Come year end and the various colleges of DU elbow each other in their haste to proffer bigger, snazzier annual fests. Organizers toil looking for sponsorships, thinking up events, designing websites and whatnot. However , most colleges have different ways of going about planning events and fests.
Take the case of Shaheed Sukhdev College Of Business Studies for example. CBS means business. That’s the one line that sticks with students from orientation day. Students from numerous DU colleges found it very strange proposals need to be submitted for every event that any CBSite may wish to organise.
In CBS, if you want to organize an event, there is a procedure. Teachers invite applications from students who intend to be at the helm of affairs. The students form teams and build a proposal complete with the budget. The different teams then give lengthy presentations to the teachers- in- charge. One team is selected and they go on to induct first years, which is yet another process involving resumes and personal interviews. In this college, you need to work to fetch yourself work.
The absence of a Students’ Union in CBS , some feel, is the prime reason for their competitive scramble to get a coveted event be it the Freshers’ Parties to the annual college festival, Crescendo.
Whenever any major event inches closer on the college calendar, clusters of students are seen huddled discussing tactics and working furiously on their laptops; all the while looking over their shoulders. Not only is it an entirely fair process, it also ensures that the most able team with the best organizational structure bags the event. Complete autonomy is given to the students about managing the event. A teacher heads the team but it is the student who are responsible for bringing in sponsors, looking for venues, stirring publicity and facilitating promotion schemes.
The outcome of such an exercise is a stimulating environment and the students discover new levels of team building and organizing strategies. They come out of an event, smarter and more aware of their strengths and shortcomings.
October was a busy time for the colleges this year with two major fests taking place one after the other in quick succession. IIT Kanpur’s annual fest Antaragani was held from 22nd to 25th October and immediately after that, BITS Pilani is hosting Oasis 2009 from 27th to 31st of this month. Both being equally popular and anticipated, societies had a hard time choosing between the two. This time, BITS reported a turnout of over 1400 students compared to last year’s figures of around 1000 participants. They credited this to increased sponsorship which translated into more events being held, and better organization and management. Certain untoward incidents which took place last year in IIT K involving students from DU may have also been responsible for a shift in preference for Oasis this time round with some girls’ colleges switching to BITS for the said reasons. Since IIT Kanpur also celebrates its Goden Jubilee this year, Antaragini 2009 was slated to be bigger and better than ever with performance by the likes of KK, Jaded Suns, Sitar Funk and Advaita. Oasis, on the other hand, has Rahul Bose gracing the awards ceremony and handing them out to the winners.
Most societies with the exception of ICS (Indian Cultural Society) and several music societies were represented in these fests but with a huge variety of competitions taking place in both, involving activities for almost all societies and a limited number of participants slotted for each college, there were internal disputes as well regarding which societies would be sent for the events. A disgruntled student of the Expressions Magazine Society of LSR,on conditions of anonymity complains against the unjustness of the procedure where certain societies have to suffer at the expense of others due to a lack of coordination. She alleges that the members of their society were not given a fair chance simply because they happened to be a minority and were dropped at the last minute. This itself is indicatory of the intense competition between college societies seeking representation in this prestigious festival and the high standard of the competition that is to be expected at both these outstation festivals this year
JMC – English DramSoc, Hindi DramSoc, Magazine Society and Photography Society attended Oasis
LSR – Music Society and DebSoc attended Oasis
Hindu – Participated in Antaragini
Ramjas – DebSoc attended Antaragini
Stepehens – Participated in Antaragini
Miranda House – With the exception of Indian Music and Western Music, all other societies went to Pilani
SRCC – Fashion Society and their stage play went to Pilani
Two major fests, of IIT K and BITS Pilani, took place back to back. Antaragini in Kanpur from 22nd to 26th and Oasis in Pilani is taking place from the 27th to 31st. BITS reported higher turnout due to better sponsors and improved management. IIT K also celebrated its Golden Jubilee alongside. Excessive competition within colleges regarding selection of representation in fests , with some societies complaining of being ignored because they’re in the minority.
Fest season is finally upon us. While everyone is equally happy and excited about this, there’s not much of a consensus when it comes down to why everyone is so keyed up about fests. Is it the competitions, the crowd or just the fact that there are no studies? DU Beat finds out!
The party people
Fests = party for them. They’ll come dressed in their best clothes, hair slicked up, shiny boots and heels on, loaded with chains and bangles. The high point of the fest for them is of course the evening when the music is on at full blast and they can dance to their favourite disco tunes. Socializing is another aim which features on their agenda. They will wink at all the pretty girls and pout at the hunks, elbow their friends to introduce them to all their acquaintances and be as loud as they can.
