Monday, 3 November 2008

I am a Walk-Sleeper - The Thomso Report

It's not often, even by Rke's slack standards, that a bloke gets 2 holidays in a row; first an unbearable 2 weeks and then another. Spice it up with a couple of Tests and a Thomso in the middle, and I begin to wonder who made the academic calendar... During the first bout, I found myself at home, idling away with my laptop, as other colleges didn't seem to share Rke's enthusiasm in supplying holidays thick and fast. And then, the festival of lights... I had one of the most boring Diwalis of my life. Crackers to be burst only after 7 : 30! What do you expect?

'Twixt these 2 sessions, we also had classes. But with 20 contact hours a week, I sometimes wonder if I am really here - in an IIT... The TS's blitzkrieg, however, blew away all those notions which tended to imply otherwise. Hot on its heels, Thomso 'happened' - chilling out all those overheated minds (at least, that was what it was designed to do). Then - Why, I ask myself, Why more holidays after Thomso? Here, for once, I agree with whoever chalked out this order-of-the-year. Thomso, in no way, brings rest and relaxation. In fact, it stretches you out till you are on the brink of insanity and the threshold of physical self-destruction. No wonder, we need a holiday to recover from it! Thank you, Mr. Clever Year Planner.

At certain points during those tumultuous four days, I wonder how I sewed up so many things without disturbing the space-time continuum (read : I didn't teleport under any situation). The previous year's Thomso had left me with sweet memories and good expectations to the extent that I remember mentioning to someone that we must have 2 Thomsos in a year. I take my words back - Let not such a punishment befall me! I never knew that the process of making an event fun for the others was a health-hazard for the organizers!

Thomso saw me in a variety of roles... all at the same time. 

(1) First 'Thomso Bytes' The Editor - The editing would be done during the small hours of the day, I was told. Unfortunately, this morning work often went on for a little longer than we expected, with the Day-1 morning stretching to 1800 hrs IST. Definitely, didn't get too much of Thomso that day! Over the next 3 days, rapid improvement was seen - (Taylor's principles and Gantt Charts were in use - read BM for more). The improvement, though, was short lived as Thomso ran out of days. (On Day 4, the work was done and the newsletter was out by 1 p.m. - I know, we rock!)

The delays notwithstanding, the Bytes was great - so say the junta - at least if one ignores the errors in the Errata.

(2) Then the MMS quiz - A QuizMaster - that was good. I love seeing people flabbergasted by a range of perplexing, outlandish and phenomenal questions. (I don't vouch for the latter part of the statement - but I assure you that the people were astounded)

(3) Pentafore - The Organizer - The event which got postponed, cancelled and then advanced. Well, that's how we work; the organizers get to guess when an event may happen and then struggle to reach the deadline. Nevertheless, it was my personal favourite. It would have been loved by any JAM aficionado; for that matter, anyone would have enjoyed the way a particularly zealous participant accused a certain organizer of the event of being a Catamite (I hope I have used the word to proper effect and please don't mind the spelling if it's wrong).

(4) Tissue Paper B-Plan - Thank goodness, I didn't do this too!

(5) A Passive Observer - I really didn't get to play this role much. And whenever, the observation was done, it was definitely passive. I barely had the energy to bat an eyelid!

It was night on Day 1, I believe... It was only after having completed the creation of the MMS Quiz in a room in Govind Bhawan that I realized that I hadn't brought my beloved Atlas-Flame along. What the hell? I can walk back to Cautley! At least those were my initial feelings. But as the cold enveloped my half-asleep self, I regretted those very thoughts. Firstly, I normally cannot sleep in the cold. And secondly, I don't usually walk when I'm asleep. But, that day something wierd happened. I was busy counting my steps as I walked that lonely path at 5 a.m. to prevent myself from dozing off and staggering into a gutter. 223, 224, 225... I was near the Chemical Department. 226, 227... Then blank. A few seconds later - 228! I was across the road in front of NIH! Had I just 'walk-slept'? That too, in a straight path? I don't know what happened after 227.

Amidst all these roles I played in Thomso and considering the fact that I had barely any time to actually enjoy the events, I still had fun - though I would never wish to do it again. A consolation, perhaps, is that people say Thomso wasn't great this year... Hmmm, maybe I didn't miss out on too much?

P.S. Yes, this hair-style is deliberate! People have made comparisons with Michael Scofield and Ghajini, so if you can't say anything good about it, don't say anything. And it means all you laughing jackasses out there!