With an unwavering devotion to Old School Rock n Roll music and measureless energy which they offset at the stage with the purpose of making each and every person in the crowd jump out of their seats and rock with them, Delhi-based band Distortion of Mischief (DOM) proudly calls itself as ‘People’s Band’. Comprising of 5 members; Ashutosh as vocalist, Minaam as Lead Guitarist, Ishaan as Rhythm Guitarist, Guru on drums and Mahesh as Bassist, this band is a bunch of jumpy, high spirited and mischievous members which they all vow to be deeply embed in their personalities.

Here DU Beat gets in conversation with the band members and let’s see what they’ve got to say!

Q: When was your band formed? What is the genre of the music that you people usually play?
A: Distortion of Mischief was formed about 7 months ago in October 2013 after the breakdown of a previous band.
We’re into Rock n Roll and Classic Rock music.

Q: Where all has DOM performed till now? What response do you usually get from people after your performances?
A: In the past 7 months we’ve played in about 17 places out of which 15 were college fests and Battles. Public response, well we can say they love us, at least our compositions, from the way they react when we’re off stage, congratulating and praising our most popular composition ‘Bombshell’.

Q: Which famous musician/artist/band does Distortion of Mischief usually take inspiration from?

A: We’re all hardcore ACDC fans. And owe them big time for what we are today. Every time we walk onstage to perform even one cover of them (which people say we do quite well), the crowd goes wild no matter where we are.

Q: How often and long do you people rehearse? What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc?
A: More than rehearsal, it’s the bonding we have between us, we do practice, but more than that hang around a lot which kind of helps us understand each other better, in turn helping us perform better. And when we’re practicing; we do more of new tunes that pops up every now and then when we jam together.

Q: What major awards, achievements has DOM bagged till now?
A: Every prize we get is important in its own way…Okay that is a very old one to quote here!
But honestly it’s the crowd cheering for us that counts more than the prize. But if you insist (which you will), our first victory at Fortune Institute of International Business was the most important and memorable one.
And after that over a period of 7 months and in 15 competitions we’ve won around 11 of them.

Q: How do you see your rock band for English music fitting the culture of Indian music? What is the scope of rock music in our country?
A: We’ve never felt that English was never supported in India, it always has been and we’ve been able to make many people like Distortion of Mischief and Rock n Roll too.

Q: Do you people write your own songs? What are the songs generally about? (Any specific themes)
A: Yup, we write our own songs, we’ve got around 6-7 compositions in our list. The topics of our songs are mainly mischief, fun and well girls to be very honest.

Q: How do you justify the name of your band with the music that you play?
A: Distortion of Mischief is mainly all about fun and mischief. Being a band that plays Rock N Roll, we add fun and mischief to our music and performance, on stage and off stage too.

Q: Since everyone is a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
A: It’s more about the music that you guys play. Stick to the genre that you’re playing and don’t think whether this genre is supported or not. If you like it, play it. Oh yeah… and don’t do drugs (laughs).

Q: Tell us one thing which you feel that sets you apart from various upcoming bands in the country.
A: We call ourselves the “People’s Band”, we’re more fun and crazy when it comes to performing. Plus we’ve got this mission to resurrect Classic Rock in this age of music, so that’s how we think we’re different.

One can find more about their upcoming gigs and music on their Facebook page.

Shreyak Mahajan, a final year student of Mechanical and Automation engineering at Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, recently undertook a once in a lifetime expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula as Tetra Pak’s Youth Ambassador. He accompanied Sir Robert Brown, the first person to walk to both the North and the South Pole. DU Beat correspondent Brij Pahwa recently sat down to talk to him about this memorable experience, and what he took away from it.

Brij : Hello, Shreyak! First of all congratulations for your life-changing expedition and for making the country proud.

Shreyak : Thank you! I was overwhelmed by the experience.

Brij : Before we discuss your journey, I would like to ask you how you bagged such an opportunity!

