Riya Chhibber


Writing is liberating, empowering and a life changing experience but not many get the opportunity to showcase the same to the world. Presently working at McKisney & Company, Abhishek Gupta is an Economics major from Kirori Mal College who stands as a young example of how to make one’s dreams come true via writing. Author of India’s first ever travel photo-poetry collection – ‘Iridescence’, we got an opportunity to have an enlightening conversation with him about his dreams, aspirations and his current calling. Excerpts:


Q1. Being an Economics Major from Kirori Mal College, how did the idea of penning down a book come up?

Abhishek: Every person has this childhood fantasy, mine was to grow up and write a book. So as soon as I found an idea which could make a difference to Indian Literature, the first thing I did was to write the book.


India's first travel photo poetry collection, ‘Iridescence’
India’s first travel photo poetry collection, ‘Iridescence’


Q2. The title of the book – ‘Iridescence’ literally means a lustrous or attractive quality that changes with the change in the angle of view. Metaphorically, why did you choose this title and no other?

Abhishek: Travel changes you.  It makes you look at things differently. In Iridescence, I have tried to voice and give vision to different junctures of my journey of self discovery and my discovery of the world. This book would mean different things to different people. It may make you reflect, introspect, awaken, love, invigorate and hope. It may make you look at the same poem differently as you read it at different points of your life. This is a book to tuck under your pillow on cold lonely nights and it is also a book to flip through on a fresh refreshing morning.

Your perspective will define what Iridescence ends up meaning to you. And thus, what better way to sum this photo-poetry book than to call it ‘Iridescence’?


Q3. How did the idea of juxtaposing photography and poetry in a single book come to your mind? 

Abhishek: I had been an avid writer since school. In my first year college I started doing photography. I was away to Africa for an internship around that time where sitting by the beach I was writing poetry. That’s when it struck me that it would be a great idea to combine photos and poetry in a book. It took me 3 years since then to materialise the book.


Q4. Most of your poems are an inspiration picked up directly from nature. Any story behind this you’d like to share with us? 

Abhishek:When I started with photography, I clicked nothing but flora, and then slowly started clicking landscapes. Nature inspires me the most, and I particularly write the most when I am travelling. I strongly believe that nature has the power to amaze you and has a lot of wisdom to impart to you about life.


Q5. What motivated you to travel and pen down your thoughts in the form of poetry? 

Abhishek:My primary motivation to travel was to get out of my comfort zone and to experience life and different ways of living beyond my confines. I wanted to breathe the air of new places and collect moments worth reliving. Photography was also one of the major reasons triggering all my travel.

Soon after, I discovered, Photo-poetry was the perfect medium to make a picture and moment eternal for myself and as well as for the readers. And then the camera didn’t stop clicking and the pen kept scribbling onto the pages of my travel journal.


Q6. Do you think poetry as a form of writing needs a new lease of life? What are your comments about the culture of poetry that we have in the country today?

Abhishek: I think we are at a very unique point in the history of literature where we are heading towards digitalisation and experimenting more than ever before. Poetry in India too needs innovation to enhance its market and appeal. It no longer needs to be about being free verse or sonnet or a haiku. It could be in different patterns, in various styles, lengths and on any particular theme.

I think the poetry scenario in India is reforming and broadening its horizons. There are slam poetry sessions every weekend, blogs and Instagram flooding with new budding Indian poets more than ever before and a wider acceptance of new forms of poetry. It is a privilege to witness such a rich growing poetry culture in our country.


Q7. Being a young author, you must have faced many unprecedented challenges and obstacles in the path of getting yourself published. Any anecdotes or important advice you wish to pass on to our young readers and aspiring authors?

Abhishek:Poetry is something that is very close to the writer, so I think the first obstacle is making peace with the fact that you are opening yourself to the entire world.  So don’t be afraid to opening yourself up to the world.

And then the second obstacle is apparently finding a publisher. So all I would say is that if you reach out to 50 publishers, only 5 would respond back and 1 will for sure accept your idea, and that is all that will make a difference.


Q8. In a collection of more than 30 poems, which poem is very close to you or has a special place among the plethora of experiences that helped you collate this book?

