A storyteller’s tale : An interview with the in-campus author Ankit Jaiswal

In the relentless pursuit of profession, it often happens that we fail to honour the commitment to those childhood dreams that we painted in the canvas of the mind. Not everyone has the motivation to look into the path less traveled when they already have a familiar, safe road ahead of them. Ankit Jaiswal, the author of ‘The Fragile Heart’ is not one of them. From a teenager with a dream to a man who is now set to release his second book, he has shown grit and determination to follow through. A student of IIM Udaipur, set to graduate in 2017, Ankit will soon embark on his corporate professional life, and he will leave no stones unturned to balance the same with his passion of writing. Here’s a candid interview with our in-campus author just before the release of his new book ‘Hope v/s Hype’

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Tell us what inspired the beginning? When and how did you start to write?

It was November of 2012 when I began to pen down my first novel. I feel that more than an inspiration, it was an aspiration to get published. I always wanted to showcase my poetries which I had been writing since my school days. But with the passage of time, I realized how non-commercial it is to get published as a poet. Moreover, I could have never believed I can write a novel. I was way too impatient to do so. But it somehow happened with some self-belief and encouragement from my friends and parents. I tried to put in words a story, injecting the snippets of poetry I had written over the years.

Tell us about the idea for your first book. How do you as a writer paint a story? Is it imagination or has a base in reality.

The time I wrote my first novel, I was going through a lean phase in my life. I find such period ideal for upcoming authors. They leverage the phase and narrate their melodramatic love saga. However, I tried to package my opinions and feelings in a fictitious plot. The first novel, therefore, you can say was a derivative of my experiences.

The second book is soon to hit markets, and we wish you the best. Tell us some of the hurdles a new author has to be prepared to face.

‘Hope v/s Hype’ is very special to me. I challenged myself for close to two years while conceptualizing and scripting the novel. I switched jobs, changed cities, kept preparing for CAT and what not. I promise to myself the day I start writing a book that no matter what I’m going to complete it. Until now it has worked, and I hope it continues to be so. I feel the challenges would be similar to any young upcoming authors. You need to live multiple lives in a moment and if that what excites you, and you have got a story to tell then you’re on!

You completed Engg, and now MBA has almost come to the close. You have two books under your belt. How difficult is to balance education and profession with writing.

I completed the first draft of ‘Hope vs. Hype’ before I came for MBA. So I cannot say how it would be to balance a full-fledged MBA and write a novel. However, balancing while on the job is entirely possible. In the end, it’s the passion to write which matters.

Tell us a little more about your new book.

I conceptualized ‘Hope v/s Hype’ during the middle of 2013. If you can recollect, those were the times when a lot of disruption was happening in the political landscape of the country. There was a wave of change prevailing. Suddenly the youth of the country was ignited to participate in the democracy; there was some urgency in their participation. But there was reluctance; an internal conflict one had to face. I felt I had a story to narrate using this conflict as a plot. Through Harish and Abhimanyu, the two lead characters, I’ve portrayed the conflict between ideology and ambitions. The plot starts when one of the political epicentres of Uttar Pradesh witnesses a rise of a political revolution. Harish drives to be the agent of change while Abhimanyu promises to be the perfect catalyst for the change. The fate of the revolution depends upon the firm blend of Harish’s ideology and Abhimanyu’s ambition. I leave it to the readers to decide whether they have been able to live up to the hope of establishing an alternative for a new brand of politics or fizzled out as hype.

What are your plans post Hope vs. Hype. Planning to stick to novels or shifting to other forms of writing.

I love to write and have thoroughly enjoyed scripting the two novels so far. So I would continue to write books if I have enough conviction in a story I want to tell. Also, I want to keep exploring and evolve as a writer. I must say two years of MBA has even helped me grow as a writer.

Tell us about your time as an integral part of the literary club Potpourri at IIMU. What has been the good, and places you feel more can be done. Maybe there is a writer amid our aspiring candidates who is listening hard.

Potpourri was one of the reasons I chose IIMU over other colleges. I wanted to be a part of an institution where I just don’t get the MBA gyaan but also a platform to boost my creativity. And I’m proud that I made the best decision of my life. I’ve had a fantastic time in IIMU and being an integral part of the Literary Club was like a dream come true. Yes there is enough to be done, we’re still very young as a club, but we’re proud of whatever we’ve achieved till now (Not to forget, our unique management literature fest, Udaipur LeapDay LitFest, which is coming up on 25th and 26th of February).

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Shifting Hostels from MLSU to Balicha – the emotional road for PGP 2015-17 batch

At last the time has come. In a little over a week now, no one will ask the guard in LAW Hostel for music room keys, no one will crib about someone drinking some leftover Coke in MDS fridge and there will be no frantic calls to ST Hostel asking “Is the Printer working?”  How do you explain the feeling of leaving the rented place you grew up in for a house of your own? It takes so much to make homes of houses. Last one and a half years, I grew into someone else here.  As the day of shifting inches closer, there is excitement, slightly soured with very poignant vivid memories of walking into this campus the very first time. The academic block – pristine and beautiful.  A few days ago, it was almost hard to believe something better awaited a few kilometers away and I involuntarily looked at the reception area where a familiar old face smiled back – would good old Tiwari ji be shifting with us?

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Soon the library was packed off, and classrooms were renamed. We gradually got used to going to Balicha for classes. But our hostels were still the same. Home still meant sitting on that return bus and getting back to the familiar MLSU. Soon, it won’t. PGP 15 and 16 are all set to make Balicha their home. Rooms are ready, days are locked in and it’s time to embrace the new fully!

