Celebrating Creativity and Humanity : Roots 2019
NITR hosted some of the most accomplished artists of different art forms and a plethora of exhibitions of curated artwork, by various clubs of NITR , under the banner of Roots 3.0, from March 8th - 10th, 2019.
Roots is a one of its kind creative confluence which debuted in 2017. This year the event came with another promise of insightful guest lectures and creative workshops. The confluence was allotted a total budget of 3.5 lakhs. This edition of Roots was characterised by amazing talk sessions and workshops. The highlight of the confluence was the talk by Meera Parida who spoke about the socio/economic status of the transgender community.
The organising team:
This year roots evolved into a better and bigger event. First time in the past three years, Roots had a defined parent management team comprising of eight daughter teams: content, design, event management, guest hospitality, publicity, technical, sponsorships, bookings and permissions all under the guidance of three managers: N Vivek Kumar, Suyash Ratn Pandey and Sanatan Panda.
The teams put commendable efforts for better publicity and better output for the Roots audience.
Publicity and pre-Roots events:
The publicity of the fest was prioritised as Roots was trying to reach out to other institutes beyond NITR in and around Rourkela. However, the participation from outside institutes remained pretty less.
A number of pre-Roots events were also organised including the screening of two award-winning films and an open-mic session. Creative ways of publicity were adopted like digital flexes were put up using projectors alongside the printed flexes. Also, there was a series of throwback posts of the previous edition of Roots posted religiously on the newly created Instagram page.
The opening ceremony was held in the BM/BT parking at 6.00 PM with the Director Dr Animesh Biswas, SAC president Prof. S Chakrabarty, SAC Officer and the Guest of honour Mr Akram Ansari accentuating the evening.
The opening of Roots 3.0 was graced by the birth of a very new event Lumiére hosted by the cinematics club.
Lumiére is an initiative taken up by the Cinematics club, an idea which the cinematics people fondly referred to as “something like the Maktub of Roots”.
The event started at around 7.00 PM after the opening ceremony of Roots 3.0. The venue was full of enthusiastic faces: the cinematics folk and the college crowd. Moreover, the ambience of the set-up, the poster designed for the event were apt to the choice of the theme: Lumiére literally means light.
The event was delayed by half an hour, it came to be wrapped up by 9.30 PM.
A total of ten short films were screened. Every short film was 3-10 minutes long, depicting abstract ideas or sublime scenes, human emotions, and social issues to which NITR populace could relate to.
The session was interactive and good-humoured and the attendees received amazing hospitality.
Waheeb Rasheed, the president of Cinematics club told MM:
We had been planning for Lumiére for months and I imagined many possible ways of how it would turn out but the original setup is actually prettier from whatever I could have imagined. This Lumiére was amazing, I would want this ritual to go on, I would want to see Lumiére happen every year.
Saumya Suneja, an onlooker commented--
Lumiére was an amazing experience. The way the speakers talked, the short films, their experiences, and the vibe at that place just glued me there. The efforts by the whole cinematics team were outstanding especially the lanterns in the end. It couldn't have been better.
Day two: 9th March 2019
Abhishek Mishra’s session on design and psychology
Psychology is the study of human behaviour and human behaviour affects all that we do. From how we make split-second decisions about what to buy to more thoughtful ones like where to invest or which way to go about doing a thing, the field of psychology makes us understand each one of these daily occurrences in a whole new light.
Abhishek Mishra who is a product designer at Swiggy gave a talk about the various psychological principle that goes into designing a product. Starting with concepts like social proofing and decision paralysis, He led us through real life examples explaining the various concepts to people taking cues from the audience and giving interesting analogies picked up from the way we go about doing things in our lives. One of the examples that he gave of decision paralysis was that of the Amazon product page where the last two spaces at the end of the list are left blank intentionally to give a feel of completeness and avoid decision fatigue. This was merely one of the anecdotes from the scores that he told in total- things like analysis paralysis. Intermittent reinforcement and other psychological concepts were aptly explained while clearing all the doubts of the audience. In the end, the audience was asked to choose a number based upon which they were divided into groups, with the groups having to come to solve the problem statement which was to design a fitness/diet/anti-smoking app which incentivises users using the concepts explained earlier. This was a big hit amongst the attendees who were eager to present their ideas and explain the rationale behind it. Abhishek Mishra, at the end of the session, commented
It was humbling to be back here and speak to all the new faces. Now is a great time to be a creator given the availability of learning resources online. Find your passion, then --- work hard, fail, learn, repeat.
