Sunday, December 10, 2006

Accepted at the Carlson School of Management.

Last week I got accepted for the Part-Time MBA program at University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management which is ranked between 5 and 12 in different rankings for it's Part-Time MBA program. The classes start in January and am really excited on going back to school after about 5 years. I was planning to do a MBA for a couple of years now but couldn't get myself to do it. Finally in August I decided to take the plunge. First was the GMAT and TOEFL. I had exactly 63 days for my GMAT exam and to make matters worse I couldn't get a TOEFL appointment in Minneapolis and had to go all the way to Duluth for the exam. GMAT just tests your high school maths fundamentals but the way the questions are phrased can make your head spin and the English section is tricky as it could be. After slogging for those 2 months, sleeping for less than 4 hours each day and missing a lot of fun stuff, I scored a respectable 570 on my GMAT. In addition to the GMAT, I had to prepare my admission package for the U. That involved writing some really focussed essays. Thanks to my friends and colleagues who provided valuable inputs, I felt my essays were strong and projected a good idea on what I am and what I wanted to achieve. After the GMAT was done, I had to write the TOEFL a week later. I was a bit confident on this and the only thing I was focusing on was on getting a real good score so that it made a good impact on my admission package. I had to wait a good 3-4 weeks for the TOEFL score to arrive and the admissions committee to make a decision. A couple of weeks later, I got my TOEFL score and it was 107/120 which is in the 95th percentile. I was really nervous waiting for the decision since I didn't want to go to any other school or write the GMAT once again. Like in the movies, I would open my snail mailbox and wait for the letter to see if I have been accepted or not. The university actually sent me an email informing that I have been accepted. That was one of the happiest moments of my life. Normally you slog hard to accomplish difficult things and when you accomplish it, it makes all that effort worthwhile.
My first classes starts in the second week of January and I am really excited about learning new things and meeting new people.


Monday, November 20, 2006


Seinfeld 7 is releasing on DVD tomorrow. It is one of my favourite shows and one of the best written shows ever. A couple of days ago Michael Richards, the guy who played the kranky 'Kramer' on the show made absolutely disgusting racist remarks in a comedy club show. He lost his cool after being heckled by some audience members.
A day before the official DVD release Jerry Seinfeld comes on the 'The Late Show' with Dave Letterman show promoting the Season 7 DVD and has Michael Richards via satellite make an apology for his remarks. It was a mockery of an apology and had some audience laughing in the background. Why would you come on a comedy show and make an apology, hard to tell?
I don't believe in conspiracy theories but if I let my brain cells go wild, would there be a coincidence between 'Kramer's remarks and the release of the DVD. I hope, not.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Life's not fair.

Have you ever had the feeling that life's not fair? I just realized that and in a really bad way this week. On monday, I hit a car in the parking lot, first of all I was really careless and totally misjudged and scraped the other car near the rear bumper. Although nobody saw me hit the car, but wanting to do the right thing, I left a note with my name and number. The other car's owner gave me a call and we resolved the matter with my insurance paying for the damages and the end result that my insurance is going up for atleast 3 years. I was satisfied that I did what I would expect other's to do if my car had been hit by somebody else. But no, that's not the case. I went to Walmart today and to get over my new fear of parking I parked my car in a secluded area. After I was done with my shopping, I went back to my car and saw this real big dent in the side of my car, just above the rear wheel. And was there a note? NO. Whoever hit my car just took off. That really sucks.
So a week ago I had a car which looked fine and now it looks bruised and battered from all sides.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Salaam Bombay!!!

Salute to the resilient Mumbaikars who put behind the dastardly acts carried out by some cowards to disrupt the life of innocent people going about their day to day lives. No matter what this terrorists SOB's do, the city is going to bounce back. It pains me a lot seeing the news and pictures of people moaning for their near and dear ones. This people had nothing to do with it, God bless their souls.
This letter got forwarded to me by some of my friends :

Dear Terrorist,

Even if you are not reading this we don't care. Time and again you tried to disturb us and disrupt our life - killing innocent civilians by planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but everytime you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewere, not here.

We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and Bengaliies. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt. employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last few occassions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring 500+ in 1993), we went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few hours and were back to normal - the vendors placing their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targetted)

Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating volunteers were seen outside various hospital, where most of the injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that blood banks were full and they didn't require any more blood. The next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses were packed to the brim, the crowds were back.
The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one - perhaps with greater vigour.

We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very strong and can not be harmed.

With Love,
From the people of Bombay

I am proud to say I am one of the Mumbaiker's and although I am not physically there my heart and soul is with them.


Monday, July 10, 2006

My Time at Agrawal Classes.

