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Every year, a lot of time and effort goes into college fests. Do they achieve what they aim to, and are they really worth it, though?

Ever since I joined University of Delhi (DU), as a fresher, I was really excited to experience my first ‘fest season’ this even semester, except a month and a few fests into the season, I’m questioning if fests are as great as they’re made to sound like. Sorry to kill your hype, I do get why most people might look forward to fests, but this article is just an analysis of whether they’re achieving what they aim to do and if they’re really as ‘fun’, in the truest sense of the word. Firstly, let’s understand why these fests are organised in the first place. They were originally intended to be spaces where people can showcase their talents and participate in activities, except that now, they’ve become a way for colleges to compete with each other in terms of who can attract bigger stars and a way to improve the ‘image’ of the college. This transformation is problematic because of two reasons; firstly, in order to attract bigger stars, you need more money, which leads to a higher degree of commercialisation.

That commercialisation of fun is a problem because when you start viewing attendees as merely footfall for sponsorship deliverables, you forget why you hosted the fest in the first place. Also, the ‘image’ argument is ridiculous because any institution builds its image by improving on its main objective. While fests may be a great way to break the monotony, colleges’ main objective is to impart education, which is what their image hinges. Secondly, let’s talk about the resources spent on fests. Annual cultural fest of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Crossroads’ estimated budget for this year is INR 1.5 crore. That’s probably the highest among DU colleges, but most colleges still spend around INR 40-60 lakhs per college on their fest except there’s no tangible benefit arising out of this spending as most of it is spent on hosting the stars that come for these fests.

This amount of spending is huge and throws a bad light on our priorities, especially when we see the deteriorating infrastructure in several colleges and the fact that the University is suffering from a severe fund shortage due to the increased intake of students under the Economy Weaker Section (EWS) category this year (the grant released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is barely enough to cover salaries, let alone improve and develop the necessary infrastructure) and was barely able to cover teachers’ salaries for a period of three months last year. Thirdly, and most importantly, let’s talk about safety and inclusivity. Recent events have made us aware of howfests can be unsafe, especially for women. In the past too, there have been too many instances where people have been harassed in such spaces and this repetition not only proves that authorities are apathetic towards such situations but is also another way how fests are antithetical to one of their major objectives, creating a safe environment where people can have ‘fun’. People argue that organising and attending fests is a great way to develop a host of skills and network, while also creating value for businesses that fund them. However, the benefits of organising fests are mostly restricted to the organising team, and thus, large scale skill development. Fests, are great, but the way they’ve been organised in DU for the past few years isn’t sustainable. There’s a serious need to re-evaluate how we perceive fests in order to ensure that they retain their essence while ensuring that more people benefit from them.


Feature Image Credits: Manav Ahuja for DU Beat

Khush Vardan Dembla

[email protected]

Ankit Tiwari performed on the last day, as heavy rain engulfed Nexus, the annual cultural fest of Sri Venkateswara College. However, the star night was delayed and issues arose, even after strict security. 

On 29th February, the final night of Nexus’20, Sri Venkateswara’s Annual Cultural Festival, everyone was excited for the fest to be concluded with the performance of renowned singer and songwriter, Ankit Tiwari. The performance which was arranged to be at 5 pm, was extremely delayed due to unexpected showers and thunderstorm that ensued in the evening.

 Before the performance began, the huge crowd which had gathered to listen to the artist, shuffled back and forth between the performance ground and the college building to take shelter from the excessive downpour. The rain kept everyone on their feet, and the muddy grounds were a dangerous territory for people who had dressed their best for the fest.

There was extremely strict security maintained for the star night. Many items were prohibited to be carried. There were staff teachers, and administrators on the main gate as well as inside the barricade. However, the heavy rain tested all.
During the beginning of the performance, the sound system switched offmid-song due to technical errors, causing a ruckus.

A student inside the barricade, told DU Beat, “The issue was that there were a lot of people who wanted in, and as they were trying to enter photographers were getting shoved. Barricade did have administrators and College staff inside to see if everything is okay.”

Despite of security being maintained, the large number of crowd was a test for all. Female photographers present at the venue faced harassment by other photographers and Tiwari’s team while doing their job, with people pushing and shoving others around to get a barricade entry, photographers got shoved and hit as the crowds around the barricade became unmanageable. However, there were administrators present inside the barricade for safety of students.

A female photographer covering the event, in conditions of anonymity said, “The people with Ankit Tiwari told me that if you want a picture then you need to come to his room. As I was the only female photographer, the other male photographers told me to go to the back.”

These events occurring mostly in isolation and behind closed curtains clearly didn’t dampen any spirits as the crowd wholeheartedly enjoyed after the singer arrived on the stage. Tiwari sang some of his greatest hits, like Sun Raha Hai Na Tu, and also invited members of the audience to join him on the stage as he performed, hyping up the crowd. The event ended at 8 pm at last, with rains showing no signs of satiating. People ran helper-skelter to take cover and rush towards the closest metro stations wading through the muddy roads while people struggled to exit the campus due to the excessive crowd.

Rajat Sharma, President, Students’ Union, said, “Day 3 of Nexus was going well even after the heavy rains but some incident occured between the authority, photographers and delhi police which was very unfortunate to happen. I being unaware of the complete situation from all the three sides cannot give my verdict over right and wrong but anything of this sort is obviously not good for tge reputation of the college and if there was any misconduct I am extremely sorry for the same taking the responsibility and blame wherever required.”

However, in Sri Venkateswara College, Nexus, the annual cultural fest is organised by Fine Arts Association (FAA) as well.

Hrithik, President, FAA, said, “Keeping in mind about conditions prevailing , we tried our level best to assure strict security and efficient management . Entry inside the college on the three days was strictly provided to only those who had the valid ID cards . Our officials were present at the main gate and near the barricade to make sure there was no issue .
We appreciate all our media partners including all the videographers and photographers who stood by even in the unpleasant weather conditions to cover our event . My team and I would also like to thank our enthusiastic crowd which helped to make Nexus 2020 a grand success.”

The star night was memorable for all. The pleasant chilly weather soon washed away everyone’s trouble.

Nexus ended on a chilly note, yet witnessed warmth on all three days. The college was filled with iconic Bollywood mementos, the decor was remarkable with them being able to put a ship, owing to the Pirate in all of us, between the College. Nexus, unlike other fests, is organised not just by the Students’ Union, but the Fine Arts Association, as well. The entire college perfectly imbibed the theme of “Lights, Camera, Nexus.”

Feature Image Credits: Manav Ahuja for DU Beat

Shreya Juyal

[email protected]

 Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]



This piece attempts to highlight the root of mass sexual harassment that occurred at Gargi College’s fest, Reverie. 

The evening of 6 February was supposed to be a memorable one for the students of Gargi College. It was the last day of their annual fest Reverie, with a concert from the singer Jubin Nautiyal lined up to end the proceedings of the day. Instead of a good time, what the young women of Gargi experienced was horror and outrage. As the evening progressed, a large number of men were able to enter the campus. The safeguards to ensure the safety of the students broke down. Mobs of men entered the campus. There were reports after reports of women being harassed – groping, cat-calling, teasing, stalking, manhandling and even being masturbated at. Reverie 2020 ended with Gargi students being not just sexually harassed en masse by mobs of unruly men but were also overwhelmed and exhausted by anger, anxiety, and trauma as they scrambled to save themselves from the oncoming onslaught.

Reports of women facing sexual harassment by a group of men are, unfortunately, are not uncommon news in the country. However, the campus invasion at Gargi College represents a particularly heinous manifestation of such crimes. A large number of men, invading a women’s college for the sole purpose of sexual harassment without any pretext, represents the abject failure of both the state and society to ensure the safety of women. The state authority has either been incapable or unwilling to wield power to protect women. At the level of society, a culture of impunity has been looking the other way by downplaying issues of space and consent. Lack of accountability has become the common feature binding the two.


