Homecoming: PGP 2009 -10th-year reunion
There is always something special in going back to one’s roots. Especially when that means going to a place as captivating and as elegant as the IIMB campus.
When we, the Class of 2009 left this breathtakingly beautiful campus 10 years ago, we carried a lot of it within ourselves. After all, it was in this place that some of us had learnt how splendid yet how tough being out on our own could be. Some learnt that they could simultaneously and with equal passion, love and hate the same thing. Each of us was tested to the hilt in various ways: thriving under extreme pressure, living with the staggering burden of expectations, dealing with bitter disappointment, building and retaining friendships in a competitive environment, always doing all we could to make the best out of any challenge that was thrown at us. Above all, managing to thoroughly enjoy every (ok, almost every) moment of this mind-boggling, almost-too-fantastic -to-be real package. Two years that lasted a lifetime. Two years that flitted by before we could make sense of everything that was happening. Two years when we managed to cram ourselves with pre-placement talk pizzas while chasing resume-points, survived on borrowed notes and tutorial sheets while trying to maneuver the thicket of relative grading, even as submission deadlines, committees, and coursework kept us on our collective toes. All washed down with generous helpings of late-night coffee and DC++ downloads.
Ten years is a lot of time, and despite this shared history, I worried that this homecoming may turn out to be far less than all it was touted to be. After having seen so much more of the real world, perhaps we would be underwhelmed by the occasion? Some of us have blazed trails from the get-go, some of us had slow starts but then pivoted into exciting paths, while others sailed steadily through calmer lanes. How would we bond together, coming as we were now, from different places, with diverse life experiences? Would that decade-old shared history serve to paper over how different each one of us has become?
And then we all got together. Yes, some of us, in smaller groups, had kept in touch, but we discovered that being together again within this lovely campus completely redefined the experience. It was not simply about the shared “IIMB-ness” that we carried within ourselves that was the glue. It was also about the many little bits of ourselves that we had left behind, both individually and collectively, on campus.
Those precious little crumbs of our long-ago selves that we had forgotten in the intervening years: those were what we reclaimed. Perhaps that impishness that defined our younger days. Maybe the one friend who got you through the first week on campus (whom you had inexplicably lost touch with). Or that one spot near the amphitheater that was your go-to place for some peace and quiet. Or how creative you can get to (pretend to) stay awake at a lecture after pulling an all-nighter. Or even that lull at L^2 in the wee hours of the morning when you slipped away to grab a double cheese maggi. Or simply reconnecting with the fact that there was a time when and there was this place where you could just let your hair down and know you are around friends you can trust. Almost be a child all over again.
So there we were: re-living what we had shared long ago. And rediscovering, and relishing what we had unknowingly left behind. And that, we found out, is plenty to go on. For this reunion, and many more to come.
Radhika A R | PGP Class of 2009