Swinging back to the 70s

From the albums

Swinging back to the 70s

This photo was taken in 1972 at the Department of Geology in Central College during the farewell to MSc students. I had joined Central College in 1967 for the BSc (Hons) course and completed my MSc in 1972. 

The choice of Geology as a subject over Engineering and Medicine stemmed from my fascination for colourful minerals, rocks and fossils, exhibited in the college museum. I also nursed a dream of becoming a scientist. 

The MSc course had 16 of us. We were guided by a team of dedicated senior faculty including Dr C Naganna, Shastry, Gangappa, Seebaiah, Gubbaiah and a team of young lecturers namely Dr Srinivasan, Dr Mahabaleswar, Dr Pathan, Dr Subramanyam and Dr Phene.

The library at the Central College was a well-stacked one with the best of reference books and material onGeology. We liked spending a lot of time on campus not only because of its sheer size but also because of its unique architectural glory, grandeur, structural elegance and the lush green spaces that always left us fascinated. 

My years in college were most memorable. I used to go cycling from HK Hostel in Wilson Garden till Central College every day or sometimes even take the red BTS (Bangalore Transport Service) bus till there. We would sometimes walk down to Kempegowda Road during lunch hours and savour some South Indian snacks at Vishnu Bhavan Hotel. There were a lot of theatres there as well, most of which have now been converted into malls. I clearly remember Alankar Theatre where we would catch a film once in a while. Our college had a big park and it was extremely relaxing to sit on the grass, chit-chat and exchange views whenever we were free. The Central College grounds were where we would watch the state level cricket matches and have an enjoyable time.

I secured the fifth rank in MSc and also got a subject scholarship during the first year of MSc. After my post graduation, I worked as a research scholar in Central College. After my stint in research, I joined Soil and Land Use Survey of India in 1974 and worked there till 1983. 

I later joined NABARD in 1983 and served in various capacities as technical officer and retired as General Manager in 2011. I am currently the consultant to NABARD on Watershed Development and Rural infrastructure projects. 

Bengaluru was not the same as it is now, way back in the 1970s. It was much calmer, cleaner, safer and had more green spaces than it has today. The roads were free of traffic and trees lined the stretch along Double Road. 

I picked up the habit of writing Kannada poems after my retirement and I’ve even published a book titled, ‘Sravana.’ My second book of poetry titled ‘Hongirana’ is half way through and should be ready soon. My wife also studied in the same college and was a year junior to me which I didn’t know until we met through an arranged marriage.  

My classmates branched into different professions. Many joined as geologists in the Department of Mines and Geology and some others joined as hydrogeologists in the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB). One of my close friends Srikanta Murthy, a high school classmate, studied with me until MSc and retired as deputy director, Mines and Geology. 

Another friend Shanthakumar GS was my colleague in Soil Survey and retired as Assistant Soil Survey Officer. Ajeeth Chinnappa, who secured the first rank, is currently working as advisor to the Minister of Environment in Dubai. Nijagunappa retired as professor of Geology from Gulbarga University. 

This picture was taken 44 years ago and every time I look at it, I feel good because it brings back memories of days when life was simple and free of all responsibilities. Those were our golden days.  
(The author can be contacted on 8762692651

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