Is it spring?
Of course, it is. I am writing this after Vasant Panchami and before Holi so spring should be all around us. Spring is the time for rejuvenation after the cold winter. Spring is the time for new beginnings, positivity and hope. Spring is the time for celebrations. This spring issue of The WIMWIAN celebrates the alumni who have been recognised in a variety of fields – as young alumni achievers, as Padma awardees, as entrepreneurs with successful listings on stock exchanges etc. Oh, I hope that it is spring.
I hope it is spring after the third wave of the pandemic rolled all over India. Just a few months back, the programme offices in IIMA were planning to restart physical classes. The second wave seemed a distant memory and case numbers had fallen drastically. We called back all the students to campus and were preparing to leave the zoom classroom and return to the traditional physical setting when the third wave put paid to all our plans. A sense of déjà vu permeated the campus as realization dawned that the batch of 2020-22 would graduate without experiencing a full classroom buzzing with activities.
If someone had forecasted earlier that the third wave would be so virulent that it would touch an unprecedented number of campus residents, I would have been alarmed. But, as the third wave rolled by, it became clear that recovery was quicker, and the country certainly did not see the panic that it experienced during the second wave. Perhaps the extensive vaccination worked, perhaps the earlier infections had a role to play, perhaps we were fortunate that this variant was a mild one. But there is no doubt that the third wave has impacted our confidence in a positive way. The virus is now no more of an unknown, we are aware of what to do, what not to do, we have vaccines that work and most importantly we have collectively experienced the symptoms and we have recovered. Whether the pandemic has entered the endemic stage or not, we surely have entered a much more mature and resilient phase in dealing with it. Perhaps, just perhaps, the cold bitter winter is over, and spring is upon us.
I hope it is spring after the pandemic. Could it be that the long-awaited celebration is upon us? Holi kab hai; kab hai Holi, kab?
Prof. Saral Mukherjee
Dean, Alumni and External Relations