Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Monday Morning Musings

The Economic Times - February 20, 2006

Monday mornings are what that R K Narayan schoolboy character Swami used to dread most. The first day of the week can be daunting not just for schoolchildren. In offices throughout the world, the cry goes out on the need to meet targets and those in the firing line cannot even duck. However, for the young at heart and romantically inclined Monday morning offers the opportunity to pick up the threads after the weekend break.

And so college kids set out bright and early with a song in their hearts if not on their lips. Even roadside Romeos perk up at the thought that the old campus or office looks attractive even on the first day of a studious or working week. And it’s not just in Hindi or vernacular movies that college classes are full of lectures interspersed with sidelong glances. In real life, those taking down copious class notes could also be exchanging messages , either on paper or the silent SMS mode. A recent novel, titled Mediocre But Arrogant on the making of an Indian MBA, has a lass scribbling a message to a lad during an OB (Organisational Behaviour) class that “Go on like this and you’ll get a D.” To which the response is “I’d rather have an F from you.”

In the good old filmi days, of course, only Shakti Kapoor playing the campus villain (you know the one called Vicky who drives a rash Cadillac and whose industrialist father is the chairman of the board of governors ) would say such outrageous things to the studious heroine Seeta played by Hema Malini and be promptly beaten up by the poor student Veeru (poor not in terms of academic grades but family income) played by Dharmendra . That Bollywood stereotype of the poor but brilliant student may even have been inspired by the Chinese philosopher Confucius who observed in the 6th century BC that “the scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.” ...


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Matrimonial Testimonial

Desimatch is a magazine aimed at getting young men and women to tie the knot (well eventually). Here's what they had to say

‘Mediocre But Arrogant’ is Abhijit Bhaduri’s first work of fiction in English. The novel’s blog at http://mediocrebutarrogant.blogspot.com/ has some hilarious cartoons and also audio excerpts where you can hear the author read out parts from the novel. The book is being launched in Calcutta on 3rd August followed by a launch in Jamshedpur, Mumbai and Delhi. Abhijit will then go on to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore before coming back to US for his book launch.A man of many talents, Abhijit has more than a thousand cartoons and illustrations for magazines like Target, newspapers like Hindustan Times and three books on Management. He has also been a seasoned broadcaster having been a newsreader with All India Radio and hosting youth programs on Television. Currently, he hosts a show on Hindi movies and music on EBC the 24x7 desi radio channel in US. He performs and directed plays in the US, Malaysia and India. Abhijit is a part of the Corporate Human Resources team at the global Headquarters of Colgate Palmolive in New York. He has also won the coveted Best Young Manager award at the National Competition for Young Managers organized by All India Management Association.

Desi Match talks to Abhijit on his book and future projects:

Q. What inspired the storyline of your book ‘Mediocre But Arrogant’?
A. Mediocre But Arrogant is story about love and life in a Business School. It is a story about college life, about good times with friends, about falling in love and about growing up. The protagonist Abbey is an unambitious and directionless person who lands up in the highly competitive and fictitious Management Institute of Jamshedpur. The story is about how the two years there change him and his relationships. The story is not autobiographical. The characters are fictional. But they are real and will prompt every reader to say, “I knew someone EXACTLY like this character.”

Q. Who are these mediocre brains the book is targeted at and if arrogance is infact a shield to hide their mediocrity?
A. According to the protagonist Abbey, the term MBA stands for Mediocre But Arrogant. It refers to the power that an MBA wields in today’s world that makes some people arrogant. Anyone who has been to college or has ever lived in a hostel will instantly identify with the characters and the humor in this novel that has been praised by novelists like Shobhaa De, Professors of Management like Dr Madhukar Shukla of XLRI and Mr Tarun Sheth - the management guru.

Q. Is there a message you are trying to give out through your book?
A. The message is that education is all about discovering that each one of us has the power to make a difference in the world.

Q. What are your future projects?
A. This novel is the first of a trilogy. While the first novel finishes with Abbey becoming an MBA, the second novel follows him into the corporate sector and the third novel sees Abbey realizing his dreams. There is already media interest to turn this novel into a movie and a TV serial. There are exciting plans for merchandizing. That along with a full time job as a senior HR executive in a Fortune 500 company and my passion for radio and theater are enough for me to work 25 hours a day.