Monday, April 02, 2012

Half way through the Journey@IIMS

The memory, of the day I walked in at IIM Shillong campus, is still afresh in my mind. Even though it was a welcome change from a corporate life of unfulfilled desires, I had my apprehensions. ‘What and whys’ of those apprehensions were ambiguous. The only thing that was clear in my mind was the expectations on the fun quotient of my life. And it was really simple, nothing extraordinary. I wanted to meet some amazing people, find some critical few to hang on to, get drunk, shout, dance, party hard, use a few cuss words, go out on lots and lots of treks, do random things, study a bit and enjoy each and every little moment of student life. Because this will, in all likelihood, be my last shot at it and I did not want to miss out on any single moment.

If I look back, nearly half of my time at IIM Shillong has passed. And the questions that I ask myself today are: “Did I make the most of it?” “Were there any moments that took my breath away?” “Did I find a critical few?” When I close my eyes to reflect, I can feel a wave building inside me which is about to defy my composure. I open my eyes only to realize that they are a touch weary and probably a touch moist. There is a realization that whatever ‘Chris McCandless’ found out after travelling the whole of Alaska had made a lot of sense back then and is perfectly true even in today’s world. He wrote:

“Happiness only real when shared!!”

Of course, sharing is one of the best ways of expressing one’s joy. I remember asking for a critical few with whom I can share ups and downs of my life at IIMS. Half way through life@IIMS, I have got many more than that. I expected a few special moments but got tons and tons of them. And it is not a matter of saying. A lot of memories were created at a frenetic pace. I did not even realize the time as it went by. Come to think of it, I am happy that I have a folder named “IIM Shillong pics” that has all kind of subfolders that have names such as ‘Shillong Peak and Elephanta falls’, ‘Mawphlang Sacred Grooves’, ‘Cherrapunji Trip’, ‘Double Root Trek’, ‘Bonfire’, ‘Diwali’, ‘Independence Day’, ‘Kopda Cup’, ‘Cloud9 after effect’, ‘Sustainability’, ‘Morning Errand’, ‘Outing Bistro and PB’, ‘Winter Campus’, ‘Cult com party’, ‘Ice breaker and PDP pics’, ‘IIMS Bdays’, ‘Golf cup’, ‘Freshers’, ‘Footsteps’, ‘Talent show’, ‘River Island’, ‘Liatlum’, ‘CulCom Super 93’, ‘Guwahati’, ‘Convocation’, ‘Farewell’ and ‘Random’. Of all these memories, the last one is probably the most unplanned, the most unexpected and the most cherished one. These are the ones that constitute time spent at ramp; on the roof top; while campus walks; with best buddies; in stupid fights; in discussing the goods and the bads of relationships; in discussions of deeply sophisticated and yet simple issues; over a cup of tea; in preparation of frustrating exams; in unplanned night-outs; in preparing a PPT for a competition; while playing TT or during a trip to PB for nothing. These seemingly commonplace and mundane activities never get the credit they deserve and yet, they are the ones that make any student life special. I am happy that my time at IIMS was no exception and I got a fair bit of them. Credit goes to ‘Super 93’ and ‘Incredible 106’.

After a two month stint at corporate life, my journey of IIMS life will resume. This time there will be a realization that journey will finish soon. Interestingly, this is something that means different to different people. For some it would be a signal to go out raring to conquer the mighty corporate world. For some, it would be just another step in an always moving life, a step that would improve their lives economically, in all likelihood. Some would like to hold on to this time without realizing that they cannot stop the sand from slipping through the fingers. For me, it will mean some more memories to cherish, some more time to spend with people who are really special, some more time to crib about how life is not fair and some more time to appreciate life at the same time and some more time in the heart of nature in a wonderful place. For there will come a day when I will have to say good bye to my friends at IIMS and close the chapter named ‘IIMS journey’. There would be a void. But hopefully, I will have an interesting and challenging chapter to fill the void. Whatever that might be, the new chapter will never be an isolated one. As always, it will have the best of footprints from a reminiscent past. It will have a few more characters, a few changes in the outlook of the protagonist and a fresh story. In the bigger scheme of things, the chapter of IIMS will definitely rank among the best ones and that is what makes me look forward to the rest of the journey @IIMS!! Hopefully, some things will sort themselves out and speed breakers or the potholes will not be big enough.

Signing off for now,

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Stanley Ka Dabba - A Must Watch

After a dismal batting performance from Indian Cricket Team, I required something immersing that could take my mind of cricket. Sure, there were a lot of movies and the toughest decision, as always, was to zero in on a good one. Without much of a thought, I went to the Hindi section and started 'Stanley Ka Dabba' (SKD). Little did I know that I would be moved and compelled to write this, for it takes an effort and some sheer class for a movie to get this lazy blogger out of his deep slumber. And, believe me, there was no dearth either the class or the concept when it came to SKD.

Set in a good English medium school of Mumbai, SKD is a story of a talented kid named Stanley, his friends having fat 'Dabbas' (Lunchboxes) and a teacher. The teacher, a villain of sorts, is infamous for not managing his own lunchbox and being dependent on fellow teachers and students (particularly the Stanley lunch box gang) for his lunch. On the other hand, this innocent kid Stanley is helped by his friends during lunch hours. Jealous of Stanley, our teacher somehow always manages a bitter tongue for him. Set against this basic backdrop, SKD manages to move beyond the realms of a simple student teacher tussle. As a viewer, you can always sense bigger issues simmering at the sidelines. You can always tell that there is something more to the script; that the stage is set for a larger show. Eventually, when the final scene unfolds, SKD has the power to move you. Even the so called tough guys will find it hard to avoid a surge of compelling emotions that run through the body and overflow from the eyes. There are a little or no emotive dialogues. But the lack of it does not fail to drive home the point. In fact, it adds value to the communication of the whole idea. It is said that the deepest of human emotions are perceived in silence. No wonder the audience is given the time to ponder over the issue our society so badly faces. 

SKD depicts the ability of Indian Cinema to give a voice to prevailing societal issues in an effective manner. At the same time, SKD is not condemning or restrictive in nature. On one hand where it deals with a problem, it also goes a long way to personify human courage and compassion. Never once in the ninety minutes of run-time, SKD fails to emphasize the importance of human dignity and self respect. All of this is packed in a very simple, easily digestible and effective package that keeps the viewer engrossed. In parts, the movie is also about small-small events that make the school life memorable. The innocence of childhood, the desire to excel and to be accepted is captured beautifully. In fact, there are times when, as a viewer, you  are reminded of your school life and you feel the urge to go back to your school life and add a few feathers to the cap.

Overall, SKD is a powerful and compelling piece of Indian Cinema. It is a canvas where the soul of the art lies in the innocence and the colors are nothing the blacks and whites that define human existence. Undoubtedly, it is among the best movies that Bollywood has produced in recent times. In my list, it ranks with the likes of Udaan and Tare Zameen Par. A must watch !!