This happened when I was in my 2nd year. I was the founder of a Dramatics club in my college.
The management asked the clubs to promote college fest. The catch was, it was to be done the next day! I founded this club in my first year, so it was the youngest of all clubs in college. Every senior club bailed out. This was a near-impossible task, since clubs had to prepare with a completely new script with slightly more than 12 hrs to go.
I got a call from a senior. I said I’ll think for 15 mins and then get back. This was a risky affair, since any goof-ups would’ve led to a bad name for the management.
I took the challenge and initiated the proceedings. Like other clubs, my team mates were very skeptical about the whole affair. They asked me to drop the whole idea. Two of them bailed out.
I said, “I’ll write the whole script. You just do one favour. Remember your lines and also those of the one before and one after you, so that if anyone forgets his/hers, you can cover for them.”
I stayed up all night, requested my mates to do the same, and finally it was all ready. We met at sharp 7 in morning, which is quite early for an engineer, and rehearsed for the next 4 hours.
We had to go to this college, which was considered to be the rival of ours. Like there are only 2 colleges in the whole city – that kind of rivals. Now it has a huge campus. Most of my team-mates were first year students, they were being heckled by the crowd. Rivalry, huh!
We had no choice but to keep going on; so when someone forgot, he/she just came back and took their place.
I had a monologue at the end. It was an impromptu decision, within seconds of getting up to deliver. There is this poem by Dusyant Kumar, ‘Aag Jalni Chahie‘ meaning The Fire Must Go On. I recited the first two lines and stopped. The crowd was heckling all the time, but after this pause of two seconds, which felt like a slow-motion video in a Bollywood movie, they caught the poem and recited the last two lines for me. All of them, in one breath.
Some poems and songs are just like that. They echo in your brain and you just go by them. Soon they realized they had played right into the ‘victim’s’ wand. I took the opportunity and shouted our college’s punchline with all my might. This fired up everyone and even my seniors who were standing there, shocked by the turn of events, joined us. The whole campus went mum, literally. A round of applause followed.
It was one of the most memorable moments of my college life. The very fact that I made my juniors and team-mates get what they deserved, the way those 24 hours panned out, remains very close to my heart till date.