The side effects of exams are horrible. The essays I read during the exam are still dancing in my head, and possibly they will continue to do the same for few more days. Can someone please come and hit me hard in the head with a hammer or some such other tools so that I can find answers to the above questions.
Ah! Not so hard! It pains. Nevertheless, it seems to work, thank you. My senses are back to their designated places and I have got my answers.
Alright, before I say anything more, I must say I’m happy to be alive. How about you all?
In my last post I mentioned about my exams. Well, it is over. For the first time in three years I’m a little happy about my performance in the exam, some of you had wished me luck before the exam, hence the credit is all yours.
But, I could have been the happiest person on earth had the invigilator allowed me some extra time to write, considering the fact that I’m a slowpoke when it comes to writing. I never reproduce the same answers as in the books I read, I make my own answers. Physically, I’m not defective by any chance, and this is apparent to the invigilators. The invigilator, I suppose, is not at liberty to show me any special preference. But the fact, which I can never hide, is that I am the slowest writer on earth, and I don’t mind taking own sweet time. And I always forget: time waits, but not for me.
What an irony it is, I’m a Management Student yet I have not learnt time management. Never in the past three years could I ever keep pace with the limited time in the exam hall and write all the answers, I know the answers, it is not something out of the books, and even if it is out of the books nothing can stop me from attempting them. The limited time has never failed to add to my confusion and my word jumbles and I end up writing incoherently, which otherwise I could have written elegantly had it not been the exam hour.
Academically, I have always been an average guy. The closest to being called a bright student was the time when I was in the 12th standard, when my name came out in the papers, for there were not many competitors and very easily I could score the highest marks in certain subjects in our state. My teachers as well as my parents were delighted to see my name in print. And though my friends’ praises were faint to the extent of nothing at all, I was happy with their faint praises nonetheless.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure, when the results come out, I’ll get a first-class, like I did the last time. The paper setters of Mumbai University had been very kind in setting the question papers. Even a layman could answers the questions. Hope they will check the answers leniently.
Wow, what a week it had been! First we had our annual fest and then there was the eggjam’s result.
The twin-brothers (called so and so) who are my close friends in the college had scared me by creating a fake site which showed our eggjam’s results when the results were not yet declared by Mumbai University. The brother who was elder to the other by seven minutes put his eggjam’s seat number on that site in his phone (of course, the phone had internet connection), and it showed he had passed the eggjam, he started grinning. Then, he put another number, this time his brother’s, it, too, showed he too had passed.
Then he asked me what my seat number was, I told him, and much to my disbelieve and dismay, the result showed that I had failed. I felt a pounding in my head. But it took me sometime to realize that it was a fake site, that is, when the twins could not bear with my pitiful lamentation they admitted that the real results were not yet out. “Screw you, both!” I blurted out in anger, and they laughed, and I laughed as well.
The next day, however, as we were gratefully enjoying the concert – the famous Indian Rock Band called “Agnee” was rocking the stage with their fantastic music, they were invited to perform for our college as a part of the annual fest – at night, the twin brothers had once again informed me, glancing at their cell phone that the results were out. “No more pranks,” I declared.
“No, it’s the real result, I swear,” said one of the twins, very earnestly.
“Oh, the real result, eh? I said mockingly, and then added, “Don’t want to know what it is.” I was really not ready to play yesterday’s prank, moreover, I was fully engrossed with one of Agnee’s famous number (“Sadho Re”), and which was also one of my favorite song.
Agnee, oh what a band it is! They played with such melody that I felt I should not be bothered by anyone while listening to their tracks. It was live. Opportunities may hardly come twice. But the stubborn twins were determined to know what my number was: “C’mon! Tell us your seat number, dude?”
I was still cynical, “Oh, if you so care, why don’t you check yours first?”
“Beg your pardon, but we have already done it, and we both have passed.”
“Oh la la, passed! Just like yesterday, eh?” The cynical me was saying that. “I gave the number yesterday; don’t you guys remember what it was?”
“No, we don’t. It’s your result, what do we care! Don’t say what your number is, and no one would tell ye right away if ye have passed or not.” That was one of the twins, giving me a kind of emotional demand. Suddenly, I became curios, and made my willingness known to them, “Yes, I want to know the result,” I said. “Without minding if it was fake or real,”that I did not say as both the brothers were getting sentimental. “You want my number, so be it!” I said and gave them the number.
“Dude, you have passed!” exclaimed both the brothers with enthusiasm.
“Oh, have I?” My sarcasm was hidden somewhere within myself. Ah, at least they didn’t say that I had failed like they did yesterday.
