Announcing the Winners at IIT Madras Saarang 2023

In January 2023, IIT Madras celebrated its cultural Festival Saarang offline after a long break. The theme for Saarang 2023 was ‘Mystic Hues’ which celebrates how deeply intertwined colors are with each and every fragment of our culture and traditions. The festival which was held from 11th–15th January 2023 was open to all college students and the general public.

We would like to share the winning entries for two exciting events – Lights! Camera! Fiction! and Creative Writing. Here’s a brief about the events and the winning entries.

Creative Writing Poetry is one of the Writing Club’s classic events. Prompts are provided to the participants, who then have 1.5 hours to write their verses based on one of the given prompts. Any form of poetry is accepted, be it free verse or structured rhymes, to bring out the best poet in you.

“Lights! Camera! Fiction!” is a unique event in the Writing Club’s lineup. A mystery is presented to the participants through an immersive play, left open-ended. Participants can then interact with the characters and draw their own interpretations to write their complete version of the story.

Below is the Winning Entry for Lights! Camera! Fiction!

Winner: Shiva
Winning Story

The Wander

Aurora parks her vehicle in the garage. She opens her purse and stashes the coffee shop’s parking pass in the dustbin. Aurora comes to the main door and opens it to find everything upside down, the sofas were torn, and the statue was broken. She goes near the broken statue to find her brother Salvatore and her father Marco shot dead side by side. Aurora sits in shock and recalls the last conversation she had with her brother. She recalls the flashback.


It is a grand party hosted for the illegal weapons dealers that stay in the underworld. An old man rains his champagne and proposed a toast.

“This business started fifty years ago, at that time there were five dealers namely Angelo, Romano, Hector, Carl, and Antony, but now it has come down to two families and they control the whole system. Let us drink to their success, to Angelo and Romano.”

Aurora comes across Vincenzo Roccato who showed his interest in her and she remembers her brother talking about Vito Ricci who was also interested in her. She comes to her room to find a letter which had an invitation for her to have coffee the next morning. She sees the letter and understands that the coffee shop mentioned above was Antonio’s and Antonio is a blooming weapons dealer in the underworld who came five years ago. Aurora had feelings for Antonio.

Out of curiosity and also wanting to see Antonio, she woke up the next morning and went to the coffee shop to find Vincenzo Roccato there. She sits with him and has a chat while her eyes search for Antonio in all directions. Vincenzo says that he met Antonio in a meeting in Miami a year ago and although he had come to town to visit Antonio, he feel for her the moment he laid eyes on her. Aurora returned after an hour, shocked by his words and disappointed at not having seen Antonio.


She hears someone calling her name and snaps back to the present. She is shattered, not knowing what to do next. A helicopter lands on the courtyard from which an old man gets down. Aurora identifies him as her grandfather Phillip Angelo and rushes to his arms. She hugs him and cries into his shoulder. Phillip enters the building with his granddaughter and everyone inside stood up in fear and bowed their heads, for he was the godfather who started the business. Phillip pays his respects to his son and his grandson and proceeds to call in the Angelo company for a meeting. He could sense the tension in the meeting as the members argued over who would fill Marco’s shoes. Fearing a collapse of the business, he clears his throat.

“I will head the business for now. I am coming out of retirement until Aurora or the person she chooses is ready.”

As the pressure shifts to Aurora, she leaves the hall and goes out for a coffee. It is around half past seven in the evening. It is getting darker, and she finds herself being followed by one of their own gang. Of course. They wanted to kill her so they could choose a leader amongst themselves.

Aurora runs for her life, only to find herself surrounded. She closes her eyes, knowing this is the end. But then, the alley roars to life with the sound of gunfire as Vito and Antonio shoot all the goons down. Vito comes to her side, comforting her.

Two days later, Aurora takes Vito to her grandfather, letting him know that he saved her life. He had grown to be a good friend. She asked Phillip to give Vito the exporting deal.

Like a sliver of lightning, Vito shoots Phillip with a gun he had kept hidden. He holds Aurora at gunpoint and they leave the building. They come to the parking spot where he reveals that his name is Vito Carl.

“Antonio and I had planned the entire shootout so that I could gain control over the entire business. I thought you took me to your grandfather to hand the system over to me, but you are only giving me a share!” He slams his hand against the side of one of the cars. “I can’t take it. Just as your family destroyed mine ten years ago to eliminate competition, I am going to take everything from you and take over the system.”

Aurora can’t stop her tears, remembering the prone bodies of her brother and her father. Vito pushes her into the car and takes her to Antonio’s shop. Antonio sees Aurora’s eyes filled with sorrow. Vito hugs Antonio, telling him how he shot Phillip, and laughs with pure glee, knowing he would take over the system.

Before he could do anything more, Antonio pushes Vito and shoots the madman down. Aurora stares in shock as Antonio pulls out a walkie-talkie and speaks into it.

“The mission is over.”

Antonio reveals himself to be a cop and planned everything to take down the whole illegal system. He gets in the car and tells Aurora he would drop her at the airport. Aurora, filled with shock and sorrow asks, “Why didn’t you kill me?”

“I don’t kill innocents, I have ethics,” he replies.

“Then why did you kill my brother?” she screams. “He never touched the gun, he didn’t even want to be involved.” She tells him how Salvatore’s plan was to go to California and lead a normal life.

