Six months after the launch of IPD sponsored diploma courses in Calicut, the first PTA student meeting was convened during which a casual question was raised before the audience, “what does IPD stand for?”. The silence that followed was palpable. It was also difficult for members from the gathering to accept the truth of its Malaysian origin. Some awareness began to set in after a couple of visits made by Mr. Kalairasan and Mr. Jainanak Singh representing IPD – Open University Malaysia.
But on the 5th of November morning, 2017, two inquisitive youngsters from the above group we spoke about were making history boarding an Air Asia flight from Kochi to Kuala Lumpur determined to discover OUM for themselves. The glorious opportunity presented to Don Dominic and Sharath was enthusiastically accepted by the young team and they joined two other students from the hospitality industry, Jubin and Sujin of Alphonso College, on their maiden and memorable tour of this modern South-East Asian country.
DAY-1 Petrona Towers: At KL airport, the young visitors were received by the local tour operator and in a little over an hour they checked into City Inn hotel located near Masjid India market. After refreshments and a change of clothes they were driven to the KL Towers (or Petrona Towers), the tallest twin towers in the world. The night time photographs taken of this splendid landmark tells its own story. After an extended photo session, they relish Pakistani biriyani from a restaurant close by.
DAY-2 IPD & OUM: After breakfast, the team is escorted to a metal handicraft center in the city where one could witness artisans at work shaping modern decorative items, kitchen ware, traditional artifacts, pewter vases and so on. Finishing lunch, the party arrive at the prestigious Open University of Malaysia (OUM) grounds – the home of IPD (Institute of Professional Development. They are briskly led to a classroom for an appointment with Ms. Mogana Sangari Elumalai who conducted a brief class from Stephen Covey’s ‘the 7 habits of effective people’. After earning and collecting their Certificates from their study session they get a chance to roam through the lush OUM campus with their cameras clicking. Don Domonic remembers the flavor of the ‘Faluda’ drink they had together at the ‘Tasty Flower’ restaurant.
DAY-3 BATU CAVES & MURUGAN TEMPLE, SELANGOR: The Batu or temple caves in Selangor, Malaysia is a picturesque tourist spot attracting travelers from all over the world. Sharath and Don with their two friends lose no time in exploring the terrain. The Batu caves are also referred as one of the four cave temples in Malaysia and dedicated to the Lord Muruga. Our young adventurers describe an imposing 140 feet high statute of Lord Muruga standing at the entrance of the cave. Monkeys and other rare animals were continuously seen frolicking in the surroundings. Don reflected that the inside of some of the caves felt unusually cool.
IKEA STORES, DARMASANA SELANGOR: After leaving the Batu cave region for a quick Chinese menu lunch, the group is driven to the 2nd largest IKEA stores in Malaysia covering 2,90,000/- sq. ft. of floor space located in Selangor itself. IKEA, founded in 1943 in Sweden owns about 300 home furnishing stores located in 40 countries. Don being a design student recounts that the huge layout inside IKEA may have about 15 to 20 different departments catering to home décor, indoor lighting, modular kitchens & home appliances. Sharath, on the other hand, noticed that the store also featured unique and world class ready-to-assemble furniture in exceptional designs that were beautifully merchandised on the shop floors.