Anushree Joshi


Have you ever felt that the possibility of being many things is too much of a burden? Does it ever occur to you that the career choices in your path offer opportunities, but act as a trigger for fear, anxiety, and sadness as well? Then, read on to understood why too many choices restrict your freedom.

The new millennium is not only the time non-millennials, and other adults, refer to as a time of social media vernacular, Netflix, and frivolity from behind our gadget screens, but it is a time where mental health and other issues are seen to find a dialogue. This dialogue is no more censored to be inclusive of the misrepresentations around these tabooed themes, and the older generations are right when they call us growing angrier. The millennials are angry, because the millennials are tired of being at peace with the wrong kind of humour, the insensitive form of living.

With the strength in the relative kindness of the millennial age, there comes a certain sense of baggage as well. One has a thousand choices, and there is the age-old question- ‘how far does free will extend’ brewing in intensity, waiting to explode, in the heads, and starting a mentally unhealthy chain reaction. For instance, one eighteen-year-old experienced two episodes of anxiety within eight months, despite being in one of the most renowned educational institutions in the country, because she could not decide her career path. There appeared to be options so many and wide-ranging that it scared her, making her feel anxious about making the right decision at the right time.

The discourse around the current scenario of choices is positive in its outcome as well. In India, it is no more a dichotomy of the engineer and the doctor to be viewed as the barometer for success. Local artists and non-mainstream occupations are acquiring the centre stage. Three decades ago, being a full-time artist would have required either a whole lot of courage or an immense privilege but today a person from a middle-class family can choose his art as a profession to support himself. Choices have always had that going in their evolution. But this situation is often the half-informed, misunderstood picture as well.

There is often a motivational air while saying, ‘Find your passion and do what makes you happy.’ This takes one fact for granted- everybody has an inherent passion, and that skill is what would make them happy in their professional lives. The truth is that there is a very rare chance of being born with the knowledge that there is a burning need to do one particular thing, and then love it, your whole life. Passions are, for most ordinary people, extraordinarily evolutionary in nature. Rahul Dravid may have known that 22 yards were how far he wanted to run to be content, but most people chase many failures and options before realising that one goal probably works a little better than the rest. It is pessimistic, and not something Dead Poets’ Society would tell you, but it is true for most people. The fear of exploring and choosing the wrong option is extremely real, and dangerous beyond the extent for many people today.

One can aspire to be an actor and live the dreams of many lives, but one may also have a love affair with medicine that makes them want its stability and familiarity. The lines between wanting to break free from the script, and finding your own sense of joy within that script become blurred. The romanticism of Ved breaking away towards freedom can then be dissected from another lens, because if there are these many choices one has to make, then one is not probably as free as they think. An argument could be that one can live many dreams, and does not have to be doing the same thing all their life. This may be true for some, but is often associated with a blue perspective for many. Uprooting entire lifestyles, taking off from a long-known familiarity, and starting afresh are big decisions with serious implications on one’s mental health. But the very fact that there is a necessity to do this, and one has to make that decision, can cause a trigger for anxiety, and may even descend into sadness.

Sylvia Plath was sad and ill for many reasons, but one reason that triggered her depressive anxiety was the problem of too many choices. She understood the millennial dilemma before the millennium. In her deeply personal work, she summed up the rather ugly sadness of deteriorating mental health in a rather poetic manner- “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”


Feature Image Credits: Design You Trust

Anushree Joshi
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Delhi School of Journalism is reported to introduce short-term courses soon, but the students remain skeptical about the new venture due to the history of the institute’s provisions.

As per several sources, the Delhi School of Journalism (DSJ) has ventured into the arena of offering short-term journalism courses, starting from the upcoming academic year. The reports of the decision were first shared on 12th January 2019, but the decision was in tandem with the provisions of the ordinance under which the school was established.

According to Ordinance XX (N), there are ten primary objectives of the concerned journalism school, including the identification and nurture of aspiring journalists, enrichment of the discipline through trans-disciplinary modules, offering of ‘Add-on’ courses on foreign and regional languages, and the availability of short-term courses for working journalists and university students. When the courses begin, then the community of working journalists can choose to improve and enhance their media and communication skills by signing up.

Started in 2017 with a batch of 120 students, DSJ now has a total of 218 students across two batches. Since its inception, DSJ has been a part of numerous controversies and protest demonstrations with respect to the educational amenities provided to the students. For instance, the students sat on a hunger strike for numerous days in September, 2018. They then decided to take the demonstrations to the Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu,who inaugurated the institute in 2017. Their demands have been inclusive of housing facilities, infrastructure, library accessibility et al.

Whether the move to delve into a new venture is productive remains unclear for some because numerous objectives of the ordinance have not been fulfilled during DSJ’s functioning. Anoushka Sharma, a second-year student at the institute, remains skeptical about the endeavor. She said, “I just feel that starting short term courses while not having proper infrastructure for the ongoing course is an issue. Since the past eight months, the students of DSJ have been protesting for better facilities. This includes the basic facilities like a media lab for a journalism course given the fee-structure, which is considerably demanding.”