Antonio is in shock as the crushing reality of his actions sinks in. Overcome by guilt, he promises Aurora he would make sure she was safe. Aurora tells him how felt about him and how much he has hurt her. Antonio begs for her forgiveness as they reach the airport. Before he could drop her off, they find a whole gang waiting to kill her. Antonio thinks for a moment, stops in the parking lot, and holds her hands.

“You are everything I care for, I will defend you.”

With that, he goes back into the underworld and walks into the darkness.

For the poetry event, we will be sharing the top 3 winners and their entries below.

Creative Writing Poetry Event
1st Place Winner: Meghana
Poem Title: Dizzy With the Thought of You
Poetry Prompt: The Scars That Never Fade

Here’s the poem

Dizzy With the Thought of You

I see it all
Your eyes glaze over with garnet red
The tell-tale convulsions on your face
It starts with one comment pushing the line
The gashes feel fresh on my skin, still; so I ignore it this time

(The first time I pushed back
You disappeared into a demon of rage
I’ll never forget its wicked smile and bared nails
That left a ghost of a scar through my ribcage)

I hear it all
Your laughter rings with bitter passive-aggression
The indignation corrupts your sentences
You begin your bout of beration as I
Feel my chest contract, collapse into crimson

(The second scar, I stood up for myself
Your demon came back with a determined vengeance
The fault was in the insults never whispered under my breath, the dirty looks I never gave
You seemed to accept my apology for my (non)wrongdoings with a scar less severe than the first)

I can feel it building
Your outburst undoes the flimsy sutures on my chest
Your screams are rushing through my veins and
I’m feeling lightheaded

(I spend sleepless nights wondering what made you like this
The third scar, I thought I could get through to you
You said I was spewing nonsense and there was nothing wrong with you
The apology wasn’t as effective for I keep having to patch up the scars every time you end up like this)

My body is painted your favorite garnet red
You take a second to sigh and smile at your work
The fourth scar is brandished right across my heart It might take longer this time, but I’ll spend a day or two stitching myself back up for you.

Creative Writing Poetry Event
2nd Place Winner: Aditi Rathore
Poem Title: The Scars That Never Fade
Poetry Prompt: The Scars That Never Fade

Here’s the poem

The Scars That Never Fade

Everything is a crusade for children born in abattoirs

Their thin reptilian bodies are curled in the winter sun
Their evenings are spent toying with carcasses
While sweat crawls down their sooty skins like insects
Everything is a crusade for children like us

My mom can sense I am sad
So she slashes her wrists to make me feel alone again
In seasons when smoke fills the porch, she grows bougainvillea around the guillotine
She knows they are my favorite
Harvested in crimson, the flowers thrive in the radioactive sky.

On summer afternoons we sit on the porch
When she oils my hair
Her brittle wooden hairbrush cuts across my scalp
We talk a lot on days like these
I tell her about psychopaths and holocausts
And she tells me about the real misery in the world.
Today we talk about oleander
I tell her about how it was the first flower
To bloom after the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima
She calls it a beautiful product of a disaster
She says it’s much like me.

Everything is a crusade for children of war
When things are gloomy, the sky becomes our muse.
But our art is getting monotonous
We write in azure
We paint poems that scream of freedom
We dream that our paper plane crosses the boundary
We feel too much
We feel we feel
But why?

Everything is a crusade for the heirs of a slaughterhouse
It runs in our blood, after all
Putrid and colorless
Mother can’t know it turns into water on some nights
And we are left screeching and writhing in the penitentiary
Vicious, unstable, explosive.

She can’t know about this
She mustn’t know
That oleander is one of the most poisonous plants in the world.

Creative Writing Poetry Event
3rd Place Winner: Souparno Bhattacharya
Poem Title: Nights In the Starry Shows of Zanzibar
Poetry Prompt: Those Starry Nights
College: Madras Christian College

Here’s the poem

Nights In the Starry Shows of Zanzibar

In the bloody land of Zanzibar,
Natives preferred to breathe at night,
They lined behind the gaping shore,
Facing the stars, with mighty sight.

Fred, the firstborn, in my neighborhood,
Dreamt of the storm, from the sea,
On starry nights, he longed for rain,
And yearned for burning trees.

Fred’s father died as Xing’s prey,
For the longing to rewrite poetry and love,
Our days were spent well under the sycamore,
But the nights we spent, counting stars (alone).

One such night, when came the incandescence,
The lights were gone, as stars protruded,
Freddie stood up and ‘Thunder’ said,
“Here’s your storm, and the kingdom’s end!”

In seconds, that bright, shimmering canvas,
Had mischievous clouds of alls orts,
The rain poured fire, and came thunder from stars,
In the city’s dying spree, “Die! Die!” Fred said.

When ‘Yama’ appeared to lift up souls,
The blood in the prison gate was untamed,
It said, till then it was protected, by decrees of laws,
But now, ‘Blood’ was the new river’s name.

In the silence there Fred stood,
Clutching his father’s fleeting soul,
He hated the stars, as they did their job,
They pulled his father, to ‘His’ new abode.

The next day, Freddie, loved the shore,
From the stars, as his father sang, “Mon Amor! Mon Amor!”

Congratulations to all the Winners!

Read more

Follow @storizenmag on Instagram

Connect with us at

Follow us on

Follow us on Issuu and never miss another issue from us