|IIMK Campus Trip (Nov 4 and 5, 2005)
||[Nov. 8th, 2005|06:25 pm]
(NOTE: Unfortunately, the folder where I'd saved all the photographs of the campus seems to be corrupted. I am unable to upload them to the computer. Will have to find a workaround.)|
(NOTE II: The details of the trip are written in third person to help kshah prepare for the NaNoWriMo competition.)
This is the story of five men. Five men who took time out to visit the place which brought them together. The two days in which they interacted with people who now inhabited the place which first brought them together.
Part I: The journey to Kozhikode (Nov 3, 2005)
Ashwini, Karan, Richard and Ronald met up at the Madivala bus area to take the overnight bus to Kozhikode. Karan, in particular, was freaked out. Nobody had told him that the bus was what was called a sleeper. He was not sold on the idea of sharing a 'bed' with another grown man.
The bus trip, in itself, was uneventful. Ashwini and Richard occupied the upper berth while Karan and Ronald shared the lower berth.
The high point of the journey came when Karan was turning in for the night. While looking up at the upper berth (which was the ceiling for him), he spied a crack in the lamination. Having no better place to keep his eye-glasses, Karan stowed the earpiece of his glasses into this crack.
The next morning occured in a flurry of activity. The bus, for some reason, dropped our intrepid explorers at the Kunnamangalam. Karan was too occupied with folding his sleeping bag and running out of the bus to remember his glasses. Halfway up the hill which housed the campus, Karan was thinking about his smart, brilliant idea of keeping his glasses safe for the night; and then it hit him! He had forgotten his glasses on the bus! Damn!
Sameer, the fifth explorer, in the meantime, was snoozing through a booze-haze (most probably) in Mumbai; resting before the morning flight to Kozhikode.
Part II: Day I on campus (Nov 4, 2005)
On their arrival at campus, the four men from Bangalore found vacant rooms for their stay all readied and aired out for them. They also found that, owing to a mix-up in the schedules, most of the members of the batch of 2007 had four free days to leave campus for a mini-holiday -- resulting in a half-empty campus.
Members of the batch of 2006 were involved in that holy-grail of campus activities and their older members were, understandably, tied up in those activities.
In the meantime, Karan found his favourite 15-foot broom again. He used it to knock on doors of rooms in G-Mid from G-Top. Rohit Gupta was repeatedly flummoxed before he found out what was happening. Yep, that trick never dies; or so it seems.
Ashwini, maybe because he was the oldest of the lot, chose to catch some z's for the morning. Ronald was, unsurprisingly, full of zest and wanted to meet the remaining professors of his years. Karan and Richard reluctantly tagged along.
Karan took time out to knock on the door of Dhananjay Mhatre's old room and run like the wind.
On the way to the Faculty Block, the three of them first bumped into Dr. R.P. Suresh; who, for some inexplicable reason, was of the idea that these men were still students of the esteemed institute. Of course, in stepped Ronald with a very not-so-subtle hint (the word 'alumni' couldn't have been more stressed upon in his speech) to straighten matters out. Karan then went on to meet Dr. Unnikrishnan Nair while Richard and Ronald headed for Dr. Saji Gopinath's cabin. The tacit understanding amongst them was that they would regroup at the security guard's desk in 20 minutes.
Karan was as good as his word. He reached the desk only to find two members of the batch of 2006 (Abhilash Nair and Kunal Bhardwaj) standing there. He chatted with them for about 20 minutes and there still was no sign of the two R's. Extreme action was to be called for. Kunal was sent in to rescue Richard from the cabin. They knew that Ronald needed no rescuing, and would only view an attempt towards the same as an unnecessary interuption. Thus rescued, Richard headed off towards the canteen with Kunal and Karan; the last being dragged from an enlightening discussion with a few more members of the batch of 2006 about the French exchange students on campus.
A hasty lunch plan was then arranged for. A jeep was requisitioned for the afternoon and the explorers left for Mezban. At Mezban, a lot of old favourites of the gang were ordered for. Ronald seemed extremely excited about the Prawns Moily, whatever that was. Richard was in ecstasy after eating their Drumsticks of Heaven. Ashwini sniped a bite from here and a bite from there; there was a chicken dish, too, maybe. Karan ordered his usual vegetarian crud and seemed satisfied with the same.
Meanwhile, Sameer had boarded his flight in Mumbai. He was, by then, flying the cloudy skies over the Western Ghats. An SMS to his now-switched-off mobile phone ensured that he would know where to come once he landed. He did, eventually, meet the rest of the gang at Mezban at about the time they were paying their bill.
