#WWIAlumni Shray Jai Mishra shares his experience of being a student with us.
‘An educational institution isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life.’ This quote explains the basic difference between Whistling Woods International and other Institutions.
“Are you sure you want to spend so much of the hard earned in a film school?” My mom said that on that call 3 years back. “I don’t know why maa, but I am surer of this than anything I have ever been! I want to study in Whistling Woods.”
I reached Mumbai with a dream to study in the best film and media college and when I entered Whistling Woods campus, I was awestruck! It was way more beautiful than what it looked in the images i saw. I took admission and my belief in my dream was strengthened when in the cafeteria I saw Rahul Sir, Meghna Ma’am and Subhash Ghai Sir in the same place where students had their lunch!
The man whom everyone calls showman was right there and I really wished to meet him. So as he got up to leave I gathered courage,walked to him and said ‘Hello sir, I come from Lucknow and i have loved watching your movies. I am starting a new journey away from my home at Whistling Woods from today, so just wish to take your blessings!’ He looked at me and gave me a pat saying, ‘Home is where heart is, so welcome Home!’
And yes!! Whistling woods was a home to me and so many of us for the next two years. I had never thought in my wild dreams that I will get a chance to work very closely with S.G, but WWI’s Cinema 100 gave me that. A chance to know him up close and personal, and I figured out he is one of the most honest, grounded, creative and hard working person I had met. S.G was there as a father figure, someone in front of whom I used to say things openly and as a matter of fact that is what he likes. One of those days I asked him, ‘S.G what made you think of Whistling Woods?’ To which he replied, ‘If someone wants to pursue Media studies, film making on an international level they go abroad. So, I wanted to give my country a world class film and media institute, so that students from other countries come to India and study here. It was a dream and everyone told me it will fail, but I was adamant, traveled to best film schools around the world, collected the study material, and fee structure all this because I want the future of this country to get the finest of film education in the heart of Indian film Industry. Whistling woods International is made with blood, sweat and all of us have put our heart in it. Isn’t that DREAM the reason you are here sitting with me son?’ He smiled and I couldn’t have agreed more.
S.G’s passion is what drives him and that passion is infectious, for if you have been to Whistling Woods International you will know what do we mean by our motto ‘Do what you love’.
During my WWI days if I had issues I knocked the door of Rahul sir and he was always helpful with his ever so charming smile. And the two people I initially was very scared of, I later figured out were the base of this institution Meghna Ma’am and Chaitanya Chinchlikar aka CC. CC was a problem solver for me, whenever I went to him and narrated any issue that I was facing I always thought this time he will throw me out (for I went with a lot of them ) But he always had some or the other immediate solution to my problems. And the hard task master was our President, Meghna Ma’am. She is the reason behind the success of all the students and Whistling woods itself. She is amazingly dedicated to maintain WWI as the best in this country. S.G’s dream today is much more than what he once thought.
I thank Ujjwal sir for granting me admission to WWI and guiding me even when he was not physically present there. Our beloved Anuradha Ma’am and Mayura Ma’am for being a constant support when and if it was needed.
Whistling Woods also gave me a chance to meet, interact and get to learn from some of the best in the film and media industry. Late Rajen Kothari, Rabiya Nazki, Anjum Rajabali , Jameel Khan , Ravi Gupta Gupta , Yusuf Mehta , Somnath Sen , Amol Gupte , Anuradha Bhatia , Venkatesh Ramaswamy , Kaushik Saha, Sai Nagesh, Aditya Seth, Anil Zankar , Rakesh Ranjan , Indranil Chakravarty and the list is long as in the two years i interacted with so many of them!
I have made friends for life here and met some super amazing faculty and staff. I love you all from the bottom of my heart (everyone’s names are tagged below, sorry but the post would have never ended :-p) and miss my campus too; it’s the most beautiful place to be!
Last year was my convocation after which my sister said beaming happily, Congratulations, you are now officially out of Whistling Woods ” I replied “Yes i am, but Whistling Woods will never be out of me!”
P.S : These are the people from the staff that i really love for all the good times and bad that they have shared with me and helped me… Maria Charles , Aniket Hadawale , Riddhi Bhogi , Ishita Vora , Stuti Khanduri , Raju Farooqui , Rizwana Shaikh , Sajid Farooqui , Rekha Misra , Uja Achin Amsoge , Carolin Christian , Shirin Mulani , Anita R Madhale , Sneha Gonsalves , Alison Dcruz , Vikas Dhargalkar , Seemant Raj and last but not the least Shekar Anna ! *hugs to all*