“Yes, yes, you have, and we have. Now, we must party!” suggested both the twins.
“And who is throwing the party?” I enquired.
“You are, aren’t you?”
“Who? Me? ha-ha! You see, I have a hole in my purse, and everything I had in it, has fallen down. Everything is lost, you see.” That was my way of telling them that I wasn’t paying a penny for anything.
“No problem, we will, we will. After all, we are the sons of a big gun.” That came from one of the twins, a sarcastic remark indeed.
“Well, well, there you said it. Canteen or some other place?”
“Canteen, of course,” said one of the more sensible, miser brother, because eatables in canteen were much cheaper than any other hotels nearby.
“Saving money, eh?” I cajoled them to go somewhere else, but to no avail.
I was still not sure if the brothers were lying about the results or speaking the truth, so right after coming back home, I opened Mumbai University’s site, and I inserted my seat number into a box, and there it was, my result. It said: “You have passed. Congratulations!”
Now, I have one more semester, and one more eggjam coming up in the month of April, and then I can call myself a graduate. After all, I can say, Mumbai University is not that bad.
At first, the management of my college wanted the students to finish and submit the project, which every final year students had to compulsorily write, by the 24th of December 2012. But then they postponed it to 26th of December. And on the 8th of January, 2013, we faced the Viva.
For those who do not know what a Viva is, let me say: Viva or Viva Voce is a spoken examination held at the end of a University Course. A good friend of mine had in one of his comments on one of my post asked me if I could write about the Viva once it is conducted, and I said I would be glad to do that. I am writing this here not just because that friend had asked me to, but because I know I need to write something. It’s not going to be everything but just the synopsis.
I wrote a project titled “Making Corporate Governance Meaningful”. The copy consists of seventy-nine pages (leaving aside pages numbered in Roman).
Corporate Governance, in simple words, means the systems, principles and processes by which a company is directed and controlled.
Globalization is the most current and demanding arenas where corporations have to define and legitimate the ‘right or wrong’ of their behavior. A lot of issues emerge in the process relating to cultural, legal and accountability. However, serious efforts have been directed at overhauling the system. Every day we read in the papers about corporate scandals, government failure, etc. A corporate scandal is a scandal involving allegations of unethical behavior by people acting within or on behalf of a corporation. Corporate scandals sometimes involve accounting fraud of some sort. If we happen to look at the list of corporate scandals around the world and particularly in India, the list can go and on, and it is startling!
Therefore, ethics can play a crucial role in making corporate governance meaningful. There should be a moral responsibility, which need not be necessarily taught, but it is something that comes from within oneself. Many everyday business activities require the maintenance of basic ethical standards, such as honesty, trustworthiness and cooperation. One must know the difference between vice and virtue. One must not think that the shareholders’ interest means the interest of all, nor can one compromise the rights of other stakeholders. Failure in Corporate Governance is a real threat to the future of every corporation; therefore, the auditing standard has to be improved. Auditing should comply with international standards.
Well, yes I had to refer some books while writing this, and I had to simply copy some of the things, because somebody has already written about the subject, and I had to simply reproduce that. How can I change something that really is! All my classmates did the same, but they, very shamefully, directly copied everything from other peoples’ project report.
If you simply type a certain topic on Google you get it. There are already a lot of project reports in PDF format over the internet which my friends easily access, and they very easily change the original author’s name, and copy-and-past, and produce the whole thing saying it is their own work! That, too, without changing or modifying the contents! Most of my classmates didn’t even understand or tried to understand the contents.
Writing the project, to speak the truth, wasn’t my cup of tea, though I learnt a lot. I have a good imagination power, and I like writing stories, mostly fiction, but partly based on reality. I am a realist, you see.
Shreyanshi Awasthi was the external examiner’s name. She spoke with me for more than 20 minutes, while with others she spoke not more than 10 minutes. We spoke about many things, apart from the project, ranging from the issues in our country; we spoke about nationality, language, literature, etcetera and etcetera. At one instance she asked me what my interests were. Among other things, I said writing is one. Then she asked me in which language I write. When I said English she appeared a little disappointed, and enquired why I don’t write in Bengali (which is my mother tongue) or in Hindi, which is spoken by most of us in India. And finally she asked me a few questions related to the project. How lucky I was! Though I read the whole project thoroughly but I knew what she would ask me (I assumed it). I was fully prepared for it in advance. And she did what I thought!
She was so much impressed by my answers that she asked me what grade I wanted. I answered, “Ma’am, whatever you think fit.”
“ Hmm m… alright!” she sighed.
