Musings Of A Raving IIMian’s Mind

It was one of those afternoons before the advent of spring. It was that time of the year when the sun seemed to shine on the rain and the rain seemed to fall on the sunshine, reveling in the mere presence of each other. The time of the year when every flower and herb on Earth’s dark bosom rises from the dreams of its wintry rest. The time of the year that titillates a bard’s slumbering verses, urging them to flow freely and to be known to the world around. It was the time of the year when one such raving rhymester, quite cozily ensconced inside one of the much-revered hostels of Hel(L), decides to compose her own version of the bittersweet ballad glorifying the fortuitous fortune an MBA has peppered upon her life.

It was also that time of the year when the ides of March was around the corner. It did not just remain infamous as the day when the mighty Julius Caesar got notoriously stabbed by his very own allies. Exactly a year ago, it was on this singular day that the girl had gotten her interview for IIML scheduled. The breadth of her mind was sweeping with a turbulent cloud of all sorts of earthly emotions. She was both apprehensive and excited, nervous and thrilled at the same time. And if you happen to be one of those curious aspiring IIMians perusing this column, this ilk of a situation will certainly not come unlikely to you. I can tell you must also be going through a phase proximal to the one you just read. For this has to be that time of the year when you’re longing for yet another strange land, a la-la land (There’s a reason she calls a B-school a la-la land. It’s a place where anything and everything is feasible. It’s a place where the wildest of your dreams can come true. All she demands is a bit of faith in her when she says this. Bear with her and you’re bound to follow.) This longing of hers got especially strong with every passing day.

Had it been any other ordinary day, she would be found frittering her time away basking in idle self-indulgence. In fact, this is what she had been doing for the most of her life as an undergraduate kid as a Ceramic Engineer. Life would have continued to be a source of ceaseless merriment to her. But then, the idea of pursuing an MBA from a venerable college, one of the likes of IIML, was reason enough to keep her unbridled slumbering at bay. She was all set to face the interview, the one which turned her career or rather her whole being, topsy-turvy. Read on as she enlists the helluva experience she had then.

WAT topic for the day: ‘Consistency is the ultimate refuge of the unimaginative.’

She was the last one in her panel. Post the WAT and prior to her interview, she happened to testify each of the interviewee’s experiences and figured out that that they were all quite casual, fun-filled interviews. The panelists were all smiles and that none of them was actually grilled. Typical questions like ‘why MBA’ and ‘career motives’ and academia queries were stuffed upon them all. All she could remember before stepping into the cabin was the mention of the topic Darwin’s theory of evolution, intolerance policy, nationalization and the like from the penultimate candidate. So, here goes a rather incoherent wrap up of her story. (She perceives it to have been a deviation from the norm, a bit absurd one. Do let her know if you feel the same. ]


P1 (A pleasant looking man in his late twenties or maybe early thirties)

P2 (An elderly balding man in his forties or fifties probably)

(She enters. Greeted. Asked to sit down. All formalities entertained.)

P1: So, Rupali. You must have heard of the stuff we asked your friends. Since you are the last one we’re interacting with, today, you’re being given a choice. A bonus choice and you get to decide whether you’d like to talk upon the very same topics.

She: Sir, I would like to discuss some novel topic. I don’t wish to make the talk seem redundant now that you’ve talked upon the topics of intolerance and evolution for fairly 15 minutes.

P2: Popular figures like Karan Johar have been propagating gay marriages lately. Do you favour him as well?!

She: Yes sir. I do favour his view here. Since it’s already been legalised in quite a number of evolved nations, I see no point to why it’s still been held back in India. I really appreciate all that he’s doing to draw the support of the masses into this matter.

(Further discussion follows. P2 delves deep into the justification of my saying so. Eventually, I was asked if I would entertain the marriage of my lesbian daughter to her she-partner to which I answered affirmatively. The issue of fertilisation was then raised and I was asked how I’d tackle it. I mentioned the substitute method of fertilisation and said how this institution of gay marriage would curb the burgeoning population growth. P1 and P2 both scoffed, then laughed at this comeback. )

P2: If asked to choose between one of North Korea and south Korea, where would you prefer to dwell in?!

She: South Korea, Sir. (Mentioned Seoul (the only place I remembered), vaguely talked about its popularity, location-wise advantages and stuff).

P1: Local cable supplies or cable brands like Ortel, Dish TV and Tata Sky?!

She: Tata Sky and Dish TV are giants in their respective fields and they’re on excellent financial terms, which is why I would propagate the local ones so as not to hamper their only source of business and livelihood. Mentioned the movie Sonali Cable at the point at which P1 seemed impressed.

P1: What’s CPI and NPI?

She: Guessed and fumbled an answer for CPI. Admitted to be ignorant of NPI.

P2: Any good at engineering? You hail from ceramics. Explain why is that door choosing made of ceramic rather than a metal?

She: Talked about how it enhances aestheticism, hardness and toughness.

P2: What shape do you reckon a pillar should be built into. Cylindrical, rectangular out triangular?

She: Cylindrical, Sir. Talked about better and uniform stress handling in the decreasing order, and stressed upon its aesthetic sense enhancement.

