Sunday, December 17, 2006

Xmas dinner in the AI office

Yesterday was the last 'working' day in the office for the year 2006!

We finished team days yesterday evening and had a christmas dinner planned with the team.

Before that, some of us went to Haas for lunch. Haas is one of the million Turkish food places that are in Rotterdam. But some of us go very often to that place. And in case there are other AIESEC members, friends visiting Rotterdam - they are bound to be taken to Haas. So we went there, wished them merry xmas and had our last falafels, kebab and the huge amount of fries they serve :)

Evening was indeed very special! The office was beautifully decorated as you can see below.


Dey mastered the cooking and decorations and he loves to make it very special and perfect. I look back 6 months before and I hardly knew some of them and its amazing how special bonds each one of us have made with everyone in such a little period.

Thank you Dey for making it so special!

Pictures on flickr badge on the right!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Screw you guys, I'm going ....

HOME!!! (Sorry Neha - for copying this. But I love Southpark, and simply couldnt resist :))

Yes, I am coming to India between 18th - 27th Dec.

Though its a short period, I am so looking forward to come back to India after almost 1,5 years!

Meeting family, friends, relatives, chomping Indian food - ghar ki daal, roti and shopping like a maniac. That is how the 8 days will fly by...

29th - 2nd Jan will be in Madrid, Spain enjoying New Years and some wild partying lined up there! Anyone in Madrid around that time? Do let me know :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Waiting on the world to change...

The song that is stuck in my mind today and I am sure for a long time to come!
Awesome song by John Mayer...


me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's hard to beat the system
when we're standing at a distance
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
now if we had the power
to bring our neighbors home from war
they would have never missed a Christmas
no more ribbons on their door
and when you trust your television
what you get is what you got
cause when they own the information, oh
they can bend it all they want

that's why we're waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's not that we don't care,
we just know that the fight ain't fair
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

and we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What are you tzzinking about?

I love this! Have seen this and have made people imitate for me a million times - but always makes me laugh everytime I see this...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ashes... Who's gonna win this one?


Its back.. Yes, the Ashes!

This is one of the most crucial battle fought between England and Australia - but on the cricket field.

Sizzling 2 days of test cricket until now. Australia tore apart the English bowling attack with Ricky Ponting just falling short of a double century. England has started off with a poor start.

I think this is gonna go to Australia all the way. Following the last series's victory by England in the Ashes after 16 years of Australian dominance in the Ashes, the Australians are coming back this year with a lot of vengeance on their home turf.

Any bets?

Its gonna be an exciting series, for sure! Absolutely Loooooovin it (in Geofrey Boycott's accent :))

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You know when you are back in Rotterdam...

Last couple of months has been a lot of traveling...and for that reason you visit the Schipol airport almost all the time.

I am back after 2 weeks of intense traveling in the US - a lot of fun, but you know you are back at Schipol airport when:

1. You see the ING ads pretty much honking 'IN' your face. (The captions are really nice though :))
2. You hear the irritating voice of 'Mind your step' every 3 seconds on every escalator! It bugs you like crazy especially after you are back from a 15 hr long flight!
3. You see the dull grey weather all the time - there's no concept of changing seasons in Rotterdam - its always dull , grey and rainy (ok,ok - may be 30 days of the year on an average - it has some sun)

So whenever you arrive to the Schipol airport - look out for these things :)

But anyways, its great to be back in the AI office - Home sweet home!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB): Management Knowledge Leading Positive Change


A Global Forum that was convened by:
The Academy of Management, The United Nations Global Compact & Case Weatherhead School of Management

This was held October 22nd-25th at Case Western Reserve University and online uniting top business leaders and educators to focus on ways of doing business that are both profitable and succeed in addressing the world’s most pressing social needs.

I was extremely fortunate to be a part of this.

To hear prominent speakers like C.K. Prahlad (Prof - University of Michigan), Ray Andersen (CEO of Interface Inc.), Patrick Cescau (CEO Unilever) etc. and also interact with top leaders in business and education sector was an amazing experience. I wonder how many people at my age could have got such an opportunity!

Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface Inc. had an opening speech on the theme and also on how his organization is viewing sustainability. It was extremely interesting and amazing to hear that.
(Interface is one of the world's largest manufacturer of carpets and is focused on environmental sustainability)

Bobby Sager, Founding chairman, young Presidents Organization Peace Action Network had a great touching talk one of the evenings about how the YPO is working and he told something which highlights a completely different angle of seeing things.

