Delhi University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world for graduation has always had students coming from far off states of India. The university’s seats being the most coveted, has always held its gates wide open for people who come to “Dilwaalo ki Dilli” dreaming big. And what is even more heartening is that there are people from as far as Iran who are students of Delhi University, and proudly so.
Fatem├¿ Ag, a third year Political Science Honours student of Jesus and Mary College has always wanted to be a part of Delhi University, she says. Fatem├¿ had come to Delhi for her higher studies three years ago. She had always known that she wanted to be a part of the university, because “the educational system here is more effective and helps one analyze and understand better.”
“I want to pursue Journalism as a career, so I decided to study Political Science from Delhi University”, she says. When asked┬áhow is the education system in India different from that in Iran, she says that in Iran, the Islamic system of education fuses religion into education and almost all spheres of life, which is unlike what is seen in India, where science, technology, cultures, literature and other aspects of education are independent in their own sense and at the same time inter-related.
Fatem├¿ admires the diversity in religions, cultures and languages she has had exposure to in India. “The diversity here is like the different colours in a rainbow, it’s beautiful to experience.” And there? “The colour is black, mostly”, she says and one cannot not miss the slight dismay in her voice while she talks about things back home.
Although Fatem├¿ misses her family, she does not blink twice before calling Delhi home. “I love the spicy food here, especially golgappe! I go to my friend’s place occassionally on weekends and we gorge on delicious pakodas!” “The Republic Day parade that is held at the India Gate is beautiful, I went last year, I wish to go this year too.”
Aamir Khan is her favourite actor. ÔÇ£He is charismatic. There is something about him that lights up the screen.” And has she watched PK, his latest flick? ÔÇ£Yes, but I liked 3 Idiots better.ÔÇØ Though Fatem├¿ does not have a good grasp over Hindi, she understands ÔÇ£thoda thodaÔÇØ, which she says is enough to fight with the canteen waala for more sugar in her chai!
Fatem├¿ talks like an enthusiastic 5 year old when asked what all she likes about the city. And what does she┬á dislike? “The pollution, traffic jams and sometimes, the people here are quick to pick a fight. Also, the safety of women is a big concern here.” “Women must not be subjugated or be mistreated. They constitute as much a part of the society as the men do”, she says. Behind the veil of her burqa revealing just her eyes, one sees a fighter streak in them, while she speaks. Fatem├¿ wishes that all women, especially from where she comes from, have access to education and a life of choice, just like she did. And coming to India and studying in Delhi University is just one step towards her dreams. “I have a long way to go and a lot to achieve”, she smiles. With that kind of determination, you know she is on the right path.