I am the first person in my family to pursue an “MBA”. The college where I chose to pursue my MBA enjoys a strong brand name in Bangalore and probably in India. A sense of pride was rushing in my bloodstream when I entered the mighty gate of the college but this sense of pride eventually faded away as the days progressed. So finally the D day had come. It was the first day of my college.
The day was meant for the orientation of so called “fresher”. The programme was held in the state of art auditorium. The auditorium which is one of the best in the city and boasts of hosting event such as annual general meeting of Infosys to the state level lawyer’s meet. The programme sparked off with some monotonous speeches by the dignitaries. During the programme it was disclosed that this batch of mine comprises of over 600 students. And this made me think that whether I have enrolled myself in a college or an Employment Exchange. Then the readings from Holy book such as Bible, Gita and Quran. I wonder why Guru Granth Sahib of Sikh was given a miss. Its a mystery which is still unresolved in the minds of student till date. Well as the day advanced, more speeches were given about God and religion. By that time I was already pissed off. I was wondering whether I took admission in a professional MBA college or some Buddhist monastery in Tibet. I thought the best way to tackle this crisis is to doze off in an unrevealing manner and posture- the trick which I picked up during my graduation days in Pune.
Suddenly thunderous claps woke me up and I figured out that the programme has ended. Then I was suppose to move to my class which was allotted to me. It was section ‘N’. This section has its own achievements and stories which I will discuss in detail some other time. Meanwhile in a queue similar to that formed by nursery kids, we were taken to a classroom. The classroom comprised of the students of section N. By the facial expression, it was quite evident that waves of thousand thoughts were hitting the walls of the brains of all and sundry.
Some boys were thinking of the girls on which they can take a chance from next day. Some more confident guys were zeroing in on one particular girl. Some were trying to gauge the degree of competition they will face in this regard and some were busy identifying their potential competitors. Some studious guys were also thinking about the competition but in a different way. I think the girls were also indulged in same types of thoughts.
I also saw my classmates. Some boys with long hairs and some with short ones. Some with thick spectacles and some with the stylish ones. Some were looking like five years older than me but no one was looking younger to me. Some were heavily built and some even leaner than me. The girls were also pretty descent. Some were wearing stylish ear-rings and some were wearing ear-rings which I thought would have been found during the excavations of MohenJo Daro and Harappa. Well after all I am no one to judge them because I am no stud.
After succinct introduction by the students it was crystal clear that I was in a well diversified class on the basis of culture. Around 25% were from Kerala, 25% were from rest of south India i.e. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu , Andhra Pradesh and the remaining 50% were allotted to rest of India i.e. 24 states and 7 Union Territories. I had heard about unequal distribution of income and unbalance regional development but here I saw unbalanced distribution of students culturally. It must be deliberate sampling and not random sampling undertaken by the college. Well irrespective of cultural inequality I like my class very much.
After selection of class representative (the post for which specific eligibility criteria was laid down), strict instructions about how to conduct yourself in the college and a short question and answer round, the day was called off by the fluent English speaking faculty who was moderating the whole session. The boys were supposed to come in tie and girls with dupatta- the rule one hardly follows in second year. I also made a strong determination that I will finally learn how to make the knot of the tie but even after four trimesters, I don’t know how to tie the knot and some of my friends do it for me till today. In fact I should be ashamed of this. At least I could have learnt something in my first year.
The next day was a regular class day. I reached the college five minutes early but I was unable to locate my class and saw some other students also searching for it frantically. No one was aware about the layout of the college and we were running up and down to find our workplace. Then with a lot of teamwork and co-ordination, we were able to spot our class. In the class, I started searching for friends who would share similar taste and preferences like speak Hindi, fuel and fire on weekdays, chill out type etc. I was also informed by the teachers that MBA will be all about case studies, presentations, assignments, exams etc. These things continue to haunt me till today.
The real shocker came on the evening of third day. I was diagnosed with ‘varicella’ or in simple terms ‘chicken pox’. I was advised by the doctor to go to my hometown for complete rest because the varicella zoster virus is highly contagious and it will be a threat to other students who will come in contact with my belongings. I had mixed feelings then. I was elated to know that I will be going home and at the same time I was also cursing the virus for the time it chose to infect me. I booked my train ticket for next day. The next day I went to college to seek permission from honourable Head of Department of MBA. He was a short man with a bulging stomach. His cabin was full of trophies that the students had won in management fest and with minimal support from the HoD. His weird colour tie was perfectly shaped along the curvature of his equator. He was almost bald and golden frame spectacles were not at all looking good on his obnoxious face. I wonder whether it was the fault of the pair of spectacles or his face. I described my case to him but he wanted a medical proof of my illness. I showed him some raw pockmarks on my face but he discarded it by declaring them as pimples. Then I thought, in India everyone think himself/herself as doctor. Finally he got convinced about the disease when I rolled up my sleeves to show some rashes or pockmarks on my arms. He then granted me the permission, wished me ‘get well soon’ and told me to come back as early as possible. What I needed more was the wish of ‘happy journey’ because I had to fight 40 hours gruesome battle in the train.
With no contacts of anyone in the class, I boarded the Jamshedpur bound train. What followed after my comeback to college after a month were the most unexpected thing and heart wrenching experience of my life. The series of incidents took my sleep away and I used to roll on my bed with desperation. That experience will be shared in my next post.
To Be Continued !!