On Thursday, 5th September 2019, DU Beat conducted an interview with Chetna Tyagi, the Presidential Candidate from National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) in context to the upcoming Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections.

(Translated from Hindi)

Satviki: To the common student, DUSU feels like an unapproachable political entity. What will you and your party do to ensure accountability to the students of Delhi University?

Chetna: It gets difficult for the students to raise their voices on issues sometimes, so as DUSU elected members, it becomes our responsibility to raise our voice on behalf of the students. NSUI has also initiated a campaign ‘Awaaz Uthao Seeti Bajao’ where we want to promote equality amongst the Delhi University students. Under the campaign, we are covering issues of hostels, one fee for one course and university special buses.

If NSUI comes to power, it will force the authorities to take action so every student gets their rights and equality.

Satviki: The incidents on Old Gupta Road and Hindu Rao Hospital highlight security concerns for those living in the north campus. What steps will you take to ensure safety and security on campus?

Chetna: Every college should have a police van in front of it, every hour of the day. At least two policemen should be present so they can keep a check on the happenings in and around the campus so that they can control the situation.

Satviki: How inclusive do you think NSUI is in terms of minority and LGBTQIA+ representation?

Chetna: Our Vice-Presidential candidate is a Dalit who’s been given a high post, who will go on to further represent minorities of the Delhi University.

Satviki: Campaigning every year uses up a tremendous amount of paper for pamphlets, posters, etc which then leads to litter on campus. What is your say on the matter?

Chetna: Every candidate does their promotion through paper. I know it leads to a lot of paper waste and it is useless. We can have a plantation drive after the elections are over where we can grow plants in different parts of Delhi.

Satviki: Delhi University was recently declared an Institute of Eminence by the Union Government which entitles DU to payment of a 1000 crores over 5 years. What changes is this going to bring in DU?

Chetna: This extra money that we will be getting is the result of NSUI’s fight in the Delhi University. This extra money should be used to ensure equal opportunity should be given to all the students in Delhi University. Be it a student from a rural background, or someone belonging to the minority, everyone should be equal.

Satviki: The overriding perception of University politics is that it involves dirty politics, strong-arming, and violence. What has your party done to prove this perception wrong during this campaigning period, and what does it plan to do to reduce these perceptions in the future?

Chetna: I am a girl candidate, and NSUI has given the chance to a girl candidate after so many years. The students are the one who will judge and know which candidate is working for them, and which candidate is here because of his money power. Once the students start choosing wisely and not based on publicity stunts, it will all reduce automatically. So, NSUI will work for the students.

Satviki: Last year, there were allegations of EVM tampering against ABVP, also to be noted, the EVM’S were privately supplied and not by the Election Commission, how will you ensure that incidents like this don’t occur this year and how do you plan to make sure elections are held fairly?

Chetna: Last year, there was a nonexistent candidate who was used to get votes. The candidate was being voted for when in reality, the candidate did not even exist. So, there was something wrong. Moreover, the results were also delayed for a day or two. This year there should be tight security amongst the officers who handle the machines and the EVMs should not be misused. NSUI will keep a check on it.

Satviki: which element differentiates you from the other contenders for the post of President?

Chetna: Firstly, I am a girl candidate who is standing for the position of President. I don’t think ABVP has ever backed up a girl candidate for the post of president. NSUI has given the chance to a female candidate after so many years and I am going to give my best. I want to make my voice my identity and work for the students of Delhi University.

Satviki: What message would you like to give the students so that they see you as a deserving candidate?

Chetna: I am Chetna Tyagi, a student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College. It is after 11 years that a girl candidate is chosen by NSUI to contest for the post of the president. I want everyone to come in heavy numbers to vote for DUSU elections.

Feature Image Credits: NSUI

Satviki sanjay

[email protected]



Meet the band, When Chai Met Toast , that embodies happiness and performs it in their music.

Kartik: The band name is a very creative fusion of Indian roots meeting western elements, so what kind of musicians or bands from India and abroad influence your music?
Ashwin: Actually, a lot of them! I mean, there is a lot of inspiration from English folk, but we are experimenting with a lot of other stuff as well, which includes English and European folk.
Achyuth: Not really folk, more like pop.
Ashwin: We do not want to really define ourselves into a category or genre, as such.
Achyuth: Some of the artists that we have been listening include The 1975, Coldplay; Coldplay is an all-time favourite.
Ashwin: There is Sufjan Stevens as well. There is a bunch of artists we listen to, and are inspired by.


Kartik:What qualifies as good music for you?
Achyuth: Anything that sounds good, I guess.
Ashwin: Very difficult question!
Achyuth: Anything that is true, actually. Anything that comes from the people, whatever genre it is. Something that comes from within.
Ashwin: I will be very honest. More than what qualifies as good music to me, what my ears hear as good music is what I like. For instance, you cannot really ‘name’ good music or music that you like. You are not very fond of something at one point, and other times you love something. You cannot really classify or clarify what good music is, and we have not really given it a thought, so I think there is no generic or specific category of good music.
Achyuth: For me, it is anything that has some soul to it, in whatever way. It can be any artist, but as long as there is passion, there is good music.


Kartik: Your songs are multilingual. Notably, the transitions in the languages are very smooth in the songs, which make the composition very cohesive. How do you think the audience reacts to this aspect of your music?
Achyuth: First of all, we are glad you think so!
Ashwin: We have heard positive reviews till now, thankfully. Nobody has as yet, thrown anything negative at us. We try not to force the elements into a song just because the song has to carry out something which is multilingual or some meaning that has to be conveyed. We try to keep whatever we write as what it is.
Achyuth: The fact that we all speak multiple languages helps. So, we are not really restricting ourselves. If we want to convey something through a song in Tamil, we have the freedom to do that, because Ashwin knows how to speak Tamil. It gives us many options, as a band.


Kartik:I was just listening to your latest song, “Nee aara”, and I loved it! This is your first Malayalam single, please tell your listeners about the song and what it means.
Achyuth: Thank you very much! It starts off with self-introspection, and then it moves into the ideas of new beginnings, in various metaphorical forms.
Ashwin: In one sentence, it is like understanding your mistakes and then trying to rectify them, and finding what is wrong with you. It’s about finding the new you, to some extent.


Kartik: Do you guys have any just-the-band or personal rituals to do before performing on stage?
Ashwin: We definitely pump each other up!
Achyuth: There is like a band-huddle before the performance.


