Arena Kankurgachi – III

My Project Work : Lets find out the Common Man!


In yet another of my endeavors, I came up with a Project idea –Lets find out the Common Man!


Well, I used to tell students on how to go about the Project and the students started showing their enthusiasm as well. Suddenly I saw things fizzle out ! Later I found out that certain faculties were ridiculing the Project idea and were discouraging the students from doing it. I had asked for Boss’s approval. He had read it and even approved it. I had even sent a specially made letter to the database from Book Fair – Boss had read and even invested on the same – I got it offset printed and sent the Bookfair addresses – Sir gave Rs.800/- for postage etc. But he had mentioned one thing beforehand : Aparna , this will not work. Kolkata book fair people will never understand what you are trying to tell. I had asked him to give it a try. I, in fact wanted the entire Arena to get involved in the Project. For this Boss had asked me to meet Mr. Manish Srivastava – The then Arena Head who used to sit at the Regional Office. I went to RO for a meeting . Spoke to Mr Srivastava about the project – he did not approve of it. Just remarked that it’s a good idea – and the fact  that I had written it wholeheartedly ….lots of emotions involved….that’s all !


I sent a mail to Mr. Dharmesh Kashyap – a Head Office HR fellow – who used to send occasional emails to the Counselors on ‘Effective Performance’ . After reading my project he had replied : We want evolution. Not Revolution!

So folks , if you have the brains – do read the Project Outlined in my site – and let me know what was so revolutionary about it !!

Anyways, we were having a lot of power cut in our Kankurgachi premises – Boss had asked the Faculties to sit and discuss with the students some Projects that they can do, motivate them etc.

Power cuts were often happening – I used to go and speak to the students about how to get a more professional look and feel in their designs and other project works… but most of the faculties used to just go and chill themselves – gossiping & smoking – and in fact ridiculing the fact that I was taking the class ! Such utterly sloppy, non-ambitious, demotivated people they were !(deep sigh)….Anyways now when I look back I think they were right afterall – there is no point doing any extra effort – it has ZERO Value. Absolutely ZERO.


My seminar at IIAS, ICMRD at Ultadanga – and the eventual failure :

In yet another episode, I suddenly met an ex-NIIT faculty at a Career Fair (Ice Skating Rink) – Mr. Debi Prosad – he had left NIIT because of mismanagement and ill-treatment from them and boy!…. he had some hatred for NIIT !

He had taken the address of my whereabouts and suddenly he visited me at Arena. He was at IIAS – some organizer in-charge over there. He came seeking Arena’s sponsorship for the Annual Fest of IIAS at Kalamandir – in exchange of which – he will let us distribute leaflets at the Kalamandir premises and let us hold 3 seminars on Multimedia & Animation at IIAS and give us the database of students who had passed out from Public Relations from IIAS.

Since he was known to me , I requested Boss to sponsor it.

Boss said : Aparna – nothing happens in such fests – its just a waste.

My face fell.

Seeing my enthusiasm though, Boss said : Its okay Aparna – Take the cheque (Rs.6000/-)– but mark my words – it will be a sure shot failure.

You bet it was !!

After the occasion – I could not get Mr. Debi Prosad on line. After that he said – students are going to have exams so they are not keen – after that very reluctantly he gave me a date and asked me to meet him.

I went to IIAS and asked for the PR database – he fell from the sky : What database?! I never said anything like that sort ! His colleague who had accompanied him – some Ganguly chap(very tall and very fair, red lips) faltered – because when I had asked him , he had nodded and said –Yeah! I’ll just give you – but suddenly Debi Prosad’s reaction of not knowing anything about it embarrassed him.

I did not fight for it – because I wanted a seminar date . Somehow – as if he was doing me a great favour – by having taken Rs.6000/- from me – he gave me a single date – instead of 3 dates. On top of that he again began to give me yet another dhanda (business deal) of calling some bloke he knows who can take a proper Seminar with questionnaire etc. – gosh! Some cheek he had!

I went back to office and told them about the seminar. No big deal. I was to take my own PC and cd – IIAS would just provide me with a Projector (Oh! Gosh I was honored). I took a cab. One colleague came with me – connected the computer in their Seminar Room. Went back to Arena and asked me to give him a call when the Seminar was over .

In the mean while Debi Prosad was no where in the scene . Came to know that he had left IIAS…and guess what – He had joined back NIIT !!back to pavilion – the same pavilion he despised so much !! So this was the reason of his nonchalant attitude –  he was least interested for fixing up the the seminar date for IIAS. Anyways – the new person in charge told me thusly:


New person: Madam , you know the students nowadays – how they speak and behave – when they were told that a person is coming for a seminar from Arena – they said – From Arena – coming to sell the course – we’ll not buy! Ask her to get lost (…well something to that effect).

I went to the class – there were some 35 students – instead of the promised 50 – 60 students! I started the seminar in a very light note – asked them individually – about their Likes and dislikes etc. made it very interesting – but it did not matter much to them. They were already pursuing a course in IIAS. I casually asked them – what is the full form of the building they come to daily – ICMARD – out of the 35 students only 2 could give the proper reply – so very bright huh!!

