The Story Called InSCIgnis: Chapter 2019

Eshan.

72nd post

I was planning to write this blog since… let’s say, November 2018.

Doing a live coverage though, is something I am never good at. I am lazy in such things, and hence I am 2 years late. So late that, another edition of this science fest has passed, and nonetheless, organised by my batch.

Since this is my story, there will be good things, and there will be bad things. Let’s just say that my journey hasn’t been that smooth. There have been highs, there have been lows, and there have been rough patches in between. Needless to say, here’s a request to not get upset with me on reading this. I want to share my experiences from this journey and whatever I have learnt from them during these 16 months, which is why I am going to share a true account of this particular journey.

So, until September 2018, I was never familiar with this fest. Before getting to TU(short for Tezpur University), I had only known of Techxetra because I wanted to participate in a certain event (but unfortunately, could and still haven’t). The first time I ever got a hint of it was during a meeting that was called upon by my senior batch, in which we were introduced to the idea of inSCIgnis.

I wasn’t very excited in the first place in those days. During my school days, there were no such events being conducted. Also, I . This led to my negative participation for this fest, and this went on for around 4-5 months. I was not attending many of the meetings in which several kinds of briefings were being given. These briefings would be about various general and departmental events, publicity, responsibilities, etc. I used to hate these long meetings. This would invite the attention of my seniors, in particular, my department seniors, as I found them constantly asking to me why I was not attending the meetings. I was in no position or mood to straight up say that, “I am not a fan of these long meetings, or that I find such long meetings pointless” . Being a newbie in the University also wasn’t helping either.

Comes December, and with that two things – the winter vacation and the 1st phase of publicity. After a certain series of events, I was given the task of creating a list of all schools and colleges in my hometown which was to be done in a week. This time, the problem I was facing was that I was not in my hometown for two years, and during this time many new institutions had come up, big and small. At that point, I was stupidly thinking that I actually needed to walk all over my hometown to see the new and old institutions, given that many of them won’t be featured on the internet (yes, that’s what I still believe, and I will tell you why later). Being at home and being the eldest son wasn’t helping at all. I wasn’t even being able to go out of my home throughout the whole vacation, let alone go out for collecting the names of the schools.

Guess what? As expected, I headed in for a collision course with my senior, and later was kicked out of the group meant to do the publicity. It was a pretty nasty beatdown with words, I think. This also resulted in me not being in the 2nd phase of publicity, courtesy of the fallout and embarassment afterwards.

It takes time to accept our faults.

Have you ever been able to outright accept your faults after you see them in the first place? No.

So, things happened fast, and the next thing I know, is that I am not in any of the events being conducted by my department. Except for being in the team for ‘Treasure Hunt’ by default, I had actually given my name for one more departmental event, but didn’t find my name in that list later on. Not only that, I had no idea what I was to do by the end of January. So, here I was, uncertain about my responsibilities in this fest, with the fear that I could be dragged along anywhere, anytime throughout the next days.

So, amidst the annual varsity month going on, I was always keeping myself either alert or hidden for any sudden work that would be popping out at any time. Believe me, I was also keeping my phone away just in case if I were asked why I wasn’t picking up calls. Eventually though, I caught up with them, or should I say they caught up with me. And slowly, I started doing errand-ish work. Most often, it would always be during late nights. During these night shifts (as I like to say), I was able to see my seniors dedicating themselves to their responsibilities. I was also able to talk with them to know how and why they were dedicated to their cause. Whether it was rain, whether it was dry, I could always see the happy and satisfied drops of sweat on their faces. As they would work on, so would I after getting inspired from them.

As the varsity month progressed and as well as my birthday passed, the work schedule started to get more hectic. We were soon given our inSCIgnis ID cards, and as expected, were asked to like and recommend the social platforms of this fest to our friends (as a part of online publicity, I guess). The number of meetings decreased per week, but their time increased, as detailed plans were being laid out. Yet, I wasn’t attending these meetings (I mean, not all of them). My seniors always asked me questions, and my silence would give them a vague answer. It was killing me, but I was up for immediate work rather than being in long meetings, hearing all the planning and being assigned the work afterwards.

Slowly, I somehow got immersed in the preparations. I could see people preparing on different fronts. Some were worried about the smooth conduction of the events. Some were constantly updating their plans for accomodating people in the various hostel as new variables kept popping up. Some were busy in maintaining the social platforms day and night, because of whom all of us would get the updates in a jiffy. Some were in talk with the people responsible for providing food during this fest. Some were occupied with editing the submitted articles for the annual magazine, and the list goes on like this. In short, by the end of the second week of February, everyone was taking up responsibilities, big and small, left and right.

As soon as the Annual Varsity Month was done with, things got really escalated up. There was this final meeting (which I did attend), in which we were asked to be vigilant for any circumstances that might arise in the next 10 days. We were asked to keep in touch with our seniors so that we would rush in whenever and wherever they needed us. I mentally prepared myself with glucose intakes in between.

I remember in particular two important nights before this fest. One was the night in which, along with some of my batchmates, went out to pin posters in the various departments. Me and one other went to 12 deparments, almost getting lost in search for the first six. Stealing pins from one notice board for the other one had become a things by the end of that night. Topping it all, we walked throughout all of this.

