Tech that, says Purushottam

Alisha Shinde
Monday, 3 September 2018

Although an important annual cultural event, Purushottam Karandak had no online presence so far. But things changed this year with Be Birbal coming on board

On Sunday, Premraj Sarda College Ahmednagar walked away with the prestigious Purushottam Karandak 2018, with SP College Pune bagging Hari Narayan Karandak and MMCC Pune winning Sanjeev Karandak for coming first and second runners-up respectively.

If you’ve studied in any of the city colleges, you surely would know about the prestigious ‘Purushottam Karandak’, the annual inter-collegiate Marathi one-act play competition where the participants put in a lot of effort and practise to win the coveted trophy. 

Purushottam, as it is commonly known amongst the regular attendees, is significant for many reasons. Many people make it a point to attend Purushottam for the rich content that it brings to life on stage and also because the 54-year-old competition is a legacy and is regarded as the most unbiased and prominent platform for college students to display their talent. 

Bringing theatre to social media is an idea that can go a long way. To inform people about the history of the organisers — Maharashtriya Kalopasak, as also the story behind every award and the artists who started their journey from Purushottam and have now made it big in the industry, Be Birbal, a digital media marketing agency in the city, has been deploying various innovative techniques. Shardul Nanivadekar, who headed the team handling the digital side of the prestigious competition, says that the idea was born out of the plain thought that for a lot of years, neither the content generated nor the participating teams were documented. “Participants would individually post pictures of themselves or upload their videos, but all of this was be done on a personal level and not from the organising committee. So when we pitched in this idea, we immediately got a heads up and the most marvellous journey began.” 

Apart from putting up the photographs and details of the participating teams on the official FB page of Purushottam Karandak, Be Birbal has also posted 3D trophies of all the categories. Nanivadekar explains that everyone who has ever been a part of Purushottam as a participant or audience, is in awe of the trophies. “The nature of the competition is such that it is possible for a person to physically see the trophies only if they have won. We found out that not all participants actually have seen the trophies. So putting up 3D models of the trophies online definitely gave them another boost to go win the competition,” he adds. 

With the help of 3D modelling, all the Karandak trophies were uploaded digitally on the FB page and the response they received was phenomenal, says Nanivadekar. “We also researched a lot about the people who were once a part of the competition and are now well-known faces in the industry and posted content about their stories, journeys and about their time in the competition,” he informs, adding that the motive behind doing so was that the participants would know that the platform that they are performing on, has the ability to give them the biggest breaks of their life. 

“It is definitely more than just a competition, it is a legacy,” he says. When asked if the entire process was tedious and challenging for them, Nanivadekar promptly says that 70 per cent of the team at Be Birbal were also once upon a time on the stage of Purushottam. So that made it slightly easier for them to understand the type of content which should go on the page as well as the rules that the organisers have. 

“The concept that we came up with, we believe was definitely a fresh start for the audience as well, because this was for the first time that there would be a two way communication online for such a competition,” Nanivadekar says.

During the one year gap till Purushottam stage come alive in 2019 August again, the Be Birbal team will keep the online traffic on. We will keep you posted on that here.

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