Two points were elementarily evident to the rest of the gang when Sameer walked in - (1) He had come in a non air-conditioned taxi and (2) he sat on the right side of the vehicle. The hair on the right side of his head was almost upright because of the wind he faced on his way over. Unfortunately, that dumbkopf Karan's stupid camera cannot transfer the photos to the computer for, at that point of time, Sameer's hairstyle was indeed a sight to see.
Part III: Day I off campus (Nov 4, 2005)
After lunch, all of them headed out to book tickets for their return leg. They reached this place called M.M. Ali Road which had a whole host of travel operators lined up. After walking into a dozen of these stalls without any luck -- the holiday season was ending, and a lot of people were going back to their working cities -- they finally struck good fortune at this operator by the name of A.R. Travels. The person there said that they had arranged for an extra bus (a sleeper, again!) to cater to the rush, although it was not confirmed. He said he would call later in the day and confirm.
Our nostalgia ridden travellers then found that a couple of them needed to withdraw cash from the ATM. The jeep chetta was directed towards the closest HDFC ATM. On the way, they passed this theatre running a Malayalam movie called Rajamanickyam, outside where there was this long, long line of chettas. They were crammed into each other and a few of them were actually enjoying being in line as much as they would have enjoyed watching the movie.
After a few shudders in the jeep, the ATM thankfully arrived. Ashwini and Ronald headed off across the road to withdraw cash while the rest of the gang waited in the jeep. Karan was getting bored while listening to the normal inane chatter which took place, so looked around from his seat in the back of the jeep. He saw this crazy old dude in a lungi and a deep red shirt dancing wildly and singing badly on the middle of the road about 50 meters behind the jeep. The C.O.D. then picked up a brick, placed it on his head and snapped his neck forward so that the brick went flying a couple of yards. The last two steps were repeated over and over again until the C.O.D. was about ten meters away from the jeep. Thankfully for Karan, Ashwini and Ronald chose to reappear from the ATM at that moment and the jeep chetta, himself a little scared of the C.O.D., raced away.
Part IV: Day I, back on campus (Nov 4, 2005)
The intrepid explorers all found themselves a little weary on their return and chose to catch their forty winks each. It did not matter to Ashwini that he had already slept for half the day; he still snored some more in the evening.
They were all awake by the early evening and, it was only then that they began to drink. The first session accounted for one bottle of Smirnoff Raspberry Twist, one Old Monk and a little here and there. The party began to shape up nicely until it was dinner time.
In the meantime, the travel operators had called back and confirmed the avaibility of tickets for the return journey to Bangalore. So the explorers had to go to the city for two reasons.
Since it was raining, they decided on the Taj over Sea Queen. On the way to the exalted hotel, they stopped to buy their bus tickets. This time, Richard decided he wanted to withdraw cash; so, again, the jeep headed for the HDFC ATM. And, again, it passed the theater playing Rajamanickyam. This time, even though there was a heavy downpour, the line of chettas was at least twice as long!
The group were soon at the Taj ordering the old favourites. Ashwini, Richard, Ronald and Sameer went for the Konji Krispy Chickens and the Honey-Chilli Snakes. Karan stuck to a simple pasta. A fulfilling but expensive(!) dinner later, the group headed back for campus.
On reaching, Ashwini decided (yet again) that he needed some shuteye. Karan felt that the drinking momentum had been broken. Ronald and Richard, too, seemed a little reluctant to drink into the night. So, for the first time in the history of IIMK, these people did not drink on a Friday night.
Part V: Day II on campus Nov 5, 2005
Ashwini, Karan, Richard and Sameer all woke up a bit late, only to find that Ronald had been up and about -- running around campus whispering sweet nothings into the ears of the students of the batch of 2006.
After lunch, they all visited the IIMK Library. Karan ran up and down the massive building searching for a copy of the Yearbook of the Batch of 2005; but he could not find it anywhere. He got so desperate that he even searched the author names in the catalogue for 'Shah, Karan'. No luck. The yearbook was missing from the shelves of the library forever, it seemed.
Merriment began slightly late -- owing to the fact that most of the group were still groggy. However, it did get into full swing in the afternoon and early evening. Most of the batch of 2006 needed to be elsewhere to avoid a fine of Rs. 500. But this five-some dug their heels in and carried the burden for the absent comrades.
Sameer broke open his bottle of Gray Goose amidst much expectation. Ronald and Karan failed to see the big deal behind the famed vodka; not that they abstained from drinking it, though. A cigar stolen from Yash Sehgal's stash made its appearance and was presently finished. Merry talk acompanied by slurp-slurp-slurp and the ocassional spilled drink continued till about 6.30pm. The group decided to chance an early dinner at the night canteen instead of facing the slop served in the mess.
Their trip to the canteen coincided with the end of the day's event for which the batch of 2006 had to be present. All five members caught up with faces new, old and unknown. Their table was rife with comments asking, "Who the hell was that?", or something along the same lines.
