Student’s Corner is an exclusive section of Lsquare that features student-created literary works, pen-craft, and creative content.
The Journey So Far..
I arrived at IIMB tired after spending two hours in traffic and in the middle of the sun that has been uncharacteristic of the rest of the weather that I’ve seen here. When I came here it beat down on my neck and down over my back and my father had to pull out a cold Himalaya water bottle. Since then it has been cool and little sun and rain every other day to remind us that the air pressure has dropped somewhere in the world. Maybe Bangalore wanted to give me a bit of Delhi, where I came from after four years of engineering before it gave me Bangalore.
My father came to drop me off, we left my mother and younger brother back in Mumbai in a farewell that involved getting sentimental over going to college all over again. Some things did not change for me and I felt a lump in my throat again as I looked back through the side mirror to see my mom and brother grow smaller in the distance between the two rows of green hedges as the car sped away.
The institute walls were just as I remembered from 3 Idiots; a bit grey, bricky, and could do with a dose of graffiti here and there. I and my father stood in the sun in a queue for about half an hour where I made tentative attempts to talk to fellow fresh bright-eyed PGP Batchmates. My father and I were shepherded to the health center and then to the hostel, where I got the R block. We got into the room and marvelled at how this room was supposed to fit not two people but one, with a personal almirah and shelf and table and drawers. The bed was comfy and although the sheets were missing when I came here and that was okay. Engineering days teach one to count one’s blessings when it comes to three things: Food, Clothing and Shelter. The last option was a check. Then we stumbled into the staff canteen where we had dubious mushroom soup and something called a ragi ball that I hadn’t had before and haven’t had since. But the same day I ate in the student mess and that was a change. The food was hot. There were visible pieces of paneer floating in the paneer gravy. Food was a check. Clothing has been holding out well so far, so here’s hoping I don’t fall back into the engineering college frequency of washing my clothes.
I got a bit teary-eyed again when my father left for the airport. That was in front of Haneena’s and I saw the Innova slowly twist and make a final turn out of sight. I looked around and I did not recognize anyone, I did not know whom to reach or hug or ask about directions to the washroom because I also felt the need for a bio-break. Maybe it was the fresher in me who had never seen a work environment, I was jumping from one college to another and even though the setting was familiar in a way, it was so unfamiliar to others. I wish I could walk my way to where I could usually find one or two people I knew on the phone or on their laptops working on their resumes or watching Netflix. But there was irony in other ways because I was approaching that sweet spot of age and having been to many places I was starting to see faces repeat in different people. Over the course of the next few weeks, as I went through ice breakers and place com meetings and stood in lines and played kabaddi, I saw bits and pieces of people I knew, loved, hated, was jealous of, wanted to know better, had a crush on, repeat themselves in different people in the institute. Someone had a similar way the eyes fit above the nose. Someone was the same physique, dark-complexioned and broad hipped and a way of tilting the head upwards. It almost made me reach out, to apologise for some things that I had done or said, or say things that I should have said and do what I should have done. Made me want to talk to them and thank them for giving me important things, memories, and lessons in life. But these people were not really the same. Life doesn’t really give you second chances with people, only fresh chances with new ones. I think that’s okay, you have to make do.
I took some random walks in my first week on campus as the SAC (at that time) commenced a very evolved form of what I would call “a brisque interaction between seniors and juniors in a college, often characterised by physically or mentally demanding tasks, featured in college experiences recorded in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, 3 idiots, and many more films capturing the lives of the Indian college student diaspora”. Now that I look back, most of the events of the first week seem to run into one another. I cannot recall the chronology of many of them, only that they happened. I remember giving group discussions at 12:45 am and trying to improvise a consulting case out of thin air in a couple of hours. I remember walking randomly and getting lost and finding myself in front of OAT, where there was a girl who was trying to record a panoramic view for her Instagram story and I found myself in front of her, standing at first and then trying to hop and shuffle out of view because I felt that her audience didn’t need me saying high from between the rows of pillars. I talked to her a bit and even though I do not put stories on Instagram I advised her on how to take a panoramic view of the story and my complete cluelessness about what I was doing shone through my best efforts. We talked a bit and she had to go somewhere outside the campus urgently, so I decided to wing it and see if I at least made it out of the gate. The girl made it out, the guard pointed at me and said “hello are you staff” which made me reconsider my fashion choices, looks, and things about life in general.