Kartik: How many shows have you done in the last one year? Which show has been the best in terms of audience and the derivative artistic gratification?
Achyuth: Around 80-90 shows. All of them were great shows.
Ashwin: As for the latter part of the question, I think both of us might have differing answers, let’s see.
Achyuth: Weekender Pune 2018 was a great one.
Ashwin: Oh, then it is the same. We played our 70s set for the second time at Weekender Pune.
Achyuth: We were still learning our parts for that, but we managed to do well, I guess.
Ashwin: Narayan on violin, Prashant on bass, along with trumpets, we had a proper ball of a time. It was great to see five thousand people in front of you, while Joe Satriani was playing on the other stage. The sound was amazing, thanks to Yogi for mixing that day, Guru did an amazing job with lights as well. It was a crazy good day for us, altogether.


Kartik: Can you describe what do you feel when you’re performing on stage and a massive crowd jams to your songs along with you?
Achyuth: I think that’s what we live for.
Ashwin: Yes, we dance with them. And live the moment, that’s it.


Kartik: So how would you describe this feeling in one word?
Ashwin: D-E-D, DED, a very millennial term. (laughs)


Kartik: What are your views on failures and/or criticism? And what do you think stays with the audience, the artist or the art?
Achyuth: The art definitely.
Ashwin: I think both. Like when the artist feels the art is when the people feel the art.


Image Credits: Adithya Khanna for DU Beat
Image Credits: Adithya Khanna for DU Beat


Kartik: All the band members have had professional training in Indian classical music. In times of rap and hip-hop, and pop rock, where do you think Indian Classical music is leading to?
Ashwin: It’s leading to world music, buddy. Bands like Agam, and Shadow and Light and so many other independent artists are working on Carnatic and Hindustani music. There are a lot of jazz singers who are blending Carnatic music with jazz. Carnatic music is in a completely different scale altogether than what we think is Indie.
Achyuth: There is immense potential in the genre. It’s already massive.
Ashwin: Totally, I mean a Carnatic music show in Singapore selling more than 2500 tickets that is the substance of the genre.


Kartik: In a lot of your music videos, there is a running metaphor of creative and artistic blockade, and coming out of it. One of these videos that has stayed with me is that of the song “Believe“. What are your views on creative expression and its ability to transgress social obligations or expectations?
Ashwin: That’s too tough for me, man! (laughs)
I have been doing music for ten years now (professionally), and I have been learning from almost twenty years. It is definitely a very difficult task coming from a state like Kerala, to build up something what we are trying to do. There is always this hurdle, always this blockade that hits you, and you don’t know what you have to do. You have to find out the right door to move across. It’s not like you sign with a label and you are there. It gets very difficult when you are independent, when you are doing everything by yourself. Within the band, all of us have certain roles, and it becomes this division of creative people, coming together and doing so much together. Everybody’s struggle to get out there speaks for freedom of creativity. We have also come from different social backgrounds. My father worked in a bank, and later retired as an architect. So, we have to tackle all that when we are doing something like curating music on a full-time basis.
Even though our parents and families support us in whatever ways they can, there’s always this element of social obligation that comes to the fore.
Achyuth: Our listeners also relate to it. (the struggle)
Ashwin: At the end of the day, whatever you are doing, you need to be happy with it.


Kartik: Which conveniently brings me to my next question. When Chai Met Toast identifies itself with ‘The Happy Project’, it focuses on creating music that makes the listener happy. How do you think it impacts your credibility and influence as a band in a Rockstar-world obsessed with romanticising sadness?
Ashwin: Funny, funny part! (laughs)
See once you are broken, hope for one day that you will be happy. Life is all about it, is it not? I mean if there are songwriters who are writing about this state of being broken, we are trying to get out of it.
Achyuth: I think you can call our music being on the ‘positive’ line. We are looking at the brighter side, even when we are talking about a break-up, for instance.
Ashwin: There are a lot of other factors that get into you in the form of anxiety and depression, now that is entirely different. There is another thing. Generally, in music, we do not wish to depend on emotions too much, right? Every emotion has its own set of feelings that it gives out. But think of this: somebody for instance, thought that she would die of cancer, but having worked hard, she comes out of it. She has definitely channelised her positivity in that fight. She discovered herself, and fought it back. So, it’s always greener on the other side, we just have to look at the green from our side, and just go for it.


Image Credits: Saubhagya Saxena or DU Beat
Image Credits: Saubhagya Saxena or DU Beat

Kartik: In an interview you talked about a school in Kashmir (Haji Public School) wherein your song “Firefly” is now sung by the students in assembly. What was your reaction to this discovery and how great of an achievement do you think it is for you?
Achyuth: I think, things like these make what we do, all the more worthwhile. I cannot give it a word, for sure, but the spontaneous reaction to the news was: immensely gratifying. To see our art reaching out and being accepted and loved by people who are like miles away. There have been multiple schools across the country like Patna and Kerala, where students have sung our songs. This is another part that makes our music meaningful. There are no age barriers, our listeners’ ages range from six-year-olds to seventy-year-olds.

Kartik: Please tell us about your upcoming album, tours, and shows.
Ashwin: We are working on the album. Pre-production is going on, song-writing is going on. We are trying to figure out when we are going to release it. We are also trying out different things, and experimenting with new elements and instruments.
Achyuth: We do not know, as yet, when exactly it will be ready, but it is definitely on the cards.
Ashwin: One thing that we know for sure is that we are all very stoked and looking forward to the fun that the process is going to be.
Achyuth: As for the shows, we will be playing at three shows in North India this month. We have not played in North India in a while. We have performances in Delhi, Chandigarh, and Jaipur. Tours are still being planned out.


Kartik: How do you like performing in the North Indian states?
Ashwin: There is no barrier such as North Indian states. We love performing everywhere. People accept our music, they come and dance, they have a happy time, we have a happy time. Everybody has their own share of happiness, and we just enjoy that whole ground of people singing and dancing. There is no differentiation as such.
Achyuth: For us, we are equally happy when we are playing in any part of the country. Anybody who loves music is loved by us.


Kartik: Now that you have a huge following as a band, where do you see yourself in another five years?
Achyuth: Hopefully playing outside India as well, I don’t know.
Ashwin: To be honest, would love to win a Grammy, but that might be too much to ask for. We would love to play at international festivals, that would be great.
Achyuth: Yes, spreading our vibe, now that we have reached many people in the country, and making difference in whatsoever way we can in the larger community.


Kartik: Will we be seeing you anytime soon in some University of Delhi fest?
Achyuth: You should be telling us! (laughs)
Kartik: We would love to have you!
Ashwin: Oh, we would love to play there, as well! It is very mutual.


