I can always run movie-marathons or sleep 40 hours on weekends but…

Word Count: 429 | Estimated time to read entry: 5 min

Image Source: istockphoto.com


The months approaching placements in any B-school are full of apprehension, doubt and uncertainty. But for the few who are getting back into family business or entrepreneurship, the rest are trying to master every trick in the book to land their dream job. TAPMIans are of course no exceptions – all that BrandScan, Theme papers, Group work, Markstrat, MIP and other ‘learning’ better culminate into something fruitful, eh??!

Now, I am reminded time and again, from junies of various batches, that my blog is eminently popular among most of them. “Out of sheer modesty” 😛 I will skip all the eulogies.  I also get friend requests on Facebook from junies who ‘follow and appreciate’ my blog and I am surprised most of the times because I don’t see comments from (m)any of them and hence, I have no way of knowing my readers.

If the first paragraph is what you guys are feeling right now and if the second paragraph is even remotely true, I guess I can use both of it for something really useful. Here is the idea:

I have a couple of friends placed in various companies across various sectors from various batches, thanks to this blog! I can request them to address your queries on placements and all things concerned with it. We can have a nice discussion right here on the blog. And since this is an open forum, you never know what this can blow out into. In fact, every TAPMI junie is welcome to post queries and every senior to answer them. I will (of course) only moderate.

You send me your queries in the form of comments to the entry that I will be posting subsequently and seniors from relevant sectors with matching profiles who consent to help out will address your queries. I will pick some of the best comments and responses and make entries out of them so that they are not lost in the trail of comments, with due credit to the contributors. And yes, you can choose to stay anonymous but you risk getting into my comment spam folder.

I am not guaranteeing you guys a job here but if you think this is a good idea, please let me know. You can also suggest ideas on what you want featured. Based on the number and quality of comments I get, I will take a call. So the better your response, the higher the chances.

And if you come to think of it, I didn’t give this entry such a long title for nothing, did I? 😉

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Guest Post: Booze, Babes & Boogie

Dr Deltoid This is a Dr. Deltoid Entry. Reader discretion advised!

Word count: 695 | Estimated time to read entry: Consult Dr.Deltoid

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At party

So here goes nothing……………..coming to you straight, bitchy and hard. My virgin entree into the big bad swingin world of Tapmi underbelly. I hereby promise to be your unsolicited guide and somewhat sober companion in demystifying the mundane existence of an average hostelite.

There were three things sacred to an average Tapmian: Booze, Girls and last but definitely not the least, Parties. This particular rant I shall restrict to a highly specialized sub class “Girls in Parties”.  😀

No Tapmi legend can ever be complete without the “Chakravyuh” of dancing girls. This was an infamous circle comparable to “ring of fire” as the active Volcano Islands in the Pacific are termed. It was pretty impossible for a guy to penetrate this exclusive society unless he slipped on some beer dropped on the floor and happened to stumble in. The poor guy already half drunk would suffer from Abhimanyu complex at the sight of several “Mata Hari’s” 😮 rapidly shimmying at high speed around him and couldn’t figure out how to get out. The only hope for the poor sod would be that one of them took pity on him and kicked him hard enough for him to be thrown out. The only other way was to wait for the clock to strike eleven which was the time at which the girls left for hostels. The other guys would just watch helplessly and with a shrug of shoulders, raise a toast to the trapped soul just feeling glad it wasn’t them.

Another interesting species often found was the “invisible drinkers”. These were the girls who could drink to put the best of the guys to shame but were too conscious of their image to do so openly. Hence they would dance changing partners at rapid intervals (obviously preference given to guys drinking vodka) and chug a biggish sip from each. The guy so happy that some female form was dancing with him would be in a trance and totally unaware that his glass was being emptied steadily. Having finished the glass she would move on in search of the next victim.

Then there were the highly beautiful/popular/hot girls referred to as “Draupadis” 😀 😀 because quite like their namesake from Mahabharata they would have at least five guys clamouring for their attention at any given point of time. Like a f***in compass, they would just turn with every beat of the song east-south-north- west and so on all night. Obviously if one of the guys was good looking or had promised to help out with the next Operations assignment, the pattern would be east-south-south-south-west-north and so on (yes the guy standing at south being the afore mentioned helpful person).