Let’s end this with the orientation when the who’s who of the campus came along and told us that we were an exceptional lot, and were supposed to carry high the name and brand of IIMB and that the institute would be a place where we were supposed to fulfill our potential. Us, God’s gift to the good earth, cream of the cream, selected from enough students to fill a small country. I heard them as I sat with my blazer in my lap and the sun straight into my eyes so that the small dark silhouettes of my eyelashes made me thank my monkey ancestors. The heat was on and I sweated down my neck and into my fresh white shirt that I wore that day and not again, and as the evening settled and the alumni talked and gushed about how IIMB changed them as a person, I couldn’t think much of how far this place was supposed to take me. I felt hungry and was looking forward to rushing to the mess but was afraid that some sloppy eating would soil my sleeve and expensive blazer. I picked up my phone and looked at the singers performing what was probably really nice Kannada music that I could not really understand, not just because I didn’t know Kannada but also because my recent diet in music was ukulele on Instagram. Still, I got that it was nice, and I listened and swayed a bit, and by the end felt that I should have learned a bit of Kannada, and maybe listened to a bit more Jagjit Singh and a bit less Prateek Kuhad. Time passed and I looked around the people seated, some of them looking at their phones, some at the stage, some listening to the cultural program, some texting, and I looked at how the moon had climbed up even as I sat and listened to us being serenaded, warned, encouraged, mostly talked to for long periods of time by each of the speakers. Finally, the cool Bangalore weather that I had heard about descended, and I felt comfortable enough to put my blazer back on. When the cultural night ended and I got up and looked around at the five hundred odd people excited, bored, hungry, thirsty, scared and restless, I felt that this was interesting. Here goes nothing.
– Vyomesh Tewari
IIMB तक का सफ़र
टूटा दिल और बिखरे सपने, साथी थे कई साल तक
सुलझे ना कोई पहेली मुझसे, खुशनुमा रहा ना कोई ख्याल तक
तब आया वो चिराग लेकर, दिखलाने को रास्ता
राह दिखाई उस मंजिल तक, जिससे सच में मेरा वास्ता
कर दी शुरू पढ़ाई मगर, मन में थे संदेह फिर भी कई
तब माँ ने थामा हाथ मेरा और आस्था की और ले गई
कहा रख भरोसा खुद पर और विस्वास भगवान् में
कर्म करे जा, फल मिल जाएगा यहीं बताया है गीता के ज्ञान में
शहर बदले, मौसम झेले, लिखने को CAT का पेपर
और पहुंची घर अंत में 16 Shortlist लेकर
मम्मी, पापा, भाई, जीजी,जीजा तक को परेशान किया
इंटरव्यू की तैयारी में सबको mentor बना लिया
4 Panelist Zoom पर जब पूछ रहे थे सवाल कई
मन में तब मेरे घूम रहे थे ख्याल कई
सबसे गहरा था ख्याल की IIMB ही जाना है
और Main Gate की Logo Wall के सामने फोटो खिंचवाना है
अब IIMB का हिस्सा हूँ क्या ही कहना बाकी है
साझा कर रही हूँ अपना सफ़र, यही मेरे लिए काफ़ी है
– Ritesh Kumari
The Window of Happiness
Happiness in my perspective is a relative phenomenon in all of its forms. Little things can give so much happiness at times and sometimes even the highest accomplishments mean nothing. The relative essence of happiness is visible only when we overcome the will to control things set out by our desires.
