This year, two of the city’s biggest college festivals will go head to head to attract crowds. Malhar, the annual festival of St Xavier’s College, and Umang, that of NM College, will both be held from August 19 to 22. While Malhar 2010 winds up on August 21, Umang 2010 goes on for a day more.
The organising committees of both colleges insist that they picked the dates first. Student of St Xavier’s Vidushi Kapoor says, “The principal of the college picks the dates according to the college’s yearly schedule. We can’t change them now.” However, Kruti Shah, PR Head of Umang, insists, “We had picked our dates first, and then Malhar released theirs. But it won’t affect the number of people attending.”
Student Ashni Shah of NM College says that in any case, the number of participants doesn’t decrease. “However, quality suffers, and the crowd gets split between the suburbs and South Mumbai.”
Student Kanhaiya Maheshwary from UPG College says, “Although we are sending our team to Malhar for a few events, our only aim is to win Umang. Unfortunately, due to the clash of dates, we stand to lose as we miss the opportunity to be a part of Malhar. Also, our college’s proximity to NM College will affect our participation in Malhar.”
Currently in its 32nd year, Malhar’s theme for the year is ‘Game On’. Student Prajakta Kuwalekar explains, “Game On is an attitude and a spirit that epitomises Malhar. Through all the festivities and fierce competition, the spirit of fair play is played up.”
The major highlight of the fest is the Malhar Conclave, a daylong event to be held on August 19. Speakers including economist Lord Meghnad Desai, cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, politician Dr Jayprakash Narayan and social activist Gerson Da Cunha will speak on issues affecting the youth today.
Umang has chosen a historic theme - The Ancient Resonance. This year, Clinton and Dominique Cerejo will be performing at Pro-nights, singing Bollywood numbers from Rock On and Wake Up Sid. Sonam Kapoor, along with the cast of Aisha, are going to make an appearance for the pre-Umang celebrations, along with the cast of Lafangey Parindey and Anjaana Anjaani.