Humans of Edina: Atman Jahagirdar

Carmela Cadja, staff writer

Homecoming King and senior Atman Jahagirdar has always had an adventurous spirit. Combined with some curiosity, it sprouted from his love for the outdoors and camping. 

“This last summer I actually really reached the peak, literally. I went backpacking in the Rockies for 12 days with my Boy Scouts troop. And that was seriously an experience; it was super challenging, and it was definitely the ultimate test of my camping abilities,” Jahagirdar said.

The whole journey was taxing on the minds of the hikers because of the frigid rains they endured and the 50-lb packs on their backs. Though the journey was challenging, his positive outlook was infectious to those around him. “That has been a very important experience [for] me because I still try to keep our morale up. I guess that’s when I tried to be a good leader and smile when everyone else wasn’t,” Jahagirdar said.

Apart from the rough nature of hiking in the wild, Jahagirdar plays the soprano saxophone in All-State Concert Band, a program for exemplary high school student musicians. “It [was] really nerve-wracking, but I played this soprano solo in front of the composer of the piece. They said that I perfectly captured the color of the solo, and that I truly did the piece justice, so the band gave me a round of applause. That was something I’ll never forget because that’s why I play music: to capture the set of emotions.”

Springing from his love of playing music, Jahagirdar delights in listening to it, too. His favorite artist is Frank Ocean, and his favorite album is Blonde (also by Ocean). “I’ve never witnessed an artist and his pieces of music [being] so artistic and [having] super insightful lyrics that pair with the ambiance of the music well,” he said.

His friends strongly feel that Jahagirdar has made a positive mark on their lives and truly value their friendship with him. Senior Grace Everts describes him as an understanding person, “He’s just really caring about everyone, and he tries his best to understand everyone’s point of view and everyone’s identity, which is really nice,” Everts said. “Over quarantine, we’d spend a lot of nights with all of our friends, listening to Frank Ocean, and he would dissect it to all of us: we would stay up until two or three a.m. just listening to it.”

As a fellow peer who’s been Jahagirdar’s buddy since kindergarten, senior Breindel Cadja has made many memorable moments with him and witnessed his growth as a student and friend. Cadja first approached Jahagirdar when he saw him wearing a Vikings jersey, an interest they both shared. 

In his eyes, Jahagirdar has an ambitious soul. “When he really cares about something, he’s really driven for it, so he’ll take all the steps to make sure it’s being done right; he wants it to the very best metric if it’s something he really cares about,” Cadja said. 

Cadja also reminisces about a fun summer day they once spent together. “It was a couple years ago, where we just hung out the entire day. We went to this park by my house and we were just chilling there and had slushies…I don’t know if anything specifically memorable happened that day, but I always have that in my head as like, that was a very good day.” 

Jahagirdar wants to live life by doing what he loves and joining in on whatever catches his eye next. For him, learning to be an effective leader is important as it teaches you empathy and gets a crowd behind you to listen when the time comes, an essential characteristic EHS’ king should hold.