Saturday, May 16, 2009

Random Ramblings

Momentous day indeed. Marked the end of my first test here. And man, I subscribe to the view that people and attitudes change as a function of time and place. When I say that, I mean that people are rather adaptable to situations and move accordingly. Darwin's theory proves itself time and again, by culling out all those who are much too resistant to change. Sounds harsh? Perhaps yes, but more often than not, the culling procedure is pre-empted, since before the axe can act, people change themselves, effectively meandering along the contours of the situation in question.

Sounds too verbose? I guess so. So, let me get to the point. One thing I have seen during my rather tiny time here is the fact that when the situation demands, we can throw in 4-5 days of work with just 5 hours sleep across! And when the situation demands, we can push ourselves to the hilt, without losing control on tempers and moods. Take for instance the ultra tight group assignment. The job needed to be done, and we bloody well did it! 3 days of no sleep, a cappuccino at 3 am, lines and lines of verbose zilch in an exotic dialect, but it got done! And then when it was all over, the 'letting my hair down' was equally if not more intense. We have a day and a half? So be it. Grab a shuttle, head downtown, dine at a new exotic place, go movie hunting, don't find anything worthwhile, head back and hit the parties going on all over the place. Stay till your knees creak and squeal pleading you to please stop. And even then it doesn't end. The heady feeling after stress and tension vaporizes is a feeling that has to be consumed drop by drop. Every minute is a gallon of ambrosia, not to be squandered.

But then, beyond a point, the brain shuts off and you end up writing absolute nonsensical gibberish like what has been written above. Sign - GO TO SLEEP. So off I go to meet with my dreams, before I lose forever the attention of all those really sweet people who take time to come and read my random ramblings......

Monday, May 11, 2009

Microeconomics and my life

George Bernard Shaw once said, " There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it."

Many many years ago, I had a compulsory course in social studies, that entailed a smattering of microeconomics. The course dealt with the usual demand - supply curves, elasticity, price floors, ceilings and the like, that'd generally leave me alternately staring at the floor and the ceiling, dazed, crazed and totally flustered with markets! That was the only time in life, when I actually fell out of love with shopping. I detested the very appearance of shops selling stuff in return for cash - (cash mind you, is only a medium of exchange and hence has no intrinsic value as such - which makes me wonder, why bother about pay scales while hunting for a job!) Anyway, I hated the very term microeconomics and all modalities associated with it. And the funniest thing was that back then, I was quasi communist, without even having heard of Che Guevarra, or Mao thanks purely to the course structure that exalted Marxist principles, with little regard to peoples' economic preferences. Well, if someone was actually paying heed to peoples' economic preferences, I might have chosen against microeconomics back then!

But, back to Mr Shaw. How does he relate to my history with microeconomics?

Simple. Over the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to learn microeconomics of a different sort. Honest! The minute I heard that Managerial Economics was microeconomics, nightmares of my past rendezvous with the subject came back to haunt me. And I wondered why I could not just stick to macroeconomics, reading about inflation and money supply without having to worry about floors and ceilings. And then I got into class. And that is where I found that microeconomics, when dealt with nicely, actually was my heart's desire! I loved the thought-provoking method in which it was taught. I was stumped to see that we can have a microeconomic explanation to why we were hit by a recession. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I was actually liking what I was learning, and was awestruck by the fact that I was actually applying thought to what I was learning. And full credit to the teacher, who decided to adopt an offbeat approach to the subject. And that is when I realized that over the past so many years, subjects I have loved, have always had awesome teachers - take English or math in school, or eighth grade history - Mrs Sequeira introduced the French Revolution with Marie Antoinette's quote! And now, microeconomics was introduced in an all new dimension by Prof Kapoor.

But today was his last class. And I wonder whether I will continue to love the subject as much, or whether I would encounter the second tragedy - losing the affection for my heart's newly found desire - Microeconomics!

