Saturday, November 22, 2008

Change for good ?

A few years back in search of an institution which can add some value to my CV, I ended up at the gates of IIFM. I was there for my GD/PI. I was about to leave the auto at the gate itself, but the auto-driver told me the institute is about one km up on the hilltop and he was right as I could not see anything from the gate apart from trees in different stage of their lifecycle and a big clump of bamboos (a few months later I realized that these bamboos have their own family 'poaceae' and subfamily 'Bambusoideae'.. etc..etc.. thanks to IIFM course-curriculum).
The auto-ride from IIFM gate to IIFM main-building confirmed one thing that this place is worth spending two years. I had already started thinking of my life at hilltop. A few hours later, post my GD/PI (which ensured that if the selection committee had nothing against my face and my 'bihari' accented English, I was almost in.) I saw some faces oozing familiarity to the surrounding and moving towards bushes adjacent to old hostel buildings. I followed them a bit hesitantly and reached a place which gave mesmerizing view to a water body, Bhopal city and the sun set. I was at 'Sunset Point'.  To hell with placement figures and apprehension of joining a sectoral b-school, this is the place to spend two years.
Seven-eight months later, sunset point was part of our life. The rocks there carry ancient paintings and have been part of memories of many lifelong partnerships. Not to mention, the area surrounding sunset point being a good habitat for peacocks and birds. 
Now, about a couple of weeks ago, a mail landed in my mail box conveying the sad news. The new expansion plan of IIFM is going to result in constructions around 'sunset point' . They are going to build faculty houses in that area; there is going to be sunset for sunset point. There is nothing much I can do here apart from making a sincere request to concerned decision-makers to think about the proposed construction plan. IIFM campus is big enough to accommodate houses for each and every member of IIFM family, the sun set point can be left alone.
But, I must confess I do not have the full picture. There are not many ways that we can get unless decision makers start using some of the tools IIFM advocates and champions. Stakeholder Analysis, Participatory Decision Making, EIA... these words are probably used most on this Bhopal hilltop than anywhere else.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reminiscence Ruminations

Another Alumni Meet has passed. This time, it was the M.P. Chapter. We had 22 confirmations. Twelve came.
Well, I am very happy with the Meet this time (of course, learnings are always there!).  For one, the event was refreshingly organized – and all efforts of the Alumni Committee, and of Dhaval, were there for everyone to see. Second, there was a much better co-ordination between the Clubs and their events. Third, volume-wise, many more turned up – both, from the alumni and the students’ side. Of course, volumes in these cases are always something to crib about, but I’m not going to do that – I’m just too happy. Fourth, and most important, I perceived the alumni to be happy. I really hope the word spreads and we have much better numbers next time.
You know, we at IIFM tend to take things for granted… either our future or our relationships. I did. IIFM has made me go through the most tumultuous relationships in my life. I have faltered time and again. But hope lingers. Rather, it keeps popping up every now and then and makes me cry. Like the time last week when my dearest friends put up a surprise birthday party for me by the bridge on the moat. It gives me hope – that I’m loved, and will be loved, wherever I go after IIFM. It gives me strength I’ll draw on all my life. And I’m sure every alumnus feels this way. But something still stops us from coming back.
Is it because the people made the place worth living and not the Institute? Maybe. But hey! People are still there… Give us a chance to know you… Give us a chance to come out of our shells… 
-----
Siddharth Iyer PFM 09

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Alumni Meet in Bhopal, 9th November

Sunday, the 9th saw few IIFM Alumni back to their Campus. Current batches planned events etc and executed them well. I was not the one going back to campus after years, it is just months for me but thanks to the name of event there were more people around. So we introduced ourselves, shared a moment from our time in the campus, played ad-mad, heard songs, did some clay artwork, ate lunch, talked to director and students, drank tea, some of us saw movie while we spirited.
Alumni Committee - I loved the momento!
Please share the photographs asap.