The 'Why' of Existence

The Why of Existence

Two months into B-school and one mid-term later, I feel exhausted! Exhausted with the Quizzes, the CV making, the network I’m supposed to build but hadn’t quite gotten there yet feeling; the template everyone wants you to fit in, the immense competition with the best minds in the country…the list could go on!

Amidst all this hullabaloo of assignments and case studies and low grades in Quizzes, a faint voice inside my head asks- WHY?

I go back to the interview room at Monarch Luxur Hotel in Bengaluru on the 9th of April this year where the esteemed Professor of this institute asked the same question.


I had an answer with technical jargon like “Discovering Core Competencies of my Life” and that MBA is a “right fit” for the career ahead. Until now, I believed either that answer or the stimulating conversation with another Professor in the panel about Jhumpa Lahiri’s narrative style got me the seat in IIM Calcutta. Now I know which one actually did!

Another friend asks me here upon hearing my long rant on how tough its getting day by day- “what did you want to achieve before coming here”. I fell short of words and I started saying how the idea of possibility of an MBA initiated while talking with a friend and how I have always believed there’s something more to learn the way I lead or work in a group and hence MBA. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t believe my words when they came out.


The unrest in mind created a ripple effect and initiated few more questions: Why am I here? Why do we do things the way we do? Why do I need to stay alive? While some questions like Why MBA can always be dodged; the Why of Existence is the least cared about and the most impacting one to anyone who has a brain in working condition.

When I was a 7-year-old, my Moral Sciences teacher taught the lesson on how a Name rather than Riches last centuries. I was so fascinated with the lesson that I went home to explain the whole chapter to my Dad on how great Leaders, their Name, their legacy stayed for centuries and finally declared- “Dad, I want to be the Kavya of the world and live on and on and on so that kids my age could read about me in their books”. My Dad was amazed for a moment, laughed and said, “Making a name is good, but earning money is Primary.” I wasn’t convinced then with his idea. But here I am, living his theory; completely invested in the What of existence: What do I want to be in 5 years, what position do I want to hold in a company and what value can I add to the organization.

Somehow, amidst our ambitions of earning more, being more and “More is Good” principle (from Microeconomics theory- I just completed midterms you see); we’re all forgetting to question the Why of Existence. I think the moment we start thinking about the purpose of it all, we might be able to find solutions to the questions that trouble us and keep us awake.

I have started working on my WHY. When will you…?

P.S. Simon Sinek talks about the power of Why, How and What - an inspiring watch on the same topic. Its TED talk, I felt its worth all the 18 precious minutes of my B-school life. Give it a try.

Poetry by:
Kavya Devarapalli
PGP Batch of 2019