This year IBA turns 60. SIXTY. Sixty years of unparalleled excellence in education. To those of you who are just entering the IBA family, I want to welcome you. This family will in turn be annoying and frustrating, but also the strongest and most loving when you need it to be. Annoying because let’s face it, that four absence rule, no one likes that and we have all been guilty of trying to start a revolution against it. Frustrating because any happiness or joy we may have over being done with our exams is conveniently destroyed when our extremely efficient examination department sends us the next exam schedule.
We have all made those rounds at the DPO and begged on our knees in front of the lovable Sir Manoj Babulal and Sir Rehman, for that one course that we need to graduate. When you leave to be a part of the “real world”, finding members of your family will be one of the most enjoyable experiences.
In the past six months that I have been in the US, I have met and corresponded with many IBA alumni. I can assure you that as soon as you reach out to them they are the most helpful people you will ever meet. Also because IBA is the oldest business school in our country, IBA alumni are usually people who have influence in their organizations, something that definitely works in your favor.
More importantly the work ethic that you will develop in these four years will serve you for many years to come. It is not by coincidence that no strike in Karachi can stop IBA alumni from reaching his/her office and getting the work done. So as you make your way in these corridors, cursing your professors try to focus on the fact that these four years of your life will be the best ones you will have.
Right now I am sitting at my desk and the window shows a white winter land outside and I am listening to Abida Parveen belt out tunes in the background. This short piece that I have written was supposed to be about anything under the sun, but invariably it took the form it was always meant to take, a piece reminiscing about the past four years.
I have always wondered why immigrant writers always talk of their countries or past in everything that they write. It’s as though they just cannot move on, no matter how long it has been and how much they have learnt from the new country they have moved to. Now that I have moved to New York, I can say from experience that I understand why these writers do what they do. Where you are from, where you grew up is always a part of you, it has molded your entire being in ways that are not always obvious nor are they simple to understand. IBA will always be a part of me as I hope it will be of you.