From kites and lanterns to stacks of hay, cycles, rickshaws and fortune-tellers, the Arena at IIT Kharagpur was transformed into a mini village for four days in keeping with the theme of this year’s Spring Fest, The Great Indian Carnival — Dil se desi. The biggest campus cultural fest in eastern India was held from January 23 to 26, in association with The Telegraph.
More than 3,500 students from 80 colleges participated in 95 events over four days. Most of the competitions — like Rangmanch (drama), Centrifuge (dance), Nukkad (street play) and Wildfire (band competition) — at SF are serious business for those competing and the sight of people rehearsing at various corners of the campus is pretty common.
It was not just the decor that spelt carnivalesque, there was some fun activity going on in every corner of the Arena, the heart of SF. “We had come here to participate in Centrifuge but then we ended up signing up for Two for a Tango just 10 minutes before the competition. It’s all about having fun,” said Arcot Sirish, a student of Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad.
While some showed off their style sense by designing outfits with old newspapers in Panache, others made the face their canvas, putting colours in Face Canvas. Perpz DJ, the all-day dance event, was also a big draw. The dance floor in one corner of Arena was packed with students jiving to Bollywood hits like Lungi dance, Balam pichkari, Dhating naach and Gandi baat. “This is the perfect place to chill out and shake a leg with friends,” said Spoorthy Rao, a student of IIT Kharagpur.
Apart from the competitive events, Spring Fest 2014 had lined up acts by nine international artists — Chris Cheong, a mentalist from Malaysia; Murray Mulloy, a sword-swallower from Ireland; and Jack Glatzer, a violinist from Portugal, left the crowd spellbound.
If the days were all about winning contests, the nights were about letting one’s hair down. The first night saw Agnee, a Pune-based rock band, give a power-packed performance. Underground Authority and folk-rock band Swarathma were up for the second night. Pentagram set the stage on fire on the third, while Bollywood boys Salim-Sulaiman wrapped up the fest on the fourth.
Text: Malancha Dasgupta
Pictures: B. Halder and Chanchal Ghosh