Shreyak : You would have probably heard of the organizations, TERI and Tetra Pak. These two have been working hard to encourage youth leaders and through them, the youth of this country to think about the environmental concerns of our day and age. So they have this youth program known as LEADearthSHIP, wherein they provide fellowships to 24 people all across India. And I got a chance to be one of them!

Brij : How did you get the chance to head towards the Antarctic Peninsula?

Shreyak : Well, the other part of the LEADearthSHIP programme was to select a Youth Ambassador for the year 2014-15 who would then join Sir Robert Swan, for the International Antarctic Expedition. This year, I was selected for the same along with 6 other people from different walks of life.

Brij : And when did this expedition start and what was the goal of the same?

Shreyak : We departed for Antarctica on the 8th of March. The goal behind this expedition was to sensitize students and corporates (who went on the journey) about the environmental concerns and sustainability. This program is known as ‘Leadership on the Edge’ and is managed by Robert Swan’s organisation ‘2041’. The main focus is on enhancing leadership skills, personal development and teamwork. And of course, the emphasis is to motivate us to start local environmental programs when we go back to our own countries.

Brij : Tell us more about your experience in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Shreyak : Everyday was a new and unique experience. And being in such a demanding environment, when you explore the ecosystem and wildlife of the place, go hiking up glaciers, move around in the sea and inland lakes, it is in fact challenging and life-transforming.

Brij: Sounds interesting. And what was your routine in Antarctica like?

Shreyak: We were briefed at the start of each new day. The clothes required, wind conditions, gears required and so on. Sometimes, we went on the Zodiacs (inflatable boats) and moved around the peninsula.

Brij: Any unique experience that you’d like to share?

Shreyak: So, one day we were riding on a Zodiac when a Humpback Whale started encircling our boat and literally snorted on us while doing the same. Well, how many people can say that they have been snorted on by a whale? (laughs) And there was this other unique experience where I saw a Leopard Seal kill a Penguin!

Brij: Any scary moments from the trip? An avalanche, perhaps?

Shreyak: Yes! There were avalanches but not of the level that can be considered dangerous.

Brij: When someone goes on such an adventurous expedition, one also incurs some psychological changes apart from physical. Anything of that sort?

Shreyak: When we were hiking up the glaciers, we became so exhausted that we couldn’t even see what was ahead of us. At that moment, when you can’t see the person in front of you, still you know that your life depends on that person ( everyone is tied by a rope ), you learn something. You learn how people have the capability of affecting you; in this case your life or death.

Brij : That’s quite a thoughtful remark, Shreyak. Now, that we have talked about your expedition and your experience, I’d like to ask you, apart from taking up such global initiatives, what else do you enjoy working on?

Shreyak : Well, before this, I have worked on 2 United Nations programs dedicated to the sector of education namely, UNSCD and UNDDD. Apart from that, I love playing basketball.

Brij : Thank you Shreyak for sharing your life changing experience with us. To wrap up, is there a message you’d like to pass on to our readers?

Shreyak :  Make a commitment towards solving any problem and see it through. If possible empower others by working with them towards your vision allowing them to take it to new heights. I would also recommend that people choose a single relevant project that can impact a local community. Such projects can provide us with global solutions.

Saniya Shaikh is a 2nd year student studying in Lady Shri Ram College for Women. But she is no ordinary girl; she represents the Indian contingent in Skeet Shooting. DU Beat was able to catch an interview with this inspiring sports person.

At what age did you start shooting skeet and what got you into the sport?

I was 13 years old when I started shooting skeet. Being born in a family where my grandfather, dad and all my uncles are national level shooters, the sport runs in my blood. Growing up with guns and accompanying my dad to the shooting range in competitions was a part of my childhood. I got into this sport because of my dad. He always tells me, “I prayed to the Almighty Allah to bless me with a daughter as my first child and I wanted her to be a daughter.” So it was all because of my dad’s dream that I got into this beautiful sport because he saw this dream for me even before I was born and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for introducing me to this sport.

