The Underdogs-How mech won Tandav 4.0

At the outset, let me admit, this post comes late, very late in fact. It should’ve come out somewhere in October 2010, but I never got down to writing it, ‘cause I was too lazy busy. But this remains one of the most imp events of my life so far, so I felt I HAD to write it down. As they say, better late than never.
For the uninitiated, Tandav is the interdepartmental event of our college, where the 6 depts-mech, ETC, Comp, Civil, EnE and IT, fight out a no. of events to win the coveted Tandav Trophy. Needless to say, its an intense display of branch loyalty and passions flare out at the slightest push.Sometimes, in less-than-appropriate ways.

But anyways, my dept-the mechanicals, didn’t exactly have a record to boast of in the previous 3 tandavs.The year before, when I anchored Tandav3.0, I had seen my branch end the event at the bottom of the Score table.needless to say, it was humiliating. When you see the victors celebrating on stage and you know your branch didn’t even give them a proper fight, it hurts. The mechanical spirit-something which the mech students and teachers swear by, had become somewhat a public joke.The dept which boasted a legendary history had to regain its glory. We had to win it this time.

It was somehow also important to me at a personal level. I had something to prove to myself. That I could do it. As the co-ordinator of my branch for tandav, I felt the result, victory or defeat, would be very personal to me. Frankly speaking, it wasn’t about the victory. It was about giving a tough fight. Whoever won, we wouldn’t let them win it so easily.

Not so surprisingly, whoever we told that we were gonna give a serious fight this time, they laughed at us. yes, even people from my own dept. Nobody thought we could do it. “Mech is destined to lose” they said, “Why are you even bothering?”. I liked that.  ‘Cause it meant we could work without pressure. Everything to win, nothing to lose.

And so we started. I spoke to a few of my classmates whom I felt brought something to the table. My seniors(whom I had no hopes from then, but who I’m proud of now) also joined in. We called a combined meeting of the mech students from all the four years. Our pump-in-chief Joyton Fernandes, who can give the best politicians a run for their money in giving motivational speeches, did an excellent job of getting everyone on board. For the 1st time since I joined this college, the entire mech crowd was united. My 1st glimpse of the proverbial  mech spirit :)

Then began he task of selecting the right people for various events.Those who had a proven record in any field were given a preference. For the events where we had too many candidates, we had our own mini-tournaments to select the best representative. The seniors, led by Ishan kossambe, tanay rege, Marvil soares n others, took it upon themselves to handle the Key events like Group Dance, Street Play and others.Pratik, Janardhan, Aditya, Manesh and others spent days working with the thermocol to make the Instruments for Rock mime and Fashion Show. Achintya, Utkarsh, gautam, brahmanand and others helped wherever they were needed.For each of the events of Tandav, countless people worked day and night to give us a fighting chance.

One of my most vivid memories of tandav remains the Video making. From deciding upon a script, to the countless modifications at the last moment, to the actual shooting of the shots, it was all crazy fun! We had countless fights while making it. Manzil, Gajanan and Brian burnt the midnight oil while editing and post processing the video, even going sleepless straight for over 24 hours! But in the end, it was all worth it. The video won the 1st place. You can see it here.
Another group worth mentioning was our band. Comprising of Bharadwaj, Manzil, Kishan, Deepak and ashwajit, it was super fun spending the night listening to them practice. They rocked it too, and got us another 1st place. It still gives me goosebumps when I see the recoding on my cell :)
We also managed to get some Dhols for the crowd support event. This dhol did an excellent job of creating  a super atmosphere during the actual event. Yep, 1st place there too.

The actual Tandav week was a flurry of activities. Though the actual event was schedule for Fri-sat, 1st and 2nd Oct, the sports events began on Monday itself. Day one was pathetic for us.except 3rd place in carom, we couldn’t manage any victory. The defending champs ETC meanwhile took an early lead. Was a bad day. But things started getting better next day onwards. Our huge 1st victory came through our Football team. And since we had placed a joker on it, out points doubled. In a single event, we were propelled to the top of the Score chart. After that, we never looked back. A string of victories followed.

