A nameless post

October 26, 2009 § 1 Comment

A touching real life happening and donno-how-to-describe read:

11 year old daughter and 10 year old son take care of their mom who had lost both her hands & legs,

My mind was almost blank when I finished reading it. In all the hustle & bustle of day to day activities, we (more specifically I) sometimes tend to forget how gifted we are, to be born and live as normal persons physically & mentally.

A sad irony!


Poetry & Me

October 21, 2009 § 10 Comments

I am not sure, when I started to realize poetry, in the sense when it struck me as something worth reading. Coz, I remember lines “Miles to go before I sleep” in English prose, but it definitely did not mean anything to me. Or the ones from a poem named Brooks

Men may come and men may go, but I go on for ever

Or Robert frost’s often quoted,

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, I took the one less traveled by & that has made all the difference

I took the one less travalled by..

Such appealing lines. But ignorance clouded my mind 🙂 Anyway, but good that, God did not want to me to spend the rest of my life that way. Soon, I started reading lots of Vairamuthu’s books (he is a Tamil poet, by the way), novels, fiction, history, philosophy in English & Tamil. Wanted to read all the books ever written at one point. Wondered how I spent my life till now without books. At one point, me and my friends stop at book shop once every week to get books worth at-least 300. Those were great days. Holidays were spent with books & pillow. I lived closer to 1000 AD than 2000 AD with all Tamil historical novels surrounding me.

One of my closest friends, Mani from Madurai pens really thought-provoking lines. I grew up on his ideas, in a way. Around the same time, read Kannadasan, Kalki, Jeyagandhan, Sujatha, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey archer novels & liked them. OK. Any proper book reader would say, Sydney sheldon’s novels follow the same plot. True, but I love the way he portrays his characters. One character would definitely be infinitely rich & mighty. I fell for plush leather cushions in his aircraft or long oak-made closets or beautifully carved statues and paintings. Sometimes, I prefer big conference rooms to smaller ones in my office for this reason. So, spacious & luxurious. I like Kannadasan for writing great things from his personal experiences in simple words. He is a Tamil poet too.

Almost an year back, read Shantaram. Totally worth reading 700 pages or something. Again, more fact than fiction, loved it. But now, its been quite sometime, since I finished a novel or any book for that matter. Somehow convincing myself that, I don’t have that much of patience to read. To compensate that, when i hear

You say it best, when you say nothing at all

from Ronan Keating’s or our own

Tum paas aayae, youn muskuraayae.. Kuch kuch hota hai

from Kuch kuch hota hai, it makes me think, how a day could be made beautiful just by a thought. Kind of get the same happiness and pleasure out of it. I do miss imagining characters from novels and later being jolted back to reality. Sometimes I envy some of my friends, who have the creativity to write poetic verses like Bharathi or Mani, but feel thankful that at-least I am in a state to appreciate such things.

That does mean a lot, don’t you think so?

P.S: My English teacher may not believe me quoting great literary pieces. Can’t help smiling!

Arun Vallappan

Come what may!

October 16, 2009 § 5 Comments

I am not sure how and why that single line(come what may!) inspires me so much to do all crazy things! And be the way I am.

There is no easy way out!

Some things are worth fighting for some feelings never die!

Very curious. Come what may, I am going to get drenched in the rain or would crack CAT (sounds so good! :)) or watch Endhiran(rajinikant’s yet to be released blockbuster) first day first show.

In the same lines, I remember a story about a Brahman priest and a crab. This priest found a crab in the pond shore. He took it, dropped outside the shore area in sand. The crab stung the priest and went to the pond again. He took the crab out to the sand and got stung again. A passerby watched all these and asked the priest “I don’t get you. No matter how many times you try to get the crab out, its going to sting and go back to pond. So, why do you do that?” The priest replied, “If the crab does not change its habit, why should I?”

What a bold statement. I like the audacity in his words, so, carelessly bold to be himself, come what may! I also tend to think, is it not being adamant? A refusal to change even though you know, you are gonna fail at the end or lose your loved ones? Or get killed, in the priest’s case.

Some times it looks like the perfect argument/solution for almost many issues and at times totally absurd! I don think I would be able to decide.

But, if you ever feel low or not sure of something, say this to yourself,

Come What May! Whatever the f*** may…

OK, off to crash. 🙂 Good night!