He said:
"Anyone can count the seeds in an apple. But no one can count the apples in a seed."

Also, I was one of the facilitator along with 6 other ex / current AIESECers to facilitate sessions on paper - research conversations by different authors. To facilitate a bunch of professors and leading business people on this was a memorable experience!

Amongst that was facilitation of the topic of "New Metrics: Measuring our Many impacts" This was about triple bottom line research papers and one of them was by ASQ (American Society of Quality) who are putting forward their thoughts on a new ISO quality standard that should be in place by end of the year 2008 or early 2009.


The entire global forum agenda was based on Appreciative Inquiry and so in the design phase, I was in this group for seeing how can this work and thoughts around this. Extremely enriching and exciting to see how this is going to be taken forward. To be a part of actually designing this was a huge learning point.
Also Brodie had a speech on how do youth view this and views on how can educators play a role towards increasing the awareness around this. Everyone was in awe! :) It was excellent!

Overall, great ideas that were designed to be executed to understand CSR from different angles and also to see how different aspects of society are viewing and working on this.

Another exciting experience was to be at the Harvard club in New York to meet one of AIESEC US alumnus. Its a really cool place to be there. You need to be there to witness the atmosphere. Also interesting was to hear Dick Kramlich, who is one of the top venture capitalist in the country to hear his thoughts around entrepreneurship and venture capitalism for India and China. A lot to learn - I must say...

Things have been extremely hectic on this US trip - but has been very enlightening and interesting!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Scapino Ballet, Hague

So on Friday evening, some of us (Coco, Gabiza, Ondrej, Petroula, Nico, Ieva, Jeanne and me) decided to watch a ballet - thanks to Cornelia for coordinating this! So we went to the Hague to watch the Ballet - called "Its a beautiful world". It was definitely an interesting and a 'new' experience for me. Eventually as it was something new, I had a good time. Probably I will find out more about this, and will look forward for the next ballet experience!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

London, baby! Awesome !

Firstly, it felt so good that everything you can read - shops, bilboards, in metro stations - is in English. You can approach anyone for help - and you are absolutely sure that they speak English :) Felt so good (its a simple point - but still it hit me) after living 1,5 yrs in Europe.

I also had a feel like Bombay - more like a posh Bombay, where the city never waits for you. Having 3 meetings in a day in different parts of London, and you feel exhaused at the end of the day - exactly how when you used to travel to Andheri or to V.T for meetings from Vikky...

People all dressed extremely nice, posh restaurants all around. Wimbledon, Notting hill, Bond street, Knightsbridge, King's cross - all names sound really good and classy to your ear :) And then you have funny names like the one shown below as well :)
The meetings were excellent and I got about 2 - 3 hrs in the last one week to do some sightseeing. I tried to do the usual touristy stuff - visiting Buckingham palace, Leicester Square - the place there the DDLJ shot was taken with Shahrukh jumping over one of the poles, Trafalgar Square, St. James park - beautiful!



Also I had a chance to eat South Indian food - after almost 1,5 years since I have seen a lot of Indian restaurants, but almost hardly anyone serves south indian!

Another great highlight was to meet few trainees, one of them actually whom I had matched with TCS a year and a half back - but never met him. And we had kept in touch and accidentaly I met him in London! Was extremely cool!



Overall, a great city - I think I can definitely live there, and I hope I can :)

Here's to more visits in the classy city!

P.S More pictures on flickr badge - on the right

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Times of frenzy!

After IC, its just been 2 weeks before the crazy times have begun again!

The whole office is buzzing with excitement as country coaches prepare for their visits to all parts of the world. Theme dinners have begun. This is what has happened so far:

Central and Eastern European Dinner
Spanish speaking region Dinner
Asia Pacific Dinner
Western Europe & North America Dinner

African dinner and Emerging Markets (India, China :)) Dinner to come in the next two days...

The AI blog (http://ai.myaiesec.net) is back in action as well. Everyone has blogger accounts and have caught the fever of blogging :)

From 1st October most of the people leave the office.

I have a good trip lined up for about 1 month 10 days starting from UK - Sweden - Norway - US.
Some good sales needs to happen. Loving the times of pressure and corporate life :)

So many diverse experiences, and time just passes by so quickly - it becomes so critical to sit down atleast once a week and capture the million things that are happening in one small office with 22 people and you that are amidst all this!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Wicker Man - History created!

History is created yet again. The worst movie on the planet has been released a.k.a 'The Wicker Man'. Just for this tag - I will recommend everyone to watch this movie, so they know that the standards cannot go low beyond this movie, and I think for this reason this movie will earn some money.

