And I wandered as Lonely as a Cloud…

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…or so I thought that’s what my two years at the hilltop campus of SIBM Pune is going to be. I never prided myself to be one of those “centres of attraction” (lucky people with their gigantic crowd of admiring, gawking humans—gods, I envy them!) nor was I content to be amongst the musty shelves and the dusty “parchment and pages” that signify and alert one to the arrival of the geniuses or, in regular terminology, the geeks. I am more of the carefree type—one of those few people you would find ambling alone in some green vale with a backpack and a set of headphones hanging loosely around the neck and perhaps a camera in the hand.

SIBM Pune’s Lavale campus has earned accolades not only for its faculty, students and the exalted placements, but also for its beautiful campus. I remember the first time I entered the gates—the day I came for the GEPI-WAT process. And I fell in love with it.

Even today, after a semester of the entire rigmarole of what MBA life is all about, I am still mesmerised by this place. From the chirping of birds which is by far and large more melodious than my alarm clock to the vast milieu of colours on the horizon that precede sunrise, I wake up fresh and energised to take on the day. Even when I am in the classroom, it is not unusual to see the clouds swirl around the floor-to-ceiling windows, as if trying to enter the class and learn about the demand curve (and perhaps try and understand the recent disarray in rainfall patterns! But, I digress). In between lectures, I sometimes walk to the amphitheatre with a cup of tea and at times a vada pav to sit on the steps. The view of the city that one gets from here is extraordinary, but at nights it’s heavenly. The cool breeze and the vast rolling Western Ghats in the distance makes me realise what an inconsequential blip I am on the cosmic timeline and how brooding over things would not make me cross the impasse—only if I pull up my socks and stand up, then perhaps I can make some mark on the world.

Sometimes, the amphitheatre plays host to some impromptu guitar gigs, the perfect C-minor complementing the twinkling citylights in the distance. A smattering of laughter in the distance followed by hushed conversation and the moon peeking from behind the hills blends in perfectly well with the atmosphere, lending a peaceful, quiet aura.

Also, the less talked about but an equally beautiful place is the Aqua Point which overlooks the Symbiosis Reservoir. The lights of Hingewadi is visible in the distance along with the silvery moonlight being reflected off the serene reservoir waters, reminding one of how Symbiosis values the environment. The walk from the Academic Block to the Hostel Block is a scenic one, a serpentine stretch hugging the hill and offering panoramic views of the surrounding hills and is indeed a photographer’s dream come true. I tend to carry my DSLR everywhere, as you never know what new scene you might come across. Already, my Facebook wall is flooded with pictures of clouds and bursting greenery, and yet my thirst is anything but quenched. I am sorely tempted to publish a photograph album of my own—the campus has no dearth of motivation. Perhaps I might do something of that sort in the vacation.

It’s almost dinner time and I now head towards the dining hall, again mesmerised by the fact that the courtyard has not failed to amaze me—the lights lending an unearthly glow to the trees which sway gently in the breeze, sometimes showering a lucky someone with a burst of orange flower petals. More than dinner, it is the place that attracts me.

Hmmm…the test tomorrow…

As I return to my room with a sigh, I realise that tomorrow is another new adventure. And perhaps I will discover something new.

– Srijita Sarkar

MBA 1- Marketing