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Dec 26, 2009

Good Times .... brought to you by Christmas !!!

I somehow feel comfortable recounting experiences. Wonder if my posts reflect this too? Whatever be it may, here is my post reflecting some memorable Christmas times I've had.

Pan back to 10 years, Christmas was more of neighbor sharing the much talked about plum cake among other savories. Quintessentially, it would be an occasion to enjoy that one day off school. That was pretty much it unlike, todays festive cheer it manages to bring all round.

Some 6 years hence the meaning of Christmas completely changed as if to redefine to me what the real Christmas meant. Most of it had to do with my workplace sporting the festive spirit and moreover the anticipation of the week long forced vacations we always had to take unless someone was in a critical project and hence would be part of the skeletal support team. That year a few of us friends took time off to celebrate the Christmas weekend along with the New year's eve at Hogenekkal. 

By the way, talking about new year's eves, this post talks about how I've rated them all.Sometimes I wonder how i got the time to write such posts.

Experience, Siddhu says "is a comb that life gives man when he turns bald". Fortunately I made early use of it, by using it to celebrate the next Christmas at workplace in a novel way. 

But my most memorable Christmas date till day has been 25-Dec-2008, when I organized an outing to WonderLa with full of unsure trip(class) mates. But then thinking about it, I'm sure all my friends from section G, Sem 2 will agree with me when I say, that it was one of the most well spent working Christmas weeks that we've spent in our MBA days. Be it the most ridiculous tasks each one had to do, as part of their dares or some of the most amazing acts a few Saurabhs put up. ( Read the table dance and KSG mock acts) and many more. 

Memories come rushing to my mind de-syncing the words with thoughts while i try to articulate. This is where images help to convey the sense that words seem to have lost track of. 

This small collage I've put together is a testimonial of good times I've had in IBS-B with some beautiful people. By the way, no picture can ever be complete, as someone or something is always waiting to add to it. So is the case with this one.

Putting this in context, Christmas although might seem purely incidental to some good times, it was in many ways directly consequential.

Merry X'mas & a Jolly Good New Year.


Dec 10, 2009

Let go... or should I

The quintessential question is back to haunt me. To-do or not to-do? This time it is relinquishing power, the toughest thing leaders face. I hope it's not an over statement to say I've done decently well to build a team over the last year and a half to build the operations a.k.a 'KingsGambit' vertical.

But then when i come to think of it, some things can only be so memorable.

As a leader and as somebody who wishes to be one through out, it's a conscious effort on my part to let others grow with me.

So with other things having taken higher precedence in my scheme of things, I've decided to be a supporting member of the Operations vertical of 'IBS-B Tarkash'10' and wish Rakesh Bharti, Vertical Head, all the best!!!


Nov 23, 2009

Few Lessons un-learnt to learn a few more

How would it feel if you were dressed for some impending meetings and presentations for the  day and you were apprehensive about how presentable you look? 

A week ago I was in a similar situation and right at that moment a senior gentleman walked by and asked, "Which organization do you represent"? 

And when I answered "IBS-Bangalore", he said "Very Smart" looking at our outfits!!! 

That was all necessary for the confidence meter to shoot up and without a doubt, the rest of our day went very well. Subsequently, I was thinking about this incident and realized that everyday we see so many of our friends and feel "wow! do they look at their best or what"? 

But then, do we really take that second off to say "Mate you look good today"?  Personally speaking, I have come to know that there is never a wrong time to say it and not a whole bunch of us do so. 

What stops us from doing so? 

Is it the high context culture that we grow up on? By high context culture I mean to say, that we don't actually have to say things, to let people around us know that we mean it. 

In case of the Westerners it is the low context culture they have got accustomed that enables them to extravagantly display their emotions.

Take the new generation kids in urban India for instance. You would actually see them shouting out to their parents how much they love them and exchanging pleasantries. From my point of view I think this would have been something I would struggle to do easily. Not because I don't, but because nobody expects me to.

I was attending this lecture from my marketing professor who handles the subject of international marketing. It was attendance time by the end of the class and i was still struggling to come to grips with some of the concepts he taught that day and started discussing with friends while the attendance was on. All he did was to call out Sanjay and stare at me. Seeing me fall silent he said, now this is what is "High Context Culture" and I'd learnt my lessons for the day.