Dr. Manasvini M Yogi, Officer on Special Duty of DSJ, said that the courses are not available at present, but are in pipeline. Her  statement to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) is as follows: “Since we are a new college and have just started our second batch, things are bound to take some time. But we are planning to start the short-term courses by 2020 latest, and if we can, we will start the courses from 2019.” When asked about digital journalism courses, the OSD stated to IANS- “We will have to see about all that. Too early to talk about the kind of courses we will start. But a course in digital journalism will be there and since these would be for working journalists, the classes may be held on weekends.”


Feature Image Credits: Sandeep Samal and Srivedant Kar for DU Beat.


Anushree Joshi

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What becomes of you outside the college gates should not be decided by your neighbour and other Sharmajis. We bring you five choices your relatives never thought could pay your bills.

It is the time for board examinations, and the time for graduations. DJ rightly said in Rang De Basanti, that the life beyond the gates of the school is an entirely different, perhaps more cruel one. The one factor to making it seem less cruel, and in fact enjoyable, is to choose a profession that makes you hate Mondays a tad less. Here are five offbeat career prospects that have the power to make you rich, content, or both:

1. Cartoon making: So Many of the world’s artists spend their entire lives with their heads stuck in a math problem, when they would much rather use the last page for a sketch of Mr. Bean. It is time to make money from your “hobby”. Every acclaimed newspaper and magazine has a dedicated space for cartoons nowadays, while television and movies provide more possibilities to your love and skill for doodling. Asian Academy of Film and Television, National Institute of Design, and National Institute of Fashion Technology are only some of the excellent institutes to hone the skills needed to cut it in this profession.

2. Pet Grooming: As a student of the University of Delhi, you must have become accustomed to having dogs and cats enter your vicinity at any time. If you enjoy petting them more than you love engaging with humans then, there is a future in it for you. It requires patience, and an understanding of the needs of those who cannot express themselves in words. There are no essential qualifications for this profession, but it requires immense skill and hard work. To grow further over the years, you can start a pet salon or a pet cafe, and work with organisations like PETA as well.

3. Rural Studies: If you are one of those people who find the lack of attention given to the 70% of the population of the country, residing in the rural areas, appalling, then there is an excellent opportunity in the field of rural studies for you. You can work with NGOs, the government, or open a business of your own, focussing on the area that interests you the most. There are Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees offered in this course at colleges in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Delhi.

4. Museology: The main reason to pursue this is, of course, the “I dig you” memes. The other important reason is your passion for something considered atrociously boring by the science-inclined population of the nation, i.e. history. Study museums, their significance, and the stories of the past with this career. University of Calcutta and National Museum Institute of History of Arts, offer the best programmes for this opportunity.

5. Bartending: There are careers that are fun, and then there are jobs which make everybody envious. Bartending is a profession that has been around for a long time, but it is only in the recent past that its mainstream value in making money has been realised. If you enjoy listening to people’s drunk break-up stories, and have a love for alcoholic drinks, then this job is for you. You should be a graduate in any subject, if you want to be hired by high-end bars. A knowledge of alcohol, and preferably a diploma is appreciated for this career. Indian Institute of Bartending (Chennai), B’Mann School of Bartending (Chennai), Liquid Art Bartending School (Hyderabad), and Institute of Bar Operations and Management (New Delhi) are the best institutes to acquire a degree for the profession.



Image Courtesy: Monster 

Anushree Joshi

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After releasing a charter of demands regarding the hostel regulations and receiving a dissatisfying response from the administration, LSR united with Pinjra Tod on 5th November to demonstrate a protest against curfews, gendered treatment, absence of OBC reservations, and more.

At 5 PM on 3rd November 2018, the students of Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College, along with supporters from Pinjra Tod, collected outside the main-gate of LSR to engage in a protest. The protest’s objective was to get the administration to come out of the college gates and to engage with them on the demands listed in the charter released by Pinjra Tod and LSR.

Some of the demands from the charter stem from a practice of sexist and hypocritical foundations, students stated. The University Grants’ Commission’s regulations prohibit discriminatory rules citing safety considerations for women. For example, the curfew was 10 PM before 3rd November 2018, and it was mandatory for the first-year residents to acquire the signature of either of the two wardens in a ‘day-slip’, if they wished to move out of college at any time of the day before 7:30 PM. Staying out at night was permissible for only four nights a month, and even then the tedious procedure ensured the restrictions on the women’s mobility.

The accounts of the residents present a picture of gendered discrimination and judgements, which also includes practices ignoring the PWD residents’ convenience in mobilisation in the hostel premises. On the condition of anonymity, a resident shared that once when another LSR hostel resident was moving out after 7:30 PM, she was asked the following by the authority at the hostel- “Kiska bistar garam karne jaa rahi ho?” Several other residents revealed the hypocrisy in citing safety in maintaining curfews for adult women, while at the same time ‘gating out’, i.e. suspending the residents for breaking alleged rules, at any given time. A student was once forced to spend the night at the railway station when her train reached late enough for her to miss the 10 PM deadline.

