As I sat in LH 1, seeing the exchange students come in dresses (guys) and pajamas (girls) courtesy TOBAXI, I couldn’t stop thinking, XLRI is all about an experience. The professors don’t define it, the infrastructure doesn’t define it, the students don’t define it. Yet they all do. Together. And that is what XLRI is all about. Be it the alumni, who come from faraway places for just a weekend of fun, moon dancing at 74 years at 12.30 am, to stop only when the band leaves. Be it the students delaying the band, by groveling for one more song, or be it the band , playing their last song and saying good night five times, before “Judy” calms the students down finally.
I am of course proud to be a part of this experience. This is not only because I had a shitty experience in my own college. It is not because talking to boys was prohibited there. And it’s definitely not because we needed written permission from the warden to cross the main gates and shop at the kirana store outside.
I sometimes feel it’s a conspiracy. XLRI is a huge conspiracy to make a strong alumni base. They don’t give us time to talk to our old friends and certainly not to make any new ones outside of XLRI. They make sure we have limited time to talk to our family so that the bond we share is not as strong. They make our experiences so complicated that no one, other than XLers will understand us. For instance, the other day, Gautam Ghosh had replied to my tweet. When I told this to my mom, she was lost. She did not know Gautam Ghosh, she did not know tweet and so could not get it. Thus I was forced to share this little achievement with my XL friends only. If this is not a conspiracy, what is?
Yet, we learn to break the system. We make new contacts outside XLRI. We take out time to make sure we don’t break up and make sure we remain in touch with our friends. It takes a lot of effort to do it, but the ones who do succeed, have passed the fire test. But in spite of having all our old friends and families and significant others to us, this we miss. And in spite of having many commitments of business, family and pleasure, we feel depressed when we miss a homecoming. Because the experience would have been awesome!