An event with no proxy: KAL AAJ aur KAL
Kalaam and Ritvic, in collaboration with Mera Bhi proxy maar Dena, presented an event named "College Ke Do Pal: Kal Aaj Aur Kal", an event of people reminiscing about their evergreen college days. Mera Bhi proxy maar Dena is a book penned down by Dhirendra Mishra and Himanshu Shekhar Dutta from the batch of 1997 about tales and experiences from their college life in the form of short stories set against the backdrop of NIT Rourkela. Outlining the book, we can say it's a recollection of Four Years of Stupidity, Madness, and Brilliance. The event took place virtually over Microsoft Teams on 20th November 2021 at 6 PM. An event full of nonchalant synergy where people shared their past stories, followed by beautiful shayaris and poetry by Kalaam members; Along with a short skit made by Ritvic related to the chivalrous proxy that almost everyone found relatable to their college life. Despite the fact that we are grown-ups yet not old enough to abandon recklessness and mischief. Those bygone times of courageous fun with your troops are worth looking back to. The event was all bout good old recollecting good old memories and cherishing on them.
Starting off at 6 PM, Satyam Soni, the event host, welcomed everyone with a warm speech, from distinguished alumni, professors to the audience, mostly comprised of the NITR Junta—followed by bewitching shayaris surrounding the beautiful recollections of the days in the institute by the co-hosts of the event: Maitrai Sinha, Aditi Bhakat. With their quirk talks, the host perfectly justifies its tag line~ Four Years of Stupidity, Madness, and Brilliance of the book "Mera Bhi proxy maar Dena."
One of the book's authors, Dhirendra Mishra, shared words about cherishing his days in the institute and praised the Kalaam team that organised the event. Starting from Deepa Kapil Mahajan, an alumnus from 1990, cited the book and discussed the link between the alumni, professors, and students in the NITR fraternity. She added that while the college is a common ground for different batches, they are almost mutually exclusive. This gap can be bridged and used for meaningful and productive exchanges. This community comprises various professionals, but the common link for them is the pride and spirit of the institute. One must get back to the roots and open forums for discussion.
After the compendious talk of Deepa Mahajan, Colonel Ravindra Tripathi shared his memories from the days at REC Rourkela. Colonel Ravindra Tripathi, an alumnus from the 1973 batch, comments that the four years in college were the ones centred on them, be it the preferential treatment in movie theatres or the students' connection and the faculty. He observes that the college gave them security, guidance. Furthermore, he mentioned Prof. Behra, the Principal of that time, who has guided them at every step, was very close to them. He further adds that although it has been a lot of time now that they've left college, he is in touch with around 60 of his batchmates and that connecting with similar people is one of those things that give solace in these times. He further adds that while one pursues their professional ambitions, one must also devote time for the well being of society.
Amidst the cognisance cites by the designated alumni, Gaurav Kumar Gupta, a pre-final year student from Kalaam, delivered a mesmerising sharayi comprising the nostalgic memories of the golden days in REC Rourkela.
The next speaker, Shri Lal Mohan Senapathy, an alumnus from the 1969 batch, reminisced about his college days, the aspects of student life, the way metallurgy~a new branch in NITR was perceived, and the tales of hostel life. He then narrated an incident from his college days where he recollected the parent-like support from the faculty and the concerns of the HoD for their placements and the efforts they made for them.
Adding to the collection of stories, Shri KS Rao, a batchmate of Shri LM Senapathy, added his take about the college, with references to the faculties, the friendships, etc.
Dr Surendra Khuntia, an alumnus from the 1976 batch, pursued creativity and thirst for knowledge with an engineering student's life. He recounts that when he was a student, he and his batchmates had a firm belief that an engineering student was capable enough to find solutions to anything and accomplish everything. He adds that this mindset helped him in his professional life, which was inculcated during his college years. He emphasised the student's role in a college and the need of the hour is a want of brilliance.
Yogita, a pre-final student, talked about the sunshine period at the institute with her poetry. Through her beautiful poetry, she resonated strongly with the NITR fraternity.
Prof Alok Satpathy commented on how he saw the college transform from a regional college to a national institute, engineering changed to technology and the institute's growth. He quotes, "Mana ki kanun bana hai par proxy marna kaha mana hai!" He commented that he feels both pride and pain. Pride because of the phenomenal growth and pain because of the lack of emotional intelligence amongst us. The student-teacher connection is missing; it has reduced drastically. It is painful to see the personal connection almost diminish due to multiple factors and worsened due to covid. It must be bought to notice that right now, NIT Rourkela is not facing any lack of intelligence, funds but indeed facing a crisis of emotional quotient. While commenting about the book, he decodes the tagline of the book "Four Years of Stupidity, Madness, and Brilliance" in his own perception~ the book is a compilation of Four years of stupidity, but with innocence; there is madness, but with absolute sanity; there is brilliance, but this is the brilliance with brightness. What followed next was a series of discussions initiated by Jitesh Kumar, who put forward a way to approach the alumnus for the students or have a more efficient way to connect to the alumni by opening forums for discussions and actively participating in it.
Moving forward, Diwakar Mishra, a sophomore that hasn't been to the campus yet, has seen things through others' narration but is not sure how things play out; they know about college life but are eager to see it first hand, sharing his thoughts he cites poetry about this.
To enlighten the event, Ritvic presented a short skit, based on real-life relatable content titled~ 7 Proxy Maaf, which is all about how at once during every student's time in college, they are put through the ultimate test of friendship, where we say one our friend to give proxy attendance for them. Some get through it; others fail trying. The video was a tribute to the heroes who risk everything for their friends. The alumni and many from the audience cherished the video while recollecting their memories watching the video. Click here to watch the video.
Manoranjan Behera, an alumnus from the 2013 batch, added his experience of college, particularly that of the grand viva, the ordeal with attendance, and the way college life worked. He adds that Sundays and Saturdays were free during college, unlike now, when weekends are equally busy due to the online mode of work. He also covered extensively the back post and how it has been there for all the batches.
To follow up on this playful nature of conversations, Somesh Gaur, a pre-final year student presented a piece of poetry that portrayed the vibrant campus life, its multicoloured aspects to enrapture the audience with unmatched gusto.
Adding to the talks about the back post, Shri Atul Khosla, alumnus from the 1983 batch, said that it would be incomplete to mention student culture and not mention back post, and it became a point of discussion where different batches shared their experience of college life and the shared joys of his batchmates in a cup of tea, and endless conversations.
Kajal Kishori, a student from PhD Computer Science presented a moving piece about a sentimental point of view connecting to the college days. Keeping in mind the spirit of the emotions prevalent, Pranjal Kansal, a student from MTech Atmospheric Sciences recited a poetic journey of college days, taking the audience from seeing a naive student to someone who is gearing up to enter the “real world”.
What followed next were a series of discussions from the participants, it was to discuss shared experiences, the nature of college networks, their experiences about contacting people from the NITR fraternity, and talks about the way the institute has evolved over the years, ending on a brighter and hopeful note of similar interactive sessions.
Team Monday Morning congratulates Kalaam and Ritvic, along with ‘Mera Bhi proxy maar Dena’ team for successfully administering the event and wishes them good luck for their endeavours ahead!