Mundane Musings of an MBA Mind

They say an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. And devilish indeed is, by nature, the thought and question that keeps pestering me in my moments of idleness these days. “IDLENESS” did I say?! “IDLE”? Here at an IIM, in my freshman-year?! Well, hold on! Don’t you brand me a criminal guilty of perpetrating the anathematic act of ‘being idle’ in a B-school. By ‘my moments of idleness’, I implied those mundane, fleeting bits or instances in our rush-rush, action-packed daily-routines here -say- while gulping down (or rather trying to gulp down) mess-food or while ambling to our hostel-blocks after a tiring day (well which day isn’t!).

Now that I have given my small-clarification on ‘idle moments’, I can go on to tell you about the question that stealthily creeps into the deep caverns of my mind during these sly moments. It then toys with my patience and teases me with unabashed haughtiness. The devil seems to be living in my sub-consciousness and threatens to catch me off guard anytime sans warning. That question in question is “WHY on earth am I doing an MBA?” And in my struggle to answer that, all I do is only sigh; the way the physicist Richard Feynman once sighed, “I wonder why, I wonder why, I wonder why I wonder!”

“Err… what? Why MBA? But you’re already into one month of your first term!” ask people when I confide to them this weird thught I often ponder over, “You must’ve answered that question in the IIM interview right?” I wish I could find an answer to my “why MBA?” puzzle in the answer I prepared for my B-school interviews. But it is not easy to fool myself into thinking ‘I know’ something ‘I don’t know’. Is it for getting pamper-placed post these arduous two years? Or for tasting that ecstatic feeling of being hailed as an MBA Grad? I know it’s for none of these and it is certainly not for getting that “holistic higher-education experience that I have always yearned for.” (Refer Barpanda, S(2013), IIMK Admission interview form).

Then, WHY exactly am I doing an MBA? The thought haunts me. I hear its evil laugh when writing a difficult quiz and see it flashing its triumphant evil smile when I look at myself in the mirror every morning. Frustrated, I wonder why I wonder at all in the first place. After all, I never got answers to the myriad of WHYs I have pondered over in the past; like “WHY do people pray unreasonably?” or “love unconditionally?” and then also “fight against each other irrationally?” And then there are the WHY’s of a more personal-nature- WHY am I the way I am? WHY I end up in places I think I would never end up in- basically, why I zigzagged from Science stream to Economics to now MBA? And all these WHY’s have always been a subset of that universal WHY i.e. WHY am I here on this planet, leading this life of mine?

I guess by now, you, dear reader, must be thinking of me as some weirdo or one of those monks from the Himalayas. Well, I don’t blame you but I must say that I mull over ‘my purpose of existence’ solely at a ‘functional’ level. There’s nothing ‘spiritual’ about it, mind you.

The days at IIMK are going to get drearier still and perhaps sooner or later I will get gnawed into the daily grind that is typical of a business management course. Now at the end of this rambling, when I think of the possibility of my mind getting numbed by the hectic academic life here and later by the taxing corporate-life that I’ll come to lead, I feel pretty alarmed about it. And that’s strange because in a way, such drudgery will help me finally get rid of the perturbing WHY’s. However, no matter how much I dread my current state of constant-confusion, I wonder if I dread more the day I’ll dismiss all my wondering altogether and ring master myself into taking everything as a given. And then it hits me that I am better off with a muddled mind than a non-questioning, mechanical mind.

Somya Barpanda

A fantasist and a nature enthusiast, Somya is always in the quest for experiences that are out of the ordinary. Trained in Economics from St. Stephen's College and Management from IIM-Kozhikode, she has realised that often the extra-ordinary lies in all that seems mundane.