I was thinking about it. And thought, February would be a good month. After that it would be difficult with my busy schedule of professional work, travel for a couple of hotel reviews and probably a wonderful home stay review right up there in the mountains. And then of course my planning for our summer holidays & the trip itself.
And the same man came haunting again. One who has made a huge difference in the way I look at life. Paulo Coelho. And his book, “The Alchemist”. What you think about, you bring about. If you put all your focus, energy and positive thoughts towards whatever it is you want, you’d be amazed at what opportunities come knocking.
And the opportunity came knocking. Totally unexpected. And I was on my way. This time via Delhi, the route for many of us for years. Rather decades. And through a city I have always loved. My home for years. Summers, winters, the rains, the dust pollution, the burning crops, the hazy mornings. Nothing mattered, still doesn’t and never will. Delhi, my love ❤️
But today as I landed in Delhi it was not the perfect weather I had hoped for. A lovely Sunny morning. Instead at 10.30 in the morning it was like a 6 O’clock Delhi. And a turbulent flight all through with a thought that I discouraged immediately. Will I land 🤔
Yes I landed 😁 But was sad to leave right away. But didn’t mind leaving it all, to move on to the destination of our dreams. Pilani. To bring you a story different from my last one. After all it is Pilani. And it’s a little different, every time.
As usual, the traffic from the Airport was heavy due to the office rush and moving out of Delhi through Gurgaon itself took us a long time. The journey continued smooth after that and we were soon near The Mannat Chain of restaurants on the highway. Time for some mouth watering Aloo (Potato) Paratha with butter, chutney, curd and fried green chilly. Just awesome. Should have had just one but landed up having two, the second one with Paneer (Indian cottage cheese). Felt a bit guilty. But then told myself. Come on man, its not every day your gorge. Felt better. And we moved.
Every time I have an early morning flight I feel so very excited that I hardly sleep. So it was time to put on my car belt and take a nap. But the nap turned out to be a full crash. And when I got up, we had already crossed Loharu and were just fifteen kilometers away from Pilani.
Then to my utter surprise suddenly on our left we saw camels, camels and only camels. Told my driver Rajinder to stop immediately. What a beautiful sight it was. A Camel Fair was on. Something that I had always wanted to experience by visiting Pushkar, another famous Rajasthan city. But here it was for me right there near Pilani. Come let’s have a look.
I was curious. So asked one of the owners. What is the price of a camel? He mentioned it was anywhere between Rupees 30,000 to 50,000 (USD 425 to 700) depending on the health of the camel. And do you consume camel milk? No sir. It stinks and the output is very little and is usually used for some medicinal properties.
We were back in the car and soon on our way towards our campus. Vidya Vihar, BITS, Pilani and reached shortly. It was now five o’clock. I checked in to V fast, had a wash and was off towards my first destination always. Nagar’s.
This is one man, I love and have a lot of respect for. We chatted over some tea and I got updated on the latest from the campus. His offer to have some snacks and this specialty burger was enticing but decided to refrain from, as my tummy was still very full.
The next stop was VKB mess which as always is still very close to my heart. Let’s go in and have a look and check out what’s on offer.
The food looked awesome but the students were less in numbers. In our time the mess used to be packed during dinner time and sometimes we even had to wait. But times have changed and now a lot of them have their dinner out on most days, either in Connaught or ANC (All Night Canteen). The mess manager and few from his team pestered me not to leave without having my dinner. Or at least have some cooked mutton. But it was too early to eat and so to keep their request I had a couple of Jalebi’s (Indian Sweet). And Jalebi’s who does not love.
Back in my room and after spending some relaxing moments, it was finally time for dinner. Dinner & Lunch at V fast mess is just out of the world vegetarian food. Come let’s have a taste.
After finishing my dinner as I came out on the streets outside V fast to have a feel of our campus during the night, I saw a group of students coming down. Some walking with their bicycles.
As they passed by after I took a snap of theirs and told them I was an Ex-BITSian, two of them I noticed were coming back. And the little girl asked me, Sir do you mind coming with us to Connaught for a little enjoyment and a bonfire? I readily agreed, went back to my room to put on some more warm clothes and my pair of jeans and soon we were walking and getting to know each other more. And it was sheer coincidence that they turned out to be in the same Master of Science(Biological Sciences) stream as my first degree. It was a pleasure being with them for some time sitting & chatting in a dark isolated place near Connaught, which is their favorite hangout these days. Connaught in the night though is no longer as isolated as I had noticed last year.
