A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Walk back in time..

Posted by Pepper on January 27, 2016

We almost missed making a trip to Mint’s college campus this time. Mint barely showed any excitement to go and that was making me lose my enthusiasm as well. At that time, I decided to drop the idea. I am not sure what made me change my mind just a day before we left Madras, but I began to insist on a quick tour, if not an elaborate visit. I am glad we went. It was an afternoon well spent.

Here are some pictures from the day.

We started with the stadium. Since Mint didn’t seem too excited or talkative himself, I had to push, prod and wring every word out of him. “Tell me stories about the stadium. Did you use it often?”, I asked. “Yes”, he said. Since it was an annoying mono syllabic response, I pushed some more. “So tell me, what did you use the stadium for? Did you run on the track? Or did you play some sports here?”. His response? “No, I didn’t run or play anything. I used to use the stadium as a short cut to go to the other side”. How nice. He used the stadium only because it was a shorter route to get to the other side of campus. I should have guessed.

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Here is the main circle. I got to hear no stories or anecdotes or references about this. Hmph.

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I was really excited about visiting his hostel. I have heard so many stories from him and his hostel gang. Going there was making me feel nostalgic. How strange. Yes, this is me pointing to his hostel name.

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We walked around his hostel for a bit, and then I began to insist on seeing his room. Mint and I become thick pals when he was in college and I really wanted to see the living space he occupied at that time. What place did he go back to after we chatted for all those hours from his computer lab? Yes, there was no internet in their hostel rooms back then. At that time, I used to picture Mint trudging back to his room in the wee hours of morning. I can’t explain it, but seeing his room felt like completing the picture in my head. I had visited his campus in the past too, but I had never seen the insides of his room.

Mint kept refusing. He felt awkward knocking on the door of what was now another student’s room. He thought we might be disturbing somebody who is sleeping? He wouldn’t agree to knock despite my many requests. So we hung out outside his door, talking in whispers. As luck would have it, the door swung open and I almost jumped at the guy who walked out. I blabbered something like, ‘Hi, can I please see your room?”. The poor guy seemed quite rattled.

Mint pulled me back and explained he was Alum and one of the previous occupants of that room. The guy generously let us in. He asked Mint what he did now. I guess we are all curious to know the path our seniors followed. Both Mint and the current student seemed to have some polite conversation going while I was taking in the messy, dilapidated room. There was so much graffiti on the wall. A lot of the occupants had left their mark. Mint couldn’t recall what part of it existed during his time. Like I suspected, the room was making me feel emotional. We thanked the guy for letting us in and walked out after taking a picture.

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While walking downstairs, Mint told me excitedly that back then, he almost never came down the stairs. He always slid on the bars of the staircase. Saying that, he was off, back to sliding the way he did all those years ago. So glad I captured it!

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We also stopped by his department building. I wanted to take a picture with Mint in the frame. Wouldn’t you want to take a pic next to the building you attended all your lectures in, almost a decade ago? I am sure that place contained so many memories. Of professors, classmates, friends, examinations, episodes of goofing around and more. Mint didn’t want to take a pic there with the building name in the background. He thought it was tacky. Okay then. I took a picture of just the building.

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While walking on the campus, I spotted this bench. As usual, I wondered who had scrawled that there, who it was meant for, did the recipient know it existed, that it was meant for him/ her? What prompted the writer to put it down on the bench? Was it genuinely for somebody, or was it someone fooling around?

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We spent time admiring the new cafes that had sprung up on campus, we stopped by the open air theatre, we spotted a few deer, we drove around the other random buildings and finally pushed ourselves to leave. It was our last day in Madras and we had a long line up of things to finish. But like I said, this was an afternoon well spent.

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5 Responses to “Walk back in time..”

  1. Your excitement is contagious ..even on this post. I wonder how Mint did not catch it within 10 minutes into the campus with you 😀

    A very nice read..brought me a big smile.
    Keep the cheer going Pepper 🙂

  2. anisnest said

    I used to go for morning walks in this campus a decade ago.. I used to enter from velachery entrance and turn around at gajendra circle… Nice memory… We see the exact same people at exact spot every morning 🙂

  3. S is so like that too – at times, I have to pull out every word from S’s mouth. Especially if I had expected him to talk and he keeps answering back to me in monosyllables. This post felt so good and I was left wondering how it would be if we both visited our colleges now.. given we both fell in love during our college.

  4. D said

    Ah..reminded of my own time spent in the campus…I am also IITM alumnus…did my post grad from there…its a wonderful campus and a lovely environment…not sure if you have been there for Saarang..the best 4-5 days of the year in campus…the time spent there has been one of the best so far…:) I even miss the Tiffany’s food..the late night snacks…everything about the place…

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