Campus adda

College hangout spots: A time and place to meet. Photo: G. Krishnaswamy   | Photo Credit: G_Krishnaswamy

Ethiraj College for Women

The basketball court: Located behind the annexe campus, the basketball court is definitely one of the favourites among the Ethirajians. This always-breezy spot with lots of trees is an ideal place to relax and chat during lunch breaks. Aamira, a final year student adds, “In these three years of college I've always found this place to have a calming effect over me.”

The ‘manga-elandapazham-pineapple' kadai: Situated outside the main campus gate, this shop is thronged by students post college hours, devouring those tangy, juicy, raw mangoes and elandapazhams. Sandya, who is a regular here says, “What is best about this place is that it makes for an inexpensive and healthy snacking option”. The friendly paati who owns the shop treats her customers to that extra slice of a mango generously slathered with salt and chilli powder!

Wellington Estate: What more can a college student ask for when a dozen eateries (like Milky Way, Swirls ,Curries ‘n' Chutneys, Punjabi Rasoi, Donut house and Hotel Ponnusamy ) are right opposite the campus? Wellington Estate is the go-to place for every Ethirajian, be it birthday treats or post-semester celebrations! And Expressions is the perfect place to shop for those five-subject notebooks and cutesy gift articles. Its proximity to the campus and affordability is what makes this place one of the most frequented hangouts among the students.

SWETHA RAMACHANDRAN, III Year, B.Sc Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology, Ethiraj College for Women


SRM University

“Back Gate”: It refers to the area around and near the college back gate. Thought not officially part of the college, it's the unofficial headquarters of SRM. With everything from recharge shops to restaurants catering to almost all the cuisines of the country (Andhra messes being more popular), it is one of the most popular hangout spots. Gossip, meetings, chilling out or even heated arguments, it all happens here.

Java Green: With a variety of food courts, it is a place where everything from committee meetings to birthday parties happen. Located in the annex campus of the university, it is frequented by students throughout the day. This is the place to be if you want updates on campus happenings.

Medical Canteen: Though canteens are common in all colleges and SRM has many, it is the “Medical canteen” that stands out. The crowd mostly comes in only after 9.00 p.m., when all other places are closed and the late nighters — well, almost everyone who has an assignment or record to submit the next day — come in hungry for some food and a break from work. It is during exams that the place comes alive with every one doing one night preparation over some Maggi and Coke.

ABHIJEETH REDDY B., III Year, B.Tech, SRM University, Kattankulathur


Women's Christian College

The Clock Tower: Situated right opposite the Doveton House, the clock tower makes a beautiful hangout especially during evenings. With the sun setting behind the lush green trees that surround the college, there is an aura of peace and tranquillity.

The Nescafe Kiosk: The luxury of spending about Rs.15 for that prized iced tea is something every WCCite, both students and teachers, love to try out. Apart from that, the regular coffee and tea that is served in the kiosk helps us release the stress levels that are built during the day.

The Tree: The seating area around “The Tree” is the best spot for teaching and learning with friends during exams.

Tic Tac: This kutty shop, as described by friends, right opposite Alsa Mall, is the most amazing place to get quality chicken tikka rolls. With the inflation rates and recession hitting our pocket money every other day, this seems to be the best snacking hang out.

Oxford Book Store Cha Bar: One of the coolest lounges that Chennai offers, Cha Bar gives the ambience of calmness. In the company of aromatic coffee and good music, one can hook onto an amazing collection of books in this store.

Subway: The Subway outlet at Khader Nawaz Khan Road benefits most of the hostelites by not only providing them with yummy fresh sandwhiches, salads or burgers, but also a super-fast Wi-Fi connection.

AFREIN NASIR, II Year, B.A. Corporate Economics, WCC


Stella Maris College

The grounds: Hundreds of trees, squirrels, mongoose, mynahs, caterpillars, ladybugs, bees, butterflies and kittens: just some of the life found on the Stella Maris College Campus. One of the most peaceful and well maintained places I have been to, the students find 'hangouts' at various spots. In the monsoon, storks visit us and the NCC grounds are our favourite hangout. Kingfishers and woodpeckers have been spotted too!

