And then I woke up. I looked around. No, I wasn’t in my 4- poster bed; this room is smaller. Heat? Summers? It was snowing yesterday! And Katie, Angelina, Ginny are nowhere to be seen. Wait, I am not in Hogwarts. I was in IIM Lucknow. Wait, wait, another realisation, I WASN’T HERMIONE GRANGER! Am I stoned? Maybe. But then a voice at the back of my head, responded- No darling, it’s happening for real. The shock was overwhelming. I was trapped between muggles. That too, competitive, boring, indifferent hell-ites. Smiling faces are an endangered species here. And snakes, lizard and wolves? I can actually write a book- “13 reasons why I hate hell”. Or maybe 30. Whatever. How could god be so cruel?? Didn’t he have the least bit of affection for me? Someone, Please get me my wand; I need to disapparate.
Let me give you the background, how I reached here. Like Adam and Eve were banished from paradise for eating the forbidden fruit, I believe maybe some mistake or some error in the time turner made me come here. And now I am stuck here forever. No wand, no potions, typical muggle life.
Vaise it’s not so bad. I mean, God was kind enough to drop me in one of the best B schools in India. He also made sure the food here is okay; I guess; after all, I am used to the Hogwarts’ elf made apple pies and stuffed potatoes. And anyway, being a muggle – born, I am good at dealing with people of different types and attitudes. The question is- if Hermione Granger was so practised with muggle dealing, why as Kriti Bhargava she couldn’t survive in the muggle world of IIM Lucknow?
And then I turned to my all-time favourite solution- Library. The library in IIM L is as big as that in Hogwarts, it is still my favourite place. After a lot of reading and research, I came to the conclusions- I was homesick, inexperienced, and unable to adjust to the environment. For the first time, I could relate to Ron, how he must have felt every time he left burrow. But then, he managed pretty well; so did Ginny, George and Fred, they all left a big family but embraced their new home pretty quickly. Maybe Kriti should try the same.
Another research finding, you find the world exactly the way you perceive it. Maybe people weren’t that cold hearted. Maybe only I read them as rude. Maybe they too feel that I am resilient. After all, staying holed up in your room and watching Netflix entire day wasn’t exactly friendly either. As I reflect, only one word comes to my mind; “Sonder” -realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness. It’s almost the same as my first year at Hogwarts, it took a lot of time for me to become friends with Harry and Ron. At that time, a troll brought us together. Maybe here too, trolls and memes will connect me to the world.
Let’s look at the brighter side, the teachers here are less strict than Professor Snape or Professor McGonagall. And even QAM and FRA are easier than Transfiguration or Defense against Dark Arts. And demand curves and elasticity and stuff, it’s interesting. And thank god people here play football, I never really thought of quidditch as fun. Plus the charisma of football players… (wink emoji :p)
And here, despite finding the environment hostile, even Kriti can’t disagree, that she was well taken care of. Offo, I forgot again, I am Kriti! (followed by the eye rolling emoji of WhatsApp) Okay I will remember now. Let’s start again
I am Kriti. A 21-year-old fresher, who was lucky enough to be selected in IIM L, one of the best b-schools of the country. The people around are really knowledgeable, caring and helpful, but to see that side I have to reach out and extend the hand of friendship. The environment is really professional, and there is a lot to learn, especially in midst of a competitive environment. All I need to have is an open mind, and humility. The infrastructure, the mess, the hostels, everything is constructed to be extremely comfortable, even without magic. Well actually, there is magic, created by the people around, who work day and night to make this place a happy one. All I need to do is- open my thoughts and arms wide and embrace this place whole heartedly.
Often in life, we are tested by being thrown into uncomfortable new environment and hostile situations. We think it’s unfair, everyone around is hostile, the ground isn’t level playing. But we forget that we are blessed to be wherever we are. We fail to acknowledge the fact that we are lucky to be at a place, which is a dream for some. Human nature, never satisfied! (rolling eyes emoji again!)
There might be unfair situations, and unlucky phases too. There might be ups, and long phases of being down. Nonetheless, the battle is worth the fight. To become a butterfly, caterpillar has to break free of the cocoon. To move forward, we have to think beyond imperfections, focus on the positives. To live, we need to accept. To be happy, we need to embrace all that comes.
So I, Hermione Granger, oops, Kriti Bhargava, decide today to stop cribbing and start struggling; and eventually, win. I will not stop trying until IIM Lucknow becomes my home, away from home. True, there is no elf – made treacle tarts here, but we have doughnuts, and they work just fine! No Harry and Ron, but section F will become like my Gryffindor family soon.
A line just came to my mind – “Kisi ko mukammal jahan nai milta, kisi ko zameen, toh kisi ko asmaan nai milta”. Well, so not true. I have lived for long in the magical world already, it’s now time to enjoy the muggle world. Lucky to get the best of both worlds, isn’t it? With this thought, I smiled. Suddenly I was just Kriti, and happy to be so. And then, I woke up!