Waiting for Dinner

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Students’ Protest

Part of the ongoing students’ protests against the JNU administration’s controversial 75% compulsory attendance regulation put into force by a circular dated 22 December 2017. Almost all students find the regulation debilitating to them–students don’t play absentees for pleasure but most absent students are absent for good reasons that have to do conducting their lives and that cannot be summaries in a few words. And there does not seem to be cases of total absentism–students keep in touch with teachers or their classmates to keep on track and abreast of the goings-on in the courses.

The incumbent VC, Jagadesh Kumar, has been consistently controversial (many are of the opinion that he is insistent on being so) since his “installation” at the heart of the university’s administration in 2016. The VC’s decisions and administrative hands seem to be controlled remotely be some obvious political forces he is affiliated to.

The main protest activities happen at the yard in front of the main administrative building, which was named Freedom Square during the nation-shaking students’ protests following the February 2016 events in the university campus. The small protest group in this photograph was one of the several protest gatherings on 15 February at several parts of the campus around the administrative building and the school areas, and these groups were not self-conscious–students came and joined the protest, chanted slogans and left while new students joined in, and the protests kept going.

Waiting for Dinner

Dogs waiting in front of a meat shop for their dinner. On my way back from the gym at around 10 every night, I see the butchers give these dogs some scraps of meat right before they close the shop. In Delhi, there is always a good relationship between street dogs and people within the boundaries of places specific communities of dogs specify as their territories. That relationship is one of great love. The dogs bark at any odd movements around within their territory–they behave (or act?) as self-conscious local guards.

Promila Manhas

A Dogri writer and poet with a beautiful voice living in Jammu. Literary translator translating from Dogri to Hindi and English, and vice versa. Lecturer of Botany in the School Education Department of the State Government of Jammu & Kashmir. Newscaster at Radio Kashmir and news anchor at Doordarshan Jammu.

She read some of her poems at the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi’s annual Festival of Letters on 16 February 2018.