Amritotsavam — Cultural Fest at Coimbatore
March 10, 2009
Amritotsavam 2009 was celebrated in a grand way by students of the Coimbatore Campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham on March 6 and 7, 2009. As part of this cultural fest, back-to-back inter house competitions were conducted in the Sudhamani and Amriteshwari Halls. Over the two days, events such as group dance, group music, mimicry and monoacting, quiz, drama, debate, stress interview saw enthusiastic participation from scores of students. Finally, houses Anandamayi and Jyothrmayi tied for the first place; Amritamayi won the runners up trophy.
The fest was inaugurated by Dr. M.P. Chandrasekharan, Dean – Engineering. “This fest is a boiling pot with new chemical reactions,” he jokingly remarked. Continuing on a more serious note he noted that Amritotsavam was a forum for students to nurture their talents. “Art is an opportunity to express opinions in a subtle manner,” he said. Prof. Chinna Swami, the Students Welfare Officer welcomed the gathering, encouraging students to participate with a spirit of healthy competition. He applauded their excellent coordination efforts.
After lighting of the lamp and the prayer song, a series of competitions followed. These included classical music (solo), instrumentals, group music and drama. While these were ongoing in the Amriteshwari Hall, classical solo dance, quiz and debate were simultaneously conducted at the Sudhamani Hall. On the following day, light music solo, mime and group dance, instrumentals were the highlights at the former location while stress interview, mimicry, poetry recitation, mixed bag and multimedia presentations were conducted at the latter.
The two days saw exuberant students participate in a myriad of competitions. Students from all four houses, Amritamayi, Anandamayi, Chinmayi, Jyothermayi exhibited their talents. Competition was stiff and judges had a difficult time choosing winners. “The competitions helped foster friendly relations between students of different branches and interests,” remarked a faculty member. “It was great to see their tremendous response; faculty members also participated in the celebrations.”
The winners of group dance and music events repeated their performances at the Institution Day evening celebrations. As thunderous applause rented the night sky, Prof Chinnaswami delivered the vote of thanks to conclude the fest.
– with input from Gokul Eknath, Krishna Veni K.P., Namita Sahadevan, Natasha Balan, Poornima Vijayakumar, Priyanka Rajan, Sreedevi K.T., Vishnu Varma
The group-dance competition was among the most popular of all events. Amriteshwari Hall was packed full even before the competition began. 13 groups of student-dancers put forth striking performances in colorful costumes. Dances were set to tunes of popular film songs as well as classical songs. Attractive backgrounds added a touch of sophistication. The first price was bagged by Jyothirmayi’s Shwetha and group for a dance performance that gracefully depicted the current scenario in the country besieged by terror. The second prize was awarded to Arun and group from the same house who performed a groovy fusion mix of film songs that had the audience respond with loud rounds of applause.
The judges for the event were faculty members of the college. “The winning teams had very good choreography and stage setup,” they remarked. “Every performance, approximately eight minutes in length, was entertaining; the 1000-strong audience was glued to their seats for almost four hours.” “The show was full of fun and energy,” stated a happy viewer, when leaving the hall after the performances. “We practiced for nearly a month,” shared the winning team. “We are happy that the audience accepted our performance and also those of the others. We look forward to participating again next year.”
– Report by Ajay K, Dinu Das V, Pratheek K.P., Sivaprasad
36 groups participated in the prelims of group music, conducted over three days, February 25-27. Planning and preparation for this event had begun by end of January. Each group could have a maximum of 10 members including instrumentalists. The groups presented a fusion of pop and film songs. Of the 36 groups, 11 were short-listed for the final round, based on their song theme, coordination and performance.
The grand finale was held at Amriteswari Hall on Friday, March 6. Joseph and team won the 1st prize; theirs was the only group that presented an original composition. Titled One Day, this was dedicated to final year students. Ranjith and team came in second and Namitha and team placed third. Results were announced soon after the event and trophies were awarded. Dr. Murali Rangarajan from the Department of Chemical Engg and Material Sciences and Mrs. Smriti Rekha from Computer Science and Engineering were the judges. Maitreyi (3rd yr EEE), Rishab (3rd yr Mech), Manu (3rd yr Mech) and Shantakumar (2nd yr CSE) were the student coordinators.
– Report by Anusha Gunasekaran, Namitha Venkat, Savithri Suresh
Mimicry and monoacting had six talented participants, three girls and three boys. Namitha PC (3rd year ECE) won the first place for her soulful depiction of the after-effects of the endosulphan tragedy in Kerala and the media’s influence on the same. Biswas Balan (2nd year MA Communication) won the second place. He opined, “Contemporary literature and unhealthy politics seemed to be the most common themes selected by us, the participants. All performances were very good.”
Judges included Mr. Pramod Kumar from the Department of Cultural Education, Mr. Subeesh from the Department of Sciences and Mr. Ramakrishnan, the warden of Gauthama Bhavanam. “Participants worked hard to present their ideas before the audience,” noted the judges. Divyadevi, a member of the audience remarked, “Participants selected themes which are contemporary and highly relevant in the present times — that was really good.”