Another set of girls would be the “Angry Girlfriends Squad”. Now this was a dangerous type because they had come to the party with a one-point-agenda and that was to kick some ass. They would wait and watch until their boyfriends would have maybe one cc drink more than permitted or see him dance with some other female. When this happened, all hell would break lose with consequences varying from “getting drink thrown on face” to “A Kick in the nuts”.

Last but definitely not the least were the “Ultra Drunks” (Not to be confused with invisible drinkers). These were girls who generally never drank but were overcome by some extreme euphoria or depression to pursue this noble crusade. Once drunk it would not take long for the puking to begin and then it would turn into a game of avoiding the dragon’s fire. Like all drunk people, the girl would refuse to believe she was drunk and insist on dancing, stopping at random intervals to shower some lucky winner with “more than her love”.

I think the candle is about to die out and I have done enough damage for one night, it’s time to return to my cave. So adios friends, until next time………… Dasvidaniya.

P.S: to the intelligent reader who can guess the names of all the girls referred to above, a drink awaits at Guzzlers 🙂 😛

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Opinions expressed in this entry are solely the Guest Writer’s. Read #6 in Disclaimer.

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Honored or Belittled??

Word Count: 678 | Estimated time to read entry: 7 min

A few days ago, I received a comment from PaGaLGuY on my entry on Tapmi hostel life. I followed the link posted on my blog and was surprised/amused to see that they had decided to use one of my photographs on their site’s notification section. I also noticed that my name, hyperlinked to my blog entry, was specifically mentioned on the very top of the page.

I soon realized that the mention wasn’t very glorious after all. For one, PaGaLGuY didn’t quite think it necessary to ask/inform me before using the snap. The article appeared on PaGaLGuY on Aug 25 and the comment appeared on my blog only on Sep 5. Even then, it was a callous intimation conveying their action of having already used the snap instead of seeking permission.

For some reason, PaGaLGuy (wrongly) assumed that a post factum mention of my name/blog URL in exchange for the usage of my snap is sufficient enough to honor me. They also (and wrongly again) assumed that I would refuse usage if asked and decided to go ahead without my prior consent.

Now I wouldn’t want to get into the legalese of such usage (I can if I want to because I clicked the snap myself and I have uploaded it on my Flickr portfolio, the very act of which reserves my IPR on the snap under the ambit of Creative Commons), but a few things seem quite funny and worth a mention.

For one, the room in the pic was the dirtiest room in the whole of TAPMI men’s hostel – sorry Ashwin and Rohan 😀 In fact it was at its ‘dirty best’ just before the final packing and that was the very reason for my shooting it. It took me a hell lot of photoshopping to get it to the form it is currently in. It is strange that such a snap went on to represent TAPMI notifications on PaGaLGuy! Ashwin, Rohan – you have made TAPMI proud and this certainly calls for a round of ‘Lime Juice’ 😛

Secondly, the hostel premise has changed and the one shown in the photograph has been occupied by another institution in Manipal. In other words, it is definitely not relevant to the future batches that will step into TAPMI. Perhaps this snap or even this would have been a better fit – and yea PaGaLGuy, it is gratis in case you wanna use it now. 😉

Lastly, we now know for sure that there is not a single TAPMIan working at PaGaLGuy. It is quite inconceivable to think of a full-blooded TAPMIan forgetting all that rigorous citing, referencing and cross referencing training; especially not after most of our assignments running into a page or two but the appendix running into 30-odd pages, full of exact references, citations, foot notes and perhaps even the fingerprints, retinal scans and butt marks of the original author, whose works we chose to use in our assignment.

Perhaps, the only imaginable benefit from this whole episode is that those keeping a tab on TAPMI updates on PaGaLGuy will now want to read my blog. They might thereby stumble upon this entry, read the rigid rules at TAPMI and freeze to their bones. Of course, with the coming of the new management at TAPMI the rules also might have changed but they won’t know that until they have read this line and by then I would have already had my fun. That is the only imaginable benefit – I will get some cheap thrills by petrifying them for a while.

