IIT Madras is as strange and wild as it seems to wide-eyed first-years in terms of the number of things one can do to spend one’s time. With the myriad opportunities it offers to those with a little enthusiasm, freshers are in just as good a position as anybody in the Institute to showcase and develop their talents. The Cultural Clubs in campus offer quite a few avenues for such learning and fun.
The Music Club is a diverse group, which passion for music being the only entry requirement. Members range from casual music enthusiasts who want to learn, to those who are regarded as the musical geniuses of campus.
In addition to the regular music club, IITM also has a club dedicated to classical music, which organises concerts by some of the best Carnatic and Hindustani musicians. An introduction to it can be found here.
Western Music and Light Music (group and solo events), as well as Classical Music (Vocal and Instrumental) events. Carrying lots of LitSoc points (including points set aside for individual performances and instrumentals), these are often game-changers on the points table, and usually draw large crowds. The Western and Light music group events are held in the lawns in front of Himalaya mess, and are not to be missed.
- Music events at Saarang, which are some of the biggest of their kind in the country.
- Guitar, drums and keyboard lessons by Unwind Center.
- Flute lessons by K.T. Dasarathy.
- Workshops by music manager Agnes Leder and bassist Naveen Kumar at CLT.
- A Capella sessions, for the first time ever at IITM, by vocalist and guitarist Saroop.
- Raagabop, the Music Club’s flagship event, in its second installment at Himalaya Lawns, consisting of Classical, Light and Western Music performances.
- The Institute music room, with a budget of 1.8 lakhs for the current amps and drums kit, has “absolutely sexy equipment to work with”, to quote last year’s Music Club Convener.
- The Institute music room is now fully functional, and regulation of its usage is a major concern. A tentative paid membership policy has been proposed this year.
- Plans to make Raagabop a collaborative event wherein various colleges come together to put up a ticketed show have been floated.
- An Institute band for IITM, to represent the college in all competitions outside the Institute is being pushed for.
- A major new initiative being undertaken this year is a deal for club coverage by Chennai Live, with more professional workshops and performances at Himalaya.
- The number only necessity to learn and be involved is enthusiasm.
- Freshies were an active and prominent part of Raagabop and A Cappella last year, and it is hoped that this will continue to be the case.
- Freshies usually become actively associated with this club after freshie night, which is the first opportunity for most freshies to showcase their talents.
- The club’s tab can be found on the Saarang Cultural Clubs site at http://saarang.org/2014/blog/music/ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/IitmMusicClub. Their homepage is at http://musicclub.iitm.ac.in/Home/
- The Music Club organizes the music events at Saarang, which include huge crowd pullers like Decibels, Powerchords and Tarang, which attract high quality participation.
- Past judges of note for these events have included Jay Hoad, Selvaganesh and Keba Jeremiah.
- This club is a meeting ground for musical talent in the Institute, and is, as a result, a great place to find members for emerging bands that wish to participate in events such as Acoustyx, Powerchords, etc.
The Quiz Club is composed of a bunch of inquisitive people who just have to know it all. With friendly members possessing mysterious I-know-this-and-that grins, this club is a treasure-trove of information, eager to lure and promptly swallow fellow inquisitive IITians. The current Convenor succinctly sums up the club’s aims, stating, “We just wanna make them go ‘oooh!’”
Testing for speed, knowledge, moments of sudden enlightenment and ability to make mad connections, the Quiz Club organizes a veritable smorgasbord of quizzes, which see teams of three people each vying for victory, LitSoc points, and bragging rights.
- Buzzer Quiz
- SpEnt Quiz (Sports and Entertainment)
- LitSoc Main Quiz
- India Quiz
- Travel and Living Quiz
- IITM Grandmaster ( a lone wolf quiz)
Other Club Events
- The Quiz Club takes care of the tech quizzes which are a part of TechSoc as well – How Things Work and the Tech-Soc Main Quiz.
- The IIT Madras Open Quiz, one of the largest open quizzes in South India, is organized entirely by the Quiz Club. Attracting the big names in quizzing, the Open Quiz draws good crowds every year.
