After spending four years at IIMA, as the time to leave is approaching, I progressively feel like not leaving the place. The reason?? Well, it is not the magnificent buildings listed on world's greatest buildings or the huge campus that is full of birds, greenery and scenery. A lot of other places have great buildings and greater landscapes.
The faculty is great indeed - one professor was on sixth pay commission, another on the Sachar committee, one was the member of industrial commission, two of them have a testimony from the Nobel prize winner team for their work on climate change, and the list of great ones is too long. But the reason for my love is not even such distinguished faculty. Even the opportunity to meet and listen to many luminaries, including Soli Sorabjee, Harsha Bhogle, Arun Myra, Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Sunil Bharti Mittal, and Arun Shourie doesn't bind me so close to the place. Its definitely not the IIMA administration, which is typical babudom - inefficient, corrupt, and rude. Even the city and its weather are rather unlikable. However, I still don't want to leave the IIMA.
In fact, few days ago, I re-realized why I love the place and why I am going to miss the days spent here. Perhaps that is the same reason that makes IIMA one of the best institutions in India. I love the place for the peer environment I got here - And which is not the case with most of the campuses in India. IITs may be a close exception but their size is so big that close interactions are often not that easy.
For the past few days, I've been getting stimulating, intriguing, and pretty idiosyncratic ideas from some of my batch-mates on the subjects ranging from ethnic conflicts, politics, civilization, human evolution, religion, and sociology. Likewise, I had a four-day long and academic discussion with some on the quran and islam related matters. Debates on politics, capitalism, socialism, budget, and government policies have always been intense, long, and diverse - be it the classrooms or the virtual notice-boards of D-Babble. More than that, there were always people around to talk and teach about technology, science, economics, politics, history, and culture.
Interestingly, I got not only wonderful academic discussions with seniors, juniors, and batch-mates alike, there have been gems on a range of arts as well. For one, those long discussions on Ghalib and Gulzar with some in my section and once, I even had a wonderful listener to all my poetry. I had some lessons on Sikhism from one of my dormmates and on islam from a junior. There were plenty of them who tested their musical sense on me and tried putting some tune into my larynx (however, all failed drastically and I am as out of sync as always).
When I bought an electronic cooker, I had a wonderful friend to experiment with me and teach me the fundamentals of cooking afresh. Some friends taught me to play with my new camera and one even happily posed for it many a times. And this is not it - I got access to an enormous repository of movies of all genres and languages and ages, all sorts of technology and finance whiz kids around (who still sound like gibberish), sports freaks, toughest quiz masters, journalists, military men, and even a few lawyers... all in one package of IIMA.
Now tell me, who would want to leave such a campus with all the blessings of genius colleagues, so many memories all around, and so much more still left to explore in life...!!!