By Shriyam Gupta
In this 3rd edition of ‘Meet the Delhiwaala’, we talked to Dr. S.K Shrivastava, the Associate Professor of History at Hansraj College, University of Delhi.
When did you decide to become a professor? Was it a calling?
You get the urge from inside. It’s not the question of calling, it’s what you learn from things around you. In my case it was what I learned from my teachers. The way they interacted with students had an influence on me. I thought as a teacher I will get a chance to interact with students, play a role in their lives and help mold them for the better. There is no story. By the time I was in 3rd year I was absolutely certain that I was going for this job.
Why is studying History important?
History has a liberalizing experience. In 1000 years, human nature has not changed much. The shortcomings of human nature that caused problems in the past do so even today. So if we understand these shortcomings, we can work towards making our lives better.
Do you remember your first lecture?
Yes! I was 21 years and 3 months old. It was Economics 2nd year. The students were trying to act smart. I gave them a good shouting and put them in line. And now when I am retiring at 62+ nobody has tried that again.
One book every student should read?
I have always said one must go through Randy Pausch’s Last lecture.
How long have you been in Delhi?
What is your favorite aspect of the city?
I don’t know. It’s very difficult to say. After spending years here, I can say I have become a Delhiwaala. I am from Bihar. But the city has something… when one arrives here, Delhi aake Delhi ka hojata hai. Now when I am leaving, I can truly say that I am a Delhiwaala.