Abdication of Responsibility

Arrangements that are supposed to ensure the safety of the students, especially women, were either incapable or complicit. College administration did not take action. No authority figure stuck his or her neck out in saving the students. The Rapid Action Force, often seen at the forefront when cracking down violently on peaceful protests across the country, was mostly an audience to this spectacle of fellow men, some in their middle ages, molesting young, college-going women. The principal, as per many reports, victim-blamed the students, arguing that if the fest feels unsafe then they should not have come to the college fest at all. All governmental slogans about women empowerment and education were exposed for what they are – hollow words, backed by no will or capability. The Gargi students were left to fend for themselves, forced to confront physical and emotional distress that entails saving oneself from the unimpeded mob.


Indian Men and the Social Rot

The seriousness of the mass sexual harassment at Gargi College becomes clear when understood through the idea of space violation. Firstly, the campus as a safe space for women was violated by the gangs of men that used mob pressure to enter the campus. Secondly, the personal space of each of the Gargi students itself was violated when the mob of men went ahead and sexually assaulted them. Some serious questions arise about the kind of social contexts that create a molester mob. Why are so many men still not able to grasp the question of consent? Almost every heinous televised rape often sparks off conversations about women’s security but this is often limited to the punishment of rapists only, rather than the mindset which leads to it. Why are there still so many men that show no signs that they understand the importance of space and consent in women’s safety? These questions are for the men to ask themselves.

The men who molested the women of Gargi didn’t come from outer space. To use arguments such as “they were from outside”, “they were from ABC caste or XYZ state” is a reflection on the general attitudes around women and women’s spaces that abound in a large segment of men. The molestation at Gargi arose out of nowhere. Everyday sexism about women and their sexuality played a huge enabling role. The spade must be called a spade. Those men intruded because they interpreted a college fest, where students want to partake in all sorts of curricular and extracurricular activities or simply enjoy themselves as an invitation to harass. The patriarchal mindset that has multiple excuses to harass women also condones women’s spaces to the same fate. There were enough men on that evening who thought of Gargi in a similar way, as a place to hunt down and sexually harass women. There were enough men that evening who cooperated with each other in this collective display of toxic masculinity that would put any civilized society to shame.


The Need For Accountability

One of the biggest reasons that mass molestation of this magnitude could happen is the utter lack of accountability at every level. At the topmost level, being defensive and being in denial has become the ruling norm. As an issue of law and order in the capital, the Central Government is responsible if the police fail to respond credibly to a mob whose purpose of sexual harassment is plainly visible. This lack of response is not unique to Gargi College and is not unique to the issue of women’s safety exclusively. Over the last few months, the ruling party has demonized universities in general for different reasons and their allied media has been actively encouraging this discourse as well. This discourse is laden with aggressive slogans that draw on toxic masculinity and has often dubbed women’s colleges as places that are “too feminist” (the implication being that feminism is bad). The manifestation of this discourse, done every day in high decibels on TV news shows every day has been that mobs have attacked college campuses, and simply gotten away with it – no FIRs, no complaints and more importantly, no uncomfortable questions.

It has been argued that an unnecessary politicization of Gargi College will hinder the issue of women’s safety. In the context of turning this into a party political issue, the point is understandable. Men have been molesting, raping, assaulting women in this country across different party rules, so to turn this into a party issue is hollow. However, this understanding of “politicization” is a shallow interpretation. Accountability in its very essence is extremely political. If the government of the day keeps undermining the safety of college spaces, it creates a precedent and a culture of impunity. The direction of questions must be upwards – towards the people in power. Until there is a political atmosphere that permits the citizenry to ask questions without the fear of trolling, rape threats and abuses, those in power will continue to evade questions, whether is the issue is women’s safety, higher education, the economy or even national security.

Accountability is also needed for every day. Men must hold fellow men accountable for holding regressive stereotypes, for using language that objectifies and dehumanizes women. The understanding of space and consent is extremely important. It is high time to stop being dismissive of women’s lived experiences on the pretext of being “too emotional” if the interplay between consent and space has to be understood. As the feminist scholar, Carol Hanisch said – “the Personal is Political”. Men being able to violate the geographical and personal spaces of women in this country repeatedly, time and time again, isn’t an isolated problem. It is embedded in the society that produces them. It is not the responsibility of the students of Gargi, angry and frustrated already, to keep this issue neatly contained into packages that feel acceptable to a broad audience. If they question the actors that set the stage for this to happen, so be it.

Featured Image Credits:  Sanyukta Singh

Shivam Bahuguna

Students of Gargi College continue to demonstrate their agitation against the incidents of molestation and callous security at Reverie 2020 to demand answers from the College’s administration.

On 11th January, the student body of Gargi College, Delhi University gathered at 10 a.m. near the main arc for a dissent demonstration against the abominable administration and sexual harassment incidents that occurred at the College’s annual cultural fest, Reverie on 6th February 2020. The collective complaints and demands were read to all the students at 10:10 a.m. By 10:30 a.m. the entire mobilisation moved to the arts quad along with the administration and the principal and at 10:45 a.m. the administration expressed categorical support after listening to the demands and complaints. At 11 a.m, the administration and the principal demanded an hour to formulate a way for meeting our demands.

The student body in the meantime was addressed by the DCW (Delhi Commission for Women). The authorities of the DCW expressed how they’ll send an official notice to the administration of Gargi College and to the Police present on campus on 6th February. At 12:30 a.m. the staff council and administration addressed the students again wherein the student body was told that a fact-finding committee would be set up which will comprise of an elected teacher and student from each department that brings it to a total of 34 member team.

In a press release, it is stated that “The committee will work independently of the administration and all other forms of authorities in college. Further questions and grievances were addressed to the entire administration and the principal were a written apology, a minimum-security plan, a press release and written answers were demanded. The administration has been granted two days to get back to the student body with the demands which also includes the breakdown of the entire budget of reverie with special emphasis to the budget allocated to the security.” Each of the 17 departments is to have a representation in the “fact-finding” committee comprising of one teacher and one student voted by the students, with each group looking after different issues, particularly the budget issued and its distribution for the event. Another group of the committee would be looking into the harassment complaints. The committee will be given a week to collect the evidence, the representatives chosen after the popular vote would be open to listening to all students and their personal testimonies without bias.

The students of the college have been observing dissent demonstrations to protest against the lax security and harassment cases that occurred during this year’s Reverie. The Principal of the college, present at the meeting, issued a statement claiming that she condemns the incidents that occurred at the fest, and that a fact-finding committee will be set up which will collect the evidence and the complaints by the students and get them reported to the police if the student desires, as well as keeping open the option of the students reporting directly to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the college with their details remaining confidential. Students claimed that when they had reported harassment incidents to the Principal during Reverie, they had been allegedly urged to “not come to these events if they felt unsafe.”

Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) have also heavily condemned the mass sexual assault and harassment of women students in Gargi College. In a press release, Rajib Ray, President, DUTA, stated, “The DUTA condemns the perpetrators of mass sexual assault and abuse of women in Gargi College, as has been reported to have taken place through the afternoon and evening of February 6, 2020. The DUTA is shocked that the breaches of the peace, violation of law and order and abuse of female students in their own campus has been acknowledged so late, after over three days of its having taken place. Criminal unwillingness on the part of the officiating college principal to accept security lapses and act swiftly against the riotous men who forced entry into the college campus,  molested and abused women students in the presence of the Delhi Police, is to blame for this unacceptable delay.”

