Home Sweet Home – Saloni Srivastava, Old Gupta Colony
A flat of her own.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Perhaps The Delhi Walla is afflicted by an overly active imagination. But it does seem as though every second person on the street is young, has a tattoo and is wearing shorts. In other words, they are all college students here at Old Gupta Colony near Delhi University. Where young adults such as Saloni Srivastava are clustered in architecturally drab apartment blocks.
“I just pretend these buildings don’t exist,” she laughs, “and sit on the balcony gazing at the sky above.”
Not much time for that, though. This student from Agra is now applying for a PhD in American Literature, despite no evidence whatsoever of books in her room.
Instead, she’s decked a wall with handwritten quotes from Shakespeare such as: “She sat like patience on a monument.”
But Ms Srivastava herself can’t always sit patiently. Her fourth floor balcony faces another equally drab student dwelling where male grads are liable to while away the nights on a rooftop, singing film songs and clapping. “I like their live concerts!”
But, well, just where has she secreted all her books? They must be somewhere.
Smiling enigmatically, she opens a wooden cupboard stacked with dozens of volumes along with a few perfume bottles. “I’ve got to keep them under lock and key. Otherwise they’ll get nicked by friends!”
As early evening moves into night, Ms Srivastava hasn’t yet firmed up her plans, Perhaps her beloved Downton Abbey on the laptop? Or the impromptu all-boys concert on the facing rooftop.
Back to University days