Monday, April 4, 2011

That's it folks! Thanks for all the memories, EB

It was the last day of the 1st year - the last theory exam more like and I saw this bunch of seniors running around carrying bundles of books from class to class. The first year had been an eye-opener in terms of bringing me back to earth in this college (MANIT) and I hadn't even been thinking that the college had a magazine, leave alone a good one at that. School days, were spent among a bunch of ultra talented guys, which didn't give me much scope to display my talent. Pick anything, and there was always a whole lot of people better than me in that - the same with writing and hence I never got a chance to be a part of the school magazine, though I had a lot of dreams to be a part of it. 

Going back to the tale, I met one of my seniors there, Gautham Siddarth - a fellow PSBBian, who was among those guys running around. And he said it was the college magazine - 'Excelsior'. I hadn't got a copy due to my extreme hurry in getting done with the exams and hence I picked one from the bundle he was holding and it kindled a lot of thought. I had earlier taken part in a creative writing contest conducted by the Ed Board and had found it pretty interesting too - the topics especially and had thought, 'It'd be cool to be a part of the bunch of guys doing this'. 

And thus began the endeavor to be a part of 'The Editorial Board' or EB, as it is more popularly called. 2nd year's Ed Search saw me in my most pathetic writing mood, and despite nursing mild hopes, I did not make it to even the interview round. I forgot about EB totally as the magazine didn't come out as well, that year due to various issues as I later found out.

The next year, I had sort of grown disinterested to life in college, and didn't want to overload myself, as I had my 'CAT' aspirations to take care of as well. But then, a then 'good' friend of mine, Kumar forced me to give him company to 'Ed-Search'. It'd be cliched to say the rest is history as I haven't achieved so much being a part of Ed Board. But I'd say, the rest has given me possibly the best memories of college life, and has taught me a lot and has improved me as a person tremendously. 

I got through to the interview round and after a half-good and half-bad interview, I discovered that I had been selected to be part of the Editorial Board. I wouldn't say it was a dream come true, as I had a lot of apprehensions after the then Chief Editor and my now idol, Rahul Ramesh's speech warning that EB is a tough job etc etc. But I thought, let us give it a try. 

The first few days/weeks/months were tough on me as I found it tough to be a part of the new environment and adjust myself to my new found busy schedule (The college literary fest - Ripple was happening at the same time and we had to get out the last year's magazine as soon as possible and start working on the new one as well, so things were pretty tight). When that magazine came out, it was a wonderful feeling, but I felt something was missing as I could not contribute anything substantial to that magazine. 

Work on Excelsior 10, began soon after, and despite the heavy workload, I found I was enjoying it. Here's a sample. We were supposed to be interviewing alumni as a part of the Golden Jubilee Edition, and my task was to contact a list of 5 alumni and interview them. Being a very very introvert at that time (and even now), I was very scared as to what to do. But that fear was overshadowed by the fear of being screamed at for not doing work by Rahul Ramesh and that was the start of things for me in the EB. The first interview went bad, after being shouted at by a politician pass-out but the next few ones went wonderfully and soon I got into the groove of interviewing people and started loving it. I had also started feeling a part of the team by then, and things went on wonderfully well. 

There were a few black spots when I got very angry, when I had to get shouted at by one very paranoid teacher (HoD) for no apparent reason, which pissed me off terribly. Also there were times when I felt very overloaded as well. But the joy of seeing our work in print and the positive feedback from people, was unmatchable. 

It was farewell time then, and I had become sort of close to a couple of seniors like Rahul Ramesh, the chief and Advaith, the main designer. 

Pretty soon, it was Ed Search time again, and by then I had started to feel at home in the Ed Board. Mayank Misra, was pretty instrumental in that. And it is more down to him, for whatever work I did. (Thanks mate, if you ever read this. I admire you tremendously). 

The new batch of Eddies were pretty talented too, and work started on Excelsior 11, pretty soon, after some 'work' on the souvenir. I don't know, or I am not able to identify down the lane, where I pretty much got so attached to Ed Board, that work seemed such a pleasure to me,and more often than not, I was looking for more work to do.The fact that Mayank Misra, gave me such a long rope, put up with all my trebulations, encouraged me and I found the guy very approachable as well. And not to forget Kumar, who gave me company anytime, anywhere despite the guy's added workload being a part of the TPO (Mate, you are another person I admire a lot, probably the person I admire THE most). I might be bragging here, but I guess I did do a bit to make things more systematic or rather was given the chance by the Big Boss to do my bit to make Ed Board a little more systematic.

Time, has since then passed or rather rushed past and today, as I was making my farewell speech in the Good Ol' Humanities Class room, I got rather sentimental, and decided to do this post. For all that Ed Board has given me, a wall post (that has now become a note) on Facebook doesn't do justice. 

Whether Excelsior 11 is a success or a failure (I really hope it is a magazine that everyone loves), it will be a magazine very close to my heart. Editorial Board, as a whole, will also be something I really cherish having been a part of. For the little that I have given Editorial Board, it has given me plenty back. 

It made me a more open person, from the terrible introvert that I was. (I can already see GK laughing reading this. But then you haven't known/seen much of me before. So you wont know how I was before EB)
It taught me how to manage time effectively. Whatever I did in CAT, I put it down to being a part of Ed Board too. If not for the EB workload, I wouldn't have done this well. (No, I'm not bragging here. Sorry if it sounds that way)
It taught me to work as part of a team, and Mayank Misra taught me how to get work done, without screaming at people. (It also taught me to survive without lunch, and sometimes late dinner as well :P)
It's made my thinking, writing and ideating much better. Or atleast, so I feel. 

It's given me much much more, but it also taught me to keep things precise and still convey the point. I have clearly not done that here. And so here I stop. 
Last but not the least definitely, it is a place that's given me such spectacular memories, I'll cherish for life. It gave me my two best ever friends, Kumar G Vishwanath and N Vaishali Aakarshya. It gave me a few wonderful friends like Mayank Misra, Pritish Roy and Geetanjali Kaur; two people from whom I respect tremendously and learnt a lot from - Prateek Upadhyaya and Varun 'Sleepy Eyes' Sathees. And my favourite junior ever - Prateek Dwivedi. It also gave me my idol in life, Rahul Ramesh !

Thanks Editorial Board Manit !! :). Will miss the place.A lot.

And good luck, Mayank Sarkar and Prateek Dwivedi. Keep EB Rocking. :)

PS: Sorry, for such a long post. Especially if you found it boring.

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