I guess this post is coming a little late, considering that the annual TechFest at IIT Bombay was over a month ago.
I missed out on Mood Indigo (the annual cultural fest at IIT-B), which was conducted in the last week of December 2014, as most of my friends weren’t around (and I was in absolutely no mood to go alone). This was one of the reasons I didn’t want to miss out on the TechFest, which was to be organised there on the first weekend of January 2015. The other (and the more prominent) reason for attending the TechFest was my sister’s over-inclination to attend it. In stark contrast to my sister’s attitude, I wanted to spend the last Sunday before my college began sleeping. Destiny had another plans though.
We decided to attend the Fest on the last day – 4th January, and spent a couple of hours the night before chalking out our plan for the visit. I was fortunate enough to have one of my friends volunteering to accompany us as well. Never did I expect in my wildest dreams my friend and my sister to bond so quickly and gang up against me. Being the shortest among the three, I had the privilege of being constantly picked on. Honestly I didn’t mind, as I had never imagined enjoying the day so much.
The highlight of the day (and the reason that really tempted me to attend) was the speech by former President of India – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, at 4.30pm. Planning accordingly, we decided to be there by 2.
One of the most hilarious parts of the day was finding a bus. Although a number of buses go to IIT, we had a hard time finding one. After 20 minutes of waiting (and looking like complete fools at the bus stop) we found an A/C bus. Even then, I felt as if a joke had been played on us – the air conditioning was so faulty that it was hotter inside the bus than outside. It didn’t bother us much though, as my friend and I had enough to catch up about.
After registering and finally entering the campus, we walked around a little and then proceeded to the auditorium where Dr. Kalam was to speak. I hadn’t imagined the length of the queue to be that crazy long (apparently, people had outsmarted my idea of waiting there 2 hours prior to the speech). After waiting a decent half-hour in the queue we calculated and concluded that we wouldn’t get a chance to get in, much to our dismay (I guess we caught a glimpse of him towards the end…but it all happened so fast that it seems like a blur).
Although disappointed, we decided to make the most of what we had. And I am glad we did. There was so much to explore – the campus, the activities, the exhibitions…It was a complete delight. There were exhibits by the Indian Army and Digital Art among others, which were pretty impressive. However, the part I enjoyed the most was walking in the shade of the lush greenery, past the hostels and the lecture halls. The three of us walked till we could walk no more, and walked again after resting briefly.
After about three hours of such incessant walking, we proceeded to the cafeteria. It was a rather refreshing to have a Chokolade B at the Café Chokolade counter. The warm afternoon weather made the the cold chocolate icecream-shake rather irresistible. And the highlight of the afternoon was the pani puri. It was definitely worth a try.
“Be Spontaneous!” screamed my sister as she dragged me to the Zorb Football Arena. I gave in, although really reluctant at first. Divided in two teams of three each, our goal was to tackle the person opposite to us to the ground, while wearing body zorbs (Here’s the link… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVo8FzATac8). Thanks to the mismatched momentum, I ended up at the bottom of a 4-people pile up, while my friend laughed hysterically (and so did I, a couple of moments later). Needless to say, the 2 minutes of impulsive spontaneity were one of the greatest and the most refreshing moments that I ever had. Towards the end of our adventure, the three of us sat down and caught up on each other’s lives. I never expected catching up with an old friend to be so much fun – we are so different from our school-days selves, yet so similar.
The dreamlike experience came to an end as we walked out the IIT main gate, abruptly reminded of the traffic, the hour long journey that lay in front of us, and finally, the new semester at college that was to begin in less than 15 hours.