Category: News Room


There are few decisions in your life that can alter its course completely. For all management hopefuls it’s the one where you choose the B School. If you have made up your mind to pursue your management goals then you have given your entrance exams your best shot. However in spite of doing well in the entrance tests, it has been seen that many aspirants falter because they pick the wrong management institute. If you want to avoid that mistake then here are a few things you have to bear in mind.

A B School creates a solid platform for you irrespective of your individual aspirations. You can go on to have successful corporate careers, choose to become entrepreneurs or thought leaders in your respective fields. But it all begins with the management institute you pick. Here are a few steps you can follow to choose The Right MBA College.

  • First step in the right direction for you is doing your research about its reputation. That’s something you can either do online or by speaking to your seniors. B School rankings from renowned publications also give you a good idea.
  • There are many B Schools all over the country that are backed by industrial houses that have made their mark over the years. Their support is valuable to the B School and your learning, not only when it comes to infrastructure but expert guidance as well.
  • College brochures, websites will also give you a fair idea about the learning environment you will have at a campus. B Schools set in serene surroundings have the luxury of space, which works to your advantage. You will also learn in gorgeous environs that are quite relaxing.
  • It’s not necessary that you have your specialization in mind when you pick the B School but having a rough idea can help you identify the program you want to pursue. Look for B Schools that offer these programs and whether they are comprehensive enough.
  • There are many aspirants who like to take things in their own hands and visit the campuses of management institutes they have zeroed in on. It’s a good strategy because you know more about the infrastructure and amenities you will be working with.
  • It’s also important to look at the faculty team at the institute because they are the ones who will help you learn management concepts and put them into practice. A seasoned faculty team with industry experience adds a lot of value to your learning.
  • Another important aspect of learning at top B Schools is the industry exposure you get. Try and find out what are the initiatives taken by an institute to encourage industry interaction, live projects, summer internship placements etc.
  • The placement record of the institute is another crucial factor that has to be taken into account. Pay due attention to colleges that are honest and transparent about their placement reports, the companies that visit the campus etc.

These steps will lead you towards the Right MBA College for you. KIAMS – India’s top ranked MBA college in Pune and Karnataka. Backed by Kirloskar group, KIAMS opened PGDM colleges in India’s top places like Pune, Maharashtra & Harihar, Karnataka.

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The 2013 Placement Report of KIAMS has been released by IPRS, an initiative by IIM-A.

The hallmarks of KIAMS PGDM are Academic Excellence delivered on a bedrock of Values and Transparency. We sincerely believe Transparency equals Credibility!

In line with the same, KIAMS is a Founding Member, along with 20 other Management Schools, of the Indian Placement Reporting Standards (IPRS). Initiated by IIM Ahmedabad, we found that the proposed IPRS echoed what we had always believed and practiced, without formalizing. Hence it was a seamless movement for us to be a founding member.

Briefly, the IPRS adopts a standard format for objectivity and uniformity in reporting Recruitment data. Honesty in furnishing the data can be useful for understanding and decision making for varied stakeholders – prospective students, industry, media amongst others. Auditing the report is mandatory.

As a part of the IPRS body, KIAMS does its best by reporting minimum, maximum, mean and median of the fixed base salary besides cash components for different sectors, locations and functions. Thus the final evaluation turns out to be a rather comprehensive one and a good indicator of a B School’s placement record in a particular year. The report also redefines CTC salary to Maximum Earning Potential that includes long-term and performance-linked variable pay. Thus you get figures directly related to students rather than the company. Once the placements are done, B Schools that are a part of the IPRS initiative release the audited placement report in the required format, which maintains uniformity in the reports.

The IPRS report also takes into account Summer Internship Placements and divides them into those arranged by the B Schools and students themselves. By being a part of the initiative, KIAMS has shown its willingness to maintain transparency in this important process for students’ future.

