Friday, April 28, 2006


is it about having choices that makes life difficult?? Why does every god damn thing on the planet earth has confounding as well as uncertain pros and cons?? How the hell can anyone feel as if he/she has taken an 'informed' decision after assesing the situation?? Things - small, big; Situations - inconsequential, consequential; Expectations - high, low(read no); People - damning, caring; Life - perplexing, simple ........... All of this is a riddle of choices. And at the end of it all I hear people saying, "I really had no choice" Silly..............Tough.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

For the benefit of those wanting to do MBA post Architecture

This blog is a paste of the mail I have sent to BNCA alumni for easier reference.
Dear Ruchi, (and all the others plagued by the same question)

I probably am asked this question more than my name over a course of last about 2.5 years. I joined ISB - Indian School of Business, Hyderabad ( Highest salary record this year...ring a bell?) in April 2004 and passed out in April'05. I did my post graduation in Marketing and LCM - Leadership and Change Management. (Sounds Hebrew? Was for me too!! :) )

I think I must clarify something at the outset of this mailer. If any of you are looking at going for a MBA for all the glossy salaries it offers, think again. Salary immediately after MBA 1. Is not the ultimate thing under the sun. You have all your life to work after that and 2. To get these glossy salaries you need relevant work experience/educational experience. It is only then that you are going to be able to convince the corporates of your worth.

Now with this first mis-conception out of the way, I am going to answer the second myth. However, harsh this may sound you cannot/should not go back to pure architectural work/interior designing post MBA again for two primary reasons. 1. MBA is not going to add any substantial value to your resume as an architect/designer and 2. If you have the glorious idea of being able to do better business/carry out a better architectural practice then you are investing too much time and effort doing a MBA for this. You should be able to do it anyways. So in a nutshell doing a MBA is essentially a one way road (for most! There will always be exceptions!) away from pure architectural work .

Now, having said this, what is it that you can really do post MBA and leverage your knowledge as an Architect? There is truly loads of opportunity for you, especially now that the whole of real estate sector is organising itself. With FDI opening up, developers listing themselves and foreign players making forays in India, there's a lot to be done here. The first and foremost opportunity lies with the International Property Consultancies like (Trammell Crow Meghraj, Knight Frank, Jones Lang Lasalle, Cushman Wakefield, CBRE to name a few – Google them to see their web pages) You can work with them in the leasing/transaction department as well as in consultancy. Project management divisions of these IPCs are better known to recruit from the NICMARs of the world but they are not averse to pure MBA + Architecture profiles either. Apart from IPCs it is also possible to work with various developers of national and international repute such as DLF, Unitech, Parsvanath as well as local firms that are going places now such as DSK, Kumar Builders, Gera Developers, Paranjape Schemes, Kolte-Patil Developers etc. In addition to this there is plethora of real estate funds that are looking at leasing managers/executives are open to recruiting such profiles. For more on job profiles please call!! (There’s only so much a woman can write!!! )

What specialization do you need to get any/all of the above mentioned jobs?? Well Marketing as well as Finance will do. But the basic knowledge of both is critical.

And now for what I did, and am doing! I wanted to do a general MBA (as opposed to Project/construction management courses in NICMAR and likes) as I wanted a wider perspective of the business world. I wanted to see how the other sectors right from energy to agriculture and famines in Sudan, affect my – real estate – sector. Never ever did I think to move away from real estate into something else totally. Hence I applied to ISB (well finest thing on the planet earth. But I am not going to write more as I am too passionate about it and will definitely forget the actual subject of this mailer! Chuckle!!!) as they were offering a year’s course as opposed to two years in most other places plus they were too good to be true and that too in India! Their presence in this country assured better perspective on the Indian Market conditions – vital for me as I wanted to work here. It was an amazingly educative ride for a year and I think I slogged more than I did in BNCA!!

Post MBA I took up an offer by Chesterton Meghraj (Now Trammell Crow Meghraj – same company new stakeholder and hence the name change!) for consulting division in Pune. I was to work in Mumbai with consulting team for about 4 months, during which office in Pune was being set up and after that I handled everything from business development to working on projects and building team here for past 8 – 9 months. Competing offer (when I joined TCM) was giving me double the salary offered by Chesterton Meghraj but the job profile here rocked……..besides my salary was paltry 50% of the average of ISB. We are just not paid the way Marketing/IT/Finance people are paid. And to put it in the perspective of an Architectural job I was making thrice as much. This for some might not seem much but in my opinion bidding time and collecting experience is important.

