Students Corner

Student’s Corner is an exclusive section of Lsquare that features student-created literary works, pen-craft, and creative content.

आज की शाम

आज की शाम एक अलग सा एशसा स लेकर आयी हैं,
ये नयी दुनि या ना जा ने हमा रे लि ये क्या लेकर आयी हैं !
नए लो ग नए रि स्तें नयी मंज़ि ल ,
और सा थ मे, एक नयी उम्मी द लेकर आयी हैं !!

थो ड़ा मुस्करा या हूँ, थो ड़ा शरमा या हूँ
इस नयी जगह को देखर थो ड़ा घबरा या हूँ !
आया तो यहाँ अकेला ही हूँ
पर अपने सा थ पूरा समुन्दर ला या हूँ !!

कुछ अपनी कहा नी हैं जो सबको सुना नी हैं ,
कुछ दुसरो की हैं , जो मुझे सुन्नी हैं !
नए चेहरे, नए लो ग, नयी जग़ह,
पर यहाँ पर दो स्ती कुछ पुरा नी बना ने आया हूँ !!

यहाँ कि ता बो से ज़ा दा लो गो से सी खने आया हूँ
खुद को थो ड़ा ओर नि खा रने आया हूँ !
उमी दें तो बहुत हैं यहाँ से
सा थ मे अपने सपनो की पूरी दुनि या लेकर आया हूँ !!

ना ये मंज़र आएगा ना ये समय आएगा
बस आएँगी या दें इस जग़ह की
तो थो ड़ी गलती कर लो फि र से यहाँ
बना लो दो स्त , कर लो सा री शैता नि याँ ,
ये कॉ लेज ये समय ये मंच फि र ना लौ ट कर आएगा !!

– Suraj Kumar
PGP 2021-23

Verve 2022

The onset of the autumn term in IIM Bangalore brought a charming flavor to the campus chorus. While the PGP1s are all geared up for their summer internship preparation, a full-fledged exchange program after long allowed some PGP2s to travel to their dreamland. In return, the stone walls embraced the incoming exchange students from various foreign universities with vibrant vigor.

As a welcoming tradition, the incoming exchange students were welcomed with Verve 2022, a cultural program designed for them where they showed the hues of fun and frolic with their exceptional performances. This year the Verve was hosted with the theme of “Peace | Love | Unity | Respect” to capture the essence of being in India. The performers indeed depicted the theme of the event with special performances of music, drama, fashion, and dance.

The event started with the address by the Cultural Secretary, followed by the brief introductions of the event POCs sharing their experiences of working with the incoming students and the lifelong bonds forged over the prep duration. Music performances by the music club members and the incoming students were the first event to roll on the floor, followed by a fashion show where the exchange students showcased their fashion flair in traditional attires. The drama show was thoroughly entertaining. Each performer did a commendable job of adapting to their characters despite having only a short amount of time to prepare. While the interactive event where incoming students conducted a fun on-spot fun quiz to spread awareness about their culture with exciting prizes for the winners was one of the highlights, students dancing to the well-choreographed Bollywood songs topped the chart. Pro-Night DJ show with photoshoots capped off the memorable night of cross-cultural interactions.

What Verve started as the path of breaking the ice and creating a welcoming environment for the incoming students far away from home, ongoing course work, class discussions, project work, and quizzes carry on the same path to provide students a cross-cultural experience and global perspective in their journey of learning and wisdom inside the stone walls which is the true essence of creating extensive international student exchange networks.

– Dibyanshu Kar
PGP 2021-23

Zinda Singh

Zinda Singh was an old perfumer who lived in a sun-baked house, in a city whose name has long been forgotten. He lived with his wife in a single-room home, whose door opened onto the bazaar that woke up and went to sleep with the sun.

The old man loved his craft. He had been taught by his father, who had been taught by his father, who had in turn been taught by his father, and so on. The collected wisdom of the family rested heavily on his nose, which sprung from his face and hung over his white moustache and dry lips. Zinda believed that his perfumes were not nearly as good as his father used to make.

“Zinda, come here, you know who is a real perfumer?” his father once called out to a young Zinda Singh.

“The one who has mastered the 2000 scents, father” the young boy said eagerly

“Bah, 2000 is too few!”

“To make people smell good?” the young boy suggested

The young boy’s father shook his head.

Zinda Singh had married his wife when he was 19. They had met when his father decided it was time for the apprentice perfumer to settle down. His mother’s friend had a family over from the nearby city famous for woodworkers. A meeting had been promptly arranged, and the family agreed that the young boy and girl were a good match. The young boy and girl met each other for the first time on the wedding night, and had talked about perfumes and why dogs don’t have straight tails and why bricks crack in furnaces and decided that they would have enough to talk about to stay married.

And so they had been married for 54 years, when one day the girl who was now an old woman woke up and felt very sick, and in a week she passed away.

