LA Fest and the ex(?)Loyolite.

July 25, 2007

LA Fest 2007.

Another LA Fest, gone. But the memories linger on.

LA Fest 07 “happened” (of course LA Fest is a happening thing) on the 23rd of July in the Sutter hall.(As usual, but perhaps for the last time- The new auditorium coming up and all). This time ten schools from around the city and outside participated. Namely, St. Thomas Residential, St. Thomas Central, Holy Angels ISC, Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom, KV Pangode, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sainik School, Infant Jesus, St Mary’s Poorjappura and Trivandrum International. From nine in the morning till six in the evening , clashed they did . And when battle was over, there stood amongst the dust the winners , with the coveted Nataraja… the winners for the fourth time.. Holy Angels. St Thomas Residential came runners up in the 12th edition of the LA Fest. A Special edition of the LA Fest. An edition that bid adieu to one of the foundation stones behind the saga. The one that bid farewell to Deepa Ma’am. (That’s for you , the non-loyolite reader. For us… She is our DP . called so affectionatly, or as one of the founding fathers of LA Fest, Vivek said…”authoritatively”) Every year many a hand write many an article about LA Fest. Every year they say this will be the last. And every next year they unsay it. But, now finally the ever supportive DP stepped out of the Loyola gates, bidding good bye. Will this be the last? Reminds me of our time when Fr. principal declared that it has now passed 10 years and will go on till 25. With God’s grace, it shalt.

I intend to write not on the fiesta itself but what it was to me. I have so far seen three editions of LA Fest. And every year the argument pops up if this was the best of that was the best. Every batch who has hosted one claims that theirs was the best. But this LA Fest for me has changed a bit. For once im looking at it from the view of an outsider. Outsider? No, i forget. There are no Ex Loyolites. Only old boys and older boys. So yes, from the point of view of an old boy. One who has been there, done it and now watch as his successors go through the same. For the first time i (and the rest of the BOTS), went to LA Fest, not to participate, not to organise but watch and help as our juniors put up their own show. I t was good by the way dear junior reader. But none in any batch will agree that any other than theirs was the best and we are no different. But if you ask me, it all comes down to the quality of participation and by some luck we had better quality and quantity.

What was my role in this years ?

Every year it starts off with a load of seniors coming over for the “talk”. Few weeks before D-day me and a couple of my friends went to school, visited the present senior classes and we and DP gave them the start they needed. And then i had no news from that area for quite some time, other than that the boys were kinda finding it rather difficult in the absense of DP. By the way, they did well despite her not being there.

The next time i went there was the day before the grand show. And as usual half of the recent 3 batches passouts were there. LA Fest is kindof like a back to school gathering for the old boy. They, nah, we(i keep forgetting that now im one of THEM), were there, cleanin, sweeping , decourating, arranging, advicing, chatting and well enjoying. That evening i got and idea of what my role would be the next day. It seemed that they needed to make a video. And so it was that the next day i , with a borrowed camera set from a dear pal(Thanks Rohit), stood in the middle of the sutter hall for nearly seven hours shooting the thing while HAC screamed their lungs out on my left year and sanik plus santhomites on my right ear.(ouch)

It all seemed cliched. The same scenes repeating itself before me. Sometimes even the same dance teams doing the same dance to the same song. The videos not working at the last moment- a repeat from the last 4-5 years. The same schools sitting at the same places with the same teachers, cheering, yelling , howling, whistling, screaming… It all was a replay to me. But for two events which left a mark of difference.

First of those two memorable moments came when Sanik school dedicated a song to their friend who recently passed away. For one minute the audience from all the differnt schools, -with all their differences in opinions, difference in uniforms, difference in you name what- stood up together as one and payed their respects to the departed soul. Truely it was a soul stirring moment.

LA Fest usually saves it’s best for the last and normally they pull it off with a blast of a dance. But this time the special end to LA Fest came in a CD.. in a documentary that Krishnadev and co created to honour the pillar behind LA Fest. A documentary which paid tribute to DP. Just before the closing ceremony, they announced the screening of the documentary which began with “Long long ago , a woman set foot in loyola…” It went on to tell the story about how things would never be the same after and ended with “To us she was our DP. DP we miss you.. we love you…” And for the first and perhaps the last time the force behind LA Fest was herself forced on stage in front of the audience who once again put their differences behind, and rose to applaud the genius who kept the show running all these years. Amidst thunderous applause and tears she was helped on stage to address the gathering. She began with “childern of all the schools…” and put down in one minute what LA Fest had been to her and her students of all these years. And then a tear trickled down my cheek. It was one of those rare emotional moments which make me d that. That was what made me write about LA Fest again, though i had written twice about it already.

Twelve LA Fests gone. Thirteenth has been promised.(Thanks to princi) But now it suffers a setback. The pillar which held it up all these years, uprooted from the room to the right of the stage at the Loyola quadrangle .. and planted back at All Saints. Loyola’s loss shall indeed be All Saint’s gain. Will LA Fest survive it? This year my dearest junior’s did struggle and their efforts was not in vain.They did pull it off.. but will the next ones do?

lets wait and see….


