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College was a Launch Pad for Writing

Author Andaleeb Wajid on her days at Jyoti Nivas Women’s College, where she made good use of opportunities she got

Published: 26th January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd January 2015 11:10 PM   |  A+A-

Every person has a college memory and Andaleeb Wajid, a popular Bangalore-based writer, remembers her college as a place that taught her to be herself. “How articulate I am now is a product of whatever I learnt in college,” she says. Best known for her More Than Just Biryani, My Brother’s Wedding and the Tamanna trilogy and praised for her simple yet evocative writing on the simple moments in everyday life, it was in college that she developed a passion for writing and took it up in all earnest.

As an undergraduate student of Communicative English at Bangalore’s renowned all-women’s college, Jyoti Nivas, she was drawn to the written word and took up many writing assignments all through the three years. “I did a lot of writing because of my course. I used to write sporadically while in school but took it up a little more seriously in college. I published a newspaper midway through college and wrote for the college magazine,” she says, adding, “But I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or that I wanted to become a writer eventually. It took me some time to understand that writing was my calling.”

She is reflective as she recalls the many memorable episodes from her college days. The one that is closest to her heart is the time when she and her friends performed TS Eliot’s Cats on stage. “This was in my third year. Our entire group was dressed up like black cats and the audience loved it,” she beams. Apart from dabbling in creative writing and theatre, she also took part in pictionary, dumb charades, collage making and other such activities. “I was into all these things quite a bit especially during inter-college competitions,” she says.

The author remembers fondly the many teachers who were, and still are, her role models. “I used to admire a few of my teachers, be it for the way they dressed, carried themselves, behaved or how well they taught — Prof Wendy Dickson, Prof Aparna Chandrashekhar, Prof Shirley Bernard and Prof Shanta are some of them.” For someone who seldom bunked classes, except on certain occasions, it is not surprising that she got along very well with her teachers. “They still remember me and fondly, I hope, “she smiles.

Her other books include Kite Strings and Blinkers Off. svetlana@newindianexpress.com



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