His dispute with the college principal may have reached the doors of a Court this time around, but Devansh Mehta is no stranger to taking on authority. In the last two years, the student who is used to topping the class, has had two more run-ins with the principal, albeit for other students’ causes.
“The first time we protested was when the principal (Valson Thampu) refused to allow any discussion on the college’s women’s hostel block being allowed to remain open after 10 pm. The second time was when he suspended a student for allegedly speaking to him rudely,” Mehta told Newsline.
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Mehta, who did his schooling in Mumbai from St Mary’s School, attributes his “courage” to his parents. “My father belonged to a business family, but he decided to break away from everything to pursue his dream of becoming a financial consultant. He is a lone wolf. If there is anything I have learnt from him, it is that you don’t need to have a big crowd to support you if you are right. And you don’t have to be afraid of being alone either,” Mehta says.
“My mother has taught me to be calm and composed. She never loses her temper, and neither do I,” he adds. Devansh’s mother has her own textile export business.
Mehta topped his fifth semester exams, and is part of quizmasters and philosophy clubs at St Stephen’s. Students and teachers talk of Mehta as a “helpful, curious and eccentric child”.
“ I went with him on a trip to Manali, and I remember, he pretended to faint near a religious site to see just how many people come to help him. When no one came forward, he told me that maybe God didn’t exist after all,” a teacher who teaches Mehta recalled. “In our own humorous banter, I tried explaining to him that maybe God saw he was pretending.”
“He is curious and has his own way of learning. But he is at the right place and everyone in the college can vouch for that,” the teacher added.
Planning to pursue journalism, Devansh decided to join St Stephen’s for “the experience”.
“Having stayed at home for so long, thought it would be nice to learn to live on my own,” he says, nonchalantly.