Abhishek:Each poem is very close to my heart, so it would be very unfair if I choose one. But if I have to choose, then it would be ‘Probably Exuberance’. Because that was the first photo-poetry I wrote, and that’s where Iridescence started.


Abhisheks book has been received very well and has also become a top-seller on Amazon in its genre. We wish Abhishek all the very best for all his future endeavours!  


Riya Chhibber

[email protected]

Chaahe jo tumhe poore dil se, Milta hai woh mushkil se
Aisa jo koi kahin hai, Bas vahi sabse hasin hai

In 2015, one sunny afternoon, eating in the college canteen, a colourful newspaper in the hands of many students caught my eye. I applied to work there, got selected, and that decision of sending a very nervous and grammatically unsound email changed my life forever. That newspaper was DU Beat. Cut to two years hence, when I was bestowed with a leadership role and was given the post of the Associate Print Editor, I never thought that the newspaper that I recall as my first memory of DU Beat would become my baby one day.

Like the line I quoted above, my journey at DU Beat has been like a movie. It had a powerful plot that built my way to the future, a story with a purpose, individuals and characters who I fell in love with, and a heartwarming ending that brims with emotions I will fail to express here. Just like a movie is memorable because of its characters, my time at DUB gave me the chance to know and work with some of the finest correspondents, photographers, and designers. Working here gave me friends I will cherish for a lifetime and it gave me a family that I know has always got my back. But like all movies, my association with this place had its own ups and downs.

While I had my share of achievements and fun by writing some popular Bazingas (some of them were believed to an extent that we got in trouble sometimes), political pieces, took some unbelievably cool interviews and attended outstation fests (a shoutout to my Mood-I mini family), my leadership role most of the time didn’t allow me to write as much as I would have wanted to. The pressure that comes with this responsibility sometimes got the better of me and left me frustrated, stressed, and sometimes even self-critical. But my time here can never be replaced and the experience can never be recreated. My college life and DU Beat were pretty much synonymous. DU Beat gave me an identity. The sense of association, love, respect, and adoration that one develops for this place and its people is a feeling that not many get to feel in their college life and I feel blessed that I was one of the few lucky ones who got to experience the magic of this place firsthand.

From allotting articles, solving doubts post midnight over WhatsApp, making the Print layout to heading Print meetings every Monday, unlike the rest of the world, I developed an unusual liking for the most hated day of the week and always looked forward to it. I am terribly going to miss the 200+ notifications on the 60+ WhatsApp groups, I am going to crave the feeling of being able to put up an urgent post on all the social media handles and then see it trend and get likes, I am going to miss the feeling of using my DUB ID and toggling between multiple social media platforms and mixing passwords each time. Most of all, I will never have an excuse to skip awkward social gatherings and ignore my friends saying, “I have DUB work.”

Riya’s journey at DUB


In life, one must always have something to look up to, something to look forward to and something to chase and in my case, for two consecutive years, DU Beat filled all the blanks. Not being able to work here anymore is going to leave a void in me that is never going to be fulfilled, it will leave a thirst that will never be quenched.


But as Shakespeare rightly said,

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts


In my entire college life, DUB was my world, my stage, and I guess I played my part. It is time I make my exit.

Wishing the new office bearers all the very best. Keep our baby growing.


Signing off

Riya Chhibber

Associate Print Editor


Having launched a range of herbal and organic products like Patanjali shampoo, conditioner, face wash, oil and even noodles, the list of Baba Ramdev’s products under Patanjali Ayurved is longer than Shankar Mahadevan’s song, Breathless. Therefore, with his never-ending determination to promote traditional remedies and culturally rooted practices, his new mission now is to provide remedy for the dysfunctional and diluting education system of the country by opening a college under the University of Delhi. Already being touted as an innovative venture, the college will be called YUVA, short for Yoga and Ayurveda Academy and will be located near the newly built DDUC campus area in Dwarka.


