Students at the prelims of The Great TTIS Challenge 2010. (Anup Bhattacharya)
What do you get when 135 schools and 20,000-odd students come together for a battle to crown and cheer the best? A grand carnival of fun and frenzy, excellence and expertise. The annual Dabur Red Toothpaste The Great TTIS Challenge 2010 is back in town with more schools, more students and more events (19) in its sixth edition at Swabhumi. The prelims were held from December 4 to 7. The winners will slug it out for three days from December 10 at the same venue.
The inaugural ceremony of the finals will see singer Raghav Chattopadhyay build up the festive mood on Friday morning while choreographer Dhiman Sankar and his troupe will perform to the theme: 150 years of Rabindranath Tagore. The curtains will be brought down by music band Underground Authority on Sunday.
The excitement over the gala fest is not just sweeping through schools, but also enveloping ex-students. Last year’s Champion of Champions student Argha Modak wanted to be a part of “eastern India’s greatest fest” this time too. “I’ve participated in the carnival for the past three years and I couldn’t imagine not being here this time too. I wracked my brains about how I could come back to the fest and managed to qualify as one of the anchors,” smiled the first-year student of mass communication and journalism.
The carnival has meant more than fun and fame for participants down the years. “Some of last year’s participants have got a break as radio jockeys,” said an organiser. No wonder the spirit of the carnival is “to give a platform to budding talents”.
Besides schools from Calcutta, joining the fun fest this year are Asansol Collegiate School and Carmel Convent High School, Durgapur.
The events include 3 Minutes to Fame, Unconventional Orchestra, Fashion Parade, Fusion Dance, Eastern Solo and Antakshari.
New entrants this year like Ad Mania (students market a product), Instrumental Jugalbandi (playing with two instruments), Portrait Drawing and Backyard Art (making art from junk) will add to the thrill.
So what brings the students to the carnival in droves?
“No other carnival in the city can match up to The Great TTIS Challenge in terms of scale. It also has the maximum number of events,” said Ekta Radhi of Shri Shikshayatan School.
From Priyana Chakraborty, the sole participant from Our Lady Queen of the Missions School, Salt Lake, to last year’s Champion of Champions school, Pailan World School, that participated in all the preliminary rounds, the carnival is all that kids in town can talk about.
“We need to have a stronger pitch… and leave no stone unturned to retain the crown. We can’t be complacent,” said Vivek Sinha, a Class XI student of Pailan.
It’s the same resolve in 134 other schools too.
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