And in case the rules at TAPMI haven’t changed with the coming of the new management then the TAPMI faculty may site this “improper referencing” example in class to make things all the more clearer to the next batches, if PaGaLGuy doesn’t pull off the page in a haste. 😉

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PS: If and when PaGaLGuy recruits a TAPMIan (s)he may come to me for fingerprints, retinal scans and (if the interviewer is a really pretty gal) my butt prints as well 😛


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There are only 2 kinds of people in TAPMI….

Word count: 375 | Estimated time to read blog: 4 min

…those who are in Litcom and those who aren’t!

Litcom – the revered and adored abbreviation for The Literary Committee is one of the most talked-about, sought after and highly discussed extra-curricular student committee of TAPMI. It is the first committee to actually invite junie applicants at the beginning of the year and flag off the extra-curricular activities of TAPMI with its magnum opus – ‘Episode’, the cynosure of all eyes.

No one can describe what ‘Episode’ is. It is like the matrix, it has to be experienced. But rest assured, it is the most involving and highly motivating event that all TAPMIans will always cherish. Ask any alumni about what (s)he remembers most about TAPMI and you suddenly hear a dreamy-eyed, nostalgic utterance – “Episode”.

Litcom is the committee that conducts this iconic event and has a cult following across batches. The event is so hallowed that it takes more than mere mortals to put it together. It is small wonder then that all the Litcom members are called “The LitGods”.

Unfortunately everyone can’t aspire to be a God, or for that matter a Goddess. The best 2 junie guys and the best junie gal have this privileged distinction every year. Within minutes after your selection as a LitGod, the whole college knows your name and bio-data. Senies queue up for your intro because not even a dozen of them put together will wield as much power as you would singly. And forget about the chicks in your own batch (and a lot many in the senie batch 😉 ); it is just a side-effect of greater things in your way.

Apart from the very aura of Litcom, you also have other benefits. Litcom is responsible for some of the most thought-provoking and defining events during all major activities in TAPMI – nothing works without Litcom and its benevolent involvement. To add to the power imbalance, Litcom also has one of the biggest budgets. And what’s more, when other committees are meticulously questioned about their annual spend (which is peanuts anyways) and often criticized, Litcom stays unquestionably sacrosanct. No one doubts a LitGod.

So are you going to try and be a LitGod or settle for something merely mortal?

PS: This entry is directed at the prospective 2008-10 batch of TAPMI. For the others, the facts mentioned herein might be obvious truths. 😉 😛


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My first day at TAPMI

Word count: 1200 | Estimated time to read blog: 10 min

Rain drops. That’s the first thing I saw when I woke up on the dull, grey morning of 17 June 2005. My room mate had not yet arrived and I had the entire hostel room to myself. Two cupboards, two cement cots with worn out beds, two tables with chairs, a fan and two book shelves were all that the management provided for the fees paid. Mosquitoes, cockroaches and lizards were thrown in free. 😉

There was a common bathroom and loo for two rooms and its 4 inmates had to time their bio-mechanisms for their own welfare. I got ready and dressed – in strict formals of course. We were getting trained to be managers and leaders. Hence I thought it best to begin by making an effort to at least look like one right on the first day. When I stepped out of my room, I realized I was not the only one who had got that brainwave. I saw a flurry of shiny shoed, slick haired men all over the place dressed in neat formals. The over enthusiastic ones carried some folders/documents and sported determined facial expressions that they had seen on some corporate honchos’ faces. Everyone was a CEO already!

It took all of us just one step outside the hostel to realize that wearing formals that day was a seriously flawed decision. (Now, to make seriously flawed decisions and then realize it, is so typical of management that we actually congratulated ourselves later. 😉 ) In our enthusiasm to look professional, we had forgotten what we saw first thing in the morning – rain drops. By the time we were out of the gate, all the hair gel had trickled on to our faces, our polished shoes looked like thick- crust pizza, the formals clung on to us like Raveena Tandon’s saree in “Tip tip barsa paani” and the determined expressions were literally washed off our faces down the drains of the hostel. (So now you know why my determination vanished on Day 1 and where it can be found.) The gardener in his comfortable overalls and plastic rain coat sniggered at us, adding insult to injury. But it did nothing to dampen our ‘B-School first day’ enthusiasm- it was so great that if it were to be converted to fire, it would burn down entire Manipal twice over, rain drops included.

