Saumya Kalia


India’s economic sphere was at the epicenter of administrative functions and the ripples of reaction which went through the Indian populace on November 8th, 2016. The honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, in an unanticipated move, declared the scrapping off of INR 500 and INR 1,000 currency notes from circulation. The leader heralded this decision to be a hail mary cure for black money while introducing the new INR 500 and INR 2,000 denomination notes. This landmark decision has been engraved in the history of India as the celebration of the Anti-Black Money Day.

Ahead of the first-anniversary celebration and the subsequent notation, the University of Delhi has decided to acknowledge the economic revolution by pitching in the celebrations. In a press conference held on 3rd November, the Vice Chancellor announced that all students will be required to wear only white clothes on the Anti-Black Money Day, that is 8th November. He went on to cite the reason for this sartorial decision. “As our country gears up to celebrate honourable PM’s milestone decision, DU encourages its students to show reverence and appreciation for his efforts and the consequent positive changes it has led to. As a show of solidarity and unification, all students are requested to wear clothes in white colour on a momentous day.”

While DU’s association with this noble endeavour is laudable, the reaction from the student community has again been tepid and enthused in varying proportions. Vineeta Rana, a third-year student at Daulat Ram College, remarks on this forced decision, “Demonetisation as an economic process has invited mixed reactions and its success still remains questionable. To celebrate a decision which has harmed people in equal numbers, by making it mandatory to wear a certain colour on 8th November is nothing short of autocracy. By joining the white-wagon, our voices will be forced to join the clamour of unfair politics.” However, Kartik Kher from College of Vocational Studies believes that this step will link education with politics. He says, “The idea of standing by our country and appreciating the positive changes is extremely necessary for progress. DU’s decision to be a part of the celebrations is beyond clothes and colour, it’s symbolic of how education will continue to be affected by the nature of socio-political climate in the country. We, as dutiful citizens and students, ought to respect the same.”

Demonetisation was set out to be a scheme aimed at uprooting the clutches of corruption and black money. One year since its implementation, the challenges and milestones still remain to be tackled with and achieved.

Feature Image Credits:

Saumya Kalia
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A voice is more than a sound escaped from the insides of one’s throat. It’s a statement, it’s an opinion, it’s a right. And when one attempts to muffle it, you muffle the constitution of one’s being.

Akhila Ashokan, now known as Hadiya, changed her faith to Islam and married a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan on December 2016. She had been confined to her father’s house in Kottayam since May, when the Kerala High Court annulled her marriage. Her father, KM Ashokan, infuriated by his daughter’s decision, had petitioned the Kerala High Court alleging that his daughter had been forcibly converted and was being held against her will. The news made headlines in the past few months where conscientious citizens debated over a woman’s decision making powers.

Hadiya’s case presents a terrifying account of how a woman is denied autonomy. Her father kept on insisting that his daughter had been coerced into adopting Islam never once providing the speaking space to her daughter. The Kerala High Court’s outrageous decision to annul the marriage without hearing what Hadiya has to say, is an infringement of an individual’s autonomy. The Kerala High Court’s rationale, which stemmed from the ‘fact’ that a woman is under the guardianship of her father, despite the veritable truth that she is 24 years old, is a classic case of infantilising women. Not to forget the treacherous communalism imbued in the High Court’s judgement which seemed to believe that it was a case of ‘Love Jihad’ and not of a person’s free will.

Hadiya had been denied agency. Her voice was left inconsequential. Muffled by the bigger state politics, it became a perfect instance of one’s life taken over by the larger political currents of the day. If we take the example of Gauri Lankesh’s brutal murder, we see a pattern. Dissent or going against what the state wants to project (a supposed demonisation of the muslim population by bringing in the narrative of ‘Love Jihad’ into the equation), is met with a metaphorical iron bit in your mouth or the graveyard.

It is a systemic shutting up of one’s voice. If we go back to the middle ages in Europe (5th to 15th century), we will be confronted with gruesome forms of punishments. One such corporal punishment was the Scold’s Bridle, an inhuman, grotesque form of literally doing away with a woman’s voice. It was an iron muzzle enclosed in an iron framework that surrounded the head of an ‘accused’ woman, like a mask. The main intention of the device was to physically prevent the person from talking by the use of a small piece, called the bridle-bit, which was put in the woman’s mouth and pressed upon the tongue.

