THE ALEGRIA EXPERIENCE #9: ORGANISING COMMITTEE

The skillful creators of The Festival of Joy, who have blown our minds with their outstanding managerial skills, coordination, and efforts are here to share a piece of their phenomenal experience. We are elated to present you to the Organising Committee of Alegria 2020 featuring Chitleen Mohapatra, Nikhil Ghule, Ajay Nair and Yash Borade from PCE, Pratap Chavan and Nikhil Talekar from PCACS, Nataraj Bhusari, Kritika Chandrikapure and Jithin Jayan from PIMSR, and Shruti Chaskar from PICA.


1)How was your experience working for Alegria 2020?

Pratap: It was majestic, thousands of people aspire to be involved in working closely with the festival and me being at the center of it, itself was a matter of great pride for me. I am really glad that I had a responsibility in building something bigger than myself, & constantly getting reminded that I am needed, that I have something better ahead to work for, the decisions that were to be taken would affect a lot of them. In fact, I am grateful to be involved in creating an impact and spreading joy to hundreds of people around me. Alegria indeed teaches us a lot of things in the process, shapes you into a better person and in return gifts you with a lot of memories. “I’ll be proud to be called an Alegrian Forever”.

Pratap Chavan

Chitleen: Alegria 2020 is always going to be close to my heart. This journey was one of the best experiences in my college life. The theme of Alegria 2020 “Dreamland”, expressed my experience in the perfect way. It was like a roller coaster ride. We had successful events and I have learned so much from this experience. The people I met, the friends I had made, the faculties, the memories we made were really special to me. I can say I have gained much more than I gave. And all these experiences and lessons are going to be with me forever. I am grateful to everyone, especially Franav sir for this opportunity, which I am going to cherish forever.

Nikhil: Every Pillaite has a Dream to work in the Alegria committee. Working as the OC head was indeed a dream come true for me when coincidentally the theme for Alegria 2020 was Dreamland. It was my first experience to organised events on such a big scale but everyone was so supportive and enthusiastic about their work that I really enjoyed the process of planning and handling these events with my team. I learnt how to handle my responsibilities, how to deal with situations when things aren’t going in the way we planned, which I think one may never learn by reading books. Keeping all these things aside, Alegria 2020 has given me a lot of memories of admission cell fun and laughter and also some friends that will last for a lifetime. Alegria 2020 was a Roller coaster ride full of emotions, experiences and learning and I really enjoyed this adventurous journey.

Nataraj: It was just like a dream for me to work with such a huge team as I was excited the day I had joined the college as I had always heard and wanted to come to Alegria to experience such a huge fest. Experience which will always be there in my college memories, which I will cherish forever. It was great to work with different people from PCACS, PCE & PICA which really helped me to improve my interpersonal skills. Vibe we get from Alegria is always positive and special.

Nataraj Bhusari

2) How was your experience working under the guidance of Franav Sir?

Pratap: I can say that Alegria – the festival of joy has been Franav sir’s Brain Child, Every Year right from the inception for about 8 years, Alegria has showcased one of the best talents from the industry, a wide range of events, and performances and we all owe it to him, working with sir always gave our work a professional touch, handling so many departments and students requires immense patience and remarkable administrative competence and he had it all, he used to remember the Minuscule detail of everything because of which it pushed us to make us plan everything thoroughly and made us put our best efforts forward. He really did bring out the best in me, I totally had fun working with him.

Nikhil: Working with Franav sir, was one of the best experiences. He guided us well and put us on the right path to a successful event. He is always going to be my inspiration.

Kritika: Franav Sir has built or I could say have created an amazing platform for the students like us who love to get our creative juices flow. They would never ignore an idea offered by any student unless it’s out of the theme of course but they are very fun-loving as well as polite.


3) Since there are multiple things going on at the same time, how did you manage to handle pressure and deadlines?

Kritika: Dividing the work really helped but at the same time, I had curiosity over every category that was under us mainly but all over too I used to make sure that I visit most of it to see if they are facing any problems that could be solved. To be honest, the deadline was not always met because sometimes dealing with other category heads were challenging though we understand they had their own problems to deal with the problem will always be bad communication.

