“It isn’t ragging,” insisted the seniors as they made freshers dance, sing, play-act or parrot dialogues as Delhi University colleges reopened on Monday. On their first day in college, freshers were also handed a ‘welcome’ code by their seniors: dress simply, no chic attire, no trendy hair style and a simple motto: “Hail Seniors”.
Across DU colleges, freshers were seen dancing with broomsticks, doing pole dances or romancing as a couple in a love duet. At one college, girls were made to stand in a row and ape Mallika Sherawat in the TV ad for soft drink ‘7-Up’.
One scene at Jesus and Mary College: a girl turns around and wags her tail as she says: “I’m a cute little bunny rabbit.” Moving to JMC’s psychology department. Newcomers were asked to wear their hair in two plaits tying it with ribbons of different colours, T-shirts, shorts, coloured socks and rubber flip-flops.
“I forgot to put oil in my hair today, so my seniors generously poured amala oil to complete my prescribed dress code,” said Reena. In Kamala Nehru College, the broomstick was in full view.
Fresher Shangila was the first girl Harry Potter to scamper on a broomstick through the college corridors. Most students enjoyed carrying out the ‘absurdities’.
But there were also those who protested and had difficulty responding to the demands and questions of seniors. Vandana Batra, a first-year student at KNC, faced her seniors’ wrath when she refused to comply.
“We made her eat noodles mixed with a lot of mustard and 7-Up,” said one senior, who insisted they were just trying to be friendly with the freshers. Gauree Sharma, a third-year student of KNC, felt more the interaction with freshers on the first day, the more it helps them mix well with seniors and break the ice.