On 25th June 2012, when I entered CR-111 of the academic block at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow to attend the first lecture of my MBA program, I was nervous, happy, anxious, determined and was going through a multitude of almost all emotions enlisted in the “Feeling _____” feature in Facebook status updates, all of them simultaneously. I saw some 15-20 people inside. Some of them already seated while some trying to locate their seats. Eventually, I found my seat – first column, 4th row, 2nd from the aisle. Thus began what was to be an amazing journey that had a profound impact on my life in every way possible.
That room, CR-111 was home to a special bunch of folks – Section D. A group of 66 highly talented, intelligent and hard-working individuals, each one with a heart of gold. You see, when all of us sat in that classroom for the first time, we were strangers. We were here from different cities, different situations, different lifestyles and for different purposes. Yet over the next 21 months, we found a family among ourselves – friends, brothers, sisters, lovers and mentors. We cried and laughed and fought and danced together. We didn’t celebrate our joy because one of our own was suffering. And we made thunders shy when we roared in unison.
When I talk about the profound impact of IIM Lucknow upon me, I attribute it to something that I saw here, with these people. I believe each person is a uniquely crafted design shaped in an intricate balance of his or her virtues and flaws – like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. But you see, each piece of a jigsaw puzzle only fits in with a certain type of pieces. What I learnt here was that unlike inanimate jigsaw pieces, people are and must be flexible. No matter who, no matter how – they embraced everyone with open arms. In a place where your neighbor could be your fiercest competitor, I found unconditional love and affection among these men and women. To accept another in his or her bad same as in his or her good – there is no greater lesson in humility than that.
Parting is momentary, nostalgia is forever. And even though I bid adieu to these lovely people, I am sure their love and kindness will resonate in my heart forever. To these 66 Rockstars who made a seemingly arduous journey into a joyful adventure, I want to dedicate this wonderful Pink Floyd song: