Friday, October 5, 2012

25 years ago, this day..

October 5th 1987 was my first day at BMSCE. I remember it was raining that morning; seniors had gathered in corridors to grab freshers like me. Our class room was in the ground floor of the block next to library. Some how I had managed to evade getting ragged and got into the classroom. However, seniors caught me later; ragging was alright, nothing like what we see in movies or hear in news. Inside the classroom, all the faces were new. Sudhin was the first person I spoke to, then it was Naveen, Raghu followed by Saurabh, Anand... our class of 83 students was a mix of localites and outsiders. Few days later I came across familiar faces from high school; YSS Kumar, Anil Prasad, Shankarnarayan, Sudhindra, and Prakash; Ravi and Prasanna from PU colleges.

BMS College of Engineering campus was a garden; huge trees of different kinds like Rain tree, Gulmohar, etc. covered most parts of the campus. Many of the buildings were antique- the workshop, physics lab, chemistry lab ...they had asbestos sheet roofs. The electrical lab was even older, it was a tiled roof structure. The canteen was in the middle of the sports complex; football field, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts and an indoor shuttle court. Canteen wasn't great but the coffee was fine, it was more like a smoking den. I tasted the first cigarette  For snacks we would all head to SLV, a five minute walk. Across the football field was the hostel complex; the International hostel, Main hostel and the mess. The buildings were ahead of the times- red brick and stone finished buildings were designed to provide ventilation for every room.

Initially most of us were present for theory classes. As we got familiar with the faculty, we gave more importance to practicals and less to theory classes. Few months down the academic year, we would spend more time below the trees or in the canteen than inside classrooms. Couple of times soon after the workshop, still in khaki uniforms, we went to Nandi Hills on bikes with beer bottles. Not that we only having fun, we did study too... we had drawing assignments to work on, submit lab reports, etc. Sudhin, Raghu and I spent lot of time together during first year. During vacations for supplementary exams Feb '88 I traveled with Raghu to Vishakapatnam and spent 15 days at his home. Wonderful trip it was.

BMSCE Utsav was something everyone looked forward to, even other college students. The 3 day event was basically a inter-college cultural fest- singing, fashion shows, skits, et al. Students could bid for stalls and set up shop- fun games like shoot and win, food, snacks, soft-drinks and gambling. Our gang, like the rest of the crowd had a great time. Most of us would be drunk and yelling rubbish, yeah that was fun. After Utsav, everybody's broke ...no money even for cigarettes.

Those days we had annual exams which means we take all 10+exams in a matter of 30 days. First would be the practical exams, then came the theory. We all knew seven subjects were allowed to be carried over. Many of my friends did not even bother study tough subjects like electrical engineering or maths. Exams got over, we got the results. I had flunked in three- physics, maths and... must be be civil engineering. Some flunked up to seven!

Second year we had couple of more subjects plus our backlogs. With freshers coming in, we did rag few guys and chicks. Kavi the hostelite, did a bit of ragging and got himself in a fix. Sudhin and I went to his rescue. I was feeling the heat and had started doubting if I'll ever complete the course. Anyway, worries did not dampen our spirits during Utsav 89, we had a wild time. It was a year of fights for Sudhin, he had trouble with couple of rough characters. By then Sudhin had a reputation; he had thrashed a variety of people- students, hostel warden, auto-rickshaw drivers, bus drivers/conductors, college lecturers, lawyers, and even a policeman. We loved the way he studied- he would sleep off sitting, with a book in his hand. I just wanted to get over with II year exams. Vacations after exams was tension filled time for me. However one good thing happened- I quit smoking for good. Results announced; I had seven backlogs! Luckily I cleared two in revaluation, now its 5 more to go. Few of my friends were not so lucky. I had asked Sunil to apply for revaluation but he did not for some reason ...and lost a year :(

It was only in III year our Head of the Department Dr. K G Chandrappa took classes for us. I was determined to make Third year a all clear year. I got serious with college, spent time in library, Ravi was an inspiration. Also around the same time, I met Anish in our apartments, he was a '88 batch Computer Science student in Bangalore Institute of Technology. Anish inspired me big time, he helped me with I year and II year Maths and few other common subjects. I took special tuition for some tough subjects. This was the year I spent less time with Sudhin or Raghu. Mid III year my parents got me a Kinetic Honda. It was a great help- no need to rush, or miss buses. Industrial Tour was a part of the III year curriculum and I was a  member of the motley crew who organized the tour. One helluva a trip it was! Some where around this time, Kavi's friend Satish from Tiptur entered the scene and remained with us as though he was our classmate. He was hooked by one of our classmates :) I remained focused on studies, the efforts did pay off- I cleared all III year subjects plus the backlogs except for I year Physics.

Soon it we were in the Final year, the year of project work and electives. We were allowed to choose two subjects out of eight. I was one of the handful to choose Plant Layout & Material Handling. The other elective was Value Engineering, taught by our HoD Dr.Chandrappa. Like III year, I remained focused on academics, I spent a great deal of time with Ravi, Shivakumar, Shankara and few other guys. And Anish too, we did all-night studies with a break around midnight to get Pepsi. The cola was new to India but for Anish- having brought up in Qatar -was his favorite drink. I managed to clear Physics during the supplementary exams. My project mates were Kavi, Rajesh and Vijaysimha. In my opinion, our project was a disaster. Though different branches, Anish and I studied together. his company really helped me push through. I did well in most exams except my elective PLMH. The exam paper was too theoretical. I made sure to flunk it rather than clear it with 35 marks.

Now, officially we are ex-BMSCE. However we still had ties with Bangalore University. Soon after the exams Deepak, Anish and I went off on road trip to Kemmangundi. With the results out, I had cleared all papers, PLMH excluded. I met few of my classmates when I'd been to BMSCE to check results ...that's it! Our class- Industrial & Production Engineering 1987 to 1991 -did not say bye formally before getting scattered all over the world. Early '92 I rewrote PLMH, I was the only student on the entire II floor. Yeah, this time the paper was practical type, I cleared it and with that I got a first class in final year. Looking back, I felt, if we had been little disciplined, we would have got all clears and first classes all years. Intelligence was not an issue, laziness and indiscipline was the problem. Well, few of our close friends were still in BMSCE.. There was a quip which came out of two mathematical series by the names 'Fourier Series' and 'Infinite Series'. You might have guessed what comes next. When one cleared the course in four years it's a Four-year series and the unfortunate ones who do not clear at all are 'Infinite Series'. I've not heard of any series for the ones in-between.

Thanks to Facebook and Linkedin, many of us have reconnected and some of us are in touch on and off: Ravi, Shiva, Sesa, Raman, Vishnuchittan, Shankara, Shankarnarayan, Vijaysimha, Chandra, Anil, Sudhin, Raghu, Sunil, Anand, Kavi, Hari and Shetty. Most of us are working, married and parents  ...there are exceptions. Sudhin was the last to get married. One of us would send an email to the group, couple of days later it would be a long thread filled with all kinds of explicit content. We had few get-together, I think two at BMSCE itself and two more at restaurants. Few characters like Abdulwahab never showed up for any of the events. Somehow the enthusiasm has waned during the past six months... even when an email is sent, hardly anyone responds. Professional and family commitments take priority.

Each one of us wonder how 25 years flew away ...Ippataid Varsha Aiteno!?


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5 comments:

Pushpa said...

Very Nice :-)

siddeshwar said...

:) ...those were the days.

Manjula Umesh said...

Savi Savi Nenapu Saavira nenapu :)....

dr.umesh l said...

I remember a quote, “Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it" (by L.M. Montgomery). I think your past sweet memories of 25 years' might be fresh for many young Engrrs/Engg students as I find lots of resemblance even after 25 years....

Bharath Kumar said...

Wonderful nostalgic memories Sid. Thanks for sharing it. About couple of years before we were all together at PES COLLEGE.