Ashoka University’s undergraduate programme began three years ago. Being a part of the founding undergraduate class of Ashoka University, we had to do everything from scratch – be it forming clubs or holding events. Since so much had to be established, one thing we missed setting up was our own college fest.
As Ashoka has become a well-known institute in a short span of time, my friends from other colleges were always intrigued by the institute. They often asked whether Ashoka hosts any fests and my answer always was, “No, but hopefully soon.” It’s my last few months at Ashoka, and I can now finally say, “Yes, Ashoka does have its own fest!”
After much deliberation, Ashoka University will be hosting its inaugural cultural fest, Banjaara on February 11 and 12. The theme for the fest is ‘backpacking’. According to Gia Singh, a member of the fest drafting committee, “We were pretty set with our theme of backpacking. The concept of travel and going back to a different moment in time is what attracted us.” The fest will be a 36-hour long event, which is why, within the campus, it is popularly known as #DedhDin.
When the name of the fest was announced, most of us thought, “What is Banjaara? How is it even related to our fest?” and “Why is the hashtag ‘DedhDin’ used everywhere?” The organisers explained that they wanted to evoke the feeling of travel as it always inculcates a sense of freedom. Ashoka University, in sync with the concept of liberal arts, has always encouraged freedom for expressing new ideas since its inception. Hence, the word ‘banjaara’, which essentially means a traveller, a wanderer or a nomad, was apt. With its idea of sharing new ideas and thoughts, Banjaara will be a journey which will bring together diverse individuals for #DedhDin of fun!
As for #DedhDin, which means one and a half days, according to the organisers, it is a time period that lies somewhere in the middle. Hence, it will leave you yearning for more. As Gia elaborated, “Setting a time limit of 36 hours will instil a sense of desire to get a taste of everything we offer – just like an Ashokan, who is often racing against time, yet wants to experience all that Ashoka has.” The fest will keep you on your toes as there will be so much to experience – from competing to socialising and trying out different things!
So, what should one expect from Banjaara? Since Ashoka is known to do things differently, Banjaara will be no exception. While there are some amazing competitions in store (Nukkad Natak, Slam Dunk, Battle of the Bands, General Quiz) with lots of cash prizes, they are not the only thing that the fest has to offer. The aim of Banjaara is to make sure one has fun, and at the same time experience the life of an Ashokan.
Since the entire fest is centred around travelling, the attendees will be given a curated journey of the campus which will also have ‘People Stops’, where one can stop and interact with new people; ‘Detours’, where new skills can be learned; and zones such as the ‘Art Zone’ and ‘Street Zone’. There will also be various informal competitions such as ‘lip sync’, and post-midnight parties, where you can let your hair loose, and groove to the beats for as long as you want to!
Still not convinced? Come and see for yourself on February 11 and 12. I can assure you, these #DedhDin will be the best you would have experienced!