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College festival blues

I have not been a big fan of college festivals for all I know. In my first year at Guindy, I had locked out my hostel room one night and slept inside peacefully in case the seniors send you on stupid tasks. Our department festival meant holidays for a few of us and off we packed our bags to our hometown. But our seniors came to know of this and were vigilant at the gates to spoil the plans of one of our classmates. Knowing this, a couple of us slipped through the back gates near the Adyar river Saidapet bridge and happily escaped to our liberation. Boy, it was thrilling. This was the case in three of the four years. My college festival Techofes meant dancing to the “Chalaku Chalaku” song, which we called it our college song. Saarang was a class apart and I enthusiastically saw it once. It’s not that I don’t like these festivals. But my enthusiasm is not so high for these indoor things. Maybe, I saw more of the MIT festivals because K would force me to when I go there during that time. In short, I hardly participated in any of these college festivals, ours or otherwise.

Management festivals are in a different league, given the big budgets, the bigger crowds, the corporates’ love to sponsor and the plenty of time folks get in Year 2. I was peacefully doing nothing initially. One fine day, the devil whispered in my ears that I am doing nothing and made me feel guilty. Off I shot a mail to the coordinators begging them to give me work. They considered my earnest application and assigned me to the Back Office. I didn’t have a clue on what Back Office does. So I called myself the Executive Board Member, Back Office since I was losing nothing. Guys in Bschools have a wrong sense of timing and called for a meeting at 1.30am with the notice coming at 10.40pm. Whenever I am in the mood, I stop checking my mails after 10.30pm so that I can happily sleep and not be disturbed with the mundane affairs of the world. The guys bang my door at 1.30am hoping to get me out. They probably don’t know that it is impossible to wake up a person who pretends to be asleep. I twist and turn in my beds cursing them silently till they stop the noise and am back to my pretensions.

Our back office schedule comes soon and I find that it is a boring drudgery of supplying resources (no human, how sad) to the events. I take my copy of Tis, the sequel to Angela’s Ashes which I liked so much. The event organisers don’t let me peacefully read it and my pace drops miserably. I stay for a whopping 5 hours at a stretch, ogling at the other college girls and pretending to do some work. The next day I am at my desk by 8.30 am. The day gets better and I man the merchandising counter to hand special Tshirts and bags. Here I interact directly with the participants (that’s the way these BIG girls are respectfully addressed.) I hardly participate in the exciting events that are happening. If I had been in charge of the participants, I would have got a chance to see the airport or Ujjain and escort some of these tired souls. Every guest compliments the hospitality. After all, some of us are also experiencing it as we share rooms ourselves during these four days.

I find Mansur, an acquaintance at Bangalore, now in A for our flagship event in one of the hostel rooms and speak to him. He is very clear about what he wants to do after his MBA, how nice. I participate in the individual quiz and get knocked out rudely in the prelims. I finish Tis the third day, as I watch live on Cricinfo Ind thrashing SL.  Consistency rules, this time though with the Indians on the winning side and this makes cricket boring too. I ask the best football player here the one thing he liked most about the fest. He does not have a choice. I reply wickedly it is the four days of leave we get. Soon I walk upto the finals of our flagship event with four guys including Mansur in the last round. The three-judge panel asks very interesting questions and I am excited out of my depth. One professor, who was in my interview panel last Feb, asked the guys to choose between an incompetent asset and a competent liability, success and significance, ambiguity and uncertainty, the fear of failure and the fear of being nobody, conception before perception and perception before conception, a dilemma and a paradox, rigidly flexible and flexibly rigid, consistently inconsistent and inconsistently consistent, being absolutist and being relativist, aspiration and desperation, and knowledge, experience and passion. Pure word play is what management teaches you. I am secretly happy that this guy selected me. Mansur and another guy are clear in what they wanted to do. As if to say, the whole world lets way for the guy who knows where he wants to go, Mansur deservedly walked away with the honours and a prize of one-lakh. I keep wondering if I will ever know what I wanna do in life…

Categories: Bschool
  1. A
    16 November 2005 at 12:03 am

    I love attending college festivals – provided I have a whole bunch of friends with me! I think I attended techofes and abacus every year without fail :-)!
    Hmm, a management festival should be a whole different ball game though …

  2. 17 November 2005 at 8:07 am

    what you say is perfect. the idea of doing so many things is having friends with you.

  3. gopi
    17 November 2005 at 2:18 pm

    simplest way to wake up spark is to keep ‘any edible’ thing near him. it is okay, if aroma is proportional to the distance from his nose.

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