And now that the formal reports done, i guess il go on with my personal views on the fete. This being just the 2nd la fest that i have seen, i cannot really compare it with the former ones and tell if it was the best or not.. although Mrs Deepa Pillai assured us that she had seen better shows. But i think i should go on and write about how it was to me
Before this year, i had seen only one years show and that was la fest 2005. Comparing to that i think this years show was a bit more organised and done better. The success of this years show was probably because of the quantity and furthermore the QUALITY of the participants. Unlike last year , we had a lot of the major schools , including STRS, STCS , HAC (both divisions) etc comming to the school. And most of the schools took part in all the major events. The preparations for LA Fest began near the end of June. June 29th to be exact. On that day the students of standard 12th, that is me and my classmates , sat down along with DP , to start planning for the big showdown. The 1st thing on the agenda was to elect the leaders, or in the LA Fest language- the CORDINATORS. They were to be six in number- two events cordinators who did the bulk of the organising(Ganesh and Akhil), two physical cordinators who were in charge of the physical work like photocopies, stationary, decoratons etc (Joshua And Dennis) and the logistics cordinator(Jijo) in charge of the computers, multimedia, printing, letters, sound, projectors etc. The last one was Aravind A Menon , the school leader himself who was the General cordinator, or in DP’s words- the cordinator of cordinators. We thought it funny that we had so many cordinators- so much that someone wanted to be named the GRASS-cutting-cordinator and then someone wanted to be the FOOD-tasting-cordinator etc. Anyway, The cordinators were elected by the students by a simple open ballot. They were to begin work immediatly. The next job on the agenda was to elect different people to manage different events and so it was. The last job on the desk was that of a treasurer, and when DP looked for someone who had nothing next to his name yet, the one left was me- who had not raised his hands for anything. And so , by sheer coincidence i got the job i wanted. Well i wanted it because it meant “not a lot of work, not having to get on the stage which i was so afraid of and having all the fun you want watching people work while you rest and keep your money bag close to your chest”. The next day itself everyone was given a briefing on how to go about their bussiness. The school leader was to ask the teachers and the principal to allow the students to skip a few( hem hem not a FEW) classes for the preparations. The coordinators were to divide the teams and send them to different places to practise. I was asked to go talk to the bank manager and the school treasurer and office manager on how to keep a simple account which i did. The next day i had to make a book , ruled with the apt titles for the accounts , credits and debts. The next thing i did was go to Vice Principal – Fr. Edassery , with the requisition form signed by Mrs DP and ask him for the cash. I was to keep it with me and give it to whoever brings a signed form to me.
My freedom of not having to practise stuff did not last long. As it is often with DP, she gives random responsibilities to random people. Like, when she wants a person to do somethign , she calls the nearest kid and asks him to do that without checking who he is(I guess most of my seniors know that eh?). And one day she was looking for a guy to be in the panel for the mock press and noticed me–“Syam . Come here and be in the mock press team”. Well, that wasn’t the toughest jobs to do in LA Fest either. But anyway, since the other panelists also had double jobs and i was seeing dollar signs in my eyes for a few weeks we did not get to do a lot of work for the Mockie Talkie. So it was decided that Aravind , Pranav and Erik- 3 seniors- would sit along with the panel to help with us in case we got “STUCK ” . But we were repeatedly reminded not to ask any COLLEGE LEVEL , nasty questions to the contestants, especially the girls. While all this was going on, the students off the higher secondary silently went on with their jobs. which included mailing and calling all the schools etc. Rohit Wester of 12 B is to be credited for designing one of the best brochures ever. Then the team went around to nearly 21 schools to deliver the brochures. (i know i paid the taxiwala a sum of 800 rupess).
As the treasurer i had to collect a sum of 250 each from every student in 11th and 12th for the T shirts and their lunch. This summed upto 48,750 rupees. As the treasurer i have estimated that this money , along with the money for the food (around 35000), the la fest budget of 40,000 and further unaccounted expenses have pushed the total turn over of the event to over 1.5 lakhs!. It is not everyday that a 16 year old gets to count 20,000 rupees in 10 rupee notes. At 1st i had immense difficulty handling the money and had to carry it to the bank etc, to get it counted. But the experiences of the past month have definitly made me better in the bussiness.
