“Tejasvi navadhitamastu”, I squinted my eyes against the sun and read it again. Well, that didn’t help me either. I wondered what it meant. In my frenzied state of interview preparation, I saw everything in front of me as a potential question that could be fired from any angle. “So tell me Sobia, why is the IIMB logo red? What does the line beneath it mean? How large is our campus?”, I imagined a stern professor looking down at me, waiting for an answer. Panicking, I rushed to the security guard near the gate. “Bhaiya, yeh line ka matlab kya hai?”, I gestured frantically at the logo. But apparently, he didn’t know any more Sanskrit than I knew Kannada. He nodded intelligently and said “Madam ask Professor. They knows everything.” But, of course. Stymied, I smiled at him in response and entered the gate.
As I walked slowly towards the administrative block, the first thought that struck me was that it was worth getting into IIMB just for this. The campus was a verdant green, all softly bathed in the early morning light, dewdrops glistening on the roses in the hedges. It soothed me in a way no amount of pep-talk had done. The stone buildings exuded a quiet majesty, lending a subtle sophistication to the rustic air. It was beautiful.
A while later, I was called in for my interview. I walked into the room, not unlike a convict gearing for her execution. At one end of a huge, perfectly circular table, were three professors, looking at me expectantly. I said a weak “Good Morning” that I wasn’t sure I heard myself. On being asked to be seated, I perched myself at the very edge of the chair, nervous and hesitant. This was it. These 15 minutes would decide my future.
Half an hour later, I walked out of the room, a big smile on my face. Not a single question that I’d prepared for but ones that didn’t surprise me either. We had had a discussion on topics ranging from media to politics with even a short description of SRK’s business acumen! Hugely relieved, I decided to explore the campus. Everything looked ten times more alluring.
The sheer energy that I felt everywhere I went was exhilarating. This, combined with the laid-back lush green of the gigantic trees made for a heady mix. After strolling away to my heart’s content, I finally reached the main gate and was about to hail a rickshaw when the security guard started yelling “Madam, meaning understood?” Flummoxed, I stared at him blankly when he pointed at the IIMB logo.
Later in the evening, I powered up my laptop and Googled the phrase that had puzzled me earlier. “Let our efforts at learning be luminous and filled with joy, and endowed with the force of purpose”, the translation went. Immediately, that struck a chord. The true lessons I had learnt in life and carried with me were the ones I’d learnt with joy. With a smile, I looked at the logo of the sun, and hoped I’d be able to step into the hallowed portals of this prestigious institute, and be able to catch a ray of the luminescence.