Bringing Origami to IIMA

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Classrooms of IIMA saw an unusual amount of buzzing and hullaballoo on 19th of September – with coloured paper strewn all around while a group of students, professors and other members of the IIMA community sat silent, concentrating on delicate folds that lay before them. This was the Origami workshop organised by Finesse, the Fine Arts Club of IIMA. It was a hands-on workshop where participants themselves practiced Origami with the Finesse team led by Aravind Maddireddy.

Origami (derived from the Japanese words ‘ori’ meaning folding, and ‘kami’ meaning paper) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which was started in Japan in the 17th century. Since then, it has rapidly evolved into a very popular and dynamic modern art form. Broadly, Origami is the art of transforming a flat sheet of paper into a finished 3 dimensional sculpture by employing only folding techniques. Paper cutting and gluing techniques are typically considered to be outside the domain of Origami – they constitute what is called ‘Kirigami’, another Japanese paper-art form.

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The objective of the event was to not only introduce the participants on how to make beautiful Origami designs but even answer the Why. The event began with Robert Lang’s Ted video of ‘The Math and Magic of Origami’ where he explains the progress made by Origami over the years and its folding concepts now being successfully applied even in satellite design. Aravind then explained the geometrical basis of the Origami design he was teaching the participants. The design chosen was a heart shaped jewel box and involved some intricate geometry and quite a few difficult folds. In the beginning, everyone present found it to be rather difficult; but as the Finesse team guided them through the process, they began to pick it up and even started enjoying themselves. One could visibly see the initial frowns on people’s faces slowly turn into excited smiles during the course of the workshop.

For the kids visiting the workshop a separate section was setup to teach them a few simpler designs that they could easily follow. The kids were taught a number of intermediate level Origami designs such as a box, a crane and a dinosaur. It was a fun day for them as they sat through the full two hours of the workshop folding paper and even demanding that they be taught something more challenging!
For the two hours nearly all participants were lost in the magic of Origami. Needless to say, the event was a huge success, and even elicited very appreciative feedback by the participants, after the session.

Aravind is currently writing a series of tutorials on Origami on the Finesse website. Please visit the Finesse events page for more photos of the event and details of upcoming events by Finesse.

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IIM-A’s day out with migratory birds

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Nalsarovar Lake
Photo: Rakesh Shejwal, PGP 2

It was 4 o’clock in the morning and though most of the campus was still awake, there was a group of 85 highly enthusiastic people who had slept and woken up quite early. This was the group of students who were headed to see the rare migratory birds which had flown down to Nalsarovar lake for the season. “The response of the students was very encouraging. We had made arrangements for 60 people, but we continued getting applications till the last moment and thus had to make extra arrangements for all the nature lovers” said Sudeep Banerjee, member of Prakriti -The Nature club of IIM-A and the organizer of this trip.

On reaching the place, the students divided themselves into groups of ten and hired boats to go into the lake. “Spicy food can cause death to these birds, so we make this special spice-free food called Gaathiya”, said a local citizen while selling packets of Gaathiya. Armed with a few packets of Gaathiya, the students ventured to explore the lake and find new birds.

Five minutes into the ride, the group spotted a bunch of Australian Seagulls & tried to lure them by throwing Gaathiya into the water. Smelling food, lots of seagulls started swarming around the boat. With mushroom-like perfectly smooth skin, each seagull would make a dive towards the food and after grabbing the grain, would glide onto the water. The mere sight of so many seagulls flying around the boat was mesmerizing.

Though everyone had heard about these birds and seen them on television, it was the first opportunity for most students to see the actual birds. Though none of the other birds came as close to the boat as seagulls, getting to observe these birds in their undisturbed natural habitat so closely was the most joyous and wonderful part of the journey. “This is heaven for nature enthusiasts. I have never seen so many different kinds of birds assembled at one place. I am sure this trip will increase awareness about the environment amongst the IIM-A community” said Rakesh Shejwal, Coordinator of Prakriti.

