IIITD Annual Techfest
Have you ever felt like the world was just right? That feeling of contentment because of some little achievement that no one but you yourself understand? I hadn’t felt that way, ever. Life had always been about extreme joy or extreme sadness for me. Till that fateful day (or night?) that changed my perspective.
Let me start by saying that I value my sleep. So being up at midnight to put up directions for washrooms was not my cup of tea. But I was swept away in the Esya frenzy (read: Taruvar blackmailed us) and somehow during that hour I realized some very upsetting things about myself. My first reaction to being upset is calling my best friend. So that’s what I did. Paying no heed to the fact that he was with his girlfriend, I blabbered on about how upset I was because of some things that people said (I don’t remember what exactly was said but that’s the gist of it). So he gave his regular lecture which is something on these lines: “Vrinda, you’re the most awesome person I know. Believe that and everything will be okay. Do try to be a bit more diplomatic, though. Teasing random people who you just met never helps your case. Eyeroll But remember to be yourself. And Enjoy.”
To this day, I don’t know what switch flipped at that point, but I figured if I were to enjoy the next two days, I couldn’t sit cooped up in my room. So I went to the labs where some first and second years were trying to fix PCs which some other first years had mistakenly wiped clean. And by some, I mean at least 50. So we installed many a software and even Windows and Ubuntu, and I didn’t realize where the time went. It was six in the morning and I was outside the library building, taking in the view.
Let me tell you this: there is no better view in IIITD better than that first ray of sunshine that hits the library block after a whole night of work. I felt ready to take on the world- I even called my mom. I think she fainted because she thought I was up at six on my own. Oh, my innocent mother.
After that, I slept for an hour, got up again and went to take the only incentive that was offered to us poor volunteers, the Esya T-shirt.
To be honest, wearing that weird blue color made me proud of myself. It didn’t matter that I was working on less than five hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. It didn’t matter that I was standing in the searing sun, greeting people with a smile on my face. To my surprise, the smile wasn’t even forced! I genuinely liked greeting these people and telling them to have fun and join Hunt IT if they had the time (I was volunteering for that event).
Next up, someone came to switch the Entry gate duty with me, and I was sitting in front of a laptop entering names. Let me just make it clear, that I am a bit technologically demented, and every laptop that came my way stopped working. It’s hilarious, but I was rather embarrassed. At some point Maneet Di took over the job and saved me- she was even nice about it, something that I didn’t expect. But that is the beauty of IIITians- they are patient in time of crisis and especially nice during their Tech Fest! I’m joking, but really, I made a pact with myself to be more patient with people because of her.
Also, I realized how much hard work must have gone into organizing something of this proportion. I had entries of over 1500 people on a database at noon. And more kept coming.
Around 2 pm, the Hunt IT team gathered and started organizing. Now Hunt IT was a sort of treasure hunt plus murder mystery. People were briefed, I was given the tag of Rose Morgen, one of the witnesses of the crime scene. I stood there with five other witnesses and observed how people solved the first stage of the mystery.
Remember that frenzy before your final exam? Now multiply it by five. That is how tense people were! Everyone was engrossed in finding the next clue, running around the campus with their phones held tightly- as if the phones were their lifelines. The whole college was alive. There wasn’t a single person who wasn’t excited. Even the people who were not participating wanted to know where the next clue would lead the others! Honest to God, I was always involved in organizing events at school, but I had never seen this kind of enthusiasm anywhere. The excitement was contagious. And I was a part of it! I was a teeny-tiny part of the reason these people had an animated glow on their faces. It was the most heavenly feeling.
Maybe it was because of the way Shubham kept telling us how it was our fest and only we could make it successful, or it was the way Anjali kept motivating us, or Taruvar simply being there, telling us to not just work but also to go have lunch (because our health is important as well!), I felt like I was a part of a family- the IIITD family. Esya made me realize that I had a home away from home.
In the end, Esya’14 taught me a lot. It made me appreciate other people’s efforts and made me realize that slamming the metaphorical door in a huff is never the answer. Most of all, it taught me that school might have been over, but the real journey had just begun. And it was off with a kickstart!
By Vrinda Malhotra
P.S. Any instances of blackmail/murder are purely fictional and if I’m found in a ditch somewhere, you know who to blame.