Oh OK, the disclaimer. I am a BE-ite, a proud one at that and therefore, I am biased, towards Bhawanipur Education and towards Umang – not that it really matters, Umang, being what it is, would have topped the charts, in any way.
Now that it is almost mid-December, the Fest Season is just about getting ready to begin, as always with a Bang. See? Even bang rhymes with U-mang! Umang will set the ball rolling, or whatever you guys are “rolling” this year (no pun intended). The dates? December 15th to 18th, 2016.
During the course of these three days, BESC will roughly witness a footfall of 9000 +, welcome participants from more than 50 institutions as a spectacle unfolds – glamour and glitz, the kind of which will make even the ramps go g with j. Umang will also continue to be the platform that will help a fresh batch of movers and shakers showcase their raw talent, cheered by friends, booed by enemies but appreciated by all. It will not be out of place to mention here that Umang stands apart, among many other things, in the manner the management of the institution opens up the purse strings to support the students as they go about in their eternal quest to present to the City of Joy, a bigger, better, more spectacular show. The point to be highlighted here is that the management believes that the organisation of mega events like Umang (and Communiqué and MUN to mention a few) really help turn the boys into men.
In Xavotsav the story is slightly different, in as much that instead of the Management, it is the Alumni Association that lends its full support to the students. Add Alumni might to the 150 plus year legacy of the Institution and the advantage of being the prime mover in the Kolkata fests scene and Xavotsav becomes what it is, the undisputable(?) leader of the pack. If you ask me, and again this is my personal take on the thing, the fight for supremacy is between the students of BESC and the students plus ex-students of SXC.
And there are the also-fests. Sanskriti of JU (Liberal Arts and Engineering). The content is excellent, but Ananda Bazaar Patrika types (that is if Xavotsav is the TT and Umang is the TOI of Kolkata fests). Forgive me guys, I do not make the comparisons in any pejorative sense, but am taking the references just to hint at the cosmopolitanism of the events and the participants – from concept to communication, through creativity and creation. The Mileau of the Presidency University (hang on, they are about four and a half decades older than SXC) is another destination event that is a must attend for college students. The programmes eclectic, the ambience laid-back to the point of being intellectually disdainful and the overall experience as wholesomely heavy (as opposed to “heabby”, in Bengali) as the institution itself. Rhapsody of the Kolkata Medical College too makes the cut to the Big Five, though personally speaking, the stench of disinfectants and the prospect of doctors in housecoats belting out Hindi-movie songs somehow gives me the kind of creeps that I’d rather avoid. Sorry Doc to be, nothing personal about that and I hope you don’t hold that against me like you hold your stethoscope.
However, it will be wrong to draw a line here and not mention about the other happening fests of Kolkata – Elcecia of the Heritage Institute of Technology is also doing a fast catch up as is the Phoenix of the Future Institute of Engineering and Management. Keep up the good work buddies, the least I can say is that you guys are on track.
Pardon my intransience, but you must have noticed that I did not mention the grand daddy of them all, the Spring Fest of IIT Kharagpur. Well, the piece is about Fests in Kolkata, besides, there’s too much smoke in the air to be written about objectively (wink,wink).
PS. Umang spends an obscene amount over the four days. Xavotsav spends about twice that. And both the events are well planned out extravaganza’s that are backed by near professional execution by teams of dedicated warriors ready to sacrifice their all for God, Country and the College banner. They are not mere fests that students organise between classes, but are much, much more than that in the truest sense of the term. That’s the power of the brand that brings in the sponsors in search of captive audiences and eyeballs. Now compare your college fests budget – does that explain the rankings?
Twinkle Sinolia has done her graduation from BESC and is currently running her own business – Aditi Creations, a boutique that makes bespoke greeting cards. She is also into custom creation of Birthday treats and helps organise exclusive theme based parties and events. She is currently pursuing a course in Corporate Communications in the BESC.
A regular in the college fests scene, she misses her canteen years: the marathon adda sessions, endless pile on’s, disregarded parental guidance and everything that came with it . Her advice to the gen-next? Live it up friends, you will go through this only once, YOLO!
As for the college fest scene she is categorical – don’t miss any one of them. The talent is raw, the sheer creativity maddening and the camaraderie that they help foster is what makes the Nation tick not to mention the spirit that is Kolkata!