15 May 2015 16:01 IST

Of life and laughter at IIM Indore

A cycling tour and walkabout on the hill that’s the country’s largest IIM campus

It’s an almost warm, rainy day in July. The newly-selected PGP Batch has just about arrived on campus. The experience begins even before one can actually reach the campus gate. As you move from Indore city, towards Rau on the outskirts, the transition is seamless. Soon, you’re on the straight road that runs from Rau to Pithampur.

Ahead in the distance, out on the left, you see a white dome perched atop a small hill; there are a couple of minaret-shaped structures at the base of the hill and an almost circular, reddish-orange building close to the white dome. And then, it suddenly hits you — this is it! What you see on your left is the Indian Institute of Management, Indore! A serene, welcoming campus, that at first look gives you the impression of being a scenic hill-top vacation spot.

Walking up to the gate, admission documents in hand, it is easy to mistake it for a high-security area where entry is by invitation only. Of course, your documents offer you the right of entry. Having managed to get yourself a hostel room, you set out to explore the campus.

The IIM Indore campus is set on a hill, a hill called 'Prabandh Shikhar '. The campus is in three 'levels' which are at three different heights around the hill. The Sports Complex, Mess-3 and student hostels are all situated on Level-3 i.e. at the lowest level. More student hostels, Mess-1, Mess-2 & everything happening is on Level-2. Level-1 has the Academic Block, the Learning Centre and the Old Auditorium. A cycle seems like the perfect way to explore; you spot some kids on cycles and decide to follow suit.

The entire hilly terrain makes cycling around campus fun. There's this steep uphill slope, you're cycling real hard, ascending and you feel like you just cannot move any further and then, you're downhill again, with the breeze blowing through your hair. It gives a sense of exhilaration, freedom even. You stop at the Sports Complex for a bit. The Sports Complex is a roughly rectangular building. The straight road leads you to the main entrance of this complex, with a large porch and a car parking area across from the entrance.

As you enter, there is the New Auditorium to the right side and a student mess to the left. The New Auditorium is much larger than the old one and is equipped with the latest lighting and sound equipment. Every Saturday, the week’s release (mostly Bollywood) is screened here, for the students and staff. Right above the mess is a large hall where aerobics, zumba and power yoga classes are conducted, every day, you are promptly informed. Of course, you are both happy and impressed!

You walk around and enter from the other side of the Sports Complex, well, the ‘back-entrance’. You spot, to the right, the squash and tennis courts; to the left is the gym with the weight-training section on the ground floor and the cardio section on the first. You retreat to your hostel, but only after walking through the middle layer replete with the student mess, the food court, a student-run Chinese place – Globe @ I, JAM, Juices and More, the Poha point which sells samosas and more — the variety of food options on campus makes you happy. Early the next morning, you finally decide to have a look at the Academic Block. The entrance has an arc overhead that very proudly reads in bold, Indian Institute of Management Indore, and you know you have really arrived.

A picture of the newly-graduated PGP Batch as well as a merit board adorns the reception area. The newly-installed fish tank adds a little human touch to the aura of this place. Moving from the reception, to the right, you first encounter the IPM office and the PGP office. On the floor above, there is the Director's office and all the other super important offices. Farther ahead, there is the computer lab, the IT Department and the I.G.N.O.U Study Centre to the right and the placement office to the left. The CC Lab (Computer Centre) looks interesting; everyone calls it the 'CC Lab',

Every place has its quirks. Quirks are what make us fall in love, with places, things, people and ourselves. You hope to fall in love, and keep spiralling over, deeper and deeper. You cross the lawn, to see the Learning Centre — a vast expanse of knowledge — two floors filled with row over row of books and journals. You promise that in your time here, you shall devour every single book that the library has. It’s all about that first-week enthusiasm! You get yourself a bite at one of the many snack-places and join a group of star-struck batch-mates heading down to the girls’ hostel; you’re now one in the many, different yet the same; together for the next few years and lost for many more. But, it’s a time too for endless laughter!