Thursday, June 1, 2023

Meet DJ Varnika Kundu, back on the console, being ‘normal’


Chandigarh, Sep 14: She is, after all, just a DJ. Or so she wants us to believe. Inside, the crowd roars as her name is announced. It’s not the usual.

The resident DJ has just made way for Varnika Kundu, DJ Miracle Drugg, the 29-year-old woman who became a symbol of resistance against misogyny last month when she got her stalkers arrested while she was returning home at night from Chandigarh to Panchkula.


Breaking barriers: How DJ Varnika Kundu stood up to VIP stalkers in Chandigarh

She is playing a gig at a club in Sector 26. The crowd has more women than men. It’s ladies night, when drinks are free for women. Men follow. Isn’t this misogynistic, we ask her. “Well, it’s really a question the men have to answer,” she quips.

On the console, she is swaying, immersed. Awkward posing for the camera. “That will look so lame,” she giggles. But then darts a smile right towards the lens. Bouncers are restless at the media presence. People – the club has about 80 – dance on.

She moves from Shape of You by Ed Sheeran to Justin Bieber, who wonders if it is ‘too late to say sorry’. No, she’s not bothered sending a message to her stalkers – Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son Vikas and his friend Ashish Kumar – through the lyrics. She’s just playing “whatever catches my fancy” — remixed Hindi classic to house to sugar.

But she has faced so many queries on her security that, “I felt I was going into war zone. But, except some extra precautions — the fact that I am in an SUV and not a sedan – it’s quite normal for me.”

Ask her if the case has changed her life, she finally lets it show that she is no longer just another DJ. “Women rights is definitely something I have to fight for… For now I am just doing talks, and doing my bit on social media. But I don’t think it’s nearly enough. It’s the least I can do.”

And then she gets back to the console. Being normal.

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Punjabi Khurki
Punjabi Khurki
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