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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Prequel to the trip to Jim Corbett and Nainital

I’d like to share my experience about what it actually took to make this trip happen in the first place. When the talks about the trip began doing the rounds, everybody wanted it to happen as this was the last semester of college. We had no idea that it would take so much of pains and efforts to get through with its preparations. Things kept on getting delayed for some or the other reasons initially.

February was coming to its end and talks regarding the trip were nowhere in the picture. Mohit, our front man had also suddenly disappeared from the scene and he wasn’t actively taking part in its preparations. On 24th February, we had to fix up dates 5-9 March as Mr C.P. Singh told us that Alumni Meet was in the pipeline and so we were supposed to get back by 12th which barely left us with anytime in our hands. We announced the dates publicly on Facebook considering the time limitation in mind. The next day we had a word with the juniors and they seemed unhappy with the dates. We, as we like to call ourselves “The Organising Committee members” were under tremendous pressure on Friday, the 25th as the situation was quite chaotic and was in a mess.

Already, we were in low spirits and the cold response we got from our juniors further dampened them. Mohit dropped a bomb on us when we got to know he wouldn’t be coming. Things were not clicking at all; we were falling short of numbers and the tour operator needed the final headcount to give a go-ahead green signal. By this time, Mr. Rohan had taken the baton from Mohit. There was no stepping back as Mr. C.P.Singh had given us the nod. No notice was out yet. In addition to this, we also had some doubts about the operator.

When we came back to the class and saw Garima’s reaction, my heart further sank. Rohan motivated all of us and assured that we would get through with this. On Saturday (26 Feb), we started looking for an operator. Luckily, we found one but were not quite sure that he’d actually turn up. At the back of our minds, we had to finalize things on Monday if we had to leave on 5th. Rohan got in touch with two operators to be on the safer side. On the other hand, we were also in talks with Divya as she knew one operator.

The status on Facebook initially didn’t generate any positive response. I was almost on the verge of getting publicly embarrassed, had the things not worked out in our favour at the end.
On Monday, the 28th, Rohan began counselling sessions to convince more and more people to come for the trip. One by one, he was addressing everybody’s problems from seeking parents’ permission to dates clashing with a relative's wedding and all that jazz. The journalism’s tutorial room was in a state of utter mayhem as all the girls began to talk simultaneously. Rohan was patiently listening to Ratika, Garima, Divya and Rashneer while Danish was engrossed in documenting the whole scene. Tanya and Ginni were busy fooling around. In the evening, luck smiled a little on us as the dates for the trip were re-scheduled and got pushed to 8th March. We took a sigh of relief as we got some more time to organize things. Wednesday was an off and to our dismay, no notice was out on Tuesday (1st March) which took us back to square one.

As soon as the notice was out on Thursday ( 3rd March), a ray of hope flickered. We took pictures of the notice and tagged each and everyone on Facebook to make them believe that it’s official. But this didn’t change things for our juniors and they were still less in numbers. Mohit took one copy to his home and came back smiling the next day with the permission to come on the trip. We were back on track, although, the clock was still ticking for us.

There was no change in the response of the first year students which was a major disappointment. We were also clueless about the teachers who would accompany us and things still seemed quite vague at that moment. The clauses, terms and conditions put by Mr. C.P. Singh were also a cause of concern for us and we crossed our fingers that he doesn’t disapprove of the operator on any grounds. 4th March, Friday was the D-day. Meeting with the operator was fixed at 6:00 in the evening. Rohan got a call from him around 5. Mohit and Rohan left to pick him up. But god as usual wasn’t that generous and kind enough to let things run smoothly for us. We were all left red-faced when we found Mr. C.P. Singh missing from his room. While calling him up, we got to know that he had left a few minutes before. The OC was furious and highly embarrassed in front of the operator.

Somehow by beating around the bush and cooking up some silly stories, we kept the conversation going. But, it wasn’t a futile discussion by any means and we were convinced by the operator’s assurances that things would work out. The very next day, the operator got changed. I missed the action on Saturday (5th March) as I had come late in the evening but was shocked to learn that the operator had been changed at the last minute. Eventually, Divya’s operator was brought into the picture.

Sunday, the 6th was the final day. Things could no longer be delayed. I didn’t go to college as I was busy shopping for the trip. Even though I was out, I was uneasy and restless as no positive news came about the trip. Mohit told me over the phone that some clauses put by C.P. sir had led to a deadlock. High level talks were doing the rounds inside Mr. C.P. Singh’s office. I was constantly calling up these guys to get any new updates related to the trip. After an eventful day of negotiations and tough decisions, the OC finally did it.

At night, I got the news that trip is on... things had been finally set in motion. The hard work had been paid off; my happiness was beyond imagination. Positivity began to step in on Monday (7th March) when everybody turned up to give the money and I pinched myself just to see that it was all for real.

A new dawn awaited all of us the next day & the positive energy around really pumped us up. Danish, Mohit, Rohan and Divya were occupied with a lot of work, while I was just fooling around. This trip would also not have been possible without Ujaley, Mustaquim, Rashneer, Mohnish, Garima and Ratika who lent their full support. These people stayed back till late in the evenings, came to college on Sunday and were the backbone of OC . Apoorva deserves a special mention here as she was the only one who kept on calling me throughout to know the trip’s status.

P.S. It was worth taking all the pains to make this trip happen!!!