This blog was in pipeline since the vampire blog. Blaming Pari always would be unfair, though she is one of the primary factors of my so called ‘busy-life’. The actual reason is that, uhhhhh.. I am a bad manager of time. Sadly, I am 🙂 But better late than never. Those wonderful memories of CUSAT and Arts Festivals, let me scribble some more of them right away.
Being the super seniors at college, we were in charge of Arts Fest 2003. Oh!! Back then, all of us were swamped, overloaded, having more than enough on our plates, so occupied,… that looking after Pari would be a lot easier 🙂 Each of us would be delegated an event (either off stage or on stage), and this would be in addition to the events that you participate in. People would need your help at green rooms. Back ground screens would be required for the dances and fashion shows. Guys provided the raw materials and girls proudly materialized their ideas 🙂 One time they even gave us a few buckets of paint and a huge screen which would be as large as a 9×11 dining hall, to create a desert background. We had a sleepless yet eventful night walking and rolling over the screen for the right sand dune impression. Well, sleepless nights were not a big deal when it came to winning the championship.
But Oppana, seemed to be the most effortless of all. Electronics (my stream) team had surpassed and wiped out all the competitors for the last 3 yrs. This being the 4th and final year, we had pressure to maintain the lead position. But as usual, it was a sure win.
So as mentioned in the previous blog, Parvathy (one of the Oppana team members) tried her best to overcome her heavy dopey eyes. We were yet to start our practice for oppana, which was supposed to be at evening 5. Time would be 3:00am. Dead tired after a day’s eastern dance practice, I found myself comfortable on one of those class room benches.
Walloping hands woke me up. 5:00am. The oppana practice had started. I got up with a jerk, wondering how much they would have covered already. They were nothing, but a bunch of sleepyheads, lazily swaying and clapping hands, going round and round in their own ways, with a clumsy smile at regular intervals. I too was sleepy and was sure I would end up like them during the practice. But Parvathy who stood in the front row of the team, looked more energetic than ever. I still wonder how she carries so much energy in her tiny body!! Hastily, I joined them. During the breaks, Parvathy taught me all the steps that I missed. We were so spirited then that we even skipped breakfast. A packet of parle biscuit and some bananas, was all we had for lunch. The restlessness during two previous nights of insomina had eaten 90% of my grey cells that I could not even recollect 2 subsequent steps even when it was 5pm. The whole team was in the same boat, except for Parvathy. The schedule was postponed by another 2 more hrs. But it did not matter. We needed a plan and we came up with not one, but three.
PlanA. Try to remember the steps and dance.
PlanB. If Plan A doesn’t work, look at your pair and dance
Plan C. If your pair too doesn’t know, look at Parvathy and dance 🙂 🙂
It was 7:00pm when they called our team on the stage. All of us lined up on the stage. The curtains raised. The song started. With huge expectations, the Electronics crowd cheered us. We started our oppana, the dearest, most favorite and reliable piece of event which always earned points to score high on the chart. Step1,Step2,Step3 and then the song started looking different. Jasmine, my pair on stage, gave me a weird look. It was not just me, but she too could not remember the next step. The same “What next?” looks reflected on the other pairs’ too. But Parvathy looked confident. “Switch to Plan C”,Reshma from our front pair whispered. All of us looked at Parvathy, our own Parukkutty as she was known, and continued. A few more steps, and Paru too seemed lifeless. “The song going the wrong way man”, she yelled from the front row. The rest of the eyes protruded. In that whole day, all we concentrated was what step came after the previous one. We did not notice who sang the song or how she sang. Height of bloody over confidence!! This singer team mate of ours was getting it all wrong. But we were on a stage and some presence of mind had to be shown. So we made an immediate on-stage plan.
Plan D. “We leave it all to you, Paru. Guide us please….”
“Girls”, Paru took charge, “Line up in front. 3 of u on one side of the bride, and 3 on the other”. We did.
“Now clap hands. 3 claps to your left and 3 to your right”. We did.
“Clap again, swaying to the sides”. We did.
“Now form a circle around the bride”. We did
“Z, You stand up and walk to the bride. Whisper in her ear something. Let the broad smile. Shy smile man. Shy!! Shy!!” Paru was all geared up. Her energy gave vibrations inside. All of us moved around the bride in similar fashion 🙂
In Oppana, brides remain in the chair placed on the centre of the stage and often give light shy smiles and reactions to her friends clapping and dancing around her.
Sajni, the then bride and the beauty of CUSAT ’03, did not smile , but got embarrassed by our performance. Little did she know of the mishaps in that morning. Since the role of the bride was just to sit and smile, she had just joined us before we entered the stage. Moreover, she too was experienced in the same role for past 3 yrs.
The crowd too sensed something wrong. Electronics team clapped in slow motion, with a vivid question mark on their faces. The opponent crowd started howling and Paru ran out of steps. So we came up with the next plan.
Plan E. Clap hands, walk in rhythm towards the stage exit.
The plan worked out. We escaped, but there was the bride sitting all alone in the centre of the stage. Sajni didn’t know if she should run along with us or wait for one of us to come and pick her up. Brides do not step without an accompaniment, during oppana. But we had broken the chord and crossed all limits, so before another plan was made, one of us (I cant remember who) ran to the stage and brought her along.
To make matters worse, it was an open air auditorium. We had to walk through the audience to the car waiting to pick us, and we literally covered our faces with a shawl.
We were obviously disqualified, but the rest of the class who were not present in the audience did not believe us. They thought that we were making up a sad episode for fun, when we told them what had happened. They had such a huge faith in us.
Years later, I still mention this as a joke to friends and family. But deep inside am hurt. Losing the title is no big deal. But the fact that we took the faith of a whole class so lightly, burns me even now. I still appologise……
Btw, the desert background screen won lot of applause!!