Two men, both terminally ill were admitted to the same hospital room. The first patient’s bed was next to the room’s only window. The second one had to spend all his time looking at the room ceiling. Both of them talked for hours without end. And every afternoon, when the patient in the bed next to the window could sit up with the help of staff, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. There was a beautiful lake in a park, children playing around, lovers holding hands while walking across the pathways and a few groups of oldies chatting. As the man by the window described all of this in exquisite detail, the second one would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene and he felt happy just by thinking about what he heard. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: Why can’t he have the pleasure of seeing all that through the window? Even with his last stage of illness, this didn’t seem fair to him and this thought now grappled his mind. And now because he was jealous, he could not even have the same blissful experience when his roommate was describing the view out of the window. The thought that he will not be able to look out the window by himself before he dies, occupied his mind. And sadly he knew it was a matter of a few weeks.
A few days later, one night the man by the window who happened to be very sick earlier that day began to struggle to breathe. The second man watched him trying to call for help. Listening from across the room, he didn’t do anything although he could have called for the attendant. Soon the struggle stopped along with his pulse. The second man felt bad but he was not sure what he had done. So he gave himself the same explanation that others had assumed, “it was his time”. The next day he asked and was shifted next to the window in the room. Finally, he had his last wish come true as he was going to look out at all the wonderful things out of the window. He could now see everything on his own and have the experience with his eyes open. He moved eagerly to look out the window beside the bed. It faced an open barren land with nothing but dirt all around. And he wished that he was dead.
The attainment of happiness expresses a choice, an attitude we consciously carry. The success of any measure is considered a source of happiness and hence we are driven towards personal ambitions. True happiness lies in the pursuit of sharing what we have and perhaps not in the race of acquiring more and more. It is a matter of personal introspection whether to be content and share or beset by the desire for more.
– Lt Cdr Lokender Singh Rathore (Retd)
Vibrant IIMB – Back to the Offline Era
July 2022 will be the most cherished month for the PGP’21-23 batch owing to the successful offline hosting of Eximius, India’s largest entrepreneurship summit. Eximius 2022 was hosted on the 9th and 10th of July, it was a mix of online and offline events, competitions and speaker sessions. Eximius witnessed 50,000+ footfalls for 20+ workshops, 25+ competitions and 30+ speaker sessions. IIM Bangalore’s Auditorium (or Audi as we call it) was home to some of the best discussions of recent times from eminent speakers coming from diverse backgrounds. We were honored to host Mr. Imran Jafar – Managing Partner of Accenture Ventures, Mr. Gaurav Agarwal – Co-founder of 1mg, Mr. Yashish Dahiya – Co-founder of PolicyBazaar, Mr. Sujeet Kumar – Co-founder of Udaan and many others who have provided brilliant insights to the entrepreneurial community.
Eximius in collaboration with NSRCEL and various clubs on campus like ENI, ENS, ICON, and Networth organizes case competitions during the summit. The rewards range from prizes worth 30k to start-up funding worth 1 crore. Some of the flagship competitions are Pitcher perfect (IIM B’s version of shark tank), Social pact, BzzWings, Techminator, IPO-Q, and Case-A-Blanca. All these events have 3 rounds where participants compete vigorously and are evaluated across multiple dimensions like the uniqueness of ideas, communication skills, value generation to customers, etc. Eximius also has an exclusive workshop series training for budding entrepreneurs in relevant fields. Some of the workshops in Eximius like “Inside the VC Mind”, “Legal 101 for startups”, “Ready, Set, Pitch”, “Team building”, and “How to analyze a stock” encouraged entrepreneurs to think multi-dimensionally.
Eximius had one of the best pro night shows of recent times. We had Kumar Varun as the stand-up comedian and The Tapi project and Masala coffee bands for musical performance. Amidst all this vibrancy, now the campus is once again gearing up for India’s largest business fest, Vista, which is going to be held offline from August 6th to 7th. This vibrancy is a result of concerted efforts from all the stakeholders, students, faculty, and administration and will be cherished by the students of the PGP ’23, PGP ’24 batches.
– Karthik Raghuram