In some cases, a spike was attached to the bridle-bit, so that the movement of the tongue would cause wounds, additionally discouraging the victim from even attempting to speak.?Thankfully, the Supreme Court in its recent judgement of the case, agreed that consent of an adult for marriage is prime-a verdict that women’s right activists had been waiting for. The top court also directed the police in the southern state to present Hadiya in the court in New Delhi on November 27.?Yet, this doesn’t absolve our country’s judiciary and the society that we live in, who refused to acknowledge Hadiya, who refused to listen to her side of the story, who refused to treat her as an autonomous body capable of making her own decisions.?Our country still has a long way to go since Independence. We have been freed from colonial oppression, but communalism, casteism, classism, poverty, inequality still reigns supreme as prime issues in our country. A voice for each citizen is the least we can ask for, and when even that is snatched, all hope ceases to exist. To quote Meredith Grey, “Don’t let fear keep you quiet. You have a voice. So use it. Speak up. Raise your hands. Shout your answers. Make yourself heard. Whatever it takes. Just find your voice and when you do, fill the damn silence.”
Feature Image Credits-
Ankita Dhar Karmakar

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October dons the capes of pink and celebrates the Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout the world, facilitating a greater knowledge of the disease and its precautionary measures.

When facts say that one in eight women in a room has breast cancer or runs the risk of developing it in the future, the importance of awareness and early detection acquires an aura of mortal importance. The worldwide annual campaign united by the single idea of spreading awareness, accenting education, and propagating research, October witnesses the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To process the magnanimity of this medical ailment factually, breast cancer prevails to be the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Through detection and early treatments, the risk of death due to breast cancer gets reduced by 38 percent. In the spirit of sensitising people about the symptoms and precautions of breast cancer, here’s looking back at various organisations all over the world who endeavoured to paint the hearts and minds of people in rhapsodies of pink.

  1. Pink Caravan organises ‘Ready, Sail, Skydive’

The final hours of the Breast Cancer Awareness month will be celebrated by the Friends of Cancer Patients’ initiative, Pink Caravan, in partnership with Skydive Dubai and Zero Gravity. Skydive sessions preceded a pink regatta carrying the message of awareness is a symbol of solidarity to the victims and survivors of breast cancer. The sky reflecting the need for a regular physical examination will be seen along the waters of the Arabian Gulf.

  1. HSE Facilitates Breast Check

The first step towards absorbing information is knowing facts about our body. The HSE through its National Breast Screening Programme, BreastCheck, to attend their respective appointments and get them checked. The screening hopes to engage women in the ropes of early detection in order to facilitate early treatment and recuperation.

  1. Snapshots of Hope

Stories spread and converge the realms of hope and reality, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation seeks to strum that melodious chord. Its campaign invites people to share stories of those being affected by breast cancer, which would be shared on their platform throughout the month of October.

The glorious deeds to shower knowledge about the value for life has also been microscopically taken up by communities across the world. From organising fundraisers through eventful games, a North Carolina resort offering free spa treatments to breast cancer victims and survivors, holding stand-up comedy shows to employ laughter to wearing pink ribbons and engaging in social media outreach contests, the International Breast Cancer Awareness month spread across 31 days and a multitude of global initiatives.

Cancer Prevention Watch

  1. Physical activity has been proven to reducing risks of 10 breast cancers by 10%.
  2. Consuming fruits and other fiber and cutting down on saturated fats allows the risk to lower down by 25%.
  3. A history of gum diseases is associated with a higher chance of getting breast cancer, thus, getting regular dental check-ups is crucial.
  4. Evade the clutches of breast cancer by regular screening cycles with your doctor. Knowledge is always power.

Get checked, take control of our health, and paint our hearts pink, shall we?


Image Credits: National Breast Cancer Foundation

Saumya Kalia

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When I was naïve and young, the period advertisements which reeked off inconvenience brought monthly by a blue liquid were processed unconsciously and deceptively. Nothing seemed out of place or fundamentally wrong; it was as normal as the misogyny plaguing the air or the bemused expression on your face if you’re reading and wondering the purpose of this article. And then five years ago, when the clutches of the menarche gripped me in a cycle of blood and cramps, all that was left unprocessed by the child in front of the television watching that horribly fallacious advertisement was slowly and carefully absorbed.

