Fragrant memories of the 70s

Fragrant memories  of the 70s
The two pictures show our group from Maharani’s College. The black and white picture was taken in 1970 during our graduation day celebration at the college campus.

The colour picture was taken recently, when some of us got together. All of us studied in Maharani’s College, right from  Pre-University (PU). Those days, PU was for just a year and the campus was  attached to the degree college. We were all in our BSc degree level. Most of us had nursed an ambition to do medical after degree but only a few of us succeeded.

Standing from left in the old photograph are Chandrika, Jalaja, Geethamani, CM Usha, Meera, Vijaya, Shobha and me. Among the ones seated below, only two of them belonged to our BSc group — Geetha and TS Vijayalakshmi. Shobha’s sister Shaila (fourth from left) pursued BA at Maharani’s. Geethamani and Vijaya are sisters  who were in the same class but in different sections.

Geethamani and CM Usha joined Bangalore Medical College after BSc and successfully completed MBBS and MD degree in Pathology. Incidentally, Vijaya also secured admission for a medical course in the BMC that year bu was married immediately after graduation. Geethamani joined KIMS as a lecturer and retired from the same college as a professor and the Head of the Pathology department. She is currently associated with the Global Medical College.

CM Usha, after marriage, went to US to pursue medical and is now settled there. Jalaja, after her marriage, also moved to US and worked as a practicing manager for vascular surgeons. Meera worked for a while in a school and settled as a homemaker. Shobha took to teaching after her BEd and is now retired.

I continued my Post-Graduation at Bangalore University and obtained a PhD in Education from the University of Mysore. I chose a career in research and worked at the Institute for Social and Economic Change until my retirement as a professor and Head of the Centre for Human Resource Development. I am currently working as a  research consultant. Geetha retired as a Joint Secretary, Government of Karnataka. The group, however, lost contact with Chandrika and Vijayalakshmi.

Graduation day was a great  farewell event for all of us as it marked the end of our academic journey. The event was marked by a cultural festival filled with fun and frolic. There was also a light  music concert by the Mysore Ananthaswamy and company.

Maharani’s was one of the reputed government women’s colleges in Bangalore then. We were quite regular to college and also serious in studies. We never bunked classes. Once in while we watched a movie in a nearby theatre, and that would be a great event for all of us. As we came from single-income families with more than one of our siblings studying in school/college, being thrifty was imbibed in our habits and we valued and
honoured the same. 

Girls who lived in the neighbourhood and surrounding areas like Gandhi Nagar, Kumara Park and Seshadripuram walked to college. However, some of us living in faraway places like Chamarajpet, Gandhi Bazaar, Vyalikaval and Malleswaram used the BTS for daily commutes. Very few girls used to come cycling to college and girls driving cars or two-wheeler were a rare phenomenon! Generally we used to follow a uniform dress code of saree or half saree. There were no backpacks to hold our books and other accessories. Rather, we used to carry heavy load of books, a steel lunch box and a hand purse in our hands.   

As some of us have continued to live in Bengaluru, we have remained well connected till date. The coloured picture shows one such recent get-togethers.

(The author can be contacted on usharajgopal@gmail.com)

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