But the movie is simply punishing for people like us, who wanted to have a decent evening on Saturday. Some of the things just doesnt make any sense in the movie.

Ryan, Ondrej and me were discussing at the end - the only good moment (for us) was the last scene in the club where the two girls look stunningly hot :) That's it.

Some comments so that its not only me who is saying this:

*BBC - movie review:
"Every time I turn my head, something doesn't make sense!" wails Nicolas Cage in Neil LaBute's The Wicker Man. But what really puzzles is why anyone, let alone the director of the excellent In the Company of Men, would want to blot their copybook with such a shambolic remake of Robin Hardy's 1973 - The Wicker Man"

*"When attempting what is often deemed the most unnecessary of cinematic projects, the remake, a filmmaker can adopt a nearly identical plot but still generate an inferior product."

*"A great thriller has been remade into one of the most laughable. Nicolas Cage seems to be acting in another movie, waving his arms around, shouting, pulling guns and even punching smiling pagan women. And Neil LaBute -- who never met a story he couldn't turn into a paranoid castration fantasy -- dumbs things down enough to insult the stupid."

*"Something Wicker this way comes...and you'd be advised to stay away. Unless you just really want to see Nicolas Cage running through the woods in a bear costume. Sorry, he's not helping prevent forest fires--that would've been more exciting."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Poker night!

Poker nights are IN :)
Yesterday night, our house (Ryan, Ildi, Ondro, me) led by Ondro - the born casino player had organized a Poker night.

It was a perfect setting as you can see below. Everything was there...

Cigars, Whiskey, a professional Poker set, a shady room with the only two sources of illumination focussed on the poker table, men in black suits and ladies in black as well :), willingness to bet high and big, and the much required entrepreneurial attitude.


Just before the night began

Let the games begin!
The setup

High intensity period

It was indeed a lot of fun. The evening started at 21 00 and ended about 2 30 AM in the morning when the last person standing had all the money and all the other people were wiped out (strangely it was me - I have never won a bingo in my life and this was a pleasant surprise, but it was insane with the last few rounds of insane betting)

I am sure there are going to be more poker nights in our house!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Take a bow to these sporting legends!


This is to: My two favourite sport stars who are definitely sporting legends.

I have been a die-hard fan of Agassi since the time he entered the grass courts of Wimbledon in 1992. Unexpectedly winning the first Grand Slam championship there to then continuing to be the one of only five players to win all four Grand Slam singles events, he is truly an amazing guy.

He is much more than a successful tennis star. His humbleness, style, charisma, philanthropic nature has led him to be the favourite of millions.

On September 3, after playing his final match to Benjamin Becker in the 2006 U.S. Open's third round Agassi said a few words to his fans: "Thanks. The scoreboard said I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn't say is what it is I have found. Over the last twenty-one years, I have found loyalty: you have pulled for me on the court and also in life. I've found inspiration: you have willed me to succeed sometimes even in my lowest moments. And I've found generosity: you have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams, dreams I could have never reached without you. Over the last twenty-one years, I have found you and I will take you and the memory of you with me for the rest of my life. Thank you."

Salute to one of the greatest sporting legends...

Now, from one sporting legend to the fastest man on the circuit - Michael Schumacher


He announces his retirement from Formula1 after finishing this session. After winning the Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari takes the lead from Renault in the 2006 season. With 3 races to go now, Michael Schumacher is 2 pts behind season leader Alonso.

His words while announcing his retirement:
"It has been a really tough decision not to work together at this level but I knew that one day it had to come.
All these years in Formula 1 have been amazing, especially those spent alongside my friends in the Scuderia (Ferrari)," he said. "Soon my future will belong to my family, while I am happy to be still part of Ferrari. But for now, what matters is this world championship," said the German.

A great driver, a great entertainer and a legend!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back in Rotterdam after crazy 15 days...

I am back in Rotterdam after I dont know what I went through.

Passing through an insane head rush of meeting about 650 delegates from over 90 countries, laughing, dancing, those conversations that you always wished for, meeting over 100 guests, partners and talking about AIESEC, life - all in the span of 15 days!

And now suddenly I am back in Rotterdam all alone thinking what I have gone through. Less than 1% of the youth in the world today have an access to opportunities and a life like this.

A lot of people asked me on how is IC going, or how do you feel IC's been for you - and I frankly feel - I dont know what just happened.

