It’s been a long time writing here. Well, I have been travelling for 15 days or so and I am completely delighted by the way I have been doing these days. The Bengaluru tour was one of my most memorable experiences so far. I had fun, visited new places, met new people who are damn inspiring and above all, I had a taste of life.
The excitement had begun right from Visakhapatnam. I planned to reach B’lore by Prashanti express. I was a bit taken back when the very thought of travelling in this train for 2 obvious reasons. First, the train is regularly irregular in maintaining timings. Secondly, the train starts from Bhubaneswar and carries Sai baba Bhajan Samrats (people visiting Sai baba generally start doing bhajans in the train). My seat no was 71, just beside the door of the compartment. My coupey was completely filled with Odissans and only spoke Oriya. God! Thanks to India for its diversity that made me not to have a conversation with them. I was accompanied by a Telugu speaking person at Nandyala. His name was Venkata Subiahya. He is about 45 to 50 years old and works as faculty in Karnataka Government’s Training Academy for its employees. He resides in Mysore. The one which made me to get into a conversation with him is the book in his hand. It’s P.S. I Love You. We have chit chat on various things ranging from novels to politics, engineering to IAS. I was very excited to learn that he completed his post graduation in Andhra University in Visakhapatnam and he was telling me how the city used to be in his days and the bus-accident strike they took part in. It was wonderful to listen from a stranger about the way the city was 30 yrs back and in turn you explain him how it has changed from then. He inspired me to appear for the Civil Services. It was nice of him patiently answering my queries about Bengaluru and his job. I felt how the generation gap gives a reflection in the way you think, the way you see a problem or an issue. He accompanied me till Bengaluru.
I am very much excited by the very own thought of “me in Bengaluru” that refreshed me completely from the tedious journey. The station was a big one with about 10 plus platforms. I came out the station and the station complex was huge with hell lot cars and bikes in the parking area. The road in front of the station was completely crowded with buses, cars and bikes leaving pedestrians no place to cross the road. So they built subway to cross it. The traffic here is on par with Mumbai; outnumbering Hyderabad. The best part of Bengaluru is the bus and the railway stations are opposite to each other. I crossed the road to find myself in the busy bus station. The buses are worth mentioning. They were very neat and clean, with beautiful chassis, glass doors and completely transparent windows. The seats were well cushioned and well maintained. The A/C buses, referred to as Vajra, were awesome. I felt “Am I in India?”
I got into 365 numbered Vajra that straight away takes me to my bro’s house at Baneergatta. The city was awesome as I looked through the windows of vajra. The roads were in good shape and the people have good traffic sense unlike Hyderabad. The bus drove on to a flyover where I saw TCS city center and the horse racing course. I travelled over 4 great separators (they have fly over at the top, the normal road in the middle and the subway at the bottom). In spite of such a presence, the traffic was at its peak level in each segment. After travelling for about 40 min, Vajra halted at a bus stop and a girl got into the bus. She sat beside me and I liked it as there is no difference whether you are a boy or girl. The best thing about buses are- they provide NO seat reservation to girls/ladies. Anyone can sit any where with in the bus.
After travelling further for about 20 mins, my halt came and I got down to receive a big surprise. I was standing right in front of IIM-Bengaluru, the place I dream to get in. Right across the road, my bro along with his 2 kids was waiting for me. Their home is 400 mts from IIMB and one can have a look at it from their terrace.
This is the first time I have been to Bengaluru and I am quite happy to receive sweet surprises right from the buses in the bus stand, TCS and finally IIMB. I relaxed for the whole afternoon chatting with my bro and his family. I loved playing with his kids, Rishi and Bhargav- the little great buddies. Love you. That day night and the following day, I completely immersed my self in brushing my mind for the D-day.
And the D-day finally arrived. My centre was at R V College of Engineering, located for about 18km from my bro’s house. He and his kids drove me in his car to the centre. It was one of the established private colleges in Karnataka like Gitam in Andhra, where I studied. My exam centre was at Kaveri Block, meant for PG students. It was a single floor building and there were 3 long queues at the porch. After waiting there for a while, I entered into the check room where I handover my wallet, pen, mobile and watch to the security officer. The building has centralized air conditioning. It was cool out there. My exam hall was in the first floor. It was a very big hall, with about 80 to 100 computers. They took my finger prints and a snap using web-cam. I was then allotted the seat no.4. I was into the hall, sitting right before the computer by 2.40 and I had to wait till 3.30 for the exam to begin. At 3.15 they unlocked our system with user id and password. I then started a tutorial which lasts for 15 min. At sharp 3.30 pm, the CAT exam started. The paper was between easy and moderate level difficulty. At 5.45 pm, I completed the test. This time was academically the most important phase in my life and I think I fared it well. I collected my belongings from the security officer and he in turn gave me a feed back form asking how u felt about the arrangements, environment and blah blah blah. I filled it and was back to the gate by 6.15 pm. I was waiting for my bro to pick me up. In the meantime, I called Mads, my best friend, who also wrote the exam at the same time in Hyderabad. It was great relief talking to her. I learned from her that she too fared well and was leaving to catch the train. Hope we get something in our favour.
My bro came at 6.40 along with his kids to pick me up and we reached home after an hour. It was a day worth remembering and I had an awesome experience. I felt the stress in waiting for the exam to start and at the same time, relaxing out and increasing my concentration. I felt the control over my entire body and mind. I think I had a little part of what I call it as “taste of life”.
Thank You Bengaluru for giving me such a wonderful and an awesome experience. I came with a target in mind and hopefully, I might succeed in cracking it.