I joined Presidency College in 1989 after spending 13 years in one school. It was certainly a big move for me from the confines of a well-structured and regimented institution to an illustrious college.
To begin with, I would not express even an iota of shyness to share my (then and now) pride of getting admission into one of the most prestigious colleges and that too in physics; the phrase ‘Presidency Physics’ was synonymous with a lot of superlatives that would typically exemplify a very smart student, which in itself one could see themselves in a surprisingly vantage point.
Although I took my studies seriously, I also immersed myself into the world outside academics.
I found the socio-cultural fabric that defined and symbolised the extra-curricular to be particularly interesting. Having studied in a boy’s school, my definition and concept of friendship was a 13-year continuum within which there were episodes of euphoria, tears, brawls, angst, and love.
At Presidency, I was exposed to an unknown, expansive opulence of diversity that opened my ears and eyes into a kaleidoscopic world of real world experiences and life lessons.
I saw boys and girls falling in love and how they drew comfort through acts of togetherness. I too had that experience.
I took active interest in sports (was the TT champion and the physics cricket team captain) and cultural events (Milieu) and learnt, among many other subtleties, the art of negotiations (getting sponsorships for the fest), coordinating mega events, effective persuasions (still remember how I pleaded Dilip da to get me the attendance needed to sit for the honours exams promising him that I would secure a first division), of taking success into stride but in moderation, and many a life lesson.
Looking back, I lived a dream in a capsule that packed in pretty much everything that I needed to be ready to face the brave new world.
Last but not the least, the infrastructure and ambience that Presidency had to offer, taught me how to think BIG; how to expand my mind, to innovate beyond the norms and to cultivate the art of transformative thinking.
And to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary, I will be coming from Florida to take part in the game of cricket at the Eden Gardens on February 11. I am privileged and proud to be a Presidencian!
(Tilak Mitra is CTO and IBM Distinguished Engineer at IBM. The views expressed are personal.)