This latest addition is a delightful and entertaining account of the experiences in PAF of an alumnus of 2010 batch, Siddharth Kataria, from Hostel 8 involved in PAFs as:

1st year: Prod  in Aashayein
2nd year: Acting in Arsh
3rd year: Co-Scripted, Co-Directed and Voice Overs for If Tomorrow Comes
4th year: PAF OC, Co-Scripted, C0-Directed and Voice Overs for Antaragni

1st year

“बाकी सब तो ठीक हैं पर ये PAF क्या होता हैं ?” जब मैं freshie था तो यह question मैंने हॉस्टल cult orientation में  पूछा। सारे seniors हँसे और बोले “PAF का मतलब होता हैं “Performing art festival , जितनी भी चीज़े हो सकती हैं सब उसमें होती हैं –  हमने ट्रेन बनायी थी उसमें बम फटता गया था और ट्रेन उपर उठ के नीचे आ जाती थी, एक बार हमने हेलीकाप्टर बनाया था, बहुत चीज़े होती है बेटा PAF मैं! जब समय आएगा तो पता चल जाएगा। आखिरकार समय आया किसी ने दरवाजा खटखटाया और बोला गया “नीचे आ जाओ PAF का काम शुरू हो गया ” नीचे पहुँचकर देखा तो वहां एक पतीला पकड़ा दिया और अखबारों को जोड़ने का काम दे दिया; मुझे लगा “IIT हैं, शायद अखबार से हेलीकाप्टर बन जाता होगा”, ४ दिन तक अखबारों को जोड़ने के बाद बम्बू छिलने का काम दे दिया, मुझे लगा चलो तरक्की हो गयी हैं, अंत तक हम या तो रस्सियाँ जोड़ते रहे या, और PAF शुरू हो गया और अंत मैं PAF को देख के ऐसा लगा की अगर यहाँ काम नहीं किया होता तो बहुत कुछ miss कर देता। सब कुछ – seniors के साथ फट्टे मारना, रात को पराठो पे हाथ मारना, dinner मैं mess secy को गाली देना, फिर OAT में  ही सो जाना, अगले दिन क्लास की टेंशन लेना, कुछ नहीं चमक रहा हो तो mic पे जाके बकर काटना, seniors से काम चोरी करना, PAF के लिए सब कुछ !! मैंने सोच लिया था अगली बार तो मैं PAF मैं एक्टिंग करूँगा, प्रोड करूँगा, यहाँ  तक की स्क्रिप्ट तक present करूँगा!!!

end of first year !!

2nd year

मैंने एक sophie prod किया था उसके बाद से मुझे लगने लगा की अब तो paf में मुझे ही मचाना है, हॉस्टल को मेरी जरुरत हैं, बस जैसे ही पहली मीटिंग हुई मैं सीधा पहुच गया और स्क्रिप्ट present करने लग गया, मैंने अभी सिर्फ ये ही बोला था “PAF Grand होना चाहिए ” तभी एक senior उठे और बोले “DEJA VU देखा हैं” मैंने कहा “हाँ देखा है” उसमें कितने High points थे? में सोचने लग गया तभी वो फिर से बोले “14 high points थे, तेरी script में अगर उतने है तो बोल नहीं तो ditch कर” मैं  चुप हो गया फिर मुझे पता चला PAF में कुछ ऐसी बातें होती हैं जिससे तुम्हारी script काटी जाती है

1 – high points ही नहीं हैं

2 – high points तो हैं पर वो properly script में gel नहीं हो रही

3 – center prod ही नहीं हैं

4 – center prod तो हैं, पर उसको तुम सिर्फ १० minute ही use कर रहे हो

5 – PAF में बाकी सब ठीक हैं पर एक ही issue है की इसमें कोई issue नहीं हैं

6 – PAF judges को अच्छा नहीं लगेगा

7 – ये PAF LT में अच्छा लगेगा पर OAT में अच्छा नहीं लगेगा

8 – ये तो उस movie की copy हैं

9 – तू मुझे ये बता ultimately koan लिखने वाला है स्क्रिप्ट ? मैं ना तो मैं तेरी स्क्रिप्ट नहीं लिख सकता  मुझे माफ़ कर दे !!

खैर जो भी है मुझे ये ख़ुशी थी की कुछ भी हो मेरे PAF मैं 14 से ज्यादा high points होंगे और सब seniors ये भी कहते थे अबे तू कटारिया हैं तुझे तो बड़ा रोल ही मिलेगा, मैंने सोचा अच्छा हैं अगले साल script कम से कम पहली meeting मैं present नहीं करूँगा, अभी आराम से एक्टिंग करते हैं –  पता चला PAF बड़ा हो रहा था और रोल छोटा होता, और आखिरी मैं ३ line मिली मुझे। मेरे character के लिए एक फोन आना था जो लाना भूल गए थे, sab दूसरे काम मैं busy थे, PAF शुरू हो गया, high points आने का नाम ही नहीं ले रहे थे मेरा जैसे ही रोल आया मैं stage मैं गया ३ लाइन बोलने, तभी लाइट वाले ने ग़लती कर दी और वो एक लाइट जलना ही भूल गया। वैसे उस PAF में सिर्फ लाइट वालों से ही ग़लती नहीं हुई थी, उसमें आतिशबाजियां चलाने वालों तक ने ग़लती कर दी थी। उन्हें बोला गया था की जैसे ही तुम्हे missed call आए, तुम आतिशबाजियां चला देना। उन्हें किसी और का missed call आ गया और वो दमादम आतिशबाजियां चलाने लग गए। पता चला इधर PAF में Senti Scene चल रहा था और पीछे से आतिशबाजियां चल रहीं हैं । 😛

मैंने सोच लिया था 3rd year आने दो saari script काटूँगा और आखिरी मैं खुद की स्क्रिप्ट present करूँगा!!

