Janmashtami Celebration at IIM Shillong

The Cultural Committee of IIM Shillong is popularly known as the “Ambassador of Happiness”. Being a part of this 15 member committee, I can say with candour that the committee carries the responsibility to live up to its name and for pulling off a show which makes everyone feel inclusive and relaxed.

With Janmashtami around the corner, the penultimate week was dedicated to brainstorming sessions for the day and extensive shopping for the various events, knowing completely well that there were high expectations from us.

The night before the event was spent in decorating the matkis (earthen pots), tying the ropes, sound checks with the speakers, which unfortunately on the day didn’t work, but our budding managerial capabilities had warned us against last minute glitches, so we were ready with a stand-by set in place.

The celebrations were a go at 9 am on 5th September with Janmashtami themed Bollywood songs blaring near our hostels to jolt the students from their slumber, especially as sleeping after day break on a holiday is a common sight here. Gradually, students staggered in small groups onto our volleyball court where the dahi handi breaking competition had been arranged and the first round was played among the junior boys’ teams. To reach the handi teams had to form a four layered human pyramid, a challenging task for the uninitiated. But enthusiasm and the managerial streak of strategy building soon saw the teams take different approaches resulting in many participants slipping and sliding off the top many a times. Eventually, one of the teams made it to the top and was finally able to shatter the handi filled with coloured water and was greeted with lusty cheering from the eager spectators down below. With this, the festival was underway in the true sense.

The first round was soon followed up by a senior vs junior boys’ competition which was ratcheted up with a lot of water splashing on the competitors to slow down their progress of scrambling up the pyramids and throwing them off-balance. In the meantime, the girls too formed their pyramid and smashed the earthenware in a joint attempt of both the senior and junior students. All this while the feeling of gaiety and mirth pervaded the atmosphere which helped the committee in accomplishing more than half of its task.

Soon the action, we moved onto an enthusiastic game of kabaddi between the seniors and juniors. The sounds of ‘kabaddi kabaddi’ were presently downed by the noisy cheering of the supporters gathered all around. To further engage the students and to continue the feeling of bonhomie and celebrations, we decided to play dodge ball. It truly was a hilarious sight, watching people jumping and trying to save themselves from the ball. Unending rounds of volleyball followed which continued late into the evening and the students’ happiness knew no bounds.

As the night crept in and the festivities ended, there was absolute silence in the hostel wings as everyone relaxed after a very tiring day of fun and cheer. The hard work and zeal of the Cultural Committee paid-off in words of understated praise when students ranked the day as one of the best they have had at IIM Shillong so far.

Happiness Spread – Mission Accomplished


  • Author: Jahnvi Jethanandani, First Year PGDM Student, IIM Shillong