Rocking Industrial TourSat 20 January 2007 by Thejaswi Puthraya
Rocking Industrial Tour
Osmania University has been gracious enough to accomodate an Industrial Tour in the curriculum. Though meant to give an exposure to real time industrial experiences, it has ended up serving as a mini vacation with a small portion of time allotted for industrial visits. For my class the preparation began as soon as the semester exams finished. First there was intense lobbying for the places of visit and after a week there was a sudden unanimity. The places we decided to visit were Mahabaleshwar, Mumbai and Goa. (View the places on Google Maps) The organizers headed by Anand got down to serious work, to short list industries in these cities. Finally the work was successfully completed. Next was the work of shortlisting the travel agent and after a survey Swift Travels, Kukatpally, Hyderabad was selected. Then the budget for the tour was negotiated and fixed at Rs.4000/- per head. The itinerary was drawn and forwarded to the college management for approval. After a few(sic) obstacles the plan got approval and we went ahead with the tour. The plan was announced in the class and those interested were asked to register and pay. Initally 43 people expressed intent and a couple of them then dropped out. So the tour went ahead with 41 students and 2 faculty members. On 5th at 8:00 pm we boarded the Mumbai Express from Nampally and left for Pune. The next day we reached Pune at 9:00am and immediately boarded a waiting bus for Mahabaleshwar (a 2.5 hour drive). Thanks to a flat tyre we reached Mahabaleshwar at 3:00pm. Hungry and tired we quickly had our lunch and went to visit Elphinstone Point and the Mahabaleshwar Temple (dedicated to Mahabali)_ Then we broke for the day and returned to the hotel for dinner. Some people went out for shopping while others decided to relax. The next day we started in the morning at 7:30 am and travelled to Tapola where we were promised a Kashmir like island. After a 45 minute boat ride we realised that we had been duped. We were shown a barren island and were told that this was the "Second Kashmir". The travel agent covered up by telling us that we were in Mahabaleshwar at the wrong time of the year. The best time being "Monsoon" when the mountains are lush green and rivulets flow down from the hills and flood the plains. With half the day wasted, we cautiously agreed to visit Panchgani. The sight of the five table top plateaus enthralled me. We then boarded Tongas (horse carts) and went around the main plateau. The local guide (a kid of about 12 years) listed the countless movies shot at the location while I secretly admired his memory power. The last halt for the day was at MAPRO (Company that deals in fruit processing). We were shown around the factory and asked to help ourselves to free samples and then purchase their products. The gang had a lot of fun on the trampoline (placed near the gate) while the rest decided to relish the samples offered. On 8th at 5:30 am we left for Mumbai (via Pune) on the expressway. People who crib about poor roads in India must travel by the Expressway. We reached Mumbai at 11:30 am and immediately headed for Chembur where our first industrial visit was scheduled. IRESCO Electricals Limited played host to us. On seeing the industry (located in a small hut) we were shocked to the bone. Some jibed that we had come all the way from Hyderabad just to see a crammed hut. After a heavy lunch (at Matunga) we headed for the Gateway of India. A couple of hours later we spent a few minutes at the Marine Drive before heading for the Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus (formely Victoria Terminus)_. After a two and half hour wait we boarded the Konkan Kanya Express at 11:00 pm and left for Madgaon (South Goa). We reached Madgaon at 10:45 am and immediately left for the Star Beach resort at Colva (about 100 metres from the beach). Later in the evening we headed for D-Link, the second industry on our itinerary. D-Link has a manufacturing (rather assembly line) in Goa. Back from the industry we rushed to the Colva Beach. It was here that many enjoyed the water sports like Banana Ride. With darkness setting in we decided to retire for the day. Some energetic junata went on a "shopping spree". The next day ie 10th January,2007 we left in the morning for North Goa sight seeing. It included a visit to Fort Aguada, Calangute Beach and a one hour sun down Cruise. The Cruise was the most enjoyable leg of that day's sight seeing as we were treated to some Goan Folk Dances and to a youthful dance courtesy of my class mates(They literally set the dance floor on fire). Exhausted with the day's travel we broke for the day. On 11th January we were slated to visit South Goa. After a lingering delay we started the day's trip. First we visited the Archives Museum of Goa. The museum highlighted the life of Medieval Goans. Then we went to the Mangeshi Temple. The temple is built in Portugese style and is refreshingly different compared to South Indian Temples. Next we visited the Bom Jesus Basilica where the relics of Saint Francis Xavier are preserved. While heading back for the hotel we got a glimpse of Miramar Beach. As soon as we got down in Colva we headed straight for the beach and rode the water scooter. But as luck would have it, a quarrel broke out between rivals(water sport organizers) and we were needlessly dragged into it. Sandeep handled the situation diplomatically and brokered a compromise between the two parties. But by then the sun had set and we could not parasail or do the banana ride. So we played on the beach for an hour or so and went back to our rooms. Again, I must mention some junata stayed back for shopping (this time it went on till midnight). Finally on 12th it was time to leave Goa and return to Hyderabad. We had booked tickets for Hyderabad from Londa. Londa was a back breaking 4 hours by bus. For about 25 Km there was no sight of roads and the bus crawled on the dust track. We experienced certain "technical difficulties" at the Border Checkpost but they were comfortably handled(in the typical Indian style). At 2:15pm we reached the Londa railway station and to our horror noticed that there was nothing for lunch at the railway canteen. Disgusted some people munched on the bisuits they had purchased earlier in the day and killed time playing cards, while a few played football in the barren fields. We boarded the train at 5pm and when we were just starting to settle in, the news of results being announced broke out. Sadly then none of the mobile networks had any coverage (So much for "Wherever you go, Our network follows you"). Around 7:30pm as we neared Dharwar and Hubli the signal on the mobiles was restored and everyone had their ears on their mobiles anxiously waiting for their results. By 9pm the train was quite with everyone knowing their marks. In this chaos, we forgot to have our dinner and the train was halting at insignificant stations where food was not sold. Hospet Junction at 10:30 pm was the last chance for us to fill our empty and growling stomachs. We scurried to the nearest food stall and bought whatever food items we could get our hands on. The canteen manager was very happy, his daily produce was sold in just under a minute. Back at the train we had our food (riddled with stones) and went off to sleep. Next morning we were up early anxiously awaiting the Hyderabad station. Finally on arrival we were relieved and recollected the rocking Industrial Tour.
NOTE: If someone enjoyed the tour he must thank the Osmania University rather than any Tom,Dick or Harry.