Feature Image Credits: When Chai Met Toast via Facebook

Kartik Chauhan
[email protected]


On 23rd January 2019, Amrita Rao got candid with DU Beat about her life, career, and the industry, when she visited Conference Centre, North Campus along with her co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui to promote their film ‘Thackeray’.

Anoushka: How was your journey in life, being from a non-Bollywood background to becoming a Bollywood star?
Amrita: About my journey, I have always believed that I am a destiny’s baby, with no godfathers, sugar daddies, and influence in the film industry. These days, there are so many avenues through which you can get recognition. You can rise by being an internet sensation or an Instagrammer. During those days, one either had to be a Miss India, a star kid or had to rise through ad films. So, that time was such that I used to walk into auditions and bag the ad films. After some of my ad films became hits, Tips Films came with a bouquet and a cake saying, “We will make you a star.” It was a very big deal for me because I was still studying. I have actually lived my college life in the campuses of Main Hoon Na and Ishq Vishq. I couldn’t continue my studies because I was barely in school when I started modelling. It’s a big responsibility to manage your education along with your career and work life.

Anoushka: Were your parents supportive in this entire journey?
Amrita: I think my father was very supportive because he comes from an advertising background. He has had his own advertising agency for the longest time. This was print media advertising, not the films. I didn’t get any influence. I had to walk into auditions and perform. He did not have the slightest clue, and was so surprised with the first campaign that I signed. The agency signed me from Chennai. When Tips came with a proposal, he supported it tremendously because he saw the corporate set up with a contract in place. My association with Tips was for three to four years.

Anoushka: You do not come from a Bollywood background, and we also know the nepotism debate which recently shook the entire industry. So, what is your take on nepotism?
Amrita: I think that if two people are comfortable in working with each other, if I have found comfort in you and share a natural rapport and don’t feel like a nobody or outsider, that is great! If we have grown up together, attended the same birthday parties around the same friends and families, I can understand that as a different comfort zone altogether. If we want to work with each other, that’s not really nepotism. However, if a third person comes at random and favours the other person more than you, pushes him or her to the awards and magazine covers at random, now that is nepotism. That is how I look at it. However, we live in times where unfortunately even to get your kid admitted in that reputed school, you see people picking up their phones. It has engulfed the society in an unavoidable and unfair manner. I think, in today’s world, talent is something that is recognised, and people don’t really care what background you come from, or whether you are a star or a superstar. I think good acting ultimately survives.

Anoushka: She Wings is a social awareness organisation which is working towards women and menstrual hygiene. There are many women who don’t have access to basic sanitation facilities. How should we, as women encourage others regarding the same?
Amrita: I am glad we are talking about this. When I was in school, I don’t think we ever spoke about this or talked about it as an issue or as something that you have to deal with. It was perhaps, just told to us. I think I would say that it is important to have basic hygiene. We don’t even have basic sanitation or hygiene. There are no theories or rules that we are given on how to use sanitary aids. I know there are a lot of uterus infections. A lot of things go wrong because women don’t have knowledge. I would like to tell everyone that you have to prioritise yourself. Even if you are somebody who lives by the budget, you can cut on those new tops or denims but make sure that you get the best quality pads for yourself. Don’t compromise on that. Don’t try to save on that. It can cost you much more.

Featured Image Credits- Aakarsh Mathur for DU Beat

Interview by- Anoushka Sharma
[email protected]
Transcribed by- Sakshi Arora
[email protected]

Prajakta Koli, the owner of YouTube Channel MostlySane, spoke with the same fervour to DU Beat like she does in her videos.

Khyati: There is a certain blurring of lines between a fan and a friend to create a loyal community in the type of career you’ve chosen. They might feel entitled to some kind of personal information about your life. How do you feel about that?
Prajakta: Fair question. It depends on where you draw that line and your communication with your followers. If from the very beginning, you go like, “we are friends, family, best friends” and then later you go like, “but this is my personal life” then it’s wrong. But if you have it clear that “listen, I am here for you and you’re there for me,” then you can draw a line. I feel like you have to work on it from the very beginning and make
it clear.
A lot of young people are on the internet and they spend so much time there that they don’t have actual relationships. They have people they go to places with but at the end of the day, they would rather come home and write an email to their favourite YouTuber.They message us saying they had a really bad day, or a breakup. That tells us that the trust and loyal the factor is too hyped. I try to reply to most of them but there are so many emails and its so heartbreaking! I don’t think they reach out to me for a solution, but they only want someone to share it with. Sometimes, they are so lonely because of the amount of time they spend away from people, staring into their phone screens that this becomes their comfort zone.
K: What is your opinion about people blatantly saying that you “copy” a few other YouTubers?
P: Luckily for us, it has come down in the past two years. In the beginning, I completely believed them. I didn’t even realise that I was copying her, but I was. If you watch Superwoman’s (Lilly Singh) videos, they are so infectious! I have spent a whole summer, watching her videos, it had to rub off on me! It took me time to find what my audience liked to watch, and what sort of content I liked creating. Finally, I think I know this is my area, and I can experiment here.
K: Does one always have to club YouTube with other jobs to earn enough to be able to sustain oneself?
P: I don’t think you can do a full-time job and have YouTube on the side. It requires your undivided attention. Full time job karke jaan hi nahi bachegi (You don’t have enough strength left if you’re in a full time job), especially in metro cities.
Weekends pe hum pade rehete hain ki hila nahi ja raha bhaiya bilkul bhi. (On the weekends we just lie around, like, dude I can’t even move!)
It is like a start-up. It takes some time to get the ball rolling. I have been pursuing my YouTube career for almost four years now and I have started making substantial money only this year. I am fortunate that I come from a family where my parents gave me the support to try out YouTube. Otherwise, you fund yourself. You’re your own boss, it’s
a beautiful job. It’s difficult in the beginning. I won’t say it’s not for everybody, but it’s not easy.
K: Do you think the influencer business is credible, considering a seven-year-old is the highest earning YouTube influencer of this year?
P: That is a creator to creator decision. I began with one video a week. Moved to two videos in the second year. For the past year and a half, I have been making three videos. It happened in the reverse order for me. If you know your
quality is getting compromised, you are losing out on momentum. I believe nothing works other than content, yaar!  You could have the money to pump in videos and attract more people but if your content isn’t good, it won’t help
you. Before investing in camera, mic, and stuff like that, make your content better. Be consistent. You’ll lose out on the momentum if you go missing after posting a good video. Listen to your audience, they are very honest on YouTube. Give it some time. You don’t become famous with one viral video.
K: What is your opinion about the recent crackdown on fake subscribers that occurred on 13th and 14th December?
P: YouTube did a clean-up. Kaafi logo ko kaafi heart attack aaye. (So many people got heart attacks!) YouTube does this clean up regularly. The dead and inactive accounts are removed. It’s chill for you if you haven’t bought any
numbers. It’s great, it’s healthy for YouTube. Most of us have organic numbers. Inactive accounts are removed so there is always a slight drop that happens, but everyone knows this is going to happen. They weren’t giving you views or engagement anyway. This year, our drop was only 2000-3000 followers, which is hardly anything!
K: Do you think that the influencers must be answerable for the brand they endorse since it is a powerful recommendation for the viewers?
P: That is something we follow. Every brand deal we do, we make sure it comes very organically to the channel. I can’t make any forced integration especially since I am a comedian, I can’t afford to look like a sell-out. I can’t let people think I am talking a certain way since I am being paid to do so. We try to make sure that it fits in with the content. I have a certain kind of responsibility towards a brand. We know that since we have a loyal audience, they
will trust us blindly. It also threatens our credibility, we lose trust so it’s like a two-way street.
K: How was your experience at United Nations (UN) and why do you feel so strongly about cyberbullying? Do you think YouTubers have it worse?
P: UN was amazing. When I got the news, I was like “STOP! Don’t joke!” But it happened! We entered the
headquarters and I had thought that entering the building will be super dramatic, but the most chilling experience was at the hallway, which has the flags of all the countries of the UN. Going there and touching the Indian flag for the first time in my life was something I’ll never forget! I had not touched the flag in 25 years of my existence. Just
being on that podium and speaking and having your name flash on that screen, still gives me goosebumps. I
am so grateful!

