Written by T5E’s fresher correspondents – Liza Tom, Sachin Nayak, Harish Kumar, Bhargavi S, Akshyah Kumar.
After weeks of sharing hesitant smiles with acquaintances and apprehensions with friends regarding the proper protocol of behavior as a college student, the freshie night was looked forward to with immense anticipation. It was the time, seniors said, where we get to act like kids and no one would judge us, where we can throw away our inhibition and enjoy loudly as we officially and socially become accepted as IITians.
The preparations for this event had begun on 8th September. Free from the worries of the first quiz, the freshies had enough time for practice. Everyday at 8 pm, the freshies would rush to the SAC where they sang, danced, played music and acted until they were drained of energy. They would fall asleep the moment they hit their beds, only to slog through classes the next morning and turn up for practice at night. This one week formed the best part of the freshie night experience for the participants, thanks to the enormous support received from the coordinators.
The custom at IIT Madras is that all the non-participating freshies have to wear weird and sometimes ridiculous uniforms specific to each hostel. For example, this year the freshies of Narmada had to wear shirts having at least some green coloured portions in them along with half pants and an handkerchief tied around the forehead. They also had to wear a bathroom slipper on one leg and a shoe on the other. Only the participants are allowed to strut around proudly in normal attire.
Finally, the D-day arrived on 16th September. The event began with groups of freshies from each hostel rushing into SAC cheering and upholding their hostel. The importance given to hostel traditions and its associated identity took us aback but we happily complied for, by the words of our seniors, “Your hostel is now your clan.” When confronted with groups from other hostels, they tried to shout each other down with slogans. Most of these confrontations led to profanities (that would shame their mothers and sisters) being exchanged between the two confronting groups. Only when the groups settled down did the event actually begin.
This year’s Freshie Night, like those of the previous years, mainly had three types of programmes, namely dance, dramatics and music. The programme was structured with sets of 2-3 programmes of each type interspersed among sets of other types. Each of these programmes were anchored by trendsetting MCs who took roles of a number of characters ranging from ‘Iron Man’ to ‘Savita Bhabhi’.
The classical music performance was mostly drowned in the noise of the hostels trying to cheer each other down. Songs from ‘Iron Man’ were sung in the Western Music category, which received better response from the audience.
In the dramatics category, about 8-9 skits were performed. The more serious ones were about match-fixing in Cricket, ill-treatment of foreign tourists etc. The lighter ones were based on a wide range of themes ranging from institute monkeys to dashing young men trying to impress a blind lady. Most of the skits had some sense of humour in them which was well appreciated by the audience. Also, the costumes and the sound effects really helped the actors in grabbing the attention of the audience. Dramatics seemed to be the most successful among the three categories of programmes.
The dance category had had interesting themes like the dance of the drunken men. Most of the dances had only girls or only boys at a time on the stage but the final one featured pairs of boys and girls dancing together. This was a unique programme in the dance category and the audience’s appreciation of this was reflected in the loud applause given after.
The seniors also did their best to liven the already extremely boisterous crowd by writing witty comments on the crib board and pulling everyone’s legs. By the time the night came to a close, not a person was left who did not have either a sore throat or numb ears. A truce was formed between the ‘hostel juntas’ as they walked hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder with their new found freshie friends and seniors, exhausted and with a huge grin plastered across everyone’s face.