‘I will always cherish those LU days’Updated: Nov 21, 2020, 19:47 IST
Folk singer and Padma Shri recipient Malini Awasthi, during the IIT-Kanpur Fest, randomly acted in skit to fetch those vital five team points which eventually helped Lucknow University get the winner’s shield that year. A victory march was taken out to celebrate the achievement on the university campus.
“Sushain Bhatnagar directed the play and we were competing with strong teams like IIT-Delhi, Lady Shriram and others. I would like to mention that as an artiste anyone who has been on stage for student festivals will be able to perform in front of any audience. My stage exposure did help me while acting too,” remembers the singer, as LU celebrates its centenary year.
From 1984 to 88, she studied in LU and completed BA (Hons.) in History with Political Science and Sanskrit as subjects.
Reminiscing her University days, she said, “From Balrampur Hospital campus we used to go on rickshaw to first LU and in evening to Bhathankdey Music Institute. I remember the old Monkey Bridge (parallel to Hanuman Setu) was there. As a girl it was my first opportunity to study in a co-education practice. While queuing to deposit fees, boys used to come up to us and ask ‘laiye fees jama kara de’. It used to be an awkward moment for we girls and initially scared us too but today I have a hearty laugh at it.”
While in University she presented a ghazal ‘Aap humse agar na bolengey, apni palkon ko hum bhigo lengey’ at Lucknow Mahotsav then, “Next day it got featured in newspapers with a my photo and the same headline. And when I reached my department that day, boys in the class started singing that ghazal loudly which made me numb. Nowadays, it’s considered as a fun incident but then it was surely a big deal for girls.”
She also remembers her ragging day. “For many days I saved myself from being ragged. But one fine day I was caught. One of the senior said: ‘Bada ghazalein gaa rahi kuch suniye’. Since performing was no big deal for me so I sang a few lines and thereafter I was never caught.”
“Those were very beautiful days as there were no mobiles and all. Making notes, going to libraries, travelling on rickshaw and performing at student fests — I will always cherish those LU days,” she said.