From: Madhur Upadhyay [mailto:email@example.com]
"5 busloads of Jokers, numbering atleast 250 are reaching here by midnight", declared Navinder Dullat, the Sportscomm Secy, to a charged up set of XLers from the classes of 2005 and 2006 who had assembled in the Exam Hall.
After the crowd control stuff, need for discipline, food and stay arrangements were discussed, an important message was sent out-"Don't get outnumbered on ur own campus. Come out and cheer for team XL"
Midnight came and went...with no sign of the jokers from Joka...then at abt 5 30, in the morning, storm clouds gathered over CH Area East...5 buses came tumbling in. They came in myriad hues-guys with hair longer than many girls, some exchange students-they came with bugles, their sports gear, their musical equipment, above all, a swagger derived from their untrammelled confidence that this was going to be another cake walk...some XLers welcomed IIMCian friends warmly and took them to their rooms.
The overall mood however was one of two armies lined up on the battlefield, waiting for the conch to be blown...as the IIMCians trooped into their designated areas in the Enright Hall & the LH, "Ek do Teen Chaar..."started...the battle was just waiting to happen!
While some XLers (like me) were busy practicing at the ground, some IIMCians came down to have a look at the ground. Their men's basky team got straight down to business, playing their half court game and taking 3 pt shots...(one guy, their captain was hitting EVERY shot)....at that point, that swagger seemed justified. The strong downpour the previous evening had left the ground, especially the cricket pitch in bad shape...the 2 Sports Scys wore a grim look and discussed the rescheduling of events.
One good consequence of the meet was that we all got really decent food for the 2 days that they were here. So, after breakfast, everyone headed to the ground for the first event-Women's throwball. After what turned out to become a standard IIMC custom thruout the meet-crying and moaning abt everything possible- the IIMC girls finally accepted that a throwball is slightly different from a handball and soon...the Battle was ON!!!!
Despite having a severe migraine headache, Swati Radhakrishnan, IR Sr, opened up a healthy lead with some awesome serving. Radhika Tomar, Deepti Bhide and Shikha Pahwa, all IR Jrs, got going as well. IIMC was whitewashed in straight sets in just about 25 minutes. 1-0 XL!!!!
Focus shifted to the Mohan Ahuja stadium where the Baddy matches were held. Led by Surabhi Loshali, the Women's Baddy team registered a convincing win to make the scoreline 2-0. The men's Baddy event was a major centre of attraction. IIMC had Viay Lancy, a former national jr champion, who has beaten the likes of Gopichand and represented India in the Thomas Cup...as expected, he thrashed his opponent and doubled up with another guy to win his dubs game as well. But that was not the end of it. XL came roaring back with wins from Vikram Dani and John Jim. It was 2-2 and the men's doubles on Sunday evening would decide the fate of this event.
At Beldih club, the squash tem comprising Anshuman Mohapatra, Vikram Dani, Shivram Anantharaman, Abhishek and Dhruv squashed the IIMCians 3-0 in the best of 5 matches. 3-0 XL.
With the sun burning brightly, the ground dried out and the cricketers marched onto the field. Batting first, IIMC managed a decent 154 in 25 overs. In reply, XL made 48 for the loss of 2 wickets in 9 overs before bad light stopped play. HariKrishnan, BMer sr and SAC member and skipper Vikram Dani were at the crease, looking pretty solid.
As the sun went down and the lights came on, focus shifted to Beldih again for the tennis matches. In the women's event, after trading singles wins, the IIMCians managed to win the doubles to open their score. The IIMC men followed up with a solid performance. Suddenly the scores were 3-2 XL.
All attention shifted to the GH1 mess where Table Tennis was happening. Here again, tennis was repeated. After trading single's wins, IIMC women won a close doubles match, aided by some dirty time-wasting, rhythm-breaking tactics.
After much dilly dallying, attention then shifted to the volleyball court on the ground. With a team comprising 1 Nationals player and 3 IIT Volleyball captains, the IIMC men's volleyball team made short work of the XL team, winning comfortably in straight sets.
The IIM C men's TT team was equally impressive and carved out an easy win in their typical, arrogant fashion.
In return, the XL chess team won their matches and elsewhere, the XL bridge team maintained their high reputation and won.
Sunday morning dawned and athletes from both sides moved to the Tata stadium. XL's athletes crushed the IIMCians, winning the long distance combo event with half a lap to spare and winning the short distance combo event comfortably. Robin, Harini, Shambhavi, Sumit Saluja and Roshan Charles shone for XL.