As we walked back, I had with me my two latest kids. Shivangi & Harshit. Do well, live life and make BITS proud. Love you guys 💕
The next three days were very hectic. With couple of programs on Leadership, Emotional Intelligence & Interview facing skills followed by Mock interviews and feedback of sixty 2018-20 MBA batch future leaders. And I was so very impressed with majority of them for their focus, clarity of thought and initiatives in acquiring the skills required for success in this competitive corporate world today.
And in between on the first program day, I took out time to visit this temple which many of us all these years have wanted to visit but only a few have. Pahari Mandir (Temple) on top of a hill. So for all my BITSian friends, here is the opportunity. And for my all other readers, enjoy the trip as I climb up the 261 narrow steps to take you there. 🏃Let’s go.
Hope you loved the experience. You guys can now rest a bit, but I am going back for my afternoon session. As I was about to finish, I got a call that I could not take. So I called up later and was told that I have an invitation for my dinner at Nagar & Mahavir’s restaurant in Connought. After a freshen up, I was on my way. Have a look at my dinner. And the love with which Mahavir’s two sons served the food is something which just can’t be described. They do not remember us and they were just little kids during our time. But they made me feel so wanted. So loved. That’s the magic of our Pilani. BITS, Pilani.
As I walked back towards V fast I realized what a marvelous peace den our campus was and why it still means so much to us, we BITSians. A look at some older buildings brought back all the old memories of our walking past them so many times earlier. They may not be there when we visit after a few years.
All my lunch was in V fast during my stay with their awesome menu everyday. And every day there was a new one. And my favorite Puri (Deep Fried Indian Bread made of wheat) available always. But these two caught my real attention.
Everyday during lunch hours, I would utilize the time to go around and feel the place again. The old and the new. So on my second working day, this is what I bring to you.
Both the bank canteen and Post Office canteen do not exist any more. Such a loss. Very close is our Old Workshop where we had made our candle stands and more during our first year Workshop Practice course.
And what can beat the beauty of our campus, we BITSians are always proud of.
After an enjoyable day spending time with the kids with one to interactions, it was time to head to my room followed by V fast dinner. And some heart to heart chat with two people who serve food and take care of all guests. They are from our days in the late seventies and early eighties. Can anyone recognize them?
Lakshman used to work as a cook in our Director Dr. C.R.Mitra’s residence for many years. During my first year first semester few of us used to practice in Diro’s home for a Bengali musical program called “Barshamongola” for almost two weeks. And we used to wait everyday for Lakshman to make his entry with the wonderful bread pakoras, samosas, sandwiches, tea and coffee. And Jujal was the little boy who was Nagar’s help in his Redhi next to VK Bhawan. God has his own way of giving us such happy moments in our life.
As I finished my dinner and was about to leave for my room upstairs, this is what they practically forced me to carry back to my room for later in the night. Hot hot Gulabjamuns (Indian Fried Sweet dipped in sugary syrup and best served hot). That’s love and found in abundance in BITS, Pilani ❤️💕
The next day was hectic again but I was loving it. It was about trying to understand what plays on in the minds of today’s young generation and trying to focus them on their goals, along with a few tips.
And then there was a break for some time. For the batch to get their official batch group photographs clicked with all their professors. And for me to further roam around. We headed towards the Museum lawns. And friends and readers, this is for you.
But the real fun is here. Watch this video & enjoy. It’s a Sunday afternoon Carnival.
It was my last night and wanted to try out some non vegetarian food from ANC (All Night Canteen) where all the campus action is, during the night. Let’s go have our dinner. And for you today, one of their hot selling dishes.
After a satisfying breakfast next morning, it was time to visit Nagar again to bid good bye till next time. And this was his parting gift. A Gift of Love ❤️ from him and his son, Pawan.
BITS, Pilani. It’s about Love 💕
Come visit Pilani. Experience Love 💕 Experience India Beautiful 🇮🇳