+91-8876752400 Thursday - Feb 21, 2019


SAIBAL KRISHNA SHARMA narrates here the extraordinary story which justifies Paulo Coelho’s statement that ‘when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’

“Saibal! I want a detailed report about the National Youth Festival by 4 PM tomorrow”. This is the exact statement made by my Editor at 5 PM on 13th January 2015. I replied with confidence “No problem Sir. My report’s ETA (Expected Time of Arrival) will be on your table by 4 pm tomorrow”.

I could not sleep that night because I had no clue what had happened at the 19th National Youth Festival, 2015 as the fest was over by then and I was busy with other assignments. But I had to get it done. As Salman says, “Ek bar jo maine commitment kar diya…toh usske baad me khud ki bhi nahi sunta”.

Next day as the D-day arrived, I googled about the events, called up some of my friends but nothing useful came out of it. My desperation made me pray to the Universe to play with the stars and send down an angel. Suddenly, I remembered that I had a lunch party invitation at my friend’s house. I was not in the slightest mood to attend the party but it was his birthday. So I went!

It was already 12.30 PM, only three and a half hours left to complete my work. I disentangled myself from the party and tried to figure out how to complete my report. Out of the blue, a sweet voice from my back fell into my ears. Are you alright?, she asked. I turned back and saw the prettiest girl of my life. “Yeah, I am fine…It’s just some work stuffs”, I replied with a grin. “Well you are avoiding the party…there must be something really serious going on. Would you like to share?,” she kept on asking. I told her that I was searching for information regarding the recently concluded National Youth Festival. Sweet Lord! The next moment made me jump on my feet! I came to know that the lady was a participant at the festival who was in there for the whole National Youth Week, 12th to 18th January.

I sat her down and our tête-à-tête about the festival began. According to her it was the best festival she had ever been too. “To be a part of such a national event is itself a matter of pride”, she said. People from all the states of India flocked Guwahati and showcased their culture and in return enlightened themselves about ethnic diversity of Northeast. As our conversation proceeded, she illustrated about the ambience of the youth festival. She briefed me about the people, their cultures, their languages, their tastes and also elucidated about the different functions; both competitive and non-competitive, the ethnic food rush and the Yuva Kriti, the Art workshop and the adventure trips. “Guwahati was turned into a mini India”, the lady quoted.

The opening ceremony, graced by the honourable Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Tarun Gogoi, showcased a cultural rally along with various other programmes from participants all over India. She described about the folk dance competition which was held at the District Library Auditorium. All the states performed their folk dances and it was a colourful event not to say the least about the bonhomie environment. “Assam won 2nd prize in the folk dance competition”, she expressed with a hint of pride. Simultaneously, the classical dance and the folk song competitions took place at Sudmersan Hall, Cotton College and the classical instrumental competition was held at the B. Borooah College Auditorium.

A series of interactive sessions were organised that focussed on youths like, youth parliament, personality development, youth against drug abuse, etc. The one-act play competition at Rabindra Bhawan soaked the audience into another constellation. The food festival attracted a huge gathering of people at the Assam Engineering Institute Field, Chandmari. A plethora of cuisines from all the parts of India were prepared to tempt the mouth-watering jaws of the spectators. And of course, the mesmerizing romantic songs of Alka Yagnik, Zubeen and Papon captivated the minds of the people and added to their delight.

All together the stranger explained the entire five days extravaganza of the festival within an hour. I was thrilled to get all the necessary inputs and I still had two hours to submit the report. “Thank you so much…You saved my job…Hey I am sorry I didn’t get your name”, I said with gratitude.  She smiled and asked me to excuse her for a minute. I thought she was going to the washroom. But then I never saw her again. Not in the party and not in my life till now. Who was she?

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