Friday, 19 June, 2009

Lyf at EDI... part II

Moving on to the staff involved in the organisation of the EDI Youth Summer Camp, there were three main professors involved, and my grievance with this, is, that all three of them are PhD. in Psychology, and most people who know me, know that I ask too many questions, and psycho never has answers cause I find, it contradicts itself all the time! Now if you see the faculty (use the EDI schedule waali link), you'll find that there are a lot of professors who are economists and teach things like finance and marketting and stuff, so I feel that things can be taken a notch up, and instead of droning about psychology, let's see something more... Also, it seemed like a one-man show throughout... I mean there were people who came to address us and all, but maybe it's because I'm used to seeing an organising team of atleast 20-25 students at any smallest college event that we organise, but I felt participation of a few more faculty members would have been appreciated.

Another shortcoming of the course was that it's not very well publicized, so as a result, majority of the participants were from Ahmedabad, which though not a drawback, does limit the diversity of the group. Though I must admit that we did have participants from quite a few places...

Moving on to the dramatic presentation that we were supposed to give, we had ours on the last day, on 18th actually (supposed to be a compensation for early thematic ppt). So we sat back and enjoyed watching others struggle with their thematics. The dramatic presentations brought forth a lot of talents in people we were hithero unaware about.... We had a guy who gave the entire Naseeruddin Shah waala dialogue from Wednesday, the one that takes place at the end between him and Anupam Kher, and the imitation of their voices was ultimate. If you closed your eyes, it would seem as if someone had put on the movie...

Apart from that, we had guys who regularly performed in drama groups, and gave standing ovation deserving performances. We had guitar players, we had singers, we had a tabla player who had trained since an extremely young age... it was really nice to see all the talent coming to the fore... and it was good to unwind in the evening, after a long day...

But I am moving to the best part of the entire Camp.... we visited the IIM A campus, a place where I dream to be... a place I still see, not with closed eyes, but with open ones... as I struggle at the moment with all my decisions regarding CAT, I see the marvellous brick structure, and I reiterate my promise... that I will be there... no matter what... It's a sprawling campus, and has a typical brick structure, if you see the EDI campus also, it seems a little similar to the IIM... And the Vikram Sarabhai library.... whoa! words fail me... even the classrooms look good... I wish with all my heart to be there... *fingers crossed*

We also visited the NID, and the designs we saw there, gave an idea about the kind of creativity it takes to make those T-shirts we wear with funky designs and quotes... Even this was good, though for me, IIM easily took the cake...

Apart from that, we visited the Akshardham Temple, and I mostly went simply out of curiosity, to see what exactly the temple contained. We saw the entire presentation on Swaminarayan, which I found was okay-ish, but I had no strength left to bear another one hour show, and since most people felt the same way in the melting sweltering heat of Ahmedabad summer, we just went on a few rides(yeah there are rides and all within the campus though you have to pay separately), and then all we wanted to do was to get back to the air-conditioned rooms... Frankly, this has become an industry, and that is what irritates me more than anything else... but fine, as long as we're getting for-ex... I am cool... just don't expect me to be there...

We also went to see the Gandhi Ashram and the National Museum. We saw a 3-D movie at the Museum, and I have to admit, that graphics wise it was one of the best India made 3-D movie I have seen... Then we went to a few shopping places... but since malls are always the same everywhere, we decided to give it a skip, three of us hard-core bookaholics decided to spend the time checking out the Crossword collection, and a few went for bowling. After Crossword, we decided to try a swanky looking place next to it... Crazy noodles, the ambience and the arrangement and everything was actually Crazy... we had these glasses the waiters called the Crazy glasses (yeah we asked), and the menu card was picture perfect... Sorry I don't have any pics... (yeah you guessed it right, thanks to a camera devoid phone), but the glasses were something like... well they didn't have a steady base, they kept rotating, and the way those people put them down for you, giving it a twirl and a spin... it's cool... Ahmedabadis, do check it out if you still haven't... (Even google images doesn't have pics of it... :O)

One of the most horrible things to happen to me... I wanted sooooo badly to meet Mads, yeah the one who makes a Mess... :P and was sooo looking forward to it, but the EDI authorities, hey bhagwaan kuch karo inka... we were not allowed to go out of the campus at all, and even after that, we decided to meet on our Shopping Day, and freak and bizzare situations emerged, forcing us to cancel it... :'( :'( :'( :'( and we could not meet... :(

