Talent Nite, or T-Nite, the inter-section competition for first years (‘fachchas’) at IIMA, lived up to all the hype and more over four tempestuous nights (August 8th – 11th). Conducted by the Cultural Committee and enthusiastic second years, this annual fixture seeks to bond students of each section while battling it out against other sections.
With bragging rights for the whole year at stake, the tension between the contenders (Aakramak, Bhairavs, Cryptoknight, Dhoomketu, Enigma and SparX) was evident from much earlier. A poster competition on a popular social network brought out the much valued marketing skills of the student community, and set the tone for the intense competition that was to follow. Days of planning, even through the Slot 1 exams, culminated in scintillating performances (or embarrassing bloopers) across a wide array of events.
Sections were judged for enthusiasm and creativity for their entry into RJM during the inaugural night. SparX stole the show here, but unfortunately didn’t live up to that performance again. Breathtaking numbers by the Music Club were followed by Pub Run at a soaked LKP. From the comical (Lemon and spoon race) and the jaw-dropping (3-tier pyramid formation) to the creative (Graffiti), the events effectively showcased fachcha talent, as they fought for space to put up posters in the mess that would stay for the rest of the year. Enigma ended the evening with a slender lead, as teams sat down to prepare the night for the next day’s hungama. For others like newsletter writers, the day had just begun as they offered different takes on how the evening’s events panned out.
Mess Nite saw nostalgic ‘super-tuchchas’ cheer their sections on (and boo others, naturally) as they performed to popular numbers, some planned and others impromptu. The highlight of the show for each section was, undoubtedly, Mock Rock, where fake performers donning fake hairstyles and even more pretend instruments headbanged away to the growls of heavy metal. While some resorted to playing harmoniums, others just twiggled their fingers as thermocole’d guitars and microphones faced the brunt.
The Fashion Parade during RJM Nite upped T-Nite’s glamour quotient. Donning a variety of costumes according to set themes, fachchas from every section sizzled the stage with swag and panache. Another round of dance performances was followed by the much awaited CR act. Tuchchas were entertained with backbreaking dances and innovative parodies as Class Representatives showcased what their respective sections stood for.
After the dust settled on some allegedly questionable judging parameters, it appeared as if Enigma was running away with the trophy. However, with maximum points at stake on the last day, all still wielded hope of a win. Prop dances, musical performances, a Random Act and a Class Act gave the others ample opportunities to catch up. As Murphy’s Law would have it, Enigma failed to match their previous standards. It was Dhoomketu who stepped up with a memorable UV Light performance and a brilliantly coordinated class act that won tuchcha hearts across sections. But a stunning comeback was not to be, as Enigma held out for an extremely close victory, announced late into the night.
However, what stays in memory is not just the final standings but the lung breaking tempo shouts, posters that set the campus aglow and above all, the level of camaraderie and understanding that developed among the participants. All this, with classes in full swing. As another T-Nite came to a close, the average fachcha knew 89 more people in the section to share his or her knowledge, perspectives, joys and sorrows with for not just these two years but long after.