To read the 2012-2013 IPRS certified report of KIAMS, visit:   http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/iprs/download.php

http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/iprs/gallery/PGDM_KIAMS_2013.pdf

To read more about KIAMS’s placement, visit:

http://www.kiams.ac.in/recruiters.php

s.s. rajputWhat does it take to be a leader?
This was a question that Saurav Singh would ask himself very often, prior to his summer internship. But not anymore.

At the tail end of his first year at Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, the buzz around the campus was all about a prominent company from Ahmedabad, Ultra Rich Weddings Pvt. Ltd.Wedding Management, while a thriving industry in the West, is a sector that is now seeing growth in double figures across India. For Saurav, the promise of being able to tap into the markets before the mid-year marriage season was reason enough to apply. He had to undergo a telephonic interview round, on the basis of which 50 students from the best B-schools across the country were selected; Saurav was one of them.

Ultra Rich Weddings targets the niche segment for the entire process of marriages – right from match-making, to wedding planning and honeymoon packages.My summer internship project was targeted on ‘Analysis of sales and promotional activities in Lucknow’.  My first target was to generate revenue for the company through registrations, which includes both B2B sales and B2C sales. My second target was to increase the brand awareness of the company through social media networking sites, showcase our offerings to potential customers and penetrate markets by adopting a well-crafted marketing strategy, thus increasing our network base.”

It was a target that Saurav would not just meet, but actually exceed by a mile.  By the end of his two months of internship, Mr. Saurabh Goswami – the Director of Ultra Rich Weddings Pvt. Ltd. – wrote a personal letter of recommendation to KIAMS, declaring Saurav Singh to be “quite simply, the most remarkable, energetic young leader”. As a part of B2B sales, Saurav was able to establish contact with an astounding 55 Company Heads, ranging from businesses like bridal wear, to caterers, decorators, travel partners, hotels, jewelers, etc. Saurav Singh was, infact, responsible for the maximum number of tie-ups for the company by any intern in 2013. He did not limit the promotion to conventional channels like distribution of pamphlets, but brought his immense knowledge of Social Media –greatly enhanced at KIAMS – to promotional activities on Facebook and Twitter. He used tools of viral marketing extensively and shared links with friends and relatives.

“The MD of the company, Mr. Saurabh Goswami, not only helped all of us but guided us with his experience. I remember that in the first few days of our internship, he told us that the company was his “small baby”. The effort he put was greatly motivating for me as well. He would always encourage me to perform better and this was one of reasons why I achieved the highest sales figuresin the company.”

Saurav believes that leading a race packed with select competitors from top B-schools like Symbiosis Pune, IMT Nagpur, K.J.Somaiya Mumbai, Goa institute of Management and ICFAI Business School did not happen on its own. Every one of the 50 interns spread across the country – Saurav was in Lucknow – was monitored from the Head Office in Ahmadabad.Every day, the interns were required to fill out details of the vendors visited and tie-ups concluded through a TDSS system.Interns were awarded daily points for quantifiable efforts.

“The summer internship was a perfect opportunity for me to explore my potential and gain valuable experience. I took this opportunity to expand my knowledge outside of the classroom. KIAMS has taught me many great lessons about life and also professionalism. In the corporate world we need to be ready to face many new challenges with smiles on our faces. From the first trimester to today, I have met many people with different traits, personalities and temperament. The all have enabled me to enhance my communication skills, adaptability and also my managerial skills.”

The recommendation letter from Mr. Saurabh Goswami goes on to conclude, “Saurav Singh has outperformed the competition that was among the Best B-School interns.” However, Saurav feels that the gain was his as he was allowed hands-on real-world experience which enabled him to deliver on his potential and make key contacts for the future.

“The chance to make a real contribution to Ultra Rich Weddings Pvt. Ltd. was real, right from Day 1.It was daily learning for me from my mentor, coordinator and the people I met. For me, success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. From the very beginning at KIAMS, I’ve been in the presence of some wonderful faculty members with mammoth experience of the corporate world.”

