Miranda House

Roses Red and Papers Brown: Five Years at Delhi University

Surjit Mansingh


Surjit was brought up in many different places in India, went from Delhi University into the Indian Foreign Service, and subsequently joined her husband in academics, shuttling between India and the United States. Now a semi-retired professor with two grown-up sons, she lives with her Himalayan cat, music, books, and walks in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally written for “Down Memory Lane: The Platinum Year 1922-1997”, Delhi: University of Delhi” 2000 when the author was a Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The author was a Delhi University student over 1953-58 in Miranda House.

Roses. Roses. It was not roses all the way, not by a long stretch, and there was no myrtle strewn on the muddy paths. But it is roses I remember best, in serried ranks of yellow and white, pink and flame and hectic red, encircling the fountain. Where on its steps I was accustomed to pass winter afternoons, book in lap, heady with the scented air\; until a sudden chill, a change of light, or a dry throat, reminded me that it was time for tea.

The Interview

Rajendra Shekhar


Rajendra Shekhar studied at Mayo College, Ajmer and St. Stephen's College, Delhi. He joined the Indian Police Service in 1957, and rose to become Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, and Director-General Police, Rajasthan. He has written Not a Licence to Kill , Defining Moments', Memories Are Made Of This and पल-कल आज और कल . At present, he occupies himself with Posts on Facebook, and articles in Rashtradoot, a Rajasthan Hindi newspaper. He is also compiling material for his next bilingual book (in English and Hindi). He is happily settled at Jaipur along with his wife Mrs Sheila Shekhar.

I joined St Stephen's College, Delhi, in 1952. Then, it was still an all boys' institution.

After I graduated from St. Stephen's, I joined classes at Delhi University's Arts Faculty. This was co-educational. Miranda House, an all girls' college was almost abutting St. Stephen's College in the Delhi University Campus. Sheila, my future wife, was a Mirandian. After some convoluted wooing, we gelled together and began dreaming of a future in tandem.

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