Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Campus Life – The iGen, Delhi University

The Delhi walla's pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls - Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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Campus Life – The iGen, Delhi University

The new blood.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

It was all there. Love, hatred, and kiss too. Mr Navin Sharsar was about to kiss Ms Pankhuri Awasthy in the empty BA (Prog) classroom on the first floor of the Hindu College in Delhi University. Their lips inched closer, but suddenly, Ms Pankhuri turned away.

Relax. This was no clandestine college romance. It was just Miss Julie, a play for which rehearsals were on in full swing. The Delhi Walla was invited by the student actors of Hindu College to watch the action. It was the countdown to a landmark event. For the first time the Hindu College actors were to stage a ticketed performance outside the campus walls, at Akshara theatre in Central Delhi. And there was nothing ‘official’ about it — the students clarified that this was a personal venture, and the college was not associated with it.

“We ourselves designed and printed the tickets,” said Mr Vikalp Mudgal, president of Masque, the college’s English dramatics society. To me, however, more interesting was to see the emergence of a new class – the iGeneration. This is a new set of Delhi University students with no dress codes, no gawkiness, no ideologies. They all might not own iPods but look like as if they do. They might be religious, but have no problems with other faiths. They don’t feel the need to impress outsiders but are impressive nonetheless. Sex, yes, is still a big thing but not hard to get. They are all that what you wanted to be when you were of their age.

“Our play has every emotion,” said Mr Arjun Srinivas, a first year student who plays Julie’s lover, Jean, along with Mr Navin. (Because of back-to-back performances, there were two Julies and two Jeans in the same play).

A part of their third year syllabus, the play’s plotline was about a countess’s footman falling for his mistress’s daughter. Originally written in French by August Strindberg in the 19th century, the play was set in an unspecified village.

Why France? Why not do a simple Raj-meets-Priya story set in Kamla Nagar? “Come on,” said Ms Mrinalini Jain, the play’s director and the first year Philosophy (H) student. “Why would I like to watch KNags when I go there everyday?” Mr Arjun chipped in, “We want to get out of our comfort zone.” Mr Naveen argued, “Listen, we deal with real theatre, not Shakespeare.”

The play was to be staged the next week and everyone was feeling the pressure. Rehearsal timings had acquired the discipline of a cantonment schedule: from 1.30pm to 5.30pm; six days a week. “No lunch breaks for us,” said director Mrinalini. These orders had come from the top — from president Mudgal who sat in the back benches to lord over the proceedings.

By the way, all actors in Miss Julie were fuchhas (freshers), except Mr Navin and Mr Vikalp, the final year students. Doesn't director Mrinalini felt a little… junior? “But I’m directing,” she thundered. “While Navin is also our society’s vice-president, I don’t hesitate to stop him in the middle of the performance if I’m not satisfied.”

The vice-prez, no lamb himself, had a quiet dignity around him. “When you’re doing a play, then director is the boss,” he said.

In the scene when Mr Arjun was shouting at Ms Prashansa Sharma, the second Julie, director Mrinalini suddenly trooped on to the ‘stage’ with her script and asked Mr Arjun to put in more rage in his voice. “Sometimes I get irritated by her,” confessed Mr Arjun. “But then she’s calling the shots here.”

A sudden burst of laughter would sometimes upset the ‘intense’ drama, so carefully cultivated during the rehearsals. And when the retakes got exhausting, someone sneaked out to get iced tea and Maggi noodles from the canteen. “We have to scream so much during the rehearsals that we feel really thirsty and then iced tea is the only refuge,” said Ms Prashansa.

The play, by the way, was not icy at all. It had a very intimate scene between Julie and her lover. There were some cuss words too. “We’ve used words like ‘bastard’, ‘footman’s whore’, and ‘servant’s slut’ in the script,’ informed Ms Mrinalini.

Would people pay to watch their performance? “We’ve publicised it on facebook and other social networking sites,” said Mr Mudgal. “Our friends and families would come anyway,” he added. Better not snub the iGen.

Our time starts now

Love Aaj Kal


Shh, they're rehearsing

Campus Life – The iGen, Delhi University

Shh, they're rehearsing

Campus Life – The iGen, Delhi University

Shh, they're rehearsing

Campus Life – The iGen, Delhi University

Shh, they're rehearsing

Campus Life – The iGen, Delhi University

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Campus Life – The iGen, Delhi University

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Campus Life – The iGen, Delhi University

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The iGen

Love Aaj Kal

7 comments:

Rajiv said...

wooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww.may this play b succesful,Nd iGen is also mast :):D

blackrat said...

Thank You. The 'love aaj kal' photo gets some much-needed context.

Mrinal Mech said...

What do you do to make all those photos come at the end. I want to do such a thing with my blog. have an article then a cptioned picture gallery below.

DU News said...

great stuff, direct from campus....

Wud lov to find more Delhi University coverage.....


keep rocking

RAHUL said...

g8 yar..it must b a rocking yar...

RAHUL said...

w00000000000000000000000......md iogen is mast and rockiong man..u will do it..

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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