But thinking about the world we live in now, and as a truly global professional it pays to understand culture both from a high and low context perspective. Like my professor's say we have to unlearn a lot to learn newer things.

By the way I'm glad this post has taken away the burden of learning one chapter from my to-study list for the impending exams.

Till the next time.... Stay safe!!!

Nov 17, 2009

What's on the mind these days? It has practically become a dairy which contains the to-do list with so many entries. Amidst all this when you try and chug on, there are quite a few things that happen. Like this afternoon I saw the body of my TVS victor on display on a road, and the number plate reading "I'm no more Sanjay's". I wonder if this a sign of something to come. I dreamt of having parked my bike somewhere and I forget about it completely, and when I do remember about it, its too late. As it is my dream recollection  capability is really hazy and like you see its no different this time.

Is there some gyaan about a dream in late afternoon or early evenings that I should worry about? I don't know. There are times when one has got to be absolutely positive about everything and I'm in one such phase. For too long now, I have been thinking of turning lean to go with my Victor. Accordingly, I wish and foresee my long cherished dream to complement my size with a Royal Enfield soon.

The many other things I mentioned above that happens in a busy day's schedule don't find place in this post. I only wish and hope my foreseeing is part of my special powers :)


Oct 7, 2009

We all yearn to do something we haven't done before, and I'm no different. Before getting down to speaking about what it was that has me so excited, I must tell you world looks totally different when you see it in perspective. And today I heard from a person who has seen reality the harsh way, who writes about these realities, and then those, who sometimes also film them reel.

This was the first time ever, I attended a book launch event. Fortunately for me it was of 'The Professional' by Subroto Bagchi at 'CROSSWORD', Residency road. The occasion also saw Kannada cine star Chetan Kumar release the book. 

But the whole event would have been a dampener without the protagonist Mahadeva whom Mr. Bagchi has written about in his book and refers to as the Professional's Professional. Mahadeva's story is one which is an embodiment of the spirit of humanity. 

On the occasion Mahadeva spoke about why he does what he does, being a public undertaker. It's not love for the profession, but its the spirit of service that matters to him, the spirit of giving something back to his motherland Karnataka. It was a humbling experience to listen to the man speak after Mr.Bagchi undertook a public reading of the first chapter of the book.

I liked the event because of the sheer magnitude in the stature of these people:

  • A full bright scholar from Yale, born to Doctor parents, who found his calling in the land of Kannada cinema and theatre.
  • A corporate honcho who writes about the greener pastures one should look towards in their professional career.
  • And then, Mr. Mahadeva!
I can't wait to start reading 'The professional' and maybe imbibe a few professional values here and there. All thanks to Sona for letting me know about the event. It surely was an evening that I will cherish.


Oct 1, 2009

Book Review – The White Tiger

Apart from being the famed 'Man-booker prize' winning novel for 2008, 'The White Tiger' has a Kannadiga author Aravind Adiga, reason enough for me to buy a hard paperback from one of the book fairs in Bangalore. No-no! I'm not one with any regional biases, but just like how 'familiarity breeds contempt', 'proximity breeds choice'.

If there is one thing Adiga really succeeds in, it is his sheer knack of keeping his readers engrossed right from page 1 waiting for what's to come next. It must be the sheer talent in story telling that makes travel from the darkness of Dhanbad to direction of light he felt in Bangalore. There is a certain tempo which Adiga has maintained throughout the book which makes the wit more satirical, dark and fearful all at the same time. The portion where he compares his father's spine to a rope was one such instance which first made me laugh, then made me visit the line once again and then literally sent shivers down my spine when I imagined it. 

The story beautifully woven over seven days is a startling mirror that he holds to show the kind of India we live in. The depiction of characters is so simple, yet so detailed that, it for sure made me think about people in a different, vein whom we generally choose to conveniently ignore. 

Many a times I have this feeling of remorse of having spent days together on a novel and gain nothing. But then, having read this without anything else to do, I had my own moments with it, all through. It is definitely worth a read!!!


Do-this-what, you might ask me. For the first time in MBA I am finding this break a bit too much to make real good use of. 

Coming to think about what I've done with semester breaks until now, it always comprises of a customary trip with my closest group of friends and on returning sleep a lot, watch movies, read books, retrospect and worry/plan about the upcoming semester. 

