A Mother's Institute through the eyes of the Daughter
By Urvi Pillai
I used to hear a lot about 'IndSearch' from my mother who is an alumna of the Institute. She always talked about its unique design, how it extended into its vibrant culture of open communication. I always thought she was exaggerating.
Luckily for me I got a chance to visit the institute while my mother was invited to interact with the MBA students. She had mentioned the institute had grown into two Campuses now unlike during her time. Both the campuses of IndSearch (on Law College Road and the one in Bavdhan) are unconventional and uniquely designed. I will now take you all on a written journey through both the campuses.
As you drive on Law college road there is a building that catches everyone's eye instantly. People call it the "vibrantly coloured building". In a city full of dull old dark buildings there stands this extremely vibrant and bright building all on its own. I can't speak for everyone but it definitely put a smile on my face. In a sunny city like Pune a building as bright as this one seems 5 times brighter than it really is, making up for the lack of colour in the surrounding buildings.
I know my writing makes this place seem less of an educational institution and more of a children's play area but that's the beauty of it. When you're studying for a degree like MBA or an under graduate course this added colour helps reduce stress. . As you walk into the building the quirkyness doesn't reduce it actually magnifies. You climb the first flight of stairs and it's like walking into a game of Mario where different levels on the screen are connected with a flight of stairs. Each flight of stairs is a different colour either blue,red,green or yellow. With all these different levels and different colours you might think that each floor would be suffocating but actually its smart design and use of natural light makes it spacious.
Each room connects to the other like a tiny maze and each classroom only has optimum number of tables ensuring that teachers have a closer connection with their students. Moreover, even if the number of students in a class is small the class size is as big as our school classrooms. This institution has a board room, classrooms, a canteen and a library. Even though they have large number of rooms the colour scheme and their smart use of space remains constant. It's like the institute USP , maybe that's why the students that graduate from this institution are so good at proving themselves to be different from the crowd, like my mother.
I would have to say that my favourite room was the library. I do have a history of loving libraries, on account of me being somewhat of a book worm . Put me in a room full of books and I would be the most content one, but there was something completely different about this library. Maybe it was the kind librarian or maybe it was the fact that from the library you could see what felt like the rest of pune or maybe it was the fact that even in a small room like the library they had managed to use steps to show an elevated platform for the students to study and yet the library did not feel overcrowded. I have fallen in love with this campus, with its witty architecture, its natural colour scheme, its use of space and its staff members.
As if it wasn't enough that the colour scheme of the institution managed to make you smile and feel warm the staff members and so approachable that the smile on your face only grows longer. If my description of the Law college road campus made you want to visit it and fall in love with it, wait till I tell you about the Bavdhan campus.
At first while driving towards it you feel like you're driving into a forest, as a girl who was brought up in the city, the vast amount of greenery was definitely refreshing. I couldn't help but imagine how beautiful it would be during a rainfall . The slight pitter patter of the rain and the smell of rain hitting the dry soil lingering in the atmosphere, driving to this institution in the rain would definitely be my kind of heaven. The only problem would be that I wouldn't want to leave the outdoors.
As you approach the campus this building is not coloured in different colours, this building is made solely of bricks but the structure sure is impressive. At first glance I felt like I was approaching Hogwarts if Hogwarts were in Pune. Before anything else the first thing anyone notices is the tall tower like structure to the right of the building. With sun shining brightly it took my eyes a few seconds to adjust but as my vision got clearer I started to notice a shadow in the shape of a huge bell. That's when it struck me; it was a mini Big Ben! For a second I thought that my eyes and the sun's rays were playing a cruel trick on me but no, it was indeed a mini Big Ben. This place could not get any cooler.
Walking towards the entrance the steps that needed to be climbed were wide which in my opinion gave the building a lot more prominence. I have always felt that all the important buildings have very wide steps to reach their entrances and that adds on to the building's importance. Don't be disappointed the main building may not be coloured but the intelligent design remains constant. As you get onto the floor which are on the same level as the main entrance the flooring sure looks like granite so I get prepared to walk carefully so I don't slip but as I take one step, my foot has perfect grip. They might have used granite but it sure didn't feel like I was walking on granite. That's when I realised they had used granite but they had also made sure that they used a flame to make the smooth granite floor rough for more friction. Its small things like this that make this institution so different from the rest of them, they think about the little things that matter. For example if a student is late for a lecture and decides to run across the granite flooring isin't it a good thing that the floor has been made so rough making it safer to run across?
