Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting Killed in The Kitchen

Diary Entry – 43

So my stomach was making noises. I was hungry and mom was not home. I think veins started popping out of my eyes. I could not stand it any longer. So I do a brave thing of going into the kitchen, of all places.

I opened the fridge to find eggs, vegetables but no edible food. Mom manages to conjure food from thin air, in minutes, every time I say I am hungry. That is one magic trick I should have learnt.


I already searched for a packet in every corner of the house. Nothing.

I said a prayer: Please God! Dont let me die. I wont waste any food from now on.

Tears started to stream down my face.

I should have listened when I was asked not to skip lunch. I could not even find an apple (apple because some of you will find banana too perverse).

I went to the fridge one more time to study my options. There were carrots, capsicum and a few other things I did not know. Eat carrots like bugs bunny rite?


I did not want to eat something I spent my entire life hating.

Eggs was the last option. Well I had to cook it. Fortunately I had seen it being cooked so many times before that I was some what of an expert in it, even if I had never actually cooked one in the kitchen.

So I decided I was going to have fried eggs. I turned on the gas.  I tried several times to turn on the stove. Gas smell filled my nose but there was no fire in stove. If I kept that up, tomorrow’s news would have been “Hungry Boy Died in Kitchen trying to make an omelette.”  Not the kind of headlines I want to be making.

So I turned off the gas and looked around to realize that we had a microwave. This is where I got really nerdy. Well we can cook eggs in a microwave without anybody getting killed rite? Well not quite. I happened to attend a lecture on microwave welding of metals by a visiting IIT faculty in our college and I remembered him telling:

“Eggs explode when you put them in a microwave.”

But he was talking about an egg with a shell. The shell prevents the water molecules from escaping out and so because of the pressure build up, it explodes. I was going to make a fried egg so my egg was not going to have a shell. I just wanted to make sure it was safe so I looked it up in google. Turned out the egg's yellow has a membrane which holds it together. So when I microwave the egg, the water molecules wont be able to escape from the membrane and it might blow up. Though it will be less disastrous than microwaving an egg with a shell, trying to cook it in a microwave is going to be catastrophic one way or the other.

That is when my brain started saying “Eat it Raw dude. I will turn off your taste buds till you swallow it.”

But then I decided to make one more google search before I was left to take that desperate measure. I landed upon a fellow bloggers blog and she had this ingenious idea. Break the membrane of the eggs yellow with a tooth pick so when the water wants to escape, it can from the hole in the membrane. I poked the eggs membrane with the plastic tip of my compass.

Three minutes I peered into the microwave to find any starting signs of an explosion. Monitoring a nuclear reactor would have been easier because I had no idea whether it was getting cooked or whether it was going to explode.

The end result was a work of art that would have made even Pablo Picasso envy me. Whether I ate it, will forever be a mystery.

Previous Post - IIT Bombay

Saturday, February 18, 2012

IIT Bombay

Diary Entry – 42

The only reason why I am giving such a boring title for a blog post is because there is a lot of talk about Search Engine Optimization in the blogging world these days and I am just trying to say IIT Bombay so many times in this post so that when someone searches for IIT Bombay in Google, they will land up in the Diary Of The Narcissist. So if you are that someone who came here because you searched for IIT Bombay then I am sorry to inform you that I do not have free GATE or JEE Test Papers here in this site.  

Last three days there was this international conference on Simulation and Modeling in IIT Bombay. My project guide who is one of the leading experts in the field of simulation, was one of the few invited guests. He wanted me to come and promote a simulation technology in this conference. This conference in IIT Bombay had more participants from the industry than participants from the academic field. It meant a lot of clients for my guide who was a consultant. He promised to pay five thousand rupees if I came.

Now I did not want to go to IIT Bombay to attend this conference for two reasons.

1. I have been using this simulation technology for a month for my final project. This meant that I knew little to promote it to any potential customers.

2. I cannot speak a word in Hindi.

But I had to go because I was in debt to my professor for a few reasons. Yes, curse my sense of loyalty towards people. Anyway just so that I wont be massacred in an alien city, I decided to learn a few sentences in Hindi, two hours before my flight to Bombay. I asked my friend to give me the translations for the following sentences.

I want to go to IIT Bombay (Mai IIT Bombay Jana Chata Hu).

