Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A bit of introspection...

There are events in life which change you. Now that might seem as a bit of an understatement or stating of an obvious fact. But although these things keep happening, we rarely realize what exactly has changed in us due to them. This change is rather subtle, till one fine day it hits you.

Term breaks here are short, and time is scarce. Going back by train takes more or less 24 hours, which means that from the 10 days that we have as a break every 3 months, 2 go in traveling to and fro Pune. Which makes the case for traveling by air, maybe once every trip, decently strong. A lot of people do that, and my parents also keep asking me to do the same. However, I always refuse to, refuse to even travel by AC. It's not because I am a bit of a miser, which I admit to being. It's just that I tend to feel that I am not worth it. My time is not so precious that I fly in and out like a bloody prince.

Now, things weren't always like this. I remember one fine day in April 2007. The IIM results had been delayed (the first time around, when I had set targets for botching things up which few people could match :) ), and I grudgingly had to go and pay fees at IMT-G to reserve a seat. I was without a job and had nothing to do while waiting for the results. And I look back now, and find it difficult to believe what I did - I flew to and fro Delhi. I am pretty appalled by it now. I mean there I was, with absolutely nothing to do, and flying around for no good reason, when I could have perfectly easily taken the train and saved a good lot of money. I now wonder, had the IIM calls gone to my head? Had I become proud and vain and conceited, and thought too much of my time and comfort? Maybe I had. I shudder to think of myself like that, I'd hate to be like that. And yet I was.

Maybe the IIM shocker that year did me more good than I ascribe to it. Maybe it just prevented me from turning into one of those conceited, pompous buggers who think no end of themselves. Sometimes, it takes a good, hard shake-up to make things clear. Sure enough, I made it into the IIMs, but without, hopefully, turning into a prick. Somehow, that shock, and the events that followed over the next 12 months or so affected me so deeply, that it has changed me subtly in many ways - at least I believe so. When people ask me, as they often do, why I don't fly down, the answer is clear - because me and the time aren't worth it. It's not just about flying, of course, that is just something which is an obvious change. It's more with the way I tend to look at life and not take things, situations and people for granted. Which I was guilty of doing, for sure, earlier. Maybe I'll stop looking at the professors in IIMK who rejected me the first time around and going, why? Of course, it was never a angry, justify why kind of why, just a curious, scared, one.

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