Finally I have entered Manipal, the land where no parent wants to send their kid to, the land every kid wants to go to. A city High on life, masti, hot girls (apparently) and some education thrown in somewhere in between.
Thirty years ago when a resolution was passed in the Indian parliament amidst protests from the farmers and Arvind Kejriwal (he is in every protest right?) that a beautiful rhyme, a secret prayer “Rain Rain go away, little Johnny wants to play” has to be taught compulsorily, I guess Manipal either did not want to be a part of it or they do not have a kid Johnny who actually says this from his heart. It has been raining incessantly since I have arrived in this city and moreover there is no Raveena Tandon dancing around in an orange saree. As a member of the society of gentlemen for appreciation of ladies in sarees in heavy rain, I was greatly disappointed. A great man Gabbar aptly gave words to my frustration when he said “BAHUT NAINSAAFI HAI”.
Moving on drenched by thinking about rains, Manipal is a city filled with students. I guess they actually outnumber the flies that you find hovering around a delicious juicy jalebi beside the railway station drain. Basically, it is a city filled with educational institutions right from pre-school to the post graduate level. You realize that almost all the institutions leaving a paltry few are started, run and named after the PAI family. I actually dreamt that I was a tax inspector/wannabe actor who could go around the institutions roll his sunglasses, wink and pop a cigarette and then say “Pai, Pai ki kimat chukani padegi”, but that would be in a parallel universe where I would be good enough in mathematics to become a tax inspector and I was woken up by my roommate before the dream ended. Saala Padhakoo kamina hai mera roomie.
For a guy in his youth like yours truly, it is important to at least act hipster to stand out in a crowd or be noticed. Here in Manipal it is quite easy to do that. Firstly you are already a hipster if your surname is not PAI because that is the name that seems to be omnipresent. Secondly, do not carry an umbrella, I repeat Ondu chatri sagisuva illa (yes I have started learning kannada maadi). Every tom dick and harry carries an umbrella here for obvious reasons. Show them you are different, jog in the rain daily, enjoy the nature and then complain about the lack of medical facilities in the institution after you get pneumonia. Trust me it is worth it. Third and most importantly do not carry a camera, that DSLR wala camera.
Camera reminds me, Manipal is a very picturesque place, high hills suddenly sloping down to beautiful beaches, greenery all around with the occasional King Cobra or that reptilian specie which you can never identify and feel like the anchor of Man vs Wild until you end up disturbing it so much that you have to complain about the medical facility again when you get a rash or that round Mayawati like thing on your skin because of a bite.
One important lesson that I have learnt here is, if you have a friend who is going to Manipal, mute him on facebook and instagram as soon as possible. According to a random statistical study every 3.4 out of 4 students feel that they are professional national geographic photographers as soon as they put their right toe on the soil of Manipal. The remaining 0.6 move around in suits wanting to be photographed (true story). The infinite monkey theorem “"Even a monkey will write Shakespeare if given enough time" applies here and this person will take and share so many photos until either he gets a masterpiece or dies after he gets bit by a reptile. There have been instances of the camera walking up to the police station and complaining about being molested by their owner.
I have about 21 more months to left to be spent over here, so I am pretty sure I will spread more insights into this wonderful city (I mean it). In the meanwhile you will have to wait to know more as I need to go jogging in the rain and disturb a reptile.Bye.