10 Mar 2015 20:23 IST

The IIMB one-day chase

KR Deepak

A tongue-in-cheek description of a day at IIMB as an ODI run chase isn't inappropriate

Every time I watch a high-octane one-day cricket run chase, I can’t help but wonder how similar a day at IIMB is to that mad rush to reach a target set by the opposition. A tongue-in-cheek description of a day at IIMB as an ODI run chase would therefore not be inappropriate.

Target: A day at IIMB can never be the cricket equivalent of an easy chase. Targets are regularly over 350. On one of the easy days you would be lucky to get away with chasing something around 300.

Opposition: Professors regularly challenge you with both the quality and quantity of work. The relative grading system makes your grades and success a function of the quality and performance of your fellow classmates too. Both your professors and your peers being of the highest quality, your job is rendered an arduous one. It is like taking on Marshall, Lillee, Akram and Steyn on a green, bouncy wicket under overcast skies.

Mandatory Powerplay: The opening exchanges of the match are always dominated by the contest between sleep and your body. If the former wins, your face will resemble a sadhu in peaceful contemplation and your only hope is that the professor does not chance upon your early morning meditation. If the latter wins, well, it is a miracle. However, with experience, many students work out that the most efficient way to deal with this contest is by attending the first class of the morning from their hostel beds.

Fall of wickets: The ball beats the bat regularly throughout the day and you are never far from having to make the long walk back to the pavilion. You haven’t read the case that you were supposed to read for the class and the professor cold calls you.

Out. The professor asks you a question and you come up with a response that is diametrically opposite to the correct answer. Out again. You walk into a class and the professor announces a surprise quiz. That is definitely a golden duck.

Sledging: Just as verbal volleys are employed in cricket to overwhelm the opposition, in classes in which you are graded for class participation, the only way to survive is to ‘outspeak’ everyone in class, including the professor. Class participation takes on various tones and measures, from relevant and insightful to desperate or casual. More often than not, you end up watching helplessly as others sledge their way to glory while you turn yourself into an inconsequential lump in a corner.

Drinks break: Your needs of a break and refreshment are taken care of by the multiple outlets on campus. They serve everything from coffee, maggi and dosa to poratta, fried rice and sandwich. It is an opportunity to take a breather, crib about the system and make pseudo-intellectual remarks about business in general.

Injuries and substitutes: There are times when you are just too unwell to continue fighting, while on most other occasions you are just too lazy. In either case, you end up getting a substitute to do the running for you. This masterful act of ensuring others do your work in your absence is defined as ‘free riding’. The amount of free riding you engage in is directly proportional to the free time available to you and inversely proportional to your reputation on campus.

Death overs: The time between dinner and sleep is when the maximum amount of productive work gets done. The run rate increases exponentially in this phase as the collective minds of the entire batch gets down to serious work and some major slogging takes place.

The last ball: At IIMB, the most dreaded time of the day must be 23:59:59 (11:59:59 PM). This is the last ball of the 50th over in which you have to salvage the match. If the online submission that you make to the professor does not meet this cut-off, you are in trouble. Strangely, all submissions tend to choose this one-second-pre-midnight as their deadlines and often there are multiple submissions waiting for your last ball six.

Post-chase: The run chase ends here, but the IIMB day (night) does not. Work goes on late into the night, way past the dreaded 23:59:59 - which is what makes the mandatory powerplay the next day excruciating. But the enduring reward of this daily ordeal is that once you leave IIMB, most of your days will now be the equivalent of taking on galli cricket bowlers on a flat batting track.

The writer was a student of IIMB, PGP 2012-14

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