Navratri Mahotsav – Reminiscent Celebrations
Manipal: The Venugopal Temple (VGT) Ground was enveloped in festival fervour from October 8 to October 10 as Navratri Mahotsav was organised by Goonj, the Hindi literary society of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) in association with the Student Council. This three-day event hosted by MIT was the first of its kind in Manipal.
The festivities were an amalgamation of devotion, music, dance and the love for Hindi to commemorate the occasion of Navratri (also celebrated as Durga Puja). The celebrations began with worshipping the idol of Goddess Durga at the Venugopal Temple followed by activities like Antakshari and Charades for the MIT faculty. Dr G K Prabhu, Director, MIT, was the guest of honour for the inaugural function and he too participated in the fun activities.
Going according to traditional rituals, Pushpanjali (an oblation of flowers) was offered to the Goddess by the students and faculty during the early hours of Maha Ashtami (the eighth day of Navratri). In the evening, bhog (a meal of rice and lentils) and laddoo was served to the attendees. The members of Goonj recited Slam Poetry in Hindi to revere topics like love, motherhood, patriotism and devotion. A karaoke session followed by a DJ night brought the second day of the event to an end. Despite a heavy downpour, the turnout for the event remained unaffected. “The colourful, illuminated VGT ground with devotional songs playing in the background and an open stage for cultural performances was the perfect ambience to recall the puja merriment in my hometown,” said Nishika Shahi, a 2nd year student of MIT.
The last day concluded with Dandiya Night organised by the MIT Student Council where the students were decked up in ethnic attires for the customary dance gathering. Even though Pre-Tech Tatva activities and workshops were being conducted throughout the week, students turned up for the celebration in good numbers on all the three days.
“Students from various parts of the country residing in Manipal are often unable to go back home to celebrate this auspicious festival. An initiative like Navratri Mahotsav is a humble and sincere effort to provide solace and happiness for such students”, said Utkarsh Kumar, a 3rd year MIT student, Head of Literary and Public Speaking, Goonj, explaining the reason behind organising an event like this.
Dr Narayana Shenoy K, Associate Director, Student Welfare, assisted the organisers by permitting them to accept monetary donations and other voluntary contributions for the Mahotsav, as there was no allocation of funds for the event.
Edited by Manasi Susarla