On the second day of the strike, 12th February, the police started investigating the case and have set up a base in the College itself. The students also took part in a General Body Meeting to formulate a high functioning Fact Finding Committee (FFC), that would investigate the events prior to Reverie, the events that happened during Reverie, and specific complaints against the administration of the College, and the organizing committee of Reverie 2020. The FFC shall become fully functional on 13th February, and has to submit its report by the 15th February 2020.

However, the students shall go into the third day of strike tomorrow, to seek a written apology, the formulation of the Internal Complaints Committee, and seek the budget from the Principal for Reverie 2019, and 2020.

Feature Image Credits: Sanyukta Singh for Gargi College

Shreya Juyal

[email protected]

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) called upon the students of Delhi University (DU)  to “rise against the incident in Gargi College” and presents demands to ensure safety in college fests.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) along with the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) called a meeting at the Arts Faculty, North Campus on 11th February to discuss the incident at Gargi College involving cases of molestation and outsiders trespassing into the College premises during Reverie 2020, the annual cultural fest.

At 12:30 p.m. a small crowd of about 60 gathered at the gate of the Delhi University Arts Faculty armed with ABVP flags and placards calling out the administration of Gargi College. Representatives of the ABVP spoke on the incident saying that they had received no explanation from the Students’ Union of Gargi College or the Principal of Gargi College. They claimed that the security present was only adequate for about 3,000 people while in reality there were about 10,000 people present at the Fest. They said that following the incident, the College had been unable to take proper measures or file an FIR and that students had been crying and writing letters of complaint, not knowing who to address them to. They were also critical of the Dean of Student Welfare and Proctor of Delhi University, calling them out for “sitting in their A.C. offices” and not being present or taking any action on the incident. The also brought up the matter of the delay in declaration of results for the semester examination and said the Dean of Student Welfare and Proctor should vacate their seats if they are unable to carry out their responsibilities.

They also appeared to take a dig at the other student organisations, pointing out that the people who “protest all year round” were absent and only talk about the issue on social media. They called this breach of security a, “Question mark on the future of students in the county” and said it was not enough to protest there, and that each and every student should raise their voices in their own colleges to raise awareness and urge the colleges to beef up security with the fest season just around the corner. The ABVP reiterated their role as a student union and said they resolved to protect their sisters around Delhi University. They also alleged that some had tried to give the incident a communal twist and that it was simply an attempt to stir controversy. The ABVP was also critical of the organizers for allowing the fest to become a “business” and “selling tickets to outsiders”. Addressing the police personnel present at the meeting, they urged the Delhi Police to look into the matter with care and to take steps to ensure security at the upcoming college fests to avoid such an incident, saying that “nothing more shameful could have happened”.

In a circular asking “Who is answerable? Who is accountable? Who is responsible?” and at the meeting, they stated the following demands:

  1. Take strict action against the culprits accused in the Gargi fest molestation case.
  2. Accountability must be fixed for fest security in colleges.
  3. Entry in college fests should be by valid ID card only.
  4. Students’ Union, College administration and Police must collectively ensure the security in college fests.
  5. The corruption by nexus of Union representatives and College administration must be exposed.
  6. University must issue guidelines to ensure the security of students without attacking the autonomy of organisers.

Speaking to journalists at the meeting, an ABVP representative also talked about the ABVP’s ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying that the ABVP had protested against Atal Bihari Vajpayee as well as Narendra Modi in recent times “regarding issues of scholarships” and other matters and said that the students were their first priority.

Amid chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, “Vande Mataram” and “Gargi College Admin, down down”, the protest was concluded at around 2:00 p.m. and the crowd gradually dispersed.

On the other hand, the students of Gargi College continue to protest against their administration, and have distanced themselves from other parties incentivising their issues. They neither support any political party and nor asked for any interference on their matters.

Feature Image Credits: Tashi Dorjoy Sherpa for DU Beat.

Tashi Dorjay Sherpa

[email protected]

In the months of January and February, you can feel a silent exuberance in all colleges of Delhi University (DU). It’s a sign that – ‘The DU Fest Season is coming’, which is quite awaited by every student, especially the freshers.

With the beginning of the even semester, the atmosphere in DU also transforms. Apart from the cliché initiation phrase – ‘Iss Semester toh phod denge’; the winds of fests engulf every campus and the minds of every student. The fests are particularly exciting for fucchas who will be experiencing such glitz and glam for the first time.

So, here are five things DU fests have in store for the fest virgins –

  1. Having a jolly good time –

The stress of the previous semester can be overbearing. So, it’s time to relieve it with some good old fun times with friends. Enjoy the various events organized by the colleges as much as you can and don’t hold yourself from indulging in lip smacking street food and buying thrifty things from different stalls. Also, you get to meet new people (not likely to be fun for introverts).

Image Source: DU Beat Archives
Image Source: DU Beat Archives
  1. It’s time to ‘paarrttaayy’ with the DJ in the house –

DJ nights and Star nights which includes singers and stand – up comedians, are the highlight of every college fest. On the DJ night, put on your dancing shoes and show those moves you didn’t know you knew. You might have to bear some delays in arrival of the stars but during fests ‘Sabar ka phal pumped up bass hota hai .’

Image Source: DU Beat Archives
Image Source: DU Beat Archives
  1. Dress like walking on the red carpet –

Although there won’t be any red carpet in its true sense, but you can wear that outfit you love the most (not your cozy pyjamas). Style it with jewelry and other accessories because how else would you impress your crush?

View this post on Instagram

DU Beat brings a Fest Lookbook to take inspiration from.

  1. Time to test your ‘Jugaad’ skills –

Getting passes for some of the fests can be a bit difficult. You might have to flatter some ‘Didis and Bhaiyas’ or talk to that distasteful PG or hostel mate. But, trust me this is a ‘Raju–verified’ scheme.




View this post on Instagram


The Instagram Page of Tarang, the annual cultural festival of Lady Shri Ram College Posted memes about students desperate for college fest passes and entries.

5. Witnessing amazing talent –

The various competitions organized by different societies and clubs bring the talent of DU and some other colleges under one roof. Witnessing such creativity and diversity is amazing and incredible. Try catching any of the visual arts performances and it will surely make your day.

Image Source: DU Beat Archives
Image Source: DU Beat Archives

Apart from all this merriment, overcrowding often occurs, which leads to cases of pickpocketing and groping being reported. It is, therefore, imperative that along with having the time of your lives you are careful. But, in the end, have trust in the organizers, who work very hard to make sure everyone enjoys, and try to make the most of what the Game of Fests offers you.

Feature Image Source: DU Beat Archives

Ipshika Ghosh

[email protected]

Antaragni’19, the annual cultural fest of IIT Kanpur was declared officially open on 17th October 2019. The four day fest culminated on 20th October 2019.

The fest began with an inaugration ceremony held in the Main Auditorium. The guest of honour was DGP Om Prakash Singh and District Governor DC Shukla, with Director of Institution and many distinguished IIT alumnus. This year marks the diamond jubilee of the institution, hence to add to the festivities many cultural performances were organised like a upbeat song amalgam sang by IIT students to welcome outstation students and a soulful classical rendition to highlight the grandeur of the fest. The opening ceremony also marked the collaboration between IIT Kanpur and Rotary Club of Kanpur North to make Antaragni’19 more socially responsible.

