i was thrilled to go back to the Arts Faculty of Delhi University in North Campus. A lot of things change over the years but the memories come beating back nevertheless. Walking around the red bricked corridors, it felt as if a familiar face would pop out of the somewhere and smile at me. There didn’t seem to be any time lapse between then and now. Everyday, we would come to the campus, put our bags in our seats in class and come out to sit in the corridors waiting for our friends to turn up. All our breaks were spent sitting there finishing our food that we got from home like good children! A new library has come up for the department and the grass on the lawns had a different pattern. But students sitting on those green carpets basking in the winter sunshine was no different from my times.
How could i go to North Campus and not walk through Kamlanagar! (Knags, as it was later called by our ‘khool’ juniors). The same Bunglow Road has Archies, Barista, CCD and the recently sprung up Bercos with a few nondescript momos joints. McDonalds has shifted from where it was in my time to Bunglow Road. It is an important landmark in the story of my two years in the University. Our group had six friends and all of us found refuge away from Shakespeare and Wordsworth in McDonalds at least once a week. Multiplexes were not yet popular and our pocket money was a pittance compared to what college kids get today. So we generally loafed around ‘knags’ and landed in McDonalds for an economeal of Chicken mcgrill (veg version for the only vegetarian among us) and a coke for only Rs. 29!! We really didn’t mind having it all the time since that was the only decent place around and it fit our budget too. (Though, McDonald’s turned out to be a major turn off with their monotonous burgers over the years, their new additions not improving the favour one bit)
What really surprised me, pleasantly, was the number of eating joints with a variety of cuisines that had come up in the area. Bercos for Chinese cuisine (the strictly Indian version, if you please) has been there for sometime. But i never imagined that i would find students of DU digging into pasta and lasagne in our good ol’ university neighbourhood! The friend i met up with took me to one such place which served Chinese and Italian at extremely affordable prices for students. (of course, the version again being very local, but pasta is pasta, right) The place was a restaurant with clean tables and liveried waiters with good service and manners. Not surprisingly, it was full of students. i wouldn’t imagine going to a place like that as a student. But that’s how the world progresses and youngsters today are lot more exposed to and comfortable in sophisticated places.
It was great to go back in time. i was also happy to see the headway that college life has made over the years. The activities that students do change over time but the joy of being a student always remains the same. It’s only in hindsight that we realise how carefree those days were and we were better off sitting in those corridors!