Introduction to Modern acting: workshop by Debananda Nayak
The session started at 2:30 PM at the TIIR auditorium. Debananda Nayak, the speaker for this workshop, is an eminent theatre and film director and a recipient of the National Award. He started the workshop by discussing the basic elements of acting, discussing as to what was acting and other fundamental questions like who makes a good actor?
He pointed out how nowadays acting is more prevalent on screen than in theatres, notwithstanding the fact that a Theatre has its essence and is one of the oldest forms of acting, originating from Greece.
He had brought with him a small notebook, in which he had written different grammatical forms of the word 'acting' and what it means. Initially, it seemed he was just reading out a dictionary but when he joined the dots, it became a beautiful definition.
He told the audience that drama is subjective. An actor is a person who becomes someone else, accepts the story of the character as his/her own. The ability to transform the lie to truth, or to transform into a different character altogether is what he defined acting to be. He pointed out the dynamics associated with acting, not only makeup and costume, a lot of factors affected it. He spoke about modern acting, which incorporates technology.
Perspective is very necessary. A person may appear different from different angles and profiles" like Where you are standing on the stage? the pace of dialogue delivery and stress on emotions.
The workshop was attended by a number of students who were enthusiastic about acting or drama, this population making a total of 37 participants. The session lasted until 5:45 PM.
Socio-Economic status of the transgender community- A talk by Meera Parida
The session started with the story of a man who behaved like a woman and wanted to live her life as a woman. She had to struggle for living in society just because of a different choice of sexuality. The story of Meera Parida, president of Sakha CBO was overwhelming. She hails from a very poor family from Odisha. Throughout her life, she had to bear derogatory remarks about her choice of sexuality. She had always been a hard worker but had to compromise on a decent payment for any of the professions she indulged in let aside the disparaging comments from her colleagues. But over the years with her hard work and dedication, she has fought for transgender rights. Also, she represented the LGBT community of India in Washington DC.
Her talk mostly dealt with the social and economic situation of transgender in our community which she believed could only be improved by providing education facilities to the transgender kids and proper guidance.
Her colleagues also spoke about the related discrimination the transgender people face in the economic and social spheres of society.
The talk session could have ended there but the guest(s) had realised that this could be a great opportunity for the students to perceive beyond the generic definition of transgender.
Out of all the questions, one of the most important questions was: what do you identify yourself as, a transgender or a woman? To which she replied, “I identify myself as a transgender but when I am with my husband I like to be a woman.”
Another girl asked that two of her friends are in the phase of accepting their identity as a transgender but they don’t want to be identified as “kinnar”, so would the transgender community help them. To this, she affirmed positively without even a blink.
Roots 3.0 organised a two day dance workshop “Introduction to Hip-Hop Freestyle” under the mentorship of Rahul Singh. The workshop was attended by the members of the dance clubs of the institute as well as students outside of the dance clubs. Also, Tamaron organised a photo walk where the enthusiastic photographers got to know and use the high focussing lenses.
Day three: 10th March 2019
Taking poetry from page to stage- Mariyam Saigal
A third-year student of psychology, a 21-year-old girl, Muslim, hijabi, opening the session with a poem on “An open letter to Islamic terrorists”-yes, that is Mariyam Saigal for you.
Her talk session started at 10.15 AM on 10th March at the Mechanical Seminar Hall.
The guest reached the venue way before the audience had settled, only because she wanted to feel the ambience and make it her own. The session comprised of an introduction to slam/spoken word poetry, the types of poetry and how to perform a piece of poetry on stage. Just to make sure that the session doesn’t feel monotonous, she showed videos to the audience, some of them belonging to her favourites list. The session turned out to be so interactive that even the most introverted of the participants came out with amazing scribbles and performed on the stage. Apart from certain technicalities she spoke about, there was something else to learn from her: how to be contented with your piece of work, no matter what someone feels about it. Also, how to recognise good work and how to own your bad work without being apologetic.
The session had some minor glitches but it didn’t disturb the smooth conduction of the event. The session was followed by the handing over of memento to the guest, and later, a usual session of autographs and photographs.