P2: Do you want India to be further segregated into more number of states?

She: No, Sir. This would only make the governance of individual units more difficult. Owing to internal conflicts, India already has 29 number of states. That I think is good to go.

P1: What’s your take on the JNU debacle? Are you in favour of the boys? Should Kashmir be allowed to be a free nation?

She: No, Sir. The guys are a bunch of idiosyncratic adolescents who have little idea of the implications and consequences of what they’re seeking. Kashmir is an integral part of the nation. The crown of the nation. India would lose all its charm without it. India wouldn’t be the beautiful India if you part away with Kashmir. Moreover, such a step would only make it more vulnerable to Pakistani attacks who have been eyeing it for quite a long time. The Pakistanis would have an added advantage to their purpose.

P1: Why have the number of Indian women being coroneted to the titles of Miss India, Miss universe and the like seen a rapid decline lately?

She: Not that there’s a lack of beautiful women in the country. Only that they’ve prioritised education over modelling, screenplay and stuff.

P1: Do you mean to say the women of this era do not desire fame more than the women of the 19th century did?

She: They certainly do. (shrugged) Maybe they take to establish themselves as models outside the country. P1 didn’t refute the answer now and moved on to the last game which he called a hypothetical bonus question)

P1: From what you’ve observed for the last couple of minutes, you got to decide who you’d like to attend a dinner date with? Myself or the handsome gentleman seated next to me?

She: (quite an argument followed. With the last question, I didn’t take a moment before blurting out the name of P1, the younger one. Turned out P2 was deeply offended at this. Or at least he adeptly pulled off this act of being hurt. And then, he began this rant of how he was going to reject me for having rejected him.)

P1: You should have chosen him over me. He’s the one who is the more matured and experience. Justify your answer now.

P2: Kya yaar?! Baal nahin hai toh reject hi maar daala. Sochna chahiye. What if I’m the decider of your verdict?!

She: Sir, with all due respect, this wasn’t known to me earlier. (Both laugh.) I must say I’m in a real dilemma right now and that I didn’t gauge your physical attributes before choosing one and not the other. Both of you seem equally good. Just that you looked kind of more amiable, more affable, more congenial, more friendly to me which is why I thought I could have pacified you later on. (Here P2 says “abhi toh dil tod hi diya na..” For the time being, I’m deeply hurt. What a real dramebaaz! 😀 ) Besides, I would only have had a casual conversation with you. Would have talked at length about friends and family and life. Whereas, the other person appeared a bit stern. He bombards serious questions which would urge me to think and gain knowledge.

P1: Accha? I’m stern?? What an answer! You’re ruining things for yourself. You didn’t even take a second to think that out. Justify now. Another 30 seconds and you got to convince the both of us. Also, just so you know, you’re the last one we’re interviewing today. Your answer is going to have a lasting impact until the sun shines the next day. Beware and answer accordingly.

She: (Even after taking a moment, she was unable to think of a better answer. She sincerely apologised for having inadvertently hurt either of them.)

(P2 kept smiling. P1 said HE was happy and that the other guy’s not.)

[She was asked to take a toffee and leave.]

So, that was that. The gates of Hell did welcome her in a manner most felicitous to her being. Never before had she felt happier than that moment. It has been a year now. A year to her being a part of the college and she cannot go about lauding the plethora of ways the school has forged her. You will be tried and tested. Not once. Not twice. But several times. You will have to keep functioning under a dire duress. Yes, quite truly, from being lavish to luxury, sleep shall morph itself. Only to morph you-the striving caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. And in the end, let her scribble a couple of words of wisdom which she came across the other day.

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.” 


About the Author:

Rupali Patro.

Free-spirited and independent in nature, she takes immense pleasure in weaseling words to create her own world, tiny or vast. With an undergraduate degree in ceramics from NIT Rourkela, she has traversed all the way to pursue her MBA from IIM Lucknow. She is an optimist and an opportunist. She is selectively social and brutally honest. Often shall you catch her humming some singsong or the other to herself. If she is not found singing, she’ll be found doodling. Oh, she loves fine arts. Calligraphy is something vital to keep her sanity intact. At all other times, she shall be found scribbling, struggling to assemble those wild directionless thoughts of her wandering mind, frame them into something coherent to the world. More than anything in the world, she wishes to be a writer.

Rupali Patro

Free-spirited and independent in nature, she takes immense pleasure in weaseling words to create her own world, tiny or vast. With an undergraduate degree in ceramics from NIT Rourkela, she has traversed all the way to pursue her MBA from IIM Lucknow. She is an optimist and an opportunist. She is selectively social and brutally honest. Often shall you catch her humming some singsong or the other to herself. If she is not found singing, she’ll be found doodling. Oh, she loves fine arts. Calligraphy is something vital to keep her sanity intact. At all other times, she shall be found scribbling, struggling to assemble those wild directionless thoughts of her wandering mind, frame them into something coherent to the world. More than anything in the world, she wishes to be a writer.



Meghashree Das

Well written and contained sound practical advice. Keep these good articles coming.