I started learning Hindi only Today (Mai aaj Thoda sa Hindi Seekha)

Can you tell me this in English? I speak very little Hindi (Kya aap muje angrezi mey samja denge? Muje Hindi Bahut thode hi aati Hai)

Finally just in case I stopped to ask direction to Raj Thackrey who has been known to bully people who came from other states, I learnt this:

I am going to IIT Bombay to attend a conference for three days. (Mai ek conference meing saamil hone ke liye IIT bambai jar aha hu... teen dino ke liye)

That was by far the toughest sentence to remember.

So the first thing I say when I enter the Taxi was this –

Me: Namaste Driver Ji? Aap Kaise hey? (Hello Driver. How are you?)

Driver: :|

I looked up youtube for learn Hindi Videos the previous day and this Aap Kaise hey line was one thing I learnt. I was determined to use every single thing I learnt in Hindi. So I tell the guy in Hindi I want to go to IIT Bombay and I feel confident that I can manage anybody who talks to me in Hindi. But then I met this hot police chick in IIT Bombay’s entrance.

I know all North Indian women are hot in the eyes of South Indian Men but this super fair police officer was different. I thought such hot female law enforcers existed only in the movies. She was more like the security of IIT Bombay. The lady did not just let me inside instead she said crap in Hindi and the sentence had bag, mobile phone and laptop in it. The last time I heard a similar sentence in Hindi was in the plane and it was the flight attendant asking us to switch off our mobile phone and laptop during takeoff and landing. I told this lady that I had no laptop in my bag. This lady for some reason repeated the same sentence again. I was frustrated and told her this:  

Mai aaj Thoda sa Hindi Seekha (I started learning Hindi only Today).

Kya aap muje angrezi mey samja denge? (Can you tell me this in English?)

Then I realized the mistake I made. She looked at me stone faced. I practised these two lines so much on the way, that I probably sounded like a native Hindi speaker when I spit it out fast. So after I told her that, she probably thought I was a creep who was messing with her because she was pretty. I had to keep talking in English before she would finally let me in.

The actual conference and my time in IIT Bombay went very well. I mean I was totally wrong about North Indians. They were just like the Hindi guys in my college if not more friendlier. For some reason they all liked me even if I did not speak Hindi. After that incident with the police lady, I decided to stop pretending to know Hindi. At first I was a little bit intimidated when people spoke Hindi. Sure I could understand and all but I can only respond in English. But that ended up intimidating people who spoke to me in Hindi. But they still liked me. They gave me their email address so that I could add them on facebook and stuff. One chick I met in the conference was a M.Tech student in Industrial Engineering Department. She asked me how I was finding IIT Bombays’s campus. I told her it is very large and I am scared of getting lost. I also told her I speak very little Hindi, in Hindi. That got her rolling on the floor laughing. When she finally stopped giggling she told me that I sounded like Katrina Kaif when she first came to Bollywood. Turns out that Katrina Kaif had this British accent in her Hindi and I was talking Hindi the same way. For a moment I thought my Hindi was as good as a film star’s.

It was finally time to go home. My cousin kept telling me don't go to that area in Bombay, don't go to this area in Bombay, because I will be robbed or raped. Though being robbed worried me a little, I thought rape was for women. I reached the Mumbai airport and I thought I successfully managed to leave Bombay without being robbed or raped. Well all that changed when I went through the routine security check. It was a Nightmare. The guard asked me to spread my hands and legs so he can check if I was carrying some bomb or ammunition. What happened next made me jump and shout out WTF. That guy grabbed my uh.. Yeah that.

Gay Police Officer: First Time in airport?

“First time being groped in public by a police officer. Where do I give a complain?” I wanted to ask. There is no terrorist in this world who is going to sacrifice his man hood just so that he could place a bomb between his legs. It is going to be really hard for a terrorist to place a bomb in the Bombay Airport because the security leaves no place unchecked. I am going to need therapy for this trauma. 


P.S – For the sake of search engine optimization I required to say IIT Bombay one more time in the very last sentence, which is this. :D

Previous Post - I am not Crazy

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I am not Crazy

Diary Entry – 41

If you know me personally you can read this. If you don’t anything about me, I don’t know why you will want to read this, please move on to the next post. If you are stalker then you can read this but be warned I am writing this because I am just tired of explaining everything to each person who talks to me.


