Let the tradition begin…
We (the batch of btech 2k1 of IIIT Hyderabad) started this very own event of IIITians with the above mentioned punch-line, sadly the tradition that we tried to set didn’t took off that well and now this is 2nd year in a row when I hear that it has got cancelled.
Well, this post is not to blame anyone, its just that the recent article in iiitbuzz made me to look back in time and capture those golden moments that we spent together in planning and execution of Amalgam.
Before 2004 the event like Amalgam was never in the cultural calendar of IIIT, surely there were lots of events scattered throughout the year in the form of house-wise cultural and sports meet, but the participation in them was very poor.
And it was the time when we as a batch were gearing up to take charge of our annual cultural festival felicity.
Now, frankly speaking we as a batch we had made a very weired impression on the faculty, that we have the all the capabilities in the world but we are equally lazy to do anything, we cant do multi-processing and we are not at all responsible…
Well, it wasn’t completely wrong, because by that time we hardly did anything noticeable as a batch. I mean we were good in getting classes postponed[:)], playing games through out the night in and then bunking classes in the morning and there were hardly any cultural participation from our batch, except the occasional singing and dancing performance of Piyush and Aditya [in that order]; but that was certainly not sufficient to impress the teachers. They needed a solid proof that we too are capable of taking responsibilities.
So, when we went to give a presentation of the to-be Felicity of 2004, what we got in return was a challenge.
A challenge to organize a intra-college event
- Which should have participation of more then 80% of IIIT junta.
- The events need to be in a good taste and shouldn’t hurt anyone’s sentiments.
- We were strictly told not to project it as a competition and hence there were no prizes [though at the end we were able to arrange some mementos]
- We were not allowed to get sponsorship for this event nor even use our own money if there is a need. The motto was, if possible try to manage the event without spending any money [as far as I remember the total money allotted for this event was some 3-4k, those of you remember the event might have noticed the size of the stage, it was just larger then what we call small 🙂 ]
- and the organizing batch cant be excused for a poor performance 😦
- Time to do all these <15 days
We were warned if we fail on any of the above fronts, the Student Life Committee will seriously reconsider about letting us organize the Felicity.
Thus it began, we accepted the challenge and started working on it.
The first thing we came upon is given all the above condition the only way to get the crowd is get advantage of the batch system, because we all felt that the house feeling hasn’t yet come in the campus but the batch feeling is very well present.
The second thing that we we found out that getting maximum participation from other batches is a not really in our hand but we can ensure maximum participation from our batch at-least and believe me this was the only event in which 100% of my classmates were involved including the final day of the event where there close to 50 students of our batch who performed on stage.
In certain aspects organizing Felicity was slightly easier than Amalgam, as we already had a picture of it in our mind, but with Amalgam everything we had to do of our own, the very first problem was what should be the name of the event.
Believe me its such a small thing and yet its so difficult to zero on one name which describes the soul of the event. Well finally Utkarsh and Kunal came out with the name and the punchline to rescue us out of this initial hurdle.
What it followed were some really memorable days, we started forming some teams and distributing works among ourselves, but still things were not that simple, we had to work in parallel on Felicity as well.
Now by this time our strongest team (read Abhinav, Tarun, Jayaram) was too busy with Felicity business, so I was given the responsibility to leat Amalgam oraganization committee.
Now anyone who has ever organized any event in IIIT knows how interesting it is to have a conversation with SLC. My first experience was rather memorable, I went to invite SLC for the Amalgam, saying that I am Rakesh and on behalf of so and so batch I am here to invite you for so and so event.
And Prof Jayanti’s response was: “Rakesh!!, Rakesh Who??”
[ Now how could have I told her that I am one unfortunate student of her, who, by that time; had taken 3 courses under her and successfully managed to get Cs in all of them ]
Well, coming back to Amalgam, most of the ground work was done by our intellectual cum creativity team comprising of peoples like Sreejith, Jayaram, Nipun, Nirnimesh, Vidit, Utkarsh, Kunal. Who took care of things like designing the event structure, thinking about punchline and the Name, drafting letters and preparing advertisements.
For its entire life time Amalgam spoke the language what Kunal, Vidit, Utkash and Sreejith taught it.
Ranta and Nir took care of most of the technical stuffs, related to the pop-ups and shell messages. All courtesy to them, we were able to create and manage the hype that we wanted, through the Pop-ups in students server and the ssh login messages, I don’t remember those slogans anymore but at time those were on everyone’s lips.
I still remember the story of Rohit Verma that we created. Conceptualizing of these stories were relatively simple, the tougher part was how to take printouts and paste it. Utkarsh was the heart, body and soul of that movement.
Its really hard to say who did what, our entire batch did something. While some organized the event, some participated, some helped in getting props while some made them. Remember that skeleton dress of Sushant Pandey, our class girls (Deepika, Manjusha, Priyanka) helped Sushant in getting it done.