Anyway, these were the highs and lows of the entire EDI Youth Summer Camp, and all of us are in regular touch with each other... a close group of 57 students and a teacher (who was technically not a teacher, and a very good friend of the entire group) . The facebook community lives, the MSN chats, the Yahoo Messengers, the gtalk chats, FB chats, skype talks, and what-nots... social networking makes it so simple, it's on a platter, and I'll repeat what I have often said... the most important thing you take from there, is not the knowledge, it is the network of friends... and in certain cases, you might ahem ahem... also find somebody... as we had a chance to see... ;) Budding relationships... you know... :P

If someone asks me sometime in life, should I go for the EDI Youth Summer Camp, my answer would be most emphatically yes... go if not for the lectures, go for the amount of fun you'll have... and the basic purpose of writing this two part series is not to fill in the blog space... it is so, because when I google searched before deciding if I should go ahead and attend it, there was very little information about it, practically zilch. I had to turn to one of my elder sisters who happened to know about the college and said that there was no harm in going,and nothing to lose. And that is what I would say for it... loss is nil and gain overflows...

P.S. Some of you may have noticed, and yeah I've been trying to bring this page to the fore, so that when somebody types EDI Youth Summer Camp, and hits, I'm feeling lucky! I get to feel lucky too :P ;)



Thursday, 18 June, 2009

Lyf at EDI...

OK, so finally I get down to writing about the awesome time we had at EDI...

Priti (yeah, I'm linking... gimme my commission after you're back! I'm almost broke after footing my clearance for the library card ;) )and I left together after hell lot of problems (to say the least). We took a flight on the morning of the 10th and consequently reached late and missed the very first session. Though we were provided with a pick-up facility from the airport and EDI, being pretty close to the airport, it didn't take us very long to reach. The driver showed us the various industries and the river which flows through the city. I remember his statement... 'Gujaratis are very polite people' and this got confirmed at every stage I can recall.

Being newcomers always feels a little awkward, as in reaching after everybody else has, and then entering in the middle of a lecture and being made to sit in the first row, when you don't know what it is exactly about.... phew! And when the very first session is supposed to be Micro lab and familiarisation... don't get fooled by the high class Angreji... it was just a session on ice-breaking and helping people in getting to know each other...

So after we missed the first session, we knew that thawing the ice would take a little longer for us... We hoped we would be in the same room, but it turned out that they had been alloted in an alphabetical order, and in retrospection, it was a good thing that we were not together. So right after the first session, we caught up with a group of girls during lunch, most of whom were just tenth pass students (ok technically just given their xams, their results weren't out yet!) I felt like I might be easily among the eldest people out there... even though the age group was 16-22.

After lunch, we got to meet our respective room-mates... my room-mate was Nirja Acharya, a med student studying in the US. A striking factor was that a lot of them were Gujjus and majority among them from Ahmedabad.

An overview of the schedule of the workshop can be found here.

Though a lot of things are missing from over here... like the fact that we were made to get up at 5.30 in the morning, yeah for yoga... which was followed with some free time wherein people who wanted to read newspapers could do so... or play TT... (There were two tables)... or just while around... By 8 we were supposed to be ready and attend morning prayers... though a staunch agnostic, and not exactly a believer of prayers, I did like sitting there, and listening to the people chanting hymns and all...

8.15 was the time we got served our breakfast, and the Gujju food was mind-blowing... simply too good... I heard a lot of "bottom-line" *wink wink* problems taking place in the 10 days we were there... The rooms are heaven for someone descending from the IIMs or any other normal college hostel room... fully furnished with paintings (yes!) and air conditioned... (yes!) and spatious, on twin sharing basis... wow! The library at EDI looks like a palace compared to the one at my college, and I am not talking about the size. The collection of books on varied topics is really good. Add to it the availability of Wi-fi anywhere in the campus, who wouldn't want to be there?

Apart from that, we i.e. the total 57 participants were divided into 6 groups and each group had to give a thematic presentation and a dramatic presentation. Priti and I both ended up as leaders of our respective groups (yeah again we were not together... why do people always have to arrange things alphabetically????) and the horrible luck that I possessed, it turned out that we had our thematic ppt the very next day! Yeah, here I was, leader of a group I didn't know anything about, and less than 2 hrs left before we were forcefully herded back to out rooms... no Wi-fi on the first day (coz you have to get laptops configured first and we got to know this at around 9pm and we had our ppt at 7 pm the next day!) The tragedy!

