You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore… But… You cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean!

The last week, given that I now travel to Electronics City for work daily, probably for the first time in six years I had to stay in Bangalore on a Friday evening and Saturday morning and experience the traffic! Though I had decided to stay back in my lovely lazy house in a green locality, a wake up call at 9AM (Yeah!) made me wonder what to do over the weekend. Took the normal 60 route and went to Basavanagudi, had amazing dosas at Vidyarthi Bhavana, a recollection of my stay there two years back and then…. headed to Mysore. As I just wondered why I was heading to Mysore for hardly a day left, thoughts came back on an old post which said, You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore… But you cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean.

As I got into the bus, still wondered why I was going back to this old statement, a bus probably full of IT professionals heading for their home for the weekend (Yeah I can probably claim that I am not one now ;)). Each of those people had the essence of Mysore sunk in their hearts and well would probably live Mysore and breathe Mysore as many do worldwide! As a matter of fact, the past few weeks I have had quite a few people call me and ask how is life in Mysore and how is it as a destination to setlle! Though I had good words to say, I had to tell them that they cannot love Mysore by force, they probably need to go through an experiential phase and then decide on their investments! A lovely lazy city, I can claim, but still not a hot investment destination and I hope it never will be one.

What probably makes a Mysorean is the culture of the cultural capital of the state. The early morning walks on the lake bunds of the city (there are some 7-8 big ones), the walking tour of the palaces, the visits to the Chamundi Hills at the center of the city, a near-perfect zoo with great walks, the heritage buildings in every nook and corner – including the DC office, the Oriental Research Institute, the Palaces, the University, the colleges which are centuries old, my alma-mater Marimallappa’s, the spice markets in SriramPets and the ShivaramPets, the large markets of the city, wide roads and add to this an inclination towards preserving the culture, traditions, languages (yeah the city also houses separate Universities for Music and Sanskrit along with the Central Institute of Indian Languages) with a touch of modernity in the Urs Road, the KD Road and as my friend Raghu says you cannot miss the Purple Haze in Vijayanagar. So much in a city that still is green and decently planned around 10 miles away on both sides with huge riverbanks, cool evenings ranging from 17-23 degrees across the year!

Coming back to the primary discussion, the people in the bus, would probabaly have spent their younger days enjoying the city as it grew, with weekend trips to Betta or Chamundi Hills, savouring the dosas at GTR, the great dishes of Nalpak (which at that time was housed in Urs Road), VB Bakery on the Chamraja Double Road, the churumuri stalls near the town hall, the roadside stalls of VV Mohalla, the Chaupati point near Eshwara Temple, enjoying the delicacies of Annapurna Sweets and Mahalakshmi Sweets, visits to the huge markets with parents and relatives to breathe in the aroma of the city! More to add would have had the weekends spent in Ranganathittu or Talkad/ Gopalswamy Hills or BR Hills and of course the never ending Blue Lagoons near KRS. The rains of the city makes it more beautiful as people head to the Sangam’s, Sterlings and the Skylines of the city.  A visit to the city, without probably visiting the KD Road (Kalidasa Road), KD Cirlce juction Vijaynagar (though useless) (KrishnaDevaraya Circle) or the bylanes of Saraswathipuram would be meaningless for some window shopping or fun destinations. And yes the latest fun destination – the Planet X!

The view of the sprawling race course and golf course from the top of Ch Hills brings back the sweet green memories as one falls into a well of the childhood spent in the city. You must have had a great past life to have enjoyed this city and its colors with the Royal Aura. Wherever you go, you get back to the past and drool over the sweet memories of the city! And yes to be honest, no place other than Basavanagudi even has a scent which can resemble the aura of Mysore. For reasons unknown of my 4 years of stay in Bangalore (Keeping in mind, a year in Bristol and another in Chennai), I have probably visited every weekend to Mysore without fail (though the actual reason may be that I did not invest in a washing machine for some time ;)). But well this time, I honestly tried to stay back in Bangalore over the weekend and well, god knows what pulled me back here – Just as they say You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore, but you cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean.