Today after a year’s stint in consulting I am moving to investments division. I am given 100% pay rise. And offers from other places (i-bank, funds, other IPC, overseas offers from developers) are pouring. If I am to take any of these up it would mean a 300% rise in my pay packet. I would be earning more than 40% of my ISB colleagues and at par with about 25% of them (with markedly less experience.) But the point here is not about how much more I can make but that I am advancing professionally! I have had a blast of a time working for past year and in this company or anywhere else I will still continue to enjoy immensely!!

So if any of you want to take a plunge, please please know what you like to do the best. Does designing give you that ultimate kick ? or is it interacting with people? Or is it about being able to call shots? Is it forecasting markets? Is it deploying money wisely and watch it grow? What excites you the most?? Please find it out for yourself before going ahead and making a commitment to a post graduation, be it MBA or a M.Arch or whatever else that you have on your mind.

I am posting this mail on my blog page as well (today itself) just in case anybody wants to access it easily. (yahoo groups’ message boards aint one of the most friendly types!!) The link is For more please call!! This length of mail is totally uncharacteristic of me!! I can talk away to glory (no need telling that to some!)

Cheers and all the best!!


Monday, April 24, 2006

Ice Age 2

By the way Ice Age 2 is an amaaaaaaziiiiiinnnnggg movie!! As cute as things can get. It does not get stuck in any of the traps of a sequel. A true blue entertainer!! Must watch!!

For those who understand and the rest who are simply the duds!!

A Saturday evening in me’s life. I promise my younger sis (whose exams are fast approaching) and mother that I shall bring them some Subway sandwiches home for food. This way neither mother has to cook nor sis needs to take time off her studies and go out for a dinner. (I am sure an angelic ring appeared on my head!) Post this, I said, I would go out with my hubby for dinner! All set, agreed…

I leave house for Subway (4.5 mins exactly) and find the place jammed with people. Some wanting to catch a quick snack before watching the 9 o’clock movie and some enjoying the ‘companionship’ more than the sandwich! Finally, I manage to find a person to make me my precious sandwiches. (Unfortunately my favorite guy Mr. K – who makes the best sandwiches in the whole world, is on leave….damn) I instruct him to make two 6” Roast Chicken breast and one Chicken Sheek (No amount of bird flu can scare me off the Roast Chicken breast sandwich in Subway!! Yummmmm) without onions (stinky) and tomatoes (gooey) with Mayo and Mint Mayo and a dash of Honey Mustard in Honey Oat Bread… “Sorry Maam we are out of Honey oat and Honey Mustard” (What do they have against honey?? Bad one! I know) After another soft curse under the breath, an understanding smile and a nod for compromise, the sandwich begins to be made at a painstakingly slow speed. Twice he puts onions and removes it as I point it out but to his credit (!) he does that to tomatoes only once. It takes three reminders to get him to understand that he need not heat it as it is a take away and I want two out of three sandwiches cut in 3” pieces. Another self-assured and oh-I-am-so-cool guy standing at the cash register sums up my bill. I pay it, pick up the bag handed over to me and leave.

4.5 mins later I reach my mother’s house and open the bag to find three completely different sandwiches bundled in there. Damn it! I call them and tell them about the goof up, explain them with one and a half ton of patience that my sandwiches were too peculiar to be given to any customer unknowingly and they sure are lying right there (Inside the damned microwave…I suspect) Then I explain him the address, give him the phone number and urge him to hurry the (right) sandwiches home and take away someone else’s food delivered to us. (These guys do free home deliveries so this was hardly out of line…) 15 mins later I get a call. “maam what sandwiches did u order?? We have to prepare them so that we can come and deliver it” I get irritated. “How do you expect me to tell you all the improvising of the basic sandwich over the phone?” 3 mins and 1000 stupid arguments later, I tell them to just get to my house with the monies and take these sandwiches back………………..

