“Dance well to your maximum potential, so as to reverberate this university’s name in the top brackets, not only with respect to education, but also from a holistic purview,” Dr. Srikanth Prabhu, President of the Rotary Club of Udupi-Manipal, and one of the Chief Guests of the evening, told the audience in the formal inauguration of ‘Dhol Baje’ – the annual event organised by the Rotaract Clubs of Manipal and Manipal University.
Dhol Baje was declared open, much to the excitement of the several hundred people dressed in colourful ethnic wear. It took a while for the crowd to get in the groove, with the activity initially being restricted to a few circles of dancers. Soon, most of those in attendance were moving to the beats. The groups of dancers grew quickly in size and number. On being asked if he would miss Indian events like this back home, a Ugandan student studying in Manipal, who preferred to remain unnamed, replied in the negative, saying that the music was just EDM and not actually reflective of India. Moushami Nayak, a seventeen year old resident of Manipal shared the complaint, saying that almost all of it was Bollywood and English mash-ups and not Garbha songs at all. Earlier, the anchors had asked the crowd if they would prefer Garbha music or EDM, and the response had been louder for the latter, which influenced the choice of music.
The dandiya was broken off thrice to bring in fashion shows by Burning Ice and Glam N Glitz, and a dance performance by Showstoppers, to mix things up a bit. Glam N Glitz designed on the theme of Indo-western clothes and each model sported articles of both Indian and Western clothing. The event was not just about dandiya. It was a fundraiser for the various charitable activities conducted by the Rotaract Club. Manal Ahmed, a Junior Board member talked to The MIT Post about Rotaract’s Community Contact Program, in which they visit an orphanage or old-age home every Sunday. Ahmed drew attention to the photos of this program that were pinned up near the entrance. He explained that while Rotaract provides snacks and juice on their visits, the CCPs aren’t just about financial aid, they also focuses on interaction with the recipients.
With extended curfew for the first years of almost all colleges, Dhol Baje went on till 10:45 pm and ended with a bang, quite literally, with firecrackers shooting up into the night sky. The event saw over two and a half thousand people taking part, making it quite a grand success.