Zinda Singh woke up the morning after she passed away and for the first time his nose disobeyed his conscious command. Instead of smelling the rose extract preserved carefully in oils, it smelt the pillow where his wife used to sleep, and smelt the chair where she would read Rumi and smelt the shawl she had on when she went to the market the day before she fell sick. Zinda Singh had never known that so many things smelt of a person, and now that there was an empty space where someone used to be, the smell was growing and making a person shaped mirage that misled his nose. Zinda Singh did not cry when his wife died, and now his dry eyed face was being pulled by his nose that seemed to know more about his heart than he felt, and it interfered with his attempts to focus on the perfumes. Zinda Singh gave every grain of effort to focus on the perfumes.

The day after his nose led Zinda Singh around the house after a person that was no longer there, Zinda Singh woke up to a troubling fact. His nose had stopped working. Zinda Singh could not smell anything.

This was a troubling place to be for a perfumer. Initially he tried to work it off, and mix the extracts by sight, but no matter how much he concentrated, he could not make anything worth selling. Not that he could smell what he was making; his customers told him enough for him to know.

“This smells like sandalwood, janaab I asked for – “

“This is all mixed up, we need something pure – “

“Is everything okay janaab, maybe her passing has – “

And so on.

Having been robbed of the only thing to keep his mind full, Zinda Singh packed his things, and started travelling, hoping to meet someone who could cure his nose. He reached the great city of woodworkers, and that of carpet makers, lamp lighters, and jacket tailors. Everywhere he came across cures that promised to give him back his sense of smell. He stood with one foot in a bucket of water holding his nose and breathing through his mouth for half a day. He drank camel milk through a blessed pig bladder on a full moon. He crawled on all fours and dipped his nose in goat dung . He couldn’t smell anything, nothing worked.

Zinda Singh thanked the sympathetic helpers, and kept going on his way. All the while he tried to make his perfumes, hopeful each new day that remembering the 2000 scents would bring back his sense of smell. He offered passers by a sniff, but it seemed that each passing day his product grew worse and worse. Polite acceptance had now turned into grimaces and waving of hands. Zinda Singh kept walking on. He idly thought of his wife. He felt a dull throb in his chest, which confused him because he could not understand what it was.

Finally one day, when the old man was drinking water with a clay cup in a busy bazaar, he saw a girl stumbling around crying and rubbing her eyes.

“Why are you crying?” Zinda Singh asked

“I lost my doll, I want my doll, I want my doll!” She cried

A small tingling sensation moved the tip of Zinda Singh’s nose. He stood up.

“Show me what your doll used to wear” he said.

He gave the girl his hand, and she held his little finger and guided him through the stalls to a small, single room dwelling. A woman was in the corner, blowing on the fire through a pipe.

“Whom have you brought home? I’m sorry sir, Khushbu is really inappro-”

Zinda Singh waved a hand. The little girl dragged out a small blanket, and a polka dot jacket and hair clips, and said that her doll used to wear all this when she went to sleep. Zinda Singh bent and picked those up , and asked whether he could borrow them for a small while, and he was sure that he could bring back her doll in no time.

“Yes yes, please!” the little girl said

Zinda Singh’s nose was now tingling all the way up to where it joined his forehead. He walked out the house, and stopped in a quiet lane , and opened his bag and took out his implements. He put up the small blanket and doll hair clip and polka dot jacket and smelt them. He then went about his work, and soon he had a small bottle of something. He went to the market, paid two coins for a small doll, sprinkled the contents of the bottle on it and walked back to the girl’s house.

“Here, your doll is back”

The girl ran up to the old man and took the doll.

“But her hair is different! And she was smaller and-” the girl stopped, and smelt the doll’s smell, and immediately smiled “but she does seem like her after all”.

Zinda Singh stayed for lunch. Once he was done, he walked out, and to the lane where his nose had started working again. He sat down alone, in the shade of a tree that smelt of the present. The dull throb in his heart grew to a thudding pain, and Zinda Singh thought he smelled something in himself that he should have smelled long ago, and it was late but it was necessary. And water started pouring down his face and onto the tip of his nose, and maybe Zinda Singh realised that he was finally aware to his own grief, and he was now smelling no longer of his wife, or her belongings, but of himself and his pain, and Zinda Singh cried after a long time.

And then he started the journey back to his home.

He passed the town of woodworkers, and smelt the wood shavings and the wood dust warming under the sun. He passed the towns of carpet makers and jacket tailors and smelt the fibres twisted and knotted and caressing the skin that rubbed over them. He smelt the comfort in the oil that burned in lamps during the night, and when Zinda Singh finally reached home and made scents again, he realised why his father had said that 2000 scents are too few. Zinda Singh was now making scents that smelt like how water smells to a thirst that hasn’t been quenched all day. He made scents that smelled like a pillow when dawn breaks through the window and sleep doesn’t deign to leave company, like how wood smells when the first sparks light it in a cold night and gratitude fills the body. Zinda Singh had realised that perfumery is about reminding people of what they felt, and sometimes it’s about reminding people about what they can feel, if they only keep their eyes open, and their ears wide, and their noses straight. And Zinda Singh made a scent that smelled like the absence yet presence of a person, like remembering someone and feeling good about the time that you shared. But he kept that one for himself.

– Vyomesh Tewari
PGP 2022-24