GCBS; Memoirs of my Alma mater

Image courtesy: Facebook page for GCBS (7th Foundation Day 2014 graced by Minister for Information and communications, HE D N Dhungyel)
A lazy browse through facebook, took me to the page Gaeddu College of Business Studies. There I saw pictures of 7th college foundation day posted. While clicking the “like” buttons, I happened to tickle my hippocampus. Hence I jotted down my memoirs as hereunder.

Albeit, fall semester sessions were already in full swing, we were in mood to celebrate, partly because classes were not to be. It was October 14, 2008 that GCBS was officially founded and graced by her majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.. I was a part of it, a proud claim. 

Since then much water has flown. First batch passed out in 2010 (including me). Subsequently four classes have graduated until 2014. Addition of few thousands to the nations human resource and may be insignificantly to unemployment stats too. That for me is a pretty descent contribution to nation building.

We were the first batch of students to undertake the flagship program of Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) curriculum. It was a paradigm change in delivery and evaluation. Erstwhile DU (Delhi University) courses were more than 90% exam based evaluation. But RUB courses were 50% course work based. DU courses were conventional text book study, while RUB was a case study and assignments & reduced text book study. So we literally had to toil.  

In Sherubtse the so called “Peak of learning” that the first batch of BBA’s began. The program unusually started in the fall of 2006 and continued till spring of 2008 in Kanglung, before we moved to Gedu. Often we would rue for being made guinea pigs.

We pleaded before the vice chancellor for record four times but for no avail. Then we took up with no less than the then prime minister. Yet our efforts didn’t bear fruit. The subject of our plea was to accord a due recognition to the degree (BBA). Our demands were prominently based on the content of the course, pedagogy, evaluation and relevance among others. Besides, it was also a four year course.

As proverbially observed “justice takes its own course”, it took long. For us it was “justice delayed is justice denied”. Although four batches could not benefit, subsequent batches did. BBA became a three year course and much lighter I was told. But it was one extra year of free education for the golden generation. That is right; we had an edge in the job market. We cracked the most coveted civil services exam with excellence, even with half-hearted preparations (at least for me).

While at college, we drank deep and partied hard. We played for fun. Our studies were nevertheless the top priority. We learnt to live with differences. We disagreed without being disagreeable. We learnt to think out of the box with examples from beyond the borders. We learnt to think and argue. We made arguments our means, not ends. We dreamt big and high, with foot firmly on the ground. We neither made thoughts our aim nor dream our masters. We worked in teams and defended our assignments. We actually came in as larva and flew out as colorful butterflies. We shed our cocoons in GCBS.

Leadership skill-set was my prominent take away from my alma mater. From a mere group leader to class representative and a hostel TV custodian to college president, I learnt humility was leadership. Talent and integrity when blended with sincere humility begets inspiration. Inspiration is a fire, the virtuous fire that can arouse the spirit of mankind. This arouses the basic goodness in men for a common purpose.

Among lots of other things, I met the love of my life while in GCBS. We are yet to visit this rendezvous together once again.

I believe the time in college instilled this thirst for learning in me. In fact, I read more after college.  This was the amber that I collected from GCBS and which started burning profusely after I left the campus. It was also at GCBS that my idea of ethical living became clear. These were the reasons behind the choice of my career, auditing. Too much of my own trumpet, lets dwell on other ideas.

Difference between legality and crime for me is a mere perception. We had situations similar to the one reported recently about 17 students being locked up. We amicably resolved then. Young minds are gullible; they are prone to bad influences. But as a society we are supposed to deal gently. Let’s not label them as criminals and throw out. We move forward as societies not as individuals. What was illegal becomes legal with an amendment of one word in the rule book. Such is the hypocrisy, if we really talk about what is legal and what is not.

Young minds are like glasses, so, handle with care we must. Now the college going age has drastically come down, due to early enrollment, which means lower maturity. When they come of age, they must be taught to think the right way. They must also be told that law or seniority is not the substitute for logic. Tell them why it is undesirable to steal or earn without hard work. Leave a culture which reveals that it is desirable to live with dignity and die with honor.

 Emblem:Facebook Page of GCBS
Within a decent period of time GCBS garnered its own halo but it takes time to build legacies. It’s the onus of ex and current alumni to add to the legacy. The society also has the responsibility to respect the sanctity of a premier learning institution. Students may come and go but college remains. Let’s not smear the silver moon with temporary stains of blood.

In early September 2013 a colleague of mine messaged me on Facebook. It said that college management desires the presence of some of us, for an evaluation and a reunion. It was a proposal that I couldn’t refuse. Subsequently five of us made a nostalgic return to Gaeddu College after 3 years. By then many changes had been made. Director rose to DG, deservedly so. Familiar faces were all gone, gone for good. We saw young new generation buzzing around the printing room, book store and canteens. In fact the directors’ IIM-like vision was not so far, I realized. It reminisced my own busy days while at the college.

Thinking of GCBS, I believe happiness is truly a place in the heart. In which you live not just once, but over and over again.


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