What An Honor!

on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I was red in my face, but my heart was galloping. That feeling is best experienced. Back in college to see the society I nearly built in my last two years embark on another year long journey of activities, I had imagined I would be ridden with nostalgia of the worst intensity. However, ecstasy was the only emotion I could experience as my juniors made me feel so grand, and so special- they gave me the VIP treatment I have been giving all my guests who would grace the events I organized during my tenure as the President of WSDC. Right from the invite, to the honor of launching our magazine, to giving a speech for concluding the event, my day could not have been better.

WSDC was indispensable to my existence in college, and going back to pass the baton on to some very able juniors was an occasion for much joy and celebration. It was a near perfectly organized Orientation Ceremony, where all new members are inducted into the Society, with permissible goof ups here and there. The Chief Guest was an inspiring lady with strong oratorial skills; most importantly, she was a Civil Servant of the AGMUT Cadre, and my obsession and awe relating to Civil Officers is fairly famous. At points during her speech, she drove me to tears while describing things as basic as hygiene conditions which are largely deprived to a large section of Indian girls- both, because of economic, as well as issues of ignorance.

Leaving that serious thought there, the clear highlight of the whole day for me was when I launched the second edition of my magazine, so lovingly drafted last year by me and a few friends-cum-colleagues. It looks pretty- the cover from last year has been retained. It was perhaps one of the most ambitious literary excursions I undertook during my college life, and honestly, though nothing close to perfect, it is still very special. The way the magazine has come out, it is not so commendable in presentation, but has a very rich and pride-worthy content.

Pasted below is the Editorial (-cum-President's message) written for the same magazine, the cover for which is displayed on the right, above.

Time really flies fast. This is the worst cliché with which I could have begun the editorial for this magazine, but really, I cannot help it. The Women Studies and Development Cell was more than just a part of my personality in college for the past two years. Two years! Now that is a lot of time. However, it does not feel that way. There is so little we’ve done, and so much more we can still do. But, like all good things, my tenure as the President of this wonderful society is finally coming to an end. It is an eerie feeling to know that there will come one day when I would wake up, and WSDC activities would not form a part of my daily agenda. It is equally disheartening to realize that this little-big family I had cultivated among the members of WSDC will soon be estranged. I will move on, from WSDC, from college, leaving behind things which will adorn the most beautiful canvas of college memories for me.

So, as my last offering, I along with a team of some amazingly supportive members, present to all of you the second edition of ‘Being a Woman, Being Me.’ Our magazine is still in its nascent second year of being published, but from the first edition we published last year, it has certainly come a long  way. The first edition was experimental. More than anything, it aimed at providing a portal to our members for expressing that which affected them most. The magazine was received with much appreciation, but we knew in our hearts that we could do much better.

And so, when my team convened to put in place the themes for this magazine, their enthusiasm for bringing out a glazed finished product was palpable. We collectively decided to keep it simple; but we wanted to move ahead in a focused way. We pride ourselves on the kind of society we belong to and the kind of causes we espouse and fervently work towards. The first section of this magazine, hence, is dedicated towards highlighting issues of grave concern for females of all ages, strata and nationalities. We also knew that womanhood is not just about tears and melancholy-it is a celebration! Our second section is a tribute to the wonderful feeling that being a woman is. A poetess resided in the hearts of many of our society members. It was remarkable to notice the ease with which member girls of our society could express themselves via the relatively abstract medium of poetry and not prose. A third section was thus decided upon to provide a creative vent to the blossoming poetesses of our society.

Besides these three, a fourth very important section was born. While I was circulating our last year’s magazine among some NGOs and activists, a very unassuming confession was made by one of the NGO members about her inability to understand the magazine because of the linguistic barriers. I sat down to explain the varied topics which we covered in that magazine, and with more zeal for wanting to read it, she requested if I could attempt a translation of the whole magazine. Now that was a Herculean task to fulfill!  However, I made a mental note of the fact that if I am to ever again work on a magazine which has to have a larger mass reach, I have to make sure the linguistics don’t post a barrier. A first tiny step has been taken in that direction. We have introduced a Hindi section at the end of the magazine, which I hope, will only grow as successive editions of this magazine are born.

For anyone flipping through the pages of the magazine, I hope you stumble upon something that touches a nerve, that makes you stop and think. If that happens, the purpose of bringing out this magazine is more than solved. It goes without saying that I hold immense gratitude in my heart towards every single person who has contributed towards this magazine. I cannot end the editorial without thanking Ishani Tikku, who almost single handedly edited all articles for me, and treated this magazine with as much reverence as I did. I thank Rosemary and Priyanka Tampi, for their promptness in making the magazine visually attractive. I thank Ancy and Rohini for all their support. I thank Nikita Sailesh for being the tireless silent worker.

Most importantly, I need to thank my convenors- Dr. Amita Tiwari and Dr. Alka Marwah. I have gone on record saying that they are the best convenors we could have got, and I reiterate it most emphatically here. They were the prefect guides, motivators and friends throughout our endeavours. It comes from the heart- such was the faith they posed in us and encouragement they gave us that I could not have helped falling in love with them. For this magazine too, they were instrumental in giving me and my team all the necessary aid, guidance and assistance we most needed, and hence were pivotal to whatever the magazine has shaped up as.

Thank you all!

A quote would just do to provide the perfect end to this editorial. This quote coruscates in my best dreams. I share it all with you here, hoping it will inspire you as much as it inspires me.

“We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.”


-Saumya Kulshreshtha

Editor, Being a Woman, Being Me

President, Woman Studies and Development Cell, JMC.



PS- You can also read the Annual Report of WSDC at  "From the Pen of the President, Women Studies and Development Cell, Jesus and Mary College"