The second night was a much longer and much eventful one as it began from the evening itsself. This night was dedicated for the overall decoration part. For me, it was both department and general decoration. The night got longer as I kept switching between the department and general decorations. After the girls went to their hostels after 12 am, we boys gathered for the final stage of the decoration. We had to bring out notice boards from the nearby departments. Trust me, it is never an easy job.

It was around 2 am when the final group us left the community hall, with each one appreciating each other’s efforts. This was also the night when I finally got the chance to interact with a certain man of my age, who later on got the title of Mr Mysterio from me.

We were finally ready for this fest. We were ready for the next 3 days.

The first morning, we had classes. Second half was suspended as the fest began in the afternoon session. I half-dozed off through the inaugration ceremony. Sitting on a cushion-like chair was like a punishment amidst the inaugration ceremony, as I really wanted to listen to what the people had to say. Anyway, we had tea and snacks after the inaugration ceremony. As people from various schools and colleges started pouring in at our campus, we knew that it was time for us to show the results of our efforts. It was time to… you know.

I somehow managed to borrow a DSLR camera from a friend of mine for these three days, hoping to capture moments, and hoping to let someone else take good pictures of mine. Trust me, I never got the second part right. Anyway, moving on.

As I finally laid on my bed on the first night, I realized that I was actually in no event so far, and neither did I have any idea where I would be running into. Horrified about the consequences, I braced myself and slept for the next day.

The second morning.

Just before I could have my breakfast, I got a call from a friend. He asked me to come over to the department ASAP. When I asked him about the matter, he replied back that one of the people required for a certain event had suddenly got a high fever and wasn’t able to be present in the event, and I was her replacement. I nodded, and skipping breakfast, I got ready to go, with no idea so far. As I reached the department, I was briefed about what to do. I won’t say what I was asked to do but I can say that was pretty much out of the blue. After finalizing everything, I hurried back to my room to bring that camera with me. After all, photos are damn important.

That day, two events happened simultaneously in my department, and that camera kept swinging between the two events. The event I was in was called Site-O-Solve, and you can see that in the Feature Photo at the top. It did go on for around like 4 hours or so, which meant that I had already skipped lunch time and now didn’t want to go back to the hostel to have hostel food. So I, along with three others, decided to hit the restaurant in our campus, which has always served a good lunch. We discussed certain things related to our events and the upcoming events while we were at it.

The evening became more uncertain for me as I switched from being in a panel talk to being in the vigilance with a camera while guiding the students the various ways. I think it had rained that morning, and hence there was the smell of the earth, running wild amidst the windy evening. The open mic session was almost due when I stepped out of vigilance, only to come back to the field to buy some books. Later on, I watched students from different schools play on the basketball court, which I probably joined later.

Somehow, the day full of uncertainity had become a day full of eventful diary entries.

I was tired by the end of the second day. I don’t know, maybe I didn’t have enough food, that’s why?

I remember only so much about the third day, so it’s gonna be short. Our department was hosting three more events on this day.

One was the workshop conducted by our department which had become too demanding. From what I heard and now remember, we were expecting not more than 50 participants. However, we had around 200 people applying for this workshop!

Take it in. 200 when the estimated was 50. So what happened was that I get called up at 5:30 am, saying that I need to do the vigilance stuff as people were queueing in since 4 am!

I somehow managed to wake myself up, brush my teeth, bath and get raedy to go. On my way to the registration desk, I found one familiar person roaming the campus around 6 am. Turned out, it was my schoolmate, who was then studyinng in a nearby college and had got the news about this workshop. She asked me to be around her throughout this whole event. I said that I would be helping her as I should, and escorted her and her friends to the registration desk. Later on, I managed to have my breakfast this time. I took that borrowed camera again with me, in order to photograph the first two events – the workshop and a talk on Snake Venom. Me and my batchmate once again took turns in doing these photography sessions.

Normally, before entering a lab, we have to keep things like phones and water bottles, etc outside. That day, I took a freaking DSLR camera inside a lab! I mainly focused on the workshop while my batchmate focused on the talk.

The third and the final event hosted by my department was also the final event of inSCIgnis – Treasure Hunt. This event is only for the Tezpur University Students, and hence, it serves as a celebratory event for all the students in the university. With the exception of the 2nd and 4th sem from our department, everyone else could participate in groups of a maximum of three people. We were in total, 23 people, about to be keeping a watch over around 150 people. We had to be invigilators in the first round of this event. I was along with 2 or 3 more people in a room, acting as invigilators. I had no idea what the question paper was or who was the event coordinator. Let’s just say my only job was to invigilate.

As the second round began, some of us were tasked to go to certain places, without the knowing of the selected teams. I had started to feel unwell from certain starvation and untimely sleep, so I opted out. I sat on a stone outside the department for some time, trying to recover my breath. As I watched people going out of the department, I realized that my job was done. I went to the hostel and slept. Later on, I found that there was a movie screening for all of us and afterwards, the closing ceremony. I had no care for that as I could finally get back to the basketball court after that tough month of February. I went to play in the evening instead.

This how my story of inSCIgnis begins. The next chapter will bring in some surprises because you won’t expect some things if you read this.

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