Colleges seem to outdo themselves every year when it comes to their college festivals.
They introduce new contests and themes to make their festivals stand out.
For example, this year Mood-Indigo, the annual cultural festival of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), will hold football matches in the dark. The only thing that will be visible will be the football, goalposts and the numbers on the players' backs, which will be painted with glow paint.
Dhvani Doshi, part of the organising committee of Sophia College's annual festival Kaleidoscope, said, "An event becomes more exciting when you introduce some queer aspect into it to get the participants to use their grey matter."
Last year, Kaleidoscope had bands making music using kitchenware such as saltshakers, ladles, spoons and glasses. This year they have a garage theme.
Television shows too seem to be inspiring college festival ideas. Malhar 2010 will have Malhar's Got Talent (like it is India's Got Talent) where participants are free to come and perform or display absolutely any random talent they might have. The best part is, there will be no judging. Mood Indigo too has this event called Dancing with the Stars where participants are paired with choreographers, just like Jhalak Dikhlaja (or the original Dancing with the Stars)
These festivals have now become a platform to showcase talent and many participants have gone on to make it big. "Some very well-known bands such as Parikrama and Pentagram have emerged as a result of Livewire. We are proud that we don't just entertain during the festival but are instrumental in helping youngsters market their talent as well", said Aditi Jain from IIT, Powai.
Umang, the annual festival of Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, too, has come up with Echo Chamber, for amateur rock bands. In its second year, Echo Chamber has become the most popular event of Umang.
"We invite amateur rocks bands from all over India to send in their songs. Last year we got about 20,000 entries. Then our music committee selects the 20 best songs which are then put together under a name called 'Echo Chambers' that will be put online on our website for everyone to listen to," said Dhvaneel Shah, member of the organising committee of Umang 2010.
Some college events tweak their contests to go with their themes. Wilson College's festival Polaris, which was held earlier this month, had a vintage theme. So, in their dance competition, participants had to incorporate famous dialogues from old Hindi films in their performances.