Saturday, December 08, 2012

Blast from the Past: My B School years

I was tempted to blog about my childhood in Kalpakkam and its innocence, and then dismissed the idea (I anyway blog about my kids, and their innocence.. why more?!)

I wondered if I should blog about a holiday.... yet again? That idea met with an early end too.

Memories of food I'd tasted in Israel and Scotland and Bangladesh? Nah! That isn't a blast from the past... I will probably walk down that road again.

My married life? Hey, its still a journey that is lovely and continuing and satisfying and exciting!

Then what? A thought occurred to me... what about my days in B School? I haven't blogged about that period. Not because it is a state secret, just never got around to doing it. It is that phase of my life where I tasted utter freedom, complete recklessness, abysmal despair, sleepless nights, yielded to temptation, resisted temptation, let go of ideals, formed new ones, hated my parents, loved my parents, then hated them again, and loved them all over, flirted with atheism... tried my first whiskey and loved it, my first prawn and hated it, my first cigarette and felt guilty about it... but most importantly, learnt to believe in the power of judgement. The power of youth and the beginning of adulthood.

X pressions 2001
When I joined B school in 2000, I was surprised by almost everything. Although brought up to embrace every situation whole-heartedly, I got a severe culture shock. I was brought up in Kalpakkam, a small township, much like a larger version of a fauji cantonment. I excelled in most extra-curricular activities, was the blue-eyed girl of my school and home and did well at academics too. In my undergrad days in a small girls college, I continued to be a star. The then, B School happened!

B-school is a great leveler! You realize you may be a star, but there are several brighter stars in the galaxy and several less luminous ones too. I heard my first hindi gaali there (my first Tamil one too!) and actually heard the "f" word being used for the first time (yeah, I was THAT sheltered). Although I had lived in a hostel before, it wasn't a place where men could freely walk in and out, or little green b@stards either( in-house reference to the horrible green insects that infests east India in July-Aug, also called LGBs!) I learnt that merely reading your text-books isn't enough, it is practical application that is important (learnt it even better during my corporate stint!). Learnt to use the computer and the magic of email and chat rooms. In 2000, 'Hotmail' was a big deal... remember? And an email host called 'mailcity', I think. Was totally stunned by how easily couples formed, loved, fought, broke-up and made up!

Made some of my dearest friends there. There is something about living with a bunch of dynamic young men and women that lets you be friends in spite of several philosophical differences. Also the struggle and reward of hard work. The pleasure of impromptu trips. The sin of midnight maggi. The walks in the rain. The dance parties (my first dance of course, though clubbing remained my second fave activity to do during weekends for the next 5 years!)

It took me several years after B school to realize what was the greatest learning from those years... apart from learning to sow my wild oats... it was not merely the freedom (I always had it), it was the ability to take a call, make a judgment and most importantly believe in the power of your own conviction.

My first b school b'day cake

With friends at Konark
My first Fab India purchase, and my first year room 
On a dare!
Fancy dressing!
Giving in to being the guinea pig!

Like Bryan Adams sang, "Those were the best days of my life". :) 


  1. Loved the photos Meerah, each one has so much character :).

    And your memories show you definitely had a blast at B-school!! Great post!

  2. Lovely post!Makes me want to go back to college :)

  3. I r'ber the hotmail days! It was such a big thing :) Beautiful post and pictures!!

  4. Beautiful memories and the pix took me right back to my college days in Manipal. Those truly are the best days of our lives.

  5. had a blast..I so wanted to live a hostel life seems so boring in comparison :-(
    I remember the hotmail and chat room craze..
    lovely post, Meera :-)

  6. I never loved my college but there are a few friends and memories I cherish..this post reminded me of those..

  7. Same pinch. I experienced B-school is much the same way.

  8. Nicely written. Enjoyed the photos :) Definitely a blast from the past!

  9. Loved the blast from the past. College days are something which we will never get to experience ever. The feelings of love, hate, guilt, the first crush etc. are things experienced by all of us. It was a nice walk down the memory lane.