War of the Titans

A warm, languid Sunday morning has the denizens of planet-I coming out of their dens and strolling towards the mess with heavy sleep laden eyes – this is business as usual on Sundays at IIM Indore. But the Sunday prior to the Valentine’s Day wasn’t just any other Sunday with ‘business as usual’. The ‘business’ saw a transformation and a rather historical one at that. Ohh no no, not because it was Valentine’s Day the following day – It doesn’t matter here @ Planet I; in a desert devoid of the fairer sex girls remain a mirage for the guys here – psst psst!

It was something larger, than life, here. For the first time ever at IIM Indore, did the faculty and students come to a level playing field, literally, and etched history in golden letters. Professor Siddharth Rastogi is credited with organizing a fantastic 12-over cricket match between the faculty and the students. With IIM Indore’s own IPL season just concluded, the buzz had made its way to the  faculty and had them shed their glasses, books and research papers and on their toes to relive their  younger days. With the cricket match scheduled to being at 9 am and the team walking in, the languor vanished and the environment was all charged up with people found hanging on the mess windows, stairs, melting pot, basically surrounding the entire pitch for the war to begin.

The faculty assumed their strategic locations on the field while the students elected to bat first. Professor S.K. Ghosh captained the faculty team; one could see OB personified on the field, with his hails, appreciation on good moves of his teammates and leadership. He used the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ technique and kept on motivating his teammates to perform better and better by showering inspiring words. He also garnished it with a bit of strategy by best utilizing the main bowlers – Professor Ashish Sadh and Professor Pawan Kumar Singh – entrusting them with the responsibility to lead the attack. Professor Ashish Sadh employed the ‘Preemptive Defense’ strategy and drove one of the opening batsmen out on the first ball, before he could trouble the scorers. The other opener, Ankit Doshi, did a reasonably good job in accumulating 25 runs in 10 balls; the highlight of his breezy innings being four mighty blows out of the park.. Prashant Lakra and Vishal Vasudeva consolidated the innings from where Ankit left. They collectively hit 8 sixes and were instrumental in imparting momentum to the innings. The faculty bowlers scalped five of the student team members and provided regular interruptions to the otherwise steady progress. By the time the innings folded up the students piled a score of 117.



The next innings witnessed the faculty aggressively batting and accumulating runs. They mixed caution with aggression and went about chasing the score with a definite strategy. Professor Harshal Lowalekar and Professor Siddharth Rastogi were the ones to take guard first. They played well during their brief stay at the crease but, had to soon, give way to Professor Sushant Misra and Professor Mahesh Ramamani after scoring 12 and 7 runs respectively. Professor Pawan Kumar Singh mesmerized the audience with his breathtaking performance where he scored a half century of 24 balls. He peppered every corner of the ground and his innings was punctuated with 7 sixes and a four. The self-fulfilling prophecy had indeed been fulfilled. However the innings lacked a credible support from the other end.  Due to inflationary pressures, Professor Ganesh could contribute one run. Professor Sadh put a stop to his promotional campaign after scoring 13 runs in 9 balls with a sixer and a four. Professor Kanagaraj had not only the ball but also the audience’s sentiments ‘leveraged’ high, though the ratio is not known precisely, and scored 8 runs in 9 balls with a four. The faculty folded up at 104.

All this while, the paparazzi shutterbugs, in volumes as many as the players themselves, happily clicked away. With the inertia of crickemania propelling the players and the audience equally towards more of cricket, a match was then played with mixed teams comprising students and faculty. Some of the onlookers now joined as players and juggled with the ball and the bat.

In hindsight it occurs to me, isn’t cricket a game to pump the adrenaline high and swing us on a little bit of fun, excitement and enthusiasm??? I wonder if this game, an important one in our own context, was as effective in exciting us as its national and international counterparts??? Whatever be the answer for this idle musing of mine, the game per se was indeed a historic one. We all hope that this fantastic commencement of collaboration and fun gives way to many more such exciting, fun-filled matches and leaves a trail in its wake, of cherished memories and a life-long relationship with our teachers. I hope someone’s listening…

– Sharada Karmakar (Class of 2012)

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