On Tuesday night, the open-air theatre at the Indian Institute of Technology -Bombay (IIT-B) campus rocked to the tunes of Swedish metal band Katatonia and Indian rock band Indus Creed as part of Mood Indigo, their annual cultural festival.
Though the theme of this year’s Mood-I, as the festival is popularly known, is Desi Tadka, the events took on a truly global nature.
Apart from Katatonia, the festival has a line-up of Sumo wrestlers from Japan and the USA who will demonstrate on Wednesday and street performers from Portugal and the US.
“At Mood-I we want to host performances no one has seen before,” said Aditi Jain, media coordinator, Mood-I. “We went through a lot of effort to make sure that these shows are a first of their kind in the country.”
For the performers, IIT-B’s energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Band members of Katatonia, who landed in the city on Tuesday morning after a hectic tour of Australia, forgot all their exhaustion after entering the campus.
“This will be our first visit to this beautiful country and hopefully, a big portion of the 72,000 students attending the festival will come to check us out,” said lead vocalist of the band, Jonas Renske. While Katatonia did sound checks, Sumo wrestlers Naranbat and Byanba warmed up for their big event on Wednesday.
“We’re going to demonstrate the rules, training, forbidden techniques and winnings techniques,” said Byanba. “As a highlight, we will also fight some members of the audience,” said the hefty wrestler.
For students, Mood-I left no room to be bored as the series of performances and demonstrations continued throughout the day.
To bring in the Indian flavour, folk music band Rajasthan Roots performed regional folk songs while street magicians entertained audiences with their tricks.
“I had come to Mood-I 15 years ago when I was in college so when the organising committee contacted me to perform here, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Adi Bhasin, vocalist for the band. “It feels great to see that the festival has matured so much and now the best way to take it forward is to open it up to wider audiences and charge an entry,” said Bhasin, who felt that it would add to the character and revenues of the festival.