A Sunday

It was 25th March 2018, a Sunday. I woke up at 7am and sat up to hear some vedic chanting going on in a nearby puja mandap. According to the Hindu calendar, it was the day for an important annual festival – Ram Navami. Hundreds of well to do devotees dressed in fine clothes throng the temple to pay their obeisance to Lord Ram by offering flower garlands, bhog and prayers. On festive occasions like these, I always imagine whether the gods will ever bless the poor and economically down trodden people who make their hand-to-mouth living in slums and cannot even afford to hire an auto for visiting the temple. Will the Gods bless only those who can meet the expense of visiting the temple and making rich offerings? Anyway, as I was brushing my teeth, I put aside these thoughts to mentally set myself for the scheduled plan of today. It was not going to be a normal Sunday dedicated to the recently released movie or hang-out with friends or luncheon at newly opened trendy restaurant.

Today, I was going to an NGO named Bakul Foundation with my SICC friends – Barshana, Aditi, Kotni and Chandan. 25th March is celebrated by Bakul Foundation as “Bakul’s Day of Service”. This NGO is dedicated to the lesser privileged children who hail from economically weaker sections of the society and cannot afford sophisticated quality education in good schools. The idea behind this was to volunteer at their event and spend the day with the children for a different experience. As it was located in the slum area of Niladri Vihar, Bhubaneswar, it was quite expected the place to be not fully furnished and constructed.

Some volunteers of Bakul present there, welcomed us. All the volunteers (including us) had the same objective in mind – to make a mark of happiness in the life of these children for one day. They told us about the program which we came for and meanwhile the children started gathering. As an ice-breaker, we asked each one of them their names and with an excited squeal they all responded to us. We even introduced ourselves to them, and I was almost happily smiling when I could see the confusion in their faces upon not being able to pronounce my name.

It was great fun to see how the kids were laughing during story-telling, imitating noises of the animal characters of the story and listening with rapt attention. The next part (my favorite) was to assist the children in making colorful collage work and paper craft.

It was fun watching them cut down colorful papers (desperately trying to make it precise) and pasting it to the drawing sheets provided to them. Their faces were shining with enthusiasm; their hands filled with glue and didn’t want to stop. They were excited on finishing one part of pasting the collage and showing their achievements to each other and even to us. They were very obedient and when they were told to write their names, it was amazing to see that most of them could write in Odia and English.

We wound up for the day by playing games with them. The room was bubbling with a different kind of energy, cheerfulness and the smile in the faces of the children was priceless. We gave them refreshment boxes and clicked group selfies and photographs. It was not only the expressions of the children, but also our faces which was radiating with positive energy and smiles. We went there as volunteers to teach them something which was productive and creative and brighten their day, but instead we came back learning a lot about the traits of life. Definitely each one of us can say that this day was one of the most memorable days of our life. It was a beautiful day to cherish and something which we will look forward to again and again in the near future.

As I retired for the day, I found the answer to the question that came to my mind in the beginning of the day. God blesses the less privileged with carefree happiness and which they spread to us.

By: Lithi Lagna,
B.Com, 2nd Semester
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A Special Session

In an endeavor to expand the knowledge horizon of students beyond the syllabus, a special class was arranged on “Gulf War and Oil Crisis”.

Visuals elaborating the movement of Oil prices and its role in the economy were shown in the session. The students listened enthusiastically about how the Cold War of Middle East, Invasion of Kuwait and  Gulf War has created a created a crisis in the world market for Oil.

SICCians at Bakul’s Day of Service

SICC students took an innovative initiative to spend their time on Sunday, 25th March, 2018, at Bakul’s Foundation, Niladri Vihar, Bhubaneswar. They volunteered at the Bakul’s Day of Service to interact with the underprivileged children hailing from economically weaker background. They were overwhelmed by the happiness they found in storytelling, playing games and collage-making with these children. One of the students said, “The immense satisfaction that I found radiating in their squealing giggles and smiles, is inexpensive and unparalleled”.

Food Culture at Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar has undergone an immense evolution in the past five years to secure World Rank-19 in the list of sophisticated “Global Smart Cities”. The transformation has not come easily as it is a place portraying the rich ancient cultural heritage of Odisha, popularly known as “The Temple City”. Staying true to its tag of being “one of the thoroughly planned developing cities in India”, Bhubaneswar has been skyrocketing into the nation’s metropolitan league. Entrepreneurship, sports, tourism are some of the fields where the city has been bolstering itself as prime destination. Over time, institutes of national repute like IIT-BBSR, Institute of Physics, NISER-BBSR; top notch IT firms like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Mindfire Solutions, Mindtree, Capgemini has come up in the capital of the state. This has lead to brewing up of migrated urban population from different parts of the country.

