The last Independence Day, helped me to explore myself in creating something instantly and my team to win prize for Bay Decoration. So it would definitely remain as one of my best Independence Day Celebrations. Let’s look at the details.
There was a competition held in our organization for Bay Decoration and the note was sent couple of days back that there will be prizes for the best ones and explained the rules that there should be a ‘story’ linked with the bay decoration. As everyone was busy with their tasks in hand, many ignored the mail too. I too didn’t give it much thought. On THE D-Day, I managed to dress up in striking Orange color shirt and ultra white color pant as we were also requested to come in Tri-Colors,preferably ethnic wear. But mine were formals. Just when I entered office, I realized that this year there was more participation than before and many young folks were actively decorating bays.
As I reached my cubicle, I noticed that some of my team members too brought loads of decorating materials and were trying to gather people for the decoration.
The goal was to decorate two pillars in our bay.
After seeing their enthu, I too got interested and my focus shifted to the ‘Story’ part. When I inquired about it, my team members mentioned that no one thought or discussed on it and that we’ll have to build it up on the go. Then I went back to my seat and as I was thinking about INDIA, suddenly it struck me that INDIA has DIA in it and can be read as INDIA = IN + DIA. So I quickly framed a concept: How would it be if we represent INDIA in DIA. INDIA is a vibrant country, so was our decoration material. India is shining and showering brightness to the entire world. I asked one of team members if he would draw India map with hand, and I explained him that we’ll have to depict a DIA (Lamp in Hindi Eg: Diwali lamps) inside India Map. He did a great job with it. Below the map we wrote DIA as an arc, and gave the abbreviation as:
D – Diversity, I – Integrity, A – Audacity. There were already some print outs taken in general. We picked the ones that suited the abbreviation and pasted accordingly. So one face of our pillar became very conceptual. The 2nd side was very well decorated by female staff with ribbons, print outs and decorating material justifying vibrant India.
Some guys linked Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 with a long string of small flags all through the line and also two big flags in between. This was the standing out feature of ours.
The third and fourth sides of pillar were empty by then and also Pillar 2 didn’t have much. As our output was taking shape more team members got interested and we discovered that one of the new joinees was a painter. He quickly did a free hand sketch of ‘Martyr’s Memorial’ on 3rd side and on the remaining 4th side, Mahatma Gandhiji’s posture which looks like India map. So with this our Pillar 1 was almost done.
On Pillar 2 a chakra was tried and near that people wrote ‘VANDEMATARAM’ in different languages. It was fun to look around for people from different parts of the Country to add more to the list. There was nothing much we could do on the other three sides of Pillar 2. We were running short of time and by then we had a collage of thoughts, a bit amateurish though and didn’t have a concrete theme. The responsibility of pitching to the Judging Panel was put on me.
By then people were mentioning about other bay decorations, one of them being excellent and that its going to be a sure short winner. There was a finesse artist in their team and their model was unbeatable. On the contrary ours was a mixture of many things. But we didn’t lose hope and wanted to try our best.
As the judging panel came to us, we distributed flags to all of our team members and every body started gathering near Pillar 1. I clarified the panel that I’m going go take them through our concept. We started with my loud chanting of ‘Vandemataram’ thrice and everybody echoed and sub consciously the panel too followed us. This was the Idea of the most active guy in our team, to distribute flags to all team members, gather them and say ‘Jai Hind’ when the panel arrives. I improvised it with ‘Vandemataram’ and reserved ‘Jai Hind’ for later. On seeing our coordination, Judges felt and expressed that it seems to be a good team work. We nodded in agreement with smiles.
Then I explained the panel that our Theme is ‘Vibrant India’ and so that’s why our bay is so colorful and delightful to watch. I explained them that we want to capture INDIA..in DIA depicting Vibrant India. The ‘in’ part was written as ‘I’ on left of India Map and ‘N’ on right side. That also I mentioned that they can be symbolized as 1 to N and it means that from 1st Indian to Nth Indian this is the feeling. Many were blushing because it was a last-minute improvisation 🙂
Then I clarified on the DIA part, the DIA (Diwali kind of lamp inside the India map) and the letter DIA in arch form below the map. More explanation was given on Diversity, Integrity and Audacity. I could see smiles on the panel members’ faces. I was a bit surprised that not many realized that INDIA can be represented as ‘in DIA’, and it seemed to be pretty novel by then.
With this encouragement, I requested the panel come to the other side of the pillar and while moving told them that we are able to enjoy all these because of rich history and that being the reason for us to choose the back side faces of the pillars. It was to depict the legacy behind, perfectly matching the situation. In fact it was not planned that way but as it turned out like that, we framed our story accordingly 😀 Then we ran them through interesting Gandhiji’s portrait like India Map and the Martry’s Memorial free hand sketch. We stressed on the struggle for our Independence, leadership etc.
We came back to the front face of the pillar and now I showed the panel the connecting thread of pillar 1 and pillar 2 and told them that as they can see there are many small flags and they represent the dots and that the connecting factor is ‘India’. Where ever you are India definitely acts as a Dot Connector ! Again I could see smiles on many faces. Now we moved to Pillar 2 and to my worry, there was nothing much striking done over there with the limited time we had. I just shown them that we captured VANDEMATARAM written in different languages and with out me hinting now the panel moved towards the other faces of the pillar 2. I was about to tell them that it’s the end of the story but as I moved along with them, noticed that some body had pasted some printouts there and I wasn’t aware of them. Those were the pictures about the problems of the India like pot holes, bribe..etc. The panel asked me why we have captured problems and I was stumped by this sudden surprise and quickly made up for it and clarified that we wanted to capture other side of INDIA and so chose the other Pillar 🙂
Having noticed that Panel kind of accepted this justification, I took some liberty and elaborated it that we have rich heritage behind, India is shining and so many wonderful things happening but that’s only one side of India and this is the other side where we also have tough challenges to deal with. The judges looked convinced. Then I didn’t want to stretch it more and loudly said ‘Jai Hind’ thrice and it was echoed by our battalion of team members who were following the entire pitch.
The idea was to frame a story about colorful decoration: Vibrant India represented as INDIA in DIA. ‘in’ representing ‘1’ to Nth Indian, D-Diversity, I-Integrity, A-Audacity. With Gandhiji’s picture and Martyr’s Memorial we captured rich heritage on the behind faces of the pillar. With the connecting thread of Pillar 1 and 2, we symbolized it to Dot Connector. On Pillar 2, we wrote ‘VANDEMATARAM’ in different languages and on the other faces, different problems in India depicting the other side of India.
So we were able to give justification for almost everything 🙂
Interestingly amidst tough competition, we won second prize and we were on cloud nine for the awesome feat. We knew that the first prize team was invincible with their sheer brilliance of art and execution of their concept. Ours was not expected as there were many other good contenders.
In our case, most of the things emerged as impromptu. This was one memorable experience where with good coordination of team members, creativity, spontaneity excitement at work and finally a stroke of luck made us victorious. Cherish it !