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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014
The DU diaries!
Geetika Ahuja, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 18, 2013
First Published: 15:13 IST(18/6/2013)
Last Updated: 15:16 IST(18/6/2013)

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Geetika Ahuja along with her team of Campus Journalists reporting live from ground zero. Braving the heat and donning the robe of a typical DU student with a jhola and banta bottle in hand, we promise to bring you our first hand experiences as we embark on our voyage to discover DU.

The roadside romeo, Ranveer Singh from Kirori Mal College serenading the beautiful Anushka Sharma from Ramjas College in Band Baaja Baarat. Ranbir Kapoor from Hindu College singing his way to Stephen’s girl Nargis Fakri’s heart in Rockstar... Scenes from these Bollywood flicks came alive as we started our rendezvous with Delhi University.

Spread across a wide expanse, this Mecca of education is highly venerated. Students from all corners of India flock to DU to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Aung San Suu Kyi, Kiran Bedi, Imtiaz Ali, Mira Nair, Naina Lai Kidwai and Barkha Dutt.

The old structures and the red brick walls provide it an earthy and old world charm, lending an enigmatic aura to the campus.

College, course, faculty, crowd, extracurricular activities – the tapestry of college life is woven by all these. Read on as the Campus Journalists throw light on all these aspects, which make DU a home away from home. Also, don’t miss out on the appetising eating joints in every college.

I was pretty thrilled to be in charge this time, knowing that this would be our first flight into the world of our dreams. We have all grown up worshipping DU colleges, so we couldn’t wait to see what would be unveiled en route to our destination.

While Kritika writes about how enamoured she was by SRCC, Vritti raises the curtain on her dream college - St Stephen’s, Ummang expresses his opinion on Ramjas College, Jasmine writes about how smitten she was with Hans Raj College, Ali jots down his experience about Zakir Hussain College, Prem pens down his thoughts on Kirori Mal College and Tarana talks about her tryst with Miranda House.

Contrary to our expectations, the sailing wasn’t devoid of hurdles. There were instances when we were blatantly refused permission to enter, couldn’t find students to interview due to exams and vacations, et al. So these reports are the culmination of the campus journalists’ sweat and toil (literally!). We were acquainted with the age old rivalry between Hindu and St Stephen’s. It is considered offensive when students from these two colleges hang out together! In fact, legend has it that Hindu College was started by the rich dad of a student who was denied admission in St Stephen’s. Hence the clash of these titans!

Nevertheless, our experience was replete with interesting anecdotes and we did have our share of fun discovering the ‘addas’ of DU - the extremely famous ‘Lover’s Point’ of Hans Raj College, the much celebrated ‘Virgin Tree’ of Hindu College, the buzzing lanes of KNags - we left no stone unturned to embed the DNA of a DU student. The icing on the cake, however, was when a senior professor volunteered to show us around the campus himself!

There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroads… afraid, confused, without a roadmap. The choices we make in these moments can define the rest of our lives. Having stepped out of the safe precincts of school, most of us are faced with choices having the power to alter our future. Here is hoping that this and the following edition help you zero down on the place you are going to spend the next four years at.

Editor’s list
It was great fun to convene the meeting and lead such an impressively sincere and dedicated group

1. Setting up the edit meet
After an excruciatingly long wait, I finally got the coveted “spot”. There were no punches thrown as everyone unanimously agreed on the topic

2. Theme of the week
Researching our respective dream colleges and reporting our first-hand experiences

3. Tasks set out
Waging a war with the scorching heat and running around the huge campus!

4. The most disciplined journo
I would go with Kritika, as I don’t have to go after her life to submit the articles on time! I hope the other CJs don’t kill me!

5. Work I did this week
Bossing around, which reminded me of the good old school days!

6. ...and next week’s editor is
Tarana Faroqi, who will guide us through south campus

Geetika Ahuja, Summer Fields School

Top notch education. Check. Exemplary extracurricular activities. Check. Outstanding Faculty. Check. Conducive environment. Check. Hindu College seems to fulfill my check list pretty well, and I have my eyes set on this one. As you enter the college, you are greeted by a wave of enthusiasm. Buzzing with activity, the college has different societies. The  teachers in Hindu often take classes in the lush green lawns amidst which the college is set. Interestingly, on Valentine’s Day, the students here gather around the ‘Virgin Tree’ which is adorned by pictures of actresses, to seek the blessings of the love deity. So, if Hindu is your pick, you could be a part of the legacy which has produced prodigies like Imtiaz Ali, Gautam Gambhir and Arnab Goswami

