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.

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Life @ IIMU

Nestled amongst the lush, verdant hills of the Aravallis in Rajasthan, the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur currently located in the campus of the Mohan Lal Sukhadia University possesses the perfect setting and environment for a business school.

Academic rigour has always been a part and parcel of the life of an IIM student and the experience at IIM Udaipur so far, lives up to the same. With business cases to be prepared on an almost daily basis, the study sessions with fellow group mates and the umpteen reports and presentations that have to be made and delivered before deadlines (which more often than not are at unearthly hours, so far spent either watching movies, surfing the net or partying hard) life can get stressful and sleep, a bygone luxury. And just when you’ve had a really heavy lunch topped off with some chilled lassi, does a mail pop into your inbox. Now, outside professional life, mails are usually responded to with a bored glance or a casual laugh. An IIM student learns to expect more. Mails from the PGP office between 12.30PM and 3.30PM are…the most dreaded on campus. Statistics for Management toppers have for decades struggled with their regression, correlation and heuristic analyses to comprehend the relationship between full stomachs and afternoon mails from the PGP office. Surprise quizzes, considered by many as an initiative by the Lucifer himself, serve to knock you off your dreamy siestas and full tummies to those notes that you had, in all probability, hastily scribbled over the last couple of sessions in class. However, the burden of all these activities can be alleviated by merely stepping out onto the hostel terraces for some casual banter with your “ever-ready” group mates whilst taking in the fresh mountain air that most of us have for so long missed, before resuming preparations.

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Udaipur, also called the ‘Venice of the East’ is also called the City of Lakes. Hills, lakes, gardens and palaces, the city is not short on options to recharge the soul and the mind, a welcome relief from the daily grind. The Chief Conservator of Forests in Udaipur organizes regular treks for the students, which apart from being an experience in itself, helps build bonds that could very well last a lifetime. For the foodie, the alleys of the Old Udaipur town are a godsend. Rajasthani delicacies, Mumbai vadapavs and even Keralite non-vegetarian cuisine, the city’s got enough to keep you satiated. Fast food outlets of the likes of KFC, Pizza Hut are in a close proximity to the campus and make for a welcome reprieve at the weekends.

For those who want to work on their extra-curricular activities, IIM Udaipur’s clubs and committees (currently numbering to around 20) provide ample opportunities. The Media & Industry Interaction Cell organizes the Leadership Summit, which is the flagship event of the campus. The Literary club is not just restricted to organizing quizzes. Over the last year, it has organized the Udaipur Leap Day Lit Fest where authors of the likes of Rashmi Bansal and Ashwin Sanghvi visited the campus and interacted with the students. The club also conducted the Udaipur Amazing Race which was basically a treasure hunt across the city of Udaipur, organized along the lines of the popular TV show. The football and crickets enthusiasts among the batch have a Cricket and Football League system in place, complete with an IPL-style auctioning system to add a little extra spice. There are also regular JAM sessions and film screenings that allow the entire batch to let its hair down and have fun as a group. The institute also has a music room, where the musicians of the batch can let loose post the sessions in class.

As in every Management School, due importance is given to those clubs that promote the business of Business itself at IIM Udaipur. Finomina – The Finance Club of IIM Udaipur holds sessions and competitions with the batch to illustrate and discuss various aspects of finance. The Entrepreneurship Cell – Saksham holds guest lectures with the batch, where students get to interact with budding entrepreneurs. Prayatna – The Social Responsibility club has taken up a variety of initiatives to promote a spirit of social responsibility among the students. The Cultural Committee organizes various cultural events in the campus to highlight the diversity of the batch. The recent Food Fest conducted in association with the Mess Committee is just an example of the same.

As with any other college, the real flavour of IIM Udaipur is best experienced in its hostels. Time inside the hostels doesn’t run according to the Indian Standard Time though, at any point in the day the mean number of people sleeping and those wide awake are roughly the same. The latter are either working furiously to complete some assignment or trying to derive some inspiration for doing so off of Facebook!

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Come 8:30 AM and its quite common to see mouths frantically trying to gobble down the breakfast before entering the lecture hall – hopefully before the professor. The afternoons and evenings that are privileged enough to not be spent in class are utilized for impromptu siestas, volleyball matches or Counter Strike battles. More often than not, it’s all three combined.

The nights can be rather subdued before a quiz or some similar tragedy scheduled for the next day, however one thing that manages to bring people together even in times of such hardship is the call for “Maaro Maaro Maaro Maaro” that accompanies every poor soul’s birthday celebrations. The crowd congregates, beats the person black and blue, eats all the cake, (occasionally remembers to wish said person) and then go back to their respective studies. The quizzes still lie in waiting, and they are not going to study for themselves!