As Baba’s car, symbolically carrying Him, gently glided into the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium, there was a loud booming of fireworks, marking rejoicement of the commencement of Annual Sports & Cultural Meet.
The annual Sports & Cultural Festival of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning for 2013 got underway this morning in the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View stadium marked with a rich fare of cultural programmes and sporting feats.
In the morning, at the stroke of eight, even as the ‘Sai Vahan’, the car symbolically carrying the Divine Chancellor made its entry gently gliding on the pathway, to the escort of motorbike outriders and flag bearers, to a catchy soothing music piece, a capacity crowd comprising students, staff, parents and general devotees sat in silence gripped in nostalgia, recalling the golden days of Baba’s physical participation.
Commencing the proceedings, the Directors, Principals and Wardens of Prasanthi Nilayam, Brindavan, Anantapur campuses and Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary Schools paid their obeisance to the Baba.
Tiny tots from Sri Sathya Sai Primary School and Smt. Easwaramma English Medium School offered bouquets to Baba as contingents of students from Baba’s educational institutions marched sprightly to the tunes of brass band in colourful costumes in the stadium.
Sports Meet oath was administered next before the Torch Flame for the meet was carried around the stadium by the Athletic squad before lighting the cauldron atop the Hanuman Hill.
This year’s Mascot Cheetah symbolising strength, energy and speed.
The first campus to perform in the morning was the Brindavan Campus from Whitefield, Bangalore. Beginning their presentation with a rhapsody of beats, titled, “Rhythm of Life” they continued with display of formations and daredevil bike items.
First item was a folk art from Karnataka signifying the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 75 hands joined in unison to create a rhythmic explosion through their drums. There was a short display of formations by students dressed in white and black trousers, symbolizing man’s resolute journey in his human sojourn.
The final item, the stock item of Brindavan campus was the Bike stunts. As TVS Branded Apache RTR bikes veered into the stadium heralding speed, balance, precision and agility, students made various formations, often performed by military men in prestigious events, presenting a thrilling display of sheer precision and control coupled with daredevilry. These stunts are executed after training for a short period of time, a difficult proposition even for professionals. Criss-crossing each other at blinding speeds, hand stand on bikes, flying formation, 29 students balancing on five bikes with precision, driving with flags, wheeling were some of the feats on display by these daredevil bikers.
Entire campus participants converged for the final formation, paying their obeisance to Baba, to the backdrop of a song played on the public address system conveying their feelings of gratitude for the opportunity bestowed on them.
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
When the Divine picked you to add Peace to the world what would you do...the answer was clear with the students from the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus as beginning their display this morning, the Campus students drove a huge structure bearing a revolving world map with the inscription Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the beings of all the worlds be happy!) making their intentions quite clearly.
Atop the structure there was a dove symbolising ‘Peace Unto The World’. As the huge structure was wheeled towards the Shanti Vedika, the Seat Of The Divine, a mini firework lit the air, welcoming one and all to the second and final programme for the morning, by the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus, comprising Higher Secondary students along with senior students.
Remotely controlled hand gliders soared in the sky swirling and making a nose dive repeatedly signalling the theme of the upcoming items – speed, strength, agility, adroitness, precision and balance along with Baba unique eternal message Love All Serve All. The motto of their presentation was: “When the Divine picks you to add peace to the world.”
The first item was Siva Tandava (Lord Siva’s Cosmic Dance) with various percussion instruments in the background – the traditional Nadaswaram, the Chinese drums and the Jazz drums. As drums thundered, students dressed as folk artistes displayed Bhangra dance of Punjab, Dummy horse dance of Tamil Nadu to rhythmic beats. Siva dancing with trident to lively beats concluded their performance.
The next feat was acrobats balancing on ropes, hanging upside down, balancing on one leg, Dhanurasana (bow formation) and Padmasana (lotus posture), to name a few. The balancing acts which requires a lot of coordination and practice was performed with precision. An announcement was made that such feats which require 4 months of practice was accomplished in less than 3 weeks. Floor exercises coupled with aerobics was the next item. Students performed exercises to some popular tunes, made Mexican wave formation, somersaulted, dived and jumped over students to the delight of all. The typical ‘Gun-Drill”, march with guns with various exercises performed by army men was displayed next.
The game of basketball which requires a lot of skill was displayed next by these students. But here the students dunked the ball in the net after getting elevation from a ramp. It was interesting to see some of them dunking the ball deftly and some missing. Ring masters from the Higher Secondary wing occupied the centre-stage with immaculate handling of large rings. They swirled, spun and swung, and even criss-crossed each other in the rings with accuracy and balance.
The penultimate item was again performed on the 30 feet high structure. This time the students displayed various balancing acts on ropes which require sheer will power coupled with muscle power. Hanging upside down precariously, tying and unwinding from the top of the structure made hearts beat to their courage. A 2nd year MBA student then spun like a spinning wheel on the rope to the amazement of all. The last item was rhythmic formations with colourful flags.
After this, the students converged to pay obeisance to their Lord without Whose grace all these feats could not be thought of. The final formation with fireworks in the background added glitter and colour as hand gliders again soared in the sky to a song expressing gratitude to The Lord.