I went down the Hostel stairs wearing clothes I didn’t feel like lugging back home, at around 8:00 P.M and went to the colourfully lit basketball court. Dandiya sticks lay haphazardly scattered across the centre of the court, a change from the carefully laid out pattern that was still intact an hour ago. The court was now filled with the soft glow of the fairy lights, loud music, the laughter of the people trying and failing to dance with the dandiya sticks and the voices of those who were teaching the others the right way to hit the sticks together. While this was happening at the centre of the court, we had on one side the various stalls put up by the IDIA. One was a lemonade stall that soon doubled up to became a make-shift baggage counter as well. The other two stalls had games which soon became a challenge to win. One game, the Balti game, consisted of dropping a coin within a bangle placed at the bottom of a water-filled bucket. (Only Science kids would understand how hard it is. Refraction of light is so complicated!)
The other game, Lucky 7, entailed placing a bet on a pair of dice. If the numbers on the dice add up to the amount the player placed a bet on, the player gets twice or thrice the money back. To be more precise, in this game if you bet that the numbers on the dice add up to more than 7 or less than 7 and they do, you get twice the money back. If you go YOLO and bet that the numbers would add up to exactly 7 then you get thrice the amount back. The probability of losing was higher than the probability of a win, and I personally saw more people losing than winning. Maybe I hung out near the stall for too short a time or maybe all the players were suffering from a case of horrible luck. On the other side of the court, people were busy lighting lanterns and releasing them into the sky, providing an indie feel to the event. The Chaat stand remained crowded all along. No matter how much people complained about the quality of the Chaat, they still ate it because it was Chaat and nobody could resist.
The night went by with people eating, laughing, dancing, playing and taking pictures. Pearlita Narain from the 4th year and Siddhartha Kuthadi from the 5th year won the title of “Best Dressed” and received a cash prize of INR 100each. IDIA was able to raise 4090 rupees and will use the same to fund the travel and food expenditure of their trainees. A hearty congratulations to IDIA, as well as the Cultural Committee for having organized yet another beautiful event.
(A previous version of this article stated that the probability of winning in Lucky 7 is higher than the probability of losing. The same has now been corrected.)