Oasis 2019


With nights studded by a star DJ and a star comedian, and days marked with celebrations of the performing arts, the “Neon Noir” themed version of Oasis, the annual fest of Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences came to glorious end.

Oasis’19 also unfolded with itself a solo singing competition for the budding singers in the circuit. The three-day competition “Andholika” began on the first day with it’s preliminary round, a workshop on the second day, and the final round on the third day.

The competition was divided on two basis, eastern and western singing; and Male and Female categories. The finale unfolded with two contestants from each of the 4 categories in a duel against each other, and Manjit (Eastern Male); Shivangini (Eastern Female); Nakul Chugh (Western Male) and Aroonema (Western Female) emerged champions.

The musical notes rung high with an Indie Night where notable rising bands like Pakshee played their tunes. Apart from the notes, we had a display of ragas too with Swaranjali, the competitive event for Indian classical singing.

Like every college fest, street plays also played an important part in raising their voices and asking the right questions. A field near the Main Auditorium became the sight for these “nukkad natak” mandlis, with their kurtas and djembes, every play with its own social message. In this event, the street play societies of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (Aflatoon) and Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce (Manchtantra) emerged as winners.

Social messages and personal voices were also expressed at the poetry slam competition called Purple Prose. Out of all the wordsmiths expressing their feelings in Hindi and English, two poets emerged victorious. Interestingly, Sowmya, the poetess who was adjudged first, was an alumna from BITS Pilani itself.

With a theme like “neon-noir”, there was guarenteed fun for the geeky ones too.  The open air screenings at the amphitheatre called The Rotunda carried on from the previous days with screenings of movies like Drive. The artworks of popular characters from the neon and noir pop culture pantheon were still being crafted, giving the sombre coloured campus a multilayered look.

And finally, coming to the main selling point of any fest, each night closed with an act by a star. Day 3 closed with a powerful performance by EDM maestro Nucleya. Along with his desi brand of dubstep, a major aspect of making his performance lively were the trippy, random, and vintage Bollywood inspired visuals playing on the colossal stage screens. The credit for these designs goes to Nucleya’s frequent designer, Diprav Jadhav.

The final night came to an end with a comedy performance in the auditorium by renowned stand-up comic Biswa Kalyan Rath. The tickets were sold out but still the demand for his show was so much that even the floors were occupied by the spectators. And then Biswa went on with his banters on engineering students, Indian civic sense, and other matters, leaving the audience in fits of laughter.

But the nights never really ended at Oasis, with the auditorium and amphitheatre having some sort of event or the other literally all the time. And the high energy was consistent too. Just take the example of a Street Dance Competition at 5:30 am on Day 3. After a college’s flashbmob-like performance, the audience joined in too. BITS Pilani would hardly get wild on other nights!

Lying in the desert state of Rajasthan, BITS Pilani might seem like a desered cut-off place. However, with Oasis, it turns into an oasis of life, energy, art, and talent. Here’s hoping the Oasis of Pilani never turns dry!

Shaurya Singh Thapa
[email protected]

With inputs and coverage by
Akshat Arora, Anandi Sen, Jaishree Kumar, and Shreya Agarwal


With a unique theme called Neon Noir combining elements from the past and future, Oasis started on an eventful and multi-layered note.
Since the past 49 years, Oasis has been a major player in the college fest scene drawing students from all over the country to Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani around this time of the year.

The theme of this edition was Neon Noir. The term in itself expresses two contrasts, Neon signifying the neon lights and cyberpunk future popularised by anime and movies like Blade Runner, while Noir has always been a major genre in pop culture to give a stylish portrayal of the past epitomised by gangster movies, and crime thrillers.

The amalgamation of the past and present through pop culture was quite evident from the magnificent artworks at Pilani’s auditorium, with classic references to Christopher Nolan’s bleak noir-influenced Batman films, the neon coloured heroes of Into The Spiderverse, and many more.

The inaugration saw musical performances and a talk by Madhur Bhandarkar, the acclaimed filmmaker behind movies like Fashion and Page 3. Talking about directors the next day, saw the inaugration of the BITS film festival by Highway and Rockstar-director Imtiaz Ali. Ali talked in detail about his experiences with Oasis in his student days, handling rejection, among other matters.

On the competitive side, Day 1 was marked by the Stage Play competitions and a showcase of fusion music called Tarang. The afternoon saw an extensive choreography event called Choreo where Hindu College’s choreography society Srijiya bagged the first position.

The star of the night was American multi-instrumentalist and electronic musician Dan Deacon who had an interactive musical experience for the crowds at BITS Pilani. Deacon was joined with a Bangalore independent rock band called Iyers Filter Coffee.

Apart from this, the day also saw movie screenings pertaining to the theme like Drive and Blade Runner 2049, along with star gazing sessions. Under the clear night sky and donned with the right mood lighting, the entire campus turned into a photographer’s paradise.

Sunidhi Chauhan, the queen of power ballads in Bollywood, gave the audience at BITS Pilani a whiff of nostalgia as she performed her classic songs from the 2000s and 2010s, and drove them to pure madness as she and her backup singers harmonised and whipped out their best moves together. For the students of BITS, it was a night to remember indeed. However, the crowd did get a little wild and the scene became chaotic with a barricade almost being broken.

Now as the second night comes to an end, let’s see how the remaining days go by, with more events and performances  by Biswa and Nucleya.

Team DUB