Who am I?

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I am not religious, but I don't mind calling myself spiritual. Religion, I believe, has, over the millennia, been used as a prop to perpetrate a lot of human suffering. Faith is what matters. I don't believe in the definition of God as a creator. According to me, my God resides within me. Some call it conscience, some call it the sub-conscious, some call it the soul. I don't mind calling it God. So by definition I am not an atheist or an agnostic, but by essence, I may as well be. My God does not reside in a temple, church, mosque or gurudwara. It is right here, within me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Life at SIBM Pune

Something’s happening. I instinctively turn towards my mobile phone. I can see “7:30 am” blinking on the screen. Instinctively, I click the snooze button and try to be wafted away into the world I was coming from. After 10 minutes, I am sitting up on my bed with my head bent downwards, the muzzled light entering the room through the diaphanous curtains almost too bright for my ­­­woozy eyes. I look to my left, pull back the curtain and look outside the window. The effect almost makes me cover my eyes. It’s almost as white as a snow-clad winter morning straight out of my childhood in Shimla. But it’s a different white. I can see the white cloud moving, inundating the campus at the top of the hill, and the motion is decipherable because of two different movements of the cloud. One, some distance from the window of my room, with a perennially solid white background, which almost does not seem to move. The other movement is much thinner, much closer to me. I feel I can almost put my hand out of the window and catch a wisp of it. I can decipher the green of the huge ground quite clearly. The administrative block and the SIBM building are completely veiled from my view. I try to gather my bearings. After some futile effort, the face of our Economics Professor flashes in front of my eyes. I realize the time and, forgetting my picturesque musings of a moment ago, jump out of my bed to get ready for my first lecture of the day. The beginning of a day at SIBM Pune is such pure delight. 

The early morning rush from the hostel towards the classes is characterized by a regular delay while getting ready, leaving very little time for breakfast that awaits in the mess located strategically mid-way between the hostel and the classes. The administrative area of SIBM is the last block to be encountered while walking through the winding boulevard of the Symbiosis Lavale Campus. The canteen is mostly thronged by students from all Symbiosis colleges on the campus, especially during the lunch hours. The long queue, round concrete tables, a terraced structure and grumbling servers are the highlight of this hour. Evening 5:30 pm is the time when everyone takes a step back from the daily grind of a B-school and gets together outside the mess to enjoy a cup (or 2 more after that) of tea. The square foyer sprinkled with groups, big and small, on its periphery, enjoying the splendour of an evening beverage that is unmatched in its simplicity and relevance in an Indian way of life. This is the highlight of the day, when time slows down, discussion proceeds to irrelevant topics, the who-is-with-whom information is exchanged and after half an hour, everyone, updated and satiated, hurriedly retires to their hostel rooms and to the library, to resume the plodding of a B-school. 

The sun goes down and the night envelops the hill top. But not before beautiful shades of red and azure in the horizon colour the twilight sky, which looks like a canvas of an artist who has chanced upon a brilliant combination of colours which mesmerizes one and all. After the dinner in the mess, not spending time in front of the “coffee shop” is something of a taboo. Paradoxically, the nights are the best part of the day at a B-school. Working on assignments in groups, roaming about in the corridor from room to room, floor to floor in search of an extra pack of Maggi, inquiring on the local LAN about a particular movie that you wanted to watch, trudging like soldiers on a mission towards the Recreation Centre to bash someone on his birthday and cut a cake, and pouring over the books to study for an upcoming class test are a few of the highlights of the night time, which sometimes seems to play a much greater role in the development of a personality than the day time. We slog, we play, we live, we create memories.  We call it Life@SIBM.