From Rourkela To Ranchi – ‘I’ll Be There, With Open Arms And Open Eyes’ – Sourav Banerjee’s Journey To IIM Ranchi
As the train left Rourkela station on 16th of june, 2017, there wasn’t a tiny bit of sadness on my parents’ face. There was but a whole ocean of pride, easily discernible. Their son was going to an IIM, the nearest one to home. “Make sure you come home on alternate weekends, beta”, were the last words I heard my mother say before the train noisily dragged out of the station.
Plugged in my earphones and skipped through the list to my favourite Incubus song. Drive.
“Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there, with open arms and open eyes.”
Fast forward: Reaching khelgaon and hostel room allotment, the registration and meeting up HRM peeps for the first time, first late night walk and first coffee at the cafeteria.
For the first time in 25 years since my inception, I faced the dilemma of choosing between my clothes. The first impression had to be rock solid, and all the clothes that could have possibly done that had been left at home. Nevertheless, put on the most comfortable ones, tied my shoelaces and boarded the bus to the first stop for day 1 of induction. Did I hear someone say that IIM Ranchi never sleeps? Nevermind. Let’s focus on the task at hand.
The director, Dr. Shailendra Singh, left us struck with awe on the very first address. He shared wonderful tips for us, about how to live an ideal student life and to be successful. Multiple references from various religious scriptures, and then them being related to our day-to-day activities, charged the entire atmosphere with positivity.
A presentation on the art of appreciating movies? Is everything going to be this cool? What’s this paper that was just shoved into my hand? SO MANY NAMES? Where do I find mine?
All of that remained unanswered in my head as I faced my first ever instance of missing out on an announcement. Oh there, group 4 it was. As I looked around me people were jumping over the chairs and shouting numbers. I saw an arm raised in the air, 4 fingers pointing upwards. That was my calling!
The members of all the teams were seated in sequence. I was seated with 20 total strangers. Gourav Marathe Sir went up to the stage and announced that this was going to be the first management challenge out of three, the three stages of acceptance, the three stages of becoming a true IIMR CROW.
Fast forward: Going back to the hostel, Google, Google, Lunch, Meeting up in the room, Discussing, Google.
One hour of brainstorming had led to nothing. IREMPOKELY – that was the word that returned zero results on Google, the topic that we were supposed to make a 5 minute short movie on. In 24 hours. Only thing I’d learnt by heart by now was the names of my team members. And we were supposed to meet our team SPOC, Shlok, and discuss the story with him. Shlok turned up right on time and we discussed whatever we had with him. He said it was cool and we should start off with the video making ASAP.
The DSLR was set up, the softwares were downloaded and all the locations were decided upon. The shooting was yet to commence. Meanwhile, the first coffee break of IIMR happened.
Fast forward: Shooting process, waiting for locations to be emptied out by other teams, reshooting certain scenes.
It all boiled down to me. Editing credits were solely mine, if I could pull it off. The first 20 seconds of the video had taken an hour to compete and it was past midnight. My entire team sat and familiarised themselves with one another as another cup of coffee and two paranthas were placed before me.
It was 7 in the morning. The few people who stayed up with me all night had now turned into zombies. The coffee cups had outnumbered the number of yawns I had taken. People had started pouring in for breakfast. And the movie was done. The entire team holed up to see what was the final rang of all the mehnat, as I crossed my fingers.
Oh, the satisfaction! Winning or losing did not matter anymore! The satisfaction of being able to complete the task overcame every other feeling that could have possible crept into my mind at that particular instance. Needless to say, the sleep that morning was a lot more than just sound.
I woke up at noon. The bus was leaving in half an hour. Brushed my teeth, tied my shoelaces and boarded the bus to the Auditorium. Although the seating arrangement was still the same, I wasn’t among strangers anymore! This, amongst crows, my new abode, finally felt like home.
The article has been written by Sourav Banerjee of batch 2017-19.