When demonstrations were announced, the administration accepted a few demands from the charter, to be exercised from the beginning of the second semester, i.e. 1st January 2019, which are as follows:

  1. The curfew timings were pushed to 10:30 PM.
  2. The concept of ‘only four nights out’ was amended to the attendance rule of 60% per month.
  3. The system of issuing day slips stands abolished, and identity cards will be issued.
  4. Instead of the rule of making mandatory two local guardians (married), there will be the provision of an emergency contact number.
  5. Leaves will be issued without the signatures of any local guardian or parents.
  6. Appropriate changes will be made in the Hostel Handbook.


The Charter of Demands
The Charter of Demands

There has been no abolition of the curfew, or adherence to the reservation guidelines for the OBC community, and many other significant demands remain unaddressed. Pinjra Tod gathered in lieu of the said events, and the students shouted slogans like ‘Kuchh salaakhein tooti hain, poora pinjra baaki hai!’ (‘Some grates have broken, the entire cage remains!’), ‘Pitrisatta ka khol de pol, pinjra tod, pinjra tod!’ (‘Demolish the patriarchy, break the cage, break the cage!’), etc. to remind the college administration of the hypocrisy used to justify the regulations in hostel.

Over 50 women joined the demonstration, and the momentum increased such that an ultimatum was declared by the protesters, according to which the principal was asked to engage with them outside the college gates by 6:30 PM. The principal, Dr. Suman Sharma, did not respond to the cries and demands of the demonstrators. The vice-principal and a few members of the college administration stepped out of the gates, and attempted to deter the protest through a dialogue, but the demonstrators shouted ‘shame’ and refused the reported tokenistic gestures.

The Hostel’s Union was not present at the demonstration, nor was any statement of solidarity released from its end. Allegedly, some members of the union approached the administration in confidence and stated that they had been feeling ‘pressurised and attacked’ by the methods of the protest. After 8 PM on the 5th, the union released a statement defending its non-participation and non-solidarity for the protest, and also addressed other concerns in it.

At 6:16 PM, the LSR Students’ Union representatives, Katyani and Drishti, announced that they were going to engage with the administration to make them aware of the demonstrators’ decision to break open the college gates, if they failed to address them. No fruition occurred of the expected nature for the students as the administration proposed permitting only the current students of LSR to assemble in the college auditorium for a discussion on the demands. The demonstrators refused, and at 6:48 PM the demonstration took to the road. The one-way was blocked by the demonstration and the traffic assimilated for approximately thirty minutes before being diverted by the police officials. Women alleged groping and perverse remarks directed at them by the men gathered outside LSR.

Almost a quarter past seven, the demonstrators marched towards the intersection at the traffic signal, when their demands remained unheard by the administration. Around 8:30 PM, the students were let into the premises and the principal agreed to address them. Due to the apprehension of being intimidated by the administration, many demonstrators sat outside the gate and continued raising the slogans against the regulations.

The official account of Pinjra Tod remains that the principal left within a quick while of her appearance before the student community. They stated: “LSR principal barely came out for two minutes and left the protest site. All of campus is militarised with police men & plain clothed police women, they beat up women mercilessly. They say they will implement OBC reservation once there are more seats!” Members of the SU are reported to have been pelted at with stones, and scratched as they extended their explicit support to the cause. At 10:30 PM, the demonstrators broke through the hostel gates and continue to chant revolutionary slogans, singing songs to claim their liberty by defying the curfew for the day.


The Demonstration on 5th November
The Demonstration on 5th November

At 10:30 am on 6th November, about 30 faculty members entered the hostel and the hostel-residents’ account revealed that they were not allowed to move outside and assembling in the dining hall was made compulsory. The students gathered outside the hostel again.

Day-scholars and residents later assembled in the hostel gardens, where the faculty members addressed the students. In the dialogue, the hostel union’s President, Aarushi, stated that they would issue a solidarity statement if those students, who wish for the curfew to continue and had previously approached them personally, did not explicitly voice their perspective at the time.

A student who had been accused of intimidating the union, stated that the demands were being suggested as reductive when there was much more than the curfew.

Professors stated that they would listen to the demands point by point, and respond accordingly. When the issue of WiFi was brought up, the faculty members agreed with the demand and stated that they had already complained regarding it, and the inadequacy of the WiFi was not solely for the hostel residents. They were working upon it. The students demanded a deadline for the course of action.

The protests have paused for now and the new plan of action is as follows:

  1. A new, more detailed charter of demands will be formed by 7th November as the administration has accepted certain demands already and they have termed the main demands ‘vague’.
  2. The deadline for sending a written response back to the demonstrators is Sunday for the administration.
  3. The principal has to address the students on Monday in the auditorium. If she fails to, or if the students remain dissatisfied, then the protests will resume from Monday onwards.
  4. Attendance was not adhered to yesterday, and the same will happen on Monday.

The hostel warden has suggested that she will forward the letter to the principal herself, and Katyani from the Students’ Union stated that the students’ body of LSR will be present to back up the demands.


Image Credits: Anushree Joshi for DU Beat

Anushree Joshi

[email protected]