“Could you mail me the softcopy of your project; I really like it, and would like to read more?” She asked with a smile on her face.
While parting from the classroom where we were having the conversation, she said, “Glad to meet you, Ramu Das.” She put her right hand forward to shake mine.
“Glad to meet you, too, ma’am,” I replied promptly. And firmly with my right hand gave her hand a manly shake.
During my last vacation, I worked for three months with an NGO called Greenpeace. I’m sure many have heard about Greenpeace. It is an International NGO with presence over forty countries. Greenpeace fights peacefully for the protection of environment, and suggests various measures for a sustainable economy. When need is felt, Greenpeace holds protests and grabs and breaks the neck (peacefully) of the culprit who poses a threat to the environment, and thereby a threat to ‘life’. By ‘life’, I don’t mean only human life, but every living thing. I’ve learnt a great deal from the organization, met with a lot of people, and loved interacting with them.
Why did I do all of these? Well, to make a project, which is a part of our curriculum, as prescribed by Mumbai University, and then face the viva-voce. And also to fill my purse with some wad of rupees that otherwise remains empty most of the time.
When I went to my college and submitted my topic, ‘Green Marketing’, for the project, my topic was rejected, saying that it clashed with another student from the other division of our class. When I told the lecturer that I worked for three months just for this project, the lecturer told me that the other person submitted the topic before I did. However, I was asked to meet with the other person and see if anything could be done.
The other person turned out to be a beautiful girl. She informed me that her project was already prepared, but not by her; it was prepared by her elder sister when she (the elder sister) was a student doing the same course. So, it was clear that the other girl merely wanted to copy her sister’s work and show it as her own work and save her time and energy.
I was not ready to accept that, but she persistently pleaded that I should change my topic. “Oh, you write so well, and that, too, by your own. I’m sure you can write on any other topic.” I knew she was trying to lull me, I looked at her face, her face radiated a childlike glow, and I felt pity for her. But who was going to feel pity for me? I just said, “I’ll think about it, and let you know.” She seemed very happy when I said that, perhaps she thought or knew that I would change the topic eventually; girls are always confident in getting what they want. Unlike men, they know all the tricks.
After some days she met me again in the college and was as sweet as honey, but I knew even what honeybees produce is sweet but when honeybee stings it is excruciating like the sting of death. Men are unthinkably weak when it comes to women, and being a man, so am I. I succumbed to her pleas and decided to change the topic.
I changed to another topic of which I had good knowledge, but a hopeless lecturer lied to me, and said that it was also taken up by someone else. With much difficulty at last I spoke with the other person –this time a guy– and the guy told me that he had chosen no such topic. I was relieved to hear that.
I’m working on my new topic, and for the same I’m collecting a lot of materials, in short I can say, I’m super busy now.
It was 4.30 in the morning when the alarm of my phone started giving me a tough time. And I had to bear with Eminem’s socially inappropriate lyrics, for it had been my phone’s alarm tone. I was reluctant to wake up. It was a cold morning. Everything was still. I shut Eminem up by pressing the snooze option of the phone. I pulled the blanket over my head, squeezed and curled myself in the bed, and was off to dreamland.
At 5 o’clock the phone rang once again. I wanted to snooze it like I did a little while ago, and like I do every day until it stops ringing, but this time it was a different music, not the alarm tone by any chance. I halfheartedly opened my eyes, stretched my hands, and with the right hand I picked up the phone and glancing at it I saw Aravind’s name flash on it.
Aravind is a very good friend of mine. Although he looks aged with his bulging belly and the stiff mustache, but internally he is quite immature and very innocent. He proves his immaturity very often by doing things which a man of his age never does. Some people find him a bit pestering, but I like him. He has always been very good to me.
I pressed the accept button to speak. He yelled out of sheer excitement, just like a kid: “Goa… Goa, Goa!” Then he paused for a moment gasping heavily, and then he spoke again, his sentences ending before he could complete them: “The girls… wearing bikinis… resort, dazzling beaches… wake up! Wake up!”
Realization hit me hard like a stone to a glass, we were supposed to go to Goa today, “Ah, quite so,” I said.
As a rule set my Mumbai University, all the Management Students must go on an industrial visit. I suppose, to make us aware about our future responsibilities, or to let us know how we are supposed to struggle for money. It was the teachers’ duty to take care of that, that is to say, to organize industrial visits for the students every year.
The last two years I could not make it to any of the industrial tour because I was not interested, moreover, I had no time for it. But this time I was determined not to miss this opportunity. This is my final year in the college, and if I missed it I would suffer from a void feeling which might as well torture my conscience as I grow older. I’ve never been to Goa. I wanted to see what Goa was like. So I paid Rs. 4000 (like everyone did) for the same and decided to go to Goa.
