Many years ago I was a young and ambitious boy living in Trichy. Trichy also known as Tiruchirapalli is a town in Tamil Nadu on the banks the much disputed Kaveri river. I spent 5 years there for education – Higher Secondary and College. I went to Trichy a few months back and the mission should I choose to accept or delay further was to get my degree certificate. I lived with provisional certificate for years. Nobody never asked for the original. But I couldn’t delay it further as I was leaving Bangalore, South India for good.
Why Trichy all the way from Mizoram? 14 years ago I was very very eager to leave Mizoram. Anywhere far beyond Silchar. In Trichy we found an inexpensive school and a very good guardian – Peter Jonas(L) and Suzanne aka Nu Mawiteii with whom we are family friends to this day.
The sleeper night bus from Bangalore brought me to Trichy early morning. I got off at Central Bus Stand. Straight away I went to my upon upon a time favorite Sunday breakfast joint Shree Krishnas. Unfortunately I was too early for puri masala and settled for Idly, Vada and tea. Back in the day, every Sunday after Church I would try a new place for breakfast. The puri masala at Shree Krishnas was my favorite.
Since it was too early for the mission, I walked to my old school St. Johns’ Vestry Anglo Indian School. I met the hostel Chief Warden Mr. Arul Vijaya Kumar who still had his trademark beard. He invited me to breakfast and showed me to the guest room where I could shower. After shower I walked around to see the school, the hostel and my ex-classroom.
Over breakfast the warden told me most of the staff of my day had retired. That make the warden and a kitchen staff Mutaia the only few faces left. Later in the day Aunt Wanita told me Mrs. Victor the Maths teacher long retired had passed away. My condolence to her family. She wasn’t best at teaching Maths but she tried really hard.
I rode an auto to the my old college – Bishop Heber. At the college office I was sent from desk to desk before meeting the right man. He gave me a form to fill up. I had to pay a fee of 1000 rupees in demand draft. At the bank in the campus, the staff were very friendly and helpful unlike my college days. Perhaps in their eyes with my fat and spectacles I have become a “Man”. The only thing I lack was a majestic mustache.
The man told me if it was urgent I could get it in a day on a payment of 500 rupees at the University which is out of town. No thanks but he made me an offer I could not refuse – for 700 bucks he could get it for me. There was some rejection from some part of me but I agreed. Come on! It isn’t like I am getting a fake certificate. I took his phone number in case something goes wrong. Thankfully, it arrived within a week in Bangalore. I would otherwise had to wait for the next convocation several months away.
Having completed the mission I wandered around the campus. Many new buildings, swanky new college office. My old friend – the Librarian took me on a tour of the now much larger library. I also went to the Computer Science department and met some of the old remaining staff including Mr. TR(If my memory serves me right).
The rest of the day
I had lunch at the unfortunately new Tab Restaurant at Tab Complex. I missed the food and the ambiance at the old one. I could afford to go there only once as a student.
I visited St Johns Church, said hi to Papa and Nana Jonas buried at the cemetery there. I thought of visiting Harish’s parents. Their house was close by but instead I took an auto to KK Nagar. I wanted to visi my friends Nigel, Neil and Neville Freeman. They used to pick me up from the KK Nagar last bus stand. I hoped I could find their house from there. But I gave up after searching for quite sometime walking up and down the street. Without the house number or street name it was no easy task. I should have brought my decade old address book but I didn’t know I would have time to wander around. Anyway they are most likely in town, elsewhere working and making children.
As I was helpless I boarded a bus to Central bus stand and then to Main Guard gate – the main shopping center. I had tea at my favorite tea shop opposite to Chatram bus stand. I couldn’t be 100% certain but the ceiling and the tiny ceiling fans looked very familiar. I walked passed St Joseph’s Church. I walked through Burma Bazaar on my way to Rock Fort temple. A trip to Trichy is incomplete would climbing the fort.
When I was trying to snap the cityscape of Trichy from the Rock Temple, I accidentally learned how do this.
Out of focused circle of lights. I have read how-tos but I could never do it. I spent the rest of the evening at the temple enjoying my new found skill. How did it:
- I pointed at a distant light.
- I zoomed all the way to 55mm. I used the 18-55mm kit lens.
- In manual focuse mode, I turned the focus ring until I see the circles.
That was 5 years of Trichy redone in a day without a movie at Sippy Theatre.