The most unusual award recipient DU has ever seen... ME! Nostalgia!

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 2:14 AM in , ,

So this is another brief flash of motivation that has got me writing (despite my incessant instructions to myself to complete the more important jobs at hand…like finishing up the book that I’m currently reading!). Another habit that seems to have set in is that now I usually write when the world is sweetly tugged away in their blankets…deep in slumber…i.e. at night…usually after midnight. Night offers what I crave for the most…solitude! Stillness instills peace.

Anyway, coming back to what I’ve thought of writing about today… Allow me to take you back in time (actually a trip down memory lane for me!)… the day is the 1st of March 2006, 9:30 in the morning. Delhi was regaining normalcy after an unusually long cold-spell…and people were once again out on the streets (not that they had ever mastered the art of staying indoors or anything!), enjoying the bright sun that now finally allowed them the luxury of shedding off their woolens! I was comfortably tugged in my sheets… sitting in front of the T.V…. with a cup of coffee and the morning’s newspaper… in my most casual attire… assuming that college was off today on account of some valedictory function… waiting patiently for the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to come and announce the annual budget for FY2006. Now the newspaper told me that the ‘Government Of India’ had released the ‘Economic Survey Report 2005-2006’ and impatient as I can be, I got up to go to my colony’s ‘paperwallah’ to get myself a copy of the same. Now it just so happened that as I was getting up, my phone buzzed (only to startle me out of my wits!). It was a class-mate of mine informing me that today was the ‘NSS Valedictory Function’ and I was receiving a certificate for my services to the ‘National Service Scheme’… and also that I was already very late! Whoa… my dreams of a quite, peaceful morning came crashing down (much to my dismay) as I jumped out of bed, picked up my cell-phone + wallet and rushed to the college (without giving much thought to what I was wearing or how I looked… alas!). I also made it a point to stop by the ‘paperwallah’ to buy the copy of the survey. On my entire way to the college, I kept fretting about whether I’ll make it on time or not, but thankfully I stay only about 15 minutes away from the university…and did manage to reach there by 10 a.m.

I quietly entered the seminar hall and silently took a seat by my class-mate who had called earlier. Now it was only after she pointed out that I noticed how I looked…. I was wearing a scruffy black T-shirt (that didn’t really scream out ‘elegant get-up’) teemed up with my oh-so-casual grey pajamas… a copy of ‘The Economic Survey’ in my hand… with nothing but bathroom-slippers to cover my feet… and to make matters worse, I donned a shiny, oiled mane (don’t blame me… I’d intended washing my hair after the budget speech by the FM… which I anyway missed later!). My class-mate was a little taken aback on seeing me dressed so inappropriately for an award function and was about to ask me the reason for the same (cause it isn’t commonplace to find the sophisticated me in such a horrendous get-up, and that too on such an occasion!) but bit her tongue when I told her I wasn’t quite aware of this ‘suddenly-popped-out-of-nowhere’ function. Now they started announcing the names of the recipients of the certificates… Rohini Mittal… Akanksha Bannerjee… blah blah blah… and then finally the dreaded YASHIKA TOTLANI. Now I stood up, vowed not to make a fool of myself on stage, and confidently walked down the aisle with my head 60 degrees from the ground (till date I wonder how I managed to do that!). Our vice-principal Dr. Indu was handing out the awards and after a head-to-toe analysis of me, she finally managed to force a smile on her face (for the photograph ofcourse!) and handed me the certificate…CLICK… a click by the photographer… a ‘very’ bright flash, while I shamelessly flaunted my teeth… followed by a round of applause… and I’m off the stage! When I finally reached my seat… I looked up only to see our NSS convener Ms. Usha Singh (a lovely lady, by the way) staring at me in disbelief with her mouth slightly open and a quizzical ‘what-were-you-thinking?’ look in her eyes. I avoided her gaze and was one of the first ones to leave the seminar hall after the function got over (a run-away success, if you must know!).

Now this weird sequence of events didn’t stop me from enjoying a round of tea and samosas that followed the function (with the economic survey still tugged tightly under my arm) and I left the college with a smile on my face and a glint of naughtiness in my eyes! I’d actually pulled this off! A feat that about an hour ago seemed almost impossible to achieve! So to cut a long story short, I would conclude by pointing out that today I would surely qualify to be called ‘The most unusual award recipient DU has ever seen’ in it’s over a century long history!

Moral of the story: The student fraternity at DU can pull off almost anything coupled with a little self-confidence and grace. To substantiate my point… I would like to bring your to your attention the fact that not even a single student bothered raising an eyebrow on seeing my casual attire… Maybe they simple dismissed me as another case of a student not trying to disguise her true self under pretentious garments. Kudos to you guys… you rock!

Epilogue: Today I hold that historic photograph in my hand (my hair shine even brighter here… damn that bright flash! And the look on my face is worth a million bucks… futile attempt to suppress that naughty grin!) and feel my eyes moisten up with the memories of this and many other such incidents that, I believe, make one’s college experience all the more enriching and fulfilling. Masti ki paathshala…

Note to self: I notice my posts are getting longer with each passing day… have to be careful about not going ‘over-board’.


hmmmmm i'd agree with u abt DU being student run... I've pulled off many a crazy things during my time but mine were moreserious issues especially regarding my attendance...i actually talked one of my profs into losing his attendance register so the whole class had to fill a bond and i was saved my atendance was an abyssmal 25% but that was back in the days when attendance dint really matter all u needed was a 33% and u cud give the exams... ya so thats one of my "things" at college...

hey there 'Y' ..wel well, you *points finger accusingly* never told me about any certi thing any nss or wateva it is..and by the way..wat IS it..? wud love to know....anyways ..i'd say WOW!! cant believe you pulled off something like that cool..!well dont think that can happen to me cos i look at myself in the mirror like every 2 seconds..ha..! anyways..a gr8 read..!!!

Rohit Pareek says:

Nice read..
Nostalgic enough for anybody out of college to bring him back to his college days..
Would request the author to put the memorable pic on orkut :)

rohit pareek: well, would definitely entertain ur request as soon as i get a scanner...

You did an awesome job as far as putting down the event in words is concerned.
Waise congrats for the award !

Arunabh: Thanks and thanks! Keep visiting!

You write well... very good.

@Ranjit: Thanks! Keep visiting!

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