Well, term two is finally over, and I’m back at home. Time to catch up on lost sleep and missed food. More importantly, time to sit back, relax, and do what I like. Which includes writing. It’s also time to release Life@IIMB Part 2, as promised. First, the famous Birthday celebrations. Contrary to any romantic image anyone of you may have conjured up regarding the B’day celebrations at IIMB, the reality is starkly dirty. To put it in simpler terms, don’t think Karan Johar, think Vishal Bharadwaj. The entire process takes place in several steps:
Step 1: The Students’ Cultural Committee or Culcom for short (of which yours truly is a member) has a standing order with a local baker who provides customized cakes for all the B’days as per the name listing in the college network, SPIDI. The cake arrives usually by 2200 hrs (military time)
Step 2: Friends (apparent) and well-wishers (again apparent) of the B’day boy/girl prepares a B’Day mail (a MS powerpoint presentation, keeping with the MBA tradition of making powerpoint presentations of everything under the sun). This is then sent out by Culcom to the entire batch. The ppt usually pokes fun at the unfortunate accidents, heroic deeds, inopportune comments, and general debauchery committed by the person in question. Many of these might be true and most of these are definitely false. Nothing matters so long as it provides a good laugh. The best ppt I have ever seen till date was one sent out in honour of a PGP 2 we all call Pappu. It was 54 slides long, was hilarious, and even included the definition of “Callable Bonds” for good measure. The ppts usually end with the authors exhorting the junta to get to A-base (the ground near the base of A block) to “hoosh” the B’day boy. Girls, by virtue of a devious conspiracy (to be explained later) avoid getting hooshed (again, to be explained later)
Step 3: So what does it mean to get “hoosh”ed? It means you have to walk around with a sore ass for two days after, that’s what it means. First, the guy is taken to A base where a small contingent has already assembled to partake in the night’s activities. The unruly mob is often armed with eggs, water, mud and a birthday cake. The guy is then held tightly either horizontally or against a pillar and his rear side is given considerable attention using a pair of slippers. Once the spanking reaches unbearable proportions, the victim is taken away by the next wave of people to Step 4.
Step 4: The B’day boy/girl is made to stand in a quadrilateral portion of bare earth and he/she is deluged by entire buckets of cold water. For good measure, they are also made to roll around in the mud that forms once the earth gets wet. In this comfortable situation, they often also have to dance. Those who are capable enough or inebriated enough are egged onto perform exotic varieties of dance forms, much to the entertainment of the spectators.
Step 5: This step merely consists of one step. The birthday cake is smashed on the face of the guy/girl, to the accompaniment of raucous laughter. Several variants of this ritual exist in IIMs. For instance, in IIMC, the cake is kept on a side table and the victim is supposed to voluntarily go over and smash his/her head in the cake. Imagine Zidane head-butting a cake. IIMC people must be pretty zoned out….
Step 6: This culminates in the entire assembled team singing “happy birthday to you” at the top of their voices, unmindful of mere formalities like rhythm or tune. By the time the guy/girl reaches that stage, he/she feels less like a hapless deer run over by a truck, and more like the centre of legitimate attention that he/she should be on that night.
Now, a few words regarding the conspiracy by girls. They, by virtue of being the sensitive sex, play upon the finer feelings (if such things do exist) of the male inmates and get away without having to go through step 3. Female hooshing squads do not exist on campuses across IIMs. A pity. Think how the guys would enjoy it.
Now since my mother is calling me down to dinner, I shall cease and desist from explaining about L^2s. Let’s save it for another day.