When I started this blog sometime back, I was surprised to hear from a lot of friends that it’s a typical B-School thing. Anybody who gets into a B-School has to start a blog to talk about their experiences. I vowed then that I would not be so boring, but I realize now how absolutely impossible that is. I have been here for two weeks and there is nothing else I can actually think about. Assignments, quizzes, lectures, ragging, committees, presentations that start at 10:30 in the night, meetings that start at twelve. Everything seems to be happening all at once I haven’t had the time to get my bearings. Yet. With ragging officially over my dreams of some sleep vanished into thin air when the professors started theirs, handing out assignments by the dozens.
I learnt lessons in Time management, with every meeting starting strictly on time and latecomers being pulled up. I gained new insights into team work while doing assignments especially with an Economics assignment which had to be submitted at 5 sharp in the evening. We wasted the entire afternoon doing nothing and then with fifteen minutes left, three of us started frantically scribbling and drawing diagrams, a true example of team effort. We submitted the assignments in pieces, with each of us completing different portions and then combining it all together while running after the CR’s to take ours too. We realized we were not as bad as another group which had with people literally drawing that one last diagram as though their life depended on it, even as they rushed to submit it.
My biggest learning has been Hindi with most conversations around here taking place in that language so detested by politicians in Tamilnadu, that land which seems to grow more perfect in my dreams each day. Still, living in the North is an eye opener (though my friends are quick to tell me that ‘Bhubaneshwar’ is not exactly North but East India. These finer points of distinction are incomprehensible to my tiny brain. Anything north of Andhra is classified as “North India”. A land of thievery, dacoits and kidnappings, of Laloos and Phoolan Devis, of adventure and romance, of total disregard for the law. Anybody who heard that I was going to a college in the ‘North’ warned me to be very very careful. ‘It is a totally indisciplined place’(with much emphasis on the ‘in’discipline). I have not found any of these things so far but I am still hopeful.
The stereotypes are here too and more ‘stereotypical’, if there is such a word, than I have ever seen. Any place south of the vindhyas is classified as Chennai. One person actually asked me “ You know there are 4 types of South Indians – some Tamil, Telugu something.. and you are?? “. I had never actually thought of myself as a “type” before, and this was a big eye opener.
The south is a very “conservative” place, steeped in tradition, afraid to step out of established boundaries (Conservative gets this special treatment because I have heard it most often). And I would agree on most counts. Except that there is so much more to it than just these adjectives that I couldn’t even begin to describe. Just as “not really North, more like East” India is proving to be very different from my imagination. Of course living within the secure confines of a B-School , disconnected from reality, is not a good place to judge things. But I still have two years ahead of me.