The circular building of the
Students' Centre at Panjab University In Chandigarh, a
hot-spot for students and outsiders.
Chandigarh: It may not
be a pilgrimage spot but not one student on the Panjab University
(PU) campus here would say that he or she has not been there. The
Students' Centre a.k.a. 'Stu-C' at the university campus has been
a 'must-do' for students and visitors coming here.
'Stu-C', as most from the student community prefer to call it, is
a favourite hot-spot for students on the campus. Built in late
1960s, the centre's very famous circular structure was designed by
Le Corbusier, the French founder architect of Chandigarh city
The centre was built with the idea of providing to students a
place of recreation. The three-storeyed round building still
stands tall even though a range of small shops have been allowed
to be opened in the area in the past few years.
The Stu-C building itself houses an old Coffee House, recreation
room, offices of the Students' Council and the Dean-Students
Welfare and a couple of eateries. The adjoining shops serve all
kinds of street food and drinks - from lemonade, coffee and shakes
to Chana Bhatura, Chana Rice, Rajmah Chawal, Noodles, sandwiches,
burgers and much more.
"Even when we were no longer students, we used to visit the centre
with friends. It has been a famous place for all generations,"
said Amandeep Singh, ex-president of the Students' Council.
"I still remember the first time I ever came to Stu-C. The image
is still bright and I remember the exact location where I sat for
a cup of tea with my friends and discussed our research work," R.K.
Kohli, an alumnus and at present Professor in the Department of
Botany, told IANS.
He added: "Earlier, it was just the Indian Coffee House. Rest of
the area around it was deserted. It was peaceful and calm. Now,
with the new shops surrounding the building, the place is crowded
all the time. The violent acts of some students are also an
Retired army officer Capt. Rajneesh Talwar, who owns a gift shop
at Stu-C, has seen the place change over 30 years.
"I recall that when it was just the coffee house, we had to wait
for at least 30 minutes in the queue for finding a place to sit in
its cafeteria," Talwar said.
"Earlier, students who came to the centre would discuss their
courses, music department students would practise music, theatre
department students would gather here to practise their plays.
Now, since children right after completing school are joining the
university, the intellect and maturity are diminishing," he
pointed out with an expression of disappointment.
Joy, the head-waiter of the Indian coffee house, has spent almost
a decade working at the centre. "Earlier we had a foot-fall of
2,500 students every day. Now, it is just 400-500. People have
other fancier options in the city to hang out. The charm of this
place is no longer strong for the present generation," he pointed
The taste of south Indian food is just the same as it was years
"The different and unique taste that the Stu-C coffee house has
established cannot be matched by any other place," said Naval
Kishore, alumnus and faculty member of the university.
For the younger generation teachers though, Stu-C has hardly
"The moment you enter the Indian Coffee House, it feels like you
have travelled back in time. Just the ambience of the place has
changed, otherwise it is all the same. The laid-back kind of
attitude of students is Stu-C's definition. The only additions are
in the number of shops and the variety in menu," pointed out
Mohanmeet Khosla, alumnus and now faculty member of the School of
(Japjeet Duggal can be contacted at email@example.com)