14199_10200197850977164_1497161731_nOn one of the small islands, one group was lucky to spot a few greater flamingos as well as ruddy shellducks. Amongst other birds, the participants also spotted black drongos, wagtails, grey herons, purple herons, black winged stilts, purple moorhens, white breasted kingfishers, and plum headed parakeets. The two hours just flew past while looking for new birds, trying to lure them towards the boat and catching a closer look at them. After this, students grabbed some indigenous food to satiate their hunger and finally, with one of the best experiences of their lives and the memories of the place filled in their hearts, headed back to the campus.

By: Tanishq Goyal, PGP1

Deswa: IIM A Community gets a flavour of Bhojpuri Cinema

Saturday evening at IIMA was extra special with Public Policy and MAD Club organising a screening of Deswa. Deswa is a critically acclaimed Bhojpuri movie that has been screened across many film festivals in Asia. The movie is directed by Nitin Chandra – a young filmmaker who has been making films for social causes since 2008. Produced by his sister and popular actress, Neetu Chandra, the movie has found it hard to find the light of the day to have a mainstream release.

Set in Bihar, it is the story of two young men, whose lives are altered drastically by the circumstances they encounter in their life – dowry, caste-ism, bribery, corruption, extortion, Naxalism etc. Deswa highlights the problems that had plagued the region – rich in culture, traditions, languages – in the past. The movie provided an insight into how policy making affects people at the grass root levels. The movie was an engrossing watch and culminated in a standing ovation for the cast and the crew of the movie. Nallasivan, the co-ordinator of Public Policy said “The movie depicted a Bihar that was different from the commonly prevalent stereotype that has been showcased so far. The ending also captured how Bihar has started its journey to move away from the ‘Bimaru’ state that it was in the past”.

Deswa Crew

The Deswa Crew during the post-movie Discussion. From Left to Right: Nitin Chandra (Director), Neetu Chandra (Producer), Ashutosh Singh (Music Director) and Deepak Singh (Actor)

The screening saw the cast and crew of the movie – Director Nitin Chandra, Producer Neetu Chandra, Music Director Ashutosh Singh and one of the lead actors, Deepak Singh. The movie was followed by a discussion session where the crew recounted their experiences and difficulties while making the movie and the reasons for making a movie about one of the most neglected states in the past. In the words of Shrinivas, a member of Public Policy: “The discussion that followed was enlightening as they shared their continuing struggles in order to have a mainstream release for the movie. It was interesting to see what the director had in mind while scripting the movie.”

The moviemakers also reflected on how Bhojpuri movies were fast losing out to mainstream Hindi cinema and suggested policy changes that could help in promotion of independent regional cinema.

GeneSys presents Cyber-X Gaming!

GeneSys – ‘The Systems Club of IIM Ahmedabad’ concluded the Inter-Dorm LAN gaming tournament on March 7, 2012. Counter Strike 1.6 was selected as the LAN game for this tournament. For the uninitiated, Counter Strike is a tactical first-person shooter video game and is one of the world’s most widely played multiplayer video game. It is usually played with a team size of 5 with two teams battling it out for glory.The tournament went on smoothly over a duration of 10 days and all matches were streamed live on the college’s local area network. The event had decent prize money for the winner and runner-up teams as well as for the best player of the tournament.

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The enthusiasm shown was evident from the fact that a total of 19 teams registered for the tournament. The tournament had a knockout format with only winners proceeding to the next round. Each match was played on single map with finals being the exception, which was a best of three map format. The finals saw two teams duel for glory and finally team ‘Brute’ representing Dorm 28 emerged as the winners and team ‘Chillgamers’ from Dorm 17 finished as the runners-up. Another thrilling match of the tournament was the semifinal match between the eventual tournament winners and team ‘Cloud9’ of Dorm 9.The match was evenly balanced to the very end with the winner being decided through a tie-breaker. This tournament was the first of its kind ever to be held at IIM-A.