Saturday, March 24, 2007

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

The verdict is in. I’m out. The last nail in the coffin stuck deep down my dreams. On the 22nd morning the omniscient omnipotent omnipresent almighty guided me towards the computer centre and I logged in. He has his own strange ways of doing things. It always happens that whenever I get a reject, he would empower the website servers to work full throttle and ensure that the skies fall upon me at the anointed moment. He will also ensure that the more confident I am of getting somewhere, the faster he will bring me down. When people around me expect more from me, he ensures that I will let them down in some way or the other. And when I succeed its hardly noticeable, it’s like the bird causing a blip on the radar, highly inconsequential yet disturbing. I have been a person who had a lot of confused dreams, half baked aspirations, ill conceived notions and loads of things happening around. But the last two years have been so weird that I can hardly put all my experiences in words. I have seen peaks of ecstasy and have touched the nadir, been overwhelmed by events around me and been crushed, rejoiced for days altogether and felt completely lost again, found new avenues, explored new horizons and then was down in the dumps, I been admired and been despised, I have triumphed and I have tottered, been victorious and have been victimized and vindicated, did things I never would have done, missed things I would’ve died for, accepted some things at face value, worked hard and got nowhere, lost something on the way and treaded the boulevard of broken dreams. This follows the main character from Green Day's song "Jesus of Suburbia." He leaves town, has one crazy first night and now it's kind of like the hangover. He's just walking, thinking about whether it was the right decision leaving where he used to live.

"Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" – Green Day

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
and I'm the only one and I walk alone

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone

I'm walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the border line
Of the edge and where I walk alone

Read between the lines
What's fucked up and everything's alright
Check my vital signs
To know I'm still alive and I walk alone

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk alone

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone...

I feel similarly about my dreams. Dreams that were never meant to be, dreams that shouldn’t have been seen. I was probably happy, but then I left the safest shores and ventured out into the unknown, took my aspirations to a new level , strived for it, worked for it and then everything came crashing down. I suddenly feel everything going wrong and getting messed up. But looking back at 20 years of my life, I have just this to say

There will be times when you would despair

There would be times when you feel defeated

There will be times when you feel rejected

Hold your thoughts and ponder

Wait a while and remember

Don’t judge yourself from a day’s experience

For what you are today, was not made in a day

A failure is a way, I believe

To see yourself in a different light

In a different perspective, through your own inner eyes

You rejoice in success

You analyze in failure

For failure is a queer teacher, it will teach you things the hard way

It won’t facilitate, it won’t accentuate,

It will hit you hard in your face

But if you get bogged down, give up or simply stop

Do it at your own risk, kill yourself, albeit in parts

They can take away an opportunity, they can take away a chance

They may take away the world from you, and make you penniless

And you are down and out unless

You see with your inner eyes

The potential, the passion, the talent, the energy, the enthusiasm

The spirit, the will and most importantly the faith.

You will see yourself

In a totally different light

For these are the things

No one can take away, no one can change

No one can tamper, no one can suppress

Because this is all what you are about.

No matter how many times I fall, I will get up and work. I will push myself harder, and will ensure that I will follow the 3 golden words to success. Citius , Altius and Fortius. You are not a failure until you think you are. And as Andy Dufferene always said “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies. “

I dedicate this post to all those who have supported me, prayed for me, and been there for me, I needn’t post their names, because those will be the ones reading this post. Its because of people like you that I can see myself as I am.

Friday, March 16, 2007


The day started early with me reaching the Mecca of all B Schools -- IIM Ahmedabad. The sight of this red brick structure never fails to instill in me a sense of belief in oneself. I have been to IIM a number of times in the past but each time I experience something new, something changed within myself. It seemed as i am undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts, an evolution that seems so ephemeral that it hardly lasts but the impression it creates in me is something inexplicable. One has to be there to experience it, the dorms, the buildings, the crowd, the girls (he he ..Well Murphy isn't always right ... beauty X brains is not always a constant), the whole aura that surrounds the institute is actually very enchanting. It seems I am already in my wandering mode. Coming back to MICA... they had arranged a bus for us and we started off towards our destination. It was a nice sight, two buses full of aspirants in all shapes and sizes, diverse backgrounds, far more diverse interests. This is what i really appreciate about MICA, the kind of diversity we see there makes it not only the very best in the communications field (probably even better than IIM’s), but also probably the most weird and enigmatic people from across the country can be found on campus. Diversity is the most important factor when it comes to actual learning because I sincerely believe that knowledge is what remains when what has been learnt is forgotten. My 4 years at NIT Surat have taught me the same, a days experience is worth a thousand books. We can learn immensely from people around us,all we need is a roving eye and an attitude to learn. Err... arey back in philosophical mode. Fast forward ... 8.00 am. We reached the hallowed portals of MICA and the beauty of the campus was amazing. Red brick structures ( i am fascinated by them ) , well maintained lawns, so much greenery around ( you perverts, I was talking in the botanical sense) , it seemed to gel in so well with the image of MICA I had in my mind. We moved towards the registration rooms and saw familiar faces and got chatting. In the process i realised that I had actually been late for registration with me being amongst the last ones. Anyways we were directed towards our MICAT centers for the test. For the uninitiated, it is the test that MICA conducts to test creativity and divergent/lateral thinking.


The test was 90 minutes in duration and consisted of five sections being word associations, RC and English usage, psychometric test, Maths and DI and finally the Essays. We were advised to stick to the time limits allotted to us, although they were not binding on us. I decided to sincerely follow the instructions and the test went well. The only thing i could not understand was the fact that how were they testing creativity ( other than the Archie- Jughead cartoon strip which we were supposed to fill ) in essays titled " What steps should be taken by the Indian industry to become technological leaders on the global stage " and the feasibility of the manned moon mission of ISRO . I was able to complete the test just in time and I must say was pretty satisfied.