From B.A with Yoga Science, B.Sc in Yoga to PG Diploma in Yoga, M.A in Sanskrit Literature, Tourism Management and more, the college promises a variety of off-beat courses for students to enrol in. Speaking to us on a condition of anonymity, an administrative staff member of the soon to be established college said, “Guru ji has started a great social change and bringing that change from Haridwar’s holy city to a metropolitan like Delhi was necessary seeing the social fabric of India diluting day by day. We are going to revolutionise the sphere of education with this college. Here traditions, culture and the ‘Bhartiya sanskriti’ will not only be preserved but also practiced.”


Since sanskriti must begin at home, in order to engage in the ’swadeshikaran of the youth’s ‘pehnawa boys will have to drape saffron robes while girls will adorn salwar-kameez as uniform., our sources tell us. The canteen will be ‘shuddh shakahari’ and insiders tell us that instead of having a college fest like other DU colleges, YUVA will have an annual ‘Yoga Shivir’ . To compensate for the star night, the yoga exponent’s ardent fan Shilpa Shetty Kundra will grace the stage, showcasing yoga asanas for her fans.


At this crucial hour, when many colleges are wanting to gain autonomy from DU, with this, we sincerely hope that by providing a remedy for anything and everything, Baba doesn’t end up getting a taste of his own medicine.


Image credits: Youth Ki Awaaz


**Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is a humorous, light hearted column that should only be appreciated and not accepted.


Riya Chhibber

[email protected]

The second day of Nexus ’17, the Annual Cultural Festival of Sri Venkateswara College, began with a host of musical events. ‘Battle of the Bands’, organised by Crescendo, the Western Music Society of the host college, was won by ‘Thread Makers’ of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College. They performed their own composition, Metamorphosis. The Indian Classical Choir event ‘Goonj’, organised by Alaap, the Indian Music Society, was won by Samranjini of Gargi College and Alankaar, of Hindu College bagging the second prize.

A glimpse from the ‘Battle of Bands’ 

This musical affair was followed by a series of Western Dance Competitions. Western Dance Solo competition, organised by Nritya, the choreography society, witnessed participation from around 22 participants. Vipin Lactrix from IGNOU and Ashmita Tomar from Mata Sundari College bagged the first and second prize respectively, in this event. The main stage turned into a magnetic field when the much-awaited Western Dance Group competition, ‘Razzmatazz’ began. It was won by Zeal, of Maitreyi College, followed by V-Defyn of IIT-Delhi.


Etcetera of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur College won the first prize in Madari, the Nukkad-Natak competition organised by Anubhuti, the Street Play society of Sri Venkateswara College. The second and third prize was awarded to Ibtida of Hindu College and Natuve of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College respectively.

Drawing the second day to a close, The Raghu Dixit Project performed at the Rock Night at Nexus ‘17. Charming the crowd with his mellifluous voice and quick wit, Raghu Dixit and his band members induced energy and exuberance to the evening. As the crowd cheered with verve and zest, the eventful second day concluded with a musical delight, setting the mood for the last day’s performance!


Feature image credits: Vegh Daswani for DU Beat

Lovleen Kaur
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Saumya Kalia
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Kriti Sharma
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Day 3 at Reverie, the annual cultural fest of Gargi College, kicked off with enthralling performances in the Western Acapella competition by various groups. A total of eleven colleges performed at the event which was judged by Sherry Matthews and Clayton Dubbeam. Echo, the Western Music Society of Jesus and Mary College, emerged as winners, and the first runner-ups and the second runner-ups were Kamla Nehru College and Shiv Nadar University respectively. 

Check out a glimpse of the Western Acapella

The day continued with the Western Duet Competition and the Western Solo Competition. For the Duets, Kishore and Riya from Amity University, Noida were declared winners. The runner-ups were Kislaya Rishiraj from Sri Venkateswara College and Piya Podder from Kamla Nehru College. In the Solos, the winner was Isha from Gargi, the first runner-up was Kishore from Amity and the second runner-up was Anurag from Delhi Technological University.

RJ Khurafati Nitin from Fever 104 also came to the fest as a speaker at the event. He promoted his new talk show At Fever 104 and made the audience laugh with his sketch. Q.E.D. the Debating Competition saw the participation of many colleges. Anmol from Sri Venkateswara College secured the first position and Aditya from P.G.D.A.V. College secured the second position, while Saumya Verma from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College stood third.

