Malhar 2021 the annual fest of St Xavier's college Mumbai awes all !!

The much-awaited college festival of the year is finally here! August 29, 2021 was a day every college student and alumni of St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai was looking forward to Malhar 2021. With the theme ‘Parallax - The Legacy Re-routed’, Malhar ‘21 truly gave a new angle with the virtual twist whilst still keeping its 42-year-old legacy alive. This year, Malhar was presented by Mahindra Manulife Mutual Fund. Malhar also partnered with FinLearn Academy, an e-learning platform committed to making trading easy to learn and accessible to all.

Preserving a legacy involves the continuance of practices. Known for being one of Asia’s oldest and largest youth festivals, Malhar sure does hold prestige. The fest, however, ceaselessly attributes its glory to its people- the participants and audience. For this very reason, it has always been at the forefront of charity. Malhar strives to imbibe the values of charity, inclusivity, and community spirit, and serve society through its discourse. This year is no different.

To serve society and practice the values of inclusion and equality, Malhar 2021 conducted two Social Cause Initiatives. A Sign Language Workshop was conducted on August 16, 2021, in association with the Student Inclusion Cell of St. Xavier’s College. The workshop was conducted by benevolent personalities of Mr. Sanjay Mungi and Mr. Gopal Motwani of Cheshire Homes and ADAPT. Ceaseless in their pursuit of social welfare, a hip-hop dance workshop called ‘A Hookstep for Hope’ was conducted on Wednesday, 25th August in collaboration with Anahita Karanjia. All funds raised from this workshop were donated to Hemkunt Foundation for the magnanimous work they have been carrying out. 

The fest also announced its Social Media Contest- “Who Wants To Be The Next CHAIRperson?” in collaboration with World Tag Chairs. The winner goes home with a chair worth Rs. 10,000 customized to their design. 

Malhar is known for its richness and variety of events. Ranging from Conclave, the intellectual discourse of the fest, all the way to the Performing Arts, Fine Arts and Literary Arts Events. The Principal of St. Xavier’s College, Dr. Rajendra Shinde inaugurated the fest with his speech at 9 am. This year, the festival was streamed live on Paytm over 4 screens. 

Keeping up with its tradition of giving heed to socially relevant discourse, Malhar ‘21 started its first session of Conclave with its key-note speaker Lt. General Satish Dua. General Dua is a retired Indian Army Personnel who as the Corps Commander in Kashmir, executed the Uri Surgical Strike. General Dua inspired the audience with his views on how the youth can re-route their pathways by turning their passion into their profession. Moving on along the theme of profession, Conclave’s second session on ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ ignited our students with the electrifying panel consisting of Dr. Urvashi Sahni, Ms. Sumita Ghose, and Mr. Anurag Chauhan. This year, the Conclave events, Malhar Icon and Rendezvous were presented by Mahanagar Gas Limited. Conclave’s most admired event, ‘The Malhar Icon’ had versatile participants from every corner, all making their way to the title. The Rendezvous was a panel ideation in social policy and improvement. The evening session of Conclave re-routed its theme, moving onto sophisticated topics like ‘Artificial Intelligence and Ethics’ with their key-note addressed by Dr. John Lennox. Continuing onto the legacy and breaking into the writing sphere we had Mr. Sudhir Sitapati and Ms. Anita Nair respectively. But that’s not the entirety of Conclave this year! The re-routed journey was brought to its final destination with the mesmerising voices of singers Abhijeet Srivastava and Imcha Imchen. 

While we’re talking about this eventful day, it is imperative to mention the ‘mouth-piece’ of Malhar, the Literary Arts. The first event named ‘A Tale of Two Tales’ combined various elements of fiction and made them meet at the Parallax.  Participants were required to come up with an extempore dialogue on distinct prompts. One such prompt was combining Harley Quinn and The Wizard of Oz into the dystopian genre. Well, if you think that’s unique, you’re in for another surprise. The ‘Quizine’ competition combined everyday life with eccentric knowledge, testing participants on a broad range of questions. 

Decorating the festival with the finer details, the Fine Arts events added a splash of colour to our screens. ‘The Dotting Paradox’ was one such ‘fine’ event. Using just the tip of your fingers, pencil, or earbud, participants created master-pieces. Malhar ‘21 truly showed the audience that art can be created with the smallest possibilities. Moving along a similar theme, ‘Line It Up’ - the digital art event discovered masterpieces through mere ‘lines’. Re-routing the definition of art, and including the camera lens into its frame, ‘Empty Vessels Make A Shot’ turned every day utensils into art through photography. 

The popularly celebrated events of Malhar- The Performing Arts- were at the core of the audience's attention. ‘Once Upon Online’ gave the duet drama genre a twist in this ‘online’ mode of life. Enacting a zoom call, the participants beautifully captured the essence of the new normal. The performing arts are incomplete without dance and music. When the East met the West, that’s when ‘Angrezi Beat’ and ‘Back To The Fusion’ took birth. The former coupled Western dance moves to Indian tunes, while the latter had participants explore, revisit and combine music from every angle- indeed meeting at the Parallax. Malhar has always honoured culture. Owing to the richness of our culture, ‘Taal Is Well’ celebrated classical music as they believe ‘Jahan Hoga Taal, Wahan Hoga Kamaal”.

One word for Malhar over the years is ‘ceaseless’. Its effort to continue the legacy giving it a new face every year is manifested through their unique success. This year, re-routing the range of events, Malhar also had E-Sports, an event hosted by the Technical (Texx) department. ‘Online Chess’ and ‘FIFA off the streets’ were two such exciting games that had everyone’s attention hooked on them. To add a pinch of surprise, the fest had Mr. Ashutosh Bishnoi, the MD and CEO of Mahindra ManuLife Investment Management as a guest speaker. Instilling the ABCs of 'Financial literacy in the Youth Today", Mr. Bishnoi says, "It's never too late to invest." The session was power packed with insights about his personal journey with finance, the economy and financial markets, the irrationalities that somehow turn in favour of oneself and the interrelationship of investment with personal life. 

One can go on about the path tread by Malhar ‘21 in order to keep its legacy alive and burning brighter than ever.  But it's like one would say, “You just had to be there!”. We hope, from the comfort of your couch, you enjoyed  our virtual Malhar 2021!


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