It remains the biggest mystery of all. How and why does the annual festival of Vibes turn into such a big success every time, that too for over 20 years? Even when it’s pouring and Kolkata is deluged into becoming another Venice (we hosted it in July for a few years) and also when exams are knocking at the doors of many schools, and that’s November.

Let’s check out some of the possibilities. It is probably due to the spontaneous warmth it generates for two whole days in one and all, participant or otherwise. For the former, it’s the thrill of performing on Kolkata’s biggest platform. For the audience, it translates into being mesmerized by stupendous performances in ever so many events: dance, drama, debate, quiz, music, painting, science, and more.

Each and every event finds pride of place in every young talented heart. But let’s rewind to the beginning. Inaugurated by Ravindra Kumar, Editor and Managing Director, The Statesman on 4 November, Vibes shot off to a brilliant start with a telling performance by the children of Mentaid, who first danced beautifully and then gave a musical recital. Day One events followed in quick succession.

Dance, One Minute to Fame, Quiz, MusicKazam were all held onstage while Sit and Draw, Face Painting, Tshirt Painting and Gallery took place offstage. Day Two comprised Debate, Drama and Fashion Show for onstage while Eureka and Science projects were held offstage. The highly awaited Prize Distribution ceremony saw winners bag the coveted trophies. Oindrila Gupta of St Joseph and Mary’s School was presented the Sukanya Sengupta Rolling Trophy for Best Voices Coordinator 2016 – 2017, Saronya Lal Mukherjee from South Point High School won the Best Writer Voices Award for 2016 – 2017, while Sayan Chandra of St Thomas’ Boys School was the Special Mention Voices Coordinator 2016 – 2017 and Sutanu Bhattacharya of Hindu School, Special Mention Voices Writer 2016 – 2017. The curtains of the event drew to a close with a pounding rock performance by Kolkata band Eeshaan.

Lead vocalist and the band leader Sayon Mitra confessed right in the beginning about his own connect with Vibes: he had been a participant for music at Vibes in 1998! Can it get any better? It did. I did not spot one unhappy or frowning face in those two days. That’s the magic of Vibes! “Thank you” to all the schools, their principals, teachers and students for their wholehearted support and for helping make Vibes a success.

We thank all the sponsors for their support and our eminent judges for taking out time to encourage and guide the participants. So go ahead and relive the magic in this special edition of Voices.

God bless,

(Gopali Bandyopadhyay)

Day 1 (Onstage)

Rhythmic beats

Rhythm N Hues ~ Dance

The inexplicably charming Rhythm n Hues of Vibes, 2017 booming with life and vibrancy, truly captured the hearts of the audience with its plethora of creative talents. The stage boomed with lights, sounds and music as the zestful dancers put up enthralling performances with zeal and enthusiasm.

Though all the schools were equally intent on putting up their best on the stage, needless to say, some of them deserve special mention. While BDM International hosted a beautiful traditional dance based on a devotional song centering the mythological Hindu God, Lord Shiva, DPS Joka amazed everyone with the mind-blowing depiction of natural calamities through dance. They portrayed the horrifying devastation caused by natural disasters and suggested ways to mitigate the losses un case of such destruction, all through their dance postures.

The performance put up by Gokhale Memorial left the audience spellbound in awe as the auditorium reverberated with their music and dance. They brought to life the soul of charm and elegance from the brink of heaven, through their regal graceful moves. Kalyani Central Model School elucidated a powerful item of Kathak through their dance on a Raga-yoga based song while Lion’s Calcutta Greater Vidya Mandir enthralled everyone with their sweet, impressive a dance based on the Rabindra Sangeet ‘Mor Bhabonare’.

St. Joseph and Mary’s beautifully portrayed the egregious effects of drug abuse and how drugs tend to take control of the mind of youngsters, in this age. The hip-hop songs and the gymnastic feats showcased by the Western and fusion dancers added flavour to Rhythm n Hues, turning it into a truly unique and memorable event.

