Monday, August 25, 2008

Life@IIMB: The not so random parts

Ok, so FINALLY I bring myself to key in these thoughts that I've been thinking of penning for a long long time now. It's just more than 2 months since I landed here, and in this period I have got a hang of the place. Some notes from my thought stream:

  • The brand of IIMB is just too powerful. Very often we have some great people coming over here to talk to us from the dais. When I say great, it's not out of diplomacy; I truly MEAN great. The likes of Abdul Kalam, Capt Gopinath (Deccan Aviation) and Subroto Bagchi (MindTreeeeeeee :) ) were here in our first month, and many more keep coming over. Their sessions help in one thing: to keep our targets focussed high. Their presence keeps instilling in us a sense of the significance of the place we are in.. It keeps reminding us that being in such a place, if we end up doing something insignificant in life, something is really really wrong with us.
  • The campus is a separate world in itself. Its culture and feel are very different from those of Bangalore.
  • Except for the pub and party attitude :) I am reminded of a small incident.. A few years back when I went to Max Mueller Bhavan in Chennai for some competition, I found a govt school boy of about 10 - 12 years sitting next to me. When we were small-talking, suddenly he gasped. I looked at him quizzically, and he pointed to a lady (foreginer) seated across the room. She was smoking. That shocked the spine out of my small acquaintance, as was evident from his words "pombala dum adikkuraa!!" (meaning "a female is smoking!"). Had that guy been here, he'd have become very broadminded very soon.
  • Self sufficiency rules IIMB campus. If one wishes so, one can stay within the campus itself for 2 full years without stepping out (except for stuff like bank loans).
  • After coming here, I take longer to wash my face, and shorter time to comb my hair
  • Ok that's another way of sayin I'm losing hair :( Maybe cos of the post 2 / 3 AM sleeping habits. In the two months I've been here, not once have I slept before midnight. It's not that acads are too tough. Am sure they're manageable. But there are a whole lot of other stuff that go on here, and one always finds that time is heavy in demand. I would sure be happier if days were longer than 24 hours.. I can learn/do something more in that time..
  • Luckily most of my passions have remained unaffected here.. I've performed three dances till date :) And am a part of the photography club.. And, I've enrolled myself in the carnatic music classes - something I've always wanted to do!! These make sure I stay in touch with myself and my life.. Maybe the biggest casualty is my blog.. Whenever I find some free time, I rather wish to rest and relax than write something here.. cos i usually write ONLY when am in the mood.. In fact, this blog started as hints at the back of my Economics notebook..
  • Which brings me to the point that classes here are like classes everywhere.. We sleep / draw caricatures / click pics of sleeping friends / etc.. In that sense, this place is as good as any other educational insti in the country :) and we just love it.. Cos classes are 1.5 hours long :( one simply cant focus on a subject for so long at one go..
  • A point of respite is that there will be max 3 classes per day.. and afternoons are free.. One can catch precious sleep in that time.. which is what most of us do actually :)
  • Hectic activity comes in cycles here.. If one week is back breaking, the next week would be relatively cool.. But one should risk getting used to the "cool" part, cos that's just a temporary respite.. Schedules will soon be back to demanding superhuman levels of capacity, tenacity and efficiency.. But no one feels bogged down by all this, cos there are 270 other shoulders to offer solace..
  • Competition here is high.. very high.. damn too high.. fuckin high.. Ok guess I've hit the superlative.. Just imagine, in my first test here, I got 5 out of 7, and was class second (mark-wise).. but there were 4 guys who had scored more, and 15 who had scored as much as I had.. In one sense, I stood 20th in a class of 67, despite scoring the 2nd highest mark..
  • One reason for the point above is that this place overflows with IITians.. They have landed here in flocks.. Before coming here, I used to think IIT+IIM was an awesome combo.. But now, I feel that's very very commonplace.. In fact, now methinks if you are a non-IIT+IIM candidate, it is a greater achievement :D
  • Another point about students here is that most of them have been in many positions of responsibilities in the past.. That gives all such people a great sense of confidence.. And to some, it adds to arrogance of the undesirable kind.. Though a minority, these people end up as "footage mongers".. Anything happens at college, these people HAVE to grab some limelight.. And they do it so obviously, it gets very irritating.. but, have got used to it now.. and it's become fun to watch them in action :)
  • One thing that jumped out at me @ IIMB is the level of diversity here.. There are so many people who have never been on my radar in life which has been full of Engineers and nobody else.. And here I share class space with people who have been pilots, sailors / marine engineers, CAs, pure science aficionados and so on! My networks in life have never been this diverse..
  • But if I look outside of diversity, my networks are quite useful! There are so many DAV and PSG guys here at IIMB!! Kinda reiterated the significance of being at good institutions..
  • Almost all student related activities here are handled by students entirely, including the all-important placements.. This reminds me of my good ol' alma mater PSG Tech, where similar autonomy existed for students..
  • A funny thing here is that one's sense of seniority gets muddled.. many people who were my juniors at school and UG are my seniors here :) And this is bound to continue as the average work-ex of the incoming batches is on the rise year-on-year..
  • The buildings here remind me of Hogwarts.. Tall, stony structures.. with creepers to add to the impact.. And pergolas to offer a light-and-shade effect (jargon courtesy: my architecture friend).. The great imposing structures are a sight to watch! have clicked some pics.. Mostly my next post..
One thing I do miss is Chennai and MindTree.. That's equivalent to family and friends.. They were so much a part of my life for 2 years and suddenly now they aren't, in the everyday scheme of things.. That is one reason why I relish this hectic life.. Takes my mind off all these..

To end, a small anecdote.. A friend of mine had some personal problems and was cribbing to his brother about how he was unable to get some things done.. his bro (an IIMB alumnus) said with a smile: "Don't worry.. There are very few things an IIM guy cannot get in life".

I have grown to LOVE the arrogance in that statement.. And this is quite unlike my usually sober nature.. The reason is that, to this date, it gives me a lot of strength and confidence when am down and nearly out..