The Manilogues – I


Dekha hai pehli baar man in the box

where were you roobaroo

And so the tone was set for the first leg of our Manila trip as part of the International immersion module for our batch. A motley crew of around 40, after battling it out for over two weeks with a barrage of classes, quizzes, night outs, and even the guilt of nonchalance, was all set to let their hair down on our first leg from Jamshedpur to Kolkata Airport, en route to the pristine beaches of Manila and AIM. Half of this crew was the “Taiwanese” junta, who were going to Fujen University, Taiwan.

By the way, they lovingly call themselves “Taiwan ke haiwan”. Very cliched and tacky no? Of course, we were not to be left behind in the tackiness game and our punchline has been “Manila mein raslila”. There are other versions too.

  • “Manila mein ghatshila”
  • “Yenla Manila” – This is the Kannada offshoot.
  • “Man illa. Only Woman”.

Nice no? Ok, the last three were my inventions, but am sure they are infinitely better than the raslila thingy!! Hmpff!


So, back to the trip. It all started with a voting system that happened in the 1st term where we had to put in our choices for the country and university we wanted to go to. In fact, a big takeaway from the perspective of management education, per se, has been the capability with which we, as techno-managers are able to think outside the box, manage conflicts within disparate groups, get in best of the breed solutions without creating dissonance and ultimately norm ourselves towards a consensus, getting a buy in from all parties concerned.

To cut a long story short. Google polls. I probably have not participated in as many polls as I have after coming to do an MBA. Consensus building, they say.

Note the sarcastic take on management jargon? Eh? Time for a pause with a gloating smile here, pliss.

By the way, me thinks there is too much sarcasm for MBA education in my posts. Do you think so too? I think I need to do a poll on this. Hmmm.

Prologue again

Anyways, as I was saying. We had a poll on which universities we wanted. Now, “want” is an overestimated word in here. Some got the university and place of their choice. Some got the place and not the university. Some got the university and not the place. Some got tired of this and opted out of this choosing to go back home. And some just did not care. The last segment (Jargon alert!) would have gone to TIM, for all they cared,  if it was close to their hometowns. Or better, if there was a virtual International Immersion Module!

TIM – Timbuctoo Institute of Management. Flagship Program is their 1-month International EGMBA where the focus is on Timbuctoo’s burgeoning tourism industry which has grown by leaps and bounds just because everyone goes to this place when you do not have anywhere else to go. Good program, I must say.

Anyways, so finally the score looked something like this :

6 universities, 4 Countries, ~ 115 casualties, and 23 of them to Manila (Asia Institute of Management, Makati City).

I am one of the 23. Hence the title of the post. If you didn’t get it by now, you probably went to one of the other three places. Or just do not get what “play on words” is. Or you do not visit my blog often. Or you are an MBA with no sense of humor (sarcasm alert!!).

Anyways, a few emails later, a poll on who would be the team leader and a lot of emails hence on how to get ourselves transported to Kolkata without getting our asses kicked by the Maoist fellas, a bus was booked. And nope. No redbus, no and none of those “<dash><your><mine><his><and what not>trip” websites catering to provide buses between Jamshedpur and kolkata. It is the good ol’ “call up the travels, haggle on the price and book a bus” MO that works here. Hence, post a lot of debate on whether we should take a volvo or not, we ended up with a non-volvo.

That’s ’cause he did not have a volvo. He had a “Pahari Maa”. The name of the luxury bus, i.e.

And that is how, we ended up with a mish mash of the “tones” I mentioned earlier.

By the way, that was an indication of how I was listening to songs that were playing in the iPod shuffle I was using and the music system in the bus. And believe it or not, there was this mish mash through out. Except when we stopped the bus to pee.


So, post a not-so-eventful bus trip we reached the Kolkata Airport well within time for check-in. After a not-so-eventful wait for the flight and a not-so-eventful boarding (of course, discounting the pretty Singapore Airlines hostesses) at 11:30 PM, we and the flight were set for the long trip to Manila. Again, except some nice turbulence, 2 really nice scotch-on-the-rocks for me, and 3 really nice conversations with a pretty air-hostess that seemed to last for hours (she came quite a few times to my seat actually, asking me if I had the belt on, if I needed a drink, and if I wanted some food…ah. The caring) , the not-so-eventful flight reached Singapore at an ungodly hour of around 3:30 AM. I think it was pretty much of a “walk in a hangover” for me, as I do not remember much of what I saw loitering around in the airport. Also, I think I am was am was in love with the air hostess. What was her name, dammit?

