My Life (or of anyone I guess) and this journey, I believe, could be well summarized in these three words “Pursuit of happiness”. This 2 years journey here in IIM Shillong has been the same .. A pursuit, a constant endeavour of finding happiness…
This part of my life is called “ Delicious ambiguity”
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next…Delicious ambiguity …”
Two attempts at CAT… finally a call… IIM Shillong. Apart from various other B-school calls this one was more special. It was the result of more than 10 years of dreaming to get into an institute that starts with “Indian Institute”. Yes, not getting into IIT because of sheer luck or destiny has always been a sore side of this engineer’s life. It took a lot of courage while working and at the same time preparing for CAT. Finally getting a bucket full of calls and converting them was defining moment.
On converting of IIM Shillong, all the joiners were apprehensive of this place. There were three main figures in this part who helped me to make my decision “ Sarvesh Chowdhury” (whom I knew through pagalguy), Sujal Kumar( My engineering days batchmate) and Amit Aggarwal ( IIM Calcutta PGP class of 2010). I decided to take lead and infact went to visit IIM Shillong. One of the first persons to enter campus and had interaction with director and other faculties who all were pretty busy with institute’s infrastructure work.. Though I thought IIM S was at disadvantage with no proper infrastructure in place, no surety of faculty and no alumni, this seemed to be a logical decision at that time. To put in Brand management terms -“future generator of cash flows”. So based on this, I finally decided to join IIM Shillong
I also conveyed all the information to rest of the batch and many decided to come by.
This part of my life is called “Alice in wonderland”
MANAC, QT, BS et. -so many of them. Subjects I never had a hint about started coming to my life. The ghosts of finance did trouble me a lot. Anyways, apart from that we were also growing as a group. With first time getting to know about the concept of study groups. Also formation of clubs and committees being pioneer batch was something of an eye opener. It was not easy, every decision we made.. Every point we debated.. overall it was a learning experience. I often wondered whether I belong to MBA or not.
This part of my life is called “Vortex”
Things moved on with next term, we made friends and started partying like anything… Stress was so high that on weekends it was much needed relief. Results came and then we had a reality check. We came to know it is not so easy out here. We learned, we improved and that’s how we moved on. Also this term was involved with internship placements. We learnt to how to stand up on our own feet. There was no one to tell us that we have to do it this way.
“It’s not about how hard we get hit .It is about How much we can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
Niveshak and Markathon, which would become iconic magazines, came into force. We started experimenting with different avenues. We started showing world, Yes ,We can! And We will make a difference. Ashutosh’s victory in Cult icon and his homecoming ceremony was something unforgettable. Every IIM S grad held his head high with pride.
This part of my life is called “Flux”
January is the time when all IIMs give calls and new admission process starts. This is the warming up stage for all our future juniors. IIM Shillong was a newbie and there was a gap in what students know about us and what all we have achieved. This was time I felt we need to reach out as we are a young institute, hence fostered the idea of a unique “Mentorship program”. I still remember the day when we floated this idea and Sarvesh shot an email to Prof. Dwivedi about it. And the reply from Sir “Yes! go ahead!”.
This was going to be difficult I knew however as they say “passion runs high, when you have dreams in your eyes”. Every participant of IIM Shillong was away in different city. That time my partner in crime Sarvesh was also interning in Nigeria and it was difficult to execute it. Those were the two months I never got to sleep more than 3-4 hours. It was very much required that with every call getter we do full justice and we strategically used our disadvantage to advantage that is our location. Instead of mentoring students through emails we thought of meeting them. Every IIM Shillong participant was located in different city, hence our reach was wide. We met them in person, guided them and in the process made lifetime friends too.
It was an experience to reckon with when we got emails from various students stating “ IIM Shillong mentorship program was one of the best among all IIMs”. This was only possible as whole batch came by and support this. We learned “United we stand”.
This part of my life is called “Creative destruction”
Student orientation program “Footsteps”, the brain child of Sarvesh and mine. We have grown as seniors now and our juniors were going to be part of IIM S family. We wanted to give them a different experience- an experience we missed. Besides it was important that this experience be nothing short of any other IIM. IIMs fraternity is very closely guarded. It’s very hard to get any information from any other IIM about their culture and how they function generally. This being one of them. We spent sleepless nights finding out what is there that happens and what’s the scene behind the veil. Somehow with our persistent effort , we found out everything and then we devised our structure. The whole idea of this was to bring a cohesive group. What all difficulties we faced initially should not be passed on to our juniors. It was a very tough path. We did decide to take up certain activities, which I am sure would have made some of our juniors hate us. But we thought about larger picture and two years life hence of our juniors. We decided to do it, we knew we can’t explain them everything why we did. But every moment was defined with days of brain storming and outcome. Every reaction was mapped which would make us appear as Hitlers but overall for them as batch it would help develop a stronger bond and friendship.
The day this orientation was over, whole of our junior batch applauded the effort. Though it was difficult, I had tears in my eyes seeing the standing ovation. For me as a senior it was an experience of life time. For me as an IIM S stakeholder, this was transformation of passion into reality.
This part of my life is called “Ripples”
This phase was full of news and daily announcements. This was a period when juniors and seniors made a mark on every other B-school. This was the time IIM Shillong students participated with full heart. Every day we were getting news of our friends getting selected. And then started shower of prizes. “Ashwamedha”, “Masterplan” ,”Kalpavriksha” and others. Aditya and Mayank paper got published abroad and Kantha’s paper won international award. We also pulled of one of the most talked about event “IIM Shillong Golf cup successfully!”. It was the time also when we got criticized. To sum up, A quote from movie 300
“Ours arrows will block the sun”
“Then…then we will fight in shade” and yes we did that!
We also wanted to have something of our own. A whole gang of us thought about it and tried, though it didn’t happen. “Lattice 2009” our management fest. Some decisions do not come easy and I wish Lattice could happen sometime in future for sure.
This part of my life is called “A late goodbye”
Now it’s time for us to leave. An eventful journey it has been. Morning hours rush, pink flowers , amazing clouds, starry night, earthquakes, Borne fire nights, Diwali, Colorful Holi,GPL!!, Late night submissions, Nocturnal nights, walks to remember, rock performances, Our dance preparation, PDP, autumn fest, Kopda cup ..and on and on..and on. There is not just a single memory its whole world of it which I would be taking with me. As a person, I believe I got the most to take away from here.
I learned a different meaning of courage here as put by Mary Anne Radmacher,
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
I learned it’s like “Tour de france”. You may not win every stage, you may not always wear the yellow jersey, but in the end the one who endures and comes out on top collectively is the Winner. It’s all about FAITH
It’s good to say we were the foundation stone of IIM Shillong. And I wish all the best for our future juniors to keep the torch burning. What we have achieved in these two years is phenomenal, and this was all possible because we had the faith and “Never say die” attitude.