My Experiments With Nirvana At IIM Trichy
It was a humid afternoon. The scorching heat was definitely not helping my focus. There was still half an hour for the class to finish. I didn’t eat breakfast that day and was very hungry. There was a really attractive girl who sat two seats from me. (She had never ever noticed me once till then. I liked to think that she didn’t interact much with anyone in general. Now, around six months later, I am good friends with her. So, in your face, reader!) Also, I had not brought my textbook to class. So, all in all, not a really conducive environment for listening to theories on supply and demand dynamics in a free market (I hate myself for remembering this much of economics!). So I did what any self-respecting student would do. I was looking through memes on Facebook.
It all started when the guy sitting in between me and the pretty girl started talking to me. I can’t name him, for obvious reasons (he’s the villain in this story). But I am sure you can figure out who he is, if you look hard enough. So, he started talking to me and I started talking to him. We were still in the formative years of our friendship. So, being the introvert that I am, I was a little hesitant to take the conversation further. But I didn’t have to. He kept going on and on even after I stopped replying for a while. It still didn’t make him stop. Finally, after few seemingly never ending minutes, he asked me,
“Bro, why aren’t you saying anything? Are you thinking of something else?”
I wanted to say, “Yes, can you please shut up for a while?”, but I said, “No, I am just wondering what would happen to the market equilibrium if the government imposed some rules, bro!” (Seriously, Ugh! Too much economics! Can’t hate myself enough for it, trust me!)
He just said, “Oh.”
What kind of a reply is that!
I was about to find out.
Right at that very moment, the teacher asked, “Students, what do you think will happen to the market behavior when the government imposes taxes? Who is going to benefit? The consumer or the supplier?”
The guy next to me (the villain) said, “Ma’am, Srivatsan here was just telling me his thoughts on this topic. He seems to have very interesting ideas.”
As soon as he said that, he started giggling. That ass. (Apologies for the language, reader!)
The teacher said, “Oh, that’s nice. Srivatsan, why don’t you draw it on the board and explain it to the class?” with a really polite and inviting tone.
Obviously, I had no clue as to what was going on in the class. I was sure that I was going to make a fool out of myself. Unable to come up with an excuse, I walked to the stage, picked up the marker and drew a random zig-zag line on the ‘X’ shaped graph on the board.
“This will be the change, ma’am” I said, head bowed down in shame, waiting for the insult to hit.
And it hit. Big time.
The expression on the teacher’s face was a mixture of awe inspired disappointment and desperation. It was like she wanted to shout ‘No! You’re wrong!’ and cry. I felt miserable. Not because I had embarrassed myself really bad, because I actually liked this lady.
She said to the class, “Okay…. Though Srivatsan is correct in the sense that there is going to be loss of surplus, the nature of loss is not exactly this.” And erased the line I drew. (She actually meant, “This is bullshit. Let us all forget the last ten seconds.”)
The villain was laughing as I made my way back to the chair next to him.
“Relax, dude. Relax. Just for fun.” he said. (I got my revenge two months later, when I tricked him into a similar situation. This weird dude is now one of my great friends at IIM-T.)
As I was sitting there, completely numb and shamed, something awesome happened.
The pretty girl said to the villain, “This was too low. You shouldn’t have done this to him, dude.”
Wow. The hot girl had spoken. And I had her sympathy. It felt great. (Don’t you dare judge me, reader!)
On a serious note, something really changed within me that day. I had hit such a rock bottom that nothing can ever make me feel ashamed again. I had become un-shame-able. (I don’t mean shameless.) I can now talk and participate in any discussion, in almost any context, without fear of being wrong or shot down. What’s the worst that could happen! My point will be called wrong. That meant I was only going to get curious enough to google it, read everything there’s to read about it and make a stronger argument next time around. In that process, my knowledge improves. (Wait a second. Is that why I did well in the Economics final exam! Hmmm. Interesting.)
I believe I genuinely grew as a person that day. Hence I think that it’s imperative for everyone to attain this nirvana state of ‘un-shame-ability’ as soon as possible in their lives. (In the process, if you can also get sympathy points from a really hot crush, all the more reason to go for it!) Because conversations are the qualitative currency of this world and the better the conversations you can make, the richer you will be. Literally and figuratively.
Division of Aditya Birla I would like to work for…
I am really passionate towards men’s fashion and am a keen follower of Madura Garments, which is a subsidy of Aditya Birla group. I have envisioned many unique and innovative apparel brands (eg. Brandless, disposable formal wear for men etc.) and tech products which would make apparel retail stores like Lifestyle very futuristic (products which can enable automatic billing and checkout, so that the customer doesn’t have to wait in line. Ever.) So I think I would make a great fit for Madura Garments.
– This article is written by Srivatsan R – Class of 2019