End of Second Year!!

3rd year

हर कोई पूछता था “कटारिया तेरे पास कोई script हैं?” मैं कहता “नहीं”। मुझे पता था कट जाएगा, कई meetings हो गयी, बहुत सी script पर काम चल रहा था, मुझे ये समझ नहीं आ रहा था की आखिरी meeting कौनसी होगी? PAF मीटिंग मैं जा जा के मुझे हर बार लगता था की deja vu सा हो रहा हैं, वही fatte वही themes फिर से repeat हो रहे है

१ – IIT पे PAF करे ? नहीं यार लोग deja vu से compare करेंगे

२ – अबे एक gulti PAF बनाते है और freshies को नीचे sub title ले के दौड़ा देंगे

३ – Live  Game show की theme कैसी रहेगी

४ – मैंने एक मूवी dekhi थी उसपे अच्छा PAF बन सकता हैं

५ – मैं तो कहता हूँ सारा पैसा खा जाते हैं, और सबको popcorn खिला देंगे

६ – यार लड़की हॉस्टल क्यूँ नहीं हैं, स्क्रिप्ट मैं flexibility नहीं हैं !!

मैंने भी वही किया  – एक मूवी देखी और उसकी PAF theme सुना दी, OC ने बोला और develop कर मैं अगले दिन और develop करके आया, अब काटे कैसे बहुत चीज़े बोली गयी पर मैं अड़ा रहा, आखिरी मैं किसी और की theme select हुई और मैं एक ऐसे PAF का हिस्सा था जिससे शायद मैं कभी ना भूल पाऊ, मुझे उस PAF से इतना सीखने को मिला की कैसे PAF कराया जाता हैं, सबसे बड़ा तो ये सीखा की PAF कभी भी कोई एक बन्दा नहीं करा सकता, PAF कराने के लिए तुम्हे दोस्तों से ले कर lukkhe, सबकी जरुरत होती हैं। script किसी की भी हो फरक नहीं पड़ता, फरक उससे पड़ता हैं की तुम्हे PAF में  मज़ा आ रहा हैं या नहीं !

अब मेरा सोचना अलग था, next year मुझे अपनी script नहीं select करवानी थी, मुझे आखिरी साल सिर्फ और सिर्फ PAF करना था !

end of third year…

Fourth year

“आप pain मत लो, मैं H10 को जीता दूंगा”

“मैं अपने आप को तो समझा लूँगा पर मेरे ठरकी बच्चे उनका मैं क्या करू ? ”

“H8 सब संभाल लेगा”

ये बातें हैं, मेरे 4th year की जब PAF teams decide हो रही थी, सबको उम्मीद थी की H8 इस बार तो लड़की हॉस्टल ले लेगा, पर नहीं हुआ और सारे लोग senty हो गए ऐसे ऐसे sentences बोले गए –  “अगर यहाँ PAF की बात की तो चप्पल से मारूंगा” “हम मैं से कोई नहीं उतरेगा”

पर धीरे धीरे ऐसा हुआ की सब के अंदर जोश आ गया, फिर इतने लोग साथ थे – Birju , Malpani , smit , Babu , Pupun , CC , praveen , doggie , Shobhit और भी बहुत लोग…….. और PAF की तैयारी जोरो से शुरू हो गयी 🙂

अब मुझे कुछ लिखना था कुछ सोचना था …मुझे तब first year याद आया …PAF grand होना चाहिए, 14 high points तो होने ही चाहिए, Choreo तो मजेदार होने चाहिए, हम सब बैठे  और बहुत बड़ा PROD सोचने लग गए, हमने सोचा की एक रेलवे स्टेशन बनाते हैं …और ट्रेन लायेंगे …script कुछ नहीं सोची पहले ये सोच लिया, फिर इस पर स्क्रिप्ट लिखना शुरू हो गए तब पता चला कि H6 भी ट्रेन और रेलवे स्टेशन ला रहे हैं और उनका slot हमसे पहले हैं …सीधा उनका impact ज्यादा हो जाएगा, हम कुछ नया नहीं दिखा पायेंगे ..फिर हम रात को बैठे और center prod बदलने की सोचने लगे पर center prod बदलते तो ट्रेन भी नहीं ला पाते … फिर किसी ने कहा की चलो mall बनाते हैं और वो change हो जाएगा स्टेशन मैं , और जो ट्रेन हम ला रहे हैं उसमें उपर डांस हो सकता हैं ..बस फिर क्या था malpani smit ने कहा हो सकता हैं हमने script फिर से change की और “अंतराग्नि” बन गया, वो एक ऐसा PAF था जिसमें कोई लड़ाई नहीं हुई शायद, वो किसी की सोच नहीं थी , सबने कुछ कुछ scene  लिखे थे, PROD वालों ने इतना मचाया था की result बिना announce किये ही वो stage पे चढ़ गए थे क्यों की prod तो पता था हममे ही जीतना हैं. और वही खत्म हुआ था मेरा आखिरी PAF जिससे मैं इतना खुश था की कुछ अलग किया!

