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FOR COOL CLIMES Students hangout outside the Doveton block
FOR COOL CLIMES Students hangout outside the Doveton block

DIVYA KUMAR

WOMEN’S CHRISTIAN COLLEGE The Hangout: The ‘side steps’ or the Doveton stairs.

Rush Hour: Pretty much all through the day.

Where it’s at: Semi-circle of broad stairs behind the Doveton block, with plenty of tree cover and on the way to the canteen.

What’s to love: The History: Here’s the thing you need to know about the Women’s Christian College; every block on campus has a tragic and fairly gruesome ‘history’ that’s imparted to wide-eyed freshies during their campus tour. “They’re all love stories in which people die,” says Naseeha with a grin. The Doveton block is no different, though by WCC standards I’m told that its story is fairly tame—it merely involves an illicit love affair, insane jealousy, murder and indelible bloodstains.

But Doveton does have a genuine historical significance—it’s the original building in which the college was founded way back in 1916. “And on this historic site, we sit and eat,” says Aparna sagely.

The Food, the Foliage and the Fish: Which brings us to the excellent location of the graceful old building—right by the path that leads straight to the canteen, under the generous shade of the old trees that surround it, and beside the recently constructed goldfish pond. No really, an actual little pond with real little fish swimming about (and the occasional frog).

As if this hangout needed any thing more to recommend it, it’s also largely hidden from most classes and is bang in the centre of the campus. No wonder it’s popular—literally—from dawn to dusk. “It’s our meeting place in the morning—we first group here and then go to class,” says Amy. And it’s where the general body meeting of the hostelites takes place at 8.30-9 at night. In between, there are the music practices, the club meetings, the last minute record work… you get the idea.

The Prestige: Which is why this is a seat of prestige—not just any ol’ wet-behind-the-ears freshie can use the Doveton steps. At least, not until they become bona fide WCC first years after Freshies Night. “They have to be found worthy of sitting on these stairs,” says Aparna, tongue-in-cheek.

Quite understandable, really.

What’s not to:

There’s really not much the girls have to say against this spot, except that things can get rather damp around there when it rains. We can live with that.

Alternatives:

It’s just raining alternatives on this picturesque old campus. There’s the clock tower (haunted, naturally), the Nescafe kiosk and the canteen (for obvious reasons), the stone benches scattered under trees all over the grounds, the freshly reconstructed ‘Green stage’ behind the canteen and pretty much any other empty set of stairs they can find.

divyak@thehindu.co.in

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