“Sir, I am Prashant Bhatt from first year Mechanical. I was asked to meet you today”
He beamed at him and asked, “What were you caught for?”
The guilt now forced him to look down and the flood gates were about to open.
“For coming drunk to the hostel, sir.”
The warden took a sigh, and asked, “What time do you wake up in the morning?”
“At around 7:30” he mumbled.
“Well from tomorrow, you are going to wake up at six, come for jog with me around the campus, have a bath and then go to college. You fail to wake up, and your parents would know why you were here”
That was the first chief warden that I knew in the college. The next one into his office became his ‘agent’, had to report every room that was creating trouble. An ex-army colonel, KS was by far the most loved warden of the college. He was famous for his ‘chill’ demeanour and yet was widely respected across the college. He left the college in the year 2010. The Hindi Muhawara ‘chor ko kotwali dena’ worked brilliantly for him. So here are some stories and views about him.
The 16th Block Fight
A fight among two groups ensued on the 6th floor of the Sixteenth block, regarding, as expected, a girl. Soon there were scores of people ready to chastise each other. The Campus Patrol had to be called to break them off. KS came with them; he went into the room and had a chat with both parties. He lightly smacked all of them on the head and said, “There is only one gangster in MIT and that is me”.
The Cig Packet
KS was in taking his regular rounds around the hostel when he saw an open room. As soon as he entered he saw a pack of ‘Milds’ on the table. The student, immediately started defending himself by saying that his friends smoke and must have left the packet in his room. KS took the packet with him. The student cheekily said, “Sir, I don’t think my friends would like you taking the packet though”. He smiled and said, “Keep them inside the wardrobe”.
Whenever a student would ask for a leave in the first year (seniors had no perm time then), they normally made the excuse of a ‘family function’. KS however would look right through them. He’d directly ask if the student was going to visit his partner or maybe go to Bangalore for a band performance. He’d then just sign the permission and ask them to drink in control.
“Well I personally made it a point to keep myself as distant as possible from all authorities of Manipal, but all I can say is he was one of the few people I would have considered making an exception for.
He was very approachable, very open minded and I believe he had a far better (open minded) and far less clichéd understanding of the students… hence they interacted with him more freely, due to which the authorities had a better understanding of the student problems and they took more accurate steps to solve those problems”
-ECE Batch 2009-13
“He was surely one of the most understanding college admins one could ever meet.
One of my teachers recollected an instance. While this teacher was a Warden and Kullu was chief, this happened. A 1st year student entered the office and loudly said “I want to meet Kullu”. My teacher heard this, fired and kicked him out of the office for not respecting the chief’s age. As Kullu came to know this, he came out, calmed the teacher down and signed the application form the student wanted to present. Goes to show how broad-minded he was.”
-IT Batch 2010-14
There are various stories about him. Many claim to even have a drink with him post college hours. We (2010-14) were the last batch to actually know him as our Chief Warden; and the stories, well he was a Chill Warden. Rest is up to you to decide, was he chill, too lenient or just the way a Warden should be!