I applied to six universities in the United States and one University in the United Kingdom. I applied for Industrial Engineering, specialising in Operations Research in the US and Business Analytics and Consulting in Warwick Business School UK. Ever since I got that offer letter from Warwick Business School, people who dont know shit have been giving me their advice. Some have concluded that I am stupid. I know I really shouldn’t be listening to you people, but it fills me with a small sense of doubt every time I hear something in the lines of “You are making the biggest mistake of your life”. So let me answer the whys whats and hows.

There is an industry called consulting which most people in India have not heard of. The people who work there are called consultants or they may have other fancy names like Business Analysts etc. It is what companies like Mckinsey do for a living. Good consulting companies are hard to get into. That is because they invest a lot of money in training the new consultants and if the newly hired people leave after a few years saying that consulting is not meant for them, then it will mean loss for the company. So they are very picky when choosing people and they hire people who have demonstrated an interest in consulting or people who have already been in consulting.

 I have always wanted to do MBA. Years ago, I spoke to someone who did his MBA from Boston Business School. He told me the smartest and the top bunch of students in the MBA class will usually prefer consulting. The middle set of students will go into finance and the bottom of the class will go into marketing. He asked me to get a job in consulting before I do my MBA. If the work experience I had was from a consulting company, it will be a lot easier for me to get an admission to the top business schools in the world. My consulting background will give a higher value to my profile. He told me this years ago and I had no idea what consulting was then and you can even say I forgot about consulting up until the time I studied Operations Research in college. I decided that Operations Research is the thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I remembered what my senior told me years ago, when I was researching the job prospects of Operations Research. Consulting was a job where you will use Operations Research ever day, to help solve problems. I had no idea. Naturally, the statement of purpose I sent in was very strong. Also I had done work in the field which made it even more strong. No the course in Warwick is not MBA. It is still called masters.

If you are from India, you will probably here people tell you that if you do an MBA you have to get into finance. That is because consulting companies don’t come to most Indian MBA colleges except maybe the IIMs. That brings us to the next question. Why did you not write CAT? I am not smart enough for that exam. It is easier to get admission into Harvard Business School when compared to getting admission into any of the IIMs. CAT is that hard. So the next thing people ask is why I don’t do my MBA directly. MBA programs abroad require two years of relevant work experience. They wont give you admission otherwise. Even if by some fluke you get admission without work experience, you will struggle to complete the program.

Also the tution fee for the MBA is not cheap. If you study in good universities, it will cost you $80,000.If I worked for a few years in consulting, I will not only have the relevant experience but since consulting is one of the highest paying jobs in the US and in the world, I will also have the money to pay for my MBA.
 I applied for Industrial Engineering specialising in OR because it is more or less the same thing. Operations Research is what you will use for consulting. If I did Industrial Engineering specialising in OR, I can still get into consulting. However you can do a lot of other things with OR. The program in Warwick Business School is tailor made for consulting which makes it better for my interests when compared to the courses in US. It like a mechanical engineer can work in aerodynamics apart from other things like manufacturing and automobile, but if you are bent on doing aerodynamics to begin with, is it not a lot better if you did a course on aerodynamics instead of something generic like mechanical engineering. You will save yourself the trouble of not learning a lot of things you will never use in your life.

Also when compared to the masters program in the US, I will finish the course in Warwick in half the time and I will have to spend 30% less if I studied in Warwick. I have not received any admit letter from the universities in the US till now anyway. No, it does not mean they rejected me. If they rejected me, they will send an email saying I am not competent enough. I have got no email so far and I am not going to wait for it.

After explaining all this to the people who test my sanity, they usually say “But dude, I have never heard of Warwick Business School”. What can I say man. Just because you haven’t heard it doesn’t mean it is bad. If you don’t believe me, you have to at least believe the Financial Times. They made a ranking of top business schools in the world for 2012 and Warwick is ranked 27th. Financial Times. How I got admission, on the next blog post...

I know UK has a reputation of kicking students out of their country as soon as they finish their course, but I still think this is the best option I have right now.

My blogging friend BluBluBling, who is doing her CA told me that I should not go when I have TCS :D :D. There is nothing more awesome then working for the Tatas rite? Well she probably told me that because she is doing CA and has no idea what TCS is. Also she did not want brilliant minds like mine to leave the country. But if you are an engineer and if you ask me to join TCS, then you must really hate me.  

Previous Post - The Bloggers Guilt