Author Annie Zaidi studied mostly in tiny schools in Sirohi and Kankroli, Rajasthan, before finishing her bachelor’s from Sophia Girls College, Ajmer, in 1999. She then went on to do a PG diploma in mass communication from Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC), Mumbai, in 2000. The 34-year-old author is based in Mumbai. Some of her work are Love Stories # 1- 14, Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales and Crush (illustrated poetry). A glimpse into her college life...
What did college teach you?
Sophia taught me a bit of sociology, a bit of economics, and literature. But I was in a hostel and I think that taught me more about life in general. It also taught me to not be afraid to stretch my mental and physical boundaries. It taught me to exercise, to eat right, to write, to sing even if I’m a bad singer and to have fun. I began to write seriously, take the stage seriously, and to think about the larger society around me in more insightful ways, since I was on the editorial team for the college mag. I co-founded the college’s first drama club, Spectrum, and was the first president of the Speakers’ Forum.
XIC was a professional course, but what I valued most here was the exposure (the films I saw, the books I read, and the professors who encouraged us to think and write in newer ways) it gave to a small-town girl like me.
Your proudest moment in college.
Hard to say. Perhaps, it was winning the award for the best play and director’s prize for a one-act play I directed in the third year.
Have you had any embarrassing moments in college?
Not really. Though there was one episode of minor ragging, which had me crying and apologising to my seniors for having caused them trouble because of my crying! I wish I had not been such a sensitive creature and had given it back to my seniors as hard as I got. I detest students who rag or bully other students.
How did you score points with the opposite gender?
I did not. It was a girls’ college.
Was bunking a part of your college routine?
I bunked for dance and drama rehearsals mostly.
Did you have any rifts with professors? Why?
Where did you hang out in college with friends?
The canteen or the quadrangle, near the cemented platform, which we used as a stage. At XIC, it was under an old tree opposite the building.
What extracurricular activities were you involved in?
Writing, dancing, acting/directing, speaking at and organising a talk forum and editing the college mag.