Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An All India Tour to Nepal – A memoir (Part 1)


This memoir is dedicated to all my classmates of  Engg. College, friendship of whom I cherish second to none.

Prologue

If I had the privilege to own a time machine, the first thing I would have done is to go back to the olden golden college days, to have fun with my friends, the friends for whom I have a special place in my heart for ever.
As is the case of most of the people, college days are sure to give a lot of memories to drool over ,even after long years in the journey of life. Many a times I had thought about a lot of episodes in college, but the one which comes to mind most frequently is perhaps the "All India" tour to "Nepal".

Yes, you read it correctly, it was an All India tour to Nepal. Don't think of it as an era when Nepal was part of India. All this happened a dozen years back and now I am going back my memory lane to those olden golden days, going to be with my classmates, going to be part of the classroom again and be part of the All India Tour. Tag along with me and I assure you a journey filled with fun, excitement, some moral lessons and the value of friendship.
It all began here



This is a beautifully constructed engineering college in Kerala and any student can truly boast about the infrastructure right from day 1 of its inauguration. This is the place where all the show begins.

All pictures in this memoir are from the collection of Mr. NJ, who has taken pains to scan the printed pictures. All names in this memoir are real names which we used to call our friends, nomenclature of which has been awarded after carefully studying their behavior in college hostel.


The Planning Phase


The Head of department of Electronics is in the class, sweating out, explaining the bode plot and the control systems, but the important and most brightest of the students are staying outside, on top of the college wall, heavily engaged in a more important discussion. Yeah! the discussion is about the hottest topic. Nah it is not about that beautiful little cutie pie among our juniors, it is something more serious and something more in line with the oldest and self proclaimed mature guys like us can discuss. It was about the All India Tour, the most exciting thing to happen in the last semester of our engineering degree course.

In all our previous tours, the locations were mainly hill stations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. All of them were in the comfort of a bus. This time we all agreed to have something more interesting.

After a lot of brainstorming sessions, bunking lot of classes and even more importantly bunking those important movie releases in the noon time of the local theatre, we arrived at some of the most important decisions.
  1. Our journey will be in train
  2. We will not tag the lady folk along because of the logistic support needed and also the fact that many of them won't be willing to embark on an adventorous sort of journey
  3. We will cross the border of India. Thanks to the information from "Lime Kumar", whose uncle made a recent trip to one of our neighbouring countries. This was most important for us, because our contemporaries in other batches had crossed only the borders of states in India, and we surely wanted to have the feeling of doing something which they didn't do. By doing this we will have a lot of memories to cherish for long years to come.

To cross India, we had 3 options - to go to Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nepal, of which the choice of Nepal was automatic unanimous since it did not require a visa to travel to this hilly country on the North eastern part of India. We also were keen to visit a kingdom which is still under the rule of a King.

Our goals are set, but setting goals without a practical solution is as good as a dream, and it is here we learned our first lessons of turning a dream into a reality. Our class rep - "lime kumar" became the nodal person as he had got contacts in Delhi, with the help of which we will be able to draw a plan for the whole scheme of things. An interesting piece of information here -> Lime kumar holds the limca record for the gulping in maximum litres of lime juice in 4 years.

Every night, after a session of great cricketing experience, in a "very big" school ground (hardly 20 ft wide and 20 ft long) nearby our hostel or in our own indoor court named ‘Padang’ (The hostels corridor), we will assemble in Dada's room. A word about our Dada - he was a Dada based on his size, but the moment he opens his mouth, his dadagiri is over, neverthless, this person was very powerful. Many of us has experienced the importance of having a different perspective of the same object because of him. We used to see his heavily loaded audio system in two perspectives, either it will be on his table or it will be hanging upside down depending on whether we are sitting on his bed or whether we are hanging upside down with our legs safely inside his strong arm.

The objective of the meeting is to plan the trip ahead, based on the recently acquired railway time table and one or two tour packages of Nepal tour which we received from Delhi. Another important objective is to get the tour sanctioned as normally only All India tours are sanctioned by the college authorities.

After lot of permutations and combinations the plan was laid out for our trip. Our tour representatives were Mr. Limekumar - for Delhi coordination and Mr. Ottakuth - for making local arrangements. (Name fact: the word meaning of "ottakuth" is "single stab"). Even though the name sounds horrifying, this baby faced gentleman was really funny and he took real pains in setting this itinerary right amidst the varying suggestions and varying thoughts being aired and finally reaching at a well accepted travel plan and a budget estimation.

Next we have to book tickets for the train journey. The advance for tour operator in Delhi will be paid by "IAS uncle" of LimeKumar after we give the nod. But before making all the financial commitments we have to cross a major hurdle. A simple sign on our sanction letter from our Head of the Department.

The onus for getting the necessary approval fell on our tour representatives and the whole class was anxiously waiting outside to know the outcome when the two gentlemen walked inside the HOD's room, just like we all eagerly waited for that last ball to bowl in a one day cricket match which we used to watch jointly with even more excitement than the spectators at the gallery.

1 comment:

manchitra said...

Ok waiting for the next part.

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