Off Season Tourist - India Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
Two weeks in India, 2003 Notes from the Off Season Tourist
Extracurricular Activities
There's more to IIMC than academics!

IIMC is a fun campus! At any given moment, there's always something for everyone to do. Sports, walking around the lakes, parties, language classes, clubs. For a full list, check out IIMC's web page on Extracurricular activities. Of course being a foreign student, there will be some activities in which you may not be able to participate. While I was on campus, there were lots of guest speakers, including Kapil Dev and the first woman to climb Mt. Everest (I forget her name...).

Marcus and I participated in the first outing of the IIMC Adventure Club. See how much fun we had on our Adventure Club weekend page ...

I participated in pickup volleyball games and shot basketball hoops from time to time. I played a few games of footer volley and learned a few snooker tips (although women weren't always made to feel welcome in the snooker room).

You can always find people sitting in the mess halls or out by the snack shops who are just waiting to have a good conversation...

The students put on a bunch of parties, and even provide live entertainment with the JBS-BaroC student band. I was blown away with the live music and had so much fun at the party.

Birthdays: Everyone week, at least one person has a birthday celebration. Birthdays are celebrated at IIMC in a very unique manner... at 11:59 p.m. on the night before someone's birthday, their friends gather outside there room to celebrate. This is done by giving the birthday person "bumps" -- the person is suspended by two people holding their feet and hands while everyone else proceeds to give them their bumps, which are swift and solid kicks in the rear... it sounds cute, but I saw some bumps that looked pretty painful! As if that wasn't torture enough, everyone then takes cake and smears it all over the birthday person's face and that person also smears icing and cake on their friends' faces... lastly, everyone eats mishti, dough balls soaked in sugar water. When the balls are all eaten, the sugar water is dumped over the birthday person's head. Interesting way to start the day of your birth. To this day, I'm not sure if these are Indian traditions or something done only at IIMC...I was both glad and disappointed that my birthday did not fall between June and September! It would have been interesting to go through as the bumpee and not the bumper!

Julie and Shraddha

I had another experience that I want to detail here... on India's Independence Day, August 15, two students, Yaquta and Latika, took me to a beauty salon, sat me in a chair, and asked what I wanted "done". The answer ended up being a manicure and a facial massage - which included my upper back as well. One of the intriguing parts of the visit was seeing "threading" for the first time. The salonists use two pieces of thread instead of tweezers to pluck eyebrow and unwanted facial hair - it was a great experience! Since being back in NY, I've noticed a couple of salons around the city who practice the same process, along with henna tattoos.

I don't see how someone could go to IIMC and NOT have a good time.
Especially not with new experiences like this!

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