Rain is the greatest prankster in Manipal. We gathered in the auditorium as per schedule and were busy drying ourselves when we noticed the sun shining brightly from the windows; not a drop of rain. We were welcomed by a senior professor, an incident that I have already described with adequate elaboration. Soon after this welcome note, we realized that Rain is not the greatest prankster in Manipal. 😛

We then queued up to submit our first assignment on “Unique experience and the learning we had from that” and got the rule book of TAPMI and a tie sprinkled with the TAPMI logo – the TAPMI tie (see pic above). All the girls in the batch saved Rs 500 because a tie was not forced on them.

We were then split into groups and each group had to study a particular function of the organization- academics, extra-curriculars, facilities, committees and fora, festivals, research etc and then present it to the rest of the groups. Faculty members distributed themselves to aid us in our findings. And in a short while, we were assembled again in the auditorium to witness the presentations. I guess a couple of guys and gals almost killed each other to be the one to present the findings of their respective groups – a mentality that would later be considered laughable and highly lunatic. It was perhaps the last time that the entire batch was seen together assembled in the auditorium. The faculty had cleverly made an assignment of this task as otherwise they would have to spend an entire day to educate us on all these.

It was almost 6:30 pm and some indefatigable students went for an overkill by singing songs and peppering their presentations with jokes etc. I was thoroughly drained out and was glad when the last presentation drew to a close. Suddenly a new assignment was sprung on us and we had to organize a cultural show for the faculty over the weekend. When there was a call for volunteers to organize this event, almost all the hands went up. The guy on my right started speaking to me in an excited tone and told me idea after another for the cultural event without my asking for it. Two guys behind me started enacting the skit that they would propose for the event.

The rain was on time and made Raveena Tandons of all of us on our way back to the hostel. We freshened up and headed to the mess. Out of sheer benevolence, since it was our first day, the mess manager had gone out of his way to change the regular menu to serve something edible. He knew very well that first days don’t repeat; we didn’t.

After the meal, it was time to socialize and we formed our own groups and assembled in nearby rooms to know each other better. Some guys lit up cigarettes and ranted about the rules laid down by TAPMI. The topic then turned to the babes of our batch and soon we all had a list of ‘must-watch’ chicks. I prided myself on seeing all of them on day 1! 😉

There was a sudden knock on the door and cigarettes were extinguished in a hurry and deodorants sprayed. We expected the warden but it turned out to be the senies. They felt that we hadn’t been ‘educated’ enough in the auditorium all through the day and the real education was to happen that very night on the top most floor of the hostel, the TV room. In a few minutes, we were all piled up in the TV room in a circle and a guy stood at the centre of the circle. He was the President and welcomed us all. It was a brief 2 minute speech and ended very soon and along with it ended all decency and decorum. In the melee that followed, “lamps were lit”, “Champas and Taras were repeatedly called” “Geminis were danced to” and at the end of it all, we were more steeped in the TAPMI culture than a decade at the auditorium. The rules were interpreted for us from a student’s perspective and the consequences reiterated. Senies hailing from the various states of the country called on their respective junies for an additional gyan session and by the time all this ended, it was nearly 2:00 am which was about the normal time any B-schooler would ever go to bed from then on.

We were looking forward to our first day of classes and all of us unanimously agreed to skip our bath and save time – the rain would be there on time anyways. 😉

PS: Thanks Balesh, for suggesting this topic. More such topics from the batch are welcome.


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Things not to do while at TAPMI

Word Count: 480 | Estimated time to read blog: 5 min

To the uninitiated, it might look like starting on the wrong foot – to talk about what not to do before even knowing what to do. But all the alumni know otherwise. So yet-to-be’s, read on and remember to remember a few of these if not all.

