The Ragam Paraphernalia.

First, look at this word - “Paraphernalia.”

Many of you must be knowing what it means. Some of you may not. Whatever, please don’t run to google. Something is coming up in the following paragraphs, that will change the way you are looking at Ragam. Or towards any other festival of cultural exchange for that matter. So please hang on if you wish to. Or just ignore. Nobody really cares.

Enough said, let me give a synopsys of what Ragam is right now. Its something that we call a cultural festival, in which the “culture” is limited to a few events that happen to happen between the proshows. Proshows are everything and we apply almost all of our financial muscle to make it them the best, with meagre resources left for events that really matter like drama, mime or street play. I will talk more about it later. (In a seperate post)

A cultural festival, if at all meant to facilitate cultural exchange, should have a soul on its own. It would be capable of telling a story on its own and create many more when it is happening. This makes the notion of a theme imperative. And this theme should be intertwined with the soul of the festival.

In this context, a theme like “comics” or “classics” are so vague and would fail in expressing the soul of the festival. So I propose Paraphernalia. But what the hell does that mean? Is it a theme, or an idea? Or is it an abstract concept with no practical consequence at all?

It simply refuses to get limited to these definitions.

Its just a placeholder we will be using to justify all the crazy things we will be doing for the three days. But why paraphernalia? Or what is it in the first place?

Examples always make life easier.

Why do guys prefer boxers with Bob Marley printed on the top of Jamaican flag over mundane single colour ones?

Why the “I am Batman” T-shirt over the Ben 10?

Why yellow colour stencil over the pink ones?

Why the glass bong in the shape of hukah when the makeshift one with cocacola bottle will do the job?

Why do some people stick to specific brands? Colors?

Why coloured bras over black or white ones? (I better not talk about the prints)

Why do businesses that sell drug and sex paraphernalia thrive?

One possible answer is that the paraphernalia associated with you defines what you actually are. And at Ragam, you are getting an oppurtunity to showcase that hidden self of yours. Where you are free to wear/carry/distribute the paraphernalia that defines you.

We create a parallel universe where a person wrapped in his paraphernalia is much more normal than the plain one who roams with clothes that normal humans wear.

Where you are picked from the crowd and gifted for your costume or the toy you are carrying. The website and promo videos now have an objective and standards to meet. The “informals” starts to make sense for the first time since its inception.

From the moment they plan their trip to NITC for Ragam, they start making/collecting something that makes them stand out of the crowd. When they enter Rajpath, they feel that they have been transported to a parallel universe where the rules are a bit different.

Plus, we will take a resolution to not to pay the major chunk of our expentiture to some moron who happen to be famous. We will set a benchmark for what a cultural festival should be. I have an idea for a literature festival to be hosted along with Ragam. I will talk about it in a later post.

So what say folks? Deal or No deal?

Written on January 27, 2015