A not-so-eventful 4 , 3 hour wait later, the sleepy 23 boarded the Singapore Airlines flight to Manila. With a new set of prettier air hostesses waiting for me us. This time I had to sleep. I mean, on my seat. Alone, i.e. Ahem. Remember I was sleepy?

Ok. It’s over

And 3 hours later, we reached Manila. Philippines. Where else? A not-so-eventful 5 wait later, we met our AIM representatives, Frenzy and Chick. No, he was not in a frenzy. And she is very nice.

Post getting to know whether they were faculty (I think Koschan Nair has resurfaced!), we set out for the AIM Conference Center, at Makati City where we were to be put up.

A nice cup of hot tea, some Filipino biscuits, a quick tour of the institute by “Frick”, a hot, warm bath, an orientation to the 3 weeks of stay on what we would be doing, and with Juan on our heels, we were all set to immerse ourselves internationally in Manila!

P.S : As a first step to that, we got a crate of you-know-what. Just to immerse ourselves.

P.P.S : I have read Law. I will not be thrown out if I do not mention you-know-what….I guess?

Bye Bye lizzy…

I know we’ve had a love-hate relationship. Since my school days when I used to study under a table lamp and you would sneak up to me from behind and sit on my table. When my dad would lovingly laugh at me for being so scared of you and would tell me not to bother about you. When I spent sleepless nights imagining where you were in my room and hide under my blanket. Waiting for the first break of dawn.

In fact, as far as I remember, it has been more hate than love, actually.

Probably, the only time I have had an iota of affection for you was when I was told by my mother that you bring a lot of luck. That if I saw through your eyes, and touched you on your forehead, you would bring me peace of mind. Of course, she also said a lot of other stuff about you being a form of god and how you are actually revered by so many people.

But you know what. I went through hell taking deep breaths and preparing myself to face you. You scare and creep me up so much. So, I agree I do not know a lot about you. But that is the way it has stayed. Even after so many years. And yeah, I did touch your forehead. Traveling miles away from home, and jostling through a sea of people. Just because my mother told me to.

I know I’ve always shunned you away. Even though my friends welcomed you in their rooms. Saw you through their windows without a hint of disgust. Hell, they even let you into their bathrooms. I mean, the bathroom! For heaven’s sake! Where you spend the most private moments, immersed in thought, planning for the day or just preparing for that case study you are supposed to analyze in class. And there you are looking at them with that steely gaze of yours’.

Anyway. Peace. I have no intentions of knowing what it was exactly that you did in their bathrooms.

I have seen you stare at me. I don’t know what it is that you expect of me. I have tried to be patient with you. I have tried ignoring you. But you always seem to intrude in to my life. At the most important moments. Such as in the mornings, after that customary cup of tea and all I would want to do was read my  morning newspaper and then rush for office. Or after a long day’s work, I just want to watch some good ol’ TV with a cup of tea, and there you are. Looking at me again. I mean. Seriously. What is with that look of yours’? Is it anger? Is it fear? Is it love? Or do I not matter to you at all? Not that I care, but what the hell is that look??

Anyways. Now, why would you want to interfere in my life like that? I have never hurt you, have I?

In fact, I have had to change my life because of you. During those days when you accidentally came into my room,  I have had to re-orient my furniture! Just so you could live leave peacefully. Without any bad blood. And this, after a long day of classes, quizzes and all I wanted to do was plonk on my bed and crash to a dreamless sleep.

Dreamless, did I say?. I have had nightmares after that. But did I ever complain? No. Never.

Well. Now, I am leaving for a few weeks and would hopefully not see you in the foreign shores I am headed to. I might come across your friends, but I am sorry I cannot carry any message for them, because I have no intention of talking to or looking at them.

I would hope that when I come back, I do not find you in my life. In my room. Or in my bathroom. Or looking at me through the windows. Or anywhere in the vicinity of me.

Please do not get me wrong.

I know you find various ways to come back in to my life, and I have blocked you off it. With cello tape!

I have never meant to hurt you. I have never meant to spite you, and god knows, I have never wanted to hate you.

But I just don’t want to love you.

I know I don’t have a heart.

But it is the pain of seeing you that makes me heartless. Bye Bye Lizzy. So long.