“Gear up for Extreme PaGalPanti”, read the banner of the EPGP Sports meet right at the entrance of the IIM Bangalore campus, as I entered the IIM Bangalore campus early morning on Sunday – 24th June’12. EPGP Sports meet was a sports event arranged by EPGP current students at the IIM Bangalore Hostel ground and the banner truly reflected the mood of the day. Like me, many of us arrived at the campus that day in our EPGP Bus specially arranged for the meet by our ever helpful logistics committee. Invites for the event were sent to EPGP Alumni, Professorsand PGP students.
As I boarded down, I could clearly see excitement in my batch-mates about the event. Few of them recollected incidents around the sports activities from their graduation days. I personally kept pulling legs of few of my friends who had bought their wives along and kept making them aware of their lack of practice and about the embarrassment that they might face if they perform badly in front of their wives. The discussions, pot-shots continued as we moved into the MDC where a lovely breakfast awaited us. MDC gave me another surprise as I saw few of our professors neatly dressed in track suits and visibly excited about the event, animatedly discussing about their proficiency in the game of their choice. Our seniors from earlier three batches had also arrived and seemed equally charged. This clearly was an excellent opportunity for us, current students, to know our seniors better and get some advice from them.
Cricket, Badminton and Football were the games that were to be played over the event. The playoffs and the teams had already been decided and the breakfast soon turned into team huddles and strategy plans. Soon we moved towards the IIMB Hostel grounds where the cricket was to be played. The Spectators gallery housed a neatly planned seating arrangement for Professors and Family. The toss for the first match was monitored by Professor Prasad, Chairperson, EPGP – And the first two teams geared up for the game. It was a short format of the game, 8 overs each sides, but the game still went on to be quite competitive. The fun continued into the 2nd match and the suspense built up during the finals where the teams contested to win the coveted EPGP Sport meet trophy.
Throughout the matches, it was quite amazing to watch a few really nimble hands taking a tough catch or fielding a sure shot boundary. Amit Sidhana’s bowling for that matter was really exceptional and so was his one caught and bowled wicket that made for an excellent video clip as well. Few other players like Yogesh from EPGP Batch3 and Abishek from the current batch batted really well. Off course the matches were not without a few odd glimpses of genuine talent – read yours truly – who bowled almost a 23 ball over with a few odd deliveries taking a first bounce right at yours truly’s legs and the others flying high up above the wicket keepers heads. The Umpire for the day, Ramnik, was even seen slightly sneaking up to yours truly and requesting, “Dude, please do wrap up the over, am tired signalling wides and no balls!” The audience, competing team and a decade other people from the PGP hostel watching the match from the windows of their hostel rooms clearly seemed to be in uncontrollable fit of laughter.
On the sides, as the cricket matches were being played, at the badminton court there wasn’t a different scene. Seniors, current students and even professors were seen teaming up and playing quite competitively. It was great to see guys, quite in touch with the game, and improving as they advanced through the rounds and the final was, surely as expected – quite competitive. As soon as the games were over, we all hurried towards the MDC for lunch. The Buffet was well organized by Prashant Bajaj and his team. It was over lunch that we had the ‘sum-up for the day’ discussions, finalizing man of the match and man of the match (From the opponent’s perspective given to yours truly). The current students got an opportunity to sync up with seniors over their life after EPGP and gain some valuable insights on the way ahead.
In all, it was a lovely day, full of fun and excitement, which was much needed amidst the grueling hectic busy schedule of the daily academic routine.