By fifteen minutes past eight, I and Priti walked across the seemingly deserted campus and were in the dining hall for breakfast. Uttapam, sambhar, omelette, sandwich, cornflakes and milk greeted us. I, dressed in white and orange and she dressed in pink and blue, were way ahead of the schedule; just like the good girls we were (Tikender would agree to that). Heading towards SH6 for our class, I saw some students intently gazing at something and simultaneously sketching. We walked past the trees, sat on the stairs and witnessed ABCD in progress. It was the first time I had come across a live art class and that too out in the open.
The Any Body Can Draw class starts every morning at 8 and is open to all; was what we got to know from Akshat and Rahul. They were the CCC (Crafting Creative Communication) programme students who approached us when the class ended. Surprisingly, they were dressed in T-shirts and bermuda pants, which Malvika refers to as chaddis! 😀
The classroom was specially arranged for us interns. It was spacious and was going to be the place where we would spend most of our time. Broad desks and black chairs on which one could Pivot! The room gave a very cheerful feeling mostly because of all the white with swatches of pistachio green and lime yellow. There were boards pinned with posters and doodles. The desks had our name tags on them. Everyone started to arrive. The Dean, the Director and the course coordinators talked about how glad they were to have us at MICA and they would be there to help us anytime. The difference between the speeches in MICA and elsewhere is that, at MICA they aren’t speeches. They are short and merry conversations, sometimes moulding into anecdotes. The Director was a bespectacled man with a happy face. He asked us about our dreams and where we see ourselves in a few years from then. When it was time for our first day photograph, he insisted we sat and they stood behind us. It was very humbling.
Professor Subhash Tendle, the former creative director at FCB-Ulka and an adjunct professor at MICA, says, ‘we call intelligence as our ability to recognise patterns’. He is the kind who would pick out the most ordinary and make you see the extraordinary in it. He has aged; grey going on silvery white and wears spectacles like Gandhi. He spoke to us about creative strategies of advertising which was interesting and absolutely fresh to me. To know what goes behind Britannia’s ‘tin tin titing’ and Titan’s Mozart was fascinating and also an eye-opener. He walked us through the process of dissecting an ad to prepare a creative brief which led to an assignment on the very first day. My favourite part was when he taught us about Surrogate advertising; wherein a facade is created and promoted instead of the actual product. The class resumed after lunch with more on 20th century advertising.
At seven, while it’s still not dark at Ahmedabad, we got together at Deep’s room (air conditioned) to play cards. Someone had got banana chips. My train of thoughts traveled to school when Reshmi (sister from another mother) had shared her fascination for the same. Watching people while hiding yourface behind cards and accessing your peripheral vision was a good start. I thought Malvika looked prettier with her hair tiedback and Aayushi was sweet as she seemed warm and familiar. Dinner followed and so did an abrupt meeting with CCC students. They seemed like sea shells; no two were alike. They were a bunch of artists and engineers, with whom we were about to spend some memorable time. The first person I spotted was a slightly forlorn face with hair falling on it such that it earned a second look. He was a bit goofy in a very adorable sort of way. Now that I am writing about it, I remember that it was me who had initiated the first conversation and made a ‘giant’ effort but received a ‘no’ in response.
We were again standing in a circle and the agony of introducing myself every time someone new walked in on the conversation was pissing me off but we still hung around just to have a drag of what Marley called Herb!