Posts Tagged ‘Guest Article’

Dear Class of 2011

Posted: March 27, 2011 by Gurveen Bedi in Career, IIM, life
Tags: , , , ,

The words of wisdom below have been penned down by our dear friend, mentor and teacher – Prof. Nagesh Rao, who teaches Managerial Communication at IIM Ahmedabad.

Dear Class of 2011

A person, a nation’s character is best defined in difficult times.  An earthquake and a tsunami have wiped out thousands in Japan.  Yet, her grace and her generosity are inimitable.  In Miyagi where the tsunami would hit, a man who owned a fish processing plant was hosting 20 interns from China. When he heard the tsunami alarm he sensed that the interns couldn’t know what might happen or what to do. He got them all together and took them to a safe higher ground, and then rushed back to his home to rescue his family. He and his family are among the thousands lost.

Or we could talk about Mr. Raja, Mr. Kalmadi, Miss. Radia, or the IAS Joshi couple.  The choice is ours. Yours.

At 16, when my classmates were rushing to take science classes to pursue engineering and medicine, I chose commerce.  I thought I was a trailblazer, a deviant and one of a kind.  Four years later, after several gut-wrenching and listless accounting and economics classes, I knew it was not me.  I had chosen a major only slightly off the path and still within the norms of societal approval.  Did I take a radical step and follow my dream – my love for acting, my passion for dance, and my keen visual eye?  No.  I was afraid to leave the comfort of a stable boat.  Afraid to fail.  Worried what the Iyers and Guptas would think of me.  Afraid of myself.

The solution was simple and brilliant.  Procrastinate.  Now, I will work hard, make money, and dabble in my passion later.  Happiness, you see, is a choice.  Unhappiness is a choice.  The choice is ours.  Yours.

So, in a Mary Schmich/ Kurt Vonnegut MIT urban legend speech style:

chuck your blackberry.

listen to the silence.

have a pillow fight.

sing in a public bathroom.

drink some wine.

take a pilgrimage.

give your kids time, not the latest igadget.

mow your neighbor’s lawn.

be gentle with yourself.

surprise your grandma.

belch in a boardroom meeting.

keep a pygmy shrew for a pet.

plunge.  binge.

mail a hand-written letter

save strangers.  leave an imprint.


– Prof. Nagesh Rao

Can be reached at nagesh@iimahd.ernet.in

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