Puranjay Shori (Class of 2021)

by Alex Zhang

TAMStar of the week Puranjay Shori talked to us about his experience at TAMS so far, and about his hopes to connect with other TAMSters, past and present.

TAMStar of the week Puranjay Shori poses in Smitty. Photo by Raffer Li of Replay

TAMStar of the week Puranjay Shori poses in Smitty. Photo by Raffer Li of Replay

Puranjay, thanks for speaking with us. To start, I’d like to know how your TAMS experience has been. What sort of activities have you gotten involved in so far?

Puranjay: My TAMS experience has been great, as I’ve met a lot of great people and I have really enjoyed the environment here. TAMS is unique in [that] despite our academic, extracurricular, and personal interests, [TAMS students] share a common passion and drive for learning. Being immersed in an environment where we have a plethora of ways to pursue our interests is even better when we can do it with our peers. So far I’ve been participating in TAMS Medical Society, TAMS Girl Up, and TAMS Ambassadors [activities], and I hope to join TAMS Masala after auditions.

Great. So for those at TAMS who might not know, what is TAMS Masala?

Puranjay: TAMS Masala is a small music group where we practice and perform Indian music that is sometimes blended with English music. We even compose some songs, which just sounds really cool. It’s awesome to see people like me take interest in a specific genre of music.

And what’s your connection to the genre? Were you interested in Indian music before you came to TAMS?

Puranjay: Yeah, I’ve always loved Indian music, more specifically Punjabi music. I was born and raised in the U.S, but Punjabi music is one of the few things that provides me with a connection to where my family comes from, and shapes my identity.

Especially due to the fact that, in my earlier years, I was usually the only Punjabi kid around, I saw Punjabi music as almost an outlet for myself to know who and what I [was] in an environment where I couldn’t even really answer where I [came] from.

What other interests do you have outside of school?

Puranjay: I really enjoy writing, especially writing poetry. Aside from Indian music, I do like to dabble in a little bit of everything, so I thoroughly enjoy hip hop, jazz, country, rap, classical [music], salsa, all the genres. Shameless plug, I even have an album dropping in 2020, and I enjoy doing stuff like utterly destroying my wing in rap battles. I am also an avid history fan, as my grandfather is a former history teacher, and I’ve grown up hearing all kinds of stories. I even hope to start a TAMS history club here so other people [who] share similar interests can congregate and express their passions. I also love sports. I played baseball, soccer, and tennis, but I really enjoy watching both ice and field hockey, cricket, and a bit of football and basketball.

I actually really love that idea! What would a TAMS history club look like?
Puranjay: I really would like to make a TAMS history club where we essentially help [destroy] the stigma [surrounding] history. It’s often seen as the boring subject in class. The thing is, however, I view history as not only the 1000 casualties in some war, but the 1000 different lives and experiences that all came to one common end, and arrived from all corners of the world. I would like to shed light on parts of history that really aren’t spoken about in history textbooks or are just brushed over. My greatest fear is that we forget what has happened in the past. The main mission of the club would be to explore, share, and remember the different historical events that have occurred throughout the world, and even locally, as history is everywhere, and there are many local tales right here at UNT. The end goal would be to be able to contribute to the preservation and maintenance of historical objects and events through volunteering and fundraising services, and show the TAMS community the important and memorable things that occurred in the past with an event that showcases the different events we researched and discovered, and even invite speakers to share their experiences of certain events we were not alive to see. History really is a very interesting subject, and even talking to your parents or grandparents about their life experiences is beyond interesting, because we [can] truly never fathom what they experienced.

What’s something that you’re looking forward to at TAMS?

Puranjay: I’m honestly looking forward to the rigorous classes, vast opportunities at UNT, and most of all just meeting and having more experiences with all of the great people at TAMS. Sure, I could take hard classes at any school, but [going] through struggles and triumphs with my peers [who are] also doing great things is something I would do in a heartbeat. Knowing that my peers, the staff, and my friends here at TAMS all understand what it’s like here and are experiencing the same thing really does something to you, especially when at times it seems as if you don’t know what you’re doing. I really don’t care where I’m going as long as I’m not alone, and I have people just like me following me.

Thanks for speaking with us, Puranjay.

For more information on TAMS Masala, visit the FACES Facebook group. And if you want to sign up for TAMS Masala auditions, you can click here.

Be sure to check out our other interview of the week, where we interviewed TAMS junior Siddharth Thakur!

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