November, 2015

An evening to remember at the Friends of YIF Dinner

Through a month of toil and tussle and balancing classes, assignments, exams and insomnia, the Fellows put their heart and soul into making it a memorable evening

By Vidya Padmanabhan

The legacy of the Young India Fellowship has been carried forward for the past five years. Each year, Fellows show their gratitude to predecessors, faculty, founders and staff at Ashoka University by showcasing their talent and putting up a great show. The Friends of YIF Dinner is a tradition that has been a part of the Fellowship since its inception, and each year, the family only gets larger, happier and warmer. The evening of November 14th was yet another friendly dinner organised by Fellows of the batch of 2016. It was dedicated to the theme of ‘Love’, since everything in this universe is an act of collaboration and love.

Through a month of toil and tussle and balancing classes, assignments, exams and insomnia, the Fellows put their heart and soul into making it a memorable evening. All the efforts paid off as the large audience of over 500 guests showed their appreciation through repeated rounds of applause.

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The evening’s agenda included an art exhibition, cultural performances, music, dance and an elaborate dinner. The art exhibition was entirely an ode to the cultural artistic heritage of India, with diverse displays ranging from hand-made chandeliers made of cheese graters, to a depiction of Solah Shringar as a moving image of heritage.

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The cultural performance by the Fellows included a play on dating in today’s time and age, which was amusing and anecdotal. The show was guided by a few narrators, who commented on the gimmicks of love, dating and priorities in life. The play was located in a restaurant and the theatre performance was titled “Check Please”. Most exciting of all was to see the home-grown talent on display. The evening was enlivened with a musical medley and dance forms such as bhangra, lindy hop, belly dancing and hip hop – all celebrating the spirit of oneness. The stage was also lit up by Bharatanatyam and Kathak performances, recitals of Hindi poetry and classical singing, all choreographed and composed by the Fellows themselves.

The batch of 2016 concluded the show with a three-minute video inspired by Avicii’s latest song, The Nights. The lyrics truly express the spirit of fellowship– “Live a life you will remember” because “these are the nights that will never die”.

In his vote of thanks, Pramath Raj Sinha, Founder and Trustee of Ashoka University went back in time a little to say, “The Friends of YIF Dinner started as an evening to showcase the talent of YIF as a mark of gratitude to all the supporters of the then fledgling programme. Five years later, it has turned into a tradition that is about carrying forward a legacy with lots of celebration, pomp and nostalgia thrown in.”

(The writer is a Fellow, batch of 2016)

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