This is my 10th blogpost, therefore taking this opportunity I would like to thank all my blog visitors for their tremendous support and love, without this it wouldn’t have been so much of fun and pursuit to write something readable and/or meaningful. Blog is getting continuously evolved as new features are being introduced by Weebly team, heartiest thanks to them too.
Creative team at work..
Continuing from the previous post, fund raising was the toughest part since the time was less and we didn’t have a major attraction which could convince sponsors that there will be a huge footfall for the event. When the whole event was being planned we wanted to call a celebrity like Jagjit Singh, Jaspinder Narula (or Salman Khan by Javed) but all these people charge multiple times of our projected budget, so we dropped the idea. Then we considered some of the rock bands which would have certainly appealed to the youth but the only problem that Me & Aman felt was that this is the first time we are having an event and we are expecting professors & scientists to be a part of it, so having Ghazal or Sufi eve would be a better option regarding the masses. Considering our status, I thought to contact Siddharth Mohan (I know him through ‘The Art of Living’) for Sufi eve. He has few albums under his belt and ‘Sufi Strings’ is his latest.
Although everyone contributed for the sponsor hunt, but the people who actually stormed on the front were Arushi, Chandrita, Vandana, Srijani, Astha, Sulekha, Anita, Ankita, Mohsin, Wasi, Aman and Javed; amongst the seniors- Raghav, Sid (Swarnendra), Shruti Goyal, Shruti Jain, Jayant, Amardeep, Shweta and Vikas brought the liberal support from the sponsors. And special thanks to the parents of Karnika, Parul and Raghav for their contribution. Arrangements for media coverage were taken up by Karan (our one man army). He, along with Rimpy and Neharika reached out to almost every media house and gave their heart & soul to the job.
Annual Magazine..(L to R) Editorial board, Cover page design by Swarnendra & released by the Director.
We also released first annual departmental magazine on the day of event, it was a collection of fine piece of work by the students of ACBR, put together by our very dedicated editorial board (Karnika, Utpreksha, Ishita and Sonia). Financially speaking, it helped us to raise lot of funds by providing a means of advertisement for the sponsors.
At the venue, events at a glance. Middle pic shows paintings made by Mojahid up for sale.
Some of the Off-stage events outcome
On the day of event, off-stage events were totally taken care by creative team (led by Astha, Zeeshan, Mojahid & Lipsa) and we got to see some eye-soothing work by the participants. Team of Jayant, Shruti jain, Arushi, Chandrita, Srijani, Abhilasha and Parul took the responsibility of on-stage events and made it a big hit.
On-stage event team (few are missing)
These people used to stay in ‘library’ for hours after lectures inorder to prepare stuff for the event (few times I even requested them to change their place of work as personally I find libraries very gloomy, but they never budged). On stage events also included dance (item numbers :P ) from our side and street play from Acharya Narendra Dev College team.
In the following video, we had prepared these numbers with lot of hard work except number between me and Javed; which was prepared with almost no preparation prior.!
Now time for surprise, there are two secrets that most of the people don’t know. First, we adeptly saved decent amount of money, later which was directed towards the farewell celebrations and it turns out that you (my classmates) end up paying only half the amount that was being budgeted. Second, a part of our money was directed towards social service. As Siddharth Mohan is closely associated with ‘The Art of Living’, he has undertaken lot of social service projects and he does concerts inorder to generate funds for the same. So even after being so economical (in comparison to other celebrities), we all managed to do some noble work.
Talking about my experience during the event, I grew by leaps and bounds, seeing so many skills cropping up in people around, left me with a happy feeling. I lost regular pattern of almost everything whether it was food or sleep except one thing i.e. cleaning myself inside out. One day during this inside cleaning (Saadhna), I got wonderful idea to save big chunk of money; we made CD of our magazine for students and got few hard copies print for teachers (each hard copy costs `150 whereas CD costs under ` 10), we would have been first institute to release e-copy of our magazineJ . When we were trying very hard for the sponsors and nothing was seem to be moving, people turned towards the God for help and prayed hard; result was that in the final week of preparation we jumped from budget of 20k to 90k.! People who are closely associated with Chaperons would certainly agree that this was nothing less than a divine intervention.
