It has been almost a year since my term at IIMA ended. There hasn’t been a single day perhaps when I haven’t missed it. It is strange- when I was on campus I hardly got the time to roam around and explore things outside the class, syndicate rooms and the library- except for the last month may be- and still there is not one single day I don’t think of it. Sometimes I sit back and wonder what is it that makes it so special to me? Was it the professors, my peers, the library? Was it the classrooms, the syndi rooms or the tapir tea stalls? Or was it the MSH where I spent the year with my family? Actually it was all of it, and perhaps much more.
When I first arrived on campus on the 10th of April 2017 I was a naïve “teenager” who is over the moon that he has finally managed to set foot on the coveted campus that he has been dreaming of for the last few years. A week later that same guy wanted to jump off the boundary walls of the institute and run for his life. A month into the course- he was more or less resigned to his fate. When he had to be there for a year, why not accept it and make the time less arduous was the philosophy. 2 months later and on my first break- I for the first time started missing the IIMA life. It was then I realized that how much it had changed me- changed the way I look and deal with things. And that change stays with you.
When I look back on my emails from the year, on the assignments and the casebooks stored away in the bookshelves I feel a strong urge to go back and relive the year that was. The early morning and late night classes, the 4 am tea, the long and heated discussions on which approach to take for marketing the product, the brainstorming over the scenario planning for a global coffee chain, the outdoor projects- it all keeps coming back to me. I don’t have to close my eyes- it is like a movie that keeps playing and all that can do is sit back and enjoy.
And it wasn’t all about the classes and assignments. It was about a lot more. That is the beauty of life at PGPX. I remember giving a hard thought on whether it was prudent going in for such a grueling course after 7 years of toiling it out in the industry- if I would be able to pick up on academics again. It would not have been possible without the support that I received from my family- my wife and our little bundle of joy.
When my family first joined me on campus I hardly got any time to spend with them. When I got back home from our very late discussions in the library, my wife and daughter were either asleep, or my wife was trying to put my daughter to sleep. I had to catch on the 2-3 hours of sleep before it was morning again, so often I myself dozed off- giving us very little time to catch up. It was only after a few months that we started having some time to ourselves, away from the classes and discussions and assignments. But still, whenever we think of that year, we look back fondly at all the small and big things that happened.
What makes the experience so special is perhaps the fact that I went in with a dream- a dream to transform our lives. `The year made us feel that a lot of things are possible- if only we are ready to believe in us. So it was just not the year on campus, but the thoughts that we incubate and graduate with is what makes the experience so special. It is what makes it close to our hearts, and we cherish the moments long after the cacophony of campus life has mellowed down. We carry a part of that with us, to wherever we go.