The sceptic in 1953 would have looked at the barren fields of Manipal and expressed disappointment and helplessness over the future of a place which was in such an advanced state of decay. However, Dr. Tonse Madhava Ananth Pai was no sceptic. His prognostication of this desolate land has resulted in generations trickling down through the crevices of quality education, becoming fine doctors, engineers, architects, and intellectuals.
As KMC welcomes its Inaugural Annual Sports-cum-Cultural fest, Invictus, it is but fair to say that Dr. TMA Pai would look at this generation and smile, proud of the distance the college that he established with his bare two hands has reached.
Invictus 2017 brings with it a promise of seven days of sleepless nights, stress and tension, disappointments of loss and the joys of triumph but most importantly, of the memories waiting to be etched in an eternal edifice. The greatest accomplishment of Invictus is the legacy it hopes to leave behind of transforming into an annual fest that may continue in the college portals for generations hence.
Invictus shall be a combination of two fests this year: Vibes, the annual literary and cultural fest and MIST, the annual inter-medicos sports fest. Invictus, being held from the 24th-30th April 2017, encompasses years of trials, efforts, and speculations of hosting a single combined fest with sports, cultural and literary activities.
We at MTTN decided to unearth from the pages of history the various fests that took place in the Health Sciences Campus that led to Invictus and in our search, we had some very interesting revelations. Invictus is not the first literary, cultural and sports fest in KMC history. As recently as 2010, KMC played host to one such fest.
1. 1970’s to 1990
Till early 1980’s, there were lots of extracurricular activities in the college with both students and staff participating. Plays, quizzes, debates and other such events were a regular feature. There were plenty – KMC Orchestra Club, Photography Club, Drama Club, Keyemsee Magazine. Gradually, in the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s, with the staff ageing and not being as participant, the activities declined. Koppikar Memorial Kannada Drama Club, which used to be held annually faded away.
2. 1991: The First Invitational Karnataka Inter Medical College Meet.
Held over twelve days, this was perhaps the first time in KMC history an event of that great a magnitude was held. There was widespread participation from almost all the major medical colleges in Karnataka. As KMC lifted the winning trophy, there was a collective sense of pride and belonging to the college; something which was thought to be absent amongst the students at the time. The meet was accompanied by Razzmatazz, a cultural night involving dance and skits by KMCites. As a culmination to the entire event, there was a poolside party, Oasis which went on till sunrise!
3. 1994: KMC Intermedics
After a gap of two years, the Intermedics Sports Competition was held again in KMC with great zest. The fest Basketball, Cricket, Athletics and Chess. The evenings were accompanied by Safari, a dance and drama event showcasing the best of talents in KMC.
4. The Late 90’s: The late ’90s was a period of drought in terms of extracurricular activities. The academics had reached a zenith at this point at the expense of other activities.
5. 2002/03: The Golden Year
In 2003, KMC celebrated its golden anniversary, completing 50 years. This year was indeed golden in the history of KMC as there was a new life infused in the KMC student. The KMC student dared to dream beyond the boundaries of Ganong and Guyton again. 2002 marked the inaugural Flava – Flavours of Manipal. The following year marked the first annual intercollegiate literary fest, Vibes. Under Dr RSP Rao’s deanship, the scenario of extracurricular activities prospered. There was a sense of modernisation pervading the years.
Started in 2002, under the leadership of then Student Council President, Syed Safdi Mahmood, Flava was a showcase of the various colors of India. In the form of music, dance and food, each student familiarized fellow batchmates, juniors, seniors and teachers with a taste of their own homeland and vice-versa. Students reveled in dancing in their native dance forms and singing in their respective mother tongues. What was especially fascinating about this event was the Mr and Ms KMC competition which was held. Students were at loggerheads against each other at times to achieve the title. This fest was actively held for twelve years, after which it was discontinued in 2014 due to reasons unknown to us.
VIBES (2003- Present)
Vibes is believed to have started in 2003 under Dean RSP Rao. However, it may be assumed that it started rather humbly, without drawing too big a crowd. There has been no mention of Vibes in the college magazines for the first three years of its existence. It is only through references in later editions of the college magazine could we confirm its existence during its initial years. However, it was only in 2007 did the fest achieve the significance it has today. With literary events ranging from Turncoat to SPENT Quiz, Dumb Charades to Extempore, the fest had an event for the somber individual as well as his rather careless counterpart. 2007 was incidentally the only year in recent times when KMC went all the way to New Delhi to participate in Pulse.
2008 saw the fest getting a sponsorship from Airtel. There was the introduction of events such as Mock Press, Mastermind and Winners Circle.
In the following years, 2009-14, Vibes grew into a much larger fest. Now, it drew students all the way from Mangalore and Surathkal along with neighbours MIT. The competitiveness of each event was fierce. That however did not deter the participants from enjoying themselves and having fun.
2015 marked the last edition of Vibes. The 2015 edition as all other previous editions was a great ice-breaker for the newly admitted freshmen with their seniors. However, as events transpired, the authorities disbanded the erstwhile student council. This resulted in Vibes being absent in the year 2016.
MIST (2009- Present)
Under the leadership of Dean Dr Sripathi Rao, Muthu Magesh, the erstwhile KMC Sports Secretary took the initiative to establish a first of its kind Sports Fest, called MIST. The tournament began with just four sports: Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Cricket and Tennis. In its first year, the tournament attracted colleges like AFMC and MS Ramaiah.
MANIA 2010: As we mentioned earlier, there was a combined fest in the year 2010. With participation from few of the best colleges in Bangalore, Pune and Pondicherry, the fest was a huge success. There was even a Mr and Ms Mania contest. The literary and cultural events included Debate, JAM, Collage, Extempore, Dramatics and the other events one usually came across in Vibes. There were six sports played that year: Cricket, Volleyball, Badminton, Football, Tennis and Basketball.
The following years however, MIST was reduced to being merely a sports fest again. Despite being on a smaller scale, there was no shortage of work and energy that went in the organization of these tournaments. The 2013-2015 tournaments saw a slight decrease in turnout with colleges from only neighbouring regions around Udupi participating. However, with great enthusiasm, the Sports Secretaries of 2016 and 2017 have re-established MIST as the finest sports fest in Southern India. The balloons that have flown high emblazoned with its name over the last two years bear testament to their great zeal and efforts.
The competition in each sport has only grown stronger through the years and as MIST enters its ninth year, we could only hope for a much larger event and a bigger MIST with each passing year.
With humble beginnings to something which is to grow exponentially in future years, we would like to extend our best wishes to the KMC Student Council who have been working night and day to make Invictus possible. We hope that Invictus keeps on growing through the years to establish itself as a major fest vis-a-vis its counterparts in AIIMS, IIT Bombay and the likes.
– Compiled and written by Reetobaan Datta.
Acknowledgments: This article was made possible by the generosity of the Editorial Board of KMC and the help provided by the current and previous Editors-in-Chief: Meghna Sivakumar and Medha Rao.
Sources: College Yearbooks (1991-2015)
We have tried our best to be as factually correct as possible. Any inaccuracy is highly regretted.