Monday, April 26, 2010

ISB 2: "O" Week

“O” Week stands for Orientation Week. Since ISB’s is a 1 year course, we do not get time with alumni to get general gyaan, guidance n to know them. So, the alums stay back the first 10 days of our time here to spend time with us n arrange lots of activities n parties n gyaan sessions for us.

Basically our O week comprised
Team Building Activities
Talent nite
Club Presentations

I will not describe each n everythng that happened, but will give you the highlights.

It began with the Dean’s address.. apart from stressing the need to enjoy n not get lost on the rat race and the whole melee of activities, he said – “we are your family here and wont let you feel away from home… if there is a specific way your parents scold us, let us know – we will scold you the same way !”
Such things stay with you. They show that we, as students, as people, matter to the institution. It makes you feel welcome, and for people like me – away from home for the first time – it makes you feel home..

Now, on to the other stuff !

We, the students are divided into 8 sections of abt 70 each – A-H. I will have my classes for the first 4 terms with my section. There will be very little chance of me interacting with the other 500 ppl. So, this orientation week, we were all jumbled up for each activity, so we get to know diff people in an informal environment. It was extremely tiring all week, with me getting just a few hours of sleep daily-4 hrs on an average.

We had a painting competition where each team of abt 30 was allocated an alumnus of a particular yr who would describe his experiences of that yr and then the team had to paint those experiences on a 10 feet long chart paper – painting to be done using only hands & feet n nothing else !

Then there were those usual office off site outdoor games that people play – those were organised for us for 2 days from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m…

There was a treasure hunt that helped us get to know our campus better. We had to interprest 8 clues n go to those places in that order. At each place, we had to take signoff on a sheet of paper from an alum, but they gave us a certain task to do before the sign off. People were made to sing, dance, put up a show – guys had to take off their shirts.. guys had to kiss other guys .. girls had to propose an alum n convince him to take her 1 case, 1 team member had to finish a huge bottle of beer – almost 750 ml & whenever he/she stops in the middle, the remaining team members were to be sprayed with water from a hose pipe !!!
In 1 instance, the alums told us that we have to do anything that shocked them ! after failing to cinvince 2 girls to make out, I came up with another plan. We were 10, so 8 of them did a mini dance in from of the alums, when me n another guy came up from behind n poured a bottle of water on the alum’s head !! needless to say, they were “shocked” ! FUN !!!

Through all these activities, now I realise, I met so many ppl tht I ll probably not even meet for the next 6 months coz our class timings might be different n stuff. It was really cool.

Then there wer the sports – cricket n football competition.. I participated in the football. Was slated to go for cricket too, but I was enjoying playing badminton that time, so backed out !

Also, there was a section gyaan session with my section (B). In that, we had to get up, say our names n say 1 exciting/whacky thing about ourselves –n ppl have done seom crazy things.. the most exciting – unheard of things I ll tell u
1. One guy had a pet snake – a boa constrictor !
2. One guy said, “My name is Al Ameen, and I am not a terrorist !!”
3. We have an army colonel ! He said, “My name is Rajeev Sekhar and I have killed 2 pakis !!!” The whole class was stunned into silence !
4. One guy can play the mouth organ like a dream !!
5. One guy said, “im a metrosexual.. I use all those face creams..” hahahaha .. I ve already named him METRO & the name has caught on !!!

The parties !!! We ve had 4 .. one was a welcome party for us – these was BACK TO SCHOOL – we had to dress up in shorts, shirt & tie.. it was fun.. everyone had dressed up. The parties go on from 9 30 to abt 5 in the morning. Bad part for drinkers is that booze is not free, it doesn’t matter to me. There was a BOLLYWOOD theme party and another party that we had thrown for the ALUMS – booze was free for them. I went for the 1st party at 9 30 sharp n was exhausted dancing by 12 30, went home n slept. Next day I learnt tht party picks up abt abt, I went for Bollywood Party at 12 30 n was there till 3 30… The Alums party was a boring affair coz I think ppl were exhausted of this lifestyle n many chose to sit it out. I too went at 2 & left at 3.

The Talent night was awesome – I did the salsa ! It was “ok” coz we were 2 couples n synchronisation was a problem coz of lack of practice. Also the other guy was a 5 yr salsa veteran, so it was tough for me to learn all the steps.

BEE - Our Mascot !!

That apart, I must say the talent in this batch is AWESOME. There is a girl drummer, who is, there are awesome singers & composers. There was a jugglery act that mind blowing. There are awesome guitar players who sing and play at the same time n to hear them is pure bliss. There are jive, salsa & hip hop dancers as good as my salsa instructors in Mumbai. I must also comment here on the diversity of people – there are doctors, lawyers, A Tamil Actress, a boxer, a district level badminton player, a UP Superintendent of Police, an ex-army colonel who has served 22 years in the army, a Japanese Monk, a few Spanish guys, one of who speaks impeccable hindi and can even sing hindi songs. He is now learning Tamil. We have professional photographers. There is an ex rock band member with tattoos all over his arms. It is overwhelming, awe inspiring & makes you feel small !

