Thursday, April 21, 2011

XIC-JR - 2010 2011: A Tribute

I completed my junior college from St. Xavier's College. Yes, the one where Kabhi Kabhi Aditi was shot. But I had to shift to Wilson's to complete my graduation due to unavoidable circumstances. Yet, I knew my association with Xavier's had not ended. This end was abrupt. I knew I would be back. And I did come back to complete the story.

Last year, I got admission into Xavier Institute of Communications, which is the *duh* communications wing of Xavier's. It has two campuses: one within Xavier's and one next to the St. Xavier's school which is a stone's throw from here. (Not really, actually. Ask us who had to run from the college to school campus for lectures within ten minutes.) But the crowd is still the same, just that we're expected to be more mature, as we're "post-graduate students" in the words of our Dean.

The convocation ended yesterday and with that our year at XIC and hence, I present here a photo blog (with a few lines too) showing how my year at XIC went by. It was not always fun. It was not always work. There were times we could kill people. But, in the end, I'm going to miss this place, the people, the college, the fun, the anger, the everything.

Chronicling the year became easier because the Elective One folks had to get hold of DSLR cameras. Although it did cost too much (Rs. 22000 over the Rs. 175000 we paid) the photographs I clicked helped soothe the mind. Also the free Reebok watch. Anyway, the photograph beside this paragraph is one of the first ones clicked with this camera. This was during the still-life photography class. There were many other genres we tried too, like food, people and fashion but we shall skip those photos for now.

Our first significant event in XIC was the photography trip to Hide Out in Vikramgarh which is on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. We clicked a lot of rural India, nature, including birds, trees and insects, as well as still-life. It was rejuvenating being away from the city for three days in the peace and serenity of rural Maharashtra. Although it was a bit annoying that we had to listen to "This is not a picnic. This is a photography trip." a lot.
The Campfire
Emu: Miniature Godzilla
Ladies By The Well
I forgot what this was called. But enchanting it was.
Ulka and Sylvia sitting by the waterside.
This trip was a wonder for all of us. Going to a place so beautiful and graceful. I, personally, got to be in the arms of nature in a manner I never was before. And the best part was, this was just going to be the first instance of it at XIC. There was one more trip coming. The one with the entire class. The one at Shakti Yogashrama.

Then towards the end of October, when everyone was well into the course, and stressed by the continuous assignments and projects, the college decided that we could refresh ourselves at Shakti Yogashrama which is on a remote hill somewhere near Lonavala. How the bus found the place is beyond me.

We were not allowed to take our cellphones and laptops and stuff around because electricity was anyway at a perpetual shortage there. That didn't stop people from taking their cellphones and searching for network at far-flung places at the Yogashrama like in the toilet, under the banyan tree or even when we went hiking to the waterfall.

Mind you, I didn't take my cell-phone. And hence stayed without it AND Facebook for four days. And survived. (Now say that I'm a Facebook addict!)

Anyway, two of our classmates had to be packaged off back home on the first evening itself because they took ill the moment they stepped onto the holy soil of the yogashrama.
Fixed Eyes
For the rest of us, it was a fun-filled four days away from assignments (By the way, we were asked to write a review of the place and what all we did once we got back.) We did yoga and meditation, slept during it; attended lectures on Indian classical dance and music as well as Indian Mythology, which were very interesting.
Creepy Crawly
The Hopper!
We hiked to waterfalls and clicked photographs of people with a lighted background. (Yes, my stupid ideas which turn out amazing at times.)
Let There Be Light!
We also saved people from dying. But that's another story, altogether.

Almost Down The Waterfall!
We played football.
Had to play!
We sang loudly in a place where we were supposed to remain silent. We broke rules. (Yawn!)

We played dandiya and garba.

And then we returned to the city to sit on Facebook and upload the photos so that we could all like and comment on them.

Oh! A few people even celebrated their birthdays at the Yogashrama. Here is a photograph of how mentally retarded Shefali was at the end of the trip. Imagine not receiving any wishes due to unavailability of network. And eating veg food when you would have otherwise been eating non-veg. (Okay, vegans, no hurt intended.)

