Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Sample Week @ XLRI

It all began on the 2nd of August, Sunday at 3:00 P.M, once I returned from the Village trip. I knew that the following week was going to be tough since we had 19 classes scheduled in 4 days(each class is 1.5 hours)+2 quizzes scheduled. But nothing prepared me for 26 unread messages in my inbox most of which were regarding some or the other assignment/presentation to be submitted in a span of a day or two! I'd like to term this as a B-shock :D

The shocks were as follows:

  1. A Managerial Communication interview exercise scheduled right in the morning, and no way our group could take it lightly unless we wanted to face the wrath of Father Jesurajan.
  2. Fundamentals of Labour Law: Make a group presentation on CLRA Act, 1970. Needless to say, it required effort.
  3. Study for the Eco Quiz which was of PRIMARY importance considering that I'd got a 3/15 and 0/5 in the quizzes, and was amongst the lowest in my class :D
  4. Study for the Industrial Relations class coz the Prof is a staunch believer in the machinery of surprise quizzes.
  5. Read up some random case on job analysis for the Fundamentals of HR class.

How it turned out:

The B-shock was beyond my wildest dreams.

  1. I managed to arouse the wrath of Father Jesurajan by scoring a grandiose 22/100 in the interview exercise. Damn, I must have been good or what :D
  2. Our group wasn't asked to present the CLRA Act but the Prof nevertheless grilled me on a simple question which I failed to answer. Worst part is when I remember the answer outside the class and delude myself into thinking how smart I am.
  3. Screwed up the Eco quiz completely which has thereby ensured that I will not cross the double digit figure in Eco EVER.
  4. The 5 class a day drill transformed me into a zombie. At the end of it all, I had no feeling, no sensation, no sense of my identity whatsoever.

There are positives in everything and there were some to take out of this too! My body is now completely attuned to all kinds of shit. I can sleep for 2 hours a day or not sleep at all and can successfully remain awake for the whole of the next day in all the classes. I need minimum nutrition, can remain a social outcast and generally role play a zombie with complete ease. Marks don't affect me and I can get over a screwed quiz within a matter of seconds. Why? Because misery loves company and I don't have to look to far to find one of my cult!

You'd be mistaken to think that a 3 day weekend would have rejuvenated me. Far from that, the weekend just seemed like a momentous occassion for all the Profs to burden us with more work, if that were possible. Ah well, the concept of a "Week" no longer holds any significance for me.

In the end, as one of the Profs here very aptly put,

"When rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy."

Adios :-)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Return of the Villagers!

Just came back from one of the most humbling yet enjoyable experiences of my life. 1o of us visited various villages which are being supported by Gram Vikas Kendra, the NGO started by Tata Motors as part of their CSR drive.
We were a group of 10 people and I for one had an absolute blast during the trip. I've just highlighted some of my observations below.

1) Tata, as a group, has really done wonders in many spheres. Apart from successfully setting up a profit making business model, they have also inclulcated a culture of values within most of the employees. Their CSR drive started long before any of the other businesses in India and moreover, without any ulterior motives(read Carbon Credits and/or Tax Evasion).
The cursory view of their initiatives which I had in those 3 days related to what GVK had done for the various villages that it had 'adopted'. And well, I was truly impressed. Holding training sessions for farmers to increase their yield, adopting and promoting organic methods of farming, converting entire streches of wasteland into literal forests where wildlife has got an opportunity to flourish, spreading the message of cleanliness and sanitation in villages and making it feasible for the villagers to own private latrines, so on and so forth. All these initiatives are truly 'social' in nature and shouldn't be something which we should admire superficially. Far from being 'business'(profit)oriented initiatives, these are schemes which sometimes take decades to mature. To reconcile this lifestyle with that of a corporate one does prove to be hard to accept, but they have done it. Without any loss of efficiency or red tapeism setting in, they have CAUSED changes.

2) My second observation is something which struck me as and when I observed the reactions of some of my group members to the harsh environment that we were staying in. No light, make-shift bathroom arrangement, mediocre food and the unforgiving weather. Our generation, is suffering from a sense of disconnect far greater than what the others might have undergone in a time frame of say a 150 years. The youth of today might believe that our past was a slave to traditions and worthless rituals, but how far are we behind in aping the West without consciously evaluating what is good and what is not? How sure are we of the fact that urbanization is the answer to all our problems? Every individual is so engrossed in his own comfort zone, so unwilling to get out of it, that it seems very logically to conduce that soon we shall become independent beings devoid of any compassion whatsoever. If the managers of tommorow, who will someday become CEO's of huge organizations which have effects on the market, politics and ultimately society, do not appreciate who they serving, it is hard to imagine how this country will progress and ever come out of the seemingly unsurpassable rich-poor divide. Class structure in any society is inevitable, necessary in fact, but current trends just go on to show that the levels of skewness shall be magnified in the times to come. I might sound like a thoroughbred utopian, but it just doesn't go down with me well that no one is ready to sacrifice an inch, rather even attempt to strike a balance. Personal gain has become far more important in today's context.

This analysis shall be continued in the further blogs as more important things await.