“All that glitters is not gold.” William Shakespeare.
The Student Council of KMC Mangalore ’13-14 and its band of merry men brought this revered adage to shame by giving birth to the 59th Ganesh Utsav, incidentally, further illuminating the already glowing Diamond Jubilee year of the esteemed institution.
The 9th of September, 2013 saw the city of Mangalore decked like a beautiful bride in the gay spirit of festivity. With yellow Manipal University buses plying across the roads like life in a series of synchronized twinkling lamps on Diwali night, the entire city seemed to be paving the way for the proud pageant of KMC Ganeshotsav to parade through its heart. Festivity was in the air and you could almost feel it kissing your skin.
The D-day begun with parallel ceremonies in the Lighthouse and Bejai campuses, the former being a major attraction. The rituals and invocations were followed by refreshments in form of desserts peculiar to the region, for one and all.
The afternoon witnessed a mass exodus to the Dr. T.M.A. Pai Convention Centre as every soul associated with the Ganesh Chaturthi evening extravaganza pulled up their socks for the final stage rehearsal. The massive auditorium reverberated for one last time before the much awaited Ganesh Utsav evening.
The inauguration of the event was in matrimony with punctuality. The initial session enjoyed the presence of the Dean, the Associate Deans, the Chief Guest : Dr Ashwin (an alumnus of KMC Mangalore and currently an MLA at the Karnataka State Assembly) and the guest of honour on the centre stage. While some of the dignitaries greeted us with their words of peerless wisdom, the college champions were felicitated for sporting excellence. The session concluded with the vote of thanks by Mr. Vikram Bhat, the President of the current student council.
The cultural section of the programme turned out to be an unexplored box of swiss chocolates; with cheers of ecstasy accompanying the sequential unveiling of the performances. While the dances, ranging from orthodox classical to brilliant contemporary, had everybody tapping their feet in harmony, this year’s edition of the teaching staff’s play was the clear show-stopper with Dr. Latha Prabhu, who played the lead, pulling off a stellar performance. The jamboree drew to a conclusion with a performance from the college band : Stereotyp’d, which oozed of infectious energy. From an artful fusion of the veena and the electric guitar in Jiya Jale to the quasi-metal rendition of Emotional Atyachaar, Stereotyp’d took the show to its climax.
While this evening was one of structured and methodical performances, it’s successor was a distant wild cousin; characterized by unstrained spirits and mad energy. The Ganesh Chaturthi Procession. With the red bandanas unifying the otherwise diversely dressed student population, the DJs for the pre-procession party had the entire courtyard of the Lighthouse campus grooving to their beats. For a change, the partitioning septa between the Lighthouse-ians and the Bejai-ians had snapped and everyone was in the mood for more. The party marched through the roads, championing the idol of Lord Ganesha behind them, jiving to the beating of the drum, inventing unique new dance steps which soon went viral, abusing their vocal cords with the loudest “Ganapati Bappa!” one could hear in Mangalore and celebrating this college life that was a generous grant from KMC.
The human tsunami came to a halt at the site of immersion of the idol, a sad hollowness engulfing our hearts. Bappa was leaving for a year to come. But the post-procession frenzy showed no signs of fatigue. The long bus ride back to the hostel was the stage for popular songs, with every single bathroom singer generously lending his voice to harmony. An aura of pure bliss.
The 59th Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations have just passed us like a zephyr. A cool wind sending soothing waves of rejuvenation to somewhere deep inside us. We, the freshers, learnt to grow more as a family. Walls were broken down, bridges were built across the gulf of unfamiliarity.
Bappa has just said goodbye, but the zest of the festival seems to be fluttering inside our hearts. We feel TOUCHED.