So in one hour we garnered as much info as we could, (from the computer centres, thankfully I did have my pendrive!) and there being only one laptop in the entire group (mine), I had to take the responsibility of making the entire ppt, but that still didn't leave any of the members with any time to practice... Nirja and I still managed to put up a ppt after being awake till almost 2.30am, and Nirja was looking like near-drugged, coz she anyway had a jetlag... (she'd travelled from the US the same morning)

And these people had a problem with even girls going to each others' rooms after 10pm *banging head on the wall * WHAT were they expecting??? I mean, you couldn't even sit out on the lawns, and there were actually guards sitting outside the rooms, and WTF, the guards sat near where our rooms were, which meant the guys could do anything they liked!!! Some of them even shifted their beds to other rooms! I mean, even we people wanna do masti! We were there for only 10 days!

So Nirja and I somehow got the ppt near completion, though she had to give up before me, coz of the jetlag... and the next day, we didn't have any time till the evening to do anything about it. The Wi-fi was still for some reason not working... nobody was prepared, and it looked like a sure doom, and to top it all, some of the members of the group were not willing to go on the stage and speak, coz they had stage fear... but adamant as I can be, I forced everybody to go... No I am not trying to be apne muh miyan mithu, (and I don't care if that's what you think it is!) what I am trying to say is... it was chance for them, to remove their stage fear, and I wanted them to take it... not everybody gets the same opportunities in life...

So boring as the ppt may be, the slides were text heavy (how could I expect anybody to be able to learn anything in 2 hrs!!! from 5pm when the day session ended to 7pm when we were supposed to present it...), I could not put in the small pics that I usually put for a bit of light touch (no internet!), it was boring... yeah I know it was... just history of famous entrepreneurs, (now when has that ever solicited a non sleepy response from anybody?) But I was happy about one thing.... everybody spoke... however dragon-like the audience may have seemed to be, they did speak... and speak well they did!

We had this thing called MILLY, Most Important Lessons Learnt Yesterday, when we were supposed to sum up the previous day's lessons, as the name itself says... and that too was an effort simply to make people come up and speak... there too, like a shepherd's dogs nudge the sheep to be on the right path, I was after their (yeah my group members must have sworn at me like anything) lives to go and speak on the stage... (actually technically it wasn't even a stage, I mean it was just a conference room and there was no elevation or anything that qualifies as "stage" )

My biggest achievement- when a group member came to me and asked me for feedback each day after having spoken during the MILLY and when he said... Thank You..., introduced me to his cousin sister (who had come to meet him) as the one who made him go and speak on the stage, the pride in his eyes, and consequently mine, was unmistakable.

OK, I believe you've had enough of the narcissist me and are probably about to grunt and groan and hit that X button on the tab... so before you do that... I am ending the first part here... Yeah this will have to be in parts... there's such a lot to share... so watch this space...



Wednesday, 10 June, 2009

Back, invisible and hiding...


OK guys... I am damn sorry... this blog has been inactive for a month, and for months there hasn't been anything worth reading on it (was there ever anything???)

Yet I have been bestowed upon with awards... thanks to Mads (I am not linking... I am extremely lazy! Find her in my comments section!) To Mads, Thank You... \:D/

I haven't been bloghopping either (sorry... ), yet I got the shock of my life, when I saw that all blogs from my I Read... list were missing, thankfully I follow almost all blogs so I was able to recover almost all of them again... if there's any missing and was there earlier, I'd be glad if you point it out...

As you have probably seen, this blog has got a complete facelift, something that was long promised and has been extremely late in coming... *hiding her face* As the header says... if there's something you'd rather be changed... you're welcome to point it out...

Now apart from all this news, I have some more... I had a rocking time at EDI and I'll write about it in complete detail... *you're allowed to bug me over this*

My college starts on 16th... :( yes, of this very month... where did my holidays go??? So I can't even say... I promise to be regular in posting henceforth...

Gosh! I think I sound like those newsreaders we used to have in the school assembly... Good Morning, I am so and so... lets begin with the news... First in brief... 

Yeah, I know...sickening sense of humor I've got at this moment... wait, did I say humor?

Oh enough of the torture... bbye!