An exam or not, I knew going back there, be it even for a few hours, would bring some instant joy like downing a couple of shots, only to wake up next morning with a hangover.
With an exam peeking over my shoulder, I was in no mood for a leisurely time at Manipal, but I had planned already to attend my dear friend Tricia’s Graduation at Valley View.
As an ex-Manipalite, I am all too familiar with the ‘don’t be shocked if the place doesn’t look half the same as it was when you left’ ; being a year since I packed out. Plenty had changed.. the drive from Mangalore – Manipal had multiple low floor KSRTC A|C Volvo buses plying, innumerable trees were being felled all along as part of the Highway Development Project, but one thing that didn’t change was the rashness of the Express buses, and in a way I always enjoyed being in it [I’d rather be in one than out!]
Some of the things which were being developed while I left, and noticeably ready were
- The new Emergency, Trauma building on the Main Road [no longer will new comers referred from nearby villages come searching for the emergency]
- The all new sports complex, Marena!
- The underconstruction umpteen storeyed hostel complex where the old KMC Stadium existed
- The new annoying metal speed breakers, put in place after the President Partibha Patil left.
These just a few things I noticed in the couple of hours I spent in Manipal.
Valley View, Manipal
Think it belongs to the ‘Fortune Group’ now, but I’d rather refer to it as above. I recall the number of times we used to go there for family parties, ie, whenever any of our friends parents were down, they used to stay there and that meant we getting a treat invariably at Rangoli.
Nothing much has changed in there, bar the security! Body check, metal detector at the entrance, vehicle inspection, it’s pretty hard to sneak anything in 😉
Coming to the point, the purpose of visit to Manipal was a success, met my friend, couldn’t hang on for long but either way was good to be there on her day am really happy for her.
P.S: Out of the blue, got to drive Mandeep’s Nano, apart from my search in vain for a 5th gear, things were pretty nice.
City Centre, Mangalore
While I checked into my Hotel, I noticed my foursquare app highlighting KFC on the same lane! My eyes lit up and yep, I ended up having lunch and dinner there! After the exam met up with couple more of my good friends and spend the remainder of the time there till my train took off.
Manipal is just not the same to be back without your old gang of friends. You can be there and still feel like a stranger when you know the reason why Manipal was such a wonderful home away from home. One of my friends Shwetha was saying yesterday that we probably should have done PG in Manipal and not UG. On reflecting on it, I have to disagree. I doubt anything can come close to the 5 years we spent in Manipal 🙂. Special shoutout to T, Flo, Jono and Sim for the last couple of wonderful years. And as always to the mallu gang of girls!