Light, sound, action: Auditions for cultural societies return to DU
After the pandemic pause, physical auditions are making a comeback in Delhi University colleges. Seniors are excited to bring back the original spirit, but say that freshers don’t seem too keen. The first-year students, however, have a different take and share their interests.
There’s no fun in living #CampusKeDin if there’s no music, dance or drama attached. It is to recruit the best of talent to perform in all these genres, and many others, that the cultural societies in various colleges of Delhi University have resumed auditioning freshers after the long pandemic pause. The excitement is palpable as the seniors strive to reclaim the OG glory of cultural societies with physical auditions, and the juniors say that they are keen to live each moment to its fullest.
“Our society auditions were held offline this year, after a gap of three years,” informs Ishika Sarkar, president of dram soc society at Swami Shraddhanand College. She goes on to share her opinion: “Earlier, in online auditions, students would participate from the comfort of their home. Now, we are organising auditions in college and it was such a nightmare! The space in the college building wasn’t available to us to conduct auditions or even hold an orientation with the new batch! Toh freshers ka link hi nahi ban paya hai societies se,” says Sarkar, who is in final-year of BCom (Prog).
The delays in admission process subsequently caused hindrance in conducting auditions for culture societies, which the seniors feel is leading to lesser participation in college fests. “The academic calendar is all over the place. Itna late admission chala hai is baar. How will freshers even focus on cultural societies?” says Milli Sharma, president of classical dance society of Rajdhani College. A final-year student of BA (Hons) Economics, Sharma informs, “This is the first semester for freshers, which is why most of the freshers are unable to focus on anything other that making sense of the confusion that still prevails. Ye sab samjhenge tab jaake dance karenge na.”
Some seniors don’t shy away from sharing why many cultural societies are reporting a lower participation in auditions. “Our college is very supportive of the society. But the biggest challenge in transitioning from online to offline has been in getting freshers to join,” says Tanisha Maheshwari, president of Indian classical dance society at Hansraj College. She informs that the society has five students who took admission under ECA (Extra Curricular Activities) quota, and non-ECA students somehow seem less inclined to participate. “Quite a few freshers don’t want to miss their classes at this crucial juncture to be part of rehearsals, competitions, or even to attend fests! They just want to come to the class, chill with friends, and go back home. That’s what I feel,” says Maheshwari, and Sharma adds, “The interest of freshers is on entrepreneurship and societies indulged in social causes. Cultural activities ka craze offtrack ho gaya hai.”
But the freshers on their part say that they are pretty focussed. Some say they are still passionate about getting into the soc they had earlier set their eyes on. Take for instance Aditi Semwal, a first-year student of BA (Hons) Journalism at Institute of Home Economics. “I have auditioned for three clubs in my college — photography club, film club and podcast club. Right now I have my fingers crossed to get through as many as I can... I always wanted to be part of one or the other society during my time in college as I feel these are the spaces that give more exposure and opportunity to meet new and knowledgeable people. It’s an incredible chance to learn outside the classroom set-up.”
Chiming in, Shreya Sharma, a first-year BA (Prog) student at Gargi College reveals that she joined Gargi College specifically to be part of the choreography society: “I’m desperately looking forward to the choreography society auditions because I love to dance! It will be fabulous if I get to make friends who share my interests. Isn’t that what DU is all about? Finding a larger family.”
Author tweets @KritiKambiri