As my tribute to the city, I plan to cover one epic building/ downtown monument/ roads etc.. as I visit every alternate weekends hence forth! So, Read On!

GMAT Essays

Thanks to Manoj, Adi who had mailed their essays for review and a few more who visited the Great Lakes campus in Manamai, His Laziness, finally decided to list out how he scored a 6 on 6 in AWA and rocked some B School essays last year (Yeah do not ask the rest of the scores, you may stop reading the post right here :)). So here it goes, as to how I had planned out my essays to ISB, Great Lakes, Nanyang and well to the almost applied NUS. Credit to Mrs. Shyamala Shankar, Gokulam, Mysore also for her inputs at various stages (I mostly bunked the classes I had picked up with her, but sad that had to do it, a choice between la franciase and the queen, and finally settled for the french kisses (Jokin!!!) – Missing ’em has not added much value as I am not using french anywhere – even on my resume! to show off)!

Most of the B School/ GMAT/ GRE essays are either issue based or argument based. Some are open ended, but mostly can be fit into either of the two! So here is my take on how to fill your pages up…

Issue based essays:

If the question is an issue based one, read the stimulus which presents the issue carefully considering every aspect.
– Take your stance or position and jot down the points for or against the issues with clear examples
– Jot down the words relevant to the issue which will add clarity/ variety to the essay
– Restrict the essay to 4-5 paragraphs max. Usually you will have a 300 word restriction.
– Structure paragraph 1 with your general stance on the issue and your comments on the subjects as such
– Paragraph’s 2,3 and 4 – start with a topic sentence to introduce your argument or point in-favor or against and substantiate with relevant examples
– Paragraph 5 – Sum up your essay with words that reinforce your position with conviction
– And finally proof-read!

Argument based essays:

If the question is based on an argument, read and spot the topic and scope of the argument
a. List out the conclusion(s)
b. List out the evidence available supporting your conclusion
– Sum up the argument in your own words
– How does the argument use its evidences – are there any assumptions, gaps between evidence and conclusion.
– Under what what circumstances can these assumptions be valid or improved
– Is there anything relevant that has not been discussed?
– What would make the argument stronger or valid?

For execution, again split up into 3-4 paragraphs. Lengthy ones may not prompt the reader to pick the prime points.
– Let the first paragraph flow in with general comments and assessment of the argument
– Let the next 2-3 state the reasons or the evidence presented for the conclusion and critique them as weak (if they are) and load with the assumptions made. Question the words and expressions used (From my past practice essays lots of them usually follow this pattern)
– In the final paragraph give suggestions to improve and strengthen the argument whereby the conclusion can be made more forceful and credible.

Cheers,

Amar – http://www.amarharish.in

Sense and NonSense

Back to movie reviews – Just one line on Golmaal 3 – Its crap and utter nonsense if you see it!

Btw I am in the Bangalore Area (as Linked In calls it), was here to meet Mr. Sridhar Lolla, the amazing mentor that LIBA, Chennai have assigned us for their Espire event. He has been an amazing mentor all along and his inputs have been crucial in formulating our plan as well as vital to build upon further. Tomorrow, we have the final meeting with him, over lunch. Dunno where, but definitely somewhere in JP Nagar/ BSK side. Then on, I will be free, and will return back to my life in the Great Lakes campus.

Past two days have been tiring and entertaining as well. With Espire final rounds coming up (though we have not publicized of having got in there, except seeking help form our beloved Profs. and industry mentors), sort of it has pushed a lazy person like me, to move around and get things going as well. Over the weekend, apart form the meeting with Mr. Lolla, we have prepared, the FE’s, got promotional material printed (including phamplets) for our service, created videos for promos (thanks to iMovies)! and of course, Siva and Shruti starting the buzz on Social Media to get it moving further. Have been looking like a clown preparing presentations/ documents for submissions in Cafe Shops, buses and trains over the past two days!

