Considered to be one of the most prestigious inter-college events in the state,Malhar,which is organised by St Xavier’s College in Mumbai,has always been a sight to behold for any college-going student. Held on from August 17 to 19,the festival saw a footfall of over 20,000 students from colleges across India this year. But what made it special for the city was the fact that Fergusson College was the overall winner in the outstation category,outperforming the likes of Symbiosis and Delhi University at the festival.
With a contingent of 50 participants,Fergusson College swept the competitions,scoring top positions on the board in 11 competitions. Nine first place awards and two runners-up awards out of a total of 30 competitions put them on the top of the score board,comfortably clearing closest rival Symbiosis Law School. They placed first in outstation in the English Drama,Classical Dance and General Quiz,among others.
Victorious,that’s Malhar in one word, says contingent leader Tanay Apte,adding,Participants had practiced till they could do it asleep,and we ensured that they were comfortable and having fun. We’d promised the cultural head that we’d come home with the trophy and we did.
In a first,Malhar brought transparency into the marking system,releasing the marks on a notice board for every competition. We knew we were leading the scores,but the organisers refused to tell us we had won the trophy,preferring the suspense, says Apte. The trophy was awarded to the contingent leader and his assistants late on the evening of August 19,who took it back to an unsuspecting contingent. The hotel where we were staying was in complete chaos when we returned. The first floor went mad and could possibly have been heard back at Xaviers, grins Apte.
After a victory breakfast at Cafe Mondegar,the team returned to Pune to exult in their victory. The contingent paraded the trophy around the college campus,and then handed it over to the Principal,in whose office it now rests, Apte continues. This is the first time that the Malhar trophy has come to Pune in the 34 years of the fest’s existence. It is Fergusson College’s first major win in over 3 years.