Cycling through the 70s

From the albums

Cycling through the 70s

This photograph was taken when the student chapter of The Institution of Engineers (India) Karnataka State Centre was formed about 40 years back. M L R Prasad was the chairman, K O George was the joint secretary and I was the secretary of the student chapter.

I am filled with nostalgia whenever I see this picture as it brings back pleasant memories of my youth and the company of friends with similar aspirations. Tree-lined avenues, friendly people, easy manual work, walks and cycling and a pollution-free environment — the city boasted of all this and much more.

Our days in Bengaluru during the 1970s were wonderful. I used to cycle to The Institution of Engineers to take AMIE classes and eat at the well-known Shyam Prakash Garden Restaurant, now called Capitol Hotel. We used to buy several kilos of used white paper from a newspaper office closeby to write notes.

I would also pedal from Rajajinagar to the IEI library at KR Circle to coach for AMIE classes. It was a pleasure to ride a bicycle then as the roads were free of traffic jams. The fee for student membership to IEI (for AMIE classes) was Rs 74 as against Rs 2,000 now. I slowly moved from a cycle to a moped followed by a scooter and then Maruti 800 in 1988. 

We also bought film rolls from Visvesvaraya Technological Museum to organise film shows at the institute. We even arranged technical visits to ITI, Mysore Lamps Factory and Mysore Sandal Soap Factory in Yeshwanthpur.

We would study formulae and have discussions during evening walks through Chamrajpet and Basavanagudi.

Varadaraju was working in ITI and Prakash was in BSNL as a trainee. We spent time at the IEI library and also frequented the Central College library and Cubbon Park library.

 M L R Prasad is no more but he is immortalised through his dynamic personality. He was an enthusiastic person who organised various events with aplomb. He was an alumnus of St Joseph’s European Boys High School. Later, he did a diploma in mechanical engineering followed by AMIE from IEI. He was instrumental in organising the Industrial Conference.    

    K O George always wore a smile and carried out his assignments with utmost perfection. K N Nagendra passed his diploma in civil engineering under the guidance of N R Srinivasamurthy, lecturer, MEI Polytechnic and me. Prakash Kandarapalli was from Hubli Polytechnic and was a very helpful person. R Varadaraju held a diploma in electrical engineering and pursued AMIE also. He was employed in ITI. He used to attend the board meetings pedalling all the way.

I passed my diploma from Bellary Polytechnic in 1972, moved to Bengaluru to pursue higher studies, completed AMIE in three branches and was awarded a gold medal by the then Governor of Karnataka in 1978. Whenever I think of those golden days of yore, I feel nostalgic and wish to go back to IEI again.

(The author can be contacted on 9886924051)

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