The next event was Cursive-iti, which was the Western Choreography Competition, which saw nine participating groups from various colleges. Gargi College came first for their performance on the lines of Alice in Wonderland. The first runner-ups were Hansraj College and the second runner-ups were Lady Shri Ram College.

Sanya Malhotra, who played Babita Phogat in the Aamir Khan starer Dangal, and an alumnus of Gargi College, graced the stage of her alma mater with co-star Aparshakti Khurana. The two actors danced to hits like Dhaakad and London Thumakda and answered some questions from their fans.



Reverie ended with an electrifying closing performance by popular Bollywood singer Shalmali Kholgade. She charmed the audience with her melodious voice and super hit tracks like Pareshaan, Raabta and Agar Tum Saath Ho among other popular Bollywood tracks. Reverie, the annual cultural fest of Gargi College wrapped up with a powerful performance, which shall be cherished until next year!


Feature Image credits: Jasmine Chahal for DU Beat 

Joyee Bhattacharya

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Anagha Rakta
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Nikhil Kumar
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Srivedant Kar

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Filled to the brim with gossip, scandal, and confessions, “Koffee With Karan” recently made a comeback. Our correspondent tells you why we’re all so drawn to the iconic show.

The year 2016 marked the return of Karan Johar’s very popular “Koffee with Karan”, a show that occupies the holy hour on the family television screen every Sunday evening. As a rational nineteen-year-old, I believe I am above all the pettiness, gossip and drama that is synonymous with Bollywood. The sad part, however, is that even I am prey to Karan’s wiliness, and every Sunday from 9pm-10pm, I am racked with guilt, yet blissfully unaware of my surroundings, rooting for my favourite star and eagerly awaiting the results of the rapid fire.

The one question that evades me is – How does he do it? How does he manage to rope in individuals from all age groups? How does he manage to capture our attention for an entire hour? Inspiration struck when I saw my friend watching a particular episode for the third time. Karan Johar uses the same tactic that most international talk shows do, he packs all the drama and pettiness under a cover of “flair and air”, substituting the local cutting chai for the suave cup of coffee. The average Indian cannot resist the daily charcha, especially if it comes with glamorous actors and high-profile drama. On this, Johar delivers to the T.

Essentially, the programme focuses on digging dirt and bringing the personal lives of celebrities into the limelight. Karan does all of this unabashedly and shamelessly – a quality that ironically attracts Indian audiences instead of repelling them. A show containing all the gossip, awkwardness and insane drama that we need in our everyday, mundane lives, “Koffee with Karan” ticks all the right boxes, even for rational folks like me!

Image Credits:

Anahita Sahu

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From sudden infrastructural changes to administrative departments running around and looking all dazed and cold feet, whether we choose to agree or disagree, but the preparation for NAAC inspection sent almost every college in a frenzy last year. And with the NAAC Peer Team coming, preparations caught up in full swing, involving an uncanny resemblance to a household situation where an unforeseen wedding had suddenly come up. With all the white-washing, denting-painting, revamping, reckless spending of money, running around, fake smiling, boastful talks about ones college in the air during NAAC days, our belief in the aforementioned analogy only gets stronger.

With a panel touted as a meticulously chosen handful of very experienced academicians and people who understand the education system very wellcoming and assessing colleges under NAAC, the question arises, does a grading matter after all?

What is NAAC?

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country. An outcome of the recommendations of the National Policy in Education (1986) which laid special emphasis on upholding the quality of higher education in India, the NAAC was established in 1994 with its headquarters at Bangalore.

Upon requests by individual colleges and universities, the primary accreditation agency of the country conducts assessments and grades institutions. The agencys cumulative gradation of institutions is based on parameters like curriculum, faculty, research, infrastructure, learning resources, organisation, governance and student services.

The process: How does it accredit colleges

Assessment and Accreditation are broadly used for understanding the Quality Statusof an institution. In the context of Higher Education, the accreditation status indicates that the particular Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) a College, a University, or any other recognised Unit therein, meets the standards of quality as set by the Accreditation Agency, in terms of its performance, related to the educational processes and outcomes, covering the curriculum, teaching-learning, evaluation, faculty, research, infrastructure, learning resources, organisation, governance, financial well-being and student services.

