BEATEN AT OUR OWN GAME
Ever since it’s inception, Parent’s day is an event which is loved by one and all. It is organised for the parents of the final year batch to come and see for themselves the place where they had sent their children four years ago.
Coming to Jamalpur marks the beginning of a new era in the lives of Gymmies but deep within the craving for homely affection is always there, which needs to be satiated once in a while. Parent’s day does just that and more. So there’s no surprise that each one of us looks forward to the event eagerly.
No sooner that the dates (this time it was celebrated on 26th &27th March 1999) were finalised upon, preparations began earnestly. Table-tennis room was vacated to make way for the musicals practice and lounge became the centre for cultural meetings and brainstorming sessions. The plays to be performed, an outline of the cultural programme and all the items to keep parents busy were decided upon. We then moved on the next round and that was full scale rehearsals on the stage.
Gym strength had dipped to an all time low and there was no firstee batch but this in no way reduced the fervour of the people who worked with double josh. There’s no stopping an SCA at what he really feels like doing. The usual rigorous activities had to be carried out. Chief among these were procuring curtains and covers from N.I and TA camp respectively, making arrangements for stage setting ( lights, sounds etc. ) and gathering props.
Besides these one has to contact people related with video-coverage, tent, mess-supply, make-up etc. and take regular feedback. All this was made possible only through collective effort. Think of our fourthies. Besides helping us in the aforesaid works they also had to tidy(?) up their rooms, do away with adventurous posters and clear the dust off their study table and books ( to give a feel as if they are frequently used).
Thus the Gymmies were gearing up for the forthcoming event. By this time it was already 25th afternoon and the parents started arriving keeping the reception team on its heels. On 26th morning started the first programme slated for this year’s Parent’s day and that was a tour of Jamalpur workshop, IRIMEE & Munger Yoga ashram which is of world fame. During the journey the Pail loving SCAs never missed a chance to inform the parents about the oh-so-significant places which came along their way (like Madras-café, NDA, Jubilee well, Munger air-strip etc.) and talked on general topics like the state of roads and law and order in Bihar, outlook towards life, Railways and so on.
After the tiresome though entertaining trip parents took off some time to rest in their rooms. In the evening Antakshari was held in the dining hall. It turned out to be sheer fun, not to say about some real good songs which got to hear in it. On 27th morning there was a trip to the water-works, though it was not very much planned. It was largely attended and enjoyed by the younger generation. The Aunts & uncles rested in their respective rooms and wisely so considering the busy schedule that was to follow.
In the afternoon there was a special lunch for the parents. This was followed by the usual High-tea in the evening in which the SAMs & local officers were also invited. The interaction of the parents and the faculty members was the main feature of the high-tea. This time the cutting of the cake was a joint venture of all the ladies present.
After high-tea it was time for the photograph cum drawing exhibition in the computer centre. The photographs, most of which, depicted Gym-life unplugged, were commended by the guests. From there the gathering proceeded to witness the much awaited cultural programme. Both the plays “Alpgyan Shakuntalam” & “Shaadi ka daftar” were major hits. These along with some good songs, fillers and guest-items made up an excellent show, leaving the guests asking for more(?).
This was followed by a special dinner. In this the local SAMs were also present. The well planned menu and nicely prepared food had everybody licking their fingers. And this was not all. There still was a dance party which went late into the night. The enthusiasm with which the parents took part in the party was astonishing but at the same time endearing. Suddenly it struck to me that these are people tired by the day’s hectic routine but still they are dancing and staying awake just to make us feel happy and our programme successful. It was very touching.
It was 28th morning and the show was still going on. There was an exhibition volley-ball match which showed that parents are the best cheerleaders one can ever hope to have.
The end of the parent’s day function brought about a mixed reaction. We had such a great time and now the parents were to depart. Anyway we were happy also that the parent’s day was a big success. We have fond memories of those two three days which we will cherish throughout our lives.
As we saw the parents off one by one we somehow got emotional, though we didn’t show it (Big kids aren’t supposed to do that). By the time the last of parents had gone the picture had become quite clear in my mind. I as a Gymmie had somehow developed a notion(read misconception) that people can be easily bowled over by the great hospitality we have. But what had happened in the last two days. we had been taken care more care of instead of being the other way round. They cheered us, listened to us, did everything to make us feel better. For the parents anything was good not only because it was good but more because we had done it for them. Beaten at our own game. Is It? Coming to think of it when it comes to love and affection there’s no one like parents. They know just how to do it. The whole idea about competing with them is crazy. I just hope that they felt good about our small efforts.