Kritika Chandrikapure

Chitleen: The answer is simple: Teamwork and Coordination. I was so lucky to be a part of a great team. It was stressful but also I have enjoyed every bit of it. We had planned for every event prior and each person had some responsibility given. The coordination was a must. It felt really good and content when you worked for something so hard and it’s turned out to be a grand success. I think it worked as a fuel for every team member and each day we used to meet in the morning and then acted as per our responsibilities and at the end of the day we had to plan for the next day. The communication between the team was also very important. You have to keep your personal grudges aside and work as a group. And that’s the key. 

Nikhil: If you love your work, you don’t realize where the time flies. The pressure was easily managed by teamwork. I had a great team that always tried to finish the work on time. I believe hard work is the key factor. Okay, this was a bit tough at first, but eventually as we saw events turning successful, it gave us inspiration to work with our teams more efficiently. 


4) Some best moments in your journey?

Pratap: My journey as an Algerian started off 2 years ago, I was lucky to be involved with the Organising Committee for that much time, from being a newbie to attending meetings with the organizing faculties and fellow heads gave me so much of a positive/empowering rush and literally an insight of everything, The best moments of my journey would definitely be those endless meetings, discussions, my time in the admission cell, working till late evenings, having lunch and even dinner with the entire team, countless hours of work followed by the chit chat, Meeting almost all those top chart artist of the industry up close for those 2 years, being able to work for Armaan Malik’s team behind the stage and shedding tears on the last night of Alegria were the best moments.

Ajay: Definitely, the time we spent working together as a team towards making Alegria as grand as it can be.

Nataraj: For me the whole journey of Alegria was special as it gave me the best moments of college life.

Chitleen: There were many but the first one coming to my mind was the Flashmob. I have really worked hard for flashmob for like months and when it finally happened, everyone liked it so much and it had been a grand event. That moment was just mesmerizing and I just can’t express it in words how I felt at those moments. You can say I am just exaggerating, but every single day was amazing like an adventure, starting from October to February. I will never forget those days working for Alegria. Every single time we got praised or had a failure was the best moment for me.

Chitleen Mohapatra

5) Something you would like to pass on to the upcoming OC

Nikhil: Embrace the Journey of Alegria 2021 as an adventurous journey of your life. Be prepared to tackle every difficulty which can come your way. Just whatever you do, whatever you believe, or whatever you plan, give your 100% efforts.

Shrutee: Try hard to manage all your submissions and cope with your deadlines as best as you can. And surely, put all your effort in making the events successful.

Pratap: I’ve learned a lot of good things that I shall inculcate in my life ahead and would love to share, Here is my thought process “working hard is good, trying to bring something new to the table every time, it is in fact really great, but it should not be done, for the sole purpose of goals and at the expense of relationship with others”.

Kritika: Communication is very important at least between your own committee and division of work should be nonbiased towards the committee members. Being dominant and not at the same time is difficult but you need to face it and do it anyway. They’ll call you my name’s behind your back but know that you are doing the right thing for Alegria to not have any nuisance. 

Yash: Yes, just work in a team. Express yourself, Be sincere in the work and give your best and maintain the legacy of the Alegria.

Jithin: Just be calm, take decisions wisely will get you to learn more about the fest and will gain a lot of experience and enjoy the moments, create memories. 


6) What backup plans did you come up with when any plan failed? Can you share your experience?

Kritika: So there was an issue faced in the fashion show between judges and I was in charge of communicating with one of the judges, but last moment there were some problems faced. So as I maintained a proper relationship with the judge she understood the situation and didn’t make a scene about it.

Nikhil: While organizing events on such a large scale, one should always be ready with some backup plans. The Alegria 2020 committee was already prepared for such conditions. Fillers were arranged so that audiences will be hooked to the event at all times.

Nikhil Ghule

Nataraj: Actually we were lucky that our all plans had worked because we had best mentors and an awesome team.

Ajay: There were a lot of times things didn’t go as we planned initially and we never had a backup plan for all of them, one of the instances would be where the certificates weren’t ready to be distributed.


7) What new things you’ve learned in your whole journey?

Pratap: When I look at the journey of every individual of our committee like me, it reminds me of one of my favorite stories is when John F. Kennedy visited the NASA space center, he saw a janitor carrying a broom and walked over and asked what he was doing. The janitor responded: ‘“Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon”. The purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for.

