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Harish-Chandra Research Institute

Life on Campus

Harish-Chandra Research Institute is home to the teacher and the taught, who bond over things ranging from the abstract to the mundane. It is a rather unique institute where the entire HRI community is a family. Most of the HRI members live on campus, and hence they bond over day to day activities. Naturally, this leads to several occasions where the entire campus joins in celebration.


Figure 1: Hostel during Deewali

Among such occasions, perhaps nothing inspires a larger rush of adrenalin than the Deewali celebrations, while nothing inspires more creativity than HRIJOYS. Deewali is celebrated with great fervor on campus, with the students decorating the campus with diyas, pictures and rangolis. One has to see the frenzy among the students the previous night, when several of them stay up to add the last dash of color to the many paintings that adorn the walls of the mess, when amateur artists become seasoned professionals! This enthusiasm infects the entire community on Deewali evening, as people get together to witness fireworks, enjoy the food and relish the rangolis and paintings. And to top it all, after dinner the campus dances to the tune of the Garba Raas. Nerds and yet more nerds seems to conjure up magical bursts of energy to dance away the night, driving home the point that we are family.


Figure 2: Rangoli

HRIJOYS is the annual cultural program. From the kids on campus to the gray haired professor, this is the occasion to show that they can sing, dance, recite and even act. Rehearsals start several weeks before the show, and often continue till late at night. All this reaches its zenith on the night of the show, when the community dressed in finery, witnesses the talent among its own that go beyond mere academics.

The annual barbeque is another such HRI community festival. Held during a cold winter evening, the preparation starts the night before when people meet to marinate the food that is to be cooked on mud ovens over charcoal fire the next evening. They heroically rush to beat the clock to peel onions and garlic and marinate, and go home satisfied with the stench of garlic on them! The barbecue held in the open is a major source of attraction to the community, as one happily prepares to wait in long queues over and over again to enjoy succulent pieces of chicken and paneer, and jalapeno peppers and pineapples roasted to perfection.

Holi in HRI is not for the weak hearted. It is a celebration of brawn on campus. After smearing each other in colors for the better part of the morning, a forced bath in the mud is a ritual for the tough residents of campus! At the end of it, amidst smiles through faces barely recognizable, they once again drive home the point that we are a family.

And the list goes on. Foundation day, Spic Macay programs, organizing a regular school for the underprivileged kids in the neighborhood, various sports activities are regular campus activities. Not surprisingly, people bond over all or many of these activities, which more often that not last a lifetime. They form the defining moments that alumni look back to years after they have left, with sweet memories of having found home away from home.

Modified: 2021-09-09