Friday, December 03, 2004


I have the freakiest of stuff happening in the last few days. Today I was sleeping in the class, heavily, when I felt myself being awake, but could not move any of my limbs. I see the prof walking to and fro in front of me and I hear the stuff he was saying. I try asking my neighbour to wake me up, but only a whisper comes out which is not heared by anyone else. I hear him whisper something to me, but don't know what. I feel my eyelids are half-shut and I open my eyes wide, as wide as possible so that I atleast sleep with my eyes open and the prof could think I am awake. Suddenly, I woke up properly and weird, what the prof said in my sleep and what he is saying now are continuous and his walk is along the same path - from the computer in front of me to the OHP on my right. My eyes hurt very bad as soon as I woke up.

This happened a few weeks earlier also. That time, I was awake (dreamt?) and felt my neck unable to support my head and the heavy head is just flopping about. People do say that my head jerks about a lot when I sleep in the class. I woke up with a very painful neck. Atlast, my dreams are getting as weird as me.
Also, I missed the party here yesterday because I was sleeping very early, after a 38 hours of staying awake. The report about the health care centre project is due in a couple of days. Some heavy firefighting to commence from tomorrow.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

38 hours plus

I woke up yesterday moring around 7 o'clock and am still awake now, at 9.30 pm. I have got accustomed to it now. I did not sleep even in the class today; morning 3 hours and evening 3 hours, till 8.15 pm. I felt nauseauted slightly sitting in the class today, watching two other guys make the presentation (nauseated due to lack of sleep, not watching them.) First, I realised that the changes of 15% was in one presentation only, the other had been changed more than 70%. They had to do it as I had just vomited down the case facts in a presentation and asked them to fit one of the three models; they did for all three models. Today morning, I thought I would be presenting a significant part of the presentations when one guy took it completely and the other guy did not want me to present the second one too; reluctantly he let me do a couple of slides. When I completed my part, I could've taken advantage and rambled on further, but stupidly, I let him do it. Anyway, what is done is done and whatever bubbles bubbles up.(I just had to say that *grin*)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Yesterday the classes on entrepreneurship started. The prof is a well known for strategy/entrepreneurship. While every prof has ditched Enron and other kind for their unethical practices, this guy actually supports them. He says they were just taking advantage of the regulatory institutions that were not market-based, that is growing as fast as the industry. While it was all built upon a hype and lies, they attracted talented engineers for the pay and for the illusion of 'value addition' and other management buzzwords. So, he says, they were the best entrepreneurial companies at that time.

He also said something about GE, how the company was growing only at 3-4% and were not adding any value to the stockholder and hence, Jack Welch was correct in laying off some tens of thousands of people. For the sake of the stockholders and the economy, it was a 'sacrifice' to be made and not all were affected, many got jobs in other companies while some perished, as is natural in a capitalistic structure and is a side-effect the country had chosen. Did they get jobs at the same level as before? I think most of them were underemployed. Isn't it waste?, a drag on the economy?. Call me a commie but to raise the returns a few stockholders, was it really necessary to axe all of them at one go? (well, many chops were required). As he truly pointed out, some deadwood will be eliminated in capitalism, but we are talking about people here, not just the employees but families dependent on that employee, children waiting to get into college, sick family members, etc etc. I read a lot of articles about how the top managers got a golden-parachute but the low-end workers and many engineers were kicked out with a soiled boot!

That things aside, we have a case to present today. I had one bad experience previously and did not want to get affected a second time. Another case of 'Murphy's Law', not going to talk about it. I just offered to summarise the readings and the case in two presentations and it turned out it was the whole exercise itself. The other two guys relieved me and started to refine and clean up the presentation. No offense to the people who worked, but they must have changed about 15% of what I had done. Whatever they may say, even if one word is changed in a presentation you did, it hurts! Is it possessiveness or ego? This is not the complete stuff, someone has to present it tomorrow. The last few presentations I made, it was not so bad, this too must go the same way. I can't keep on depending on the team mates to present everytime and me just standing idle. Couldn't sleep tonight after having stayed up till 2 pm and having 2 cups of tea. I just hope I don't sleep in the class tomorrow.

Murphy's Law

Internet is one place which spreads all kinds of nutty theories. One such theory is the so-called Murphy's Law. Some USAF guy called Murphy told about someone that 'whatever can be done wrong, he will do it wrong' and it evolved into this law usually stated as 'whatever can go wrong will go wrong'. Whatever may be the form, I truly believe in it. A few things happened today that galvanised my belief in this theory. I will skip the first few things, which are serious, and jump directly to the hilarious thing.

The invention of email is one of the most popular things by which you can do silly stuff, for instance, online flame wars, sending critical stuff outside the company, and some gaffes like forwarding potentially inflammatory stuff to the upper management, etc.

This one guy is very popular here. There was a commotion outside the room where I was doing a group assignment with two other guys, someone told me that this pop-guy 'accidentally' forwarded one email to someone who was till last year the alpha dude of the pack. The email in question: that humorous stuff, story about how a certain slur, rhyming with 'pluck yew', originated during the Battle of Agincourt. People were advising him about how to 'recall' that email. I am sure many must have done something like that. I have done a similar act when I sent the answers to a quiz to the list instead of sending it to the quiz creator and got few angry emails in return, again through the list. Now children reading this, be aware of such mistakes and reduce the already high risk in our lives. The returns to such things are always negative.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Beginning of the End

Slept like a baby last night, after being a nocturnal animal for the last one week, to get the rhythm of day-night back. The day started depressingly, a feeling of nothing more left and something has come to an end. All the web searches threw something retrospective, and the happy 60s, like a bunch of ABBA videos, psychedelic songs, about the TV show Oshin, etc and the good old days of the dotcom boom, when software techies ruled. However, a visit to the top of the hill drove away all such thoughts.

I have now been waiting three days for the post-office to deliver a very important piece of paper, the bank cheque for paying the fees for this term. ETA was Saturday and I have not got it till now. The guy 'incharge' of the senior hillbillies is not friendly either, considering he is there to 'help' us. I think the single most powerful weapon he has is the ability to set the timetable (as he says).

Me: Sir, I haven't received my DD yet, what should I do?
He: Haven't you given an application?
Me: (I was thinking, what application??) No...
He: The penalty is 1000 per day, you know that?
Me: (cursing the postal department) Yeah sir...
He: Write an application.
Me: What should I put in it?
He: I don't know.

3rd guy who was there came to my help, a smooth talker, who told him to give me a letter someone had written before which were lying just by his side but he said there was nothing. The 3rd guy took it anyway and gave it to me. Just one line, 'kindly permit me to proceed with the process'. Well, all done, came back to room, huffing and puffing. I found out that some 8 kilograms that I had lost over 2.5 months through minimal eating and no exercise had come back with 3 friends over Diwali, Ramzan and the holidays, just about 10 days.

In about 2.5 months, this trouble free student life will come to an end, along with the 24 hour high speed internet. Worries like getting a job and later, if I am lucky, the job itself, will consume all my time then. This is the beginning of the end (of my course).