The ‘sand sadhu' is ensconced in a vast expanse of open space at the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University. Complete with the meditative posture and ragged locks, the sand sculpture created by Paul Hoggard and Remy Geerts quaintly reflects the wisdom of ancient sages.
“Twenty years ago, when I playfully created a sand sculpture in Goa, someone told me it resembled Lord Shiva and that I was gifted,” said Mr. Hoggard from the U.K. “The sculpture blends science, art and spirituality,” Ms. Geerts added. “I hope it guides young students to realise their vision.”
Some distance away, a team of three students try replicating the sculpture on a white canvas for Art-o-thon, a drawing competition. Multiple perspectives conflict with the fidelity of the representation, one might think, but these girls disagree.
“This way, each of us gets to work on our strengths, be it detailing, shading or sketching, and we complement each other,” said R. Poojitha, a student of SASTRA University.
A fusion of talent, ideas and all-pervasive energy was clearly visible as VIT's cultural fest, Riviera 2011, kicked off on Sunday. With over 9,000 students from across the country participating, the four-day fest will include rollicking events, skill-based competitions and entertainment shows.
‘Redeem your 96 hours' seemed to be on everybody's lips. And this spirit was most evident at 7 a.m. as hundreds of students shrugged off sleep to participate in the 5-km ‘Green Marathon' highlighting the importance of saving the environment.
The day saw an eclectic mix of events, from the pottery workshop and quiz competition to preliminary rounds of the dance and music fiestas.
The college's literary association conducted competitions in Telugu, Tamil and English. Seated on the grass, Keerthana K., a participant, wrote on the topic ‘Me and my world,' describing how she feels grateful for a world of contradictions, for were it not so, it would not be worth mulling over.
Meanwhile, groups of students battled it out for the honours in a variety of sports events. While VIT University bagged the cricket trophy, the team from Loyola College, Chennai, won the hockey finals.
“At a time when most colleges are giving preference only to ‘royalty' games like cricket, we feel encouraged to play hockey professionally,” said Hari Prasath of the winning team.
Calling the campus a “mini-world,” VIT Chancellor G. Viswanathan lauded the students' efforts. The university has applied for ISO (Indian Standards Organisation) 9001:2008 certification for quality management, and for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the maximum number of participants in the arm-wrestling competition.
The chief guest at the inaugural function, cricketer Lakshmipathy Balaji, asked the students to develop a sense of direction in whatever they intended to do.
As the day drew to an end, the enthusiastic buzz in the campus gave way to rapturous applause as star-singers Sunidhi Chauhan, Priya Hemesh, Vijay Prakash, Anuradha Sriram and Srinivas performed. Thousands of laser beams glimmered to match the rhythm, and hundreds of hands danced in the air in unison, relishing every bit of the musical extravaganza.