4 a.m. – All Of This Happened In the Dead Of The Night, When All Should Be Asleep We Rise

There was a story I heard before joining IIM Kashipur, it goes like this.

The Director of one of the IIMs was walking across campus at 2:30 am, he happened to cross the hostels and was shocked at what he saw. He was so shocked that he made five senior faculty members walk with him the other day.

Same time same place he stopped and started staring at the hostel, the director said “Do you see something wrong with this picture”, sheepishly one of the professors looked up at one of the windows of the hostel and then at the director and said “No sir the children seem to be sleeping and there is no breach of rules”, beaming down with rage at what his subordinate said the director said “SLEEPING” Its 2:30 am and these chaps are “SLEEPING! “.

Well that instance aptly sums up the theme of the article that follows (No, No I will not reiterate my older article “Rigour”. As always bear with this novice author.)

I never really understood the beautiful complexity of this statement till very recently. To further help you understand let me jump into where I am right now, Ahmedabad (yes the dry state) interning in Reliance Textile Industries, learning, applying and forever failing (as is accustomed to my sort of people).

The project title that I have been handed goes like this “Competitive analysis of the ready to wear apparel industry and opportunities in the market”, sounds fancy I know but what it basically means is that I need to find out what the other company is doing, make a better strategy and find ways to implement it.

Imagine a first year student fresh with the knowledge from the powers that be (Kotler in this case), burning with a hundred ideas running from pillar to post like an excited bunny unearthing new and exciting ways of figuring out my project.

What followed was harsh reality, implementation. Although, we did have specific software’s like IBM SPSS to help us with research work and have been trained to use it and all, but using it in real life scenarios, collecting relevant data and then analyzing it to get relevant information is a different ball game altogether.

A ball game that I would be lost in if it weren’t for my professors (yes people you heard correct).

At wits end I mailed a few asking for their help and what followed surprised me. My professors (names I cannot take because you know don’t bug them right now, leave that to me :P) not only told me that my train of thought was incorrect but offered to check my data and analysis once it was done.

Now we need to understand that these people are hard core research oriented professionals with assignments and consultancy projects from all over the country (Not surprisingly as IIM Kashipur is the 12th best research institute in the country).

What was also strange was the timing of their mails while I was trying to sleep every night my professors mailed me exactly at 03:00 am. Damn right, I know.

Well that’s not the strangest thing either.

We had to select subjects next. Believe me, if you are a first year student going to the second year choosing your subjects of specialization, plotting about which companies take what kind of profile and which subject will have the least work load so that  one can get that dream six hour sleep is a herculean task.

Lost in the maze of subjects that were being offered I tried finding refuge everywhere, starting from my friends saying “Bhai sath kar lenge kuch” to my mother saying “ Beta FINANCE, Nahi toh there is no point in studying so much and going there in the first place”, left me more confused than I had ever been.

Fortunately sense prevailed and I messaged my seniors on Facebook. In the utmost surety of rejection (after all think about it, these guys are already placed in companies like GSK, ICICI and PwC have served their time working for the college, not to mention categorically sat and told you the best subjects before they left), I messaged one of the most feared (feared because the first memory we had of her was on stage, ripping us apart) albeit cute senior waiting for a “get lost”. But to my absolute horror after a little persuasion and a lot of begging she finally agreed to not only tell me the subjects that I should take but also helped me understand the reasoning and the learning I would get.

As you guessed it, all of this happened in the dead of the night, when all should be asleep we rise.

Like always it’s hard at first, but when you know there is always someone around to help you in the toughest times, it gets easier.




Read more about IIM Kashipur here.