Siddharth Mohan with Sulekha and Arushi.. In right pic you can see angels(white halos).. they also came to attend the concert or rather bless it :)
On the day of event I received as many calls as there are in a year for me. Me and Aman were running all over the place, on top of it Police also came in picture. I was thoroughly occupied dealing with sponsors, Raghav and Aman took my bike to bring electrician at the venue to fix power problem. It turns out that they were apparently bringing him on the bike with them, making three persons riding on a bike, on top of it Raghav had kept helmet in his hand rather than on his head, and to make situation more dramatic, documents of bike were with me. No prize for guessing that there was challan and I had to go there with documents to settle the issue. This along with other shortcomings during the day, delayed the start of event by 2 hours.! But skilful management of on and off stage teams took care of everything and we were able to start with Sufi concert on time. Although few people were sceptical about the quality of concert but later those were the people who came up to me and praised the concert.
With Siddharth being so accommodating, we all joined him on stage and danced on Sufi numbers.! Actually, if you know Sufism in correct sense then it is supposed to strike a chord in you that brings dancing naturally; And it gave an amazing feeling to see people dancing crazily all around :D (Oh not to mention, I was dancing too). Teaching and non- teaching staff couldn’t stop appreciating our efforts and congratulated us for the success. This made event end on a high note and filled us all with a feeling of pride. We made profit, we did charity and we had extraordinary celebrations in the end.
Some masti moments captured
Aman- Yaaro ka Yaar.!
Aman is the unsung Hero of this event. He was always there with me through every thick and thin, this event wouldn’t have been a success without his perseverance. There had been a situation which threw me off balance; it was when I refused to deal with ‘Hindustan times’ (HT), as I could foresee the legal problems related to it. This only Aman understood and rest of the class was in split till the time HT made their intentions clear. For me and Aman, at venue the day started at 7 am and ended at 11 pm; after settling money issues with our food provider and later collecting cheque from a sponsor.. But we knew today’s gonna be a good night.
Lots of Love.
PS- Distinct thanks to Bose Sir and Rajinder Sir for their untiring support and faith in us.
PPS- Inorder to improve my blog, I have added a survey form at the end of each blogpost. Please do fill it up.
Writing an account on Chaperons gives me an utter satisfaction, a happyning which will always remain close to my heart.
This blog post is dedicated to all the ACBRites.
It all started during the outset of 2nd semester (end of January, 2011). One fine day, me and Aman (Amanpreet) were caught hold by Kavita ma’am (non-teaching staff member) to organize a fest in March beginning; hearing this we were taken aback, since none of our seniors (in our knowledge) had organized or even mentioned about it. She said that few years ago one of the batch organized a fest and since it was a very private (informal) affair so it was super fun, although me & Aman didn’t understand why it was called fest in that situation but never mind this was something fun.!
ACBR (Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research) is supposed to be a hard core academic institute (can be suspected from the name itself!) oriented towards research so cultural activities do not hold much of value. Although, I was very much fascinated with the idea of having a fest, Aman was sceptical. He reasoned that we have our GRE in the near future (mine even more nearer i.e. end of March) and taking up such responsibility would require lot of effort from our side. Next day, I talked to Arushi and Chandrita about whole thing and considering their nature I was pretty much sure that they would be very much interested. And then Aman had no option but to give in to his dear friends coaxing! Following this we told same thing to the whole class and as it always happen there was a split, but after few rounds of talking and convincing majority of population were in the favour of fest. It was also thought out that our seniors and PhD fellows won’t be given responsibility, as they were already overburdened with their projects during that time, so majority of work was supposed to be done by our class. But later it turns out that their voluntary contribution was far more bolstering than us, it actually kindled life force into the Chaperons.