I think we have reached a point where everyone has experienced cyber-bullying. YouTubers are more highlighted and thus, more prone to it. Nobody has it any worse. It depends on how you deal with it. Some believe in showing them their place. I personally chose not to react to hate and trolls, because then you end up giving them the
validation that they don’t deserve in the first place. Self-censoring is very important.
Let’s all use the internet wisely for a positive purpose. It’s like the yin and the yang. There is so much darkness, but it is also a platform where people get to speak and be themselves. Let’s use it more for that and be responsible consumers!

Feature Image Credits: Mid-Day

Khyati Sanger
[email protected]

DU Beat brings to you a conversation with Rahul Dua, the runner-up of Comicstaan.

The scene was set. After much effort, when the lights were fixed and the noise was reduced near the interview table, a call informed us that Rahul Dua’s (the runnerup of Comicstaan, on Amazon Prime) car had broken down on his way to the venue. Cut to 20 minutes later, he is at the venue despite how the day was treating him, and is whistling his worries away! It took just a moment for him to make us feel like we have known him for years. He began telling us his typically personalised stories in the same witty spirit and we made sure to begin right from the basics!

Q) Since you have done your MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, what do you love and hate the most about DU?

FMS never seemed like a part of DU. The MBA syllabus is very rigorous. You all would get free at five in the afternoon and could chill. However, we used to stay in college till midnight, as our seniors used to teach us how to prepare ourselves for summer internships and placements. No one considered us a part of DU, man!

Vishwavidyalaya pe bolte the FMS jana hai, par unhe pata hi nahi hota tha. Hamari pehechan thi Kirori Mal ke saamne wala college. (We used to ask the rickshaw drivers to take us to FMS from the Vishwavidhlaya metro station but they didn’t know our college. Our identity was ‘the college in front of KMC’.)

I had come to DU from Thapar University which is a gated campus. It didn’t matter what was happening on the outside world because inside the gates, we were protected. But DU mai aisi feel hi nahi aayi (It doesn’t feel that way in DU). This is something I never liked. A residential programme is very important. The connect between hostelers can not be found between day scholars. My fellow hostelers and I know everything about each other. But, the good thing about DU is that the fees is very less so there’s less burden on parents.


Q) Any DU fads you remember?

When we came to FMS, we got to know that the kebab sold in DSE’s canteen are supposed to be very tasty. Now DSE is right behind our campus. Lamba kaun ghoom ke jaye? Dewaar fandi and ghus gaye DSE mai. (Who would take the long route now? We just used to jump over the walls.) We had the kebab. No offense meant, they weren’t so special. But St Stephens’ cheese omlette. Oof! It’s amazing! I like their campus too! But we never got the entry. So we shaved our beards and wore tight t-shirts to look younger, to get the entry. However, I did that just a few times as it seemed like too much effort to shave.

Q) Out of all the people you’ve met and things you’ve done in college, has any of it played a huge role in getting you where you are today?

Of course, everyone has their little roles to play in what I am today. Mahesh Shetye was from FMS, in the same batch as me. We weren’t that close in college. However, in Mumbai, we got a flat together. He literally pushed me into stand up. There is something called as an MBTI test that was taught to us in FMS. Mujhe ghanta nahi yaad hai (I don’t remember it one bit) but he knew it. He, in his room gave my MBTI test which is a personality test. He answered everything he knew about me on his own. If he didn’t know anything he would come to me and go like,“Acha, Dua, what’s your favourite colour?” I was like, what is he smoking, man? I need to know! He came to my room one night at 2 p.m. , wearing his typical loose t-shirt and shorts. “So, Dua, I have given your personality test,” he said. Wait, he had given my personality test? This entire thing did not make any sense. “It tells me that you are made for the entertainment industry. This bankvank is not for you,” he said. I dismissed him saying we have to go to office the next day and have no time for this. He sat uninvited on my bed and said I should try stand up. So he had a very important role to play. And I am so guilty that I couldn’t call or meet him in these 1.5 years. Other friends of mine like Angad, Saurab Malhotra, Chitra, and Anna also supported me immensely.


Q) When and why did you think of switching to comedy?

I was working in a bank. They had drained me. On paper, it was five days a week. I used to work seven days a week. I had no time for friends or even for the gym. I needed to vent out. I was the funniest in the group. Some colleagues told me that I should try open mics. Back then, I had told them the story of Batra ji and the bees, and also that I performed in Comicstaan’s second episode and they had lost their shit. That was the story that I tried in my first open mic as well. Then, there was no looking back. I felt so empowered and unrestricted on the stage and thought I must do it. I didn’t think of taking it up as a profession but did it only because it was fun. After interacting with a lot of people, I got to know it’s a full-time career option also. From then onwards, everything gradually started falling in place to make this happen.

Q) What do you hate the most and love the most about Comicstaan?

