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News & Press: Oct 2009

Trip to Pilani... a wife's experience ...

Saturday, November 07, 2009   (26 Comments)
Posted by: BITSAA Newsletter
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BITSians reminiscing about their days in Pilani campus in not uncommon. We encounter blogs, mail threads, word-press posts, Sandpaper 2.0 articles, tweets, Facebook status messages and many more where each BITSian recollects his/her chapters from the garland of Pilani memories.

How does it sound when a BITSian's spouse embarks the task of writing the Pilani experiece? Dinesh Maheshwari, (70E05024) and his wife Archana Maheshwari visited the Pilani campus for the Coral Jubilee event of batch 70-75 in October 2009.

We found a an excerpt from Archana's dairy and could not stop reading it the moment we started it. Read on for yourself ...

For the last 30 years I have heard stories about Pilani, not once but every time my husband met another Pilanian. I've seen his face light up at the mention of Pilani. Same stories repeated again and again and again, till their wives had most of them memorized. I was curious to know what attracts thousands of Pilanians to this remote University town, 200kms south of Delhi.

Around 75 Pilanians from all over the world were headed towards Pilani for the coral jubilee celebration of the 70-75 batch from Oct 24th to 27th. The mood of the weekend started with the initial meeting at the bus stop in Delhi. For my husband, the anticipation and excitement was no different than a child going back to school to meet his friends after a long summer holiday. The experience was surreal… seeing all those ‘old’ faces in different form and sizes and trying to match the name to the appearance.... some seeing each other after their graduation, some having met only one or two times in the last 35 years. The bus ride from Delhi to Pilani was another experience... where all the wives were pushed to the front and the hooting, shouting, and laughter filled the back of the bus with all those grown up men re-living the 'good old days' How true, however old you may get there is always a child within!

We got a hearty welcome by the students at the VFast Guest House. Sunday lunch was at the RPA mess. I’m sure every wife must have heard about the bread pakoras, peeli dal, kali dal, mirch ki, bina mirch ki, aloo chips, kasata ice cream, that big bowl of fruit cream, and aloo parathas every Sunday. We got a taste of most of these delicacies over a period of 3 days and wondered why we have been challenged for the last so many years not to compete with those preparations. However I may wonder, I decided not to try.

A visit to one of the hostel rooms was also an experience. Not one of them complained about the basic amenities in their hostels. They still had a lot of enthusiasm in their voice when they talked about the wooden cot without a mattress, a wooden chair without a cushion, a large size tin trunk perched on a ledge to store their stuff when they left for vacation, no water fountains, no TV, just a radio and caroms for entertainment, playing cricket in the hallway, enjoying maalish on the window parapets in the winters. Not much has changed since then except that every room has an internet connection and the windows have been covered with grill. I wonder if the same Pilanians are as accepting and appreciative of their surroundings as they were 35 years back.

CP was as I had expected - a small street with a lone barber and stationary shop, the Volga restaurant, and the crispy dosas. Just outside the campus beside the bus stand was the famous Nutan where they used to go for chai and milkshakes in the night. This was the Las Vegas of these Pilanians for 5 years. If you think of it, it doesn’t take too much too make a man happy. We took several informal walks around the campus and sat on the lawns, recalling the little anecdotes like the campus strikes they organized, the classes they bunked, the daring bets they made, inside jokes, walks to Mira Bhawan, photography competitions, music programs, etc. Everything was so fresh in their minds.

Walk to the Shivganga was very pleasant and refreshing. In the middle of a desert, a scintillating fountain flowing under the bridge with a Shiva statue and a guesthouse in the center. Made of white marble with myriads of pigeons on the pinnacle, the Birla Mandir is indeed a landmark of Pilani. The state-of-the-art lecture theatres, museum, and the library were worth a visit. The interest to go to the CEERI was not to hear about the research and innovations, but to visit the auditorium where a movie was screened every week. Those were the days!

The music nite on the 25th brought back many “Yadein”. The packed audi resounded with songs like “Koi lauta de mere beetein huai din…” It was not only the alumni who went down the ‘trip to memory lane’, but even the old Professors remembered the favorite songs sung by their old students - “Hari hari vasundhra…” sung by Azhar Kazmi, “Ae kaatibe taqdeer…” by Dinesh Sharma, and “Ek shab ke musafir…” by Dinesh Maheshwari. The informal music sittings till dawn... as if being transported to the same era where they were 35 years ago, making music together, dedicating songs to special people...

Alumni’s initiatives of honoring their old professor and caring to give back to BITS through a Trust were commendable.

Pilani is a small town with very basic amenities, but even after 35 years, my husband has an ache to come home... home to Pilani. I figured out why… to see those familiar surroundings where he 'grew up', to see the one place that ‘shaped’ who he is, the place that gave him an ‘extended family’, and be a part of the magic of this small town away from all the glitz of any city. Each one of those 75 Pilanians are so successful today in their respective lives and all of them started their careers from BITS... and yet after 35 years nothing has changed, they still seem to be family for each other.

