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Monday, November 03, 2008

Chp 209. A walk down Coimbatore lane

A few minutes ago, my Bangalore ex-roomie and very close friend
Amos sent me this news article. | India's small town space heroes
Behind India's first moon mission are the hundreds of scientists who toiled to make it a success. What stands out is that many of the heroes of Chandrayaan are not from the much hyped IITs but from regional engineering institutions in small towns.

For instance the Government College of Technology, Coimbatore is known for its contribution to science and technology for the last 63 years. PSG College of Technology, again in Coimbatore has been imparting quality education since last 57 years.

PSG Tech is the college I graduated from, and GCET is Amos’ college!

We both felt extremely proud, even though we didn’t contribute anything towards India’s grand success But still, nobody can take our pride away.

Memories of Coimbatore immediately rushed back.

Of cheap transportation and strict college rules. Of college dress code (no round collar tee-shirts for men and no jeans for women) to powerless Student Union body as compared to North India (our SU declared a strike once, and the entire SU body was suspended for a month! No such demonstration took place again after that.)

Of cheap movie tickets (balcony seat at an English theatre was just 30 bucks) to 5-rupees-front-row seat ticket at a shady Shakeela film theatre (where one could even light up a cigarette inside!)

Of amazingggg South Indian delicacies of different variety (trust me, you can’t just call it "South Indian" dish because each region has its own specialty) to cheap road-side "standing bars" (situated behind every wine-shop where one could stand and slowly finish one’s drink. The more advanced standing-bars even have a person frying omlettes with other snacks like kadalai and muruku.)

Of eating one’s lunch on a banana leaf with assorted "curry" to go with the rice like dal, sambar, rasam, more (diluted salted dhai) and podhi + ghee, to joining different "mess" around our college (we shifted from mallu mess to chettinad mess, where the aunties treated us as their own sons and cooked the best lunch ever!)

Of crappy hostel food (the idlis at our Tech hostel was so hard that they were called "Tech bomb" because apparently you could kill somebody if you threw the idlis at them!) and joining North Indian mess (which didn’t last long because all we ever get was chappatis) and finally settling down for our hostel Rwandan mess (ah those exchange students from Rwanda had the best soup! Other Indians were not allowed to join the mess but since there were just 2-3 of us from the North-east they gave us special permission! )

Of strict college rules when it comes to relationships (yeah a guy and a girl talking to each other was prohibited frowned upon!) and cheap mobile phone tariff rates (free talk time from 7pm to 7am, so nearly every hot blooded male would be talking to their classmates staying in the girl’s hostel for hours and hours.)

Of last minute revision before an exam (walking from the hostel to the college campus and reading a particular chapter for the first time!) to finding the opportunity to walk along with a female classmate towards the college (hence ending up talking to her and not reading that chapter you’ve never even read once before).

Of arrears and back-papers and strangely forming a bond with guys of other engineering branches who happened to be present for every arrear exams that you attempted!

Of bumpy night-bus trips from Madurai to Erode to Namakkal to Nagapattinam to Kottayam (K) trying to win all the basketball tournaments that were conducted, to a memorable 1 point victory over Indian Bank (the reigning Indian club Champion back then!)

Of talking about "sight", "matter" and "scene" with my tam classmates, who were the sweetest bunch of people I had ever known, to teasing a classmate just because a girl borrowed his note-book!

Of guys visiting cyber cafes with girlfriends because those were the "hot-spots"...

Of running around in lungi and enjoying the "freedom", to dancing in tam style and having great fun.

Of earning the infamous nickname – "Tam-Zo"

Of having a North Indian girlfriend and the few North Indians in our college threatening to "break my bones" if we didn’t call off our relationship , and of my south Indian friends coming to my aid every time there was a fight...

Of shouting and hurling abuses right in front of each others’ faces during a "fight" but never quite actually hitting each other! (lots of daaaaiiiiii’s and okaaaaaalaaa but never a punch or slap, which is too hilarious for a Mizo onlooker)

Of my dear tam friends teaching me cuss words in tamil, and of them becoming so happy and entertained when I could finally abuse their mothers in their own language (if you really think about it, it is hilarious!)

Of excitedly dressing up and going to a "happening" college party (which usually meant there were 200 guys and 5 girls present) to the extremely nice cops who usually gave us warnings whenever they caught us drunk.

Of jumping into a crowded bus and paying for my friends while proudly telling the bus conductor the amount in tamil, and of the bus conductor always confirming the amount back by using his fingers to denote if I have said the correct amount or not

Of our extremely close-knitted "Peacepipe" Gang (that was the name of our gang. Why we call ourselves peacepipe? – Go figure )

Of watching the latest Tamil blockbuster release with my classmates and genuinely enjoying it!