What all competitions have you participated in?

I have participated in more than 30 world cups, world championships, Asian shooting competitions, Commonwealth shooting and a few Grand Prix.

Tell us a little about your daily routine and training.

I get up at 4 in the morning and then train for 8-9 hours, which gets a little difficult since my training hours clash with my college timings. In the evening I hit the gym and exercise for 2 hours as I am a gym freak.

Given that it is an unconventional sport for Indian kids, did you face any problems on your way to becoming a professional player?

The best thing I love about Shooting is that it is an unconventional sport. It’s different and interesting. A girl like me would have never settled for something conventional (laughing) or less interesting than shooting. Also, there has always been a huge support from my family and that’s why I never felt any problem.

Who had the greatest impact on your shooting career?

My father! He is a real inspiration to me. I am pretty sure he would have gone through a tough time training a kid like me. So now, I am going to get him an Olympic Gold!

In your spare time, what else do you like to do?

I love listening to music. I am also learning to play a guitar at the moment. Moreover, I am a big fan of Usain Bolt and hence, I read about him a lot. I have got two pets and I like to pamper them. I also love horse-riding.

Did you receive any aid from DU to further promote you as a player?

All I can say is in India we give importance to a very few sports like cricket and tennis but sports like shooting do not get the same kind of recognition and support. However, thing are changing gradually and as a shooter, I will do whatever I can to make it a more appreciated and recognised sport in India.

What is the best advice that you can give to a young aspiring Shooter?

I would just like to say that every shot is the first shot. Shoot as if you are never going to shoot again. Do not think about the misses. We all miss, we are all humans. Show the world that you are the best!

Though this was her maiden attempt but she surely went near to hit a century in her CAT exams. Meet Nandita who has achieved 99.36 percentile. Currently pursuing B.Com (H) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, she credits her success to sheer determination.

DU beat catches up with Nandita in a free-wheeling interview.


When did you start preparing for CAT?

Nandita: I started preparing in November 2012. This gave me ample of time and I could study without any pressure. But I got really serious about CAT in August and that is when I did most of my preparation.

What was your preparation strategy for CAT?

Nandita: My basic strategy was to take as many mock tests and Aimcats as possible. This helped me to identify my weak points and then I worked on them. I never took a lot of pressure or studied for long hours. Since I enjoy reading novels, my VA was already pretty strong. For quant, the study material from coaching institutes and the mock tests helped me.

Was it difficult to prepare for CAT with College?

Nandita: It was not at all difficult to do that. College used to be over by around 3-4 and since my CAT classes used to be after that, I could easily manage both. Although I did miss a lot of classes due to my internship, it didn’t affect my preparations a lot. Surprisingly, I scored very well in my college exams also this time.

Which management institutes are you vying for and why?

Nandita: Right now I have calls from IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta. I am vying for Ahmedabad because of its high rankings and good placements. Also, the shortlists of other colleges like FMS are still not out, which I am waiting for.

How are you preparing for WAT/GD/PI?

Nandita: I am reading up as much as I can. Reading newspapers and keeping myself updated on the latest happenings. I am also polishing my interest areas, i.e. finance. Basically, I am gathering as much information as I can on various topics so that I am well prepared for any question that the interviewers put up.

Any advice for our readers? OR Any tips for future CAT aspirants?

Nandita: I would suggest that don’t take too much of pressure. Identify your weak areas and work on them. Most people tend to work on their already strong areas because they enjoy solving questions which they can easily solve. I never did that and that worked for me. Instead of studying for long hours, take mock tests with proper time constraints as managing time is very important in cat.

Next we have in store for you the success secrets of Prakhar Jain who scored 99.24 percentile in CAT 2013. He is in final year of his Graduation from SRCC and credits his success to a modest upbringing and family support.


When did you start preparing for CAT?

Prakhar: My CAT coaching started from July 2012 but effectively I started preparing around mid 2013.

What was your preparation strategy for CAT?