Soon, the preliminary plan was laid and we approached our Director for the required permissions; to our surprise he was very much happy with the initiative and asked us to quickly find a name for the event which is both scientific and can be implied to a cultural event. We came out with few non-scientific (like Lashkara, Dhamak etc) names but he didn’t agree and insisted for a scientific name. Since we were running out of time we picked up a textbook of cell biology and searched few names in its glossary and simultaneously people gave their inputs, list was prepared of some 30-odd names and given to the Director. Finally, after all the scientific brainstorming over a cultural event, one name was finalized - ‘Chaperons’ (proposed by Javed). Next issue was monetary arrangements for the event, when we said this to the Director, he refused to provide monetary support from the institute as this was a student’s event and they are supposed to raise the funds. Considering the fact that we are from science community, we seldom are involved in sponsor-hunting but we were certainly up for the challenge.
Spearheads of creativity.! (clockwise: Lipsa,Astha,Mojahid,Zeeshan)
For any big event team work and organization is required, absorbed with such ideologies we divided the whole class in different teams such as creative, on-off stage event, finance etc and chose heads for them. Of these teams, most important part was supposed to be played by creative team. When I pounced onto the idea of cultural event, it had always been in back of my mind that we have a ‘Super-Creative’ set of people (like Astha, Zeeshan, Mojahid, Lipsa) in our class who can do wonders if given an opportunity; but to back them we required decent amount of funds.
Even to approach the sponsors we needed to have an outlay of event and a venue, for this we required seed money which was raised by collecting minimal amount from the students of ACBR. We had high hopes from few of the potential sponsors but reality check was not so fruitful. And this was just the beginning of the toughest task in the whole process.
Core committee- Tha backbone of Chaperons (Top: L to R-Aman,Mohsin,Javed; Bottom: L to R-Mojahid,Karan,Wasi)
Since the ACBR was not participating financially in the event so a namesake President was supposed to be chosen from the society for the collection of funds. People of my class honoured me with the same but I still liked myself to be considered as “rubber-stamp” as none of my decisions were influenced by personal bias but opinion of class as majority, after all it was there event. Core committee (Aman, Javed, Mohsin, Karan, Wasi & Mojahid) opted not to elect other positions (secretary, vice President etc.) as it would have invited unnecessary bias. Many a times, in a humorous manner though, Javed said that he is Vice President so it was fun to pull his leg; I also started a chain SMS in the class:
"ACBR presents Chaperons 2011"
President (Rubber stamp) - Mrinal
Minister (Wazir) - Wasi
Treasurer (Dhanlakshmi) - Vandana
Right hand of President - Aman
Left hand of President - Mohsin
No control of President - Javed
Chaperons Poster designed by ASG.
The high point in the whole event was the time window in which whole thing was organized; to organize mammoth event like this in a fairly unsuitable condition (academics oriented institute), certainly requires lot of homework and time. In the middle of February, date for the event was finalized to be 4th of March’11 and the venue (Sir Shankar Lal Concert Hall) was booked from the seed money. In no time, Astha came out with a splendiferous poster (few of the events were totally out of our budget but still we mentioned them, hoping some miracle will make them happen).
Lets us all think together..!
Now, the two biggest problems looming over Chaperons was the much awaited first semester result (certainly it would have marred the hopes and high spirits) and sponsorship. With hardly two weeks to go to for ‘Grand Finale’ it seemed impossible to raise our funds from 20k to 100k, which would have given wings to our dream.
To be continued..
Lots of Love,
PS- ACBR people do share your memories in the comments.
It was almost a week before my second semester exams. I was as usual in my room studying (most probably) and then as usual Anupam came stalking in my room (wearing only shorts which I am very much sure about :-P ). He sat on my bed and out of the blue he said let’s give ACBR exam for MSc again this time when we go to Delhi. I didn’t pay heed to his idea as I was already preoccupied with my worries for semester exams. But then he started to speak about Delhi and being back to university.. in short he succeeded in taking my attention of my studies or probably only worrying part.