Riding high on this midway success, Saurav Singh is now targeting a job in a leading corporate house on completion of his PGDM from KIAMS. He feels that after this SIP experience, he is ready to take on the challenges of a hi-tech environment and rise to the very top. After all, not many can claim to be bonafide “future leaders”, while still students!

SunainaThe most remarkable thing about Prof. Sunaina Kuknor is that her journey as a teacher has been of barely three-and-half years, but in this short duration she has taught almost the entire spectrum of Management. From General Management subjects like, Organisational Behaviour, Business Communication, Business Ethics, Company Law, Personality Development; to Human Resource specialisation papers like Career Planning, HRM, Performance Appraisal, Group Dynamics, Industrial Relations, Leadership styles- Prof. Kuknor has seen it all. The latest addition to the faculty strength of KIAMS – she joined in May 2013 – Prof. Kuknor says that joining KIAMS was pretty much case of first impressions being the best impressions.

“I recall my very first visit to the KIAMS campus in September 2012. The quality education imparted, the ambience, the well structured work allotment and autonomy given to the employees with utmost belief in their abilities… all these aspects make KIAMS a very desirable destination for any teacher of business and management. So when I decided to switch over, I could think of nothing but KIAMS.”

Prof. Sunaina owes her grasp on almost the entire expanse of management mainly to the three years of quality job experience she accumulated prior to becoming an academic. Not only has she been a Recruitment Administrator in Accenture, she has also executed the role of Senior Market Analyst. A Trainer for PG-CET/ MAT in Analytical and Logical reasoning, Prof. Kuknor got her UGC NET/ JRF qualification in June 2011. She is currently teaching OB & HR in KIAMS.

“HR today has moved way beyond the basics of mere hiring and, therefore, application of Information Technology in HR functions and practices is fast growing. E-HRM is concerned with supporting business processes by means of training, recruitment and performance management. Emergence of new concepts like Six Sigma, TQM in HR, and HR and Kaizen have led to improvement in  the quality of work and the employees. Competency Mapping has gained a lot of popularity in recent times. Aligning competencies and strategies, recruitment of employees on the basis of job and culture fit, planning for career and succession, and aligning the personal goals of employees to organisational goals have all gained importance. The list of expectations of the HR department is never-ending these days. It is for such a dynamic and evolving profession that I prepare my students.”

 Prof. Kuknor believes that companies today, more than ever before, need to develop a strong corporate philosophy and live by it.

“The focus has to be on active, intentional and ongoing engagement, with diversity in people, curriculum, co-curriculum and in communities – with which individuals might connect – at the centre of the HR philosophy. This will lead to greater awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and an empathetic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. When you choose a career in HR, always make sure you are well acquainted with the basic HR functions. You can always start as a specialist in any one function and then move on to becoming an HR generalist. As an HR professional, understanding organisational behaviour and dynamics is a must.”

Considering that HR today is unanimously looked upon as a strategic partner across industries, Prof. Kuknor’s vision and philosophy of HR will certainly hold KIAMS students in good stead when they step out into the corporate world.

Placements for the SIP (Summer Internship Programme) for students of B-schools are, no doubt, one of the crucial indicators of the heath of the economy. Typically, the SIP duration ranges from 6-8 weeks between April and June every year. The SIP trends for 2013 at one of the top-notch B-schools, Kirloskar Institute of Advance Management Studies (KIAMS), have not seen much variation from the previous years. Like last year, 100% of the students of the batch of 2012-14 were placed on campus by late March 2013. KIAMS has a handpicked batch size of 101 students at its Harihar campus, and 27 students at the Pune campus for the 2012-2014batch.

“Our SIP duration is from 1st April to 14th June,” says Prof. Arvind Sinha, who anchored SIP this year at KIAMS. “Though we were able to offer SIP placements to all students, about 20% of them opted for their preferred companies, which they got into through their own sources. Though we have been able to place all our students without any difficulty, the general economic slowdown impacted us in terms of limited new recruiters and stagnant stipends. Prominent new recruiters on campus were HAFED, Electrotherm and Tata Motors.”