When it comes to movies, books, sleep and the trip too(upcoming weekend) It has been no different this time. But somehow the upcoming semester has a had a way with the structure of my thoughts. I've been spending lot of time on social networking websites with more than just the usual intention. Good or bad, i don't know. 

Anyways over the last two days, I read Aravind Adiga's much acclaimed 'The White tiger' and watched Quentin Tarantino's 'The Inglorious Basterds'.  I would usually move on with more books that I've stacked up in my shelf. But I have made a pact with myself of trying to be more regular on my blog and hence this time I decided to maybe review them both.

Statutory warning : I have little experience in what i'm attempting in the upcoming posts, so please do feel free to be critical of my work.

Will be back...

Sep 29, 2009

The latest 3R's in Metalbook

My blog is soon going to complete 4 years and I've been reflecting on what I have been resonating all this while. If the blog were to be my kid, then surely i'd be termed as a bad parent, for I've hardly tried to post frequently, nor have i given it frequent makeovers. Thus after being lazy enough for long, I thought it's time to do something different with my blog outcome of which is the new template for all you all to see.

This is my first step in rejuvenating, what I consider to be surely a great platform to share my thoughts with the world at large. Change is the only constant, and my blog needed one badly too. So ensuing the unusually hectic semester(3rd) that this was, i found this the best time for the same.

Some portions of the blog are still under development, and will be so for a little more considering, my coding skills have are at a all time low. But the efforts are on...

I shall limit this post only to my new blog avtaar. Do let me know how you like it?

Happy Dussehra to one and all,


Sep 3, 2009

Remember those days, where you have been passing through a particular road, and you so wanted to click some pics there? Well, I surely had one such day. This stretch on the way to Mysore road, from Uttarahalli Junction is one such place I have always thought of stopping by and clicking some.

Luckily enough for me, Rain God who never listens to me when there is a cricket match on, seemed to have patched up with me and I simply loved what came out of the whole damp affair. Somehow, such small things make me so happy.

And by the way, for the first time I moved away from Nokia and I should say, that I am definitely not disappointed. Samsung Star is surely a good value for your money.


Aug 22, 2009

What a week it has been, A week full of tasks, evaluations, results, assignments and of course of Manthan '09(internal B-fest of IBS-B).

The event which started on a grand note last week with promotions beginning on the 13th, went on with full enthusiasm and fervor atleast from the teams that braved up the academic hardships.

Come 17th and it was time now for the 13 member teams to march in to the auditorium to begin with various events across verticals.

Continuing with where we had left in Tarkash '08, Rakesh and I managed to build a rather strong team this time, for our opertaions vertical 'The King's Gambit'. Well 'strong', i realise can be a qualititative or a quantitative word, its all just relative.

The day unfolded rather inauspiciously with some technical snags of running the video, but that was that of inauspiciousness as the rest of the events went according to schedule that i had prepared on my favorite 'Excelsheet'.

Brijesh came up with these scintillating posters for the vertical, which I have collaged as you can see on the left.

Like with every junior batches, there were quite a few pull-outs this time too and I am pretty sure that the 'Best Managers' might have had a torrid time motivating teams or sometimes even the other way round.

From an individualistic 'operations vertical' perspective, the competition that was on offer among the teams was appreciable, but I guess not enough to win accolades at other colleges. Having said that the top 5 teams were highly competitive and I really liked the spirit each team showed.

Of the obvious differences between Tarkash and Manthan, a major difference I observed is the real life issues of managing people, and at the same time ensure being goal-oriented no matter what. Somehow, I felt managing Manthan was definitely much more a challenge personally.
The mantle of being a vertical head showed me that 'with greater power comes greater responsibility'. Woah, I am getting better and better at cliche-ing things!

