Jayaram College of Engineering and Technology

The hangout: Stone benches

Rush hour: During tea-break, lunch time and the 15-minute gap before the students get into the college buses in the evening.

Where it’s at: In front of the basket ball court and volleyball court where spectators get together for a chat over a game.

What's to love: A spacious yard filled with trees and dotted with the famous stone benches. The college buses standing before the benches form a neat little cove, providing a perfect ‘hideout’. Plenty of cool breeze and shade makes it a perfect getaway.

With the college’s launch of Connect forum, a medium that connects parents to the database of students’ performances, the youngsters can’t wait to talk about it.

In the middle of some well-meaning teasing of the ‘famous’ forum, Sivaramakrishnan gets the brunt of it.

He good-naturedly nods off all comments and gentle teasing from the girls as being the ‘pazham’ or the class ‘good boy’.

"Buttering up professors is an art. You change facial expressions, ask a lot of doubts and rave about the forum," says Sivaramakrishnan.

Stephy Rose says the forum reveals too many ‘secrets’ to their parents. In the same breath, she complains about college’s strict rules and asserts that breaking rules make life more fun.

For Roopan, the group’s chatterbox, teasing comes lot more easy than anything else. "I have tried to change the password for my forum entry. But it is really brilliantly designed," he says, accepting defeat. Roopan who doesn’t want his folks to glance through his performance sheet is the quirkiest of the lot.

Soon the topic turns to the much-awaited ‘Endhiran’ and the boys can’t stop gushing over Aishwarya Rai’s beauty. Girls choose to roll their eyes towards the ceiling.

"Anything Sun Pictures produces is made into a hit," a suddenly serious Roopan chips in. "And of course we have our Thalaivar," agrees the affable Sivaramakrishnan.

Whats not to:

"Grumbling about marks and lab goof-ups is strictly forbidden," says Stephy Rose. While cinema and television dominate their chats, politics and other serious topics are a taboo. "Exam talk is a no-no. Last-minute study and who-studied-what is also not allowed," says Gurumurthy.

Alternatives:

The canteen, diagonally opposite to the stone benches, works as the second best hang out. When they are ‘chased’ out of their bench meets, they invariably turn to the canteen to find solace in steamy hot samosas and hot tea (which is nothing more than a cuppa boiling water, as a student puts it) . Empty labs and classrooms, though difficult to find, are among the treasured spots in the category.