Student Leader Interview- Pranjya Grover from Jesus and Mary College

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1. Tell us more about your role and responsibilities at your college. 

Leadership is divine purpose for me. Initiative is my second favourite word, which led me to assume responsibility at multiple junctures. During my graduation, I was part of the dramatics society and held the role of Social Media Head in my second year and eventually went onto becoming the President of the same. I believe volunteerism is the need of the hour and I tried to take initiative for any opportunity that was presented in my department as well. I was the co-head of events at Catharsis (the annual fest organized by the Psychology Department) and was actively involved in organizing a plethora of other events in tandem with the society or the department.  

2. How can we encourage more young students such as yourself to take up leadership role?

The importance of a bottom-up approach can be instilled in students; the realization that progress and growth begins from an individual is imperative for a person to feel valuable and capable of making change around them. More action-oriented workshops, spontaneous nukkad nataks, a more inclusive curriculum and sensitization of parents/guardians and peers towards the significance of community action might prove to be helpful in this case.

3. What have been your biggest challenges and learning from what you do?

The biggest challenge and takeaway from my journey is the ability to stay authentic and experience everything without any personal biases. The tumultuous path that leadership is, one is so focused on the outcomes, one tends to perceive things from a myopic lens. I learnt to let go of things that are actually externally determined and I can do only so much about it. Choosing one’s battles is of utmost importance, so that as a leader one can be an anchor in the face of a storm. 

4. What are your career goals and how is what you are doing is going to help you with that? 

Currently, I aspire to become a Group Counselor, which caters to the daily adjustment and psychological problems of individuals in a group setting. Being the President of Kahkasha has equipped me to deal with group dynamics and the eccentricity that comes with it. This position of responsibility has organically instilled in me the skills to empathize, listen and provide different perspectives to people who I might engage with in the future. 

5. What's your message to encourage students to do internships and attend conferences? 

Knowledge and self-awareness are the tools that can propel one into the direction that they are intrigued by and have the motivation to actually tread. Internships and conferences can equip us with the acknowledgment of our strengths and weakness and can expose our blindspots-which is always a good thing for personal growth and development. 

6. Say something about Kahkasha? How does handing it over to someone else from the team after an year of leadership feel? 

Kahkasha is a space I found almost as soon as I joined college and it became second nature to me. It had the power to make me feel things I had never felt before, it made me more sensitive, more sensible and demanded a lot of inner work. Handing it over to someone else is surreal but also a proud feeling. It is a symbol of passing the baton and fills me with hope for a better future, with its own successes and shortcomings. It feels like I can take more breaths now, reinvent myself with regards to the new places I will belong to. 

7. What was writing plays and the entire process of rehearsing them like? What do you have to say to people who fear performing in public spaces?

The process of making plays required a lot of patience, research and unlearning. Taking run-throughs was an essential part of it and it made us realize the importance of teamwork and how a team is a beautiful mosaic of different idiosyncrasies, talents and abilities. The people who have reservations and apprehensions regarding performing in public spaces- I hear you. It is one of the most terrifying things-even if think you are confident and “objectively” considered good at what you do. I’d say, take that leap of faith and hold on to the fastened heartbeat; it is a truly scary yet beautiful feeling in the world. 

- Pranjay Grover

Interviewed by- Priyanshi Arora


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