December 14th of 2011 was going to teach the students of Christ University the philosophy behind College Life! With the aim of uniting the different cultures that the University is a home to, creating a spirit of collaboration, instilling the seriousness of education, elucidating the perils of peer pressure and ensuring that an understanding evolves within the Christites, Drishti (CSA’s Street Theatre team) crafted this educational medley of acts.
Enacted in college, we received the same large response! Dressed in white and blue, and with utmost co-ordination, synced voices and the usual energy in abundance… the college show – “College ki Duniya” began. Television compere Lucas, in his typical voice, attracted the vast crowd.
ACT ONE: Seniors Dev, Narayanan and Arjun celebrate the arrival of a new college year – basically because it is freshers day. As they are enjoying themselves ragging Ravi and Nirmal, Narayanan sees two new girls (Kasturi and Surya) walk into the campus. He beckons Kasturi to come over – she escapes the ragging as she gives him some reason for embarrassment by calling him Anna. Surya gets caught though, Love at first sight he calls it – forces her to accept his invitation. Left with no choice – and after a muddled and emotional outbreak as a result of her career, family and the society’s reactions, Surya suicides. She had committed no sin. For no fault of her own, she suffered. Does ragging now give such fun? Who is he to take the life that God has bestowed on others?
ACT TWO: A class room scene that begins with a famous Kannada movie song. Lokesh appears to be a very studious person. Mugging by rote is his method of studying. Madhu, Abu, Nirmal and Naveen care not about the coming and going of exams. When the class teacher, Narayanan gives out the report cards, the usual anxiety and inquisitive attitudes arise. Abu lies about his marks to Lokesh. And like a stereotyped nerd, Lokesh responds with irritation that he has studied a lot and only he deserves to come first. When the truth that Lokesh was actually the topper was released, happiness and relief comes on. But during the placements… Lokesh is grilled logically and practically. His standard answer remains “It is not in the syllabus, Sir”. Abu gives wittier answers and skillfully solves the simulations. Abu gets placed. As an advice to Lokesh in specific and the crowd at large, Abu evokes a realization that one should study for knowledge and not for marks. Learning for marks only satisfies the present day want of passing the papers, but think about it – what does learning for knowledge have in store for you? Ponder on that.
ACT THREE: At a bar: a normal place where you find more attendance percentages among the college going generation. Three couples who are drunk with their own sense of enjoyment and blissfully unaware of the surroundings fall into an embarrassing trap. Shyam who is obviously unaware of his actions and mentally unconscious falls on Surya (Dev’s girl). A battle of the brawn surfaces between Dev and Shyam. The result is Shyam painful death. Madhu, who was also present during that event, calls Shyam’s Mother (Kasturi). She, in the motherly voice advises the audience on pressuring prospects of peer pressure. At the tender age of 20, does a college student have to give in to drugs and alcohol? Isn’t education more important?
ACT FOUR: Outside a class room – two families are shown cribbing over their respective children. Born crippled, these two (Lokesh and Harshith) are being teased and ridiculed in the class. Yet, they stand strong and determined in what they want to achieve – becoming a doctor and climbing the Everest. A few inspirational words from both and the thought of single-mindedly walking towards the target, follow. With Vande Matharam in the background, a guitar stringing some patriotic music, the men in the team creating a human pyramid, Harshith climbs Everest! Do the disabled (the fourth wave) deserve this? Being able-bodied, ain’t it your duty to protect them?
Emotions swayed, the audience applauded, the team’s passion showed and the entertainment quotient was omnipresent! Chiming along with Drishti, the audience sang the song – sparks of patriotism, sprays of self-realization and streaks of unity multiplied.
Drishti left the scene with the contentment that people had learnt something! Appreciation in abundance followed. A nostalgic feeling will remain every time we re-live the minute moments of this production.