Getting into Utsav

College authorities invent a perfect system to detect security threats! A tongue in cheek yet perceptive look at the security arrangements adopted for a recently held college fest.

It is abundantly obvious that Bangalore today is a war zone where the inhabitants subsist in a constant state of mortal peril. Don’t look now, but there’s somebody popping up at your window for a spot of neighbourly homicide of an evening. Negotiating traffic isn’t your biggest cause for concern on our congested roads. No, that would be the chap with the backpack at the signal who looks a bit cross about something. Any minute, he’ll stop with the glaring and start saying it with a Kalashnikov. Then where would you be?

Utsav fest illustration

Illustration: Narasimha Vedala

Our netas barefacedly usurp the strongest and most muscled members of our security forces to safeguard their precious skin which, despite its thickness, is apparently incapable of stopping a few bullets. But what about the rest of us measly ‘inconsequentials’? How can we possibly survive without Z plus security when a group of disgruntled terrorists who consider our very existence a personal affront, plot our swift end, even as we speak?

Indeed, doesn’t the prevailing tension turn us all into potential thesis subjects for NIMHANS? There’s no accounting for what we may do next in our frenzied states!

Luckily though, while the rest of us walk around in a state of extreme panic, wringing our hands and exclaiming: What to do? What to do? One of our leading centers of technical education has shown us the way forward. During their magnificent fest Utsav, BMS College of Engineering adopted a hard nosed approach in dealing with the scourge. The approach, like most of the theorems studied at BMS, is elegant in its simplicity – ‘treat everyone like terrorist scum’.

The situation we find ourselves in at present is very similar to that of a maximum security prison. Every inmate is a convicted criminal, quite capable at any moment of doing something inexplicable, if provided the opportunity and means. Hence, the simplest solution is to treat them like the deranged lunatics they are and ensure that they don’t come within an ace of getting hold of anything remotely dangerous. It is this very model that was brilliantly replicated by BMS College, to encompass all visitors to Utsav.

In the interest of our readers, this reporter will now proceed to describe the various steps that are followed, to attain the entirely fool proof security arrangements as witnessed at BMS, so they may be swiftly replicated in all homes, schools and workplaces.

First, a strong army of well built, tough looking blokes is posted outside the gate to scowl at anyone who tries to enter, so as to scare away those planning activities of a dubious nature. All those courageous souls willing to brave the wrathful stares of this patrol are then made to stand in single file outside a narrow gate. This policy may not be relaxed irrespective of the length of the line or the urgency of the Potential Entrants (who shall henceforth be referred to as PEs). Those failing to respect this policy must be simultaneously whistled and yelled at until they comply or clear off beyond 50 yards of the area.

One member of the Gestapo will then walk along the line shouting, “Empty your pockets!” repeatedly into the ears of all PEs. This reporter is loath to criticise but perhaps at this point, a few cycles of ‘Attention’ and ‘Stand at ease’ would have been appropriate. Alas, this was overlooked by the BMS Gestapo.

Once the PE has reached the front of the line heshe must be set upon simultaneously by three members of the Gestapo. One will grab the items the PE has by now taken out of his pockets/ wallet, and proceed to rummage through them, taking particular care to examine any piece of paper that may be present for suspicious, propaganda spreading text. Another will summarily yank away any other of the PE’s possessions, such as bags, and forward these for inspection. A third will yell at the, by now, rather bewildered PE to display some id immediately. The id produced will be carefully examined and contrasted with the face of the PE to ensure a perfect match.

Once the PE has satisfactorily cleared this stage, heshe is ushered forward to the next stage where further two of the Gestapo wait. It is essential that the two members of the force most lacking in squeamishness of any sort be selected for this task for it involves a thorough search of the bodily person of the PE, leaving (to mangle a metaphor) no stone unturned.

The hardy PE who comes through this search with mind and body intact must then proceed to the table where hisher belongings are searched with a comb whose teeth are of the greatest proximity. In this task, the golden rule is, ‘take no chances’. Therefore, anything metal with a remotely pointed edge (rulers, compasses) must immediately be tossed into a bin provided for that purpose. Yes, BMS is an engineering college but surely, you will agree, security takes precedence over the need to draw straight lines or circles. Anything flammable or potentially flammable, or indeed anything that the Gestapo isn’t entirely convinced to be incapable of causing a flame or getting in someone’s eye, joins its lethal comrades in the bin.

The tossing of these objects in the bin must be carried out with complete authority. If a PE protests over the confiscation of some trinket, a fierce glance and a threat shall be used to quell the pathetic insubordination.

Finally, once it has been established that the PE is officially incapable of causing any major damage, or at least, nothing that could become lethal in a hurry, heshe is allowed to proceed forth.

You are then allowed to partake of the wondrous happenings that Utsav entails; with a mind entirely free of care knowing that, win or lose; you certainly cannot be shot or stabbed!

In this world of uncertainty there is no denying that, peace of mind of that magnitude cannot be scoffed at.


  1. Siri Srinivas says:

    If the threat is good enough for Heathrow airport, it must be excellent a scare for ze engineering college. Even the “no liquids” rule was strictly followed (fortunately, the purview of diligence was restricted to flammable stuff such as deodorants) But the down side was that everyone suffered from BO-paranoia and no one would dare stand within 5 feet of anybody else πŸ˜›

  2. navneethgowda says:

    Bein the security incharge of UTSAV,i can assure u that wat u have thrown light on is jus the hawk eye view of the security process of UTSAV.. there r much more intricate details to it.. i donno if any other coll gives so much importance to the security norms.. even the princi was not spared n was frisked.. we were rolled wit a lot of critisism from management,allumni,seniors n junis alike.. but at the end of the day,honest work stood out.. heres a big thanks to u from the security team of UTSAV for this recognision.. πŸ™‚ n thanks again for less of those sarcastic words;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Mumbai’s invisible beaches: A photo-story

Mumbai's shoreline may be famous for iconic beaches like Juhu and Girgaum but there's much more to it, says a city photographer.

Once a year, I inadvertently overhear someone wondering aloud about the sea level while crossing the Mahim or Thane Creek bridges without realising that the sea has tides. Similar conversations are heard at the beaches too. The Bandra Worli Sea Link, which now features in almost every movie about Mumbai, as seen from Mahim. Pic: MS Gopal Not being aware of tides often leads to lovers being stranded on the rocks along the coast, or even people getting washed away by waves during the monsoons. People regularly throng the sea-fronts of Mumbai - sometimes the beaches, sometimes the promenades, but…

Similar Story

The Ultimate challenge: Women’s voices from Chennai’s frisbee community

While men and women indulge in healthy competition during a game of Ultimate Frisbee in Chennai, there are various power dynamics at play.

A little white disc flies through the air; chased by many, and caught deftly by a girl, who then sends it whizzing across the sandy shore. This is a scene that often unfolds along Chennai's Besant Nagar beach, next to the red police booth. The vast, open space afforded by the beach sets the stage for a fun sport, involving a 175g white disc. Ultimate Frisbee is fast-paced, involving seven players from each team on opposite sides of the field, throwing the disc to each other, racing to catch it and passing it along to teammates. The most popular format…