The Journey that began on the early morning of 18th June seems to have come close the end of its first chapter. So now its time to update my travelogue.
18th June: Uncomfortably enough, sleep seems to evade me. I can’t help but realize the fast pace at which life seems to be rolling. Living with my mom and dad has been a remarkably re-inventing experience. I once again began to realize the importance of being earnest. The elusive sleep finally relented its way at about 1:30 hours and I finally dozed off, only to be awaked by a shrill alarm at about 3:15 hours. The Journey Begins!
At Indira Gandhi International airport: Had the first glimpse of this international airport. It looked reasonably spic and span and was quite systematically managed, so as to be easy for anyone who cared to read the loudly written instructions on the boards. After all the formalities, finally boarded the Air India flight to Mumbai. This flight was coming from Hong Kong and terminated at Mumbai. Enjoyed the in-flight audio video entertainment, quite descent, but really nothing exceptional and definitely nothing ‘World Class’! The food though made up for all these deficiencies. It was by far the best of what I had have in any aircraft.
At Chatrapati Shivaji domestic Terminal: After an excruciating wait at the transfer lounge for the FREE transport from International Terminus to the domestic one, we finally boarded a Volvo which took very little time in dropping us at our next stop, the Domestic Terminus. This one seemed much more ‘westernized’ but the design seemed severely flawed as compared to the Delhi Airport. Though good looking and much more ‘Club Class’ in its looks, it had several bottlenecks which showed lack of careful planning before execution. The Lady who was at the check in counter of Jet Airways was a trainee and was hence very uneasy about sparing me the excess baggage penalty, something which did not require much insistence at the Air India counter before in Delhi.
Any way once I had done with the double whammy dose of 80% persuasion and 20% Negotiation, I finally managed to get my total luggage weighing in the order of 34 Kgs checked in, as opposed to the allowed 20 Kgs. Paying no extra charges!
I still had about two hours with me and the fatigue had taken heavy toll, so I decided to go over to a friend’s place at Bandra Kurla complex in order to get refreshed. I enjoyed the view of the Western Metropolitan Bypass, the concrete roads, the soaring skyline and the vast stretch of Dharavi were blending into such a contrasting and yet synchronized image, that I couldn’t help wondering this as the equivalent of modern art made by the Almighty himself.
Made it back to the airport just in time. As I had already checked-in before I had left and it was only 15 minutes to departure time, I could hear my name being announced in the PA system already. Promptly went to the nearest Jet Airways executive and with a little assistance from him was aboard the aircraft in less than five minutes of me having come out of the hired auto. Much to my pleasant surprise, I found that I have been upgraded to Business Class, for no obvious reason. But I was not complaining here!
At Calicut Airport: This looked more like a shady bus terminus in an old village in West Bengal where tickets are sold and bought; negotiations are made regarding the number of goats that would be allowed to board with its owner without any extra charge. For the first time in my life, I saw passengers de-boarding from an aircraft, both Business and Economy Class and then walking down about 100 meters with their cabin luggage in their hands at 14:00 hours when the temperature is about 36 degree Celsius and the humidity is about 75%! But the best was about to come. At the baggage collection area, there were about 300 odd passengers from four different airlines fighting to get a foothold to collect their baggage and most looked straight from the land of Osama with Black Hijabs and white prayer caps (as applicable) constituting the most prominent part of their attire. Somehow, with my liberal upbringing and right inclination, I felt very uncomfortable by their presence.
IIMK Kampus: This was definitely the most fascinating part of the whole journey. The campus looked nothing like what it seemed from the pictures. It was way grander and breathtaking in its appearance. Situated entirely on a hill top, surrounded by eye candy green flora and fauna it was definitely more resembling a resort or a hill station than an education institution, and last of all an IIM. In fact it reminded me of Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy, where successful IAS candidates are trained in the hill station of Mussourie. Though this was an unfair comparison cause the IIMK kampus certainly looked much more grandiloquent.
Day Zero at IIMK: This constituted mostly of the registration formalities and collecting the applicable study material. The rains came down heavily today, soaking with it the plans of the new batch for an outing on the beaches of Kerala during the Night and a Camp Fire to go with it. (Though later I learnt, that headstrong as they are, they actually managed to beat the weather out at the perseverance game and finally had a resoundingly successful outing that went on till 4:30 in the night …oops, Morning!)
First Day at IIMK: The repute of the props in the institute had preceeded them. The seniors had been actually magically helpful, as if they had known us for ages; but finally it was show time today! A long round of introductions and information sessions followed. It included the magical words by the Director, who by far seemed to be the oldest and the most jovial of the lot, “At other institutes the Race starts at the count of 1,2,3 & go; here at IIMK however you do not have 1,2 or 3; you straightaway have go!!”
True enough we were gifted a nice case study and lots of group work even before classes had actually starated! Wanted to much more descriptive about the happenings of these past days, but as I told there is loads to be done, and its high time that I get to it.
(By the way, Just for the information, we have a Gala party today at 22:00 hours in the night canteen. This would include both the seniors and our batch… hence the urgency gets multiplied!)