On the 10th of November, at around 4:30 in the morning, Preethi and I left our Bangalore house and drove towards Surathkal. The road was free and by dawn, I was near Hassan. My first stop was at Sakleshpura for breakfast after 3 hours of continuous driving. It was in Sakleshpura, that we saw a bunch of Muslim men decorating the town with yellow flags with some really bad hand made art work on it, representing the spots on a tiger skin. On a few banners, I saw Tipu youth group written. My faith in our journalism is close to disappearance. So, I do not follow local news and I am ignorant of the controversies that happen in my state or sometimes in the country. Anyways, I came to know later that Karnataka Chief minister has announced November 10th as Tipu Jayanthi (Birthday of Tipu Sultan) which had raised a debate between people who think he wa son less than a freedom fighter and a promoter of secularism, peace and harmony and those who believe Tipu is a tyrant who murdered or converted (to Islam) several Hindus, Christians and people of Coorg.
The drive through Shiradi was great, thanks to the newly laid concrete roads. I reached my house in Surathkal at around 11:00 AM. I was happy to meet my parents and sister from Mumbai.
That evening, My sister and I decided to walk down the memory lane by visiting our school and college. We first went to the Kendriya vidyalaya school in Panambur. Memories flooded our minds. Though the place to me looked rather dull without my friends and the time it once beheld, the feeling of nostalgia took priority and we told stories to my mother and my wife from our childhood that was spent here.
Next, we drove to St Aloysius college intending to see the Chapel which was unfortunately closed. I had completed my pre-university education here and my sister, her graduation. So we walked down the memory lane yet again. But, we were disappointed to see the beautiful S-block which had wooden flooring demolished and replaced with a new building. A once known New Block where I had most my classes seemed the oldest of the lot now. Al-Shanthi, Al-Vana were a few tree covered areas that have been sadly replaced by concrete buildings. However, the sight of Administrative block, the chapel and the school with its roman architecture is always refreshing. I recollected the days sitting inside the chapel and admiring the walls covered in paintings.
Next stop - Woodlands hotel where food is served at your car. After that it was time for some ice cream at Pabbas. Before returning home we stopped at Gokarnatheshwara temple (Kudroli) famous for its Dasara celebrations. The temple was magnificently lit.