Pune is also known as the ‘Oxford of the East’ (a very clichéd phrase) and you can spot dozens of the species called ‘college students’ hanging around their colleges. A Katta could be a non-college one also i.e. not in the college but somewhere near the college. It is a meeting spot of chuddy-buddies, lovers, enemies (to remove khunnas- tapori style) and also a place where the cutting chai is best enjoyed. Anna’s cutting chai, to be specific. The ‘Anna’ is found everywhere- in colleges, office canteens and in Udipi hotels and I have met many such Annas in my life. And the common dialogue with the Anna, “Anna chai do’, ‘Anna wada garam chahiye’ and ‘Anna paisa kal doonga’.
Katta (The word Katta is repeated too many times and also to make it sound cool, I am referring to it as ‘K’ from now on) sees the rise (!) of many talents. Singers wail here, dancers dance, poets churn out poetry and artists decorate their very own K. The singers get listeners here, dancers get audience and the poets get recognition. Poor K has to bear it all! The K makes a great venue for debaters and ‘orators’ to debate and discuss hot topics and also for the ‘intellectual’ types to hold their intelli-seminars. K essentially should have some kind of a tree around it, so that the K-padeeks can enjoy some cool breeze and if it is a fruiting tree (such as peru or chikoo), eat some fruits when hungry.
My tryst with the Katta is of seven long years- from 11th Std to final year of my post-graduation, I have basked in the glory of the K. I was a very studious (a phenomenon misunderstood by many, looking at my glasses) person and therefore had only an hour or so to spend on the K everyday. In Modern College, where I did my 11th to BSc study, the K was sometimes my classroom and sometimes the corridors, as it was a small college. I had a great bunch of friends so the place didn’t matter. But while in Ranade Institute, where I studied journalism, I had a two hour break between my foreign language lecture and my journalism lecture, so my frequency on the K increased. Also, if our journo lectures were cancelled (which happened most of the times) we would be padeek on the K and do stupid stuff like cracking PJs and harass serious members of the group when studying. My ‘Japanese’ group and I enjoyed some really beautiful moments of fun, timepass and actual work related talks on this K, which had a Christmas tree look-alike tree.
Thank you K, for being the best part of my college life and giving me such wonderful memories and I am sure that many others also thank K for their college memories.