This post is a week due and I’m posting it before Shahnaz decides to murder me.
The event was the All Volunteer Meet and the venue as is the case of any MAD event was our very own Rotary Bal-Bhavan. I was late but was relieved to see that everyone was waiting outside as Shahnaz and her minions (the HR team) wouldn’t let anyone into what was no less than any Arabian Sultan’s court. As soon as I walked in, I was given a badge shaped like Aladdin’s lamp and was shown the entrance which too was decorated very Arabic. Finally when the HR team was done with their work and had ensured perfection, we were allowed to enter.
It was clear that a lot of work had gone into the decoration as the place was covered with exotic silks from the middle-east’s finest silk shops (courtesy Riz’s mom) and lit with the most beautifully scented candles brought in from far for our meet. I cannot fail to mention here Shahnaz, dressed in the REDDEST (for lack of a better word) suit I have ever seen in my life. We had been divided into animal groups written on the back of our badges and had to find the rest of our team, making noises of the animals we’d been allotted. Once all the barking mooing, hissing and cawing was done, we settled down to the ice-breaker. The ice-breaker involved a lot of moving around what with the HR team wanting us to find people who fit descriptions we were given. Some of them weren’t even present at the meeting!! We spent a lot of time looking for someone with the last name Cherian but realized there was nobody that fit the category in the room. This proved to be a great exercise as a lot of volunteers were meeting each other for the first time and hence found it easier to interact and work together. Many interesting and creative ideas came up in the second task where we were asked to make logos for MAD.
This was followed by a session where Jithin talked to all the volunteers. What he had to say didn’t go down well at first as it involved dividing MAD Cochin into two units. This was being done keeping in mind the over-worked core team and the difficulty of contacting volunteers. Even though dividing was something everyone was against initially, seeing the practicality of it, people began to come around and agreed that this would mean better administration and easier accessibility. A consensus was reached by the volunteers on dividing the city and thus MAD shows how democratic it is, once again. Whatever else Jithin said was overshadowed by this and honestly, I don’t remember. Sorry!!
Another activity succeeded Jithin’s talk where we were all divided into groups based on numbers written on our badges. Once the division was done and we were settled down, we were handed our tasks. This included representing MAD through different mediums. Our task was to represent MAD in Big Boss. Another team got MAD in a news channel and still another, MAD in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. The fourth team had to enact MAD in a Bollywood movie and the fifth had to enact MAD in a horror movie. This activity saw some excellent performances by Sumesh, Soli, Xavier and Rocky!!
All good things must come to an end and just when we were getting warmed up, we came to the end of today’s event too. But before we ended, it was time for discussion and thus started an hour of discussing volunteers’ problems and solutions the others had to offer. This session covered everything from unruly children to the syllabus and issues of training and orientation. This also brought an end to my constant hoping that Shahnaz would break into song and dance keeping in tune with the theme of the day. But once again, hats off to the HR team for putting together an awesome meeting!!
Well, that covers most of what happened at the All Volunteer Meet of January 2010.
I’m ending this before Shahnaz sees RED ;) and decides to end my life.