Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hypothesis Testing for Limits

If there's one thing an MBA course teaches you, it's how to test the limits. (And no, I don't actually  mean the control limits and hypothesis testing in normal distributions)

Especially a one year course. (What was I thinking, really?) I don't think I've ever used my mind so much and slept so little, and it's only Week 1, in Term 2. I still have 7.83 terms to get through.

If you can manage 4 assignments that are due the weekend before your end terms, suddenly other challenges don't seem so daunting, and 3 assignments due on Mondays become par for the course. As an MBA student you suddenly realise just how many hours there are in a day and how much you can do with that. So instead of catching up on sleep today, (yay weekend) I'm actually staring at this white space so I can come up with a half-decent post about my life here. (Clearly you can tell I'm struggling)

Coffee becomes your lifeline here, i.e. most valueble asset, that doesn't depreciate over time. That, and friends who poke themselves in the face with pencils so they can stay up, thereby ensuring you're awake for at least the next 15 minutes because you can't stop cracking up. (Pro Tip - find people in class to look at that have ridiculously awesome Points Of Difference when it comes to staying awake)

Anyway, getting to my point - how do you find time for things you love and people you love? How do you choose what's more important, and what deserves your attention more in that moment? How do we work those numbers out for marginal benefit and marginal cost? Do you continue to stay rational human beings that maximise benefit, or give it up halfway and go for what makes you feel better in that moment, forgetting about all your variable costs?

I know at the end of the day I'm going to look back and remember only the epic moments (Prof shouting at Siri in class) and not my horrible struggle with multiple regression and actuarially fair insurance, but how do I convince 'Present Me' to breathe a little, and to maybe sleep a little, because honestly that seems like the best long term strategy, given all the decision variables and binding constraints.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Delightfully Dramatic

Those Pricey Thakur Girls - Book Number 3 by Anuja Chauhan.

What do I say? I judged the book by it's cover, and that's the absolute last thing a writer should do I suppose. But there's a cat on it, and it seemed like the cat was an important part of the storyline (It is. Kind of. Hello serendipity!) I detest cats, and honestly that's putting it mildly. Sigh.

It took me over six months to actually read the book even though I carried it with me everywhere I travelled over those six months.

I think that's because I wanted to save it for a time when I would actually pay complete attention to it, and it was my safety net if I fell apart. Given how things have been in the past year (and the number of months this post has been in draft stage) it's not surprising that I needed a safety net.

It's the first book I couldn't, and wouldn't put down on a flight. I cannot read in moving vehicles - yes flights come under that bracket. My head gets woozy, and eventually I feel like fainting, but despite that, I couldn't stop reading this. In the flight to Chennai, in the car to Pondicherry, and finally on the beach. That's how unputdownable this is.

It's her most serious one so far. It has its moments of playfulness, and light banter between the leads, but gone is the childish love. Under all its subtle humour there's a very grown up storyline, a storyline that also brings up so many questions about this country's past, and its present reality.

Debjani and Dylan went from being a not-so-delightful couple, to chemistry that far surpasses anything Nikhil-Zoya ever had, even with their New Zealand moment. (What is with her and letters? Hmm.)

Not simply because its set in another time, in a different India, a different age - where love was more consuming, more powerful. Not because there's a fantastic moment halfway through the book where  Dylan simply kills me by doing the most evitable-inevtiable of suggesting a specific phone call. And not because I'm a sucker for that kind of love.

I think its more to do with the fact that their chemistry is so real - and fraught with valid issues and not temper tantrums and sulking teenager types. When your lead characters start out with one ripping the other apart, in a newspaper review of the formers news-anchoring abilities, instead of just ego, jealousy and opposing beliefs in luck, you have a genuine problem. One that can't be solved by sighing, some more jealousy and the sheer intensity of your feelings for one other. (Although there is a lot of that in this too)

Read it for a masterfully written trip down to the late 80s, some crackling chemistry between the leads, a lesson on how love can overcome egos, witty wisecracks and one of the most ridiculous but absolutely fantastic theories that I've come across - Letter Love .  

Choosing to Let Go

Is it stupid to be optimistic, and think things will get easy?

I hate to think of myself as a pessimist (even though I probably am one) but honestly, every single time I've thought I'm okay with something or that things are actually going fine - they get worse. Life I suppose has to constantly remind you of how bad it can get, otherwise we wouldn't appreciate the good.

I wish I could be okay with the not-so-good things, and not get so caught up with each one of them. I wish I could let go a little bit, and once I've let go, actually forgive myself for letting go.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Looking Back

A large part of the work I do involves communicating - internally and externally. That's all it really comes down to.

And a large part of all that communication involves tedious emails, emails that I don't always want to write, and emails that I don't always know what to say in.

It's only now when I'm writing something new that I realise how much I love this. 18 months of writing things I didn't want to write, putting things across concisely, and sanely, and not giving up and quitting this is probably the best writing class I could have asked for at this point.

Anything I want to write now becomes easier, simply because I actually want to write it.

Hopefully, 2014 is going to be the kind of year in which I do these things instead of just wanting to do them. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year, New Fears

It's a new year. Again.

And an intimidating one. Again.

I'm supposed to be grown up.

A conversation I just had reminded me that I'm turning 23 in a few months and there's a pretty high chance I'll have tax forms, insurance paperwork and registration documents form a major chunk of the coming years. Because what I eventually, really see myself doing involves so much paperwork.

And that scares the hell out of me because I'm not ready for any of it.

It's like becoming a parent I suppose - no amount of classes can probably prepare you for it.

But somehow that doesn't scare me. It's the paperwork that does and that sounds silly because who, who in their right mind gets scared of paperwork?

I don't quite know how to deal with it, but I suppose I should take it one form at a time?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Feeding Monsters

I read somewhere once - "Not feeding Monsters is good Economics"

I think it was in 'Search Inside Yourself'. Given my absolutely pathetic memory recall, you have to forgive me for not knowing where I read it.

Anyway, the point is, this line makes perfect sense.

You can't feed the monsters inside you. You know they're always going to be there, no matter what you do, and the only thing you should focus on is ignoring them, and devoting your mind (and sanity) to things that actually matter. Like the people you love, what you want to do, and reading.

Monsters don't matter.

Except they really do. They're the sinister beasts that know exactly when to prey on your soul. And it's easier said than done.

And the more attention you pay to them, the stronger they get, the more they tempt you, and the more they take over the pieces of your soul.

So how do you not feed them, when all that there's is you surrounded by them?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Revisiting 2010

It's been a weird day of nostalgia. I've been spending my day listening to music that I used to obsess over in 2010, songs that I haven't heard in over 2 years.

I started writing again, started being the person I used to be so many years ago, started fearing the same thing I used to.

Why do we turn to the past for comfort?

Is it only because its the known, the familiar? Because somewhere along the way your soul knows that this will calm you down, this will get you through to it.

Or is there more to it?