Today I talked to an old friend of mine Kiran Pai after about 9 years, who I had met at Agrawal Classes during the boot-camp for our 12th Std exams and never saw him or talked to him after that till we met on Orkut a couple of weeks ago. It was fun remembering the old times and talking about what has happened in the last 9 years since we talked. I was really glad that I got a chance to speak to him.

It all seemed like yesterday when I got my admission in Agrawal's. I am not sure now but at that time it was like trying to get into Harvard or MIT with them having their own merit list of students that they gave admissions to. I remember at that time seeing some parents literally begging with the staff members to give them the admission forms but it didn't help. It was like a boot-camp where you had to go every day from 7 in the morning to 1.30 in the afternoon every day during the summer break. They would have made everybody stay the whole day but since they didn't have any class-rooms with them being in a place like Dadar they were forced to have two classes in the morning and evening. They had tried and tested techniques that they had practised over the years to churn out toppers one after the other. No matter students of which college came in the merit list, they had one thing in common, they used to be all from Agrawals.
They had legendary notes written by eminent professors which made you a celebrity in your class since everybody wanted to photocopy them. There was this one prof who actually asked you to learn by heart all the math formulaes and would fire questions one after the other and if you didn't answer them, actually made you to write them 100 times. One prof who liked to show off his skills by writing all the logarithmic values without looking at the log table. I still don't know how he used to do that, maybe he was so used to write the same stuff so many times on the white board that he remembered all of them.
And one prof who could go on a real tangent if you got him started on the Indian Political system. He used to have one of the most entertaining classes which we all used to really enjoy.

And Agru's had this really hard exams from time to time and they used to send the results along with the actual papers by post to your home address. That didn't make such good reading and I used to have a hard time convincing my parents that the exams were really hard. And coming back to my old friend Kiran, he always had scores in single digits and me in the low tens and we always used to have a good time discussing about them.
It was an enjoyable experience which took a lot of effort and hard-work but paid-off in the end and got me 96% which was a pretty good score at that time.
Also it brought back some old memories, things that just stay in your mind, the struggle, the effort which played a part in the journey to reach where you are.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Italy are the Champions!!!

64 matches, 30 days, 310 yellow cards , 28 red cards and 147 goals later, Italy are the world champions and a legend is disgraced.

In what was one of the most exciting matches of the whole tournament, Italy came on top against France overcoming their dismal records in penalty-shootouts and winning their fourth world cup after they won in 1934, 1938 and 1982. Italy were lucky that it went into penalties considering that they were dead-tired and were barely moving in the second half of extra-time. All this thanks to a thoughtless act by a legend Zinedine Zidane who before the match was assured of a place among the legends Pele, Beckenbauer, Maradona, Cruyff regardless of whether France won the world cup or not. What was he thinking? No matter what Materrazi did or said to him there was no reason for head-butting somebody in the middle of a game and a game as important as a world cup final.That one act just changes everything. Now whenever somebody talks of Zizou, they are not going to remember him by the sublime skills that he displayed in the years gone by but by this single moment of madness which was the turning point of the entire game. Without their midfield warriors Zizou, Viera, Ribery and Henry France looked lost and beaten even before the penalties. This is not the first time that Zizou has lost his cool. He head-butted a SV Hamburg player once and got sent-off in the 2002 WC stamping on the back of a Saudi Arabia player. He had a chance to redeem himself and he did by carrying France to the finals and almost to their second World Cup. But after this he won't get a chance again since he has already announced his retirement from international and club football. I really hope that the world forgives him for this and he can rightfully take his place among the legends. Even Maradona had the "Hand of God" thing but nobody holds it against him.
Coming back to the match it was a wonderful display of football with both the teams attacking and defending really well. France were really coming into their own in the midfield and were for me the team who really deserved to win. But this was Italy's world cup to win and they displayed their never-die attitude by coming back from a goal down and hanging on to take the game to penalties. Also they have to thank their goalie Buffon who was outstanding in the entire tournament and made a unbelievable save against Zidane during extra-time which might have caused some of Zizou's frustration.
Italy with a record of 3-0 in penalties in their previous world cup games and having lost the 1994 world cup to Brazil on penalties, did nothing wrong in the penalty shootout and scored all their 5 penalties to clinch the title.
One man who made a difference for Italy in their knockout games was Fabian Grosso who got a penalty against Australia which Francesco Totti scored in the 2nd round match, scored the 1st goal against Germany in the dying minutes and was fitting that he scored the final penalty.
This win came timely for the Azurris considering that 13 of the 23 players play for the 4 teams Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina that are being investigated for their role in referree-fixing for some of the Serie-A matches. Most of this players are expected to switch to the other big teams in the Premiership and the La-Liga. I hope that Manchester UTD, my favourite club team can get some of them particularly Gattuso who has made statements in the past about playing for ManU.

