Going by Merriam-Webster’s definition of fests, it is a gathering, event, or show having a specified focus. Well, it’s way more than that. A fest is not an occurrence of three or four days where students participate in various events; it is an experience which can never really be forgotten, be it good or bad. It stays with you forever.
College fests are something which every student fantasises about ever since their school days. Especially freshmen, who eagerly wait for those few days because it serves as a break from their monotonous lives. Traditionally, culture is the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular group of people. When this group is a bunch of teenagers on the threshold of adulthood, culture is often learning to work together, helping each other out, and making friends. There are various kinds of college fests throughout India, be it a core communication fest, a literary fest, food fest, technical fest, and more.
These programmes are outlets for students who are eager to let their creative side shine. Sure, they can always participate in clubs, but with a college fest comes an array of events and opportunities. These fests are not just limited to the usual main stage events like dance performances and singers vocalising away. Classrooms and any other free space are converted into mini arenas, giving everybody a chance to take part in something.
Sometimes the preparation of a fest may start with almost a year in hand, beginning from the selection of the core committee. The efforts of a lot of people go into force in making a fest a successful one. It is days of people planning, running around getting permissions, sorting things out and organising, and spending what feels like endless hours late at night on campus. You need to come up with new ideas every single year just to keep it fresh and innovative; you need to be at your best.
When day one finally arrives, there is a lot of excitement, enthusiasm, ambiguity in the air with people running around frantically to make all ends meet.
The big main stage events attract everybody in one way or the other. The stage is set with bright lights shining on the huge flex board, the surrounding areas are decorated with pretty hanging lanterns or fairy lights spun around, and there are voices everywhere trying to be audible over the loud music playing – and this is just outside.
You walk into smaller places, and you find mini-game stalls installed, with games for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you are competitive or not – you always end up playing just for the fun of it. There are physical activities like sports for those interested in that niche, and ones that require brainstorming and intellect.
For the students in their last year, having experienced the entire affair more than two times does not mean they’ll get bored of it. The last year brings a sense of nostalgia for them. At the end of the day, a fest is all about trying to make the best of all the three to four days you have.
The good part is all the toil leads to a spectacular turnout – something everybody in college waits for.
– Karthika Venugopal and Sayantani Saha for MTTN