I love that it has changed my work ethics. We used to write at our own leisure and pace. We used to write a 4-minute set in 2-3 months but on the show, we did it in 6 days! I learnt from the masters of the game! One thing I hated about Comicstaan was that they never aired everything they captured behind the scenes including a 30-minute long interviews they took of us. We wasted a lot of time there. My alternative comedy and finale set was edited out. I gave them my content, but I have worked on it for one and half years. A lot of my jokes did not make the cut because of time constraints. Though, I am not complaining, I got much more than I expected.

Q) You subtly joke a lot about being the second on Comicstaan. Is it to hide some insecurity or just because it always gets a laugh?

For the first few days I kept thinking why I couldn’t be the first but now it doesn’t matter. I know for a fact that I am pretty decent. But I am not right up there so I have to improve myself.I am good friends with Suri,(Nishant Suri, the winner of the show) and he feels the same way. We aren’t the best and the ones who didn’t make it to the top top are not bad as well. It’s only about being that good on that day. There is no insecurity. Obviously six lakh milte toh bahut acha lagta but aa jayenge paise. Baad mai aa jayenge. (If I would have won the prize money, I would feel awesome! But the money will come later, its fine!)

Q) How do you tackle always being happy and making others happy as well?

Thoda pressure kum hua hai aaj kal. Kyuki first thodi aaye hain. (This really is a little pressure! It has been reduced lately as I am not the winner, anyway!) When you see a comedian on stage, he is very different from what he is off stage. If you expect him to be funny all the time, you have wrong expectations. Everything on stage is built over time and rehearsed. I am generally a happy-go-lucky person. I might be funny in bits and pieces but it is difficult for me to be funny all the time. And if you come out to me and say “Hey, comedian, tell us a joke, no?” I’d say, no, you pay me, first!

Q) What do you have to say to the budding comedians?

See, I know it’s scary. But try it once! Bada maza aayega. (It will be fun!). But it’s better to get up on stage with zero expectations and get two laughs than expect 10 laughs and get two. Phir nass kaat loge! (Then you’ll cut your veins!) No point. And keep hitting at it. Keep seeing what other people are doing and learn from it. That’s the crux of the art form. You can’t do it sitting at home. It may be funny on the paper but the audience may not laugh at it. You will have to go up on the stage. It’s really empowering and fun.

Q) Would you do shows in any DU colleges?

Why not! Bula toh lo? (Just call me, already?) I have some material on all topics, you want me to perform on relationships, classes, anything, I have it! Give me money, I will come.


Image Credits: Adithya Khanna for DU Beat

Khyati Sanger

[email protected]

On 26th September 2018, DU Beat interacted with P. Sainath, Editor of People’s Archives of Rural India and the former Rural Editor of the Hindu who has won over 40 global and national awards for his reporting.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Kinjal: You are the grandson of V.V. Giri, the fourth President of India. Your life could have been simpler owing to your privilege. What compelled you to undertake the kind of profession you have?

Sainath: I believe journalism is about reporting everyday lives of people. I don’t see what I do as some major sacrifice, I enjoy what I do, and I don’t suffer for it. The only thing that has been utterly miserable was breaking the stories on farmer suicide. Those have been heartbreaking. Journalists should be questioned as to why they cover urban India so much. None of the newspapers or news channels have a full time national level correspondent covering the rural aspects of the country. I think I am doing what should be the norm rather than what is the exception.

Kinjal: In the era of fake news how does one preserve the sanctity of journalism?

Sainath: I think there seems to be an illusion that fake news begins with social media. There has been fake news since there has been news. Technologically, the scope for it has become vast. The scope of fake news has enlarged considerably through social media, this comes from the people who have monopolies over sources of news media. The digital monopolies are the largest monopolies in history and they are greater and more dangerous than any other monopoly in the world. Literally, five to six people control all of this. What makes them more dangerous is that they own your personal data. No monopoly in history ever did that. While Hindustan Times had a monopoly in Delhi, they did not have your personal data and they did not own it. Digital monopolies not only have your data, they sell it and traffic in it. That’s what Facebook is facing. When I used to say this two-three years ago, people laughed. Now look at the current situation, Facebook is exactly doing that:leaking your data.

Kinjal: On 29th September 2018, the Central Government of India celebrated Surgical Strike Day across universities in the country including Jawaharlal Nehru University, your alma mater. What are your thoughts on military achievements being celebrated in academic spaces?

Sainath: I guess the government has to announce something because what else do they have to celebrate? So I guess they have to do something to keep attention away from their failures. Last month, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report said demonetisation was a complete disaster. It’s also a way of promoting a chauvinist sensibility. There is nothing to celebrate, the government might create another three or four reasons to celebrate the military. What have they done in industry and agriculture? 78 of the largest companies are filling for bankruptcy; dozens of the largest companies are in the middle of Rafael Deal. When you are in middle of all this, you have to find something to take away the attention from your failures. The celebration is not happening for the army, I am pretty sure that the armed forces didn’t ask for any such thing. It’s happening to push the sagging morale of its private prudence.

Kinjal: Within the Indian farming sector or the unorganised labour sector, who do you think is the worst sufferer?

Sainath: I don’t like ranking victims. The fact that someone is more miserable than you doesn’t mean that you are in great joy. A Dalit woman who is an agricultural labourer carries the triple burden of caste, class, and gender. She belongs to the bottom rank in the class society. In India more than 60 percent of agriculture is done by women, but we don’t recognise them as farmers. They were doing livestock and dairying and now they are forced to do crop agriculture. Let’s suppose the male farmer has committed suicide or migrated because there is no possibility of work in farming for him, or the woman has lost her husband due to suicide or migration, that woman is now suddenly looking after the kids and livestock with full burden of crop agriculture which was initially not her work. She is also negotiating with the money lenders and the bank managers, dropping the kids at school, and what not. But, even after all this we do not recognise them as farmers, rather we recognise them as a farmer’s wife. The suicides of women farmers are not even counted. Women farmer suicides are counted as general suicides. The largest group in the Indian society committing suicides comprises of women in the age group of 14 to 29. Most of the women in the countryside are agricultural labourers. Our prejudices towards women don’t allow us to see them as property owners. Secondly, they do unrecognised and unpaid work in agriculture, as a result of which the work participation data shows that women’s participation in work is falling. It’s funny because women labourers have doubled but the work participation rate is decreasing because the only accepted work is paid work. This is also because anything women do, you call it unskilled labour.

Kinjal: Can you talk about Nation For Farmers, and what you intend to achieve from it?