Of the racial abuses that were almost 100% absent!!!! (I swear!)

Of friendship, simplicity and consummate honesty among friends.

Of the coffee-wallas who were present at every street corner.

Of Tamil hospitality.

Ah… I miss you Coimbatore!!! PSG, you truly roxxxx!!!!!

If you find this post funny or from one of those enginerring colleges in Coimbatore, please feel free to digg this post!


Joyful Thiek said...

"Racial abuses almost 100% absent"? Lucky you, Tam-zo! :) Almost all of the tech colleges I know of seem to come with a racial-differentiation package, including mine, and for the same reason, I think I've come to accept the fact of it all and now am a true "Chinky" being stared at or talked of in ways most unacceptable. :(

But of course, there are quite a number of goodfellas too, many of them from the South having been victims of racial abuses themselves, what a shame!

Oh and I think you seem to be missing the martial arts/karate part, or were you actually not a 'karate expert' in your college? Because I am, at least in my college! lol.

Anonymous said...

why is racist is high in north india and it is so nice in south? south people are so nice and simple and i have many frenz in b'lore, but i dont like north indians who think they are too good in everything. there are some good people too but delhi is worst place in india for us. a ni tak tak.


Pixie said...

Awesome post as usual!
Yes, we South Indians are the best!! :P
And you did bring back some lovely memories from college! :)

Mizohican said...

@ Pixie: Haha! I'm sure many who have studied in S.Indian colleges would have gone through a similar phase too. It was very memorable :)

@ Jothiek: Oh How can I forget the martial arts part!!!!!! lolz, thank you for reminding me, I will definitely add that section later in this post. When I was in school (again S.India) and we went for these local tournaments at some of the local schools which have never seen a person of oriental origin, they would surround me and stare as if I am an alien, and I would tell them I am Bruce Lee's brother or Jackie Chan's son and the kids would actually believe it and we had so much funnnnnnn! :)

@ mh: errrr.. I hope people dont start making this a racial discrimination topic post! :) I was having such good fun writing about the humor and memories of good ol coimbatore days and that would definitely be marred by any North-India-bashing or comments like that! So I beseech you all to please refrain from posting racism topics here. Comon peeps, its all about fun now. Lets relax and love one another.

wonderboy said...

Thil re re hi i ziak ngaihnawm thiam bik riau!! Hei pawh hi ngaihnawm in hlimawm leh fuu mai. Nia, North ho hi chu an CH.P leh deuh tlat thin. Football thiam zia chungchang te pawh a awm ang a, kungfu bakah? :D

Henry said...

kan basketball ground poh an chei thra toh khop asin...:)

PSG student nih a nuam thrin mange

P.S. U Jimmy a khan sawi nasa thei khop mai che

Jinx said...

Banana leaf a chaw ei kha ava han tui tak. Mysore a hotel RRR ngeiah khan a tui bon top.

Vai ramah chuan a 'ring' apiang an champ bawk a, hetiang 'fight' chu i hrat ngawtin ka ring...ngam ve tawk ni awm sia...hehehe

thinchhia said...

Banana leaf insoi takah chuan chennai a cheng 16 a kan ei ka hre zawk mai,a tui ka ti teh mai a fresh riau ni.
Bigscreen ah in enthup lo nia mawle..;-D

Aduhi Chawngthu said...

What about sleeping on the hostel terrace on hot summer nights? And ragging, being ragged. And mass bunk. And summer vacations and festivals when everyone used to go home and the hostel would be completely empty except for a few north Indians. And pickles and sweets and "mixture" brought from home by roommates. And sleeping on Sunday afternoons. And night outs. And last minute xerox-ing. And sharing textbooks with your roommates. And bus many things.

Sure would love to see you dancing in a lungi, though.

Mizohican said...

@ wonderboy: hehehehe thengkhiuuu :) Ka ei vaklo keipawn, "khimi" lam mi ho chu, hemi lampang ka sawilo ti mah i la. A tlangpui hi chuan min en hniam a hmusit deuh hian, mahse heipawh hi an society vang a nia, hman atang khan upper caste bik leh an caste vanga lal bikna feeling hi an la nei a, heng vang hian keini te leh south lam mi hang ho hi chu an ti dudah tlangpui. buaithlak a ni, mahse mi fel deuh deuh pawh an tammmmm mai an zingah hian. Football lam te pawh ka rawn tel dawn, thanx for reminding! :)

@ henry: Niceeee. Girls hostel ho khan basketball in khel lai an room atangin an rawn la thlir thin em che u? Kan khel style over thei a nia awwwww hmeichhe hovin min thlir tih kan hriat chiah chuan :D

@ jinx: tuiiiiii tak a ni. Mahse banana leaf a ei hma in tin hi hlep ziah tur! lolz. tin a sei chuan "thleng" a rang vek zel. haha. lolz at "ngam ve tawk". sala! :) tiang ring deuh deuh a au te chu Pu Seki an a master tawh :)

Mizohican said...