Prakhar: Initially my strategy was to ensure conceptual clarity. Once I was sure about all the concepts I started practicing questions from different sources.

Was it difficult to prepare for CAT with College?

Prakhar: Preparing for CAT was my priority and I prepared a schedule to make sure that I get some time for CAT preparation after college which made it quite comfortable for me to manage both the things.

Any advice for our readers or any tips for future CAT aspirants?

Prakhar: The only advice I can give to future CAT aspirants is to practice a lot. It is the only thing that helped me.

Now that FMS has released the list of candidates selected for the Personal Interview round for BMS admissions, it’s time to prepare for the next stage! Though interviews may seem daunting, they are actually quite easy to ace if tackled properly. We bring you some important points to keep in mind while preparing for the same.

  • Though every interview is different depending on the candidate, you can expect to be asked some of the following questions:
    *Introduce yourself/Tell us something about yourself.
    *What are your hobbies and interests?
    *Why do you want to study BMS?
    *What do you plan to do after completing your graduation?
    *If you had to pick one college out of the 6 for BMS, which one would you take up?
    *What are your weaknesses and strengths?
    *What have been your main achievements in school?You could try and prepare a few of these answers beforehand. Do some research on the course i.e. the syllabus, DC II options, applied courses, etc.
  • It always helps to sit and make a list of your interests and achievements. Even if you think you haven’t achieved too much in your school life, it’s highly probable that there must have been some activities you took part in. So just sit down and collect your thoughts. Once you’re done with that, think about how you want to highlight each point.
  • Focus on achievements over responsibilities. For example, rather than simply saying that you were the President of the Debate Club in your school, talk about how you helped train the team or which competitions your team won.
  • Definitely talk about any competitions you might have won, NGO work or internships you might have been involved in and your academic achievements.
  • Remember that in a lot of ways you direct the path of the interview based on your answer. This will help you prepare for the same. For example, if you plan to mention reading as a hobby, you should expect the next question to be about the latest book you’ve read or your favourite book. Similarly, if you’re asked what your favourite subject in school was, the next few questions to follow will be on the same.
  • Try not to bluff your way through the questions. Interviewers can usually see right through people who lie and exaggerate. Be honest as far as possible.
  • Pay attention to your body language and posture. Sit up straight, relax and don’t be fidgety or distracted.
  • Remember to dress smartly. It’s best to stick to formals. For guys, this means an ironed pair of trousers and crisp shirt. If you’re a girl, you could wear a skirt or pair of pants with a shirt. Do wear formal shoes and make sure your hair looks neat. Don’t forget to smile!
  • Do not be impolite or rude to the interviewers. Be respectful and courteous. This includes wishing them when you walk into the room.
  • If possible, try arranging a mock interview. Even if you’re not enrolled into any coaching centre, you could ask a friend or senior to help you out.
  • Lastly, relax and be yourself. It’s perfectly natural to be a little nervous. Maintain a calm and composed stance no matter what the question may be. Remember that confidence is key!

You can check the PI schedule for 2013 here.

Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

After waiting for almost an hour outside that imposing room, and with the already investigated coming out with sunken faces and the words, ‘They screwed me, man’, tumbling out of their slipping tongues, it was finally my turn to step into the battlefield.

‘How bad could it possibly be’, I constantly asked myself. I had to see it to believe it. So in I stepped, believing firmly in myself, and with confidence pouring out on my face. Clad in a simple t-shirt and cargo shorts, I didn’t think my wardrobe would affect my encounter much considering I was told about the sit down an hour back.

This room was situated in the pristine premises of Sri Venkateswara College. The ‘torture’ chair was surrounded by a group of three canescent men, which I later came to know included the vice supremo, some office babu and the history head teacher, with condescending looks on their faces and that know-it-all, somewhat old man-like smile; and of course the supremo, who looked quite clueless, but was clearly happy about something, the reason for which laid beyond the scope of my relatively immature mind.

