Lit Magic 2020

A few days ago, wizards, witches, muggles and squibs all over the world came together to raise a toast to ‘the boy who lived’, the chosen one, the one who vanquished the Dark Lord forever. For the uninitiated, the popular fictional character Harry Potter turned 40 this year on 31 July; it was also the birthday of his creator, J K Rowling, the one who kindled a love for books in an entire generation.

This year, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth marked the occasion with a week-long celebration of the magic that is Literature, aptly titled Lit Magic 2020. Organised entirely on online platforms by the Potterheads and the Grantha Club of CVV, the festivities which began from 24 July included seven fun-filled challenges open to all, two exciting competitions for specific age groups and two uniquely entertaining events exclusive to CVV-ians.

Each day, at an appointed hour, a new challenge—ranging from sharing your favourite quote to creating a new spell—was announced on social media platforms namely Facebook and Instagram, along with an ongoing call for entries for the two competitions with cash prizes at stake—Tell A Tale and The Quiz for the Quixotic. Anyone anywhere could participate and the eager responses from fellow literature-enthusiasts from within and outside CVV were heartening indeed.

The infectious zeal reached its zenith on 31 July with a day-long story building activity that saw most CVV-ians—students, faculty and staff alike—glued to their email inboxes watching out for every twist in the tale. The ‘what if’ competition on Zoom with aspiring directors of CVV pitching quirky reimaginings of familiar stories to a colourful, eccentric and difficult-to-please film producer added even more flavour to the festivities. The celebrations came to a close in the evening with the very unique, live, online, interactive finals of the ‘Quiz for the Quixotic’.

This was followed by a valedictory session hosted by the student coordinators of the event—Deekshita Muthukumar, Shreeya Sabukumar, and S. Navamohana Krishnan who presented a report on Lit Magic 2020. Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal, the Vice Chancellor and Prof. Gauri Mahulikar, Dean of Faculty also addressed the virtual gathering. Results of the two competitions were also announced. Dr. Sandhya Shankar, coordinator of the Grantha Club, proposed the vote of thanks. The event ended leaving everyone looking forward to the 2021 edition.

If you would like to know more about each event, read on.


The challenges were open to all on social media platforms. The only request was to tag Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth in the posts.

1. Grantha-gramming

To ‘grantha-gram’, all one had to do was take a creative photograph of a book, be it an old favourite with yellowed, dog-eared pages or one with that brand new book smell we all love and share it with a note. Some of the creative entries can be seen here.

2. The CVV Lit Magic Quiz for All

This was a literary trivia quiz conducted via Google forms, for all the bookworms out there, to test their knowledge of the world of letters. E-certificates were awarded to all those who scored 50% and above. As of 31 July, it received a total of 1271 responses and 1097 e-certificates were issued.

3. Once Upon A Time

One of the most happening of the challenges, this spanned five days. Each day, a description of a famous literary character was given and participants were invited to identify the character and post their answers as comments on Facebook. At the end of the five days, i.e. on 31 July, an additional challenge of connecting all the clues was also presented. The first letters of the names of the five chosen characters—Hector, Alice, Ron, Rosalind and Yuyutsu—spelt HARRY, whose birthday was being celebrated.

4. My Favourite Quote

Another popular event, this challenge found participants sharing their favourite words, the ones they treasured beyond measure, along with the source—the name of the book and its author. A template was provided to make the process easier. We had people quoting authors like Dan Brown, John Green, Amish Tripathi, and even R. D. Sharma (familiar to many as the author of those Mathematics books one lugged around at school)! You can see some of the posts we glimpsed floating around the internet, here.


5. Book-In Five-Nine

This was for everyone with a favourite tale or verse and could never get tired of talking about it. All one had to do was make a video, speaking about the book for no longer than fifty-nine seconds and spread the joy!

6. I Haik – U

A challenge to combine two loves, a passion for reading as well as writing poetry, this event saw participants expressing their love for books in the form of a haiku—a short, three-line poem with 17 syllables in the 5,7,5, format. You can see three of the lovely entries we received here.

7. Kwikspell

How wondrous would it be if you could use spells to dispel all that troubles you?! This challenge gave such an opportunity to the quick-witted and nimble-wristed to come up with their own spells, following in the footsteps of the Half-blood Prince. The participants had to record a video explaining their invention—the name of the spell, its purpose and etymology. We received some truly magical and suitable spells one could use. Two have been shared here: one for all those who wish to wish away the coronavirus and another for teachers who wish to make their job of evaluation easier.


Tell A Tale

This was a story-writing competition for two age groups: a) 14 to 17-year-olds and b) those who were 18 and above. The theme was specified, so was the word limit. We had 13 participants send us the tales they weaved—6 entries under the Junior category and 7 entries under the Senior category.

The winners who won the cash prize of Rs. 1000 were:

  • Junior Category: K. R. Jaykrishnan for his story ‘Enough’
  • Senior Category: Sharon Puthur for her story ‘Mango Thieves’

This event was coordinated by Dr. Sandhya Shankar and Ms. Vishaka Venkat, Assistant Professors at the School of LLS, CVV.

The Quiz for the Quixotic

The first of its kind, the Quiz for the Quixotic was an online interactive quiz for 15-18 year olds, hosted by Ms. Neethu S Kumar and Dr. Saurabh Singanapalli, Assistant Professors at the School of LLS. Six registrants qualified to be in the finals from the preliminary round conducted on 30 July. Conducted via Zoom from 3.30 pm on 31 July, the finals comprising four exciting rounds with everyone involved joining from different locations was broadcast live on Facebook as well. The audiences on both the platforms were also quick to chime in with guesses whenever the contestants couldn’t, making the event even livelier.

The winners were:

  • First Place (Cash Prize of Rs. 2500): Devika P.
  • Second Place (Cash Prize of Rs. 1500): Nimisha Pramod



Events Exclusive to CVV

Two events were conducted exclusively for the CVV Family on 31 July.

What If

Quite entertaining, this was an hour where aspiring film directors at CVV queued up to pitch their new spins on old tales with a guaranteed success formula, to an eccentric producer Mr. Kaipullai S. Weinstein. Hosted by Dr. R. Venkataraghavan, Assistant Professor of the School of PPSH and assisted ably by S. Navamohana Krishnan (III year B.Com.), the event delighted all who were witness to it. The tales told included a hilarious one by Aashika Aanie Kurivilla of the Pandavas spending their last year of exile in Peppathy (a place close to CVV), an intensely emotional one by Sradha Hari with Rama and Lakshmana battling COVID while looking for Sita which had everyone (including the producer) wipe away a tear or two, and another fascinating one by Dr. Saurabh Singanapalli which brought in the question of aliens in the war of ‘Kurukshetra’. The last-minute entrants, especially Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal who pitched a story on nepotism and Nikhilesh Kapadia with the story of the App ‘Chingaari’ to help Vishnu tackle Adharma on social media in the contemporary world, also won rounds of applause. However, the one who won the cheque from the producer was, of course, Aditya Menon’s hit idea of a series of movies on the Mahabharata war being played as IPL matches.

Multi Story Building

A chain story building activity, this was conducted via a single email thread which ran for almost 12 hours on 31 July. A set of two images were given as prompts and a few basic rules were specified to ensure the relevance and quality of the contributions. CVV’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal was the first to volunteer to be part of the magical story construction crew. The foundation stone he laid with the very first sentence of the story was soon covered with bricks added every few minutes by CVV-ians from all corners of the country. The story with many a twist and paying homage to different genres was wrapped up late in the night in an incredible feat of tying together most of the loose ends.