Sainath: We don’t intend to achieve anything for ourselves. The All India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee (AIKSCC) has called for a big march in Delhi from 28th to 30th November. When that happens, farmers all over the country will partake, and that will grab everyone’s attention. Our concern was, how do we, in the middle class, make ourselves relevant to the farmers’ cause in a sincerely, acutely, democratic, and serious struggle. We want students for farmers, corporate professionals for farmers, and the like but with nonpartisan banners. Theatre artists and musicians will be performing in Delhi on the days leading up to the March. There’s a paucity of time, but there’s huge interest in the public. We’ve set up a website called Dilli Chalo, where you can write in any language and about anything pertaining to this issue.

Kinjal: You talked about the middle class, that they are aware of their dependence on farmers but nevertheless reluctant to support their cause. Where do you think this insensitivity is stemming from?

Sainath: You are socialised by media that doesn’t show you the faces of farmers or poor people. Pick up a newspaper and show me how many faces of ordinary Indians appear on it. There are hardly any. It’s the same as how we develop an insensitivity walking home every night over people sleeping on the street. It’s how we deal with beggars, by shielding ourselves. That kind of withdrawal comes to the middle class very easily, especially the upper middle class. I’m not saying that they’re unethical people, I cater to them by writing in English. If I thought they were completely incapable of empathy, I would go do something else. But then there’s what I called the Nero’s Guest Syndrome – our party continues while the devastation continues. We have managed to create a world into which the reality is obfuscated.

Kinjal: Do you think loan waivers are used as a political gimmick to offer a simple solution to a complicated problem?

Sainath: The loan waiver is not the main issue of the agrarian crisis. It is a temporary relief, not permanent solution. By diverting the attention and making it look like the farmers just want waivers, they are dismissing the waivers given to Vijay Mallya, NPAs (Non-Performing Assets) worth INR 7,50,000 that come from big business and corporate houses.

Kinjal: When you reach out to people in rural areas, how do they perceive you? How do you make yourself one of them?

Sainath: They need to believe that you’re there out of concern and are not a parachute journalist. Every story that I write, I take photos and send them to the people featured in that story.

Kinjal: As a student of JNU, exactly what was it that compelled you to join your line of work?

Sainath: I come from a freedom struggle family. I grew up meeting and being amongst people who spent 15-20 years in British prisons. My grandfather spent 14 years in a British prison. The values of that generation are what inspired and drove me.

Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat

Interview taken by

Kinjal Pandey

[email protected]

Interview transcribed by:

Anoushka Sharma

[email protected]

Nikita Bhatia

[email protected]

On Sunday, 23rd September 2018, DU Beat conducted an interview with Aakash Choudhary, the newly elected Secretary of Delhi University Students Union from National Students’ Union of India.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Question: Tell us about your journey from being a student in Sri Aurobindo College to DUSU Secretary.
Aakash: I took admission in Sri Aurobindo College (SAC) in 2014 and later contested the election in college for the post of President in 2015. That was the biggest election in terms of margin of votes where I won by 450 votes. I also
stood in the state NSUI elections and continued my studies simultaneously. In 2017, I graduated from SAC and
took admission in Campus Law Centre. I cleared my first and second semester exams with an aggregate of 58 percent, with 75 percent attendance. Then, I contested for DUSU elections. The party also considered me since I
had a good academics and attendance record. I had also been very active in the student politics. I had planned all
this in 2012 itself.

Question: Now that you are the DUSU Secretary, which are the areas you would like to focus on?
Aakash: The off-campus colleges like Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Bhagini Nivedita College are very far and it takes almost
two hours to reach there. When I visited these colleges, I noticed there were no proper playgrounds and sports facilities for students. In fact, many off-campus colleges do not have a proper functional library, medical
room or even a water cooler. So, firstly, I would like to focus on these colleges and provide them with the facilities
available to the other colleges.

Question: How do you plan to ensure a violence-free campus where our academics remain free from political
Aakash: NSUI campaigned last year with the motto of ensuring a violence-free campus, free from money, and
muscle power. The campus was peaceful last year, with no violence and insolence. This year we repeated the points of violence free campus in our manifesto. However, due to some reasons we only won one seat in the elections. At present, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is in power with 3 seats. As you have seen the violence created by Shakti Singh and his supporters in Zakir Husain Delhi College and violence on Kawalpreet Kaur in Kirori Mal College was caused by ABVP. So, I feel that ABVP indulges in violence on campus.

Question: What was the moment that you recall as being particularly unique in course of your entire campaign?
Aakash: I went to campaign in 52 colleges of DU and felt so blessed that everyone gave me such a warm welcome. This is because of 4 years of hard work which I have done. I went to SAC 5 days before I got my election ticket. That moment was very overwhelming, all the students came out from their classes and cheered for me. In fact the day I got my ticket, I once again visited SAC, however I reached a little late. Most of the students had left, but still the
others gave me a very warm welcome. It’s said that the colleges in Kalkaji campus are dominated by ABVP, but
since I have studied from that campus, I proved it wrong which was evident in the election results where I won by a margin of 6700 votes.
Question: In DUSU, there is a famous saying, ‘Kabhi jaat, kabhi gujjar’. Why have DUSU elections become so caste
Aakash: This is primarily because maximum votes in DU are from both these communities. If you look at South Campus, maximum votes are from the jaat community whereas in Kalkaji Campus, gujjars dominate the voting scenario. Family support is another factor in politics which leads to the dominance of both these communities.
Question: Since you are from NSUI, student wing of Congress and Lok Sabha elections are going to be held next year. So do you think there will be a desire for Congress to return?
Aakash: I firmly believe that Congress is going to return in the next elections even if it’s in coalition with some
other parties. If you check the election results of Jaipur National University and many other universities, NSUI has
won with flying colours. Some people may feel that ABVP has bagged three out of four seats in DU and NSUI has fallen weak. But everyone knows the case of EVM tampering that took place on the result day. Along with this,
ABVP DUSU President Ankiv Baisoya is also under the scanner due to his fake degree.
Question: DUSU has always been a stepping stone for making entry into Indian politics. Arun Jaitley and Ajay
Maken are well known examples, so are your future plans also in line with this?
Aakash: Yes, I am currently pursuing law and will practice it for some time. My main focus will be in politics only. I
belong to Rajasthan and the area is still not developed. The mentality of many people in Rajasthan is still limited to sip a cup of tea and read the newspaper in the morning. I would like to work for my native place and develop the area.

