WWW.VATSAP.COM is up and running finally! Phew!
All I can say is that it was pretty easy for me to do the holding-tears-in-the-eye scene because someone was too busy that day. The short film that you see here was made by one of the two teams from IITM who had qualified for Saarang 2008 SFM competition.
Assuming that the video above will take quite some time to stream fully, let me write enough so that you, my dear reader, won’t have to yawn. Let me call everything that follows henceforth, an essay on Saarang, the cultural phestival of IIT Madras (I know you guys were waiting for that e’ph’ect ).
Like everyone else the Saarang that excited me most happened in my first year. It was a whole new world. I didn’t know so many girls who could wear good clothes (irrespective of how they looked) even existed in the Tam capital. I vividly remember getting close to a girl from outside insti on my very first day (or was it the second?). Hell, I even remember what I was wearing that day: a loose sky blue color Saarang Tshirt and looser dark blue shorts. Naah, I am not really sure what the girl was wearing, but I am sure she looked good.
Yes, she had indeed looked good. I had looked into her eyes and she had looked into mine; for quite some time, believe me. My right palm had rested on her left and my left palm had rested on her right, all the four palms being in the direction vertical to the ground, covered by dusty red carpet. It wasn’t just the two of us doing that eye-into-eye and palm-on-palm business. There were many more pairs. And before you conclude that it was a dance workshop, let me tell you that it was not. In fact I never ever asked any girl out for a dance workshop in any of the Saarangs. That’s another story and I will come to it later. Let me finish this story first.
So, yeah, there were many other pairs around us, doing something similar to what we were doing. Not of all of them were the girl-boy couple though. Most were men-men and if I remember it right, there were few girl-girl couples too. It was a theater workshop being conducted by Karthik from Evam. Karthik! Back then I was utterly impressed by this guy. The way he spoke, the way he looked, the way girls listened to him speak, everything captivated me. I guess I am drifting away from the main story (much to the delight of those perverted fellows who get turned on by stories throwing bisexual hints), and therefore I will stop describing what I felt for Karthik by concluding my feelings in the follwing fashion: that day, I had wished I could be someone like him.
One of the exercises that we were asked to do required the pair to imagine an imaginary plain mirror between them and treat the team-mate as your reflection. So of course when I touched the mirror with my palm, I actually touched her palm. And of course, when I was looking at my imaginary reflection in the imaginary mirror, I was actually looking into her eyes. So, now you see, why and how I got close to my first Saarang girl! Not bad, was it? Of course, I wonder why I never tried to kiss myself that day!
Okay, if the video has already streamed fully, I would suggest you watch it first and then read the rest of Vatsap’s Saarang masaala. If it hasn’t, keep reading.
I do not remember much about the Saarang that took place in my second year except that I made cash. A third in sketching gave me 750/2 (the prize was split between two because there were two third prizes). Also a first in painting gave me 1.5k. No wait, besides the money that I made, I also remember becoming a security volunteer that year and all the frisking that I did besides of course sporting a stupid orange cap during all the pro-shows.
In their second year, all IITians realize that Saarang is the same every year. The only real change that takes place, takes place in the professional shows. My first year had seen Udit Narayan while the second year saw KK.
My third Saarang changed my life and I will not talk about it. It’s a story I cannot share. All I can say is that it was the beginning of something exceptionally beautiful which was bound to be snatched away from me. Just that I never knew that the snatching-away would ironically take place exactly a year later in the next Saarang.
The fourth Saarang was a tragedy. I was at Saarang just for the first day before I left for Delhi to attend an old friend’s wedding. I came back only to realize that certain things had changed. Forever.
Saarang 2008. Ended yesterday. Every day had a story of its own. I think it deserves a post of its own. I also think, that if the video has still not streamed, screw your internet connection.
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Yet another Saarang beckons. They say, it is going to be my last Saarang. They say, I should enjoy it.
The Saarang two years back had gifted me something special. The Saarang, last year had snatched away the gift, the most beautiful gift I had ever got.
Hey Saarang, how are you going to treat me this year?
The floating wind
brushes the skin.
The floating wind,
it lies within.
I shake and I shiver;
feel it everywhere.
I dream and I wonder.
I float in the air.
It feels perfect,
could be a dream.
The floating wind.
In the wind, I gleam.
The wind smiles,
waves me a hi.
The floating wind.
In the wind, I fly.
The train and the tickets.
The solitude and those fifteen minutes of crying alone, crying like a baby.
The hugs from girls.
The cold morning of Mysore.
That wait for the bus .
The beautiful stage with the enchanting lights.
The free idlis which tasted great.
The dead fly in the tea.
The green room.
Flame of the forest.
Fagging, sitting over the under-construction railway-track.
The sugar-cane juice.
The Manipuri stall which sold black tea.
Mysore Masala Dosa.
The kurta shopping.
The second run.
The youth hostel.
The evening walk.
The pitchers of beer with smoke all around.
The phone call and setting up a date.
Breaking the rules.
The morning tea and the conversations with the artist.
Roadside double-player stone-footer, and beating the girl in the game.
The walk through the garden, the flying birds and the floating objects.
Sitting in the sun, talking to her.
The day time booze.
Making him forget Shakespeare.
Making him define Scientific evidence.
Catching up with her.
The long night chit-chat in the moving train.
Cuddling with her, like a baby.
Teas, teas and some more.
I loved my two days trip to Mysore as part of ‘Justus Repertory’, a Chennai based theater group. We were there to participate in the Bahuroopi National Theatre Festival 2008. We did two shows of a play called ‘Flame of the Forest‘.