The Bhawanipur Education Society college (BESC) celebrated the cerebral by organising the fifth edition of the biggest college fest of its kind Communiqué 2017 – one that is devoted to rejoicing the Word, conceived, curated and communicated. The day long festival that consciously seeks to deconstruct literature – freeing it from the shackles of the text books and making it accessible, pliable even, for the students to revel in – was formally inaugurated by Prof Suman K Mukherjee, Director General of the College. Prof Jai Shankar and ChawmGanguly, visiting faculties shared the dais. Naliniben Parekh, member of the Trustees was the Guest of Honour with about 250 students making up the audience. This inter-college literary fest witnessed the participation of 400 students, representing 9 colleges (JDBI, Andrew’s College, Sri Shikshayatan, JU, Asutosh College, IBS College,iLEAD, Amity University & hosts BESC) who wielded their pens, stretched their vocal chords, raked their brains and exerted their brushes (not in the same order though) taking the spirit of competition to a new high. In all there were twelve events spread across the day and in multiple venues which were judged by stalwarts like Prof Suman Mukherjee, Pranab Mukherjee, Prof JaiShankar and ChawmGanguly. iLEAD emerged victorious after keenly contested battles, triumphing over Shri Shikshayatan. BESC took the Best college award. Which as the hosts, they graciously passed on to iLEAD. The evening culminated in a euphoric outburst of spontaneous cheers as the prizes were distributed and Communique 2017 formally became memories that will be cherished in a hundred hearts. Communique 2017 had 30 volunteers who supported Ashish Ranjan, Koyel Guha and Mehjabeen Gandhi, the co-ordinators of the event. The Controvert (Debate) The festival started on a high note with eloquent opponents putting their best arguments forward. The first round which separated the men from the boys (debatable, as the women who came off age were no less – but then again, I guess that’s a moot point) was judged by Prof JaiShanker. Of the 30 who had participated, 16 made it to the second round. Ace debating personality Prof Suman K Mukherjee took the gravel, often slipping in counter points that had either side gasping for a suitable retort. TheDeblinaSarkar and DevikaPasariteam from the BESC emerged triumphant, followed closely by another BESC two-some Rushab Shah and Debyojyoti Mondal. The 2nd Runner Up was the Akash-Saloni team from JU. “Kolkata has always been passionate about the debate and it is a pleasure to watch the young people articulate their thoughts for and against” said Prof Mukherjee. Corporate Interview Prof JaiShanker, Corporate Trainer, Management Guru, Free Radical judged 13 participants who wanted to crack the mocks. The event, as one participant pointed out “was as much a learning exercise as anything else” and most of participants were glad that they had appeared as the life lessons that they took away, was, again to quote a participant “invaluable”. The event was won by Rohan Joshi of Ashutosh college and Neelam Drolia of Sri Shikshayatan, with MuskanKedia and Arjun Chakravorty of BESC jointly emerging as the 1st runner up. Shreya Dalmia from JDBI was awarded the position of the 2nd runner up. Inquizzitive The Quiz, is always a crowd puller, the Quiz Master, often being elevated to the status of a demi God. The Inquizzitive was no different – a packed hall for audience, 8 teams (of two each) and an acknowledged master (who has been there, answered that) at the helm – the ingredients were all there. Naturally, what cooked was a heady mix – and the hands in the audience that shot up even before questions were asked in the earlier stages, became fewer by the rounds as gauging the capabilities of the participants, the quiz master asked progressively more difficult questions. The fact that the quiz master was asking questions from memory – without the aid of prepared notes – spoke volumes about his obvious mastery of the medium and the message. The way he explained the answers, often regaling the audience by narrating related facts and incidents was the real takeaway for all those who were fortunate enough to be present. The sarcasm – pukka to the core – was an added extra, for those who were knowledgeable enough not to be waylaid by the cavalier veneer. St. Andrews College represented by Soham Chowdhury&Rajashri Nath triumphed over Meghna Buchasia and Debopriya Mukherjee from Amity University, the 1st Runner Up. IBS Kolkata was close on the heels, represented by AkashneelChakravorty and Piyush Mondal. Flipside (Block & tackle) The Block and the Tackle – Rugby of the Intellect, as it is often called was another hugely competitive event, judged in his inimitable style by Pranab Mukherjee. In all 13students had participated representing 10 colleges. While the deliberations were in general of a very high quality with the free runs and the body blows, coming in equal measures, there were some obvious “fouls” that were dealt with a heavy hand. The Winner o the event was Srijita Pal from JDBI , followed by ShakshiTewari of Sri Shikshayatan and MuskanKedia of BESC. Adda (Group discussion) 18 participants, a benign Judge (Prof JaiShankar) and a crowd to cheer their respective teams – what else is needed to get an Adda session going? Not much, as the Communique Group Discussion proved. As a matter of fact, Prof JaiShankar the quintessential trainer that he is, used the platform to groom the participants (and the attending audience) to score some valuable points and impart lessons on how to approach such GD’s for job interviews! Sayan Dutta from IDS emerged victorious, while Soumita Mukherjee from Sri Shikshayatan was adjudged the 1st Runners Up. Mankaran Singh from iLEAD the second Runners up. Reportage Clips of recent origin were flashed on the giant screen even as the participants – one reporting live from the venue and the other capturing the images – masqueraded as television journalists breaking news for their respective audiences. 