Talking about cliched things, over the last week I realised that some of the lines we utter are so bloody cliched. A few on top of my mind that I wish to list are:
  • 'May the best team win' - It's just a hope that is hopelessly wrapped in a hope of hopefulness.
  • 'Our selection process is fair' - You wouldn't probably find a more corrupt process.
  • 'We wish to be part of the team' - I hope they really understand what teamwork is all about.
Coming back to the learnings, Manthan surely gave me an opportunity as a testing ground for my leadership skills. There were a lot of feedbacks, based on which I have some questions and thoughts:
  • Is diplomacy an art or science?
  • Leadership should never go the reactive way, it is always the responsive model that works.
  • Is collaborative leadership a myth ?
  • Leaders should always have plans D and E in place, because nowadays its no surprise if plans A, B and C go for a toss.
  • Need to understand quick and fast, clear and loud that a leader is a leader because he has a job to do, being goody-goody to everyone is not an option.
  • It also becomes easier for the leader to make decisions if s/he is grounded on strong ethical principles.
  • I can continue listing but a leader should also know, when to continue and when to stop. Smart ability of disseminating information is a must have quality for leaders.
Wise men have said, that there is always something that goes wrong. Despite anything, I'm gald that the whole event was a grand success and I hope we were able to manage to leave a smile on the lips of our juniors.


Aug 2, 2009

A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions. A truckload of wishes to all you friends of mine, for being there each time, every time and bringing experiences that I would cherish for a lifetime!!!
Cheers, Sanjay

Jul 25, 2009

Been so long... that I am a senior now and its exactly been a year since we performed so many things on stage for our inaugurals...

Everytime there is one such event, I've just realised how lucky i have been, to do something totally new everytime. If it was the dance to the tubthumping 'khaike paan banaras...' number, this time it was a MiMe act for the deafening solace of a Kenny G number.

The theme of the act being the much talked 'swine flu' or the H1N1 virus. This parody yet factual act was beautifully conceived by a good friend Malai Dey, who is quite frankly fantastic when it comes to playwriting.

Here is a video courtesy of Siddarth Jaithaliya who captured, and yet an other friend Saurabh Lunker who uploaded this 300-something mb file.

The act was ably supported by the other members of the group namely
Vaarij - H1 virus ( Appreciate the great commitment shown by the guy to have come and enacted while suffering from a fever of 103 deg).
Lubanshu - N10 virus - (size does matter!!!),
Sandeep, Atmaram, Nikhil, Avishek, Anshul, Lokesh and Myself.

Also, what a performance by the senior batch with lots of enthralling dances, skits that let you emote without realizing and just the overall co-ordination.

Before I forget, I must applaud the junior batch for putting up a wonderful show with all the adversities they have faced. I am enthralled by the response they have shown, and we as seniors are totally committed to making our limited stay with you guys an eventful and memorable one.

Let the good times begin....

Jul 3, 2009

My friend Nona thinks I'm lazy, I don't blame him... 'coz I think that's the kind of message I send out from my posts, while the truth is that I actually keep craving for more time most of the times.

Four places you have lived

  1. Hubli: My KG classes, lots of lost water bottles, pencils, erasers and very few friends make up my memoirs of this place.
  2. K.R.Pet: Being in 1st and 2nd standard seemed such a big thing for me in this place which then was a little more than a village, but for sure was less than a town.
  3. Dandeli: My best years were in this beautiful place full of forests in the North of Karnataka. In the few places we do think of as having had nature's gift, this place surely figures in that list. Close to Goa, has the serenely black Kali River and of course has the West Coast Paper Mills. Volleyball, first crush all got developed here. Made some really good friends for life here!!!
  4. Bangalore: What Can I say? Naanu bengaloornavne kanri. Memories of the process of standing on my own feet, in short my nucleus is composed of Bangalore.

Four TV shows you love (d) to watch

After having never had the cable television for almost until, I was in Class 11th or 12th, this is all I got exposed to.

  1. Malgudi Days
  2. Samandar – A DD serial that inspired kids from our generation to think about the Indian navy services. I only said think!!!
  3. Superhit Muqabla – A countdown show that used to appear on DD-2 channel, which used to get tuned only after the customary adjustment of the aerial antenna.
  4. Byomkesh Bakshi and a whole lot of the detective story variants.

Four places you have been on vacation

  1. Goa – Been here lots of times with family, friends. Never get bored of the place.
  2. Mangalore – Toured Mangalore to commemorate the first year of working with all my HP mates. It was a fantastic trip. Gone are those days… now
  3. Kerala – Yet again a trip with HP mates, had become sort of a routine thing with every year passing, a trip would be in order.
  4. South Indian Trip – been a long time since all the four of us in the family travelled together. It's actually been ages now, good 7-9 years.

