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College Festivals: Inside out
Siddharth Aalambayan, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 11, 2012
First Published: 16:34 IST(11/9/2012)
Last Updated: 19:19 IST(11/9/2012)
Students and teachers during Kamla Nehru College fest.

The crowded corridors and zestful atmosphere may lead you to believe that being part of a college festival is a lot of fun. But behind the victories and smiles are brickbats, hard work and toil. In fact, in three or four years of college, if you haven’t been a part of a fest, your campus experience remains incomplete.

Taking charge
Every college carefully chooses its contingent leaders and chairpersons (CP). This coveted position not only comes with all the fame, but also means serious responsibility. Priyank Gupta, who was CP for K C College’s annual fest Kiran 2012, says, “The committee empowers you. As a CP, one can’t show how nervous he or she is, since the committee looks up to him.”

Money matters

What runs a festival is the money and getting sponsors is a tough job. Shachi Lapasia, marketing head for KC college BMM fest Blitzkrieg, says, “There are times when we all break down, but it’s important to remain spirited. Sometimes follow-up calls seem to look like spam, and asking for money turns into begging, but you have to work a way through it,” she says.  

New ties
A festival is all about bonding with your contingent and working as a unit. Malhar remains one of the most awaited fests on the students’ calendar, so colleges even have their own pre-Malhar auditions. While some people go to participate, some merely hang around for ‘bird watching’. “There is always good eye candy at college festivals,” laughs HR College student Jahnavi Sharma.

The other side

But the picture isn’t always as rosy. During the course of a festival, the college security team has a lot to deal with, from driving out couples cosying up in classrooms to controlling debates that get rougher by the minute. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol are part and parcel of every college fest. Hence, ensuring that things don’t get out of control becomes the security team’s topmost concern.

“We faced problems from influential goons when some persons, who weren’t college students, tried to enter the campus,” says a member of the organising committee of a popular college fest, who didn’t want to be named.

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