The Group Exercise

Post MICAT went to check out my group, was having a pre lunch slot with 7 members in all. Now the tamasha begins, out of the 6 members, i knew 4 of them very well, ramya from college and the others three from IMS centre. So the GD turned out to be a discussion amongst friends. Among the other two, the girl did well and was very cultured but the other guy some Siddharth was your GD nightmare. The topic given to us was about violent and sexually explicit programmes harming children and steps that should be taken to prevent this. We were given 9 parameters to rate individually first and collectively, post discussion. The discussion started and was going on smoothly until Mr sid felt that he had deprived us of his views and knowledge. He started off with points that were nowhere near rationality. He seemed to me as a megalomaniac who had grand designs on being the leader of the GD but failed miserably. He was the only one who had problems accepting others point of view, forget it.. i am being tooo polished, he was not ready to listen to anyone. At the end of 20 minutes we had boiled down to top 2 choices but sid's participation ensured that we didn’t get down to the third one. I spoke well and would rate myself 8/10 and the 3rd best in the group.

The PI

I was the fifth to be interviewed. I had the same people in the interview panel as i had in my GE. One was tall French bearded guy( industry professional) and other was sari clad fair lady ( Anita.. MICA faculty). Let’s call the FB and FL ... M will be yours truly

I entered the room, exchanged niceties and sat down

FB: So utsav, where other then The Times of India do you write?
M: Sir i keep a blog.

FL: So what was your last post about?
M: It’s about the various interpretations of the song “Hotel California". I like to look at things from different perspectives. Other than the dangers of materialism, it also talks about drug addiction, satanic cults etc (refer previous post for the details)

FL: ok that's interesting, tell me more about it
M: bakar bakar

Now comes the scary part. If you have been to interviews, you know what the following question means. And I don’t think this was asked to throw me off balance.

FB: So, do you want to ask us anything?
M: (WTF, are you insane .arrey bhai inhe koi le jaao, 2 minute ka interview, itni jaldi khatam kar rahe ho..kyun ?? meri shakal itni buri bhi nahi hai.. mera gunaah kya hai .. agle saal phir aana padega) Sir i wanted to know more about MICAvaani.

FL: bakar bakar and thank god she says lets move on .
M: (sigh of relief, felt like a moor, thought would have the last sigh, he he showing my batisisi all around)

FL: So, you are a mechanical engineer...
M: ( arey madam, aap to getting personal ..You seem like nice lady..chodiye naa purani baatein..kahan acads vacads.. sab moh maya hai .. main to yun hi mazzaking..err) yes madam

FL: tell me something about quantum mechanics
M: ( kya.... einstein ki aulaad nahi hoon ..frankly speaking i felt just one thing .. either she knows everything about mechanical engineering and i am a moron or she is just trying her luck ...thankfully the latter was true. So I go on with full confidence) Madam i do not recall anything.
( one thing engg will teach you.. to say no with confidence .... full confidence and zero knowledge )

FL: (seemed genuinely surprised) isn’t it one of your core subjects at mechanical engg?
M: no ma’am, it’s not even a part of my syllabus, we studied this in 12th (which is true)

FL: ok, so tell me about any subject in mechanical engg.
M: ( yahoo!!.. i love open ended questions .... thankooo ma'am ... i realise that you don't know anything about mech engg.... me showing full batisi...pata nahi kucch zyada hi hasn raha tha..shayad wisdom tooth bhi dikh raha hoga) full steamed bakar on computational fluid dynamics

FL & FB : seemed convinced... smiling

now FB going through my form , sees column of parents education

FB: your Mother holds a PhD ?
M: yes sir

FB: which subject?

FB: he looked so dazed and shocked, as if i had said the most ridiculous thing in the world, as if she had done her doctorate on the marriage customs of the zulu tribes of Africa!! He seemed to be in a trance for a while...i thought..Must be bad at hindi in school ..memories must have started to haunt him ..all those matra and spelling mistakes

FL:( seemed ok with the idea, but decided not to probe further)

FB: so you write for the response feature. have you wriiten anything for the editorial
M: ( arrey bhai ...logon ke baal safed ho jaate hain editorial tak pahunchte pahunchte.. aur main koi shakespere ki aulaad to nahi hoon naa) no sir

Then lots of bakar about what i did at Times of India etc .not posting as all that was serious talk and morover not very relavent to you

FB: so what will you do if you do not get through here
M: Sir i come from a reputed college and have an offer for a job. I will take that up and try again next year at MICA ( this is what i spoke ..and being honest i am pretty serious about going to MICA)

FB: so what do you plan to do after studying 2 years here
M: bakar about my interest in media but wanting to explore the other fields futher..spoke well

FB & FL: ok thank you utsav
M: thank you sir , thank you ma'am

And I came out, pretty satisfied 15 minutes+ interview they seemed happy and content by my answers. I felt they categorize you mentally before they call you in and the interview goes in that direction. They didn’t ask me anything about Why MBA, why a shift from engg to communications, strengths and weaknesses etc. I tried to move my interview towards reading and other extra curriculars but either they were too seasoned or had other things on their minds

Overall I felt good after the whole process and would rate myself 7.5/10 .... Please post your analysis of the interview... and pray!!!!!

P.S that sid guy from Group exercise got screwed badly in his interview for his behavior ...peace at last.