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Jatin Sarna: I always wanted to go to Khalsa College because of Akshay Kumar

ByKriti Kambiri
Apr 18, 2024 07:37 PM IST

Actor Jatin Sarna recently visited Delhi University's Shri Ram College of Commerce, as a guest speaker for the dramsoc fest and recalled his own #CampusKeDin.

There’s no better feeling when one’s alma mater calls upon them. That’s how exhilarating it was for actor Jatin Sarna, when he stepped inside Delhi University’s North Campus. Recently invited as a guest speaker to Shri Ram College of Commerce’s (SRCC) dramatics society fest, Histrionica, he not just enjoyed interacting with students about his theatre journey but also regaled them with tales of his #CampusKeDin.

Was adamant about going to North Campus

Actor Jatin Sarna, an alum of Delhi University's batch of 2008, visited SRCC for their dramsoc fest, Histrionica.(Photo: Mithil Kurdia)

Having been part of web series such as Sacred Games, Dark 7 White, Khakee: The Bihar Chapter, and Ranveer Singh-starrer Bollywood movie ’83 — wherein he portrayed late cricketer Yashpal Sharma — he sure had loads of tips to share with the current students of DU. “I was very happy when SRCC called me, because it’s in North Campus. I have a different love for this place,” shares the 39-year-old, quite zealously recalling how he graduated in BCom (Prog) from the School of Open Learning (SOL). “I definitely missed out on the regular college experience, having done my graduation via correspondence, but I had scored 54% in class XII as a commerce student so no college would have given me admission back then. Maybe, had I opted for a BA course, I might have got through regular college. But was adamant about going to North Campus and pursuing only BCom,” he adds.

Akshay paaji went to the Khalsa College

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Talk about regular college and one place that he really had his hopes pinned on was Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College. “I really wanted to get into Khalsa, back in the day, because my favourite actor Akshay Kumar is from Khalsa College,” he says sheepishly, adding, “That memory is still crystal clear in my head... I was standing outside the gates and it was day 1 of college. I could see the students going inside and I felt both excited and a little bad because I hadn’t gained admission yet. Someone I knew said they would try to get me admission via a quota or something. That didn’t happen. And it was only later that I found out that Akshay paaji went to the Khalsa College in Mumbai, and not in Delhi (laughs)! But that college is still a special one for me, and every time I’m on campus I always pass by it.”

Lady Irwin College fest looked most happening

Recalling his #CampusKeDin, the actor feels nostalgic about the times he lived his college dreams by enrolling at Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts in Mandi House. There, surrounded by his juniors including regular students of DU colleges, the actor vicariously lived his college dreams, and recalls, “They (juniors) would discuss how they were doing nukkad natak or stage shows (as part of their dram socs) and learn the arts. In those moments I could also feel that I could gauge that energy, with which they were coming... And during those days, we’d cross Lady Irwin College and their fest looked the most happening to me. I could sit for hours watching the crowd and listening to the music and performances.”

An incident that stays fresh his memory was going into the college for an event. “We tricked the guards into letting us inside without an ID. We followed a group and somehow got inside one of the rooms where a competition was going on. One of the orators or emcee put the stage open for anyone who wanted to perform, before the judges announced the result, and I raised my hand. I went to the front, and said, ‘Mujhe gaana gaana hai’. Little did I know that there were only girls in the audience, who started hooting and cheering as soon as I went onstage! I got a little nervous and sang Jagjit Singh’s ghazal Kothe Te Aa Mahiya... Maine ek tappa gaya and just ran off. But the crowd really clapped and hooted. These experiences really make me miss college!”

The actor feels that regular students of Delhi University are "the most lucky people". (Photo: Mithil Kurdia)

Making the best of #CampusKeDin

Hence Sarna shares the message, for everyone living their college life, “to make the best of it”. He adds, “At SRCC this time, or previously at Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma (ARSD) College where I performed a play, I always tell the students how they are the most lucky people considering main college nahi ja saka and woh college mein hain! But it’s okay... I have had momentary experiences for going to the canteen, bunking classes, going to Kamla Nagar and hanging at another college while roaming around the campus, or even taking the bus. I remember how the first light in the day looks when it hits the college building, and when the last one ends in college... These moments come rushing back whenever I get to interact with the younger generation and go down memory lane. I just feel and experience the amazing energy they have, and get reminded of the great fun I had on campus.”

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