How MIT Celebrates
As a student preparing tirelessly for engineering entrance exams, an exciting college life is something that is eagerly awaited. As the month of June approaches, the fantastic world of the college student—as constructed by movies, TV shows, teachers, parents, and extended family—feels like it’s within an arm’s reach.
Nothing really prepares you for the torrent of new experiences that the first semester itself has in store for you, though. Descriptions of college life—and fests especially—rarely manage to do adequate justice to the real deal. The electrifying atmosphere that lasts for the entire duration of a college fest and the liveliness of the campus at that time is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Fests are the time MIT is at its prettiest and loudest, with murals painted onto campus walls and roads, and meticulously created, larger-than-life works of craft adorning every nook of the campus.
Tech Tatva is a fresher’s first glimpse of a college celebration. The annual technical fest of the college takes place in October and is something that leaves spectators in awe. The numerous registration counters at the Food Court, the huge banners, the music, the workshops, the food counters, and the charged atmosphere give it a very celebratory feel. A hardcore technical fest, Tech Tatva is a brilliant platform for a student to hone their skills. There are abundant opportunities to learn and create. As is often the case, students are enthralled by the prospect of building robots and cars from scratch—things that remain, for the most part, theoretical in school education.
A week before Tech Tatva commences, daily workshops are organised. From helping one learn the Arduino board to building new programming skills, these help in setting the right mood for the tech fest. Unique competitions are held every year, and much to the joy of the students, there is prize money to be won. Apart from this, the food stalls lined up near the Innovation Centre and games organized by the Informals category create the perfect festive atmosphere. So, even if one isn’t interested in the technical events, there’s always the option of playing a game of In-Your-Face, getting pictures clicked, and tucking into a juicy roll.
One of the most awaited events of the even semester is the annual cultural fest, Revels. From events catering to the field of arts and music to fashion shows and poetry competitions, these four days are undoubtedly the best time to be at MIT. No one is a mere observer here, with something to cater to everybody’s taste. The campus during Revels a sight to behold, with everyone even remotely related to the college out on the streets, soaking in the hubbub of the fest. Cultural and sports events are organised meticulously and feature skilful performances, with heavy participation from outstation teams. The cultural competitions, not restricted to dancing and singing, ensure that there’s a niche for all talent. Debates, poetry competitions, street plays, and a variety of other artistic media are offered a platform here.
The sports events begin from as early as seven in the morning and go on till late into the evening. The distinction between day and night fades as Revels turns the college into a bustling scene of activity and action for 96 hours at a stretch. The food stalls, a staple of the fests at MIT, reappear near the Innovation Centre, drawing large crowds to pizza, ice cream, and more, in a scene reminiscent of a carnival.
The highlight of the fest, however, is the Pro Show, with each day of the fest featuring a different professional artist at the Quadrangle. In 2018, Tushar Lall‘s Indian Jam Project kicked off Revels with their delightful Indo-Western fusion music. Miss India Earth 2017, Shaan Suhas Kumar, graced the stage with her poise and elegance and served as the judge for the Fashion Show. Indie music icons Aswekeepsearching and When Chai Met Toast left the ever-growing crowd in awe. On day four, Arjun Kanungo made his way to Manipal to churn out his hit power ballads. At the closing ceremony, slam poets Aranya Johar and Yahya Bootwala ended Revels’18 on a thought-provoking note, leaving the MIT population wanting more.
Fests are a huge part of college life—and while academics, social life, and the ever-present underlying feeling of homesickness can be tough to handle— the fests come with a promise of relief from the monotony of daily life, exchanging it for the most exhilarating events one would witness in their four-year stay at MIT.