MLSU Campus– was the place we touched our dreams the first time but it’s not going to be the nest we fly out of. It’s always going to be the place we forged friendships as strong as swords, and yet not going to be the place we bid goodbye to the final days of being a student. We are not going to be throwing our caps up in the air in front of the Polymer Science building. Yet we are going to visit this place once – away from curious eyes, to say a goodbye before we bade farewell to Rajasthan.

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Very soon, these hostels would stop being known as IIM Hostels. The courier guy will wonder what went wrong. Did all the online shopping just stop? MLSU – the choice that no one made yet everyone loved making. The bike rides would not happen in Balicha but walks in the rain still would. MLSU was the cocoon of comfort where we gradually woke up to the business culture. Yet it would not be the place where we blend in the corporate life, one final time.

MLSU has these grounds which never were ours but have tasted our sweat and blood during games and events. We have ran through the cricket field many times to dash into class last minute, and have shouted ourselves hoarse during Audacity 16’ in these very grounds. Every afternoon, a familiar mail from a familiar name entered the mailbox ‘Football at 5. NNTO’. Everybody knew the venue. It will take a little while to know our way around the huge campus, but then again as said by JRR Tolkein, ‘Not all who wander are lost’.

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In a little over a week, the LAW quadrangle would start to gather some moss, and vibrant memories of a hundred laughing faces singing on Karoake night, dancing on a hundred lively parties and planting trees one sultry afternoon. The trees, they will grow – the people will not see them in a long time. This is the place we had our photoshoots during Eid, and Dandiya nights and the color drenched Holi mornings !

There will be cobwebs in that huge common room in MDS where serious discussions ensued and club inductions took place. Our constitution was drafted somewhere in these hostels. The common rooms saw meetings and master plans for fests, and a hundred arguments regarding policies and structures.

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There will be no arguments over who gets to play next in the badminton court. Suddenly, after dinner, the stretch between LAW and ST will be empty, resonating with just sound of Crickets. The Nilgai and the imaginary Panther would be very lonely indeed!

There are things many of us never did in MLSU which we could have. Some of us never climbed those hillocks we see from the hostels. Some never went to the roofs to see the sunset, sparkling and clear, bursting into a brilliant orange hue against a devastatingly beautiful blue background. Some of us never tried Himmat Bhai’s Chai, Some never walked the beautiful MLSU lanes strewn with leaves and dried flowers. Some didn’t discover all the exits out of this campus and some lazy bones have never taken that long walk from Campus gate to Hostels on foot. MLSU will always be the place where we discovered ourselves and each other, but not the place where we let the world discover the renewed us.

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It will be the safe haven where we gave our first presentation but not the podium where we take our final bow. Again, ask a child what it feels like to leave a rented home – the locality, the parks, the grocery shops and the familiar faces. Ask a child how it would feel to live in a place where dream touches reality and nestled in the heart of mountains, he gets to build a kingdom. He would be enticed and he would be confused. With tear in one eye and a smile in the other, that is how we would say goodbye to MLSU.

Written by – Rajashree Banerjee, PGP 2015-17

For reading more about us, continue to follow our blog iimuchronicles.wordpress.com or visit us at our official website iimu.ac.in .

 

The Venturous Leap – IIMU FPM Stories

It was the sixth day of April, a scorching hot afternoon when I opened my email account to check a new mail notification. ‘Okay! It must be another interview call.’ But the mail seemed more like an offer letter. ‘Let me read it again – “Congratulations! The Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur (IIMU) is pleased to offer you an admission to the Fellowship Program in Management (FPM) in the Marketing Area.” It took me another three readings before I could finally call my friends and family to announce that I had been selected for the Fellowship Program at one of the most prestigious institutions of India.

Thrilled to the core, delighted to the brim of tears, and screaming with joy I entered my house later that evening and ran into my father’s open arms. His face was flushed with sheer pride. At the other corner of the room, stood my mother relishing the sight, and gleaming with joy. My friends had reached my place before I did. They were rejoicing, their faces elated! That moment, the realization struck. I was going to be devoid of this shelter, this warmth, for the next many years. The classroom next day felt so dear; the disturbing backbenchers, seemed to be just a bit naughty, and I realized I loved this role, this job, this place.

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“Courage” was what it took me to sign up for this new journey. After six years of being on the other side of the table, it took every ounce of strength I had, to step back into the shoes of a student. After all, I had to make this journey alone. First time in all these years I had to get out of the comfort of my home. En route to the destination I aspired for, I had to take this leap and leave my closely knit life behind. And I did take the leap.

It took me two good days to sheepishly enter the office of my department head and break the news to her. Even before I could complete my sentence, I saw her standing at her place with a big smile and a hand extended towards me to congratulate me. I knew I had done something right in all these years. I knew I was heading towards something right for sure. A month later, I started my journey from “The City of Nawabs” to “The City of Lakes”.

Being a girl born and brought up in a joint family with conservative values, it was the rebel in me, and the mettle in my parents which allowed me to make my career choices freely. I graduated in Mass-Communication and joined HT Media Ltd. as an intern and as a feature writer post internship for a few months. It was during this short stint with the leading daily when I discovered my interest towards brands and businesses. I worked towards it and post-graduated with Marketing as my specialization.

Getting associated with the students as a lecturer just after completing my masters was a challenge, and often I had to stand in front of the students much senior to me in age and experience. Even with all the research and preparation, the ever inquisitive students made me question my command over the subjects I was teaching. The tenure of those six years made me realize that the role of an academician is that of a student first and then of a teacher.  A teacher is not only required to know the subject to be taught but is supposed to have the zeal to learn progressively inside and outside the realms of the classroom.  With an aspiration to excel in the world of academia, I wanted to make full use of every opportunity to become an able mentor to at least a few. The Fellowship Program in Management at IIM Udaipur was that one opportunity, and I decided to go for it.

The odyssey has just begun; I am just starting to learn. But this place, I am already in love with it. I am a student again, and I am learning to learn. The life here is a new challenge every day. But this we will talk about sometime later. As of now, I am on the road to living my dreams, and when I look back, I feel happy to see the distance I have traversed so far.

Two Months at IIMU

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A seat of admission inside the premises of the coveted Indian Institutes of Management can very well be described as ‘The Great Indian Dream’. Revered by many as the pinnacle of educational excellence in the country and considered to be a genuine precursor to a life of material comfort (albeit with all the hardships that come along with that sweet smell of success), the IIMs have carved a niche for them in the general psyche of the nation. Millions throng the coaching centres that prepare students for that nerve-racking, exasperating race-against-time commonly known as CAT; thousands take the test every year and only a few get the chance to step inside the hallowed walls of an IIM. Yours truly is one such lucky entrant.

The toughest call that I had to make in that entire process was not inside the exam halls, but rather when I had to contemplate on which B-School to choose from among the ones that had offered me an admission. After weeks of deliberation, frantic Google searches and consultations with friends, family, alumni and present students from the various institutes and even to the desperate extension of rank strangers on online platforms – there was a clear winner. The underlying logic and reasons behind preferring IIMU over its contemporaries is a story for some other day. Thus, with a heavy heart I bade adieu to the city where I had spent twenty-one continuous years of my life and with a great deal of excitement punctuated by some amount of trepidation about the uncertainty of the journey I was about to embark (not the literal journey though, the tickets clearly spelt “Udaipur”), I boarded the train to the city of lakes.

It was my first day on campus and the academic block was teeming with students waiting in line for the registration process.  I had expected the lion’s share of the crowd to be engineers – the general norm in B-Schools across the country. Much to my surprise, there were commerce and economics graduates aplenty, with considerable representation from the other undergraduate fields and even a couple of Fashion Designers, Doctors and Dentists thrown in the mix! With the usual formal introductions out of the way, people were getting to know each other over lunch at the Hostel mess. My parents accompanied me to the room allotted to me and helped in unpacking the luggage. Once settled, the students set out for the auditorium where the inauguration ceremony of the new batch was scheduled to take place. It was the first time that we had the wonderful opportunity of being addressed by the director of our institute, Prof. Janat Shah.

Classes took off from the very next day with the first week dedicated to the development of fundamentals like creativity, team work and design thinking with lectures from industry experts in the respective fields. Since numerous courses in the curriculum involve discussions on “Case Studies”, an introductory lecture on the art and science of understanding cases was given by the extremely experienced and renowned Prof. L.S. Murthy from IIMB. Incidentally, the first week of our stay at IIMU coincided with the World Yoga Day, the 21st of June.

The only time my obese, overfed and perennially-averse-to-workouts body came into contact with the word “Yoga” before coming to IIMU was through internet memes about a certain Indian self-proclaimed God-man. I had never felt the urge of trying it out; a foray into the realms of physical activity was, and still is, undesirable to a grave extent for me. Give me a book, I would devour it in five hours – Give me a ball I would throw it back at you and walk away!

However, much to my chagrin, I had to carry my sleep-deprived self to the academic block at 6 o’clock in the morning. But it was indeed an eye-opener! The sense of calm that infuses through the body; the feeling of your muscles waking up from a Rip-Van-Winkle-ish slumber; the light, serene morning breeze that ruffles your hair while you try your best to hold onto the position – I had never experienced anything of that sort before. I am sure none of my postures were perfect, in fact they ought not to be, but nonetheless it was a start and it helped me discover a new facet of life. IIMU had sparked the transformative journey that I signed up for, right from the very first week of my stay.

The first trimester consists of eight courses with varying degrees of Credit Points attached. Being an economics graduate, I was excited to find that two of my undergraduate courses were a part of the first trimester itinerary. However, once the classes started, we came to realise that having prior knowledge of a subject isn’t going to be a differentiating factor. With certain engineers acing the financial accounting course and doctors scoring the highest marks in micro-economics paper, the competition is intense.

Once we settled in, well and good, the toughest week of our lives started. It was time for the first year students to get inducted into the Clubs and Committees. Each student body has an elaborate and characteristic selection procedure to make sure only the ones with the perfect mix, of suitable talent and enthusiasm to work in a team, gets through. With classes continuing as usual, the various selection rounds took place in the evenings and, more often than not, stretched on till the wee hours of the morning. The surprise quizzes, mid-term preparations, daily case readings and submissions continued parallel. The delegation of time to different pursuits simultaneously is a great lesson in time management that plays a huge part in transforming a ‘college student’, fresh out of his undergraduate course into a ‘professional’.

One of the most interesting things I witnessed here is the ‘Soapbox’ system for the election of members into certain important committees. Prior to that there are several rounds gauging the acumen of the applicants on the various skills required for the concerned committee. The final round is the ‘Soapbox’. A ‘Soapbox’, for the uninitiated, is a batch meeting where the short-listed candidates of a particular committee pitch for themselves in front of the entire batch. Their challenge is to convince the audience that they are the perfect fit for the role at hand and not to let temper get the better of them in the face of controversial questions from the audience. It’s a test of several key qualities that will later form an intrinsic part in the life of a manager – bringing forth the communicator, the negotiator, the charmer, the leader and the confidante in each. It took me two failed soapbox attempts to introspect and analyse where I was going wrong and it led to a wonderful journey of self-discovery, a journey that I believe will have no end to it.

The reader, by now, must have formed an opinion that life at IIMU is all-serious with no time for fun and games. Well, we have our very own sports committee who goes by the name of Lakesiders, our very own music-lovers’ SIG (Special Interest Group for the uninitiated) called Octaves with their dancing counterparts being the SIG called Footworx. Together, they have organised several events to de-stress the students on campus, to help them let off some steam. ‘The Karaoke Night’ was a run-away success with huge footfall. Dedications were made – songs of love and longing to friends and family left at home. A few brave hearts even took centre stage to profess their love for a batch-mate – some were rewarded with a favourable response, others not so much unfortunately. The crowd had a gala time – singing along to their favourite tracks, dancing enthusiastically whenever a Bolly chartbuster started playing and showing full vocal support for their friends performing.

Academics, however, is the most important part of the campus life at IIMU, a fact reiterated several times by the faculties and seniors alike. Mid-terms arrived swiftly and like a silent assassin. Some unfortunate souls were caught off-guard, some had prepared hard well in advance. There was an added fervour in the hostel blocks, the usual 3AM nap time got deferred to 5. But eventually, everyone pulled up their socks and gave their best efforts in every course and subject befitting their tag of an IIMU student.

It wasn’t love at first sight. It had taken me a week or so to fall in love with the picturesque campus with the lonely road stretching down to the ST Hostel – greenery on either side; it had taken me a couple of weeks to fall in love with the ‘half-fry Maggi’ at the night canteen which has quenched my mid-night hunger many a times; it took the introverted geek in me almost a month to realise the importance of my study group mates and it’s just the beginning. Transformation is not an overnight process. The journey lies ahead. Or as a wise man (smirk) once said,

“Picture aabhi baki hai mere dost”

Arkaprabha Sanyal,

B.Sc, Economics

PGP 2016-18

Dear Alumni

Dear Alumni,

I do not know if you will come across this note. But I thought of thanking you today.  Recognize me? I am IIM Udaipur, five years old, and past my nascent stage now, and walking the road we decided to walk together.

Not very long ago, sixty of you made a choice. A tough one, considering I was just a sapling then, unlike the age old trees that could have perhaps sheltered you better.  But you believed in me, watered me every day, every single day, and smiled as each day, I grew just a little bit more. I saw you attend classes, prepare notes, give presentations and tried to be the best that I could, in taking you closer to your dreams.

The gentleman whom they call the Director, gave me my own mission – to be a research institution, an academic institution, an institution which believes in supporting dreams whether they are dreams of starting a new business or those of studying further. Good placements, we believe, is the consequence of good academics, not the cause for it. Five years down the line, we see it has worked. People know me now. They might not agree with everything I do, but I make them think, ponder and wonder. And that itself is my reason to smile. None of this would have worked had it not been for the people who came and became a part of me in the last five years. They enriched me with a part of themselves as well. My walls have stories of success, those of fighting back after every day defeats and stories of learning from mistakes, much like any other place. What makes me special is, there are still a lot of place to scribble new tales, those that have not been written before.  Thank you, for filling the first few pages of my book.  That gave the courage of hundreds of other students, to write many more chapters. In my halls, we still have your handprints framed. The décor perhaps has changed, but the soul – the soul has not.

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Every batch that comes in IIMU takes up that baton to write a legacy, a new story with a new twist. I look back and think of the batch that framed my Constitution. That must have been tough! To frame rules for yourself. Even harder to make sure everyone followed them. But you never gave up. Thank you for that. Thank you for telling everyone you could how wonderful it was with me. Thank you for putting in your good word for me whenever possible. Thank you for coming back as friends, and guides to the current students. They loved meeting you, really!

I am now seen as an institute with a vision, honest and transparent. Integrity itself is a part of my identity.  I am young and taking bold strokes on that canvas. And there is a lot of space to draw more. I like that. I know you are not too many in number considering I have been around a short time, but you will be very glad to know that with each year, our numbers are growing. With each year, we are dreaming bigger, and trying to grow with humility.  I saw the library grow fantastically, cultural fests open in grand celebration of life and youthfulness, management fests housing best of minds, literary fest breathing life into corporate and much more. I witnessed student committee elections, sports events, entrepreneurial life choices, social work initiatives, as well as competitions that brought home laurels. We had a good run so far, didn’t we? Most of you didn’t have a tradition handed down to you. You stepped up and decided on the culture. Starting from scratch must have been frightening, but you took up that challenge, and here we are, ready to take on every hurdle that might come our way.

I have come a long way from my baby steps and soon, I shall exist in a new form, amid hills and lakes in Balicha.  But home is not made of bricks, but of souls. I will always be a home to you. I would still carry your essence, and your wishes, and tell everyone who comes in that they are now vested with the responsibility of building a legacy – not just being part of one.  On starry nights, when they wonder what makes them special, I will tell them what you told yourself on that afternoon five years ago – “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.

Sincerely,

IIM Udaipur

FROM CS TO CSA : A WORD WITH THE GENERAL SECRETARY, COUNCIL OF STUDENT AFFAIRS, IIM UDAIPUR

Alma mater, at any stage in a person’s career, can make a monumental contribution in shaping him or her. IIM Udaipur, nearing the start of its sixth lap, has already molded several starry eyed graduate students into leaders and entrepreneurs. There is a distinct difference between the individual who walks in through these halls the first time, and the person who packs her bags and bids adieu to this nest for the skies beyond. This development progresses through a series of victories, slew of defeats and a pocketful of optimism. We have with us today Nikhil Kishor Bonde, the General Secretary, 2016, who stood sometime back before one hundred and forty odd batchmates taking an oath to do everything in his power to lead our institution to the pinnacle of academic and business excellence. Nikhil, till a few months ago, was a quiet but candid person whose best introduction would be “One of the most avid Counter Strike Players in college”. On the few occasions, our correspondent chatted with him before; he came across as laid back and casual, and rather passionate about the “Number of Kills”. Now he looks on at us with that smile still hanging on his lips as if to say “Let’s just drop everything and get to gaming”. But things have changed.

14520521_10154592895538826_8425781667632334792_nMedia Cell: Nikhil, tell us about your initial aspirations when joining the institute a year ago?

