Now it is time to pen down my recollections of engineering days in Mysore. SJCE was amongst the top ranked colleges in Karnataka. We were definitely the only one with a good Computer Science department. Credit goes to then principal Prof. Dhananjaya, a perfect administrator.
I decided to move my hostel days experience to a separate post.
1. Location: 5th semester electrical lab. A beautiful girl in langa dhavani [read this] walks in. A sudden short circuit in all our brains! Myself, Ravi and Shekhar were doing some experiment. The movement of my head and her walk were synchronized – involuntary, I must insist. Funny? No way, I got caught by my teacher Apramaya, “Hey mister, see here, not there”. Ouch! Talk about being embarrassed, especially in the presence of Ravi and Shekhar – these two sincerely spread it in the entire hostel.
2. When you have teachers from other departments teaching you it can get tricky. Prof Nagabushan was from the electrical department and was very tough with us. We figured this was not going anywhere and had to be fixed. Few in our class came up with a grand plan – let us go on a class trip to Kodai and take Nagabushan along (for free). Took him on the Kodai trip. Got so friendly that you could see him with our class having tea in the college canteen.
3. Few girls after passing out from the electrical department would join back as lecturers. They usually taught the electrical lab, one of my least favorite labs. We had to do all sorts of wiring’s of the motors, it resembled more like a war zone to me. Not sure when it would blow up. Just before we could switch on the motor to take readings the teacher would say “WAIT! Let me signal you when you can switch on the motor“. She would walk 5-10 feet away to safety and signal us to switch on the motor. Talk about self confidence!
4. My classmate Satya was of the opinion programming could not be taught, it is an inborn skill. Nobody bought his theory. I think he meant “logic” and not “programming”. Anyway, we still don’t buy his theory.
5. My classmate Prasanna, a Mangalorean, was of very quiet type. He did only one thing throughout the course – C programming. No, none of us ever felt inferior. In one of the C language classes the teacher asked Prasanna “How far have you reached in C?” and he humbly replied, “I am doing Advance C”. We were not very kind to him at the end of the class.
6. We all were forced to attend a talk in the college. Very vague topic. Speaker was from one of the IITs.
Two girls from my class (I distinctly remember the names) brought notepads, pens etc to take notes. I and Ravi just walked in empty handed (no guilt here people).
That talk was a drag and a torturous sedative. There was no way for us to escape as our principal Prof. Dhananjaya was on the stage.
Not a single poor soul understood a word of what the speaker was saying. The girls did not write a word on their notepad. Another person was so fast asleep that his notepad and pen fell down, for that noise many woke up. Maybe even the speaker woke up.
7. My parents were in Delhi during my engineering days. Mysore had two engineering colleges during those days – NIE and SJCE. After exams students of both colleges from Delhi (a sizable number) would board the same train from Mysore to Delhi (a direct train).
The college would issue a student id proof which we could produce to the railways to avail student discount. There was a catch though – the piece of paper would mention the from and to dates of our vacation. So one had to travel during that period only to avail the discount.
Out of station students generally came a week late because the hostel mess would start getting operational later. SJCE students in Delhi would meet up on a particular day to reserve our return tickets. One would think buying tickets would go smoothly, no. Reason: We all would change the opening date of the college on the piece of paper. Now came the tricky question – which counter is a safe one to produce this tampered piece of paper. We carefully studied the faces of each attendant at the counters and would bet on one of them.
My classmate Rahul was the first one in the queue and we all were behind him, a long queue of SJCE students. Attendant rejected his claim for student discount because he felt the date was tampered. We all figured Rahul was getting into trouble. Rahul confidently told the attendant “I haven’t tampered with anything. You can ask my friends too”. He turns back and none of us were behind him. We had scooted to another counter. Talk about friendship!
8. I used to buy text books for the next semester in Old Delhi during my holidays. No Flipkart those days. Once I asked for a particular book and the shopkeeper said “No, you need to buy this one. I know Mysore University syllabus well”. They knew the syllabus of all Universities in India. Impressive.
9. I never bunked classes. During my 8th semester just before lunch break my stomach was noisy. I decided to skip the class and go to the hostel. It just so happened that day the mess had prepared the most popular item for lunch – Tomato Gojju [recipe]. My good “friends” Ravi and Shekhar instead of being sympathetic to my sickness did exactly the opposite. I come back to the class after lunch break – the entire class screamed and asked me “How was Tomato Gojju”. If this was not embarrassing enough Shekhar’s daughter wanted to confirm with me on June 2, 2013, about the “Tomato Gojju” incident. Phew! This is going to follow me till my grave.
Overall life at SJCE was heaven. I dearly miss it. I miss my classmates. I miss my hostel.