The top and the bottom: How did DU perform

While most colleges applied for the NAAC accreditation long back, the visits majorly took place last year and the scores were released soon after. In the initial phase, IPCW secured a CGPA of 3.33 (Grade A) and ANDC secured the second spot by getting a CGPA of 3.31 (Grade A).  These were followed by Gargi College (3.30), St. Stephens College (3.21), Jesus and Mary College (3.26), Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (3.16), Ramanujan College (3.06), Shivaji College (3.26), Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce (3.02), Keshav Mahavidyalaya (3.01), Bharati College (2.85), PGDAV (2.74), Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College (2.63), and Motilal Nehru College (2.60).

Later in the year, SRCC and LSR emerged at the top with a whooping score of 3.65 and 3.61 respectively. Take a look at the top 10 scorers in the table here.

Top 10 scorers 

Image credits: HT Media
Image credits: HT Media

These scores are valid for five years after which the colleges will again have to apply for accreditation. It was in 2012 that UGC made accreditation compulsory for higher educational institutions and DU executive council adopted the decision in 2014.

Does the grade even matter?

As far as we remember, such a panel as meticulously chalked out as NAAC didnt exist many years back. While grading brings in a state of competitive spirit (as if the previous branding and rep-bias that exists in the university wasnt enough already) the question arises, does the same grade then not end up shining the pride of the already well established and some popular DU colleges and create biases against some others who might actually be needing a lift from the loom of being less sought after and meagerly funded?

Whether the committee gives out grades on the hastily dip-dyed infrastructure especially revamped for their visit or the actual system in place is still a question for many to ponder upon.

The accreditation process got a thumbs up from some colleges, however, many raised objections over the assessment criteria too from time to time. Speaking to a popular national daily, Babli Saraf, principal of Indraprastha College for Women, said there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all” criteria for colleges. “The criteria shouldn’t be the same for a liberal arts college like ours, where we do not have the provisions for a laboratory and are not involved in research publications,” she said.

In most cases, colleges started a laborious and hasty revamp revolution, to save their grace in front of the NAAC peer team and not to raise their quality standard in general altogether. When your transformation drive is initiated to fulfil a set of stipulated  ideas by a panel that is not even remotely looking at how you provide for the students, the timely assessment of whether the students and teachers are happy with the administration of the college, whether the college has some unique traits that may not figure in its already set parameters, if the college is lacking in research, what should it do, then that grading doesnt stand much ground. The NAAC website says that they provide a qualitative part of the outcome as a Peer Team Report (PTR) which is an objective report prepared by the Team highlighting its evaluative judgements, mostly using precise keywords instead of long sentences about the college under consideration, but I doubt these objective answers bring any real on-ground changes.

Does a low grading not mar the reputation of a college that might be in dire need of those funds, facilities and attention that it rightfully deserves in order to raise itself to a better education imparting platform? What good is a grade for colleges that are already popular among students and parents and get truckloads of funds? Should a grade not help encourage a college to become a more holistic space than label it as an A, Bor Ctype college for years to come. Finally, does a grade mean anything more than a fancy wall hanging of a newspaper clipping on the college walls for many many years, or does it actually ignites change? This is for time to tell and for us to ponder.

If you are interested in reading about NAAC and the process, log on to for detailed information.

Feature Image: DU Beat 

Riya Chhibber

[email protected]

After four days of the overwhelming bonanza of celebrations, Mood Indigo, the cultural spectacle at IIT Bombay drew to a close with some memorable performances. Here is what we thought were the highlights of the fest.


NY Musician Vladimir Cetkar performs at Mood Indigo

A multi-talented musician based in New York, Vladimir Cetkar, known for his song ‘We will never end’, gave the much needed musical punch to heighten the spirits of the crowd attending Mood Indigo this Christmas. He not only performed his best-known singles but also caught everyone’s eye with his charming personality.

EIC fame Sorabh Pant enthralled all with his tongue in cheek humour 

Performing at his candid best, East India Comedy fame Sorabh Pant left no stones unturned at tickling the funny bone of his audience at IIT Bombay. From demonetisation to other upbeat issues, he gave a humorous turn to just about everything.