Nikhil: My aspirations were simple and similar to those of many others, get the knowledge about management, get my master’s degree and get that awesome job I have always dreamed of.

Media Cell: Did you have opportunity to join the kind of activities you would have liked to contribute to? And shortfalls if any?

Nikhil: Initially, during the clubs and committees recruitment days, I was too confused to make a firm decision to join any specific club and as a result I decided not to apply for any club. I regret that decision now that I have realized that I have missed out on a lot of exciting opportunities in the past year. I have been a part of some club activities at the ground level though, which gave me the feel of the awesome activities that clubs do. But I would’ve liked to be involved in the core activities.

Media Cell: How do you think the opportunities that you did receive during organizing fests or events shaped you to being the General Secretary we have today?

Nikhil: The days of Solaris and Audacity had some of the best experiences I have had in the past few years. But before I move on to fests and events, I believe even the things like recording books for the blind, blood donation camps, cloth donation drives and all those little things we do here for the community; they all shape and mold us bit by bit, day by day. Coming back to Solaris and Audacity, my role as part of the logistics team for both events has shown me many ups and downs. There were instances where I had to be stern to friends and even had arguments with them. Then there were times when I messed up, realized it at the last moment and miraculously pulled things together as well at the last moment. I feel all these opportunities have taught me to always think about others, believe and depend on my team, not lose hope and fight till the end and of course also to be strict and stern towards improper conduct.

Media Cell: Who was the inspiration behind you stepping up for the role? Let’s be frank, you were the dark horse in this race.

Nikhil: It was more of a ‘what’ that was my inspiration than a ‘who’. I was always impressed by the Council of 2015 but I decided I wanted to be a part of the Council after I attended the General Body Meeting held by the previous Council. The kind of discussion that took place in that meeting spurred me to be a part of this awesome group. The kind of enthusiasm and passion that everyone had about policies that will guide the future of the institute and its students was electric and would inspire anyone to step up for the Council elections. It is the honor and opportunity to be one of the hands that shapes the culture of this young institute that drives me.

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Council of Student Affairs 2016-17

Media Cell: From CS to CSA, how was the journey? Tell us about the change your life has been through ever since you took up the baton.

Nikhil: My schedule for the day has completely changed after being elected to CSA. Although the assignment and class preparation remains the same, the time of group meetings have changed. In fact most of my hour long group meetings are now shortened to almost half an hour which is then followed by two to three hour meetings with the Council. Earlier it was just classes and some discussion with the professors in the acad block and rest of the time in the hostel. Now I also spend a lot more time in the acad block for activities other than studies. But even through the tight schedule I manage to squeeze in some time for gaming. That is one thing that has not changed and a thing I won’t like to change !

Media Cell: Tell us about an awesome day in the campus that you would always cherish. Apart from the day that made you the big brother CSA!

Nikhil: That’s a tough one, there have been so many days to cherish forever. But one that is very special for me is the final day of ****** (Secret IIMU event). Although my team did not win the event, the spirit shown by everyone in the team was just great and the talks and fun that we had through the night is unforgettable. Apart from that the wrap up of Solaris is also unforgettable; to see the event through without any glitches and to know that our efforts were successful was a wonderful feeling.

Media Cell: And what about the hiccups? Tell us an incident that makes you cringe a little at the thought of it.

Nikhil: Nothing cringe worthy that comes to my mind now. There have been small incidents but nothing worth remembering. It’s been all smooth sailing till now and I hope it remains that way.

Media Cell: Soon fresh faces will step into the campus. What would be our General Secretaries word of caution to them about MBA life.

Nikhil: I would say things change pretty drastically after entering IIMU. Everyone is new so do not hesitate to ask for help; everyone makes mistakes but do not be afraid to take responsibility; don’t have a laidback attitude, if you don’t work no one will. As our institutes mission says, it’s about creating responsible leaders, so let’s start by being a responsible student. Also, it’s not all so serious, we do have fun while doing all this so don’t worry.

Media Cell: And what would be something you feel they could look forward to other than the multiple fest and events that constantly keep a buzz going on in the campus?

Nikhil: Since we will be shifting to the new campus, a green campus, there will be a lot of opportunities for new ideas and activities to be carried out there. There are also a few other ideas in the pipeline which I would rather not disclose at this moment since they are at an early stage, but rest assured there are plenty of exciting things to look forward to.

Media Cell: Best wishes for the journey ahead Nikhil. Tell us one area you would like to focus on developing or encouraging the most in the next year?

Nikhil: We take great pride in our student governance. My and the Council’s focus for the next year will be on improving on the existing student governing system. In line with this we have already rolled out a club structure policy, we are also in discussions with the institute authorities and developing other policies to provide the students an even bigger role in the student governance.

Media Cell: Anything special the council has in mind after the shift to the new campus? What are your focus areas?

Nikhil: The Council is currently planning on increasing the scale of Solaris. With the beautiful new campus that we will have, Solaris 2016 is going to be a spectacle to behold. Besides that our main focus is primarily on getting everyone and everything settled; the students, the hostels, the mess and yes, the special rooms for clubs and committees.

Media Cell: Finally, does your toothpaste have salt in it? Why that enigmatic smile always?

Nikhil: People say a smile is infectious and a smile sets things straight. A small attempt from my side to make things better. Would be great to see everyone smiling 🙂

The interview concludes on a happy note. Our general secretary looks considerably happy and debates inwardly whether to start off with Dota right after the interview. He confidently walks back as I think of how IIM Udaipur has impacted each of our lives the same way, making us an improved version of ourselves. True to its vision of integrity, IIM Udaipur lets you be who you are, just adds skill sets and helps you reinvent yourself in delightfully surprising way.