Needless to say, this has lead to creation of vast opportunities for shops, eateries and food start-ups to prosper in the city. The food culture especially has developed into a competitive scene where eateries need to be innovative, diverse and pocket-friendly in order to thrive. KIIT square and Infocity Square are hot favourites for foodies as famous eateries, food trucks, fast food joints, momo kiosks, paani-puri stalls, noodles and omelette vendors throng the place. The crowd is perceptibly drawn by the overwhelming aroma of the place. Even though Bhubaneswar has several famous eateries scattered all around the city, it won’t be wrong to point out that KIIT area hosts the central beehive of quality eateries acting as the focal point of propagation of new food cultures.

One can get spoiled for choices of food palate as the variety of options available is luxurious. The enticing look of Shawarmas, wraps, sandwiches, momos, litti chokha, pakodas, paani-puris, omelletes, and noodles can activate ones hunger pangs even without the cooperation of digestive system. There is brilliant offering of regional cuisines like Punjabi, Gujrati, South-Indian and Marwari dishes too.

Bhubaneswar is known for its sea-food delicacies that frequently fail to make into the menus of these prime eateries. Simple staple breakfast dishes like chuda/poha, upma are not popular among these young masses. Succumbing to the flashy eateries, the small shops that serve the above are forced to shift or even shut down in most places. With development, there’s always some collateral damage; and in this case it has to be the traditional food culture of Bhubaneswar. Even though the traditional food culture is still prominent in the city, one can’t argue with the fact that it will fail to make place in the hearts of the millennials if it’s not moulded according to the fashionable and trendy culture.

Even with these challenges the city harbours restaurants, hotels, shacks, stalls and even food trucks with contrasting styles that still keeps attracting lot of people from various cultures to the capital craving for more and thereby steadily transforming it into food capital of the state.

Sulagna Pattnaik – B.Com, 2nd Semester

The Time Machine

The morning was warm, shinny and chirpy. She looked outside the window with a pale and pretentious smile. Trying very hard to absorb the warmth, but her inner ice rebelled to be melted. She wondered if she could ever feel and cherish the happiness of that spring day.

 Looking back at her laboratory, stood that giant “Magma” time machine which was the product of her toil and depression. The day was 3rd of March 2017 and she sat praying all things to go well.

Magma was her child. The only happiness a mother derives when she holds her baby for the first time alive. She wanted to experience it and she knew it was the time. The motors were switched on, the blades started rotating and now it was her chance to step into that blazing box, to revive her happiness.

She dared and stepped in. She typed in the Date & Time sector: 12th June 2007; 6:30pm. Soon after, there was a shake, a tremble and she understood nothing. Did Magma fail her? With this last thought on her mind, darkness crept in her and she lost her own motors.

“Where am I”? “Is it…”! She exclaimed looked around. It was a shabby dark cottage which was not an unfamiliar atmosphere. Her baby had given her the joy of her life. Happiness knew no bounds when she took a look at the mirror and saw her 16 year old self.

“Mama”, she heard, that voice gave her a thrill, euphoria, and she was dying to accept. It was none other than her father.

She looked back and saw the tall figure of her Dad, smiling down at her. Tears rolled up and she quickly embraced her father. She knew she did not have much time. She knew that science had given her this opportunity. “Is everything all right sweetheart?” exclaimed her father who stood perplexed not being able to understand his daughter’s outburst.

She told him nothing and kept on crying keeping her ear on his heart, because she was able to hear it beat after ten long years. They sat on the verandah and all she wanted was to hear his voice. She enjoyed each and every second that she was spending with her father.

For ten long years, every night she had hoped her father would return, that her father would ask her to straighten up her shoulder, to pull up her upper lip but now after all her toil, all her belief, all her knowledge, she achieved what she had wanted.

It was already 7pm and she knew that she would not repeat the same mistake that she had committed ten years ago. All of a sudden she remembered that her Magma would be allotting only an hour’s time in the past.

Her father looked pale and she knew what was about to happen. She took him inside and made him rest on the bed. She remembered that last time she had gone eccentric over the situation and had went out of her way to call up the nearby doctors but no one was available. This time, she dared not to commit the same mistake. Past cannot be changed. Magma had given her the chance only to visit the past but not to change it. She stayed calm.

There came the time, when it was soon about to get all over. Hari, resting on the bed, somewhere knew that the time had come. The time had come for him to leave the world. After four painful years of cardiac asthma which could not be cured in the place like Shakara, he had given up all the hope.

