Hi guys:

It's that time of the year again and the IIMC group discs and interviews are just over. I sat on the interview panel as an "external" member and I must say I enjoyed the experience thoroughly, once I'd overcome the "geriatric" feel of the situation.

My 5th such panel (on this side of the table), but utterly different from every one in the past. For one, the numbers are bigger. Hind Lever House isn't adequate any longer and IIMC have had to take additional meeting rooms at the Bajaj instt across the road.

I realise it is 21 years since I sat on the other side of the table, batting dourly against the fearsome spin attack of Messrs Mustafi and Swaminathan.

4 groups of 12 hopefuls each, per day, times 5 days, make 240 worthies who have to be seen, heard and believed. Thankfully, I had to deal with just one group....

The GD is like a pack of squabbling rabid pups, and Pearl Jam or Metallica would be hard pressed to break through the din.The building is also rising, implacably, from all that hot air.

Every 3.5th person wants to be in IIMC so that he/she can join either the 2 Arthurs (D. Little or Anderson) or Boston Consulting Group, Booz Allen, McKinsey or even, in a pinch, Ernst & Young. Do people work for AFF these days?

The young CA's earlobe is red; he's left the ring home cos' he's dressed up for the interview. Maslow still rules. No one knows Orwell. Or Keynes. Or Sartre, thank god. No one admits to listening to anything stronger than Air Supply. Girls just wanna have fun. The 2 Xavierites guess they could -umm, perhaps - consider IIM as a deconstructionist experience (but would rather not say).

The kid who topped Lokmanya Tilak College carries her original certs in an MTV plastic bag (and probably an Ayn Rand for her commute from Nala Sopara...no, no, asking was pointless). Vacant-eyed dreamers from IIT-B float in (and out again). Sorry, I just realised... these days, IIT-M is IIT-C and IIT-B is IIT-M! Soon IIM-C could be IIM-K!

The electronics engineer actually knows how to fix a lightbulb. Not one of the 12 wants to have anything to do with marketing. But everyone has heard of Kotler.

Ah Joka, star of our destiny.

Vivek