The first day of Antaragni commenced with an EDM night. Even the heat of Kanpur couldn’t stop people from enjoying the night to their fullest and sweating profusely. The pronite was started by Ravator. He took over the stage and made the crowd jump off their feet with some of the most amazing beats and drops. Later, DJ Bonka,took to the stage and lit up the stage with some amazing songs. They even played some Punjabi tunes along with EDM, a combination you don’t get to experience that often. At last, Giannobille came up and made the crowd grooved to the amazing beats. After the pronite, a DJ war took place at The Club in the Open Area Theatre. Artists performed their remixes to qualify through the prelims. The event had seven participants, out of which only five were to be qualified for the finals. The event saw about 200 people dancing off their feet with a lot of cheering and hooting. It was judged by Spin Guru Academy, best DJ and Music production academy of India. The participants won everyone’s heart by playing all kinds of music.

Day 2 of Antaragni 2019 began early and bright with a plethora of creative and competitive events lined up.The prelims for duo music event ‘Pair of Stage’ and prelims for the solo singing competition ‘Antargini Idol’ were organised, and saw participation from students across different colleges in different cities.

The venue for the prelims of Pair on Stage was shifted from L-16 to L-19, and saw about 44 mesmerising performances. About 15 pairs qualified for the finale. On the other hand the prelims for Anataragni Idol witnessed 150 participants out of whom only 20 would qualify for the final event. This competition was judged by Naman Sharma, the vocal coach at culture root foundation.

Mayanagri, the comprehensive quiz organised by Hindu Literary Events (HLE) with topics ranging from mythology to literature, and with different qualifier rounds including word games and pictionary was conducted along with a general quiz. HLE manging committee also conducted prelims for Aamna Saamna, a hindi group discussion competition. The participants were divided into random panels and topics were provided, each team was given a 2 minute preparation time. The Panel Discussion would then go on to reach a constructive conclusion.

The Anime Quiz saw Anime buffs enjoy answering questions posed to them. 8 teams , out if 18, qualified the prelims with 3 to 4 members in each team. 1st Round was Bounce, 2nd Round was the Pokemon Round, while the 3rd Round was the Giant Slayer.

Estampie, the prelims of Solo Western Dance competition followed by Jitterbug, the prelims of group western dance competition. Taking place in the main auditorium, the event was a full house. 46 dancers participated in the solo competition out of which only 8 qualified for the finals, and 17 teams partook in the Group Dance Competition, out of which only 7 made it to the next round. The event was judged by Ravi Verma, prominent dancer and Rahul Suryavanshi from Hip-Hop India championship. The dancers successfully lit up the stage and left the audience awestruck.

Synchronicity, the western rock band competition took place at the Synchro stage. A total of six bands from all over India took to stage with different kinds of genres. The performances had people dancing and banging their heads to the beats. The event was judged by Gautam Sarkar, owner of music label Ditto and Hickson V. George.

A creative writing event was conducted channeling the inner writers of participants. The event had about 15 teams of two people each. It consisted of two rounds. In round one, four words were displayed on the screen with one word every ten minutes and the participants had to write on that word. In the second round, participants were given five prompts and had to write on one of them, but it had a good twist. After halftime, the team had to exchange their pieces within them and continue writing in their teammates piece, which made the participants scratching their head. The event was judged by the English literary society of IIT Kanpur.

Comic Kaun participation vividly and was one of the most celebrated event with crowd more than 500 people sitting in one event. The event was platform for budding comic to show their sets and test them in front of such a large audience. The event organised with a great initiative seemed to miss the purpose of a platform because of the participants and the audience.

The third day of Antaragni had wonderful energy. A number of events took place simultaneously. Starting with Mela quiz, a quiz covering questions from Music, Entertainment, Literature etc. A total of 9 teams participated in the event, out of which all 9 of them made it to the finals. On the occasion of the Korean Culture Day, the quiz had a separate session covering that as well. The quiz was conducted by prominent quiz masters Somnath Chanda and Anindita Roy.

Not just quizzes, the day also witnessed some other entertaining events. Antaragini Idol, The prelims for the Solo Music competition took place at lecture hall 8. The contest had 150 on the spot participants, harmonising beautifully. It witnessed Naman Sharma, The vocal and instrumental coach of Cultural Roots foundation as the judge. Only 30 people qualified through the prelims for the finals to take place on 20th October.

Drishtikon, The Hindi extempore taking place at Lecture hall 2 added some traditional values to the day. The participants were shown a random picture and were given 30 seconds to analyse to speak on it for 2 minutes in Hindi. They were judged on the basis of choice of words, hand gestures and presence of mind. Out of a total of 35 participants, 15-20 were expected to qualify for the finals. Famous editor Arun Dev and Professor of Humanity and Social Science Department of IIT Kanpur, A.R.K. Verma judged the event.

The fest had supervised another quiz, TLC quiz as the name suggests, covering questions about Travel, Culture and Lifestyle. The questions were displayed on a screen and the team had to give on the spot answers. Correct answers gained a team 10 points, judged by the Quizmaster, Anandita Roy. There were 52 questions comprising of 14 questions from each of the 3 categories. The event was a tie between two teams, so it witnessed a tie-breaker round which was won by Vallari Srivastava who took the first position home.

Another extempore came about called the Jam Finale. The Jam masters supervises the event and gives the participants 3 words to speak on them. The event had about 9 participants and they were judged on the basis of grammatical errors and hand gestures. The event was highly informative.

The Stage Play finals took place at L7. Six teams qualified through the prelims and made it to the finale. Teams gave a splendid performance with beautiful storylines. The event lasted for 7 hours and every team had a unique concept. Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi won the first prize, whereas the second prize was won by the Dramatics society of IIT Kanpur itself. Miranda house, University of Delhi took home the third prize.

Day three of Antaragni, IIT Kanpur also witnessed the dance events- Tour De Force, group street dance event and Estampie, the solo dance battle event adjudged by Rahul Suryavanshi, Hip Hop india champion and Ravi varma, B-Fab Crew.

8 teams participated in the Tour De Force. There were two rounds- the performance round and the battle. Satyawati College emerged as the winner while the second position was given to Delhi Technical University.

Estampie held 3 rounds, the performance round out of which four participants qualified, the two two-way one-on-one battles, and the finalists then fought a three-way battle. Rahul Rao, from Outbreakers, ARSD College emerged as the winner of Estampie.

Mr. and Ms. Antaragni, delayed by two hours, began at the Main Auditorium in the campus and witnessed a large audience. 8 participants fought tooth and nail in four rounds- Introduction, Talent, Improvisation, and Interview, to win the title. Judged by Christeena Biju, Miss India Finalist from Odisha, and Abhishek Dubey, a Splitsvilla and Roadies contestant, the event saw a lot of heckling of the participants by the rowdy crowd. Vikhyat Singh and Jivika Wadhwa from Delhi Technical University won the title of Mr. and Ms. Antaragni respectively.

Lokalz, a K-Pop band graced the stage at Antaragni in association with the Korean Cultural Festival to celebrate a Korean Cultural Day on Day three of Antaragni 2019. Their energetic performance, even though delayed, energised the audience.

Day four, the last day, of Antaragni 2019 was full of event finale’s and wild spirit and energy.  It commenced with quiz  based on the world of Cinema and movies. The quiz consisted of a total of 35 questions from Movies. The quiz had two rounds in which the participants had the liberty to ask for hints. The first round had 25 participants out of which only 6 qualified for the second. The event covered every aspect of cinema from Bollywood to Japanese movies and from the 70s to the 21st century. The event was supervised by quizmaster, Anindita Roy.

In today’s world of westernization, when it’s getting harder and harder to stay in touch with your roots, Antaragni conducted Kavyanjali, a Hindi Poetry Event. The event invited online registrations through samples which had a count of almost 175 participants. The samples were then shortlisted and 20 contestants made it to the final round. Judged by Manglesh Dabral, prominent contemporary Indian poet and winner of Sahitya Akademi Award, Pankaj Chaturvedi, winner of Bharat Bhushan Smriti Puraskar and Geet Chaturvedi, winner of Bharat Bhushan Agarwal Award. Poetry enthusiast had filled the venue and people poured their heart out through poetry.

