Monday, October 22, 2012

From the Steel City - Rechargers decide to go regional!

Well, we all know (at least the engineering fraternity knows J) our fascination with IITs in India. Not to demean them and their stature, they are world class!! However, we in India have a special fascination for IITs. You can see people spending years to crack the IIT entrance (though that trend has faded over the last few years and for good for sure). That frenzy around IITs continues even after having joined other reputable institutes. And this craze for IITs, among students of other colleges, at least to get a chance to perform in numerous technical and cultural events there during those 4 years, Or just to get a chance to visit those august institutes, is nothing new. And I believe a bit justified too.

With the quality of students, teachers, infrastructure and of course the funding and the level of competition in IITs, make them a special category and brand. One of the toughest entrance exams in the world adds to the allure, for sure. All this, surely makes everything IITian, enigmatic and classic, at least from outside.

This explains the attraction for technical and cultural events held at IIT KGP at our college too. And add to it the idea of participating on a scale and magnitude that an IIT can provide. Students from all the Top National, Regional and Local colleges will participate for some of the top prizes on offer. With this in mind, a gang of few students went in the 2003 Cultural & Technical Festivals at IIT KGP. Once they were back to NIT Rourkela, they were completely awestruck at the quality of events, participation and organization there. This created a lot of craze for the next year’s events there.

With the confidence of having won the Fashion Show event at our own cultural festival during my second year in 2003, my team – Rechargers was all gearing up to participate at IIT KGP in January 2004, in my third year at college. It seemed, the charm of IIT KGP had caught everyone at our college, as many teams wanted to participate in the Fashion Show at IIT KGP that year. However, as per regulations, only 1 team per college was allowed, a complete opposite of what we were used to seeing at NIT Rourkela, where all the teams would be from college itself. Well, that itself called for the quality of competition at IIT KGP.

Having won the event last year at our college, we were given a preference over others and a chance to participate and represent NIT Rourkela at Spring Fest 2004 at IIT KGP. Thus started the long, hard working journey to arranging the whole gang once again and getting them to come daily for practice and mutually agree to the sequence and presentation and of course the attire. Mind you ours was never a fancy dress competition, even though, our models were not a bit of the usual models we are familiar with J

The toughest part was to get everyone to come for practice daily. People will scream at each other to be serious and come daily, however, this was proving very difficult. With, varied tastes and likings of each individual, people had to attend to each one of them. Some had to go for sports, or some to visit their girl friends (if there were any J) and there were some who would just follow girls to their hostels or homes or may be just to the college entrance market just looking at them. With so many regular duties keeping them busy, it was difficult for everyone to spare 1 hour daily for practice, even though, each one wanted to participate at IIT KGP and win the competition J

With just a vision to participate and crown NIT Rourkela as winners, the team landed at IIT KGP a day before the actual Fashion Show Competition. And mind you the vision to win, surely fitted with the confidence and belief in ourselves that we can win. And this confidence was a result of our having won the competition at our own college (even though the completion was quite unreal, in the sense that all competing teams were internal) and of course our dresses that we show cased. The dresses were liked and appreciated by one and all and that duly gave us the confidence that we can win. And of course our final formation gave us the little edge too.

The dresses, as the name of the group goes by – Rechargers, were our tribute to the environment. What we showcased was the use of little forgotten items like newspapers, CDs, aluminium foil, etc to create our clothes. At first, we were a bit apprehensive to say the least, about our attire, having been a witness to the fancy dress competitions so far. However, we wanted to try and give our best shot. And it did work so well for us. Even our competitors liked our concept, our dresses and our final formation. I am happy to accept that our concept and dresses won us the competition at our own college. And we decided to take the same concept and dresses to IIT KGP too.
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