The student community came up with the biggest ever organised cultural event in the history of IISER M. The event was organised to highlight the activities of non-academic clubs like Dance, Drama and Music. The clubs were thrown the gauntlet by the SRC and yes, they did wear it with suave that eve. It was all evident from the cheers and whistles of the students of IISER Mohali whose number today exceeds 500 and is swelling with every academic year. Lecture Hall 5, in the recently inaugurated Lecture Hall Complex, where the event was organised was packed with students occupying every possible place available to seat themselves. The atmosphere was pulsating with life and enthusiasm from both the audience and the performers. With almost more than 90 students performing during the event. Manthan gives you a glimpse of all the excitement that happened on the 25th of August.
The cultural evening kicked off with an exceedingly mesmerising and fluently executed complex pattern formation dance to the beats of the song Vande Mataram by A. R. Rehman. This dance was a first of its kind in IISER Mohali and the audience was in for a visual treat. The dance was choreographed by MS11 students. The dancers held vividly coloured dupattas and wove them into beautiful patterns. Their eye catching performance held the audience captivated throughout.
A group of members from YATN performed a nukkad natak(street play) narrating the plight of the migrant labourers living on campus. The first half of the nukkad was a sarcastic take on the stark contrast in “issues” faced by the labourers on one hand and the students and faculty on the other. As birds living on the campus, the students were able to put across to the audience the ‘problems’ of the faculty, students and labourers: faculty problems’ like small office rooms, slow internet speeds, students were similarly shown to have ‘problems’ of their own like poor quality mess food, slow internet, midnight rules etc.. It was few minutes of fun at the expense of the faculty and students. The tone of the natak, however, gradually shifted to a more solemn spirit. The problems of the construction workers like death due to snake bites, lack of education – so effectively acted out by the students sobered the audience up.
A series of thought provoking, open-ended questions were shot at the audeience. Following which a chilling scene of the death of a child at a construction based on incidents involving the death of 8 Labourers (4 children, 4 adults) while constructing our campus over the last two years. The crescendo of the performance was reached when the students end the street play asking the audience “Hum sab ne kya kiya?”. We are sure that it is a question that will linger in our minds for some time. The Venue shifted to the LH5 where the rest of the event was conducted.
The show began with the hosts Vivek Raina, Tejinder Chechi and Arul Ganesh taking an oath not to speak the truth. Sleepy and capriciuos Arul Ganesh was at his very best and the three had the crowd in splits with their one-liners, punches and fillers. The evening’s first performance was by Abhishek and Sumaiya from MS12 batch, Abhishek sang a solo number from Agneepath and was later joined by Sumaiya in singing a duet, they sang national sensation Iktara from Wake up Sid, in their melodious voices on behalf of their batch and the tone was set for performances to come.
‘Darpan’- the drama club came up with a power-packed performance. The audience was whisked away by the poignant tale of the importance of family and how family is defined not by blood relation but by a bond of love. The play titled “Family matters because family matters” depicted the plight of an old middle class man in the winter of his life as he struggles for familial affection from his two daughters who seem to have no time to spare for him from their busy schedule. It also portrayed a very common problem evident in our day to day lives- generation gap-and showed how people refuse to recognise it as a potential threat to society.
Ramu kaka played by our very own Akshay Raut stunned the audience with his superb acting. Actors Jagadish Prasad Hazra and Manas Samant played the part of the advocates summoned to fight out the property issues after the death of the old man. First year students from MS12 batch – Mugdha, Vaishnavi, Vishakha also put their best foot forward for the event. Special mention for our first time performer Yogesh from ms10 batch who played Munna, the happy-go-lucky tea seller who patiently listens to Ramu’s doleful tale about the tragic end to Babuji’s life. Piyush Mishra really gave a heart wrenching performance and really convinced the audience with his gait. In all it was a memorable play with vivid hues and really vibrant performances from all the actors. From Babuji and Ramu kaka dozing off to “koi gaata mein so jaata” to the comic fight over the property rights among the advocates; Ramu matching steps with Mugdha dancing to “Gasolina” kept the audience in fits of laughter. We would like to congratulate the entire team for putting up an impressive show.
This was followed up by a Kathak Dance performance put up by students training under Shri Pannalal Gangani at IISER M. Shri Pannalal Gangani who belongs to the Jaipur Gharanawas accompanied by classical singer Shri Rakesh Mahajan and Shri Abhishek Gangani.The performance commenced with Guru-vandana followed by Thath, Namaskar, Tode, Tatkar, Palte, Bedam Toda, Pramblu and Chakradhar Tode. The girls were elegant and impressionable in their performance.The next programme following this was the “hawa hawa “(Rockstar) dance presented by the MS10 batch students. These students presented a cute story of a dominating masochistic king who did not trust his queen with her carefree mannerisms. The girls did a really cute job but the limelight went to the king (Rahul Chajwa) for his comic performance as the obnoxious king.
Today, the IISER community comprises students from various regions of India. The girls of IISER Mohali performed a fusion of folk dances of India like the Assamese Bihu, lavani from the Marathi folk dances, the festive Garbha and the energetic Giddha, a very popular folkdance of women of Punjab. The Assamese Bihu is performed during the Bihu festival in Assam while Grabha is Gujrathi traditional dance performed during the nine-day Hindu festival of Navaratri. Girls from Maharashtra performed a sensuous lavani and members of the Bhangra group at IISER Mohali performed Giddha to the beats of dholak and dhol respectively.This was followed by a hip-hop number from Kasturi and her group.Their dance to the beats of “Daaru Desi” ,”Jiyein Kyun” left the audience amazed.
The Musical atmosphere in IISERM has undergone a major remoulding in the past few months. The cultural evening witnessed the proof of this change. With more and more people coming forward to perform on stage and show their talent – and all them HAD one, mind you – the musical performances were a treat for the ears. The cover by Rahul, Misty, Shruthi, Jayant of Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now’ made the audience sway along. Later, Sumit sang ‘Teri Yaadein’. He was backed by Rahul on the guitar and Shruthi on the Drums. Evelyn, Atul and Arjit performed Britt Nicole’s ‘Set the World on Fire’. Evelyn’s voice backed by Atul and Arjit’s guitars was a melodious treat. Jithin, Shivpal, Nitesh, Prashant, Vrinda presented their own take of Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and then took the gathering by a storm with their original number ‘Gore Gore Galoon Ne (Teri Kehke Loonga :P)’. The band performances reflected just how deeply the Spirit of Rock is rooted in IISER Mohali.
At the very end of the function Akshay Kumars, Sunil Shettys and Govindas of IISER Mohali took to the stage dancing away to Bollywood numbers of the 90s. The chamak challos of the night were the boys of MS09 batch as they blew away the crowds with their latkas and jhatkas. It was a memorable evening filled with fun and enjoyment.