Last day of 2012, I was invited to my uncle’s place for dinner and welcoming 2013. I managed to meet some old close family friends after a long while, the food was lovely and also made a new acquaintance. Unfortunately I left my memory card stranded in my laptop at home, so ended up having a charged cam of no use. SO no pics.
But I came to know my uncle needs to visit the principal at Indian Community School, Khaitan for some work today, ie, 1/1/13. I couldn’t resist tagging along with him there.
Its been a real long while since I visited school, last being 2004 – 06 or something. Its a holiday as always on the first day of the year and I had a peek into the entire school campus and absorb in the changes as well as reminisce the memories.
I am not sure if it is just me or if it is the same for others as well? My memories are so much in patches it is so difficult to retrieve data to relive any specific event.
Plenty of emotions were running through my head over the last week or so ever since I have been here in Kuwait. Time to think is something that is a rare commodity while busy doing PG. But I am happy that my department and professors let me take this break to rejuvenate and recharge for another long calendar year.
My New Year resolutions are usually related to the immediate year that has passed by – as a first year resident transitioning into second year, I had a lot of pressure and responsibility on my shoulders and I believe I rightfully put job over everything. This year I hope to make a more genuine effort to find time for friends and family as well.
May this post be a good initiative for me to continue to blog.
As blotchy as my memory is, I think coming to the blogosphere 2 years ago was the right thing to do!
I had just returned from Sabarimala after a satisfying reunion with Swami Ayyappan and my close family. When I enquired at the Medical HR in my hospital, I realized I had 16 days of casual leave left in the calendar year.. 16 out of a possible 20! I could not believe I had only taken 4 days off the entire year!
That prompted me to seize this rare opportunity to return to my birthland, to reunite with parents and to take a much needed and deserved break from the rigorous routine of a post graduate doctor’s life.
The immigration officers at the Cochin airport were cynical as usual regularly concerned when I travel on a visit visa. (ya like I am gonna go and work in the Gulf and bring big loss to the nation!). The Kuwait airport was more receptive with amiable ladies at all points. I have heard poor things recently about the national carrier, but having travelled on this carrier for like forever, I did not notice any difference – efficient on flight attendance, on time as always and of course I did not lose my luggage. For the first time, I did not watch any movie in flight, as I did not close my eyes one bit the night of the flight having had a long week at work and couldn’t risk sleeping and missing the flight altogether! So I slept through most of the flight.
On Kuwait soil
There was chilly current of air as I stepped out of the aircraft despite the sun shining bright in the sky. The cold waves were out, but my light sweater was good enough to keep me warm – it really hasn’t gone that cold as it usually does at Christmas time. So it is not just in India – the Climate is getting screwed all over!
Dad’s new Camry – technically new to me since I am visiting the country after 3 and a half long years – had a feeling of luxury tuned to it with the wooden internal panels. If ever there was a brand faithful, Dad is the one. He has not moved out of the Toyota world ever since he bought his first car and to be honest, Toyota is worth the deal.
Uneventful – apart from the fact that I did not wake up to do my usual Sunday chores of laundry, cleaning the room, making a presentation or working et al – the usual stuff that dwindle down my SunDAY to Sun(few hours). Quiet mom’s own food, home time catching up with parents and exchanging the gossips. I did miss the Premier league action since we don’t have the ESPNStar network here.
Day 2 – Turning the clock back
I love rummaging through my old briefcase stuffed with school nostalgia. I came across a few and am sharing them here just to relive the moments.
It feels great to be back – and am glad I got the opportunity Hope to relive a bit of the good old days and catch up with a few buddies as well on the way.
2 new PCs were wheeled into our reporting room. They had been ordered to be installed in the new ultrasound rooms. Along with it, the mail to the department also came in. The bundle was all heading to our Boss. The mail on the top of the bundle caught my attention.. IRIA..28th.. Manipal.. Karnataka… MANIPAL!!
It was an invitation for the boss for the forthcoming state chapter radiology conference. I had no second thoughts.. immediately I googled iria manipal on my phone .. looked up the dates. Next day noon, I’d already posted the registration form.
Manipal RD department was organizing the state IRIA chapter after over a decade and in all ways this seemed the perfect place to debut my first CME. I looked for convenient train timings and found none. So eventually I opted for the Durgamba (since it had a pick up from Edapally). RedBus.in was the agent which let me do the booking within my room itself.
The humidity was terrible, the heat killing and the uncomfortable 2+2 seats ensured I kept stirring my sleep up. I woke up when the bus reached Mangalore (0530). The road to Manipal was in the middle of being expanded into a 4 laner when I left 2 years ago. A lot more trees had disappeared, enough area was cleared for the road widening.. the road looked barren on either side. I used to love driving my 800 under the shades of the n number of trees decorating the highway.. not anymore..