Questions and disconcerting thoughts rushed and stained the ‘untainted’ furnishings of my mind, just like the blood gushes out of my vagina every 28 days; brimming with an unsolicited arrival of your disgust and stereotypes, carefully wrapped in fear and shame.

Class 8th, NCERT Science Textbook, Chapter 9: Reproduction in Animals. You do remember it, don’t you? Or at least I do, all your incessant giggles and sly glances at your fellow partners-in-crime (and subsequent shaming) while I continued to stare at the textbook and wonder why the graphic representation of my body, our bodies, amuses you so much. And when we turned the page to encounter the diagram of my vagina and how the destruction of its walls causes blood to flow from the organ you steal glances at, your laughs grew loose and less restrained. All knowledge is precious and rewarding, but your knowledge of my body seemed pejorative, unnatural. The education system was supposed to impart you with the foundational Biological knowledge of the reproductive system, a body of study as basic and normal as your mockery and subversion of what makes me a girl, a woman.

When I was 12 years old, I got my first period. The idea didn’t scare me; I remember my sister venturing to engineer a sanitary napkin, and the scenario where I was old enough to use one fascinated me. But all those packets delivered wrapped in newspapers or black polybags made me wonder why the protection which was being offered for the hygiene of my vagina was being shielded from the world. The ideas of discreteness and not showing that my body was functioning as it is supposed to were later fed to me. The bloody occurrences at school subsequently led me to hide those green packets of shame between my notebooks or in my bag, because if you saw them, what would you think? This monthly guest is a harbinger of my good health, and as normal as the game of hide-and-seek you want me to play to refute consciousness of my womanhood.

I stained my skirt for the first time when I was 13. Blood soiled through my clothes, that was the first time I cried because every inch of my existence told me I was supposed to cry. Why? Menstrual shaming. People saw what wasn’t for their eyes to see or acknowledge, those blotches of dirt smeared across me. The blood which so organically sprouted from between my legs was supposed to be kept hidden away in all those debasing advertisements and societal prejudices which I am expected to conform to everyday. What happens between the legs, stays out of your conscience and with your misconceptions. Unfortunately, your endeavours in keeping my body a formidable piece of enigma to the world influenced how I felt about discovering parts of myself, about my body as a whole. Wasn’t the idea of wanting to know about the sexual contours of my existence supposed to be as normal as your desire of keeping this whirlwind inside me a mystery?

Cut to today, when I have managed to build bridges away from your derogatory ideologies, and internet campaigns and a growing mindfulness of the fallen pieces of your misogynistic jenga have caused a wave of revolution. The matters of my vagina, the leaking and the seeping, might allude to an imagery of dirt and disgust, and the patriarchal constructs you continue to espouse allow you to attribute your derision as the abjection of my elemental structuring. Obviously, it’s nothing ‘personal’; just how your view of this beautiful construct of womanhood as impure and dirty reeks off a biased stench of stigma and injustice. I’ve never been a devout anything; for any religion which casts me off as dirty because I bleed because my body chooses to be healthy needs to be questioned instead of being cited as the reason for your derision.

What you’ve normalised through years, I wish to extract that drop by drop, and fill that void with the reality millions of women like me face. 12% of those who bleed don’t even have the privilege of using that sanitary napkin or tampon you want me to so masterfully conceal. With every eye you turn or every fallacious idea you seek to spread about the normalcy of my periods, you choose to deny millions of girls and women the right to an emotionally and physically healthy exploration of a journey they will traverse over the next few decades.

And thus, I reject the keyhole through which you choose to view this ‘unnatural’ phenomenon. We’re not dirty, we’re not impure, and your face shouldn’t wrinkle up in disgust when we talk about menstruation. We’re healthy, we’re powerful, and the next time you spot us hiding our wonder, tell us we’re strong and talk to us like we’re normal.


Feature Image Credits: The News Minute

Saumya Kalia

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Over a period of anxious days, troubling weeks, and softening months, I fell in love with being with myself, my thoughts, and my existence. Let me hold your hand and walk you through this love story, starring a learned mind and an experienced heart.

It started with pleasurable mornings in the coffee shop, sipping little snippets of energy and freshness while reading this book I still can’t finish. It went on to volunteering to go for solitary shopping sprees, devoid of an external confusing human presence. It escalated to adjusting schedules to squeeze in those private, refreshing walks without a conversation to hold or an impression to be made. Now, it is  manifesting and growing into gratifying yearnings; where my mind, body, and soul crave for those evenings in the park, laying in the lap of static motion, without needing or desiring something, anything. Between all those stolen glances inside my heart and those peeks into the troughs of my soul, I learned that a story awaits to be told. A story, brimming with romance and pleasure and lessons.

