Nilanjana Bhattacharjee goes adda hopping in Delhi University
As much as one may complain of the high cut-offs needed to get into Delhi University, one would always work the hardest to get in, nevertheless. For once you are a D.U. kid, life is the ultimate university dream. And campus life at North is only the cream on top of the coffee you always want to have a moustache of.
Of all the age old addas in North Campus which students happily go to college for, we start with Hindu’s ‘Virgin Tree’ which is the landmark of the ‘in scene’ in college. There are kids almost at all hours of the day, sitting under the huge tree singing songs, selling college tee shirts and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a nukkad natak in action. You can tell a clear hierarchy of the seniors and the juniors around the steps, though a friendly and healthy hierarchy. The tree is almost considered holy for most students, and the legends of Valentine’s Day festivities around it are passed on from one batch to another!
The equally popular hangout point at Hindu College being PAM – Pizzas and More, where students come in-between classes and mostly decide to stay on, and socialise while waiting for sandwiches and burgers which take forever to get ready; but the students do not seem to mind, and much rather act as fielders for the hostel kids playing cricket around the drive. There is simply a lot going on there at PAM, with different society cliques wandering in and out before and after meetings, and a birthday bash every third day. There is never a shortage of company, never!
The St Stephen's saga
After one crosses over the road and steps into St Stephen's, there is a complete change of atmosphere and one is almost reminded a little bit of school. There is lush green everywhere and around you is a modest quiet. You see kids soaking in the winter sun on the Chapel lawns, while theatre practices go on for the upcoming competition. The Science Dhaba, next to the lawn has busy science kids who do not have the time to go all the way to the café, taking a five minute break and munching on something before running to another class. The campus is full of recreational rooms where there are TVs and cushions, along with TT tables and carom boards ensuring the presence of students at all times!
However the ultimate adda at St Stephen's is the café (be careful to call it that –‘canteen’ is almost a sin word while in campus) where the atmosphere is almost like that of a nice, cozy living room with warm lights. Comfortable chairs and students flopped around, the café buzzes of conversation and the clinking of nimbu paani glasses all the time. And finally, outside the café is the famous café tree where there’s always promotion of some event going on while you see students in pajamas having heated discussions on politics or playing with the Stephanian pet dogs! (They all have names, mind you.)
As one enters Ramjas, the atmosphere is much hatke, compared to the one before. As soon as you enter, on your right is the ‘Sutta Lane’ which has agglomeration of all kinds of students standing in one lane and hanging out. It is a quick “before and after class ritual” to stop by here to catch up and make a move.
As you move ahead you reach the canteen, and the ECA room behind it which is the pivot of some ‘major chilling’ with students wearing khakee pants and carrying jholas, sitting in rows outside the ECA room and playing the guitar. One often sees alumni students hanging in and around, helping out with the play and music practices inside for competitions. Right outside the canteen, among the blotches of tables and chairs, one finds discussions on politics, social issues and a whole lot of socialising. Though the ‘intellectual clique’ usually hangs around the ECA room, talking about life and its tales crouched in corners. The ‘garden college’ has an adda literally anywhere there is space and will! Which is why perhaps, Ramjas is one of the ultimate ‘University feel’ campuses around North Campus.
And finally, we step onto Hansraj’s old adda... L.P. – Lovers’ Point! One’s first visit may be a little overwhelming because the entire college seems to be running around LP with chole bature and ice teas.
As most students joke, students are much more sincere about reporting to LP than to class. Nescafe stall’s unlimited flow of coffee and nick nacks keeps students happy and their conversations afloat.
And as one moves beyond LP, you find the ‘Baddy Court’ where not only badminton but a whole lot of other activities go on. You see various societies like the dramatics and the choreography society practising, and it is popularly said that the life of all societies thrive in Baddy court. While the rehearsals go on, one finds simultaneous “chess and carom addas” around the open spaces of Baddy court.
The indoor badminton court is the hub of activities, and we often see herds of boys and girls cheering to some fun game the students break into.
North Campus was and will always be evergreen with its old and prestigious colleges and students adding life and fun to the campus. Such addas are spread all around North Campus and most of them have been the same for decades!