The organisers of LA Fest were free for the whole day to organise the show during the last few days of preparation. The teams spend hours practising their events and the 11th got briefed on how to be good ushers etc. All the while more and more money was being drained from my pockets(or should i say OUR pockets) and i made more and more visits to Fr. Edassery to get refunds. One of the most difficult tasks was to get all the students to being the money in time. In the end (which was like on D-day) every single paise was collected and registered. When the money given by Fr edassery (11000 till then) began to run out.. i was asked to divert the money from the T shirt money (i have yet to pay the T shirt man) , and in the process , for a brief period of time, the balance i had with me came upto 8000 rupess NEGATIVE.
THE DAY BEFORE
On the 24th of July,despite it being a holiday, everyone who was involved with the work showed up early morning to work towards perfection. The students stayed back till after 9 pm. The principal, very kindly arranged for a bus to take us back home at that time (Thank u father!!).
So, on the 25th , the Loyola team came to school at 6 30 am, as we knew that there are some schools who turn up at 7. We found that some of seniors , namely Paul Joseph, Krishnadev or kichu as he is known, Prasanth, Hari Shankar etc were there to help us out. We are extremly grateful to them for all the help they gave us. The 1st thing done on that day was to register at the counter and get the badges. Then DP made us line up in front of the school for the OFFICIAL PRAYER. No sooner had we finished it, we heard the sound of the STRS bus comming through our gates. Off went the shouts to the ushers to escort the guests to their rooms. The next job i had at hand was to approach Fr Edassry with my form and request for a whole amount of Rs 26,000. Im sure i would have been mobbed if the people there had known that the bag i was carrying around had 35,650 rupees in it!!. As soon as i got the money i had to run around searching for the prelims judges for the Mock Press. Then we had to open the prelims venue and make sure that the participants were ready. In this chaos, most of the organisors missed many key parts of the program. (btw Thanks to Vineeth for arranging a cameraman this time so we can get to watch it afterwards- oh well im yet to pay him for the CD). As the events went on , i was approached by many a people for money for this and that. The day before i had spend a total of around 11,000. But this day i gave 10000 to the mess committe alone at one stretch!. (Man, counting money has gone to my head!.im seeing dollar signs ) . As soon as the lunch break began, i had to be there at the mess too, to give out the food packets while the rest of my team was preparing the mockike talkie questions. So at 3: 30 , when i sat down at the panel desk to question the participants, i had absolutly no idea who the participants were apart from seeing them dresssing up backstage. So those who watched it should understand that it was one of the best , taking into consideration that most of the questions were spontaneous!. The response from the crowd has made me feel that everyone loved this new event. i hope im not wrong 🙂 . The part of this years show which made it phenomenal, i believe, was the atmosphere of the sutter hall. The noise was unbelevable!. You know the only thing thats more annoying that girls screaming in ur ears……….. is a SCHOOL FULL OF GIRLS screamin in ur ears!!!. Anyways, when the events came to a close, it was indeed mighty difficult to control the crowd in the loft. They just wanted to dance and bring the loft down.
The most satisfying part of the LA Fest , comes in the end. That is when over a hundred people approach you and thank you for inviting them and letting them have one hell of a time! The feeling as they come in a line to thank you, is unexplainable to someone who hasnt been in the same shoes. After hearing their responses, i am so confident that most of them will be comming back next year to see it. We have indeed put up a mighty challenge to our juniors. They will have a tough time living upto the expectations. What they say is right:- during the conduction of the show, the Loyolites do gain something. Somethign that they will find hard to gain elsewhere.. The experience of teamwork and the spirit that LA Fest brings. And now i must conculde this report, because i have to go settle my accounts, write the financial report.. and collect the remaining money to pay the debits… cheers. Au revoir! .. loyolites ROCK ON!