Before the beginning, there was an end which seemed devastating at the time. An end to the insatiable social needs, to a lecherous self-esteem, and to the garbs of deception and fear which continue to placate so many of us each day, every day. From morning to night, the need to surround ourselves with human interaction or inanimate consolation grew and overtook us somewhere; to the extent, the idea of being alone or being seen alone in public sounds awfully discomforting. And yet, I’m here to tell you those pings of your ensnaring cell phones or those fake niceties you define your relations with are all inconsequential in front of that ineffable feeling of being alone with yourself.

When you shroud yourself away from the world for some time, it’s easier to dissect your thoughts and acknowledge opinions and ideas brewing in your head. They say no two people can see a colour in a similar way, and spending time with yourself allows you to maintain that individuality intact. As you sit and stare through random objects and landscapes, shades of yourself begin to appear more lucid at the back of your head. You begin to recognise yourself more, know who are you and who you want to be. All those internal knots and quandaries which perturbed your mind the previous morning seem to fade away in this emotional pool. As if being out there alone automatically weighs and places the infinite things in your head in a systematic structure, allowing you to rid yourself of the trivial and simplify the convoluted effortlessly. When the chaos inside abates, a wave of calmness inevitable washes over. All the energy and passion brimming off of the person you have newly identified allows you to do more and be so much more. The productivity graph shoots up, and all that you feared that you won’t be able to do before a certain time manages to materialise gracefully.

Every story culminates with elevation of any sort. It’s expected that the protagonist will land up in a better place than the starting point, and well, the reward and the better place, both were found. The mere idea of spending hours alone without the probing thought of how you should be in front of someone else is liberating, to say the least. The peace it grants to every dimension of your body in insurmountable, and in that moment, all that matters is an unaltered, an untampered with version of you.
The learned mind continues to learn and the experienced heart continues to experience; but being with herself has allowed her to feel more, understand more, and be more.

Feature Image Credits: Future Female Leaders
Saumya Kalia
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The Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) election season is the most anticipated event in the University of Delhi (DU). While most students are more than aware of its relevance, they find the ugly muscle power-fuelled circus it has evolved into appalling. Associated with DUSU are a myriad of activities which can’t be classified under one adjective. Here, we compile a list of major DUSU incidents and practices in the recent years – branching out the good, the bad, and the bizarre.

The Good

Battles won for the welfare of the student body

DUSU provides the students of DU a platform for cross-college cultural, sports, and academic events. Along with that, it works to ensure that administrative rules that do not represent the welfare of the student body are discontinued. The current DUSU panel protested to reintroduce the distribution of printed mark sheets on graduation, a practice discontinued since 2013. It also went on a hunger strike to ensure that the policy for online entrance for L.L.B. was removed in order to ensure that students not comfortable with online tests are not penalised. The Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) was repealed because DUSU, along with other student bodies, fought hard and protested against it.

All India Students’ Association (AISA) vs the Chief Election Officer

It was AISA’s battle which got the practice of using prefixes before one’s name to get the first ballot number discontinued. Till 2014, candidates prefixed “AA” to their name to get ballot number 1(ballot numbers were allotted in alphabetical order). In 2013, three candidates who used prefixes before their name won, while in 2014 it was all four. This poster and ballot number brand of politics was effectively shut down by this case.

Political experience 

DUSU provides students a political experience that is unmatched. Resultantly, DU has become a hotbed for future political leaders of the country. The DUSU platform is so huge that a year of campaigning and holding office turns young student leaders into seasoned politicians, ready to become stakeholders in a bigger sphere. DUSU leaders gain a kind of political relevance that propels their careers and gives them an edge over others.


The Bad

Cynicism and lack of ethics in student politics

Student politics is generally associated with a strong set of values and a revolutionary desire to change the world. When a spread of hooliganism, sheer violence, and a blatant disregard for ethics seep into an institution as sacred as student politics, it is truly unfortunate. This highlights two unfortunate aspects worth pondering over. Firstly, the students are unbothered about agendas, manifestos, and researching about whom to vote for. Secondly, candidates are cynical enough to rely on these tactics from the very beginning instead of running honest campaigns based on their achievements and promises.

