- Piyushi Sobti, PGHR 2010-12
As the countdown began, our excitement level rose. Rural Illumina was happening after a gap of two years and we were going to be a part of it! All preliminary arrangements done, props made and roles practiced, 16th October dawned bright to find a group of over 50 Mandevians- Illuminatis and volunteers- raring to go. An hour's drive later, we found ourselves in the village of Pataudi, in a 100-year old Mela we were proud to be a part of. The tents were still only partially up and we had around four hours to complete the entire set-up before the crowds started pouring in. In the next few hours, the place transformed in front of our eyes. Rooms were demarcated, props put in place, costumes donned, stomachs filled, Airtel Dish TVs installed and Tata BP Solar Appliances ready to be advertised!
What we saw and experienced once the Mela began was nothing short of thrilling and unique. Expecting a good response, we had already enlisted Police help for security and narrowed our entrances to allow respondents in one at a time, so that we could record their responses to the Market Researches. The response was indeed phenomenal! From five-year olds to 80-year olds, the curiosity around the ‘Kaun Banega Dabbang ka Robinhood’ and ‘Khichdi’ tents spread like wildfire! So much so that some of the Mela-visitors actually suspected that we were hiding Salman Khan inside the tents! Our boys, with the help of the Police, could just about keep the crowds from mobbing us. Meanwhile inside the tents, multiple Hansas and Babujis, Maa’s and Rajjo’s, Chulbul Pandeys and Makkhi Singhs were busy interacting with the respondents.
Delighted at our success and tired to the bone, we saved up just enough energy within ourselves to arrive at MDI at the end of the day and dance behind the Dholwala in each corridor of CM and Odyssey, declaring the triumph of Rural Illumina to one and all.
In the words of an Illuminati, “…it was a memorable Khichdi... and we hope to create DA BANG on 31st again.”