Second Edition of The Udaipur Leapday Lit Fest organized at IIM Udaipur!

“Management is a science that should be taught in an artful manner”.

In keeping with its unique style and commitment to din that admonition into the state of mind of the student managers of IIMU, Potpourri – The Literary Club of IIM Udaipur presented the second edition of The Udaipur Leapday Lit Fest on 28th February, 2014. Under the theme, “Odyssey of Expressions”, the event proved to be a spellbinding consuetude where some of the best minds from the world of arts and literature came together on a common platform to enrich the ever hungry literary souls of IIMU.

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The precursor to the event started a week prior with The Udaipur Amazing Race, a one of its kind event held to explore the city of Udaipur like never before. Udaipur, the City of Lakes and Palaces with its rich, diverse and beautiful locales provides a unique setting for this race with a back drop of a cultural milieu. The race is a treasure hunt competition and tests the students for their out of the box thinking, attitude, negotiation skills and a grasp on both the in campus and out campus locations to crack the clues.

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A total of 20 teams participated in the first elimination round where 8 teams had to be shortlisted for the next level of the race. A total of 8 clues were placed in different locations in the campus. The clues are designed to test the most basic of common sense among the participants and a way to figure out the most quirky things about the life in IIMU campus. First set of 8 teams to find out the clues ran in the actual race, the actual mania. Each team was provided a fixed budget from which they had to figure out all the day’s travelling and other expenses. The fun part is that each clue deciphered the next location and thus tested the real negotiation (read Jugaad) skills to convince the city autorickshaw owners to travel with the participants throughout the city for a day and that too on a meagre budget.

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The first clue in this race’s edition took the participants to the Royal Cemetery which is a huge structure spread across a large area. The participants had to figure out from the clue to drive towards the next location where a sumptuous portion of Daal Baati awaited them to be finished as a part of the tasks in the race. The Baati’s taste left them with the next clue, a run towards the Dai Mata Ki Baoli. The clue there landed the teams straight into the cold water for three dips in the Pichola Lake at the Ghangour Ghats. The real crazy part began here when all the completely drenched participants had to sell handicrafts to complete strangers on the street. The teams running everywhere took every onlooker to surprise and left most of them querying if a film shooting was in place there. The participants exerted physically by then had to push their stamina beyond limits. Recollecting the strength, the teams had to trek the hill to reach the Karni Mata Mandir. Some quit and some could not figure out the clues to reach. But the enchanting view from the top of the summit refreshed the complete day’s exhaustion. Then started a run to Shilpgram, The Handicrafts Village where the teams had to complete the tasks of pottery artefacts and garland making. From there began, a cycle race back to the campus. Throughout the event, picture snippets and video clipping of the various participants in various stages of races were tweeted live and trended the Social Media channels of IIMU. Raghuram and Hari Prasad from PGP-1 won the race showcasing brilliant sporting attitude, perseverance and skills. Potpourri ensures with ado to imbibe the flavour of art and culture in every task of its farrago of activities.

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The curtain raiser to the Lit Fest saw an evening filled with a dash of entertainment, drama and humor when the Society of Dramatics collaborated with Potpourri to present a satirical play, Kanjoosa Hazrat Awara adaptation of a popular French Play by Moliere. Dramatics fans from Udaipur turned up in the campus for this sumptuous comic appetizer. The visual setting, audience cheering and applauds set the right mood for the Lit Fest.

The Lit Fest day began with the lamp lighting by Prof. Janat ShahDirector, IIMU. Light is synonymous with the spreading of knowledge, wisdom and hope. And the enthusiastic students, speakers, faculty comprising prominently Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar, Prof. Vandana Swami, Prof. Thomas Joseph and Prof.  N. Vishwanathan along with the audience indulged in talks to exchange experiences and thoughts to assay the notion.

For the literary minds, first panel discussion saw Mr. Nikhil Sachan, an IIT-BHU and IIMK alumnus and author of last year’s Hindi bestseller Namak Swadanusar, discussing the issues which young writers face. He also spoke in detail about the publishing industry’s intricacies, falling popularity of Hindi and other regional literature as well as the challenges faced by budding writers. Nikhil also recited some of the poems from his body of work which are close to his heart and through which he connected with young audience. He was accompanied well by the second panelist, Mr. Chetan Mahajan, author of The Bad Boys of Bokaro. Chetan touched the audience with a sensitive note of his storytelling experiences, narratives which went into shaping his book, social issues and tips for aspiring writers.

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Following the literary discussion, began an hour of Mrs. Vidya Rao, Classical Singer and Editor, speaking from the podium. She mesmerized the audience with her sweet and cherubic renditions of Thumri when her mellifluous voice filled everyone’s hearts in the auditorium. Her journey of evolving as an artist and her views on people, expression, arts, music, dance, love and life left everyone awestruck.

A photography exhibition of Prof. Mahesh Sharma’s collection depicting the various shades of life in Udaipur enthralled the audience. The speakers also distributed books and CDs of their works among the participants.

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The event culminated with a talk by celebrated Painter and Sculptor, Mr. Sidharth. He shared his experiences as an artist, the power of expression and the spirit of arts as a medium of communication and change. He also painted a portrait of Gautam Buddha in the fest and gifted it to IIMU as a token of souvenir.

Udaipur Lit Fest is the only Lit Fest conducted in an educational institute in India. And it conveys the very message of IIMU’s Uniqueness and Diversity with elan. The speakers congratulated the Potpourri team for conducting the event. The event ended on a thanking note to the audience and the sponsors viz., The Times of India, Learning Quotient, Sojatia Classes, Big 92.7 FM, Kaju’s Pizza and Lake City Mall. And the audience left with a promissory word from Potpourri to return next year bigger, better and more opulent. A week in the name of Literature, Arts, Music, Dance and Life. Cheers Potpourri!

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!