Snapshots from Hell
& Peeks into Heaven!!!
- by Simanti Talukdar *
If you ask me about my first week
at a B-school (specifically, SCMHRD), you are likely to get the same answer if
you ask a juvenile delinquent who is serving his sentence in a prison...
Typically, we would wake up at
5:30 am, drag ourselves to the gym / aerobics, come back to steal a few winks of
sleep, get late in the process, fight as to who gets to use the bathroom first,
grab some breakfast, rush to attend the 9:00 am lecture (and more importantly,
the attendance), bore ourselves to death for 10 hours!
The most frequently used words
are - assignments, presentations, class participation, credits - none of which I
particularly like!!! Here they call it a "learning institute" and teachers are
there to facilitate learning, and not merely teach. I love the concept, but the
implementation is taking a toll on me. Apparently, you have to come prepared for
a lecture even BEFORE the topic has been discussed in class. Now, I come from a
typical graduate college (a great college), where the concept of "preparation"
(before or after) a lecture simply did not exist. I mugged up notes and xeroxes
one week before the exams and that was enough to fetch me a University rank...
and suddenly at the ripe old age of 23, I am expected to study!!!
Our Director is not particularly
fond of the concept of "having fun", so he plans every minute of our day to
ensure that we are loaded with projects and surprise tests just in case we dared
to venture out of the concentration camp into the free world that eludes us!
We have 18 subjects (Vedanta,
Spanish, Excel VBA - you name it, we got it!) and the fun part is every Saturday
we have 2-3 FCQs (Frequently Conducted Quizzes), but the beauty of it is that we
are not told which subjects we will be tested on! So we spend sleepless Friday
nights wondering what to study, taking what we call "calculated risks", which
invariably do not work out and we invariably end up being unpleasantly
surprised! But what it does in the process is stimulate our creativity and
immune us to failure! Three months into my MBA, and it seems I have already
mastered the glorious art of "faffing"!! We don't have any weekly offs, and we
no longer look forward to weekends: everyday is a Sunday for us!
We sometimes howl at our
collective misfortune, but the truth is we would not have it otherwise... here
we learn the significance of LIFE!!! It has its own charm, be it sneaking out of
class, running around in circles on Guest Lecture days to find somebody
to help with the saree, celebrating birthdays at the stroke of midnight, and
relish the cultural disparities prevalent in India as brought forth by the
students of diverse backgrounds during various festivals - Onam, Ganesh
Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Eid, Diwali, Christmas - it's the taste of India! Add to
it, all the hoopla surrounding our college festivals - from Milaap, Aarambh,
Fresher's, NEEV - life is a perpetual party!!!
It's a bitter-sweet experience,
which at times reduces us to tears, moves our emotions, and makes each moment
memorable: it's a reflection of our glory days, our struggle for existence - it
cannot be measured in terms of CGPAs, placement packages, or the clich�d
parameters of success. SCMHRD redefines education and each day we take home a
lesson that we will remember long enough to tell our grand-children...