Just as you reach college, you head straight to the canteen to meet your friends. Or you wait near the Social Service League (SSL) office to meet them, under the arches, or some other hangout spot. Your friends greet you with, “Let’s bunk?” to which you reply, “Nahi yaar, attendance problem!” College gets over sooner than usual, so you sit back with your gang in the canteen and eat soupy Maggi noodles, or make a prompt movie plan, or go to McDonalds. Despite an off lecture or two, you end up reaching home later than usual. You curse the college and its strict rules for that. The next day, you’re happy to be in college again. It is just an ordinary day at St Xavier’s College.
The Gothic structure of St Xavier’s college — complete with lovely gargoyles — arrests you wonderment at the first sight itself. Known as one of the best colleges in India, especially for arts, it is a haven for all kinds of students. There are strict rules in place to maintain standards for education — a gold medal of sorts for the studious kids, sundry activities for students who’d rather be outside class, and even a chapel for the pious. The college has been recently declared autonomous by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and has been awarded the A+ grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Malhar, the popular intercollegiate cultural fest, is organised by the students annually. The Indian Music Group (IMG) of the college also organises ‘Janfest’ – a festival dedicated to classical music.
The college campus is quite huge; it has is a basketball court, a volleyball court, and a large canteen area. It includes renowned departments such as Psychology and English and reputed institutes like the Xavier’s Institute of Communication (XIC) and the Xavier’s Institute of Management and Research (XIMR). The college has its own Counselling Centre, where you can find help for anything — whether you need a pair of scissors or advice on serious stuff , Father Terry is always there. The campus, however, is not without its defects; and yes, I call having very weak cellular phone network a defect. Students are oft en seen risking their lives sitting on open windows of classrooms in brave, death-defying attempts of catching a signal. As annoyed students complain, it seems that with one step you get a proper signal but if you happen to just step aside, you lose it completely.
St Xavier’s College would hardly be called a good college had it not been for its happy location (No, I’m kidding, it still would). But the location of the college does help a great deal. Both the Western and Central line stations are close to the college. There are theatres like Metro, Sterling, and Eros which aren’t far, and eating joints like McDonalds and Pizza Hut are close by too. Even though Xavier’s College is known as one of the best colleges in terms of campus, extracurricular activities and education, the best thing about it does not really lie in its campus or canteen. It lies in its spirit – of allowing you to be the person that you are. You don’t need to change yourself to ‘fit in’ – there is always something in the college for you.
The faculty of St Xavier’s College is not short of excellent. Most of the professors even know most of the students by their names – whether the students are prodigies, clowns, or somewhere in between. The professors are so different, it’s actually fascinating; there is the fun and intriguing Shefali Ma’am who teaches English literature, and then the terrifying Pereira Sir, the physics professor. There is Pearl Ma’am who is also interested in the students’ lives outside the college, and then there is Rashmi Ma’am who couldn’t care less!
Defi nition: Canteen (noun): A place where all kinds of behaviour are permissible and where, out of sheer boredom and only sometimes hunger, people flock from time to time. The canteen area is generously large and divided into parts – the foyer, the main canteen area where the food is available and the Green Shed, which is adjacent to the main canteen. The food is tolerably delicious and the crowd rules.
How to spot a Xavierite:
The word ‘attendance’ is used more than twice in casual conversation, with a rather nauseous look on the face.
Full-length jeans are worn even when it’s muddy outside during the rains.
Weird hairstyle, weird dress sense, weirder talk – mostly like a Xavierite.
Words most used by a Xavierite:
“Dude! Th at’s killer man!”
“Come on let’s ‘take his case’!”
“SCREW YOU AUTONOMY!!”
Xavier’s is known as one of the best colleges in terms of campus, extracurricular activities, and education. But the best thing about it does not really lie in its campus or canteen. It lies in its spirit – of allowing you to be the person that you are. You don’t need to change yourself to ‘fit in’ – there is always something in the college for you in your unique self. It truly is not just a college, but a way of life.
Volume 1 Issue 2