It was back to the volleyball court, where after a very close first set, the IIMC women convincingly won the second set to win the event. The IIM C hockey team also managed to beat the XL team.
XL opened out a lead in the carrom event with proceedings held up due to non attendance of the IIM C players.
Cricket continued and things started heating up with Dani's dismissal. A horrendous decision by the IIM C umpire ran out Major who was looking steady at the crease. The asking rate climbed to 7 per over. Hari was playing the role of anchor well.
A few lusty blows by Ankur Vohra and Shankar Menon brought us closer to the target, but wickets also kept falling. With 2 balls remaining and 3 runs to get, Hari swung a ball towards leg stump into the vacant long leg region for a boundary setting off wild celebrations in the XL camp. Hari moved from 49 to 53 with that boundary and the IIMCians for once were jolted!
For me, this boundary was the turning point, after the disappointment in the earlier losses. The football team was inspired and played an amazing game in the afternoon. Led superbly by John Jim who set up some brilliant passes for the forwards, the team dominated the Jokas completely, hardly allowing them to get close to the goal. Both goals were scored by Praveer "Kullu".
The morale of team XL was getting higher and higher. The XL women's basky team had been practicing diligently under the watchful eyes of Fr James. The game they played against the IIMC women's team will be remembered for some time! They combined beautifully, passing smoothly, defending strongly and consistently taking shots.
In stark contrast, the IIM C women relied completely on the limited skills of one person. The final scoreline-14-1 aptly conveyed the picture.
The scores by this time were 10-7 in XL's favour. Just one more win was needed! Team XL stood on the verge of history!
While the teams got ready for Frisball, all of us headed to Mohan Ahuja for the crucial baddy doubles game. John Jim and Vikram Dani, our two best players were playing as a team. Jim totally psyched out the IIM C players and backed it up with a stunning game. Dani supported him brilliantly. With a vociferous crowd backing them, there was no stopping the XLers and they romped home in straight sets.
WE HAD WON THE XL-IIM C MEET!!!!!!!!!! YIPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!One undescribable feeling-winning against the odds-and HOW!
Jim & Dani were carried away by ebullient XLers while the IIMCians silently trooped back to campus.
We had lost the Frisball event but won carrom.
Wild celebrations broke out in XL on the JLT, in the GH1 mess...everywhere!!!!!! Beer flowed and wild shrieks of uninhibited joy rent the air..."We are the champions" played appropriately in the background as XL celebrated a VERY cherished victory.
The Men's basky was a formality. Even here, against a much touted IIMC team, the XLers went into the lead from the word go-A half court 3 pter from Kunal Singh Sandhu set the mood and the score rolling. While Siddharth Johri started brilliantly faking, setting up plays and also scoring, Vedagiri Suresh was solid as ever in defence, accurate with his long rangers and made some stinging runs down the middle.
With the score at 39-34 in our favour and abt 9 minutes left, there was a freak incident on court that quickly assumed unnecessary physical dimensions. The game was called off, with IIM C conceding the game to XL.
The final score: XL 13, IIMC-8.....howzzat??!!!
After some reassurance, the IIMCians agreed to stay on for the battle of the bands. The IIMC Band JBS (Joka Bus Stand) reeled off Indipop numbers from Junoon, film songs, an ACDC number and tried to do a Floyd number.
The talented XL band comprising the Bodhi Tree comprising srs-Vikram Dhunta, Rajesh (Thambi), Joshua Karthik (Syko) and Avartan Bokil (Boka) played a single number gave way to the new Bodhi Saplings-a very professional set of ppl from the jr batch. Bharat Rajagopalan on lead, Jishnu Dasgupta (base and vocals), Abhishek Narain (rhythm and vocals), Lara Lobo on keyboards and Poornima Dore on the drums.
Warming up with their own composition, they invited Shambhavi on stage for "Animal Instinct" and "Promises" by Cranberries and Dhananajay Mishra for Clapton's "Cocaine".
Bharat then took off on a trip for a guitar solo after which they played a compn called "Too Many Potatoes" was performed...dedicated to all us potato bred XLers :-)...they finished off with a hard number "What If"
Made friends with some of the Jokas and saw them off at around 4 in the morning.
All in all, one helluva weekend...absolutely unforgettable!!!!
What can I say to all of u...WISH U WERE HERE!!!!!
Luv and best wishes,