Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nepal Tour Part 12 – Then & Now, an Introspection

The epic All India Tour to Nepal christened “Akosoto 98” is over. The tour memories has been recreated by the stills provided by Theekkolli and Padakkam. These stills made me travel back in a time and jot down what transpired during this epic tour in this blog. Theekkolli found time to review these jottings and make this more in line with what actually happened. His excitement while reading these has been evident by the way he emailed me to not forget some of the episodes. Padakkam ensured that I got all the photos from his collection on time between his tight working schedules.

I dedicate this entire series of travelogue to my batch mates who are also my special friends, friendship with whom is flavoured by the presence of that extra bonding which is not found in the friends we have attained after college life.

Writing this epic travelogue made me really go back to the college days and at times I even felt like, I was back to the college days and one day I even made a visit to the college which is 350 odd kilometres away from my home. This brought back many of the memories of college life. Just opening the memory shell here ……………

  • We were the first batch of students in this college. We had to face all the hardships associated with the first batch, the most prominent one being we had no seniors to guide us through.
  • The faculty were young and the age difference between faculties and students could easily be counted using our fingers. Once when a new lady faculty came to join, we mistook her for a new student admission and I don’t need to explain what ensued. 
  • The functioning started in a make shift building
  • The canteen had a bread sandwich and a parotta sandwich
  • The men’s hostel was near a local hospital and its staff quarters (read nurses quarters)
  •  The chickenpox epidemic which caused us boycott the first series test.
  • The warden of the hostel was a real comic figure with his trademark English accent providing an item for all the mimicry artistes around. Eventhough he projected himself as a decent young man, all this shred off after the first year tour.
  • The coconut throwing episode which made all hostel staff really fearful and we were soon without any warden.
  • The Babloo and Popular theatre around which provided us with enough “entertainment” by there regular shows starting from the special show at “noon”
  • The Volga cool bar which quenched our thirsts, especially that of Lime Kumar’s.
  • The thattukada trips after midnight, during which time we used to act as traffic police guiding the vehicles through NH 17
  • The excitement among us when the first set of juniors joined will never be forgotten
  • The first strike, when we all joined as a single unit pressing for a new college building.
  • The duel with the students of a local college in whose premises our makeshift college was functioning.
  • The hostellers outrage to the hostel building when we were ousted from the building owing to differences with the owner. Thanks to him, we eventually landed up in a building which was in a calmer place and near to where our friends of other gender stayed put.
  • Finally after 2 years a new college building was set up, and it was a special place. We used to go and watch the construction proceeding. Hence had a kind of special ownership feeling.
Our college in 1997 (from theekkolli’s collection)

College in 2001 (from my collection. These two photos were taken when I was on my way for my marriage. I was travelling with my college friends and no wonder we made a stop over here for a photo shoot. Incidentally my better half also is from the same campus. Another long story there)

2009 snaps


  • Our outings to this Bharathapuzha river which had mostly sand filled land areas than water filled areas.
This sprawling campus was near Bharathapuzha bridge

A view of the bridge from the top of college.


  • The excitement during the day we were shifted to the new building 
  • The new canteen in front of the college building with the vast open spaces around serving as grounds
(photo taken in 1998 - from padakkam’s collection)

The space near canteen is now converted to this superb building – A theatre
(as on dec 2009)
  • The travels in two wheels from hostel to college, we even charged the pillion riders for their journey.
  • Our adventure trips during weekends to unknown hills around.
  • The day when almost all the two wheelers were caught by police either for over speeding or for having no proper papers and all were made to stand in front of a local shop for 2 hours. But we all enjoyed the punishment as it was in front of one of the ladies hostels.
  • The one-pitch-out cricket inside the hostel premises (ground was named padang, because of the sound of bat hitting the ball) & the small school ground nearby our hostel which served as our outdoor cricket centre.
  • The Gafoorka and Nairs shop which served us special “Aval vellam”
  • The vast space between the mechanical block and the main building filled with lots of trees which doubled up as lovers corner.
(Pic taken in 1997 – from Padakkam’s collection)
This space is now occupied by the electronics and electrical building
(photo taken on Dec 2009)

Seen here are other facilities available now
  • The final days at college when the bond among us strengthened.
  • The songs sung by “Sodakuppi” and “Limekumar” . Wonder how many times these fellows has entertained us by their songs during free hours.

  • The sent off party arranged by our juniors, the last event being a song from a tamil movie which depicted friends for ever after which we could see most of us weeping, even the hardest of souls could not prevent their emotional outburst.
  • The journey back after this event, in college bus thinking that this will be our last trip as a college student. It was really difficult for that feeling to sunk in. Truly unforgettable.

We had an eventful college life, like many of the collegiates around. May be because we had to face lot a hardship together, there could be a more intimate bond between us, these memories of college life ceases to fade.

Life moves on, and all these fellows are leading a different life, a different phase of life, most of them do not keep in touch often, quite understandable, because there are no commonalities to discuss, but the bond during college life is enough to pump the adrenalin up when we meet up by chance, or to share atleast that occasional mail around, thanks to the yahoo groups, the orkut and the social networking sites around, we are in touch and we are looking ahead for a grand gala get together at this very special campus, which could happen this special year 2010.


The story so far: (Click to read)

Part 1 - The plan
Part 2 - The Approvals
Part 3 - The Journey begins - Palghat - Jhansi
Part 4 - Another side of Life - Jhansi - Gorakhpur
Part 5 - The Himalayan Cruise: Gorakhpur - Kathmandu Bus Trip
Part 6 - First Night at Kathmandu 

Part 7 - Exploring Kathmandu - A guided Tour
Part 8 - Bye bye Kathmandu - Enter New Delhi 
Part 9 - Exploring Delhi - A guided Tour
Part 10 - Experiencing Symbol of Love, Then Symbol of Humility
Part 11 - The return Trip via Konkan
Part 12 - Then and now, An Introspection !!!!!!!!


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