Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights, is a time of gratitude and gaiety and is celebrated with unmatched enthusiasm in India and the world around. Dipped in the frolic of festivity, the atmosphere is resonant of the righteous anthems of the triumph of the good and virtuous over the evil and spiteful.

The associated jamboree can be seen materialising as early as a month prior to Diwali. The merry sentiment is inherent in each household and is characterised by the obligatory Diwali shopping and cleaning. While the latter is more or less customary, the former holds its fair share of skepticism in the constituting wholes.

Firecrackers, a Diwali essential as insinuated by a significant percentage of Indian households, are the immediate cause of deteriorating air quality and to keep a check on the alarming pollution levels of the same, the Supreme Court on Monday, October 9 suspended the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR till November 1. The move was an attempt to grade the air quality in the absence of unregulated burning of firecrackers during Diwali.

While it came as a blow to the traders and businesses dealing with them, with their licenses suspended temporarily, it is essential to contemplate the SC’s directive to render Diwali a damp affair in the national capital.

In the weekend that followed Diwali the previous year, India’s air quality was among the world’s worst and the government had declared an air pollution emergency in Delhi. The post-Diwali upheaval comprised of an average of PM 2.5 level of over 700 micrograms per cubic meter in the capital city, some of the highest levels recorded the world over and 29 times above the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. (Source: Scroll.in)

Chetan Bhagat, contesting the credibility of the ban, tweeted, “Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too?” With Hindu nationalists colouring the ban in communal colours and dismissing it as a story of Hindu victimhood, it is important to understand that a ban on the sale of firecrackers is first, not the same as a ban on burning firecrackers and second, in no way a threat to the sanctity of the festival and insinuating it on similar grounds is nothing but willful notoriety.

Although he faced a lot of ridicule and criticism for the same, an earlier tweet of his talked about coming up with innovations and not bans, a theory which cannot entirely be negated. Bhagat and his ilk argue against necessitating a ban and instead, suggest enforcing stricter guidelines. However, if we had the sense to self-regulate, to understand the importance of common sense moderation it would not have come for the government to intervene, says The Huffington Post.

Burning firecrackers is the same as smoking cigarettes, people always know that it is harmful but they never know enough to stop. While the SC’s decision has been treated differently by different stakeholders, the fact remains that the ban is a bid to test the impact of a smoke-free Diwali post the previous year’s catastrophic state of affairs.

Deepavali, as the name suggests, has always had to do with the lighting of lamps to illuminate the path of Lord Rama on his way back to Ayodhya. The wayward involvement of firecrackers might have come about as an accidental disaster in the course of history, which eventually got incorporated in our associated tendencies of the festival, for all I know. But, accepting it just as such especially during a time when India’s national capital ranks as one of the most polluted cities in the world according to WHO’s latest urban air quality database released in May, 2017 can result in an unprecedented tragedy.

With just a few hours remaining before Diwali, the wisest choice is to not fret over things we have no control over and things we know are right, just not convenient. Let us resolve to celebrate the festival in all its glory, unmarred by erroneous practices and fabricated mirth.


Image Credits: The Indian Express

Lakshita Arora

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If you are planning not to go back home this Diwali, you should definitely try the following so that your holiday doesn’t go to waste.

The festival of lights is already here, having enlightened people to make their plans for this Diwali. The sight of the earthen ‘diyas’ brings smile to the faces that look forward to light them. The entire idea of bursting crackers makes up for the most memorable moments of everyone’s childhood. The variety in the scent of the mouth-watering dishes that overpowers the breeze- become the harbinger of the guiltless cheat.

However, if you are planning on staying or are staying away from home this Diwali; you will be in need of the some suggestions. This is because despite consoling oneself of one’s capability to spend through the festive days. It becomes tough: the thoughts of the past have this tendency of haunting you, making you miss your friends and family, thereby, filling you with a sense of regret of the decision of staying alone.

1) Join your relatives:
This should top your list if you are lucky enough to have relatives in the same city as you are living in. This is equal to spending time with your family. Moreover, cousins make up for the best match to spend a festival with; you might recall your childhood memories, play card games and most importantly, have home-made food, something that most people are unfortunate to miss out on.

