Those 5 minutes...

She stood alone on the crowded Mohammad Ali road... Where did he go? Maybe he was thirsty and went to get a drink... But he could have stayed put in one place at least till she got back... Now she was angry... She didnt spend much time adoring that kurti at display in the window... Pretty things catch her eye. That was probably her only handicap... She could not resist pretty... And now he was gone.

1 minute.

She kept looking for him.. doing 360 degree turns all over... all she saw were people... There are so many of them in this country, she thought... And still her heart goes out to one boy... And he cant even stay put in one place.... What was he - a 5 year old?

Why does she miss him so much? How did she fall so much in love with him, that his absence would make her feel so alone... Or was she worrying... Worrying about him? But he is not a 5 year old - in spite of the way he behaves around her... She knew he was known to the city as much the city was known to him... He could not get lost, or could he?

She saw a constable dressed in khakhi buying a glass of chai outside a tea stall... Should she ask him if he could find him? Would he laugh at her?

He wouldnt get lost now, would he? He will find his way back home... But was it him she was worried about? Or was it herself... She was left alone in the middle of a crowded street... She knew the way back home... She knew should would reach home safely.. then why the worry?

The noisy street started to turn quiet... No noise could reach her eardrums or maybe the eardrums failed to send the vibrations to her brain which was now heavy with worry...

What should she do?

2 minutes.

Some maulvis passed by her after their evening prayer...What could she do? Go ask the maulvis? What would them holy people know! Who could she ask? There was a boy selling mango juice... He must have seen him... but he seemed so busy mixing the juice with his ladle!

Ah... he is so stupid... If he is hiding behind one of these shops, she will punch him in his stomach, she thought...

3 minutes.

The first drop made its appearance in her eye... She was helplessness.

He tapped on her right shoulder and stood next to her left side, while she turned right expectedly, only to find him standing on her left....

Anger... Hate... Relief... Love... All this for him. Stupid boy.

"I am sorry," he said.

He had an apologetic smile stuck on his face. She looked at his smile. She so wanted to punch him , but God, she loved his smile.

4 minutes.

It was a joke! Why did she have to be so worried about it! Silly girl. Worries so much. He shouldnt joke around with this sweet girl. How much he hated seeing her cry... Why would she cry? Did she think he left without taking her with him? Of course not... She knew it was joke... didnt she?

"I was worried," she said with a stream of tears flowing down her cheeks.

She was worried. When was the last time someone had been so worried about him. She cared for him. She was scared of losing him. She wanted him too. Her stream of tears brought a wave of satisfaction with them for him. He meant something to someone.

"I just left for 4 minutes," he said using reason to justify.

That is it? 4 minutes? It seemed so much longer. She looked at her watch. Yes. Only 4 minutues.

She worries so much. Why is that attractive? How he wanted to take her in his arms, console her... Should he, in a crowded street like this? Would she be comfortable? Was he thinking about someone else's comfort? Since when did he start doing that... Should he hold her hand? Maybe he should... He liked her... He could hold her close to him... It is okay... So many people brushed past him... On a crowded street, where unknown people come too close for comfort, it was considered wrong to hold your girl close to you... This whole country is an oxymoron of sorts...

When he looks at her, why does it become so uncomfortable for her. He made her so concious of herself. His look could pierce everything.

He held her hand... She was the only one on the street that probably had around 6000 people about 10 seconds ago. The shops disappeared.. The shopkeepers were gone... The street transformed... Now it was just an empty street... Her big brown eyes... Her dark long hair... Her soft hand...Did HE who made her fall in love with her too? An empty street... It got quiet...

He held her hand... Why is he holding her hand... There are so many people around them... They all seem to be watching... What if someone sees them... Is it wrong? But this is a street... The way he looks at her... He seems to be calm... Doesnt he get scared? What would she give to get him scared like he did to her just 5 minutes ago... His smile can make him get away with murder, cant it? An empty street... It got quiet...

"I love you," he said, "I guess, I always have... always wanted to tell you..."

"I love you too," she said,"what took you so long?"

It stayed quiet in the empty street, when slowly, the 6000 people started to return... starting from the end of the street... Soon their noise filled the street... The shops re-appeared...

5 minutes

Those 5 minutes...

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What really is PGPIM at MDI, Gurgaon?

Everywhere I go, I have been asked this question - What the hell is PGPIM at MDI, Gurgaon?

How do you end up in ESCP after enrolling this course?
How do you get to work in HeadQuarters of Fortune 500 companies?
Why do you have so many pretty girls in your FB friend list?
Why are you so awesome?
How are you so awesome?

Well, this post will answer all the above questions, well, most of them anyway...

I have juniors, to-be juniors, their cousins, peers from other colleges ask me how does PGPIM work exactly? (IM stands for International Management, PGP stands for.. umm.. I dont remember :P). Well let me tell you how to get into this amazing program, the pros of getting in, the cons, the foreign trips etc.

I would like to mention that I am doing a great service to that zealous junior who handles all the posts on (there is a humongous thread on PGPIM on PagalGuy, I dont think any other prog has been discussed in so much detail). I am also doing a great service to the Corp Communications cell in MDI, who have absolutely no idea on how to market this gem of a product.

So now coming to the main business of this post - What is PGPIM?

