The year that was: 2014

On the last day of 2014, as I sit down and dwell on the year that rushed by only two words come to my mind - changes and experiences. But before we come to that, let me quote some very interesting lines from one of the movies in my must-watch list - Good Will Hunting.
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. ... And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. (source)
2014 for me was the year when I focused on gaining experiences through travel and interactions with people from very different backgrounds to augment the academic and professional knowledge. The year started with the amazing news of acceptance of my candidature at HEC and it has been a roller coaster ever since.

I consider myself lucky to have got the opportunities to travel across India and Europe during the year. During the first half of the year, I went on several trips across India, covering Hyderabad, Jaipur, Nainital, Manali and Rohtang Pass, among others. Those who know about my love of driving, would have easily guessed that most of these were road trips.

September came, and the big relocation to Paris happened. Its actually to Jouy-en-Josas, a town about an hour away from Paris, where my college is located. The next three months were filled with weekend trips to Paris, where most of the exploration of this beautiful city was done by walking through the streets filled with majestic dernier-millennium architecture. December 20 was the big day when the wife arrived in Paris. Over the next 10 days, we hired a car and drove over 3,500 km in France covering Paris -- Champagné -- Bordeaux -- Avignon Provence -- Nice -- Grasse -- Cannes -- Nice --  Paris circuit. I must say everyone should once in the lifetime do this road-trip for the views, roads, amazing driving etiquette and the small towns on the way. Though, please be warned that the toll charges will burn a big hole in your pocket! 

Photo credit https://unsplash.com/bec_brown
Last but not the least, last four months of 2014 have been really amazing courtesy the stunning bunch of people in my intake at HEC. Have a look at some of them in this video on Youtube (link). Only after coming to an international B-school you realize the importance of mingling with people from backgrounds so different that you would not have come across in your existing professional life. 

All-in-all I am happy to say that I am very content with the year 2014. Having said that, I have started jotting down to-do lists for the first quarter of 2015 - as they say an MBA student's calendar is never empty! I have a feeling that it is going to be a very busy quarter, and an year by extension. Even though, I am not a big fan of new year resolutions, but I have decided to put my health on top priority for the next year. Eventually, there comes a time in life when you realize the weight of truth held in the cliched proverb 'health is wealth'.  

I raise my glass to the amazing year that went by, and to health and happiness of everyone that is reading this blog. Cheers! 

Time flies

Yes, it does, and that too at the speed of light!

As I sat down with my laptop, in the solace of my cozy hostel room, my eyes glanced at the bottom right of the screen - 3rd October 2014, it said! It has been one full month since that teary farewell, since those anxious moments, since the last time I hugged my family and departed from the Delhi airport to begin the next phase of my professional journey at HEC. 

I must say, what a journey it has been!

The first two weeks at HEC are more or less aimed at warming up the students for the 16 month journey ahead. Math camp, improv classes, ice-breaking sessions, presentation skills and Negosim help you brush up the concepts learned over the years, while helping you make new acquaintances and friends in a short period of time.

Negosim, a three day business simulation game, wins hands-down as my favorite session so far! Even a 5,000 word essay would not be sufficient to express the fun we had, while learning international trade/business concepts, during those three days!

Thereafter, fun gave way to the core subjects that we are studying during the first phase of our MBA. Statistics and business analytics; financial accounting and management; financial markets, managerial economics and marketing have filled our days, and sometimes nights as well! Plus, there are french classes too! And then how can you stay indoors during weekends when you live so near to the Eiffel! Well, not so near, its about 1.5 hours from my campus.

I guess Robert Frost was doing his MBA when he wrote the most epic lines ever written "the woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Someday, and the day might never come, I will switch off my alarm, and sleep for 8 hours at a stretch! Hey, I am not complaining! Tight schedules, measured breaks, running to keep yourself abreast with the flying time - it all reminds me of the amazing 2007-10 era, when I first stepped into the corporate world!  

I can not help myself, but to quote C&H while signing off, "It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy... Let's go exploring!" 

Pic credit: https://500px.com/toddquackenbush

Hello World!

Hello, Bonjour, नमस्कार, ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ, నమస్కారం !

That pretty much summed up greetings in all the languages being spoken around me on any given day!

Let me start this website with a little introductory post about myself. As you can notice from the masthead, my name is Abhishek Khanna, and I welcome you on my website. This is technically neither my first blog or blog post as I have written on several blogs and websites in the past, with my personal blog getting most of the attention and love over the past decade. 

Over the past few years i have had an itch to start a professional website/blog of my own, where i can present my point of view and analysis on the topics of my interest and expertise. However, paucity of time and professional contractual terms have held me back from doing the same. But that is about to change, as I progress towards the next phase of my life as an MBA participant at the prestigious HEC Paris! With that, I will finally have conducive circumstances to go ahead and get started with my own website! And for getting a domain name for one of the most common names in India, I call myself downright lucky!

I am in the process of setting up the template, post categories, menu buttons et al for this website. I believe I will start getting regular with the content part by mid-August. Yes, that is when I take a sabbatical from the corporate world after continuously working for 7 years and 1 month! Come to think of it, that is indeed a very long time, with no break exceeding 4-5 days!

Anyways, a new beginning to a joyous future ahead! Do let me know if you have any comments or suggestions for this website!