Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol







When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.



   
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All pictures and names concerning Calvin and Hobbes are copyright Bill Watterson


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Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Is it the end...or the beginning?

If they ever tell my story
Let them say
that I walked with giants
IIM Kozhikode
Backwaters 2005
i was there!

Two days of frantic activity preceded by three weeks of hope-despair, action-inaction, love-hate, brightness-gloom, success-failure, evolution-apocalypse...Backwaters 2005 has come and gone and left me all drained. There was a time when we had been thinking of scrapping the event altogether and there is now, when we can't help gloating over the congratulatory mails coming in from different quarters about the professionalism of it all.

If some one asks me, I will have a different opinion about it probably because I saw it from such close quarters. My own personal involvement in Backwaters began only this January after the term break. Before that, I had firmly decided to be just a bystander and let things take their own course. I was not feeling a part of the process at all and the enthusiasm with which I had joined the committee was lost truly and completely...partly because of some misunderstandings...partly because the job was being done in a way I am not accustomed to. After the term break, the other feeling somehow caught on and seeing Vikhyat, Reddy, et al really willing to put in effort, and considering the team dynamics for the next year's festival, I thought it prudent to be a part of things as much as I could, without sacrificing my own ideals and beliefs on the altar of the fest.

It was difficult, no doubt and we did fail in a lot of things. As I wrote in my previous post, we may have been able to end the fest in some semblance of style, after all but the way I see it...we have failed in meeting our own expectations...No Yana Gupta...no Singaporean participants...no super-grand performances...no slew of participating teams...so much more to be desired...so much more to be accomplished.

The first day of Backwaters 2005 was full of nightmarish thoughts for the team...the logistics were amazingly complex and the experience in handling them very little. I must say that Reddy and Ravi (I owe you one for this) did a brilliant job with it and had it not been for the work they put in by arranging the hostel, the mattresses, going out to receive participants, helping them settle in, it would have been absolutely impossible to take even the first step. There were issues despite all this effort and I must thank faculty from a particular business school for it...they did try their best to make our nightmares come true.

With the hospitality settled, the registrations desk started operating at 8 in the morning of January 29th, 2005. I tried to help Nireeksha till the C-hostel help in the form of Tity and Divya arrived. In the meanwhile, Kanav and Sharika were doing a great job, decking up the auditorium for the first of the formal events, the paper presentations. For the informals, the start was absolutely inauspicious and it was then that I realized that this was going to be one frontier where we were going to fail...and that is what happened. Right till the very end of the fest, we could not have a proper informal game and in the end, had to settle with only 4 games instead of the ten we had originally planned. The body art was fun, though (probably because I won :)).

The formal events went like a song throughout the two days and had absolutely no issues, thanks to Kanav and Sharika and to the event coordinators in Rahul, VV, Kunal, Abhijit, and so many others. As for the games, they were truly amongst the most innovative of the few that I have seen in management fests in different B-schools. The markeing and strategy games went on for two full days and it goes to the credit of the 4L and the Kautilya team that they were actually able to grab the attention of participants for so long. The Ops game was a huge hit as well. I don't know what Prof Haug gave Anudeep and team and what they finally made out of it...what I do know is a team asking me if they could have a look at how the game was designed as they were so impressed by it. The systems game by AbaKus and the finance game by Biyani proved their own mettle with teams actually letting go of fun events like informals to participate in these games.

The highlight of the festival, however, turned out to be the cultural nites that we had planned. From a stage where we did not know if we will have even one performance and were thinking of stop gap arrangements, we turned around to a time where the stop gaps actually became the stars of the show. With an excellent play by PGP1, a fun riot by PGP2, and some entertaining displays of talent by both the batches, the cul nite was amazing, to say the least. Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, despite all apprehensions, proved himself worthy of my trust. The day I asked Prashant to try to get him here, I knew that people will be skeptical about an artist they haven't really heard of...but then again, having listened to Pt. Bhatt play at BHU, I knew that his will be a popular and memorable performance.

As for the Ten Little Indians, what else can I say but that all you guys have done a great job and deserve a treat at the Taj (only if I could afford it :)). With Qaynat, the producer, making life difficult for the actors...Jaspreet and Pakow, the directors making people sweat over the finest of details...Neeta, Jaspreet and Pakow giving the desi touch to the script and even putting in the local masala...Jaspreet trying to fulfill his movie making ambitions and coming out with some mind-boggling graphics...and above all, the award winning performances of the cast (especially Shounak, Kanav and Neeta)...all these and much more went into making the play into what it came out as. When we were starting out with the concept of the play and having those initial discussions about what to do and how to go about doing it, I just had this idea that the play should not be a mere story telling, but more of a display of theatrical talent that we have, for all those who come to Backwaters...and by God, what superb talent have you guys displayed!

There are so many things that are still pending. There is this small matter of settling the bills, and trying to find out how much are we falling short by and doing something about it. I am sure that it is not going to be huge...given the hard work that Vikhyat has put in, in trying to hold the finances and accounting together. And then there is this thing of sending the reimbursement and prize money to participants from other colleges and of course, to our own prize winners.

There is so much more to write about , apart from this rather journalistic account of what happened. Probably in a later post, I would love to write about sTrEAM BACKWATERS, the team that made it all happen and about how I fit into the team or how I didn't...my own personal disagreements, my own assimilation into the team and how we took it on, sometimes united...sometimes not too much on the same side.


Posted at 08:50 pm by Nitai



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