Disclaimer : This post is unedited and written without keeping a form in mind, so might feel really haphazard.
I will carry on from the previous post, and wow when I reread it I realized the coincidence didn’t stop there. They still pretty much are a part of my life and shaping my destiny 🙂
So let’s begin from where I left last time, I had left for FMS interview, My Interview was scheduled on the last second day of the selection process, We had a GD and in my group there was this shy quite guy who didn’t say a single word (that I can remember) in the entire GD, his name was Kathik Junnuri, GD went by, as always I threw a lot of facts and logics and cleared it, Then began the Interview and Extempore. “So Mayank, you seem to know a lot of Facts, your Extempore topic is Statistics are Lies” that is how it started and of course I was stumped but soon they started enquiring more about me and we landed up on my topic of choice, Anime and Manga. Imagine professors who are used to interviewing people with dream like “ I want to become a CEO or a CMO or start my own company or brands” are confronted by a guy who tells them he wants to create Japanese comics and animation and sell them. After giving them business logic for a long time the Dean FMS said, Mayank I think you are a creative guy and you will be caged here if you come for MBA.
And that is precisely what happened for the first one year of my MBA, there was so much to do that one hardly had anytime for anything else, at least till the end of first semester, I carried on my graduation lifestyle and joined the Media Cell at FMS where I was fortunate to be in the same team as some really great people Doc (the 100 percentiler in CAT 2012), Ashraf ( fabulous writer) Preethi (my movie buddy and future Media Cell President :D- I know you might still hate me for joining marksoc instead of media cell :P) Riddhi, one of the finest artist that I know. Then came the second most dreaded time of a Bschooler’s life, Summer Placements. I landed a marketing summer intern at Dabur, which by most standards was a really good intern but being the ambitious guy I was, I thought anything less than an HUL, P&G or Nestle or the likes was a fuck up. On the hindsight I will be forever grateful for my summer intern at Dabur, Cause I gained a really precious friend. I forgot to mention, I used to live in a PG with undergrad students and made even more good friends and also their undergrad musings kept me sane in my insane bschool life.
Second semester was a mixed bag, I was at an all time low(again:P) the material nature of my B-school lifestyle had begin to pinch the artist in me. I started writing depressing poetry again, picked up books and must have finished about 50 novels in 4-5 months. But somewhere in between I made friends, really really good friends Akanksha, Dibba, Mansi, Swati, Ajay, Sunny, Karthik my asshole roommate Utsav, the sardar Kabli, tapish bhai and so many more awesome people ( write the names guys many of them are going to be VPs and CXOs of major international firms in 10-15 years). All my life I have been part of boy gangs, you know, the lads, always sitting at the last bench, building castles and empires in the air, planning world domination and shit. First time a larger part of my friend circle was girls and one thing I have learned from all of you is how to live in the moment and give planning and dreaming a toss for a while ^_^. I can’t even tell you how special you all are in my life. And thus second semester ended (I somehow begged and managed to take my attendance above 75% so that they will let me write exams)
By the way I totally forgot to mention at FMS we had crazy parties, by crazy I mean really crazy ( there are too many stories about them to be mentioned in this post) and yosh I fulfilled my long held dream, I started drinking 😛
Well before the Internship began we had our selection for the Executive teams for the student body and guess what I finally joined the team I had wanted to be a part of from the time I joined FMS, The MarkSoc \m/, more on it later. So here we are first day of intership and the corporate head office of Dabur, all clad in suits, sitting in a conference room, trying to play cool, when the HR asks to introduce ourselves. The first guy was the tallest in the room, in fact one of the tallest that I know. “ I am Abhishek Gupta from SIBM Pune and blah blah blah” I thought what a snob, 2 days into the internship and Abhishek (fondly called Lambu) had I have become Bros we take Diggs on Raina (aka Suresh :P) the cute little girl from MDI 😛 and then we had Baa ( the elderly from IIM A) two months just flew away, with me reading mangas all the time and doing the work just in amount as needed and well partying with the new found friends. Oh and we had hefty stipends I made 4 times my college fee as stipend in two months.