Deja-vu! He started calling out to her and asked her to sit beside him. She had no plans to leave and did as he told him to do.”Daddy, I know very soon everything shall be ending and you shall be leaving me. But promise me, the physical world shall not be a barrier in between us” she said. She for the last time saw her father smiling and he with a very inaudible tone said, “I shall always be on your side”. They grabbed each others’ hands. The grip was tight and painful. The pain she wanted to feel, the guilt of not being with him at his last time which had haunted and destroyed her was slowly failing. The grip loosened, he still had a smile and gaze at her.

She cried, she cried her heart out once again but this time with no guilt, less pain and peace.

It was 7:30 and she could feel the tremble and remembered that she had to return to her present. Everything disappeared she found herself back  in her laboratory.

“Thank you, my child”, she said looking at her Magma which had given her the bliss of her life.

By: Aditi Kar, B.Com 1st Year

Utkal University Topper Speaks

After completing my XII in Commerce (2014) from DPS – Kalinga as a topper, I was looking forward to get admission in a really good commerce college in Odisha for my B.Com degree course. It is in this time, that I came across SAI International College of Commerce in Bhubaneswar. I was indeed very thrilled and excited to take admission at SICC because our batch was just the third batch of this new college and we would be getting every opportunity to be trend-setters for the future generations to come.

As I am keen lover of sports, I feel that my sportsman spirit was also evolved to even greater yardsticks at SICC. Every time when I represented SICC at the University level for various sports like Volleyball, Football, Cricket, Badminton, Basketball, I realised what it feels like to be proud of one’s own educational institution. And today, I feel very privileged that SICC is my alma-mater. When I got the news of being the Accounting Honours Topper of Utkal University’s B.Com examination 2017, I was astonished to see how happy my teachers and juniors at SICC for my achievement were. Where on earth will you find a place other than home where people are more excited than you are for your achievement?

My time in SICC has been really memorable one throughout. It is true that I have spent only three years of my life here but this place has given me so much that my entire life is a too short one to repay it back. It is here that I shaped my ambitions of being a Chartered Accountant and successfully cleared my CPT and IPCC (Grp –I) exams.  It is also very disheartening for me to realise that my time in SICC is over now. Our Chairman Sir Dr. Bijoy Kumar Sahoo conscientiousness in taking the standard of commerce education to new heights in Odisha is the reason why SICC is unique from other colleges and educational institutions. And it is the sincere dedication of our Principal Sir and teachers’ that makes SICC edge on the extra mile for achieving many more glories.

I am extremely thankful to my teachers for being with me through thick and thin in studies and personal life as well. I am sure they must have had a pretty tough time with my adamant and obstinate nature.

SICC -you beauty, thanks for bearing me and yes, I have fallen in deep love with you. So keep the gates open, because my legs won’t slow down when I visit you, it’s a home away from home, Lot to learn and lot to remember. To all the SICCians – we all are destined for success.

 

Nikhil Bhushan Singh,
Utkal University B.Com Topper in Accounting Honours, 2017

UTKAL UNIVERSITY TOPPER FROM SICC SPEAKS

“You did not come this far to only come this far.”

That’s what my teachers had told me on my first day at SICC, setting me off for an epoch-making journey. My three years at SAI International College of Commerce have been the most enjoyable and endearing part of my life till now. It was everything that you would expect from a college – classes, lectures, debates, sports, fun and frolic, events, celebration, friendship. Amidst all these, I learned the most valuable lessons of my life – dedication to work, commitment to goals, lessons of gratitude, values of integrity in character, importance of a good personality. But what I cherish the most about this college is love and affection embedded in its air and gracefully painted into every inch of its canvas that builds it into the perfect epitome of Temple of Enlightenment.

When I first got the news of securing the top position in Management honours in Utkal University’s B.Com examination, my heart had no boundaries of exhilaration and delight. I immediately went to my college to share this great news and seek blessings of Chairman Sir, Principal Sir and my Teachers. The pride and elation in their beaming faces was beyond description. But one particular statement from them immensely moved me – “Manas, we were always confident that you as an alumni will make us shine in all your future achievements and glories but this stepping stone is telling us how fast your pace can be. We should be ready for more to come”. This instilled a spirit in me to crave for more and not just stop here.

It is not unusual to find the technical and materialistic support in any other college to be an achiever or topper. But the encouragement and the morale support from SICC’s pillars makes it unique and exclusive. Our revered Chairman Sir, Principal Sir and the teachers have left no stone unturned to make this place much more than a college and an ideal home for everyone. Their relentless guidance, care and trust in me helped me reach my goal. And I am sure; these will be the reasons for all my laurels yet to come.

I still treasure the words I was told on my first day here and will carry with me till the end, thus benignly nudging my brain that when it comes to dreams, that even Everest is not the limit.

Thank you SICC for everything that I have learned from you.

 

Manas Agarwal,

Utkal University B.Com Topper in Management Honours (2017)