Blatant disrespect for the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines

The Lyngdoh Committee guidelines strictly forbid the use of printed posters and usage of posters with photographs on them. They also put a cap on election expenditure at Rs,5000 per candidate and limit the campaigning period to three days. Candidates intentionally misspell their names to begin campaigning unofficially. They distribute merchandise with their names on it and openly flout guidelines set by the Lyngdoh Committee.

Elitism and limited horizons of DUSU

DUSU, for all the avenues it opens up, is not accessible to every student. While in principle any student studying in a DUSU-affiliated college can contest DUSU elections, the last independent DUSU President was in 2009. Even then, Manoj Choudhary openly credited the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for his victory, as ABVP’s candidate was disqualified. Before that, the last independent winner was in 1991. An analysis of the socio-political conditions that make a DUSU President reveals that  being wealthy with immense social capital, belonging to either the ABVP or the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), and being a male are some of the few overlapping elements one requires to make it to DUSU.

Essentially rigged DUSU elections due to disinterest of students in politics

For a university that boasts of a politically aware and intelligent student body, DU sure is highly ignorant of its own student elections.The average DU student does not care about DUSU, and this lack of interest is one of the primary reasons why DUSU is unable to provide fair representation to students. When people don’t care about elections and don’t vote or vote only for the sake of it, the candidates elected are never those who truly deserve to be there. This also reduces their accountability to the electoral college.

The Bizarre 

Unethical forms of promotion

Putting up posters with faces of movie stars has been one of the most bizarre ways of campaigning in DUSU. Posters of Rocky Handsome, Priyanka Chopra, Nauheed Cyrusi, and Arjun Kapoor have all been used during promotional activities in DUSU elections. Since most students aren’t even aware of how this practice is unethical, candidates have a free pass to disrespect University norms without the fear of drawing flak.

Cheap election tactics

These include distributing freebies, crude sloganeering, and display of strength via a large number of vehicles and supporters. Students are won over by these freebies and continue to choose their elected representatives on the basis of the same. This kind of naiveté from the student body is unbecoming of the University of Delhi’s reputation.


 Image Credits: The Wire



Kinjal Pandey

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Those annual celebrations for teachers which brimmed with alacrity and joy are still safely tucked away in our memory buckets. Here’s a trip down the lane of fond recollections!

As another year of college begins and verges on mid-semester culmination, the month of September hinges itself to the bountiful school memories. The grand affair and the invigorating bustle which circumvented the Teachers’ Day celebrations were the little fragments of joy the month offered. While the festivities may vary across colleges and departments, the momentum of the ‘then’ and the ‘now’ is strikingly apparent.

People say a lot of things about leaving school. Theories about lifelong school friends and nostalgic visitations always surface, but the one aspect that holds unparalleled importance is the warmth of the teachers who have been an integral part of the past few years. Their constant encouragement and belief in our abilities makes them all the more amazing.

As if to pay tribute to this unwavering support, the celebration which followed Teachers’ Day was an amalgamation of efforts and gratitude. The fact that the day was not to be spent studying and instead invested to laud the harbingers of education added to this spirited enthusiasm. Glimpses of getting gifts or cakes or cards for the teachers often visit us during these sweet remembrances. While some students took the official mantle, and handled the preparations for the event, the others managed to bring smiles in their own little ways.

Dressing up as our favourite teachers and performing the waltz of teaching was the tradition we all cherished and practiced without fail. The role reversal which took place allowed the amusement to evolve into respect and gratitude for each other as well. The wonderful portrayal of teachers was often coupled with an array of cultural acts. Weeks of preparation into producing that final show to express love and appreciation managed to accumulate the major chunk of memories. Friendships evolved, talents discovered, and team spirit redefined were the resplendent products of this period of groundwork.

Beyond the storm of activity that dawns the school on this day, an underlying vibe of inspiration and respect ran wide across every sector of the school. The day seemed to accentuate the perseverance of our dear gurus, and allowed our hearts to purely adulate and revere the sincere efforts every teacher brings with him or her. The need to say ‘thank you’ peaked, for the reasons were so many and the times said were unfortunately few. Thank you, for being there for us at every step of the way, as witnesses to our growth. Thank you for loving us regardless of our flaws. Thank you for all the warmth and wisdom you’ve shared with us throughout the years. Thank you for portraying so many roles at once with perfection. Thank you for always being wonderful; because of you, we like the people we are today.