2) Spend some me-time:
This will definitely work for you if you are a loner kind of a person. The best part of staying away from home is the luxury of being able to give yourself time and perch upon the thoughts that otherwise you would have been unable to do with all those doting relatives surrounding you. You can either watch a movie and order good food or just sleep the entire day and do nothing. This is definitely not less than nirvana!

3) Volunteer at charitable homes:
This might be a good way to spend the Diwali if you are missing the company of your loved ones. You might foster some new and exciting bond with people who will have really interesting stories to tell. Moreover you will contribute and help bring light to the life of people living in the margins. These neglected people living in reduced circumstances are not able to spend this festive time as they rightfully deserve to. The smile that you will bring on their faces might bring you a lot of joy and happiness. As everyone says a little good deed goes a long distance.

4) Getaways on a limited budget: There are a lot of good places to visit near Delhi. These trips can be covered in a day or two on a very limited budget. There won’t be a better time to take a trip that you have long been planning to but are unable to because of the busy schedule. You can visit Lansdowne, McLeod Ganj, Kasauli, Surajkund or any other place. This getaway will help you rejuvenate yourself especially as semester exams are not far off and you will need to start preparing as soon as Diwali ends.

5) Explore the city:
If you don’t want to take a trip there are many other options that you can try. Delhi itself has a lot of beautiful places and monuments that you can go out and explore. You can take your camera and capture these beautiful places. Being alone has an advantage that you are not dependant on someone else to make a plan. Other than that you can indulge yourself in some shopping. Who does not like spending money on clothes and food?

So we hope that you seize the day and enjoy this Diwali at its fullest.

Image Credits: Fsquare Fashion


Shrija Ganguly
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Anukriti Mishra
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Diwali is that time of year when the entire campus lights up with frolic and festivity. And this time, the festivity is expected to be better and bigger than ever, with various colleges planning grand Diwali melas.

With seasonal festivities around the corner and the mid-semester break having just ended, it’s time to recuperate in a fun manner. Diwali melas serve this very purpose, reminding everyone that the festival is about more than just bursting crackers and spreading pollution. DU Beat interacted with the representatives of a few organising teams of various colleges to ask them what makes their Diwali mela different from the others’. Here are their responses:

Suruchi, Hindu College (12th October, 11 a.m. onwards)

It is innovative because the decoration on display is made entirely out of waste material, particularly using the pamphlets from Mecca, Hindu College’s annual fest, and Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections. The mela provides an opportunity for the blind society to set up a stall, from which all proceeds go towards underprivileged students and individuals in nearby slums.


Diwali Mela, Hansraj College (11th October, 12 p.m. onwards)

Just like in previous years, this year too, all the proceeds from the Diwali mela campaign will go towards an educational trip for the students of Padhaku, the educational wing of NSS, Hansraj College. Many fun events and games have been planned out for the attendees, including a special surprise that would be revealed on the day itself.


Zistatva, Gargi College (11th October, 9:30 a.m. onwards)

Grand celebrations have been planned this year, including an inauguration ceremony with the chief guest, Somnath Bharti, and special performances that would be put on a showcase for the event, alongside fun pre-jitter events that were held on 10th October.


Sparsh, Jesus and Mary College (12th October, 10 a.m. onwards)

This annual fiesta, organised by NSS JMC, is expected to be bigger and better this year, as JMC has entered its golden jubilee year and celebrations for the same have begun in full swing. From fashionable items and scrumptious delicacies for everyone, many NGOs will also put up self-made products for sale.


Aashayein, Kirori Mal College (12th October, 11 a.m. onwards)

Organised by Sahyog, which aims to empower underprivileged children under NSS KMC, this event will be a fun affair. Many activities have been planned for the day, including treasure hunts, beg-borrow-steal, rangoli making, and golgappa eating competitions.


Noor, Lady Shri Ram College for Women (14th October, 9 a.m. onwards)

The theme for this year’s mela is ‘Dastagiri’, which means ‘helping’. Apart from NGOs putting up stalls, there will also be a special kids’ corner with activities and refreshments dedicated specifically to them. There will also be a cultural programme where children from various NGOs would be given a platform to engage with the audience through singing, acting, dancing, or anything else which they would like to showcase. However, men above the age of 14 are not allowed at this fair.

