What is IIT Bombay’s Mood Indigo? Is it really as big as all the hype surrounding it? I decided to find out along with some buddies from college. This is an account of my first visit to a college fest outside my college. I feel that experiences should be big – so I decided to make it no less than the biggest college cultural fest of Asia (at that time). I had a rather interesting train journey from Bangalore to Mumbai but I guess I’ll leave out that story for another time.
Day 1 – The Panga Day
There were three of us on this trip – NPK, Ku and I. We reached Thane at 6:00 AM from where we took a local to Kanjurmarg station. Even so early in the morning, the locals were jam-packed. After a lot of roaming around in an auto (we were lost :-/), we reached our hotel. The hotel was a good 4 kms from IIT at the far side of the Powai lake. We freshened up and decided to leave the hotel as soon as possible (and find an alternate accommodation). We reached the campus, got in (Panga No. 1 – Ku’s ID panga – Ku had forgotten his college ID and they wouldn’t let him enter without it. We had to sneak in finally!), got registered (Panga 2 – Ku’s MI no. panga – all participants had to register in advance and Ku didn’t have his registration number on him), had breakfast and we were good to go. What is a trip without some adventure, right?
The schedule was huge, crammed with many events. It was practically impossible to attend all the events. So we decided to mark the ones that we’d go for. First off, we went for the fashion show – Vogue. It was happening at the Convocation Hall. It was a strange experience for me. I had been there exactly 4 years back to write my IIT-JEE exams. I hadn’t expected, even in my wildest dreams, that I’d come a full circle at this very spot. The place where I started off writing competitive exams – and now I was here in my final year of engineering to enjoy a fashion show!
Unlike the one in our college, Vogue was more about the designer than the theme and performance. After round one, we decided to leave. So we went for the Lit-A-Lympics Elims. The quiz had a number of rounds with word games and puzzles. It was pretty good and I felt we did a decent job even though we were not avid quizzers. I guess that was the success of the quiz – there was something in it for everyone right from a noob to a nerd and the quiz left them all with some sense of satisfaction. Next on our list was the classical instrumental contest – Swaranjali. But we got a call to fetch our stuff from the hotel. Meanwhile, NPK (super-resourceful as he always was) had arranged for accommodation in his friend’s room at IIT-B. It was one of the many lucky breaks that we got there (in fact we were on a hot lucky streak surviving all the pangas). We moved our stuff into NPK’s friend’s room (where we had Panga 3 – security panga – we nervously walked into the hostel and clearly looked like outsiders. The security guard caught us and chucked us out as participants were not allowed to share rooms with students. But we kept our wits about us and worked our way in). We had pav bhaji at the IIT mess. The IIT mess was brilliant. The best thing about it was the unlimited food. Eat all you want. Moreover, the food was really good. It took us some time to adjust to it (after our stingy messes) and each time we reached out for that extra butter pav, we looked around if the mess guys would stop us (as they would have in our hostels back home). The events for the day were coming to a close and we’d missed the International Music Festival – Slow Joe and Ginger Accident. We went around the Informals stalls and the hot air balloon. The Pronite for the day was Karnivool, an Australian band who were performing in India for the first time.
Tickets were sold at Rs. 400. Deciding that it wasn’t worth 400, we thought of going for some other events. But sadly, all events are stopped during the Pronite. So we went near the swimming pool where we could get a good view of the screens streaming the live feed of the concert. We could also hear the concert. Getting bored, we went in for another panga (Panga 4 – Karnivool panga – we climbed the wall of the swimming pool which was over 10 feet high and walked over the narrow wall with the pool on one side and bushes on the other. We reached near the top rung of the amphitheatre from where we got a good view of the concert. Soon the security figured out what we were upto and chucked us out. We had to exit the way we came in which was by no means an easy task – back along the wall and jumping down).
After the concert, there were still a lot of events going on till around 3 AM under the Afternites and Night Arena. We went for the performance by Gamblerz Crew and Gong Myoung which was a fusion performance by dancers and percussionists. There was a rule that people carrying “No-Accommodation” passes couldn’t be inside the campus after 11 PM and the show we were waiting for would go well beyond that. So, we were chucked out of the line despite our best efforts to convince them. It seemed that our lucky streak for the day had run out. Nonetheless, it was indeed a memorable and adventurous day and we returned to the hostel to crash in for the night. This time the security didn’t catch us. We had learnt our lesson and we walked in as casually as we would into our own hostels looking into our mobile phones!
Day 2 – Quizzes and Concerts
We got up early so as to not miss out on any good events. After a breakfast of poha+bread omelette at the IIT mess, we decided to go for some of the quizzes. Ku and I went for the Comics quiz while NPK decided to try his hand at the Creative writing section.
The Pronite for the day was Agnee and the Raghu Dixit Project. We had to get tickets which would be given out at 12 noon and the line would start at 11 itself. So we started off for the SAC. On the way, Ku and I stopped for the Hindi Rock competition while we waited for NPK who was still writing away to glory. As soon as he joined us, we got into the line for the tickets.
With the Pronite tickets in our pockets, we went for the IMF (International Music Festival) performances. The main event at MOOD-I this year was the IMF and we didn’t want to miss any of them (though we did miss the one on Day 1). The performance was by Lucy Swan and Droolian from Norway. It was a performance like I’ve never seen before. With one singer on a keyboard, a bass guitar and a beat boxer, it was indeed an amazing performance. Lucy Swan had some instrument which she used to create her own chorus. She would sing some tune and tap the thing and her voice would go on loop. That way she created multiple echos to give the songs an amazing effect. The beat-boxer, Julian, was brilliant. The crowd went crazy after a solo by him.
