Today is Holi and a buddy of mine from work was nice enough to invite us over to celebrate. The city looked like some bizarro war, there were gangs of kids running around pelting people with water balloons and colors. There’s not much to say other then it was a great time,and I’m still purple. Thanks to cbas for taking pics:
Things have been pretty hectic lately, I’ve had 18 flights in the last 2 months and I’m still not done. Next week I’m going for my last set of MBA interviews at ISB in Hyderbad. I think it’s safe to say after the 800 interviews we’ve done in the last 6 weeks, I can now accurately gauge the level of talent of the top students in India. These dudes (and chicks) are all ridiculously smart academically, in order to get into the IIM’s (the top B schools), you need to literally be in the 99.9th percentile. What’s amazing though is how little they know outside of their immediate studies. It seems like so much emphasis is placed on studying for the exams, that they have no time (or desire) to learn what’s going on the industry. One of the major difference between the students here and in the U.S. – there’s no concept of being well-rounded. So few people had an understanding of topics not covered in their curriculum (but essential to our business) like internet advertising, emerging trends on the web, and traffic monetization – out of 800 we only gave a handful of offers,
Outside of work I agreed to volunteer at an elementary school for slum kids. One of the things that’s really tough about living here is seeing extreme poverty everywhere. Kids/women/old people living on the streets, coming up, asking for handouts. It’s hard to say no, but I’ve heard a lot of stories and how you never know where that money is going (a la the intentionally blinded kid in Slumdog). I try to hand out food whenever I have it, but my goal was to do something a little more meaningful to give back while I’m here. I planned to go in this past Saturday and give my first basketball lesson. On Friday I get a call, “we’re really excited that you’re coming in tomorrow, just wanted you to know, there’s no balls and no hoops.” Hmm, makes my job a bit tough. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, but it ended up being a lot of fun and way easier then I expected. There was an Aussie guy teaching english, I just helped him out a bit, reading and talking to the kids. They were all really attentive and excited:
Afterwords, I had brought two basketballs, and just did some basic passing games and dribbling races:
The kids loved it and were all asking me, when I was coming back next. One of the things that took me by surprise was that the school is segregated between Muslims and Hindus. They don’t have classes together and the kids (from the little I saw), don’t really interact. They said they are planning on integrating the school, but it was still unexpected, especially since Hindus and Muslims seem to be in such close contact and proximity everywhere else. All in all though, it was a really good experience and I hope I can keep at it.
Tomorrow is Holi – I’ll be going to a friend’s apartment with some super soakers full of colors. Will post some pics tomorrow (assuming my camera makes it out alive…)