Ray Bradbury has rightly said, “We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost.”
One of the perks of being an architecture student is we get to travel. You all agree, right? We all have the fetish to explore the places, to know about history, and to experience the architecture around us.
Talking about traveling makes me look back on my last trip that was to the annual NASA Convention. NASA has always been an integral part of our college days. The 24/7 fest enriches our soul with so much knowledge, amazing experiences, and timeless bonds that will stay within us for a long time. Unlike other years the annual fest was not organized by any particular college. The venue chosen was the film city of Bidadi, Karnataka. Many of you would know that it is usually a three-day architecture fest.
However, we saw it as an opportunity to explore the southern part of India since most of us have never been to Southern India. So, we decided to cover four cities in five days before the opening of the fest. What a crazy thought, right?
We started our train journey from Jaipur to Mangalore playing ‘Mafia’. After spending a warm beach evening in Mangalore, a bus buzzing with south songs took us to Coorg. It is rightly described as the ‘Switzerland of India’. The next stop waiting for us was Mysore. The bicycle drives exploring the city’s architectural treasure to eating authentic Mysore dosa made it an unforgettable escapade. Just like a walk in nature, we reached Ooty passing a wildlife sanctuary. It felt like I was in a town straight from a fairy-tale, letting us feel its warmth. And with that, we traversed our way to Bidadi.
As we reached the Bidadi Film City, the beautiful facade welcomed us, making me curious about what was inside. A volunteer in an orange t-shirt guided us. I could feel the excitement for what was coming next. We waited for our turn for the luggage checking. We entered the campus with bands on our wrists, the sound of students hooting and drums playing filled our soul with a flush of excitement. Then we kept our luggage in the dorms that were provided by the association and went to the inauguration ceremony. Students were seated according to their zones. The atmosphere was filled with students chanting slangs of their respective zones. The ceremony came to an end with the addresses of the presidents. As we paved our way out of the brimful auditorium, a long line was waiting for us as we went straight to the food court after the ceremony. At last, with patience, we got our supper. Then we spent some time talking about our journey sitting in a corner. With the tiredness that crept into our body, we went to sleep. Like that day 0 came to an end.
Day 1 started with registration for the workshops. We got up early and got ready for a proper south Indian breakfast so that we didn’t have to wait in line. Then we all went to our respective workshops. The thing I love about them is that they are always so fun and interactive, and at the same time, they are such a great learning experience. As we completed day 1 of our workshops, the informal events had already started. The informal trophies always boost the feeling of competitiveness among the zones. As the dance performances got over, everyone from the crowd started dancing. Everyone enjoyed their heart out. Then we all went and sat where other colleges were sitting in groups. The view was so relaxing, many people were performing tasks while some were just chatting and others dancing on the beats of the drums. The night was scheduled for the Reubens paneling. Everyone was busy making their sheets ready for the panel and had to wait in line for their turn to go inside for the paneling. The paneling almost took the whole night. We entered our dorms to sleep at around 6:00 AM. But the valuable experience was more than worth the tiredness.
In the morning, I attended another workshop on the fest marking day 2. Waiting for food in a line had become a ritual by now. But no one is complaining as I didn’t want to spend any more money on the food stalls. The rest of the afternoon went into exploring the craft stalls. We all bought ourselves some postcards, journals, bookmarks, and other stationeries. In the evening we attended a guest lecture and the battle of bands. The night we spent interacting and learning the dance routines of different colleges. It was an exceptional moment.
Day 3 was spent exploring the beautiful campus which housed a Big Boss house, a zoo, a mirror house, and many other spaces. In the afternoon, we attended the Ethos jury. Then a guest lecture was given by Architect Sharukh Mistry where he explained his designs and also the work he had done for earthquake-stricken Nepal. The fest came to an end with the felicitations and so our last trip before the lockdown.
As I wrote, it took my mind back to the fond memories of bustling days to wakeful enjoyable nights. And I hope you also relieved your NASA days or at least got a glimpse of the fest.
Thank you for listening to my story so patiently.