By Saptaparno Ghosh:
On my very first day in college, I had a crucial question in my head. Hansraj had the ‘Lover’s Point’, Hindu had the ‘Virgin Tree’ and Ramjas had the ‘Sutta Lane’. Did SGTB Khalsa also have its own special spot?
As I walked across the lobby on my first day in college into a more vibrant place, I saw the centre of the crossroad leading to a basketball court and the sports ground. It was beautifully enveloped by a canopy of trees. I soon found out that this space was called ‘Jannat‘. Adjacent to the auditorium complex and covered by buildings on the other three sides, it is protected from the sun.
Mornings at ‘Jannat‘ are peaceful. They offer the best setting for contemplation. As the day progresses, the courtyard becomes much more animated.
Also referred to as ‘Nukkad’, it serves as the perfect venue for Ankur’s celebrated street plays. Ankur is the dramatics society of SGTB Khalsa. Photography, poetry, and fine Arts societies’ also have their annual exhibitions there. Visiting ‘Jannat‘ started off as a luxury. It eventually became a necessity and a routine part of my existence.
My first experience in ‘Jannat‘, was on the day when I had to submit my examination form, at the end of the first semester. As any Delhi University student would know, form submissions can be a nightmare for freshers, especially when you’re unaware of the process or the documents required. Throughout the exam form submission season, one could see ‘Jannat’ buzzing with students struggling to fill the form and finding the right documents.
‘Jannat‘ is now an essential part of our existence – perfect place for relaxation after bunking lectures. However, with a substantial number of classroom windows facing ‘Jannat‘, I find the idea of bunking at ‘Jannat‘ somewhat counterproductive. Yet, this is the favourite place to settle for anyone who wants to bunk.
For people commuting from Gurgaon, Ghaziabad or Dwarka, being late for the morning lecture at 9:30 was a daily affair. Unwilling to face the embarrassment of entering late every day, we would be in ‘Jannat‘ until the lecture got over.
One day, while chilling in ‘Jannat’, I had a casual conversation with one of my college acquaintances. All of a sudden he asked me about one of my classmate’s progress with his love interest. This shook me, for I hadn’t expected him to know my classmate, let alone the gossip.
At that moment, I realised that the world is small. Having experienced so many things at ‘Jannat‘, I cringe at the superficial description of the college addas in tabloids. Failing miserably in capturing its real essence, they give it an alluring character, which is far away from reality. Due to which we rate ‘Jannat‘ lower than a “Lover’s Point” or “Virgin Tree”, until it’s time to leave, only to cherish memories of this place for the rest of our lives.