Rush for admissions was there in those days but not the kind as now. Forms were submitted in the Polytechnic building, across the road on the Mechanical Dept side. Five of us were lucky as Bangalore Univ had these seats reserved for outside Universities. Veerat Singh (The chaprasi outside the interview room could not pronounce my name, like in courts). “Sit Down, have you done higher secondary?” “Yes Sir”,I shot back. “How does this Fan work?” pointing towards the roof. I said “electrical energy converted into Mechanical”. I knew I had clinched one of those five seats.
First day in the Mechanical Dept a big burly man named KUNTE bullied us in the class. He was not a teacher, but the ragging process was on. KUNTE was the Daddy of the college; He refused to pass out in five years. 40% of my class was full of five ft tall small boys, without a single hair on their face. I felt like sitting in class seven section D of my school.
On my first visit to mechanical workshop, I saw the biggest engine Called MIRLEESE ENGINE, the seniors showed us an operator who had cheeks like a debated balloon, and he was as old as the engine itself, may be had come with the engine from England in the fifties. Crossing from the Mechanical dept to the main building was like entering your living room. An old amma had a small shack near the gate selling Wills Flake, Charminar, scissors and panama cigarettes, she kept 501 bidis also incase you were short of money. In about three months I became quite pally with her, that she started extending me one day credit on smokes.
I was quite put-off , with no girls in college, I had to bunk classes for my daily dose of good faces by sitting on the stone wall of Mechanical Dept and watching the Maharani Crowd walking past. I used to hate BISIBHELEBATH in the canteen where as these small Chandershekars and Mani’s use to gobble and give out a smile as if they have missed it for years. I made friends in the class and ventured towards Kempegowda Circle for better pastures. Eighty paisa for dress circle and one rupee twenty paisa for balcony in morning shows was the only pastime many of us had. We became fans of GURU DUTT. Pyaasa, Kagaz kay phool, Chaudvin Ka chand, I saw all in eighty paisa. We had a Quality Ice-cream vendor in front of our gate, he use to open for two hours at 12 noon, but by that time we use to finish our pocket money in the AMMAs shack.
One day we ventured out through CUBBON PARK to MG road, Brigade road, KOSHYS it was as if we had found Meccana’s Gold. This was the world that we were looking for. English Movies? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? Beer? Smart kids from Mount Carmels, Anglo Indians English accent smart clothes, On that day we very firmly swore that we shall do engineering for five long years with YEZDI mobikes and FIAT cars in this beautiful city of Bangalore.