IIM Udaipur – A Democracy

It is an important day at IIMU. The mini auditorium of a classroom CR-2 is full to the brim. No one needed an invitation to come to this meeting. One of the most important elections of the year – the Placement Committee Elections is in progress. The mood is solemn; the stage is set and the nominees after having moved through grueling elimination rounds stand facing the batch for the deciding round. Some look a little dazed at the proceedings, some determined and some made eyes at their friends sitting in the back row.

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While these guys are giving their speeches, let us give the backdrop a little.

IIM Udaipur, is a democracy, upholding principles of transparency and fairness. One of the pillars that help uphold this principle is a student driven culture. The Placement Committee is elected through six or seven highly challenging elimination rounds followed by an open election, where the entire batch votes their preferences, much like any other democracy. The prospective members pledge their support to the batch and put up their respective pitches. The batch gives its verdict through secret online voting and there you have it – a committee formed of some of the most hardworking and dedicated students in the batch.

The first member has just finished his speech; and wild clapping ensues. Already the back benches are buzzing with debates about whether this seemed convincing enough and what could be better. No one is swayed by friendships or preferences here.

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The Placement Committee

Every election in IIMU comes with its own flavor. Placement Committee Elections are perhaps the most professional affair in the year whereas the next important election, that of the Media and Industry Interaction Cell, is about street smart confidence and a touch of flamboyance. The yardstick is different here. The selection rounds are extremely random and sudden, reflecting the kind of work the MiiC members are expected to do. This election sees some of the most tricky speeches and question answer sessions, because that’s what an average day looks like to the members.

One month down the line, an election filled with some memorable, daring and utterly out of the box speeches will choose the next gen MiiC.

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The Media, they say, goes everywhere . MiiC in Balicha

The Academic Council is also elected similarly. The students part of Acad council here are brilliant folks themselves who have helped their batch mates umpteenth times to get through preparations before exams. These are the guys you rush to the night before exams with problems that look like they were made in devil’s kitchen.

Also, they take care of the entire subject allotment process in second year, facilitating interaction with faculty pre-subject selection, any problems the batch may be facing in a subject , arranging for guest lectures and extra classes (Yes, students ask for them here) and also multiple workshops.

Choosing the academic council is simple. You go out and vote for those awesome guys who have helped the batch the most academically!

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Academic Council : Titles don’t reveal everything, they party hard too !

Finally, the Council for Student Affairs election – CSA, the big brother, that keeps an eye on all. Be it expenditures incurred by clubs and committees, budgets, management fest to cultural fest, CSA is involved and presides over most of these. Requirements placed by clubs and committees are approved by these guys. Also vehicle safety policies, institute norms are upheld by them. These elections are end of year elections and of paramount importance because you want to ensure these are the people who can best shoulder the responsibility of carrying forward the culture set by previous batches while adding fresh colors to the palette.

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CSA – The Big Brother

The last nominee for Placement Committee has finished speaking. It’s time to count the votes and welcome the Junior Placement Committee or JPC, as we lovingly call them. Each nominee gets to select a trusted person who will oversee the counting on their behalf. Everything is transparent here.

While other clubs and committees do not have elections, there are always internal reviews going on and efforts to improve our persistent. Each club has its own unique selection process and club recruitment is one of the most interesting times in the year. In each club, there are internal elections or nominations for President or Core Memberships. These positions entail steering the club towards the vision it has set for itself and aligning according to the core values of the institute.

The details about individual Clubs and Committees may be found on our website. Here are some snapshots of the faces that form these close knit circles.

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IIMU is about shared responsibilities and taking up the onus. Like in a relay race, each batch passes on the baton to the subsequent batch hoping they would get more and more edge in this never ending race. The culture of elections upholds this very trait in the institute. Every person stepping here, belonging here has a say for the betterment of the institution.  What sets us apart isn’t what we do, but it’s how we get it done.

Hope you enjoyed reading this piece. Do follow us for more IIMU stories.

 

IIM Udaipur – New Campus: the last lap

Hello there! Pat yourself on the back a little because you have stumbled upon the right place to know all about the upcoming 300 acre Balicha Campus of IIM Udaipur.  As prospective managers embark upon their MBA journey and work their way through assignments and presentations towards completion of the first trimester, the campus too gets ready to host its new occupants.  The campus will be more than ready to house the students and faculty, with plenty of amenities operational, as well as planned in the near future. IIM Udaipur holds a standing reputation for being absolutely uncompromising on the quality of education and lifestyle it provides to students. Let us give an overview of the facilities we enjoyed at MLSU.

OLD CAMPUS : The present location of the academic block, Polymer Science building in the MLSU campus, boasts of five beautifully set up, large, noise-proof classrooms, sufficient number of faculty chambers, Bloomberg laboratory, Placement and Administrative offices, library, a canteen, a gymnasium and a one of a kind Gazebo. These classrooms were fully functional and IIM-ready long before classes began there. Three hostels house the students of IIM which are equipped with all required amenities like washing machines, refrigerators, water coolers, microwaves and induction ovens.  There are large quadrangles attached to every hostel where social events take place and also students enjoy games of badminton and volleyball. A large playground is attached to the hostel for cricket and football matches. Another gymnasium is attached to hostels and also a board for ping-pong enthusiasts. There are two canteens that remain open all night long and frequented by a large number of students. The campus and hostels are fully wifi enabled and LAN ports are also available, two in every hostel room.

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Coming back to the new campus, it has a 330 capacity classroom – a mini auditorium. Also an Open Air Theater will soon come up for which work is in progress. The facilities enjoyed in the old campus academic block and hostels will be retained in the new campus as well.

The campus is designed, as reflected in the pictures, to look like the majestic Rajasthan forts built in the yesteryear.

There are 8 fully equipped main classrooms seating 77 each. There are spaces allocated for the clubs that put up a requirement for the same.

