The academic calendar was hardly of any interest to us. It was just a schedule interspersed with internals, vivas and assignment submissions before the menace of semester exams re-surfaced. However what we did look forward to if there was anything that could be put under that head would be the college fests. They were of little consequence to anyone not involved in them, and might not have even been impressive to the unbiased observer but for those who organized them, they'd be the centre of the universe for at least a month in time.
For me, it'd be the Mechanchie society's Magnum Opus, and the two biggies of the year for the entire college in the form of the tech-fest Literati and the cultural Confluence. Life was tough as far as getting sponsorships for the fests was concerned. Kurukshetra wasn't quite a name which would spring out of the pages when a senior executive of a company thought of killer brand placement. Consequently, getting the sponsors to shell out more than a pittance and then live up to their expectation to buy the moon for a dime was a near impossibility. But we tried.
"Prof Night", a standard feature of all IIT and big city college fests where a professional musical artist/group performed, remained a spectre through the fog during our 4 years in engineering school thanks to administrative red-tape. The attendance from neighbouring colleges and big cities remained sparse despite our best efforts to portray our inter-college fests as the best there was going to be. Sometimes it seemed that the only ones who believed the event to be a success were we the organizers ourselves. Everyone else was either turning their noses up at the "fun" to come or worser still, running away to avoid the boredom.
We were oblivious to all these shortcomings, us who were in the thick of these things. We'd continue to slave away over the posters that would build up to the events, engage in passionate debates over what actions would draw the 'crowds', spent late nights and long phone calls over supplies & fresh ideas that could pump more life and encourage more participation than last year or the year before last. The unbelievable efforts that we put into what would at the end of it all be just another tacky college fest defied belief. The grandiose nature of these events may only have been a illusion but it was a very useful one for us nonetheless.
We had invested a little bit of ourselves & the zest of our youthful spirits on each of those tossed away pamphlets that were now being blown around the grounds, into the giant backdrop of the stage, on the furniture that we lugged onto the truck, the giant speakers that would screech in electromagnetic indignation and the million other activities that stitched together this attempt at college fest greatness. If spirit counted for anything at all in these cases, then we were at par with any of the hallowed institutions of the world stigmatized though might we be by being located in a little pocket of rural Haryana.