Irritation and that too on empty stomach affects everybody’s moods. Poor Aai has to get up and whip up a dinner for her and sis. All my offers are turned down saying that I have done enough (!) already. Tempers flare and amidst all that I and my hubby (who made an appearance at that unfortunate moment) leave the house with the stack of sandwiches. Another 4.5 mins and I march into the outlet and demand my money. Trying to make as less a scene as possible I turn down their offer for making more sandwiches, throw in extra sandwiches for the trouble caused, give me a credit instead of cash back (How dare they?? grhh…….)……… I walk out glorious with the monies but I don’t feel glorious. The mood’s still foul. We drive wordlessly to Oasis – a restaurant en route NDA.

This place too is jam packed. People waiting everywhere. (No repeats….I cant take no more tonight) We are received cordially. Told to wait but assured that we will indeed get the table quickly. “Why don’t you start with some drinks at the bar instead” Ah! Some alcohol will do my system good!! We go to the bar and watch the barman frenzy the drinks. I watch him as he whips an excellent Bloody Mary. I am tempted to try it I tell him so. I watch him for 10 mins prepare other’s drinks but he manages to engage us in (actually quite meaningless) banter. The economy of his movements therapeutic. The speed simply amazing. He manages to fulfill more that 13 orders in the 10 mins with help of only a cleaning boy doing his work in the background. He finally serves my husband his ‘elixir’ – Beer!! He is yet to make my drink. But I am not irritated anymore. His efficiency makes me feel better. After not feeling like talking for half an hour (trust me, it happens very rarely to me!) and the eerie silence (that gives me creeps) he surely feels like a welcome relief. He does all the talking and working as we listen and watch.

Aha, we get the table. My stomach gives a growl but this time in anticipation of food! The barman tells me that he will have the drink delivered to the table. Ok! As soon as we settle the drink gets there. One sip and I know it’s indeed a well made concoction. We sip our drinks and nibble on our snacks and thank the bar guy (and alcohol) for lifting our ‘spirits’! And I see the same barman walking hurriedly towards our table (about 35 paces away from the bar and the place is still packed with people) We are surprised.
“Maam, just wanted to know if you like the drink”
“Oh yes of course! Its lovely. Thank You!”
“That’s all I wanted to know. Enjoy your dinner!” and he’s gone.

In a space of an hour two professionals from the hospitality industry gave me two terribly contrasting experiences……………We both looked at each other, smiled and went on digging in the Fish Lasooni Tikka!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Red Blurrr....

My Red Blurrrr

The previous post is downright incomplete without the mention if the amazing gift that dad gave me!! A cool new Red Swift zxi! For the geeks - But for me its my own amazing wheels!! Find attached the beautiful red machine!!
Me in the machine

Beyond the first quarter of a century.................

What a birthday I had!! Could not have been more rocking!! I finally completed 25 glorious years of my life....though 11th April felt no different than 10th, I am sure things will change from now on. Like I was discussing with this M friend of mine, my mentality will change from the 15 to 25 mindset (when will I complete my professional studies?? Will I get a job?? My love life or the lack thereof!! Wedding bells/sirens!!) to a more 25-35 mindset - Fine I have studied (that too at ISB!! ;) ) But what now? Where from here?? Is this job good enough?? Should I change?? Am I going to hit the glass ceiling before I reach 35....oh I so dont want to....And what about this person I wake up next to each morning, who smiles from the picture on my side table in his/her best suit on THE day of our lives? Is he/she really the right one?? hmmmmm....and much moreeee - mentality post the first quarter of a century in one's life!
Do I miss those nice and carefree days in the past decade?? Hell, I do!! But do I love my life today?? Is it exciting?? More than ever!! I guess this is the best part of growing up! enjoying what you are at that point in time. Yearn neither for the past nor worry fro future. Keep your head down, work hard and party harder!!!! A kid friend (all of 19 yrs old) of mine Ms. N asked me if she was wasting her life by fooling around and making coffee houses richer?? I think not. It’s the time in your life to fool around!!!!

So in-keeping with my motto of partying harder (i forget the former part every now and then) I had a blast on my birthday and my dear husband was an integral part of it all with my families and friends!! It was one amazing day when all the phone calls, smss and mails led me to think that I have after all collected some people in these 25 years, if nothing else!!

PS I have decided on my birthday to appear more frequently here !! Let’s see how long I last!!!!!!!!

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