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By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
"I was there in Delhi with my entire family....Jaya, Abhishek, Shweta, my son-in-law, Amar Singhji. This is my third doctorate and given to me by the vice-chancellor. The first was from Jhansi University and the second at de Montford.... It was nice being on the Delhi University campus on Saturday again...I went there after a very long time. I do keep going now and then. Lots of changes have happened. A whole contingent from the college was there cheering. It felt really good. I met up with old friends. Delhi University is much like Cambridge University in the way the campus is laid out with all the colleges bunched together.
A surge of memories came back to me...But I must tell you, receiving the degree at Delhi was very different from de Montford. In England the trumpets are blown and the organ plays. Here in Delhi Vedic mantras were recited. I'd have liked to spend more time. But the crowds got restless. So we had to depart in a hurry. I think it was Abhishek's presence that caused all the commotion. We weren't able to say our traditional bye-byes. But it was a happy occasion.
There're times when I'm in Delhi, I sometimes drive by Delhi University with my children , incognito. That's a wonderful experience. I've kept up with some of my friends from college, though they're out of the country. I look back with great affection at my college days . After the regimented life in school and the discipline observed by your parents in the house, college is very liberating...just attending classes, relaxing in the canteen, going off to see movies... There's a freedom of choice of thought, and you can use your time as you want. I bunked classes to go to the movies, stand outside girls' colleges and get into buses with them....When I mentioned this in my speech in Delhi on Saturday there was loud jubilation since fifty percent of the students are ladies. Shiela Dixit who was present, enjoyed that.....Delhi was fun.
Then began the struggle to get a job in Kolkata. I worked in two companies. Then a couple of months in Delhi to decide what to do next. And then to Mumbai to pursue my acting dreams. Acting was always an abiding passion. I was always in plays in college. I did my father's Hindi translations of Shakespeare. I miss watching theatre. I wish I had time to watch plays now. I'd love go back on stage. But it's frightening thought."