Before moving ahead let me just give you the background of whole situation. I had been doing my MSc in Marine Biotechnology from Goa University. I had reached there by JNU common entrance exam for biotechnology 2009. In the same year I had given exam for ACBR but couldn’t make through. In Goa, I had been doing fairly good academically and had wonderful pack of classmates. We have had faculty who used to take care of us like their own children. In fact I have had an ideal journey so far (apart from insipid food). And the guy ‘Anupam’ in story is obsessed with Delhi. He did his graduation from DU but he is originally from Bihar. All he wants in his life is to be in Delhi, and bring his family to Delhi as well..!!
So as soon as Anupam finished talking he got my interest into the idea. He assured me that he will give exam this time and hence dragged me into the alluring idea as well. Last thing I remember is that I wasted almost two hours with the thought of being back in Delhi, doing the course that I always wanted to do and moreover helping my family out (daydreaming I mean). But this was not healthy thinking just before semester exams, especially when you have killingly vast subjects like marine ecology..!!
Therefore, I thought to pass the ball to Guruji (His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar). In the evening I did my Sudarshan Kriya and made three chits namely ‘Goa’, ‘ACBR’ and ‘MSc Biophysics in AIIMS’ (this is another exam I thought I should give again). Then I prayed to Guruji and picked one chit at random to get ‘ACBR’. I shut the topic then and there, gave my semester exams and came back to Delhi. Soon I filled up for ACBR entrance and then got myself into a summer training at DU. Later, when I got back to Anupam, he took a U-turn on entrance and refused to give it, although he is quite popular for such U-turns but I thought he was serious this time. Nevertheless I sworn him off and continued to follow Guruji’s message.
I tried to prepare for exam few days before it, but was certainly under prepared compared to last time. I gave the entrance exam and it may sound surprising but 20% of the questions in exam were directly from GRE practice papers which I had been practicing in vacation, 10-15% questions were exactly that I had studied on the previous night and 10% questions were sheer guess works which were dead right. Hence almost 50% of the questions were under ‘Guru Grace’.
On the basis of entrance, I got call for interview and group discussion. In interview I happened to answer those entire questions which I usually goof up at such places and the last question that they asked was most decisive and I somehow managed to answer that question to my surprise and the panel was thoroughly impressed. In group discussion I got the topic of ‘Cricket being obsession in our country’ which apparently my gut feeling was indicating very strongly on the previous night.
Next day when results came out my name was there on the list.. I got First rank. I was completely awestruck. Last time, I couldn’t even make it to waiting list (i.e. around 70) and this time when I was least prepared, I not only made it to final list but right on top of it.
I still remember when our teacher in the ‘Art of living’ course used to say ‘check your Guru’, ‘try him out’ and then faith will follow on its own. Now, I have no option but to believe in the power called ‘Guru Grace’.
JaiGuruDev (May you be wise & playful)
Lots of love,
Well here is my first blog post and I am no exception to the fact that I have to brainstorm over the title to my first blog. Here is the word I narrowed down- ‘Radiance’ as the dictionary says it is state of being radiant. Radiance is about emission or rather glowing but I am more interested in its figurative meaning which implies teeming with joy, love and hope.
There are many times in life when we don’t look to outside world as our own, we lack belongingness. It may sound extremely justified to be self-centered at times, after all it’s a competitive world and we have full right to think about ourselves. But if we look at it closely, in this whole process we somehow get deviated from our nature. There are various tendencies that may slowly grip our mind like insecurities, anger and depression.
Our nature is to spread love and joy unconditionally. Infact, we should be emitting incessantly all these expressions. It creates an aura which not only uplifts your spirit but all the people around you feel good and to be a part of your company. We should be having no strings or inhibitions to our happiness because making it conditional we are merely postponing it.
By this instance I don’t mean you have to drop the idea of being competitive but all I want to convey is that we drop the conventional way of competing. We need to learn new way of moving ahead as a matter of fact we need move ahead ‘together’. Put in our sincere efforts, pray for a bigger cause and then see the results in our own life.
So learn to be happy, joyful and loving right now, let it flow gushingly, let it ornate you and if people around you are still in the web of conditional happiness then atleast allow yourself to be a reason for it in this way..
Lots of love,
PS- For all my hesitant and inquisitive friends.. advice is “fake it till you make it”.. ;)