I’ve just stepped off the train and headed off to the nearest Internet browsing centre. Gotto put my thoughts down when they are fresh. The Nellai express which I took from Madurai to chennai had a mobile mortuary attached. The railways dept prefer to call it the 3rd class A/C. Geez, it was so cold that I was still shivering inside a bedsheet topped by a thick blanket. Well, you can imagine…!
My experience at Madurai Kamaraj University is something I won’t forget in a long, long time to come. One of the eventful days that’ll stay embossed in my mind forever. To start with, the hospitality, the wonderful team work and organisational skills of the students was excellent. I never had too high an opinion of the University, but all that changed thanks to this visit. The guest house played its initial role to perfection to give the guests a great first impression. The guest house had sprawling , i mean, really sprawling rooms, complete with A/C, waiting lounge, changing room and a real roomy bath.
My originally planned two hour lecture session crossed lunch and tea break to qualify for a full day session. Kudos to the interest of the students who kept pummelling me with inqusitive questions. Yeah, they took a little time to warm up, but they went full throttle afterwards making this one of the best interactive sessions I’ve handled. And to think today was a holiday for them and some of them had to travel all the 13 Kms from Madurai to this university town just for this session. I’m impressed.
After the lecture at 5:30 p.m, myself and a bunch of adventure loving freaks, decided to unwind by climbing the impressive mountain nearby the college. Ummmm…maybe its not a mountain… will qualify as a pretty tall hillock. Nevertheless, a challenging one indeed. We had to wade thru thorny bushes and a trifle trepidation of snakes. Well, you can’t help this if the hillock’s name is “Naagamalai” ( meaning Snake Mountain). We reached the top, huffing and puffing and lo !! What a magnificient sight ! After taking a few dare devilry filled snaps we made an adventurous decent. We had to race against a fast setting sun, to reach the foothills before it gets dark.
The visit to the student’s hostel opened the floodgates of my college memories. I felt very nostalgic remembering all the fun I had during my college days. Bryan Adams, you are right. These college days will always be the best days of our lives !
After a quckie bath, we has to rush to go to the famous Meenakshi temple before they close. We made it just in time. And I’ll tell you what ! I would have never forgiven myself if I had missed visiting this temple. The amazing architecture and sheer grandiose of the structures simply took the wind off me ! It’s difficult to imagine how so many centuries back, people with absolute lack of technologies that we have today, have managed to build such astoundingly symmetrical monoliths. If I hadn’t had students guide me thru, I’d have easily lost myself in the maze inside the temple. While I’m here, I must give a special mention to set of very pro-active students who went out of their way to show me around the place. They even went to the extent of greasing the guard’s palms, to let me have a closer darshan at the sanctum sanctorum !
The day was extremely long ( from 5 a.m till 10:30 p.m ) and taxing but surprisingy I felt gung ho and peppy throughout the day. Guess the entusiasm of the students is very contagious.