So if you’ve been reading my summer blog, you’ll notice I’ve mentioned the words Malhar, OC, OG and College fest a fair amount this past month and so here is the down low on Malhar – Presented by St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. [We’re Autonomous, just in case you didn’t know].
I’ve been in St. Xavier’s since 2012, and unfortunately, I couldn’t participate in Malhar Local, since application deadlines for volunteers had passed. I did apply for Raga, Malhar’s official newsletter in 2013. Malhar Zara Hatke accepted me with open arms and I have been a part of Raga for two years now – both as a volunteer [Malhar – A Renaissance, 2014].
Malhar is one of the oldest fests in our city, it began in 1979 and according to sources, Raga was born in 1989. Malhar is the second largest inter-collegiate youth festival in Asia. A sub-department of Literary Arts, Raga split away from LA and has been separate ever since. We’re the smallest department in the whole of Malhar, well, Finance is, but we’re the smallest with volunteers.
Malhar is ruled by a hierarchy of students. Faculty rarely interferes with prep for the fest which is held in August. The Chairperson, and the three Vice Chairpersons are chosen in March, with interviews happening in February. Yes, we start that early. You think that being an amazing fest comes just like that?
The Organizers In Charge are chosen in the first two weeks of April after our End Semester Exams [ESEs] and then the last two weeks are for choosing the Organizers. So in layman’s terms – OCs are Heads while OGs are sub-heads of a particular department.
Chairperson – VCP Events, VCP Conclave and VCP Management are called the Quartet and they are the highest on the hierarchy with the OCs under them and their specific departments and then come the OGs and finally, the volunteers. The Organizing Committee makes up 150 people and the volunteers are 1300 in number. The entire college gets into it, whether they want to or not. Malhar is life, for many.
Departments among the Events include: Literary Arts[LA], Raga, Indian Performing Arts [IPA], World Performing Arts [WPA], Administration[Admin], Workshops Inc.[Winc], Fine Arts[FA] and Entertainments, Theatricals and Contests [ETC].
Departments under Management include: Assistance, Computers [Comps], Graffix, Hospitality [ Hospi], Technicals [fondly called TEXXX], Logistics [Logs], Security, Souvenirs, Public Relations, Marketing and Finance.
Conclave, a session of talks is the only department under Conclave. Day One of Malhar is reserved for Conclave. We’ve had speakers from every field come and talk [name drop – 2013, His Holiness, The Dalai Lama].
Security, Assistance, Logs and Texxx are nicknamed the Big Four because they command the largest number of volunteers.
The months May-August pass in a flurry of preparation for the arrival of Malhar, aptly named as it falls in the middle of Monsoon in Mumbai. Popular events include Mr. And Ms. Malhar, former events of Street Dance and Bollywood Dance. The colleges take home trophies and prizes and the experience of being part of a fest that is a way of life to Xavierites.
AmNite is a Malhar tradition, held on the second evening / night of Malhar and singers, dancers, performers from the college are chosen to entertain those who form the workforce and this is a college party to be remembered as is the Closing Ceremony on the third night where we bid farewell to our fest for another year.
Five years, or three, if you’re less fortunate is all you get in Xavier’s [unless you fail or come back, but semantics], and every year that you do Malhar is something new gained.
If you’ve come to watch an event or take part in one, you’re one of the 30,000 who’ve set foot in our home of the past few months. Malhar is something we are immensely proud of contributing our hard work and talent to. We make new friends, some for life, we learn new things and we experience it all in these months.
Malhar is something we love. Even if we will eventually have to give it up some day.
Until next time,
P.S – This has been posted on Summer 2015 first, and is a copy of the same. I’ve been daily-blogging there.