They’ll be huddled in a corner, discussing tactics or practicing fiercely. The competitors are there in fests for just that – competing. Running busily around, they barely have time to mingle about and enjoy the fests. Their main goal is to win that coveted award and return victorious to their college to start preparing for the next fest.
Spot them lounging lazily about on the grass, lingering around all the stalls, tasting the food and commenting on the weather. They come to fests mainly to “chill” with their friends and kill time. With no real plan in mind, they’ll be up for anything.
They’re mainly people from other universities, here to get a feel of DU. They will wander around, checking out all the booths and appraising the DU crowd. Wanting to make the most of the opportunity at hand, they attend all the events they can, from theatre to street plays, debates and dance. They are usually accompanied by proud friends who guide them around and brag about all the fun things going on.
Fancy yourself as a writer? Looking forward to letting those creative juices flow this year? DU is reputed for its versatile and brilliant ECA. Creative writing as an extra curricular activity in DU does get its share of opportunity if not ample attention.
However, this does not imply that there is no scope for budding writers in the varsity. Numerous intra and inter college activities are conducted throughout the year to hone this talent. Literary associations of colleges, some more active than others, have a major role to play in this. Creative writing competitions are part and parcel of almost every Delhi University festival. An opportunity to showcase your writing prowess is offered in inter university festivals like Antaragini and Rendezvous as well.
English departments throughout the varsity also organize departmental literary fests, where writing competitions are often the highlight of the event. One of the most famous writing competitions in DU is Flair, the literary event conducted by Hindu college. It is a short story writing competition for which entries are invited in October and November and the best entries are published in a journal dedicated to Flair that comes out in July.
An emerging trend in creative writing competitions these days is the use of visual and one line prompts. Creative freedom is offered to the participants as the format ranges from free verse, short story , script writing to poetry.
Inter and intra college writing talent is also inculcated through the medium of college magazines. Students often find a mode of self-expression via these magazines and journals. Some colleges like MirandaHouse and JMC even have a separate prize/scholarship for students who have shone exceptionally in this field.
Truly a writer at heart? Keep an eye out for Wordspill, DU Beat’s upcoming creative writing competition.
A fresh new year and a fresh new bunch of fests to look forward to! We bring to you the ECA calendar of the year that was so that you can get an idea of all the fun that’s in store for you this session.
Oasis, the annual cultural festival of BITS, Pilani is an eagerly awaited event and sees a high level of participation among DU colleges. Known for its energy and rock nights, it is also one of the biggest competitions for most ECA societies, especially western dance and fashion.
Jaipur literary festival
The Jaipur literary fest is the biggest of its kind not only in India, but all of Asia. It is a celebration of national and international writers and encompasses a wide range of activities including film, music and theatre as well as readings, talks, literary lunches, debates, children’s workshops and so on. Last year it was attended by the likes of Aamir Khan, Anoushka Shankar, Moni Mohsin and Fatima Bhutto. This year, expected bigwigs include William Dalrymple, Amitabh Bachchan, Bashrat Peer and Advaita Kala among others.
IIT Delhi’s ‘Rendezvous’ is among the largest cultural college festivals in Northern India with participation from over 400 colleges and attendance from over 30,000 students. Though all its events are equally thrilling, their rock show ‘Blitzkrieg’ definitely takes the cake with its eclectic performances.
Antaragini is IIT Kanpur’s much talked about annual cultural fiesta. Watch out for their drama and music events which are a big hit among DU colleges. Apart from them, the other events like the fashion show, panel discussions, essay writing competitions, workshops etc. are also not to be missed. Once again, IIT Kanpur also hosts a brilliant rock show.
Old World Theatre festival
Another highly anticipated event, the Old World Theatre festival showcases the best of drama from across Delhi University. Last year, many plays from various colleges made it including ‘MacWho’ from Venky, ‘Line mein lago’ from KMC and ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’ from LSR. This is a must watch for all theatre addicts!
Let’s not forget our own college fests in the flurry of out-station events, shall we? Now, onto some of the notable DU fests!
Tarang, the LSR festival is one of the most energetic carnivals in DU. Competition levels here are pretty high with all the top colleges in and around the University vying for the coveted awards. The same can be said for Nexus, Sri Venkateswara College’s annual fest which draws a huge crowd every year. Last year saw performances by Euphoria and their own hugely popular college band – Fire Exit. Their play, “MacWho” was also a big hit. Crossroads, SRCC’s fest had a wide range of events ranging from the usual dramatics, music, debate competitions and such but also including adventure sports like zorbing and rafting. Performances by Advaita and Kay Kay were major crowd pullers too.
With all the fests being such roaring successes last year, we wonder what they have planned this time around. Going by their track record though, we’re sure they’ll surpass their own standards and surprise us again. Here’s to another great, exciting, fun-filled DU year!