June, 2016

Quick Bytes of Alumni Weekend 2016

Malini Bose, Young India Fellow, Class of 2013 and Senator, Alumni Association describes the Alumni Weekend 2016 with catchy phrases in her witty writing style

Our year at the Young India Fellowship taught us a great deal. Looking through innumerable lenses, communicating complex thoughts and feelings, thinking like we’d never thought before.

But even YIF can’t teach one to put magic on paper.

alumni weekend

Illustration by Vishnupriya Rajgariha


Can we use numbers to tell the story?

Two hundred and fifty alumni from four previous batches. 

Two hundred more from the current batch. 

Forty Five degree weather vs. Twenty ultimate Frisbee players.

Six hours of sleep (on average) over three days… 

Maybe the agenda will do it more justice?

Treasure hunt, workshop on transience with that moustachioed second-batch-fellow, alumni vs. current batch football, Open Mic, Famous Singer Prateek Kuhad(!), Townhall with Founder Pramath Raj Sinha and Pro Vice Chancellor Vineet Gupta, breakout brainstorming sessions, Chancellor Andre Beteille-on-video, Alumni Ball, the Alumni Council’s first AGM…    

This was a great list of activities but shouldn’t we look at outcomes instead?

Five new alumni local chapters in the offing.

A potential alumni reunion in the USA. 

New professional interest group to connect consultants as they begin to navigate a sleepless life.  

New professional interest group to help the artistically-inclined imagine for themselves an “alternative” life.

An Ashokapella group to give Penn Masala a run for their money…

Let’s take a step back and put down the main questions we wrestled with all weekend. How can we give back to our alma mater? Can we help with admissions? With community engagement perhaps? By scaling up the mentorship we provide? How can the Alumni Association be a financially sustainable organization? What role should the Alumni Council play vis-à-vis the Ashoka admin?…

However, none of this even scratches the surface. The weekend wasn’t about the numbers and agenda or even the outcomes and questions. It was much more about:

  • Comparing the chicken curry in Sonepat with the chicken curry in Katwaria
  • Marvelling, awe-struck, at the grandeur of this girls’ hostel
  • Seeing someone who barely opened her mouth in your class four years ago confidently take the stage
  • Searching, rather desperately, for chasers
  • Reading out your “final vision” with embarrassment about how out-of-whack it was, only to discover that so was everyone else’s
  • Mocking existential angst, just like old times
  • Venting existential angst, just like old times
  • Exchanging numbers with a group from the current batch whose city you’re moving to
  • Playing water polo with erstwhile strangers
  • Noticing that the songs have changed but the moves are the same
  • Discovering with a sense of deep relief that your body can still handle an all-night party
  • OR: discovering with a sense of deep relief that your body can’t handle an all-night party any longer
  • Fighting back tears during the latest YIF movie
  • Wishing that you had spoken to several folks much more in the years gone by
  • Realising that it’s not too late – that every year there will be a bigger, better, more meaningful Alumni Weekend for you to come home to

 

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