I have to keep the promise I made to my dear friend- to do a photo shoot for her NGO.

          It was not a rosy picture. The building the NGO was housed in was in ruins. They worked for the betterment of children who didn’t know whom to call a ‘mom’ or a ‘dad’. The photo shoot was to be sent to a UN body that they expected to provide some funds.

          Hema, the caretaker of the home came with a bunch of kids. They were not like the child artists we see on the TV. They were not cute and chubby. But they had a sparkle in their eyes. What nagged me the most was that they were not happy, something that made both the person and the photographer in me, disappointed.

After some wide shots with all the kids, I wanted a single shot with a kid, smiling. For some reason, my eyes caught Amir. I asked Hema to tell Amir to smile for me .But whatever I did, I couldn’t get that smile from him.

          I and Amir went to the courtyard of the building. We got talking. He asked “Bhaiyya, who all are there in your home?”.I said I have a younger sister. He asked “What about mom and dad?”.I said everyone has mom and dad. He said “Not everyone has”. I could feel a tear straining at the corner of my eyes. I tried to recover fast and asked him “What do you like the most?” He said “I like it when someone scolds me”. I was surprised and asked why. Amir said “Bhaiyya I feel some one is bothered about me when they scold me. Someone cares for me”. I was really beginning to like this boy now.

          “Amir, what do you miss the most?”He said “Bhaiyya, I miss having a pet name. No one calls me anything that comes from the heart. Everyone is either sympathetic or looking down on me”.

          Swallowing the lump in my throat I asked “Amir, will you smile for me?”He said, “Bhaiyya, do you know when a person gets angry most? When you are hungry! I have not had food. How can I smile?”

          I took out a chocolate from the pocket and gave it to him. He grabbed it and said “Bhaiyya I will come now”. Before finishing the sentence, he started running. I went behind him. He entered a small room in which a small girl was sitting. Amir offered the chocolate to the little angel. She took one bite and gave it to Amir. He shook his head, gave it back to her and smiled...That was the most beautiful smile I have ever seen and I will ever see. Stealing the moment on my camera, tears started rolling down my face and it hasn’t stopped since.
                                                                                                                             Arun Babu.