By Niharika Agarwal:
A slight nip had crept into the air. The tantalising chill lured you out of the room in the morning, with the promise of a fresh new start. The same chill took you to this wonderland in the evening, reverberating with a buzz that is impossible to silence.
An organism slowly took shape. It was the living, breathing spirit of one of the largest cultural festivals in the country, Oasis. The atmosphere on campus had slowly changed. The transformation was unreal.
Where people usually complained about getting up early in the morning, jovial BITSians went about their business all over campus, as busy coordinators struck off things on their overflowing to-do lists. The Student Activity Centre, at any time of the day, was occupied by innumerable student groups (Clubs and Departments), ensuring that every aspect of the fest was covered. The StuCCA, a nine-member body, consisting of the heads of seven major departments and the students union, burned the midnight oil, going over minute details to ascertain that no one missed out on the ‘Oasis experience’.
This was a week before the fest actually began!
Then the fateful day finally came. Classes were suspended. Clubs took in air in huge gulps. Department members stuck together, mentally fortified themselves for the battle at hand. The StuCCA took its position in the battle and waited for the unexpected. BITSians held their breath.
And what a day it was. A prelude like no other.
The best way to describe the next 96 hours would be to call it an assortment of experiences that stretched and experimented with the imagination relentlessly, testing limits, immediately deciding to ignore them, and producing a concoction so heady that the mind reeled, the heart yearned, and the skin prickled.
There was something for everyone. However, there was no break.
Every day in the fest, people woke up and ran to the faculty division of the building. Probably an art or oratory event. Everyone waited for the dance and music events to start in the auditorium or the rotunda and rushed off to those events. Everyone looked forward to the professional performance at night. I wasn’t disappointed.
The variety of events were mind boggling. One would run around and paint their friends’ faces, participate in painting graffiti on the walls, watch and participate in debates. Then people moved on to the amphitheatre where either a band like the Nir Motzeri Trio would perform, or dance competitions would take place. One could head over to the food stalls and get caught in a flash mob, get fun pictures clicked in the photobooth or play paintball with their squad. Then there were professional nights with Papon, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Sunburn, Skrat, Dualist Enquiry, Pandit Viswa Mohan Bhatt, stage plays, music competitions, and movie screenings all night. Add to this, the madness that is Rocktaves, where bands like Parikrama and Indian Ocean have participated in the past. The list is endless.
The only complaint one could register here, was the constraint of being present in only one place at a time. And this happened after close scrutiny of the schedule and an attempt to visit all the event sites! And then it was over. A sudden lull descended on campus. We had experienced a phenomenon. We had been a part of our cultural fest. We’d made it happen. We’d experienced Oasis, 2015. We’d just been around the world in 96 hours.
Looking ahead, Oasis 2016, just a couple of days away now, is this Pandora’s Box. Very fitting, given the theme this time. ‘Of Gods and Men’. The campus is already abuzz, student activity is at an all-time high, and enthusiasm has never been so obvious. The likes of Amit Trivedi, Amish Tripathi and Kenny Sebastian are set to make their presence felt. As all performers and organisers gear up for the frenzy to begin, guests zip up their bags and prepare themselves for the fiesta of a lifetime.
The 46th edition of Oasis, the biggest bonanza, thronged by gods and men is about to begin.