EDM Night with Anish Sood 

Renowned EDM composer and DJ, Anish Sood set the musical mood at Mood Indigo as the audience led their hair down and enjoyed his gig to the fullest!

 Arnab Goswami and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis discuss ‘Transforming Maharashtra’

CM Devendra Fadnavis and TV news anchor Arnab Goswami marked their attendance at Mood Indigo in a rather address engaging fashion as they discussed issues like reservation and vote bank politics, and left no stones unturned at taking potshots at other politicians during the interactive session.


Arnab Goswami and Maharashtra CM at IIT Bombay | Image credits: Harshit Thukral

Renowned journalist Prabhu Chawla spoke to students about dynastic politics and more 

Veteran journalist news anchor Prabhu Chawla, interacted with various students at Mood Indigo, as part of the Literary Fest. The issue raised in his talk was the “rise and fall of political dynasties,” especially in the Indian context. According to him, dynastic politics in principle is undesirable but India as a nation has been accepting of political lineages. The fragmented nature of Indian politics wherein most political parties have cropped up in the fringes of the Congress party, has led to the fascination with maa-betaa sarkars and the like. In his view, the way to root out dynastic politics is by way of nationalism. A pan-Indian issue must be scavenged and propagated so as to gain a mass following. At the world level, with German and French elections being around the corner, Chawla predicts that “the lady is in trouble” (with respect to German Chancellor Angela Merkell) and that “France is leaning towards the Right.”

Image credits: Hitanksha Jain

Shankar Ehsaan Loy set the musical tone at IIT-B with their gig 

Bollywood composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy drew curtains to the four-day fest with their super energetic gig as they performed their all-time hit numbers like ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’, ‘Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe’ and Shankar’s famous ‘Breathless’ track.

Feature image credits: Gerush Bahal 


Riya Chhibber ([email protected])

Abhinaya Harigovind ([email protected])

Swareena Gurung ([email protected])

Kavach Chandra ([email protected])


Picture credits: Harshit Thukral, Prateek Singh, Hitanksha Jain and Gerush Bahal for DU Beat.



A four day spectacle from 23-26th December, Mood Indigo saw a variety of speakers, competitions and events during the fest. We bring to you a list of some of the highlights of this annual cultural extravaganza that added colour, fun and frolic to the festival.


Conchord: The Acapella finals 

Conchord, the acapella music competition at Mood Indigo 2016, was a riot of melodious notes synchronised in perfect harmony, without the use of musical instruments. The event saw four teams battling it out in the finals-Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru; Gargi College, Delhi; Shri Mata Vaishodevi University, Katra and Hansraj College, Delhi. The competition was judged by three musicians-Kenneth Shakira, Shayla Saldanha and Caroline Pereira.

Swaranjali, Hansraj College’s Music Society bagged the first place, while Gargi College came second, followed by Mount Carmel College. Swaranjali enthralled the audience with their rendition of Bad Romance and Barbie Girl, inviting praise from the judges for the balance in their notes and the impeccable coordination within the team. While the all-girls teams from Mount Carmel College and Gargi College earned accolades for their bass voice and versatility respectively, the team from Shri Mata Vaishnodevi University was appreciated for their choice of a medley of foot-tapping popular music.


A photo posted by DU Beat (@du_beat) on


Coke Studio singer Mame Khan steals the show:

With his rendition of ‘Damadum Mast Kalandar’ and other songs, Mame Khan stole the audience’s heart with his super energetic and enigmatic performance. Not only did he engage with the crowd, but also crooned the classic ‘Damadum Mast Kalandar’ that left everyone mesmerised and wanting for more.


A photo posted by DU Beat (@du_beat) on


FusionNite: Karsh Kale 

The ‘fusion nite’ saw the renowned American Indian musician, composer and producer Karsh Kale set the tune straight for his audience as the jamming session pumped up the young lot.