The finals for Antaragni Idols, Solo Music Competition took place at lecture hall 14. The venue was filled with a beautiful and soothing aura. The audience was full of music enthusiasts and witnessed the participants performing all kinds of music, making it diverse. The competition was judged by Naman Sharma and Akansha Grover, Vocal coaches at Cultural Roots foundation. 16 finalists took to the stage and sang their hearts out for the title. Apart from the singing abilities, participants were also judged on the basis of their knowledge of classical music.

The most robust event of the day was the finals of Jitterbug, the Western Dance Competition. After the prelims of 17 teams, 7 teams qualified for the finals. The event was hosted by none other than G.D. Suyal. Judged by Rahul Suryavanshi, Gold Medalist at Dance World Group, Canada and head teacher at Korean culture Dance Academy and Ravi Verma, the founder of VFab, the event was a full house. There were two rounds and the teams successfully lit up the stage. The audience didn’t stop cheering which showed their excitement level.


The finals for Steet Play event, adjudged by Mr. Anjan Srivastava, Indian film, television and stage actor, and Indian People’s Theatre Association affliant, of which he remained Vice-President for several years, and Mr. Darshan Jariwala, Indian film, television and stage actor who the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for Gandhi, My Father. 9 teams performed out of which, The production ‘Dharam Sankat Mein’ by Fursat Mandali, the dramatics club of IIT Kanpur was placed first at the Nukkad Natak Finale on the last day of Antaragni 2019 ‘Tujhe Kya Naam Du’ by Anubhuti from Sri Venkateswara College placed second. Aayam from Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, and Dramanomics from College of Vocational Studies were placed third and fourth respectively. Despite being apprehensive of giving out individual results, the judges on deman by the organisers gave out individual acting prizes. Consolation prize was given to Dadi from KMV, while the third and second position were won by members of Shivaji College’s dramatic society, while a member of Lady Irwin College won the first position.

Kavi Sammelan at Antaragni witnessed Ankita Singh, Madhyam Saxena, and Aman Akshar deliver their poetry on social issues, current scenarios, and other topics with passion and grace. The audience at Open Air Theatre enjoyed the poetry with immense enthusiasm and cheer.

The Auditorium in the evening witnessed popular performances by the musical duo on Sacophone and piano Jerry and the Pelicansystem, and the immensely celebrated comedian Karunesh Talwar. The packed audi was impressed by both these talented artiststs, enjoyed music with the first, and laughed along jokes with the second.

The popular musical trio, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy closed Antaragni 2019 with their strong, energetic, and eclectic performance.  The audience danced to the tunes of their famous songs including Zinda and Gallan Goodiyan.


Avni Dhawan 

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Sakshi Arora

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Chhavi Bambha

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The Multicity eliminations for Mood Indigo’19, annual cultural fest of IIT Bombay took place at Netaji Subhas University of Technology (NSUT) on 12th and 13th October, 2019.

With great anticipation and excitement, the first day of Mood Indigo’19 Multicity eliminations was on for a great start. Multicity eliminations were held at Netaji Subhash University of Technology (NSUT) for IIT Bombay’s fest, with innumerable teams and societies, from all over Delhi and nearby cities, participating in the prelim rounds in Delhi, to grab the opportunity to compete at one of the most sought-after fests.

The Day 1 saw a lot of competition and some wonderful performances. The bars and expectations were set high.The level of talent and rigorous eliminations makes one only wonder how much more will we see in the fest to follow, given the number of contestants that were hand-picked from Delhi. Being one of the eleven of these eliminations.

The day was quite lovely with the lawns of NSUT, the venue being filled with loud drumbeats and louder slogans.It was the street play teams warming up for the coming prelims. The competition was tight with 34 teams competing for a spot.The main auditorium had various events lined up beginning with Conchord, the group based acapella competition that had eight colleges as participants, followed by Singing the Indigos,  the solo western singing competition, and MI Idol, solo Indian singing competition.

Aagaaz, the Street play competition, organised for Mood Indigo, the fest of IIT Bombay witnessed a tough competition among 35 teams. The judges of the competition were Swati Pandey and Sharad Chaudhary. This competition had several impactful performances. The unequivocal energy, intensity and moving street plays, left the audience in an awe. Each team put forward their best foot and highlighted issues affecting the society today and from time immemorial. Jesus and Mary Collegelead by DivyaNunhoi Sharma bagged the first position followed by Venkateshwara college lead byAryaman Sethi and Atma Ram Sanatan College under Tushar Bahirwani.

Conchord which was judged by Mr Diyatom Deb and Ms. Aswathy had the winning college LSRperforming covers of “Lost in the World” by Kanye West, “Berlesk” by Christina Aguilera and “Shrutika”which was led by ShilpikaBuragohain. The second place was bagged by Jesus and Mary College headedby Khushi Pallavi.

The solo competitions which began with western songs had the same judges with around competitors. The Indigos saw LSR bag both first and second positions with Gina Garbyal being first and Shilpika Buragohain second. Followed by Jesus and Mary headed by Khushi Pallavi.

This was followed by a felicitation ceremony for the judges and the Indian solo singing competition that MI Idol judged by Mr. Jamil Hasanand and Mr. Yatin Arora. Deen Dayal Upadhyay College secured the first and the second positions. First being Kushagra Dudeja and Second Nityaa Ramesh.

Ms and Mr Mood Indigo Delhi, as a part of IIT Bombay’ fest was also held. The judges for this event were Mallaica Chatterjee and MC Snub. The competition involved a showcase of talents. Each of the 16 participants fought hard to bag the title, with talents like singing, rapping or dancing.

Jennifer Dhupar, of Jesus and Mary College, and Sachin Rager, of Swami Shraddhanand College, were awarded with the title of Ms and Mr Mood Indigo Delhi. They will now head over to Mumbai for the finals at IIT Bombay.

Rap Battle competition, Mi’nem, was held between 16 participants, competing to win the title and get selected to go to Mumbai. The judges of this competition were MC Snub, Tez Bhai and Arjun Arora. The competition brought to light talented individuals from a multitude of colleges and universities. Each performance filled with immense emotions, from one’s life experiences to the political environment, a myriad of stories poured out. Aman Mishra bagged the first position and Abhi Baisla bagged the second.

Day 2 of Mood Indigo’s Multicity round began at around 10 AM on Sunday. The elimination rounds opened with poetry slam competition inside the mini auditorium of Netaji Subhash University of Technology. Five participants from Keshav Mahavidyalay, Rukmani Devi college and IIT,Delhi poured heart and soul while reciting their poetries in hopes of qualifying for the final show in Mumbai. Juveriya Khan from Keshav Mahavidyalay who performed a heart wrenching poetry on mental health and suicide made her way to Mood Indigo ’19. Next in line was a stand-up comedy elimination round called Humour Us where five contestants exhibited their quirk and wit Madhur Virli from IIT, Delhi stood out as the sole qualifier.

Simultaneously, three dance events were happening in the hall area of administrative block of the university. It started with Indigo Saga, a thematic group dance competition where eight teams from various colleges of Delhi grooved on contemporary music. Wearing similar attires and synchronizing steps on every beat, young performers charmed the event with mesmerising dances. LSR team led by Anjali Kaushik and IIT Delhi team led by Manan Patel paved their way for the finals. Indigo Saga was followed by Desi Beats, a Bollywood style dance competition and Beat the Street, hip hop street dance event. LSR, Zakir Hussain College and Motilal Nehru grabbed 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions respectively in Desi Beat while Shaheed Bhagat Singh College and ADGITM qualified in Beat the Street.