– Report by Sreelekha M, Sruthi K, Vidyakumari A, Vidya Venugopal
About 100 teams participated in the prelims of the quiz which was conducted last Wednesday. Five teams qualified for the final round. Of these two teams were wild card entries — these were formed on the spot from members of audience. “Overall, the wild card provision somehow made the quiz more exciting and competitive,” opined an observer.
Questions were put forth to all five teams by quiz masters N.J Manikandhan (final year EIE) and Pavithra (2nd year ECE). A total of five rounds included a rapid fire round and other rounds named with imaginative names — plus or minus round, straight face round, paheli, tough nut round. Anurag Kulhari and Sattvik Sharma of Jyotirmayi house (2nd year IT) won with 65 points and Shipra Chaudary and Sheethal Shah of Chinmayi house (2nd year CSE) were the runners up with 60 points.
“The competition was tough but we had prepared well for the quiz,” said Anurag. Shipra Chaudary added, “The quiz was organized well, questions were not too tough.” Prizes were awarded to the winners by the Chief Guests on Institution Day. Mr. Pramod Kumar, Faculty-in-Charge of Cultural Education in Coimbatore was the faculty coordinator of the event. “Many questions drew upon different aspects of from Indian culture and traditions,” he said. “They were prepared by a team comprising of both students and faculty members. We are encouraged to note the immense interest in this subject.”
– Report by Goutham V.S., Hari Prasad K.G., Rajesh P.G., Vishnu Vijayan
Priyapetta Achuvin Snehapurvam Amma — this drama in Malayalam won the first prize at the Amritotsavam competitions held last Friday. Moving performances poignantly told the story of an unfortunate mother who waited for her son, in vain, and finally passed away without seeing him again. Based on an English short story, the overall theme of the drama was moksha or salvation. “I was moved to tears,” stated Megha, an engineering student. “It was the combined effort of the crew, all engineering students, that made a great performance possible,” said the student-director Karthik.
The second prize was won by the Hindi drama Kranthi. The story was that of revolutionaries set in pre-independence days. Judges included Mr. Pramod Kumar, faculty-in-charge of cultural education on the Coimbatore Campus. “It was encouraging to note that students had selected extremely thought-provoking and meaningful themes for the dramas,” he shared. “Students themselves were producers, make up artists and costume designers. In some cases, they even brought the props from Coimbatore with the help of their fellow students who are day-scholars.”
Other judges included Mr. Chandra Sekhar and Mr. Vijaya Kumar. They voiced the opinion that although the dramas were very good overall, stage coordination needed to improve further. “The competition was tight as compared to the previous years,” stated Mr. Chandrasekhar. “All seven teams performed extremely well. The team that won the first prize had put together the award winning entry last year also, but in English. Overall, we can say that the standards have greatly improved and the audience enjoyed the professional performances.”
– Report by Megha Anna Varghese, Soorya Vijaykumar, Vinisha V
An inter-house debate competition in five different languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu was held in the Sudhamani Hall, as a part of Amritotsavam 2009. Topics were provided on the spot and participants given two minutes to put forth their points of view. One of the topics was fearless expression of one’s opinion. “The topic has contemporary relevance,” said Dr. Harini Jayaraman, a judge in the English debate. “Fearless expression is sometimes interpreted as over smartness. Truly fearless expressions are responsible and rational expressions.”
Judging was based on three criteria — number of valid points stated, accuracy of language and style of expression. Thirty six minutes were allotted for each language. Two competing teams, each comprising four participants, exchanged their views in two preliminary rounds. The final round allowed fifteen minutes of debate, without any interruptions from moderators or judges. “I would say that the judges probably had a tough time in deciding the winners,” stated Shreyas K, a student observer. “As in real life, it was possible to argue either way, and the teams very convincingly did so.”
– Report by Bhadra K, Deepthy Panicker, Sreya E J, Vandana R
Today stress is an inescapable part of many jobs. For employers, it is critically important that their staff can deal effectively with the stress and pressures brought on by their workloads. Especially jobs involving public contact, handling complaints, mediation and conflict resolution require people who can keep their calm in all situations. Stress interviews are designed to find out how a candidate responds to stress; it is part of the hiring process today at many companies. Stress interview was a popular event at Amritotsavam 2009, nearly a hundred students competed in the preliminary rounds.
Six short-listed candidates were invited to participate in the finals on the morning of March 7 at Sudhamani Hall. Questions were posed to them by the two judges — Mr. Prashant Nair, Vice-Chair of the IT Department, Mr.Unnikrishnan, Faculty-in-Charge of Training at CCR. The mettle of these students was surely tested; nevertheless they were unfazed. Ranjit Tilakan of Jyothirmayi won the first place. “How can you prove that you’re a man?” asked Mr. Unnikrishnan to him. Ranjit calmly gave a reply, without losing his composure. Akanksha Tyagi of Anandamayi and Sishir Govindan of Chinmayi came in second and third respectively. “I feel that every experience enriches our lives in one way or the other, that’s my take on this event,” shared Sishir Govindan later.
– Report by Mrinal A.Mehta, Lakshmi Sivadas, Rajlakshmi Kanjilal, Sabyasachi Biswas