Off-beat
Festivals of SVKM
Approximately 41 institutes function under SVKM. Each of these institutes has several departments. Each institute has a festival of its own. Several departments of these institutes also have their own festivals. Almost all festivals attract a crowd of about 20 to 100 colleges from across the country and it is in no way possible to fit them into the limited space and scope of the Newsletter. Therefore, here is a list of festivals that have over the years become an identity synonymous with the institute that organises it.
 
  GPP High School and AAVP Jr College’s ‘Laher’
 
 
Logo for Laher
 
 
Goklibai’s College festival Lehar is also held annually. On an average about 40 colleges participate in this fest consisting of 365 student participants. The core organising committee consists of around 40 students and teachers whereas around 120 more people sign up for volunteering. A total of 18 events under categories such as Performing arts, Fine arts, literary arts and sports are conducted. Other than that, various sports such as cricket, basketball, chess, carom, box cricket etc. are also indulged in.
 
J V Parekh’s ‘Culturama’
 
Logo for Culturama 3
 
Culturama is an annual inter-school fest organized by the students of SVKM JV Parekh International School since 2012. It is an event spread over two days. They have an interesting feature called ‘The Passport Series’ wherein everyone embraces a completely different culture for the days of the fest. For instance, everyone embraced the culture of Spain during Logo for Culturama 3 Culturama 3.
 
Mithibai’s ‘Kshitij’
 
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Mithibai’s Kshitij is a 4 day inter-collegiate cultural festival that was launched in 2013. Right since the beginning, it has been one of the most popular festivals and attracts around 40,000 to 50,000 attendees and a participation of around 100 to 120 colleges. Around 3,000 to 4,000 students participate in the numerous events that are organised. A workforce of around 700 students are usually a part of the organising team. Events such as fashion show, dance, drama, literary quizzes, film fest, football etc. are a regular part of the festival. Kshitij is a very popular festival and regularly draws media from across the spectrum.
 
NMIMS SBM’s ‘Parangana’
 
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Parnagana is the Annual Flagship Business Fest of School of Business Managament, NMIMS, Mumbai. The festival is around 14 years old and holds major events such as The Perfect Candidate, The Last Marketer Standing, Op-Era etc. The festival first begins online wherein about 5,000 to 6,000 students from across India participate. About 3 rounds of various events take place online and very few students make it to the final round since the stages are very stringent. The festival is organised by numerous student committees which combined together would include 100 to 150 students. On an average, around 50 to 75 colleges register to partake in the festival.
 
 NMIMS SAMSOE’s ‘Ka-Ching ’
 
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Ka-ching is an economics festival organised by the SAMSOE. The word 'Ka-ching' derives its name from the quintessential sound of jingling coins when a cash register is opened. Around 300 students from approximately 20 colleges across the city of Mumbai participate in this festival. The organising committee consists of around 29 people. Events such as Inquizitive, ka-Pl, Bull run, War of Westeros, Rush etc. form an integral part of Ka-ching.
 
NMIMS ASMSOC’s ‘ Vaayu’
Vaayu is a national level college festival of SVKM's NMIMS ASMSOC. Vaayu is a 4 day festival, consisting of 70+ events such as The forefront with Mr Javed Akhtar, Bizcraft, Glow party with Lost Stories, Bollywood night with Shirley Setia, sports mania in collaboration with ESPN, Road to Miss India, Comedy Night. Currently operating in its 8th year, Vaayu has grown exponentially to experience a footfall of 33,000 students and a participation base of 3,000 students. Around 56 colleges register to participate of which, around 8 to 10 are from outside of Mumbai. The committee consists of around 525 members of which 27 are core members.
 
Pravin Gandhi College of Law's ‘VIVIDH’
 
Logo for Vividh
 
Vividh shall be hosting its 9th edition in 2018. Vividh brings together students from a number of colleges in Mumbai for 3 days. The events are broken up by category and include informals, fine arts, management events, literary arts, gaming and sports, workshops and performing arts. On an average, the festival sees a yearly footfall of 30,000 students. 
 
NM’s ‘Umang’
 
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Umang is the annual inter-collegiate cultural festival of Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics. Photography, media, dance, singing, performing arts etc. are regular features of this festival. Entering into its 18th year Umang is tagged as Asia's fastest growing festival with a footfall of over 50,000 people. Over 250 colleges from across the country participate in the events.
 
