|Fashionable Fun: College students battled it out for three days at Umang 2004, the Bhawanipur College annual fest, presented in association with The Telegraph. On Monday, it was the moment of reckoning during the final rounds, at Kala Mandir. Fashion, dance, drama, music... there were sights and sounds aplenty. Young Metro caught the budding designers and models in action at the fashion show . Pictures by Pradip Sanyal
Delegates from more than 28 countries came together for the International Development Congress (IDC) conference 2004, under the aegis of AIESEC, in Jamshedpur to discuss issues related to the development sector. Suchita Sahal, member, global internship programme, AIESEC Calcutta, and a first year law student of Calcutta University, writes in about her experience.
Day 1: The railway station overflowed with the flood of delegates pouring in. It was the first venture where all the delegates, from North and South America to Europe and Asia, met.
The opening ceremony on November 22 began with motivating speeches, and continued with an Indian dance. The opening plenary highlighted our objectives. The millennium's goals were discussed. We were divided into mentorship groups.
Day 2: Breakfast and mentorship started the day. We were given 'learning logs' ' a questionaire based on self-reflection. Next was trips to NGOs, schools and fields where vegetables and flowers are grown, to understand development in rural areas. We also saw a street drama on environmental awareness. This was the 'personal connection' part of our learning.
Day 3: It was a day for 'introduction to development'. In the interactive forum, the delegates shared views on the definition of development and the scenario in their countries. The day ended with presentations by interns working in NGOs .
Day 4: Time 'to take responsibility'. We had several sessions to develop skills in areas like development growth engine and market segmentation. Cultural differences came out in interesting ways, like an exclusive iceberg model. Each country demonstrated its project through charts, CDs, puppets etc.
In the strategy session, we discussed the strengths, weaknesses, threats, possibilities and the opportunities in the development sector. It concluded with connection time ' those with shared interests on development issues interacted.
Day 5: After an introduction to corporate social responsibility was an open discussion and then a panel discussion. The funding and financial sustainability session was aimed at creating awareness about sustainability solutions in the development sector at the local and national levels in AIESEC. Pricing models were demonstrated. Finally, there was a mentorship and delegation meet.
Day 6: The day began with the motto 'activating leadership'. Project creation demonstrations on subjects like planning, tasks, organising presentations, budget, success factor, finalisation, bottlenecks and summary was the essence of the seminar. The project fair had group products on issues like education (ABC ' awareness for the betterment of children) and HIV/AIDS.
Colour, culture, costume and charisma was the bedrock of the Global Village. Delegates wore their national costumes for the evening's event. Italian pasta to Swiss chocolate, traditional Bangladeshi saris to the eye-catching Malaysian style, every flavour of the world was on view. The village was the biggest hit of the conference. Every delegate turned up looking his or her best, from unique hairstyles to T-shirts, tattoos, caps, wrist bands and more. Every country had its own food corner in the village. The Indian delegates wore saris and kurtas, serving lip-smacking Indian delights.
Day 7: Heading for the future was the focus, with discussions on the relevance of the conference and on our tasks when we return home. We visited the Tata Steel factory, where we saw iron ore being purified, checked out the blast furnace, chimneys and artificial ponds where migratory birds drop in. It was the last night, with many an emotional exchange. We will all treasure the memories.
Gasp, guffaw, gasp!, went the audience as the drama unfolded. And why not' Realistic theatre has made us forget that acting is not restricted to the conventional. In this JU department of English production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, tables were turned and typicality tossed out.
Karma looked 'hot' as the skimpily-clad prostitute Mistress Overdone and Simon was positively pretty in the role of the feisty yet wronged Isabella. Debojoy got an idea of how difficult pregnancy is, having to wear a pregnancy pad, while Bodhi found out how it felt to be a victim of the male gaze and rejection. And girls had to learn walking with their legs splayed.
Was this the aim of our director, Ananda Lal' Did he want the guys to learn how it was to be the opposite sex' Or the girls to find out whether the pasture is greener on the other side' Was it a comment on gender issues'
This was theatre! This was theatre people had forgotten. This was acting at its rawest. It was time the groundlings were jolted awake to performance. What didn't the play have' Or rather, what did it have' Sex. Power play. Disguise. Murder. Politics. Having immense contemporary relevance, this was a celebration of one of Shakespeare's works.
