Wednesday, 19 July 2017

What has Changed in Pilani

Change as they say is the only constant in life. For a college or a university and the campus itself, changes do occur. Some things change in a campus, some don't.
BITS Pilani is Ghumakkad's alma mater. Every year on 1st friday of August, BITSians Day is celebrated world over. On the eve of BITSians Day 2017, Ghumakkad goes back 49 years when he entered BITS. 
What has changed in Pilani and what has not? Through the pictures spanning 50 years, we try and discern. If you are a BITSian, please do shoot a response.

Postscript for Dairy Farm: Update from reader PK Subramanian-- even the Dairy Farm has closed down. Some other readers who had visited Pilani in recent past, have also pointed it out. Thanks fellow BITSians for the feedback.

 BITS came into being in 1964. The students conceived a campus newspaper titled 'BITS BEAT' which continued to run till 1982 or so. In between 'Sandy Times' also emerged in 1968-69. The titles thereafter changed to 'Sand Piper' and finally 'Cactus Flower' which has sustained till now. Similarly the Hindi publication 'Rachna' रचना of 1960s now has two parts-- 'Pravaah' प्रवाह (a monthly) and 'Vaani' वाणी (annual). Credit for this research goes to 'Nattu' Natrajan, 'Nagi' Nagarajan, V Ramanan, Prateek Om, Somji Shukla, Mohit Vyas, Ben Bendre, Pratik Maheshwari and Priyank Chauhan. Titles may have changed over the years, but the underlying spirit of creativity and innovation has remained same.

If the present generation of BITSians think that ANC-- all night canteen is a recent phenomenon, please read the fine print of the inaugural issue of BITS Beat above. 'Night Canteen' after 9 pm goes back to 1964 buddies! BITSians were always ahead of their times!

Postscript on Food Kiosks: Sunil Nanda pointed out another change in Pilani. The old mobile 'Rehdis' रेहड़ी near hostel cross roads- which served tasty snacks like samosas, kachoris, fruit chaat etc- have gone! Instead we have permanent food kiosks next to hostel messes. Although Ghumakkad had also noticed this change during his last visit in 2013, we did not have any pictures. Thanks Sunil for your contribution.

Next question we ask 'What is so great about BITS?'
Answer: Nothing. It is like any other college!
Really? Let us ask it's alumni.
That's precisely what we did some time back. A short video below summarises the reactions of some 500 alumni.

We invite those readers-- BITSians and others alike-- who haven't been to the other three campuses-- to browse the following stories:
BITS Dubai- Another Oasis in the desert
BITS Goa- The Campus that rocks
BITS Hyderabad- Created out of rocks

As alumni, we all love our college or school. With time, institutions change, people change. But somehow the character and the spirit of an insitution thrive and survive through changing times. Do you feel the same ?

Hail the spirit of your alma-mater!

Thanks for browsing

   -  Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 19th July 2017