By Alancia Menezes | Opening Doorz Editorial | September 06, 2022

The much-awaited college festival of the year dawned a new light last weekend! Every college student and alumni of St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai was looking forward to Malhar 2022. With the theme ‘Aurora—Transcending Horizons’, Malhar 2022 truly helped the youth transcend their potential. This year saw 1200 participants and over 22,00 making their way to the college campus over two days.

Malhar 2022 was powered by Fast&Up and partnered with Instagram as their official social media partner. Every student shouted only one name—“Malhar!” Paving its way to the main day, Malhar 2022 had been the talk of the town for the past month. It all began with their social cause initiative in collaboration with Sparsh Charity and Saturday Art Class that help underprivileged kids learn self-expression through art.

This was followed by their super energetic dance workshop with celebrity trainer and choreographer Vivek Dadhich. Malhar Fest’s collaboration with Sunday Streets (an initiative of Mumbai Police) needs no mention. The city was flooded with news that captured the youthful and joyful Sunday morning that Malhar gave everyone. On August 21, the elimination rounds for the competing colleges of Malhar 2022 were conducted, with the top performers making their way to the finale on August 28 and 29.

Malhar 2022
Students at Malhar Studio which saw some super performances from participating colleges.

Malhar 2022 and its rich heritage

Malhar is known for its richness and variety of events. Ranging from Conclave, the intellectual discourse of the fest, all the way to the Performing Arts, Fine Arts, and Literary Arts Events. This year, the festival was streamed ‘live’ on Glance Roposo, the official streaming partner.

Keeping up with its tradition of giving heed to socially relevant discourse, Malhar 2022 started its first session of the Conclave with its keynote speaker Bezwada Wilson, who gave the audience an insight into how dialogue is important to transform the world. The Conclave was also graced by eminent personalities such as Palki Sharma Upadhyay, who shared her opinion on objectivity in journalism.

Dr. Vidita Vaidya and Siddharth Paul Tiwari filled the audiences with awe of the knowledge in neuroscience and e-governance respectively. Sharing his insight on transcending horizons in technology, Tiwari said, “You can analyze the past but you have to design the future.” He gave the youth a strong call to action. The queer inclusivity panel discussion on the first day was certainly a conversation starter. Day one also witnessed audiences interacting with Netflix’s Dhruv Sehgal, and the founders of  The Sound Space—Kamakshi and Vishala Khurana. The event ended on a musical note with the well-acclaimed influencer musician, Nikhil Paralikar aka The Tabla Guy.

Malhar 2022: Malhar Icon and Malhar Studio

Malhar’s most admired event, ‘The Malhar Icon’, the personality contest, had versatile participants from every corner and was judged by the influencer-creator, a people’s favourite, Malvika Sitlani. The improved comedy event was another hit with participants putting their best spontaneous foot forward and making their way to the judge, Aditya Srivastava’s heart.

Another famous audience was the ‘Malhar Studio’, a band event inspired by the renowned Coke Studio. The event witnessed a panel of illustrious judges from Inayat for this auspicious event: Ritik Mehta, an Indian Music Composer/Producer, and Filmmaker, and Abhishek Venkitakrishnan, a vocalist with over eight years of training in Carnatic Classical. Jeanne Merchant and Pratichee Mohapatra were the judges on the final day.

Jean Merchant has been a voice coach for fourteen years, and has done countless jazz gigs in the city. Pratichee Mohapatra is one of the members of Viva band (winners of international television talent show Popstars, named Coke [V] Popstars). She has been trained in Hindustani Classical music for over six years.

Malhar 2022
Images from Malhar Fine Arts and Malhar Performing Arts.

Malhar 2022: Malhar Fine Arts and Malhar Performing Arts

Dominating the field, we had the Field Domination competition that saw contingents all geared up and energized, working hard on simple yet mind-boggling activities. Decorating the festival with the finer details, the Fine Arts events added a splash of colour to our days. The Fine Arts Lounge was a huge hit, with audiences lined up to get their faces painted with miniature tattoos and showcase the beauty of Malhar.

The popularly celebrated events of Malhar—The Performing Arts—were at the core of the Audience’s attention. The Street Dance and Freestyle Dance events, called ‘Starrin’ The Streets’ and  ‘Picture Abhi Baaki Hai Mere Dost’ respectively, gave dance and Bollywood a Malhar twist. The idea of clicking pictures of the food that you’re going to eat isn’t alien to anyone today, and therefore the Bake Workshop gave wonderful results. Fifty participants sat down together to decorate cookies and click pictures of them. The idea was an instant hit among the Malhar Crowd, most of whom do tend to be food enthusiasts!

Nothing is complete without a little bit of surprise. Malhar 2022, witnessed Barkha Singh and Ayush Mehra, the cast of Please Find Attached, promoting their third season among audience members who were just in love. The members got a chance to take the stage and groove with the celebs. Ayush Mehra went home with a handmade sketch art by a dear fan.

Malhar 2022
Contingent Code  ‘M2228L’: K.C. College, Mumbai, performing at Malhar Studio… the winning performance.

Malhar 2022: K C College wins the Trophy

And finally, the closing ceremony heard what everyone was waiting to hear—the winner of Malhar 2022. Contingent Code  ‘M2228L’, none other than K.C. College, Mumbai, took away the winning trophy for Malhar Aurora 2022, and was seen celebrating this legacy with pride!

One can go on about the path tread by Malhar 2022 to keep its legacy alive and burning brighter than ever. But it’s like one would say, “You just had to be there!”. We hope you enjoyed your Aurora Moment at Malhar 2022.

Here’s a quote by the guest speaker Siddharth Paul Tiwari, to summarise what Malhar did this year: “How many languages do we need to communicate with the world? Your voice is enough.”

And with that, Malhar Aurora 2022, used their voice to transcend horizons on campus, after two whole years!

Also Read: Malhar 2022… St Xavier’s College Fest

Also Read: Cardinal Oswald Gracias: A disappointing witness to a watching world

Also Read: Ranveer Singh, Modesty Blaise, Heidi Klum!

Leave a Reply