Scintillating session

Brainstorm ~ Quiz

Quizzers faced an enthralling, scintillating challenge at the Brainstorm with Quizmaster Parnab’s mind-boggling puzzles and innovative rounds of astounding questions. The students also gained novel experiences through brain-wracking audio-visual rounds. Interesting questions were posed like “Which city is called the Saffron City of India?” Of course, the answer was Pampore, located in Srinagar. Or did you know, the centenary of which famous treated is being celebrated this year? It is the Balfour Treaty of 1917, which gave birth to Israel.

How many of you did know that the only Indian and the 1st Asian to score a hat-trick in the Olympics was Neville D’ Souza? Or that Aurangzeb’s daughter who dared to speak against him when castigated by her father for wearing diaphanous attire was none other than Zebunnisa? The visual rounds also displayed scenes from movies, symbols, flags and personalities, over a wide range of topics, old and recent.

An interesting scene grabbed the attention of all, which depicted a young Prime Minister apologising for in a Parliamentary Session. The incident for which he had to apologise was the disreputed Komagata maru Incident!

Above all, Brainstorm was an intoxicating and charming experience for all quizzers which shall no doubt aid in uplifting the intellectual level of the students and remain as a cherished memory with them forever!

Get famous!

One Minute to Fame

‘One Minute To Fame’ this year brought to light some real bright talents from schools far and wide. They truly rocked the stage with their marvellous feats, music, recitation and even, believe it or not, sculpture. The performances put up by the tiny tots were perhaps the most amazing wonders of all. The youngest performer was from Sishu Patha Bhavan, who recited a small hilarious anecdote, on animals, like a poem.

His sweet voice and unnerved steadiness, stole the hearts of all! Awe-inspiring music played by a few students set the stage on fire, with an outburst of creativity! CMS Barrackpore played music on synthesiser, DPS Joka played guitar while South Point chose to play keyboard and each one of them were keen to perfect their art in their own way.

However, a rare talent was on display when a student of Indus Valley World School played an unusual musical instrument, South African in origin, known as Djembe. Another young performer, a kid from Mount Litera stupefied everyone by playing “Yeh Apna Dil Toh Awara” on a mouth-organ! A charming piece of sculpture was engraved on a piece of chalk by a student from Kalyani Central Model School while the participant from Gokhale Memorial captivated the audience with an astounding karate performance.

Surpassing all limits, the show really proved the essence of one minute in our lives! If they can work miracles in just one minute, imagine what wonders we could do had we utilised every minute of our lives.

Great musical journey

Muzikazam ~ solo and band

Music is something that brings a flow of harmony and helps us to express our feelings via rhythm and beats. It was evident from the performance by Sayantani Mondal from Kalyani Central Model School, who won every heart with her playback perfect voice for the song “Mahi Ve”.

Adding to the enthusiasm, there were solo performances by the students from Don Bosco, Bandel, DPS, Joka, Kalyani Public School, St. Joseph and Mary’s school, Ashoka Hall, Sakhawat Memorial Girls’ School and Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School. Besides solo, a group performance by the girls of Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School presented a beautiful, flawless musical journey with self-composed medley of songs and mesmerising background music.

Day 1 (Offstage)

Art extravaganza

True art is like a kite waiting to ride the winds. It emerges from the depth of one’s being and takes flight like the majestic phoenix; to brighten up the world, a minute at a time. The beautiful gallery consisted of paintings, handicrafts, photography and sculptures. The mesmerising pictures of all the talented artists were a treat for the eye. ‘A memorable event of your life’ was the theme for the senior participants who had enrolled themselves in the sit and draw competition. The juniors also didn’t back down and gave the judges a hard time for selecting the winners. Extreme efforts were visible when the participants of face painting and T-shirt painting battled against the clock to finish their masterpieces. A lot of effort and good communication made Vibes a grand success.

(Oindrila Gupta, Coordinator, Class XII, Utsav Jain, Ex-coordinator, St. Joseph and Mary’s School)

Day 2 (Onstage)

Opinions stand strong

SpeakOut ~ Debate

Exuberance was natural for the schools which cleared the prelims and made a place for themselves in the Vibes. However, this complacence did not the smear the excellence of the bold speakers who cast strong arguments and stood by their stance vehemently in favour of their stance at ‘SpeakOut’. The motion of the debate “We have lost our communication skills due to social media” is indeed a controversial topic today. Speakers speaking for the motion stressed on the digitalisation of life through technology and disappearance of human emotions.