Aravind was waiting for me in his car. I hurried up, and briskly and noiselessly got into the car. “I’m here.” Soon we reached Panvel station from where all the students were supposed to get on board of a train – Jan Shatabdi had been the train’s name – at 6.00 a.m. I met other friends, and the three lecturers (all women) who accompanied us, or who were suppose to keep an eye on us, in case someone led us astray. Ha!
We kept waiting for the train. As it always happens, the train moved forward, rattling inch by inch quite leisurely at OUR timing – the Indian timing, and finally came to a halt. It was late by half-an-hour. The shrilling of its engine wasn’t at all inviting.
The friends’ parents came to the station to see the friends off. These followed thereon: embracing, shaking hands, wiping tears from the eyes… as if they were bidding goodbye for a long time or maybe forever. The tour was just for 4 days, and nothing more. Overflowing affection, ha!
I was looking for my seat as I got into the train, and when I was able to find it out, I saw an elderly man sitting on it. “Sir, I believe, you’re sitting on my chair,” I said. He was least bothered. I raised my voice, and then he said it was his seat. “How could that be possible?” I questioned.
“Very,” he replied laconically.
“Very?” I found myself repeating his word, but only interrogatively. A little argument followed. I summoned the TC and discovered that the elderly man was speaking the truth. I felt embarrassed before the elderly man, the TC, and other passengers. I foamed at the mouth. I had to stand for half an hour in the train; some of my friends did the same.
I went to the lecturers with my complaint. I kept stuttering for sometime before speaking plainly. Yes, when I get very angry, or very excited, I stutter. Let me say it once again, I st-tu-tut-tut-tut-stut-ter.
One of the lecturers arranged a seat for me, and slowly all the other students were able to sit down comfortably. But I wanted to know why there was the confusion regarding the seat. We did pay the money then why should there be any problem at all? When asked, the lecturers had no idea why it was so; there was no answer for me. Perhaps, the agent of People2Place (who provided us the travel service) made a mistake. Anyhow, I was able to sit and relax, my anger melted, and I had no more problems and no more questions.
The train jerked and rattled, picked up speed, and along we moved on. I tried to register everything in my mind through the view from the window. But, alas, it was a misty December morning, and it made my visibility unclear. No doubt it looked beautiful. Sometimes neon signs flicked through as the train made its way, and I was curious to know what was beneath the foggy atmosphere: Perhaps homes, mountains, a bazaar, animals, or such other things.
I decided to read a book, the best way to eat up time, but the friends wouldn’t let me. They (the boys) inherited the girls’ hormone. They kept on talking tirelessly and continuously. Some guys had a voice as melodious as Justin Bieber, and I could make little difference as to who was the guy and who the gal.
We reached Goa and checked-in to our resort. A very beautiful resort it was, with greenery all-around, a swanky swimming pool that was made more appealing by the alluring golden-haired, brown-eyed girls swimming and dancing in it. A friend of mine exclaimed: “This is it!” I gave him a puzzled look, and he explained, “Besides the beaches and the wine, I wanted to see this and nothing more.” He pointed his fingers towards the women in bikinis swimming in the pool, and towards another who was reclining on her rocking chair, smoking, exhaling circles of smoke, and reading a book at the same time. “Ah, it seems like a movie. This is exactly how they look in the movies. Oh my god, I feel like a star!” He said, expressing mirth. The other friends laughed back at him, not with him, mind you.
We freshened up and learnt that we were going to a very famous and the finest beach in Goa called Baga beach. The boys wore shorts, so did the girls. But the girls invited some criticisms from the lecturers for doing so. My friends disapproved of the lecturers’ gesture. A guy said, “What problem do the teachers have with the students? They never want to see us happy. This is only time we get to see some skin, and … “
A lecturer approached towards him making a strange face, and he thought it best to shut up and stay mum. I knew what he was trying to convey. But he meant it only for fun without having any bad intention. Nevertheless, the girls adhered to their dressing style; after all, they were going to a beach and not to a church or a temple.
We went to Baga beach, swam to our heart’s content. A friend, upon seeing a bikini-clad foreigner, wanted to click a photo with her. But she refused. The friend looked a little disappointed and brokenhearted, we couldn’t help but laugh and laugh, and laugh a little more.
