Amity is history now. I have moved on long back. I hardly have any memory of attending it now but some things are so ludicrous and bizarre that they always secure a special corner in your subconscious mind and spring back (and make you nostalgic) at the slightest of reminder. "Sangathan" is one such thing.
Today (24 October), I was 'lucky' enough to attended a grand Birthday celebration at Amity University and the Birthday Boy was none other than AKC. Oh sorry, everybody at Amity is AKC! Here I refer to our founder president, Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan.
His birthday is such a red-letter day in the history of mankind that the celebrations are not restricted to just one day, the festivities start a month in advance; even Mayawati can’t challenge that, can she? This whole extravaganza is termed as ‘Sangathan’, the annual Amity inter-course err... institutions sports meet! I guess Dr. Chauhan must have been a staunch sportsperson in his hey days!
Amity is somehow comparable to the parliament, they make rules and then they make ways to circumvent them. I can vouch that if there were no Sangathan, 50% of Amitians would have never been able to maintain their attendance the mandatory 'at least 75%'. In fact there are people who rise to the heights of being Sports Captain without ever blessing the classroom, the students and the teachers with their divine presence. You see, everything is fair in love, war and Sangathan”
Although curtains were yet to be drawn, Team ABS (Amity Business School) had unofficially been declared as the winners of the ‘Champions Trophy’ (yes, that’s the name of the coveted trophy and don’t you dare to utter the word ‘Plagiarism’ here). The ground had been converted into an amphitheater with students from almost all the courses sitting around. And in the middle we, the Gladiators, were marching with the ABS flag held high. This was a real adrenaline pumping moment irrespective of its bullsh*tness!
Talking of bullsh*t; it has only begun. Before the final two events - men’s and women’s 100m sprint - could begin, entered the 'man of the moment'. His visit was one of the most hilarious and utterly 'nakli' moments I have ever seen in my life. Dr. AKC, flanked by his sons, took a round in a golf cart along the race track escorted by his body guards. Our Department head ( known as ADG) was playing his part to perfection behind the …….wheel! (Yes that’s true, he was driving the cart!)
Have you ever seen a very elementary form of Mexican wave? No.., you should have been there. As the AKC’s fleet was progressing, the guards were signaling the sitting crowd to stand up, clap and sing the ‘song of the day’, “happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to dear AKC, happy birthday to you”. Students were having the laugh of their life. Some even planned to give Birthday Bumps to the ‘birthday boy’ but later dropped the idea, ……..thankfully.
After a tug-of-war match and a short horse riding spectacle, it was the time for the awards. Sadly, not even an iota of management was apparent in the Award distribution ceremony. In the movie MATRIX, Morpheus says to Noe, “there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”. Surely, they didn’t walk the path, or probably, they didn't even know the path. I guess ABS wasn't consulted for the Award distribution ceremony; otherwise it would have been even more chaotic!
OK, guess how many stages you would prefer to erect for such an event. 1..2..3… any other guesses? Well Amity believes in thinking big, a fundamental trait of an exceptional leader and that’s why they erected…. (Hold your breath)….. 5 stages!!! And to add insult to injury, the stages weren't numbered. So stage no. 2 could have been from the right as well as from the left. I suggest, they should have given an extra medal to the students who successfully guessed the right one to collect their medal. All the dignitaries can best be described as dummies who themselves had no clue what was happening.
(back to the present)
I can't recall exactly what happened next but common sense points towards a photo-session with the medals and the trophies. But whatever it was, I had the laugh of my life. May he live for the next 100 years and entertain the students with similar enthusiasm every year. Its rare to find such noble souls on earth these days who, for the love of humanity, turn their birthday celebration into 'The great Indian laughter show'...inadvertently!