Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Anjali was a great teacher, It always is
By Darpan Singh
Recent mention of Anjali on FB brought back old memories.
I still remember Sir's announcing in the class that Swabhiman, an NGO, was going to organise a children’s festival (for special ones), Anjali, in Bhubaneswar. He wanted some of us to go there and cover the event. This has been a tradition at IIMC. Every year two groups of students — English and Oriya — go to Bhubaneswar and take out camp bulletins on a daily basis for about a week.
Sir chose me, Dipshikha Chauhan, Dipshikha Bhattacharya, Amrita, Puru, Shishir, Sudip and Himani and a few other Oriya journalism students.
Most IIMCians came out to see us off. We were all very excited. We reached BBSR in the evening, had dinner in a restaurant, the girls had a lot of fun with the timid waiter. We finally got to the place where we were to stay for close to a week.
It was a huge festival with participants from all over the country. There were separate halls for girls and boys — but we stayed together, almost. We were to talk, have fun and enjoy every bit of the life that we had got outside the campus. While some made the most of it by interacting with people from abroad, others looked to eat whatever came their way. Some actually tried to understand children with special needs.
I effectively headed the team and studied the camp bulletins of previous years. From tomorrow, we had to do the same job, but in a better way. Sir, while briefing us about the task before we left the campus, had termed the performances of previous batches very good.
But going by the print-outs, I straightaway knew we could do a better job of it. My experience was to come in handy. I could get better stories, give more attractive headlines and make neater pages. I discussed this with other team members. We took the task seriously. We were raring to go.
I didn’t go looking for stories. I gave ideas and assigned stories to other people. Short of ideas, I roamed around at the venue. I revised copies and gave headlines. Each member did his/her job. As not many people were familiar with QuarkXpress, I did the bulk of page-making with assistance from Amrita. We had a small makeshift office to ourselves.
There was a slight distance between the place where we put up and the festival venue. We used the organisation’s bus to shuttle, and while doing so we always thought of stories and planed pages. It may sound stupid, but the camp bulletin was quite a task.
We would take some time off and go around the camp. We would also go to a nearby restaurant and have good food. We had loads of ice-cream and coffee throughout the camp. We had the maximum fun while getting back from work at night.
We brought out camp bulletins with smarter stories and better design. It was also acknowledged by the CEO of the NGO, Shruti Mohpatra. She called us and said, “I’m proud of you boys. You have all done a great job.”
At the last day of the camp, Sir and our other friends joined us to take us back. It was like a reunion. We met after more than a week. People cried, screamed, hugged and kissed. A photo session ensued. Sir looked happy with our performance. I went up to him and touched his feet. He said, “Good job done.”
I convinced Sir that we, the reporters, could not leave that night with him and other batchmates as the concluding ceremony of the festival had still to be covered. So, we stayed back, worked hard and once the job was over, had a lot of fun. We ate, sang and danced. We proved ourselves.
We were to return with a lot of positives.