Tazmeen Amna Siddiqi


A real life story centering on the debate between science and possibility, this is an account of past-life therapy that changed the life of a patient and the doctor himself. After rejecting all possible theories of reincarnation and afterlife, Dr.Brian comes across Catherine, a patient suffering from multiple phobias and anxiety/panic attacks. To develop a deeper understanding of Catherine’s fears and to help her reveal traumatic experiences, Dr.Brian uses hypnosis as a therapy to help his patient discover the real cause of her phobias. But he actually ends up making some very startling discoveries about Catherine’s past life, his own, and of others related to her. He turns skeptical when Catherine recalls past-life traumas which were the actual cause of her problems.

“Dr. Weiss skepticism was eroded when Catherine began to channel messages from ‘the space between lives’ which contained remarkable revelations about his own life. Acting as a channel for information from highly evolved spirit entities called the Masters, Catherine revealed many secrets of life and death.”

Dr. Brian Weiss is a psychiatrist who lives and practices in Miami, Florida. He graduated from Columbia University and Yale Medical School, and was the former Chairman of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in Miami.

This experience is straight from his own pen, in his own words, as his own self. He has only changed the name of the patient, so that her identity remains a secret.

One lovable thing about Delhi is that it belongs to one and all.  It is a delightful mixed bag of all cultures. It is perhaps one of the only cities where you’ll probably find a Bengali, a Gujarati, a South Indian, an Assamese, and a Bihari – all sitting on one table. Similarly enough Delhi University has its wings spread out in all directions, people from all over the country aspire to graduate from DU.

Over the years, DU has managed to create its very own set of regional stereotypes. Why does one have to be a “bong” a “gujju” a “mallu” a “bhaiyya” or a “chink”? A sense of ‘otherisation’ trickles in with the casual labelling people do to those who aren’t from Delhi. There is absolutely no reason why we should reduce ourselves and others to our regional identities.

If you’re from anywhere outside Delhi, you’re expected to know everything from the language to the myths, the fluency, the music, the dance, the recipes and even the soil type. The stereotype goes like this- if you’re a Bengali, you’re supposed to know all about Satyajit Ray and Tagore, you’re supposed to know which halvai sells the best and most authentic mishti doi and sondes, you’re expected to know ten different ways of frying fish; if you’re a south Indian, you’re expected to know all the dances, you’re expected to pick out the best kanjiverem silk by its texture, you’re expected to know how to fry dosas; if you’re a Kashmiri, you’re expected to be romantic, poetic, and (ridiculous as it may sound) even pretty; and if you’re from the northeast, then you’re expected to love momos and know all about tattoos and piercings  and affordable fashion.

It is considered unnatural for someone from Haryana to be anything but rowdy, just like it is considered natural for jaats to be the gundaraaj of the ilaaqa. The “Delhi Boy” memes would probably explain better. There are “tips” for each region as well, be it “Bongtips” “Rajasthan tips” or “Delhitips”. Sadly enough, the generation of iPods has adopted the trend of categorisation, which has further led to regional stereotyping.

Perhaps regional jokes, region-wise tips, memes, etc don’t mean much harm, but somewhere in the middle of all the casual labelling, the jokes, the general assumptions, etc have smudged the thin line between assertion of one’s regional identity, and limiting oneself to it. Somewhere in the midst of all this, we are forgetting one very important fact-that anyone can do anything, or be anything.

65 years of independence, 65 years since we shooed away the British. 65 years, since trains pulled up at railway stations, loaded with dead bodies. 65 years since everyone wanted to kill each other.

We, the youth of India, are a safe 60-something years away from all the violence, bloodshed and gore. But are we really free, in every sense of the word?

In a country where people wearing Armani sunglasses and holding Gucci bags look out of their BMW windows only to see beggars and slums, in a country where a law graduate’s throat was slit because she put up a fight against a rapist, in a country where brides are burnt in kitchen fires over dowry issues, in a country where honour killing is considered honourable, in a country where modernity is given the tag of promiscuity, in a country where politics is a mud-slinging arena, FREEDOM, in its truest form, cannot exist.

