Chill With Quill – In Conversation With TBO

An Interview with PVN Karthikeya, the President of The Box Office, the Dramatics and Literature Club of MIT, by Soundar Rajan


Could you introduce yourself?

I’m PVN Karthikeya. I’m from the department of Electronics and Instrumentation, doing my final year and I’m the president of The Box Office. I write scripts and I am also a small time artist.


So what is TBO?

It is the literary and dramatics club of MIT. We organize events related to dramatics and literature, put up stage plays and also participate in competitions happening at other colleges.



How did all of this start?

The Dramatics Club of MIT started in 2012, but it didn’t have a good reach. Then in 2014, Jayanth Sir wanted to form a dramatics club with the then third years, and he named the club The Box Office. That’s how it started. The first president was Arjun Menon.


The idea of Drama in MIT? How much has it worked out? How is the reception here?

We had a slow start. Initially, we didn’t get the response we expected. In MIT it takes time, some may even feel that the idea is absurd initially, but once we do good stuff, people will get attracted and will work along with us. We have time and everyone is in the process of learning, so I’m sure we will get the response we expect. The play we did on Mitafest 2014 had a good reception.



So what was TBO’s impact on you? How did it change you?

I was a meek guy before I joined this college. I couldn’t express my views in front of people, but after I joined TBO, I started working with people. I learnt what team work meant and lost the stage fear that I had. All of that was thanks to TBO.


First thing that strikes me about drama is the stage fear. How does one overcome it?

Practice practice practice. No one is a born artist here, we become an artist only through thorough practice.


Your story with drama? Why did you choose drama?

You know the feeling people have after seeing a movie, that even they can make better scripts. That’s how it started for me. And I thought writing drama scripts is the best way to get a clear picture of the plot and segments of the story. The leading actors from Hollywood were stage actors to begin with. Stage drama is real acting, you will lose all the fear.


People always associate TBO with Jayanth sir. Tell us about him.

You cannot imagine TBO without Jayanth sir. He is the founder of TBO. He and TBO are the same. He gave us the platform to showcase our talent. For people like me it was very important. Hats off to Jayanth sir for making TBO what it is.



Other than dramatics TBO is known for two events, D for Debate and the flash mob. Could you speak about them?

D for Debate. It is the flagship of TBO. During the odd semester our only main event is D for Debate. It has an overwhelming reception, close to 100 participants, 4 rounds, rebuttal sessions. Every year it will be something people look out for.

And the Flash mob. We did it twice, in Express Avenue for Mitafest. It was the first of its kind for MIT. It had a great reception, people loved it and we enjoyed it thoroughly.


So what are the plans for this semester?

We are looking to conduct many events and also to put up a play on the Mitafest stage.


Great. So any words for the juniors?

Come with us, join our family, the TBO family. We are there for you.


Interviewed by Soundar Rajan, Second year Automobile Engineering.