Finally on entering the building it felt like the old Indsearch again. The colour scheme was back. The large amount of open space was back and the smart use of space and staircases was back to. In this building there were three floors and each floor's railing was coloured blue, green or yellow. There was something this campus had that the other one didn't; the use of ramps on each floor and a lift. It portrays the fact that the institution thinks of ways to make the entire experience of learning there easier on everyone.
The architecture of this campus is truly one of a kind, from the outside the building looks impressive but at the same time looks nothing out of the ordinary. However the minute you walk in, you realise that this building is not ordinary at all. The architect has managed to pick out famous landmarks from different countries and incorporate them into this campus's design. For example, the "mini Big Ben". Now standing inside while admiring the colour scheme of the different floors I look up and notice that the ceiling is made of glass. I bet you're thinking the ceiling is made of glass, what is so interesting about that? I mean everybody has a skylight these days. That's when I realised, what makes this ceiling so special is not the material that's been used to make it, but what inspired the design. After looking at the ceiling I quickly looked around to make sure that I was still in Pune and not at the Louvre in Paris. The ceiling's design was so intelligent because on one hand it is very aesthetically pleasing and on the other hand it provides so much natural light, that I don't think you would even need a light in the main building during the day time.
While going through the class rooms, I got the opportunity to visit the auditorium. As expected it has the usual stage, podium and seating. However going by the USP of the institute, the quirkiness is got through the coloured seating which matches with the colour combination across floors. Greenery, open spaces and the conservation of the environment it extremely important to everyone at Indsearch therefore it makes complete sense that this institution has a big Biodiversity close by. The drive to the Biodiversity was again like driving through a forest, but it was much more intense this time as the road was narrower and steeper. The trees looked like they were giving us shelter from the concrete world.
On arriving at the Biodiversity we got out of the car and I took a deep breath in, the air seems fresher, cleaner and almost lighter. We began taking a walk around, I was surprised to see a basketball court in a Biodiversity but after thinking about it, it actually made sense. Playing a tiring sport like basketball on a court where the air is so clean and so fresh must be a great experience.
A Biodiversity obviously implies that no structure or flora is destroyed or planted respectively. This was perfect for the open air theatre which is also found in the Biodiversity. The natural gradient of the land helped them build the steps where people could sit and easily see the stage. Moreover just like the "mini Big Ben" and the glass ceiling even the open air theatre reminds you of a structure from a land far away, namely Rome. Just looking at the open air theatre gives you a gladiator vibe. This is where they host all their student events including the annual alumni meet.
It wouldn't be a Biodiversity without some classrooms where students can make observations. Each of these classrooms had a lot of information about the different types of flora and fauna found in the Biodiversity. I was so amazed by the large variety in species found there, for example I had always only read about Geckos in books, I didn't manage to see a gecko but to just know that they could be found in this Biodiversity was somewhat thrilling. Along with the large variety of flora and fauna they also had a small section of medicinal plants such as Basil / Tulsi. Being a student who plans to get into the pharmaceutical field this section had to be my favourite.
My entire experience at both the campuses of Indsearch was enlightening. I never knew that there was an institute in my own country that mirrors the institutes found overseas, such as Oxford or Cambridge. Just like these institutes Indsearch also has a open door policy where there is an open communication between the teachers and the students. In my opinion this attribute is symbolised by the large amount of open spaces in each campus and also the fact that Indsearch has started a debating society within the institution where every student is free to participate. Finally I think everyone should give a standing ovation to the architect Nachiket Patwardhan and more important to the director, dean and the entire staff at Indsearch. The entire team has created a unique yet functional campus which I believe helps creating unconventional thinkers.
I would recommend each one of you to visit the campus and I hope I get to study here some time in the near future.