What were your initial thoughts while joining IITD?
I thought IITD would be a technical place, with high-tech contraptions at every corner, but I wasn’t entirely correct. It also had all the facilities you can think of like sports, academics, and even entertainment. I remember the tour-of-stalls especially, where I first encountered all the cultural clubs.
What prompted you to be associated with BRCA?
With the plethora of choices I had, I wasn’t sure which club to join. I didn’t have any particular interest in any technical clubs. I was always interested in Dance. Having no prior formal training, it was the perfect opportunity to start. So I joined the Dance Club and became a part of the Zanskar team in the 2nd semester. Training with my friends long into the night till our legs gave way, those were the days. One needs both enthusiasm and talent, the former greater than the latter. The camaraderie amongst the team assured me that I chose the right club. When the elections for the Club representatives came, I was apprehensive about contesting for the Dance Rep due to uncertainties in the future academic load. Hence, I decided against it at that time.
2-3 months after the election, I received a phone call from the then Cultural Secretary, offering me the post. At that moment, Zanskar’s dance rep points were the least amongst all the hostels. With all my determination, I worked and took us to 3rd place by the end of the year. Fate has its mysterious ways. Had I not been called up then, I wouldn’t be here today.
How’s your journey been till now?
After becoming the Dance rep, I helped in conducting events in Rendezvous’19. That gave me an insight into the tremendous work that goes behind organising such an expansive fest. Meeting new people, coordinating with colleagues and contributing to north India’s most prominent cultural extravaganza was a fantastic experience. From there, I became the Cultural Secretary of Zanskar. I had big plans for my hostel, but the pandemic changed everything. The virtual environment was new for everyone. Even though we weren’t together, I wanted to instil the hostel culture in the freshers and do something for them.
The BRCA team of Zanskar organised “Zenith”, the first intra-hostel virtual fest of IITD. The fest provided the freshers with a platform to connect with each other and us while having fun.
When did you decide to stand for the position of BRCA General Secretary?
I never dreamed of becoming the GSec. During my tenure as the Cultural Secretary, I saw room for improvement in the functioning of the Board. I decided to take it up as a challenge. Luckily, I was elected, and here I am today.
What’s the scoop on this year’s Rendezvous? Will it be offline?
It’s a difficult time now. The conditions are highly volatile. Just like everyone, we too want it to be offline. It’s the last year of college for most of our batch, and we want to create more memories. If the situation keeps improving as it is, we’ll definitely organise it offline.
However, we can’t compromise with safety. If there’s any risk, we’ll improve on last year’s virtual experience. I want to shout out to last year’s team, who organised the first ‘online’ Rendezvous.
Certain clubs like Quizzing Club and Debating Society have adapted quickly with the online semester. What are the plans for the other clubs who couldn’t?
As one can observe, events organised by clubs like Dance Club and Music Club heavily depend on synchronisation amongst the performers. These are hard to implement online. We have also observed a more significant disparity in the influx of freshers amongst the clubs. So, we have decided to increase the number of non-competitive events and distribute them evenly in both semesters to increase participation. These changes increase the chances for everyone to join in. We are also considering the possibility of organising online classes to learn various instruments.
You have mentioned in your manifesto about creating the position of Deputy General Secretary in the BRCA body. Why do you feel the need to do so?
BRCA is one of the biggest boards. There is a tremendous workload leading up to Rendezvous. It is hard for the General Secretary to connect with all the clubs at the ground level, especially when the preparations are going on. To ensure better communication amongst the body and sharing the workloads, I believe BRCA should also have a Deputy General Secretary, like most other Boards. Having another opinion definitely helps in considering all possible factors before making any decision.
There is a mention of a new trophy based on participation. Could you elaborate on that?
The current trophy is awarded based on merit to the hostel having maximum points at the end of the academic year. These need not be associated with each hostel’s ‘rep points’, which reflect the efforts of the respective club representatives. I wish to create a new trophy which will be awarded to the hostel with maximum rep points, to encourage the representatives to be regular and keep working hard, knowing that their efforts are recognised as well!
Almost everyone gets notified of the happenings around them through social media. What is BRCA doing on that front?
We certainly need to increase our online presence. For this purpose, we have created a Design and Creative team that’ll handle our social media handles and our website. We plan to integrate all the resources, including the youtube videos of all the performances/fests involving our clubs, into our website to become the one-stop hub for everything related to BRCA.
Any final message to our audience?
To all my juniors, academics should be your priority. Having said that, you should realise that IITD is all about holistic development. Make use of the facilities and opportunities you get. Don’t hesitate to join any cultural club, if you haven’t done the activity before. Lots of people start here and grow tremendously. BRCA is a loving community where you can express yourself artistically. It serves as an outlet for passion. When you participate in events, and people root for you, that’s the best feeling ever! You’ll always have a family here.
“Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today (unless there’s an upcoming exam ;).”
You can find his manifesto here
Interview by Avi Patni