Premanshu Tripathi, Kendriya Vidyalaya, JNU

There I stood in the Metro, waiting and surrounded by the usual morning crowd. The train came to a halt at Vishwavidyalaya station. All it took was a brisk walk and I was there. The bold letters read- KIRORI MAL COLLEGE. Situated in the north campus, KMC ranks among the top colleges of DU and is one of my top destinations too. Housed in an elegant building, the college has a fully computerised library, a state-of-the art computer centre, two internal labs, well-equipped gymnasium and a theatre. Several cultural and knowledge-based programmes are hosted by the college from time to time. It is well known because of the combination of social activism, creativity and learning prevalent in every discipline. The college displays a tradition of excellence in theatre, arts and music which is accompanied by its rich academic fabric

Vritti Gandhi, Holy Child Auxilium School

Exploring the north campus with the sun blazing overhead was a daunting task. But a glimpse of St Stephen’s made it easier, with the awesome campus and ambience! Rahul Mehra, a second-year Stephanian says, “The best thing about this college is the kind of people you meet and the opportunities you get here.” For all those looking to get into Stephen’s and bunking classes, here comes the blow. “Stephen’s is not as strict as it is made out to be, except when it comes to attendance. Also, my advice to the to-be fucchas is to never miss the assemblies,” says Rahul. And the addas? “Hanging out in the Chapel lawns is always fun.” Finally, does he have something to aspiring students? “Stay relaxed during the interview, strike up a conversation and hope they like you!”

Ummang Sharma Bajpai, The Indian School

When I entered Ramjas College, the first thing I noticed were the green surroundings. The big trees acted as a nice protective barrier against the ruthless June afternoon sun. To my right, was the rather huge building. It offers a variety of courses at the undergraduate level, across all three streams led by a reputed faculty. It also boasts of numerous celebrated alumni: right from actor Pravesh Rana to director Prakash Jha. I made my way to the canteen, which is the hub of college life, and decided to interview  Govind Singh — the canteen boy! Having worked there for a decade, he talked of how he eagerly served the new batches every year. Upon asking him what the  favourite dish at the canteen is, his reply was, “Chhole bhature is the most popular!”

Tarana Faroqi, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya

Miranda House, a premier institution for women offers degrees in sciences and humanities. The college was one of the centres for admission forms so it had a buzzing crowd. Niharika Bhatia, an economics student, feels that there are various advantages of being in an all-girls’ college — you get exposure and a lot of opportunities to enhance your leadership skills. She added, “Initially you are sceptical and at times you feel frustrated with no guys around. But once you are here, you don’t feel so. Being in a patriarchal society, men get all positions of power. But here, I was the vice president of the economics department and started my own organisation called RAGE. There is a level of comfort we share with the principal and teachers.” About hangouts of the college, the lawns are the favourite

Jasmine Bhalla, St Thomas’ School

Stepping into Hans Raj College turned out to be an enriching and fulfilling experience! From the college guard to the students, everyone exuded a humble demeanour. I had the opportunity to interact with Naveen Jain, a silver tongued and sprightly professor of commerce who has been associated with the college for more than 20 years. He spoke at great length about the courses offered, the admission process, the various societies of this college and its annual fest- Confluence. He even showed us around the campus including the popular “Lover’s Point!” Three alumni of the college, Arshdeeep, Pikky and Mikita described the typical scene near the canteen- lively group of students scattered all around, some playing the guitar, others frolicking.  We concluded, there are more reasons to be a part of this college apart from its great alumni network. (Read: Shahrukh Khan, Anurag Kashyap, and more!)

Chaudhary Ali Mardan Khan, DPS, Indirapuram

An amalgam of aroma, sound and sight that symbolises the culture of Delhi cannot be found in the high rises or on streets gilded with brands. From my visit to Zakir Hussain College, I found that it was in old Delhi that they all converged. The college, established by a general of Aurangzeb, is located in the heart of old Delhi. The new campus of this historical college is juxtaposed with anachronistic gateways and is surrounded by the culinary trail of old Delhi. It is accessible by all modes and hosts evening classes as well. A plethora of courses are offered, including language courses. Though the cut-offs of this college are relatively lower, the quality of education is unmatched which coupled with the copious exposure to Delhi culture, makes it exemplary

Kritika Narula, St Margaret Senior Secondary School

Red brick walls, spic-and-span corridors and a sprawling campus. Welcome to SRCC, the sanctum sanctorum of every commerce student. Sonam Sharma, a first-year student, gladly declares, “The name’s enough.” Rashmi Vijay, another final-year student cherishes her college life, “Studying here under the best faculty, aided by technology, was great.” Another student, Neha Yadav, volunteering at NSS, witnessed a tremendous response for the sports trials. They were all praises for their economics lecturer. An entry into the library was gladly granted. The shelves harbour a plethora of commerce and economics books. The most popular hangout spot is Irfan’s shack. If you eat, drink and live commerce, then SRCC is your haven


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