| One of the organisers of the Alcheringa briefing the media in the city on Sunday. Picture by Eastern Projections
Jan. 25: Around 80 teams from different educational institutions in the country are expected to participate in the annual festival of the IIT, Guwahati — Alcheringa 2004 — that will harp on unity among the younger generation.
Starting on January 29, the key-attraction of the four-day eighth edition of the festival will be the live concerts by premier bands Indian Ocean and Vaayu. Past performers in the annual event include Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Euphoria, Parikrama and Brahma.
This year, Alcheringa will for the first time feature a fashion show to be hosted by fashion designer Prasant Ghosh, who will, as one of the organisers put it, showcase the beauty and simplicity of the quintessentially Indian fabric — khadi.
It will, also for the first time, host antakshri game on a big scale with the backing of the State Bank of India. One of the organisers said the latest edition of Alcheringa would be the “biggest ever”.
“Our students had gone to Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and other northeastern states to ensure quality participation. The introduction of Alcheringa trophy is sure to give a keen edge to the already intense competition between colleges. In a rare confluence of cultures, the fest will also see Mito, a German classical jazz act,” he said, adding that it would be the endeavour of the organisers to showcase the resources of the Northeast like cane and bamboo.
The infrastructure for the festival like tents, food stalls and stage props have been made entirely with bamboo, which provided local artisans with a much-needed platform to showcase their skills. To pull in the crowd, the IIT has decided to run a bus service from a vantage city location — the premises of the Institute of Engineers, Panbazar. The inaugural function will be held at 5.30 pm on January 29.
Pepsi, the SBI, Triology, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Tata Tiscon, Amul and Duke have supported the event. Many reputed educational institutions like the MNIT, Allahabad, IT-BHU, BIT Mesra, IIT, Calcutta, NJUS, Calcutta, Assam University, Silchar Medical College and NIT, Silchar and the Nerist have confirmed their participation. The photography contest — Kirnaankan and Chhavi — will provide a unique platform to young photographers.
The picturesque IIT campus, with its lakes and hillocks, offers wonderful opportunities for budding cameramen to explore their talent. Kirnaankan is for quick-thinking photographer, and Chhavi is the longer version of the event. Lucrative prizes are also on offer.
The added attraction of this year will be the Alcheringa trophy. Apart from this overall trophy, literary and fine arts trophies will be there to honour the talents in the respective fields. Contests like Rock--Phoenix and Mr and Ms Alcher have become well known as launch pads for aspiring musicians or models. The contests are for the women of style and the men of substance, one of the organisers said. Slick, well-choreographed, professional productions of epic poems and undying love sagas will be enacted during the event. “The event will be judged by eminent film and theatre personalities from Bengali and Assamese cinema,” one of the organisers said.
For the creative ones, there are contests like face painting, T-shirt painting, charcoal painting, mask making, cartooning and collage-making. “Prizes include elegant wall hangings and famous books on arts and artists,” Tandav Krishna, an organiser, said.