This week’s topic: My tryst with World Konkani Center.
Hello and welcome to the first ever episode of Shri’s Podcast. I plan to use this space for many different reasons: Primarily, to develop a skill that I love and haven’t been practicing a lot: Writing.
Secondly, to put up my thoughts in a very casual and random way not worrying about being judged or worrying about regular content. Having said that, I definitely want to put out a ‘Lokabhiraam’ aka Podcast episode on any hot topic of that week (or maybe not). Lastly, and this is a bit selfish, to get my team and myself up on the leader board. Okay, enough chatter, let’s get into it.
World Konkani Centre. WKC. An institution that many of us call home. I admit, I, like a lot others, didn’t know much about WKC until the day I became a part of it, and have been really proud of the fact that I am ever since that day. Here is a small story of how I came to know about the organisation and grew fond of it. I have omitted out minor details so as to not bore y’all. Enjoy :)
I was done with my 12th Examinations and was quite certain I will be pursuing engineering, even though that wasn’t one of my initial choices for a carrier. I had a considerably good score in both, my 12th as well as I my entrance exams, so we started looking for possible scholarships to ease out on a bit of finances. My uncle, who was from Bantwal, sent us an entire list of available scholarships for every field out there from a lot of institutions around the country. My dad went through most of them, checking them out and applying wherever we could. He knew very well that some of these could just be just fake institutions waiting to scam people, so he was very careful. My dad told me about World Konkani Centre among few others where we had applied. Frankly, nothing struck me then, I wasn’t sure whether I would be selected in any one of those. I was just enjoying the 3-month long, no-tension vacation, playing online games with my friends, eating, enjoying and mostly just sleeping all day. I was least concerned about my college admission at that time, let alone the scholarships.
I still remember the date, strangely: August 20th 2019. I received a forwarded mail from my dad from World Konkani Centre which said that I had been shortlisted, even then, I wasn’t particularly very excited, as I was worried about whether I would or not be able to complete the terms and conditions they specified in the email. Nonetheless, I still didn’t feel anything special about the fact that I was shortlisted as a scholar of an institution that was very soon about to change my life.
As fate would have it, the day the scholarship was to be disbursed, I had my first internal exam at college ever. On 25th August 2019. I was in a dilemma. I had to choose between I should be attending the ceremony and skip my first 2 papers or answer the papers and skip the ceremony totally. Since collecting it later was not an option, the choice was even more difficult. Upon my father’s advice, I went and spoke to my HOD who luckily allowed me skip the examinations on the first day but on a condition that I re answer them at the end of the semester. I was happy, but also nervous since I had to return back from Mangalore soon after the Scholarship Disbursement Ceremony and had 2 more papers to answer the very next day. Nonetheless, I still left for Mangalore, with all the books I needed to study, in case I found time en route. Which, as you can guess, I didn’t.
The ceremony was to be held at T.V. Raman Pai Convention Centre. A place I had never been to before. I reached there around 10 minutes late. The first thing that hit me was the grandness the venue. It was massive! The decoration was not only beautiful, but also very professional and corporate and it hit me then. “This will be the first experience of something very special in life, live it to the fullest!” My brain said.
I completed my registration and was very surprised by the amount of professionalism there was, something you don’t get to see much of at such ceremonies. I was then asked to have my breakfast, and that was when my heart and stomach confirmed my brain’s observations. “This is going to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made”, they said. I knew it!
Soon after, the main part of the ceremony began: The formal function and disbursement ceremony. There were many really great people who talked there and enlightened us, like Vaman Shenoy maam and Ramdas Kamath maam and many more whom I didn’t really know that they were the gears that ran this beautiful organisation that I will grow to love most dearly. When I did, I was upset that I didn’t pay more attention to what they had to say and missed a chance to interact with them and get to know them better. But I still had a lot of time and was certain I will definitely get to meet them and know them soon.
Soon enough, the scholarships were disbursed to every single person on stage. Yes! Every single person was asked to get on the stage and collect their cheques. There are institutions out there who send their scholarship cheques via post, let alone organise a function for the same. Even if they do, they would call only the first few students on stage and just distribute remaining later. The fact that there was no such discrimination within the scholars themselves, felt really good (And yes, we weren’t just ‘students’ or ‘recipients’, we were referred to as ‘Scholars’ which itself felt very special).
After the disbursement ceremony, we were asked to have lunch, and by now I was pretty sure that whenever it came to food, there would be no compromises with regards to anything at all. And very true to that, we had the best Konkani style food ever! Complete with Pathrado, Dalithoy and Taak. By now everyone who was new had realised that the journey from here on, would be the best. Everyone was eager for the Orientation program that was supposed to be held after the program so we could get to know more.
During the orientation program, all the senior scholars sat one side with Sahanakka, opposite to all the new scholars and their parents and answered all questions and doubts we might have had very nicely and calmly. They also told us about the terms and conditions in detail and why they were important and how they would in turn benefit us to learn more and grow with others! I was really impressed by the way that they answered every question clearly and patiently. We were looking forward for the camps that were supposed to follow, the first one being in December. But that’s a story for some another day. My first tryst with WKC was something I will remember and cherish for a long, long time. I feel extremely lucky for having been selected to be a part of this beautiful organisation and will forever be grateful for the people who made it possible.
(And yeah, as you might have guessed, the 2 papers the next day went miserably.)
Thank you so much for listening to my banter. If you have any feedback, please feel free to leave it down below in the comments section or ping me personally. I’d be more than happy to improve and get better. Also, if you have any suggestions on what is should write next, do let me know about that as well.
Until next time,