Catch hold of any Great Laker and ask which has been the most eventful week yet. I bet a majority would say September 6- 14, 2008. That’s when we had our hugely successful International study tour to Singapore and Malaysia. As is the custom with any Great Lakes event, this tour too was student- run with the management playing a guiding role.
Over 40 champions took off at midnight on September 7 to Singapore and spent Day 1 of the tour cooling our heels at Sentosa islands. However, the transition from beach wear to business wear was rather swift. We spent the next two days attending an engrossing special lecture on Asian Marketing strategies by Prof.Hooi Den Huan at Nanyang Business school and listening to power talks by officials from Temasek Holdings , P&G, Redpill Solutions and PSA – the port authority at Singapore. In addition, officials at Singapore’s Economic Development board took us through Singapore’s fascinating economic transition.
If you thought it was all work and no play, think again! In between all these power talks and business visits, champions went bungee jumping at Clarke Quay, took a cruise down the river, enjoyed the panoramic view from the Singapore flyer, checked out the night safari , shopped till we dropped at Little India and China town, clicked a thousand pictures at the Merlion and managed to hit the disco before crashing into our cozy bed at our seaside resort on East Coast Parkway. We sure know how to manage our time and get more bangs for our buck!
The fun continued in Malaysia. Again, it was business first and we started off with a visit to Putrajaya, the seat of political power in Malaysia. Malaysia’s Director of Higher Education briefed us about the education system there and his words resonated in our ears when we visited some of the top universities in Malaysia like UNITAR and University of Putrajaya. Prof.Dr.Cheah Kooi Guan of UNITAR thoroughly impressed everyone of us with his brilliant presentation on the “Economy of Malaysia”. We completed the official leg of the Malaysian tour by visiting Bank Rakyat and attending their lavish Iftaar party.
KaulaLampur (KL) was a photographer’s delight. SLRs worked overtime to capture the resplendent Petronas twin towers in all their twilight glory. There was an equally enticing structure not very far from the twin towers- the KL tower. There was a battery of GLICKERs (remember GLICK-the photography club @ Great Lakes?) romanticizing the majestic KL towers .The 20 MYR fee to the top of the tower was worth every penny (errr.. its cents in Malaysia right?) of it. Those who left their cameras back home were left to popping unexpectedly into frames and checking out Malaysia’s array of shopping districts. The pious ones on the trip had their share of fun at the Murugan temple at Battu Caves.
Both Singapore and Malaysia were a non-veggie’s delight. Even the core carnivores were taken aback by the spread at the Iftaar. For those who missed the zoo in Singapore, the Iftaar made amends! For veggies like me, the first job in either city was to frantically search for the nearest Saravana Bhavan/Komala Vilas. Food was the last thing on our minds though as we approached the climax of our tour -Genting Highlands. At the end of a breathtaking cable car ride( the world’s fastest cable car ) we literally landed among the mists. The theme park officials tagged our wrists with the entry ticket and this was our boarding pass to the world of fun and entertainment. Champions went berserk checking out the different rides and most skipped lunch in the excitement. It made sense as those who didn’t would have thrown up after a few rides. The entire day(and night I must add) was ours and after exhausting ourselves at the theme park some tried their luck at the casinos, some relaxed with a fish massage while a few meticulous ones sank in the comfort of the bed so as to get ready to check out at the unearthly hour of 4:30 AM next morning.
By 5:00 AM sleepwalking champions boarded the bus to KL airport and the return flight was spent catching up with some much needed sleep. We finally landed at Chennai around noon on September 14 and Prof Irudayaraj was already in the campus to welcome us all for his Organizational Behavior lecture at 4:00 in the evening. That’s Great Lakes for you. Fun packed. It’s packed, yet fun!
Class of 2009