It has been almost a week since I wrote here and each day has passed with my walking back from class with an all new thought in my head, and an ever-strong determination to voice my thoughts. And then all hell breaks loose, when I look at my to-do list and realize that I need a minimum of 30 hours in the day to be able to strike off 10% of my list! But tonight, I decided that Thought Center has been off-center for too long now, and so, at 3 am, while munching on a piece of chocolate, I collated my thoughts and, well, sat down to write!
What has B school meant to me so far? Well, one of our alums had said somewhere that for her, B school was all about a journey towards self-discovery. I couldn't agree with her more. I, for one, have been able to look at life from a different perspective, after coming here. Attribute it to the fact that I am out of home for the first time, fending for myself, and having to take full care of all my requirements, from submitting assignments on time to procuring toothpaste before it runs out! So it has to some extent made me appreciate the life that was - not just the domestic aspect, but even the life at work. Once we graduate, God willing, we would need to enter the workplace - transformed. From being someone who meekly followed, we might be expected to lead. The stars would be expected from us, since after all, we have been through the lathe machine called B school!
And nothing can get us prepared for the people skills test that we would be put through. Unless we make a conscious attempt to appreciate the people around us. School gives us an immense opportunity to interact with people from backgrounds starkly different from ours. I used to feel extremely happy about my origins in Mumbai, and did to a very great extent believe that my city was responsible for making me who I am. Till I met someone here at school, someone, who has grown up in a remote village in AP, and has literally slogged hard to get here. From life in a municipal school (since that was the only school in the village), this person has studied hard, and managed to push himself up. Finding the municipal school inadequate to satisfy his aspirations, he managed to be the first in his family to venture out to a 'private school' in another village to study. With agriculture-oriented parents who have not even managed to see a school leaving certificate through their education lives, this person worked his way into one of India's premier engineering institutes thereafter, through his sheer drive, motivation and passion to excel. He managed to leave his peers behind, while forging his way into the future.
Yet, what he thinks back about fondly are the long bicycle rides to and from school with friends, the stealing of mangoes from the zamindar's orchards, the evenings spent talking about movies and girls! All these reminisces, without even an ounce or a tinge of arrogance, not even once portraying an air of 'look at where I came from, and look at where I have reached'. And while his academic achievements are nothing short of stellar, he still feels that we city bred individuals are miles ahead in terms of achievements, since we can speak fluent English, and carry ourselves more gracefully in public, something he feels he cannot still do. And when he makes this statement, I am even more awestruck at his stark simplicity, in spite of his achievements.
And that is when I realize that life is a great leveller. One can bask in the sunshine of success one moment and be thrashed against the rocks of failure the next. And at the end of the day, one realizes that almost everyone, irrespective of where they started from, end up at almost the same level.