I reached manipal and freshened up quick and decided to walk to Valley view. Things had not changed along the Parkala road up to Valley view. The signals installed at the junctions seemed to flicker the yellow.. glad to know at least that is on.. (of no use though)
I still feel Valley view looks odd with the metal detector at it’s entrance. Walked right through, then headed straight up to Chaithya Hall. The registration panel had some familiar faces – I recall them as first years who had just joined whilst I did my elective internship at Radiology in ’09. GE did a good job with the conference bag. Very hand and convenient indeed!
The inaugural function was invigorating. Pro chancellor Dr. Ballal, always inspirational, and I was happy to hear another energetic talk from him. He kickstarted events. Dr. Ramdas Pai, presiding over the function meant the Manipal representation of the conference was complete. My first experience with VRK Rao sir was whilst in his cabin when we were allotted randomly to different postings. A brilliant visionary, one whom I categorize along with my current Boss, every speaker who had turned up had some sort of learning curve in their careers under him. Maybe one day I may get an opportunity to learn something from him.
The fact that the president of IRIA, Dr. Harsh Mahajan made it to the conference and the 250 odd delegates attending the conference is a testament to how successful the endeavor was.
The mood in the Chaithya hall created by the excellent service of KMC’s audio visual team meant there were no glitches. The photography was a bit annoying with all the flashes each time a new speaker came on though.
Time rolled on quickly. Some spoke well, few had funny accents. Some topics were too familiar whilst some speakers showcased their unique repertoire of cases.
I skipped the evening banquet gala at Malpe. I opted instead for a walk in campus, and to catch up with a few friends. I had my camera on. I decided to snap a few. But as I walked I was traveling through time rolling back the memory reel. Some changes seemed welcome, some seemed to leave no trace of my times in the town. I returned my camera back into my bag. I somehow did not want to document the change that was happening. Change is inevitable, especially in an evergrowing educational capital like Manipal, but maybe I just did not want to contaminate my college days with the changes around.
Rather than ranting about what all changed, I craved for the sweet buns and ginger tea from Pangala (my breakfast on sunday); hot dog and tuna sandwich from Snack shack (dinner), the drive to Dishes for a manipal shawarma, the KFC burger from Prax (dinner), the grilled chicken from Hot spots, the football evening at Jono’s Niks paradise, the 2 hour daily shift of football with my friends.
The academic feast made sure I did not get too carried away by the memories, but nevertheless, I left the town with mixed emotions, a part of me still misses the place, a part of me doesn’t welcome the change, a part of me craves to return here in the future, if only time would stand still..
An exam or not, I knew going back there, be it even for a few hours, would bring some instant joy like downing a couple of shots, only to wake up next morning with a hangover.
With an exam peeking over my shoulder, I was in no mood for a leisurely time at Manipal, but I had planned already to attend my dear friend Tricia’s Graduation at Valley View.
As an ex-Manipalite, I am all too familiar with the ‘don’t be shocked if the place doesn’t look half the same as it was when you left’ ; being a year since I packed out. Plenty had changed.. the drive from Mangalore – Manipal had multiple low floor KSRTC A|C Volvo buses plying, innumerable trees were being felled all along as part of the Highway Development Project, but one thing that didn’t change was the rashness of the Express buses, and in a way I always enjoyed being in it [I’d rather be in one than out!]
Some of the things which were being developed while I left, and noticeably ready were
The new Emergency, Trauma building on the Main Road [no longer will new comers referred from nearby villages come searching for the emergency]
The all new sports complex, Marena!
The underconstruction umpteen storeyed hostel complex where the old KMC Stadium existed
The new annoying metal speed breakers, put in place after the President Partibha Patil left.
These just a few things I noticed in the couple of hours I spent in Manipal.
Valley View, Manipal
Think it belongs to the ‘Fortune Group’ now, but I’d rather refer to it as above. I recall the number of times we used to go there for family parties, ie, whenever any of our friends parents were down, they used to stay there and that meant we getting a treat invariably at Rangoli.
Nothing much has changed in there, bar the security! Body check, metal detector at the entrance, vehicle inspection, it’s pretty hard to sneak anything in 😉
Coming to the point, the purpose of visit to Manipal was a success, met my friend, couldn’t hang on for long but either way was good to be there on her day am really happy for her.
P.S: Out of the blue, got to drive Mandeep’s Nano, apart from my search in vain for a 5th gear, things were pretty nice.
City Centre, Mangalore
While I checked into my Hotel, I noticed my foursquare app highlighting KFC on the same lane! My eyes lit up and yep, I ended up having lunch and dinner there! After the exam met up with couple more of my good friends and spend the remainder of the time there till my train took off.
Manipal is just not the same to be back without your old gang of friends. You can be there and still feel like a stranger when you know the reason why Manipal was such a wonderful home away from home. One of my friends Shwetha was saying yesterday that we probably should have done PG in Manipal and not UG. On reflecting on it, I have to disagree. I doubt anything can come close to the 5 years we spent in Manipal 🙂. Special shoutout to T, Flo, Jono and Sim for the last couple of wonderful years. And as always to the mallu gang of girls!