I had to report to the hangar about an hour before scheduled start to be given specific instructions as ‘leader’. All that meant was that I was one of the corner seats and hence had to keep track of two things…when to cut into our row on the way in and to keep a tab on when our row had to stand and make its way to the stage.
Next was to assemble in our allotted classrooms from where we’d form the parallel queues that would follow the dean and school board into the hangar. All very meticulously planned. The excitement level started on a level climb as we started off towards the presentation area and was quite evident once we’d all taken our seats.
Inaugural address by the dean followed by Chief Guest; Ratan Tata and then Rajat Gupta, chairman of the school board. Best thing was they kept their discourses short and sweet (and made sense too!). But this was all ho-hum compared to the general feeling when asst. dean announced…”Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the class of 2006”…damn! It was happening!
The dean’s list followed by the rest of us in order of last name, the reason I was in the last row. But it turned out to be just as well…coz there was the increased excitement of watching good friends walk up there to receive their degrees and the anticipation of your own turn. Finally, it was our turn, and before I knew it, was back in my seat with the ‘fake’ degree – apparently the real thing was too precious to let the chairman of the Tata group to handle J
The biggest round of applause was reserved for the last name on the list…that was followed by a momentary pause…and then the most deafening applause that lasted a good minute…the batch of 2006 was applauding itself…and the sudden constricted feeling in my throat told me this was special!
A final address by deputy dean, don’t remember too much of that J and then we were out…340 odd crammed onto the staircase leading down into the atrium and screamed our throats hoarse “ISB rocks!!!”. You bloody well better believe it does!