Hari Shanker R

Hari Shanker R

A Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

De-Tour | Genesis

The news struck as like bolt from the blue. We were enraged like hell! Even the most restrained guys among us couldn’t help but mouth a couple of choicest abuses at our then-Head of Department over his downright regressive decision: He vehemently rejected our class-tour proposal! The reason? Mr-Punctilious simply does NOT encourage tours! Legend has it that a final year student got drowned at Hoggenackal during a similar class-tour long back, and the HOD’s astrologers predicted that history would soon repeat itself! It’s a different matter that all our batchmates in various branches had gone on excursions without any departmental-hassle whatsover. “Why us?” we rued! Expressing our heart-felt condolences to the lost soul; we knocked all doors to the HOD’s office, leaving no computers(stones) unturned, in a bid to rescue our tour. The word-smiths (headed by yours truly) penned heart-rending pleas running unto pages in length in our favour, the loquacious even propounded new theories in astrology countering HOD’s hypothesis… But Alas! Meek First years we were then, we had no choice but to retreat in defeat with heavy hearts and bowed heads appropriately in place!

But we knew we’d have our day of redemption. Like God-send, Mr HOD decided to call it quits and left for another prosperous self-financing college in our second year! Amid a cacophony of crackers and pandemonium (organized by seniors) celebrating the man’s long-awaited departure, we saw a strikingly well-dressed man set foot into GEC Barton Hill, alighting from his well maintained Maruti Zen. He was Mr Krishnan Kutty, who’d transferred himself from College of Engineering, Trivandrum, to take charge as the new Head-of-Department. The tour-issue was brought to his notice right on his introductory-session. Our well-groomed HOD pondered for a split second and quipped: “I’ll take it into consideration.”

Many a university-exam and a semester later, we were STILL waiting for his ‘consideration’ in early February. What drove us to the point of insanity was the fact that all our junior batches had gone on tour by that time! Was the new HOD worse than the old guy? Dejected and dispirited, our think-tank racked their brains and reached a solution: Man ‘O’ Mano. We’d take it directly to him. United by an instinctive urge to tour (which we decided was our right!), a spirited eight-some comprising Anand, Renjith, Vinit, Anisha, Anup, Prashant, Archana and myself marched to the HOD’s office. Lifting an eye from his Acer 17″ TFT monitor, the HOD eyed us quizzically. We spoke our hearts out trying our best not to reveal the pain at being denied our self-imposed “Right-to-tour”. The HOD heard us for a couple of minutes, and flashed us that characteristic smile, which just meant one thing! “YES!”. [Archana tells me that at that very moment she felt like jumping up high in the air and caterwauling, (which she did right after we alighted from the room!), at that very moment!] But HOD reminded us of the new set of University rules which paved way for just two tours in the course; not to mention other technical hurdles. Intelligent that he is, he himself suggested means to circumvent the red tape: We had to morph our tour into an Industrial Visit.


Tour Planning: Over a game of cards, nonetheless! 😛

That day would remain etched in the minds of every single infinITe (yeah, that’s the name of our ‘gang’). We were at the best of our spirits, all 64 of us awaiting the tour with eager enthusiasm. After a lot of paperwork and planning, we finalized a tentative schedule. It would be a three day trip. We’d go touch down on the TCS office at Infopark, Kochi (to add an IV flavour to our tour), then visit Ooty and later, Wayanad. Anisha’s dad was a senior consultant at TCS, Kochi. He helped us get the required permissions sans delay and red-tape. A tour operator, “Ambadi Travels” had set the cost per head at Rs 1100/- which was quite low for a three day trip.


Doesn’t mean that everyone was involved in planning! Some, like Maheen(Top) and Girish (bottom) saw it as an opportunity to unwind. 😉

Then came the catch-22! We did not have a teacher to accompany us! The university had this strict diktat that the teachers (a male and female staff member) accompanying students must be from the same department. This exactly was the clause that turned out as the singular tour-spoiler. All our teachers voiced that two-letter word we’d now learned to hate the most: “NO!”. An issue that gave many of us sleepless nights! The situation was of such dire proportions that our HOD even entreated us to visit teachers’ homes and plead with their family members to let them go, lest the excursion materialize. That was it! Back to square one. Empathetic that our HOD is, he loosened the net a bit at our dilemma, and allowed us to invite staff members from other departments. Back in action, we scourged and scourged and finally cajoled Mr Abhilash (of Mechanical Department, who’s a GECian of the 2007 batch, incidentally) and Ms. Sandhya of the Electronics Dept. into accompanying us. Now the only hurdle left to be crossed was the Principal’s consent, which we got without much ado.

