Sunday, August 24, 2014

Night Train to Lisbon

Vishal gifted me the book ’Night Train to Lisbon’ by PascalMercier while we were in Nice, finishing our MBA. He got to know that I liked to read history, came across this book and since it is set in 1973 Portugal, got it for me. But this book is the farthest thing from a history. Still, I will thank him for giving this book to me.

Its more philosophy – about dissecting life to the bare minimum from numerous angles, about questioning every action that we do, even about adding import to the words that we use. There is a strong story that weaves the philosophy together, but at times, the doses of life lessons got a bit too much to comprehend and to focus. Here are some of my best quotes from the book:

Life is not what we live; it is what we imagine living.

Is the soul a place of facts? Or are the alleged facts only the deceptive shadows of our stories?

When others withdraw affection, respect and recognition from us, why can’t we simply say to them: ‘I don’t need all that, I am self-sufficient?’ Isn’t it a horrible form of bondage that we can’t acknowledge that? Doesn’t it make us the slaves of others? What feeling can we summon to protect ourselves?

(The random man…)What he saw of me could have revealed nothing of my self-doubting fragility, a fragility that didn’t accord much with my proud, even arrogant posture. I put myself into his look, reproduced it in me, and from that perspective, absorbed my reflection on the window glass. The way I looked and appeared – I thought – I had never been that way for a single minute of my life. … Is it the same way with others: that they do not recognize themselves from the outside? That the reflection seems like a stage set full of crass distortion? That, with fear, they note a gap between the perception that others have of them and the way they experience themselves? That the familiarity of inside and familiarity of outside can be so far apart that they can hardly be considered familiarity with the same thing? Human beings are not viewed like houses, trees and stars. They are seen with the expectation of being able to encounter them in a specific way and thus making them a part of our own imagination trims them to suit our own wishes and hopes, but also to confirm our own fears and prejudices. We don’t even get safely and impartially to the outside contours of another person. On the way, the eye is diverted and blurred by all the wishes and fantasies that make us the special, unmistakable human beings we are.  Even the outside world of an inside world is still a piece of our inside world. …. Should we be grateful for the protection that guards us from the strangeness of one another? And for the freedom it makes possible? How would it be if we confronted each other unprotected by the double refraction represented by the interpreted body? If because nothing stood between us, we tumbled into each other?

Friday, July 12, 2013

As I flew out...

Morning grey of Mountains
Azure of the Sea
Brightness of the sun
Au revoir Nice.

White and grey layers of cloud
Underneath the green of summer
Halted trains, familiar blabber
Hello London!

Monday, October 8, 2012

MBA in times as these?

The current economical climate may appear not at all suitable for high value investments. More so when you are investing in yourself - to put hard earned money into an MBA may sound un-economical to some at this time, given the job market conditions.

But here I am at EDHEC, along with 69 other talented people, who all seem to have decided to make that investment!

To the nay-sayers I would say that the time could not have been better. The business world is changing faster than ever, and all this change has to be managed in a global setting. Managers have to have varied skills, and should be ready to tap into all resources and networks available to them. Isn’t this just the right time for an MBA that is global and diverse, intense and challenging, compact and detailed!

After spending 12 years across various positions in the IT Industry, it is now time for me to add new skills, to re-assess my management style and to broaden my network so that I am better equipped to fulfil my aspirations. I am sure the Global MBA at EDHEC will facilitate my development and will help me channelize my energy to meet my life and career goals.

I had been in Nice as a tourist earlier, but this time when I am here as a student - Nice is a nicer place! In just about two weeks, I have spoken to people from 27 different countries; have chatted with classmates who are journalists, psychiatrists, plant engineers et al; tapped into the experience of professional mountaineers; dabbled in accounting problems; and have spoken French! In the process, I have learnt tons about myself - valuable life lessons that will stay with me much longer after I graduate.

I am glad I decided to make this investment in myself, and I am happy I chose EDHEC!

The French

The language is orgasmic - en, un and an are words with meanings - not just sounds.
But indeed they sound coming from pleasure zones!

Is language the reason the French are considered to be romantic?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bangalore beckons....

क्या होंगी वही भीगी रातें ?
वही हवा के झोंके, वही सरसराते पत्ते ?
वही coffee के कप, दोसे की खुशबू ?

शायद वोह सब तो होगा,
पर Bangalore फिर भी नया होगा

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Looking at the future....

As I plan to return home to India, there is so much uncertainty. But, in a good way. On my last trip home, I wondered how I would fit in – the dust, the pollution, the hullaballoo, the noise – the entropy! But by the end of the trip, the DNA had taken over and I was doing my bit to add to the mess – driving rashly, being impolite and edgy!
I guess it will not be so difficult to go back to the roots!
Only that the time is not certain. Post October seems difficult.
Would it be Jan or Feb remains to be seen.
And what would I do when I am back? Same rigmarole in Bangalore, or the same rigmarole at a different place? Or a different juggle at an MBA?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All that is left...

...are returned cards written in awkward cursive.
...are entries in the diary with yellowing pages.
...are dried flowers, moldy chocolate wrappers.
...are unrealized hopes, childhood fantasies.
...and some broken hearts....

Lots of baggage, in a blue plastic bag.