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The Starry Eyed Baba

August 1, 2013
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For a long time the Astronomy section, officially recognized as Stargazing section, has lived in the shadows of the other arguably more technical sections. All that seems to have changed now with the section conducting some of the most popular events in the campus and the credit for this is given to the most soft spoken, well natured and non muscular sardar you will ever come across in R, Ashmeet Singh. He is known for his academic brilliance and intellect which landed him the prestigious DAAD summer intern, but he is most proud of his work in the Stargazing Astronomy section and he believes Astronomy is not a hobby, it’s a way of life!’ Now it’s time for his real test.

WONA: Can you crack a joke?
Ashmeet: You wouldn’t talk to me again if I did!

WONA: Now that it’s settled, let’s begin the drill. First crush?
Ashmeet: I thought this interview would be rather intellectual, but it doesn’t really seem to go that way. It was in my first semester. It never really came out. Her name was Priya. I just liked her entire demeanor and was very impressed. But now I am out of the game! (we bet the telescopes helped!)

WONA: How did you get your nickname, Baba?
Ashmeet: In first year we used to gather in the RJB lawn at 9PM for our attendance. I was talking to Kshitij Awadhya about spirituality and about right and wrong; I am a man of principles in that sense. I was explaining something to him, “Kshitij yeh galat hai yaar, aisa nahin hona chahiye, “ and I started giving some fundas about God. At that time someone overheard me, Animesh Mishra probably, and said, ”arey tum toh baba ho yaar!” So that’s the story behind ‘baba’! It became pretty popular among my friends, so much so that there was a time when my actual name was completely forgotten. Thankfully it’s back now! (whatever happened to creativity in nicknames, sigh)

WONA: What got you into astronomy?
Ashmeet: It started when I was in class ninth. It was more of a distraction offered by my mother to get my mind away from cricket as I was a sporty guy playing day and night. She wanted me to be focused towards something more academic and so I joined the astronomy club of my school. (and rest, as they say, is history!)

WONA: So whats on your things-to-do-before-leaving-Roorkee List?
Ashmeet: There are multiple tanks in the campus. I want to climb one some day! The Astronomy club is very close to me, so I would want to make it reach new heights. A few years ago people had this mindset that ‘star gazing toh chill hai’, but my year has worked a lot. I want that whenever people think of astronomy, they think of a very beautiful science and remember that I contributed to this section. I want to make this difference when I pass out.

WONA: You have a very nerdy image. Have you ever done anything contrary to that?
Ashmeet: I really can’t think of many, there is one instance though. There was a professor whom I liked very much, but he chucked me out of the class along with some of my friends because we were late. A few of us tried to deflate the tires of his bike with a guard on our side. I am not saying we actually did that. (yes, of course!)

WONA: Your thoughts about WONA?
Ashmeet: I am not into buzz magazines but you are doing a good job. I like the way you spice up things and your interpretation of everything seems cool to me. Moreover, I am really impressed with the way you add wit to stuff. (woot!)