Convocation: The Final Hurrah!

It feels like just that day when we all came rushing in through the gates of IIM Ahmedabad, a hundred and fifteen souls, hundred and fifteen dreams- all ready to make them come true. We believed in our hearts that this was the magical place that would make them all come true. our journey over the year taught us many things- gave us reasons to smile and cry, gave us many friends and a lot of memories that we will carry along in our hearts wherever we go. As the professor taught us, a system is defined by the interactions that happen between its components. so perhaps the system that is PGPX Co 2018, will be defined by the interactions that happened between ourselves and with what we call the institute. a year that was perhaps the most memorable of our lives, deserved a fitting completion. That completion, the final hurrah was the 53rd annual convocation. it was the event we all had been waiting for. The convocation was the final stepping stone that took us to the peak of our climb- the journey that had begun on April 13th 2017.  It was a day that was going to go down as one of overwhelming emotions- when we would all laugh and cry.

 

As we were aptly told at the opening of the convocation- “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”. great words by Winston Churchill- nothing could have summed up our journey better. Sitting in the Louis Kahn plaza lawns, amidst a 1500 strong crowd, the huge stage in front of us, the red walls surrounding us all- each one of us could feel the drums beating in our hearts. We were witnessing the culmination of the journey that it has been. this was the day we perhaps had all been waiting for, and we could feel the pulse rising in our veins. we had been to LKP many times before, but never before had we truly realized the grandeur, or the gravity that the place commands. that can only be felt, when we sit down for our final event.

23rd night was for the farewell dinner, with our families and professors. The entire student community came together for a last meal together, and ruminate on what has been.

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Farewell dinner for students and families at CR9 Lawns

 

Early morning, we were up with groggy eyes for our rehearsals. And that’s when we started feeling just how big this was going to be. we had seen videos of earlier batches, we had seen pics, but perhaps nothing could rival the real feeling of being a part of the event- mind, body and soul.

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All robed up
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The Graduating Batch of 2018

The procession started at 6, after the customary batch photos of all the graduating batches, and our dear faculty members. this was our last official photo shoot- and we couldn’t control a tear or two. We knew that would in fact be an intrinsic part of the evening- boys do cry, and when they do, they don’t know how to stop.

After getting into our black and yellow robes, some photos were obviously in order. We couldn’t control our grins- and no one objected- we had perhaps earned it. the walk to LKP felt like being on the red carpet- cheered on by our friends and family, who had all gathered on the sides of the road. we felt like superstars walking out to get our Oscars- we were just missing the autographs.

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The Walk to LKP
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Pit stops for Pics
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We take our seats

The convocation was declared open at 615. It was going to be 2 memorable hours that would cap our year at IIMA. We eagerly awaited our turn as the FPMs and PGPs took their diplomas. we wanted to soak in the feeling and two hours was not going to be enough. I didn’t know whether to be happy that I finally was graduating, or sad- that all this was coming to an end. we all shared the same feelings- one instant some of us were giving triumphant smiles at each other that we made it through, and the next we stole those little tears- as we knew we would soon be going our own ways. This one year has given us many things, but the topmost among it definitely has to be the friends that we have made, and the time that we have spent with them.

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As we rose to make our walk to the stage, the cheer from the crowd was deafening. our families had taken strategic positions to make the claps reverberate through the plaza. As Prof D’Souza rightly pointed out- this was one journey which would not have been possible without the support of our families and the sacrifices that they made to be with us, to help us along in our endeavours. the smiles on their faces said it all. Triumphant, happy and proud- it reflected what we felt in our hearts too. We perhaps had not found the time to thank them at times, but we all knew as we looked into each other’s eyes- this journey would not have been possible without the smallest things that were put together by the tireless souls working towards us walking to the stage.

We stood up, as it was time for PGPX to get their hands on the coveted blue file. We started our walk to the stage.  Our names were being called, as we took the certificates on stage, accompanied by claps from the crowd and made our way back to the seats. It was one walk we would remember for a long time.

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PGPX walks up the Stage

The chief guest Mr Janmejaya Sinha, Head Asia Pacific, BCG, shared his insights on what challenges we would face in the world when we go out to face it, and on how we could face them all. The words that stuck with us was- if we would say we were from IIMA, or IIMA would say we were from here.

 

Prof D’Souza laid down the final lines, wishing us success in life and the courage to face the world. his parting words were very simple- just remember you are from IIMA. He encouraged us to build strong bonds with our ‘neighbours’, as many of us would be travelling over countries and continents. as we stood up for the National Anthem, our minds were numb, our limbs stiff. we stared at the red walls, and up at the sky- we were ready to fly. IIMA had prepared us for the journey that lay ahead of us. it has shaped our spirits, and given us the courage- the will to succeed and the desire to make our dreams come true.

 

As we looked at the certificates in our hands, and walked down the stage, we realized the transition was complete. We had become alums. We felt a plethora of emotions engulfing us, as we stood staring at the red walls of the plaza and the sky above us- huddled together with our friends and families. there was just one message playing in our minds,

World, here comes Class of 2018, IIM Ahmedabad. Get ready to rock.

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The Final cheer as we are granted our diplomas

Archya, is a doctor-turned-healthcare administrator, who thinks he has a passion for writing, and hence uses his limited idle time to pen down his thoughts. No publishing house has yet made him any offers, so he has to now debate his opportunity costs.

Archya is presently pursuing a MBA (PGPX) from IIM, Ahmedabad. 

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A note of thanks to my wife Devlina and my daughter, who made this journey possible, and allowed me some time off to devote to essential activities like blogging

 

 

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