Gokhale Memorial spoke on the suicidal tendencies lurking on youngsters and the importance of interacting with life. GSS argued that social media has created an illusionary world, killing the time we could spend for our loved ones, while Modern English Academy and St. Xaviers Collegiate School highlighted the vanishing beauty of linguistic expressions and ushering in of a virtual space without love, care or warmth.

Speakers against the motion highlighted how social media aids in breaking all barriers of language and country and helped in uniting people in this era of globalisation. Army Public School pointed out that social media has created innovative paths for socially awkward people to communicate.

Many others like Modern English Academy also argued that talented artists often find a way to expose their innovative skills through social media which helps to establish them in their fields of interest.

Collage of theatrical masterpieces

All the World’s a Stage ~ Drama

The drama event was truly a show of wondrous talents in the limelight. It brought forth master artists and creative minds from far and wide, adding elegance and spirit to the charm of the Vibes. The enthusiasm, zeal and vigour shown by the young school students to put up their best before the eyes of the audience were beyond articulation.

A few schools like Kalyani Public School who chose to enact “Tintin, Tenali Rama, Cindrella and Kakababu stranded on an Island” put up a hilarious play, charming the audience with their scintillating acting skills. However, Methodist School Dankuni amazed and mesmerised one and all by their unique style of presenting the drama through small rhymes, woven into songs. It was an unusually creative endeavour which turned their performance an exotic one.

Ashoka Hall portrayed the conflict of ideas between the old generation and the new and stressed on the value of originality ion our lives. Gokale Memorial, on the other hand, focused on the need to understand and love life, which we tend to ignore in our daily rush, through their story “Jibon Tomar Jonyo”.

The hopes, aspirations and regrets of humanity lying deep in us, found articulation through their play. Transcending all trivia, and soaring with the spirit of youth, “All the World’s A Stage” stood out with its grandeur and brilliance!

Show of Elegance

Dress To Impress ~ Fashion Show

Just like every year, The Statesman Voices Vibes boomed with extravaganza this year, too. ‘Dress to Impress’, was simply overwhelming. Altogether nine schools participated in the show and made the crowd go rock-n-roll in joy. The models walked on the stage with grace. The theme for this year was ‘Bollywood in the 1990s. The most vibrant were the students of Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School. Schools such as Patha Bhaban, Mansur Habibullah Memorial School, Methodist High School, National English School and C.M.S were stunning.

However, the dressdesigning of Methodist School, Dankuni,was done by their students, which made them occupy a special place in our hearts with its artistic creativity and novelty in fashion designing. A unique scene was observed when the students of Kalyani Public School put forward a fatherdaughter-duo with their studentmodels. Cheers from the crowd made the event lively and mesmerising.

(Oishee Pattanayak, Coordinator, Class XII, Belda Gangadhar Academy)

Day 2 Offstage

Field of Science

Eureka ~ Science Project

Ten schools with four students each participated in Eureka, science project event. They eloquently elaborated their works to the honourable judges and also to the people who came to visit their ‘ideas’. WWA Cossipore made a nice presentation of Piezzo power, with which they described ways to create energy from a crowd free of cost. Then, there was another great project by the budding scientists of Kalyani public School.

They made an osmotic power plant, where the water level, they showed, rose due to reverse-osmosis and then turbine was rotated on water and energy was created. They indeed made the judges contented with their work. BDM too made a nice electricity-generation project, which they said could be used in irrigation system, and that was stunningly amazing. Other schools did well too.

Delhi Public School (Joka), who made a model of eco-village did well elaboration. Then there were Methodist High School, who created a solar panel water tank, C.G.H.S who made a vacuum cleaner also made good project works. St Joseph & Mary’s School made a befitting Sewage Treatment Plant, which all the people present there loved, and it made the judges, too, happy. Having all the schoolsmade such impressive projects, it was not very easy to choose the winner.

(Oishi Pattanayak, Coordinator, Class XII, Belda Gangadhar Academy Sayan Chandra, Coordinator, Class XII, St Thomas’ Boys’ School, Kidderpore)