The Academic block toilets will be the universal style for better facilitating people who have any difficulty with regular ones.

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Next we come to our Den! The Hostels!

Single occupancy , air conditioned rooms are in place with large windows. Eight units share a common space while four of these rooms share two toilets between them. There are special rooms in every hostel to make the stay more comfortable for differently abled candidates. Hostel Complex has the basic sports facilities – Pool Table in the mess hall, Table tennis, Small basketball courts, Mini Gym etc. The fully fledged sports complex will also come up in phase 1 itself later in the year. Once you step outside the hostels, the view of the campus cradled in the mountains is breathtaking. Take a sneak peak now !

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There would be a world class connector between Acad and Hostel Block ( We could totally name this the Highway to Hell or Stairway to Heaven but that’s controversial and debatable).  For traversing between the two blocks, bicycles may be used. And while you are going to Acad, you can look down and see the Lakes. We are going to be self –reliant when it comes to water though we also already have a dedicated connection for water. These lakes will be primarily rain-fed. A system of check dams will be put in place at strategic locations within the terrain to create several interlinked lakes.

Food – the most important concern for gourmets. Mess food and night canteen will be available. Whatever facilities you have here with regards to food are available there. Now the additions – a food court will come up in time and also a cafeteria within Acad. There would be a Lakeside coffee lounge and a health food café in the sports lounge.

Now the only concern is transportation right? No the place isn’t as far flung from civilization as you might be led to believe. It is just a comparatively less polluted zone place where OLA plies. Also talks are on with State Govt for improving transportation there. We can expect the institute would make some arrangements to make commutation easier.

Bike lovers, brace yourselves. Those bad boys stay parked in the parking lot near the campus gate along with the good boys i.e. the four-wheelers. The entire campus has been designed for a GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) LD 5 Star rating.

Further plans include the construction of Solar power farm in campus for electricity generation. The campus will be a zero-waste facility in coming years, where waste will be an important resource utilizing DEWATS (Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems), vermicomposting and biogas production. This is a green campus and it’s totally worth it! Come be a part of it!

Football League at IIM Udaipur-FLU 2015

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The sports committee of IIM Udaipur, Lakesiders, organized the annual football league of IIM Udaipur (FLU) during the months of October and November of 2015. The league ,modelled on the lines of the international football leagues comprised of six teams and a total of 84 players participated in it. The team names were Balicha Tigers, Lake Warriors, SoccaHolics, Land Sharks, Udaipur Rangers and Mad Thrashers. The players were selected in the teams through an IPL style auction which had PGP 1 girls in the capacity of managers and solely responsible for the buying decisions. The tournament schedule was such that the teams had to go through a Round-Robin stage following which the top three teams qualified. The top team was a direct entrant to the final whereas the next two had to play a semifinal to qualify as the second finalist.The tournament was witness to great team game play, amazing skills and runs and intense rivalry between the teams which culminated with Balicha Tigers lifting the coveted trophy after a close but brilliant final with Mad Thrashers.

The tournament foundation and loyalty for the respective teams was laid on the day of the auction. The auction as aforementioned was modelled on the lines of the IPL. The auction process was moderated by the Lakesider members and the bidders were the PGP 1 girl students who, in continuing with the tradition of the preceding years, were the managers for the six teams. The bidders however had a consultant tagged with them to assist them through the auctioning process and advice them regarding which players to purchase. The team names were first alloted to the girl managers through a lucky draw system. Each set of manager and consultant was then provided with 100 million ( virtual) for the process in total from which they had to buy 14 players. The bidding comprised of three rounds which comprised of the team players in the first round followed by players who were extremely good followed by players who were good and those who were interested in participating. The bidding commenced and during the subsequent two and a half hours of the process , there were numerous hits and misses with many players going for exhorbitant amounts whereas several brilliant players went for significantly less amounts and proved to be amazing bargains for the managers. However, there were no surprises when the current captain of the football team, Saurabh Gupta, went for the highest amount of 27 million followed by the striker of the team, Arjun Khetarpal, who went for an amazing 23.5 million respectively.

The tournament commenced with the match between Udaipur Rangers and SoccaHolics. The match was an intense one but the quality of the Udaipur Rangers was extremely evident and ended with a 3-0 win for them. The following matches too were brilliant exponents of the most followed game and certainly helped maintain the high level of competence expected from the league. As the league progressed , the teams got to know each other’s playing style and the main players and it gradually became a battle of wits with teams deploying proper formations and resorting to tactics such as man marking to counter their opponents. The games too were played with intense rivalry and saw the referees brandishing a host of yellow and extremely seldom red cards. As the matches progressed , the win margins kept shrinking and it often used to be a moment of brilliance or a brilliant move which proved to be crucial in deciding outcomes. Though all teams gave their best, the three teams that maintained their performances throughout were Udaipur Rangers, Balicha Tigers and Mad Thrashers and subsequently qualified for the following rounds with Balicha qualifying directly for the finals. However, Lake Warriors deserve a special mention as they too were consistent performers and were ousted only in their last league game with Udaipur Rangers which was billed by everyone as the virtual semifinal. SoccaHolics and Land Sharks tried their level best and were brilliant competition for the other teams and kudos to their effort. The semi-final between Udaipur Rangers and Mad Thrashers was an extremely tight game with both teams giving their best and ended in a stalemate which was followed by an extremely nervy penalty shootout where the Mad Thrashers kept their calm and prevailed and hence qualified for the final. The final lived up to its billing with both teams playing an extremely intense and physical game. The game saw a number of heated moments with the players being egged on by the crowd. The game witnessed brilliant touches, towering headers and the players vying tirelessly for the ball. The Balicha Tigers however, maintained their brilliant run and emerged victorious by a 2-0 margin with Saurabh Gupta and Chandan Sagar (the Golden Boot winner) scoring the vital goals. The final whistle saw contrasting emotions with frenzied celebrations from the Tigers whereas the Thrashers’ players were extremely distraught. The following ceremony witnessed the conferring of various awards for brilliant individual performances such as Emerging Player to Prateek Kiran, Golden Boot to Chandan Sagar and Golden Ball to the best player of the tournament Prateek Goyal. Finally, Saurabh Gupta lifted the trophy for the Tiger’s which sparked wild celebrations and bringing the curtain down on another annual edition of the league.

