For records, this post is delayed by at least 20 days. Talk about being lazy!!! Sigh!
It is a magic held by any undergraduate college. When you visit your alma mater, you cannot but have that heightened feeling of nostalgia.
I went to the college where I learned so many lessons of life, the most important one being how to live. I passed out of college (luckily, never “passed out” in college) in 2004. That’s more than 3 years now, so there were only two people in the college who I knew personally (Or, better to say non-academically) – Dhanaraj, once my senior, now a faculty, and Paro, who’s a student there. Well. I met another guy I knew – Ravi. I was perplexed, because it was a canonical impossibility, but he clarified that he had a back paper in final year, and was still in campus because of that.
Oh…the back papers. I remember I had escaped narrowly in a couple of my courses – all those ones without any mathematical problems – Computer Organization and Architecture, Digital MOS etc.
So this was more like a professional visit, (I’ll disclose the reasons, if fate permits, at a later time) but I still couldn’t resist a stroll around the hostel area, and around the library, computer center and DB.
One thing I noticed was that NITC hadn’t changed as much as I thought. The impression I had in my mind, after the news given by some fellows, was exaggerated. It was a welcome sight. There were a couple of new disciplines, a few new buildings, a few modified ones, and everything else was more or less intact. As I strolled around, old events kept flashing in my mind. I’ll try to reproduce them here. It’ll at least make this post more readable. 🙂
As I entered, I saw the gates which were not there when I was in my final year. (I had seen the pictures from Ajith’s blog though) Inside, the Rajpath looked the same, except for the fact that it was well paved now.
The Rajpath…with a new look
It was a Sunday evening in August. We were returning to campus after a weekend visit to our respective homes. The pavements were so slippery with moss that people seldom walked on them. However, Antony was not among those faint at heart. I warned him, “Don’t walk on the pavement. You’ll slip”. He shoved off my warning with an air of nothing-can-happen-to-me. 5 seconds later, he fell on his ass.
Back in hostel, the others were narrating this incident to Dinesh, when he told, “He seems to have a black tongue. Two days back, the same thing happened to me, and 5 seconds before my fall, Deepak told me that I will slip.”
I got infuriated, “Come on, man. You fell because it was slippery, not because I said it was slippery. Grow up, man.”
I saw the new Central Computer Center building. Again, I had been misinformed that they had built it on the basketball court. I used to think what a pity it was, because the court was close to my heart (or something close to that) as I used to play basketball (or something close to that) every day (or something close to everyday). But whoever said that, was wrong. The basketball court was in tact. However, to my alarm, I saw buildings coming up in the football ground. Where will they have the Monsoon cup from now?
FBG…Triangular Notice Board….gone…all gone
As I went through the Main Building, I was in for another shock. The Triangular Notice Board was gone! It was where we all used to vent out our feelings.
Monsoon Cup 2003.
Badshaz (Used to call ourselves “Bad”shaz, for an air of superiority) were the reigning kings. Just on the eve of the kickoff, we stuck one poster on the triangular notice board.
First year – Semifinalists
Second year – Runners up
Third year – Winners
Fourth year – We need competition!
February 15th 2001
The day after Valentine’s day.
A poster read:
Henceforth, we will mourn every February 15th as the Broken Hearts’ Day. This day will be dedicated to all those hapless souls who no girl cares about.
I went to the department, met a few professors and then, Dhanaraj. We had a lengthy chat, which was mostly enlightening for me. I learnt that Papachan and Mamachan were still open. It was another wrong tidings given by someone that Papachan and Mamachan were closed because of bad business as all the back gates from college were sealed now. Also, someone had told me that the Kattangal economy had crashed due to the sealing of the gates near the D Hostel, which meant that guys had to go all the way to the front entrance and come back to go to Kattangal. But living up to the true NITC spirit, they are still taking the pains to go that extra mile. That means that there are as many motorcycles now as there were bicycles at my time and as many cars now as there were motorcycles at my time.
As usual, we had bunked our 9 am class and sitting in Mamachan having breakfast. We were having a heated argument. (For those who don’t know, Papachan, Mamachan and Chechi were the local hotels)
KK: Papachan is the best. The food is so delicious.
Me: Chechi is better than that. The food is incomparably good.
KK: But Chechi is not clean. Nobody can beat Papachan at that.
Me: Papachan will take a lifetime to bring you food after you order. You’ll die of hunger by the time he brings food.
Me: Double Grrr…
Mock Press competition was under way. The guy was enacting Jackie Chan.
Guy from audience: What is your purpose of visit?
Jackie Chan: To visit Papa-chan and Mama-chan.
(Although, I felt that this question was a pre-planned one, the answer still was amusing.)
I went running after my purpose of visit, which took almost till lunch time.
Had lunch from canteen, since I didn’t feel like walking to Papachan, with my heavy laptop.
After my lunch, I decided to take a stroll. The first place that came to my mind was D Hostel – The lair of the famed D-Tops, and of course the Wallstreetguys (Contrary to popular belief, the name has nothing to do with Wallstreet, nor is it related in any way to economics!)
The hostels were changed, but D Hostel was in tact, although it had lost it’s trademark dark-red colored walls. I sat below the mango tree outside for quite some time, relishing my moments there. I went in to visit my room. It was locked.
Outside, the 4’s Arena ground was still there, with all the nets and all. 4’s Arena was a kind of mini-soccer, played with 4 on each side, and slightly modified rules.
4’s Arena Final
Fierce match. Rain-soaked. (And I think it was floodlit) I was watching that from behind a goal post. That was my first mistake. I forced myself to the forefront of hundreds of viewers. That was my second mistake. I was directly in line of Sameer’s shot. That was my third and final mistake.
Since this was a small field, it was more like Table Tennis; you needed to have a good reflex. Sameer mishit his shot. The ball was above the bar by a good 1 foot and it was coming straight at me. I was not fast enough. The ball hit directly in my abdomen. I had this burning sensation in my stomach for the next 3 hours. My T-shirt carried a patch of hexagons and pentagons for the rest of its life.
I then went to MC, which brought out another nostalgic feeling of ordering Bread Pakoda and Tea at midnight. Now that I check my camera, I realise that I actually forgot to snap the MC. How could I do that?Anyway, I returned, tried to finish my business, but couldn’t, so I went back to city, came back the next day and finished my business. By evening, I was back in Palakkad, mission accomplished, and with a truckload of renewed memories.