It has been such a different experience for me - than the other 2 ICs where I have been a delegate.

I met some of the coolest and smartest people, whom I will never forget in my life. The impact this organization has on people is amazing. I realized the power of Gratitude - thanks to this wonderful man called David Pollay, who was an absolute amazing chair!

I am back for my vacation in Rotterdam where I want to remain in this solitude, reflect, rest, read, sleep, cook good food :), write long emails to people who helped me to be at this juncture in my life.

I miss all the people whom I met at IC! I hope to see some of you again somewhere...

Its just an amazing transition from an atmosphere of incredible frenzy and diversity to solitude...

Truly "Living my dreams"...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

AIESEC extends into Bahrain and Qatar....

AIESEC has further expanded its presence into the Middle East - Bahrain and Qatar join the AIESEC family :)

Yesterday late night during legislation, this history was created (Btw, Legislations lasted until 3 20 AM - some things never change :))

Its amazing to see how AIESEC is growing its network so rapidly and its powerful to see this wonderful organization providing an incredible experience to young people, now in 97 countries! AIESEC is becoming more and more relevant and impactful to the society and especially societies that are the most relevant.

A huge thank you to all the people who are putting their efforts in this direction.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

AI taking some time off to do modelling :)




Just before coming to IC, we took an evening hour off to get some nice pictures in the sunshine :)

More pictures on flickr...

On another note - IC is rocking Warsaw up and down and all the way around :) Keep checking http://live.ic2006.pl

Thursday, August 24, 2006

This year, everyone can experience IC!

For the first time, AIESEC International has made the opportunity for everyone across our global network to be involved in International Congress!

Welcome to IC Live!your online portal to connecting to the 550 delegates here in Warsaw, Poland to every corner of our global network.


http://live.ic2006.pl


VIRTUAL INSANITY...:)

Monday, August 21, 2006

The world comes to Warsaw...


Indeed! AI team is ready and the facis are ready to start! After finishing the final run through of IC today, it feels fantastic! The hard work everyone has put in this is amazing. I was zapped seeing the way how sessions are planned and the presentations are top-notch!

At this stage, I so wish I was a delegate :)

To all delegates - wait and watch! Its gonna be rocking and something that will stay in your hearts and minds forever...

GN - PRE MEETINGS start tomorrow and 2 days later the OFFICIAL Opening!

Getting goosebumps as I write this post...

Over 600 delegates,
Over 90 countries represented,
Over 160 guests and partners,
Discussing and planning ACTION on how their leadership can affect a positive impact on society!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy Birthday India!



Salute to:
- The Land which has produced people of the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, leading business men and industrialists like Narayan Murthy, Lakshmi Mittal, Ratan Tata, world class sportsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Vishwanathan Anand, Learned gurus like Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, world class actors like Amitabh Bachhan and countless of people who have been legends in the world in their fields! I can go on and on and on...
- The Land of beautiful women, cultural diversity as never seen anywhere, 1 billion people, the largest democracy in the world and one of the fastest growing economies in the world!

I am proud to be born and brought up in that country! Mera Bharat Mahaan!

To all Indians around the world, Happy Independence Day...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Feeling good in my own room now :)

After shifting to a completely unfurnished house with flatmates - Ryan, Ildi and Ondrej, we were feeling a bit gloomy to enter that house. But well well well, we have IKEA - to cheer things up; though you end up spending loads of money since its just so cool to shop almost anything and everything there. But after some cool shopping and some hard work with nails, hammer and screw drivers - the result (still a 1st draft of the room:) ) is ready. This is the output.
Cannot wait for the weekend to deck it up even more...



Friday, July 28, 2006

Do you want to dominate the world?


RISK - The 'real' game of strategy...
Lately since the last week and a half, some of the evenings have been crazy with this board game.

This game is absolutely addictive and its fantastic!

And especially when you play with a few AI people, it becomes more than a game :) Very very competitive...

Tonight post 9 00 PM - Coco, Gabiza, Gee, Abhi, Ryan and me are having a chilled out night with beers and RISK :) Lets see who is going to dominate the world!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

SG meeting : 20 - 21July




Supervisory Group meeting - another unique experience!

Paul Batchelor, Rainer Kirchhofer, Carolyn Nimmy, Andrew Fiddaman, Victor Loewenstein, Ante Glavas, Tsurumi Michiaki in one room with both the AI Teams.

It was mind blowing to see the amount of knowledge, committment and passion they had for AIESEC. The questions, discussions sometimes surprised me on the understanding they have about AIESEC.

