One evening, I was sitting in the atrium on a comfortable chair with my feet up on the adjoining table, reading the lovely Carnet du Voyage by Craig Thompson while waiting for the missus to finish her workout.
The atrium of the academic center at ISB is imposing the first time you see it. It has tall columns with huge eight blade dragon-killer fans and is literally at the center of all life on campus. It has been designed well to ensure there’s a constant breeze with air flowing around from God-only-knows-where.
It also has some strange acoustics that a friend of mine and I discovered while singing post-drinkage when our stint on campus was about to end in March 2010. If you stand at the center and speak at a volume slightly louder than average, your voice echoes nicely all through the place.
Anyway, I was sitting on my own minding my business, delighted that I could spend time in this glorious infrastructure while not having to worry about the B-school rat race. The students were out and about, scurrying around to build their CVs, one networking conversation at a time.
Suddenly there was loud commotion all around. The GSB (Graduate Student Body) President for the current class was announced and people emerged from their dinners and study sessions to congratulate the winning candidate. I was briefly transported back in time to May 2009 when our President was announced. Many incorrectly believe that holding this post makes one a shoo-in for a prized consulting job, though data from the past few years seems to suggest that these intrepid individuals choose do other things as well with their careers.
A parade of around twenty students walked to the center of the atrium, carrying the President-elect while shouting incoherently. They bumped him up a few times, while not failing to capture and instantaneously upload this ‘historic moment’ online as yet another highlight of their charmed B-school existence.
I continued to sit a few feet away as the drama unfolded, completely inured to this momentous occasion not unlike RK Laxman’s ‘Common Man’ and admittedly bemused at how a somewhat similar scene (possibly) unfolded six years ago when I was a student there.