The actual 2 days of tandav were a roller coaster rider.A few hits, a few misses. The fight between Mech and ETC got very close.Tensions were at their peak. We made our fashion show barely an hour before the event. Everything from picking the models to making their costumes to deciding their walk was done at the last moment.Just before the last event, the fashion show,this is how things stood-We were leading the score board, but ETC weren’t far behind. They had a joker on the fashion show. And they had worked really hard on it. If they won the 1st place, Tandav trophy would be theirs. Any other place, it would be ours. Our fashion show, on the other hand, had NO hopes of winning. So the entire effort, weeks of prep, thesleepless nights, the trials n tribulations, came down to this. One event. The one event we hadn’t prepared for.those fianls 2 hours were THE most horrible moments of my life.You could cut then tension in my head with a knife. I would’ve never forgiven myself if we came this close, and lost. It was just not an option.
The fashion show ended. Tense moments followed. A friend stood by the judges’ table. As the scores were added up, he showed one sign- Thumbs up.

We had done it. We had FUCKING done it ! :)

The trophy was placed in the middle of the stage. The mechs couldn’t hold themselves back. We had waited too long for this. The stage was a sea of Black T shirts. It was a proud moment to accept the Trophy on behalf of my team.

Rewarding as it was, the tandav experience also had its share of bad things. It wasn’t easy—pushing your own friends to the limit(sorry pratik). Fighting against close friends from other depts.(sorry shambhavi, and other from ETC). Trust me, no matter how much you desire to separate your personal and professional lives, they take a toll on each other. But you realize the true meaning of friendship in these tough times. I’m proud to say I came even closer to many people after Tandav.
For every name I’ve mentioned in this post, there are countless more which I haven’t. I can’t. there are too many of them. It was a united effort afterall.
The post Tandav days weren’t exactly as I had hoped for. I didn’t agree with some of the ways in which we celebrated our victory. Nor did I agree with the allegations that were leveled against us. But guess they are all by-products of victory.
But at the end of it all, it was a good feeling. The feeling of accomplishment is suhweet.
We had done it. The underdogs had won tandav 4.0 :)
(PS. I might have unintentionally skipped a few things.Pls tell me if there is anything I should mention. Wrote the entire post in one go in abt 2 hours, so didn’t plan what I’d write. Also thanks to Pawan, Rahul and others from the council for a great event)


  1. nice one :) no reason to be angry u idiot!!
    u didnt mention the crazy tug of war when mech walked away with the rope b4 the final match!!
    u didnt mention about the big fight at raj coz of that treasure hunt..
    u didnt mention about how ur faculty had refused to release funds initially
    but i guess the whole experience anyways is tooo much to pen down.. its huge!!
    it is close to the heart!! it is jus one superb event of life!!

    u know something.. i actly realised that yeah mech was considered as one of the best branches at a time.. and with allt his nba accredition being taken seriously.. u guys goign ahead with a super torque.. i m sure u will restore it to a large extent by the time we pass out!!
    so proud!!
    cheers!! :)

  2. Haha... love the pic at the end! :)

    G**d karta sabki pack, you are the macho mech! :)

  3. very nice !!! hard work will allways pay.preserve this sleeping photo as a memoir!!!!!it will always encourage you.

  4. great one!
    as usual love d pic in which u take d trophy 4m pushkin!

  5. Shaggy dnt forget the street play!!! It was f***in awesome!!!

  6. shaggy hw can u frget d streetplay?? first in tat too!!!

  7. nice one!!! I can totally relate to the feeling u put across in the end....
    the last pic is posed for or natural???

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. @pushkin a bit of both.i didn't sleep that way all night. just for a moments.but out of natural urge to do it, not for the photo :)

  10. you know.. so far i have read the post 4 times.. and every time i read it.. i have these vivid images of the whole week passing infront of my eyes.. all feelings are jus so fresh.. the anger.. the aggression.. the victories..the defeats.. the tensions.. those forgotten lunch breaks.. that strategising.. that defending.. accusations.. God!
    wonder if it will ever fade away..
    a few regrets will always remain.. but there are a few moments that u really deserve applause for!!
    shit!! why does TANDAV feel so personal in third year ya???
    you know one of the best outcomes?? it jus MAKES u feel super proud of ur dept.. it jus makes u go for it and do what it takes to win!!
    brings people closer.. :)
    one heck of a super experience!!


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