Here’s wishing all the wonderful teachers a very happy Teachers’ Day!


Feature Image Credits: Jagran


Saumya Kalia

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The Indian writer Anuja Chauhan visited the University of Delhi campus to endorse her new publication, Baaz, on 25th August, 2017. Her three-tier book tour encompassed stops at Gargi College, St. Stephen’s College, and Miranda House.

The day started off from Gargi College at 12:30 p.m. She was welcomed enthusiastically at one of Gargi’s lecture halls by the English Department teachers and students. Ms. Chauhan was introduced as the renowned author of Those Pricey Thakur Sister, The House that BJ Built, and The Zoya Factor, and the winner of various accolades. Followed by the introduction, the author read an excerpt from her new book with all the rhetorical expressions and dramatics including on the Hindi dialogues. The author walked down the memory lane and reminisced of her school days, the fun of an army childhood, her Miranda House memories, and giving advertising a try as a job because it helped her to write which is what she always wanted to do. She confessed that she chose Economics for ‘keeping her options open’ as was the trend those days and being job-oriented unlike the ‘career-oriented’ kids these days.

Ms. Chauhan emphasised that she didn’t release her book, whose story revolves around an Air Force guy, at this time when there is a wave a nationalism in the country, but it usually takes a year or two for her to complete a book. This was followed by an interactive question-answer round where she expressed her dislike for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the message it proffers. She commented that ‘creative artists should only create and not give their political opinions’ in lieu of her contemporaries. At the end of the discussion, she let her fans buy their copies and signed each one’s copy. Everybody left happy from the book discussion and she for her next destination, St. Stephen’s College.

Ms. Chauhan has incorporated the Stephanian persona in most of her characters like Ishaan from Baaz and Dylan in Those Pricey Thakur Girls. She spoke to the crowd about this, saying that most of her family members, including her husband and daughter, went to St. Stephen’s and this provided her with a familiar attribute that could be assimilated into her novels. She spoke of Baaz and explained how she related to the protagonist Ishaan in the Air India Force due to her much similar army childhood background. She also justified why she decided to kill off Ishaan (yikes!), saying “A happy ending doesn’t necessarily mean a glorious one and even if you do think it is necessary for a glorious ending, I think Ishaan had his fair share of glory. And it is also necessary for a light reading to have an undertone of dark narratives, similarly how the brightest lights also bear the darkest shadows.”

Like Baaz, she also mentioned that most of her other works were partially autobiographical because they were a product of much of the things she had experienced in life. There was a question and answer round that followed where she answered the queries of all the zealous fans, with witty and chuckle-some responses. This was followed by a round of photographs with the fans and an interview for the English Literary Society Journal. Next, she headed to her alma mater, Miranda House.

Chauhan’s experience at Miranda House was memorable. She walked around campus and took pictures with the iconic red brick walls. She happened to pass by the classrooms she sat in, and remembered the time when she flunked her Microeconomics paper back in the first year. Before heading to the venue for the talk, she stopped by the canteen and sampled the good ol’ samosas which she remembers gorging on during her days as a student. Her talk with the students was an interactive session where she answered questions about her life in Miranda House, her memories of North Campus, her career as an advertiser to an author, and her story characters that have been picked up from her life. She then went on to talking about how authors should not be labelled, as she has often been labelled as a ‘chick lit’ author. She went on to say that as an author, if one is labelled then they are not able to expand their writing genre, that is why Baaz was a masculine addition to the stories she wrote about women in Those Pricey Thakur Girls series and The Zoya Factor. Anuja Chauhan also placed great emphasis on the importance of strong female protagonists in all her books, each of them, being people whom she has encountered in her own life. The session went on with laughs, smiles, and candid secrets about her life. Everyone was completely enamoured by Anuja Chauhan’s exuding charm and grace (along with the very quirky outfit!). The session ended with a lot of chatter, book signings, and pictures. As she walked towards the gate to return, she again walked by those corridors and those lawns, which signify innumerable memories she created in those ‘red brick walls’.