We got a break for the Diwali holidays. Just a week. My birthday fell in that week. Now that's what I call sad timing. Anyway.

We were back in no time and already laden with more assignments. But then, fear not. Because Christmas was just around the corner. More like eight weeks away. So when Christmas did come, we all put our Santa caps on and attended the research lecture, which was fun indeed.

Some people managed to keep their caps on straight while some were left open-mouthed at the fact that they looked awesome in a Santa cap. (Some credits go to the photographer, of course.)

In the New Year, we returned to work harder. Not for our assignments much but because the first elective folks had a Photography Exhibition to arrange at Piramal Gallery, National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA). In case, you’ve never heard of the place before, suffice to say that it was a matter of huge pride for us. Here is a photograph of the First Elective in all its glory.

Oh! And here’s an awesome photo (I think, at least) that I clicked that day.

Towards the end of January, the Public Relations (good folks, them) batch organised Xuberance In Colours, an annual event organised by them which involves the entire college. It was a fun night for all of us. Especially those who got to wear sleeveless to college for once without being halted at the gates by the watchmen.
Picture Courtesy: Shefali Menezes
Pic Courtesy: Shefali Menezes
Pic Courtesy: Manav Juneja
The good folks at PR also organised a Sports Day for the first time at XIC. Football for the boys and Basketball for both. Our esteemed Journalism batch was among the winners. In both the sports. We’re just awesome.
Pic Courtesy: Shubhra Rishi
Pic Courtesy: Shubhra Rishi
February came and we *insert appropriate assignment and projects line here again*. The same with March. But no worries, we had a traditional day lined up which all began with the idea of having a cross-dressing day. Anyway.

So most of us adhered to the dress code and did come in traditional wear. We even clicked photos dividing the class into groups like the ones seen here.
The Christian Minority
The Twitterati
XIC was almost coming to an end and we were really sad about it. April entered and one last event was still left for XIC JR: The launch of our digest Raconteur. (That’s the name I had suggested. So any qualms on how to pronounce it should be addressed to me.)

Our launch took place at IKXIA Lounge, Chowpatty, on April 4, two days after India had won the Cricket World Cup. Ayaz Memon and Rajeev Masand, a cricket observer and film critic respectively, and both former XIC students were the guests of honour. Our function went smooth and the digest was smoother.
Masand and Memon try very hard to cut the ribbon.

I’ll let Raconteur speak for itself. My baby!

Oh! There's my story on the cover: TwiFi Awards!
We had two convocation ceremonies. One fake ceremony where they put robes on us and photographed us with a fake certificate.
Pic Courtesy: Anwar Khan
And the second ceremony which really marked the true end of the course.

At the end of this course, I am going to miss XIC. No doubt about that. More so because of the time we spent doing (sometimes) absolutely nothing.
Bhajan Time!
Sleeping Time!
Coffee Time!
Guitar and Sari Time!
Newspaper Time (which never happened much!)
Playing with Kitty Time!
This time, I know I have completed my story nicely enough. But my college life would have been incomplete without a few photos of the places we frequented during the year.
Candies: No. I didn't eat all that!
Marine Drive
Also, photos and portraits of a few teachers banta toh hain!
Jane Swamy
Saroj Merani
Shefali's sketch of Jehangir Patel
Shefali's sketch of Yogesh Kamdar
The JR Heads: Asha Sandilya and Jane Swamy
A group of students posing with Joe Campana
And how could I forget the friends I have made here. Without them, life at XIC would be incomplete. They say in Journalism, it is important to make contacts. I’m glad that the friends I made here will always be friends and not contacts.
The Class
With Disha S, Manasi, Anwar, Ishani, Shefali, Sanjeevani and Shilpa S.
With Nupur
And these people are the ones without whom my entire year would have been a wasted one. Thanks to all you guys: Sylvia, Shefali, Nishtha and Shubhra. Love you.
With Shefali, Sylvia and Nishtha
With Shubhra
P.S.: How could I forget our sacred and holy Google Group!

Click on the photo for a larger view.
Finally, fellow journos XIC 2010-2011.