Rabindrasangeet and MBA – A Surprising Correlation

The other day when we were taught some practical applications for probability theory in our finance class, my background in music came in surprisingly handy. I am obviously indebted to my lessons from early childhood in music, sitar and guitar that have added a special flavor to my CV. But it’s obviously not just this. My knowledge in music gives me much more than just a diploma certificate and I am stunned at the kind of correlation I have lately discovered between music and MBA.

In probability theory, a stochastic process, or sometimes random process is a collection of random variables; this is often used to represent the evolution of some random value, or system, over time. It’s something we talk a lot about in QAM and finance classes. I realized that I knew the concept already, not because of an engineering background, but because of my early music classes. The point is that I had a very different association when we were learning how to value an European call option on a bond.

On the first day to Marketing Management-I Prof. Debashish Dasgupta (DDG) mentioned, “The first rule for being an awesome marketer is Sabse Bura Rog, Kya Kahenge Log”. How close DDG’s words lookedto what I grew up learning! In the words of the song by Tagore:

(Topic : Prakriti / Sharat, Taal : Dadra, Raag : Behag-Kirtan, Written on : 1921)

Tomra Ja bolo tai bolo

Amar lage na mone

(I don’t bother whatever you may say.

I enjoy, time pass by, all in vein, wasted.)

Basanti Utsob on the occasion of Holi in Shantiniketan

Apart from marketing management, I’ve found a very strong link in one of the Rabindrasangeets to the HR concept of leadership and motivation.

(Topic : Swadesh, Taal : Dadra, Raag : Baul, Written on : 1905
Notes : In support to the movement against the partition of Bengal)

Jodi tor daak shuna keu na ashe

Tobe ekla cholo re

(If they answer not to thy call, walk alone.

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall.)

And more so in the following song

(Topic : Bichitro, Taal : Kaharwa, Raag : Iman, Written On : 1929)

Nai bhoy nai bhoy nai re

Thak pore thak bhoy baire

(There’s no fear… let fear stay outside)

The Jorasanko Thakur Bari (Bengali: House of the Thakurs (anglicised to Tagore) in Jorasanko, north of Kolkata, West Bengal, India, is the ancestral home of the Tagore family

And another (Topic : Bichitro, Taal : Kaharwa, Raag : Bhairavi, Written On : 1926)

Nai nai bhoy

Hobe hobe joy

Khule jabe ei dwaar

(Fear not, for thou shalt conquer,

Thy doors will open, thy bonds break.

Often thou loseth thyself in sleep,

And yet must find back thy world

Again and again.)

Not just these, I feel Rabindrasangeets prepare you for the difficult roads and choices ahead of us. For instance,

(Topic : Puja, Taal : Dadra, Raag : Baul, Written on : 1929)

Amar pothe pothe pathor chorano

Tai to tomar bani baje jhorna jhorano

And whenever I feel pressure of strict deadlines, tough schedule, morning classes, quizzes… sometimes when less marks make it seem that nothing is left, everything is out of my hands, I sing to myself

(Topic : Puja, Taal : Kaharwa, Raag : Mishra-Khambaj, Written on : 1914)

Shesh nahi je shesh kotha ke bolbe

Aaghat hoye dekha dilo, aagun hoye jolbe

(There’s no end to anything… clouds end and form rains… snow ends and begins a river… all that ends, ends only in our eyes, which crosses the barriers of darkness to meet with the light.)

Music offers me an opportunity to develop my management skills. Is it because the two are linked? I don’t know. Certainly there is some overlap between the two.

(This article is written by Debalina Haldar, class of 2015 student at IIM Lucknow. Her novel, The Female Ward, was published in May, 2013. She is the Creative Head and Core Coordinator of the Media and Communication Cell at IIM Lucknow.)