You could hate some characters, love some, be bothered by a few, laugh at a few more, be disgusted at others. But watching the play could not but leave you entertained. We forgot a few lines, a few lights went awry, a few glitches happened in the music department... Rimidi, ever efficient, rushed about making last-minute arrangements and pulling our act together.
Prithvi looked tense in his calm and quiet way while he made announcements and supervised lights and sound and in general, us. For this one play, we had rid ourselves of our inhibitions. In the realm of this one performance, everything 'normal' stopped mattering. We had become 'comfortably numb' towards crudeness and weirdness, the guys to all the things they find stupid in girls and girls to all that is gross in guys.
A last moment set was hung up ' hoardings of men in underwear and broken shards of glass ' highlighting the presence of sexuality and the edginess of the Theatrecian production. In a few words, anarchy in action. As the Duke would say: 'Ya ya ya.'
English, Jadavpur University
| Students joined the movement to stop violence against women, with stalls, rallies, movie screenigs and street plays on the issue, on December 10, in front of Shahid Minar. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
We are all back to the usual routine of college life, but everyone involved in the recent production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, performed on December 6 and 8, is missing practice.
American professor and Fulbright scholar Brian Russo directed the Loreto College play, which was set not in Athens, but in Mathura. The production was a part of the World Shakespeare Conference, held in college from December 5 to 8. We collaborated with RBU for the performance. The roles of Oberon and Francis Flute/Thisby were essayed by RBU students.
December 6 saw the actors taking centrestage on the Loreto College lawns where three sets ' the palace, the house of the mechanicals and the forest ' had been put up. The audience, comprised conference delegates, theatre luminaries and others.
After a day's break, the play was staged at American Center. The afternoon was spent in enacting the play for a video shoot.
We grumbled and we cribbed and tempers were often lost (and found). College had become our second home and staying until dark was the norm. But it was worth it. The teamwork came through. Even though we appreciate the strangeness of the 'normal' hours of college now, each one of us who were a part of the production will remember the experience.
Radhika Basu Thakur,
2nd-year, English (hons), Loreto College
Lady Brabourne College was home to a galaxy of academicians and students from December 7 to 9, as a regional level seminar sponsored by the University Grants Commission opened up new horizons to geography enthusiasts. The seminar, on Contemporary Issues of Interdisciplinary Research in Geography, had well-known names on the list.
There were five technical sessions on issues like applied geomorphology and water management, environmental pollution, biodiversity, human and economic resource management, climate change and the rise in sea levels. The first session had interesting deliberations on water management, the validity of the project of interlinking of rivers and the politics behind it and a very enlightening study on the river system and disaster management with emphasis on the river Ichhamati.
Development and environment, the dangers facing water, and a study on air pollution was on the agenda for the second seminar. The session on biodiversity was very lively, highlighting the important points.
Human and economic resource management was in focus for the third session, with paper presentations by students, too. One was a joint paper by Sohini Dutt and Sunanda Joshi, post-graduate students at Lady Brabourne College, on the declining sex-ratio in India. The second was by me, on the recent spate of farmer suicides in Andhra Pradesh.
The final event had interesting presentations on climate change and later on the sea level. Months of hard work that had gone into this three-day seminar paid off.
Geography, Lady Brabourne College
The annual function of JD Birla Institute on December 4 was an example of the adage unity in diversity. It enmeshed the enthusiastic fervour of the students. There were speeches and prize distribution, but the action behind the scenes was just as exciting ' the Green room was a beehive of activity as girls dressed up as men. The cultural programme started with the home science department discussing and dramatising the ubiquitous bandhs. A song and dance followed. Next were the commerce students with a humourous skit showcasing Calcutta. Finally, the BBA department presented folk songs, classical music and wonderful dance performances.
B.Com (hons.), JD Birla Institute
An inter-school quiz competition was held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on December 9. Around 20 schools participated. Andrew Scolt, assistant editor, TTIS, was the quizmaster, while Barry O'Brien conducted a special round. After a tough preliminary and final round, Birla High School for Girls came out on top, while Salt Lake CA School and Ashok Hall came second and third, respectively.
An exhibition, Discover Nature, was held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on December 10 and 11. Students displayed their projects with great enthusiasm, making it a success. The exhibition kicked off with an award function for meritorious students.
In the evening, a cultural programme was staged by the students. The exhibition ended with another colourful show the next day, staged by the students of Sangeet & Nritya Shikshan Bharati.
Class IX, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan