Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  Contact Us
Linking Young Minds Together
 Volume 3 | Issue 24 | June 19, 2011 |


   News Room
   Post Campus
   News Snap
   Voicing Out
   After Class
   Semester Break
   Campus Edibless
   Going Global
   Campus Awarness
   Silly Tales
   Star Chat

   Star Campus     Home

Campus Edibles

Bot tola:
East West University's Hot Spot

Saad Adnan Khan

Tea break between classes.
Photo Credit: Sharmin Rahmatullah

If you are hungry, either for food or adda, or both, and if you are in East West University (EWU), bot tola is the place you want to be. Bot tola, which literally means the area under the banyan tree, is the most popular and convenient eating spot on the campus. The open space, the teeming voices,the sheer energy of young people and also perhaps the culturally symbolic name of the place are other aspects that draw students to this place. They swarm bot tola whenever they get the chance to grab quick bites between classes, to see the faces of their friends, to indulge in passionate addas about anything and everything, with tea in their hands, to study, to play cards and sometimes even to sing. This is the only place (other than basic core courses) students from different departments mingle, eat and laugh.

The famous bot tola - a common hangout spotfor the students.
Photo Credit: Sharmin Rahmatullah

This one grand tree adds significantly to the scarce presence of greenery on the campus. The rest of it is high raised and half constructed buildings standing across each other on both sides of an alley. The thick branches of the tree, which stands at the far end of campus, stoop and create an overhead arch of leaves between two buildings, thus draping a considerable area with a cool shade. Under the tree, small improvised stalls made of bamboo sticks, blue and red plastic sheets and corrugated tin roofs spread out. An immobile fuchka van stays fixed at one spot. Mamas with big patils on stoves stand at different spots to provide people with different delicacies. And of course there are tea stalls, with tiny glass cups, steaming kettles of tea on the stove, cans of condensed milk, glucose biscuits in plastic containers with red caps, plain cakes in plastic bags and bananas that dangle from popped out nail heads around the rickety framework of these stalls.

At Bot tola besides lunch, students also have breakfast when they have morning classes. The stalls, standing next to each other, where teenager stall boys make porota and dim bhaja for Tk.15, also provide students with benches and tables so that they can eat comfortably. Students can always sit on the

The food that is savoured by most students. Photo Credit: Sharmin Rahmatullah

stairs of the opposite building or on their parked bikes as well to eat. One of the special food items that one can find here is 'lotpoti', which is a mixture of the regular bhaji and scrambled egg that students have with porota. Other than that, students can find the usual porota tikea roll, phuchka, chotpoti, chicken khichuri, tehari, shingara, beguni, poori ranging from Tk.5 to Tk.40. The fuchka here is quite popular as well, not only among students of EWU but also among students of near-by universities. Whatever students decide to eat, they never forget to have a cup of a very sugary “maltova tea” after their meal.

During the exam weeks, students are found studying here quite comfortably, amidst the noise of passing cars, flying dust from construction sites and droning of generators. “I'd rather study here. The study rooms are always packed during exams. And you can't enter the library with bags, because you need to leave them downstairs in the lockers. I feel comfortable when I carry my bag. The noise doesn't bug me. It rather helps me concentrate more", says Md. Salahuddin Mithu, an Economics major.

East West University has two other canteens. However students seem to find bot tola much more convenient and accessible. “One of our canteens is on the 10th floor. It's not always possible to go up there especially when you have an immediate class and need to have a quick lunch. The other is SFS, which is on the ground floor, but I'd rather eat at bot tola because food over there is cheaper and fullfilling. And it tastes good as well”, says Naslina Nasser, a business major.

“Bot tola is not always very clean though. Students litter a lot. There should be more trash bins and students and workers should be more conscious about where they throw food and packets”, says Tanvir Ahmed Siddiki, an English major.

Despite the dusty and noisy setting of bot tola, it still remains to be the favourite spot for students of EWU. Students find the food affordable and the ambiance comfortable, making bot tola the most happening hang out spot on the campus.




Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2011