Siddharth revisits DU: Was in Covid batch, know the pain of virtual college life
Actor Siddharth Shaw recently visited Delhi University’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, his alma mater, and was hit by nostalgia while sharing his #CampusKeDin. Besides, he indulged in his old time fave street foods at the community centre in Saket like a true blue Delhiite!
“Coming home to Delhi means no scope for dieting,” exclaims actor Siddharth Shaw, who was last seen in Love Aaj Kal (2020) and is now set to strike gold on the web. On his recent trip to the Capital, just before Independence Day, Shaw tagged along with HT City, to rewind to the times when he was growing up here and simple pleasures of life included relishing dilli ka khana and striking the SRK pose!
“Since I’ve come home, all I’ve done is gorge on butter chicken, chhole bhature, momos, shawarma, golgappe, and even banta! I wouldn’t deny that Mumbai is beautiful, but the food in Delhi is unmatchable,” says the 24-year-old while visiting his alma mater DU’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh College in Sheikh Sarai. He graduated in 2020 in BCom (Prog), and can’t help but notice the changes on the college campus: “Ye lawn naya hai, that wall art is new. They’re even adding lifts now! I was part of the Covid batch so my final year was online, and I know the pain of living virtual college life. In fact, I’m visiting my college for the first time in four years! Still, I must say that the vibe is the same... Aaj aaya hun college toh degree bhi leke jaunga!”
Acting was his first love, yet he didn’t join Natuve — dram soc of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College. “I knew I’ve to take up acting professionally, and pursuing it as an ECA at the college level was not the right step for me. In fact, I started filming Love Aaj Kal 2 right in my second year. My teachers and administration here were kind enough to allow me to work while also studying. Without their support, this dream would’ve been harder to achieve,” he states sharing how he missed his goal to get into Hindu College. “The dramatics society of Hindu, Ibdita is so well known. I knew I had to make it here. When I was working with Imtiaz sir (filmmaker Imtiaz Ali), I told him too ki Hindu mein nahin jaa paya. But my own college was no less. My friends would sometimes tease me about being a Siddharth (Malhotra, actor) from Shaheed Bhagat Singh who wants to work in films. Siddharth-Sidharth toh bohat suna hai (laughs).”
But for Shaw, Shah Rukh was “the biggest motivator” . “He’s everything that one wishes to embody.” Just then, a few cadets of National Cadet Corps (NCC) march past near the parking within the college, and seeing them Shaw reveals: “I had applied for ECA admissions through NCC, theatre, and debating. Didn’t make it through any (smiles)... Rejection is a part of life, and I consider myself as a jack of all trades. My focus was always on acting and making it to the films, right from the beginning. As a four-year-old, I remember when I had watched Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2021)... and would everyday come home from school thinking in my head that my school bus was my chopper, and I’d run up the stairs to my mother who’d be standing there with an aarti thaali in hand. And she’d turn around and I’d come up the steps of the house waving my finger and smiling! My first SRK moment (laughs).”
No campus memory is complete without food, and same was the case with Shaw, who drove to the Community Centre aka Anupam Market in Saket that houses the cinema where he grew up watching films and falling in love with them. “Be it Finding Nemo or K3G, I watched them all here. We used to come down from college all the time to eat and chill... I still can’t give a miss to the chicken shawarma roll and vegetable momos that we get here in Saket. These used to be my staple after college, almost every day. And iske saath mein banta makes for the perfect combo.... aaj bhi in sabka taste same hai. No wonder Delhi food is to die for!”
Besides food, Saket holds a special corner in Shaw’s heart. “Even my first film audition for Love Aaj Kal 2 happened near Saket. So this place is sacred to me since be it my initial schooling (before going to boarding), my college, getting my driver’s licence, or learning to play golf — it all happened here in Saket,” he concludes.
Author tweets @KritiKambiri