In between my submissions and Bangalore, I decided to hop into Mysore as well (yeah my mom calls it hop-in as I never seem to stay for more than 10 hours in my own house!), visited an ailing uncle, visited all the oldies, visited my Engineering prof. and congratulated him on his Doctoral thesis getting approved, visited my alma-mater all in just under 7-8 hrs! Mom, of course as usual forced me to the temple constructed by the Royals at the Palace gate on the pretext of a Puja for my Birthday!

Meanwhile, Aj got tickets for Golmaal – 3 in our second home – The Skyline theater and headed there as well! Trust me I do not want to write more than this on that movie. The best dialogue was that ‘If people stay in a glass house, they change their dress in the basement!’ waaah….

Then on the fun started, me and Abhi hit the roads to Chamundi Hills, the place we used to visit during the Dussera festival every year. Not that we visit the temples there, its just the ride and the greenery of the city that pushes us to take those bike-rides to the top often. And yes, this time as well, on those amazingly tarred roads, we were back at the city center in about an hour and tasted ‘churumuri’ by the town hall and well the eternal – ‘Phalaamrutha’ ice cream in the heritage ‘Landsdowne building’.

As we headed back home through the Irwin Road and the Princess Road to my home in the northern part of the city, was thinking of the day, after the meeting tomorrow before I head back to Manamai! Just after the meeting tomorrow with Mr. Lolla and Binoy, I am heading to meet Dhana, Thyagi, Rekha, who just returned from Bradley Stoke, Reshma and Navya (as of now) and looks like a reunion that had to happen long ago! With loads of time to spend before I have the bus back to Kalpakkam, the plan as of now is to work on the presentation and well, with crossed fingers, wait and watch if Dhana can get tickets to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Then this will be a trip which definitely covered what all I missed over the last six months!

As I head back to watch my favorite shows on NDTV now (one thing that I am not able to do on campus!), will close the blog with snaps from today’s ride.

Mysore City from Ch Hills 1

Mysore City from Ch Hills 1

Mysore City from Ch. Hills 2

Mysore City from Ch. Hills 2

The Town Hall - Mysore

The Town Hall - Mysore

The Clock Tower on Ashoka Road, near the main Palace

The Clock Tower on Ashoka Road, near the main Palace

Random Thoughts!

Most people termed my trip home this time as CRAZY! Yeah, it made no difference to me. The last two times I toured Mysore from Manamai, Chennai, it was for just 8-9 hrs. Its no different this time around. Given that I had given a miss to a few Ganesh Chaturthis and Upakarmas in the past, made it a point to be at home this year around. Not much of a difference its just eat, sleep and sleep as usual.

Have another hour, before my train chugs off from Mysore City, then on I have another train to catch from SBC to Chennai Central! So long… and a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

And for all those, amazing friends of mine in Basavanagudi, I still miss the Bengalooru Ganesha Utsava in APS College Grounds. On the way back, I saw the ads of the 12 day festival on billboards and well, trust me, was planning to drop in there, but alas, sleep has the last say and a one and half hour time difference between two trains, will not permit me to travel from City Station to Bull Temple Road!

Random Posts from Manamai!

For some sane reason, I am coming back on all my Social Networking Accounts viz facebook, Orkut, friendster, forums like puzo, projectw, afaqs forums, pagalguy, video sharing sites like youtube and yes of course, back tweeting!!! There was a time when I had deleted each of these accounts as I was tired of seeing someone losing their cow and trying to poke me to find if their cow could be found on my farm! I may travel in what Shashi Tharoor termed as cattle class, but definitely I am not yet rich enough to own a cattle farm and the harsh reality is that I did not like the aspect of owning a virtual farm and seeing virtual money! Such games made no sense to me!!! Of course, soon, I would like to measure all your experiences on using such games and how and why you liked it if you were one of the aficionados of the amazing Farmville by Zynga(R) on facebook. And twitter needless to say, I was one of the few who jumped into twitter and jumped out just because, at that time, I did not want others to know where I was going and what I was doing! I was loyal to orkut, but the rest of the junta ditched it! So folks, yes, I am planning to do some research on why you would use social networking, pour in your thoughts on this. After all, even blogs are social networks!

