I have distinct memories of the day when I got a call from a good friend regarding this ‘training institute for GDPI’. Up until that point, I had little idea that such institutes even existed. I was blissfully engrossed in QA/DI/LR/VA, without the slightest care for the fact that I might have to face an interview panel at a real B-school. I consented and we turned up at Backspace. Little did I know then of what I’d signed up for. GDPI training? I assure you it’s ABOUT MUCH MUCH MORE. I cannot think of too many forms I’ve pored over longer than that one A4 sheet that I had to handle shortly after we’d exchanged pleasantries with the man himself. And it wasn’t as if there was a time limit either, cue ‘Take your time’. He just left us with that form, in that room. While my friend scribbled away furiously, I sat there, scratching my chin, thinking, as I’d not done in years. Backspace was about INTROSPECTING. We were drafted in to Batch Bond, with VA classes to start with, and here’s where the next lesson was learnt. The lesson was a simple one. Ethics and morality. It seemed slightly harsh to start with. Today, I realize that one bad egg has the potential to ruin the whole basket. Backspace was about VALUES. Batch Bond had super performers. Puskar and Pradipta showed us how it was done on day 1, with Dwaipayan picking up the cues in the most able manner. These three apart, Swarnendu with his rather interesting alternate views, Dibya with a great sense of humor made Bond a great bunch. Then came a date with the Rockstars; Debjit, with his brand of unassuming intelligence, Sreedipto, with his blend of creatvity and a quirky sense of humor and Ratan were among the standouts. Among the Bonds I got acquainted with later, Suvajit with his delightful ingenuousness, Purva, a natural leader with all the ideas, Ruchi, with her enthusiasm were the brighter sparks. Backspace was about AMAZING PEOPLE. Amidst all the fun-filled intensive learning sessions, Backspace turned one. Trying to lend a helping hand to the likes of Dwaipayan, Aritro and Puskar, was a truly enriching experience. The evening was an enthralling ride, what with events like Bhaskar’s stand up comedy, Sreedipto’s mastery with the violin, Prad and Debjit-induced crowd chanting, and of course PPD’s song. Backspace was about EXPRESSION. We had the small matter of XAT to negotiate, and days were spent poring over test papers. Decision making has never been a forte for yours truly, and if anything comes close to describing how PPD dealt with it, I would have to think absolutely magical. He dealt with me the way no manager at work ever could (ok PPD sorry about the comparison.) He got me to WORK. I remember the night before XAT, when I sat at Backspace with 60 decision making caselets, PPD taking me through over half of those. Only later would I realize the importance of what the man had inspired me to. Backspace was about MOTIVATION. CAT went off awfully for me. One of my significant targets missed, I decided to recline in the comfort and safety of my shell. I reacted. PPD RESPONDED, leading me out of my shell, making me realize I still had another of my targets to negotiate. By 20th February, PPD tells me ‘You’ll convert HRM’. 21st night, I call up PPD, ‘PPD, I love this place, HRM it’s gotta be’. PPD ‘I have faith in you. You’ll convert HRM’. Today, I sit back and think about the clincher for me that fateful day. Surely, it has to be that person you respect, that tells you, ‘Yes you CAN’. For the bouncing back alone, I owe it to PPD. Backspace IS about WINNING.