Journal

Inter IISER Sports Meet (IISM) 2013

IISM

In 2012 IISER Kolkata took the initiative of organizing a sports meet of all the five IISERs and NISER. It was done on a small scale due to lack of proper infrastructure. Yet, it turned out to be a great success and became a yearly event. This year (2013), it was Pune’s turn at hosting and around 90 students from Kolkata set out after our end semester exams. IISER Pune is known to be ahead in development, so I had high expectations. The 32-hour long train journey turned out to be really fun, as we practically had more than an entire coach to ourselves.

IISM events

Events:

  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Basketball boys’
  • Basketball girls’
  • Volleyball boys’
  • Volleyball girls’
  • Badminton boys’
  • Badminton girls’
  • Table Tennis boys’
  • Table Tennis girls’
  • Kabbadi
  • Kho-Kho
  • Throwball girls’
  • Chess
  • Athletics:
    • 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m
    • 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay
    • Shotput, Discus, Javelin, Long jump

IISER Pune’s campus is really impressive. It has about 99 acres of land, which is quite small compared to its sister institutes, but it makes it up by being in the middle of the city. Theaters and malls are within a few minutes’ distance, which is a great advantage to have. The labs and lecture halls look top-notch and the hostels are nothing short of 4-star hotels, with remarkably well-furnished rooms and hi-tech facilities like motion-activated lights in hallways. With pleasant hills in the background and the modern themed architecture, IISER Pune might just be one of the best campuses around within few years.

All of us were satisfied. We were also provided excellent food throughout our stay. The opening ceremony was grand, with a march by all the contingents of the six institutes in presence of a marching band, army representatives and the chief guest (who is a Chess GM!). I think IISER Pune successfully gave it the feeling of a national event, despite the current construction drawbacks.

During the opening ceremony.
During the opening ceremony

In spite of all this, I would say that IISM 2013 was a major setback compared to the first IISM because of some fundamental problems. The very idea of IISM (I think) was to bring together students from the six colleges so that they can form connections among themselves, see how things are progressing in the other institutions (all of them being newly established), have a brief break from the hectic coursework, and have fun competing in different sports. None of these happened.

The reasons: playing conditions weren’t up to the mark in some sports, there were serious problems between contingents (by that, I mean everyone was furious at the behavior of IISER Mohali students), and the pooling was apparently rigged by the organizers. [Some complaints by people can be found on this page: link]

The worst was after the boys’ volleyball match, where we lost to IISER Mohali and the Mohali guys got obnoxious and verbally abused some of the girls from our college, and it almost escalated to a fight between the Kolkata and Mohali contingents. The next day, the Mohali guys were jeering Bhopal’s team during the final match, which resulted in a direct smash on the face of one of the guys in the audience.

But personally speaking, it was a great experience. I’ve never felt such adrenaline rushes ever, or supported any team so strongly. I’m talking about the football matches. Shouting and cheering from the sidelines and dancing up and down after a goal are all very new to me. I don’t intend to make a habit of it, but it was a hell lot of fun.

IISERK Football Team with their coach
IISER-K Football Team with their coach

I was there to play chess, and there’s no scope for disagreements or complaints in it. I was excited to be among 24 chess players, all of whom were very good.  I knew I’ll lose when I saw them memorizing stuff from fat chess books before the match. The chess schedule was very hectic, with six hours of chess every day. I ended up with two losses and two draws, but I think I played to my full current potential and hence I’m not too disappointed. All the players seemed beatable (except one player from Pune), which has given me a much-needed reason to learn chess properly before the next IISM.

IISER Kolkata (the overall winner of IISM 2012) won very few medals this time due to a mixture of bad luck and lack of practice. We showed dominance only in table tennis. Hopefully, we’ll perform better next time.

IISERK Contingent
Us, on the last day

IISM 2014 will be held in IISER Mohali, and many people from our college are apprehensive about going. I hope these petty problems resolve themselves soon. As someone famous once said, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

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