Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak


A great man once coined the term ‘on-campus relationship’ to describe sleazy couples, which reside within the capacious four walls of North Campus, University of Delhi, occasionally seen coquettishly enveloping hands at Sudama Tea Point or attending a certain act of worship of a certain tree on that certain occasion mostly dreaded by single people. From having Parathas at Patel Chest to being evasive when you run into each other post a painful breakup, here is a piece of research that people in on-campus relationships would relate to:

1. You have to be careful who you look at: In North Campus, if you think you’d get away with casually flirting with a guy you met while buying Surf Excel at the neighborhood general store, you’re wrong. Because North campus is like a well-knit community of people, chances are that friends of friends of friends of friends would also know that you’re dating a certain someone. For all you know, the boy you were casually philandering with, might be the same person your boyfriend’s roommate’s classmate practices dance with. Conversely, people would be more cautious of making romantic advances on you because they’d know you are dating so-and-so.

2. Frequenting the VC lawns: The Viceregal Lodge, now called ‘VC’s office’, came into existence in 1902 was handed over to the University in 1933. 0.67 seconds post that, the first couple entered the VC lawns that surround the office. These exaggerations apart, the VC lawns, which are known for its ambrosial greenery and prepossessing foliage, are a hit amongst nature-“lovers” and poets alike.

3. Cups of Chai at Sudama: In a parallel universe, if tea stall owners were to be Pop Singers, Sudama Ji would be Lady Gaga. If Sudama Tea Joint earns ‘x’ amount of money from regular ‘single’ students, it earns ‘x²’ from couples who spend lazy evenings sipping cups of chai at the joint. Because on practical terms, on a student budget, spending INR 10 under the beauteous foliage at Sudama’s seems more appealing than spending INR 1000 at Mc. Donald’s.

4. Going to fests together: In a hypothetical situation, if the first college fest of University of Delhi was inaugurated at 10:30 hours on the fated date of 23rd February 1701, we can assume that the first couple held hands in that fest at 10:31 hours on 23rd February in the same century.

5. Avoiding running into each other post break-up: Whether you go out to buy toothpaste in Vijaynagar or to buy Maggi in Kamla Nagar, there would be a constant nagging at the back of your head that screams, “Get out of those sweats! Dress well! You don’t want him to know that you’re not dealing well with the breakup!”. Moreover, things get weird when you see the ex-beau with a new boy/girl. And then things get weirder when you stalk that new person on Instagram and before you realise it, you’re scrolling through her/his aunt’s best friend’s baby-sitter’s graduation pictures.

6. Overlapping friends’ circles: Taylor Swift in her song “We’re never getting back together” had sung, “ go talk to your friends, talk to my friends.. but we are never ever ever getting back together”. She isn’t called the Queen for nothing, for she could accurately sum up what happens when an ‘on-campus’ couple breaks up. When you’re in such a relationship, you tend to spend so much time with the significant other’s friends that you end up becoming friends, your respective friends end-up dating, and your friend’s circles end up becoming a confusing web of common acquaintances. As a result, when you break-up, the equations in the friend’s circle gets disrupted and WhatsApp groups are formed titled “Sheetal broke up with Sanjay, ab kya kare (What to do now that Sheetal and Sanjay broke up?).


Feature Image Credits: Gewusstwie Lerntherapie

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak
[email protected]

Jon managed to go to Bear Island, made numerous trips to and from Castle Black and even sailed far south to Dragonstone to meet Daenerys.

Just like Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, the students of the University of Delhi living in the NCR region are also used to traveling great stretches every day. While they don’t have to deal with the problem of living “away” from home, they don’t have the comfort of living in Karol Bagh or Chattarpur either. Students coming from the NCR region have to deal with daily traveling, security issues, and the resulting loss of productivity.

