April 7, 2009
Dept of English, Coimbatore Campus
The students Literary Club at the Coimbatore Campus, Shristi, recently organized Aitreya 09, Amrita’s first-ever intercampus literary fest. Aitreya is the name of one of the main Upanishads that has come down to us from our ancient sages. It is part of the Rig Veda, said to be the oldest written text known to mankind. The event, a confluence of poetry, prose and drama, was perhaps aptly named — even though the ancient truths were not expounded upon, still the event provided glimpses and insights into eternal truths enshrined in literature from all around the world.
For instance, The Pulpit, a declamation contest, the first event of the day, saw students enact out soliloquies and monologues from literary works such as Julius Caesar and world-famous speeches like those of Martin Luther King’s. The next event, a debate, named Tussle of Wits had four finalist teams chosen from twenty-five, put forth facts and opinions sprinkled with firebrand rhetoric to expound on the topic — Does media influence society? Or is it society that influences media? Judges and moderators, the audience all appreciated the effort put in by the teams.
Other events included quiz, crossword and treasure hunt. An indigenous buzzer, designed and fabricated on campus, was used in the quiz rounds. Crossword was conducted and solved on-screen, through software especially coded in the Amrita labs. In his inaugural address that morning, Dean – Engineering, had encouraged students to come forth and participate whole-heartedly. As the day wore on, one could see that this advice seemed to have been followed. Nearly 200 participants decoded clue after clue in the treasure hunt. They began with the afternoon sun blazing down over their heads; when they ended around 4:00 pm, a refreshing downpour heralded their efforts.
Additional events included persona, where contestants faced two entertaining rounds of Just-a-Minute and a decisive round of stress interview, and blurb-writing based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Contestants from the host campus competed with those from the other Amrita campuses. The ten-member team from Bangalore won the most number of events and the rolling trophy. “The fest was very well organized,” said Pavithra Ravishankar, B Tech student from Bangalore, who was one of the participants. Participants from all campuses appreciated the hospitality of the host campus as well as its beauty. “I look forward to more such events in the future,” Pavithra added.
A debate is a true crowd puller for the hair rising duels that one gets to witness on-stage. The Aitreya debate imaginatively named Tussle of Wits had twenty-five teams compete in a prelims round. Teams of two — one speaking for a given topic and the other against it — contested against one another. Everyday topics took on entirely new dimensions because of the manner in which arguments were put forth by participants.
Four teams finally made it to the finals; three from Bangalore and one from Coimbatore. They were divided into two groups comprising two teams each. The topic for the final was Does media influence society? Or is it society that influences media? That afternoon, the hall reverberated with arguments and counter arguments offered by the finalists. The audience was awe struck by the sheer number of facts that the teams could muster in the support of their respective arguments.
BEC trainers and examiners Ms. Visalakshi and Ms. Lavanya were the judges for this event. They also served as moderators for the debate. Both judges went on record to say that the debates, the arguments and statistics offered were very good. Teams from the Amrita School of Bangalore won both the first and the second prizes; Nikhshep and Vasudev were the overall winners and Pavithra and Tessy were the runners-up. We congratulate the winners as well as all the participants!
The somber tale of matching wits with the challengers on stage; the saga of nerve racking close finishes between competitive teams — that is what quizzing is all about. Aitreya’s Quizophrenia was all that and more. The prelims were named funda filters; a set of twenty five questions ranging from history to current affairs to literature and general awareness. Each team consisted of two students; of the forty teams that competed, eight made it to the finals.
Seven rounds of questions awaited the finalists. After three rounds, two teams were eliminated and the show went on with the rest. Two more teams were eliminated after the fifth round; finally four teams contested in the grand finale. The remaining two rounds were buzzer rounds. Incidentally, this was an indigenous buzzer made at the Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore. The team of Adarsh and Sachin, both first year students in Coimbatore, finally emerged as the overall winners; winning a cash prize of a significant amount.
a name=”crossword”>The game of words that has enthralled millions across the globe and plays out in the minds of many people in their day-to-day lives took on a totally new dimension when it was presented as a grid of boxes neatly stacked one above the other. Yes, you guessed it right, this was the Aitreya crossword, named Labyrinthine Lexis. The grid was showcased on-screen with custom-made software.
Participants were provided with a set of questions in the prelims rounds. In a close contest, six teams, three from Coimbatore, two from Kochi and one from Bangalore, qualified for the finals. They took their seats onstage in anticipation of the finals. Clues were challenging, yet participants cracked the codes, displaying their vocabulary skills.
In the finals, teams had the option to double their points if they were sure of the answer. But on the flip side, if their confidence was misplaced, and the answer was wrong, they would lose points. Six intense rounds saw fortunes of all teams wax and wane; finally the team of Nikshep and Kapil from ASE, Bangalore emerged victorious. A team from Coimbatore came in second. We congratulate all the winners.