From the very beginning of the the day, to the very end- we find ourselves ensnared in various violations of the term freedom. From the haggling with the uncouth autowalas, to the formidable looking aunties pushing you out of the queue at the ticket counter; from the steady line of eyes peeping into the women’s compartment in the metro, to the judgement and competition between cousins; from the rude personal remarks your teacher makes at you before the whole class, to the back-stabbing between friends; from “customer care” services that put your call on hold for the next hour or so, to power cuts and unfair billing, we live each day only to discover it’s a man-eat-man world.

I refuse to believe that there is even a single teenager in this country, who at some point or the other, hasn’t considered “Lucknow wale chachaji aur delhi wali maamiji kya kahenge” before making a decision- be it about a piercing, a haircut, an outfit, or his/her career.

I refuse to believe there is a single teenager who has never felt a violation of his or her freedom of choice and expression.

DUTA (Delhi University Teacher’s Association) and DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) apparently did not get a say in the decision of semesterisation of undergraduate courses in Delhi University that was made a year back. And now, WE are the ones living it’s consequences (read: inflation of marks scam).

The great Indian illusion of independence and freedom shatters to reality every time a young girl is made to wear traditional clothes and forced to carry a tray of biscuits and chai into a drawing room full of prospective in-laws. It falls to pieces every time a rape survivor is blamed because her clothes were “provocative”. It breaks down even further every time parents tell their child not to play the guitar or play sports or paint or write, and practise chemical equations instead. It decays every time a mausiji or buaji wrinkles her nose at the idea of her nephew/niece pursuing a humanities course.

And what do the elderly have to say this?

Bharat ke paas ek aisi cheez hai, jo videsh mein nahi milegi- hamaare sanskaar!

Ab aaj kal ke bacche raat mein pub jaayenge, toh ye sab toh hoga hi na!

Girls being physically assaulted at a pub in Bangalore by the Sri Ram Sena activists, does not look like sanskaar to me. Couples deciding not to meet on Valentine’s Day for fear of being dragged to temples by the same Sena, does not look like sanskaar to me.

True, if sanskaar is to discriminate, violate, and suppress- then there is no country like India.


“Madam, jhanda le lo madam.”
Here I am, at an Official Anna Hazare campaign. The campaign looks like a party. There are some men wearing Nehru caps, holding the tricolor and eating ice cream. A boy with adolescent facial hair suddenly dodged forward with a thin paint brush- he wants to paint the tricolor on my face. Beggar women come up to me with tiny flags. There is utter chaos and traffic in Connaught Place, the hooliganism of this “peaceful” protest is scary.

Last year, almost whenever I asked a D.U. student about Anna, The answer was almost always like sarcasm-filled rhetoric.
“So, being a young student, what are your thoughts about Anna Hazare and his cause?”
“Ummm… I think It’s.. great.. we need to get rid of corruption… and um, I think its going to awaken a new spirit among all Indians..”

Why was there so much fuss about “Anna”? Last year, Anna wouldn’t eat, not until the “hand” of the Congress agreed to feed him. Young, hot blooded students can thrive on anarchy- give them that, and they will fill the streets with protests,

The truth is, “Anna Hazare” is not just one man. The man who was once fasting unto death is Kisan Baburao Hazare. Anna Hazare, is the group of students looking for opportunities to organize Mass Bunks in colleges, Anna Hazare is the stampede at Connaught Place, Anna Hazare are all those kids who liked the “I am Anna” page on Facebook but had no real knowledge about the Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare are those kids also, who wrote anti-government messages as their status posts on Facebook. What is “Anna” but a small word contained within the walls of the University of Delhi, classroom discussions, and sprawled across Facebook?

