Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday night revelries

A few friends met up at my place last evening to celebrate the marriage of Chuck and Punvati who, displaying a go-getter attitude so rare among youth these days, went off and got hitched earlier this year. They had most decently invited me to the wedding bash but I couldn't go, and decided to make this up by inviting them over for dinner.

When I told the missus this, she had a sort of a seizure.  The domestic staff, apparently, was on leave and she had to go out for some dinner herself. "Oh, no problem" I told her, cheerfully, "I'll cook". The missus is a kindly soul. She realized that you can't just subject people to wanton torture. Hitler tried it and see where it got him. "Never mind, I'll cook a bisi bele bhat before I go. But remember to heat it up before you serve"

And thus, the little band of diners survived. Tony Sebastian, Abhishek Upadhyay and Harshal Modi apart from Chuck and Punvati, and me. Abhishek, who evidently has been researching these things, rustled up an Old Monk Rum based cocktail that he called Rum NasTea, because iced tea went into it in significant quantities. There were also cans of Dr. Mallya's finest and as the evening wore on, the discussion became more nuanced and sophisticated. I don't recall much, for some reason, but there was an interesting debate on the uselessness of the case study method for teaching management.

For those of you who have been fortunate enough to have given the field of management education a miss, an explanatory note might be in order. The case study method is the enacting of an ersatz real-life situation specially designed to highlight some management principle or the other. When it was first developed, it was hailed as a novel approach to the task of teaching complex and shades-of-grey kinds of problems but soon, everything was being taught through contrived  dramatic passages which were overwhelmingly inane. My earliest recollection of a case study was one which started with "Mr. Gupta was worried" and went on to describe how, after several interactions with his CFO Mr. Mehta, the said Mr. Gupta realized that he had not factored in the costs of providing a warranty for his products. All that the chump had to do, in my opinion, was to price his products a little higher, or make sure they wouldn't fail all that often or simply give a bum warranty. When I voiced these thoughts, MBAs Chuck, Harshal, Tony and Abhishek came out of the closet and declared, hesitantly at first and then more self-assuredly, that the case study method was a complete lemon. Abhishek also recalled that most case studies began with some form of "Mr. Gupta was worried". "Mr. Gupta was worried", it transpired, was the "it was a dark and stormy night" of the case-study world.

Much else was discussed. There were insights into the fascinating world of quizzing, with anecdotes featuring legendary quizmasters like G S Pradeep and Pornob. My younger son showed off his alleged guitar skills and was promptly treated to a virtuoso demonstration by Chuck who, unbeknownst to me, is an extremely kick-ass guitarist. I found some fish in the freezer and cooked up some fish in lemon-butter sauce. No one died.

We finally disbanded at 2 am but not before reflecting what an awesome bunch of bozos we were.

Wonderful time!


GSS said...

What happened to the bise bel bhat? from the looks of the narration, you forgot about it.

If it was not eaten, did your night turn to 'a dark stormy night....' as i am sure Ms Shenoy would not have taken kindly to her efforts not been partaken and appreciated, espcially against Mallaya's cans

By the way, i'm a huge fan. Please keep writing more regularly! Thanks for all the smiles and guffaws!

Logik said...

Ah found this finally :)

This is what I'd written as a parody of the genre once. For a CCD case.
It was a cold December Morning in Bangalore. A young couple were taking in the lovely view through the looking glass of a Cafe Coffee Day Lounge. Both had cups of their favourite hot coffee in hand, and were talking in soft hushed voices.

Meanwhile, in the first floor Office of that CCD lounge, a storm was brewing...