Life At IIM Kashipur – The Journey And The Final Destination

Life is always flowing like water… and does not wait for anyone. Different people have different dimensions and views towards life. And especially at our age (considering to be between 22-25), we tend to get the real meaning of life and start testing ourselves. And a similar kind of stunt was performed by me.

Everything in my life was normal and I was leading an average life. Completed my Mechanical Engineering from an average Mumbai University college with average marks. I guess just like above two lines, the word “average” was becoming redundant in my life as well. I wanted to outstand the crowd and make a special identity for myself. And that’s what encouraged me to take some steps to improve my life.

And that’s when I decided to run in one of the most overcrowded races of the World – Common Admission Test (CAT). The highly competitive race for securing top one percentile in the elite Indian Institute of Management. Now I assume that you guys already know the heinous selection process includes the ruthless WAT and PI process.  And here I was running with my resume in my hand from one interview destination to other, hoping to get the best of the ‘bestest’.

Soon the results came and I landed up in IIM KASHIPUR. Well reading the first three letters of the last word, I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. I was filled with tears that I have finally belled the CAT. But then Kashipur? To be very honest, I even haven’t heard of the place before. On searching the net and various educational forums, I got to know that it’s a small place near Nainital and is like 4 hours from the national capital – New Delhi.

Now staying in Delhi was always a dream for me, having heard so much about the place made me excited and I thought living near places like Nainital and Jim Corbett National Park would actually be adventurous.  Plus the tag of IIM will help me improve my resume and help me land up getting some good salary. All these things just clubbed inside my head and I headed my journey towards IIM Kashipur.

Now let’s take you through the journey from my place to Kashipur. All thanks to technology, I have got to know that Kashipur is not a very modern place. In fact, it’s a remote village where still the most common means of transport is Tuk-Tuk Rickshaws and lacked almost everything that “Mumbai life” has. So I already had the intuition that my stay here is not going to be that rosy and charming. So I booked Ola from my place to airport reached Delhi in 2 hours and took an Uber from Delhi airport and reached old Delhi station. But here is when the real struggle started. The train till Kashipur was 2 hrs late! On enquiring to the station master, we came to know that there was a small accident the night before and that’s why the delay. So hours journey took 6 hours.

All thanks to the government, there are 2 trains from Delhi to Kashipur. One is Uttar Sampark Kanti Express leaving Delhi at 4 pm and arriving Kashipur by 8 pm, and the other one was Ranikhet Express, leaving Delhi at 10:30 and arriving Kashipur at 4 am in the morning. I was filled with joy when I booked the ticket on IRCTC which cost me only Rs. 100 for chair car and Rs. 350 for AC compartment. I expected that the journey would be a small tiny joyful one where the train will climb mountains and the air will get cooler.

But to my disappointment, nothing like that happened. The train was a normal shady one having seating arrangements for 3 in a single birth. Typically overcrowded by the local people, I experienced all kinds of people. The silent admirer of nature constantly looking out of window, busy local tradesmen, chatting constantly on their phone, the group of friends who were discussing something intense. But then, something worse was awaiting us. The train stopped. And it stopped again, and keep stopping at almost every nook and turns and it was like a toy train which anyone could stop anywhere. I was becoming restless and was cursing my luck. Yes! I was missing Mumbai.  We reached Kashipur at 12:45 am in the night. We were tired and hungry and thirsty. We just wanted to reach our rooms and rest.

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Finally, I reached Kashipur railway station – a shoddy one, missing the most basic necessities like a washroom or drinking water. And then suddenly my eyes fell upon a man standing on a corner holding a welcome board on the behalf of college. On the board was written, “ IIM Kashipur welcomes you”. That feeling – made up for all the hardship I had to do to reach this place. Finally, I had achieved something that I always craved for – an identity. But this was just the beginning. Although IIM Kashipur is like 15 mins journey from the railway station, at night time (after 10), you won’t find any commutation here. And hence college has arranged a special bus for us. A long broad yellow coloured, having written Indian Institute of Management Kashipur on the sides in bold.

I was impressed by the hospitality from the college. Actually, anyone would have been. Someone from the seniors got the information about the delay and he informed all the clubs and committees.  And they arranged all this. Finally, we reached our destination. It was dark and cold. So couldn’t take a glimpse of the campus that night, but I could feel its huge and green, and that something good awaits me tomorrow morning. After all, I have earned to be at this damn place!

Soon we were allotted the hostels and I got H2. Now here in IIM Kashipur, we have 3 hostels. 2 old ones (H1 and H2) and new New campus – the dream-but only for seniors.

I was happy since H2 was a double occupancy one (since this was my first time in a hostel, I needed someone to wake me up in the morning :p) and I was happy with my hostel. But a greater surprise awaited me there! We were been provided with hot dinner at 1 am in the morning by the mess staff! Now I agree saying that it is my first time staying at a hostel but I have had food at my engineering college mess. And this food that I had here was absolutely tasty! We went to our respective rooms, which was nothing special, just as I thought, satiating the basic needs with common washrooms and common balcony, the two storey hostel had a quadrangular ground in between where people can play badminton and football (footsal). The best part I liked in the infrastructure of the hostel, apart form free and unlimited high-speed WIFI was that it had washing machines on each floor. So at least one can be sure that your hard work of washing the clothes by hand just got eliminated.

Finally sinking the whole feeling of being present at IIM Kashipur and awaiting a much brighter Sun the next morning (literally!), I slept and hence my journey at IIM started!

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About the Author:

My name is Ankush Chakranarayan, and I hail from Mumbai. Everything in my life was normal and I was leading an average life. Completed my Mechanical Engineering from an average Mumbai University college with average marks. I guess just like above two lines, the word “average” was becoming redundant in my life as well. I wanted to outstand the crowd and make a special identity for myself. And that’s what encouraged me to take some steps to improve my life.

Ankush Chakranarayan

Indian Institute Of Management, Kashipur

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