Now that I am back home and have all the time in the world to write a detailed post, I shall get down to the experience called PUNE. I’m already warning you – this post might get super lengthy!
# Women tie a cloth all over their head and face. Initially I thought it must be something religious, but I think it was only because of the dust and pollution. All kinds of women….across various demographic were wearing those. And man, the dust and pollution are really crazy there!! INsane!
# Bal Thakeray’s posters and images are all over the city. That’s not anything surprising. The surprising/amusing thing was that his posters were being sold on the pavements. He was accompanied by ganpati, sai baba, and the likes. Really funny!
And he would spend half a minute on the assignment that every applicant spent day & night for a week to make, and that carried 30% weightage in the total evaluation. It did not matter that people had been waiting forever. 2 to 3 hour delay on the first day, half a day’s delay on the second, and an entire day’s delay on the third. You don’t even want to know the situation that there was on the last day. I stood in a line from 4:30 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. on day 2, got snapped at and then obviously got into a tiff with the creep’s chapdasi on the next day, and then stood in line from 6:00 p.m. till 8:30 p.m. for my turn to see the man! Wow!
The people who interviewed me! They looked like anything but teachers of a communication college. They didn’t know what to ask me, they didn’t know what consulting firms around the world do (even after being explained about it), and they just didn’t have the personalities to be sitting in an interviewer’s seat.
My group discussion, which actually had a different format, went much better than expected. I did fairly well. But I don’t think it matters.
Coming back to the fest and the lectures and interactive sessions. I mentioned some of the people that came in my last post, and they really were amazing. The common thing was that they were all incredible speakers and presenters.
The guy from the ITC group, Arup Ghosh, spoke about corporate social responsibility. I knew that they have done a lot of work in rural India, but they have done A LOT of work in the remotest of areas.
Bhaskar Das from TOI spoke for a VERY long time, but the man’s intellect, experience, creativity, all came across in that hour. It was a delight listening to him.
The next day was dedicated to journo. Sumeet Awasthi from IBN 7 publicly apologised for all the crap Hindi news channels, including his have shown in the recent past.
Right after him was Vidya Shankar Aiyar from CNN-IBN, and man was he articulate or what! He had such smoothness and subtlety in his speech, that I don’t think anybody realised that he spoke for over 45 minutes.
The third day started with Pushpinder Singh, who has apparently won the most number of Abbys. He talked about the Amul Macho, ye to bada toing hai campain in detail. It did not change my view that it was a highly disgusting ad, but it did give me a better perspective. His wit was terrific too. And being the special audience, we got to view the next ad of the campaign which is still not on air. It is much better than the first one, and quite funny too.
The fest ended with Alyque Padamsee. I had always heard that he’s a very eccentric man, and yes, he is! He rattled on for 90 minutes, but I have to say that he kept his audience engrossed the whole time.
In between came two guys who recently started an ad agency of their own. The agency is called Happy, and the men are Praveen Das and Kartik Iyer who were creative directors for O&M earlier. Kartik spoke, and did he leave an impression on every mind there or what! They bagged the Lee account within the first two months, and their work is just so cool!!!
Life outside of campus was dull. There was nothing to do at the guest house. I did click a few pictures on the last day though.