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“३ PAF हो जाए तो अच्छा रहेगा” “अब PAF enthu junta नहीं बची” “जनता आती ही नहीं”

अब जब मैं लोगो के मुहँ से सुनता हूँ तो लगने लगता हैं PAF का कही अंत न हो जाए, अगर ३ PAF हो गए तो फिर थोड़े साल बाद २ की fight मारी जायेगी. PAF एक ऐसी cheez  हैं जो शायद और किसी कॉलेज मैं नहीं होती, और लोगे के तर्क ये होते हैं की talent नहीं बचा मेरा तो बस ये कहना है की “PAF को talent की नहीं लोगो की जरुरत हैं” और वो लोग हम हैं!

This article in the “Down the Memory Lane ” is by an alumnus of the 2010 batch, Ahana Gautam, from Hostel 10 who has acted in 4 PAFs:

4th year: Played lead role of Sita in Ramleela
3rd year: Played lead role of Ismat Apa in Nazafgarh Express
2nd year: Acted in U-Turn
1st year: Acted in Aashayein

It is the institute prize distribution ceremony of 2008, and the prizes which have drawn the majority of the crowd to the Convocation Hall from their hostels are yet to be announced… on one side you hear cheers of “Palat de pasa NASA NASA” and on the other side you hear the cheers of “Jo bole So Nihaal Sat Sri Akal” with both sides trying to outbeat each other every single time they chant their respective slogans. And this is just a glimpse of what I may recall as probably one of the most competitive times in the history of the Performing Arts Festival — the biggest cultural festival of IIT Bombay. These chants were not just a random display of the gaali fight practice you had during the Independence Day of the freshie year but an exemplary display of teasing the grey matter of the cream of the country regarding the question of should PAFs exist, against the striking display of the Golden Temple and live Gathka performance. Well, these times are what felt like closest to doing justice to the Performing Arts Festival during my stay at IIT Bombay.

Make way for PAF as everything else in the insti comes to a standstill to make way for it at least a month in advance. These seemingly silent times from the overview are like the initial stages of the Age Of Empires whilst four teams try and build their empires to prepare themselves for the final battle. It starts with the longest meeting of the year for the cult cos to decide the teams, and then orienting freshmen coming to the respective hostels to be of significant contribution to the building of the empire (quite literally 😉 ). And then there are meetings and meetings and meetings for every cultural aspect to be included in the PAF. But the most memorable times for me are the ones just before the final act. The audience suspense about what is being made in the prod and what is the theme of the next PAF only act as the cherry on the cake of the experience you have during the three days of preparation at OAT. Though extremely exhausting, the nightout practices and going to lectures after them, being a part of just watching an extravagant prod being put up, and the endeavour to compile all the departments together to perform a clean PAF make it an experience worth reliving .Then comes the time when you actually see the effort of the last 40 odd days coming true in a span of an hour or so in front of a packed OAT crowd and the sense of achievement on even a single clap from the audience has to be experienced to be believed… and these are the moments that I miss and am privileged to have been a part of provided by the grand stage of the Performing Arts Festival — the biggest cultural festival at IIT Bombay.

– Ahana Gautam

PAF (Prod Aur Freshie)


Anand Malpani
as a Freshie worked in Prod and FA in Aashayien
as a Sophie sat in the Audience 😛
as a Thirdie was the Prod and Tech -in-Charge for If Tomorrow Comes
as a Fourthie was the PAF OC (Prod, FA, Tech, Dance) for Antaragini

P.S.: the article continues in Hinglish! Also my special thanks to the Institute Cult Council ki un logon ne mujhe yeh article likhne ke liye kaahan aur yash aur zen jaise badein PAF waali junta ke saath blogging karne ka mauka diya. Hope you enjoy it.
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PAF (Prod Aur Freshie)
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well kisi bhi freshie ke mann main yahin baat aati hai PAF orientation ke baad – “…agar PAF aa raha hai najdeek aur humein dhundtein hue seniors dikhai padh rahein hai, toh haa wahi ek lauti cheej, ussi paawan rishtey ki khoj main hai woh sab, woh atut bandhan — freshie aur prod ka… unke haath main hacksaw aur fete hue bamboo ka… garma garam lai aur har wing se collect kiye hue newspaper ka… measuring tape aur ecell, techfest se churayein hue sponsors ke banner aur frames ka…”

yahi baat mujhe har saal sunne milti thi – har OC, apne hostel PAF orientation main bolta, Alumni, institute PAF orientaion main boltein… isi liye mainain thaana tha ki kuch aisa kiya jayein ki Prod karna log majboori nahi but aukaad waali aur har kisi ke bas main naa hone waaali baat maanein… jab OC’s sign-up sheet pass karein hostel ke fresher’s orientation main toh log sirf dance, acting, script nahi balki Prod aur FA  enthu ke saath likhein (FA jo ki ek naya hi function tha dependent on the PAF group IF PAF.members.contains(H11 || H10) THEN activity = FA… ELSE activity = (DANCE || DRAM) :P)… isse paane ka ek hi raasta tha ki kuch aisa prod ho, ki jo bhi log usse banane main jutein woh saalon yaad rakhein usse aur Prod ko ghodagiri ke darje se hatakar ek skill oriented artform ke roop main maaana jayein…

