My ‘XL’ Experience – Roshan Desai

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My ‘XL’ Experience – Roshan Desai

It’s 4:15 am as I write this, listening to an old Dev Anand classic where he croons about how he went on to accept the vagaries of life. Acceptance. That’s the key word. When you have just received the scores of your first Accounting quiz, acceptance helps. When you are confronted with a report submission, a couple of group assignments, an upcoming midterm test, multiple case-study competitions and yet, you choose to while away your time reading about how a glass of hot water could help you lose weight, acceptance helps. The funny thing about acceptance is that it does not require efforts, unlike sitting through an afternoon lecture. And when you are in a premier business school of the country, an extra helping of acceptance does no harm.

You know you are in a bschool when you juggle reading 100 pages of accounting with a marketing case study, while stalking that cute girl you saw at the mess the other day and when group study sessions inevitably end up becoming a chit-chat session at a favourite haunt. And you know you are in XLRI Jamshedpur when that haunt is Bishu Da.

It has been a month at XLRI and the sheer number and diversity of experiences in this span is mind-boggling. From learning the Art of Living (in hindsight, the art of sleeping seems like a more important skill), to getting used to the sun rising up at 4, from getting a taste of the XL Culture to getting a taste of demanding professors, from being total strangers to enjoying uncharacteristic bonhomie, the journey is one hell of a roller-coaster ride. The chaos reminds me of a crowded Mumbai local. You get pushed around but eventually, you reach your destination.

The landscape of the campus is uncharacteristically symbolic. Cycling up to the library requires enduring the uphill climb. To attain knowledge, one must strive hard. But it’s a relief to have an amazing peer group as your co-travellers on this patient journey. And with XL possessing a small batch of 360, your co-travellers end up becoming family pretty early. Random discussion leading up to the expounding of existentialist philosophy gets cut short when that doe-eyed beauty passes by. And as she moves on to greet another guy, all you can possibly do is ‘accept’ and croon along with Dev Anand, Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya, har fikar ko dhue mein udaata chala gaya!

The birds start chirping,
When the night is still in sway;
The eyes are heavy and drooping,
But it’s already a fresh new day!

Life is a race against time,
My nemesis is a merciless clock;
And life unravels night by dreadful night,
The professors, they just seem to mock!

But with the best people around,
It’s only the excitement I feel;
Even the mortal can seek glory,
In this Land of Steel!

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