The pre – Valentine week as they call it was a really interesting one for me. 63 hours, 3 cities, 4 people, 1 presentation – That’s how I can describe my 3 day sojourn to Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy for short) and back from 11th – 14th February 2010. As soon as I was back, there were the 2nd internals to contend with. 9 exams in 2 days – 15th and 16th February 2010!!! So it was a week before I really got some proper sleep. But the trip really was an amazing experience to cherish!
First things first! One of the reasons to go for the trip was also the fact that I wanted to meet some of my friends and also make a trip to South India (which as all my family and friends know I feel very close to despite the fact that am a North Indian). So getting selected for a paper presentation competition was surely a good enough reason to go :P. But most importantly, the opportunity to give a presentation on “Viral Marketing through Social Media” (one of the fields which probably I can claim myself to have some decent knowledge of!!) in front of students and professors at a national level was one that I wouldn’t want to miss.
As I left SIBM Pune on 11th February by the 5 30pm bus, the main thing I was worried about was the fact as to whether I would do ok in the coming internals because they were there immediately the next day after I came back. I had all this tension despite the fact that my friend Priyanka Negi had taught me the entire Business Law portion and I had also gone through few other subjects before. An ice-cream at Baskin Robbins, pasta at Pepinos and two packed 6 sub sandwiches (WOW what variety!!!) was my dinner that night with my friend, Forum Parikh (ok guys before you think anything, that’s her NAME…Yeah and she’s a Gujarati..It means fragrance in Gujarati) before I boarded the Volvo Bus to Bangalore at 9pm from Swar Gate. Reading sometimes, sleeping, getting up, listening to songs, talking on phone, eating (had two more ice-creams that night on the way to Bangalore at a place the bus stopped) – and thus 15 hours (the travel time from Pune to Bangalore: 760 kms) passed by.
Since Trichy is not properly connected to the rest of the country, one has to go through Bangalore or Chennai to go there. And since Chennai isn’t connected by bus to Pune, I decided to go through Bangalore. Immediately after reaching Bangalore at around 1pm on 12th February 2010, I went to the Forum Mall (it is one of the most famous hang out spots of Bangalore). I am sure you guys would be wondering what the hell? He didn’t brush or take bath or whatever. How the hell can he just go to a mall? Since, my bus to Trichy from Bangalore was in the night at about 11pm, time was at a premium and I had to meet quite a few of my friends. In Forum, I met Yaamini Radhakrishnan (Mini) and Priyanka, both Indian School Muscat friends. After having “Emerald Ice” (don’t know why I always order that..GOD!!) at Java Green and a strictly OK! lunch at Transit, we bid Priyanka bye since she had to go to a marriage function. Then I met Nupur Duggal, one of my VIT friends who I had also met at Transcend ’10 (SIBM Pune’s management and cultural fest). It was really amazing and beautiful to relive old memories with all my friends. It’s not everyday that one gets to meet people whom you have told bye at school or college. Finally I went to Mini’s house to change, take bath, freshen up and eat HOME FOOD. When one has not gone home for 1 year like me, HOME FOOD anywhere feels delicious. But aunties, amazing mix of vermicilli with dahi and masala, rava idli and sambar and another kind of rice was as they say FINGER LICKING GOOD!!!! After such an amazing day of meeting friends and having excellent food, it was time to take the Airavath Volvo bus to Trichy.
Since I was really tired, I slept “nearly perfectly” on the journey to Trichy. We reached Trichy bus stand at about 5am on 13th Feb, the day of the presentation. As I got out of the bus, I could immediately feel the strong humidity (characteristic of Tamil Nadu) in the air. Before arriving, the organizers had informed me that there would be a van waiting at the bus stand which would take the participants to the college and after freshening up, all of us would be taken to the hotel where the competition cum conference was being held. But lo and behold! When I called up the organizer, he was completely clueless about a van coming for a pickup at the bus stand. The organizer told me to take the local bus to the college. Incidentally Bharathidasan University was the place from where I started my journey of paper presentations during my B.Tech Biotechnology days at VIT University. So it was fitting in more ways than one that I started my journey of paper presentations in MBA at Bharathidasan as well. Finally the organizer realised his error and informed me that the van would be there in few minutes. I finally reached the campus at about 6 30am. Few things which one can’t but help notice is the fact that the college is located in a vast expanse of nothingness. The only thing around is the magnanimous Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). It is soooo big probably as big as a cricket or a football stadium. The hostel just starts all of a sudden. There doesn’t seem any outer boundary. I didn’t get to see the college campus because truthfully speaking I didn’t know where it was located :P. Would have surely been very far from the hostels though! Since the intake is very small, the number of hostels at BIM is very less. Instead of proper rooms in hostels, there is this thing like villas (which are very horribly maintained with the most pathetic thing about them being the toilets!) where 3-4 people stay together. After a decent breakfast of uttapam and meeting a guy AGAIN from PSG Institute of Management (GOD..How do I end up meeting so many people from PSG??). And guess what he was telling me how good PSG Institute of Management is, because of its toilets!!! WTH!!!
And then we were off on the college bus to SRM hotel (supposedly the best in Trichy) for the event. After the registration and the “BORING and DULL” inaugural speeches, the time for the presentations finally arrived. As I had informed the organizers about my exams the next day, my presentation was the FIRST. Now that made me a bit jittery (till that time I was cool) because being first, the onus was on me to make a good impression as everyone would be very much awake as well as attentive at that moment. And mine being a new and innovative topic, things could be all the more interesting. The presentation went off pretty well as I answered the 3-4 questions asked by the BIM Trichy students with ease. They did seem really interested in the concept and one of them even commented that. The judge wasn’t exactly convinced because for one I didn’t feel that he knew too much about this field (not saying to blame the judge but then I personally felt he wasn’t equipped to judge this kind of topic). One of the greatest things of the whole event was the fact that one of the professors asked me a copy of my presentation because he was really interested to learn more about it. Now what can get bigger than this? A professor asking a student for a copy of his presentation. AWESOME!!
I was finally free at 1 30pm and since my bus to Chennai was at 11 30pm, I had ample time to meet another of my VIT University friends, Fazal. He came to pick me up in his Nano along with one of his friends. (was an interesting experience to sit in it for the first time – it is cute and for sure an engg marvel..Splendid stuff!!!). Going to Marry Brown, then roaming on the roads of the Trichy – Salem highway trying to find a petrol pump, going to a dam, then again roaming around in the city in the Nano, spending some time in Fazal’s house, having dinner at Spice 6 restaurant, going to the Trichy Airport to CHILL OUT (Yeah people YOU ALL HEARD IT RIGHT!! Trichy Airport is like a proper hangout place in the sense nice green bushes and cool and calm and serene atmosphere to take a walk and just sit and talk..I know it sounds like a park :P) Guess this is because one doesn’t have many places around Trichy to go and take a peaceful walk. Finally they dropped me back to the bus at 11pm and I was off to Chennai.
I had already heard that both – Sruthi, my VIT friend and Sindhuja, my ISM friend who are in Chennai wouldn’t be able to meet me. So when I reached Koyambedu bus stand, I was already prepared to go directly to Kamaraj Domestic Airport. I reached there on time and in due course boarded my flight Jet Konnect to Pune at 9:55am and reached Pune sharp at 1pm.
All in all this was a trip filled with tiredness, achieving greater heights in terms of getting selected for bigger competitions, becoming proficient in a the field of social media and viral marketing which I am really interested to build my career in and last but not the least meeting old friends.
A TRIP TO REMEMBER FOR YEARS TO COME!!!