Question: As the DUSU Secretary, what role do you think the Union plays and what stand should the Union take
on national issues?
Aakash: I think the reserved category students in DU don’t get equal opportunity. They need help financially. The funds of the reserved category students have been reduced to INR 1800 crores by the University which are still on hold. The central government is trying to bring autonomy and privatise education. The main job of the Union at present should be passing of funds for the students. Placements of the students should also be taken care of.
Question: You have been the President of the Students Union in your college. How has that helped you emerge as a
student leader?
Aakash: After becoming the President of SAC, I understood what I wanted to do. SAC has always been famous for
hooliganism and entry of outsiders. I remember an incident where J-star came to our college fest, someone slapped him, and apart from him 100 people were on stage creating ruckus. I didn’t like this at all. So when I became the President, the first and foremost thing I did was meeting and submitting an application to the SHO and DCP of Malviya Nagar. I told them that students in the fresher’s party should only be allowed with proper ID-Cards. I created a bit of pressure on them because of earlier instances that took place in the college. Also, during my tenure, I introduced two societies-Debating Society, and Arts and Crafts Society. I set a trend of a combined farewell of all the departments in the college like it takes place in North Campus. Now the canteen of SAC also has 5 functioning ACs. In short, the college has seen a transformation.

Question: We all are well-aware of the case of EVM tampering during the election results. What is the latest update on the same?

Aakash: The High Court has asked the University to secure the EVMs till 29th October 2018. I am hoping that the hearing reveals the true verdict. Aakash concluded the interview with a smile and said, “Baaki dekhenge aage!” (“Let’s see what happens next!”) The NSUI has also alleged that the DUSU elections 2018 were not
conducted in a free and fair manner. Many national political leaders like Ajay Maken have also spoken against
this issue, and pointed out that the University of Delhi should release some sort of clarification on the
problems of vote counting.


Feature Image Credits: Mahi Sanjay Panchal for DU Beat

Anoushka Sharma
[email protected]

St. Stephen’s college is the only Delhi University college to conduct interviews as part of its admission process. If you received a call letter and your interview is scheduled for the coming days, this article can help you ace it.

A member of the admissions interview panel at St.Stephen’s said, “The interview process for each subjects differs from others. Each department has a different interview panel. For science subjects, teachers look for students with an aptitude for science and related fields. For subjects like history, you look for students who are interested in the subject, who has read up on it a little beyond what the textbooks prescribe and shows an ability to read about political developments and comment interestingly on the texts one has read.”

Reminiscing her interview, Trishala Dutta, a 3rd year English honours student from St. Stephen’s says, “They asked me questions regarding the books I have read that had been part of my syllabus, earlier in school. I was questioned on the discourse of the texts, and my opinions on it.” The following pointers contain all the information you need to know:

1. Carry all the necessary documents: Those students who have already submitted their original documents to save a seat in another DU college can submit the photocopies of their documents. They might have to sign an undertaking that they will submit the originals within one month of admission, however, that only happens once the candidate has been selected after the interview round.

2. Read up on your course: Most often, college interviews are a test of your knowledge. So it is important not just to read to be well-informed about the course you are applying to, but also to ascertain the specific part of that course you are more interested in. For instance, if you are applying for a B.A. History (Honours) it is important to know what period, what kind of history you are more interested in. That will show the admission officers you have done your homework.

3. Make eye contact: Do not be nervous. Take the interview as a conversation you might have with your relatives on topics that you might have with someone whom you have met for the first time. It is ideal to make eye contact with the interviewers as it exudes confidence and sincerity.

4. Think before you speak: Often in our haste to answer questions, we stumble in between our sentences, using pause fillers like “umm” and “err” that will only make our thoughts look incoherent. Gather your thoughts and then answer.

5. Be yourself: Admissions officers have done thousands of interviews and can see through students quicker than psychologists. So, don’t tell them you live for the love of science unless you have a backyard science project to show them. It is better to be honest and truthful as lying in an interview can cost you heavily.

6. Prepare for the general questions: Here is a list of general questions that the interviewers normally ask students:
Why did you choose this course?
Why did you choose this college?
What are your passions, your hobbies and your interests?
What are three interesting things about you that I wouldn’t know from your application?
How do you intend to use your college education to achieve your future goals?

DU Beat wishes you all the luck for your interviews!


Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Sara Sohail
[email protected]

This spoken word poet from Gargi College went on to win the National Youth Poetry Slam in India in 2016 and also represented India in Chicago’s International Poetry Slam competition. Here are excerpts from our rendezvous with Diksha Bijlani:

Q. How did your National Youth Poetry Slam victory and subsequent presentation at Chicago’s International Slam CUPSI feel like? Has the power of your reach and the charisma of your personality dawned on you yet?

Diksha: My Gargi college team and I went to National Youth Poetry Slam (NYPS) content with being part of a space that, for the first time, was going to celebrate spoken word poetry. It felt like a gift, to be able to share stage with the top college teams from around the country, with a spoken word collective from Pakistan, with featured poets from India and beyond. So when the moment of winning came, it felt unreal. We had this huge-ass trophy to fly from Bangalore to Delhi, and every moment of explaining the airport staff or fellow passengers how exactly three tiny girls ended up with a huge golden trophy on this IndiGo flight, was blissful with the memory of it.

But if NYPS was a gift, CUPSI Chicago was a reward. Each moment of being appreciated there as the Indian team, each moment of sharing space with an entire diaspora of poets and listening to their stories, every moment of hearing “Oh, are you that Indian poet from Button Poetry?!”, felt rewarding. Weeks of practices that led to NYPS that led to Chicago led to us being in that moment, and I had nothing in my heart but gratitude. Our feature at the finals in Chicago even received a standing ovation! We were part of a brown poets meet over there, and we witnessed Haiku slams and Nerd slams. At the CUPSI finals, we also witnessed the entire community standing up against a white entitled something called Marc Smith who has been called the founder of slam poetry. His poem was deeply problematic, and all the finalist teams decided to withdraw from the competition that year as a revolt against the organisers for inviting him to perform. We made poet friends from around the globe, who are currently the most positive people in our life.

The power of this reach instills gratitude in me because it invokes the realisation that there are now more people I can help, or support with words. Each time someone at a slam tells me they find solace in my art, or that they started performing poetry because of me, it is a humbling realisation of my potential to empower- and that is what keeps me going on days I don’t feel the most poetic.

Q. How has your journey of founding Slip of Tongue been like till now, along with performing with your collective at various places? 

Diksha: We started Slip of Tongue with a vision to connect more people with this art form, and also to experiment with spoken word and music through collaborations. The journey has been very enterprising, we have done workshops and shows across Universities, and also continued to organise our own official events called ‘Slips’. Fourth Slip was held just recently, and it surpassed our expectations with more than 120 people showing up just to listen to poems, music, and us.

Q. You have often spoken about your high-functioning depression, when did you first realize it and how have you dealt with it? 

