The act of falling in love with a place, city or an institution had always been easy for me. I have had the opportunity to live across schools and cities and thus I believed that regardless of what was to come, there will always be those quite corners and warm hugs I’ll discover and go back to when everything falls apart. For me, in this callous city of millions far from home, IPCW and its people became that calm I had been looking for.
Indraprastha College for Women is a quiet lullaby of sorts that resides in the Civil Lines vicinity, cradled between the jostle of Old Delhi and the intellectual rigor of North Campus.
It is to its students a symbol beyond that of an academic institution. To the women, it is the very history of feminism and patriotism embodied, one that acknowledges and strengthens their agency in such mass movements. The museum and archives building of the college augments the historical leer of the place, giving me a campus that I fell in love with instantly, if not at the very first sight. The white marble is resplendent across campus, filled with students engaging in all kinds of academic, cultural and social activities. It is a botanical paradise for enthusiasts and the campus is often visited by exotic birds, peacocks are a common sight too.
First day went by and so did the weeks and months that followed and in my first year I found out more about myself and the world I had been an inhabitant of for the past seventeen years. The college and its many seminars and academic initiatives met their objective of spreading awareness and educating us beyond our books. It was revealed to me that the systems and hierarchies I had embraced without a grimace had fault lines more evident than a fly in a cup of tea, only if one bothered to look. Indraprastha College is one that realizes its place as a top liberal arts’ institution and for students like me, it took the responsibility of an intellectual awakening of sorts.
Like all DU colleges, IP too has a plethora of student activities to engage in. I became a member of many societies that piqued my interest and hence got the opportunity to fraternize with people across the University who shared my passion. Through the fests and competitive events held at college and as a representative of my college in other places, I got to hone my skills alongside team leadership opportunities. IPCW reveres the need to mobilize our students who are members of the society at large and thus through active forums like the Women’s Development Cell et al, it invests in change and progress of all.
In this highly academic environment, college goers like me found respite at places like the gymnasium, swimming pool, dancing halls etc where we could let go of ourselves and have a good time practicing good sport.
Nothing beats the selfies and club meetings that happen near the wall climbing area and the famous “tila”. The amazing food served at the canteen, from simmering rajma chawal to the pastries, I found comfort food away from home at my very college canteen.
With time places like the conference and seminar rooms became voids that are now filled with memories of the vast variety of events that we conducted and were audience to. The large expanse of the grounds and the lawns under the winter Sun, the many Diwali melas and other exhibitions that we put up, all in my second year itself have given me and my gallery storage enough junk to reminiscence over.
Above all, Indraprastha has given me genuine and informative encounters with my professors across departments and seniority. From the Principal to the very administration staff, I found cooperation and joy that enabled me to engage in my ambitions. We at IP don’t appreciate the pleasantry enough, never goes a day at college when I am not greeted by smiles at the corridors by fellow students who don’t even know me. From farewell drinks with our professors to peace marches that we walked with them, from attendance waivers that float across registers to unabashed sari aesthetic, I found unconditional love and acceptance in my lecturers. They professed and opened up a world of questions that I hadn’t known I need answers to. My curiosity found good humor and acknowledgement at this college.
Indraprastha College For Women stands for me as a solid example of all the good that can happen if women decide to build each other.
From woke seniors to teachers of academic excellence, I found fun and inspiration here. There is warmth and acceptance towards all kinds of expression, a willingness to listen despite disagreement. There are flaws that we need to work on. Our college constantly despises commercialization of campus and has often prevented its students from inviting celebrities and capitalizing fests. Moreover, the college’s decision to not partake in DUSU elections has also denied some of its most ambitious political voices a stage. Regardless, there is a Union that wishes to change this and above all there is vigor and a positive restlessness across departments to make the college a better place to study in. In IPCW I found a crowd and campus that sympathizes with its time and makes an effort to mend the errs of generations long gone. I know that by the time I leave this college, I will symbolically represent the cumulative sum of all the bun tikkis I have had and all the lectures I have bunked towards an endeavor to better myself and the world I am living in.