khair yeh toh prod ke haalchaal the but ab mere PAF ke experience ke baarein main kuch bola jayein… though yeh article jyaada tar Prod se kaafi related rahega as it proceeds…—————————————————————————————————————-
Freshie hun aaon kaam karein… Bamboo pe baamboo faadein chalein…
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jis tarah 80% freshies ki shuruwaat hoti hai PAF se judne main meri bhi Prod se hi hui thi… bulaaya tha seniors ne… hum chal diye… bataya gaya ki bamboo se frame aise banaon… backdrop paper rolll par chipkaon aur set ke background banatein jaon… ab frame par frame banayein jaa rahein the but uska hona kya hai kisi ko idea hi nahi… bas idhar udhar h10 ki bandhiyaan ghum rahi thi toh kaam main mann laga hua tha… mujhe yaad hai Jango se pehli baar mulakaat yahi par hui thi… ek insaan tshirt kholkar bindaas haath main brush aur paint lekar stadium ka painting karein jaa rha hai… us baar pehli baar end moment kaam dekhne mila tha… achanak kisi ne kaahan last-but-one run-through karna hai jaldi se sab tayaar karo… ab stadium ke stands toh banein hi nahi the… actors baithtein toh kaahan… de fatafat safed t-shirt pehne hua tha nichein ghus gaya beds ke aur sutli pe sutli baandhein gayein… kuch der baad dekha toh parents OAT main aayein hue the… ab first year waalein ki aisi haalat (safed turned gray t-shirt, baalon main cement ki dhul, aur sutli se hue lal haath) dekhkar kaun maata-pita shaabaashi dengein… unse kisi tarah se nipat liya… but important baat toh yeh thi ki sabhi aur bhaag daud mach hui thi… idhar se acting junta voiceover ke saath practice kar rahi thi waaahan lights walein apni duniya main mast… music testing chal rahi hai… prod FA waalein idhar ek structure udhar ek backdrop khadein kiyein jaa rahein hai… lukhi junta OAT clear kar rahi hai… aur insti ki puri junta OAT gates par naare baazi kar rahi hai fir bhi in sab main Jango fatafat spray paint maarein jaa rahein hai aur grass aur pitch banatein jaa rhaein hai… woh mujhe aur mere dost sanket se kehtein hai ‘…tum dono yteh ni[ta logein? toh main stands ka kaam niptata hun kaafi bachca hua hai… but tension nahi ho jayega…’ humen turant spray paint maarna shuru kiya but yahi sochtein rahein ki 10-15 mins main kya ho jayega sab toh bikhra pada hai… but kuch der mein hi humne woh baad aankhon dekhi mehsus ki jo sirf suni thi ki sab sahi se ho jaata hai anth main… (theekh ussi tarah jis tarah tum sabhi bhi karogein kuch dino mein)… humne dekha toh maahaul kuch aur hi!!! sab set hai… lights off hai… aur voiceover box se aawaaz aati hai… “Hostel 3, 8, aur 10 prastut kartein hai….” sab shaant aur fir chahein tum voiceover box main ho… ya backstage frame pakdein hue, ya OAT ke side par next scene main enter karne waalein ho… junta ki ek ek taali par tumhara dil utna hi khush hota hai jitna ki ek ek daya par frustrate hota hai (chahein tum expect kar rahein ho ya nahi)….

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Sophie tha tech, cult aur sports kiya… PAF tak main thak gaya
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khair is saal kuch kiya tho nahi but ek cheej jaroor ki aur woh tha audience main se cheering karna… aur PAF ko analyze karna is aur se… humarein PAF ki shaam thi main aur Smit baithein the audience main… dono ne hi is baari kuch kaam nahi kiya tha… PAF chala scene khula aur jhulti hui BSE ki building dikhi… hum dono ko hi sharam aa gayi aur PAF main agein jo bhi hua hum bas planning shuru kar diyein ki isi set ko kis tarah se improve kar saktein… PAF utna achcha nahi hua jitna expect kiya tha… but ek baat toh hum dono ne thaan li thi ki aglein saal bahar nahi baithengien… kuch bhi ho Prod main toh machakar hi rahengein…