After all, it was just an interview. A few questions shot towards you. You either shoot back, duck for cover or die a martyr. This interview was supposed to judge whether you are good enough to be a part of a cultural exchange program undertaken by DU, in collaboration with an Aussie university.

So a series of questions were shot at me. They wanted to know what my take on Hinduism was, and what made an increasing amount of foreigners to come to India in search of spiritual guidance. I gave a long drawn answer, trying to explain how every individual would like to explore and try new things.

Apparently, they didn’t really appreciate one of my explanations that included the words, ‘the grass always looks greener on the other side’. I think they took serious offence to that phrase and tried all their might to relate it to the assumption that I look down upon my country (WHAT?!). After all, speaking something that they do not wish to hear (or not speaking something that they wish to hear) doesn’t go down well with quite a lot of people.

Several minutes and several questions later, this one gentleman (in a heavy, somewhat incomprehensible South Indian accent), asks me, “Tell us five Indians who have influenced the world”. At least that is what I could figure out. So just to confirm, I repeated, “You want me to name five Indian people who have influenced the world, right?” Suddenly, the clueless head honcho sprung to life in much the same way as a visibly unconscious man suffering from multiple organ failures in one of our movies, springs right into action on being given the ‘shock therapy’ and goes on to save the love of his life from the Mafia hideout. She loudly said, “NO! Tell us five people from the world who have influenced India.”
(*Facepalm* in my head) I looked towards the gentleman who had posed the question. Looking sorry, he clarified, “No, you have to name five Indians who have influenced the world.” The poor woman reached an all time high in cluelessness.

This seemed like an interesting question. So I began with the obvious name that would come to everybody’s mind, the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The second name that came to my mind was Mr. Narayan Murthy, Co-founder and ex-Chairman of Infosys, and I was quite confident that the gentleman who asked me this question would be extremely delighted on hearing this name. And quite apparently he was. Thinking hard, the next person I named was Mr. Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro and a well-known philanthropist. These men have made a great name for themselves and their companies internationally, and have helped establish the new wave of Indian MNCs.

But I was now told, that I am only naming people from the IT sector, and chances are that most of the world would not be aware of them, or the work that they have done. Seriously Whattt? This sounded utterly ridiculous to me, so I blasted out, losing a bit of my patience, and telling them, “I am sure that any one who would make the effort of opening the newspaper, would definitely be aware of these people.” They, however, still did not seem to agree with me, so then to give further strength to my argument I added, “If I agree with what you say, in that case we cannot include Sachin Tendulkar in this list either, because only the countries that actually play cricket, which are quite a few, would be aware of his tremendous contribution to the game.”

This was met by a lot of noise, some voices of laughter, some of denial, some blatantly dismissive but there was no concrete statement made by either one of them to counter this argument of mine.

Then suddenly, another gentleman, trying to end the confusion surrounding the previous question and the answers that followed, asked me, “What do you think about dressing?”

“Excuse me? What exactly do you mean by that?” I said, trying to sound as polite as possible, though I knew exactly what he meant.

Trying to clarify, he said, “I mean, should there be dress codes imposed? Do you think that you should be dressed according to the institution or the situation?”
Clearly heating up, I said, “No. I don’t think any kind of a dress code should be imposed upon any individual by any one. We are all old enough to decide for ourselves, and I don’t think such moral policing is required in this modern day world.”

But clearly, he didn’t seem to agree with me. Frankly I would have worn a tuxedo, black tie or even a sherwani if that would have secured me a sane interview. But the babus at the college thought an hour’s notice was good enough for the series of questions. After a long (somewhat heated) argument, everyone in the room thought that they had had enough. And I, honestly, was dying to get out of this room filled with such obnoxious and narrow-minded self proclaimed harbingers of an enlightened generation.

I knew that I had blown any chance of me being a part of the exchange program, but I could proudly step out of the room and fearlessly say, that to an extent, “I screwed them, man!”

Aayush Saxena
Sri Venkateswara College