Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 6, Issue 26, Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Campus bites

For those of us who have transitioned from the twelve or so years of strict school life, when our mums used to pack us tiffins, to the long anticipated four years of freedom, before making another transition into the life-long imprisonment of 9 to 5 jobs when nothing less than restaurant food will do, those four years is the time to enjoy all possible concoctions of food imaginable throughout the day.

Yes I am talking about that part of one's life when taking tiffin to class will mean social suicide and going to restaurants will mean more than the fragile hearts of our pockets can take. In other words, university life. Being a university student means, most of the time, leaving for classes early in the morning and not returning home till late in the evening, which means snacking and lunching have to be done outside the house.

To satiate the monstrous appetites of these post-adolescent individuals is not exactly an easy feat. Throughout the summer days they either look for refreshing drinks and light snacks in between lunch and breakfast while in winter they look for local delicacies such as pitha. These youngsters need variety. Thus come to the rescue the mamas and chachas of the area with their treats that are to die for, yet are the cheapest food that you can possibly come across.

Dhaka University, the oldest and largest university of the country with over 32000 students, houses its various departments over a whopping area of 2.43 square kilometers. To cater to the appetites of all these students, numerous canteens and stalls have been set up on the sprawling campus over the years -- campus hotspots that you will never find deserted.

Madhur Canteen
This place is perhaps the most famous canteen in Bangladesh. This is where the initiation of many revolutions occurred. A meeting place for student bodies and a starting point for many day-to-day processions, this canteen is visited by a large number of students for its tea and shingaras. “Madhur Canteen is adjacent to our building and this is where I often go to have my breakfast. I love the bread, butter and omelettes served at the canteen,” says a student of IBA, Shourabh Kabra.

Jaheer's Canteen
The in-house canteen of Curzon Hall, this canteen is the place where most students belonging to the science faculties hang out between classes and for lunch. “I often opt for the tehari available at our canteen. The samosa, shingara and puri are also tasty,” is what Shamit Dasgupta, a student of the Chemistry Department, had to say.

IBA Canteen
Despite being a little more expensive than the other canteens, this is one of the canteens that is reputed to serve a really good lunch. The IBA canteen, run by Babu Bhai, offers various snacks at different times of the day.

In the morning parata, vegetables, dal, shingara and aloo chop are available. As the clock ticks towards noon, chicken patties appear behind the counter and different lunches are offered on different days.

Sujit Das, a student of IBA, says, “The time gap we have between two classes is very short. I hang out at our canteen most of the time either to have a sip of tea during the short break that we get or during lunch; plus the food there is good.”

TSC and DUCSU canteen
These canteens serve perhaps the most economical food on the campus. While the TSC canteen provides you with coupons for various foods, DUCSU is a dimly lit canteen that serves tea for Tk 1, which is not seen in any other canteen even in DU.

This tiny food joint is situated near TSC. It has many kinds of snacks ranging from burgers to pizzas to vegetable rolls. The lassi available is a delicious treat and a must-have. This place is frequented by those students, at times non-students, who often hang out with their friends.

Campus Shadow
Tucked in a corner in the area beside the Arts Building this little eatery has everything, starting from kebabs, rolls, nimkis, puris, vegetable pakoras to chicken patties and any form of snack imaginable. This is where students snack while waiting in the never ending lines to get their notes photocopied.

While these are the established canteens of the DU campus there are small makeshift stalls that sell tea and vendors who remain crowded by students. One of the “in” roadside foods among the students nowadays is bhelpuri.

Bhelpuri seems to have somewhat taken over fuchka and chotpoti. Men selling bhelpuri can be found on every corner of the campus but you have to decide who makes the best bhelpuris for yourself.

Fast food restaurants such as California Fried Chicken and Shwarma House also have branches near the campus; however students rarely visit these places on a daily basis. For daily eating and hanging out purposes the DU students visit the humbler establishments of the mamas and chachas and eat to their hearts' content.

By Karishma Ameen
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Campus getup

For university going female students, choosing the appropriate attire to wear to campus is a daily hassle. Hence, some of them end up doing it wrong by either overdressing themselves or undergarbing.

The bustling activities of campus life call for a look that is functional yet presentable, keeping in mind the weather conditions and surroundings of course. Whether it's a day busy with lectures or some fun time out with friends, students want to look their best every moment.

Campus attire should be sophisticated and not flashy. And when I say flashy, I mean try avoiding heavy sequined and stone embellished outfits. You don't want to blind people. As students spend a considerable amount of time on campus, their attire has to be comfortable. So try wearing as much cotton as possible, especially during the hot summer months, as this is a fabric that lets your skin breathe.

Shalwar kameez and traditional fatuas are widely popular forms of campus attire. But if you are a trend-setter, try experimenting with funky t-shirts, dress-tops, jeans and trousers in different shades. Some common names that can be heard from campus-going students are Deshal and Taaga by Aarong, which have been doing a great job in providing youngsters with just the right clothing for university.

This is something that one needs to put a lot of thought into while choosing. If you are one of those individuals who are comfortable wearing a pair of stilettos, then you might opt for wearing heels on campus, but it should be less than three inches. But do consider giving your toes some rest once in a while. For the rest of the crowd, go for those flats that come in numerous designs and are quite the rage right now. When choosing shoes or sandals, make sure they are of a sophisticated tone and nothing well suited for a party.

If possible, I would suggest a no-makeup protocol for campus. But for the sake of looking prim, you can use waterproof eyeliner and mascara for your eyes, but in conservative amounts. If you have oily skin, you can use compact to give your skin a matte effect.

Going over the top with eye shadows, foundation and blush is a big 'no' for students. You need to let your skin breathe and be a soothing sight to the people around you; after all you'll be spending quite some time in the campus.

We are all well aware of the essentiality of bags for university students. Oversized shoulder bags are quite the trend right now and they come in various eye-catching designs. Imported mostly form Thailand and China, these bags provide you the room for those heavy books while allowing you to look cool.

For a student to be punctual, it is essential to keep track of time and hence wear a watch. But if you are one of those individuals who are pretty comfortable with using their cell phones as watches, then you can show off some chunky bracelets on your wrist. Beady bracelets are quite 'in' right now.

What you have to remember while dressing up for a day out at university is that you are a student, you need to look the part.

By Afrida Mahbub
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


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