From the desk of Vishaal Rasquinha- Emcee, Singer, Writer and Voice Over Artist. One of our favourite most familiar faces at college festivals!

I’ve been meaning to write about this since a really long time but, much like a lot of others, I didn’t know where to begin. So, when the time came for me to pen my thoughts down for ATKT.in on what college festivals mean to me, I was a blank slate. Nonetheless, after a number of head-banging moments and strolls down memory lanes, this is my attempt to explain why colleges and college fests have come to form an integral part of my life.

“Hey Bro, can we take a picture?”, “Hey, you were mindblowing!”, “I cant wait to see you at your next show”, “I love you so much, Vishaal”.

The reason I’m repeating all these phrases that I am most fortunate to hear so often is because I doubt there are a lot of 23 year-olds who would garner such responses, especially if they are literally a Nobody.

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I come from very humble origins and just like every average middle class boy, the dream was to graduate from college with good marks and secure myself with a job that paid well. Destiny, however had very different plans. Owing to my love for performing, be it singing or public speaking, I’ve always been enthusiatic about being on stage—and in the spotlight. I remember my first year in degree college when my professor walked up to me and said, “Vishaal, you know english better than the others. Why dont you host the annual college festival?”

I still remember the date and the occurances of  13th December 2010 vividly. It was the first time that I was on stage with 7,000 people just going crazy. That feeling when the spotlight hit my face was unbelievable and from that minute on, I knew this was home. This is where I wanted to be and this is who I wanted to be.

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Soon after this, one thing led to another and three years later, I found myself hosting Mumbai’s most premier college festivals one after the other. My tryst with college festivals has been an interesting one, primarily because it gave my life direction and focus. Hosting college fests helped me break into the event industry which is extremely difficult to enter and garner trust in as a newbie. The road to paving my way to corporate events and high-profile weddings hasn’t been easy but is definitely a journey worth remembering.

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If you leave all the disappointment, anxiety and fatigue aside, the reason I do these festivals is just pure love and gratitude. It won’t be wrong of me to say that I owe my life to these festivals and the reason I continue to do it year after year is because of the love I get from them. I remember countless times when I have climbed up on the stage after landing from long flights just a few minutes before and have even performed by heart out at college festivals without sleeping for days at a stretch. I think, after a point, when your energy is running on fumes, the only thing that can keep you going is love and appreciation. My cousins and childhood friends still find is hard to belive that I actually get fan mail! From an awkward teenage introvert that everybody made fun of to the person you see performing in front of you, Vishaal Raquinha is what he is thanks to college festivals.

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Even though I am not in college and don’t work for hours to organise a college fest, it hurts me when someone disregards college festivals saying “What’s the use of participating and putting in all that effort?” What these people fail to see, and which I hope they will someday, is how that competition is most essential in moulding your skills and talents for the future.

On this note, I wish everybody who is a part of these festivals whether as an organizer or a participant to keep doing what they do to the best of their ability.

It’s where my journey began and I hope it does for you too! Always be #spotlightcrazy.

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By Vishaal Rasquinha

Picture Credits: Vishaal Rasquinha