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26th, 27th, 28th February, 2009
“We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.”
-Swami Vivekananda

How true! Taking a cue from Swami Vivekananda’s preachings, the management of Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology (CBIT), Gandipet, Hyderabad decided to give its students a much-needed, well-deserved break from academics. The outcome-‘SHRUTHI’, the three day annual cultural festival, held on the 26th, 27th and 28th of February, 2009 in the college premises. Shruthi is not another of those frivolous events where students lack seriousness and money is exhausted just for the heck of it. At the same time, it isn’t a cracker of a fest where students swoop down in large numbers and indulge incessantly in the festivities. At the outset, Shruthi finds a balance between the imprudent and the sedate; in the process, it strikes a chord with the student fraternity, catering to everyone’s needs as it has something in store for every competitor. This year too, Shruthi turned out to be no different.

Most of the events were conceived, organized and promoted by Chaitanya Bharathi Cultural Club (CBCC) while all the literary events were conducted by COMMUNICANDO, the literary club of CBIT. Strikingly, the literary events received overwhelming response this year compared to previous years. For inexplicable reasons, many of the 2nd and 3rd year students preferred to stay away from the competitions while the 1st and 4th year students battled for the honors. Analysis apart, the college campus wore the colors of joy and merry; its landscape dotted with anxious aspirants, confident competitors and a largely laidback audience. Shruthi has always been revered as a behemothian event of sorts, the 24 events lined up over a period of 3 days serve as a testimonial to this fact. Of course, rewards and recognitions were always there for the taking. Cash prizes to the tune of 30,000 Rs/- lay at stake and the winners walked away with deep pockets.

DAY 1(Feb. 26th): The inaugural day started off soberly with a rather lethargic singing competition.’ Vocals’, as the poster blared out, gained momentum soon after and soulful renditions marked the event. Conspicuously, the orchestra was appalling and certainly needs to go for a revamp. ‘Situational Skits’ followed and, as the name suggests, the participants enacted different situations by essaying the roles with ease. ‘What’s the good word,’ ’Alter-Ego’ and ‘Tropicana’ tested the literary merit of the participants whilst ‘Rangoli’ served as a podium for the girls to exhibit their prowess. Peculiarly, some boys were around helping them out! Another event that complemented the talent of the fairer sex (well, literally) was the ‘Mehendi’ competition. ‘Dumb charades’ followed suit but the toast of the day was the ‘Mimicry’ competition. The commendable mimicry resonated with the crowd and the audience lapped it up with unassuming fervor. Thus, the day ended with a bang, rather, on a happy note.

DAY 2(Feb. 27th): This day was, perhaps, stretched to the point of ecstasy with a plethora of events accommodated within a short span. Yet another singing event, ‘Antyakshari’ (in both Telugu and Hindi) signaled the start of the day. ‘Technical Quiz’ was conducted by the respective departments and the intense battle of intellectuals that followed reminded one of professional quizzes on television. As I walked into the assembly hall situated above the college canteen, I was surprised to see a girl answering to queries being posed by the audience and the judges. Inquisitive as I was, I learned that she was actually enacting popular film director, Karan Johar (KJo) and was effortlessly handling the questions that the media (here, the audience) fielded at her (him). Aptly titled ‘Mock Press’, the event drew large crowds. Other literary events scheduled for the day-‘Young Orator’ & ‘Jam’ attracted sizable crowds. But the pick of the day was ‘Dance Competition’ as it received an overwhelming response. The participants danced to popular numbers and lilting tunes, evidently overawed by the occasion. Two events kept the participants on tenterhooks and forced them to rack their brains hard. No prizes for guessing! These were ‘General Knowledge Quiz’ and ‘Treasure Hunt’. While students hunted in packs for clues in Treasure Hunt, they strived for answers in G.K.Quiz. Apart from these, the most awaited event of the day was ‘Face Painting’ competition.”I never imagined that one day, I would look into the mirror and see myself as a Joker”, said Nikhith, one of the participants. The prize distribution ceremony and the cultural activities that followed proclaimed the end of yet another eventful day.

DAY 3(Feb. 28th): The final day of Shruthi ’09 was undoubtedly the most colorful day, more so, because it was declared as the ‘Traditional Day’. On this day, the college landscape was painted with gorgeous girls looking graceful in saris (which they carried with understated elegance) and the guys looking completely chic in their sherwanis and other traditional gear. The atmosphere got totally charged up when these “Oh! So traditional” guys & gals shook a leg at the ‘Dandiya’ and ‘Punjabi Tadka’ events that ensued. Of course, the customary event ‘Sports Quiz’ attracted huge crowds where all the sport-loving fanatics tried hard to outsmart each other. ‘Slow Biking’ was the guys-only event that found its sync with the biker boys in CBIT. Mallikarjun, one of the organizers for the event admitted that, “Some unruly guys utilize this event to exaggerate their biking skills and most importantly, woo the girls.” As the sun started setting at the horizon and moonlight beckoned, the stage was set for the lavish ‘College Day function’ and ‘Prize Distribution Ceremony’. Sizzling dance performances, mellifluous singing, thought-provoking speeches and staggering music scripted the cultural bonanza that ran well into the night.

After the prize distribution ceremony, the winners walked away happily while the losers consoled themselves with the age-old maxim,” There is always a next time”. Mired in myriad controversies, Shruthi ’09 wasn’t organized on a bigger scale than its predecessor (Shruthi ’08)-thanks to recession looming large. At the end of the day, the owl has spread its wings and moved from the dusk of Shruthi ’09 (that was a glimmer of luminosity) to a scene of widespread hope and infinite promise.

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