I am writing this blogpost courtesy my wife- she suggested that I should post about how the spouses utilize their time while the students are busy slogging themselves. This post is specifically for those who are contemplating to join the PGPX program with their families. Around this time last year, there were a lot of questions and concerns among some of us in the current batch regarding: will the spouses be able to find suitable employment in Ahmedabad? How about schooling for kids? What about groceries, and socializing opportunities, including dining/entertainment, etc?
Regarding the spouses; I must add that the first few months were rather dull in terms of socializing. Till almost end of June, people were still getting used to the campus, the Ahmedabad heat, lining up the maid, grocer, etc. Also the fact that many of them had relocated from abroad, while others had quit their jobs and were getting used to the role of a homemaker. For some, it was a combination of both.
As has been posted in one of the earlier blogs, the interaction between the students and their families during the T-night was the turning point. Slowly, one could see the spouses chit chatting with each other, exchanging recipes, visiting each others’ houses, having girls’ night outs, shopping trips, hosting dinners for the group, etc. To the extent that many of the X5’ers are no longer feeling guilty about spending long hours in the academic world.
On the work front, quite a few of them found Research Assistant positions within the IIMA campus,. Some work with the nearby institutes such as Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), National Innovation Foundation (NIF), etc. Some found jobs within Ahmedbad, or obtained an internal transfer. A few of the spouses decided to spend their time learning how to run a school- courtesy the Eklavya School.
Of course, there are a few spouses who have decided to take a complete break from all things work- and play a supporting role (I think it is actually a leadership role!) and manage the household, the children, and of course, their ‘student spouses’.
I hope I have been able to put some concerns to rest, and let me also conclude with the following:based on what I have observed over the past few months, here is what is apparent: the kids have the most fun. Lots of open spaces, large number of kids who are ages five and under, and a safe environment- no busy roads or heavy traffic to speak of. Then there is skating, Aug 15th celebration, birthday parties, Childrens’ Day celebrations, etc. One can often hear the children playing, screaming, and running around sometimes till late in the night. On the schooling aspect- well I hope one of my classmates will be able to post something about this topic, since I do not have any kids.Amresh Deshpande, PGPX Class of 2011 Married Student Housing Representative