We had our “lunch” of maggi and iced tea at the coffee shack.
We again headed for the quizzes where we tried out the Games Quiz. Unlike the earlier quizzes, this was way out of our reach. So we bailed midway and went for the Choreo Nite Elims (the group dance) at the Convocation Hall.
After a couple of performances, hunger pulled us out. We had pani-puri and some wraps and rolls. We’d stocked up for the evening as we were expecting a huge line for the concert. The line was huge as we had expected but thanks to some quick thinking and sharp vision (we avoided a panga this time :P), we got in quite quickly. The SAC of IIT-B is bigger than the one in my college and the stage and speakers were brilliant. The concert started off with Agnee – an Indian Rock band. Thanks to a program called The Dewarists, I was familiar with the band even though I hadn’t heard any of their songs 😛 . It was an amazing concert with special appearances and performances by Monali Thakur and Meiyang Chang (of Indian Idol fame) and Shilpa Rao (Bollywood playback singer). As if this star studded performance wasn’t enough, a concert by The Raghu Dixit Project followed. That too was brilliant. The stand-out feature of it was that Raghu Dixit sang a number of Kannada songs and still made the majorly-Hindi crowd dance to his tunes. It was a truly amazing experience.
We ended the day with parathas from Tansa House – a canteen in one of the hostel blocks.
Day 3 – “Events Attended” Achievement unlocked
The day started off with paneer parathas, omelette and toast as breakfast from the IIT mess. This was one of the things that we were really missing at our college – a good mess. Another was the small shop at the entrance of each block. The shops contain everything from stationary to soaps to deos to computer keyboards and mice to noodles and other snacks. They even have print-out and Xerox facilities. So if you want to Xerox notes for the test the next day (which is usually the case), you just have to walk down from your room.
The first event on our list was Cryptoknight which was a cryptography event, as the name suggests. Some of the questions we did but most needed practice and knowledge of cryptography which we obviously didn’t have. We then headed to the Convo Hall for the IMF – Akasha. This was 7 member fusion band from Malaysia consisting of 1 Chinese, 1 Malaysian, 2 Aussies and 3 Indians. They played on traditional instruments like the sitar as well as modern bass guitar and percussions ranging from tabla, mridangam to other Malaysian instruments.
Next, we went for another IMF – Caladh Nua, an Irish band of 5. It was an amazing performance with traditional Irish music and dance. A truly memorable experience. There was an accordion, a bass guitar, a vocalist, a banjo and another instrument (I don’t recall its name).
We had a lunch of masala dosas at the ‘open-restaurant-place’. The main event for the day was the Akcent concert. There wasn’t an actual pronite that day, so this was the main attraction. It was more of a DJ evening rather than a concert as their songs were mainly trance and they sang with the background playing. Not as great as we had expected but good nonetheless.
The supposed “pronite” was the Choreo nite (the group dance event which we called “Promenade” at NITK). The top 10 teams performed in the SAC half of them in the theme category and the rest in no-theme category. All in all it was good. Except for the host, a RJ from Radio Mirchi who kept cracking poor jokes.
We had a dinner of rotis and egg bhurji at the 4th block canteen. I feel this was one of the best days in terms of “events attended” as everything went as per plan.
Day 4 – KK Encore
As is the case with the final day of fests, MOOD-I too didn’t have many exciting events on the last day. It was 10:40 by the time we left the room. So we directly went to the SAC to get KK concert tickets. After more than an hour of standing in line, we got our tickets, did some photography (there were cool paintings on the SAC wall according to the theme – which is the cover pic of this post) and went to the Convo Hall. We were on time to see the last hip hop dance.
Next we went for the One Act Play. The first play was really good. It was a conversation between a guy and a girl at a coffee shop. There was a bell which one of the characters would ring to make the conversation go as per their wish. The ringing of the bell would “reset” the last few moments of the conversation. So no awkward moments. 😉 It was followed by a patriotic play which got a bit boring midway. So we bailed. We had missed the Worldfest performances throughout MOOD-I as they happened late at night. Today was the grand finale and couldn’t be missed at any cost. There were performances by all the contingents – Poland, Spain, Indonesia and Turkey.
The evening slots were packed with the grand finale events at the OAT (Open Air Theatre). There was the solo singing – MI Idol where Nakul from our college got second. Then there was the Hindi rock band finals which was followed by KK. The pronite back in our college is called Encore. Here we were actually having an encore of the KK performance from 2 years back. KK enthralled as usual and I wouldn’t mind going again for a KK concert!
We left about an hour into the performance as we had to go to NPK’s uncle’s place for the night. Sadly, we missed the concert for nothing as we couldn’t get our luggage out. The guy, in whose room we were staying, was at the concert. He returned after it ended and we sat there waiting in the hostel. We got our stuff, took the bus to the IIT gate, another bus to Andheri Station and an auto to Oshiwara. All this, after 11 PM. It wouldn’t have been possible in any other city than Mumbai – the city that never sleeps.
To summarize, it was a truly amazing festival. One should go there atleast once during his/her college life. I mean it’s the biggest college fest in Asia. You don’t want to miss that!