Green Hut: While the canteen is one of the most sought after hangouts, we particularly love our Green Hut at Stella. This lovely spot in the middle of the campus has a beautiful garden, plenty of greenery and mosaic stone benches. It gives you a deep sense of peace and being one with nature as you sit surrounded by flowers and creepers, with the chapel next door. It has been a place for loud class discussions, singing rehearsals, quiet contemplation, prayer by the statue of Our Lady Star of the Sea and last minute exam study. Outdoor classroom sessions are a common sight at the Hut, and everyday the students hope it isn't occupied before they get there. Hostelites love this place too. Sometimes the cats play audience and will sit with you while you think about world peace at the Hut. This beautiful structure gives us the space to feel away from all the activity while still on campus.

Gangotree and Fruit Shop: Favourite hangouts just outside college include Gangotree and Fruit Shop and you will find these places dotted with Stella Marians after college hours. Apart from the chaats and the juices, these places end up being our hangouts for post-college discussions as they are a stone's throw away and accessible to everyone. Besides, who doesn't love a good plate of pani puri after college?!

SWAPNIL MIDHA, Final Year, MA Public Relations, Stella Maris College



Gajendra Circle: Those two words symbolise not only Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, to the outside world but also represent “insti” pride to those inside. When in IIT, all roads indeed lead to Gajendra Circle. Though GC is possibly IIT's most famous structure, to the students who spend most of their time within the institute, it is the hottest area on campus. Not only are all directions and distances described in terms of their relation to GC but come nightfall, one would see groups of youngsters plonking themselves along the rim of the structure. “I'm at GC” or “I'm cycling past GC” or “Meet me at GC” are constant refrains amongst the students. It is almost as if Gajendra Cirlce is intrinsically linked to the IITian identity.

The tea kadai: Outside campus, possibly the most happening place to be is a non-descript tea kadai outside the Taramani gate. Referred to amongst students as “Fighterman”, this tea shop is open 24x7 to cater to the needs of the numerous starving, sleep-deprived students who frequent it at various times during the day and night. Called “Dream's Nest”, it is almost a rite of passage for most students, after a whole night awake for either academics or extra-curriculars that make up most part of their calendars.



MOP Vaishnav College for Women

The Maggi Station: The college canteen that was once popular for the hustle and bustle of students rustling through its spaces, has witnessed a drastic transformation over the last couple of years. The dynamic activity that was synonymous with college canteen is now overcome by semi-empty spaces and silent whispers. The students have found another place to unwind — the Maggi Station. Says Shruti M., “Sometimes the ice tea from the Maggi Station is what persuades me to come to college.” What brings life to this place is not the bright yellow board that screams out its name or its fascinating cottage like architecture but the constant chattering of scattered bunches of young women over a bowl of hot Maggi and chilled ice tea.

Chatty chaat: And those who do not find enough space at the station, step out to indulge in a combination of sweet-sour pani puri and a platter of fiery chaats at the chaat stall that has set up shop outside the boutique (Rangoli), diagonally opposite the college. Divya S., a student, says, “It's so refreshing to indulge in a plate of pani puri after a tiresome day at college; the kulfi serves as great dessert too.” Between 1pm – 2 pm and 6pm - 7pm (the closing period of both the morning and evening batches), if you happen to pass by and notice groups of young women huddled around the space outside the boutique and wonder what's being offered, it is simply a platter of scrumptious Kolkata chaat.

PAYAL CHHABRIA, M.A. Communication, M.O.P. Vaishnav College For Women


College of Engineering - Guindy

The campus at Anna University, College of Engineering, is planetary and making a list of the hangout spots in the campus will throw quite a few surprises and numerous options. Traversing through the labyrinth of the 100-acre campus can be an adventure by itself. For the circus enthusiasts, it's the numerous iron railings on which they can hang precariously, a free joy ride forever.

The Hot Chocolate Hut: For the heartbroken, it's the hot chocolate hut or as I call it the sad café.