Thus, all the stage was set for our class tour! All our efforts paid off, at last. The excursion would commence on Friday, the 4th of April at 5 AM in the morning. We’d spend Friday at Ernakulam, Saturday at Ooty and Sunday at Wayanad. Trip of a lifetime, indeed! Now that the logistics was in place, we moved over to stabilize the required monetary resources. Within a short span of three days, a whopping 46 guys and gals coughed up the money! None of us expected such an overwhelming response; for, you could call it a miracle if half the class managed to come on a class-tour! Even the worst of atheists (or rather, quasi communists) amongst us exclaimed the name of God! The day before the tour, all of us dispersed afternoon itself, getting home early to pack…

We SIMPLY couldn’t wait for the D’day!

(To be continued…)

15 Comments

  1. Hari Vishnu

    dude! it strikes me how similar nitc and barton hill are on this issue!!

    we had similar problems with our class tour. incuding all the red tape delays. until we were told we would have to turn it into a industrial tour. so industrial tour to some damn dam near kodaikanal for the eee class it was.

    we really ended up going to kodaikanal. no dam business ofcourse.

    then we found no faculty from the eee dept, so we went into mech and got 2 sirs from there.

    man oh man u bring back those memories.the trip was great.

    u mustve enjoyed the trip. eh. esp ur ‘industrial visit’ lol

  2. @nuP

    That was one hell of a post dude!!!
    You really took me back to our pre-tour days!! And thanx to our beloved HOD…

    And yeah, great pictures too!
    Looking froward to the rest of it…

  3. ~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~

    Good description, wish i was still teaching in college to accompany u as a STAFF member[:)]

  4. Hari

    @hari vishnu:
    Red tape rules! Sad to hear it’s prevalent even in the hallowed portals of NIT-C! 🙁 But we’re ingenious enough to circumvent the rules, no? 😉 More about the trip in the upcoming post. 😛

    @ anup:
    Thanks man! HOD rocks!! 🙂

    @Abhi
    Thanks, chetta. Maybe, one-day you’ll start cursing your well-paid job and come back to academics like Abhilash sir did! I’d sure coax you to accompany us then! 🙂

  5. ~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~

    It sure was a welcome change from the ‘I don’t give a damn about the reader!’ n F u! attitude. It was a good turn back to those good posts of urs. Keep this as a permanent thing 🙂 :d

  6. mathew

    myself being an ex-cetian…we never had trouble with tours..it was always easy to get it done by threatening concerned authorities..and otherwise it was always easy with the unoficial tours..maybe being the mechs helped!!;-P

  7. Hari

    @Abhi:
    Thanks again chetta. I never meant the “attitude”. It came naturally! 🙁 But I’m changing. 🙂

    @Mathew
    Gawd! I’m blessed! Look who’s commenting in my blog!! 😮

    Well, being a Royal mech has its favours, granted! 🙂

  8. Girl With Big Eyes

    I was the bakra who accompanied my brother’s class (GEC Trichur) last year on their class trip to Goa as all their professors happily turned down their invitation.

    Hope you had a great time. Wayanad is one of my top fav destinations.

  9. Hari

    @girl with big eyes
    Gee. I’m honoured by your comment! 🙂 “Being the bakra” is a fun thing, innit? The teachers who accompanied us enjoyed to the hilt, yes! More about that in the next post!!

    @Abhi:
    🙂

  10. manoranjini

    The same melodrama repeats every year for a GEC-ian or what??Reminded me of my last IV from college ,in Sept’07…hows my college btw?

  11. Hari

    @manoranjini
    Eg jactly, chechi! 😀
    Your college is fine; awesome to say the least! Been long since I visited it, ‘coz of this ‘sem-break’. 😛

  12. hotshot

    you rock dude!!! this is simply awesome and no one can do it better than you…keep up the good work pal…

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