9 teams of two members each participated in the event representing 7 colleges. The event was judged by ChawmGanguly. After a solid dose of Live Reporting, Rushabh Shah from BESC (with camera person Kriteka Agarwal) emerged victorious while the second slot was taken by the team from iLEADled byRitika Shah. Team IBSwithHarshitaKhemkain the lead was adjudged the third best. Amplify (Open Mic) The participants did justice to a wide variety of topics like “Women Empowerment”, “Against Racism”, “Believing in Yourself”, “Pursuing Passion” and “A Mind of Wonder”. The event alsoallowed participants to read out their own poetic compositions – a pleasure to behold, it was, as was shown by “The Sculpture” (Harleen Kaur) and “All things Mythical” (Srijita Pal). Ashutosh College, 6 students from BESC, IBS Kolkata, iLEAD,Amity, JDBirla College and Shri Shikshayatan College participated in this keenly contested event, which was also a huge entertainer for the assembled audience. The event was judged by ace speaker, thinker and raconteur Pranab Mukherjee. The first position was bagged by Kuleena Singh of Ashutosh College. Harleen Kaur of BESC was announced the First Runner-up. The Second Runner-up position was jointly held by SrijitaPal of J D Birla Institute and Genia Giri of BESC. Power of the Print (Newspaper designing) Rulers and Pencils in the time of Photoshop? Participating students were given broadsheets and were asked to create the front page of a Newspaper – masthead, news items, advertisements, images – et all. The stress was obviously on the design element, though credit was given for the news content. The event was judged by old news-hand ChawmGanguly. In all 16 participants from 8 colleges fought it out. While most of the entries were reasonably eye-candy, the team from iLEAD comprising of Arijit Paul and Shreya Gupta were just too good for the competition. The slot for the 1st Runners up was taken by Priyasha Das and Poushali Dutta of IBS, while Ankita and her teammatefrom BESC were adjudged the second runners up. Thinking Hat (Extempore) Some people just have it in them – the gift of the gab. But rarely does one find such eloquent ones who have the necessary knowledge base to blabber on, coherently. Not an easy task, if one is representing his / her institution, that too in a College Fest, that too, in front of an audience and judged by someone as accomplished (not to mention the reputation as the fastest draw) as Pranab Mukherjee! 18 participants from 10 colleges sought to do just that, shoot their mouth that is, and hit the target. Random words were flung as baits that they took pot shots at – commode, peer, lipstick – and the audience regaled at the inevitable stumbles, the shots in the dark and the bang-on-targets. The comments of the judge, who wrapped up every pause with his witticisms only added to the exchange of fire. Roshni Berafrom iLEAD emerged victorious, while MuskanKedia from BESC was adjudged the 1st Runners Up. Ipshita Sarkar from IBS were the Second Runners up. “This is a wonderful tool to teach students how to go extempore, to think even as they talk, to overcome their natural fear of the microphone” said Pranab Mukherjee. “I am amazed at the quality of the deliberations certainly hope that we will see more of these young achievers in the years to come.” The Quill (Creative Writing) 500 words to be creative. No big deal, it seems on the face of it, but when one has to compete with some of the best wordsmiths the college circuit has to offer, things begin to become more difficult. And to do so, accompanied by the pressures to perform, in a College Fest, is what makes it more so. However, the 12 participants from 10 colleges who took part in the Quill, were anything but intimidated, going by the quality of the pieces they submitted. The ball, like they say, was lobbied back to the court of the Judge (ChawmGanguly) who had hoped to serve an ace with the topic. Anam Ali Warsi from BESC emerged victorious, while Sara Arzoo from Sri Shikshayatan was adjudged the 1st Runners Up. AvikSonkar from BESC was the second Runners up. “Most of the pieces were admirable efforts and one is honoured to be judging such accomplished writers. May the Quills (MS Word notwithstanding) never go dry.” Just a Minute (JAM) We hear about JAM sessions between string and percussion instruments. We also hear about vehicles and traffic snarling up in Jams. But we don’t hear about vocal chords (those backed up by brilliant minds, at that) JAMming things up, in events that are just too exciting to behold. And tat is exactly what took place in the Communique even as the curtains were being prepared to be drawn. Judged by Pranab Mukherjee, the 19 of very best talents from 10 colleges were given Just a Minute to make their points and claim the coveted place above the jammed auditorium. Ashish Ranjan and RushabhShah of the BESC decimated the competition with their powerful narrative while Oindrila Das from Sri Shikshayatanwas close on the heels. Prof Dilip Shah, the Dean of Student affairs of BESC, the spirit behind the event, who could not be physically present due to pressingout of station appointments, was emphatic “each and every event that make up the Communique has been carefully designed to provide the participating students with the wherewithal that they will need in their lives ahead. Communique is thus much, much more than a mere college fest – for one, it is built around the art of communication, something that none of us can do without. Besides, it is our conscious effort to use the event to help students muster invaluable life skills, which we feel, is the biggest takeaway from the event. And finally, the spirit of competition, the desire to triumph, balancing against the need to be gracious enough to acknowledge the excellence of competitors, are traits that we seek to imbibe. It is heartening to see participating students living up to such lofty ideals. A big thank you to the participants, the winners, and the team that worked so hard to make the event the biggest and the best so far!” This report was filed by Deblina Mukherjee, Soham Debsarkar, Shradha Bose and Suthirto Roy with camera persons Pratik Hati, Siddhant Jha, Shreyanshu Mishra, Arnab Paul and Mayank Kashyap.