When my son got admission in BITS ,Pilani I thought of accompanying him to Rajasthan despite the fact that it is a disgrace to him, a grown up graduate, to have a guardian with him to join M.Tech. But I have the strong desire to see the Pilani Campus . So we set off to Delhi by the Mangala Lakshadweep Express. The navy man from Kanhangad proved to be good company for the next two days. The konkan path was dangerous during monsoon but the scenery was entirely different from that of other seasons.
I had the privilege of travelling through konkan during other seasons of the year and it was the first time I travel during monsoon . During winter the landscape offers a monotonous scene. But now it is very enchanting . The emerald valleys glittering in sun dotted with several waterfalls were indeed a treat to the eyes. The greenery of the valleys and the life that flourish in it is beyond words. The rain continued to follow us through Goa , Maharashtra, MP and UP relieving us of the intense heat that prevailed in North India a couple of days back. It rained in Delhi when we reached there. We have booked a room in Kerala House thanks to the efforts of Prakasan.
Team Anna's agitation was started in Juntar Mandir and we spend some time with the agitators. To quench our kerala appetite we troubled to find out a vegetarian hotels run by Tamilians who cut our throat in good earnest by charging some four hundred rupees for a masala dosa and coffee. We had some purchase from cannought place. The kanji and puzhukku with pappadam heated over ambers at Kerala house was splendid.
Next day early morning we hired a taxi to Sarai Rohilla staion from where the train to Loharu originates. The breakfast at kerla House will not be ready until 8 am and we decided to have it at te Railway station(Before leaving Kerala House we had a chat with George Sir, a Secretary at the Kerala government Secretariat who also has come to Delhi for the admission of his daughter at BITS. He proposed to travel the 220 Kms to Pilani in a bus which he claimed will take only a couple of hours.) Sarai Rohilla Railway station was in a dilapidated situation displaying a destitute look. It was a pity to think that the station is only ten km away from the capital. There were no hotels and the single railway stall does not have even bread -not to speak of a proper breakfast. Fortunatly I noticed amul cakes which were recently stocked and a packet of the cakes with a tea was a good subtistute for breakfast. The heat wave was beginning to lash and for the first time during our journey we experienced the heat. There was still time for the train to arrive. Looking around I saw a father and son in some what an identical situation and instinctively I quipped" to Pilani" . 'Yes', the father whose name was Anand a Businessman from Hyderabad replied. It was a relief to see some one heading for Pilani
In the III AC coach there were other students going to Pilani Together we traveled to Loharu, which is in Hariyana , the nearest station to Pilani. From Loharu we got a taxi to Pilani . Krishnamohan a graduate studennt of BITS from Guruvayoor who was acquainted to us through another student had arranged accommodation for us in Yathri Nivas in Pilani. But unfortunately the driver of the cab was stranger in the area and we were taken to another Yathri Nivas which was full when we arrived . So we had to pay a very exuberant rent at Tani Bani for a room which they claimed is AC with dirty toilets and dusty bed.
In the evening we hired an auto to BITS. We found that we have been foolish to hire a room. BITS has arranged everything. Even the stay of the parents. There was a reception counter at which the photo of the student was taken and immeately we got a computer generated form for admission to the Hostel. Walking through the campus we were astonished to find the greenery in the Campus full of birds and even peacocks.
The buildings were of archaic design reminiscent of old college days. The huge Library building and the nearby park spoke volumes of the academic discussions that may fill the air at busy college hours. The students appeared to be less concerned about the strangers in the campus immersed fully in their academic pursuits.The canteens were full of mirth with youngsters sitting around tables chatting with cool Lessie in hand discussing seriously about - perhaps -gaps left by their teachers during the course of their lectures.
What astonished me most was the cycle stands before every building- initially I thought they were part of some mysterious constructions-until I stumbled upon the truth when a lady put her cycle there. The Campus, I was told is pollution free- Students are not allowed to use cars or motor bikes. The alumni association lends cycle to all students charging a small fee. I think this is indeed a very good model for other colleges in the campus and should be given wide publicity.