Jashan 2010

Photo courtesy: Koushik Chowdavarapu and Niyantha Shekar.

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Jashan was a victory.

I was a volunteer for most of the event, running errands for an hour or two before it started, and manning a booth after it began. When I arrived, there were chairs set up and the booths were waiting to be occupied by their assigned organizations and attractions. ICA members were running in every direction, their serenely saffron Jashan t-shirts providing a sharp contrast to the anxious alacrity on their faces.

And they did have a reason to be nervous. One look at the sky told me that much.

But the show was not over until the fat lady sang, and, as it were, there was no singing fat lady on the lineup.

At 6:50, ten minutes before the show was to start, I was asked to man a table. And as nothing is within my capacity but art, I chose to try my hand at henna (did you catch that?). As a volunteer, I’ve always found there is one thing about every job you do that makes it worth the while – something that gives back to you as you give back to the community, almost as if to keep giving you a reason to come back and volunteer. That’s right, folks – to me, that worthwhile thing was drawing owls and oms on the hands of little girls and young women through a tube of brownish green gunk that never came out in the proper consistency. Four reddish fingers and one hundred and twenty minutes later, I was hooked.

But wait a minute – where was the show? I hushed everyone under the tent who was seeking shelter from the rain that would have made it impossible for a dance team to perform – or so I thought. I could hear music, and cheering from the audience rose and fell like waves – like the sheets of rain striking the tents. It was like we were fighting back.

The performance going on was Nach Baliye’s, and the only one that I was able to catch that night, as I stepped out for a moment to grab the free food ICA provided its volunteers, because that food kept me busy the rest of the time. After the hearty naan/rice vegetarian combo with channa, paneer, and whatever else they generously filled those Styrofoam compartments with, I had a sip of possibly the most tender, wholesome mango lassi I’ve ever had. A slight film of foam coated my upper lip after my third glass, and I left the counter with some embarrassment when someone pointed it out to me. Then I went back.

I started this piece with the statement that Jashan was a victory. I didn’t choose the word success, or the adjective solid, or excellent, or fabulous, because those words wouldn’t do justice to exactly what the people who were there that day felt. After the rains and the wet stages, beyond the puddles accumulating on unoccupied chairs, there was a spirit that never left the eyes of ICA’s members – the same spirit that consumed the volunteers while we worked with them to make their show happen.

So congratulations, ICA, on a job well done. I commend your fervor and your courage and your composure in the face of something many organizations just wouldn’t be able to handle. I thank you for letting me be a part of it, and teaching me so much about what it means to keep your word.

But thank you, most of all, for that lassi.


About Anand Jayanti :
Anand Jayanti is a senior studying Plan II and premedical science. He is the editor of the Reflections section of Nazar. He enjoys creative work, such as playing and composing music, singing, writing short fiction and poetry, screenplaying, and directing. He maintains a happy, faithful relationship with running. For all of these pursuits he takes inspiration from his friends and family.
View all posts by Anand Jayanti
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6 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Apr 21, 2010

    Reply

    beautiful.
    jashan was a great success.

  2. Anish Malpani says:

    Apr 21, 2010

    Reply

    Really well written Anand! Haha yeah, god bless mango lassi.
    Dude, cover FOI too, will you?

    And yeah, props to ICA, despite all the rain gods being against them, they did a really good job to pull of Jashan. I think the stalls were some of the best I have ever seen!

  3. Sana Sabharwal says:

    Apr 21, 2010

    Reply

    Anand,

    Thank you for your kind words and precise description of what each ICA member and volunteer felt during the show. Jashan would not have been possible without the constant efforts of all the volunteers and performers. I would also like to thank you for helping us out in the Henna stall. Above all, the Mango lassi was truly amazing and you deserved it!

    Sana Sabharwal
    Jashan 2010 Co-Chair
    Indian Cultural Association

  4. Guest says:

    Apr 21, 2010

    Reply

    Bias. Hsc > ica. Doin it biggggg

  5. Saheb Sabharwal says:

    Apr 21, 2010

    Reply

    Your words made the event worthwhile all over again. Jashan 2010 was a victory of the South Asian Community on campus.

  6. fatima says:

    Apr 22, 2010

    Reply

    WHAT A SOLID ARTICLE

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