- Similar versions of the aforementioned quizzes are organized for Saarang every year, together knows as the “Saarang Inquizition”.
The club aims to continue the good run of the past years. Members plan to build upon the success of the last few editions of the open quiz and make it bigger and better, attracting more participation and offering bigger prizes. Themed quiz club sessions will be held, such as the Harry Potter themed quiz which was a hit even among non-quizzers.
- The club has a very active Facebook Group, where anybody can post quiz questions. A set of informal rules form easy guidelines for new members. Everybody here learns something new every day, be it Hitler’s eating habits or subjects of obscure pictures (no reverse image searches please!).
- The club hosts a special “Freshie Quiz” as its first event of the year. Winning this prestigious event earns the team a place in the inner circle.
- Attend the meetings and the quizzes hosted by the club. Announcements are made over smail and via posters. Each session features quizzes set and hosted by one or more members.
- A substantial collection of quiz questions can be found at http://iitmquizblog.blogspot.in/. The club can be found on the Saarang Cultural Clubs site at http://saarang.org/2014/blog/quiz/.
The Writing Club is the newest kid on the block. With promises to make you snatch up a pen (oh, who are we kidding – to make your fingers tingle over a keyboard) every time you hear from them, this club aims to have you writing down those romantic sighs, thrilling spies, an opinion or two, and fantasies new. A gift for those wishing for a platform for expression, this club has impressive plans for this year.
Creative Writing (Solo and Group) is the Writing Club’s responsibility under Lit-Soc. Solo is a knuckle-cracking, finger-popping, staccato-typing competitive event, with separate prizes for poetry and prose. Creative Writing Group sees much brainstorming and finger-jabbing, with every hostel assembling a four-page (rules subject to change) entry. With around 40 points for the winner, it is a grammatically-correct fight to the finish.
With no precedent to set themselves by, this club has unrestrained plans to inspire and express. Independent writing and poetry events, an association with the Dramatics Club to organize city play outings, exploring literary events in other colleges, a book club, writing workshops, and a Flagship Event are some of the novel events this club hopes to popularize. With no defined guidelines, this club will play it by the ear to make this a brilliant beginning.
The importance of the club lies in the fact that it becomes a meeting ground for people with similar thoughts, tastes, ideas and opinions. It provides a platform with access to a large student audience, and can be instrumental in popularizing fledgling blogs and articles. The events it organizes for Lit-Soc and Saarang are popular, with judges such as Sharanya Manivannan, a well-known city poet. To be involved, one needs to follow these activities, participate, and learn. Every club activity will be communicated via smail, and all one has to do is turn up! The club’s tab, with a few valuable writing tips, can be found at http://saarang.org/2014/blog/writing/
This club’s enthusiasm for writing can be seen by the fact that they preferred to submit their articles in eloquent prose, as opposed to the terse lists others preferred.
For all the drama queens, kings and jesters, the Thespian Club at IIT Madras has a lot to offer. If the theatre world excites you, be it behind-the-scenes or revelling in the spotlight, this is the place to be. With exuberant and enthusiastic giggling, lamenting, arguing and romancing, members of this group show us a larger, more dramatic slice of life.
One of the most eagerly awaited events every year, inter-hostel Dramatics is organized by the Thespian Club. After weeks of preparation, very often involving curses from the rest of the hostel due to the noise generated during late-night practices, each hostel vies for the points this event offers. Comedies, tragedies, dramas, adaptations and original works are put up every year. Always a game-changer, hostels near the top of the points table are known to give each other the stink eye backstage, all the while acknowledging begrudgingly how brilliant the other was. Lights, sound, set and make-up have points too, and each hostel is on the lookout for artists to take care of these every year.
Other Club Events
- New on their plate this year is a special event exclusively for freshies
- Stagecoach, a play in which the best actors of IITM find a place, is this club’s flagship event, and auditions for it overflow with enthusiasts every year. Its performances are witnessed by a jam-packed CLT.
- This year, there are plans to have two Stagecoach plays instead of just one.
- It is also responsible for organizing Workshops and various Saarang events – Dramatics, Street Play, Radio Play and Mad Ads.
