Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Year That Was

As I was about to board the bus, I looked back to the top of the last gate of Amausi Airport. It read 'Lucknow. Arrivals'. I just realized that I wasn't going to see the board for the next two months. I was about to leave my home for the past 10 months for a brief stint at Bangalore, back to where I had so many memories.
Exactly 294 days, 19 hours and 30 mins back I was at the same Amausi Airport. I was about to start a new life, a new beginning. The first month went well. My hard work in the committee selections paid off and I became a part of Team SynapsE. In one shot the doors to so many activities on campus opened up. In August, Section F had its first party at DC 54. We had a private lounge, some drinks (guess the topper?), a lot of hukaah (guess the other topper) and terrific impromptu dancing (The great Montek!) . And to top it all, the section anthem 'Battiyan bujha do ki neend nahi aati hai'. We literally sang the song like a zillion times on our way back in the cab (Dunno how the cab driver put up with that :)). A rocking party and a perfect way to celebrate our victory in Camaraderie 2010 where we won probably 80% of the competitions.
A week later we had the Dharam-Rishabh-you know who saga. A small mistake by Dharmesh led to 4 hours of ultimate fun and some embarassing moments for him. The talk of the campus and probably the basis for Dharmesh going on to work really hard during Index 2010 (Although he would disagree to that! :)). As they say 'Ek choti galti aapko ... bana sakti hai'.
The first term break was totally welcome. The first trip back home, some amazing time at the Sunderbans, lovely sightseeing, home-made food. The stay was peaceful to say the least. But little did I know that the peace was shortlived.
Term II started on a very promising note. We had Varchasva 2010 on campus amidst a lot of scheduling issues primarily due to the Ayodha verdict and the associated tension in the city. It was fun though watching an event being organized of IIM stature (although I doubt it reached the levels it had promised). I won Dwandwa, the English Debate even though earlier my team was not the best team from campus (who cares!). The highlight was definitely the fashion show (isn't it obvious?). We performed well overall but probably others had prepared better. Anyways, a nice time indeed. What followed that was a month long race. A race to get the best summer placements, the best job. I saw the best and the worst in people, best of solidarity and probably the worst of emotions. It was the end of November that Section F had its trip to Lucknow Mahotsav. What a trip! 30 people, a schoolbus and an evening at the Mahotsav. Still remember Saurabh Yadav's mistake, Rishikesh's monkey pose, Jhoolan Jhoola, pics with that Devil hairband and Rajasthani, Bareilly, Nawabi & god knows which all places' food. A delightful evening and yes, that section F anthem - Battiyan bujha do ki neend nahi aati hai... sung all the way back to campus.
Term 2 break was amazing. A trip to Mumbai after god knows how much time and finally the chance to get my hands on my latest love - My new Canon DSLR EOS Rebel T2i. My friends - Debanshu, Debashree and Shubhro ensured that I had a rollercoaster 3 days in Mumbai and some truly great memories. A day long trek to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Saale Prinshu ne exams khatam hone ke agle din itna chalwaya ki....), checking out Chowpatty Beach, Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Sheesha (the pic on the right); and back-to-back movies to end the trip. Totally engaging and whole lot of fun! That was followed by a trip to Bishnupur in rural West Bengal (by then I was in total adventurous mood with my camera) and a short trip back home to complete the year.
New year and I was back to campus. Manfest 2011 was coming up and my work as Vertical Manager started. The run up to the D-day had lots of night outs at H9 developing the games, lots of frustrations and a little element of goofups as well. An amazing experience and whole new feeling of organizing an international fest, something that I had been craving for.The three days of Manfest were exciting to say the least. Co-ordinating two events, covering them with pictures, Pain of Salvation and Bollywood Pronite with Salim-Suleiman & Neha Bhasin (the pic to the left). Rocking performances and total entertainment. The weekend ended with a superb Insti party but rather a forgettable night, the actions of which I regret till today.
Ignicion Core brought out the creative person inside me. Promoting the mentorship program through all kinds of channels - online as well as offline, automating the mapping was interesting. But what stood out was the experience of making the video testimonials (Hehe!). 13 PGP-Is, 13 profiles, 13 locations and close to 10,000 views. The initiative that differentiated us from all the other IIMs! And judging by the feedback and ratings that we got from the mentees, its been an absolute hit.
The rest of the term went off with preparation for the internship. And yes, preparation for student exchange to Copenhagen Business School, Denmark (slotted for later this year). The plans for a Eurotrip were materializing and by the looks of it, it sure was going to be an awesome experience. Anyways, project submissions and presentations marked the end of the term and I was all set to go back to Bangalore, the city where I made my dreams. Back to old friends, back to the parties and hopefully back to those stupendous hangouts (Hard Rock included).
Thus an eventful 1st year at IIM Lucknow and I was an half-MBA (sounds stupid). Made lots of friends, lost some; brought smiles to many, tears and anger to some. But hopefully I 'managed' to achieve what I had set out for at the beginning of the year.

Cross-posted on: Wordpress

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Abhishek Saha
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
A NRB (Non Resident Bengali) or rather a 'Probashi Bangali'; born in Kolkata, brought up in Jamshedpur and now trying to make his mark at IIM Lucknow.
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