Here are 9 things that an average Delhi University student living in the NCR would relate to-

  1.  The traveling time: If X, a student of Delhi University, is living in Faridabad, she has to travel for an hour and a half in the metro to come to college. This means she would have to spend three hours every day in the metro alone. Add to that the time which gets spent in taking the e-rickshaw to the college, talking to a friendly face in the way, and waiting for the next metro in the hope of finding a seat. It takes an average NCR student four hours to just ‘travel’. That is life in a metro, literally, and figuratively.
  2. The lack of attendance: Halfway through the year, the class gets divided into three broad categories:
    (a) Hostellers
    (b) Those who live in the PGs and within the Delhi region
    (c) Those who live in NCR
    While the hostellers have the best attendance, the second category manages a decent attendance, and the last category just lets go of those five marks.
  3. The inability to join societies: DU societies are known to be very taxing, demanding, and time-consuming. Hence, most students from NCR, either, don’t join societies or even if they do join them they end up leaving midway.
    It becomes impossible to maintain a healthy schedule when traveling eats up important hours of your day. For example, if your class ends at three, followed by three-hour society practice, and two hours of traveling then you’ll reach home at 8 p.m.
    (Calculations: 3 p.m.+ 3-hour practice + 2-hour travelling= 8 p.m.).
    A regular college student cannot afford this tight schedule.
  4. You’re winning at life if you get to sleep even for five hours: Sleep is for the weak. Tell that to the NCR kid who gets up at five every day for his 9 a.m. class. The morning routine of NCR kid is as follows:(a) You set the first alarm at 5 a.m., the second at 5:05 a.m., the third at 5:07 a.m., and so on.(b) You FINALLY get up at 5:40 a.m.(c) You basically spend the next 20 minutes in bed checking messages and well, doing nothing.(d) The day finally starts at 6 a.m. and you get on with the usual morning routine for the next 40 minutes.(e) You get out of the house at 6:40 a.m., and it takes you about 20 more minutes to reach the metro station.(f) A 2-hour metro journey to your college. (With some luck, you might get a seat)
  5. Every day is a business day you have to “plan” for: An average day of an NCR kid requires more planning and plotting than any average Red Wedding.  You have to make a mind map every night. Say, if you have a class at 9 a.m. the next morning, you have to go through a battle in your mind about whether to get up at 5 or 5:30. And when every day is a “planned business day”, any aberration in the form of a teacher rescheduling class or a class getting preponed at the last moment can be a “disturbance” to the daily business of getting yourself to college and vice-versa.
  6. Not everyone wants to hear “Class just got canceled”: Class getting cancelled is not always good news, especially for the NCR students who spend their morning travelling from North of the Wall to Westeros (read: Noida/Gurgaon to DU colleges) risk getting killed in Castle Black where members of the Night’s Watch just can’t enough to killing each other (read: survive Rajiv Chowk), and deal with the wildling invasion (read: office goers in Delhi metro).  If you have to put with this struggle to get to class, you feel a sense of loss at having to see your struggle go to waste, even if you might not say it aloud.
  7. Studying. What’s that?: It is almost a universal fact that NCR kids HAVE to spend sleepless nights to make up for the precious time lost in commuting. If an average NCR student reaches home at 7 p.m., the average student living within Delhi reaches home at 4. You can pretty much gauge the number of hours lost.
  8. You need to spend days planning about the day you’d hang out with your friends: Chilling is no longer about impromptu meet-ups where you casually text your friend, “Hey where are you? Let’s go to Big Yellow Door”. Chilling involves a string of strategies like coordinating the “chilling place” such that it would be convenient for your different friends who live in different regions of the NCR, and coordinating the “chilling hours” such that your NCR friends do not have to reach home too late.
  9. You learn life skills: Like every dark cloud has a silver lining and every Night’s Watch has a Jon Snow, every great struggle that an NCR student has to go through is a life lesson to learn from. You learn how to stress-management, time-management, and coordination, despite the odds. Whether they help you in college or not varies from student to student, but these life lessons surely come handy further in life.


Image Credits: Rise for India

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak

[email protected]