Welcome to Master’s

You realize you have ‘grown up’ when suddenly you are using a sketchbook instead of your laptop, using colour pencils after spending years with oils and canvasses, and the film that is screened for you in class is Toy Story! Aaah…Welcome to Master’s!

“Have you seen Toy Story?” the professor asked me.
I replied in the affirmative.
“Still you must watch it again. Please enter your class for the screening.”

Having just seen “The Pixar Story” a few minutes back, I was all the more interested in watching Toy Story, the world’s first ever 3D computer animated feature film and of course, a product of ‘the’ Steve Jobs company.

Main Building- AJK MCRC, JMI. When I wrote my previous blog entry and realised that I do not have any photo of my college to include,
I made sure on Day 1 that I click this picture.
This was a couple of days back, on my Day 3 as a student of AJK Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia.
When I wrote my last blog entry, a day before my first day at Jamia, my senior from MBICEM and now from my course at Jamia, tipped me: “When you enter your classroom just look left and you'll see something familiar! Its not that big but would be a feelgood thing for you i guess...” Although I did make a good guess to what this ‘feelgood thing’ might be, for the first time I felt the urge to enter my classroom ASAP and check this out. So the next day I entered my class for the first time, turned my vision left and spotted the bulletin boards with loads of drawings, sketches and illustrations on it. What caught my attention was the single poster in the centre of the board. A poster of some internet safety campaign that was hiding the treasure behind it- First Frame’s poster! And I was like WOW! (And also- “Who the hell thought anything else was more important than First Frame that they superimposed another poster on top of it?”)

The bulletin board inside my classroom with the latent First Frame poster on it
“You are no longer kids. You are now post-graduate students. Not school. Not undergraduate. I expect I am talking to adults”, the professor said. With these lines I was welcomed into the big guys’ league on August 1 as I sat there in the Animation Lab, my to-be classroom for the coming two years. As the day progressed, the customary introduction session took place. I was introduced to my class of 20 students- each one from a diverse background- mostly from Fine Arts courses and some from Animation, Geography and Mass Communication (me), we had cleared all the hurdles to be the first batch to get ourselves a seat in India’s first two year full time Master’s course in Visual Effects and Animation at one of the most prestigious Mass Communication institutes of the country. Truly, the first day at a new place, with no one who knows you or no one who you know, when everything is being introduced to you and you get to make an impression about yourself the way you want it to- that’s a completely awesome feeling. You know you are among equals- because everyone else is as nervous or as scared as you are!

Lunch time- I enter the MCRC canteen and take a look at the menu. Chicken biryani for 25 bucks and thaali for just 20 bucks! How on earth? I am left bewildered by the cheap prices! The menu makes me happy- After 3 years, I no longer need to have the same rajma-chawal, chhole-chawal, chhole-kulche or samosas and bread pakoras for lunch! Now I can have normal ‘non-tandoori’ rotis and sabzis. Full-hearted lunch every day, I say to myself.

“Get your pullovers, jackets and sweatshirts and keep them here. When the workstations are running, none of the ACs can be switched off, even in the peak of the winters”, we were told one afternoon when the first requests to turn off a few ACs were made after we had spent a few long minutes braving the chill while watching the screening of a film in class.

We got to know about our faculty- ones who worked on the Visual Effects in the ad for Pepsi’s launch in India, the ones who animated the old Doordarshan montage of an animated elephant, with children riding it, walking and its trunk opening into a red carpet film roll, the ones who directed All Out’s initial ‘frog tongue eats mosquitos at the window’ ad, or the ones who were the visual effects supervisor in films like Trimurti. I did take the opportunity to boast about all this to anyone who would bother to listen, exactly as I am doing right now and you are reading! ;)

The professors gave us a list of stationery items to be bought for the upcoming classes that included colour pencils, oil pastels, sketching pads, drawing board etc. When I told my father about this, he was quick to remark and ask, “Are you going to school again?” And I had no denial! Haha…

The Animation Lab and my classroom. The poster proclaiming India's first MA in Visual Effects & Animation can not be missed! ;)

The inside of the Main building as seen from the entry of the Animation Lab
We were taken on a tour of the MCRC campus the other day. This was something I was really looking forward to. I wanted to see the studios, the production facilities and everything else. ‘Professional quality’ they are, I had heard. As we made our way through the corridors of the building to the two HD studios, the PCRs, the green-screen lighting studio and the media library, I was awed once and twice and so many more times. As my batchmates were aroused by curiosity to know how these big cameras function or what are all the controls at the PCR or what that mirror-like camera (the teleprompter :P) is, for the first time I felt an unusual sense of confidence- here is something I know that nobody else seems to understand! This should be fun! :D

It’s been hardly a week at this new place. I am almost done with my first assignment- that of making a flipbook. As we left the class yesterday, the professor wished us, ‘Eid Mubarak’. We all replied in a chorus, ‘Same to you Maam’. This was the moment when I smiled as I realized that for the first time in so many years of education, I had witnessed this greeting. I am sure in the coming days there is going to be a lot to explore at Jamia. New people, new holidays, new experiences, and so many ‘first-times’. This is going to be fun! ;)


  1. You are going to be in company of celebrities in next two years. Learn the art of becoming a celebrity from them. That will help you achieve your dreams.

    1. Hahaha...let's see what these two years actually result in... I better not think about later right now! :D


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