The best part was the social evening dinner that Rainer (from UBS) hosted for all of us. Getting to know them better, their personal views of AIESEC and their story of why do they have so much passion for this wonderful organization ; indeed very impressive.

Unfortunately it was Rainer Kirchhofer's last meeting.

At the end he simply said 'I am NOT leaving AIESEC, I am just leaving the Supervisory Group. I will keep coming back to AIESEC.'

I was speechless and was in all awe! Nothing more to say...I am proud to be a part of AIESEC!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Planning week, Italy

After wine tasting, we were having a tour in the wine cellars :) where wine was prepared and kept from about 1 to 5 years!!!!


The team on the way leading to the tower of Pisa


Florence from the top of a cathedral

The pool outside the castle we used to stay in.
The main usage of this pool was to play insane rugby in the pool


Aerial view from Ryan Air :)

Making sure the Pisa tower is not falling down

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

pondering...

sitting in my room, listening to some nice relaxed music. came after an excellent healthy dinner cooked by the tuesday cooking team.

was watching some tv and flipping channels - my habit ...watched cnn, bbc a bit and the only thing i could see was middle east crisis - people crying for their loved ones and more statistics on how many Lebanese and Israelis have died, the next thing I see is the search for Java tsunami survivors...

i switched off the tv immediately and came up the room to check some news on the web about india and the first thing that came up is mourning for the victims of the mumbai bomb blasts

and then i read this

hmm... something bold, something strong needs to happen - which i know for sure everyone agrees.

question is HOW and WHAT - its a feeling of frustration and am wondering how can young people like us work on this? or what message needs to be passed on by leaders of the world today rather than condemning these events and giving a fancy speech that my heart is with you in these times - WHAT are you doing TODAY to make something happen

Does anyone feel like this?

may sense and peace prevail...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Breaking news - History created!

Live update from Rotterdam...

AI 06-07 and AI 05-06 reached the finals of the soccer world cup at the transition party on Saturday, the 15th!

AND AI 06-07 has won comprehensively 3 - 0!!! The new team always has been losing to the previous AI team in the past, but all the early morning practice and hard work has paid off :)

Great victory... and post that a wonderful handover party at De Loft!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Day of victories...

After a day of upsets in World cup where Brazil and England bow out of the Worldcup, today was a great day!

Reporting at half past midnight, hours before our flight to Pisa - India wins the Test Match against WestIndies to win the test series! Bhajji and Kumble has led India to an exciting victory...

On another note, Michael Schumacher has raced the Ferrari to win the grandprix at Indianapolis! Way to go Ferrari - Schumi and Massa. This has reduced the gap between Schumi and Alonso to 19 and The Ferraris are 26 points behind Renault. With 8 races to go, the race to the top is definitely on!

Will have a good sleep now :)

Pisa, Italy...



Pisa, Italy - 2nd - 9th July AI planning days....Cannot wait to stay in a beautiful castle, walk down the wine yards - Thanks Dey for planning this entire trip :) Cannot wait to reach PISA!!!

More updates once we come back!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Few pictures from AI's photoshoot


AI 06-07 looking sleek


Gee - Jiggy (Jadon) - Jawwwwn (Jeanne) :)


AI ER team (except Petr :))
Top: Ondro, Maria, me
Bottom: Jeanne, Ildi


Directors
Top (who look like flying a fictionary aeroplane) - Habib, Jarda
Bottom: Araz, Pinar, Mairi, Ryan

Monday, June 12, 2006

AI Take off weekend...

The last weekend was simply amazing! We talk about living diversity... well, hearing my team's diverse experiences and what they have gone through, my respect for them has tripled! Everyone on the team has their unique flavour and their set of experiences which has made them the person they are.

We started off the weekend by going to a zoo - well I am not overly fond of them, but then going with my team and this particular zoo was indeed v. special... Some crazy pics below

Firstly, here's Director Asia Pacific for the coming year showing his AP ness :) (Being a New Zealander, he keeps sharing his love for Aussies, so he couldnt help but do this) Good luck maate :)



Dey, me :)

The Czech - Slovak dudes :) Ondrej and Jarda have already shown their spirits in terms of gallons of beer consumption until now and Petr is not far behind with his wine consumption

Gabiza and Maria - chilling as always :) Btw, thanks to Gabiza, I have started to pick up some interesting Romanian lingo ;) Pupici to you girls...

Sea horses - always saw them in cartoons before


Nemo is finally found :)

Cute lil Penguins

More pics by clicking here