On top of that – after one hour of the Seminaar – suddenly I saw some 15 students get up and leave abruptly – saying they have a class to attend !! So basically they were just fillers – he (New Person) must have plead them to be at the Seminar !! So eventually I took the details of 15 IIAS students. So what did I get out of Rs.6000/-?  15 proper addresses and out of which NO ONE Joined.

Inference: Boss is actually always right.


Uneesh – Kudi Interview:


Here is my experience with a Lady Reporter from Uneesh- Kudi (an ABP Publication). It was Biswa-karma puja on that day – we usually leave very early as there are no classes held on that day. This Lady called up and asked me to give an Interview about Arena Courseware and Career Prospects along with Photos etc. I agreed and stayed back late for her.

She took my Interview – lasted for some 3 hours. She asked for my photograph – said she would come yet again and take other details – I burnt a cd for her – gave her all the information. She was very happy. I was very happy.

BUT …the happiness was short lived !

The magazine was published. The address of Arena Head Office was given as Arena Chowringhee (a franchisee who blatantly lies about the fact that it is the Main Centre – whereas the fact is that we all are Franchisee) !!

Boss called me.

Boss: Aparna, Arena Chowringhee is the Head Office of Arena ? Is that what you have told the Reporter ?!

I fell from the sky! Why on earth would I say such a stupid thing ?! If I had to say something – I would have obviously said – Kankurgachi is the Head Office.

Boss showed me the magazine. There it was – Clearly written on top – Head Office Arena Multimedia – the Blasted Name & Address!!

I rang up the Reporter. She seemed unperturbed – kind of – so ?! what’s the big deal?! To err is human….she then said – actually I gave it to the Editor and Editor gave it to the Clerk and clerk gave it to the …blah blah …so I believe she had written her report with Vanishing Ink – so the Head Office address automatically changed to Arena Chowringhee !! I am sure there is some Politics involved in this !…While I was being interviewed, I had got a call from the Head Office infact…and I had casually mentioned that I was being interviewed by a Lady from ABP….somehow I feel that got leaked….and the rest of it became a STORY!

Anyways, the Reporter said that in their forthcoming Issue – they will write it in the ‘Errors’ section. Okay. Bye.

But Harm was already done . It was not essential that the one who bought the special career edition of Uneesh – Kudi will also buy the next edition!!

I was then told never to handle any Interview – and to divert them (dumb-dull headed bimbo Reporters)  to the Head Office !!


Another lesson learnt : Reporters are basically dumb & dull headed irresponsible creatures. It’s best to Stay away from them.


A TV channel covering on Careers in Kolkata – An Approach:


A yet another episode – this time a Lady came with a proposal of giving sponsorship for a TV Programme on Careers in Kolkata – since it was just in a beginning phase she gave us a good deal.

After discussiong with Sir, I made the letter of understanding – some 24 exposures of Arena Kankurgachi  Advertisement for a measly amount – some 1400/-(I do not remember) but it was a good deal!

After signature, Boos rang up to confirm from The Head, Regional Office – and he denied point blank – did not give any permission! So we had to call it off because it was not in the Protocol to give individual advertisement.

I was sad because I had made a good rapport with the Lady and things had been more or less finalized!

That very Sunday – Arena Chowringhee covered a half an hour programme on itself! Whatever happened to Protocol!? The head of Chowringee, I believe, asked for an apology in the next meeting. But what about the rate of increase in his enquiry numbers and admission numbers and the month end billing?!

They made good billing amount that month – and we were called for explanation as to why our Billing was poor! Strange are the ways of the World ! TV – the most effective medium of Information – shows Arena Chowringhee for solid half an hour – so? They will not reap the benefits? They had paid for the advts. so they will benefit. Period.

 Digi-quake – The Turning Point of my Career Behavior :

Boss was unhappy about the fact that nothing lively was happening in Arena and that we had become dead people – Nisesh and I – took up the challenge  of  Organizing the Event. Boss said that the budget would be Rs.15,000/-.

I did a grave mistake here. I , unknowingly invited over yet another faculty – Mr. Y – whom I thought to be very nice …but I was wrong!! Nisesh showed instant dislike to my step – he knew him well – he was the same person who was more bothered to oil his own Business and he was the one who spread the attitude among other colleagues like: work only for what you are paid Boss will not crown you if you work extra. He had joined as a faculty – while still a B.Sc. Student – ie. Very young. But his teaching skills were good. I never got any complaint from any student against him.. till that date – so thought him to be good. And he was the same person who had snubbed me while I was trying to Head the Arena Portfolio Project.

Anyways – he began to Lead the Project – he began to sort out Artworks – very arbitrarily – he was choosing artworks –he was focusing more on his students – he was not letting any other Faculty meddle in selection process – Others in the Administration were Least bothered about what was going on – Me and Nisesh went to the Hall (Debomita House) and booked the hall.