For long, I have been really famous in context switching. I have had the privilege of tagged as being someone who could move from one serious topic to a totally unnecessary and unknown topic leading nowhere! Now how can you link a walk discussing office politics on the way to Nisarga moving to Mysore or HSBC accounts in Bristol all of a sudden! Well that WAS me. Take this one, from social networking I am just moving to a totally unrelated topic – Raghu Dixit music. The course has been lighter on me for the past few days. As I still ‘TRY’ to understand the Activity Based Costing, decided to listen to Raghu Dixit’s flicks from the movie Just Maath Maathalli. His voice and music are certainly mesmerizing and can get you hooked on to the same song for hours together.

My hostel block has a new addition. A badminton court! Not that I am playing. I am trying my level best to be the audience of at least those who play. The books call me back as soon as I try to head to the courts. And when I head to the books, my Mac calls me back… Thats life… anyway because of this, I have been able to learn more about my Mac, which never seems to end.

Also, had been to Mahabalipuram today. Binoy/Imon counted that this was just the 6th or 7th time I got out of the campus minus the Karmayoga visits which will sum it up to some 16 or so. Mahabs has a new Cafe Coffee Day. Finally had the flavor of Chikmagalur Coffee after two odd months! Wow!!! 🙂

Namma Cafe Coffee Day at Mahabalipuram

Its rare that I keep changing my cell phone numbers. But Vodafone has been really bad in providing customer service in TamilNadu. In fact I was probably explaining to them what needs to be done to clear a network error over the phone yesterday! So after 20 odd days of misery with address proof, network errors, call drops I moved out of Voda to TATA DoCoMo, which seems to be working fine till now.

Light schedule for two more days before a deluge of Economic studies hit me hard! So until then, if I step out, expect more blogging.

On and On…

The first one week in the B School has been extremely amazing. You would probably never share a floor with the like of Narayan Murthy or Mr Lakshmi Narayan (Cognizant), within the same week. I did have the pleasure to listen to both of them within a gap of one week. Mr Murthy at the Great Lakes convocation @ Chennai Trade Center and Mr Lakshmi who descended on our campus for a guest lecture.

The way Mr Lakshmi carried himself, it really set an example to most of us as to how to carry oneself in the corporate world. The amazing story of ethics and the way he run Cognizant was surely an example that will last long in memory.

The week, after the Outward Bound learning, where I even had a sore knee as I hit a rock on the way back from a trekking, has been awesome again and well, I hope the year down the line will be the same as well. Yesterday, I witnessed the Khumbhabhishekam of a new Ganesh temple at our campus and well, having the temple in the campus, in spite of being a part-athiest gives me some sort of a spiritual oneness with something unknown. Due to technical glitches I am not able to put a pic of the temple over here, will try to sort this out soon and post back!

Of course, the week long interactions with Uncle Bala, as Bala V Balachandran, the great Management Guru from Kellog/ our own GL is called here has been scintillating. With loads of other stalwarts slated to visit Great Lakes over the coming year, I trust that its going to be an amazing year ahead.

In the midst of all this, I visited Mahabalipuram and Cheenai over the last two days. Personally, the crowd is too much… to handle… being a Mysorean I am used to calm and serene tourist spots. So, I just hope the planned Pondy trip soon will not let me down. Chennai as usual was Hot and Tiring! Had been to the much hyped – ‘Mayaajaal’ and returned back 300 bucks poorer for nothing! Again, for someone used to the Malls in Bengalooru, you cannot call Mayaajaal as  a Mall or a CinePlex!

And before I sign off, one last thing :)…. Not that I am loyal to the brand.. Wherever you have idlys be it Murugan Idly or my cafeteria or even I prepare it…. Nothing can beat the Idly at Brahmins Coffee Bar… Chamrajpet, Bengalooru.