Whoever would’ve thought that this place is and has been a haunt for many a ‘Xavierite’. Yes, I’m talking about none other than the ‘Dungeon’….a hideout, hang out or place to chill at the St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa, Goa. For those unfamiliar with the term, let me initiate you. ‘The Dungeon’ lies below the staircase of the main office block and owing to the slope, it is hardly visible from the front. A rusty room with old furniture, lit and ventilated only by natural light, just below ground level, gives one a ‘cavy’ feeling. Of course, there are people and not wild animals in there to scare you away.
Not really a Dungeon after all
Officially a canteen – the Dungeon at St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa serves some of the most scrumptious and reasonably priced snacks by the famed ‘Mr. and Mrs. Cruz’. Lying ‘neath the steps, away from public view, lit only by natural light, it got its name. The best part about the dungeon is its sweet staff whose patience is commendable, especially during rush hour at recess, being just a few.
The ‘ever-so-unchanging’ menu consists of some classic dishes like ‘pao bhaji – usal, tomato, mixed’, ‘salami bread, patties, chops, vada pao, chutney bread, chicken roll, burgers, drinks etc.’ For the hard-on-cash college students, these snacks are tummy-filling and come really cheap. Besides being student-budget friendly, they are home-made, healthy, fresh and tasty. In the eighties, when the likes of me were alumnae.
Chai is the highest-selling item on the board at the Dungeon. Students talk about how their day begins with a cup of chai and how it acts as a day booster. Without which the day is dull and feels uninteresting.
Sadly, outsiders are not allowed to enter the dungeon which means they can’t get to experience it. The joy of having a cup of chai with a plate of hot and fresh bhaji pao is something you can cherish forever.
So why is the dungeon the most talked about room in the entire college of St. Xavier’s Mapusa Goa?
You’ll know it if you’re a Xavierite especially from St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa!
Information and Pic. credit: Staci D’souza