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Thirdie hun man ko nahi sukun hai… Prod main naya kuch karna hai yahi dil main junoon hai…
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PAF ki apni hi baat hai… chahein music junta ko dance junta se kitna hi pain kyun naa ho ek musical dono ko ek dusre ke prati appreciating bana deti hai… ye baat hai jab hum third year main live music par dance karne waalein the… toh practice ke liye music junta ne humein recorded piece diya tha… ab uske beats ke anusaar practice kar li thi… OAT main shift hone par yoga room main music junta ke saath live practice thi… toh shuru hue…’ ki haa hum ready hai chalo…’ music junta bhi masti ke mood main thi… normal speed se play kartein kartein tempo fast kar diya… ab dance junta bhi kam thodi naa thi beats par nacchna hai speed hi toh badha rahein ho… le 5 6 7 8… 1 2 3 4… 5 6 7 8… 1 2 3 4… bas jaise jugalbandhi chal rahi ho… finally music junta ne music roki aur taaliyan bajaane lag gayi… uss raaat ke baad kabhi music aur dance waaalon ko ek dusre ke saath practice schedule karne main conflict nahi hui naa hi kabhi crib hua…
Ab in sab mein main kya kar raha tha… bana toh Prod aur Tech ka in charge tha aur smit ke saath milkar airport ke set main escalator bana rahein the… but dancing ka chaska bhi tha aur h-11 saath main ho toh kyun naa ho… OC’s (Shintre, Udit aur Bada Pande) ne kaahan ki tu escalator bana dega time se toh tu dance karega… main bola theekh hai… saari practice ke baad finally OAT main kuch toh misunderstanding hui dram aur dance walon ki aur mera dance se aur dram se kat gaya… generally toh first year waalon ka kat ta hai… but us raat pata nahi kya hua ki jaise super human energy aa gayi aur puri raat bhar main Gateway ke set par 24 ft ki height waali pillar banatein raha… fir koi nichein dhum-C khel raha ho ya khana kha raha ho… run through chal raha ho… main subah tak kaaam karta raha… khair yeh sab toh theekh hai… but aagein aur bhi naseeb kharaab hi hona tha… wapas OAT aayein dopahar main toh dekha ki jordaaar hawa ne pura gateway hi gira diya tha… GIVE UP!! fir kya sab tayaar kiya aur humesha ki tarah end moment tak spray painting chalta raha… tabhi mujhe first year yaad aaya aur main bhi Jango style main tshirt kholkar spray-painting karne laga… fir chahein ladka ho ya ladki apne ko toh yeh tiling khatam karni… sab ready ho gaya… aur sabhi happy the ki bas is baar toh 4-5 full run-through hue hai… script mast hai acting sahi hai prod bhi mast hai choreo live music par hai kya hi galat hona hai… kisi ne par LIGHTS waalon ka toh socha hi nahi… pehla scene SPOT light main characters introduce ho rhaein hai… prod waalon ko toh pata hi nahi tha ki aisa scene bhi hai… khair prod waalon ka toh kuch kaam tha bhi nahi… hum pichein sets ke backrops aur kaalein pardein sambhaal rahein the ki ‘….daya…Daya…dAYA…dAya…’ har kism ki daya sunne main aayi us shuruwaat ki 5 min main… sab prod waalon ka give up ho gaya tha… fir PAF ktina bhi achah hua but lights aur length ke kaaran hum 2nd rahein… aur toh aur Prod main bhi haar gayein…
Awards night ki raat fir main aur smit aur saathi prod waalein (babu aur sanket) baithein the canteen par depressed… Smit bola, ‘….saala chalta hua escalator, conveyer belt… aur stud waala Gateway banayein fir bhi Trophy nahi diya… agli baar dikhatein hai… dekhna fod daalengein…’

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Fourthie hun, OC hun… Prod main toh machana hai fir shaan se kahunga PAF Alumni hun
😀
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thaana toh tha hi ki Prod main toh machana hi hai… toh humari theme meetings bhi Prod par based hoti thi… finally decide kiya tha ki Prod change hoga but traditional tarike se nahi pura ka pura center stage change hoga… special effects aur tech main train laayengein… train ki aisi aukaad hogi ki uske andar toh nachwaayengein hi balki uske upar bhi nachwaayengein.. aur toh aur station par jitne tech waali cheejein daal sakein daal dengein… je baat hit PROD hai…

shuruwaat mein mainain kaahan tha ki Prod ko dekhne ka logon ka najariyaan badalna tha… aur ismein kuch hadd tak safal bhi raha tha… last year ke PAF’s main kaafi nayein tarike ke prod ke ideas dekhne milein the… humarien saathi hostel 3 (third year walein PAF partner) ne instantaneous prod banaya tha water harvesting ke liye… aur toh aur rotating prod bhi banaya tha taaki scene ek gaav se dusrein gaav main badal jaayein… (ek high point gaya) woh prod dekhkar hi humein laga lo naya idea purana ho gaya… is ke baad hostel 5 aur 6 ne station bhi banaya train bhi bana di… ek aur idea gaya… khair hum sochein idea gaya jaise bhi gaya ho… but prod jeetna hi hai aur jis level ka prod socha hai us scale se toh dono hi PAF ke prod nahi match hotein the…

is PAF ke prod main bitayein har lamhein ko main dil ke kareeb rakhta hun… mujhe ab bhi yaad aata hai kis tarah pichlein saal PAF main prod haarne ke baad humne thaan liya tha ki Prod aisa karengein ki kisi ki aukaad hi naa ho awards ceremony main stage par aane ki… mujhe ab bhi logon ke chehrein yaad hai jab main meeting main bolta ki dekho prod mast hona hai bas 40 mess table… 60 beds…. aur 80-100 study tables lagengein… log pehlein hasne lagtein but fir kab unhein lagta ki main serious hun toh sabhi maan bhi letein… OAT main shift hue toh aisa laga jaise pura ek hostel hi bana rhaien ho… insti awards meet se log aatein jaatein dekhtein toh yahi kehtein ki kya chal rha hai be Technoholix kar rahein ho kya… kaam bahut hi mushkil tha…FA junta ko aaj bhi salaam karta hun ki utne limited logon main 2 PAF jitna FA banaya tha un bachchon ne…

finally kya hua kaise hua kaisa raha woh toh tum pata kar hi logein… thodi cheejein bata deta hun nahi toh bologein itna pakane ke baad ending hi nahi batayi… khair prod toh hit tha hi… but PAF ke famed alumni se post-PAF comments bhi awesome the aur aaj bhi jab insight par woh video dekhta hun toh unhein sunkar main happy ho jaata hun… ‘…Prod waalon ke haath kaat diye jaayein…’, ‘… prod junta hats off… mind blowing…’, ‘… pichlein 6 saal ke PAF’s mein mainain isse badhiya designed prod nahi dekha hai…’, ‘…logon ko ab bhi samajh main nahi aa raha hai ki woh prod change hua kaise…’, ‘…yeh prod banane ki aukaad chahiye…’….awards night stage par koi aur hostel nahi chada aur main wahi ro diya… 🙂

