Every day, when the clock strikes 13:45, IIM Ahmedabad erupts into chaos.

Go to the mess, you’ll find students nervously checking their phones.

Right outside, there will be a group lurking around the noticeboard.

Walk around and every 10 meters, you’ll overhear the phrase, ‘aya kya?’

You might also come across some omniscient gurus declaring to their groups, ‘I am telling you, it can’t happen today. They haven’t circulated the slides yet’. Or some damn pessimists saying ‘It will definitely happen. The professor was clearly hinting at it.’

The ‘it’ is IIMA’s (in)famous surprise quiz which is announced at 13:45. You can’t possibly know which day(s) it will be announced. Worse, you don’t know for which subject it will be announced. So, every day, the campus is abuzz with, ‘You’ll see, today it will definitely be ID’, ‘No no, PS will happen’, and of course, ‘FRA won’t happen, right?’ Knowing smiles are exchanged in corridors. Professors’ remarks are dissected for clues. And greetings are substituted with pleas for remedial sessions.

One of our alumni once told us that even today, at 13:45, his body goes through a sudden sense of urgency. I am starting to understand why.

But different people have different takes on the concept. While some are ready to throttle the PGP officer, many feel that these quizzes prepare us for the ‘surprises’ that life throws at us. And then there are others who say that they simply make life interesting. No day passes us by in a slumber. The adrenaline rush slowly builds up throughout the day before reaching its peak at 13:45. Whatever it is, I think that very soon, it will become an ordinary part of our not-so-ordinary routines.

I have been wanting to write about my life at IIMA for quite a few days. But every time something would come up, and I couldn’t find time to do this. But I think it was for the best. Because what better way to start my ‘Chronicles of IIMA’ than with the legendary 13:45?



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