The Bumpy Ride That It Has Been – IMT Ghaziabad
I asked him, “So when do you start loving this place”. He said amusingly “Just 2 months before when the preparation for convocation starts”.
It was the first year of college and I loathed it. I love to get stressed; never have filling up work up to my throat choked me, but over here it made me puke and I had no time for it. Now when I look back I can pinpoint enough reasons to justify the paradox, but back then the abnormal activity was another reason for my mounting mental stress. No, ain’t kidding. I used to question myself if I am not goal oriented anymore if I am ageing. And to answer my obnoxious dilemmas I used to take up more work on my platter. And thereby it was a go-round affair, only that it wasn’t merry.
Reasons for not liking this place? Oh! There are many. This wasn’t the place I have been dying to go. No, neither were the IIMs. The suit wasn’t what I have seen myself wearing when thinking about ‘Where do you see yourself 5 years from now’ in the first year of grad school. I have always wanted to be in a lab, with pipettes, chemicals, test tubes, microscope, nerdy glasses and lab coat. That, that was an idealistic and soothing sight. But then IMT happened. No, I didn’t go with the flow, I did create the path but it wasn’t laid out with sheer planning, dedication and passion. Ah! Stress never seemed like stress before, because it had passion, that sparkle that kept me awake for hours but never let me feel the hangover of melatonin. Here for the first two semesters, I dragged myself along the way, living life ‘one day at a time’. Thus, I made it a point to incorporate my love for biology/ medicine into this new life I was living. Besides reading stuff to keep myself updated, I pledged to get my summer internship into a pharmaceutical company. Abbott being the top choice became my air to breathe. The goal kept me high and boosted. Boy, did I read every journal, every annual report of the company. Had you quizzed me about its history, I wouldn’t have disappointed you. But movies do fool you sometimes. Kayaanat doesn’t always work in your favour when you love your goal too much. At least it didn’t. I did reach close and it seemed surreal. Sipping tea with the interviewer at 6 in the evening while discussing the biochemical reaction of their drug which helps one to get cured of the thyroid isn’t an everyday affair. Is it? I was happy. But then a U-turn of events and things plummeted real badly. I can go on and crib about the accident but I won’t. Because hadn’t it been for this mishap, I wouldn’t have learnt to take things with a pinch of salt, things which had the potential to make my life hell for the coming year and a half. I discovered people I love among the lot I used to hate. People who were there, keeping my back when there were others scratching the same. And I learnt how to not be bothered by the latter because it is former all that counts.
But the mishap is just a part of the story of the love- hate relationship. I hated the fact, well initially, that I am among the younger people in the batch. I lacked experience, appropriate knowledge related to the field. While people would comfortably discuss the Satyam Fiscal or stock market, I would drown in the pool of regret for not seeing the necessary documentaries which I had pledged to see the last week. But then as I said my pledges lacked dedication as there was no passion. There was no fire in the belly to cook things up and thereby they were always served half fried, half cooked. Be it academics or day to day activities of the committee I was a part of. Until I happened to perform on stage for Zest. That is the first memory I have of being happy, immensely, after stepping in IMT.
Even though MBA wasn’t on radar, being a part of the band was and MBA fulfilled it. I was electrified. The accolades that followed further catalysed the synthesis of the happy hormones. For it got me a chance to talk to a senior and a crush over whom I had drooled for long (my hormones dumped him afterwards, ha!). Back then, he was equivalent to sugar rush and one rendezvous with him, even though virtually, changed my perspective. Not a fan of keeping screenshots, but then IMT has been a place where I had been surprising myself, and so did I again. The whole conversation was hushed up to close friends and was the most prized possession of my gallery. When my phone got stolen I sulked more about losing them, those remnants of the moments gone by, rather than losing the epitome of money and love bestowed upon me on my birthday. Don’t get me wrong, neither was I naive nor the conversation was what your dirty brain suggests you to be. Think about this; as a child, have you ever tried to locate a specific shade of colour in your box when you could easily compromise for a tone darker or lighter but you are adamant for the specific shade? He was that shade of colour to me, to the picture I was struggling to paint but couldn’t. Don’t ask me the contents of the message. They were nothing but motivational, personalised daily quotes we might have spoken or listened in school assembly. Call it the effect of serotonin which awakened me or the magic of quotes that re-kindled me, I changed. I started loving the shelf positioning tactics, effect of inflation on interest rate as much as I used to love reading about genes. And thus, instead of cribbing, I started putting in extra efforts to reach that finishing line. I loved my work, for he helped me locate that one specific shade of colour I have been looking for – passion.
And thus, this place grew upon me. I found warmth, among people as well as in different habitats of the campus. Amphi was one such place. From late night “Why people associate moon to love so much”, “This place sucks” “Salle ka birthday hai marro” to daylight “Voh ladki tujhe dump kar degi”, “Nayi movie dekhne chalte hai” discussions at amphi; the spot witnessed it all. Another place I loved was the canteen. Despite its obvious association with food, it was a place to catch up with mid-night gossips, latest couples in the town, peppy songs, winter warmth – “masaledaar” chai, competing for the last spoon of maggie and seeing football enthusiasts go all crazy. In contrast to Amphi which was loved for its serenity, Canteen was much more of an upbeat place. Walk upto the place at 3 in the morning and you won’t miss the company to enjoy your late night munching with. All play no study makes jack ineligible to sit for placements. And thereby one place where one could find geeks, marketing gurus underlining their Kotler for the 10th time, CFA freaked, 6 CGPA aimed students was, Library. I won’t lie, I loved this place because of the comfortable sofa and the guard who would answer you in English every time even when you ask in Hindi. He was a motivation.
Human beings make up the habitat. Despite sulking over the issue as to how to address the people who were elder to me by zillion years, I ended up with an extreme option. I found my den among people who started knowing me at my crude, disgusting level. Public display of affection in the form of nasty name calling, constant abusing, and physical fighting was a regular affair but then they stuck like a moth to a light, even when the weather got berserk. Then there were those who were motherly figures, who pampered me when too many taunts got on the nerve, who were there to lend me money anytime on a moment notice (I have been on a constant money crunch during the two years). And then there were those who were there to write an exam for me, go for every frigging competition, stay up all night for every APO project completion, and come up from CDL early in the morning on a short notice. How can I forgot the mention of the crazy party culture of IMT and the favourite people to groove on till the last beat of DJ. Those people who were there to see the hangover and regretful face (take the hint) in the morning.
I was been told at the school farewell “You might make great friends ahead but school teachers are the best guides. You won’t find mentors like them anywhere else in your student journey”. They surely haven’t been to IMT. There were professors whom we could go to without any second thought, cry for things not going well in life and with their eyes moist, they would be the lights guiding us home. They were souls who would give undivided attention inside the classroom as well as outside of it. Those souls who would be there for advice even at 12’o clock at night and would wait for us at our farewell to get a picture clicked together. They were those gurus who would not let us enter the class a minute late but whose professional as well as residential chambers would be open always have you had any doubt. One could bombard their office to proof read their CV zillion times and they would great one with “Aao baitho” always. Even the director would listen to the minimalistic issues with great fervor and would go a mile ahead to get it sorted.
Yes, this place did grow upon me and how. They should stop calling PGDM a residential program, it should rather be called ‘Study from home’.
Dr. Singhvi, one of the most reputed professors on our campus asked me “How come there is a significant improvement in your performance now as compared to the earlier term, in a short duration of 4 months”. Only if I could have got my words right “I have fallen in love with the place, Sir”.
About the Author:
Nullified by the extremes in her mind. Also, she writes when not found munching. Best summarised as- random and rebel.