The bulk of the recruitment for the SIP at KIAMS came from regular recruiters like Airtel, Ashok Leyland, Future Group, Ikya Human Capital Services, JM Financial, KBL, TTK Prestige, etc. Other prominent recruiters this year included Decathlon Sports India Pvt. Ltd. (sports), Doosan Infracore Pvt. Ltd. (Infrastructure),  HDFC Bank (Banking), Hedge Equities Ltd. (Investment & Stock Broking), Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. (Manufacturing), Parry Enterprises India Ltd. (Confectionary) and SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (Life Insurance).

“Though students were scattered throughout the country, the main concentration was in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujrat, Delhi, Chandigarh and UP. Under our well-defined SIP process, the progress is being meticulously monitored.  At KIAMS, monitoring of the SIP is inbuilt into the system. Each student is supported by three guides, i.e. Company guide, Faculty guide and Alumni guide. They remain in constant touch on email / phone. Further, each student has to submit four reports during the SIP and dates for these submissions are sacrosanct. The faculty as well as a panel of industry experts evaluates each project.”

KIAMS follows a duplication method of feedback from the recruiters – first, through a confidential evaluation report for each student which is objective in nature, and second, on completion of the SIP, asking the recruiters for an open-ended, subjective feedback via a letter expressing thanks.

“Many students have got good SIP projects and have worked on them sincerely. The feedback so far is that they have received the learning which is expected from SIPs, which will play an important role in their final placements,” says Prof. Arvind Sinha in conclusion.

ShrutiThe name rang out loud and clear in the hall. Shruti had heard it being called out, but was completely frozen. The KIAMS auditorium erupted into congratulatory clapping, but Shruti sat there… transfixed like a doe in the glare of headlights. A nudge from her batch-mate seated next to her confirmed that it was truly her name being called out. Waking out of her self-imposed stupor, Shruti regained enough composure to walk up to the stage. By the time she had reached on-stage, tears had welled up in her eyes. She couldn’t stop them from streaming down her cheeks as she received the Gold Medal for earning the distinction of being the 2013 course topper of one of India’s topmost B-schools, Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies.

“It was as if I was in a dream-world. While receiving the Gold Medal, I was continuously trying to trace my parents in the crowd, but the tears in my eyes made it really difficult. Once I traced them, I just kept looking at them. It is an honour no doubt, but the pride it has brought my parents is priceless. The feeling is indescribable. Sometimes, I just keep staring at my Gold Medal relive those moments when my name was announced and I was completely frozen and couldn’t believe it was me. I was determined to perform well and learn as much as I could in KIAMS. That this would result in a Gold Medal was beyond my expectation. It’s the best gift and memory KIAMS has given me to cherish for the rest of my life.”

Clearly, it is a gift that Shruti Jain has earned by something more than just hardwork. So what goes into the making of a topper?

“KIAMS transformed me from a Dreamer to Achiever. With every assignment, every presentation, and every exam the sense of accomplishment grows. KIAMS gave me the perfect platform to understand my talents and abilities; something I would’ve never known. Being part of various activities and the Marketing Club Lead showed me the career path of my interest – Marketing. While my dad has been an inspiration right throughout my life, exemplary mentors like Dr. Gopal Iyengar, Dr. V.S Pai, Dr. Pinak Kulkarni, Prof. Satish Irde, and Prof. Siva have made me adept at application based learning. Last but not the least, it all boils down to the friends who are a part of your one-night-before-exams study group.”

A BBA (Marketing) from Surat University, Gujarat, Shruti scored a 91%ile in XAT, and converted quite a few of her target management colleges.

“Among all the institutions, I found KIAMS to be the best. It looked like a hidden treasure; only the truly willing could find it as KIAMS doesn’t over-emphasise on publicity. From the very day I entered KIAMS, I’ve never regretted my decision. I find myself to be a different personality now filled with confidence and ready to enter into the corporate world.”

