14 September 2015 14:03:01 IST

Living the ‘Kathor’ life

The word 'Kathor' (the reverse of Rohtak) meaning "tough", has come to exemplify the experience of being at the institute and its character building outcome

According to Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” However, at IIM Rohtak, time expands to fill the endless to-do list. An IIM Rohtak student is better known as Kathor, the word obtained by reversing Rohtak, and it literally means “tough”. Submission deadlines, assignments, presentations, quizzes etc. indeed make our lives “Kathor”.

The Kathors stretch their limits beyond their own imagination every single day.

Beyond just work

But there is more to life at IIM Rohtak than just work.

IIM Rohtak has something to offer to everyone. Numerous events and competitions conducted by eleven different clubs ensure that each one of us is provided with the opportunity to pursue our individual interests ranging from photography, debating to social work, aside from academic pursuits.

Twelve student-driven committees provide first-hand experience of running a separate vertical of the institute, one that organises competitions with respect to these activities. So, participation in each extracurricular activity and the organising body is akin to a mini-simulation of real life corporate setup.

Fun times

Playing sports, midnight birthday celebrations, late-night tea sessions, or table tennis matches are some of the reasons why we call IIM Rohtak a home away from home.

Notwithstanding the fiercely competative relative grading system, our biggest take away from here is the lifelong friendships and the bond we forge.

A typical day in the life of most Kathors

8:00 AM: I can’t ignore my alarm anymore!

The sun rises at IIM R with the shrill sound of alarms ringing in hostel rooms to wak everyone up from their short-lived sleep to realise that there are submission deadlines, class assignments, quizzes and case discussions lined up for the day. It is commonplace to make a choice between having breakfast or simply having some coffee or missing both to make it to the 9 AM class.

9am - 1 pm: Please God, save me from cold calling!

It’s now time for us to beat our brains out. These four hours are fraught with stimulating class discussions and rigorous case analyses. One thing that even the brightest students dread is cold calling by professors. The professors keep students focused and curious by asking questions about the topics being taught. There are marks on offer for asking the right questions. So, there is no room for absent-mindedness or daydreaming during lectures. Even a momentary lapse of attention would get one caught red handed. Therefore, it’s prudent to hone in on the class discussion and participate than being cold called.

In the afternoon, most of the Kathors take a power nap to stock up energy for the long day ahead.

Time to get back to work!

3 pm - 5 pm: Most of us revise what we learnt in the day’s classes during these two hours. Case studies to be discussed in the next class are meticulously studied and demystified through different angles. This is where the true beauty of an MBA education comes out. Even more than class discussions, the peer learning that occurs in this time and for the rest of the day, is unparalleled as a medium of learning and can only be seen in management education in the top B-Schools.

After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

5 pm - 7 pm: It is time to pursue one’s interests. Clubs and committees conduct their meetings to decide on their future course of action. Various competitions, fun-filled activities are on the platter for the students to take part in almost every day. Those interested in social work get busy with Swabhav and Every Child in School initiatives. Those interested in public speaking scoot off for the next Voice club session. And those with more academic leanings, can be found attending Strategy, HR, Marketing, and Operations events. All the sports enthusiasts stretch their muscles during this time. We have chit-chats, gossip, discussions about placements and future plans, and what-not. In short, these two hours strengthen the bonding between the Kathors like nothing else.

10 pm - 2 am: After dinner, the time is ripe to hone vital teamwork skills. Strategies for group assignments, projects and competitions are deliberated over in hostel rooms, corridors and even the night canteen. Most of the hostel rooms are filled with groups of individuals slicing and dicing information provided in the cases or having vigorous discourse to decide the next course of action to complete their group assignment. A highly talented and diverse batch ensures that every individual brings something unique to the table at the hour.

Apart from academics, one gets to learn a lot about various cultures and traditions in different parts of the country as students hail from all over. What could be a better way of peer-to-peer learning! However, 12 AM birthday celebrations are never missed amidst the stress of entangling cases!

2 am: The Kathor finally retires to bed to wake up to another day filled with learning opportunities. Although exhausted, he knows that his daily efforts of the perennially demanding MBA life have helped him move an inch closer towards his own dreams and, perhaps, may even contribute to the nation’s well-being.