By Sachet Singh, Devdeep Ghosh and Anees Backer
The usually serene expanse of green at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad sported a hip avatar and was invaded by a colourful crowd as the law school organised its inter-college cultural fest, Summons from September 30th to October 3rd. The event brochure was almost prophetic when it said “Bring back the colours, soak in the flavours, usher in the fun and let the music take over”, as it turned out to be a taste of the boundless vigour and amusement that unfolded over the four days. True to the theme of the fest-“retro”- the event was a raucous mix of colours, fun and laughter.
The banners were up, the lanterns were lit and the guitars were tuned. It’s hard to recollect a time when Justice City had been more fraught with activity as group after group of students milled around behind their committee heads, attending to last minute details. The atmosphere was electric – enough to set one’s teeth on edge. Months of meticulous planning had culminated in a palpable, all-pervasive excitement.
More than twelve contingents from all over the country took part in the fest, counting among them Symbiosis, HNLU, NUJS, NLU-Orissa, University Law College, Bangalore, Amity University, BITS, Hyderabad and NIFT, Hyderabad. The teams competed with each other in around twenty five literary, cultural and theatre events.
Day 1 was as challenging as it got. Be it art, film, quizzing, singing, writing, hairstyling, dancing or acting – if you had talent, it was time to prove it. Posters, movie spoofs and quizzes kept the participants busy all afternoon. The fashionably inclined did not get a chance to fret either. Tomorrow’s trends were visible at the ramp. The hairstylists among the participants came out with the coolest hairdos ,so much so that we guarantee that you’ll be seeing it on Heidi Klum in a week. Last but not the least, those who live to boogie got to unleash their moves once the sun went down.
The group dance was probably the most anticipated event of the Day 1. The theme was contemporary or fusion. The atmosphere was so energetic, it was impossible to hear any announcements. For a moment, one could have been confused whether one was at NALSAR or at some random club jiving away. However shades of how people dance while clubbing were noticed. The music was a melange of English songs one tends to hear at clubs and Punjabi, which is also heard at clubs. The lighting was in tune with the mood and the smoke effects tried to hide some of the less entertaining performances.
The winner of the show was ULC college for their graceful performance. A solid performance by HNLU ensured that they bagged the second place award.
The highlight of Day 3 was the ‘Battle of the Bands.’ However, the inordinate delay dissipated the pent up excitement of the entire gathered crowd. Delays aside, the show, once underway, outdid everyone’s expectation and was worth the wait.
First up was an improvised motley crew of musicians from Symbiosis performing under the name ‘Jhund’. The band was simple and uncomplicated – a perfect appetiser for what was to follow. Maybe a little too simple as their performance was buried under the subsequent performances.
Next up was ‘Anarchy’, an outfit with a lead singer who had a very memorable sound-check technique. They played their audience to the verge of hysteria as is often the case when a band plays Iron Maiden tracks. ‘Your Time Will Come’ was followed by ‘Fear of the Dark’.
Next was the band from Amity – ‘Red Eye’. The conjunctivitis stricken crowd engaged with this band for more than just their name – their first performance was simple, sombre, low key but incredibly riveting. The lead singer did an excellent job of carrying off vocals to a very strong instrumental performance. Their second performance ‘Freedom’ by Rage against the Machines. The singer hit every note right and the whole deal went down incredibly well with the audience.
Following them was ‘The Experiment’. Nothing experimental about their performance though, as they were incredibly professional and sang Incubus and Junkyard Groove tracks – artists that are not reputed to be the easiest to cover. They riled the crowd with their tunes and gathered some support and loyalty for Indian rock along the way.
The penultimate performance belonged to Shock Therapy. A metal band that found approval amongst the metal heads present in the audience indicated by the masses of hair moving in circular motions in a primitive ritual of obsequiousness.
Last, but by no means the least, was the NALSAR band which took a different path and played a few much needed blues classics. And if anyone thought that it was time to call it a night, they had more coming their way, with heavy metal outfit Skrypt giving all death metal fanatics a night to remember. All in all, it was a highly successful event with a great turn out and reminded everyone of what Summons was all about- pure ‘head banging’ fun.
Day 4 was all about one man- Indian pop star Lucky Ali. With heavy security manning the domains, one could feel the excitement building up as people waited with great anticipation for the show to kick-start. Bangalore based hip-hop group Low Rhyderz opened the show with some groovy tracks from their new album ‘Outta Nowhere.’
Lucky Ali was welcomed on stage amidst huge cheers. It took him no time to set the stage alight as he performed his latest hit ‘Hairat’, from the movie ‘Anjaana Anjaani.’ People swayed all night long to some of his most famous melodies like ‘Dekha Hai Aise Bhi’, ‘Na Tum Jano Na Hum’, ‘Maut’, ‘Aa Bhi Ja’ and the crowd favourite ‘Ek Pal Ka Jeena.’ All in all, it was an electrifying performance, with everyone getting their money and time worth.
Finally, it was time to draw the curtains on Summons’10. Symbiosis, Pune walked away with the title of overall winners. One would hope that it will not take another four years to bring this show back on the road. Indeed, NALSAR has risen!!
PS- Oops! Did we miss day 2?