For most of us whose colleges are in the north campus of Delhi University, our day technically starts in the campus with a two minute walk which somehow manages to imbibe a holistic essence of that entire place in itself. Now while this semester wraps up itself, with nostalgia already in the air, there is this small part, a small place which all those who are graduating, will miss for sure.
For three most memorable years of our lives, we have walked on the lane outside the VV metro station and everything from the chatter, the dusty winds from the barren ground on right to the simple walks with the friends now awaits to be a memory. But out of everything, the walk will be missed beneath the memories of the college, lectures, farewells and everything.
The walk which starts from the four steps down the VV station’s exit and stretches to the Chattra Marg is almost like a kaleidoscope which comprises of different people, food, folders, jewellery and colours.
Like a collage of a hundred little things, there are a few which you will find or see here almost all the time. Some of them are so consistent that even when your best friend didn’t show up on time and you didn’t run into a class/college mate in the metro and you’re walking all by yourself with your headphones on, you will still unconsciously see every detail unfold around you.
So, four steps down the station and you will find these overtly welcoming rickshaw wallas advertising their rides like cheap honeymoon packages to Vegas, in their hard to ignore ‘Madam! Mirinda bees rupay me’. You might ignore them with or without a smile and turn to this place slowly coming to life in the early morning hours. It is almost recognizable when the scent of morning dust gets amalgamated with the steam of fresh momos and the grey smoke of cigarettes getting stronger as the hours pass by. There will be at least one group circulating a cigarette under the trees, one simply hanging out apparently bunking classes, one discussing Marxist theories, while one with the ‘how FYUP has ruined their lives and which FC presentation is due’ discussions.
A few steps ahead and the back side of the bus stand will probably appear screaming for your attention through its black and white ABVP/ NSUI/ anti FYUP posters pasted in the most monotonous and dull colours. No one ever looks. But there are chances that you will spot these men/women in black distributing the same pamphlets to you and watching you make a nice little crumbed ball of it before throwing it in the parking area ahead. These people apparently never mind.
A few steps ahead, beside the momos selling lady, this man selling antique looking Indian candies reminds you of the 1999’s childhood. Then the little collection of posters, from Friends, Harry Potter to Nirvana will always have some visitors for sure. Pretty much coming to an end, the sparkling side of the walk comes with the jewellery selling stalls stretching to the road. Before you exit, you will find this old man with his weighing machine sitting there, almost every day; waiting for someone to stop in front of his old machine and pay him three rupees. He even has a Facebook page in his name because he won’t beg but earn respectfully.
The walk comes to an end when your mind starts thinking about the college, often interrupted by a random three feet tall kid asking for money from you and you move to the parking lot dotted with pamphlets all over. Now taking a rickshaw of the man who has the same welcoming look on his face, you leave, only to return a few hours later, to this place which will be still the same.
But since the semester is ending and each day brings this urge to gather more and more memoirs from this place, from the busy streets of Kamla Nagar, from this North Campus, a slow and long walk on the VV street is a must. Making it slow, taking in every detail before some new road becomes your daily pathway to somewhere else, you should do it before life changes after college.
Every year things change, but this street will remain the same way for years till some people go while some come to this campus and walk on this street of cigarettes, momos and trinkets.