Feature Image Credits: P.V. Purnima for DU Beat


Trishala Dutta 

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Prachi Mehra

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Rashim Bagga

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Joyee Bhattacharya

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It’s a Monday ritual to gloss over the dynamics of Westeros. After almost eight weeks, it’s time to put the ritual to a cold bed, for Winter is finally at our doorsteps and the wait for the long night begins.

The last two rounds of Game of Thrones weekly offerings certainly met with unscrupulous practices. Naturally, the release of the last batch of the episodes of Season 7 was shrouded in rumours of leaks and spoilers. Speculations and conjectures were being spread like wildfire, being subjected to all permutations and combinations. No theory (well, one), no foreboding (well, more than one), and no experience of watching 66 episodes could have prepared us for the aftermath of The Dragon and The Wolf. Here’s what the eventful episode proffered to its viewers, leaving us yearning for more.

Reunion at the Dragonpit

King’s Landing has been home to treason, lies, betrayals, and an underlying social injustice which seems to be plaguing that reality ever since the beginning. This episode saw the tremulous union of the two Queens, the King in the North, and their respective entourages in the historically rich Dragonpit. It was a convention of comedy plays to unify all characters on the stage when it neared its culmination, and one couldn’t help equating those happy, conflict-resolution reunions with one which only set the stage for tragedy and deceit. The negotiations at hand were aimed at driving a truce between Cersei and Daenerys, and Jaime Lannister’s poignant epiphany that “Maybe it is all cocks in the end” might not be reeling with verity. Besides Jon Snow’s first visit to King’s Landing, it was also the providential wight who entered the Westerosi realms for the first time and died in ‘combat’. The wight did manage to serve its purpose, breaking the wavering amorous chord between Jaime and Cersei and perhaps, fuelling Cersei’s malevolent tricks up a notch. Tyrion’s brutal parley with his sister at the forefront presented an idealistic picture – with the Lannister bannermen fighting alongside Jon and Daenerys’ armies against the Army of the Dead. It is later we realise that all’s not simple with Cersei, and the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms’ word reeked of deceit and uninhibited, fearsome ambitions.

Revenge finally reaches Winterfell

Littlefinger’s sharp voice is fresh in our ears as he begged for mercy. So is the vision of Arya’s Needle fatally poking him with blood soiling the wet snow. Lord Baelish’s fate was long time coming, and in a series of events which would serve just for this connoisseur of manipulation. Fear lingered as we saw Sansa saunter towards the Hall after giving instructions to bring her sister, one of the Faceless Men. Maybe the former Master of Coin’s schemes had borne fruit to fallacious assumptions in Lady Stark’s mind? However, when Sansa turns her head and calls Lord Baelish to respond to the charges of murder and accusation, a pleasurable smile collectively dawns our faces. Every ounce of dirt spewed by Littlefinger was brought to an accentuated spotlight, and the murders of Lord Eddard Stark, Lord Arryn, Lysa Arryn, and the rivalry between the Starks and Lannisters were masterfully avenged with satiation. The raw power of sisterhood, a scheme which was brewing around the walls of Winterfell, granted validity to Sansa’s words in the end, “When the snow falls and the white wind blows, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” Sansa is a slow learner, but the lesson we’ll remember is that she learnt.

The History and Ancestry Unveil

The theory which we all knew of and prized has at last unravelled itself gloriously. All those fandom articles alluding to R+L=J have finally found merit in this beautiful unveiling of history.

Samwell Tarly arrives at Winterfell to aid his Nightwatch associate in the war which has managed to unsettle every ruler. The heir of the Tarly House rendezvous with Bran Stark, who pulls the aesthetic covers on the lineage truth which possess the power to change claims to the disputed Iron Throne. Bran narrates how Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and bears the last name of ‘Sand’ instead of ‘Snow’ as it is the rightful nomenclature for a Dornish bastard. The words ‘Robert’s rebellion was built on a lie’ manage to grant velocity to a truth that was already raved about; Rhaegar and Lyanna were in love, and the war which brought the Baratheon house to power was based on the allegation that Rhaegar had kidnapped and raped Lyanna. Jon’s parentage is elucidated upon fully as Bran hears Jon’s real name. Thus, the rightful heir to the Iron Throne stands to be Aegon Targaryen (since Season 1 known as Jon Snow). It is interesting to note that Aegon the Conqueror was the first ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, and to bestow the honour of that name on Jon is bound to prove its legitimacy. The irony here rings in the backdrop, as Bran’s narration is complemented with the love-making of Jon and Daenerys – a relationship the netizens have been cheering on since their fates intertwined. The contention which thus presents itself is simple yet increasingly knotted: Jon’s claim to the Iron Throne has been authenticated by his parentage and would overpower Daenerys’ vision of ruling the Seven Kingdoms. Also, the love which is brewing between the last-surviving Targaryens oozes of a political and personal incestuous relationship, doesn’t it?

