ImageEKAH 2012 – The all Kerala cultural fest conducted & hosted by the Cochin branch of SICASA. After four succesful years of conducting the Encore – district level fest of CA students in Cochin – this was the giant leap taken by the branch this year. I was told that this is the first ever state level fest conducted under ICAI all over India. If that is true, this was a remarkable step taken. I was flustered in the beginning when I heard of such an event that was about to take place. I had started to become disinterested in such fests & chaos (Maybe the ‘articleship/ CA effect’) & so apparently I didn’t bother about this when the talk came up at office.

Some of them had even joined the organising group of SICASA (Southern India Chartered Accountants Students’ Association) from our office and were into action trying to bring the EKAH alive. While giving suggestions & ideas I found myself being pulled by friends (as well as a part of me gradually getting attracted on my own) into the heart of the programme. There wasn’t anything much that I did except getting a couple of advertisers which wasn’t difficult. But there was a tremendous amount of effort taken by the core group of Sicasa who developed EKAH from the form of an ‘idea’ to the day Aug 5th when it happened in real. They deserve all the applause.

Another highlight about it was that it was on friendship day & I bet it would have been a memorable day for many who were present there.

There were participants from nine districts all over Kerala. Though the audiences were very less during the morning session, which put us off pretty much, we anticipated that there will be more for the afternoon session. And after lunch, lo and behold! The hall was filled with spectators dancing and cheering their hearts out.

The morning session commenced with the inaugral dance & vocals performed by the hosting branch-Ernakulam. The first competition was Ragam (Group song). There were commentable performances from various districts & predictably Trichur district won first.

This was followed by Layam (clip dubbing.)
Clip dubbing is where a muted clip is played for the participants. And they are given some time within which they have to prepare with dubbing it. In this case, random clips from movies of different languages were played. I must say few of them were hilarious.

The street play & the short film making that followed were conducted together at different venues. The Thiranottam (short film making) were quite good. The topic was given around a week earlier- ‘My first Love’. For a beginning it was a good work indeed.

However Bhaavam (the street play) was an icing on the cake. I was looking forward to seeing it mainly because of the topic – How true is today’s media. Anyone who saw the performance by the Ernakulam Branch wouldn’t say I’m prejudiced when I say this. They did complete justice to the topic. It was a play on how Seeta was abducted by Ravana & how Ravana bought the media. The next news broadcast said that Seeta wasn’t abducted but was safe with Rama & that the latter was hiding her and spreading fake stories to defame Ravana. The play ended with a demonstration of how politicians & corruption came in the way of media & citizens. A simple yet different topic, well thought of, well written (the script was unbeatable), well rendered, played & expressed (each and every member did justice to the script). And though there were flaws, they were either undetectable or minute. They didn’t matter for what the whole play conveyed. And predictably they won the first.

After a lunch break, it was Hasyam (the Spoof) that followed. Where different television shows were enacted.

The last & the much awaited programme was Naatyam (dance) and by the time it began, the hall was teeming with spectators. Each of the teams depicted varieties of dance forms & as they danced to the tunes, the audiences’ tapping feet, clapping hands & unending cheers added to the gaiety. The last performance was by the Trichur group & they need a special mention for the charm and the perfection with which they danced a classical form. I was standing right next to the stage & I could see the expressions on each and every face just too clearly. In a while I got lost in their dance, absorbed into it and I believe that is what a performer needs – to involve the audience. I don’t know about how it looked from the audience side but from where I stood, it looked like they performed magic.

And so the competitions came to an end & it was time for the results. One by one as the results were announced, there were uproars of cheers for their respective teams. The day came to an end with the announcement of the day’s winner & the ever rolling trophy was bagged by the Ernakulam Branch.

While the competitions, effort, prizes & the spirit remained in one side, it was a new development from the side of CA students. A revelation to those who think that CA students are nerds and good only for calculations & accounting. And a day for us to vent out the madness in us.

Soon Ekah will be the most awaited day among the CA students.

PS: There are many details I haven’t mentioned here either because I forgot about them or coz I’m ignorant about them. And there are many important names I haven’t mentioned here since I’m not sure of them. If any of the details given above are wrong, I apologize. Corrections are welcome.