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.
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 yaatra.com 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.
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?