JCCL’s ‘Law Tryst’
 
Logo for Law Tryst
 
Law Tryst has been JCCL’s festival for the past 17 years and this year, it shall witness its 18th edition. 90 to 150 students from colleges across the country participate in the festival. Around 25 law colleges register every year. About 80 to 100 students get together to organise ‘Law Tryst’. Events such as National Moot Court, Model Parliament, Client Counselling and Agree to Disagree etc. are a regular feature. Eminent personalities from various spheres like Law, Journalism, Cinema, etc have attended the festival.
 
DJSCE’s ‘Trinity’
 
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Trinity is the perfect combination of all - the cultural, the sports and the technical events. Around 2000 to 3000 students participate in this fest. The organising committee consist of about 50 senior students and 150 junior students. Around 25 colleges register to participate in the fest. Their concerts are the most popular events of the fest. Celebs such as Sunidhi Chauhan, Farhan Akhtar, Mohit Chauhan etc. have been a part of the concert. Other events include Robo Wars, Technical Paper Presentation, IC Car Engine Race, DJ Talks etc. 
 
UPGCM’s ‘Aahan’
Logo for Ahan
 
Logo for Aahan
 
Aahan is the annual professional based festival of SVKM’s Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management. Since its inception in the year 2011, it has been combining the essences of Media, Management and I.T. into one seamless fiesta. With international enthusiasts participating in various events, Aahan becomes a melting pot of culture. Blending together the experience of professionals and ardour of amateurs, Aahan builds yet another platform for individuals who wish showcase their nascent skills and establish a strong foothold in the professional world. It is a festival that receives participation from over 40 countries
 

 

Harkisanbhai is writing upstairs

Harkisanbhai upar lakhe chhe….” the watchman would say explaining the lights at midnight at Chitralekha’s office. Harkisan Mehta, the founding father of SVKM’s Harkisan Mehta Institute of Media Research and Analysis (HMMRA) were the editor at Chitralekha from 1958 to 1998 i.e. to say, most of his lifetime. Chitralekha was the rank three magazine in India during his tenure. His writing style was very simple and he had the reputation of being able to continue the story without ever referring back to his previous chapters. It was quite a marvel given the fact that Chitralekha was a weekly magazine.  

Harkishan Mehta

While he wasn’t a very short-tempered person, he was quite moody. He wasn’t easy to deal with and as editors often are, was of a demanding nature. So much so that until today, HMMRA runs on the principles guided by him. Even at a time like his, much before the digital revolution, he saw through the future of mass communication. Hence, the need to donate to SVKM for a journalism institute. His dream was to present mass communication and journalism in such way that it was literally a way to communicate with the masses rather than bookish learning. He often said that one cannot become a journalist by simply reading a book. Journalism is a lifestyle. He dreamt of changing the way of learning journalism.

Bhavna and Harkishan mehta

Sri Harkisan Mehta with his Favourite Student and well known film journalist, Bhawana Somaaya

Back in the day, there weren’t many institutes presenting journalism courses and thanks to Sri Harkisan Mehta, HMMRA was one of the first institutes to offer a course in mass media. He wanted mass communication to scale new heights in India. He also wanted the intelligentsia from the Gujarati community to rise. Hence, until today, HMMRA offers a heavily subsidised course in Gujarati mass media in his honour.

Shri Harkisanbhai and Bhawana Somaaya watching Sri Devi and Archana Puran Singh Perform

Shri Harkisanbhai and Bhawana Somaaya watching Sri Devi and Archana Puran Singh Perform

His favourite student Smt. Bhawana Somaaya, has written a heart-rending account of him in ‘Chicken Soup for the Indian Golden Soul’, an international magazine. Directly quoting from her article, she says –

“Today, as I attempt to piece the legendary writer on paper, memories gush on me like a waterfall. His scathing words… his childlike laughter… his faith in friendship… his quest for quality… his sense of propriety and his uncompromising ideals… I remember his pride for language and the country. The ink blue wall behind his chair and the always open window because he was allergic to air conditioners. I recall the click of his car door in the parking. It was a signal for everyone to get alert. The peon buttoned his shirt, the receptionist put on her sandals beneath her desk and, as editors we lowered our voices”

Smt Bhawana Somaaya expresses the marvel of Sri Harkisan Mehta as far as possible in these many words. He succumbed to low BP and malaria on 3rd April, 1998. The family had planned a trip to Haridwar with him long before his death; tickets were already booked and in the end, they ended up carrying his ashes to the Ganges!