Diksha: I realised I had it last year, primarily when I noticed that my achievements and professional success did not make me happy. I was a productive, well-performing, and to some extent even overachieving individual, but most of it felt like a coping mechanism to ward off the emotional turbulence inside. And when the day was over and the show was done, I returned to bed at night with this persistent void inside of me. One of my ways of dealing with it was to write and perform my poem ‘High Functioning Depression’. Another way I have tried to deal with it is to practice gratitude constantly and towards the smallest of positive things I witness every day.

Q. How do you think the culture and scenario of spoken word differ in India and Chicago? Do you see slam poetry becoming a profession in India anytime soon?

Diksha: I think a major point of difference is representation. The spoken word community in the US has much more representation across communities and especially oppressed communities, but in India, this proportion of representation is something we are yet to attain. Although we have made great progress on some ends, and there are a lot of women at slams telling their stories. But this representation still needs to percolate more to queer poets, Dalits, Muslims, queer Dalits, people with disabilities, non-English spoken poets, and all other underrepresented communities.

It already is a profession, and there are many campaigns that are now employing spoken word poets for their execution. It is yet to be seen as a profession yet, which I think will happen over time with more and more organisers paying the artists they call to perform, and better-prized competitions coming around.

Q. If spoken word ever becomes a profession, would you take it up full-time?

Diksha: I have chosen the path of public service for myself, and while poetry is very poetically a kind of public service too, in the next few years the public policy is going to be my primary profession of interest. I will never stop doing spoken word though, and even for the next few years, it is going to be a second profession for me. In the late future, I might take up teaching spoken word full-time for a while, or organising international spoken word events in India.

Q. What do you think of the recent developments in Shamir Reuben’s case?

Diksha: The revelations about him have made us realise that sexual predators in safe spaces are the hardest to spot. This has made us take conscious efforts now to spot this behavior, call it out, and reinstate poetry slams are safe spaces. For the same reason, the Slip of Tongue event that happened right after was a fundraiser with an NGO called Sayfty that trains women against sexual abuse. The community as a whole has become cognizant of this, and we are trying to do better every single day since.


Feature Image Credits: Paul Finney for NYPS

Prachi Mehra
[email protected]

In August 2017, Prakriti Sharma along with her teammates Raghav Shadija, and Ankita Grewal were declared as the Asia-Pacific Regional winners of GOMC (Google Online Marketing Challenge) – a renowned and coveted competition on a worldwide scale. They were felicitated at the Google Offices, in an all-expenses-paid trip to Singapore. We had a quick chat with Prakriti, where she told us the nitty-gritties of competition and her learning experience out of it.

Q1. What are you doing currently?

I graduated from Maitreyi College with a B. Sc in Physical Sciences. I was offered a job through college placements but I resigned within two months. In the meantime, I did freelance projects for clients of different levels in varied domains. I was also offered jobs from CVent, OYO, and other startups, but they didn’t pan out because I felt that I should not rush into another job and be patient. Later, I was offered a job at Gartner for the role of a Marketing Analytics Specialist, which I readily took. Being a fresher, this is the best opportunity I can get.

Q2. How did you come to know about this competition? How did you go about it, whilst managing college?

I got to know about this competition through regular Google surfing. I decided that I wanted to take part in this as I was interested in marketing, despite being a student from the science background. The competition was about Google Adwords, and understandably, it was necessary for us to study extensively. Since I’m very active on LinkedIn, I contacted the previous global winners of the competition and sought advice on how to choose clients and what kind of a business the client should be engaged in. Soon, we developed a strategy according to the finalised client, but because of this, we had to miss internals and classes, something which I was habituated to by then. (laughs)

After submitting a pre-campaign report with the background of the company, we were supposed to run a 21-day campaign on a limited budget. Since the semester exams were coming close, we had to manage exams alongside the campaign. Following an amazing experience of 3 weeks, we had to compile all results in a post-campaign report. It involved mentioning our strategy, weekly reports, results, how much were we able to fulfill, and our learning component out of the competition.

Q3. What was your learning experience from this competition?

I worked with people whom I had never known, and this opportunity was the biggest I’ve ever gotten. Since the platform was Google Adwords, we could not have gotten hands-on experience on it otherwise. We had to work and collaborate with clients and stay within a budget constraint.

It was an amazing experience where I put theory into practical use as I could point out the many loopholes in AdWords by the end of this competition. At the end of the first week’s campaign, we couldn’t fulfill our targets. But, we searched and devised our own optimization tricks and tiny things we would not have noticed otherwise, to get the results to vary drastically. Like this, we discovered many tricks and we finally achieved the desired result by the end, which exceeded our estimations by a huge margin. I’m now able to implement this concept and make sure of the loopholes in my freelancing projects.

Additionally, I’ve learned Facebook PPC and LinkedIn advertising as well, and now I’m involved in company branding. I realised my love for marketing because I tried my hand in so many related activities in my first year in college. Even in my job interviews, I was mainly asked about my role in the competition and the interviewers judged my resourcefulness and interpersonal skills, the campaign problems and how I overcome them.

Q4. How did DU help you in this experience?

In DU, I definitely got a lot of exposure in varied activities. I participated in an umpteen number of competitions and grew personally through every opportunity. If you are active, some teachers do support you in the process. I got to represent my college in a Himalayan conclave in the 2nd year,  that was funded by DU. I also founded a society called Vaigyanik in college to bring all the projects of science students under one umbrella. Many teachers questioned and resisted, but there were many at the same time who helped me and supported me despite my absence in classes. This number of opportunities is certainly not available in other universities.

Q5. Do you have any piece of advice for freshers?

Google has scrapped this competition, but AdWords digital training and video courses and certifications are currently available on the GOMC website for free. Many such online marketing and case study competitions keep happening, for which you have to surf on your own, as such provisions are not provided by DU. I would advise students to go for as many startup events, corporate conferences, and case study competitions as possible. It helps immensely if a student is active on LinkedIn and is able to network and connect, as it helps in personal branding and profile building. Summer schools are also a good option, provided the budget is sufficiently available for that. Subscribing to newsletters and websites can assist one’s search for international events and competitions on a global scale. It only helps if students keep an eye out for as many opportunities as possible.

Q6. How was your experience at the Google Office, Singapore?

We were invited to stay at Singapore for a week’s time in January, where we were felicitated with google merchandise and official recognition as the regional winners of GOMC. After the presentation round of our campaign reports and journey as a team, we were acquainted with the Google office and given umpteen office tours. Sessions were held, and we interacted with Google employees who had been working with Google for the past few years. Soon after that, we began with the much-awaited Singapore tour. All in all, It was a brilliant experience to be a part of.


Feature Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur

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Interview by Vijeata Balani

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