Feature Image Credits: NSS, Jesus and Mary College

Vijeata Balani


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Dear Diary

It’s October, and the jubilance inside me is on the rise. There’s a blanket of merriment waiting to be used as cover from the mundaneness of the formulaic life, and Ican’t wait to delve in the joy this wave has to offer once again. Yes, the wave of festivities.

My account starts off with the month of March and the colourful palate it brings to the happy souls. The shades of pleasure people indulge in; from the assortment of colours flying around, the idea of losing consciousness to the warmth of bhaang and dance, and the consequent struggle of removing the memoirs of Holi from the skin, the pure exhilaration! After a period of few months arrives the flagship festival of familial bond, Rakshabhandan. I never liked the concept of the tying of thread on the brother’s wrist to legitimize his ability to protect us, and proudly, today we are on the road where the nought of the thread is similar on a sister’s wrist too. Festivals are capable of evolution, and Rakshabandhan is proof of a constructive one.

With pomp and excitement, next comes the celebration of Durga Pujo, and oh, the wonders it has to offer. The extravagance is unparalleled, canvassing the plethora of delicacies to lavish upon, the cultural aura which subsumes people from all corners, and the mesmerising combination of songs and lights which gives life to every soul entering the lengths of the gala; an ethereal account, indeed! Come October and lights start going up in homes, illuminating the streets. There’s something magical about the weeks leading up to the main day of Diwali; with families going on house-cleaning frenzies, strategizing the placement of candles and diyas, giving in to the temptation of a motley of mitthais, the eagernessto wearethnic entourages, and many more are the modalities of a traditional Diwali celebration!

With the jingles of Christmas and the happiness of a New Year around the corner, it is customary to indulge in a vortex of introspection about our actions. It pains me to think of the harm we spill in the name of these festivals: the sheer water wastage and the incessant burning of crackers which escalate the pollution levels.

I am scared. Scared to think of the day when even I, a festive freak you may call me, will fail to revel in the delight and exuberance.


Saumya Kalia


Image Credits: Pics Story

You’ve played the game. You’ve shared bouts of laughter with friends over drinks, naturally. Now it’s time to give it a desi twist. Welcome to the ‘light’ version of Never Have I Ever! (pun intended)

Glimmering Guidelines (..like those candles)

1. No restriction as to the number of participants. Even if you can’t find anyone, we’ll be there for you.

2. Grab something to drink: water, coke, whatever you like the most!

3. We will state an experience starting with ‘Never Have I ever’ referring to something we’ve never done. If you have done it, be ready to drink.

4. Disclaimer: Being proud Indians, these experiences are not alien to us and we have engaged in the typical Diwali spirits. Don’t take us to be lame!

Get, Set, Diwali!


Never Have I Ever…checked the calendar to see which date Diwali celebrations fall on

Let’s be honest: part excitement for this radiant festival builds up if it lies on a week day. The lazy weekends complemented by the bonus holidays for Diwali tend to sweeten the festive spirit. Term it as wishful thinking for this year at least, for the D-Day falls on a Sunday!

Never Have I Ever…sworn to not burst crackers but ended up lighting the obligatory Phuljhadi

Gone are the days when a carton full of crackers would have induced excitement, the idea of no crackers has been proudly adopted by everyone above the age of 10 years. However, our infallible plan fails to see a minor shortcoming: the ritualistic phuljhadi which the whole family gathers to light to commemorate the festival of lights!

Never Have I Ever…participated in the mandatory house-cleaning Diwali Special session

Come October and there is a wave of festivities which takes the house by storm. There’s a certain probing factor which prompts you to keep things clean. Decorative ornaments are bought and tactically placed in the house. And do you, my friend, end up taking part in this frenzy?

Never Have I Ever…been ultra-excited for the picking out of lights

Close your eyes. Think about Diwali. What is the first item of interest which pings in your brain? Yes, a sublime picture of the lights illuminating the houses and streets! A major attraction for the event for some is deciding the shapes and types of lights to adorn your residence. Not something you liked to do?