And college started again and well I was psyched new batch joining in and we were MarkSoc for those of you unaware of Bschool life, Every Bschool lays a strong emphasis on student body and at FMS, touted as the Marketing Campus of the country, there could be no bigger glory than being part of MarkSoc ( if you are a marketing guy). But it was a ruthless society I was working in team with some of the finest individuals I have known in my life be it the powerhouse Basant, or the Encyclopedia Kata or the hardselling Dhanno or the King of Geeks Singal and yes last but not the least our emo senti pressy Shivan(another Manga Fan). We worked day and night trying to do new things, trying to touch new heights, it was so consuming that we never realized when the third sem got over. Then began the dread, the final sem of Bschool life and the sem of Final Placements, I knew I was not getting a PPO from Dabur, I never worked hard enough for it, but I was fairly confident I will land a great job anyways. Everyone in a bschool is 24X7 tense when they are in final semester, the stakes are really high, every day that passes in the placements lowers your salary by 2 lakh, rough figure of course. But I was as always confident and careless maybe even over confident. Partying all the time, chilling out friends, till the day placements started I was having a gala time, they started on 1st Feb and I was sure 10th Feb my birthday was going to be the happiest ever.
7th Day I was still not placed every single one of my friend Except Ajay had been placed, god had played his joke on me. I still remember ‘ Mansi ne meri nazar utari thi’ it is such a fond memory despite all the debacles how dibba akansha and swati would stay in touch and try to cheer me up, how sunny would keep my morale high, how I will call vivek and tell him the jokes been played on me and how I was trying to put a brave face all the time while In reality I was really really disappointed. How I only got 3 interview shots among 100s of companies and how I pretty much converted every single one of them and still got screwed by chance. Well amid all the ups and downs MBA ended and I came out with some of the best friends I have made in life and lot of real life learnings and if this is what I Call a low in life then I must be one hell of a lucky guy because I know people will fight to reach the place where I stand, no matter how much I have fallen to reach there.
And I started my job with a little amount of enthusiasm, well the prospects looked good and the batch that joined was really interesting. Oh yeah somewhere after finishing college and before joining job, I applied for UPSC. Anyways back to job, well the least I can say it has been exhilarating, It has been the most challenging and high pressure job I have had and most likely will ever have. But, what friends I made, punhar, shukla, Boris, Sailesh, Nikhil, Tanuj really fun loving bunch and all of them had previous work experience and kind of taught me, job is always going to suck.
The best part of my life post MBA is IMAAF. I had once read that you will mee the people you will like when you will start doing the thing you love. I had created this page called Indian Manga and Anime Fans along with Shree and Prachi about an year ago and it remained inactive at last, minus a few posts made by Shree once in a while. One fine day we received a message from a Boy named Kumar Joshi, it was a cheerful message and he said he would like to contribute in making the page active and as we were not doing much ourselves we decided to give him the lead, two more days passed and we received another message from Deepali showing similar interest and now we had two active admins. Since I was loaded as a result of Job I decided to do a little experiment and ran a promotion for the page on facebook, within a month we had more than 1000 fans we added more admins to the team, I roped in my brother Paresh to help, and the page began to grow at a phenomenal pace soon we were joined by HVK (my Bro \m/) Azam, Palash, we started getting a lot of arts and we founded what can be called India’s finest art community, IMAAF Artists. And that is when my Dream which got me into FMS at the first place started to look like taking shape. And guess what, I get a call from Abhishek Gupta, aka Lambu, my friend from Dabur Internship, we met and discussed the idea and he said I am In. I met Vivek and Ruchi and explained them the plan and they were in too and then I called Sunny and Karthik ( shy quite boy from the FMS GD) and dragged them in too. We started planning, building the page, the artist group and many other things. We got in touch with Anime Con guys and they liked our vision too and within 4 months of inception we were partners at Anime Con. We started in major way to showcase ourselves at Nihonasi ( which never happened) but because of it we had our first major imaaf meet, where Shri flew in from Chennai, Sumi from Kolkata, Anamika and Vivek from Banglore, Paresh and Ayush from Gwalior. As we stand today we have already executed one successful social media campaign on sachin’s retirement, we have the finest network of anime manga artists in India, we have 27000 fans on facebook, ready to launch youtube, geared up for 4 mangas in 2014, and hopefully starting out as a full-fledged company 2014.
As I walked by I met just the right people at every turn, it would not be wrong to say that this journey pretty much started way back in 90s when Vivek and I became friends, when I started watching shounen mowgli when I was totally captivated by Disney cartoons and Dragon ball Z. There is still a very long way to go, but I have faith in myself, my destiny and most of all my friends, that we will make it work.
PS: some other major news of the year
1 My sister made it to IIM Indore, proud of you my little bird :
2 IMAAF was covered in Outlook Magazine
3 I happened to travel to Mumbai finally
4 I started working on my Novel
5 Will soon start collaborating on a Manga