Design through constraints: Swapnil Joshi
The session started at 1:30 PM on 10th March at TIIR auditorium. With the guest, Mr Swapnil Joshi introducing the topic: Design Through Constraints.
Mr Swapnil Joshi is the Lead Design of Elephant Design India Pvt. Ltd.. He has been in this field of designing for eight years.
His talk included subjects like how to design, the difference between design and arts and how to get the best design with constraints.
Design constraints include accessibility constraints like constraints of safety, money, space, beauty, durability.
He explained the concept of using Japanese Haiku poetry, which has a word limit constraint. The poetry is written in three lines with the word pattern of 5-7-5 or 3-5-3 words in each line.
He also talked about plezmo core kit which contains modules which can be used to model toys aka Interactive toys. For example, kids can get the feeling of Harry Potter’s spell “Wingardium leviosa” and objects flying or lighting a lamp using motion just like the spell Lumos
At the end of the session, the participants were given an A3 size sheet and were asked to Sketch their design ideas in a time constraint of half an hour. The task was to come up with an idea that extends the usage of the wand and extend the wand functionality.
Using social media to build your career: Unmesh Dinda
Umesh Dinda started out with an anecdote about his wallpaper being grey to prevent visual constancy. He started by giving tips on how to leverage social media. He expressed:
Have your social media at the forefront- when something is engaging or inspirational you can share it.
Talk about moments that people want to capture.
Chaining effect in social media.
He talked about How one can use social media and measure its efficacy? He said
You can measure the amount of money a person. A piece of practical advice. All of the billionaires have something in common. They love what they’re doing.
Now you have to find your gift. Not your talent. You need to find a way to reach a massive amount of people and fulfil their wants. Then he quoted, If you can help enough people get what they want, you will get whatever you want. - Zig Ziglar. He further said
You increase the value that you add. If you are valuable that’s all that matters. If you’re adding value you will get attention.
He mentioned the data point of the vast majority of lottery winners ending up poor because they don’t know how to manage money? Then he suggested that “Become someone who knows how to handle money. Become a person of value. You shouldn’t build your career based on what you get but what you can become so that If you lose all your followers you can build it quickly again. Make sure that you build a brand and not an audience. That’s the case with most wealthy people. They can rebuild quickly from scratch. He further talked about gift vs talent and how the discovery each is a surprising process. He mentioned the two key values required to succeed: Adding Value and consistency. He reiterated the importance of giving before asking, and when you do ask, do so politely and without tricking or forcing them. The way you do it is to work on it is to be consistent with it. Even if you’re doing one video a week. Then make sure that you get your content up there regularly. He closed the session with this quote “Never trick people into something unless you’re a magician. Be authentic in whatever you do. Never lose trust” which was followed by a Q&A which reiterated most of the same talking points albeit differently.
The Music Industry and the Insides of How it Works: Arul Kacker
The talk session of Mr Arul Kacker was held in the TIIR auditorium on 10th March. It dealt with the music industry and the multiple career options associated with the industry.
The talk started at around 6.30 PM with the guest telling about the history of music as to how people over the generations have expected the end of evolution in the music industry but instead, each decade has come up with advancement in the genres and the business of music. He talked about how people have started accepting music from different cultures. Indian folk has started listening to a variety of music besides Bollywood music. He discussed all the possibilities of a career choice in the music industry which are beyond the ge, since, an artist requires a manager, booking agent, lawyer, and PR agent.
Mr Arul Kacker himself is a manager besides being a producer. The talk turned out to be meticulous and informative. The talk was followed by a question-answer session in which the students enthusiastic about music flustered the guest with questions to which he patiently answered.
The talk came to an end with Mr Unmesh Dinda handing over the memento to the guest.
With the end of this session, the confluence came to an end. The vote of thanks was given on behalf of the whole team.
Besides the guests’ lectures and workshops, there was an collaboration of Roots 3.0 with The Astro Club which came up with its “Night sky star gazing” session. The ongoing photography exhibition VIVID was a happy co-incidence because all the visiting artists/guests could enjoy the wonderful and aesthetic photographs.
Roots 3.0 metamorphosed into a better version owing to a good management and a generous increase in the SAC budget. The success of such an event could be indebted to the enthusiastic students willing to attend workshops and even more enthusiastic artists willing to impart knowledge.
A fact that distinguishes Roots from the rest is the hospitality and warmth it manifests towards its guests.