It’s almost been a year since I’ve been adopted by TAPMI, and what a year it has been. From the initial skepticism to missing the place now, TAPMI has taught me more than what I have probably learnt in the last twenty five years. The curriculum framed integrates seamlessly with life survival skills, so that when you finally pass out, you are not just a PGDM holder, but a human who can survive and fight the big bad world out there. TAPMI challenges the very norm of staying in your comfort zone and drags you out and hangs you out to dry.

A morning trek to the classes from the hostels ensures that students have the adrenaline pulsing through their veins before they enter the classes. Once you enter the class, this rush helps you get in pace with the cases and concepts that are tossed nonchalantly at you. Beware though, you get all this only if you are punctual to the classes. A minute late, and all that adrenaline goes waste.

You get to trek either when it is really sunny or really rainy. There is no middle path. Either you are drenched in your sweat or you are drenched in the rains. Nature conspires to test your will and grit. Now like everything in life, you do have a choice. Are you going to blame the weather or are you going to plan well enough to overcome it and ensure you are in class?….Lesson 1 in decision making!

Classes begin and you need to be at the top of your wits to ensure that the time spent inside the class is fruitful. From surprise quizzes to presentations to class participation, a number of metrics judge your performance inside the class. So unlike your undergrad where you probably spent your time dreaming in class and going home to cram, you got to be at the top of your game even in the few hours you spend inside class. Then again, it’s a choice and it’s a decision. And as history has taught us, every choice translates into an action which has a consequence.

Finish your classes, and return to the comfort of your rooms. And as you open your laptop to check out the latest episode of Suits, you see your mailbox with mails that demand your attention. A few mails talk about pre-reads, a few about project deadlines and a few about guest lectures. One important rule, even Batman can be excused for not wearing his suit if he hasn’t pressed it, but as a TAPMIan you better have that suit of yours EVER ready. You would need to wear it for a majority of your guest lectures and presentations. And oh I forgot, I did not state the obvious. Attendance is mandatory for these lectures. I am not going to say you have a choice here.

Tackle these lectures, and your next big challenge is your working group commonly termed as FAS (Faculty Advisory System). Now as I said earlier, TAPMI looks at making you feel comfortable. Now this FAS might probably have someone whom you detested from day one, or it probably has a member whom you’ve fallen head over heels with right from day one. In either way, it is advisable to exercise caution and focus on what needs to be done as a team. Like they say, you don’t mix business with pleasure or even displeasure. Given the rigor and the demands of the course, working alone is not really a wise choice here. So unless you are Superman, you better get on to your designated team of Avengers and do what is required of you. One important fact: A Good FAS is a myth, so if someone says that to you, laugh on that person’s face.

Time transcends boundaries here. Days and nights seamlessly integrate, and you realize that maybe 24 hours in a day is a trifle too less. Hours over noodles are replaced with hours spent studying for moodles (your online subject based quizzes). To ensure that you don’t fall sleepy at night, you have a night canteen that provides you all that you need to burn that midnight lamp. While you might crib initially about these odd hours of work, you later realize during the course of the year that there are some added benefits to working so late in the night.

Moodles are inevitably followed by examinations. And soon enough, you would join a crowd of people huddled around the notice board where your marks are displayed. Forget counting on the abacus, you tirelessly count the number of people above and below you, every time marks are displayed. Relative grading my friend! So even a difference of a few decimals could bring about a significant change in your grades and hence your grade point average.

Get past the examinations, project work, submissions and you find yourself playing ‘Catch me if you can’ with a host of firms who visit the campus to recruit you for their summer internships. You might make it right at your first attempt, or you might have to wait all year. The job may not interest you, may not pay you what you think you deserve and it probably might not be in the location that you wanted, but then again, what is the fun in doing what you are comfortable at? The choice is still yours, and you might be lucky to get all of the above as you desired or at least two of the three factors might be favourable to you. Either way, these recruitments are again a real test of your decision making ability.

So work, work and only work? Is this all TAPMI is about? A big NO! A host of committees specialize in nurturing your interests and work all the year round in the institute. From pursuing social endeavours to penning poems and articles, or pursuing external projects, your favourite sports, these committees offer multiple avenues to keep your hobbies and interests alive. You can opt out of them, but then again, this is probably your last chance to be part of something like this.

In addition to this, you can have all the parties that you want over the weekends. Party hard but party safe! You can also consider exploring a plethora of places in and around Manipal during your two year tenure here. All of these would add to your memories as you graduate from this esteemed institute.

The picturesque campus offers some breath-taking views. You might be lucky to catch glimpses of varied flora and fauna during your stay here. So for all the avid photographers, this is one campus you wouldn’t want to miss out on. So that’s about it people. This is a small peek into the world called TAPMI.

This is a place that challenges all your notions. This is a place that tests your character, a place that separates the men from the boys and a place that gives you more than just a degree. This is a place which grounds you and instills in you, a certain sense of discipline and pride. This is coming from a person who was literally dragged from the comfort of his bed back at home. So you have a choice. You either tap out to quit, or you continue to fight, irrespective of what the result might be.

Remember, actions and decisions…always have consequences.

An inferno which burns your ego and all traces of your past

And as you pass out, your body burns with an inferno-like passion

You have transcended your limitations and burnt your old-self

You are ready now, to lead and carry forth the legacy!

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