Arun Vallappan

Blogging platform for MBA Students ONLY

October 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

I had an idea for a start-up and want some feedback. I have outlined it below. So, go ahead. 🙂

Creating a blogging portal for B-school students. Take a look at these two sites:
http://www.brandmanagement.com/articles – 20 to 30 writers post articles on branding, brand identity, promotion, creating a brand, nurturing/building it. Every post will be related to brand. It inspires a cult following among communication managers, PR guys..

http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/ideasatwork/ – Students of Columbia b-school blogging. (its an official blog by the way)

Put these two together.
Top b-school students in India, blog about academics, learning, class room related things, business cases, etc but no personal stuff. The site would not have anything on to “How to crack CAT” or “Tips to get a better CAT score” or “Model CAT papers”, etc. This site could have everything related to the 2 years that a MBA student spends in a b-school. It could have an article on Leadership or Creativity or an article like “Why i-banking will make a splash again and relate it to cyclical theory” or pretty much anything from an academic perspective.

What could be the advantage for the readers?

If the readers are b-school aspirants-It would give them a great insight into the subjects, theory, methodology of teaching and the b-school as such. Peter Johnson, Director of MBA Admissions at Berkeley-Haas feels “At some point in the application process, visiting the b-school and understanding the difference in offering between the same programs in 2 different B-schools is very important”. The blog would basically serve all outsiders/aspirants to know about a program in a particular school by filtering out the articles based on tag.

If the readers are fellow b-school students– It would act as a discussion board for the brightest minds in the country, there could be endless possibilities, wisdom of crowds could take place: given the fact that the crowd has only smart minds, it would have an explosive amount of intelligence. I could only wonder at the possibilities. Ideas being thrown and a education can actively take place riding on massive collaboration.

What would inspire b-school students to blog at the portal? – Many could already own personal blogs. But this is strictly business. Building a brand for yourself. Having your article/name read by thousands of other smart people like you and wannabees.

Let’s say, initially we consider only IIM’s, XLRI, Symbiosis. Together probably out of the total 2000 seats (just a guess), 20 people (1 % of 2000) are ready to start with. It would not be late before another 100 people join given the audience and popularity they would get.

An initial guest blog post from some of the top IIM professors could set the tone. There were a few sites like OneIndia, Sulekha where there are b-school related blog posts featured or universities which have their own blogging portal, but they are merely blog aggregators.

Coming to the commercializing part: ??? 🙂 am not sure. Google ads would dilute the essence. So, NO WAY. Other than that..We could ask companies like Google, Amazon, etc. to pay for some non-intrusive ads Or weekly once feature a company or their best practice, some thing like that.. think it would work out?

OK. Am pretty much done with what i wanted to say. You can share your thoughts, thumbs up/down or anything.. If you want to channelize your feedback, think in terms of the prospects, market, commercialization..

One of my friends pointed out that pagalguy has Life@bschool module. But, think in the lines of an exclusive portal to showcase Indian b-school talent to the world.

Arun Vallappan

To move to China or Not

October 1, 2009 § 4 Comments

Today morning, I read an article on the last 60 years in Chinese history. As we know China, it’s basically a super-power, prosperous, leaping forward..But little did I know of its troubled past. From the 1950’s to mid 60’s there had been devastating famines followed by violent cultural revolutions till mid 70’s. After opening up the economy and financial reforms on 1978, there has been no turning back for the country. Great show.

China Flag

Though, China is an acknowledged emerging super-power because of its Growth rate, GDP, Nuclear weapons, Olympic medals.. Whenever media compares its growth story with India, I try to find reasons for why India is a better country and always manage to convince myself. (We all do, right?) Few of them are..

1. India being democratic where more power lie with the People.

2. 1 child per family. Though, it does not bother me much I tend to ask, why does the state interfere in personal matters?

3. More rigid rules in everything

4. ..Another hidden reason could be, I want India to be the best..

Or, for the 60-year celebration today, people were cleared out of the main streets or airport closed for 3 hours or residents along the parade route ordered not to open their windows during the event or knife sales temporarily banned in some stores. Even air-space is being cleared out of any flying of pigeons and kites. It is a huge disturbance in personal life but just security arrangements.

But one can’t deny the fact that in China in the last 30 years, poverty from 30% has gone down to 2%, with more population than India or rising to the 3rd biggest economy. Not to mention the stellar performance in Beijing Olympics 2008 and increase in FDI, etc.

So, now the question, is freedom and democracy worth more than progress? Or how well have we used our freedom to think and act? China’s Premier Wen Jiabao does not foresee competitive elections in China in 25 years’ time. That’s OK. It’s far better than the corrupt elections in India where votes are bought (Rs.500 per vote in Madurai elections). Do we have a fake democracy?

Mrs. Le Tian (62), Chinese citizen says,

The biggest difference now (compared to the 60’s) is we don’t have to worry about basic things like food, or my family’s safety. Now my worries are different, my problems are spiritual. And i guess, that is progress.

I can’t help but agree with her. Starting to think, to keep my spirit alive I should move to China. Anyone coming? 😛

Arun Vallappan

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