Thursday, November 29, 2007

Goodbye LBSNAA

All good things come to an end. So does the 81st Foundation Course. It started of on an exciting note but the hectic schedule, especially the early morning PTs and weekend treks, began to take their toll. Adding to that was the excruciating climb to the mess and somnolent speeches by the guest speakers. All along the way, we cried, cribbed and cursed. But as the course nears its completion, the beauty of FC begins to dawn upon me. The biggest lure of the FC is its academic insouciance, something that will be sorely missed during our professional training.

When I look back, I realize that in these three and half months I have done scores of things that I would have never imagined I would be doing. A random list….

Waking up to a false alarm at 4 AM and again sleeping off ……only to be late for the PT

Relishing Upma at the breakfast……. a dish which I passionately hated at home

Late night movies in common room with friends….. with orange glow of the room heater and murrukkus

Meetings…. Syndicate Group Meeting, Counselor Group Meeting, Trek Group Meeting, Village Visit Group Meeting….

Watching Yamini Krishnamurthy perform at the age of 67 ..... truly inspiring

Sleeping in the class……..sometimes complete with dreams and snores

Weekend treks, early morning jogs …… and visits to the dispensary feigning injury

Pulling of an entertaining one act play complete with costumes, lighting and sound but without a written script

Trekking to a height of 1000 metres over six kilometers with a sprained ankle to visit a Gurudwara for the first time. (A wonderful photo essay of trekking in this stretch is available here)

Seeing a glacier .... and touching it.

Drinking tea at the last tea stall of India...

Trek in the company of icy Himalayan winds, barren rocks and zero vegetation…

Enjoying the bonhomie of ITBP jawans at Gastoli …… their warm barracks, their lovely songs and dances that went late into night

Playing cricket on a helipad at an altitude of 14,500 feet…..

Not taking bath for three days

Managing the traditional telugu dhoti for five hours before someone pointed out an impending wardrobe malfunction

DPs unfailing company to the breakfast……everyday

Surprise cancellation of PT

Waking up at 9 am and having bath at 12 am on sundays

Basking in the warm sun

Gorging over food at Andhra Bhavan in Delhi after being starved of south Indian food for over two months

Visiting Bihar

Conducting a gram sabha and addressing the villagers in broken Hindi

Verifying the muster rolls of NREGA

Spending sleepless nights with VM to bring out the batchbook …… and then getting mobbed by OTs for a copy when it is finally released

Listening to Ilaiyaraja’s songs for a whole day…..snuggled in a blanket

Last minute preparation for exams….and sometimes going without any preparation

Unscheduled vodkas at the drop of the hat……..and the funny drunken banters

Searching a lecture hall for 20 minutes…..and when unsuccessful, simply going back to the room and sleeping

And finally….

Friend’s list in Orkut swelling by more than 100 in 100 days.

I will miss you, LBSNAA.

* Trek is one of the highpoints of FC. One of the more challenging parts was the Mana – Gastoli stretch. Mana (10,500 ft) is a village three Kilometers from Badrinath. Gastoli (14,500ft) is 14 kms from Mana towards the Indo-China border. The International Border is around 30 kms from Gastoli. All that is present in Gastoli is a lone ITBP camp, which is operational for only six months in a year. The camp has no electricity or telephone. Lights are solar powered and for cooking, kerosene is ferried from Mana by truck for around 10 Kms and from there brought to the camp by mules.

* Batchbook contains the profile of all OTs with their photographs, likes, dislikes etc.


praveen said...

good luck.

Ottayan said...

Lucky you. Listening to Ilayaraja's songs all through the day.

Cosmic Voices said...

@ Praveen


@ Ottayan

Hope my luck stays with me .... :-)

Shailesh said...

Luck shall surely stay...afterall its an art of management.

Gr8 experience!

But as days pass by it would become more nostalgic much like taste of an old vodka!!:)

kuffir said...

welcome back..

Anonymous said...

i heard lbsnaa gives various awards even to 3 month FC. is it true ? is there a website which maintain the academy's awards to probationers every year

Cosmic Voices said...

@ Kuffir


@ Anonymous

What you heard is true. We had even given certificates for those who did not miss a single movie screened in the academy!!!

No, there is no website to which has the list. Atleast as far as my knowledge goes.

Anonymous said...

We virtually lived through FC. An endearing account of u r experiences. Probably u would not be having such fun in parent cadre training.

Cosmic Voices said...

@ Anonymous

I wonder if I would be having any fun at all in my professional training. From trekking to tax laws, it is indeed a drastic shift

Anurag Srivastava said...

Once again I realised last three months were so happening.

We are here missing you all and of course hating the PT :)

Sameera said...

so did u get any prizes/certificates for missing PT the maximum number of times? :p

nice post..has the feeling every one encounters once they are out of school/college/ etc etc

mutRupuLLi said...

You say this
"have done scores of things that I would have never imagined I would be doing..........."
and then you include this...
"sleeping in the class……..sometimes complete with dreams and snores..."

Jeez have never done that before? I am disappointed my friend :)

Reading all that makes me envious boss...Have fun.......
A bored soul sitting in Chennai.....:(

Goofy said...

So you managed to complete the course and stay alive. Never had hopes of seeing you after the training :) S are you coming to hyd

Pilani Pictures said...

..actualy arvindiu..trekking was ultimate..a one-of-the-kind experience! but, what abt three days without bath? isnt it a regular feature?

Cosmic Voices said...

@ Anurag

Oh you.....the chosen one to still enjoy the morning PT in the aptly named "Happy Valley"

@ Sameera

Well, ladies walked away with those honours.... as they say, these days they second to none

@ mutrupulli

I slept, but never snored...

And "bored soul"? You are the lucky one who has won the heart of a beautiful damsel......and still bored in life?


I am fine.......dont know about the faculty there

@ Pilani

You shouldn't be disclosing secrets in such public forum

Siva Chidambaram said...

hey came to your blog from Pilani Pictures': It was a good reading, though there were many points couldn't resist laughing with this one: "Sleeping in the class……..sometimes complete with dreams and snores"

Cosmic Voices said...

@ Siva

Welcome to my blog!!!