Random Reflections!

thoughts, views, news and plenty of rants


Posted by nixbert on November 5, 2008

So one fine weekend my company ceased to exist. If you have heard the word ‘Lehman’, then I suppose you have atleast some idea about it.

Weekend of 14th Sep was preceded by extreme nervousness. I had configured my blackberry to give me live stock quotes. So effectively I was checking the stock quote almost every 10 mins, even when I was not glued to my laptop! My family, meanwhile, decided that this was good enough reason for collectively hating me. By friday evening, it was clear that we had taken heavy beating and it may never be the same again.

I switched to checking news headlines every 10 minutes over the weekend (God bless BlackBerry). Monday morning, Sep 15th, came as a rude shock when I read the headline ‘Lehman files for bankruptcy‘. This was both unprecedented and unexpected. There were several possibilities thrown up before the weekend. Not one of them had anything to do with the words ‘Chapter 11’. My family could barely control their shock – How could they not know this before? Yeah well, that’s how it is. Love it or hate it but you cannot avoid either capitalism or globalisation.

Walking into the office that morning was an eerie experience. I swiped my access card. It worked!! Never before did I derive such satisfaction in the mundane 🙂

I will write more about the entire experience as I retrospect and recollect my thoughts. Meanwhile I leave you with ‘The Annotated Fuld‘ (a much publicised painting of Lehman CEO Dick Fuld in which comments from all and sundry have become part of the painting itself).

You can see clear inspiration from one of my favourite authors, Douglas Adams, in one of the quotes – “So long and thanks for all the fish”. See if you can locate it!


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Its a boy ….

Posted by nixbert on November 4, 2008

..and a bundle of joy!

If I don’t get through the app process, I am naming my son ‘MBA’. Hell yeah!

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Tepper Interview

Posted by nixbert on November 4, 2008

This one went better. The questions were usual – why MBA, why from this school, leadership experiences etc.

I was in Singapore at that point of time and the interesting part is that I got an interview invite only five days before the decision deadline! This was followed by some issues which led to an interview reschedule and believe it or not, I was interviewed only a few hours before the deadline ran out!

I was then wait-listed and eventually denied admission.

Moral of the story for all those who keep refreshing their Inbox in hope for an interview invite – Do not despair. I am a living proof that the game is very much on until the very last moment. You can get that mail even if decision is few days ahead. Interviews do happen even until the last few hours!

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Duke Interview

Posted by nixbert on November 4, 2008

I screwed this one up. Royally. All those months of preparation went down the drain in 45 minutes. It was a classic deer-with-headlight-in-the-eyes experience for me.

Here are the questions that came my way –

– Why do you want to do an MBA and how have you prepared yourself for an MBA?

– What are your short term and long term goals?

– What time frame are you looking for your long term goal?

– What if someone else moves in and captures the market before you for your long term goal?

– Coming from a very competitive pool, what differentiates you from others?

– Consider the following situation – There are 10 team doing similar work. A survey is done by the organisation at both Quantitative and Qualitative levels and your team turns out to be the worst performing team and is placed last. What would you do?

– There are several kinds of leaderships. What do you think is your style? Give me an example?

– Are you involved in any community activities?

– Give me your 6 strengths ( one word for each strength)

– Give me 3 weaknesses. Again in one word

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last 8 months

Posted by nixbert on November 4, 2008

I am returning to post to my blog after a long hiatus. Just to set the record straight following happened in past few months

– Interviewed at Duke and Tepper and was dinged

– My company went bust

– God blessed me with a son

– Decided to app again

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unfortunate and shocking

Posted by nixbert on January 12, 2008

I was particularly shocked to hear about Benazir’s assassination. Especially after my last post. Perhaps the writer of the piece in TOI I talked about in my last post would have felt the same if (s)he had noted the unfortunate error.

Why do people still have to die in this age for their ideas or principles? or religion or colour for that matter? What really makes one so threatening to others that they are ready to risk their life and limbs to kill you?

Are we really so bankrupt of thoughts that we have to resort to killing others just to oppose the ideas or morals they represent?

I am as shocked as I am ashamed.

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freudian slip

Posted by nixbert on November 7, 2007

Came across an ineresting line in Times Of India (14th Nov) on page 15. It was in an article on the ongoing crisis in Pakistan and declaration of emergency by their president.

On the second column of the page the writer was indicating that US was aware of the developments in advance and they tipped Benazir off. The line ended with ” and Benazir was advised to live

Obviously the writer wanted to use the word – leave!!

I don’t blame the writer for thinking what (s)he was thinking!

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compiz on gutsy

Posted by nixbert on October 30, 2007

I finally upgraded to release 7.10 of Ubuntu over the weekend. While the process itself was smooth I lost all compiz effects like wobbly windows which I had configured on the fiesty fawn release (7.04).

Some digging later I found that this was not so uncommon for the impatient souls who had  given in to the eye-candy temptations and configured all the snazzy stuff before it was in the official release (fiesty vs gutsy)

Anyway, some googling later I managed to find following two websites that cover what needs to be done to get it right.


Ubuntu Forum

Moral of the story (you bet there is one) – In rapidly moving world of IT it pays to be a little patient if you *really* need your machine for stuff other than tinkering around. After all you don’t take your souped-out racing car for grocery shopping. Do you?

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MBA fair

Posted by nixbert on October 6, 2007

There was an MBA Fair in Mumbai. I decided to show up out of curiosity.

I cannot describe the sheer rush of junta. To borrow a phrase from Douglas Adams – The mind boggled!

I would not have minded the crowd had it not been for a large number of ill informed, dreamy eyed, happy-chappies who were hoping that someone else will spell out a life altering decision for them in a short conversation. (not that a long conversation is any different in this context)

One of the organiser clearly announced that it will be more productive if participants would *not* ask questions which can be answered quickly by browsing the school website and still there was no dearth of people asking alumni/ad-coms about mean GMAT score for their school!

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Irony …

Posted by nixbert on October 6, 2007

T20 WC – the epitome of instant-cricket (much like instant noodles) has suddenly become all the rage. Wham, bang, wallop, cheerleaders and what not.

And what dress do the winners of the world cup show up in at the Mumbai airport? – Test Match Whites!!

Ha! take that!

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