Remember the time when you jet-packed across the seven seas to sample the delights of the Middle Kingdom, of France’s home-baked croissants, of Portuguese tarts? When you boarded the steamy Chennai Express and hopped off for a front-row view of Bollywood splendour?
No, never happened? That’s okay. USU doubted it, so they flew back to base to bring uni-goers a taste of the world for three days along Eastern Avenue.
Think K-pop. A slice of the martial arts. Foot painting. Impossible competitions and decibels-busting pop-up karaoke. Think food, and platters of them.
Not even the loudspeaker could handle the excitement when performers took to Eastern Avenue with their exotic dances. With both a bang and a smoky sultry whimper, the loudspeaker passed away, leaving a trio of K-pop dancers in pastel minis and bow ties to jive to the naked beat of handclaps and cheers. Backstage, the chorus of “uh-ohs” and “oh shit!s” could not revive the resting-in-peace loudspeaker.
And just as beards and maroon drop-to-the-tarmac-length knits are back in Main Campus fashion, so too were eunuch court dresses. Bollywood skirts billowed and threw many a jewelled light into the squinting eyes of their onlooking fandom.
Passers-by Sharpie-scrawled the places they hope to visit on the ‘Before I Die’ banner. One planned to fly to the moon. Another, to the fortress city of Pyongyang.
A tent later, cheeks purpled and brows furrowed into Yellow Rivers of sweat over the Guess the Photo Comp. In the cool of the white tent, urgent whispers rose like heated yeast, eyes went rolling, and exclamation marks went a-multiplying.
Over the picture of a popular hot springs resort, somebody shrieked: “Oh em gee Luke. I’m telling you, it’s Iceland! Iceland!! ICELAND!!!” And so it was.
Original article published in Bull Magazine. Also available online.