Four of your favorite food items

Happens to be quintessentially south Indian

  1. Chapathi + Tomato Gojju(curry)
  2. Tomato rice: That I prepare.
  3. Aloo partha with curds and sugar – took to this in Gurgaon. Had fun eating it J
  4. Rice and rasam prepared by Mom only.

Four places you would rather be

I am yet to 'go kiss the world'… will list them all down in another 10-15 years maybe.

Four things you hope to do before you die

  1. Author a book
  2. Globe-trot
  3. Be a super boss who would inspire others.
  4. …..

Four novels you wish you were reading for the first time

  1. Godfather by Mario Puzo
  2. Shantaram: Somehow with my solitude in Gurgaon, enjoyed this book to the hilt.
  3. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Can't think of more.

Four movies you can see over and over

  1. Godfather trilogy (English): Without reasons, I can watch the trilogy endlessly.
  2. Gladiator: Just for Russel Crowe
  3. Nayagan (Tamil): Kamal Hassan shows why, he is what he is. Fabulous movie, direction, music, story etc.
  4. Kannathil Muttamittal (Tamil): Should say I am a Mani Rathnam fan too… So subtle yet so loud. Would love to see it once again just for the beautiful acting by Madhavan and Simran, and of course AR Rahman with his music is like the icing on the cake.

Can list more, but no extra marks for writing extra here.

Finally, the following four are eligible for being carrier of this virus.

  1. Self-talks: For she keeps talking about self (in a good way, not bragging) maybe these would throw some light on the person behind.
  2. The World According to Cindy: I think it's time to disturb the author material. With her lucid style of writing the topic might find some justice done with it after my mishandling it.
  3. Yet Another Muser: With this author, it's not always musing. There is a totally creative side to the person.
  4. Chill-Maadi: My TT partnerJ, time to disturb you too.

Happy Tagging,

Jun 27, 2009


Well well well, this is the most unique 50 that I can recollect. The cricket 50 never happened, considering I am a bowler who can bat and of course, I have no intentions of doubling my age and reach the milestone.

Talking about age, i had the shock of my life when I got my BMI ratio checked in the gym. I have always been into some kind of sport whenever I got a chance. But this time there was a surprise waiting for me in the figures that emerged out of the damned machine that outputs this BMI ratio. I need to do a lot more to reduce the percentage of fat content. You know it scares the shit out of you, when you have this figure so close to that of your age.

And of course, the next one you have to look for in these set of figures is something called metabolic age. Looking at the values that emerged, i am a little bemused, but all the more motivated to implement the correction plan I require. I would say definitely read quite a bit into it before it is too late. There may now be some credence to the saying
"You're only as old as you feel."
With hectic work schedules, and complex lifestyles it is only very easy to find a reason not to worry about them all. But then.. think, is it really so unworthy?

That set aside, Coming back to this little milestone of mine, I'm glad I waded through so many uncertain times amidst numerous paragraphs of unsure shaky lines. But then without these, I would'nt have reached this far.

At this juncture, my heartfelt thanks goes out to all my friends, blog-mates and numerous other people whom I might have directly or indirectly contacted to get some feedback on my blog. All your comments have served as the food for my thought. I will strive hard to improve the quality of all my future posts, I'll definitely try.

Anyways, I would love to hear from you...


Jun 19, 2009

Absolute Musings

Apart from the usual chaos surrounded with classes and my preparation for it, things happening around have been of utmost importance in terms of what I want to call, as 'life skills'.

Woah, have I got back to preaching mode? I hope not!!!

It's something that we notice day in and day out but turn a deaf ear towards the craving voices of relationships. With relations it is not that an individual will be satisfied when his/her individual cravings are answered for, infact it is much to do with the intent of being empathetic towards the needs of all parties involved. We tend to take the easiest, non-committal approach which helps us in assuming a status quo position without taking a stance towards a particular situation.

With every passing day I’ve been learning the practical approach of applying these life skills where relationships are on the tip of the iceberg. Trying to ripen relations is like premature dislodging of the iceberg, which invariably causes damage to the ice. It all works best, when there is a natural meltdown I guess.

