The Imperial Haile Selassie Hall I

Who can forget this iconic hostel in our campus?

Little did we know about the Emperor Haile Selassie in whose name this hostel was built. But history was not for us, Engineering students. Even now, that’s not the point here. We are only looking at 25 year history of ours at this time.

There were only 28 selected souls in this iconic hallmark. And about half of them were our juniors.

By any count it was a special place. Larger rooms with three pairs of cots/tables for double occupancy. The walls that did not ask for hammers to put a nail on. A strong thumb is all you needed. It was never too noisy other than the songs that came out of the amplifier from one of the rooms, which could reverberate the entire building.

The larger windows one one side opened towards the vast space beside the MA High School, bring in breeze that kept the rooms cooler at night. And the road that divides the school and HS1 which used to carry a few girls up and down against മുത്തേ… അണ്ണന്റെ മുത്തേ cries marking our study holidays.

The meek in size HS1, but was so united and powerful when it came against the mighty MB Hostel that lodged all the politics and fights. Who can forget the കുടമാറ്റം performance during the load shedding? And the grand finale on the center grounds where HS1 solidly rooted the superiority while the entire hostel community across all four hostel watched!

While we stayed there, we never realized the imperial air that surrounded. Looking back, I can feel we were actually in the court of the Emperor Haile Selassie, who stood against powerful European dynasties!



  1. Quite interesting, actually! Over the years, I have encountered several taxi drivers of Ethiopian extraction in the US. When I tell them about the Haile Selassie Hall at MACE, most of them are amused, if not thrilled and it serves as an instant ice-breaker. By the way, the latest episode of the sort described above happened two days ago, in Minneapolis MN. 🙂




    1. Thats interesting. I have met Ethiopians and always struggled to get a topic. HS never occurred to me that way – until I decided to write about HS1. Next time I meet an Ethiopian, I have a topic to talk about!


  2. Admittedly, I am ignorant; I had no clue of this historic name. I did not know what HS stood for. so thank you Riyaz for the insight.
    Still wonder, how and why they happened to name this building after the emperor? Emperor dies in 1974. was hostel built after that?
    Was there an HS2 hostel?.
    Glad to hear the stories of the time you all enjoyed there.
    As for the ladies, we had 1 LH which we got in the final semesters. There was a strike for a new LH/ expansion. As a result, a new building was under construction when we were leaving.


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