However, as all good things had to come to an end, so did this trip down memory lane. Or so the adventurers thought.
Part VI: The trip back to Bangalore Nov 5, 2005
Despite tearful requests and veiled threats from Sameer, the foursome from Bangalore decided to return home early so as to allow a peaceful Sunday for them. The first obstacle was the non-availability of autorickshaws to transport them to the Kunnamangalam Bus Stop. They, however, hijacked a few members of the batch of 2006 and forced them to go along to the bus stop. Ronald even finding time en route to pack a dinner from Broast.
The bus was late, very late. The Bangalore foursome had an opportunity to watch a chetta-road-fight while waiting for the bus to come. They were all waiting for the bus to come; for the peaceful journey homewards.
The bus did come a whole hour late; but, alas, the adventurers found that their two cramped double-berths had been usurped by one uncle each. Neither of them was ready to move and one of them even offered Richard half the berth to sleep on.
The rest of the crowd on the bus was, if anything, even stranger. The front half of the bus had berths arranged in a different fashion with four to five people (and even six in one case) sharing every single berth! The people in these berths were, for the most part, shirtless and in banians. And they were noisy; boy were they noisy! They even put Karan to shame.
The foursome eventually managed to put the shenanigans in the front of the bus to the back of their minds and concentrated on the problem at hand at the back of the bus. An insistent Ronald with his thank-god-he-was-there knowledge of Malayalam managed to convince the bus conductor to stop the bus at the nearest STD booth (at 11.00pm!) and clarify matters with the tour office. And clarify they did. The two uncles were told to shove off and the double-berths were given to the exhausted foursome.
The journey was, compared to how it started, an uneventful one, with each of the four grabbing a fitful night's sleep.
Thus was the story of the five men. Five brave men. Five men who dared to go back in time and explore the ties that bind them. Five men who were not cowards like that Palpatine dude from Star Wars, or the random Jew on the street or even the one-off Indian immigrating to other countries and never turning back.
CHANGES SINCE THE BATCH OF 2005 LEFT
1. The walkways connecting Hostels D, E, F and G are all up and running. They connect to two (now empty) common rooms on the way to the mess.
2. The basement under Hostel F has been converted to a bike parking lot
3. Grass, green grass, everywhere.
4. There is a new circle of meditation in between the mess and Hostel E.
5. The old circle of meditation is covered with vines and bushes (in a good way). Ronald was almost stung by a bee while posing for a photograph there.
6. The new classroom block is fully constructed. The campus now also has classrooms 1C, 1D, 2C and 2D.
7. A new hostel is being constructed next to Hostel G. Next to the construction of the new hostel, a new faculty mess is being constructed. These two constructions have effectively blocked off all access to the "IIMK cricket ground" (the mess, basically) from the gate. If vehicles need to go to hostels D, F or G, they now have to go towards the main entrance and then take the left fork that leads to hostel A.
8. The lake at the foot of the hill is being expanded.
9. There are now neat low rows of shrubs on either side of the 2km road leading up to the main entrance from the main gate.
10. The commercial complex halfway up the hill is up too. There is a post office, an SBI branch and a laundry/dry-cleaning service all set up within the building.
11. The mess have acquired a Nestle 24 hours vending machine for tea/coffee. It tastes way better than the evening coffee the canteen used to give.
12. Canteen Pizzas have become much tastier.
13. Jeeps to the city and back now cost Rs. 350/- per vehicle.
14. Our batch's yearbook has disappeared from the library! X-(
1. A lot of faculty have left the campus. Not much to update there.
2. IIMK's Iron(ing) Man (known to some of us as tamarrow) has moved into the cleaning crew. He no longer irons clothes.
3. (Big) John has moved out of the PGP Office. His post is filled in by Mr. Sadanandan, who previously used to assist Dr. Rameshan for admissions.
4. Jyothish still works for the PGP office. He still has no help.
5. The full complement of mess workers seem hale and hearty (obviously they aren't eating the mess food!). They all say hi.
6. The Fresh&Honest Coffee lady still serves coffee everyday between classes.
1. Mezban has started a food-delivery portal and deliver food to the campus once the cumulative orders are worth more than Rs. 2500
2. Sea Queen has decided to discontinue offering discounts to students from IIMK
3. Broast is building up greater seating capacities on their first and second storeys
4. The ITC Fortune has come up with the Happy Hours Scheme. 1+1 drinks from 5.30pm to 8.00pm.
5. The Taj is currently running a Beer Sunday campaign. Unlimited food and beer for Rs. 399 per head every Sunday (two days too late! Beer 'o clock is on Friday!).
Photographs of campus to be uploaded as soon as the camera behaves.