Karsh Kale performing at Mood Indigo


Saurabh Shukla’s Barff

Saurabh Shukla’s second directorial venture, Barff, was an event that was eagerly awaited at Mood Indigo 2016. The three member cast of Sadia Siddiqui, Sunil Palwal and Saurabh Shukla had a packed hall hanging on to their every word as the stage transformed into a scene from Kashmir, snow et al. Sunil Palwal essays the role of Ghulam, a Kashmiri taxi driver, while Sadia Siddiqui plays his wife, Nafisa. Saurabh Shukla is Dr. Siddhant, coming from afar to treat their unwell child.

Saurabh Shukla performing in his second directorial venture, Barff

A palpable air of mystery and intrigue envelops the play, giving it the garb of a thriller revolving around the little child. Love, motherhood, a sense of attachment towards Kashmir, and fluidity in the perception of reality are intertwined to create an undeniable masterpiece. The acting is impeccable and lends depth to the three beautifully moulded characters. Nafisa’s heart-wrenching cries, Ghulam’s devoted love for his wife, almost bordering on naivete, and the doctor’s attempt to understand their world, could not have been portrayed more realistically. Reality becomes putty in the hands of imagination driven by intense pain and love. The set, which marvellously locates itself in a Kashmiri home and its surroundings, is meticulously thought out to the littlest detail.

Theatre Fest:  Daddy Cool

 A two-man act starring Jagdish Rajpurohit and Kevin Dave, ‘Daddy Cool’ is a hilarious play that charts the life of a father son duo. As the name suggests, the father is “cool” employing different parental tactics to fuel his son’s curiosity during his formative years. They include sending his son to a sex-worker so as to educate him about sex and smoking with him in order to dissuade him from doing so.


There are some inevitable questions that come from young children which place their parents in awkward situations. The play focuses on some of these, especially regarding those related to sex. In the process, the ingenious ways in which parents often deprive their children of the right answers rather than touch upon the taboo topic of “sex,” are highlighted.

The most remarkable facet of the play was the effortless acting of the two, which required role reversals and multiple roles playing. The sheer task of holding the attention of the audience for an hour isn’t easy, and they did just that while also cracking them up the entire time.

Jayaprakash Narayan on Demonetisation 

As part of Mood Indigo’s Lit Fest 2016, renowned political informer and founder of the Lok Satta Party who boasts of a 16-year long career in government, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan conducted an interactive session with the audience on the aftermath of demonetisation.

Dr. Narayan explained that the policy of demonetisation will not work in isolation as a “mantra or panacea.” It must followed by attendant steps to ensure that benefits are released. “One man’s sudden whim cannot become policy in a short period in a country of our size. But, the people of India are extraordinarily forgiving and are willing to pay the price in the short term,” he said.

According to Dr. Narayan, the primary role of the government is to create conditions for people to discover their own enlightened self interest, by delivering quality education and healthcare.


In his closing note, Dr. Narayan appealed to the students to go beyond their textbooks and work towards transforming the nation’s future.

Street Play competition: Aagaaz 

Agaaz, the street play competition at Mood Indigo 2016 saw participants bringing tremendous energy and innovative themes to the fore. The 12 competing teams brought out various significant social issues through their nukkad natak. An outdated education system, rigid caste hierarchies and discrimination based on caste, the freedom to express one’s own sexuality and the hypocratic taboos revolving around menstruation are some of the pertinent issues raised by the teams. The event was judged by Tanya Abrol, Chintaman Sahastrabuddhe, Yusuf Qasmi and Padmabhushan Agrawal and was also attended by actor Pankaj Tripathi. Some of the participating teams include College of Vocational Studies, Sri Venkateshwara College, PGDAV, IIT Kanpur and Ashoka University. The judges laid down the yardsticks of a good street play as one that disseminates a universal message and entertains the audience simultaneously. The judges appreciated the diversity and relevance of the social issues raised.


 Feature image credits: Gerush Bahal 


Riya Chhibber ([email protected])

Abhinaya Harigovind ([email protected])

Swareena Gurung ([email protected])

Kavach Chandra ([email protected])


Picture credits: Harshit Thukral, Prateek Singh, Hitanksha Jain and Gerush Bahal for DU Beat.

