A day in the Madurai University campus

A day in the Madurai University campus
We were woken up early on the second day of our stay in the faculty guest house in the campus by the loud winsome call of a pair of peacocks. They seem to be everywhere in the campus, walking about nonchalantly and fearlessly as they are under the security of the University management.

Beautiful birds, their iridescent plumage add to the amazing grace of these heavy and large birds with their elegant trailing tails. They strut around the campus quite comfortably and almost pose for pictures making the perfect model. The bird that woke us was perched on the water tank on the top of the building. While in the undergrowth the almost ugly buff coloured pea hen, scurried around scared of the least sound.

We walked up to the canteen to get ourselves some breakfast and a cup of coffee. One could enjoy a dosa or if you preferred some fluffy idlis (rice cakes) and a crunchy vada (lentil cake deep fried) and all dunked in a delicious sambhar ( spicy lentil sauce).

We ate our vadas and poories and then walked up with our coupons to collect our delicious south Indian filter coffee. It's a treat to watch the cook, pour the boiling hot liquid coffee from a height to make a frothy peak. This sticka out invitingly off the tops of our steel tumblers. You have to slurrp the froth in before you take a sip of the scalding coffee. Then prepare to swoon with the delicious aroma and the flavour of this very south Indian delight -- filter coffee.

All braced up with a good breakfast we walked down to the Media department under the shade of the neem trees. Medicinal neem seems to thrive in Madurai and there were mature and lush trees growing all over the campus. We walked with our back packs quickly unfurling our umbrellas to ward off the already scorching morning sun.

The campus had been renovated. Signs of renovation was everywhere. Obviously the new Vice Chancellor wanted a ship shape campus compared to the crumbling, dirty edifice I was used to. The roads inside the sprawling 500 acre campus were freshly tarred and the dirty mounds of plastic waste found all over the campus had vanished. The gardens infront of each department looked well tended and the whole place was glowing and inviting.

What we have always enjoyed is the hundreds of students who use a cycle to get around the campus. Everything is so far apart, so the humble cycle is the best mode of transport for both male and female students on campus. Cycle to the library, cycle to their hostels, cycle to their classes and cycle to the canteen for their meals, there were cycles every- where, which were a pleasure to behold.

Even paying my research fees was done sitting under the neem trees in the compound belonging to the bank just opposite the campus. Ofcourse we went early to avoid the rush which normally happens after a long weekend.

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