Shruti’s mantra for success for her juniors is what she calls the “3 C’s”.

“Be Calm – Even in the worst of times; be Confident – in oneself as well as in the system one is living in;  and practice Concentration – one should never lose his/ her focus from his/ her Goals.”

5 years down the line, Shruti sees herself in a position of responsibility in the advertising industry – coaching other employees and managing more people in the same industry. At the same time, she harbours the dream of opening a school for differently-abled children. She believes, it will help them be more confident and less dependent.

CAM00269 (1)“Sometimes I actually go and touch my medal and read the name on the certificate to reconfirm that it was actually I who was amongst the toppers of my batch in KIAMS” Says Anish Wadhwa

Sometimes your entire life boils down to just one moment. For Anish Wadhwa, that moment came during her convocation ceremony, when it was announced that she had bagged the Silver medal. Anish confesses that this was a bolt from the blue for her – despite the fact that all her course mates were pretty much certain that she’d bag it.

“KIAMS has given me many unexpected memories. The honour of being a topper in the batch, a good placement in the first company on campus, that too on my birthday; all these things were totally unexpected when I came to KIAMS. Sometimes all this feels like a dream and I actually go and touch my medal again and read the name on the certificate to reconfirm that it was actually I who was honoured with the silver medal.”

Anish was the second person placed in her batch at KIAMS, with an annual package of Rs. 5 Lakh. The US multi-national, Odessa Technologies, has its own set practices that required its India office in Bangalore to recruit much ahead of the usual recruiting season. They were looking for business graduates in Finance from the country’s top business schools to work on software solutions for Finance companies; KIAMS was a natural choice for Odessa Technologies. There hardly seemed to be any time to prepare, but the beauty of the routine and academic rigour at KIAMS is that its students can appear for interviews without elaborate preparations.

“I had six rounds to clear. The first round was a group discussion, followed by a psychometric test, then a visual round and then three rounds of interviews. Four rounds took place on the campus itself, while the last two interviews took place in the Odessa office at Bangalore,” recollects Anish. The first interview at the Odessa office was with the Managing Director of the company, while the Head of Human Resources took the second. Her recruitment was confirmed way back in August 2012 itself. An Economics graduate from Khalsa College, Delhi University, Anish believes that the foundation to a sound personality was laid in school, the structure built in college, and finally polished for entry into the corporate world at KIAMS.

“KIAMS has not just nurtured me for a managerial role, but also helped me understand the nuances of life. How to take care of oneself in difficult times, how to help others and how to work as a team player are a few of the things which can be taught best only the KIAMS way.”

Her profile at Odessa Technologies will be that of a Functional Analyst dealing mainly with clients and their business processes. The job involves updating the software as per the client’s requirements, and hand holding the client in understand how the software works. She is positive that the zeal to excel will propel her to put great effort into her job.

Anish Wadhwa,
Silver Medallist, Batch 2011-13, KIAMS
Placed with Odessa Technologies

 

KIAMS - DesignPune, 18th March 2013: Kirloskar Institute Of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) founded by the renowned Kirloskar Group conducted the Convocation of the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) for the class of 2013. Dr. Ganesh Natrajan, Chairman – NASSCOM & Global CEO, Zensar Technologies was the chief guest  and Mr. Rahul Kirloskar, Executive Chairman, Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Limited and President Governing Council (KIAMS), presided over the convocation.  Graduating students and parents attended the glittering ceremony. All the staff and faculty members from both locations were present on the momentous occasion.

In his presidential speech, Mr. Rahul Kirloskar observed that a passion to impact, a competence to deliver and a conscience not to abuse can sustain the quality of an Institute in the long run. He also highlighted proudly that KIAMS staunchly embodies these traits and this has helped the Institute to move seamlessly across Management Education, Management Development Programs, Consultancy, and Research.