Shri Harkisan Mehta (Centre) Seated with famous author Shri Chandulal Selarka and also firebrand author as well as professor at Mithibai, Shri Chandrakant Baxi

Shri Harkisan Mehta (Centre) Seated with famous author Shri Chandulal Selarka and also firebrand author
as well as professor at Mithibai, Shri Chandrakant Baxi

His family informed us that though he was very broadminded with his children and completely trusted them, he was also a very simple and down to earth man. While he did not put too many restrictions on his children, he ensured that the family spent time together on a daily basis. He also gave away all his earnings to his mother dutifully. Here, it would be interesting to note that his novels would usually have titles in antonyms; for instance, his last novel was titled ???: ???? (loosely translated Beginning: End).

He is a respected laureate in the Gujarati literature community even today. A large number of his works are adapted into television shows and dramas and are enjoyed as immensely by the younger generation as they were by its predecessors. A legendary writer with 23 novels under his belt, SVKM is proud to be associated with Sri Harkisan Mehta and even prouder of being able to run the institution on his ideals all these years.

Note: We are immensely thankful to the family of Sri Harkisan Mehtaji for generously giving us information about him.

Divatia Ni haveli

The purpose of studying his haveli in the ‘off-beat’ section is the fact that the Haveli carries a legacy of history through its architecture, its mood resonates of the quintessential antiquity that has been embedded within its bricks and walls. Standing strong since 1835, it gives us a glimpse into the culture, practices, tradition and bonding of not just the lineage of the Divatia’s but also of a part of India, of the Gujarati and the Maratha communities and of the lanes of Ahmedabad in times long past. So, let’s delve deep into the chronicles of history through the Haveli!

haveli

The Haveli Kitchen

The haveli was built by the great-great grandfather of Shri Sunandan Divatiaji, Shri Chhotabhai Bappabhai in 1835. At the time the Haveli was constructed, members of the same caste lived in a singular lane. Lakha Patel ni Pol, the place where the haveli is located was no different. Thereby, the home is a strong reflection of the bygones of the Gujarati sub-sect and the Marathas that resided here. It has been through numerous situations of political unrest and hence, an escape door has been constructed towards the other end of the bungalow.

haveli wall art

Intricat Kotarni Artwork on the Walls of the House

The place is well-equipped with a tank that harvests rain-water, two wells in its backyard. Back in its day, it was the tallest structure in all of Ahmedabad complete with a Raavthi (terrace) which served as a vantage observation point and was later used to enjoy flying kites. The Raavthi was lost in the 2001 earthquake that hit Gujarat.

As of today, the house is used for marriages, family gatherings and festivals. It has housed 5 generations of Divatias and is still a fairly equipped house.

The entire haveli is connected to the Chowk. The chowk used to be a place of family gathering and prattle back in its glory days. It is still a very strong base that holds fort for the whole 2 floors of the haveli.  In fact, the entire house gets water supply from the water tank stored beneath the chowk. This tank is used for water harvesting.

chowk

The Chowk’s View from the Top

This over a century old Haveli has been a fascination for historians, journalists and architects alike.  It has therefore been covered by numerous Gujarati newspapers such as Madhyama, gujarati samachar plus etc. These newspapers give a detailed account of how Chhotabhai Bappabhai back in 1835 was involved in the construction and division of the haveli. He was very fond of beautiful and elaborate buildings. They also give a detailed account of the intricate artwork done by potters, painters and artists across the walls, floorings and pillars. The Newspaper article tells us about the intricate artwork on the walls of the Haveli. Kotharni and Nishkam are traditional skills that have been used on the walls and pillars both inside as well as outside the haveli. In fact, the creator of the haveli, Sri Chhotabhai Bappabhai was responsible for the removal of the Marathas who at that point in time unfairly ruled Ahemdabad. He joined hands with the British in order to get rid of the Marathas. The entire heritage indeed makes for an interesting history! 

Haveli

A shot of the haveli from the outside