Talent night was yesterday followed by individual parties by some sections. So, I got home at 4 in the morning & finally got a 6 hr sleep from 5-11. I was sceptical of having to sleep for 4 hrs all yr, now I think I can manage a few days of 4-5 hrs at a stretch if I get a 6-7 hr once in a week ! This is what O week has done. Taken me out of my comfort zone & made me OK with a 4 hr sleep at night - somethng i was dreading and thought would never be able to manage with.

Also – I ve been playing a lot of badminton, including sometimes at 2 in the night – it is FUN. There is a music room too with people jamming there all night. There are lawns in each SV where people sit & jam n talk all night – its just a wonderful environment .. but yes, studies havent started yet. Things can undergo a drastic change.

That’s all the updates I have from you. The next mail could be a very boring one coz im free all week n planning to rest a lot.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ISB 1: The Journey Begins

11th April, 2010. Sunday

Hey guys, I got my laptop today ! I ve been here for just 4 days, but it seems like a long time back that I actually left Mumbai. Leaving home – it was not easy. When the train left Mumbai station, it felt as if the train was moving, but I was still there. Still home. Just still.

But soon, I reached the city I will be staying in for the next year – Hyderabad.

The City – is divided into Old Hyderabad & New Hyderabad. Old Hyderabad has tourist attarctions like Husainsagar Lake, Charminar & Golconda Fort. Its heavily populated with Muslims and in general has lost its charm. New Hyderabad is basically areas like Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills etc. – this is the usual metro city set up with malls, and more malls – NO FUN ! The food everywhere is Biryani, other kinds of rices, lots of non-veg & lots of veg south indian. There is a huge restaurant chain called Chutneys here. It has some awesome but quite expensive south indian food with an awesome collection of chutneys that we’ ve never tasted before. Anyways, enough about the city.

Now on to the campus. If I had one word to describe it, it would be breathtaking. If I had more words, I would use beautiful, clean, beautiful again, awesome, beautiful once more !!! It’s a campus sprawling over 260 acres, lush with greenery all over. I ll try explaining the structure now and I ll also introduce a few new terminologies and acronyms that I ll be using over the next year in my mails ! Also, there are come peacocks on the campus grounds too 

The Academic Block (the building where our classes take place)is a square structure with outlets on all 4 sides. It has a circular structure within it (remember my Yes Bank Worli office – similar but half its height & much more in diameter). This circular structure is a 5 storey LIBRARY ! It houses thousands of books, a radio club / radio station, a hude DVD collection, magazines & research reports & the IT dept of the campus. Its is jus beautiful with its spiral staircase and nice, filled bookstands. There are reading rooms on each level & also a computer lab. The square structure surrounding it has our classrooms and a bhaidas like auditorium. The classrooms are beautiful and sitting in it, I realised they r quite conducive to studying, I don’t know why though – but you actually feel like studying inside them !!! Classrooms are curved with the seating in a semi circle kinda thing (remember Munnabhai 1 ka class – same shape, but smaller – can seat 70). The classrooms are called AC 1/2/3/…8 LT/MLT. AC stands for Academic Centre , there are 8 of those – 4 at the corners of the square structure & 4 in the mid point of each side .. hehe.. LT – Lecture Theatre, MLT – Mini Lecture Theatre.

There are even a couple of LTs with 2 ceiling to floor LCD screens in it for conducting lectures via video conferencing. That’ll be really cool, I think !!
There are 4 hostels – called Student Villages, and they actually are villages. Each house about 200 people – considering there are families with kida also on campus. There are 2 kinds of rooms – a Studio & a Quad. A studio is for families – it’s a proper HUGE 1 room kitchen – bigger than a 1 BHK of Mumbai. A Quad is shared accomodation – 4 people share it. It opens into a huge rectangular hall with 4 bedrooms at the 4 corners & 2 bathrooms. So, I have my personal bedroom – its quite comfortable – abt 140 sqft & has a single bed, study table, ceiling to floor windows that open into flower beds (its on the ground floor) and a cupboard, side table & study book cabinet.

Other wise the facilities in the studios & quads are – 1 refrigerator, 2 clothes drying racks, 1 television, and since our SV – SV4 is the latest to have been constructed – it has nice marbonite flooring and a 32 inch LG LCD television !!! Awesome – tho I ve not yet watched TV after coming here !!
Apart from all this, there are many facilities on campus – there is a Departmental Store – MORE, a 4 bed clinic with a resident doc n nurse, a medicine shop, a counselling centre for ppl with depression issues, issues of fitting in, marital discords sue to stress of the academic yr etc etc…. then there is a amphitheatre, a open air bar & lounge wher we’ve been having parties every alternate day from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., a recreation club with snooker, carrom, badminton, squash courts, a huge gymnasium & na huge swimming pool. There are 2 tennis courts & a football ground…. There is bloody so much, it feels bad that one has to actually study. The spouses & little kids have a fun time all year. The kids have a small nursery & a playing garden for themselves.

Anyways, that’s all from my side till now – have lots of other stuff to tell you’ll that I ll post about in a few days...

Click on link below for snaps:

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