The Manipal Cultural Mecca – Shruthi Menon

Competition intensifies on the third day of Utsav with cries of disappointment and shouts of victory even as participants persevere through a slew of new events.

The morning began with rhythm and rhyme in literary sync as young poets added new meanings to lyrical and prosaic verse. While pen and paper had their own love affair, artists played magicians making something out of a lot of little nothings. Installation art requires an imagination and a flair for visual aesthetics that not many can pull off. An eye for seeing beyond the superficial and making a whole out of pieces of scrap, students used forgotten bits putting them together and making the ingredients sing.

A dull afternoon and empty stage turned into something else altogether with VJ Hasrar conducting a university fest with the ease and presence of a professional. With Hollywood flowing through their veins the teams and the audience participated with equal fervor, as their college egged them on barely able to contain their enthusiasm. With a live orchestra and a professional singer from Nepal, UTSAV 2014 has outdone itself with Antakshari.18

The mimicry competition brought popular Hollywood actors and politicians and their signature gestures and favourite phrases on stage entertaining the audience. Imitation is the best form of flattery and mimicry as much an art as it is a clever rendition
of political and social commentary which requires a sharp tongue and quick wit. Contestants ran their own election campaign, running for every party and running for none as they cleverly brought out the humour in poorly given interviews, meaningless speeches and false promises of the many frontrunners of this year’s Lok Sabha elections.

Then came the musical gala. The evening rang with the Western Vocal Solo and Group contestants singing their hearts out, claiming their three minutes to fame. “Manipal is home to students from all over the world and Western Vocals gives it that global touch. Although it’s mostly English, there’s still the opportunity for other languages” said Vishnu, a student from Faculty of Architecture.

About the Author: This article was written by Shruthi Menon for the Utsav Newsletter issue 03.

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