Pages from a reporter's journal on IIT-Madras' culture fest

January 21, 7 p.m.

Doyen Balamuralikrishna seems thrilled with a full house at the Open Air Theatre. Most of them had come to listen to him, but you know… boys will be boys and a lot of them were excited about what was to follow — Daksha Sheth Dance Company featuring the girl they couldn't stop talking about all evening — Isha Sharvani. That gorgeous Tarzan girl from “Kisna” was all set to do an encore of her enchanting rope dance but this time around, it was what the theme demanded, ‘Sarpagati' — the dance of the snakes. More modern than classical, mother and daughter were all grace. And as Isha unleashed gravity-defying elastic moves on a rope, the crowd watched spell-bound. It was sensual, erotic and surreptitiously wild as the well-toned bodies intertwined like snakes with the elegance of poetry in motion. Saarang had broken free from convention and that too on Classical Night. Way to go!

January 22, 8.45 a.m.

A serpentine queue of students waited outside the IC&SR auditorium for the inaugural lectures by Kamal Haasan and Gautham Menon. Kamal Haasan expressed his admiration for IITians. who made all that hard work seem so easy. He answered questions emailed to him with his classic quips. Sample this: What advice will you give us? “Looking at the movies we make, do you think we are in a position to advice you?”

When do you consider a film to be a success? “When they allow me to make it.”

Of all your roles over the years, which is the closest to your heart? “Kamal Haasan”

Gautham spoke about his approach to films and the need of a director to inspire his cast and crew to get the best out of them. Little did he know when someone asked him about how he convinced Suriya to do “Vaaranam Aayiram” that the film would win a National Award for Best Tamil Film.

January 23, 5 p.m.

“Life on campus is not as filmy as ‘3 Idiots' was,” says Priyanshu Mishra, better known as Mistake, from the Events Core. “Five Point Someone is truer to life here because it had bits and pieces of every person and the book connects to every IITian at some level… whether it is falling in love with the professor's daughter, or getting into engineering because of their parents or hanging out with really close friends. So, on campus, the response to ‘Five Point Someone' is pretty big. Most of the people are excited that it's free entry,” Mistake explains.

January 24, 3.30 p.m.

Man, I missed the Arun Shourie lecture in the morning. The political commentator apparently gave the students these gems on diplomacy. “Forget an eye for an eye… For an eye, get two eyes. For a tooth, break the entire jaw.” Whoa! He should team up with Tarantino and make movies. Like many other IITians, I also gave Evam's ‘Five Point Someone' a miss to conserve energy for the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy concert in the evening. Evam will be staging it again after all.

January 25, 6 p.m.

Escher's Knot, the winners of Decibels opened for Hurricane Bells and Hammerfall. Naturally, Hurricane Bells, who stepped in for Skid Row, were a nervous lot. It didn't help that they were dressed up nicely (one of them was in a waistcoat), and the female singer prompted the crowd to sway. Once the crowd learnt that the band had recorded a song for the most-hated teen-vampire film, they were in a mood to oblige. It took Hurricane Bells four songs to win over the metal heads who finally came around to cheer and acknowledge their brave performance.

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