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Sabka Baap Kaun!!
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PAF aisi cheej hai jiske against koi kuch bol nahi sakta… kitna bhi kisi ko pain ho woh usse justify nahi kar sakta… fir chahiein woh tech waali junta ho jise lagein ki IIT (technology) hai naa ki IIC (culture) yaa fir cribu hostel junta jinke anusaar intras nahi hotein aur isi liye hostel junta ka interaction down hota hai… PAF sabhi cheejon ko is tarah se blend karta hai ki kisi ke paas koi reason kabhi ho hi nahi sakta ki woh confidently bol sakein ki PAF band ho jaane chahiye… balki main kahunga ki PAF sirf baap of all cultural events nahi instead PAF – BAAP of ALL EVENTS hai…

jaatein jaatein cliche dialogue bol hi deta hun… “PAF jitna tumhein deta hai naa tum PAF ko shaayad hi utna de paon”… nayein dost, nayi ideas, nayein experiences, nayein skills… PAF ke baad main ek baat keh sakta hun ki life main kuch kabhi gadbad ho jayein aur beghar ho jaon kangaal ho jaon toh tum confidently painting, structuring, bamboo, welding… jaise kaam karke gujara kar saktein ho… PAF main ek taraf odomos lagakar footer field main bamboo kaatna hota hai toh dusri taraf canteen main raat ko maggi, milkshake, rasna peena bhi hota hai… ek taraf construction sites par se chori karna hota hai toh dusri taraf MI se muft main milein “Ching noodles” ke packets ko mess main pakakar khana hota hai… ek taraf bitching aur hostel rivalry hoti hai toh dusri taraf helping nature bhi hota hai… ek taraf jhooti scripts shack par chodna sikhata hai toh dusri taraf PAF ke pichli raat par dusre group ko sutli, paint, chart rolll dena bhi sikhata hai…

aaj bhi jab main kisi ko PAF ka video dikhata hun toh log yeh nahi poochtein hai ki kya story hai kya theme hai… unke muh khulein hotein hai aankhein badi aur woh ek hi cheej poochtein hai ki tum engineering college main hi the naa… jab kabhi woh choreo woh sets woh acting woh taaliyaan aur woh opening shot prod ka dekhta hun toh ek ek romta khada ho uthta hai aur dil kehta hai ‘…chal fir se PAF karte hai…fir se OAT main din raat padein rehtein hai… suraj ki dhoop main toh chaand ke saayein main… haath aur baalon main paint lage hue, dance aur dram junta ko shaant kartein hue… canteen aur mess se wheel barrow par aayein khane ko khatein hue, prod junta par chilatein chilatein gala sukh jaane par rasna peetein hue…’ yahin kahunga ki kisi bhi chotein se chotein tarike se tum PAF ka part ban sako toh bano… fir kabhi mauka nahi milega aisi kisi bhi cheej main involve hone ka… har PAF main yahin maano ki jo bhi tum kar rahein ho (lights, music, prod, dram , dance, etc.) “… bas PAF main uske alaawa toh kuch hai hi nahi… yeh PAF agar jeetega toh bas isi ke badaulat jeetega…”

anth main yahin kahunga:

bahut kuch sikhata hai yeh…
bahut kuch deta hai yeh…
badlein main kuch nightouts leta hai yeh…
but woh bhi toh dekhon kitne saarein dost deta hai yeh….
bhalein resume points naa deta ho yeh…
but interview main ‘give a situation…’ walein sarein jawaab deta hai yeh…
mujhe tum BAAP bulatein ho… kehta hai yeh…
kintu main apne bachchon ke bagair besaahara hun pukaarta hai yeh…

kisi alumni ne theekh hi kaahan hai… “PAF humarein institute ka culture hai… kisi aur IIT main nahi hota hai PAF… kisi aur ki aukaad bhi nahi hai karne ki… isse marne mat do yaar… marne mat do…”

-Anand malpani

Growing up….

Anshul Zain aka Zen has been an alumnus of the 2007 batch of Hostel 6 involved in PAFs as:

1st year: Shanti mrigyam : danced
2nd year: Asafeer : danced and gave music
3rd year: Dastak : gave music, wrote script and directed certain parts
4th year: Kharashein: director
5th year: Numb-d : director

IIT is one place where you have a million things to do and explore. Over a stay of 4 to 5 years, you might just be able to delve into handful of them. But just ask yourself, how many of those things make you feel like you have grown up doing them. You may think it’s your grades and your CPI which make you feel learned and grown up, but trust me it is neither exhaustive nor comprehensive for most of us. And so we welcome the world of PAF.