My All-Star team for this world cup is:

Gianluggi Buffon (GK) (Italy)
Roberto Ayala (Def) (Argentina)
Fabio Cannavaro (Def) (Italy)
Philip Lahm (Def) (Germany)
Lilian Thuram (Def) (France)
Zinedine Zidane (MF) (France)
Germaine Gattuso (MF) (Italy)
Joe Cole (MF) (England)
Maxi Rodriguez (MF) (Argentina)
Thierry Henry (F) (France)
Miroslav Klose (F) (Germany)

Coach: Marcelo Lippi

Best of 2006 World Cup:

Goal : Maxi Rodriguez (Argentina)
Match: Italy V/S France
Team : Italy
Player: Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)

This concludes my posting for this world cup. The next world cup is going to be held in South Africa in the year 2010. Till then, I am going to continue posting about my favourite team Manchester United.
Till then, Enjoy...


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

World Cup Fever - 3

Nostradamus was wrong!!!

"In the sixth month of 2006 the King of Spain will cross the Pyreness with his troops. The legions of Beelzebub will battle him in central Europe but the evil ones will suffer doom and destruction. The Holy Grail will then come, like the King, to Spain."
This is what Nostradamus say in one of his prophecies which was referred in all of the major Spanish newspapers with respect to the chances of the Spanish team.

Obviously that hasn't been fulfilled and Spain lost to France in the 2nd round continuing their legacy of under-achievement. France did very well and with no pressure on them to win they pulled out a rabbit from the hat and beat Spain with their experience.
Brazil and England did enough to win without playing to the level that can win a world cup.
Argentina left it pretty late relying on an extra-time wonder-goal from Maxi Rodriguez to win it against Mexico.
Germany did it in the first 12 minutes and Sweden were left picking up the pieces for the rest of the game.
Switzerland and Ukraine played out one of the worst games of the world cup with neither of the team wanting to take any chances and Ukraine winning in a scrappy penalty-shootout.

Portugal and Holland played out one of the most amazing games I have ever seen and it's not the quality of the game that I am talking about but rather the lack of it. There was no sportsmanship from any of the players and the referee just made it worse by flashing cards like crazy. No wonder it equalled the record for the highest number of yellow cards in a match (16) and broke the record for the most number of red cards (4).

This is the line-up for the quarter-finals:

Germany V/s Argentina
Italy V/s Ukraine
England V/s Portugal
Brazil V/s France

I personally would like to see a Argentina v/s Brazil final with Argentina winning.
But with Germany playing at home and peaking at the right time, they will be tough to beat.
Italy should have it relatively easy against Ukraine.
England have been outsmarted by Scolari, the Portugal coach, twice before and are my favourites to do it again.
Brazil v/s France should be an interesting match and will come down to whoever controls the midfield well. The world's best midfielders would be in that match with Ronaldinho, Kaka, Zidane and Viera playing for their respective teams.

Best of :

Goals : Maxi Rodriguez (Argentina)
Match : France V/s Spain
Team : France
Player : Lukas Podolski (Germany)
Coach : Luiz Felipe Scolari (Portugal)

I am off to San Francisco this weekend and am not sure if I will be able to watch the games, but I am sure gonna try.



Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup Fever - 2

All the teams in the world cup have finished playing their first group games. So which team is hot and which is not?
Spain seems to be the hottest team not only because of the number of goals they scored again Ukraine but in the way they scored it. They looked really impressive, their touches on the ball, passing and finishing. Brilliant. And which team totally sucked. Surprise it was not one of the African nations who made their debuts but France, the winner of the 1998 World Cup. It wasn't hard to believe by the way they played that they hadn't scored a goal since the 1998 Final when Emmanuel Petit scored a goal in the final minutes. Zidane, Barthez, Makelele all came out of retirements to help France qualify for the World Cup and I think that's the best they can do. They are going to struggle to reach the second-round and it will take a minor miracle for them
to go any further than that. They had class players like Henry, Viera, Zizou etc but they couldn't string together a single pass.
And Franc Ribery, boy o boy, is he really overrated, i think so, he was being talked about being the next Zidane and of possibly replacing Zidane in some of the games and bring Zidane as a sub. His skills seemed to be OK but his vision and finishing was pedestrian to say the least.

Brazil won their game against Croatia. It wasn't a great effort but they got it done. They will have to improve a lot though against Australia who are on a high after scoring 3 goals(their first ever in the WC) in the dying minutes of that thrilling game against Japan.

The second set of group games have started and I just watched England labouring to a hard fought win against Trinidad & Tobago(2-0). And they did only because the Trinidadians were tired. If things happen as they are happening now and Ecuador(who incidentally qualified to the second round for the first time) manage to get a draw against Germany, England will face Germany in the second round. What a match that's going to be?

