Spirit of literature celebrated at Qalam 20193 min read

March 4, 2019 3 min read


Spirit of literature celebrated at Qalam 20193 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

MANIPAL: The second edition of Qalam, a four-day literary event, was organised by The Editorial Board, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MCOPS) and the MAHE Association of Pharmacy Students (MAPS), here at MCOPS between February 25 and 28. With an aim of promoting literary activities around Manipal and giving literary enthusiasts a platform, it hosted a variety of competitions for the same, witnessing participation from the sister colleges of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). 

The first day saw the commencement of three events, with the highlight being the preliminary round of the Story Book Quiz, where the contestants were asked 25 questions from all genres of books, fiction, non-fiction, and memoirs. It attracted a crowd of literary and quizzing enthusiasts, who showed equal vigour in guessing the answers. There was a similar amount of enthusiasm evident in the preliminary rounds of the Presidential debate, where arguments were put forth on the #metoo movement and the construction of the Statue of Unity.

Pens also quivered away in the Story Writing Competition, which took place simultaneously. “Honestly, I thought we would not be able to pull it off, but we got immense support from the students and the staff. Everyone gave their 100%,” said Raveena, managing editor of The Editorial Board.


The chair panel during the Presidential Debate competition. || Vanessa Shingare


Qalam was declared open at its inaugural ceremony, on the first day, by Dr C Mallikarjuna Rao, principal, MCOPS,  along with Dr M Sreenivasa Reddy, vice-principal at the P Gundu Rao Hall. “Literature is a gift from God. People who are born with this gift should strive to enhance it further because not everyone can do it the way they can,” said Dr Rao in his inaugural address. He also remarked that Qalam was started with the vision of encouraging students in Manipal to participate in literary competitions and events, before officially flagging the event.

Spell Bee was the only contest on the second day, with the competition being divided into two rounds – the preliminary and the finals. The preliminary round was a written test while the finals did not have the traditional questionnaire of spellings and words. Instead, the contestants were asked to unscramble jumbled words, fill in the missing words of lyrics, and identify the word based on its literal definition. “I heard about Qalam from my friends, and this is my first time participating in an event like spell bee. I got to hear a lot of new words, and overall it was a great experience,” expressed Aryamaan, one of the participants at the event.

The third day, according to the organisers, was the most crucial day, with the much-awaited finals of Book Quiz and the Presidential Debate. The quiz was an exhaustive exercise for the contestants, as they had to face multiple, divergent rounds of questions. “The finals was an extensive challenge for us, with the variety of questions being asked like the rounds, we had to pull off some outstanding brainstorming sessions,” said Ayush, a student of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), who took part in the competition. The debate was an equally grand challenge, with the participants preparing and speaking on two topics at the same time.


The chief guest and other dignitaries giving away the prize to the winners. || Photograph Courtesy: Vanessa Shingare


The event was drawn to a close with the valedictory function on the fourth day. The chief guest, Dr Padma Rani, Director, School of Communication (SOC) gave away prizes to the winners before addressing the gathering. “Literary aspects of life, such as poetry, theatre, paintings are modes of expression. They build one’s personality in different ways,” she told the students. It was followed by Slam Poetry, where themes such as motherly love, heartbreak and pain were expressed, both in English and the indigenous languages.


Featured Image Courtesy: Aradhika Jain

Edited by: Mehul Malpani