Never Have I Ever…had a potential display picture clicked with a Diwali-centric background

Fact: Yellow flickers of diyas and candles, beautifully lit background and bursting crackers make for some stunning photographical placement. Having established that, if you have endeavoured to persuade someone to click a ‘candid’ picture which could very conveniently be your next Facebook display pictures, drink up!

Never Have I Ever…been dragged off to meet random Uncle-Aunties

Can Harry Potter ever be without magic? Similarly, can you survive the festive season without meeting some long-distance relatives/family friends/strange people you’ve heard never of?

Never Have I Ever…looked forward to Diwali!

The exodus of sweets which arrive intermittently, the ethnic apparels you line up to wear, the customary card games which lead to some very predictable failures, Diwali is so much more than a one-day festivity. It’s the seasonal holiday people enthusiastically prepare for year after year,do you?

Here’s a last drink if you Never Have Ever played a Never Have I Ever Diwali version drinking game. Happy Diwali!

Saumya Kalia
Image credits: ThisIsWhyImBroke, The Ellen Show

The bright lights, scrumptious food and the beautiful decorations, all come crumbling down as soon as we wake up the next day after Diwali and have the very common ‘festive hangover’. Read our list of reasons why the next day after Diwali won’t be even as good as a bad day.

Diwali makes all of us happy – for some it is about the food, for some about the yearly house cleaning and for some, it is about the off day. But what happens the day AFTER Diwali? The rangolis are wiped out, the lights are brought down, the diyas are cleaned – and the existential dread sets in.

Here are five reasons why you won’t enjoy the day right after Diwali:

  • The pollution

The smoke filled air and the residual bits and pieces of all the zillion types of patakas are all that one can see the morning after Diwali. Not to mention the noises of the 8-year-olds bursting the leftover crackers in the middle of the day.

  • End of festive season

With an end to Diwali, comes the end to a vibrant and festive month of October. End of the festive season also means the end of the good food, family gatherings and off days. A lot of things will turn dull as soon as Diwali gets over and the decorations come down – from your clothes to your everyday food to your weekend plans.

  • End of semester

Where did the semester go really? After Diwali, the sad realization will dawn upon us that the semester is almost over and we will find ourselves making promises to ourselves to not lose track of time in the next semester. This shall also be the right time to start freaking out about attendance (and exams)!

  • Dread of exams

End of semester equals exams. And exams equal stress. And stress equals existential crisis. The day after Diwali, along with dullness, brings the dread of semester exams. Maybe now is the right time to buy those books and run after the class topper for notes!

  • The potbelly

One can’t expect to still be in shape the day after Diwali. After all, the gulab jamus, rasgullas, malpuas, etc have to go somewhere right? And all the amazing food you consumed during the festivities will be clearly visible through your tight shirt for the next week.

Honestly, I can’t think of any pro of the day after Diwali other than the leftover mithai in the fridge, but even that would give you a couple of more days with that potbelly! Then again, we have almost two months to get our festive spirits back up for Christmas.

Anagha Rakta
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DUs new diktat making the Hindi Test compulsory to obtain a degree under CBCS doesnt consider the fact that a lot of its students are from non-Hindi speaking regions. In the midst of this linguistic drama (quite literally), the cultural festival of Antardhvani is back as a Diwali celebration, which too mandates following very Hindi rituals. Should education and festivity be labelled with a language? (Read our front page story for more context)

Former Vice Chancellor’s baby, ‘Antardhvani’, the annual cultural festival of the university, which was silenced after the end of his tenure, seems to have come back, as the current DU administration, instead of cancelling those festivities this year, has thought otherwise.


Known to spend extravagant amount of time and money on things like a pompous show of fake prestige and less time on charting out a meaningful syllabus for students, the ever so dynamic stakeholders of Delhi University have once again come forward to prove their metal, and this time, by revamping the Antardhvani celebrations under the garb of ‘Diwali’ festivities.


While the original purpose of the festival was to bring the university community together in a shared enterprise that celebrates creativity, talent, innovations, experiments, achievements and unique features of this large university, this year, Antardhvani 2.0 is going to be full of only ‘Diwali’ feels.