[DP, if you ever read this, come back to us…. i mean go back to them(still hard to accept that we are not what we were last year) … they need you…]

This is the copy of the documentary shown on LA  Fest.. Watch…


LA Fest 2k6(The Informal)

April 25, 2007


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.

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!

LA Fest 2k6(The Formal)

April 25, 2007

la-fest-spiralling-away.jpgThe Brochure

The 25th of july 2006 will stick out in history as the day when the city stood still.The day when LA Fest went off with a blast. At 6 in the morning, the loyolites of 11th and 12th gathered in the school , eager to welcome the awaited guests to the school(under the expert supervision and watchful eyes of Mrs Deepa pillai as usual). The signal to begin the day came when St. Thomas Residential school’s bus rumbled into the Loyola grounds, with over 60 participants raging to take home the prestigious Nataraja. They were followed by St Thomas Central, Nirmala Bhavan, Mt Carmel , Christ Nagar ISC, Hss and CBSE, Holy angels ISC and CBSE ,Trinity Lyceum, Trivandrum International, BharatiyaVidhya Bhavan,Kendriya Vidhyalaya Patton and Pangode, Sainik School, Infant Jesus etc (and all the schools i forgot to mention), which made the total number come upto a record number of 16.The schools were warmly welcomed by the ushers from the 11th, who led them to their rooms and helped then around the campus the whole day. When all the participants had arrived and were seated in the Sutter Hall (which is around a quartr of a century old and has witnessed 10 years of evolution), the events of the day began after the inaugration by the chief guest, IG Arun Kumar Sinha. The 1st event on the stage was Harmony, which was started off by a song from the Loyolites and which saw the singers from the different schools making the hall resonate with their talents. After that the audience were entertained by the different schools participating in the Filme Duplicano. Then the crowd witnessed a battle between the four selected teams for the quizzers throne. After this all the schools proceded to the Loyola school Quadrangle to fill their bellies while being entertained by the loyola band playing music for them throughout. As soon as the lunch was over, the sleepy audience was whisked back into the auditorium by the ushers for the Block ‘N ‘Tangles event. After the battle between the BLock’N’Tangles teams, the crowd were suddenly pulled to their feet by the reincarnated event , the Mockie Talkie. The Sutter hall shook with the tremors of the applause as the panel and the contestants fought a war of wits, each trying their best to outwit the other. Each retort by either was cheered by the wonderful audience who had come all the way here to help make the party get off with a bang. The crowd who were warmed up by the Mockie Talkie were then sent into overdrive by the next event, unargueably one of the best ever- THE LA PERSONA!. The six finalists, filtered out from the 32 that appeared were caught up in the battle for the sash, during which was one of the best shows the Sutter hall had ever seen. The participants were judged on what they could do, and what they could not. The event which combined parts from Harmony, Dance’o’mania, and the likes of Block’N’Tangles drew huge cheers from the audience who had packed the hall to its fullest. After this came that which was probably the most awaited event of all- Dance’O’Mania. All 16 schools had registered for the dance . And as planned, all 16 pulled it off, rocking the stage and the hall with their brilliant dance steps and acrobatics. The committe had promised that LA Fest twenty oh six , would end with a bang and so it was to be. The last item was the dance by the Loyolites who had been preparing for the event for quite some time. The impact of the event was obvious from the reactions of the wonderful crowd. At the end of the fete the Sutter Hall was reverberating with cheers to the hosts. And then , as the school leader Aravind Menon said, all good things must come to an end. So was it to be with this years LA Fest. The chief guest for the closing ceremony Ms. Sayanoura , followd by the Principal , Fr Varghese Anikuzhy and the team of cordinators got onto the stage to give away the trophies to the winners and to convey the spirit of LA Fest to the other participants. And finally the moment to acknowledge the participation had arrived. St Thomas won the runners up trophy and the winners were Christ Nagar ISC school who took home the not famous NATARAJA. Vishnu R.C of Sainik School took home to sash for Mr. LA Fest while the Ms LA Fest sash went to Ms Medha of ST Thomas Central. The joy of the winners, the dissappointment of the other and the nostalgia of the former winners were apparant. Though the events and overall time got a bit stretched due to the quantity of participation, the quality was as high as always. The guests piled into their buses , taking home the trophies and cherishing the memories of the day- to keep forever. Their gratitude towards the hosts , for providing such hospitality was expressed with utmost sincerity. And so it was that the greatest day of the year had come to an end. The memories will linger on forever, in the minds of those all who were present for the fete. And those who were not , they shall think of it with regret. 11 years gone…more to come.. Loyola waits for everyone to come back next year. Viva la LA FEST.. VIVA LE DP!!!! adios!

Oh btw, in case anyone wants the la fest song…..

here it is.