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Woods talk and rock

Saarang gets bigger this year, and brings together high-voltage rock, classical ragas, interesting interactions with maestros and more, writes SUDHISH KAMATH

Photo: R. Ragu

Youths' day out At Saarang

T he stage is all set for the dream fest — the mother of all cultural festivals. Metal-heads, Skid Row is coming to Saarang this year. Yes, the Skid Row. And, Hammerfall from Sweden. Live the dream because if you are really good, you may just get to open for them on January 25, the final day of Saarang and also record your album.

Music-lovers, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy will rock the woods with their filmy chartbusters on January 24. If classical is music to your ears, Dr. Balamuralikrishna will enthrall you on the opening night (January 21).

Also on the Saarang playlist are electro-rocker T. Raumschmiere and band from Germany (January 22), hybrid contemporary music by Ziskakan from France (January 23) and Indie rock band Hurricane Bells (January 25) as part of the World Music Festival.

Movie-buffs, how do you feel about attending a lecture by Kamal Haasan to kick off the events on January 22? Also, pick up a few tips on filmmaking from Gautham Menon.

Art-aficionados, critically acclaimed art director Sabu Cyril is coming down for a lecture. Theatre-enthusiasts, watch an author-endorsed reworked version of ‘Five Point Someone' staged by Evam (January 24). For free!

Dance-fans, Daksha Sheth's dance company represented by the gorgeous Isha Sharvani will bewitch you on Choreo Nite (January 22). And, attend a master class by Padma Subramaniam.

News-geeks, how about a talk with Arun Shourie? There's a lot more in probably the biggest edition of Saarang yet (January 21-25), and the students are so excited that sleepless nights have become a ritual this time of the year.

As Kaushik Anand, the Core for Publicity and Sales, says: “The pro-shows have got bigger, more diverse and better with the biggest names performing this year. There's a heavy demand for tickets.” Over 500 colleges from around the country have been invited, has got hits from 47 countries, and the students are swamped by hostel accommodation requests from outstation participants, informs Kaushik (Yes, it is a little odd to refer to an IITian by his first name and not his nick, but Kaushik is from a hostel block that didn't have seniors!).

Pradeep Krishnakumar, Core for Events, better known on campus as Dandiya, lays out the agenda for Saarang this year: “We have a few Spotlight events this year apart from our regular events… We have a culture show from colleges from four different states in the format of a dance drama. We have the Saarang Essence, a youth summit on how social entrepreneurship can help improve governance. And, there's Saarang Impact… We are collaborating with I Volunteer as part of our corporate social responsibility initiative and each event will kick off with token participation from underprivileged students because we believe that just giving them a platform will make their wish come true.”

Celebrating the arts

The Saarang Village this year will showcase Gujarat, their food and handicrafts. “Then, we have Dreams of Canvas. We have invited entries from those who are good at fine arts and have arranged for an art exhibition to showcase their talent. The decibels got bigger not just because of prize money but also because of the opportunity to record and open for Hammerfall and Skid Row,” adds Dandiya. “This time, we have two types of lectures — popular lectures and cultural lectures,” says Rinju Rajan, co-ordinator for Lectures and Demonstrations.

Rinju does not have a nick either. “May be, because my first name sounds like a nick already,” she grins. “Under popular lectures, we have Kamal Haasan, Gautham Menon, Sabu Cyril and political commentator Arun Shourie spread over the four days. The cultural lectures include music lectures by Sufi singer Kavitha Seth and Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashree, and dance lectures by Padma Subramaniam, Neena Prasad (Mohiniyattam) and Oopali Operajita (Odissi). The response has been huge because, this is the first time we have such a multitude of speakers from various fields. The entry is free so that anyone can benefit from the series,” says Rinju.


January 21 Dr.Balamuralikrishna (free)

January 22 Isha Sharvani and Daksha Sheth Dance Co, Choreo Nite (ticketed) and Electro-rocker T. Raumschmiere and band, Germany (free)

January 23 Ziskakan, hybrid contemporary music from France (free)

January 24 Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (ticketed) / Five Point Someone (free)

January 25 Hammerfall and Skid Row (ticketed) / Hurricane Bells (free)

To book your pro-show tickets, visit

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