Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Year That Was

2008 is finally nearly over and am I glad? Well, yes I am. This was one year which was neither entirely good nor entirely bad but was too good and too bad in spurts. Come to think of it my whole short life till date has been like that but this year was a bit too much. It was a year of surprises, shocks, new beginnings, sudden endings, success, failure and everything being utterly unplanned.
I will list down major events of this year in chronological order and reminisce, so that I can breathe a sigh of relief and look back at the rollercoaster ride that this year was and pat my back to congratulate myself for surviving.

January- I visited Mumbai for the first time in my life and stayed there for a month with my brother. Yeah, I had never been to Mumbai before. Although I come from a family of travel freaks and I have been to nearly all places in India from Jammu to Kerela to Goa to Kanyakumari to Kullu to Jaipur to Mysore, and the list goes on, but I had never been to Mumbai. It was a good start to the year.

February- My best friend NV got married on 24th February in Kanpur. Although this is a major event of her life and not mine but when your best friend gets married it results in a lot of changes in your life too. For starters, NV moved to Hyderabad from Noida to live with her husband and this meant that I had to lose my favourite company. I did feel lonely, a lot.

April - The big break-up. Needless to say it left me shattered. Particularly because of why it happened and the way it happened. Enough said.
On 21st April, that was just 2 days after my break-up and the day I exchanged a last hateful sms with my ex, I went to US for a 20 day trip. The trip had been planned hardly a month back and I was naturally very excited about it, until the break-up happened. I lost all willingness to even exist let alone to go on a vacation. I had never imagined that my first overseas holiday would happen in such disastrous circumstances that I would have no interest or inclination towards it. Even just before stepping out of the airport in New York, I had not realised that I was on a long-awaited trip for which I was insanely excited until a week ago. However, the trip turned out to be a really needed break for me and took me away from the sad scene in India for sometime.

July- I decided to prepare for GMAT and started my blog just a day before my 25th birthday. Both the decisions turned out to be very good.

September- Dad joined a new company in Gurgaon on 1st September and Mom and Dad moved to Noida to stay with me. It was a great thing to happen for many reasons. I have always lived a pampered life when it comes to money but this new job of Dad pays him mindblowingly well because he works as the topmost executive of a very good company. This ultimately translates to the fact that I live an even more lavish life now :-)
Another fact is that, my parents moved in with me at a time when I needed them most. I was very lonely after NV's wedding and my break-up. There were other friends but they were not enough. I needed a stronger emotional support and I got that from my mother. Moreover, I could prepare for GMAT without worrying about what to cook for the next meal.

October- I took the GMAT on 25th October and got a really good score of 680. Although I had hoped for more, this score was enough to carry my MBA dream forward.

November- I found a consultant and took TOEFL. I was taking little baby steps forward towards my goal. I was excited and worked hard which gave me immense satisfaction. We also moved to Gurgaon from Noida on 7th November. The new home is BIG, beautiful, comfortable and rich. Plus I left my Noida flat which was full of memories, some horrid some good but I wanted to run away from all memories for sometime. My Noida flat is empty these days, empty because nobody lives there but it is still full of old furniture and old memories. It had become too cramped for me, the memories took up too much space. This was a good month.

December- I lost all steam for MBA, simply because the application process is too long to hold my interest. Although I got my TOEFL score and it was a fabulous 115/120, it wasn't enough to fuel my engine which has turned cold. I am still working on it but it's just because I have got myself so involved that i can't back out. Moreover, this is the only sensible thing to do right now. CARRY ON.

Now that I look back I can see that there were more good things and few bad things that happened this year. However, the bad things took the charm out of every other good thing. It was an year full of a lot of emotional turmoil and upheavals. It somehow seems to me that this year was a year of changes. Changes that are preparing me for the future, and changes are always painful even when they are for good. Well, I really hope that they are for good.

I am eagerly looking forward to 2009. If 2009 was a person, I would have welcomed it with big banners and flower garlands and smiles :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I Have Been Doing All These Days

The holiday season is here and I am in the holiday mood for nearly a week now. I don't want to work at all :-)

I completed my application to Maryland Smith on 15th because it was the last day to apply. My Spanish classes are going on really well. I have taken 5 classes and learnt a lot of Spanish vocabulary. I now know what does Bailamos mean (remember Enrique's famous song?), it means 'we dance' :-). Meanwhile we celebrated Dad's birthday on 19th. It was a nice and cozy family get-together that included a lot of good food, a lot of laughter and latest family gossip. The following day, I took my cousins to a nearby mall where we played video games and tried a game each of Bowling. I have improved since last time, my score wasn't too embarrasing :-)

These days I am frequenting websites of cosmetic brands like Mac, Body Shop, Urban Decay, Sephora etc. Three of my friends are coming from US soon and I intend to mail them each a shopping list, so that they can get me some really good products. I had a chat with NV the other day on webcam and she showed me her entire shopping. I was visibly green with envy and she was delighted with my reaction. She has bought some fabulous boots and sandals and cosmetics. She showed me each lipstick and nailpaint that she has bought, even though the reds looked like black on webcam. I squinted my eyes to make out the shades but couldn't, so had to trust her claim that they were amazing.