Click on the snap above to see a pic of the classroom
  • Forget the cell-phones: If you are addicted to cell phones, TAPMI will be a great de-addiction center for you. Usage of cell phones is banned in classrooms, labs and other academic centers. And the microphones in the classrooms are very sensitive and can pick up even the faintest vibrations. So try not to risk it as the penalty could be as grave as immediate termination of admission. Switch them off for good while in class, library or lab.

  • Cite or Die: Don’t forget to cite exact sources when you turn in your assignments. You will undergo a course on citations and referencing to help you understand the intricacies. You are not expected to generate the brainiest stuff all by yourself but do give appropriate credit to the one who actually does, if you use that in some way. The bottom line is, never pass of any intellectual output as your own, when it isn’t actually so.

  • Copying isn’t cool: This could be considered an extension of the plagiarism tenet explained above because when you are copying, you are passing someone else’s intellectual output as your own for personal benefit. Better get an F in the course than risk the consequences of copying. And no, you can’t copy the entire answer from your neighbor, cite his name in full, roll no etc at the end of it and expect to get away. Seven people in my batch were on the brink of expulsion for copying but the management took a ‘lenient’ stance after repeated requests from the batch – they barred the seven from placements!

  • Cheat and you face the heat: You might think you are smart enough to beat the system because you flicked a library book and no one detected or you faked the gym pass and went unnoticed. Fine, you are smart but only for a while. And when lady luck says goodbye it will be your turn to say goodbye and catch the next train home.

Rationale: You might think these punishments are grossly incommensurate to the degree of default but TAPMI’s stance on this is simple: Misappropriating a rupee is equivalent to misappropriating a million dollars because it is not the amount that is of concern but the tendency. The institute doesn’t want to send fraudsters into the corporate world.

Statutory warning: Your voluntary confession of any of your sins to the authorities doesn’t mitigate the penalty and will be held against you.

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PS: My ‘more experienced batch mates’ or any others from the TAPMI alumni fraternity might want to add on to this list. Feel free to post them as comments. 😉


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Ek zamana tha…

“Tell your grand parents to live on for 2 more years, your parents not to fall sick for 2 years and your brothers, sisters and cousins not to get married for another 2 years. These are not valid excuses for taking leave during your two-year stay here. In fact, there are no valid reasons. Saturdays are full days and Sundays are most likely going to be half-days, if you are lucky 😉 Late-comers needn’t bother asking for permission to enter classtapmi.jpg – it is denied already. And memorize the rule-book handed over to you because any single instance of violation and we will be only too happy to pack your bags and see you off at the railway station. I don’t teach the first year students. In case you manage to get into the second year and choose marketing, you will see more of me. And oh yes, Welcome to TAPMI”, was the introductory message to Batch 05-07 by a bespectacled, French-bearded professor sporting a t-shirt and a mug of coffee in the auditorium.

If the untimely rains of Manipal hadn’t already chilled us to the bone on our way to college, this welcome message surely did. 140 pairs of eyes could hardly conceal their horror. Married folks and guys with decades of work-ex shifted uneasily in their seats. B.Com grads, who didn’t know what it means to have even 40% attendance, gulped hard in disbelief. And Engineers almost ate away their TAPMI ties to muffle their surprise. “100% attendance?” exclaimed one guy under his breath, “Even six-sigma isn’t that stringent, yaar!!” Little did he know that there was a lot more to come.

Math class:

One of the first things that came my way was additional math classes. For reasons that didn’t surprise me at all, I along with a few ‘number-blind’ batch mates were made to undergo some management related math coaching in the afternoons. It is here that I met most people my ilk. I soon began liking these classes because, apart from the terrrrrrrific mental stimulation, I also liked what I saw in the class. For the first time in my life, I realized that I had gotten my ‘figures’ right 😉 When word went around, a lot of math geniuses lamented for not getting ‘selected’ for the coaching. I got several offers for trading places but I vehemently refused to take part in such heinous acts of misdemeanor and for the love of math. How could I miss this god-sent learning opportunity? Even now when I think of these classes, I still go, “Ooooh maaaa ….an” 😀

Group work:

Group work was the most visible part of life in TAPMI, though the reasons for its visibility changed constantly. During the first one month, its visibility was because it was conscientiously carried out everywhere – in class after the sessions, near the basketball court, outside LH under the street light and even in restaurants over weekends. For the remaining part of the course it was visible owing to its absence. By then, there was clever division of labor internally and hence most assignments were finished individually. Guys interested in HR would complete HR assignments. Similar best-practices existed among Marketing, Finance and Sytems oriented guys. But there were always some guys who would have ‘kept an open mind’ – so open that assignments would just fall through them. These were the free-riders. It was always fun to watch these free-riders’ faces when the grades came – not because they expected more or less but because they didn’t even know that the assignment was handed out, completed and graded! (Did any one of you have fun watching my face when the grades came out??) 😉 Among free riders too, the concept of group work was very much visible – in the past tense. They sat outside night canteens and sang, “Ek Zamana tha, jab mein bhi group work karta tha…..Hahahahahahahaa, kaisa laga re mera naya gana….Anna, mera double omelet banaa nahin kya abhi tak?” I too was quite enthusiastic about group work initially. And then came Mountbatten, or should I say Edwina?? 😛

Extra-curricular activities:

TAPMI had a fantastically rich extra-curricular life and a string of cultural events. It began with the all–day senie orientation program on a Sunday. And the orientation to this orientation program happened in the TV room for boys and on the TAPMI floor in the MIT LH for girls. Our batch girls were literally ‘floored’ and disoriented by this orientation, I am told 😉 Then the heavyweights would follow – Episode, Homecoming, Tattva, Janmashtami, Founder’s day, BrandScan, Dionysia, Speed, Atharva etc. Some professors would strive hard to retain the ‘surprise’ element in surprise tests by not giving them. But despite the pressure and equal chances of not having a surprise test, most people preferred studying the loathsome subject to drinking non-existent tea with the elite! 😉

TAPMI Mess:

Speaking about tea and non-existence reminds me of the TAPMI mess. The mess had mouth-watering delicacies. Only, it wasn’t our mouths that watered – it was the mess manager’s, who would lick his lips in malicious glee at all the cash he was raking in. He was also a miracle chef because he had made saw dust, brick mud, beedi stubs and even blades edible to the entire TAPMI student populace. He was very imaginative and gave extremely innovative names to the items on his menu card – idly, vada, chutney, sambar, rice, omelet etc – though by just looking at them, you would never have guessed it. He was a roaring success of an entrepreneur. His success was largely because of one of his mess staff who noted down the roll numbers of all those who opted for extra helpings in the mess. The moment you declared that you want an omelet, he would go “Aaaah, omelet-omelet-omelet-omelet- omelet-omelet-­ omelet….” and simultaneously note down your number before vanishing. And that was the end of it. The omelet would never materialize beside your dinner plate but all the same, you would be charged for it. And you needn’t be Datar (Author of the green-colored cost accounting text, remember? No? C’mon man, the subject at least if not the author?) to note that zero expenditure and total revenue means extraordinary profits. When one has such efficient staff, how can one not afford a Palio? 😉

End note:

Two years in TAPMI had many more things worthy of note. There were friendships and quarrels, love affairs and ditches, groupism and loneliness, learning and unlearning, brain-teasers and heart-warmers, classes and bunks and all other things that make it an interesting potpourri of experience – all of which can’t be captured in one blog. And I really don’t intend to make this blog as long as some Founder’s day speeches, you bet. 😀 We have had enough of it.

Do visit this blog once in a while. I have now started a new thread ‘Life @ Tapmi’ and will contribute regularly under this. You too could suggest topics that you’d want to read on. And as long as I get the hits and the wonderful comments like I did for my HomeComing 07 blog, I will keep it rolling. 😉

(FYI: Nearly 200 hits in 3 days. 17 comments already and counting!)

So this post ends here. An aesthetic and poetic line to rekindle the spark of TAPMI reminiscence before I sign off:

 

 

“Aaaah, omelet-omelet-omelet-omelet- omelet-omelet-­ omelet….”

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PS: The title of this blog is inspired by the Batch 04-06 song with a ditto title, ‘Ek Zamana Tha…’ Due credits to Kanishka Chatterjee (Director), Anudeep Sapaliga (Vocals) and Vinayak Kamath (Guitar).

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