The Last Lecture – Redux


The last lectures are always highly anticipated. Some become blockbusters, some taper into damp squibs. Some, however, become stuff legends are made of and told to generations. That happens if your name is a certain Randy Pausch or in this case Dr. Rakesh Singh.

Rakesh Singh is an enigma. He reminds you of the classic nameless western cowboy who rejects everything and walks into the sunset. It doesn’t matter to him whether you applaud or applaud (We don’t think there is any other option). A gold medalist in economics at his university when Bombay was still called Bombay, he unbelongs. He seems a misfit in this system which churns out men and women who are in search of a career rather than a direction. We are glad that he is all that and more.

It’s not often that you are taught by a student of Amartya Sen and that too someone as belief-shaking and opinion-forming as Rocky, as we all lovingly call him, when he is not present (:P). And like Rocky Balboa he knocked out our false pride today as he had done in all classes before, when he made us realize we know nothing about India. It has been a remarkable journey of India for most of the gladiators through his classes. The real India that smells of spices, bicycles to work and is aspiring for more. An India, devoid of multiplexes, where lanterns still glow in the dark and people come back home after a hard day’s toil in the fields. He talked about places we have heard of in Doordarshan news of the yore and conveniently yet sadly forgot as we got sucked into this world of glitz and glamour. This couldn’t have happened on a more appropriate day when we also had a conference on “Financial Inclusion”.

We had heard a lot about this day from our seniors and this last lecture. Expectations were high and he didn’t disappoint. Today was no different. It’s a painfully loud noise that comes when your pride is shattered and we could hear it, loud and clear. There was no escaping the agony of it but the catharsis that came with it was unbounded. Seconds became hours and hours decades as he told us “The India Story”, his India story and what a story it was! He questioned our beliefs, ripped apart our opinions and reformed them.

Sir, thank you very much.

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16 Responses to The Last Lecture – Redux

  1. Deepti says:

    Still in awe! The standing ovation falls short for the 2 hours…
    It just left us wanting for more…
    truly in all terms, it is “The Lecture”!

  2. Atman Shah says:

    The best we have seen, and most likely, we will see.

    Not to forget the way he ended it – a quick thank you, and started walking out of the classroom, removing the mike as he walked, unperturbed and seemingly uninterested in the thunderous standing ovation he received.

    Spellbound does not even begin to describe it.

    • Pooja says:

      I second that.. just loved the way he ended it and walked out.. 🙂 really had an substantial impact.. apart from his amazing lecture.. 🙂

  3. Murli Krishnan says:

    Awestruck yet. with exams looming around and fear of Zero prep spoiling the days, the 6th of Aug 2010, somehow felt like a festival to enjoy, ‘A Feel good – to have even been a part of’ and for the 1st agonizing to see a prof.’s lectures coming to an end.

    BUT, Now I’ve a story to tell to my kids and theirs that –
    “Once upon a time, there was a great Professor known as Dr. Rakesh Singh AND I was fortunate to have experienced his enigma.”
    He’s by far the most stylish ‘in his own way’, fearless and profound professor I’ve come across. I doubt whether I ever will.

  4. Abhinav Sinha says:

    Dr Rakesh Singh has an attitude and ‘style’ which are one of their kind. The highly anticipated last lecture where he summarized “the India Story” was breathtaking and amazing experience. No other way could have been such silence in a class of 297 as it was today. One lecture which I felt if extended each one of us would have loved it…!!!
    He ended it with a ‘Thank You’ and walked away leaving behind a sea of applause, I think the loudest and longest we had seen yet.
    I agree with one of my friends : There are two kinds of Professors in the world :
    1. Dr Rakesh Singh
    2. Others

  5. shivesh jha says:

    Now that was a lecture. This lecture would easily win the lecture of the year award by a majority of 296 votes in a class of 296 students. None of the serial sleepers, who have the reputation of sleeping in every lecture uncaring about the seat they occupy, could even blink their eyes for even a fraction of a second. Every word in the speech was like pearls of a beautifully designed necklace, which keeps the viewer spellbound, and here all students were spellbound, speechless after hearing the thoughts of Prof. Rakesh Singh (Rocky). Many students followed Rocky to see him off till he left the campus. I am sure the complete video recorded my many fans of rocky, would easily sell as blockbuster movie, breaking all records aka a Ghazini. But Rocky had no script, no retakes were there only mindblowing, fantabulous, ecstatic action and action and action from the word go. I like many students got the value of my MBA.

  6. Archit Shrivastava says:

    heard a lot of this lecture, wish i would have attended it, if anyone has a video pls upload and share the link

  7. Binoy Cherian says:

    It was one of the most amazing lectures. He talked about the past and gave hope for the future.

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  9. Rahul Malhotra says:

    For the first time in my life, i never wanted a lecture to end. It was not a lecture it was an experience, I thank you sir for the most amazing Economics class of our lives.

    Dr. Rocky has an amazing style (if i dare say the devil may care types) – the way he walked out of the hall not even caring if people are applauding not even looking back to the class even once and I think this made it even more memorable.

    One of a kind. Respect

  10. Sivakumar T says:

    What a lecture it was!

    I still remember how we were left in awe last year.

    The best way to compliment his lecture is to ‘work’ towards what he talked about.

  11. mrinal says:

    Well..I dont belong to GLIM…just an aspirant….went through the post and could really imagine what dazzling moment it would have been….

    Kudos to GL and Rocky sir..!!!

  12. Sumit Jain says:

    Rocky Sir has this thing of bowling the class over with his last lecture… he did it for Champions, did it for earlier batches, did for Patriots and not for Gladiators… Amazing…

    Cheers.
    Sumit, Champions

  13. Abhinav says:

    Rocky’s ‘India Story’ is the only lecture I remember from MBA 🙂
    n yeah wat a performance it was ….i wish sm1 could record it and upload on our website

  14. Arindam Mandal (Class of 2010) says:

    The only other lecture that bettered Rocky’s last one (for the season that is :-)) was final one by Prof. Harkant Mankad (Rocky’s PhD guide). Did he visit this time?

  15. Sourabh says:

    Hi Gladiators..Continuing with the legacy today he ended the lecture with the style and charisma which the walls of Mansarovar and Veeranam will be so familiar by now..Breathtaking and spell bound are the two words closest yet miles away from describing his lecture..Totally Goosebumped

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