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‘The rains are just fabulous’

Delhi girl Priyanka Suneja, who is studying at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, talks about what makes her college and the city so unique.

education Updated: Jul 02, 2013 16:51 IST

What were your reasons for choosing St Xavier’s College, Mumbai?
Despite being from Sanskriti School, a prominent school in Delhi, and having scores with which I could easily make it to Delhi University’s top colleges, I made an unusual choice of pursuing my graduation from Mumbai. I felt a need to step out of my comfort zone in terms of being away from family, away from my city and to adapt myself into an entirely new culture and then see how far I got.

Why did you opt for this course?
I am a third-year economics and sociology honours student at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. I took up this course because I wanted to understand the economics behind the growth of the economy, correlating it people, figures, trends and concepts. It gives a broader and more appropriate outlook to policy making, which is what I aim to do.

How has your experience been studying at St Xavier’s?
St Xavier’s is not a college, it’s a way of life. It not only gives us an exceptionally great knowledge but also an ability to create our own identity. With an intensive curriculum, both academically and in terms of co-curricular activities, we are given enough space and offered enough opportunities to find our own ways into the real world. The college truly empowers its students.

How is the campus life there?
It is very comfortable. It didn’t take me more than a week to fit into the Xavier’s culture. It offered a very welcoming ambience, great peers and a homely environment.

How is the quality of teaching at St Xavier’s, the scope for extra-curricular activities and the social atmosphere?
One of the many things that I appreciate about my college is its unique style of teaching. The curriculum is exhaustive. The opportunity to interact with the faculty here is indeed a blessing. The professors not just have an in-depth knowledge of their respective subjects but have a great opinion in all spheres. Classes are much beyond books and comprise intense discussions on various topics. The discussions are not confined to just classrooms. Students and professors interact in the canteen, corridors or at their departments whenever they are free. Apart from academics, the college offers a large space for indulging in extra-curricular activities. St Xavier’s has teams for all sports, music bands, a festival Malhar, which give them a chance to showcase their talent at the national level. Each student indulges in social service through the college’s social service league.

What is it that you love about Mumbai and why?
Mumbai is a vibrant city. It offers an atmosphere of an international city, exposing us to the multi-cultural environment. Coping with constant rains, travelling from Andheri to Churchgate daily, travelling to college with a fractured foot and staying alone… I have faced a lot of challenges in Mumbai. The great deal of not just competition, but healthy competition, has given me a chance to find that drive to achieve goals. Few things I love about Mumbai are:

Pace of life: Life in Mumbai is very fast. The will and dedication that drives Mumbaikars to be active all through the day is incredible. The city taught me to make the apt use of 24 hours.

Attitude of Mumbaikars: They are extremely helpful and accepting. The city has made a space for people across the country and the world. The helping hand that not just the educated, but even the uneducated, taxi drivers and rickshaw drivers offer is commendable. They have strong values and morals and stand by them with great deal of integrity.

Professionalism: The people are very rational, time-bound and have a global outlook that sets them aside from a lot other cities in India. Extremely hard working, very ambitious and focused, the people work day and night to achieve their objectives.

Mix of classes, cultures and ethnicities: Mumbai welcomes with open arms people from across different backgrounds.

The city that never sleeps: Mumbai’s nightlife is something that we don’t find anywhere in India. The city never sleeps. The energy the people have even at night is unique and very captivating. The safety that the city provides gives us a chance to explore the city even at night. This home to the Hindi film industry has made many people realise their dreams.

Which are the five places one must visit when you are in Mumbai and why?
You must visit Marine Drive for that gives you ample space to collect your thoughts, feel at peace and rejuvenate to face much more; Bandra (especially Carter Road) that is the best place to hang out with friends; the Colaba Market that gives an essence of the entire Mumbai and is a lively place to be in the evenings; and Victoria Terminus and fort to see the British-style buildings and the ancient structures. You must also visit the vendors selling coffee, tea, idli-chutney and muska-pav at the streets post 11pm till 4am.

Love

* Mumbai is a vibrant city. It offers an atmosphere of an international city, exposing us to the multi-cultural environment. The great deal of not just competition, but healthy competition, has given me a chance to find that drive to achieve goals.

* Pace of life: Life in Mumbai is very fast. The will and dedication that drives Mumbaikars to be active all through the day is incredible. The city taught me to make the apt use of 24 hours

* Mix of classes, cultures and ethnicities: Mumbai welcomes with open arms people from across different backgrounds

Don’t like

* The weather: Can be a spoiltsport, especially when it becomes really humid. It’s tough to bear at times

* The crowd in the local trains: It just adds to the woes of travelling from one end of the city to the other. It can be taxing if you have to travel standing all the way through. The passengers may be courteous sometimes to be able to lend you a seat if you are lucky

* The traffic: This is perhaps the worst thing about the city. There aren’t enough ways of ­commuting from one place to the other, which makes it even more troublesome. The unending jams during the rains are really unwanted

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