The alarm rang at 6.00 AM, I was up and ready to begin a new life. The life of an MBA student at Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay (Just SOM for us). Went for a walk at the serene campus, letting the greenery and the moisture sink in. The iconic SOM Rock, the vast SOM well, all made me feel fortunate on being on this wonderful IIT B campus. The chirping of the birds, the pitter-patter of rain drops every now and then felt wonderful. Came back, got ready, had a filling breakfast and then off to the main building. A wonderful and relaxed morning. Well, that was day 1 at SOM and the only day when the morning was relaxed!
These days our mornings are very different. No early morning walks, no chirping of the birds, no pitter-patter of the rain drops, no green of the campus. The magnificence of the SOM rock does not create the same impact as it did on day 1. Or maybe it is still there, but we don’t have the time to let it all sink in. Because today, it’s just a race against time. In a course where sleep is a luxury one can’t afford, morning walks are a distant dream. The schedule now, is to wake up as late as possible, get ready as quickly as possible and run to the class as fast as possible. Every minute of sleep is like gold dust and missing breakfast in return for a few extra minutes, is regularity. Although the food cooked in Hostel 1 is better than any other hostel mess, portable breakfast in the form of sliced bread and bananas is God’s gift to SOM students! And most of the times, the only part of the breakfast we manage to get. The bus transport system, called ‘Tum-tums’ in IIT jargon, is a saviour in times of tremendous urgency. That is, if we manage to catch one (and trust me, the ‘if’ is a rarity).
A typical morning today would involve fighting the comfort of the bed, beating the queue at the washroom, shaving as fast as humanely possible (the tough unshaven look isn’t cool in a B-School), dressing up (from Tees to Suits as applicable) and running! Wearing a suit, hanging at the door of a tum-tum, with books in 1 hand, bread in another is a common sight. Life, they say, is a race. And Yeah! We’re running!