It's Time for
Fourth Term at IIM-A
- by Vinamra Srivastava *
So you must be wondering why has
this blog not been updated for so long... Was the 4th term so hectic that it
didn�t give me any time at all? Well, on the contrary, the only reason I can
think of for not writing for so long is... Laziness! Period.
The first term of the second year
was everything I wanted it to be... the most chill term of my existence at IIM-A
so far. I had only heard about what tuchchadom is and when it was time to
experience it, I can tell you there was no greater bliss than this. The thing is
that if you isolate the term from the first year completely and look at it
independently, it's still not so chill. You are actually still supposed to
study, prepare for classes, give exams, etc. However, with the academic hell
that we have gone through in the first year, this study now seemed like peanuts.
We were told that the first year at IIM-A will turn you into steel whereafter
nothing ever in life could faze you. After successfully undergoing that
transition for one long year, now the time was ours! Here came the second year
with all its glory and enticement to enjoy life for one full year as much as we
could, before we got back to the drudgery of everyday professional office life.
So why exactly is second year so
chill compared to the first year, and why does tuchchadom imply freedom
from all academic worries and the time to unwind and pursue all you wanted to?
(Apart from the muggu junta, who will mug even when the heavens are
falling!) And what exactly we did then in the 4th term? Let me answer all these
one by one.
First, the academic part. In IIMs,
there is no specialization. We are not MBA Finance / Marketing or whatever after
we pass out. We are given general management diplomas. There�s a plethora of
subjects on offer in the second year in varied fields and we are free to chose
subjects from whichever field we want to. We just have to stick to the minimum
credit requirements in each term, which mostly translates that people usually
take 15 credits (subjects) in the entire year. The break up amongst the three
terms is usually either 6, 5, 4 or 5, 6, 4. In my case, it was the later, I took
5 courses in the 4th term. Out of which, one was an offsite course called Shodh
Yatra, which essentially was a trek to Sikkim and about which I will talk in my
next blog entry. So that leaves 4 courses. Out of that, one course was called
Managing Negotiations and it lasted for just 8 days and had no exams! So that
left 3 courses. These were Infrastructure Development & Financing, Strategy
Formulation & Implementation, and Consumer Behavior.
Out of these, CB started only
post mid term. So as you can see, my time table was not exactly what you will
call, Hectic. Another thing, if you see my subjects, apart from CB, none of them
were focused on one particular field. And that�s what I love about this place.
I am free not to be bound by stereotypes and can actually learn any general
management subject that I want to. And in all my 3 terms now, I planned to mix
subjects from all fields, even including Philosophy, which I will talk about
So effectively, my academic load
was zilch to say the least, compared to what I had in the first year. But I had
purposely chosen subjects that will not give me much pain in this term. I have
taken a bit more painful subjects in the 5th term, but I wanted to reserve the
4th term for basically recuperating from the strains of the first year and,
hence, just enjoying myself to the hilt!
The one interesting thing that we
did academically was our IDF project. We did a project on the Sabarmati
Riverfront Development Project, which is currently one of the biggest things
happening on the infrastructure front in the country. In one sentence, it
involves reducing the width of the river Sabarmati and using the reclaimed land
to build beautiful public and commercial spaces. The end result would actually
change the very face of this city. The best thing about this project was the
insights gained from the primary interviews that we had. We spent huge time and
effort in meeting with almost all stakeholders involved, including AMC�s Deputy
Commissioner, the architects and even the slum-dwellers who are going to be
re-located. The end result was a comprehensive report of which the group was
really proud, basically due to the huge first-hand information that we had
gained. It surely was the best project I had been a part of so far in this
We had actually taken an exchange
student from the US in our study group and the experience was rewarding. She was
very senior to us, in fact she was serving in the US Army! She was here doing a
Public Policy Programme and had taken IDF as one of her subjects. The insights
that we gained from her were phenomenal. More than that, she was the motivating
factor behind the group. After the first year, the enthusiasm levels of the
group in tuchchadom were not really what I would term as �great� but she
ensured that we are on our toes on this project and this project wouldn�t have
been what it came out to be without her!
So, what did we do in the term if
we didn�t study so much? Ha! Ha! Ha! A million-dollar question! On a typical
day, I would go to the gym in the morning (yeah, I know, getting up was a pain
but I somehow managed, because the gym would be full in the evenings) as my
classes started only late in the mornings.
After having a leisurely
breakfast (another first at IIM-A for me), I would come back to the room, read
the newspaper, get ready for the classes and leave. Classes would get over in
the afternoon, except CB, which took place in the evening. In the remaining
time, I would usually explore new eating joints in Ahmedabad, roam around on my
bike with friends, play cricket / badminton / TT and watch movies on my comp. Oh
yeah, and try to squeeze in some studies in between, if mood permitted. So you
see, now you can understand why I didn�t get time to write this blog. Ha! Ha!
The distinction can be summarized
in one line. In the first year, I slept late because I was mugging. In the
second year, I sleep late because I am either playing cricket or watching
The institute was abuzz with
activities as usual that kept people on their toes even without any academic
load. Lots of sports events were organized between fachchas and
tuchchas so as to help reduce the stress levels of the fachchas as
well as spot the talented ones. The tuchcas beat the fachchas
overall but almost every match was a close affair.
Thanks heavens! We finally won in
cricket! For the first time my team won in this institute. By the way, I thought
that my TT days were over when I came here last year as I didn�t play here at
all. But surprisingly, I didn�t lose all my touch as I came 3rd in a TT
tournament organized this term, open for all, with nearly 50 of us
participating. I hope to continue to play regularly now. The Drama Club of IIM-A
put up a 2-hour play which was very neatly done and appreciated by all. The
Dance Club put up a show as well, displaying the best dancers we have and making
us realize that these guys were simply awesome!
Not to be left behind, the Music
Club organized the fachcha Welcome Night where they performed more than
25 numbers, ranging from Western Rock to Indian Rap! A mind-blowing performance
it was. The guitarists, drummers and vocalists looked as if they have come
straight out of some international band! I tell you, the talent pool at this
place just keeps on getting bigger with every incoming batch!
So as you can see, the term was
full of fun, masti and excitement. It kept all of us busy with our
respective club activities, but there was no dearth of enjoyment. We even went
for a bike trip to a nearby bird sanctuary.
That�s how the second year is. If
you want, you can mug your way through. Else, you can chose a couple of serious
subjects where you put good effort and freak out and enjoy rest of the time, an
option most of us, including me, takes!
But all this enjoyment has not
come for free. All of us have earned every bit of it by going through hell in
the first year. And hence, we all deserve this time now. For the fachchas
reading this, Hang on and keep your heads high... Good times are to follow. But
for now, all I can say is: Muggo Fachchon Muggo... Ha! Ha! Ha!