Seems like I can’t get any better at being abstract.


May 26, 2009

One for the IPL '09

After every lost cricket match that I support, there is an enormous sense of depression that starts setting in, especially if it’s a match where the Indian team is involved.  Now for some reason(s) I did not feel the same thing yesterday when Royal Challengers Bangalore lost the match against Deccan Chargers that they so deserved to win.  

Thinking about it today, I recollected some of the brilliant innings played by guys like Rohit Sharma, Ross Taylor, Gilly, Dravid, Pandey etc in various stages of the tourney. Point is there is neutrality that has set in viewing IPL cricket. 

It’s no longer the same kind of support that would increase the demand for whisky or crates of beer depending on the match's outcome. I observed yesterday with my friends that a few of them ordered for pitchers of beer, some whisky, while a few others were content to try out the various mock-tails on offer in the pub we went. Well one could always say that in a pub one ought to buy something to drink, but come on, that's not what I'm coming to. The tourney is so beautifully packaged that everybody looks for the entertainment they derive from the whole experience. And of course the pub priced the event so optimally that it kept everyone interested. With so much in it for various stakeholders no wonder Mr. Mallya was so expressionless!!!

Coming back to the other reason which I think contributed to the state of my mind post the match, is the hope that Eddie Grant tried to give to the RCB during the fantastic closing ceremony of the IPL.

Talking about listening to songs that can uplift spirits, this for me, is definitely one such song.
Give me hope Joanna, Give me hope Joanna...........

Cheers for all the good times!!!

May 20, 2009

Of late I have been experiencing a mix of routinized, intensive, pensive, tense, light and stressful times.  My posts of late have all been about what to write rather than what not to, with thoughts that seem to have got struck in the cellar of my mind. I think i'll just list few thoughts on top of my head:
  • Whatever happened to my friends, everyone seems to be slimming down, making me look as if i'm growing fatter?
  • Why does that sick nail on the road always show its pointed side to the wheels of my bike? And to the back wheel most often.
  • Why does the traffic cop find something missing everytime, that he can charge me for?
  • Why are the results always delayed at a crucial time?
  • Why does that stupid pimple always leave behind a blemish?
  • Why have I lined up so many books, waiting to be read?
  • How many more weddings will i have to attend, wishing 'how the heck can it possible without me'?
  • Why does being a hopeless romantic feel so hopeless?
  • For how many days/months/years can i go so dry ?
  • When will i ever do something that I feel really happy about self?
I can go on and on and on with framing questions, but how would that help but for filling up this boring post. It's time to churn some soul for the much needed answers.

Till then,

Apr 17, 2009

Well the month April has been significantly different for me in the past few years ever since I keep track of it. It's difficult to post when both time and interest are found wanting.

While I was trying to mentally float to Grenoble and back in April 2006, it was everything for a cause in April 2007. April 2008 brought in me a total new perspective about where i was heading and had me thinking, for me it sure was a paradigm shift.

Going by what has happened in the past and also the kind of hunches I have, I can just hope something good happens.


Mar 29, 2009

Aamir Khan's poster said 8.30-9.30 PM, and I had it all set well in my mind, reach home and just do it. But by 8.35PM when I reached, I was feeling sapped with all the physical activities I indulged in for the day. Anyways, the earth hour had just begun and I wanted to see if my folks were interested in anything like this.

I called out to my dad, and said "Appa, computer kaaryu aacha, Aayindaale Auki, ippo earth hour start aayikarna". 
Meaning ... dad if your work on the computer is done, you could shut it off as the earth hour has already begun.

To my suprise, within the next 5 minutes dad came out of the room after having turned everything off and promptly came and switched off the TV. At this point of time, my mind was still wavering on whether to observe the event or not. And then Mom said, let's take the dinner on the terrace and have it over there. Buoyed by their sheer interest, I made up my mind. 

Rest was just a beautiful dinner on the terrace, with no lights, but for ones on the street and a lot of empty sky gazing after we finished eating. 

To switch off the lights for 60 minutes, contribute towards conserving energy and directly get involved with the fight against global warming, is of course the larger purpose, but I am glad to say that it drove all the three(mom, dad and me) to have dinner together, which seldom happens due to time constraints or other factors.