All the selected teams and individuals from Delhi will be competing against people from other states in Mood Indigo’s 49th edition scheduled between 26th and 29th  December in IIT- Bombay.

Stephen Mathew

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Shivani Dadhwal

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Indian Institute of Technology Delhi’s grand annual festival Rendezvous came to an end today.

The third day of Rendezvous 2019, the annual cultural fest of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) was a success, despite starting slow, owing to the venue recovering from the previous night’s rain.

The day saw many competitions conducting their finals and semi-finals. “Swar“, the classical solo singing competition conducted its finals, which had seven participants showcasing their vocal abilities and captivating the audience. The competition, which was organised by the Music Club, was being judged by Pundit Chethan Joshi. The competitors gracefully awed the audience.

Abdul Samad Kahan of Shaheed Bhagath Singh College and Shradha Singh of Hansraj College bagged the first position. Whereas the second and third positions were bagged by Rishab Raghuvanshi of Shaheed Bhagath Singh College, and Chinmaya Iyer of Kirori Mal College respectively.

Simultaneously, the seminar hall saw talented dancers grooving to the beat with individual performances, entertaining the crowd with their dance moves.

The “Pop Battle” which was being judged by Nidhish Pandey had nearly 200 participants, with back-to-back competitions involving various western dance genres under the pop culture.

The dramatics society of IIT-D conducted the prelims for “Natika Vatika”  a multilingual stage theatre competition with prominent judges like Ashok Nagar and Rejneesh Gautham. These plays dealt with various social issues like corruption and the philosophy of life.

Mr and Miss Rendezvous (RDV’19) was filled with spirited faces eager to display their talent and personality. From over 80 entries, 24 participants were shortlisted for Mr and Miss RDV. Out of these 24 entries, 14 were present for the event. The event was judged by the famous Instagram influencers, Stefy Gupta, and Raghav Gogia. The first round consisted of a ramp walk, where the contestants put their best foot forward, literally. The shortlisted candidates from those were then asked to showcase their talent. The six final shortlisted candidates were then asked questions by the judges. The title of Mr RDV was won by Siddhartha Dayani and Miss RDV was won by Tarushi Anand. The judges had asked Dayani what his biggest accomplishment was in the judge question round to which he replied, “My biggest accomplishment has been leaving home and coming to Delhi. I was a mama’s boy at home but now I live on my own which I think is great.”

As young men and women were competing in one of the auditoriums to be the idol of Rendezvous’19, young women were competing in the hall right above to be the Campus Princess. The competition was conducted by the Miss India Organisation and was judged by Viren Barman, Peter England Mr India, 2016 first runner up, and Siddhi Gupta, FBB Colours Femina Miss India, Uttarakhand 2019. From over 180 registrations, there were 62 selected for the competition. The first round was a ramp walk round, where the contestants had to walk in pairs of two. The second round was an introduction round, where the contestants introduced themselves, and the last round for the shortlisted candidates was talent round. The contestants came from different backgrounds, with future lawyers, engineers and even airforce officers present. They were all dressed in black cocktail dresses and looked ready to light up the ramp.

“Allegro” was the Western Group Singing Competition organized by the Music Club of IIT-D. The preliminary round was online where colleges had to send in a video of their performance. From 30 online entries, 12 were shortlisted for the finals on 4th October. The competition saw music societies of various colleges singing beautiful mashups. The competition was judged by Joshua Peters, a western classical music maestro, and Nirupan Sinha, a Delhi based singer-songwriter and composer. After a tough musical battle, Echo, the Western Music Society of Jesus and Mary college stood first. Euphony, the Western Music Society of Gargi College and the Western Music Society of LSR were the first and second runners up, respectively.

Day three also saw the reputed IIT Delhi MUN, where students came as delegates and put their diplomacy skills to use.

Apart from these, there were quizzes and games going on all over the campus. From quizzing enthusiasts racking their brains in the Open Numbers Quiz and Conjurors Bout. SPIC MACAY, an organization for the promotion of Indian classical music and culture, also organised Bharatnatyam and Madhubani Painting workshops.

Conjuror Bout, a word game event was also held. The game ignited the literary gene in all to crack questions based on word jumbles, meaning and literary references. Participants received a question paper, and were given 1 hour and 30 minutes to find the answers. They were given rough sheets and stationary to answer the questions.

The event witnessed bibliophiles, literature enthusiasts and poets all throughout the Delhi circuit with their friends, teaming up to answer questions on British Literature, pop culture references, and solve jumbled words through their meaning.

The four-day long IIT Delhi’s fest, Rendezvous ended on a spectacular note on October 5, 2019. A day full of events and performances from every spectrum of life found its way in the four captivating days of the event. 

The final day begun with a plethora of events that happened simultaneously ranging right from the debates to performing arts.

One of the key highlight events of the day, ‘Instrumental Impromptu’ saw participants from all colleges who presented their mesmerising melodies for the audience. The judge of the event was Mr. Vinayak Panth who has been playing the Sitar for the last fifteen years and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was awarded the CCRT Scholarship by the Government of India and has been a part of various ensembles, sub-collections and Anirudh Varma Collective, amongst others. 

With each performance, the audience was hooked to the beats produced, from various instruments such as the Sarangi, to the drum set. Out of the ten teams that participated in the event that turned out to have an intense competition, Nabeel Khan from Zakir Hussain College won the first prize, Saarah Roy from Daulat Ram College won the second prize, and Saksham and Sarthak from SGTB Khalsa College bagged the third position in the event.

The events began at 9 a.m. Debutant- IITD’s vigorous debating competition- came to an end with Gargi College bagging the first prize, followed by Lady Sri Ram College, and Hansraj College. 

Quizzing whizzes battled out their wits in the India Quiz Competition as well as the General Quiz later in the day, at Rendezvous, which was conducted at the Lecture Hall Complex, with questions varying from Pop Culture-  Music and Entertainment- to History and Science, sensitising the participants as well as the spectators.

Belly Dancing event saw a wide range of cheerful spectators. The performers showcased their impressive dancing skills, making the crowd thrilled with excitement. However, a few spectators raised objections to the lewd nature of the audience’s perspective. “The majority of audience saw the event not as an art form, but rather a way to get cheap thrills. It degrades the participants,” a spectator commented. The general ambience too, was more of a way of objectifying rather than appreciating the dance form. Yet, the participants were energetic and well-rehearsed, and set the stage on fire. The first prize was bagged by Shivani Gupta, and Muskaan Singh bagged the second position.

Duo Dance event witnessed scintillating performances by dance duos from the entire Delhi Dance Circuit.

The biggest highlight of the competition was liberalisation in terms of dance forms and dance types which paved way for diversity and Versatality among dancers.

All performances ranging from Bhangra, Kathak and Bollywood displayed their dance routines.

Members of Spardha, Dance Society of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College came first in tie with Angat. The second position was banged by Athak and Kathak.
The special mention was bagged by Phulkari and Adrita.

Monoact provided the grandeur that IIT Delhi’s Rendezvous needed to come to an end.
The event was filled by artists from all over DCTC i.e. Delhi Collegiate Theatre Circuit.

Monoact which works on the principal of one actor in one scene, stood alone to set the mood for last day of Rendezvous.

The beauty of art is to be an anecdote of emptiness of existence in the society, and the many monoacts performed on pressing issues like lack of choice, lack of sexual preference, domestic violence and patriarchy raised necessary conversations.

Echoes, the Western Solo Singing Competition was also conducted at LHC at 1 p.m.  The event drew a heavy crowd of music lovers. There were 11 participants, all from various colleges and universities. The participants were allowed to either sing solo, or with an accompanist, and the singers were joined by pianists and guitarists. The competition was extremely subjugating in its aura- with the singers entertaining with high notes and vibratos. The first prize was bagged by Dattatreya Biswa, from Deen Dyal Upadhyay College. The second and third position went to Rashim Anand from Daulat Ram College and Janhavi Rajaram from Delhi Technological University respectively.