PGPIM is the International Management prog of MDI which is by miles, the toughest course in the country. Yeah, IIMs can take a hike... Compared to what we do, they are Alice in Wonderland.. (students are referred to as Alice, IIM being the wonderland)

The course is divided in two stages. The first stage is here in India at MDI's as-beautiful-as-a-French-girl campus. It lasts for 8 months. These 8 months will be the toughest in your life. These 8 months wont let you sleep for more than 5 hours per night, and that is NOT after watching 4 seasons of How I met your mother and 2 hours of gupshup with friends, this is after attending 9 hours of lectures, 4 hours of assignments and 3 hours of studying for surprise tests etc. There were days when I had to think if I should take a bath or sleep for 20 minutes. Invariably, sleep won. I apologize to all my classmates for the smell.

The course starts in June, along with the normal management PGPM (I make them sound so lowly, but if you spend some time in an IM class, you ll know what I am talking about) and the girly HR batch.

The firangs from the five ESCP campuses join us in July. The course in India, or stage 1 as I have called it ends in February with the firangs swearing that they wont take any course in India again just coz the competition is so damn fierce, but at the same time marveling at the amazing quality of the MDI professors. Indian students on the other hand look 5 years older than what they used to because of the strenous programme. IM students probably dont love MDI as much at PGPM or HR guys, and if you think about it, IM guys spend only 1/10th of the time other batches spend loitering in the mess or Nescafe or the dome, they fall in love with their batch-mates and not the college campus (in spite of its beauty and everything). I can tell you stories of when the Indian students stood up for the foreign kids and vice-versa and it will make you feel amazing, in spite of the fact that it had nothing to do with you. Thats how awesome the class unity was during our time.

After 8 months of learning in MDI, team work, stretching oneself to the limit, comes the easy part - Foreign study. For the lucky ones among you, you will get Paris or some other girly campus. For the unlucky ones, you will be thrown into the berlin campus - the only campus in ESCP which can talk of being tough.

ESCP has 5 campuses - Berlin, Paris, London, Madrid and Turin. London has been closed to Indian students due to visa issues and also coz their Government is freaking stupid! (How can you not allow Indians from among the best B schools in India!) In their defense, top Indians have taken away their jobs!

The degree you get from MDI is called PGPIM and the one from ESCP is called MEB. Yes, it is a dual degree course! MEB stands for Master of European Business. Berlin also offers MSc which is a govt. recognized degree. It was free during our time but now I guess they charge for it. So, you gotta check out whats the current stat on that.

You are done with your MEB by the end of July. If you choose to do the Msc then you are done by September. But after you have accumulated the degrees comes the best part of the whole course - Also the reason why I put PGPIM at MDI, Gurgaon above all other colleges in India, including the IIMs (they are more ordinary than you think) excluding ISB though, their prog sounds almost as strong as PGPIM.

And that reason is an international internship and by international I mean international in the real sense! I worked for Bayer, World Head Quarters. I was in a 3 member team that was responsibe for the #1 branded antibiotic in the world. There are bio companies in India which make less money as a company than we made with 1 brand!!!

My boss was Australian, my team mates, British and German. I was the youngest guy on the whole floor, that just goes to show how much one has to work till they made way on this floor! I got in through with just 3 master degrees in my kitty!

No other B-school in India could have given me this opportunity. The IIM kids who go to work in Investment banks in London usually end up making ppts and printing out copies. (I am suspecting an anti-defamation case by IIM, but even they know I am not lying).

My stay at Berlin, where I stayed for more than a year, also allowed to make friends with not only people who came from the same educational background as mine, but I also got to be friends with a German rapper, an ice-hockey player, a professional marathon runner, etc. There is something to learn from each of them. The learning just cant be compared to what I would have had I stayed in the MDI campus. Though, that wouldnt have been too bad either.

Now coming to the cost aspect - If I take into consideration what I spent and what I earned in my internship, I ended up spending 2 lakh more than my PGPM peers. However for the ones who ended up doing a exchange prog for 3 months, spent almost as much I did, without the same level of learning of course!

Now, the most important part - The reason why you are doing an MBA in the first place - the money, honey! Yes, foreign placements are possible. Rare, but possible. But it just depends if you wanna stay in Europe or not. If you come from one of the awesome cities in India (there is just one, and we all know what city I am talking about), Europe can be a little tough to adjust. But if you have burnt your boats back home, and are ready to slog it out, European dream can turn into a reality.

Lets say you dont get to work in Europe, you can always come back to India and sit for placements along with PGPM guys. Now here lies a small problem. The guys in MDI dont push PGPIM as much as they push PGPM (and I dont care if placecomm sues me, they know what I am saying is true) and the trouble with that is, the companies just dont know what we are all about.

The day I signed up for placements, I knew all I had to do was attend one interview and I couldnt be rejected. My CV is quite a gold mine! The problem with that is though, unlike Europe, here you have to clear horrible GDs and you are up against PGPM guys who have quite a way with them as they have given 10 GDs each during their summers while we got internships in Europe through pure interviews only. Anyway, once you clear even one GD, you get through the first interview you give. It happened with 90% of the IM batch, yours truly included.

Hmm... I think I have said all that I wanted to. For some reason I think I have made more enemies than friends with this post.. But then, what good is all this education if it doesnt make you a little more courageous than you were!

P.S. - I might not answer all the questions you direct at me, but if I have forgotten to mention something about the course or you would like to know more, drop a question in the comments...

P.P.S. - If you have got in, dont even think about any other course -There is just no other like this one. Come with a Arshat Chaudhary seal of quality man!

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