The woods: For faint hearted lovers and fair weather friends, it's the beautiful gardens and fountains and for the game hunting Salman Khan types, it's the uninhabited woods at the far end of the campus.

Wi-Fi trees: My personal favourite is, however, the Wi-Fi trees; they are small circular shaped sit outs with garden umbrellas, strategically placed around the campus. It's one of those places where you can sit back and surf the Internet while enjoying the sunny weather, it's also a hangout where friends prefer to lounge and discuss homework and assignments, a place where the whispering campaign begins but never ends.

Gokulam Cafe: Outside the campus, Gokulam cafe is the perfect place to go with friends after a long day of classes, when hunger gets the better of you. It's only a short drive away and it's a foodie's paradise with a variety of dishes ranging from north Indian, Chinese to sea food. Talking to my friend Keerthi, he says “I love eating at Gokulam Café. My favourite dishes are triple Szechwan fried rice and chicken lollipop and even though the intensely coloured food leaves a mark on your hands; it's lip smacking”. Gokulam café is open past midnight and hence the go-to joint for most hostelers.

College of Engineering has a sprawling campus and since it's located in the heart of the city it's never hard to find a new place to hang out every once in a while.

VANESSA BAGDY, B.E. C.Sc., College of Engineering - Guindy


Madras University

Library: As university students, we are expected to hangout at the library; and we do. The only difference is that we hangout in the library sans the books. It becomes a meeting point for chitchat with friends from other departments.

Parking area: Next comes our parking area, where students who don't have vehicles meet those who come by vehicles at the parking spot. We continue our endless conversations there till the watchman, tactfully, tells someone passing by that the students refuse to take leave of the parking spot. Birthdays are never-a-miss at the lunch hall. No birthday passes without a cake-cutting here with envious looks pouring from folks who can just see the cake. Sinful chocolate cake with blissful biriyani treats can lure even the holy souls.

Balcony: We now move on to the balcony near the restrooms. No wonder people say girls take a lot of time at the restroom. No prizes for guessing what we are up to! Standing outside and talking, we make use of the endless wait in queues with hot gossip and moderate discussions. Amidst the plethora of gossip and trivia, bordering nonsense, topics such as, “How our educational system requires metamorphosis?” and “Are social activists really ‘active'?” frequently arise. Unfortunately, some overly enthusiastic students use these spots to teach their classmates, spoiling its whole purpose!

MYTHREYI DEVARAJAN, I Year, M.Sc. Toxicology, University of Madras


Madras Christian College

Three hundred and sixty five acres of nothing but absolute beauty with deer, peacock, peahens and many more exotic living creatures and gigantic trees and a lake that invites different varieties of birds and the presence of a being in a forest itself. MCC is one place where you will see no crowding of students in just one spot because the campus has so much to offer. If you want to go into the heart of the college, then it is the place where the students are.

The gutters: Taking a break at the gutters is one of the most popular hangouts, a much sought after place any time of the year.

The Water Tank: is yet another, a round-shaped sit out with stones benches and a centre table.

The Bell Tower: is one of MCC's oldest chill-out spots, with an old Bell that waits to be rung.

The Boxing Ring: We don't really have matches here anymore but it has transformed itself into a place where MCCiites meet up.

The Philosopher's Stone, Football ground, Women's Lounge, Mcfils are other hang-out spots. Apart from all of these MCC has a beautiful lake, a farm house and a farm, but to get to these places you either need a faculty to accompany you or you need to be a member of the Scrub Society.

The E-Sait Biriyani Centre right outside MCC, a huge tree on a small lane to the right of the college with a few tea stalls and thallu-vandis, the railway station and the train journey are the other spots were one can find the MCC crowd.

Benjamin Reubendran (III B.Sc. Viscom), says, “The gutters or the football ground is my place to relax because of the absolute beauty; surrounded by the sky, the lush forest with the trees and the field. However I love it the most when it rains!”

DIVYA THIAGARAJAN, I Year, M.A. Communication, MCC

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Printable version | May 3, 2021 8:33:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/campus-adda/article3280196.ece

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