Into the world of imagination

Into the world of  imagination

After three years of holding ‘Meta’, an annual literary festival, the Department of English at St Joseph’s College launched the Meta Schools edition. Students from standards eight to 12 were invited to take part in a number of contests across the campus on November 27 and 28.

Dr Cheriyan Alexander, the head of the Department of English, and Principal Fr Victor Lobo SJ spoke during the inauguration, emphasising the power of imagination. Dr Alexander used the example of the first landing on the moon and how that idea was once considered fiction. The theme of the fest, ‘Imagine Worlds’, was depicted through contests like ‘Potter Luck’, where students had to make fantasy foods from different books and movies, and Flippin’ Dragons, where contestants had to make a fantasy-based flip-book.

The contests held on day-one were ‘Fandom Menace’, a fan-fiction writing contest; Illustration, where students were given a paragraph and had to illustrate it; and a Cartoon Caption contest. There was a high level of participation among schools in the General Quiz; institutions included Delhi Public School, St Joseph’s Boys’ High School and Frank Anthony Public School. The winners in the senior school category were Vishesh Guru and Amith LM of St Joseph’s PU College, while Prajwal V and Varun J from Sri Kumaran’s School won the junior category.

There was a slam poetry contest on the second day. To give students an introduction into how slam is written and performed, Janet Orlene, who is part of the ‘Airplane Poetry Movement’, conducted a workshop on the first day. Every participant had to imagine they were a superhero with a disability and write ten lines from that perspective. They began each line with, “I remember the time when...” Pranitha Vishwakaram from DPS took part in the workshop as well as the contest the following day, and won first place in the senior school category. The topic was ‘Rules’ and she recounted the ones she had to follow because of her gender and how she felt neglected even when she followed them. In the junior school category, Tejashwani Srihari from National Hill View Public School won first place.

Day-two saw events like ‘Spelling Bee’, Elocution in English, Hindi and Kannada, and ‘Just-A-Minute (JAM)’. The winner of ‘Spelling Bee’ was Vishesh Guru of St Joseph’s PU College in the senior school category and Shreyas K of National Hill View Public School from the juniors.

The JAM master for the juniors was Chirag Prince, a third-year law student at Christ University who is actively involved in the Nehru Bal Sangh, a student body that organises the cultural fest ‘Cascades’. 

He had them on their feet throughout with unconventional rounds which included dancing and rapping. Rahul S from National Hill View Public School placed first in the junior school category, and Shruthi Giridharan from St Joseph’s Indian Composite PU College came first from the seniors. This two-day edition was organised to encourage more participation from school students. Despite a few complications, the department felt it was a success.

“I was overwhelmed when I entered the auditorium and saw it filled with school students”, said Prof Archita Murthy, one of the organisers. Alongside Meta Schools, a
few inter-class contests were also held as a part of Metonym, an inter-class
‘literary tournament’.

At the inauguration, the department announced the topic for the ‘Barbra Naidu Memorial Prize’ for personal essays, ‘Finding Family’, which receives entries from school and college students across the country. The winners will be announced in February 2016 during the college edition of ‘Meta: Imagine Worlds’.

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