Another interesting event was FAIL! Initially the idea of this event was conceptualized in Massachusetts Institute of Technology to bring out stories of successful people who have come so far after facing many failures in their life. IIT held a desi edition where celebrities  including Rajat Sharma, Sudhir Chaudhary, Laxmi Agarwal, Sharad Sagar and Captain Raghu Raman addressed the audience with their inspiring life stories.

The event started with a captivating speech by acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal. Laxmi suffered a barbaric acid attack at the age of 15 and came out as a warrior. She started a campaign called Save Sale Acid and has never looked back in her life. She talked about her journey post the incident very modestly. Laxmi’s speech was followed by a video conferencing with Sam Pitroda. A telecom engineer by profession, Sam is considered to be the pioneer of hand held computing in India. He talked about his humble family background, friendship with Rajiv Gandhi, contemporary politics in India over other things. While there was a connectivity problem initially because of technical glitches he took a jibe saying what an irony it is to face such technical glitches in an institute like IIT. His brief address was followed by Sudhir Chaudhary who organically took the audience by his presence. He spoke about his life, his profession and the nationalism that he preaches. Acknowledging the humble response that he gets in IIT he said there’s another university in affinity just about 5 kilometres away where he never gets such overwhelming welcome. He implicitly referred to JNU with which he shares a controversial relationship because of the 2016 JNU Sedition case.

Captain Raghu Raman appeared next. His quirk and unconventional ideas about life enthralled the audience. The second journalist in this event’s list was Rajat Sharma,  editor in chief of India TV. Keeping himself apart from other speakers he held a rather interactive session asking questions from the audience for the majority of his speech. Event was concluded with a speech by young and dynamic Sharad Sagar, who heads the Dexterity Global foundation.

The final day was a melange of events right from the ones of competition and team spirit to the ones which fuelled up the people around. 

With an energetic and captivating performance, the famous dance group MJ5 had the crowd shimmying along with the members of the group to the tunes of famous Hindi and English numbers!

In what could be best defined as the perfect conclusion to a four-day relay of events and performances, Amit Trivedi and band had hundreds of people swooning and crooning to the exuberant tunes of his songs.

The unified and synchronised coordination between the band members reflected the positivity of their music. With this unforgettable rendition of a timeless musical experience, Rendezvous 2019 came to a grand end.

Feature Image Credits: Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat.

Satviki Sanjay 

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Stephen Mathews

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Chhavi Bahmba

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Shreya Juyal

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Amrashree Mishra

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Shivani Dadhwal

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Kartik Chauhan

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Rendezvous 2019, the annual cultural fest of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi began on 2nd October 2019. Here is an outlay of what went down at Day 1 and Day 2.

The western dance competition marked the unfolding of the four day long fest with great zeal and excitement. The first round of the event began at 9 a.m. with eyes glued on to the dances which set the stage ablaze. Satviki,Sanjay, a student of Miranda House said, “The performances blew my mind and made me want to dance myself”. Another student from Lady Shri Ram College for Women said, “The teams left us jaw dropped. I really liked team Nritya, looking forward to seeing them in the finals”. “The teams entertained us thoroughly. The hosts added their own quirks, but sexist jokes did resurface again and again,” added a student who wished to remain anonymous. The judges of the event were Akshat Dhanvani and Reuben from Ace Crew.

Mimansa, the street play competition was organised by the dramatics society of IIT Delhi, saw participants gearing up for the preliminary round with vocal exercises as early as 7:30 a.m. After an impromptu session, the competition began at 11:30 a.m. From over 120 online entries, 37 teams made it to the preliminary round. The competition was judged by theatre artists- Rajneesh Gautam from Saitaan Theatre, Yogesh Kumar from Jazba Theatre, and Ankit Dhawal from Theatre Leela. The teams captivated the judges and audience alike with their well-crafted dialogues and punch lines on socially relevant issues such as sex education or the role of government.

“But comedy is more than just humor. It is about confidence, wit and understanding of the audience,” reads the description of Comedy Hunt, competition for talented comedians to up their game of humor. True to its words, 9 shortlisted comedians competed in the finals to captivate the audience. The competition was judged by the comedians Srijan Kaushik and Pratyush Chaubey. It saw the audience rolling with laughter at jokes on hilarious human traits, religion, politics, sex, and relationships, among other things. Comedians Mohit Arora, Zubin Jacob, and Shubham Pujari bagged the third, second and first prizes respectively, collectively getting cash prizes worth more than INR 15000. “We are not an official club. Just a couple of students enthusiastic about comedy,” said a member from the organising team of Rendezvous’19.

Day 1 at the fest also saw aspiring rappers battling it out at the preliminary rounds of Hip Hop Fiesta: Rap Battle in the Lecture Hall Complex of IIT. Judged by rapper MC Kode, the event had 16 shortlisted candidates for the final rap battle. The Lecture Hall Complex in IITD was also home to a number of writing competitions such as ‘My Jottings’ and quizzes such as Shabdvyuh and Chakravyuh.

Mridang, the the Indian Music Society of IIT Delhi organised the first musical event of Rendezvous 2019, ‘Agaaz’, the eastern group singing competition. The event saw participation of 14 colleges who were judged by a panel of two eminent musicians, Dr. Mahesh Deshmukh who has been trained in Indian classical music under the tutelage of one of the finest Sitar Maestro in India, Ustad Usman Khan and has performed at eminent music festivals in India and countries across globe, and Mr. Pt. Chetan Joshi who is one of the senior most flutists of Indian classical music who has introduced several innovations in the sphere of flute playing which have become parts of his repertoire. Alahyaa, the music society of Daulat Ram College bagged the first position for their performance “Original Piece For The Year 2019-2020 in raag Shankara and Chandrakauns”, while Mridang, the music society of IIT Delhi came second for their performance ‘Krishna Morari Kala- a tribute to Lord Krishna’, and the third position was won by shared by Musoc of Kirorimal college and Alaap of Indraprastha College for Women for their performances “Garaj- Garaj Raghmiya Ki Malhar” and “Naam Ratat” respectively.

The second half of day one of Rendezvous commenced with prelims of Beatboxing contest of the Hip-Hop Fiesta. The event had a participation of 126 teams out of which only 16 teams qualified for the final round to be conducted on 4th October. The event had a footfall of about 80-100 students who thoroughly enjoyed the Beatboxing battle. The event was adjudged by N-Grave, a prominent Indian Beatboxer.

Abhivyakti, Hindi creative writing competition took place at LHC-114. The event had on the spot registration and had almost 150 participants. It was judged by Smt. Rajiv Kumar Shukl, Delhi Director at Aakashvani (All India Radio) and Smt. Ravi Shankar, Creative Director at an Advertising agency. The participants were given topics on the spot by the judges. They were first asked to write on the topic “Gandhi aaj mere liye” in reference to the date of the event,  2nd October. The students were reluctant to this topic so the judges gave them two more topics – “Swachhata, tan ki bhi, man ki bhi” and “Gandhi Vichar aur humara paryavaran“. The students were given the liberty to write on any one of the three options given to them. They were given about 1.5 hours to submit their piece and in any literary format they wished to.

At Pratirodh, the protest poetry event, a total of 9 poets took to stage and used the medium of poetry to express their emotions and views about various social and political issues of the world. The organisers defined poetry as a concept of how one “names the nameless”. Being a non-competitive event, it still witnessed a crowd of about 60-70 people. The participants spoke against mob lynching, female genital mutilation, marital rape, and various other issues of the nation. They addressed these crises in the form of art which really influenced the audience and even left them in tears.

