Kalimpong, Aug. 27: Even the weather gods are game for a little spectacle.
In fact, they made their intentions pretty clear when the skies miraculously cleared for the Second Inter-School Marching Band Contest at Mela Ground here this morning.
The grand show, which was held up by torrential rain, got underway amid huge fanfare as hundreds of people gathered at the ground to witness the spirited display put up by schoolchildren from the hills.
As the young boys and girls marched in various formations, beating their drums, blowing on bagpipes and flutes and flashing their cymbals, the sun came out to take a peek. Strangely enough, the clouds returned towards the end of the programme and the first drops of rain caught up with the stragglers who lagged behind after the show.
The 11 schools, which participated in the contest, vied with each other and the top three slots were decided in a close finish. The best band award went to Scottish University Mission Institution (SUMI), while the second and third prizes went to Kalimpong Girls’ High School and Dr Graham’s Homes, respectively. Sushma Raisaily of Pranami School was adjudged the best band-leader.
Local GNLF legislator Gaulan Lepcha was the chief guest at the meet and was among those who gave away the prizes.
“Next year, we plan to invite marching bands from the Darjeeling and Kurseong subdivisions as well. We are also considering the suggestions made by some of our members to conduct the show under floodlights,” said a member of the Sasonian Alumni Association, the organisers of the show.
The marching band contest, though, was not the only attraction of the day in the town, as bodybuilders from the Darjeeling hills and neighbouring Sikkim flexed their muscles during the Second Gorkha Hill Classic Bodybuilding Championship at Town Hall here.
Sunil Chettri of Sikkim emerged the overall winner to bag the Mr Classic crown. He also stood first in the 60-kg category of the contest. The other winners were Palden Tamang (55kg), Keshang Bhutia (65kg) and Alok Rai (70kg).