Last weekend I was at IIT to meet hubby. It was the perfect time to be there since Saarang, the annual Cultural fest of IIT was on.

I reached Chennai at around 5am. One thing that surprises me about Chennai is that even at the wee hours of morning, when it's still dark, you will find womenfolk out in public. Old grandmas going to temple, the flower sellers busy with their day's work, women jogging near the beach, college girls going for tuition. It's a relief for the lone woman travelers. For me, the progressiveness of a city depends on how safe it's for a woman to travel alone there. In Bangalore, you will see lots of young crowd(girls) out in public even at midnight. But early mornings, the streets are almost deserted. In Chennai, you can see lots of ordinary women, the lower and middle class women out in public space, come midnight or dawn. That's what I love about Chennai..

IIT is carved out of Guindy National forest and hence is a botanist's delight. It's like a campus inside forest, with the canopy of gigantic trees, lakes and mangroves sprawling the campus. Spotted deers, black bucks, monkeys and migratory birds throng the place, unhindered by human presence.

The campus is an enchanting place. I love cycling through the campus roads sheltered by dense canopy of age-old trees on either side, stopping occasionally to watch out for a deer or black buck.. I love taking a night stroll in the huge windy stadium with M, chattering away under starry skies, watching fitness freaks jogging and sweating it out, kids playing in the sand as their parents keep a watchful eye. I love going to the Open Air theater on weekends, watch the movie/show being screened, sitting in the open air gallery cosily hugging M. I love sitting at campus Cafe Coffee Day at midnight, sip a hot cuppa of coffee, devour a slice of yummy walnut brownie, relax and chat with M till 1 am when they finally close down CCD.

But this time, IIT was looking different, all decked up for Saarang 2010, bustling with the young crowd, all colourful, vibrant and noisy. I had already missed the 1st day of Saarang. On the 2nd day, we went to watch hip-hop and rock contests. Watched hip-hop for some time and it looked like something straight out of a 'Step Up' movie. At the rock show, it was a totally freaked out, bizarre crowd, guys with long hair, tattoos and few foreigners all head banging to the groovy beats. I was watching headbanging live for the first time. All this while, I had thought, headbanging was just a literal term.. hehee..I feel so outdated.. And my neck hurts  just by watching them bang their heads at such high frequency. Then we ventured out to the food stall to have mouth melting homemade kulfis. We missed out on the music show, since both of us were tired and returned to M's quarters.

On 3rd day, I attended pottery workshop and tried my hands at clay art. The instructor taught me how to knead the clay, place it on potters wheel and shape it out. Even tried making concentric ring design to my pot using a stick..HURRAYYY!!!! And here it is..

 I tried modeling a human face out of clay, but that was a total disaster, with people misinterpreting it for a devil with popped out eyes and crooked nose...Sigh...The face painting contest was going on. We watched the burst of colours for a while and then moved on to Fashion Show, which had brilliant shows from NIFT and few others. I guess NIFT was inspired by Priyanka Chopras "What's your Rashee". They had designed dresses for 12 girls each of a different sunsign and 3 guys who formed the trinity (Brahma,Vishnu,Siva).

 That night, it was the much awaited Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy show at the Open Air Amphitheater. The place was tightly packed with over 10,000 enthusiastic fans. Sat in the crowded theater with M's friends and had a rocking time, dancing and screaming to Shankar Mahadevan's pulsating music. The whole stadium turned frenzy with Koi Kahe, Pretty Woman, Rock On, Mitwaa and many others.. At one stage when Shankar sang Taare Zameen Par, the whole crowd switched on their mobile and started waving it in the dark stadium which gave the feeling that the star studded sky was down on earth.. Really taare zameen par. I had an adrenaline blast after a really long time!!!! The final day we didn't attend much other than the Salsa workshop, which me and M enjoyed to the core.

That was an eventful weekend. It rekindled the dormant memories of my college days, the cultural fest, catcalls, screaming and the frenzied dancing...Hats off Saarang 2010!!!!