… The journey so far.
It is 3 AM and the four of us are wide awake: sitting by the beach at Pondicherry, sipping on our lime-stuffed Coronas and waiting for the sun to rise. Each one of us was occupying a place that was far apart from each other, we were all in a limbo; we were all reflecting back on the First Term at GL, trying to make sense of what MBA means and how have we fared in this convoluted scheme of things. I was one with myself and could vividly remember each and every day since the 24th of April, 2012- the Day I landed in Chennai.
Back in Time:
Three flights from Delhi had landed at the Chennai International Airport in quick succession and within a few minutes of each other. We were more than 50 prospect Great Lakers at the Chennai Airport. While travelling through the city and onto the ECR, I could figure out that all of us were so different, yet had similar inhibitions and concerns: the food, the weather, placements and the ROI! 2 hours and a few friends later, we entered the campus. The Globe and The Tower of reflection, with their imposing presence, left us all gaping. On entering the hostel area, we were confronted with the “Welcome kit” and a bundle of books for the year. However, as a few minutes progressed, I soon learnt that these were my text books for the next term. To make matters worse, a typical term was just 7 weeks.
“Have I taken the wrong decision?”, I asked myself. “All is well”, said the voice within. “I will face it, I will brace it ; after all this is MBA.” And so, I walked through the sweltering Chennai heat, drenched in oodles of sweat, wearing my typical Golden-Framed Raybans, holding a chunk of books and a welcome kit in my hand, looking for my room- F3K! On entering, I was stopped short. It was nice. It was better than what I had expected. My own AC, cupboard and an awesome view of the mango plantations from my window had just about covered up for the shock that I had received.
The next couple of days went by “breaking” the ice with Unni’s ice (and leg) breaking sessions. It was fun. I learnt Salsa, and trust me, tapping the guy dancing with the lady you had always wanted to talk to from hour 1 at the campus, was the best part of this exercise. Lectures after lectures of introducing the systems, the resource center, the courses, the faculty and the Campus Dogs went by. However, if there is one thing that will stick with me for life, it’s this:
“Your network is your networth.” Uncle Bala had created an impact unparalleled by speaking these words and these have become the underlying driving factors of my MBA journey.
The First Party:
This happened in our third week at Great Lakes. It was Glenn’s birthday: the biggest “underground” event ever to have happened in the history of Great Lakes. Some 300 Mamallas had gathered at the Basket Ball court to take a shot at Glenn’s rear and wish him a happy life, going forward! This was the most anticipated event and Glenn reciprocated whole heartedly by taking a thrashing by 8 different sets of people within a span of 15 minutes. This was the benchmark for all future birthday celebrations. The after party at Akshaya was as epic as the actual celebration. This was my unofficial ice breaker event at Great Lakes. The friends I picked at Glenn’s birthday are the ones I am sitting on the beach with. This was my Great Lakes moment. This was my network in the making. This was the essence of MBA for me. This was Mamalla-land! Thank You, Glenn for the wonderful party: R.E.S.P.E.C.T!!!
The Karaoke Night:
An unofficial event, this has been the most memorable party of my life. Amritava Deb Roy and I had planned a Karaoke night at a nearby resort. Amritava is a professional Karaoke Jockey and has been conducting enthralling Karaoke nights at Chandigarh and Guwahati. It was a Wednesday evening- the perfect time for a Karaoke night. After haggling for days with the resort owner to provide us with a pool side venue free of cost, we were able to set our systems up. As the Sun set over the Bay of Bengal, Amrit and I were setting the projectors, the microphones and the mixers up. We had propagated the idea of a Karaoke night amongst a few close friends and we were expecting a crowd of 50 people, all going Dutch on their food and drinks. The event that followed, was nothing short of legendary.
“…And it’s now or never…”
More than 150 Great Lakers swarmed the Bay Treasure resort. Starting with old peppy Kishore Da songs, the night ended on a high note with solos from Slash and the crowd going haywire, singing “It’s my life”. The night continued deep, even when we were all back from the resort. Groups of 20 somethings were karaoke-ing in their rooms till the wee hours of the morning. The Basket Ball court was jamming to the tunes of “Mae-ri” and the hostel area was literally swaying to Pink Floyd. This was truly, The Night To Remember. I had thought I had seen it all; and boy, was I mistaken!