A lady friend lost her camera somewhere in the beach or in the shops nearby, and started crying. Girls of our college always cry no matter what, “I won’t go back home if I don’t get the camera,” she said. All the other girls started crying as well, as if the camera was a lifesaving drug for them. The lecturers told us to help her find the camera, it happened to be a very expensive one. We went to find it, and luckily we found it. It was in a shop, the shopkeeper was a morally upright, very kindhearted and noble man (such persons are very scarce today, aren’t they?) and returned the camera back to its rightful owner. We thanked him and were off to our resort.
Then, we danced to the tunes of the Disc jockey in the swimming pool as dusk set in; it was especially organized for us. After that we had a hearty dinner.At the crack of midnight we retired to our beds.
During the night I could not sleep properly because of a friend’s snoring who slept beside me. The whole night he kept on torturing me by producing strange sounds: grarrrrr… graaaaaaarrrrrr… grrrrarr….graarrrrrrr… This followed in the same fashion till the remaining days in Goa. I told him to change his sleeping position hoping to see some changes in his breathing. He changed his position, but it was of no avail. I felt like defenestrating him, but thought the better of it.
In the next day, we went to another world-famous dazzling beach –Calangute beach– in north Goa for water sports. These are the sports we enjoyed: Banana boat ride, Bumper ride (the force of the water did a good bum massage), Para-sailing (we paid extra for extra pleasure), Jet Ski (I rode, by paying extra, of course). In the night we went boat cruising. ‘Coral Queen’ had been the cruiser’s name. Some cultural dances were displayed on it. We watched and loved it.
The next day we went to Coca Cola Company, that’s the main reason for which we were in Goa. An instructor demonstrated us the functioning of the machines and all other stuff related to the production of beverage. At first I thought the instructor was not an instructor but a security guard. His dressing style was overly simple. But when he started speaking in fluent English, and started explaining us everything about the manufacturing process, I found him a very knowledgeable, genial, and modest person. Oh, and he wore a big smile every time he spoke.
Then we proceeded towards old Goa and visited BIG FOOT Cross Museum which is a centre for preservation and promotion of Art, Culture and Environment. Then we visited the historical church of St. Francis Xavier, and an archaeological museum nearby.
The next day we visited Fort Aguada. After that we were on our way back to Aamchi Mumbai.
I must say, Goa, with its mighty Sea, good-natured people, and its proximity to other huge cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, is really attractive, enticing, and fascinating.
There is something soothing about Goa. For a writer, it’s the best place to live. The surroundings are quite, serene and peaceful. Goa, I’m sure, would alleviate your mental agony, and make you feel that life is worth living.
Thus, we concluded our journey; it was a thrilling experience, at least for me. Now, as I finish writing this, I am missing Goa a lot.
P.S.: I could have written a lot more, but as it is, it already looks very daunting. I don’t want to bore my readers, and definitely my blog is not a book.
Ever since I started blogging (it’s seven months now) I find my learning curve is always going up, with that, I think, I’m slowly improving. And what can be more rewarding than this! The sole purpose why I’m into blogging is because I want to learn and improve myself (it’s not a crime to improve oneself, is it?). Learning never ends, the more we learn the more there is to learn, no matter how learned we are, we must keep learning.
I’m thankful to all my fellow-bloggers who have taken their time out from their busy life and liked and commented on my post. Yes, I’m thankful only to those, who have commented and liked my post, the rest, I don’t bother. You see, I’m selfish.
Anyway, I want to let you know that I’ll be away from blogosphere till the first week of November. Well, it’s time I should immerse myself into my studies, no matter how damn boring the curriculum is, and the subjects are. Cruel Mumbai University has already fixed the dates for eggjams of the management course; unfortunately, I’m a student of management. The thing is that if I sit in front of my computer, I forget everything else, and it always amazes me how time slips away when I do that. Now, I’ll have to force into my head all those jargons and difficult words and terms which the professors have so easily written on the blackboard sometime ago — which I vaguely remember — to keep my head and my parent’s heads from hanging down in disgust, shame, and repulsion. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going!
I’ll write more, and most importantly read all of your wonderful posts when I come back. Till then everybody take good care of your body. But, remember, even if you want to look good and be like a superstar, you don’t have to use too much of cosmetics, nor do you need to do any kind of surgeries like our film stars, and you don’t even need to sing or give an album’s name something like ‘Boyfriend’ just to prove that you’re a boy which our Justin lady Bieber did, nor do you need to gaga about your cloths like our Masculine Lady Gaga.
You are good-looking and this feeling should come from within, take for an example, no one ever said that I look smart or handsome, but I feel, I am.
Did you believe that?
That was a joke!
Will be back in the first week of November, bye for now!