Nikhil: The whole Alegria journey is one of the best experiences of my life. It taught me a lot of things such as how to handle tremendous pressure or situations when things aren’t going the way we planned, how to support each other’s ideas and perspectives. It also improved my patience level and public management skills.

Ajay: I have learned a lot of things from Alegria, like to never give up no matter how big the problem is you are bound to find a solution, managing a big team as well as crowd management.

Ajay Nair

Jithin: There are many things which I learned in this journey which can’t be described in words. Like leadership skills, team management and many more. Alegria is the platform where we get a chance to learn and gain experience and help us to overcome problems.


8) How did you feel when the whole Alegria 2020 that you’ve organized came to an end?

Chitleen: It’s really emotional when there were a whole lot of feelings inside you like you are really happy at the moment and also it’s heartbreaking that everything is going to end. All of those moments you had spent were coming to your mind like flashbacks. You were really proud of yourself and your team that after going through everything, you had finally achieved what you had planned. But also you were going to miss everyone and everything that you had worked on for the last 5 months. That may be you won’t be here next time. All these feelings were growing inside you and you can’t control it somehow. But you will always consider yourself fortunate to even be a small part of this grand journey, you will never regret anything about it. 

Nataraj: To be frank for me the Alegria 2020 was very emotional for me as it was my last year as Student. I just don’t know how to express my feelings about it.

Nikhil: For me, it was like my College got over.

Nikhil Talekar with Franav Sir

Pratap: Looking back at this year, I realize that the stress of this year, for this goal and success of the whole festival was paid off with the experience that I got, things that I learned, hard-working students that I met, faculties full of energy that I interacted with, smiles that I exchanged with, and discovered my interests and what all I could achieve. I felt really proud when I and my entire team were appreciated for the efforts that we had put.


9) What do you think will be the response for eSports this year?

Pratap: When I’m not studying or busy with my chores at home, I relax by playing a lot of games, namely multiplayer first-person shooter games along with my friends. Competing against them has put my reflexes to the test, but I’ve already invested over 100 hours in this challenge. If you think this is impressive, wait till you see what the rest of the competitive gaming thing will curate response and traffic in Alegria this year. Since the lockdown, a lot of people have engaged in getting familiar with esports, which shows that a large segment of the population sees gaming as a getaway to interact and have fun in these changing times.

Ajay: eSports is thriving and there are a lot of eSports tournaments around the world. The response would be really good considering that’s what probably a lot of people are doing considering the current situation.  

Nataraj: It will be great to see eSports as it is already a hit in our generation. Eagerly waiting to see how it goes this year.

Nikhil: Sports is one of the most participated Category of Alegria. Though this year some traditional events won’t be conducted because of social distancing norms. Still, Alegria 2021 committee is organizing many innovative sports activities which I hope will attract the crowd to participate in the Sports events.


10) What things will be different for your team as for Alegria 2021 will be virtual?

Jithin: As Alegria 2021 will be conducted virtually, the team will face challenges like will not be able to meet personally and they might can’t work together which will be a difficult task for them. The organizing team will have to work very hard to make this virtual fest successful. So I would like to wish each one of you all the very best for Alegria 2021.

Jithin Jayan

Nataraj: A lot of challenges will be there but we know that Alegria is all about challenges and for sure it will be the best experience for everyone because Alegria just gets better and better every year. And we know even this year it will be grand as always.

Kritika: It’s not about being my team, the whole virtual thing is going be different so I just hope every team works together to make it a successful event. 

Chitleen: As everything will be virtual, it will be difficult for the team to carry forward the events. Because some events are impossible to arrange online through virtual means. Also, it’s going to be a great challenge for this year’s team to choose the events and make them work. 


11) How do you expect Alegria 2021 to be?

Pratap: All in all as every year the expectations increase so do the challenges come in a different form, I am excited to see how it unfolds this year, students and participants will be able to participate via social media and interact with each other, this will let them stay safe at their home yet be entertained by the content that the team will be able to put in.

Nikhil: I expect it to be even more significant and a memorable one.

Kritika: Well, We cannot predict as it’s going to be virtual but first times are always a charm. Let’s hope Virtual Alegria 2021 be a success.

Shrutee Chaskar

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