Apart from my story, there was once an episode in one of my favorite shows - One Tree Hill, that actually viewed the interpretation of this quote by each of the show's main characters. I personally loved it in the context of the show, since each character gave his/ her interpretation based on their track on the show. I found the video grab of that section on YouTube. It's right here.

So, till next time - Happy theory of price to you.....

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Where has the time gone?

The weather was lovely today. It rained for a bit, bringing down the hideously high temperatures here. And the all too familiar, always-reminiscent though oft-missed, scent of wet mud caught up with me today. At once, the age old thoughts came back, of running to the terrace to get the first drops of rain on my head, running to the window at the first sounds of rain on the ground, trudging home on wet rainy days, and the amaaaaazing feeling of the cup of piping hot filter coffee in my hands, as the rest of me would still be damp and cold, at least psychologically!!!

And that's when I heard a voice call out - 'Assignment, case prep, let's finish dinner soon, so we can get to reading it. Its 30 pages, mind you' Someone screamed from another side - 'Did you see the stuff on the hypothesis testing and confidence intervals?' My confidence took a beating for sure! Here I was, smelling the wet mud, and there were people ona different plane altogether. And I thought, where on earth is my time going? Where am I losing it? Literally? Why was I always pressed for time, day in and day out, in spite of the fact that the grind has not really started as yet. Why is it that I have not had the time to speak to some of my friends? Why is it that I have had to very rudely cut people off mid-conversation, just to go and get some stuff done? Why am I running like crazy, yet realizing ruefully that the pile of pending tasks just keeps growing by the day? Am I the only one, or is someone else around who identifies with my frustrating sense of well... I don't know what!

And tonight, at 11, while walking across to the usual hangout, to discuss the case with my gang as I'd like to call them, I noticed the weather again. I noticed the sound of the dry leaves scraping against the concrete roads. I noticed the wind in my hair, the gentle cool feeling on my feet as I walked by the grass. And then, as if on cue, Davies screamed in my ears -
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Remorseful, guilt-ridden at a wasteful expenditure

So what did I do today? Frankly my dear, I don't know! And that's what really psychs me out. I was up till 4.30 am last night, soliciting a comment that goes like, "Subah saadhey chaar ko koi post likhta hai kya paagalon ki tarah?" So, by a natural progression, my eyes refused to open till around 9.30. Even then, the eyes wouldn't open, but the stomach growled, saying, "Womannnnn you were awake till 4.30 am, and gave me not even a coffee, let alone some luscious brown chocolate cream biscuits that you have in a highly invidious manner stashed away somewhere. GET UP NOW AND FEED ME!" So, out I tumbled, and headed for some breakfast, got back, saw the reminder of my rather lackluster movie (I learnt never to judge a book by its cover / movie by its starcast). And that is where I draw a blank. What of consequence did I do thereafter????? I feel ashamed to say, nothing at all. Random stuff. Picking up some random bits off youtube, some freak pieces of news, chatting with a dozen friends all over the place - I have to aver, INTERNET IS ADDICTIVE. Life was better ages ago, when one had to sit in front of a desktop to connect to the internet, and that meant that you would be away from people making interesting conversation or perhaps the TV even, and mind you, in those days, these factors were deterrents against internet addiction! And, now, anywhere internet, has me ducking in there all the time, lost in the plethora of nonsense! But believe you me, it is awfully addictive.

So, at the end of the day, as I sit back, I don't feel fulfilled, satisfied, since I did nothing of consequence. No reading, no classwork, no movies, no runs, NOTHING! Somewhere I am looking for some approval saying, 'its fine - you are allowed to let one day go completely wasted'. I just feel an awful sense of remorse and guilt, that I let a perfectly normal day go totally unutilized - when there was soooooo much I had been wanting to do. Sigh! I thought I might as well clock some written stuff in here, as my sole point of 'accomplishment' in a day that had better be known as a day that never existed at all.