Boasting of a huge array of events, Mood Indigo, the annual cultural festival of IIT Bombay kicked off on 23rd December 2016 with a number of scintillating performances and speaker sessions. Based on the theme – ‘One soul, one fest’, the Mood Indigo team likes to recognise themselves as ‘A Bombay Chronicle’. While the line up of events on Day 1 was overwhelming it saw competitions like Conchord, Drum circle, and other light events among others. While the star performances of the ‘Livewire Nite’ featured Crown The Empire, Skrat and others, the first day of the fest had quite an exquisite line up with speakers like the young and dynamic novelist, Durjoy Datta.

Some of the highlights of Day 1 are as following:


Vogue: The fashion show 

Mood Indigo’s Vogue, touted as India’s largest college fashion show, was an extravagant display of glitz, glamour and gloss. The event saw eight teams compete in two rounds. The first round, based on the theme ‘Raga Invasion,’ was an expression of the influence of music on fashion and saw participants drawing inspiration from Michael Jackson and punk rock to Indian classical. The second round, based on the theme ‘Asymmetric,’ was an array of seemingly conflicting shapes and patterns coming together in harmony. The event was judged by Sonnalli Seygall, Karan Berry, Leon Vaz, Vikram Singh Bawa and Instagram fashionistas, Isha Kanani and Meghna Kaur Kaushal. The judges were enthused by the energy and confidence translated into the show on stage. Pearl Academy, Delhi walked away with the first place, while the Faculty of Architecture, Manipal took second. Faculty of Architecture also took the title of ‘Best Design,’ while Tanvi, from Thakur College of Science and Commerce was adjudged the best model.

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The winners, Pearl Academy, Delhi’s fashion team, told DU Beat that they were thrilled to have won first place, having least expected it. “The hard work paid off, what with having sacrificed our vacations to participate and put in our best”, said a team member. Their entry for round one focussed on flowy outfits in earthy colours of deep red, orange and yellow, while they used asymmetric white frills in the second round.

Catch a glimpse of the #MannequineChallenge we gave to the winning team!

Durjoy Datta on love, break-up and success 

Having had an adventurous personal life himself, an accomplished novelist, Durjoy Datta spoke to the students at IIT-B about his idea of love, relationships and break-ups. While talking to the crowd, he discussed how his initial years involved a cynical attitude towards love and how his personal journey helped him pen down his books. On being asked if he believes in the idea of a perfect relationship, he said, “I do believe that there is something such as a perfect relationship. My idea about love has changed a lot in the last few years.”


Image by Hitanksha Jain
Image by Hitanksha Jain

Varun Agarwal: Love, Startup and Anu auntie

Filmographer, entrepreneur and best-selling author, Varun Agarwal was another speaker at the fest who highlighted the importance of finding the right passion and pursuing it. Using his own life events as examples, he stressed on the importance of living life to the fullest, by pursuing one’s passion while taking bold risks in the face of challenges. The right passion in his view is something that is obsessive and which one wouldn’t mind doing for free, pursuing it for the experience rather than the money. Money will eventually follow, if you earnestly follow and take forward that, which you are passionate about.

He said that the current generation is suffering from the “Steve Job’s syndrome” of following the masses in choosing their passion. It is important, however, to choose passions independently of society’s and media’s influence. Confidence, that insulates one from being deterred by the numerous judgmental “Anu aunties,” is the key.

It wasn’t surprising that the audience was in raptures by the end of the talk, eagerly asking questions and partaking in numerous jests against fellow spectators.

 ‘Livewire-Nite’ highlights


The enchanting tunes of Crown The Empire, Skrat and others got everyone’s foot tapping, as the ‘Livewire Nite’ ensued a rather musical tone to the day, making it the perfect way to draw close to Day 1 of the fest!



This four-day extravaganza stretching from 23-26th December is all set to witness some big gigs, including a finale performance by the Bollywood Composer trio- Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy.


Riya Chhibber ([email protected])

Abhinaya Harigovind ([email protected])

Swareena Gurung ([email protected])


Feature Image credits: Prateek Singh

Picture credits: Hitanksha Jain, Gerush Bahal, Harshit Thukral and Prateek Singh for DU Beat.