A twenty-something man from Ranchi, Jharkhand, who owed three failed attempts at CAT to his lack of confidence, finally walks into an IIM and in a year, becomes one of the most well-known faces in the college – that’s Ritesh Pathak for you.
Described variously as ‘Yaaron ka yaar’, ‘Pathak Ji’, he came, he saw and he conquered hearts. He is the person who you could blindly trust and he wouldn’t ever disappoint.
He moved to Kolkata in 2011 for his job and to prepare for CAT. This colonial city, where the old meets the new at every street corner, played a crucial role in shaping the man that he is. The delicate mix of a character that he developed here allowed him to mingle freely with everyone right from the security guards to the Administrative Officer at IIM Rohtak.
He had appeared for CAT thrice, without any significant success. After the last of these attempts, his parents tried to convince him to settle for an average college that his marks could fetch. Digging deep into his perfectionist self, he prepared again. After a year of hard work, he converted a few top institutes and finally decided to join IIM Rohtak. The institute’s location in the Delhi NCR, positive alumni reviews, good placements and faculties helped him take the choice.
Once into IIM Rohtak, he says, “I was in complete awe of the institute, the faculty and the students. I used to observe my seniors, their confidence and made up my mind to become like them very soon. I took the time to acclimatize myself to the culture of a B-school. I applied for few clubs and committees. I got through into the Public Relations Cell, and that was one of the best things that happened in my life.” In retrospect, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to say that he has been one of the most valuable members of all the teams he became a part of – the committee, events and clubs.
He is a friend to all. However, he has the unique ability to take a stand and even go against a friend if the situation calls for it. When it comes to choosing between his principles and friendship, he has been known to go with the former and talk his way to preserve the later. To quote Albus Dumbledore, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies. But a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”
With roommate Karan
On Ritesh’s friendship, Karan Shah, his roommate for two years at IIM Rohtak, has this to say, “He is a well-wisher, gives continuous support as a friend, best roommate to live with, worships his work, highly dedicated individual, knows when to speak his mind and when to keep quiet and observe. In any kind of trouble that may arise, you know he will be there to help. He garners immense respect for the dedication he brings to the team he works with.”
Siddharth Mehndiratta, who has worked with Ritesh for two years, says, “Ritesh Pathak is indeed the most respected batchmate. His selflessness, unwavering commitment to the tasks he undertakes, unparalleled patience, and childlike smile while pulling everyone’s leg (at least mine :/) make him who he is. I am so glad to be good friends with him and would love to preserve this friendship through my lifetime.”
Thanks to his exploits with the camera and his character as described by his mates, Ritesh was chosen the General Secretary of the Annual Fest of IIM Rohtak, Infusion. He left no stone unturned to make the fest a grand success. Asha Singh, the person to share the post with Pathak, has this to say on working with him: “I am glad to have Ritesh as my partner in the team. He has been a real support. You always need a person like him in the team, who is liked by everyone. Though we had our share of difficulties, I think we did a good job in conducting Infusion.”
Pathak with the PR Cell 06 team
The juniors are equally in awe of the person that he is. To Akshat Modi, a first-year student, he is an inspiration. Talking about the multiple responsibilities he shouldered at any given point of time, Modi says, “Marathon’s PR work, PR Cell’s work, Individual needs of a Committee member, Infusion sponsorship, Placement concern – he takes care of all these simultaneously! That’s how Ritesh Pathak rolls! I’d be genuinely surprised if I come across another person who does as much as he’s done for this college and its incumbents. He’s a real gem. I feel lucky to have worked with him and give the credit for whatever I have achieved thus far, to him. He’s the perfect role model and commands respect.”
Enough of others’ comments, I must take this opportunity to pen down my own impression of Pathak Ji (as we fondly call him). At the outset, I was moved by his humility. I have, at times, been involved in clandestine work with no one but him in the loop. Of the numerous people I have met in this institute, some love themselves, others work for their career, and yet others work on their principles. He is one of those rare individuals who love this institute by heart and devoted his primary efforts towards its development.
Of all the things I have seen him doing, he had a more difficult time doing no other work than talking about himself. At last, he relented and somehow gave me a write-up of his days at IIM Rohtak. In the end, he said, “If this doesn’t look appropriate, you can leave this story. I won’t feel bad”.
I thought, “Pathak Ji will lose nothing if I don’t do a story on him; we would surely regret not telling a tale worth telling.”
(Pathak Ji’s team member)