The 40th edition of Mood Indigo, the annual cultural festival of IIT Bombay was held from 20th to 23rd December, 2010. In the months leading up to the actual event, Mood Indigo tried to make its presence felt by means of the pre-MI events. This year, in addition to Livewire, Aagaaz, the street play competition, too held multi-city eliminations. A significant portion of Mood Indigo publicity was done online. The Facebook page was promoted in a big way and was rewarded by 13000 likes, a healthy jump of 8000 from last year.
Desi Tadka gone bland?
Mood Indigo 2010 shall, unfortunately, be remembered as ‘the one with no spice’. The crowd was minimal, the ambience – bland and the pronites – boring. The Mood Indigo theme – Desi Tadka, seemed to have been lost somewhere behind the huge publicity banners. When asked about the same, Anant Gupta, OC Mood Indigo, replied – ‘We tried to incorporate the theme in a more subtle way. This time we went for a less visual impact and pushed for integration of themes in our events. We had Indian magicians, mela events etc. For the ambience, we decorated the main building corridor with kites, lanterns etc. We wanted the theme to be implemented in our events, and not just be an eye-candy.’ Now whether a theme like Desi Tadka was suitable for such subtle implementation is anyone’s guess.
Mood Indigo Competitions this year was bigger and better than ever before. The events were executed professionally, the participation was top-notch and where they might have lacked in event innovation, they more than made up for it in terms of bigger cash prizes.
Omniscience; the mega quizzing event was generally well received. The big bucks drew hordes of quizzers from all over the country, something MIs of the past had failed to achieve. The quizzes were well researched and the filler quizzes were impressive as well.
The street play event this year, Aagaaz, went multi-city and held eliminations in Delhi and Ahmedabad, in addition to Mumbai. Even though a few issues were raised on the non-uniformity of competition across the cities, the captivating performances in the finals settled all lingering doubts.
The music competitions were up to the mark as well. The events saw good, quality participation, with IITB’s own Shaadarsh winning Mantra. Livewire and Swaradhana, the solo classical competition, witnessed high levels of competition and were appreciated. The events, however, did suffer from poor organization and infrastructure.
Other notable events included Wordgames, Book Cover Design and Digital Designing competition. All these events witnessed high participation and were widely appreciated for their innovative formats.
It wasn’t, however, a dream run either. The Entertainment Quiz stood in stark contrast to the rest of the quizzes in Omniscience. The quizmaster seemed uninterested, the crowd management was poor and the finals were uninspiring and insipid. Also, the speaking events left much to be desired in terms of both organisation as well as the level of participation. The Group Extempore event seemed as if it had been prepared a couple of hours before the actual event.
The Informals Department this year tried to move away from the norm and focused on events which were more varied. According to Ishan Shrivastava, Core Group Member, Informals – “This year we tried to come up with a very diverse set of events which didn’t just cater to the literary arts circle. We focused more on the elimination rounds since it witnesses more participation than the final rounds”. It was certainly an impressive ideology and a lot of events were highly innovative. But at the same time some events suffered from organisational problems which affected their overall quality.
Treasure Hunt suffered from a lot of glitches pertaining to participant handling as well as the clues which didn’t match up to the standards set previously. The elimination round of Corporate was appreciated but the finals were highly mismanaged. Also, a lot of events suffered because their venues were rather obscure. Crime Scene Investigation was, however, a decent effort; as were the game shows.
All this notwithstanding, a few events deserve a special mention. Check Mate – the strategy Game was organized beautifully and was widely appreciated. The Lounges were better organised and the Board-games Lounge in particular was enjoyed by a lot of people.
Mood Indigo 2010 was another great year for Horizons. They were given the OAT for the first time and with Sumo Wrestling, they pulled off a winner. Crowd management issues aside, the event drew hordes of crowd and the event was a unique experience for everyone who came to attend. ‘It was amazing to be thrown out of the ring by a 300 pounds plus Sumo’ – one of the students who tried to tackle the wrestlers said.
One of the most celebrated events of MI’09; IMF entered its second edition this year. With the ideology to bring down a wide array of world class artists to MI, it was once again a crowd success.
Even though some intermittent sound problems threatened to ruin the show, Minino Garay and his band with their unique blend of jazzy, street-friendly music and audience interaction made them a huge success. The Glass Duo from Poland, The Flamenco musicians from Spain and Indo-German band Fire on Dawson kept the crowd riveted with their performances.
However in ‘Levis Convo’, Vogue went on rather chaotically as the professional groups refused to adjust to the constraints of a college fashion show. Apart from starting seventy minutes late, the show was muddled with service errors making it an altogether forgettable experience.
The selection of artists for this year’s Mood Indigo was disappointing, to say the least. The team failed to match up to the high standards set by the Mood Indigo 2009.
Katatonia were the international band act at pronites this year and the reaction to their concert changed from ‘Katatonia – who?’ to ‘Katatonia – why?’ as the minutes passed. We believe that any comparison with the Porcupine Tree concert would be unfair as both the bands belong to entirely different genres. But since a lot of concert passes were given away as event winnings, one can easily gauge that Katatonia failed to attract a lot of metal fans as well.
The Asha Bhonsle concert this year was held in place of the classical concert. The concert received mixed reviews. While the faculty members and old hindi music fanatics found her mere presence ‘mesmerizing’, the younger audiences found her ‘out of tune’ and ‘too old to be headlining a college cultural festival’.
The last pronite featured Amit Trivedi and his troupe of singers/dancers belting out popular Bollywood songs that were lapped up by the audience. The show would have been a bigger hit had it not been for the ‘No One Killed Jessica’ cast (including Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan) which came for the film publicity; Trivedi ended up singing songs from NOKJ up to three times each, much to the audience’s frustration.
Every year, the service glitches play an important part in lowering the overall experience of Mood Indigo. This year, however, the service assistance of Mood Indigo seemed to have reached an all time low. A lot of events suffered from sound related problems. MI stage, for example, was constantly nagged by recurring sound failures. The sound at NCC was pathetic at times during the IMF. A lot of events started late because the projector or the screen could not be made available.
Mood Indigo, being Asia’s largest college festival, really needs to look into these incidents more carefully. Such incidents bother participants and the organisers alike, and a bit more professionalism on the part of MI is required.
Anant Gupta – MI OC 2010
• We wanted to reach out to the best colleges which would, in turn, guarantee us the best participants for our competitions. We wanted MI to be the best 4 days of their lives
• The low turnout was majorly due to shift in exam date for Pune University and not due to lack of publicity. Also, since none of the 4 days were on the weekend, we had fewer people from local colleges.
• Comparing Katatonia with PTree would be wrong as the two bands have entirely different genre. But people who were metal fans, found them good, and that’s what we expected.