Student Media Body of IIT Kgp

 

Illumination: The Light in Kgp's Night

Posted on Oct 29, 2016
ReportsilluIllumination

Introduction:

As the entire nation is gearing up for one of the most awaited festive moments of the year ‘Diwali’, the students at IIT KGP are pouring their heart out for the preparation of their own unique way of celebrating Diwali, the tradition which they call ‘Illumination’ or just ‘Illu’. For KGP, Illu is Diwali and Diwali is Illu. For the freshers who will be going to witness this trademark celebration of Diwali for the first time, they must be feeling intrigued when they find the air buzzing with ‘illu’. They must be having such questions in their mind like what is it?, what’s so special about it?, what for our seniors are working so hard?, is that effort worth it? And all”. As the campus media body of IIT KGP, Awaaz, IIT Kharagpur feels that the tale of this unique tradition must be passed on to the newcomers. So, here is this article on Illumination to let the world know about this masterpiece of KGP students where technology meets tradition.

What is Illumination?

It might seem a bit cruel to many people who prefer to celebrate with their family but there is no Diwali vacation for students here. Students just get one odd day off. So, it seems as if to make up for the absence of the family, students have come out with something grander i.e., Illumination. Needless to say, it has become an integral part of IIT KGP student community. It is a tradition which every student takes pride in. Earlier, it just used to be the part of celebration. However, this year, it has been reinstated as an official competition between various Halls of Residence (after being scraped off as a competition since 2014). Fireworks and wasteful consumption of plastic materials is replaced by masterpieces filled with creativity. Thousands of glowing diyas stand out in the darkness on the structure taking forms of scenes from Indian mythology, issues of national interest and many more topics. Large grid structures called chatai, huge chatais, vertical panels made of bamboo extending up to 20 to 22 feet high are put and holder wires are placed in chatai which is used to mount diyas to finally create the framework based on a theme decided by the students of the Hall. The theme of Illu is generally based on mythological stories like those from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata which shows that it’s perfect combination of technology and tradition. The level of ambition and energy the students show while creating these ‘illu’ structures are of top notch and hundreds of students pour out their hearts to take part in this tradition. You won’t stop admiring their palpable passion once you’ll see them working tirelessly in late night hours. And guess what they get in turn? Nothing but that ultimate satisfaction when the entire structure is lit on the final day, those bondings they make with their fellow students, those sweets the seniors stuff in their mouth affectionately and many more memories to cherish forever. It’s the result of immense teamwork, coordination and countless man hours. After all, it’s the emotions that count more. Right about now, students are milling about

The chatais extend to an amazing height of 6 metres (20 ft) with nearly 20,000 lighted lamps altogether. When the diyas are finally lit on the final day, those diyas act like pixels and make a beautiful design altogether. If you thought that it’s all what we do then you are wrong! How can we forget Rangolis! The Rangoli Competition also takes place along with illumination. Rangolis of exquisite detail and shading—measuring around 3.5 by 3.5 metres (11 by 11 ft) —are constructed using coloured powders, crushed bangles, and pebbles. Interplay of light, shadows and ambient music are essential part when Rangolis are displayed. How can we leave technology in any sphere of our life! Here too, utraviolet light is used to create a mesmerizing environment. That’s one moment for every KGPian’s journey in this pious land where dreams don’t lie. Those glittering diyas and vibrant Rangolis.


The chatais may reach a height of 6 metres (20 ft), with nearly 20,000 lighted lamps ( You can create Guinness World Record for the number of lighted diyas used counting all halls together ). The lamps on the chatais are lighted with all other light sources switched off, to showcase the art-panels made by the flickering lamps. On the same day as Illumination, the Rangoli Competition is organised as an Inter-Hall event. Rangolis of exquisite detail and shading—measuring around 3.5 by 3.5 metres (11 by 11 ft) —are constructed using coloured powders, crushed bangles, and pebbles. Interplay of light and shadow and ambient music are part of the display. Even technology becomes a part of the event when halls start using the Ultraviolet light effect to create a trance in the environment. Every Diwali, IIT Kharagpur celebrates the festival of lights in a manner so unique that stands as a testimonial to every KGPian’s journey in the land where dreams don’t lie. On the day of Diwali, a couple of minutes before the arrival of Chief Guest and other officials, mounted diyas are lit up to showcase the intricate pictorial description. Also, based on the theme of Illu, rest of the student hall is decorated as well.

History

Talking about its history, it is believed that in 1981, some innovative and supremely creative guys of Azad Hall of Residence (if somebody knows who they were then please do let us know in the comments) decided to celebrate Diwali by lighting scores of diyas on giant chatais. Later on, it was proposed to be conducted as a GC event. The history remains glorious but right now, one can see that the enthusiasm has dropped a bit as compared to a few decades back owing mainly to students getting indulged in lot of other extra curricular activities and thus not having enough time to devote for the purpose. However, the grandeur of the event has somewhat been retained primarily due to the fact that a larger number of students now reside in a student hall, a few percentage out of which are still dedicated enough to make the event a huge success.

