One Friday evening, I bid goodbye to Mr Anand Mahindra (Statue in front of M&M gate, Nasik )for the last time. Next week was my dual reporting to two most renowned national icons – Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Krishna (elegantly standing in front gate) at IIM Lucknow. The purpose was simple –‘Maths Prep course’, especially designed for the weaker section of the society, who, although cleared CAT’09 with flying colours, but were nowhere in confidence of the IIM administration that they knew what was in store for the next 3 terms which included – 23 courses, 19 credits, 570 class room hours, 38 exams,60 quizzes,40 assignments & 20 projects. Scary huh?
Anyway, had it been the case in engineering college, one of the two parties (Students or Management) would have either been murdered or have committed suicide. My engineer friends will understand the underlying sentiments (*tip for those lot who belonged to muggu group even in engineering – “Ignore Next Line”) .After 4 years of literally time pass in engineering (reason i said them to ignore this line), students of management don’t know half of the time WHAT are they doing? And even if they understand that they will never get to know WHY are they doing this?
Well may be the underlying funda ( which i could understand in the past 10 months) for this is very simple –Don’t give students time to think WHAT and WHY?
Tagline of NIKE must be made the official tag line of IIM’s i.e. – ‘JUST DO IT’:-)


It was hot – 45 deg Celsius and there were total 165 students in the campus for the (much hyped) maths prep course. We were already mesmerized with the all magnificent campus, excellent living conditions (not to be made official but FPM’s in IIML get a 0.5 BHK flat with a double bed:-) ) and not to forget 2 excellent proffs who taught us for the next 1 month all the management maths which was basically required for survival purpose (Sorry to use ‘survival’ word , but, the fact is that the system out here is all about survival of the fittest .Sometimes for some people and in some circumstances it even droops down to ‘animal instincts’, basically for 2 purpose – To survive the system or to be in the topper list). Well the prep course was simple for engineers like us but I could feel the sweat on all poets’ (Non maths background people) foreheads, even in an AC classroom, who were trying to realize those numbers, DESPERATELY.
Ultimately it ended with a un-evaluative mock exam in which all performed their level worst:-). It was time to get a welcome by our director, proffs and a renowned swamiji. It was fun till now.
When I look back , that 1 month was the most unloaded and pleasant time as compared to what was in row for the next 9 months. And to quote Mr Peter Robinson – if someone asked me now to repeat the complete first year again – I personally will chose 1 month of prep course and for the rest I too will drop down on my knees and beg for mercy.


Well we had MANAC, QAM, OM, LAM, ITC, BIO, ECO and COMM as the 8 level of chakravyus to gain moksha. The havoc started day 1 with a very infamous subject in management – MANAC. The subject required confidence more than knowledge. Basically, it was like a game of coin toss – Head or tail. You either had to credit or debit a given entry but people with non finance background had all the ‘weird logics’ which were more powerful than the 0.5 probability outcome of simple game rules. This made the havoc a real disaster. People like me were still utterly confused as to what was being done and basically why were we doing this ( This showed in my first quiz result in which I interchanged all debit and credit entries and got a 1/16 in that quiz. A weird non finance logic. Thank God I made it up later)
QAM, COMM, ECO and ITC were normal in terms of its delivery and content but something was different in LAM. One could always interpret law in their own terms. The prof dictated us the laws and rules and blah and blah but in every class he would give a live case example which would be funny and interesting. That was a great relief among the mammoth subjects which were all crying out loud – ALL IS NOT WELL!!
The 1st term is also interesting for its social interaction and change of perceptions. You meet people, form an opinion of them and over a period of time, as their real ‘ colours’ are blended, u change ur perceptions. You make new friends, are sophisticated, judge carefully, and learn to live in an all new environment which is supportive, beautiful and above all called HELL.


People in IIM at one point or other generate self doubt (those who don’t are with real animal instinct for 2nd cause i.e. to TOP at any cost).The self doubt could be for survival, capacity or performance. Time and again one has to keep himself reminding the mool mantra for success in a management institute – HANG ON! Performance in IIM is like not like a DC (direct current) graph – smooth and constant, it’s more like an AC graph – sine curve and fluctuating.
Anyway term 2 subjects were – MM, OM, QAM, FM, ECO, MANAC & DWO. By now all the fear of MANAC was gone. The cherry on the cake was our prof in MANAC 2. She was so humble and student friendly that the nightmares of MANAC 1 got converted to a dedicated interest in the subject. Rest everything assured, term 2 most interesting part was ‘marketing management’.
“You are not students – but commandos sitting here”, prof used to say. I guess he made the whole class dynamic, active and made us realize there was a life outside campus premises too. We used to go almost every week to the city for some ‘deliberately’ given assignment – to tell u the truth – it was again fun. The best of it was – trip to Lucknow Mohotsav. The job of surveying got over within an hour and the next 2 hours saw us just having fun in that Indian Fair – popularly called MELA in India.
People got- ‘used to’ -, now, to handle pressures of the system. And some people also got ‘used to’ in the skill of making the most of other people by exploiting their emotional feelings (animal instinct to survive – a crime in my opinion) and that too for their own selfish motives. The good thing about life is – U can fool some people, all the time and all the people, some time but u can never fool all the people, all the time. I realized this much later to identify such sheeps in the herd but finally am contended I did.

Well term 2 saw more organized team work (especially in project handling), gaining an expertise over system and above all enjoying INSTI parties. These parties became a much awaited event especially with 2 categories of people– one who wanted their Rs 100 / month back by paisa wasool funda and second for those who just wanted to dance, dance and dance to take out their weeks of frustration with system and life. (There is a 3rd category of people too, who awaits this insti party, but talking about them is CENSORED in a public blog).
With an invincible summer in mind and a chilling winter season, it all got over in December, not to forget that the term was also dedicated to numerous corporate ppts, summer placements and lots of cultural functions.


By now everything in life was set n chill. It was evident from the fact that many of our colleagues got engaged and some got married too. It was a celebration time with MANFEST in store and PGP 24 placements next. The whole campus was blooming with flowers, not only in the pathways and gardens but also in minds of PGP25. ‘Life was beautiful’, because after the scary MANAC and demon QAM, this time the subjects were super chill – ADA,FM,MM,SCM,MIS,HRM,QAM and COMM.
MANFEST rocked with celebrities and PLACEMENTS with companies. Mid term and end term went with overall ½ the effort of what other terms demanded (I hope the grades due next month do not get directly proportional to put in effort )

All these 3 terms were and eye opener in life. We all were taught as to how to make others happy? Stakeholders, customers, employees and workers are in priority list. But the management study lacks the course which explains how to make our own self happy.
May be that was compensated with some guest lecturers – the best of which was from Sister B.K. Shivani. Her voice was so soothing that you will fall in love with that immediately. Sister kept it simple and straight – ‘Stress management is self management or better ‘RIPPLES’ management’ (for details visit you tube delivery of sister). She tried to divert us from our so called attitude of ‘remote controlling’ to being calm, composed and most importantly to live with HUMAN INSTINCTS.

PGP 25 is out now for their summer’s projects and quite a few of us have stayed back for our literature review work in FPM. The campus is all quite, serene and calm. ‘Umang ‘ – Student Activity Centre – is in full swing. Chanakya’s food really tastes good – for a change – after tasting the same monotonous canteen food.
And the mind is all set to face the new challenges coming up – summers, conferences, 2nd year course work, thesis and finally life.