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Going Local

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I had heard that the campus was still under construction, and I knew that it was in the hills. But I didn't expect what I saw. It was much bigger than I expected it to be and the surroundings were scenic -- beyond belief.

Having been finicky all my life, I was apprehensive about the kind of facilities and people I would have to adjust with. But then I entered the alloted room only to be happily greeted by beautiful pink curtains and a lot of space to move around. Maybe these things don't really matter to everyone, but to me they did make a difference. They made me feel that I could live comfortably in this place. The people were friendlier than I expected them to be. Things seemed to have begun on a good note.

Next day was our orientation and the director, alongwith a few guest speakers from the industry reminded me that I have not come here only for a degree. They talked about having a passion, self-esteem, and working because you want to. I know I have come for all the three. I have come here to make up for all that I didn't do in college. To find myself!

One of the speakers also made me applaud for my parents. I cried. I realised that there is nobody in the world who can match up to their love for me, and to whatever they have done for me.

At the end of day, I had to say good-bye to them. It was hard, but I had prepared myself for that moment. People all around had started crying because everyone's parents were leaving. I avoided them all, because I knew if I broke down, it will be harder to let go. So I hugged my mom and dad, and smiled. It was better that way.

I had heard from a lot of friends that the food in any mess is never good. My first encounter with the food here was not bad at all. I thought it was edible and nice. But in two days I realised that everything tastes the same here. Any dish, any meal - consistency is the key word!

First academic day, and I realised that the 4-5 hours sleep that all B-schoolers talk about is true. That is all that you get. Classes and practicals run from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. here. There are assignments and presentations that every teacher wants you to submit the next day itself. And there is no concept of a weekend. Just one day off in a week, and the next day always has a test scheduled. Wow! And I was popular for sleeping like a log back home! Yet another big change.

Most of the staff here speak the local language - Marathi and I don't understand a word of it. On the first day itself I realised that if I want to get the housekeeping women to clean my room without much trouble, I'll have to learn how to talk their way. But my plan has still not seen light of day. Everyday I think that the next day I will ask one of my friends to teach me a new word. But research and marketing teachers said on the first day itself - we will ensure you are not free. Tomorrow maybe, I hope.

But I am happy here. I feel I finally have a life. I do not waste time. I am more productive. I get a feeling I have started off on the path that I had been waiting tread.

Richa Bhardwaj is pursuing her MBA (Communication Management) from Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, Pune

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