 

Dr. Ganesh Natrajan in his convocation address advised students that if you make a habit to do something you love and really gel with the people around, you will always be successful. He further stressed that good communication skills will never let you down and being innovative, being entrepreneurial, doing something different will always help you in building a good track record. He also gave a mantra of ‘5Fs’ in life: think fast, focus on what you want to achieve, be flexible to accept  opportunities, be friendly, and have fun – treasure every moment in your life.

Dr. Ganesh Natrajan conferred diplomas on all the graduating students, and Mr. Rahul Kirloskar awarded the gold and silver medals on the occasion in the presence of Dr. Gopal Iyengar, Director, Dr. Janaki Naik, Director, KIAMS Pune, other senior faculty members & corporate dignitaries, staff, family members and friends. Ms. Shruti Jain was awarded the gold medal while Ms. Anish Wadhwa bagged the silver medal.

Taking the academic review on the occasion Dr. Gopal Iyengar, Director KIAMS appreciated the efforts of faculty and staff to develop and implement integrated processes of academic delivery & assessment, placements and admissions. He further added that interactions with industry in various forums such as placement activities, seminars, guest lectures, summer projects, etc. provide tremendous insights into these processes. He put forth the efforts of faculty in collaboration with the students in the area of research and publication which resulted in publication of papers and cases in national and international journals.

The placement season this year has seen a significant increase in the number of companies coming to KIAMS for recruitment. This trend is expected to continue in the coming days also till the placement process is completed.

 

The convocation ceremony ended with the convocation high tea.

 

Editor’s Note:

KIAMS a Brief Profile

For over a century now, the Kirloskar Group of Companies, one of India’s largest industrial conglomerates, has been growing and enriching lives. In 1991, KIAMS was conceived as a training institute and a knowledge hub where Kirloskar Group managers shared their learning and caught up with the latest movements and concepts in management. In 1995, the training institute was opened to managers all over the country. In 1998 the PGDM program was started in the Harihar location. In 2010 the Pune location was inaugurated for PGDM. Class of 2013 is the second integrated batch of KIAMS to pass out.

 

Activities Conducted

  • Management Development Programs – for training and consulting education for industry executives
  • 2-year fully residential Post Graduate Diploma in Management.
  • Consultancy – in India and abroad
  • Research

 

Contact us:

Phone: (08192) 241269, 241483, 241486

Email: info@kiams.ac.in

“What is the  difference between happiness and success?”

It is a question that human-kind has been pondering for aeons; a question that we usually hide within ourselves, and yet grapple with everyday. On the 8th of October 2012, when Mr. Prakash Kulkarni, a much respected veteran in the field of management, quite unexpectedly put this question to the students of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS), not many knew how to answer it.

Mr. Prakash Kulkarni would certainly know a lot about success and happiness. Having joined Harihar Polyfibres – a unit of Grasim Industries, engaged in manufacturing ‘dissolving grade’ pulp – way back in 1972 as a BSc student, he retired in 2007 as an AGM, from the same organisation. Given the current times, a tenure of 35 years is unimaginable; unless, of course, you have found both success and happiness in the job.

But rather than break into a long sermon on his understanding of success and happiness, Mr. Kulkarni, in the true exploratory spirit of Management, nudged the young audience of KIAMS to probe and discover their own meaning of the two words. The students of KIAMS who offered an opinion on the question were asked to walk up to the stage and speak. In so doing, Mr. Kulkarni established a level playing field; he established that in discussions on happiness and success, there were no teachers and students, no rights and no wrongs.

With the charm and ready wit of a seasoned orator, Mr. Kulkarni then guided the session into a study of human nature. This was a subject on which almost all the young student managers of KIAMS had something to say. From individual body language, to gestures, to gait, the guest lecturer punctuated the entire session with interesting interpretations and anecdotes. To his credit, Mr. Kulkarni was, simply by observing their body language, able to correctly discern the specialities of most of his subjects chosen from amongst the KIAMS students.