However, owing to its practice of deliberately squishing ‘Hindi’ in everything these days, like an average woman trying to squish her behind in the already jam packed seats of the Delhi Metro, the university has brought out a notice that mandates all celebrations to have a connection to Hindi.


Like Antardhvani was used as a tool to showcase the flamboyance of the FYUP system, Antardhvani 2.0 will focus on CBCS and throw some light on its achievements. Our insiders have informed us that while the whole celebration’s aim is to have a ‘university diwali mela’, the celebration will be directed by strict entry procedures.  A source, on condition of anonymity told us, “Entry would be strictly based on one’s ability to chant at least 4 lines of a bhajan, in hindi, at the entry gate. The dress code would be ethnic obviously. For couple entry, the pair will have to recite an impromptu chorus of a bhajan as asked by the sasnkari bouncers.”


Tired of seeing the Pakistan effigies burn, the organising committee has taken due care of laying a creative bent of mind to the whole fest. “Owing to the burring issues in the global scenario, our organising committee has decided to use US Presidential election inspired crackers. We are going to become the first university in the country or around the world, to burst ‘Hill-ladi’ and ‘Trump sutli bomb’, inspired by the traits of Hillary and Trump respectively.”

On asking about why a certain choice of crackers for a certain candidate, a member remarked, “The characteristics of a ladi are very familiar with that of Hillary. Like a ladi, she makes a lot of noise, may come across as a threat but once that noise dies down, it is all the same again. With Trump, he hands down qualifies as a sutli or thread bomb, as he can burst anywhere, anytime, pushes people to increase their guard and makes an annoying sound that forces people to cover their ears.”


Ps. Whatever cracker they may be, remember, both pollute 🙂 Happy Diwali to all!



*Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is only to be appreciated, not accepted!


Riya Chhibber

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Every year, the festival of Diwali gets further lavish, popular and grandiose. It’s a festival felt by all, the celebrators or not, alike. With diwali comes all its paraphernalia of gifts, crackers, sweets, diyas and cards.  Complementing these, also come the passed down presents, anti cracker campaigns, sugar free diets and Chinese lights.  Every Diwali is about gaining some and losing some, be it weight or money. So what were the lessons learnt from Diwali this year?


Make in India?

Fairy lights, lasers, scented candles and electric diyas are all gifts from China to India for Diwali. Earthen and clay diyas are struggling to make their presence amidst the bling and impact of Chinese products in the market. With each year the losses incurred by the potters are greater than the previous, hitting a low of selling one diya for less than 1 rupee. While many receive a Diwali bonus, the livelihood of potters solely dependent on the sales of their diyas seems bleak with each passing year.



8 states across India experienced deteriorated quality of air reaching to ‘severe’ levels, a point that not only critically affects asthmatics and people with respiratory disorders but also healthy persons. After repeated campaigns, social media outreach and awareness programs, the city lived up to its mark of being the most polluted and 20 times more on the day of the festival. Not to forget the impact of the firecrackers on the health of pets. Their keen senses make them more perceiving to the noise and fire.  There are reports that claim the level of particulate matter in air to be less compared to 2014 Diwali but there is a long way to go in bringing about an apparent difference in both health and air quality.


Recycle, Reuse, Not Reduce

Two out of the three ecological R`s are well followed during Diwali in gift giving. Under that glossy gift-wrapping, you know there is an induction cooker that nobody uses, but that’s all right because its not here to stay. Happiness must be extended and so should all the things you don’t need. It’s not uncommon to see

the heap of gifts lying on the backseat of cars. The Diwali bonanzas and super deals are Indian equivalents of the black Friday sale. It’s the best time to buy a pen drive or a washing machine. With the frenzy of festival, more is less!


It is important that we understand the implications of our actions. Every year it becomes the same story of stress on environment and health, pollution and mindless consumerism. A little conscious effort would go a long way in making Diwali what it truly is.  


Shefali Bharati

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This Diwali was very significant for a lot of non Hindus. India has been fighting not a new but a strong wave of intolerance. Communalism has become the evil of the day. However, I will not give the standard definition by saying that people are harming each other in the name of religion, rather people are being made to harm each other. In fact, some people are being mislead into harming others. The problem is not so much about intolerance growing but about intolerance being made to grow. Nevertheless,this Diwali, some non Hindus celebrated the festival to show and encourage the spirit of tolerance and acceptance.

