Life is full of ‘Gajendra Verma’s concerts’ and ‘Aagman’s performances’ (read ups and downs), but what defines this life is how one gets through them and strives forward. Alma Fiesta, the socio-cultural fest of IIT BBS, started the new academic session with the same motivation for improvement.
‘Inadequacy in the number of associate team members (1st years)’ was one of the major drawbacks they had faced last year. Cometh the new freshers batch, cometh the strategies of fests to lure them into joining them. The rival fest, Wissenaire, had won this round of the competition last year, and it was payback time. The best move to win this part is to organize the ‘Theme Launch’ and 'Auditions' before the other fest does; however it didn’t seem to be working out for Alma. When Wissenaire announced its theme launch date of 16th of August, it became a general opinion that things aren’t going to change for better for Alma, as they were yet to announce theirs, leave alone organizing it before the other fest. But, with even less than a week before the Wissenaire theme launch, Alma played its last hand, a sure trump! Without any prior hints and as a surprise to even the most penetrated sources of grapevine in the college, on 10th August, Alma announced its Theme launch date- 12th August! Win!
The big day arrives. As the audience entered the dim lighted auditorium with the Alma Fiesta logo on the screen and a melody playing in the background, the first thing that would have crossed any 1st year student’s mind must have been - ‘for sure not an everyday event.’ While the newcomers were excited about the things that the evening had to offer, the more experienced were betting over how well the fest teams will pull off the customary introductions.
The event started with the introduction of the fest; name, history and everything. A video showing interviews of current 4th year students about their experiences while working for Alma, inculcated great enthusiasm among the freshers. The video was well made and edited, and was a great hit. With a risen tempo, it was now time for the different teams of Alma to introduce themselves to the freshers and invite them for auditions; an exciting time especially for the 2nd years to watch their friends pull off the crazy skits, speeches and events that they had been preparing for the past few weeks.
It began with the sponsorship team giving a strong speech about how being a part of the team has made them better than others. However, the invitation for auditions, which was supposed to instill a provocation among the freshers to prove themselves, by the use of the words-“Would you dare to audition for us?” was delivered in such a loud and crackling voice, that it sounded more like a threat, and was thus followed by an awkward silence rather than the expected roar of claps and cheers.
The web design team’s presentation was all boasting about the fancy software's they have mastered and the website, mobile applications and other technical stuff they have created or done. Even though it was plain but was effective enough to attract the attention of computer geeks; motive’s achieved. All in all, the presentation was good and well executed.
Probably the biggest fail of the evening was the publicity team introduction. They had planned a skit which showed an interview scene of campus job placement, and was supposed to portray how the eloquent and confident publicity team members of Alma Fiesta were an easy pick over others. However, the biggest of the ironies occurred when the person, who was supposed to play the ‘fluent’ publicity team member, forgot his lines and ended up in dead air. And right when one would have started thinking that it was the worst that could have happen, the microphone caught the interviewer’s prompt to remind the interviewee of his lines. The auditorium split itself in laughter, and nobody remembers what followed.
Every night is followed by a sunrise; and the latter in this case proved to be the Design and Decoration team which came up with the best presentation of the evening. They started with a couple of guys taking the stage center with their nose dug in a piece of paper, reciting a write up in a monotone; oh the horror! But to everyone’s relief, it turned out to be a part of the skit. Another two members came up the stage interrupting them with the cliche line “beta, tumse na ho paayega’ and the Telugu version of the same for the other half of the audience, and gave a very well presented introduction; a job well done. The Events team’s presentation was the same as last years, where they prove themselves experts of organizing events by conducting a well-rehearsed event in the name of ‘planning it on-spot’.
It was now the time for theme release video, the most awaited moment of the evening. The video seemed a mash up of game trailers and animation videos with occasional pop-ups of enthusiasm inducing words like “are you ready?” and “brace yourselves”. The video was fast paced with strong background music and thus, it very well served the purpose of exhilarating the audience. The video ended with announcing the theme- “Quest in the Wilderness”.
In spite of the flaws like ‘publicity disaster’, lack of innovation and an excess use of Hindi in speeches, the show was enthralling and indeed impressed the freshers. Even the theme makes much more sense than the last year’s, especially when the college has moved to the Arugul campus this year; coincidence? I think not.