‘Hello. Good Evening Sir. I am the Coordinator of Mood Indigo IIT Bombay. Sir, Mood Indigo is Asia’s largest college cultu…..
Aah… Gentleman, you don’t need to explain MI to me! I am very well aware of it! Go ahead! How may I help you today?!’
You cannot expect a celebrity, corporate leader or a big vendor to hold the line for this long, taking out precious moments from his busy schedule and listen to a stranger calling up out of nowhere. Then what is it that makes the difference? What changes his attitude and stops him from cutting the line instantaneously, giving you time to speak?
Yes, you probably guessed it correct. The words may not take more than 3 seconds to speak out, but make all the difference.
‘Coordinator at Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay’
And if you think I am joking, you will probably realize that I'm not, once you make your first call in the professional world!
Mood Indigo over the years has emerged as a brand name in itself in all sectors of society, be it in the entertainment industry or among the corporate giants. With 46 years of glorious history, it carries with itself the tag of one of the most successful student run sustainable brands in the country, something which is loved and respected by one and all alike.
But what is it that makes it so special to us, the hosts? Is it the artists, the crowd, the games, the chilled out atmosphere? Along with all this, there is yet more. The thing I would always cherish about MI is its healthy work culture and the perfect balance struck between fun and learning, right from the beginning!
Chaar din ka sapna hai yeh
Jise jeene aaye ho
Baaki saari duniya ko tum
Enter IIT-B and these lines aren’t something you’d be unfamiliar with. Mood Indigo for the freshmen is something to give them a break from their 2-3 years of intense study life; that time of the year when they can forget everything and enjoy, without any constraints and make memories that last for a lifetime! The organizer’s Mood Indigo (for those unfamiliar with the hierarchy, there are the organizers - freshmen. Above them are the Co-ordinators - sophomore students) is one where he/she can explore each and every thing happening around him, make new friends, roam around and have loads of fun! Yes, the organizer does his bit too, but that’s not too much as the first year is meant to give him a taste of what MI is all about!
The first MI for anybody is when he is amazed to see the sheer magnitude at which things work and more so, when he feels he contributed in the making of MI by pitching in with his bit. It makes him feel a part of the family in which every single contribution counts, and even if one is taken out, the collective will collapse like a pile of dominoes!
Come the end of the second semester, all the freshmen are introduced to the post of Coordinator at Mood Indigo IIT Bombay. This is the one post that people take up purely on the basis of enthusiasm and to give something back to MI, for what they learnt and what MI gave to them in their first year.
You may be thinking how different a Coordinator’s MI can get from an organizer’s MI?! They are POLES apart, believe me. An organizer is seeing Mood Indigo for the first time, and is rightly unaware of how things work. Hence, he follows guidelines set by his co-ordinator. A co-ordinator, with one year’s MI experience under his belt, is ready to create from zero. A co-ordinator takes an idea or event from ideation to execution!
The coordinators are introduced to their work right before the summers and they have 7-8 months to make their dreams come true on those 4 days! The first part in the work of a coordinator is the ideation, which is something the organizers don’t usually get to do as they join in late. Ideation is where you can go crazy, reach the sky, take the most unusual of ideas from anywhere, and you never know, with little iterations and modifications, you may get to see your idea turn into a baby to be developed over the next 9 months! And trust me, seeing your idea materializing on paper is one of the best feelings ever!
Ideation forms one part of the learning curve MI ends up giving you; the bigger part is to execute your idea, right from scratch. And don’t worry, if it sounds tough in the first place, I’d call it the more exciting part too, with tonnes of learning experiences! Now that you have come up with a baby, you need to nurture it with the right dosage of things so as to develop it into a fully grown adult. Execution hence forms the bigger and the more exciting part of the picture!
What is execution all about?! What does it teach us? Well, obviously something on paper looks extremely good; but for it to materialize and turn into something you can see happening in front of your eyes will take a lot of hard work! And that is what the learning is all about!
The various types of skills learnt in this process is something which I start writing here, maybe you’d get tired of scrolling! :P But to mention a few, I’ll start with the most important ones and what I personally learnt during my coordinator’s tenure!
The first thing that comes into my mind is one that distinguishes a coordinator’s work from that of an organizer’s: Ownership, of anything that you do in MI. No doubt a coordinator also works under someone but here, he or she carries the full ownership and responsibility of the work. Maybe because when it’s your baby right from scratch, you would want to take responsibility of it later on too, right? The ownership of something carries with itself everything that you’ll do to make it come true! You’ll get to pitch in ideas to people, and in doing that professionalism is something you’d eventually master. And once you’re firmly on to something, your meticulousness will determine how grand a success you eventually make your idea!
Come MI, you are ready with your idea, everything done and sorted, but is it all? Obviously not! Where’s the fun when everything happens the way you wanted! Last moment glitches, things not working out the way you would have planned, what next? This, mark my words, is the best part of the fun and learning of a coordinator’s tenure! Involving on-spot decision making and practical, logical thinking to get things back on track is the toughest and the most exciting thing you get to do, and for obvious reasons, isn’t something you can practice beforehand and come! The nuances of practicality under pressure situations have helped me not just in MI but also in the outside world, and I can guarantee will help you too!
Putting an end to the monotony of reading about the learning experiences from the co-ordinator tenure, here’s a summary: Ideation, creativity, imagination, meticulousness, organizational proficiency, professionalism, time management, leadership, on spot decision making and pressure handling are some of the qualities you’d be learning in less than a year. Trust me, nowhere else would you get to learn so much in such a short time frame, and that’s the best part of it!
But as I said earlier, is it just a checklist of skills learnt? No, it goes much beyond that. And that’s what I like about this organization a lot, the perfect balance struck between fun and learning! All of what I rambled about till now, unlike a corporate life, is accompanied by tonnes of new bonds made, random late night talks, treats, trips, outings, masti and what not!
Coordinator tenure gives you a whole new family, one that lasts not just during MI but even beyond and turns out to be one of the closest set of people in your institute life! So much learning brings along with it crazy experiences, memories and instances which later on, even as I write this, make me feel nostalgic about my coordie year.
At the end of it all, what everybody remembers is the experience of working with 600 people and pulling off a grand show on the biggest of the stages. It’s about the random outings and the new people you meet, about things accomplished by a common passion, about students across 4 different batches coming together to create a memory to cherish for a lifetime.
Ask seniors, and they’d all have tears in their eyes when they remember those yoga room days, those fun moments, those bonds made and those memories of their coordinator tenure.
For the freshmen reading this, don’t work as a coordinator because someone is forcing you to do so, don’t work because the POR will be written on your resume, don’t work because the results would make you something in future, don’t work because I have told you all this.
Work because you’ll enjoy, work because you’ll make memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime, work because this will give you the closest family in the institute, work because…...your heart says so.
Nothing more do I have to say than to wish to live my coordie tenure…again.
For, once an MI Coordie, always an MI Coordie.
This is the Coordinator of Mood Indigo IIT Bombay, thanking you for having the patience to give this man a chance to speak.
For maybe it is these 5-6 words, that made all the difference!