I am a Muslim and I celebrated Diwali the best way I could. It started with a phone call from my father, who said, ” Happy Diwali” to me. Only this and it  made me realise that I need to be together with those around me. I immediately went to my friends room who happens to be a Hindu and offered lighting a Dia with her. I was joined in by a Christian friend too.A beautiful co incidence that happened was that I had a scarf covering my head, my Christian friend was wearing a stole with a Cross on it and my Hindu friend had put on a Bindi. Upon realising this blissful coincidence, we clicked a picture wearing the symbols of our respective faiths ,and  along with it we braved a Diwali Dia.

We were immediately joined in by some other students who were Buddhists who also lighted a Diya. This was followed by a lot of other instances where people irrespective of their faiths heartily celebrated Diwali. From lights, to Dia’s and to feasts, people from different religions donned the attires of tolerance.

Similarly, I have witnessed Hindus celebrating Eid and Christmas. In fact, in the holy month of Ramdhan this year, when muslims fast for 30 days ; a group of non Muslims also observed a fast for a day to show their love and support.

Such attitude of tolerance, love and acceptance is the need of the hour. While a Bindi didn’t make me feel any less of a Muslim, but it surely made my friend feel that I am a better one. I agree symbols and festivals stand for a lot more and our religions might differ on those beliefs. However, it is so much more empowering to celebrate with our loved ones and still hold on to our respective faiths.

We are all different because of what we believe in. However, we can all be together in letting each other believe. The only thing that matters is that we all stay together. Religion asks us to trace our origins back to the creator. Let’s not miss the the fact that the creation is from a single root. While we might differ on who our creator is, we cannot debate that we are all from a single one. We share the same source. The elements of our being are similar.

In our lives plagued by the politics of terror and Oppression, it is essential that together we enjoy one day of celebration. While religion is being used to divide people, let us use religion to unite people. If people fire bullets in the name of religion, let us pledge to face them together.

The article is a personal account of a writer of DU Beat

Tooba Towfiq
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Keeping up with its tradition of celebrating almost everything in a unique style, Delhi University is now set to host a star studded ‘Diwali Mahapuja’ at Polo Grounds, North Campus, claim sources. Some insiders tell us that the puja would be the first of its kind, with no crackers and only ‘sanskars’ lighting up the gathering.

The ‘Mahapuja’ is said to have the tantalising DU effect as star performers like Sunidhi Chauhan and Mika are expected to perform for the students and faculty. Talks are doing the round that the ‘Maha Aarti’ would be commenced by special invitee – Shri Alok Nath.

To keep the ethnic ethos in mind, the university, is all geared up to ensure a ‘disciplined and sanskari Indian dress code’ for the evening. Rumour has it that, girls would be allowed to wear either a saree or salwar kameez; shorts, dresses and other western outfits are a complete no. On the other hand, boys are to be clad in kurta pyjamas and other relevant Indian attire. Apparently, Alok Nath ji has consented to be the chief pujari for the majapuja only on the condition that he would have separate puja for girls and boys, claim some petrified sources.

As the rumour of the maharaja spread like wildfire, it wasn’t taken in good taste by most students. “This is really foolish. Different puja for girls and boys? What kind of cultural hegemony is this? We study in co-ed colleges and attend India’s top university and we get gender bias? How stupid!” said an infuriated student.

A group of girls from JMC, LSR are planning to stage a ‘short- protest’ by wearing shorts during the puja. “This step is anti-feminism. We condemn this abhorrent set of sexist guideline,” said one of the students. Some students are planning to sneak in crackers in the puja to flout rules. Insiders were heard saying that spiritual guru ‘Radhe Maa’ had previously been approached for the puja, however, due to prior commitments she couldn’t give a nod to this event, instead Alok Nath obliged and happily agreed to be the ‘head pujari’ and is looking forward to imparting sanskars and prasad to the students for their exams ahead of the festivities.

Disclaimer: Bazinga is DU Beat’s weekly column of almost believable fake news. Bazinga is only a state of mind.

Feature Image Credits: www.youtube.com

Riya Chhibber

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