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My Tryst With IIM Shillong

By Amlan Barman

Whether, it was the déjà vu of returning to my home town or the glee at entering the entrance gates of my dream institute (also the dream institute for a hundred thousand students) along with me, who write the CAT exam, I felt a sense of unknown satiation. The black iron gates with the words IIM Shillong emblazoned on them made my heart skip a beat. I looked at the sky to thank the Almighty. The sky was a bit cloudy; nothing unusual though and rather inconspicuous, considering it was the month of July in the abode of clouds. I was accustomed to these clouds since my childhood days. At the gate I presented my admission card to the security personnel who greeted me with a smile. That smile was a constant support in times of stress which was not so rare given the time restriction and heavy duty schedule. He checked for my name in his paper list, where I was lucky enough to have my name printed. He ticked the box against my name and let me in.

I finally entered the hallowed gates and noticed the mural grass cover and the pine trees paving the road. It felt rather homely, reminiscent of my days of innocence, when we used to play cricket on a hilly road with the bowlers throwing the ball uphill. It was 1:30pm when the registration was half way over. I was given my roll no and Class section.  The students and their guardians were invited for a lunch at the mess. I was accompanied by my maternal uncle who I am sure was proud of me just like my late father might have been if he was there. I believe he was also there in spirit.

The food was simple but delicious and filling. Rice, dal, etc. the usual food of the East Indian people.  As I was famished with hunger, I took 2-3 rounds. Both of us were well filled. However, there was no time to take a breather as the hostel room allotment was still to go. We both went to the registration place and queued up. There were a lot of students; 160 to be precise who were also accompanied by their proud parents. Soon my turn arrived. This task was being conducted by the senior batch of students who were also helping us through the whole process.

 I was allotted a room on the ground floor. My mind started calculating on who my roommate might be. Whose luck was bad, mine or his, only time would decide. My uncle and I entered what was supposed to be my home for a couple of years from now. It was a neat room. My roommate’s bed was already arranged, which spoke volumes about the kind of relationship my would-be roommate and I would have in the days to come. Nevertheless, I arranged my bed and put all my things in order, for how many days or hours, God alone knows.

Soon, my roommate entered. He was a six feet tall handsome guy who I knew would be winning the Mr. Fresher’s title. He greeted us both and we responded. He and I exchanged names and our academic details. I learnt he was an economics graduate which proved the diversity of students who come to, learn the skills of management. As for me, I was an engineer with work experience of 3 years in the IT hub of India.  Soon, it was time for my uncle to leave. I touched his feet and took his blessings.

It was dusk after a short while as usual in the far eastern part of the country, that too Shillong being a hill station. Not much later, it was time for tea. And following that, we were supposed to assemble in one of the classes to receive instructions about the days of the subsequent week. As official classes were about to commence in one week, it was time for preparatory classes especially for poor engineering fellows like me who would  be bombarded with the subjects of commerce, which to speak the truth is still confusing to many engineers even after having obtained a MBA degree. After our dinner, while some of the students were outside the room enjoying the weather, I decided to tuck myself in the quilt enjoying a good night’s slumber as the weather was pretty mellow.

 The next day was lazy as usual. It was a Saturday so I visited my maternal uncles’ place and stayed as an overnight guest there. I returned on Sunday in time to learn the ropes for the preparatory classes  beginning on Monday morning. Well, I didn’t realise it then, but to think of it now, this was rather an epochal beginning of a hectic, but a much fruitful two year journey of my life.

 

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