Mornings at BITS Pilani [from the archives]

I wrote the following piece in 2011 while I was at BITS. I've made a few edits but retained the essence and core content.

The motivation behind digging into my digital archives is that, in a few days, it will be 10 years since I last stepped foot on campus! 😮 Truly hope to make a trip there with friends soon!

~ o ~ x ~ o ~

I opted to do my summer internship between my second and third years in college at the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) in Pilani. Having spent four semesters on campus, I was mentally prepared for a torturous two months in the searing Pilani heat in a place that I had gotten to know all too well! 😅

Well, I turned out to be wrong. I had only seen one side of what my beautiful campus had to offer – the side that had over 2500 students swarming its streets and academic buildings, the side that had a functional All-Night Canteen brimming with crowds, the side that had hostels that did not look like haunted mansions (!), the side that had redis and Skylab serving more students than locals, the side that had far more bustle than peace...

I began waking up early for a brisk morning walk prior to heading to CEERI. The orange sun, just about visible over the horizon, bathed the sport fields and surrounding campus in clear morning light. When seen through the branches of the numerous trees, the glow was even more spectacular!

The melodious sound of morning bhajans floated from the direction of the Saraswati Mandir. Autos, with close to 15 school children packed like sardines, moved about the quiet roads towards Birla Shishu Vihar. The only other sounds were that of small chirruping birds and loud peacock calls.

I had observed owls on campus during the semester; this was restricted to the glint of their observant eyes and a silhouette perched upon a high branch – barely visible against the starry night sky. For the first time, I saw them on trees near the hostels during the day!

There was a small and rather isolated park behind the campus market (known as Cnot) that was pitch black and rather forbidding at night. By day, I realised how wrong first impressions could be! It was filled with dancing peacocks, noisy parrots and a host of other birds. The park had benches along its walls so that one could sit back and soak in the scene.

On one of the roads parallel to Cnot, there was a secluded Hanuman temple. It was well maintained and directly faced the east – thus, the warm morning rays bathed its whitewashed facade in a sparkling glow. The path to the temple was lined with small bushes of purple flowers. Someone had mounted two clay vessels (on a pole) filled with water a few metres from the temple. The staff on which the bowls hung teemed with parrots that hung in odd angles just for a sip of water!

Believe it or not, it did rain on a few days during the summer! These showers brought a welcome respite from the heat besides helping me look at the Saraswati Mandir from a different reflective perspective (pun intended)!

Birds, beetles, squirrels and caterpillars were creatures that I was lucky to observe in their natural habitat. Most animals are extremely sensitive to sound and movement and I tried my best to not scare them away while clicking their photographs.

I'll let the photos speak from here on...

At the end of the day, such experiences are what enrich life - something I discussed in my post on cycling and the one on day trips too. 😊 They put things in perspective, make you feel grateful for what you have and show you the importance of appreciating the little things. 😀 I definitely felt a deeper connection with my campus after the internship! I'll end with an apt quote from the poem 'Leisure' by W. H. Davies:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

~ o ~ x ~ o ~

(I clicked the photographs in the above post using my digital camera; this was back when phones were just phones and not cameras! 😂These photos have not been edited or enhanced in any manner.)


  1. Good walk down memory lane! Brilliant photos - especially the owls.


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