Having landed at IIT KGP early in the morning, we registered ourselves and got our team registered for the Fashion Show Event. After having got ourselves a place to stay in one of the many hostels at IIT KGP, we went around the campus, just simply enjoying the beautiful scenery and greenery of the IIT campus. We got ourselves something to eat and agreed to meet up at 5 in the evening to participate one more time J
The whole day went enjoying the festival and the events. The business quiz, the sports quiz, the Ad-Mad and the vocals both solo and group enjoyable. The informal stall, hosting various fun events like 1 minute gigs, informal dance shows, jokes, etc were a key attraction. They made the whole fest very interesting and gave people to move away from the tension and anxiety of real competition inside.
It struck 5 in the evening and we all started getting calls from everywhere to gather for the practice session. And as it turned out, half the gang eventually didn’t turn out and we spent the whole day enjoying and roaming here and there.
Late in the evening started with the celebrity night. A 1 hour performance by Neeraj Sridhar and then a rocking 2 hour performance by KK actually made our day. But not before KK sung and along with them the audience sung “Tadap tadap ke...” and made everyone shiver in “Dilli ki sardi...” in Kharagpur. The fantabulous performance enamoured everyone and all ended the day with a happy and singing heart.
We got up next day, little realising that we have a formal practice at the venue on the stage at 12 noon. And yet again, there was a rush to gather the gang at the venue. After numerous phone calls, running helter-skelter for the team, we could finally get the team to come to the Tagore Open Air Theatre (TOAT), which was the actual venue for the main event and our practice as well.
TOAT was the venue to give your performance, a huge open theatre with a big stage on one side with a large T for the so called models J to walk on the ramp. All this surrounded with a seating capacity running into thousands from all the sides.
The team gathered and came to know that ours was the first team for the practice session. Meanwhile, seeing the competition gave us some inferiority complex. All the models (both male and female) were actual models, as we see in the magazines and adsJ. And some of them a notch better too. All around 6 feet height and nicely built with good shapes. And compare this with our team, where the 20 member team had 20 different heights and shapesJ No personal offences, however, the quality of the physical attributes on show in the competition did give us a complex and a scare. I remember, some team members coming to me and saying, “hum to gaye...no chance in front of these guys”. Being a senior member, I had no way but to console them and say...don’t worry, let’s give our best shot J
We gave our trials on stage, finished everything including our final formation and waited to see some of the other teams as well. And what we saw made us more anxious to say the least. Even though, we were confident on one hand that our concept and clothes will pull us through, we were in a state of high inferiority complex at the ramp walk of the competition teams. Their near perfect walk and movement was sure to take a thunder out of our concept and ruin our chances of rocking the competition. And a team member, a junior came and said to me “Gandhi, aaj to gaye...” And yet again, I had nothing else to say, except, “Don’t worry, all will be fine...”J
The anxiety from the practice session, allowed us to sit together and rehearse once again and see what best we can do. And finally we decided to gather around 7 PM near our change room to get ready for the show. We were about to disperse, that a team of fellow NIT Rourkela guys (senior batch) came to me and said...”abe rehne do tum log...tum kahan jeetoge in sab se...See the quality of models they have...leave it...” and continued laughing.
I will not shy away from accepting that we felt more anxious and inferior at these comments. However, what really took the shine away from all the so called beliefs of oneness and one college and support was the fact that these comments came from one of our own. Those thoughts really made that evening very sad for us and the whole team went into a sort of a hiding. Just praying that all goes fine and we could come out with flying colours, if not winning the event.
It was already 7 PM and we all had got together and went into our change rooms to get ready for a final assault, even though, the happenings of past few hours had taken a mental toll on us. The show started, ours was the 6th out of the 8 teams on stage. That gave us some extra time to get ready and do the necessary juggling and make up.
With hearts pounding, we stepped on to the stage...1 and 2 and 3 and I moved towards the center. I was in a group of 3, including 1 girl and as I moved towards the middle of the stage with lights gleaming on me, I was completely taken over by feeling of representing our college in front of a crowd running into thousands and that too at IIT KGP. All the thoughts of the day gone by were gone and taken over by the feeling of pride while I walked across the stage. As I turned right towards the edge of the T ramp, I could hear someone say...”Oye Gandhi aa gaya...” and those feelings are difficult to put in words. It is the moment well remembered, even after more than 8 yearsJ. We finally went into our final formation to a thunderous applause and closed our show with the echoes of “ooi re mai re mai re mai re...alisha baba ho” reverberating TOAT.
We quickly changed and came inside the TOAT to witness the last group on stage. I was surrounded by the whole group with our banner with Rechargers written over it on my shoulder and back. As we were anxiously watching the last group walk down the ramp, a few college mates turned up and congratulated us on the good show and the great concept. Some came to highlight that the final formation was the key and should take us far. While, some mentioned about our attire and took it as our jackpot. They mentioned, we should surely be amongst the top 3. This surely enthused us and was a pleasant change from the day gone by.
A while after the final group had presented, the anchor for the event came with the results. We could see all the teams eagerly awaiting the results with some praying and some just sitting with their heads down to cover up their anxiety.
Just before the anchor was to announce to results, he called up a top model from Kolkata on stage to congratulate the teams and give away the prizes. And he started off, with our heartbeats getting heavy. He announced the winner for the third position as Bengal College of Arts, Kolkata and that team came to the stage. He continued further, that the winner for the second prize is our very own team from IIT KGP. The whole IIT KGP Team rushed to the stage. This announcement made us realise that we stand no chance that even such good teams couldn’t get the ultimate prize. However, as the anchor announced the first prize goes to NIT Rourkela, I don’t have enough words to explain, what happened next. What exactly went though me and my mind and my heart is inexplicable. With a flying banner of Rechargers, I just went running to the stage and along with me the same junior friend of mine who in the afternoon mentioned to me... “Gandhi...aaj to gaye...” Suddenly there was a fight on the stairs to the stage, as to who will get their first J The whole gang was there and that feeling of being on stage as winners of something where we were written off by everyone, is something out of this world. In fact we didn’t give a chance to ourselves too, until we really performed well and everyone liked what we showcased. And finally we shouted hearts out with – “NIT ka Tempo High Hai...ooi re..mai re...mai re...mai re...alisha baba ho”!