"The next one is Bipin Kulkarni... also from IIM Bangalore!"
I sat there emotionless as my name was announced. It was the moment when I was named an Aditya Birla Scholar - awarded to only 10 management students across the IIMs. A dream of three months had finally come true.
I got up and started walking towards the stage. For a moment, I drifted into a different world. I saw a different set of people around me. They were all standing along the path where I walked, smiling and waving. I could identify each one of them. They had finally showed me the path, the path I would finally tread! They were my support system - people who prepared me psychologically to face the challenging interview, people to whom I owed it all, people without whom, I could not have come so far.
I saw my mother whose eyes were moist with joy, I saw my father whose face glowed with pride, I saw my brother who was trying to stop himself from screaming his voice out!
I saw my closest set of friends from IIM Bangalore. I saw Aarthi, Harish, Lavanya and IP... all donning the proud IIMB T-Shirt standing and smiling. They had been with me on campus at Bangalore when I faced the stressful days of the first term. I never had a lonely moment to feel bogged down. They had been with me when I needed them the most. They were again with me, this time in Mumbai. A smile finally wiped my face, which was emotionless otherwise.
A moment later, I was back to the Ball Room of Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai where the award ceremony was taking place. It took me a moment to realize that I was indeed walking through the crowd smartly dressed up in business suits, looking up at me and clapping.
A few seconds later I was standing infront of Smt. Rajashree Birla... and the felicitations followed...
Aditya Birla Scholarship Website: http://www.adityabirlascholars.net/abgs_circle/20007.aspx