It’s back. Every year, same drama. These kids put up banners and tents, and pretend to care about me. But I see through it all. It’s just a matter of four days, before I am alone again, naturally.
There was once a time, however, where I had hope. They built me thinking that I would serve as a Centre of Innovation, a beacon of knowledge, in an otherwise dense world.
My reverie was abruptly interrupted by a slap on my back.
“Hey IC, what are you doing this TechTatva? Look how nice these new banners look! Aren’t you excited for the next four days?”
Ugh, if it isn’t Student Plaza. All she does is lure first-years into wasting their time.
“Don’t be fooled by the glamour of it all. It’s all an illusion. These festivities are transient; you’re left with only sadness after they’re over.”
“Why the glum face, IC? I mean, come on, look around you, this place ebbs with energy. And, I overheard someone talking about RoboWars happening near me! I’m super excited to watch!”
“Save it, SP, you’re barely a year old. KC would’ve understood my feelings! You’re too naïve to understand the sham that these fests are.”
“I sure do not deserve to be spoken to that way. After all, I am the heart of Manipal. You’ve spent your whole life trying to be NLH!”
“And what about the fact that you destroyed my best friend KC and whatever he stood for?”
“Don’t bring KC into this, you old brick! I’ve received more attention in one year than you have in your entire lifetime. I hosted the opening ceremony, for truck’s sake! Why can’t you feel the energy!?”
“Oh I’ve felt it, all right! This energy that you speak of, becomes stale after a while. Ask AB-1. He’s seen it all. From countless fests, to even Satya Nadella’s convocation! You don’t see him jumping around at every occasion.”
“I really don’t care about what a lonely, middle-aged structure has to say. I’ve got everything you desire. The perfect atmosphere, the location, great music. Hell, if MIT started holding classes here, more students would show up!”
“Playing the same five songs over and over again is not called having ‘great music’, SP! You know what, you’re just the same as me, only during fests do they doll you up, and once it’s over, you’re just another heap of concrete.”
“Excuse you! Those are the best songs ever okay?! All hostel blocks ‘beam’ up when they hear my music.”
“Real mature. I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with a one year old.”
“You should be glad you’re having a conversation in the first place. No one wants to talk to you anyway. Even NLH burnt the bridge between you two. I can’t imagine how much sadder your life could get. Have fun talking to the wifi guy who also doesn’t want to be there, by the way.”
“SP, you don’t know how it feels to be ignored every day of your life. The only time I receive some attention is during TechTatva and that too, because of my dumb brother NLH. Every other day is a nightmare. The only two reasons students come to me is to get their wi-fi problems fixed, or to attend those horrid PSUC lectures. Even Om Xerox, that pales in comparison to my stature, sees more footfall than me on any given day! It feels pathetic to think that I’m just a glorified rain shed during the monsoons. Nobody wants me arou–”
“Stop! Stop before I lose my pebbles. Why am I always stuck in between you two?”
“Because you’re literally in between us, Aashiq Lane!”
“Stop saying the same thing, SP!”
“No, you stop, IC!”
“Why are you two getting so worked up for such a petty issue, it’s just TechTatva.”
“You won’t understand, Aashiq Lane, this isn’t about you.”
“But IC, you don’t understand, do you? This isn’t about you, or me, for that matter. This fest is about students getting together to create something brilliant. This is bigger than all of us. It’s a beautiful phenomenon. I mean come on, over two thousand minds coming together to broaden their horizons bringing a whole campus to life in the process, is nothing short of amazing. I think you guys need to get over your sorry selves and see the bigger picture.
IC, SP, relationships are a two-way street. Respect is mutual. The two of you need to embrace your differences, and find a middle ground.”
“I still remember my first TechTatva. I was so happy and excited to see this atmosphere of vivacity around me. Informals set up their games in front of me. I too was a host to so many events. Watching students devour copious amounts of food, singing, and dancing till late in the night was real fun. I was once naïve enough to think that this happiness was concrete, before the faults in its foundation began to show. This euphoria is ephemeral–here one day, gone the next.”
“What you don’t realize is that you are as big a part of TechTatva as the students. You have witnessed the growth of this fest, and the college as it were. Volunteers became organizers, organizers became the core committee. Events changed, Students evolved, but one thing remained constant; the spirit of innovation. It’s high time that you embrace your differences.”
“Yeah, although I love the attention, I guess info-desk folks can be a real pain in my buttress.”
“And I guess I’m shy to admit that I like being in photos and videos too. A little bit of the limelight doesn’t hurt anybody.”
“Thank god we finally agreed on something. Oh, look the lights came on. What a lovely evening. DOC and FOA would’ve loved this.”
Written By Sanjana Bharadwaj and Avaneesh Damaraju for MTTN
Featured image: Bhargabi Mukherjee
Image: Akshat Chourasia