The English Academy celebrated Literaria, its annual cultural festival, on October 28, 2017. Countless hours of deliberation, planning, and execution through meetings and sessions on behalf of the Academy members culminated in the grand success of the event which has, over the years, become inextricably interlinked with English department.
A total of 12 colleges from all over Kolkata participated in Literaria 2017 while the online events also featured outstation institutions including the likes of Christ University, Bangalore; Symbiosis College, Pune; Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; among others. Mahabir Jewellers and Koshe Kosha were the leading sponsors for the day long extravaganza, which was based on the concept of horror, aptly summed up in the tagline- “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes” The Fr. Depelchin Auditorium, the venue for the onstage events of Literaria, was appropriately decked out to evoke a sense of palpable spookiness in keeping with the theme.
The proceedings got underway with the welcome address by Dr. Chandrani Biswas, Deputy President of the English Academy, and the secretarial speech by Anushua Banerjee, before the inauguration ceremony officially kicked off Literaria 2017. A musical medley followed shortly after providing a wonderfully aesthetic prelude to the main events. As always, Literaria comprised a catalogue of intriguing contests that focused not only on the creativity of the participants, but also on their ability to display other essential facets like logical thinking, communicative prowess, and collective coordination. “Frisson” or JAM gave competitors the scope to dazzle the audience with their speaking skills whereas “Poe-sy” saw aspiring poets recite captivating pieces in a bid to outshine one another. Students were well and truly “dressed to kill” as part of “Cosplay” where they came up with interesting approximations of renowned literary characters. The infamous Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter was a popular choice among the performers, some of whom depicted other unforgettable characters like the protagonists of Twilight, and Heath Ledger’s signature avatar, the Joker. “The Usual Suspects” put to test the puzzle solving skills of budding “detectives” as they racked their brains to identify stellar names like Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple from a list of perplexing clues besides engaging in other similarly challenging riddles. Team work was the order of the day for “Taboo” where teammates had to exercise their communication capabilities to the core, as well as the literary quiz or “Brain Brew”, which was masterfully divided into a series of diverse rounds dealing with multiple aspects of literature and popular culture. A fitting finale to Literaria came in the form of a riveting play called “Post-Mortem”, an in-house production that portrayed the evils and disillusionment associated with modern society by resorting to clever satire and ironic humour.
In tandem with the onstage competitions, several offstage events were also on offer at the Rohinton Kapadia Hall for students to hone their artistic skills. “Inkarnate” or Creative Writing provided talented writers the chance to wield their wizardry with words in one of three categories- poetry, fiction, or micro fiction; “Fade Out”, also known as Black-out Poetry, portrayed how less is more by asking participants to compose their verses from a limited assortment of words; precision and innovation were the keys in book cover designing, which rounded off the set of offstage interactions. The online events for Literaria also involved a plethora of fun challenges such as meme-making, comic strip making, short film making, photography, and doodling. Former students and professors, both internal and external, helped out with the judgement and evaluation of all the competitive events.
As far as the results were concerned, it was the hosts who came out on top by virtue of securing top honours in multiple events to emerge as the overall winners. Jadavpur University and Loreto College also performed commendably claiming numerous laurels in the process. Following the prize distribution ceremony, an emotional and heartfelt vote of thanks from Sambit Ganguly, Assistant Secretary of the English Academy, concluded the festival and brought the curtain down on yet another fascinating instalment of Literaria.