My journey with PAF started in my first year in a way it would normally start for any other freshie. Cutting Bamboos in H6, I had no clue what everyone was up to.  All my batch mates, anyone the seniors could catch hold off from each nook and corner of the insti (read Library, Guest house, Lake side, Sameer Hill, Staff C and Road ahead H10) were working  for a thing called PAF, “aimlessly”.

Aimless, because none of us had ever experienced the spirit, the zeal or the Aura of PAF. Then one day suddenly one of my hostel seniors (maachis) came to me and asked “dude, one of our dancers have backed out, can you dance?” I said I have no idea, try meout. And to my surprise it clicked ! Within few days I was pushed as a lead dancer with Aniruddha L (my god father for dance). It felt as if I discovered a new facet of “me” and I grew up a little. That year we won the PAF and for the first time I experienced what they very often call “the taste of victory”.  I was damn happy coz I could feel my contribution, small but definitely not negligible.

Next year during PAF season, I was practicing my moves in H8 when someone asked me if I could work with the music team too. Till then I thought, what much does the music team have to do, to require such a big team and so much effort? But working with them not only gave me hands on experience, but also made me realize that every fragment of a PAF, big or small, is unique and inevitable. In a Jigsaw some pieces may seem insignificant, but it’s only when all these pieces come together correctly do we get the complete picture. A picture perfect PAF is not too different. That PAF, my perspective changed and I grew up a little more.

Third year PAF, “Dastak”, a PAF which people would remember for years to come.

“ Maati seech jo fasal uga de, wo anna dev majduur hain

Ek pathar ko jo taaj bana de, woh shilpkaar majduur hain

Ek pathar se to taaj ban jaaye, banta maaliko ka guroor hain

Ek pathar ko jo taaj bana de, ek roti se woh duur hain …”

First time I was writing scripts here and there, and directing street plays which were the essence of that PAF. When you are down the ladder, you always feel things just flow smoothly. But this was the time I saw another facet of PAFs which had disagreements, arguments, opinions and negotiations. A PAF on street plays wasn’t the safest route to glory. But one who presented the rationale of high risk high return was no fool. After much opposition from many people, the team took the risk and went ahead with the story of “Safdar Hashmi”, a Communist playwright, actor, director and theorist, chiefly associated with Street theatre in India. The last scene where Safdar is brutally murdered in front of more than 3000 people is one sight I can never forget in my life. It left all 3000 people present in OAT dumbstruck. That day I understood that it’s not just risk taking which would bear fruit but it is the perfect execution of the calculated risk which would create an impact like this. Its only when everything falls in place, only when music complements the script, the choreo supports the story, the prod transports you to the era, and the actors don’t just seem to act, that you feel a “dastak”  on your heart and go speechless. And though this has happened with many breathtaking PAFs before, I learnt the most important ingredient of the recipe called PAF, “The Execution” and needless to mention that I grew up a lot more.

Fourth year and I guess it was time to take more responsibility on my shoulders. Thanks to all my seniors specially Ishar, Gelra, Kray, Aniruddha etc. who before leaving this institute, nurtured me and gave me the confidence to be in a position to direct a complete PAF. “Kharaashein” as it was called, had a huge crew of more than 60 actors and several voice-overs. Handling them all wasn’t easy. Time had come to put down everything that I had learnt in the past four years. Sometimes when you work up the ladder, you just feel that you have an idea about every piece of the jigsaw. But it isn’t the case. Its only when the final show happens, one gets to know how ignorant one was about several things. Though I wrote scripts, directed scenes, composed music, gave more than 7 voiceovers, brainstormed for choreo and even discussed prod, trust me even till today I have no idea about when each and every costume was decided, who told whom about the black outs and prod shifts, how did everyone (even people acting at second floor of the prod) manage to get gulaal in their hands in the “holi” scene and how did my complete prod turn black in the riot scene. Mystery unsolved! It does not matter how big a role you play in making a PAF, you still be playing “a role” among many. Four years and I was still learning, I was still growing up with PAF.

Kharaashein had gone near to perfect, though we came 2nd, everyone was more than satisfied with our performance. Fifth year PAF, I was in the same shoes of a director but we delivered an average performance and lost. The one thing that this PAF taught me was that you might proudly be the Master of Technology in 5 years but you can never be sure to master PAFs coz PAF is no course. Hence it’s one thing which will always make you grow up, every time you get involved with it. It doesn’t matter whether you work with blades, bamboos, guitars or scripts – you grow.

Though winning a PAF gives you a one year license to walk around this institute with pride in your eyes, you soon realize that it will never be the success of the final day that one would cherish but it will always be those moments which you come across. As they often say “It’s not the Destination but the Journey that will be cherished!!”

Today sitting in an empty room in my flat, thinking about the time I had with PAFs, makes me miss the time when we used to pray hard to get one girls hostel in the team and then try hard to get the desired girl as our dance partner, endure nite outs at OAT, have maddu food at 5 AM, wear the same T shirt for days, sleep on the stairs under the open sky amid merciless mosquitoes, sing “dum maaro dum” when bored of composing music, worry till the last minute if the prod would really set up, re iterate the script until the SAC gates are open and cheer for our hostel on top of our voices, no matter how it shapes up on the final day.

