Thursday, January 28, 2010

20th Month in “The Scotland of the East”

Set amongst the sub Himalayan hills, secluded from the world, dotted with pine and fir trees, with eight months of annual rainfall with some of the most exotic flora and fauna is Shillong.
Someone will say wow….I must go there once….I thought the same too when I read about it in class 7 some 12 years back….Today as I am about to enter my 20th month in the city which can be easily described as “Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, growing with the breeze” by J. Denver I am about to write the story of my journey….My journey at an IIM ( the three letters that elude thousands if not millions)….But I don’t have the time to go in details today….So I will just give you a comparison of my last 6 terms….

Learnings from 6 terms at IIM –

Term 1 - Work Hard forget marks
I came, I saw, I was slaughtered badly. This was the story of my first twelve weeks. Unaccustomed to late nights and night outs, I fell badly from the elusive all rounder into the bottom of the pyramid. I used to have a dream then, a dream where I am asked by an interviewer “Mr. Bakshi, What happened to your GPA in IIM?” and I would reply what a friend did long time back in front of our HoD at NIT “Err, sir…sir I have not been keeping well, the weather here does not suit me”. I fell from the consistent performer to the “untouchable class”. Anyways there was nothing I could do but work even harder. I still remember how I wished God to help me make a time dilating machine.

Term 2 - Enjoy the weather and forget marks
Now since the GPA was already screwed, I decided what the heck, lets concentrate on extracurricular activities. I found a great spot in the campus where I would sit either alone or with AG (Uppergangetic Bong ..not the one mentioned in the end of the post) to talk on all kind of stuff...It became a point of genesis in my life to quite an extent…..perhaps this is where my love for strategy emerged. I felt like Newton or Socrates….hehe…Someone said once, ”Nature is a great inspiration”. So another term went by, this time I did slightly better but eventually stuck at the lower middle class population at IIM.

Sweat, dust and chocolates: that was Cadbury at Calcutta. Though I learnt and enjoyed a lot yet I learnt that how weird is life. Going around the city and suburbs made me think a lot about life. Anyways my stint got over and I was back at IIM

Term 3 - Where the hell am I??
This was the most chaotic term of all, work, work and work. Anything and everything was about work. Endless slogging made me think “Is this I what I wanted to be?”, I so badly wanted to run away. Eventually I realized that my position in the strata has been destined to be at the working class. GPA seem to have settled around a comfy six point something and I completed one year in a remote hill town which would have been inaccessible to the world had Internet not been there.

Term 4 - Work Smart and you Score
A new year and a new term. It started with juniors coming in; a lot of many new faces in the campus, and a longer mean time of service at the mess during the crucial 45 minute lunch break. Anyways somehow academics got better, I finally felt good at something….something that my grandfather always wanted….”He should be a lawyer, send him to London”, he used to say when I was young…I guess he wanted to see his own father’s dream in his grandson who argued a lot…Though I never got a grade in Business Law, but I thoroughly enjoyed those twelve weeks. And it was the first time a few of my classmates became considerate enough to celebrate my birthday and it felt really great…So was the party that we had the following week….perhaps the last party we had at IIM…atleast till today…term got over and somehow I scored an eight pointer….I was elated, dancing everywhere….I am back to my oldways… So I moved up a bit in the Peking Order at IIM.

Term 5 - Its all about Core Competency
Since my second term, I felt that I have a soft corner for strategy…So as term five started I dived into strategy books and eventually my love paid off…I felt great…became a bit cocky…but I was loving it…Strategy…Strategy…Strategy…that’s what I thought about day and night…..Porter became my god and BCG and McKinsey were holy shrines…anyways had a lot of fun sitting in the backbenches arguing about oil corporations and CAPEX….I still remember SD saying “Tu to heera hai”, when I made up a new framework for our case and sent it at 5 AM…This term I got laid….in terms of marks of course.. it was a seven course meal….in fine silver platter….and I finally made my presence felt in the corridors of those who sat at Mount Olympus… Felt like the whizkids who swept the Silicon Valley with garage startups and VC funding in the 80s….

Term 6 - This isnt a hill station, its the world's second highest battle field!!!
So, the honeymoon was over by term six and I realized that the big bad world is much more than IIM…much more shrewd, much more cunning, much more cruel….There is no room for mistakes leave aside blunders…Its always a zero sum game in the world….your loss is someone else’s gain…Resources are always limited and there is always an asymmetry of information… I am still coping up with this big bad world….but I soon realized the attribute that I forgot…something that defined me as what I am and what I will always be….”Never Give Up”….So I will never give up….
My old friends from NIT who are reading this may remember what I used to say “Come What May”…
Well the fight is yet not over, nor is the story….Hope to write more someday in much more detail…..

Oops I almost forgot: Thank you to AG (No, no not Al Gore, but Aditya Gore (Our batch Topper) who inspired me to write this...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... nice post

Got a hope of being a 8 pointer in 4th trim from 6 pointer in 1st trim :)

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The posts are chaotic in nature and reflect the moods of the author who is an eccentric person.