Mar 25, 2009

It was interest-->beating-->love-->fascination and obsession (in the same order) for me when I talk about the beautiful game of Volleyball and my formative years with it. Having started way back in 5th or 6th standard, this is one game I would love to play even when woken up from a slumber. I had my first thud of volleyball on my hands, someday between 1994-95. I still remeber the last bell of the day that rang, and we rushed out of our VI-C classroom to meet the newly appointed PT instructor, Seetharam Sir.

While making us warm up a bit, the moment I waited for came. The ball i wanted to touch and hit on the court, but had always ended up passing it back to the seniors, donning the role of a self ordained ball-boy , hit me plonk on my face threatening to squash my nose.

Seetharam sir reminded, "court is far-away for you even to dream". 

He tossed back the ball to me after signalling me to get both my hands closer and meet the ball. I did see how it was done, but when the ball met, it was as if my hands were polio affected or something. I never seemed to get it on the center of my hands.

This drove my instructor rather wild, I guess. He walked up to me with the ball gripped in his palm as if he were holding a tennis ball, and asked me to bring my hands into position where ball is met. No sooner I did that, he literally beat my hands up making sure I knew where it was, that he wanted me to meet the ball. He did it with such gusto, that made tears swell up my eyes. I don't remember what made it not roll down my cheeks, but it sure did make Seetharam sir notice it. All of a sudden, he turned from this monstrous being to a tender giant and kissed me on my cheek tending solace.

Do you think this made any difference to me? If you thought it did, you are damn right. Made a hell of a difference, and miraculously the ball never again missed my other hand. Thus my first lessons on volleyball lead me further to the competitive mold of enthralling volleyball.

[Btw, this is going to be a long post I realise as i write.... ]

As time progressed, things moved on and i realised the passion in the game. The more i played it on a competitive level, the more i started getting obsessed with it. Had the fortune of playing with some amazing boys and girls. Crusaders during 8th to 10th were people like Gowda Sir, Bashya, Anil and others.

Time further moved on and we were back in bangalore. During my 11th and 12th i realised how much power a sport has. It just takes minutes, to break the strongest of the teams when a position of power and leadership is open for grabs. At this kind of age, it is truly to show one's supremacy in the game I guess that makes individual act the way they do. I did start experiencing such things right from 10th when I made a break away league in the crave for cricket captaincy. 

Coming back to 11th and 12th, those were days when we juniors played against seniors and beat them at that many a times. Classes were just an excuse, an excuse to spend some of the most memorable moments of the day between lunch-break and post class hours. Our college used to be a quadrangular structure with classrooms running upto 3 floors and the volleyball court right in the middle of it all. So whenever there was a game on, there would definitely be more than a few non-playing eye balls on us, giving us more reasons to strut it out there. 
Some great buddies at this phase were Deepu, Abhilash, Arun, Sridhar[What serve you had boss], Sathya, Sandy, Vikas, Pavan and of course MKS Sir[Apart from his sudden drops on the court, I always wanted to learn using the blackboard like he does, bloody brilliant !!!]

During graduation the game, took a backseat, as other priorites in life became exciting. The other gender suddenly became an exciting topic for us all. But of course, when the sports day came, all the old experience just comes back, and you play for the joy of it. We had a pretty competent team in our class of 20 or so people in Baby, Vikram, Samarth, Babu, Ady, Vinay(so-so :P) and a few others. Though we dint win the tournament we sure did everything in(volleyball) and out(cricket) of the spirit of sports .

I think the best years of volleyball for any non/semi-professional would be from 8th Standard to end of Graduation unless you have good infrastructure at your disposal.

Thus amidst all these oblivious pleasures of student life, never realised when the corporate saga began. Of course, the love of the game ensured that I took some initiatives at workplace, but it seemed limited until MS-Outlook.  Such is my love for the game, that I also went to give my sister's school team some practice hits before their match. 

Now, why so much nostalgia you might think?

Of late, I got my chance to play volleyball at my friends apartment complex and also there is this huge wish of mine, of wanting to pull away from traffic near a playground where volleyball is being played, and just go play not caring about who, whether, why etc.... 

Yesterday I did just that...   Well that's because some things never change.

Shoot... Ido... Rakh

[Post Dedication: To all those who spent time on the court with me and etched some everlasting memories]