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FLU 15 was certainly a great experience for all the players and lived up to the high expectations expected of the leagues. The league was witness to an abundance of talent and is certainly a brilliant testament to the strong sporting culture at IIM Udaipur. FLU 15 was another feather in the cap for the Lakesiders and the great response certainly provides brilliant motivation for the other leagues and provides impetus to have more such events. Finally, organizing and executing the event required help from both batches and it was an amazing coordinated effort which helped pull it off thereby displaying the importance the students at IIM Udaipur place on all events as great exponents of developing the amazing culture at IIMU. Hence, FLU 15 was a great success and we are certain that the incoming batch will certainly be as talented if not more so and take FLU 16 to another level altogether ._DSC2507

Luminaries grace IIM Udaipur on The Udaipur LeapDay LitFest

IIM Udaipur under the banner of Potpourri – The literary and debating club successfully hosted The Udaipur Leap-day LitFest 2016 (ULLF), IIMU’s annual literature festival at the institute. This is the fourth such edition of the event, held on 28th of February, 2016.

ULLF is an event which aims at promoting love for reading and writing amongst IIMU students and the Udaipur Community. Started in 2013, ULLF is an annual event that aims to bring together connoisseurs of literature and arts to share their views, and provide an opportunity to students and residents of Udaipur to interact with eminent personalities. This annual event is organized on every February 28, with a special two-day festival during leap years.

The event aimed at celebrating the charming order that takes shape in the turbulent journey of an artist. Apart from prominent authors, this year’s festival featured artists, directors, poets, dancers and journalists who shared their perspectives the many facets of art as a way of expressing the unspoken.

The event began with the director of the institute, Prof. Janat Shah, inviting the speakers for the lamp lighting ceremony followed by a brief video about Udaipur. The first speaker to grace the stage was world renowned Bharatnatyam and Yoga virtuoso Mr. Navtej Johar. Mr. Johar gave an illuminating speech on the perception of classical dance in modern times and how the intertwining of various ideologies has helped redefine modern Yoga. He spoke on concepts of Sankhya and gave strong arguments to dispel the whim that concepts such as materialism, rationalism etc. are alien to Indians. He was critical of the present scenario of dance and described it as show and tell and hence in a shambolic state. His insights regarding the significance of our religious scriptures to help shape the dance of today was certainly an eye opener and a significant learning for the audience.

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Udaipur Leapday Litfest 2016

The next speaker to grace the dais was eminent director Bejoy Nambiar, famous for critical and commercial successes such as Wazir and Shaitaan. His was a freewheeling speech regarding the changing cinema landscape of the country and how movies based on biopics etc. are receiving recognition. He gave a detailed account of his journey through theatre and to mainstream cinema. A very heart-warming moment was when he acknowledged the role of his mother, who was present in the audience, as his inspiration and pillar of support throughout his journey. His speech was interspersed with various clips from celebrated movies from around the world based on which he provided insights into the psyche of directors during those clips. He also conveyed an extremely important message by requesting the audience to support content driven cinema to develop a culture of similar movies in the industry.

Prominent journalist, Mr. Hridayesh Joshi was the next speaker and his account of the several problems plaguing people in conflict areas of the country such as North East, Bastar etc. made the audience hang onto every word of his speech and was certainly an eye opener for everyone. He stressed on the importance of the role of the media and was a strong exponent of how reporters should target news related to important issues. He delivered a profound message for the students present that conflict management is an important area of study for today’s business managers and that each of us had a duty to be aware of such events.

Ms. Margie Sastry, one of the authors of the famous Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle series, explained the rationale behind Amar Chitra Katha and how it proved to be a significant medium for educating Indian children regarding Indian mythology. She not only explained how mythology like Mahabharata and historical figures like Nehru make for excellent comic props but also spoke regarding the general misconception surrounding comics. She also spoke about her illustrations of people from all walks of life, starting from scientists of the early 1900s to Kalpana Chawla.

Ms Shefali Bhushan is a painter, director and writer who made her directorial debut with the musical Jugni. She has also worked relentlessly to promote folk music in India in association with the website Beats of India. She spoke about how it is difficult to find folk musicians in this day and age when everything is capital intensive. The same went for budding directors who wanted to make a movie with an alternative idea with lesser known actors. She spoke of the principles of the film industry where a movie starring a famous actor would be funded much more easily. Ms. Bhushan also showed the audience scenes from her movie which really instilled a sense of intrigue in them. The movie presents an alternative idea of a mother-son relationship which shows a sense of competition between them.

The final speaker of the day was Divya Prakash Dubey who is an eminent Hindi author and has written screenplays for various short movies. Mr. Dubey is a young Indian author who has to his credit the books “Terms and Conditions apply” and “Masala Chay”. He harbours a passion for both Hindi and English Literature and writes poems, stories to go on air, and also screenplays for short films. He spoke about his life and how different instances in his life led him to eventually pursue his passion of writing. Mr. Dubey’s chat ended with a candid discussion on reasons why Hindi literature has still not gained popularity in India.

The event ended with the vote of thanks to the guests and audiences. Udaipur’s LeapDay LitFest was a grand success and was applauded by the speakers and audience alike with everyone in attendance eagerly looking forward to the next edition.