Knock, knock on the Wall?

While we recover from the ancestral snippets of Jon’s parentage, Bran’s vision foresees the great threat to the Westerosi mankind and the arrival of the storm which had been the source of nightmares for them. The majestic Wall stands tall with its icy shields and magical ways. It’s a grand and beautiful sight to witness. And in seconds, the Army of the Dead comes propping from the trees and stands in anticipation in front of the Wall. The penultimate episode’s dreadful outcome emerges into a full-blown reality, with the Night King arriving on an undead Viserion and abolishing a part of the Wall. It’s a deeply tormenting thought that the Wall, which boasted of ensuring the safety of Westeros, now stands destroyed, and a dragon which was believed to be a remnant of the past spews unrestrained death.

Season 1 was embroiled in inching closer towards the truth but anticipating the deceitful ways at work. Seasons 2 to 4 removed all masquerades from noble intentions and honourable alliances. Season 5 witnessed struggle at every front, from the Dragon Queen advocating against slavery, Lannisters countering the High Sparrow, Baratheon endeavouring to be the Promised Prince, and the Starks waging their discovery of home and the distant truth. Season 6 unleashed cruelties at its peak and robbed Cersei of all fathomable inhibitions. Season 7 orchestrated the truth and discomfiture which lurked in anticipation in our minds, and has finally been conjured to a spine-chilling reality.

Perhaps, Jon Snow does know something. It is as the Wolf said, “There is only one war that matters – the Great War – and it is here.”


Feature Image Credits: Metro 

Saumya Kalia
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Yet again in an infrastructural flaw in the colleges of the varsity, a section of the ceiling came crashing down in a classroom of the College of Vocational Studies on Friday, 11th August 2017.

The false ceiling in the newly-constructed building of the college proved to be immensely unsafe in room no. 107. Around 9:15 a.m. in a Hindi class of the Human Resource Management programme, the roof collapsed with about 30 students occupying the classroom. According to sources, one student faced a minor injury while the others relatively remained unharmed.

“One student needed first aid care… this is scary. It is a new building, that was handed over in 2015. Even the fan was left dangling,” a faculty member of CVS quoted to the Hindustan Times.

However, the chairperson of the governing body of CVS RNP Singh asserted that the incident was on a minor scale and did not consequent substantial damage. He remarks, “It was the light thermocol pieces that are used for false ceiling that came undone. It was not heavy enough to hurt anybody.”

Another teacher commented about the intensity of the accident to The Indian Express, remarking, “Fortunately it was a false ceiling, which is probably why not many children received injuries. But even then, some large chunks fell down. Thankfully the fan did not fall, otherwise it would have been a bigger accident.”

Until the safety regulations can be confirmed with the building construction, RK Chopra, a retired Associate Professor of the Commerce department of CVS, has appealed to the governing body to seal the hazardous building. He insists that a FIR should be filed against the contractor for this construction failure.

Further commenting on the financial shortfalls of this construction, Chopra delineates, “Just five or six months ago, Room number 104 had been completely caved in… According to data we got in response to an RTI we had filed, the college had spent close to Rs. 5.5 crore. That means close to 20 lakh rupees have been spent on ‘porta cabin’ rooms. Rooms made with cement and concrete may have been cheaper.” According to officials, ten classes are being run from the new academic block.

Countering this, RNP Singh believes that the cost estimates can be left for a correct adjudication by the contractor or architect only. “Only they can tell exactly how much such rooms cost,” he said.

The construction shortfall has sufficient precedent within the University of Delhi. Last year, a portion of the ceiling collapsed in Daulat Ram College, leaving several students injured. A similar instance occurred in a room of the Hans Raj Hostel. The startling incident had brought to the fore the deplorable condition of some classrooms of the College as well as the dampening structures of other colleges in the varsity. It remains to be seen whether the governing body aligns itself with accountability or falls in a rut of blaming and dismissing.

Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express


Saumya Kalia

[email protected]