Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life @ IIM Shillong

It’s been nearly three weeks since I first stepped in at IIM Shillong campus to become a part of the fourth batch of PGP participants at IIMS. But it seems like a thing of distant past because a lot has happened in these three weeks. I don’t know from where to start. The very first day I spent in hostel was filled with palpable excitement. We were getting to know each other and the topics for fluent conversations were scarce. But first week changed everything. I had heard the concept of hell week at many IIMs but what it takes to experience the same is a different thing all together. Just imagine yourself being bombarded with sessions, assignments, presentations and senior-junior interactions for twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. All you talk about is the next case study or article review or a coming presentation and the constant anxiety of what the future has in store. Sleepless faces were omnipresent so it never took a flash of genius to figure that out. But amidst all the chaos, there was something that was changing every one of us and was making us better at what we need to do. We were actually shedding our inhibitions and it was the time when belongingness and care for one another was being seeded in our minds.

I still remember the days when I was extremely apprehensive about joining IIM Shillong. I had calls from IIMB, IIMI and XLRI in addition to that from IIMS. I was not able to convert the first three and needless to say, I felt devastated. I was in a dilemma that I did not want to handle. But looking at the present moment, I feel happy to be part of IIMS family. I used the word family because this is the feeling that I have observed in the air of IIMS. We are not just a bunch of individuals who are here to compete. We are here to learn from one another and to help one another in becoming the best we can. We are the Incredible 106. Yeah, that’s what we call ourselves - ‘The Incredible 106’.

Destined to do great things in times to come, we have already announced our arrival at the Talent show that got concluded on last Saturday. We had very talented participants in almost all the areas. Dancers did a fabulous job and were backed strongly by the singers and guitarists. Then there was Apoorva, who got a standing ovation for his extremely talented mimicry. The surprise package of the whole event was a fashion show that got the audience really excited. To top everything, we had the batch video made by Rajan. I cannot describe the feelings that the video evoked in our batch. That goes to reinforce my belief in power of movies to evoke emotions. The incredible 106 did not stop at just the talent show. We have been to journeys together and have shared wonderful memories. The time spent at the Badminton court, Common room, Old boys’ hostel ramp and at the birthday parties will probably be the one giving us most cherished of moments in years to come.

Wise people say that in order to appreciate peace you need to experience chaos. Well, I could not just agree more. Three years in one of the most chaotic parts of the nation and now I could not just help appreciating the beauty of Shillong and the peace it has to offer. Today was one of those days when I experienced a profound sense of peace and beauty in one package, all because of a faculty organized excursion to “Sacred Groves” of Mawphlang near Shillong. It was ‘Pandora’ personified in the real world. The clan taking care of the groves have a hierarchical system of their own. Their belief in the deities and spirits of the forest has endured the tests of the time and sustained itself. There is so much to write about these groves that it might require a new post but even then I might not be able to do justice with the actual experience. One has to actually go to the forest and experience it in order to understand how profound untainted natural experiences can be. I just want to experience it again before I die. I want to sit there uninterrupted, close my eyes and sit in silence. Silence can be liberating as well as haunting. Today, it was liberating. I am really hoping for many such experiences as life moves on at IIM Shillong aka IIM ONE (IIM Of North East).