To quote the Club Manager on what they have to offer the theatre community, “We’ve got the numbers and the talent for something BIG!”
She pointed out that Chennai, with its festivals and youth theatre, is a great place for theatre enthusiasts. With fervently promised good publicity for meetings, auditions and workshops, there is something for everyone. Besides, the club is always on the lookout for lights, sounds, make-up and set managers.
Fine Arts Club
Popularly referred to as the FA Club, the Fine Arts Club is an ambitious, all-inclusive one. It is a “tempting, artistic, beautiful meeting-place for anybody with passion”, especially those hoping to explore further the paint-splattered phase of their distant childhoods, or, alternatively, those highly inspired by Dilbert cartoons. “Watch and learn, people” aptly describes some of this year’s forecast for enriching experiences.
Lit-Soc sees round-the-year events under Fine Arts, such as sketching, painting, collage-making and clay-modeling, as well as an inter-hostel group event. Guaranteed to be a roller-coaster ride, the group event has in the past seen some fierce, yet fun, competition. The perfect place to bring out any hidden pools of creativity, the Fine Arts Club promises a multitude of events to make it a colourful year.
Other Club Events
In the past, the club has had an association with PETA, under which they spray-painted an entire canvas for their cause. Every year, Fine Arts events at Saarang are organized meticulously by this artistic bunch, including events for school children – Dreams on Canvas.
- This Club is all set to give new opportunities to the enthusiastic, with a whole range of techniques, media, and styles to experiment with. In this club, there is no right or wrong way, just your very own way.
- With an impressive line-up this year, the club’s plans include weekend-long workshops, short exhibitions, installations, talent-sharing and teaching opportunities, graffiti workshops, paper quilling, 3D street art, and, tentatively, an art symposium with week-long events.
Club events and meetings will be well-publicized, and each one will be a chance to showcase one’s talent, and share knowledge. Lit-Soc events, Saarang events and workshops welcome participation from every enthusiast with the desire to express.
The dynamic and vibrant Choreo Club at IITM is home for all those who are freest in fearless dance. Their mantra includes the strong belief that anybody can dance, which they propagate by organizing several events.
Freestyle Solo and inter-hostel Choreo Night are the two events organized under this club. Pulsating music, lights and scorching dance steps characterize these popularly-watched events. The inter-hostel event sees fierce battle for the Hostel Choreo champion position, with multiple nights sacrificed in its preparation by every participating hostel.
- The club will kick-start the year with a dynamically choreographed Freshie Night Dance Segment. The filmy style show-off fest is for all those fresh faces who think they can dance, and want to flaunt their talent. Bollywood, Tollywood and every other dearly enjoyed–wood will be the rule of the day, and the stage will be open to whoever dares to dance on Freshie Night.
- A free Salsa Dance Workshop by LVDS has also been arranged for IITM students, and will hold classes weekly, the instructor being one of the best in Chennai.
- The even semester will see S.P.A.R.K. classes for the wannabe hip-hoppers and freestylers.
- To top it all off, IITM is also in for a visual treat, as it is all set to host two international b-boying and salsa dance battles this year!
Events are well-publicized and communicated via smail. The club invites everybody to come watch their performances. Details of workshops, classes, etc., will be similarly communicated, and enthusiasts are advised to follow them on Facebook for regular updates. They will also be putting up useful links to for those interested in being introduced to various dance styles. More information may be found at http://saarang.org/2014/blog/choreo-2/
For all those who love glamour, glitz, life, and activity, and have a thirst to capture it all through clear lenses, the Media Club offers the best opportunities to hone latent talent. As the Convener points out, learning filmmaking as an individual can be hard on the wallet, and the club offers a solution in the form of sessions with like-minded people, facilitating the exchange of thoughts and ideas. So whether your aim is to romanticize every aspect of life, or show off its stark reality, Media Club is the place to be!
The Media Club every year organizes the inter-hostel short film making (SFM) contest, and the inter-hostel photography contest. With exciting themes, last-minute rushes and picturesque locations, each contest is an amazing display of art. Anyone with energy and enthusiasm is invited to chip in with their ideas and talent.
