There is just one negative for a student of Sri Venkateswara College, popularly known as Venky: close circuit cameras all over the campus prevent you from feeling free. "You can't help feeling watched," the students unanimously say. The rest, however, is a cakewalk.
Venkyites live up to their age-old reputation of coolness blended with intellect. Forceful debators, splendid dancers, high on the 'chillout' quotient, they always make news in DU. No one has quite forgotten their choreography society's performance at Tarang (the LSR fest) last year when they won hearts and the first prize with their presentation of the various perceptions of a prostitute, a criminal and a beggar.
Venky's pride and every other college's envy is its vast cricket field, which is so famous that cricket clubs in the Capital take permission to come and practise here. Budding footballers try to come to this college because of the excellent football coaching. The basketball court, however, is more of a hangout zone, good for spotting the 'who's who' of the college. The ones wishing to muse or simply soak the sun sit on the front lawns.
Foodies go savour the 'famous all over DU' South Indian fare in the open-air canteen. Satiate your taste buds with the idli sambar served by waiters Mahesh and Himmat, but make sure they give back the right amount of change because they are notorious for not doing so. Those with nearly empty pockets usually head to the small Chinese restaurants in Satya Niketan or simply go and sit outside the Cafe Coffee Day (CCD to the janta) for an occasional smoke.
These are usually the ones who have walked out of CCD after the waiter asked them for the millionth time if they want to order. Barista, Barneys or the parking lot outside the college are other hangout places, especially for lovebirds. (Remember the cameras on the campus?) The ragging scene is very mild here - if at all there is any ragging, it's the usual naachgaana.
The college has a lot of groupism on the basis of the society you belong to and the society your friends belong to. We mean the theatre and music societies. You might call it a kind of in-house rivalry. The students don't have very polite words for their administrative staff, who are openly labelled "incompetent" and "always on a tea break".
Punita Sharma, the co-curricular incharge, is the most favourite teacher and also everyone's agony aunt. "You can pour your heart out to her," says Isha Naravane, a third-year history student. That is Venky for you.