Let me reframe my opening statement once. IIT is one place where you have a million things to do but IIT Bombay has million + 1. And that one is righty known as “The Baap of All” and its one thing which would make everyone of us proud for our entire lifetime. In the last 8 years I have witnessed all PAFs except one, feels good to be a loyal fan of PAFs. Now that the PAF time is here again, I look forward to rejuvenate my memories. Best of luck and best of fun to all the hostels. May we have a fantastic PAF season this year!!

Zen

(Anshul Jain)

It’s not about the hype!

The first of our articles in the “Down the Memory Lane ” is by an alumnus of the 2009 batch, Yash Kumar, from Hostel 6 who has been involved in 4 PAF’s as follows:

1st Year : Kharashein (Actor)
2nd Year: Numb- D (Writer/ Actor/ Voice Over)
3rd Year: 1984 (Writer/ DIrector / Voice Over)
4th Year: Najafgarh Express (Writer/ Director/ Voice Over)
This article has been written by Yash during the making of “Maaye Maati”, a PAF made a year after Yash had passed out from the institute

निस्सार दोह की किया, व्यर्थ यह रण है ।
खोखला हमारा और पार्थ का प्रण है ।
फिर भी जाने किसलिए ना हम रुकते है।
चाहता काल जिस ओर उस ओर झुकते है।
– रामधारी सिंह दिनकर

Finally I got a holiday and I got a chance to visit our own OAT, two days before the d- Day (PAF day) . One year later I was again sitting in the huge Old Aged Theatre. The same mindless talks, the same mindless arguments and the same feeling. After being an integral part of the PAFs for four years, this was the first time I was sitting in the OAT as a different entity. The talks seemed mindless, the arguments seemed mindless and the feeling seemed mindless.

I remember the day when I used to roam around in the OAT without any tension as a freshie.I got  a role which had three dialogues.I had a shop of my own.I remember I used to be thin those days.I saw Zen at work, perhaps one of the best directors I have ever seen.He was a perfectionist.Everything had to be perfect.We put up a near to perfect execution of Kharashein but were  outwitted by Deja Vu, which though not perfect exploded the OAT with the emotional connect it had with every IITian sitting there.After seeing Zen’s work I idealized him as the God Director.

Year passed by and again I was in the same OAT, this time with a different role. I wrote some parts of the script and directed the first draft of the scenes. Basically I did all the dram Ghodagiri possible. I remember I was growing fat and my hair had grown long (long compared to what I normally have). Once again I saw the God director Zen at work, this time doing everything almost single- handedly.So Numb- D was produced. And then I realized that even Gods make mistakes. We presented a dismal performance but saved ourselves from being last .


One more year passed and this time I was in the shoes of writer and director. Simmi, Snehil, Preet, Mohan and Myself- although all of us inexperienced in the department of PAF, we formed an energetic team which later proved to be strong enough to beat everyone in the game. My last years’ experience had left me too afraid to go with off- track themes. So after lots of debate on some theme on some blind men’s world, we chose the safe way of choosing a social issue. Here was born “1984” . I still dont know how everything just happened and we won the PAF. The prod junta put up an exceptional piece of beauty- the magnificent Golden Temple. We won the PAF. It was like madness. We won the best script. We won it. We won it.

One more year passed and this time I and Snehil had formed an invincible team which later turned out to be vincible. I thought, over the years I had cracked the code to success. I knew everything. How to create effect in scenes without using much prod, how to make transitions perfect, how to make sure that lights don’t fall on the place where people are leaving after the scene, how music should be used in between scenes to succumb “daya” in the audience. I knew everything. On the day of my final PAF “Najafgarh Express” , I saw perhaps the most beautiful scene I had scene in any PAF. Two red lights falling from the OAT trusses to a small stage made in front. CC playing his melodious flute. I still remember the dialogues. It sounded something like
” ek arsa beet gaya ghar se nikle hue…”

At the time when I was thinking it to be the most beautiful scene I had ever created, I could hear tons of “daya” from the audience. Perhaps my taste of beauty had changed. The PAF failed to make any impact and lost in the wost possible manner. Perhaps I was trying to discover the “Arts” in our Performing Arts Festival. Perhaps I didnt know anything. Perhaps…… Well it left me so baff led that I dont even have its video/ pic to post now.

Coming back to this day, when now I am faraway to the phenomenon that remained closest to my heart for more than three years. Sleeping in the OAT was good. The dew was falling and it was cold. I enjoyed to see Snehil and Simmi so chilled out. Perhaps it was the fifth year. Perhaps I would also have been the same had I been in my fifth year. When you see too many successes and failure on your way, you realize the futility of successes and failures. You realize that the hype around the successes and failures is just a mirage in front of our eyes. You realize that its the process that matters a lot than the performance. There is no D- day. We humans have a trait. We know that everything is worthless, yet we fight. We analyze, we think, we preview and we review. We try to find why we lost, why we won. Success gives us confidence to conquer it all and failure gives us perseverance to bear it all. None is less important than the other. After all what the name was whether “Najafgarh” or “1984” its immaterial. Successes and failures come in a cycle. Where your cycle ends, whether on success or on failure is just a matter of cosmic randomness.

I still feel blessed that in all these cycles, I gained a lot from the process. The process taught me that its the process that is important. Perhaps someone said correctly, the journey is much more important than the end. We are into our own journeys seeking the end, but the end only knows where the end lies.

– Yash Kumar


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