Other Club Events
- Learning opportunities in the form of workshops round the year, besides a plethora of events during Saarang summarize this club’s activities.
- The much-awaited Saarang Film Festival screens international and regional films, whose procurement involves approaching various embassies and directors.
- Saarang also sees a much bigger playing ground with its SFM and photography contests open nation-wide, and judges of note, such as Kalyan Verma, Parthiban, even the director of LV Prasad Academy, in the past.
- Opportunities for actors to meet budding directors, cinematographers and screenwriters are aplenty in every event thus organized.
- Saarang is also a place where many young aspirants build up their portfolios and explore diverse ideas.
- Regular information sessions and photo-walks will be well-publicized, and the club will be on the lookout for enthusiastic participants.
- Events organized by this club are open to all and details will be communicated well in advance.
- The Facebook page is very popular.
If wit, talking too much, thinking on your feet (and fast), and argumentativeness characterize you, the Oratory Club at IITM has a treat for you! To put this club’s work succinctly, the Convener presents:
To talk, to argue, to recite, to narrate
To assert, to plead, to JAM and debate
To expound with commitment, with passion, with rage
To woo all crowds, we give you a stage!
Lit-Soc sees Speaking Events of every sort before an IITM audience – Just a Minute (JAM), Elocution and Debate are regulars. With points that could overturn a favourite-for-the-trophy hostel’s LitSoc chances, these are sharp, humorous, quick-witted, and, of course, well-enunciated events, thrilling for participants and audiences alike. The very place where the persnickety shine, awards for the alert and sly are the rule of the day.
Other Club Events
- The Oratory Club, though fairly new, has sent its representatives to Parliamentary debates and MUNs, besides inviting massive participation at all its Saarang events, with some of the best speakers across the country.
- The Convener points out that our Institute is home to teams that have made the finals of major competitions.
- After having successfully co-hosted a national level panel debate, The Dialogue, last year, the club this year presents IIT Madras Inter-Varsity debate, hoping to attract top teams from all over the country.
- The club offers something for everybody, and all it asks in return is enthusiasm, daring, willingness to learn, and even to occasionally be laughed at.
- It offers exposure to the best debaters, speakers, and JAMers in the country, and facilitates the exchange of opinions, arguments and fresh perspectives.
Word Games Club
A masterful society which is like delightful apricity when things are looking down, the Word Games Club promises to open every door when it comes to the English language. Magnificent riddles, mind-boggling word-play and the language in all its odd glory characterize this club’s work.
Scrabble, What’s The Good Word (WTGW), and Cryptic Crossword (Crossie) are events organized under Lit-Soc every year.
While Scrabble is the straightforward old-fashioned game, WTGW involves the discovery of peculiar phrases, words, and sentences. Crossie is a roller-coaster ride of cracking tough twisted clues. Inviting wide participation, everyone learns something. With multiple rounds and 50+ points up for grabs, all these events are very popular.
Other Club Events
- Saarang sees the SpellBee, besides scaled-up versions of all Lit-Soc events.
- The Chennai Scrabble Open, and (planned tentatively for the first time this year) the Chennai Crossie Open and Insti Scrabble Open are the other events which will be managed by the Word Games Club.
- This club is popular with all those who love the quirks of language, as well as those looking simply to improve their vocabulary and communication skills.
- Its multiple sessions, meetings and events will be well-publicized and being an active participant is all it takes to be involved.
- The Convener recommends solving Hindu’s Cryptic Crossword and solving clues on their group on Facebook to hone one’s skills, and learn a truck-load more.
The Design Club is all about Graphic Design. Interaction with the most skilled people in the Institute, along with access to the latest in the community, honest critiques for your design work, and a platform to promote your talent are what this club has to offer. Welcoming ideas online in the form of blog or Facebook posts, it plans to make itself all-inclusive and accessible. It organizes the annual IITM T-shirt Design Challenge, and a tentative Hostel Logo Design Competition. More information may be found at http://designclubiitm.blogspot.in.
The Facebook page of the club is at http://www.facebook.com/DesignClubIITM