After some period of inactivation in the previous year, the BA Programme society of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi organised a number of events this year ranging from talks to trips to seminars. On Monday, the society organised the first edition of its annual fest, Confluence 2016. The fest was spread across five events. There were two talks, a story-writing competition, a fun event where students were required to caption pictures, and a Dastangoi performance – an Urdu storytelling art form.
The fest kicked off with an informal event, ‘Caption That’ in which students were to caption the pictures and paintings handed out to them by the organisers. Prizes were distributed among the winners.
‘Caption That’ was followed by a talk on the Monumentalisation of Buildings by Dr. Hilal Ahmed who is an assistant professor at the Centre for Study of Developing Societies, Delhi and also a Rajya Sabha fellow. He talked about the concept of monumentalisation of buildings in general and about the religious contextualisation that buildings find themselves today in.
Another talk was organised after the lunch. The speaker was Dr.Pulapre Balakrishnan who teaches Economics at the Ashoka University. He spoke on Inclusive Growth in India focussing on inclusive growth, political economy and economic equality. The talk was followed by a vibrant discussion between the speaker and the studentswho were enthusiastic enough to keep the speaker indulged during the time refreshments were being served.
There was also a story-telling competition held in which the participants had to select random genres and end their stories with random plot twists. The students were seen writing very passionately and all appeared captivated by dramatic twists of plots.
The fest ended with the major highlight of the day – Dastangoi. Dastangoi is an Urdu oral storytelling art form that originated in the 16th century. The artists who performed were Nadeem Shah, Shankar Musafir and Manu Sikander Dhingra. Nadeem Shah has been doing Dastangoi since 2010 and teaches history at the University of Delhi while Shankar Musafir is an educationalist with an avid interest in the art of storytelling and Manu Sikander Dhingra is an entrepreneur, an eminent theatre personality and a veteran storyteller having done show across India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The artists delighted the audience through their art.
They started with Husn-e-Faiz covering the legendary revolutionary poet, Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s life and ended with an adaptation of one of the folktales of Vijaydan Detha, ‘Kahani Pandit Ki’. The event was concluded with a vote of thanks and some interactions with the performers in the lawn while the refreshments were being served.
Mir Uzair Farooq
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