Tag Archives: Alumni

A Short Story by Azalea Dewi Calista Egerton

A BBC-2 500 Words Writing Competition – longlisted entry by Azalea Dewi Calista Egerton 

The cawing ravens flew from the ominous woods. I was curled up in a ball under a tree as I watched them go by. The trees loomed over me and they cast shadows that stretched miles and miles. The mist hung from the mountains ahead of me. The sky was grey and dull. I was alone and lost in the woods. I had walked too far from home and I had got lost. I kept having an eerie feeling something was going to jump out and eat me. Just as I started crying, the ground started to shake and the crows started squawking. Even the strong trees started shaking. I could feel footsteps getting closer and closer so I ran. I ran and ran and ran but when I turned around, a giant was staring down on me. He was made up of wood, with some occasional leaves growing out of him. He had wild, blue eyes and he had leaves for hair. He was basically a giant tree.


It was like my brain switched off, I was just staring at him in awe. And he was staring back. His long and wooden hand reached out for me and that was when my brain switched on again. I tried to run, but before I knew it, I was in the air, in the hands of a wooden giant. He brought me up close to his face and I stared into his deep eyes. He stared back at me for a bit and put me on his uncomfortable shoulder. I could do nothing but sit still because I was hundreds of feet in the air. The view was amazing and the forest was actually quite beautiful. I could see a glistening lake and the dears running. The birds were singing but I still had a horrible feeling because I was with an unknown creature and I didn’t know where we were going. From afar, I could see a hut in a deserted area.

When we arrived, the giant put me down in his giant wooden hut. The giant picked some sticks from the ground. He then made an eating hand gesture. “Am I supposed to eat this?” I said. ‘’Ug” he said in a deep voice. It was like thunder rumbling across the sky. I assumed he said yes so I said, “No thank you.” He grabbed the sticks from me and stuffed them in his mouth. He let out a strong burp which made the ground shake. I immediately burst out laughing and so did he. It seemed like he was actually a friendly giant, so I was not scared anymore. He suddenly put his hand on his eyes and said, ‘’Ug,Ug,Ug,Ug.” I ran to find a hiding spot and hid behind a bush. He looked everywhere, behind the hut behind the trees. He sat down with a worried look on his face. “Here I am!” I said jumping out of the bush. “Ug,” he said happily. I then realised the sky was turning a beautiful orange colour and the birds were flying across the sky. I realised it was getting dark and so did the giant. The giant picked me up and put me in the wooden hut and put a leaf over me. I stared at him and he stared back. That was when my eyes started to get heavy. I then drifted off into a deep, deep sleep.


I woke up the next day to a blue ceiling. I sat up and I realised I was in my room on my bed. “Was all that just a dream?’’ I said to myself. I ran downstairs and found my mother cooking breakfast. “Morning,” she said. I ran outside and sat down in our garden, staring at the forest. I was utterly confused. I stared at the forest and that was when I saw a giant amongst the trees, waving at me. I waved back.

We thank Lea for sharing her short story with her Stamford Family! Congratulations for getting your story longlisted and keep writing! We hope to see you soon in Bandung. 



Alumni Spotlight: Simran Gandhi

An Article by: Simran Gandhi, SP Jain’s Dubai campus.


Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. -Anonymous

Four hours – that’s how long it took for us to get to the Liwa camp site. We did not know the beauty that lay ahead of us. Coming into university, all of us assumed it would be a lot of studies with no free time. However, at SP Jain, we’re able to learn about culture and business through various activities and excursions. One such trip that taught us a lot was the Overnight Liwa Desert Camping held between 19th – 20th January 2018.

We were 352 kilometers away from Dubai, close to the Saudi Arabian border, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city at the Rub Al Khali Desert. The sight of wild camels and the rich golden yellow sand dunes was worth it. Upon reaching the camp site, we were taught how to assemble a tent and then told to stand in groups according to the number of people we wanted to have in our tent. This task was where our team building skills came into play as we had to put together our tents by ourselves which we all, luckily, did successfully. The lack of signal at the camp site gave us a well needed break from our mobile phones (regardless of whether we wanted it or not). This trip certainly helped tone our patience – we were required to wait for our turn to go on the Dune Drive which we all were looking forward to, wait in line to have dinner and even to use the restroom.

We had to adapt to the new environment around us. It was freezing cold to the point that some of us had a hard time sleeping because we were too busy shivering. I believe that this experience has increased our endurance. Going through tough times in life only makes you stronger as a person and far more adaptable to trying situations.

One of the best moments of the trip for many of us was the Night Desert Trekking where we all trekked in absolute darkness. We trekked for some time, following which we made a circle and lay down on the cold sand to look up at the sky. Words are not enough to describe the magnificence of the milky way and stars we saw shooting across the sky – it was unreal. The view was breath-taking and the silence was highly welcomed. After a few minutes of total silence, we shared what we felt in that moment – a moment so overwhelming that some of my friends even teared up. You feel like you’re just a speck in the universe and there is so much that you have not seen out there. It opened our eyes. We tend to underestimate the beauty of nature by giving more importance to things that don’t matter. For some reason, this trip made a lot of us feel motivated to follow our dreams and look forward to what the future holds for us.

About the author: Simran Gandhi 

Simran Gandhi is a BBA student (Intake of 2016) currently studying at SP Jain’s Dubai campus. She is an avid reader and can always be found reading one of her novels in her free time. Simran’s hard work and dedication have earned her a spot in the Dean’s list.
On a regular day after classes, Simran would either be chilling with her friends while binge watching a TV show or catching up with her parents. She loves to eat, travel, and meet new people. In the future, Simran sees herself working in the fashion industry.