The Journey of Identities

To all those who just joined in. And to all those who couldn’t.

I’ve jumped ships. I’ve made the leap.
I am now a part of what they call Tata Hall- the luxurious guesthouse at IIM C, when I used to be a part of what they called Himadri (my IIT Delhi hostel). I am convinced that recording my first impressions of this maddening, surreal odyssey that I have set out on will not only prove to be fruitful in retrospect, but in fact help me in retaining my sanity in the present. For those of you who have been wondering what I’m going to blabber about, I would like to give you some context before you abandon me.

I am now a student at the PGDBA program. I am comfortably living in my posh suite of the guesthouse of IIM C, with my amazing roommate, situated in Joka, which is nearly thirty kilometers away from the city of Kolkata. There are one hundred and three other students in this program who live with me, so I am sometimes tempted to forget that we are literally in the middle of nowhere. We are being fed an illusion – but an irresistible one that I don’t have the heart to snap out of. In some ways, the fact that the city is beyond my reach is liberating. The five years I spent living in the heart of Delhi, and then another two years in the legendary city of Mumbai, I craved for an escape, for a way out. I think this program has finally answered my call for help.

Here, I am constantly told that I am special, that I am the chosen one. The twenty-four years of my life that have led to this moment have made me so cynical that I doubt their belief in me. But at the same time, I greatly value it. After a very long time, I am around people who are willing to invest in my future simply because the three accomplished panel members saw a spark in me, during the twenty-five minutes I spent interviewing for the program. I feel humbled and terrified. The two years ahead are going to demand every inch of me, it is going to consume me, and it is going to change me. But for so long I have felt nothing, that this rush, this constant buzz in my head, this restlessness feels good. I am sleep-deprived, surviving on n number of cups of terribly made tea and coffee and hopping from one assignment to the other with some extended breaks thankfully, and yet, I am alive. How often is it that you are so committed to the moment that every other structure inside and outside your mind breaks form, and this particular moment is all that you can see, all that you can register? This program is one such moment in my life.

The program, which aims at producing a team of unparalleled business analysts and data scientists, supposedly the sexiest job in the market these days, has been ideated by the three premiere institutes of India – Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. This very credibility generates the “Pygmalion effect” and drives me to excel in the area of analytics.

The coming two years make me realize, that I’m far away from the comfort zone and stability that life had offered just before I decided to enroll into PGDBA. But I am also glad that it happened, for I can now appreciate the morning for what it truly represents – a fresh start. I like the concept of this new beginning, for it brings with it the exciting journey of exploring new dimensions and reconstruct your identity. I am tempted to fantasize about the future, but I am trying to contain my excitement to the moment. So many paths seem to call out to me that my brain will explode if I start to think too much. What do I want, you ask? Organized chaos. If you think that is romantically abstract, then you have understood me just a little more than you did before you began to read this note.

I will end with a few lines that so perfectly describe my state of mind right now, that I might just marry Robert Frost.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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