Societas, the sociology association of Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi holds an annual department meet- Cynosure. The theme for this year was ‘Humor and Satire in Everyday Life.’ The event took place on 16th February 2023. The venue for this year’s meeting was the college auditorium. The event started at 10:15 am with an opening speech by the student president of Societas, Ms Vedika Khaitan who briefed the audience about the performances to look forward. This was followed by the lightening of the lamp by the teachers of the sociology department in addition to the chief guests and judges of the competitions. The event’s first leg started with a briefing of the competitions by the third-year class representative- Ms Vandana and the first-year class representative- Ms Aradhaya. Following this, we had a dance performance by Orihona from the third year who performed a distinct art form known as Sattriya which is a major art form that originated in Assam and was created by Srimata Shankardev in the 15th and 16th centuries. In addition to this, the cultural team of Societas also performed a welcome dance for the audience and guests. Then, we had an academic lecture by Dr. Dev Nath Pathak, who is a specialist in the field of folklore studies, sociology and social anthropology, art culture, theatre, etc. He teaches sociology and social anthropology to postgraduate students from SAARC countries at the South Asian University in Delhi. Prior to his lecture, he was facilitated on stage by Dr. Sharmishta Mallick. Dr. Dev started off by praising the theme of the fest, followed by an example of the established ‘serious ideas’ and how they become the basis of hilarity in different contexts and various situations, to explain this better, he gave an example of his son, who was asked to do a play on a religious text, and after practicing the play for such a long time every day, he eventually got bored of it and in the end performed it in a manner which made everyone laugh.
However, Dr. Pathak regards this as being disrespectful to the text, knowing this, people still laughed on it. He also mentioned writers like Mary Douglas and James Scott and their text titled “humor”. Moreover, he even mentioned sociologists’ tendency to keep the very idea of humor and its role in society on the back burner. Also, he says that how something that seems hilarious to one may find no recognition of the same for another. At times, people associated with popularity and mass support will laugh at jokes regarding others but at the same time are opposed to the very idea of becoming the butt of ridicule themselves. Following Dr. Dev’s lecture, we had the hosts- Ms Rupal from the third year and Ms Priyanshi from the first year who introduced the comedy act competition- The Comicles.
Ms Aradhaya and Ms Vandana then briefed the audience about the competition as well as introduced the participating teams. The competition had three teams who performed humorous acts. After this, we had the hosts- Ms Noyorika from the third year and Ms Shruti Dang from the first year introduce the next performance of the day by Wasiq Ali Daniyal, who does comedy acts as his passion and is an alumna of Christ, Bangalore. He ached the audience’s stomachs to death with his humorous act. Following his comedy act, we had two very special guests of our college- the alumnae of the sociology department- Jekulin Thakuria and Sowmya Narayanan. Jekulin is an alumna of the college with a melodious voice and a zeal for literature, performing arts, and history. She is a budding sociologist by education and a writer by heart. She took everyone’s ears for joy with her melodious and soothing voice. Following her performance, we had another alumnae performance by Sowmya Narayanan, who has been learning Bharatnatyam under Padma Shri Geeta Chandran for the past 15 years and has performed in various cities of the country. Her dance performance took the audience in awe. During the last leg of the event, we had two beautiful performances by the cultural team of Societas, hosts- Ms noyorika from the third year and Ms Khushi from the first year introduced these performances.
The first one was a singing performance by the cultural team who sang old songs in their soothing voices followed by an electrifying dance performance that made everyone jump out of their seats and dance to the songs. The event was then concluded with the prize and certificate distribution to the winners and runners-up of the competitions that took place alongside the main event- the altercate, and the caricature-making competition.
In the end, the core team along with the teachers of the department gathered on the stage for a group photo to cherish the memories of this special day.
Report by Shruti Dang for The Campus Media.