During the two-hour long interaction, Mr Kulkarni was able to drive home the merits of setting high targets and widening one’s spectrum of thinking.

“These are going to be the cornerstones for a prosperous corporate career. How an employee should manage one’s body language in order to maintain the correct impression at the workplace, etiquette that is expected from an interviewee and an employee alike – such lessons are not delivered from textbooks, but are essential to survive in the cut-throat environment of the corporate world.”

Mr. Kulkarni then deftly steered the entire interaction with the KIAMS students towards a much-debated topic – Leadership. By infusing numerous cases and bringing in anecdotes, he was able to establish the nature, behaviour, temperament and extent of flexibility that are cultivated by leaders.

The interaction ended on a high note for the students of KIAMS, with Mr. Kulkarni letting a 20-minutes motivational video do the talking. More than anything, the lecture was coloured by Mr. Kulkarni’s personality – that of a man who did not see success as counter-productive to happiness, and vice-versa. It was this message that the young future managers from KIAMS took back that evening.

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Janmashthami is the annual commemoration of the birth of Lord Krishna – the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is celebrated on the eighth day of the month of Bhadra, according to the Hindu calendar.

Over the years, Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) has been following the tradition of celebrating Janmashthami on a grand scale. The onus of making a grand success of the event lies with the junior batch which, this year, was Batch-15. Our entire batch got together to make this event a lifelong memory for everyone. The day before Janmashthami, the shopping for all the paraphernalia and decorations for the puja had been carried out in great detail. The coordinators visited the market in person to order the suitable sweets, flowers, rangoli, ghee, diyas… right down to the ‘handi’ for the ‘Dahi Handi’ duel!

On the day of Janmashthami, no sooner had classes concluded, than our entire batch took off for the puja preparations. The girls took over the responsibility of decorating the Rotunda. Some of the boys were busy erecting the ‘Dahi Handi’ structure; this later turned out to be the highlight of the entire festival. A section of our batch was managing the Mess, as most of the students were fasting for the day and needed to be served with food in consonance with the practice of fasting. By 7 PM, the entire Rotunda was aglitter, with Lord Krishna on his ‘Palki’, covered with 3 beautifully woven garlands. The Rotunda roof was adorned with colourful awnings, and an exquisite rangoli transformed the Rotunda floor.

The puja started at 8pm with the arrival of Professor R.N.V. – a former faculty member of KIAMS, who had traditionally always conducted the puja. Professor R.N.V., immaculately dressed in his dazzling white dhoti and matching white shawl, looked nothing less than a perfect priest. Every one of us was in our ethnic outfits, adding to the great atmosphere. The Rotunda lit up with 11 diyas and melodious devotional songs.

Finally, the puja was successfully concluded at around 9pm, with the Aarti and distribution of Prasad – the food of the Gods. It was hard not to join in when Professor R.N.V. was invoking the blessings of the Gods in his mellifluous voice in the form of Bhajans...

And then began the show! Everyone moved out of the Rotunda and into the rectangular garden, as it was time for ‘Dahi Handi’! After several disjointed attempts which understandably failed, students of B-14 & B-15 decided to do away with the senior-junior bit for the time being, and shook hands to jointly break the ‘Dahi Handi’ successfully! All just in time, as those who were fasting were looking forward more to the handis of food than the Dahi Handi. and the traditional game successfully concluded,  all of us rushed to the Mess for our well-earned Dinner.

Post dinner, we regrouped for a photography session with our small and newly-born ‘Kanha’ (as Krishna was fondly addressed as a child). Much as we wanted to let the good times linger on, by 11pm most of us were trickling back to our rooms, tired and exhausted. The illuminated diyas, though, continued to glow, piercing the heart of the night, playing hide-and-seek with the smiling face of little ‘Kanha’, spreading the message of joy, peace and knowledge into the entire KIAMS campus.                           

Debashish Sarkar

Batch 15, KIAMS