Women , middle school students, old men, as they held their long , white candlesticks and roamed the streets of the city, doing what actually was a very confused, very feeble form of protest. Right behind the protesting mob, walked ill-clad slum children, skins burnt to a deep chocolate brown colour by the merciless Indian summer, a few discoloured tufts of hair on their heads, rolling bicycle tires by smacking them with sticks, singing “Anna! Anna!” as they skipped along.

There was an Anna in every college canteen – in the form of loud, chaotic group discussions and fiery debates. There was an Anna in every excuse for bunking classes. There was an Anna in every classroom, in the flurry of hands being raised to ask questions, in every teacher being bombarded with the typical questions starting with the words “when will the government…”, in every answer, starting with the words “the government needs to…” or “the government should…”

These boys on the roads of Connaught Place, screaming slogans about Anna Hazare, and bothering most ladies with questions like “Are you Anna?” – This doesn’t really look like a step towards mitigating corruption. Roads blocked, traffic stagnating due to protests and “peace” marches- There could have been a pregnant woman, or a severely ill person in one of the cars lined up, waiting for the roads to clear- How is this in any way correct?

Targeting the government, local newspapers poking fun at the Prime Minister, capturing unflattering Images of politicians, all the madness of the time when the media couldn’t see anything beyond Hazare- is this the kind of behaviour that should be set before the already-confused youth of today?

Gradually, Anna Hazare faded away from printed pages, classroom debates slowly diminished, all the agitations, outbursts, fizzled out- peace was restored in all the worlds I belonged to. The metaphorical Anna had decayed. A new, normal day in the college cafeteria- just as I sit down to take a sip from my relaxing cup of coffee- I hear some new, non-Delhiite fresher student ask “Oye , what was the deal with this whole Anna thing? Phir se chaalu ho gaya uska?”


In most Hindi soaps and movies, the rich beef cake son-of-a-business-tycoon boy with the half unbuttoned shirt and carefully gelled hair, falls head over heels in love with the naïve, barely 18 years old salwar-kameez clad girl who clutches an embroidered cloth bag with “Hey, I’m from a small town!” written all over it and goes to a mysterious, unheard-of college. Of course, it isn’t important to mention her course at all.

Notably, these naïve, innocent girls who are supposedly the epitome of Indian-ness and goodness, don’t know anything about the world or anything/ anyone/ anywhere at all. They aren’t familiar with the big “bad” world- the noisy streets of metropolitan cities like Bombay and Delhi. It is their absolute oblivion to the real world and their dumbness that makes them so desirable.

They spin their magic and cast their spells on rich aristocratic men (only) by blinking their heavily mascaraed and at times fake eyelashes in the daftest manner possible, wrapping the edge of their chunnis around their manicured fingers and saying the most blatantly stupid things ever.

“Marne ke baad log tare ban jaate hain na?”

“Wo dekho! Tootne wala taara!”

“Ye pyaar kya hota hai?”

…and BAM! The Richie is forever wrapped around your finger, he is falling, falling, falling in love with the adorable dumbness, fake eyelashes, countless layers of make up, straightened hair and the conveniently placed bindi. He will spend the rest of his life dreaming of this empty headed plastic-perfect face, with moronic background scores. This desirably dumb untouched beauty one day becomes the reigning queen of the richest possible household. But such a girl can only be called Sita, Gita, Pooja, Iccha, or the latest, Meera.

Us poor ones called Veronica , Sandra, Helen or Bobby, we wear short , skimpy dresses, lounge around holding the sleekest, most expensive cigarettes available, we’re okay with alcohol, call others of our kind “babe” and dance to loud music in discothèques.

The girl in the miniskirt also serves as a convincing villain for soap operas: meet the sexy, sultry, seductive vamp; she wants to marry the business Richie too, just like the naïve heroine, but only for his money. She also has no family values, and talks in English only.