Archana

Comments...

Uday B. Biluri says...
Posted Monday, November 16, 2009
Excellent post!!!.....whenever i talk to my friends on phone or chat with them, I really feel how much i miss Pilani and the environment there. Reading this article took me back to Pilani once again...the enjoyment we had there is ONCE IN A LIFE TIME opportunity. Hats Off BITS
Ashish Agarwal says...
Posted Sunday, November 15, 2009
Beautifully adorned the reminisce . A glance at this page from your diary made me to exult each and every moment of my life at BITS.
chanchal sarin says...
Posted Sunday, November 15, 2009
Archana,thanks for sharing Ibelong to 1960-62 batch.,have not visited Pilani after that;your description brought tears in my eyes.We are six classmates still meeting regularly in Delhi.,dont know whereabouts of others.If someone of that batch reading my mail ,please contact. Ihave been teaching GENETICS in univ. of Delhi andnow retired . thanks Dr (Mrs)chanchal sarin
Archana Varadarajan says...
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009
awesome!! usually cant think of all d memories without tears in my eyes.. i guess its like the perfect place, which we usually never succeed i creating again elsewhere. it definitely is a very special place, and always will be. thanks for sharing. :)
Ram Katuri says...
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009
Fantastic!! Thanks for sharing this. Felt like reading the article again and again. Every word meant so much and brought back fond memories. Pilani is so special in every BITSian's life. The emotional bonds we build to this amazing alma mater lasts life long!! Such a wonderful place!!
Nirupam Anand says...
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009
Oh lovely! Thanks Archana...
Vishal Jaiswal says...
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009
A psenti article that makes us realize the little time left of our bitsian life... no matter what happens , wherever we go, whatever we are ... we ll always miss these moments of our life .... We had some gud shit here man!!!
Sasidhar Sista says...
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009
Just 2 days back... had a very disquieted sleep. I was seriously surprised to know that the reason is - I miss BITS just too much. Once we fall out of this "close to heart" shell, we tend to lose half the liveliness in our lives, which can be, to some extent, regained only by a visit to pilani with our friends and profs with us. And the rest, by reciprocating to our beloved university. I love to read Archana's article again and again ! 35 yrs ago.. the life is just too close to ours last year. This simple life at BITS makes it unique and touching..
Ankit Saraf says...
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009
Once a BITSian, always a BITSian. Brilliant article :)
Snehil Sethia says...
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009
what a mesmerizing thought, very touching. Miss you bits.
Aditya A. Bhiday says...
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009
A brilliant article :)
Ayoosh Bansal says...
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009
Touching and refreshing :) This being my final month on the campus, i am really looking forward to such meets now.
Aditya Garg says...
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009
Indeed!!! Koi lauta de mere beetein hue din..........
Rahul Aggarwal says...
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009
Brilliant Article....was amazing to know that 35 years ago people still went around the campus as we do ! nothing has changed here...and nothing will probably....maybe thats the reason most of us are attracted back to this desert town....
Arun Shashank says...
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009
4.5 years away from Paradise and counting... It is awesome to look back through the eyes of a first-time visitor. Can't wait to go back :)
Mayank P. Mohta says...
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009
Being a Psenti-semite there are a few things which make you count the days left at Pilani....31 days left :( Brilliant post!!!
Aditya M. Kulkarni says...
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009
How true!
Pratik Maheshwari says...
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009
I am in my last year and still after reading this article in my ps2... i can just think of reaching out to pilani and relive past 3 yrs( - acads :P).. GOOSEBUMPS is one word i can give to this article.. Wonderful...
Harshit Didwania says...
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009
An amazing post. Such beautifully written, made me hang on each and every line twice, and it has been only 4 months since i left.. love it..
Sawan Gupta says...
Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Awesome.... Its always a wonderful feeling going back to BITS...
Mayank Mathur says...
Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Amazing write-up. Each word so special! Hats off to you for the wonderful account.
A K Srikanth says...
Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Perfect! Its been over 18 years since I last walked out those gates, and hardly a day passes when I dont reminisce the halcyon days. Internet in every room!!! When we were there, the computer labs worked on UNIX, and we would delight ourselves by sending messages from one work station to another, and shouting across asking if they received it! Indeed, Koi Lautade Mere....
Shankarram Ramani says...
Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It's been almost 3 years since I stepped out of THE gate! Reminds me of those wonderful memories...an amazing article! A quote from one of the BITSAA T-shirts: "It is difficult to be modest when you know you're the best - Bitsian". Proud to be a BITSian!
Swapnil A. Ghike says...
Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Even today Pilani lives with the same spirit! A brilliant article indeed.
Nitin T. Muddana says...
Posted Monday, November 09, 2009
Amazing read ..! thanks for sharing ..
Vijay Sharma says...
Posted Monday, November 09, 2009
Brilliantly written.

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