Mumbai might be the city of dreams and Bollywood stars, but it was Delhi, that was the platform from where some of them started. Delhi University (DU) boasts of a dazzling filmy relation by being the alma mater for many from the film fraternity. Here is looking at DU’s tryst with stardom.
Read: DU’s Bollywood brigade
Amitabh Bachchan was a student at Kirori Mal College before he became the ‘Shahenshah’ of Bollywood. KMC’s dramatics society, The Players, is one of the most prestigious in the country and has contributed to the progress of Indian cinema.
Afreen Sen Chatterji, president of society, says, “It is a huge responsibility, as there is a legacy we have to take forward. But at the same time, it is a lot of fun as we get to learn a lot of things.”
Shah Rukh Khan
DU’s blue-eyed boy, Shah Rukh Khan graduated from Hans Raj College. Even though he was a student of Economics Honours between 1985 and 1988, he collected his degree in February this year, when he came to visit DU for the promotion of his movie, Fan. The college boasts of a prestigious list of alumni including Anurag Kashyap, Rannvijay Singh and Pavan Malhotra.
Konkona Sen Sharma
A graduate of English Literature from St Stephen’s College, Konkona Sen Sharma is known for her power-packed performances. In an earlier interview, Konkona had said, “I didn’t always know that’s what I’d like to eventually do — act. You get many opportunities to explore so that something may strike you as ‘this is what I want’. Thankfully, Stephen’s did it for me.”
Anurag Kashyap graduated from Hans Raj College in Zoology honours, in the year 1993. Even though he was a backbencher in college, he never shied away from raising his voice against social evils such as ragging. He often recreates moments from his college days in his films. In an earlier interview, Kashyap was quoted as saying, “Every time I’m in the city, I make sure to visit my college at least once.”
The theatre scene of Hindu College can be viewed in two time frames — before Imtiaz Ali and after Imtiaz Ali. The fact that Ali started a dramatics society at his college shows just how driven he was towards the art. The society is called Ibtida, and in an earlier interview, Ali had said, “I wanted to do a play with my friends so, all of us got together at the Jai Singh Lawns and formed Ibtida.”
Ankrish Khanna, president of the society feels that it was Ali’s persistence that put dramatics on the college’s map. “It is a big advantage to be a part of Ibtida and Ali’s popularity works in our favour. But at the end of the day, it is the love for theatre that keeps us going.”
Manoj Bajpayee graduated with a degree in History Honours from Ramjas College in the year 1989. Even though the college’s drama society, Shunya, came into existence long after the actor graduated, the college nonetheless played a pivotal role in shaping him as an actor. He was earlier quoted as saying, “I was passionate about my studies but never missed out on theatre. Everything that I am today is because of Ramjas College and Delhi.”
President of the society, Shubham Vaish, says, “It’s a great feeling to know that our college has given so many talented people to Bollywood. We strive to take this forward and work towards perfection.”
A graduate in Economics from Hindu College, Arjun Rampal started his career as a model and went on to make a successful career in Bollywood. The college is known for nurturing a strong sense of arts in its students and Rampal is a one proud example. Recalling his university days, Rampal had earlier said, “We used to watch a major chunk of movies at Chanakya theatre at Chankyapuri.”
Mallika Sherawat did her honours in Philosophy from Miranda House, and attributes the teachings of great western and Indian philosophers to her acting career. She was quoted as saying in an earlier interview, “My most memorable moments were bunking classes and going to watch movies in a theatre nearby.”