Choices were to be made from Audio- visual Project Works as well.Mr. Y was selecting only His Student’s work. I suggested one work which I personally like a lot. He rejected it. The reason – He hates that student !

Now that was ridiculous ! I could not tolerate this politics ! I wanted that work to be in the Audio-visuals – I quickly put it in the folder in his absence – much to the discontentment of others as well!

Why were they against him?! Because he was rather smart – and he could speak good, fluent English! Yes – that’s it! A smarter person always created unrest among the mediocre Faculties (not all faculties – those who knew their skills and were confident about their knowledge had stronger personalities – I had seen it !) Probably an inferiority complex – because  at heart they knew the necessity of fluent English – which most of them lacked. Faculties – who were mature were obviously not affected by it – but then we had many immature faculties – remember all fresh Graduates ?

Guess what – Boss selected his work – because it was very well made. When Mr. Y came to know of this – he showed me his irritated attitude ! …& I do not like to see Attitudes.

We called over  a Student’s Meet – all students assembled – before I or Nisesh could take over and distribute the function – like distributing cards, volunteering etc. Mr. Y began to speak – he started with a bored expression and kind of gave the indication that – it’s just another ‘wasteful effort’ Project …and  the meeting was over in 15 minutes!! – everything was happening arbitrarily – students went back – I was not getting any confidence in the work. The program was to be held on 31st Aug and 1 Sep. On 29thAug, Boss called for a meeting. He started questioning us.

Where are the certificates?

Where are the medals ?

Who is coming to inaugurate?

When ?

The rest of the members were dumb founded. Looking blankly at Boss. Boss’s irritation was but natural. He then distributed the jobs. This saved the Function to some extent.

Mr. Y & Nisesh decorated the entire night with a couple of other students.

Still – on the day of the occasion – I was taken aback by seeing the number of Spot lights ! It seemed that all the spot lights available in Kolkata were there in Debomita hall!! – and that increased the budget tremendously! No one had any clue – I believe – whoever went to order for the Spot lights – just went and said – ‘Let there be Lights !’ and came back – talking constantly on the cell phone I’m sure –  obviously the Decorators would give as many lights as possible – they just want to make money !! Had this been some personal work – that very person would had taken the ‘hisaab’ of every plastic chair, table and lights ordered….but this payment was not going from his pocket – so it did not really matter!

I had made the Function chart – given time to show each presentation. Mr. Y and a couple of his students took over the dias !! Again arbitrary projection of Audio-visuals took place.

Other students started showing me their irritation – they had called their Parents at the particular time – as given in the Time Schedule – thinking that their work will be shown – they started coming and asking me – Madam – why do you have this Time Schedule – when no one is following it !! Really madam – Arena Dhanya ho !!- sarcastic remarks started pouring from all sides – my irritation was rising to the great heavens – but I could not show it ! who would I show my irritation to?

In the time being – Boss called for a meeting. He pointed out that the budget of Rs.15,000/- had gone up to Rs.30,000/- ! He said he wanted an explanation.

My mood was terribly upset. Prize distribution happened. Somehow things were managed. The joke of the day was – Me and Nisesh – who were the ones who initiated the show were the last ones to be called ! and rest of the others – non –participants – were standing in the front row – as if they had done all the work !


Anyways , I decided along with Nisesh and Mr. Y that we would compensate the overflow of Rs.15,000/- by giving Rs.5000/- each!

Boss felt very insulted at this – his face had turned red upon hearing our proposal! Somehow an enquiry walked in then and I went to handle it. Later I came to know that Sir has forgotten all about it.

But Boss’s irritation was written large on his face. He was finding faults with anything I did .. I decided to quit Arena. I told him so. He readily accepted my resignation proposal ! I fell from the sky !

He was ready to throw me out ! I could not believe my ears !! Me ?! Who had brought in so much of Corporate culture in his office ?!

Me!? who was among one of those enthusiastic employees who implemented his ideas and made people work for the same!

Me?! who did his work almost instantaneously – and according to his standards!!

Me!? Who did not have any boy friend or other family problem – and who did not waste his resources by making personal phone calls that lasted for minimum 1 hour!

Me !? He was ready to throw me out?!

And he was ready to keep people-

~ who worked as if they were doing a great favor to him !

~Who showed their attitude to students – because of which the Arena reputation was going down from bad to worse!

~Who just barely moved an inch and elaborated that ‘single inch’ movement with such an utterly boring detail that anyone could take a rebirth in that span of time !

I was perturbed. Anyways , I decided to leave – it was my choice – no one forced me – so I decided to leave by the end of the month. In the mean time I was updating E-Cas – which had not been taken care of properly because of Digi-quake function.

Then one day – Boss himself came to my cabin – and confessed that he had been very rude & snappy  in the past couple of days and that he had lost some lakhs in the OCR-BPO business he had invested in. He then said – he wanted me in his team and asked me not to leave.


I agreed to stay back. But I was a changed person.

I went and told him what happened behind his back :

Every detail. Including non-veg jokes  and the humiliating remarks that were being made at me whenever I took up some responsibility.

Visit Multimedia project work that I made for my students.

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