In the past two days, I had more fun than I expected, I screamed way more than my throat allowed, I clapped more than my hands could take, and I cried more than I had done in the past many months combined – and I have no shame in admitting that. Be it the beautiful songs sung by the Asia Plateau volunteers, or Panchgani’s wondrous veil of green, Morrie’s lessons, or Rajmohan Gandhi’s mesmerising stature and the distinct aroma of respect for him that was pervasive in the auditorium, be it the natural goodness of the human spirit that emanated from the volunteer wash-up and serving work that all were eager to be a part of, or the commanding camaraderie that was obvious all around in the batch – everywhere, there was something to reflect upon. In the end we were asked what we took back from this place. Each one of the 209 souls sitting there knew deep in their hearts what was that something. It was something very personal for many of us and I suspect that is why not many people shared it, but the indelible memories that we took away from this trip was a cherry on the cake of warmth and togetherness which all of us got to share.
As for me, I discussed with my new room-mates what this unexpected set-up of rooms had done to break the habit – the habit of getting settled down into our comfort zones, of the fact that if you pass a guy one day in the corridor and exchange just a casual ‘hi’, and you do the same for the next two days, then on the fourth day you won’t go out of your way to strike up a conversation. You would feel more comfortable saying just that ‘hi’. So this churning of partners made me get to know this wonderful guy who thinks a lot like me, and who lives in my corridor and was in my section as well. I had not passed more than a ‘hi’ to him up till now. I broke the habit. And God, it felt good! And I am sure each one of us broke our habits in some way or the other.
The most cathartic session for me was the one on ‘Relationships’ which made a lot of brave souls open up their most personal thoughts to everyone. Like it was said, the power of sharing had a domino effect, and soon everyone was sharing their past and their present, their regrets and their realizations, and the effect it had on everyone was astounding! Like Abdul bhai summed it up, “Have you ever seen a guy crying?” I felt most of them shed atleast a tear. And I did my bit :)
I can proudly say SIBM 2011-13 batch has a healthy mix of very talented people who put up a series of impromptu performances, which could any day best a highly planned one. For me, I got a book signed by Gandhiji’s grandson, who wished me well, and I could not have asked for more. But everything said and done, Bhale Sir stole the limelight. His ‘fun’ side was exposed to us, the chances of which happening in campus were close to zilch. I hope his ‘fun’ performance rubs off on his no-nonsense attitude which he carries around in campus.
And for now, back to the life in a b-school. Or shall I say, welcome to the life in a b-school?