My classmates recall our engineering days at SJCE, Mysore

Few days ago I wrote about my batch completing 25 years of graduation at SJCE, Mysore. I requested my classmates to share their memories of our engineering days. A compilation of few I received.

Memories of Vikas Kamat (

With Vikas Kamat in Bangalore on Jan 21, 2007

With Vikas Kamat in Bangalore on Jan 21, 2007

When it came to art, the least appreciated talent, Vikas was the most talented we had. He could comment on photos in humorous way, an art I picked up from him. To date my friends wait to see the comments I write on our holiday photos.

I like Vikas’s concept of happiness – it is about being happy. Unfortunately for many today money alone is happiness.

Vikas was from Bangalore, lived in a room outside the college. Here goes his memories from our college days,

1. Two Bengali girls (they were twins, very fair skinned, which is like the epitome of beauty at that time in India) moved to a room next door.

Suddenly I became popular with the boys and my friends started visiting me often — especially those who knew a little Bengali. One day I went to a party  some NIE students were having, and they introduced me as –“this is the lucky bastard who lives next door to Ananya and Anandita”. Apparently it had become my identity!

Everybody wanted to know how I could tell one from other ( I couldn’t; they were identical)

2. In my Ontikoppal neighborhood, there was a little girl (probably 2 or 3 years old, Pinky) who would always come to my room to play as I was fond of her. One day — and I remember it was Zak — was visiting said  “Vikas, Pinky looks just like you”. It was funny, but I told him not to say it loud, but the damage was done. Pinky never came to play with me again!

3. Remember “Birthday Bumps”? If you are 18 years old, you get 18 kicks as your friends hold you up. Anyway it was Vijay’s birthday, but he had piles, so they kicked his roommate Vinay instead.

4. Premier Studios was a famous studio for shooting movies. A big chunk of the studio campus was given out to students on rent.

The daughter-in-law of owner of Premier Studios was very beautiful, and her husband was very protective of her from the prying eyes of these “damn engineering students”. Then their family dog died and the owner of the premier studios had to give a dinner to 100 Brahmins. All SJCE boys came with sacred thread on their shoulders — not for the dog, and not for the dinner.

Incidents with Prof “Tamtam”

This particular Prof was an US returned teacher. So he had a high opinion about himself. Whenever we asked him a hardware question he would say “I am a software expert”, and whenever we asked him a software question he would say “I am a hardware expert”. Class had nicknamed him..well, let me not put it here in writing.

1. It was an internal test for our seniors. The entire class wrote answers to a different set of questions than what the teacher had given. At the end, the teacher was confused and thought that he had distributed incorrect set of questions.

2. Tamtam used to take attendance at the end of the class period. What mattered was we had to be in the class for the last 5 minutes. Majority of students showed up only for those last 5 minutes. He never had a no-show from us, we made sure for the first 35 minutes we had ONE student in the class.

3. My classmate Satya had never bunked classes in his life time. He had even received awards in high school for having 100% attendance. Bah! Such a bad influence. My classmates forced him to bunk a class because he should genuinely experience the true great college life. But Satya was totally stressed out – he did not know what to do for 35 minutes outside the class but still remain on the campus.

4. We never understood what he taught. Internal test time. Tension! We had no clue on what the questions would look like, let alone the answers. Our seniors were good people, they had coached us on how to get over this problem – agree for the test, after Tamtam comes to the class surround him, beg him for postponement, few classmates in the mean time had to flick just “one” question paper (just one). He would ultimately agree for the postponement but under one condition – nobody can go out of the class and he wanted to be given an opportunity to teach a class with 100% attendance. After all we in the class were good people, we obliged and allowed him to be happy. And the next day we would pretend to be thinking and writing the answers. Entire class would get great marks.

College Canteen

1. Various weird fractions of tea we used to order at the canteen, and always, x/n where n > x. The one I remember is ordering 3/8 coffee.

2. It is very common to order by-2 coffee or by-2 tea in Karnataka. Two girls in my class were extra creative – their standard order in our canteen was half tea and half coffee. This is total optimization of “by-2” formula.

Memories of Rekha

1. Satya told me that I was copying in a test when it was an open-book test (4th semester). And I cried after that.

2. I was the tom-boy type.  During one of the lab viva the examiner decided to ask me couple of questions and devote the rest of the time to give me a lecture on why I shouldn’t be wearing pants but the traditional salwar kameez. Needless to say it fell to deaf ears (rightfully so)

Memories of Ravi

Ravi was my roommate from 3-8 semester. There was something between us – have shared a lot of good and bad times with each other. He is definitely one of the most disciplined persons I have come across. He had an awesome handwriting. Very good at narrating incidents and I love to sit and listen to incidents, I can do that for hours.

1. Most final year students were housed in what used to be called as “L” block because the building was in the shape of an “L”. My out of station friends had a great impression of our hostel – they would imagine that we had  very large hostel facilities simply because we had so many blocks (A through L). I never attempted to tell the truth.

2. Every night it was the same ritual – myself and Mahesh would walk to the gate of the hostel which was known as “DOWN” to eat a banana. It was 40 paisa for a small or a half rotten one and 50 paisa for the fresh stock.

On the way from our room to “down” was our other good friend Shekhar’s room (first rank, all 8 semesters in Mysore University).

We both being civilized used to invite Shekhar to join us. He would always NO, but we both mischievously would convince him to join. He would always say “OK, I am coming but I am NOT eating”. And our reaction was “Sumanne baro, tarle” (simply come). And the loss was ours – we always ended up with 2/3 banana.

3. I always liked to trouble Shekhar. I had asked Mahesh to keep his mouth shut as he can’t control his laugh. I asked Shekhar if he knew what was the expansion of UNIX. Shekhar said UNIX was not an abbreviation. I managed to convince him there was a full form and blahed it. Shekhar bought it, for few minutes only though.

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