For Xavierites, August 15 is the day their college festival, Malhar, begins. To mark its 30th year, Malhar is being celebrated with a bang with the festival going international for the first time. Students from Lahore and Dhaka Universities are participating in various events like fine arts and ad film making.
In sync with the theme of street spirit, the corridors and classrooms had been designed to depict street life. Signs reading 'One way', 'No entry' and 'Turn left' were a common sight. Even the Fine Arts (FA) exhibition, which was highly appreciated, was based on the theme, highlighting the garbage disposal and traffic problems.
Antar Chakshu, an event organised by the XRCVC (Xaviers Research Centre for the Visually Challenged) was slightly different this year. It catered not only to the visually challenged but also to the physically disabled. "Our main aim is to create awareness through our games by making it a fun process," says Prashant Shamrao, a volunteer of XRCVC.
Another attraction was the Malhar exhibition which was a walk down memory lane, featuring photographs, passes and T shirts given by the ex-Xavierites. Bol Bachpan, an event organised in collaboration with the NGO Childline, will be hosting events and workshops for 35 children between eight and 12 years. The Heritage Walk, an event launched this year, will rediscover the old joys of Mumbai, with a walk that will cover places like the Horniman Circle, the Asiatic Library and the Saint. Thomas Cathedral. An innovative dance competition introduced this year was the Yoga wave, which was Yoga imbibed in dance.
This year, a conscious effort was made to promote Marathi and Hindi events to reach out to a wider audience. Imbibing the spirit of the street, the street art competition saw some contestants playing drums on buckets.
Malhar is not only popular in Mumbai, but is well-known in other parts of the country, too. Manju Kalwani, student of Bhavanpur Gujarat Education Society, says, "It's the spirit of Malhar, which is most attractive. They have new events every year, not the clichéd fashion shows."
The most anticipated ted event of the day was the Street Dance, which saw mind-boggling performances by different colleges. This crowd-pulling event saw the new heart throb Harman Baweja as the judge along with Danny, Gunjan and Savio who were the winning choreographers for the famous dance show Nach Baliye.
The first day of Malhar will wrap up with the Amateur night which will see students from different colleges showcasing their musical talents. Day two of Malhar has many exciting events in store.
The three months of hard work for all the Xavierites finally pays off in the last two days and the joy on their faces says it all.