On the one hand, the mood is sombre with the recent terror attacks. On the other, sponsorship to festivals has been hit due to economic slowdown.
The annual festival of Mithibai college - Kshitij - cancelled its pro-nite. Instead, they had a concert by the alumni and current students. and the money they had raised will be donated towards treatment of victims of the terror attacked.
Also, Mumbai Mirror notes that the usual celebs were missing on day 1 of the fest as they were busy the peace rally at Gateway of India.
Meanwhile, Tempest, the annual festival of Miranda House in Delhi University received a rude shock when one of its main sponsors (a well known telecom company) backed out a day before the fest was to start.
JAM magazine received an SOS from the Miranda House Students' Union on Dec 3, the day the festival started. At this stage Miranda was willing to offer a special deal with benefits for the next two years!
Unfortunately it was too late for us to rustle up an emergency sponsor. The festival concludes today.
Meanwhile the status of other festivals - at least in Mumbai - is not very clear. SIES college Fantasies' for example, is currently in limbo.
The moral of the story is that the party seems to be over - for reasons of sentiment, security and scarcity of sponsorship. Like the rest of the economy, college fests will have to downsize.
This may not be a bad thing at all because IMHO, in recent years, college festivals had become more about one-upmanship and sponsorship than a platform for talent, friendship and personal growth.
You don't need large amounts of money, media coverage and celebrities to have a rocking festival. Or well, you will have to learn to do without them.
And guess what - you will have just as much fun, probably more!
In fact I personally think colleges should have intra-fests and then an inter-collegiate fest should be hosted by ONE college in a particular locality every year. eg in Matunga-Sion area this Ruia could host it one year, Podar the next and SIES the third.
The organising committee can be from across colleges - whoever the main host may be. Events can be held at more than one college, given the space crunch. Surplus from sponsorship revenue can be put in a common pool and shared.
Is this at all feasible? Well. We talk of inter-department co-ordination in the government, police, armed forces and so on. But when it comes to our own little worlds, we want to protect our turf and declare 'mera fest tere se bada tha'.
We will carry forward this mindset, wherever we go. The time has come to change that, along with all the 'big stuff'.