With the help of a never-say-die sexist spirit and with consistent efforts, Bollywood has managed not only to create and engrave gender stereotypes but has also managed to wave it into our very own faces, in the so called 21st century urban India. The trend in Bollywood has only resigned us to our fate: we who wear short dresses and attend parties do not deserve to marry. Unless we fold our hands before a deity every morning, wash the dishes and wear glass bangles.

Picture source: Poster Women

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association staged a protest in LSR today. They were protesting against the idea of establishing a Meta University floated by the VC, and of a four-year undergraduate programme, through the media, without placing the proposal before the Academic and Executive Councils for proper evaluation of the desirability or feasibility of such policy changes. Teachers from various DU colleges gathered outside the college cafeteria handing out pamphlets to get the support of students.

While the teachers are still upset over the recently introduced semester system and its effects on students as well as teachers, they feel this new proposal is despotic  and undemocratic.

In their written appeal to students, DUTA says that, “The experience of semesterized courses in the last one and a half years has confirmed our worst fears about severe academic dilution and adverse effect on teaching processes. Teachers are being forced to instruct students through modules that do not allow the time to engage with different levels of competence of different students, nor do these modules allow teachers to communicate a sense of fundamentals and depth of any academic discipline. To cloak the disastrous impact of semesterisation on the performance of students, the DU administration has resorted to irrational inflation of marks which has put a question mark on the credibility of our results which will result in devaluing our degree.”

Teachers already had been feeling undervalued as their opinions and protests were not taken into consideration during the finalizing of the University’s decision to semesterize undergraduate courses. According to Ms. Vijaya Venkatraman, who teaches Spanish at the GRS faculty of arts, “The semesterisation process saw the abolishment of democratic functioning in DU. DUTA protested but  no one paid heed, and just as we had feared, semester system led to simplification of exams and inflation of marks. Our second year students are worried that they wont be able to survive the competition in the job sector, which is like a blot on our reputation. The VC has decided to add this sudden ‘grandeur’ to the University without even taking the collective opinion of teachers.  We, as professionals, are sad that we can no longer operate our teaching the way we want to, which is why we want students on get on board with us for our cause.”

The teachers’ collective is demanding expansion of Government funding in higher education to meet the growing demand for the same. It is also resisting large-scale commercialization of higher education, as they believe that the role of education is to strengthen social and national integration of the country.

You can read DUTA’s charter of demands at:


Izraz, the Choreo competition at LSR took place at 2.30pm in the auditorium today.

An hour before the competition, a huge line formed outside the auditorium; the event entertained a houseful of enthusiastic people. There were 10 participating teams and each team had to convey a message to the audience using dance movements and facial expressions.

The first one to perform was Hindu Choreo Society, presenting ‘Till Death Do Us Part”, choreographed by Palden di Lama, depicting life after death. Their costumes were very creatively done and they used face painting to bring out their facial expressions in a stronger way.

Next up was Gargi, presenting ‘Mrityun Jaya, the Conqueror of Death’, choreographed Tushar Kalya. Their technique was excellent and their moves had perfect lines, their lifts and splits were flawless. They performed with grace and vigour and were applauded twice by the audience.

Performing next was Hansraj, presenting ‘The Quest’, choreographed by Gaurav Alavar. Their theme was realistic – the unending quest of happiness – and the message they conveyed to the audience was relatable. Their costumes were pretty, their moves graceful and their expressions perfect.

Kamala Nehru College performed next, presenting ‘The Awakening’, choreographed by Bhavani Mishra. The story was about a girl who wanted to follow her dreams, but was defeated by logic. Their dance depicted the conflict between mind and heart.

Next was Sri Venkateswara College. Their dance didn’t have a title but the theme was war and its consequences. Their dance was self choreographed, but it was excellent all the same.

Last to perform was LSR, and their performance, as always, was breathtaking.

The event was perhaps the most popular one today, and the line outside the auditorium remained strong all throughout the show.


The winners of Izraz are as follows:

Winner: Sri Venkateswara College
First Runner-up: Hansraj
Second Runner-up: LSR and KNC