A LEM to the slaughter…

by sidin in

Hello people. Kindly excuse the erratic update schedule of the blog. An MBA is proving to be a greater hindrance than I thought. So bear with me and daily columns should happen, albeit not always in the mornings...

The dance party yesterday was a rousing success. Great turn out, great enthusiasm and much dancing. And more importantly "Bin Tere Sanam" played 4 times or so. I've played that infectious thing 40 odd times this week. I hope thats not a disease. My neighbour thinks I'm losing it and should visit the counsellor here.

The counsellor has those questionnaires with all those questions. (What a stupendously redundant sentence. I noticed as soon as I was done typing it. I could have edited it. But it was so stupid I had to leave it in. Goes well with the general climate of the blog.) And at the end of some marathon ticking of check boxes it gives you a profile of your mental well being. A rather cheerful friend of mine got the freaking surprise of his life after a session with the counsellor.

He was expecting to get one of those "be more confident" or "a little more agression is all you need" type feedback things. The counsellor had no such subtle intentions. My pal was told that he had had a disturbed childhood and now suffers from a split personality. He is now inconsolable and finds deeper meanings in the fact that he has chosen both finance and marketing courses.

Partha wanted to know who I was supporting in Euro 2004. Football. The beautiful game. I come from a rather footer crazy family. My earliest sporting memories are of watching some world cup or the other. Names like Rossi and Maradona. And we have some soccer pedigree too. Dad and uncle played for their universities and for a few local clubs. When I was in school, even during the most hopeless of examinations, we used to get breaks to watch football on TV.

Nothing bonds the men of the family like watching footer at 3 or 4 in the morning literally huddled around the TV. We weren't allowed to play the volume high. (You don't argue with my grandmom. She has an iron hold on the daily menu at home. If she heard as much as a whimper it was cold rice, dal and pickle. We are mallu. "Death before vegetarianism" is our state motto.) Well there was one female cousin who was an avid footer fan. But she once switched channels mid-match to check a cricket score. She was never allowed near the TV during a match thence. ("Football over everything except Biryani" is the other state motto.)

If you walk into any village in Kerala, especially the north parts, during an international tournament, you will be forgiven for thinking you were in some international fair. Every house will have its alignments clearly visible. There will actually be Brazilian and Argentine flags hung outside. For the duration of the tournament some village nooks and corners are renamed "Baggio Nagar" and "Ronaldo Puram". You dont walk into a tea shop and talk football till you clearly knew who was the local favorite.

People while ignorant of most international events and news, are on top of the football pages.

Q: "Who is the coach of the Brazilian team?"
A: "Simble maashe. Werner Luxemburgo"

Q: "Who plays left back for England?"
A: "Depends. If they are playing 4-2-4 it is Cambell other wise...."

Q: "Where was the Berlin Wall built?"
A: "Allepey?"

Shocking. And offices and shops are open only as long as watching the match is possible. Employees think nothing of coming early and going on strike immediately so they can go home before 5 to catch the match. Even the electricity board is in the act. If its an important match the "temporary load shedding" power cuts (which have been on for over 10 years I think) is put on hold.

Indeed I wish I was in Kerala right now for Euro 2004. Theres nothing like walking around town in the evening listening to the opinions everyone has about the matches. Dont be surprised if you walk into Shaharban Hotel on the main road and hear the paratha-maker shower obscenities on the Germans for not playing a sweeper and taking it to goal difference.

England is my team. Though I daresay France may win it again. But I do hope Beckham and team face them in the finals. There is talk of projecting the match in a big screen at a plaza in the institute main building. Yummy.

By the way today was my second day of the LEM course. Lectures in Entrepreneurial Motivation. Taken by an alumnus its been fascinating so far. The prof plays real tough to make you reject job offers and hit the entrepreneurial track. I've decided to hit out on my own after college anyhow. But it is great to hear support and encouragement coming from the mouth of a guy who risked it all 25 years ago and today sits on a 1000 crore plus empire.

Currently working on investing in a retail project and possibly running it a year from now. Finger crossed. (Have no fear, the book will happen...)

And guys I need your comments on another thought. I really really feel like kicking off an "ad concept"/copywrite/"thinktank" type firm sometime on campus itself. Run it from my room using a website and stuff. With the help of a few friends, maybe even the blog, thinking of pitching for some small work from companies and aquaintances. Who knows... if it clicks it may have a future, it it doesn't... well I'll try again then...

Hmm... I think I will work on it. Think of a name maybe. You guys... I am depending on you all...

Yawn its been a long night, with much introspection and considerable football. Portugal and Greece have made it through, while Spain goes back home emptyhanded yet again. They had a lot of chances and didn't make a single one count. Wonder what the paratha-maker would have to say of that...