Relevance of Illumination

Now coming to the its relevance, Illumination 2016 is the first event in the Social and Cultural GC this year. Preparations for Illu had started several weeks before the actual date of Diwali and had gathered active collaboration from the students. Usually, it starts with the involvement of 60-70 people and reaches to 150-200 during the peak time. During preparation of illu, the main motive remains to increase the interaction between 2nd years and their seniors so they can know their colleagues and seniors well. Illu has gained such popularity that some other institutions also have even started organising Illu after getting awe struck by what they saw here. Many alumni of KGP still celebrate it either by visiting Kgp or by creating a mini illu at their places.

As far as the role of Gymkhana is concerned in relation to organising the whole event, they have been pivotal in organising this event. The Gymkhana arranges for the judges who are eminent personalities in the field of arts and also provides for a monetary funding of Rs 1 lac for conducting the event. The halls too, spend around 1-2 lacs, depending upon their requirements.

Scenario

Every coin has two faces. Unfortunately, Illu has received a bit of negative sentiments as well. With time, several questions have been raised. Questions are being asked about the worth of such big budget and point of wasting huge amount of both money and time of students. Well, whatever the things may pan out, the illu will remain that most glittering memory of each and every KGPian

This is the infographics and views from Kgp based on the poll 'आप की राय' conducted by Awaaz,IIT Kharagpur to know how junta feel about the same.





Sources : Gymkhana authorities, Metakgp, Quora and IIT Kgp students
Send email to   info@awaaziitkgp.org for suggestions or report a problem.

Share this article on:

Related Articles

National Digital Library: A gift from IITKGP

Posted on: October 15, 2017

Know Your Professor: Parama Barai

Posted on: Oct 12, 2017

Jewels of KGP : Mr. Lakshya Jain

Posted on: October 6th, 2017

Happiness Project: What Made Me

Posted on: August 31, 2017

Know Your Professor: Debalay Chakrabarti

Posted on: Aug 28, 2017

Jewels of KGP : Mr. Sikhar Patranabis

Posted on: August 08, 2017

The Synthetic Track Fiasco

Posted on: August 08, 2017

Know Your Professor: Joy Sen

Posted on: May 8, 2017

NSO H&F and its Relevance

Posted on: April 18, 2017

There's more than meets the eye

Posted on: April 15, 2017

Know Your Professor: Suman Chakraborty

Posted on: April 13, 2017

GYWS: A Big Step Towards Transformation

Posted on: April 10, 2017

Campus Politics at IITs

Posted on: April 02, 2017

Artificial Intelligence: Motivation, Implications & Application

Posted on: April 01, 2017

Will IIT KGP Ever Go Cashless?

Posted on: March 28, 2017

What If I had Turned Off the Switches?

Posted on: 23 March, 2017

An Interview with Commander V.K Jaitley

Posted on: March 8, 2017

Shedding Light on a Dark Subject!

Posted on: Mar 05, 2017

Jewels Of Kgp : Parag Havaldar

Posted on: Feb 22, 2016

NSS: Is it Relevant or Not?

Posted on: Feb 9, 2017

Jewels of Kgp : Pratish Datta

Posted on: Feb 1, 2017

Know Your Professor: Navtej Singh

Posted on: Jan 30, 2017

Know Your Professor : Somesh Kumar

Posted on: Jan 24, 2017

Know Your Professor : Asish Ganguly

Posted on: Jan 9, 2017

Return of The Fee Hike

Posted on: Dec 15, 2016

Human Rights : 'Right to Information'

Posted on: Nov 12, 2016

Learn Earn Return

Posted on: Nov 4, 2016

Science of Happiness

Posted on: Nov 1, 2016

Illumination: The Light in Kgp's Night

Posted on: Oct 29, 2016

Jewels of Kgp : Madhav Datt

Posted on: Oct 28, 2016

Foreign University Training: A Beginner's Guide

Posted on: Oct 22, 2016

CV Module: Complex Mess or Uniformly reliable?

Posted on: 19 August , 2016

Information Portal

Posted on: July 26, 2016

Election "tab" aur "ab"

Posted on: April 3, 2016

How Safe are you ?

Posted on: March 27, 2016

A Big Mess in the 'Mess'

Posted on: March 06, 2016

Placements(Phase 1) : 2015-16

Posted on: February 07, 2016

Guest Lecture: Shoojit Sircar

Posted on: January 28, 2016

Critical Analysis of QS World Rankings

Posted on: November 10,2015


NewsLetter Sign Up


Copyright © 2015 - All Rights Reserved - Awaaz, Indian Institute Of Technology, Kharagpur