In the later part of the afternoon the Dogra Hall hosted the Young India Debate moderated by Tanvi Shukla, News Editor at Mirror Now. The discussion involved well known panellists like Mr. Aman Sinha BJP Spokesperson, Mr. Raghav Awasthi member of the RSS, Yogendra Yadav Political Activist and Sanjay Rajoura from Aisi Taisi Democracy.

The agenda for the debate was, “Is New India More Intolerant?” Mr. Yogendra Yadav opened the debate denying that New India is intolerant in any way. He stated that intolerance has been privileged from a certain class in the society and is being systematically constructed.  He said, “When lynching takes place the spirit of new India is violated, however this is due to the political cloud that surrounds it.”
The debate went on to have a heated discussion on the growing intolerance towards caste, political ideology, gender, language, and religion. On the other hand, BJP spokesperson, Mr. Aman Sinha stated,” India has been a tolerant and diverse country right from the ancient to contemporary times.” The other speakers brought to light about the various aspects of tolerance and collated it with the national party regimes. Social media and its democratisation was debated extensively and the young student audience acknowledged the debate with equal fervour through active participation.

Just after the Open Sports Quiz, the IIT Delhi Quizzing Society organized its second event on the first day of Rendezvous’19, Karnival-Open Mela Quiz. Over 60 teams, each comprising of 3 participants came together to fight for the top spot. The event began at 2:30 p.m, with the quizmaster coming up with the first question of the prelims round, where a set of 20 mind boggling questions from various fields and interests were derived to decide the participants of the finals at the end of the first round, top 10 teams were selected to proceed for the final round where another set of questions were waiting to be answered by the super genius participants. The competition was a close affair with an enormous amount of coerciveness & fierce quizzing attitude interplaying throughout the game.

The day came to a magnificent close with performance of the trio, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, which swept the crowd of its feet. The audience grooved to their numbers such as Locha-e-Ulfat, Mitwa, and Dil Chahta Hai.

With great vigour and enthusiasm, the second day of Rendezvous, IIT Delhi was welcomed by excited participants and a plethora of events.

Madhubani Painting Workshop was conducted by Ms. Manisha Jha who enlightened the eager participants on the significance and history of Madhubani paintings. From a communal, caste and gender background she went forth to explain the background of prominent paintings.

JAM or Just-A-Minute tested the wit, fluency, presence of mind and grammar of the participants. The judge Dr. Sanjay Chugh left the audience in splits while the participants tried their best to not stutter. Aashima Anand, Aditi Utreja and Chim Sharma stood out as the ultimate winners of the game.

‘Mimansa’ or the street-play competition revolves around the theme of a social message. Participating societies educated the audience on themes related to human trafficking, sex, bias media, faulty legal system and the likes. The winners of the competition are, Hindu’s Ibtida bagging the first, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma’s Rangayan at second and College of Vocational Studies’ Dramanomics at third. The ‘Best Actor Male’ was from Deshbandhu, ‘Best Actor Female’ from Janki Devi Memorial College and the ‘Best Musical Play’ by Sri Venkateshwara College. The judges consisted of seasoned artistes; Tarun Kohli from Akshara Theatre, Varun Sharma from Theatreleela Studios and Vipul from Asmita Theatre.

The Mythological debate, Aaj Ka Narad, was also conducted. The event was judged by an ex-IITian, Mr Yatish Kumar. It was an open event with both college and school students participating. The participants were divided into teams of three each with two rounds- prelims and finals. The first position was backed my Mr Shivam Sanoria, while the second and third positions were shared by three contestants each.

A perfect platform to rant your hearts out, Spin-a-Yarn was a fan-fiction writing competition, an open event for both college and school students. The participants were given 2.5 hours to write a story on any of the prompts given. A total of five themes were addressed- Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Death Note and Percy Jackson. For each theme three situations were provided out of which the contestant could choose to write on any one. This competition was subject to internal checking and the results for the same would be announced in about a week or two’s time.

A melodious touch to Rendezvous ‘19 was added by the fusion band competition of Tatva. 8 college bands participated in this event and gave outstanding performances that truly touched the audience’s hearts. The first position was backed by Happy Together (SGTB Khalsa) while the second and third positions were backed by Raag Shas (IITD) and Calico Skies (CVS) respectively. This event was judged by Mr Raghav Verma and Mr Kartik Dhar.

After a tiring day at IITD Rendezvous, comedians Appurv Gupta and Gaurav Kapoor tickled the funny bone in every person by performing their hilarious sets at the Comedy Fest. Addressing all topics like DU students to a typical day with your father, the comedians well managed to throw everyone off their seats laughing.

Sketch-A-Spot was an open and live sketching event with over 450 participants. Participants were asked to discover their own place in the campus and draw the same. The event was judged by Dr. Rajashri Chakrabarti, professor at the College of Art and Shri Saumya Samanta.

Debutante was an intense debating session bifurcated by different rounds. With sharp minds and even sharper tongue, participants ranging over 40 teams battled it out on several themes spanning across several rounds. Over a period of two days, ranging from feminism and Indian politics to pop culture and economics, the participants were welcomed with a variety of themes. The finals remain awaited on the 4th of October.

The prelims for the Mela-Ish Quiz, organised by the Quiz Club of IIT Delhi. Almost 60 teams participated in the event out of which, only eight teams were supposed to qualify for the finals. It had questions from all sorts of topics, covering Music, Entertainment, Art, Indian history, Science etc. The questions very detailed and had the participants scratching their heads. The quiz consisted of about 20 questions and the participants were given a time of 2-3 minutes for one question. The event was judged by the Quiz society itself and was very well informative throughout.

Hindi Samiti (The Hindi society of IIT Delhi) in collaboration with Nojoto, an app that provides aspiring writers a platform to pursue their dreams, organised a poetry competition, Chhatra Kavi Sangoshthhi. The event had about 250 registrations who submitted their poems to the organisers and only 27 participants were shortlisted for the second round. The event was judged by Smt. Rajiv Kumar Shukl, Delhi Director at Aakashvani (All India Radio) and Smt. Kinshuk Gupta, Chief Juror for Konark literary festival. Each participant was given five minutes to present their Shayaris. The audience was deeply touched by the emotions of the poets who well connected with everyone through their poems.

The Dance Club of IIT Delhi organised a Solo Dance competition. They invited registrations through submission of dance videos of people. They received videos of about 300 aspiring dancers, out of which 45 were shortlisted for the prelims. After the prelims, only nine qualified for the final round. The competition was very diverse as the participants performed all different kinds of dance, western, classical, street dance, etc. After the performances of the participants, Deepanshu, A member of the Solo Dance Club of IIT Delhi took it to stage and left everyone awestruck by his dance. The event was judged by Sanyam Bhayana, Choreographer at University of Delhi and a renowned dancer. First position was bagged by Tiger Pop and the second prize was given to Shreewarna Rawat. After the results, the audience chanted the name of the judge askin him to dance. Sanyam took to stage and danced phenomenally, which was clear by the applause from the audience.

Day 2 ended with harsh rain showers and thunder, due to which the Pronite with Ritwiz was cancelled. The weather turned sour, and led to felling of trees. The Organising Committees at Rendezvous uploaded information regarding safety of the participants, students, and attendees. Allegedly a few people were injured and taken to the hospital on campus for immediate first-aid. The thunder washed away the décor and made a ruckus during the pronite.

Feature Image Credits: Gauri Ramchandani for DU Beat

Anandi Sen

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Avni Dhawan

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Abhinandan Kaul

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Sriya Rane

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Bhavya Pandey

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Satviki Sanjay

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