My "Best Of" series continues :

Goal: Kaka (Brazil)
Team: Spain
Player: David Villa(Spain)
Coach: Luis Aragones(Spain)
Match: Australia V/S Japan

One of my colleague send me this interesting article about the difference between the soccer balls used in this tournament and why goalkeepers don't like it.

So don't blame the goalie.



Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Cup Fever -1

Finally, I get a chance to post about something which really excites me. Before you start getting any ideas, let me say it's regarding the World Cup Soccer going on in Germany. It has taken me some time to say "Soccer" since people have a funny look on their face when I talk about the "football" game in Germany.
So who seems to be the favourite this time around.
Looking at some of the group games as of Sunday June,11, Netherlands seemed to be the most impressive team with Argentina a close behind. Although I really like England and would like them to do well, they have a real problem with the strikers that they have now. They have 4 strikers now but in reality its about one and a half, with Wayne Rooney injured and Theo Walcott with his inexperience. That leaves Peter Crouch as the only fully fit striker and a half-fit Michael Owen(who was substituted at the 55th min). An interesting statistic about Wayne Rooney is that he didn't score a single goal in any of the qualifying matches.
And about Argentina, my favourite team to win the World Cup, they have a couple of missing players Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuels who did really well in the last world cup and are really impressive in their respective leagues. Argentina didn't have any offense on the right flank, all the attack seemed to be coming from the middle and the left with Riquelme doing a really impressive job. But my main worry is what if Riquelme gets injured, booked or has a rough day who is going to command the midfield. Lionel Messi seems to be the answer but he is coming off a bad injury and would be a shadow of himself before he was injured.
This is my observation from the last few games about what was the most impressive in the following categories:
Best Team : Netherlands
Best Player: Arjen Robben
Best Match: Sweden V/S Trinidad
Best Coach: Leo Beenhakker(Trinidad & Tobago) For the offensive substitutions that he made when they were playing with 10 men.
I am going to post my thoughts and update the list very often till the world cup is over.
Till then, enjoy.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Indian Olympic Lethargy.

In the Winter Olympics that is being held in Turin, Italy, I was watching the Luge event which is a small one- or two - person sled on which one sleighs supine(upward facing position) and feet-first. Steering is done by flexing the sled's runners or pulling straps attached to the sled's runners. Luge is also the name of the sport which involves racing with such sleds. And there is an Indian sportperson called Shiva Keshavan who finished 25th in the competition. Looking at his story it really made me wonder how the Indian sports official can make life really hard for a guy instead of encouraging him. He boycotted the opening ceremony where he was supposed to be the flag-bearer and which is a really big honour for somebody representing the country as he was being given a hard-time by the officials who were accompanying him. With the discrimination that the government and the corporate industry makes towards other sports compared to cricket, I wasn't really surprised that they do the same with the Winter Olympics team considering the fact that most of the population in India have never seen snow in their entire life. It's a shame that India with a population of more than a billion can never win anything big in any of the major competitions.
Is it government lethargy, lack of sponsorship from the corporate world or just the indifference of the general population to any sport other than cricket?
In a related story, when Jennifer Heil of Canada won a gold medal in the Women's Mogul event( she thanked J.D. Miller, a Montreal hedge fund manager who pooled a team of two ski coaches, four trainers and a sports psychologist to work with Heil so that she can reach the ultimate pinnacle in the sport and she did it. How many people like this would we find in India who would do the same thing.
Your guess is as good as mine. If things continue like this, I won't be surprised if India doesn't win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics in a million years unless they introduce "Ice Kabaddi" in the winter olympics any time sooner.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Videos on Google.

I was surfing the web and found a real cool video on a guy's blog. It surprisingly looked very similar to the videos posted on google and wait a minute, it was. Google now allows you to have links of video on your site and they give you the code that you need to embed on your site for it.
Although I liked the quantity of videos that I could find on it, it seemed strange that when you say download the video, it just downloads a 1 kb file containing the information and which can be played only on the special Google Video Player. This forces you to be connected to the net whenever you want to watch the videos. I am not sure how the "paid" video service work, if they allow you to download the entire videos or if it's the same thing. I guess if it's not then it's not worth buying those videos which don't come cheap ranging in costs from $ 1.99 to 5.95 and maybe more. I hope someday Google finds another way to recoup the money that the market expects them to make and puts it under so much pressure so that they reduce the money they charge for these videos and also make available some of the videos free.

This is the test for my first link to a Google video link.
A clip about Funniest Goals...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cool Anagram Site.

I have always been interested in word puzzles and anagrams. Just found out this really cool site which takes a word and gives you all the anagrams of that particular word.
Internet Anagram Server 

What is an Anagram?

anagram (an-a-gram)


    A word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. For example, Elvis to Lives.
verb tr., intr.
    To rearrange letters in such a way. To anagrammatize.
Check it out.