Anyhoo, NV looks like she can have the baby anyday now, infact her doctor has advised her to be prepared. It seemed to be an unreal experience looking at her obviously pregnant shape. NV has always been the kid of our group and now she will soon have a baby. Its still difficult for me to digest this fact, even after more than 8 months of her pregnancy.

I was never so thankful of being on Orkut as I am now. I found a long lost friend with whom I have not been in touch for 22 years. Yes, and I am only 25 now :-). Her name is Shany and she was my first best friend and neighbor. Our families were very close, infact Shany's Mom taught my Mom how to cook south-indian food. Her elder brother and sister were very close friends to my sister and we have spent a great time together. Shany's brother found us on Orkut and we are all back in touch after 22 years. It's amazing how much we remember about each other, Shany remembers more as she is 2 years elder to me. She is now an architect working in Dubai. I cannot describe the feelings I had when I saw pics of Shany and her family, it was beyond nostalgia. She is engaged to a handsome software engineer from Bangalore and would soon get married. I already have plans of going to Shany's wedding although the date has not yet been finalised. Shany still looks the same, plump cheeks and dusky complexion, sweetness etched all over her face. We have been catching up on mails, we have a good 22 years of catching up to do. I am glad she has grown up to be a fun loving and totally chilled out girl. She told me of her entire love story with her fiance and I was in splits when I read that story. Wow, its great to know Shany all over again after all these years.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Estoy Aprendienda Espanol

The past week was heavy, sad, and boring. I have observed that the best way to get out of a depression is to learn something new. It rejuvenates you!
I was really happy when I joined swimming classes (3 years back), when I joined salsa classes (2 years back), and when I was learning French on my own. Although my education in all these stopped after a month each, it nevertheless was exciting.
So, this time I decided to learn some Spanish. I did not continue with French because it was difficult to learn on my own. I could not find a great site for French where I could get interactive video lessons for free. Moreover, French seemed somewhat boring (no offence to those who love it!). It seems a very laid back and mature language, whereas Spanish is full of life and zest. Add to it the sexy latino accent (if you can capture it) and hola! it's super exciting.
I found a fabulous site www.spanishdict.com which gives superb video lessons in Spanish for free. There are various stages of learning, various lessons, and even points to earn. I took my first class today, needless to say I got a fabulous score :-)
Now way to go; and now I know what does Madonna mean when she sings 'Te Dijo Te Amo' in 'La Isla Bonita' :-)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Fear A New Beginning

How do I tell you
That I have given my heart away
That I carry a baggage night and day
That I have gone astray

How do I love you
When I bear a broken heart
When I can't make a fresh start
When I can't let go of the past

How do I make you happy
When I am smarting inside
When I can no more decide
When I contemplate suicide

You wonder what I am thinking
You think I am unfair
The truth is my darling
That I am in despair

You want to have me in your life
Then weed out each hurt and strife
The pain that I carry from the past
I fear it is always going to last

How should I tell you
That you deserve to be loved
And I cannot use you
As a cure for my hurts

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I am Sorry. I still miss you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Why Does It Happen

That the people whom you love the most, hate you

That when you want to do something good, it actually hurts people you love

That when you are speaking the truth from your heart, you are percieved as a liar

That every effort you make to make someone understand, alienates them even more

That you still love people when they hurt you like nobody else ever could

That when it seems that things could not be worse, you are proved grossly wrong


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Unsure and Upset - That's Me

Gosh, I am all jittery and confused and that too at this stage when I have to be very focussed. I am not so sure about the list of schools I am targeting, I am not so sure about my choice of International Business and HR, I am not so sure of anything anymore. Help me God!!!! :-(
I worked again on my list of target schools, the new BW rankings are out and I am super confused now, I read some MBA aspirant blogs and they confused me even more. I took 2 schools out of my previous list and put in 3. I don't know what I am doing, selecting schools now :-(
I am confused about IB and HR so much so that I have started thinking of completely different options. I had a chat today with a very dear and respected friend who is an MBA from IIFT. I only take opinion from people who have done well themselves ;-)
The chat went something like this:

Frend : Long time dudette, did u get ur scores?
Me: Yeah, GMAT 680 and TOEFL 115
Frend: U seem to be on an adrenaline trip these days, sexy score and all :-)
Me: haha... kind of. But GMAT ain't that great.
Frend: ok, so what next?
Me: Tell me something, how is an MBA in International Business, I am quite inclined towards it
Frend: depends on what you really want to do after that
Me: I want to earn good money and work at a good place and maybe travel :-)
Frend: Try INSEAD and you don't need an MBA in IB for good money
Me: no way, no europe for me. They have 1 year MBA in EU and ask for more experience, I am going to US
Frend: ok. well, to be honest, think long term, money will happen, what really interests you? Some ppl like environ management and different MBAs rather than a vanilla MBA and then doing routine corporate jobs from one company to another. Ain't that exciting in the end?
Me: I want to learn a new language and study a different economy, dats why IB sounds cool (see how undecided I am)
Frend: well IB is not just that, you can do without learning a foreign language and of course any general MBA these days would have some IB flavour
Me: But how are the job prospects in those different MBA programs. I am very confused... guide me :-(
Frend: Job prospects are linked with economies. Even IIM grads are facing a tough time
Me: Gosh, I am even more confused now
Frend: Think long term, not what happens immediately after MBA
Me: what if I do a combo of IB and HR. HR is good for women
Frend: Don't disappoint me. Why do the usual? Do something different as always :-)
Me: What if I don't get a job after doing something different and IB is almost different, not many ppl opt for it :-)
Frend: I mean what do you mean by HR is good for women. U want to go abroad for an MBA then why think from this angle of women and gals
Me: I mean it's not very stressful, like finance maybe
Frend: Stress is on you, not on what you do. It again depends on your personality
Me: You know I am a somewhat laid back person.
Frend: Don't be self-proclaimed. You can do anything if you like what you do, like you did in your exams
Me: I don't even know very well what I like. How can I decide if I have zilch experience in IB or Marketing or for that matter, the different MBAs
Frend: Its not simple, but I want you to broaden your analysis and choose intelligently. Talk to the folks in the colleges
Me: Yeah, I am thinking of talking to people in IB and HR, they are the only options that interest me now. You did MBA in IT right?
Frend: Nope, IB with majors in Systems, whatever that means
Me: Hey, then you are the right guy to talk to. When can we talk?
Frend: When I am back in India and we will talk over beer and you will take me out. I will be back on 20th Dec
Me: Wow okay.... I will go nuts until 20th Dec
Frend: You won't and you don't have to opt before you actually get admissions
Me: well, allright and thanks :-) We will talk over Beer and I will take you out :-)

That was the conversation and I am still as confused as ever. Who else out there can give suggestions? I am in dire need :-(

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It Has Started

Yesterday I had a phone interaction session with the Director of MBA Student Recruiting of BYU. Now I haven't even applied to BYU yet, though I have sent my scores. They know nothing about me except my GMAT score and yet I got an e-mail invitation from the Director for a talk and to answer any questions I might have. I like to think that they were impressed with my score and therefore wanted to talk, wish I could tell them that I was getting even better scores in practice tests :-(

BYU is one of my top choices, being the excellent university that it is. Therefore I was obviously excited about the call but I did not have many questions for them except one. Moreover, I had no idea what exactly would the conversation be like because this was not an interview call as such. Anyway, the Director called me at the exact time we had decided and she was very pleasant and asked me if she had got my name right, which she had :-). She asked me what I had been doing and I ran her through my profile, she actually liked the career jumps from Software to HR to NGO :-). I told her about my TOEFL score and she seemed impressed. Then she told me about BYU and about the religious approach that they have. I knew all about it already, having researched each and every bit of information I could come across. She answered my questions and told me to mention her name in my Letter of Intent as that would help my application. That was it, a very pleasant, informative, general chit chat.

Now that I am feverishly writing essays and have collected nearly all documents, I will start applying and will hopefully get more such calls, for introduction, interviews etc. Gosh, it seems to have started. I don't know if I will get a desirable admit but after writing nearly 30 essays about myself and talking to so many people about my profile, I would at least emerge out of this episode with some self-enlightenment.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Breather - TOEFL

I watch the news, get angry when I see a complacent politician, fight back the tears when I see a martyr's family, and feel agitated when I watch large crowds of people demanding action. I find myself in an emotionally charged mood the entire day every day.
A respite came in the form of my TOEFL result. My score is 115/120, which is reaaallllyyy good. Reading - 30/30, Listening - 30/30, Speaking - 27/30, Writing - 28/30.
No mood to celebrate but this at least made me get back to work on my applications, else since the night of 26th all I have been doing is watch the news, talk to people, show my anger and express solidarity with the nation. Not that I am moving on and going to forget 26/11. Some things in life are not supposed to be forgotten, though they hurt, we refuse to nurse such wounds. They have changed the way we think forever.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For Tomorrow We May Die

Shivraj Patil resigned, RR Patil was thrown out and Vilasrao Deshmukh is unwilling to let go of his chair. Kerala CM said that even a dog would not have visited the dead major's family had he not been a martyr. BJP spokesperson Naqvi said that women in Mumbai were demonstrating against the government wearing powder and lipstick. Deshmukh gave a Taj tour to Ramu and Riteish. Ha!
I wonder whether our netas are competing against each other in trying to give the most distasteful comment of the year or in committing the most horrendous act of indecency. Whatever they are doing, this is for certain that they are not helping the nation. They are only helping their own cause.. which is to stick to their chairs, save their necks, and stay complacent.
They are as bad as the terrorists themselves or probably even worse.
I dunno from where a phrase has entered my head and keeps repeating itself incessantly. 'Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may DIE' and the DIE here is so strong that I shudder at its force. I think this phrase was coined by someone who was happy and content with life. For people like us, a sombre and gloomy nation, a more apt phrase would be 'Work, Love and Stay United for Tomorrow we may be Killed'.