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Turning 18 with HT: ‘Don’t judge, accept differences’

She loves India’s diversity and wants us to live in country that is safe for all irrespective of religion or gender; she believes Punjabis are the most open-hearted but urges them to be open-minded, too

punjab Updated: Feb 15, 2018 16:51 IST
Yojana Yadav
Yojana Yadav
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Indfia's youth,Turning 18,India
FASHIONING SUCCESS: Roohani Bhasin, a humanities student of Class 12 at Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula, is fond of psychology but wants to pursue a career in fashion communication. (Sant Arora/HT)

A true-blue Punjabi at heart, this Bhavan headgirl loves India’s diversity.

Name: Roohani Bhasin

Born: August 26, 1999

Badge of honour: Head girl, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula

What turning 18 means to me

It means freedom with responsibility. Though Indian parents don’t consider their kids grown up till they join college, we get the right to vote and drive.

What I want to be and why

I’m studying humanities and want to become a communications director of a luxury fashion brand. I hope to get a scholarship to the London College of Fashion. In case I don’t, I’ll opt for graduation in fashion media in Mumbai. My parents are supportive. My father, Arvind Bhasin, is a businessman who deals in air-conditioners and my mother, Renu, runs a beauty parlour.

My idea of India

India is a vibrant democracy caught in unnecessary controversies sometimes. I look forward to an India that is safe for all citizens irrespective of religion or gender. I like the cultural diversity but believe we should accept and welcome each other’s culture.

What makes me happy

Dogs. I couldn’t keep one as a pet so I feed five in the street. Dancing also lifts my mood. I like contemporary western dance and have been adjudged the best dancer of the school.

What makes me angry

Anything that restricts girls from doing something that boys are doing. Why can’t we roam around freely like boys after dark?

Fear and fantasy

I fear reptiles and cockroaches. Besides, a day before a dance performance, I fear that I may injure myself. It happened once so that fear still lurks in my mind. As for a fantasy, I’d want to dance at Broadway, New York. Well, I’ve lived one of my fantasies of judging a dance competition this year.

Am I happy where I am?

Yes. The idea is to be content in the present than keep waiting for something better to happen.

What money means to me

I want to be able to go shopping without having to care about looking at the price tags. I want to open an NGO that looks after dogs. So, money is a means of realising my dreams.

What makes me proud of India

India is a country of many cultures and the world admires us for that. Of all the communities, I’m proud of Punjabis who are open-hearted, warm and help everyone. If only we were open-minded, too.

What I can’t live without

I can’t live without my mother. She motivates me, believes and stands by me. Four months on, I’ll be leaving for college. The thought of not having her around scares me.

What social media means to me

Social media is a good connector for all age groups. It is a platform for voicing opinion and sharing thoughts. I’m active on Instagram and have a fashion blog. Though my exams are coming up, I haven’t given it up because I believe I don’t need to leave one thing to achieve something else. I can be focused and prioritise.

The change you’d like to see in your city

Chandigarh is the only Indian city on the New York Times list of 52 must-visit destinations this year. We should maintain public places so that our city is worth coming to. Tourists should not return disappointed.

What religion means to me

Humanity is my religion. It’s sad to see people killing and resorting to violence in the name of religion. Why do we forget we are humans first? The aim should be to help one another.

My role model and why

Pakistani activist Malala Yousufzai inspires me. She has not stopped working for the education of girls despite the attack on her life and threats. Her determination and compassion to help others despite the consequences is inspiring.

Change I want to see in India

We have laws but they need to be implemented strictly. How do we justify the destruction of public and private property during the violence by the Sirsa dera supporters in Panchkula last August? How can people get away? I also feel that society should adopt an open mindset. Judging others even on the basis of attire is wrong. We should accept differences.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 16:36 IST