Uncle Sam & Gang, Aadi & Team and Parivesh & Company took charge of our batch’s event.
Then, I will never forget Tintin, he started it with Amalgam of making contacts with tent-wallas and never let us down on infrastructure. He was our backbone for all the evens we did and it was best seen in Felicity, where for the entire 3 days, he never left the side of stage not even to change his clothes, that was his dedication, thanks Deadly.
This was the first event when MSIT students came into main stream and their enthusiasm was something to see. The batch included probably the senior-most of us all but their energy was much much more than us. We invited them as well to join this amalgamation of events and what we got in return was much more than the expectation… a superb class performance and the hosts smarty Bharat and lovely Sireesha 🙂
As the events come closer we realized that we are doing good at our side but we also need to make sure that all the event preparation is also going equally well, for that we planned to make a film.. called “The making of Amalgam”… we made a team, borrowed the camera from CVIT and got hold of one system from some other lab [proper use of resources :)] and Chal Pade to shoot all the performers in action.. spreading rumours that these guys are doing this .. can you better them ??
On the eve of Amalgam, we were slightly worried as the crowd strength was not that substantial for the first few minutes of the event, even when we had taken one extra step of caution and got all the labs closed.
But finally people started coming in, first in pairs, then in groups and finally almost entire college was there to see the events.
Well, in Amit’s word, it was a fantabulous evening. All the performances were too good. the best noticeable event was from our seniors, the key part of it that in their team all the participants were first time coming on stage for any performance.
Our juniors too did a great spoof of the IIIT System.
The first years rock band in action
Our performance was last and I wont hesitate to label as the best performance of the event. As I wrote earlier, nearly 50 of my classmates participated in it. It was a usual singing and dancing routine, but still it was very different. We showed how music is associated with us in all the stages of life. Starting from the lullaby of mother to the prayers in the death ceremony, we see it around us all the time.
So we had scenes like school going kids singing nursery rhymes, now imagine Sreejith and Jayaram dressed in school uniform, with lollipops in their hands and singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
an usual college goers dance performance, by Sam, Rajjo and Gang
a la Mohabbatein scene .. where Patanaik was our Raj Arayan and Ranu was portraying Ash.
Then the qawwali .. it was amazing .. Parivesh and gang had put so much effort in this that it looked nothing less than a real qawwali ..
Followed by a oldie duet song .. Bapu and Vindhya did a really great job .. it was very unexpected .. we were really worried about this scene of our performance .. but they did it so flawlessly ..
and we ended it with a song where dead men came walking [and singing and dancing :)] on the stage.. Sushant was at his best in this …
Well, already this post has become too long and I am stopping myself here, but believe me I could have gone forever on this topic.
Before ending, I would just like to say that Amalgam was btech2k1 at its best. We simply rocked man, we rocked.
Kunal shares his feelings.
Amalgam was just amazing. One of the first questions we asked ourselves was what should we do? We did not want to have plain song-n-dance routine or some play. We wanted something amazing. So the first thing we did (after Utkarsh decided the name) was to brainstorm on the type of events we should have. During one such session Abhinav, Vidit and I hit on the idea of total creative freedom. Anything & everything was allowed.
The canteen that time was near IIIT gate, one night we were there at 3:00 am and were back there at 6:00 am for coffee. The intermediate time was spent in old CVIT (which is currently profs’ rooms) making the Rohan Verma story, chalking out the plan. And we pasted the posters of Rohan Verma at 4/5 am, since that is the time when most people of IIIT would be asleep.
Next night the whole of IIIT was awake, everyone preparing for their dance/play/rock-band/qawali etc. The classrooms of IIIT had rarely seen such attendance (of course this was before the attendance rule came to fore). All classes were filled to the brim. We had to get special permission to keep the classrooms open all night. And those were the days when wlan was not there, so people were seen carrying CPUs all over the building.
We went with the small camera (which I think was being used for PR project by Paresh) and carrying it along a whole system (monitor + CPU + keyboard + microphone, no laptops at that time) to record all proceedings. We went to all rooms, set up the system and ‘interviewed’ the co-coordinator of every batch. We built a huge hype with those interviews.
We interviewed our classmates at the end, and I remember we just went to that classroom, asked our friends to interview themselves and all of us crashed on the seats to catch a few minutes of sleep. Two night-outs on the trot is a rare feat.
The D-Day came, and stage was set. Actually the stage was so small that people regularly fell off the stage even while performing. But that day nothing could deter any batch. People left CS & Quake and were out in the ground to support everyone. We had mind-blowing performances but what stole the show was the crowd response. Everyone was cheering for everyone.
All in all an amazing, unprecedented event!