Newbie in Delhi University (DU)? Just made friends? Classes are yet to gain momentum? Low on pocket money or almost broke? Well, you are just a 'normal' fuccha aka fresh enrolee acclimatising to the lifestyle of this 'great' varsity.
There are many places to hang out in and around college that will come to your rescue during the next three years. "Life completely changes the moment you become part of the North Campus. The hang-out zones are the best part of it," says Shruti, a third-year student at Hindu College.
A bustling Kamla Nagar K-Nags in student-speak is a stone's throw from DU's North Campus. The place swells with smart collegegoers as students from Hans Raj, Hindu, Miranda House, Kirori Mal, and Khalsa College throng to the market.
Bookstores rule the roost here with coffee shops whose mind-blowing aroma of fresh brews enchant everybody Sing aloud or simply stand by and listen to the euphoric rhythms of a guitar at Barista or have fun shopping for chic acces- sories at roadside shops.
Never forget Chache di Hatti, a small shop serving chhole bhature in K-Nags. For almost five decades now, this place has been a favourite with one and all. The long queues say it all. A walk down Bungalow Road enlivens the feel of the North Campus with its diverse student culture. The style quotient here is really high. Just behind Bungalow Road, nestled in a service lane, are the popular Tibetan food joints -Momo's Point, Sikkim's Momo King and Ban-Zai.
These joints offer various tempting dishes at pocketfriendly rates to their committed DU clientele. A new entry to this list is "Zia", a Moroccan cafe, which is quite a hit with students. At the end of the same lane is Omelettes, the mecca for egg-lovers, with its sumptuous fare.
And for those looking to go that extra mile, the University Ridge is never too far, with all its greenery and hilly charm. Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar markets are at a walking distance from Kalindi College and Janki Devi College. Go to Yo! China, Pizza Hut, Roshan di Kulfi for a treat or haunt the good McDonald's which is relatively cheap.
The best hangout hub for almost every DU student is undoubtedly Connaught Place, or CP as it is better known, owing to its connectivity via the Metro. It has something for everybody -the chic, the nerd and the plain Jane. From ivory earrings, wooden masks and alluring necklaces, there are also fancy psychedelic Tshirts and electronic items on sale at a much cheaper price. Walk a few metres to reach the Janpath market.
Don't miss the delicious paneer pakoras (cottagecheese fries) with spicy coriander sauce whose taste will linger on in your memory The supposedly air-conditioned and slightly rundown Palika Bazaar is a confusing underground market with its over 300 shops. Buy trendy shirts, pirated CDs, electronic gadgets from here to impress your peers!
A little south
If you belong to South Campus, then you may spend time at the Sarojini Nagar Market, Ansal Plaza, Dilli Haat or Greater Kailash. Students from the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Kamala Nehru, Gargi, Lady Shri Ram, and Sri Venkateswara College reli- giously visit these places. A lively market for students who don't want to invest much on clothes or are nearly broke, Sarojini Nagar is well-known for its export surplus clothes.
Here you will find clothes made for brands like Van Heusen, Joe Boxer, and Levi's sold at throwaway prices. Check out the in-things and have a blast of a time roaming around the narrow lanes. For a high-end and opulent experience, move to GK or Ansal Plaza. Fringed with trendy fashion houses and showrooms of multinational brands, these places are a big hub for 'aristocratic' denizens.
Eat chaat or momos and savour the delicious silver foil-wrapped paan available in the shops. Many discotheques dot the locality as well. In addition, Lajpat Nagar is famous for casuals, novelties, gifts and handicraft items at bargain prices. Khan Market is known for its music shops and eateries like The Big Chill.
For students in East Campus colleges like Maharaja Agrasen, Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Vivekanand and Shyam Lal, there is a huge variety of malls to choose from. Cross River Mall, Pacific Mall, EDM and Kaushambi Mall are some major chill-out spots. McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Nirula's, Sagar Ratna, Saffron Court, and Bikanervala host a chunk of backbenchers daily.
Good ol' canteen
College life has and will always be much more than the classroom. The cheapest and a favourite retreat on the college premises is the canteen. Each college canteen has its unique ambience. The "cafeteria" of St. Stephen's College with its cutlets and the D-school canteen with the revered mutton dosas and jelly ice cream top the charts.
Students gorging on numerous plates of Maggi, samosas and rajma with rice at subsidised prices, chattering away to glory, and discussing everything under the sun except what to study are easy sights at the canteen. Great friends are found, friendships strengthened, and bonds-for-life formed in and around these haunts. So, get going, fucchas! You are going to spend some of your most memorable moments here! But there is more to the campus.
The old-world charm still lives on at the University Coffee House (near the university's main gate). Fast food lovers find solace in Nirula's right across the Arts Faculty. As Mehak, a second-year student from Indraprastha College, puts it, "The time spent hanging out is time well spent! I am going to remember these amazing days forever" To get a "hang" of it all ... hang out.