@ thinchhia: haha. banana leaf a i ei lai ka hmu chak! :) kei chu school kan luh lai atangin ka ei tan tawh, tui ka ti a nia awww. Mahse ka problem neih ve chhun chu ... hehe... ka bawp hi a sei a :) chuvangin chhuatah ka thu sawp ve theilova, chuvangin dawhkanah lo hi chuan ka ei thei lo (thil engpawh).

@ aduhi:

sleeping on the hostel terrace on hot summer nights

Coimbi wasn't that hot. And even if it was, it was never that bad enough to sleep outside :)

And ragging, being ragged.

Nopes, didnt face it. I'm from the North-east: ppl are scared I mite do something crazy back at them :) Plus in first year, I had long hair (till my chest) so nobody even talked to me :D

And mass bunk.

Ah!!! One of the best thing I like abt college :) And we would announce: "class co-orperation" and all of us would mass bunk. lolz.

vacations...hostel would be completely empty...

Dunno abt this. Every vacation, my friends and I would go on a car trip to a hill station or to their home-towns in Kerala etc. Was never at hostel during any vacation.

sleeping on Sunday afternoons

Our Sunday afternoons were spent at pool parlours and bowling alleys because they were extremely popular back then :)

And night outs.

Ah! We go go-karting usually, if we're not drinking. There were no regular pubs or discs in Coimbi back then, so go-karting was our main source of releasing our energy.

And last minute xerox-ing.

lolzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!! this I sooooo miss!!!! :) gosh the amount of xeroxing I must have done during engg college!!! lolz.

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luliana said...

engmah contri ve lo mah tawp mai a :P

Carey Suante said...

Yes how can you ever forget being the karate expert!

I was the karate expert too in my school days in B'lore!

And every time there is annual sports or some tournament we "the Chinese" and the Tibetans were the first to be chosen for the team!

If they only knew!

Back then David (Pu Vanlalaua's eldest son, now a Police officer in Mizoram, I guess) was the school prefect and the basketball champ!

Oh! Those were the days!

Great writing as always!

Malsawmi Jacob said...

'Tech-bomb idlis' ha ha ha! May be it takes an Engineering college to make it! Eating on banana leaves, man, i love it, it's so tasty.

Congtats to you and Amos on your illustrious Alma Mater(s). I watched the launch of Chandrayan (on TV of course. Was it exciting!

Anonymous said...

Is there any place you have been without a relation :-)

Lucy In The Sky said...

Coimbatore...You can even make Coimbatore sound attractive...You are "the" man, bello...

Next time..I'm not going to record your voice.

I've created the blog. Check it out. Nothing in it, though.

Anonymous said...

hey you know what?? You are an amazing writer. I looooooooove reading your blog. it been a few months that one of my friend introduced me to your blog, since then I have been following it qalmost everyday. keep up the good work!!! Toast to you !!!

Mizohican said...

@ luliana: thank you anyway :)

@ carey: Thanx :) Yeah these are the few advantages of being a North-easterner. Everybody thinks we are good in football, kung-fu and guitar. :)

@ jean: That is sooooooo sweet of you dear Jean! An early Merry xmas to you too dear. :)

@ Mesjay: It truly is delicious, pi Mesjay. By the way Amos too has just launched his own blog. Do check it out>

Mizohican said...

@ Ben: hahaha :P So many places. Like here in Mumbai for instance :)

@ Lucy: lolzzz. Me catching you red-handed recording my voice was soooooo funny! :) Love your blog and hope you continue to build it up. As mentioned above, Amos too just started blogging. Do check his blog out.

@ Anonymous: Why, thank you!!!! :) As long as people like you keep visiting, it is my duty and obligation to keep improving :) Hope you visit again.

Sekibuhchhuak said...

Gongfu / Kung fu intih thiam hle tur ani ringawt mai! Him duh chuan ! :-D

Coimbatore-ah hian 2001 khan outreach in kan zina, khawi Penticostal Church ah emaw ni kan inkhawm ve tawh! Tin, Salem-ah hmanah chuan lekha zir ve hman trep.

Mizohican said...

Salem chu ka school luh na district HQ. :) Holy Cross ah emni luh i tum tep chu? Kha kha a ni mai school luh tlak ve deuh na chu Mizo tan chuan. St.Pauls a awm a, mahse kha kha chu a local mah mah.