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MGT Nostalgia

MGT 2010 “Barauni Chalo Re” – A participant perspective - by Rajneesh Prasad (1988)

It all started with a call, some three months back, from my batch mate and friend Pankaj Bhardwaj “Barauni nahin chalna hai kya?” Missing this was not an option I wanted to explore, so then & there I decided to be part of this unique and historical mega event. Unique in the sense it was our 1st Alumni get together at “KV HFC Barauni” – our umbilical cord and historical as I believe that this MGT will be remembered for years to come as what we have accomplished as ‘Baraunian’. 

The idea of getting re-united at School campus pumped some extra adrenaline and I started calling all my batch mates (boys n girls), and other Baraunian members (junior n seniors), whom I knew closely, encouraging them to join the forum and participate in MGT at Barauni. The enthusiasm was such that I volunteered to kick off the telephonic invite to all our beloved teachers. Interacting with them over phone after so many years was quite refreshing. Some of them could recognize me easily; some wondered who I am and how I got there phone numbers. Well it’s the Baraunian networking…everything is possible!

There was a group booking arrangement in train for all attendees going from Delhi to Barauni on 23rd Dec. How could I have missed that? Thanks to Umesh Bhaiya & Devendra Bhaiya who volunteered to make my reservation in advance. Upon reaching Delhi Anand Vihar terminal, the first person I could recognize and meet in train was “Anne Bhaiya”. He said “Mai bhi tumhe pehchan raha huin par yaad todhi dundhli hai”. I gave him my Baraunian biography and then we got lost in discussing Barauni so much that we forgot to check who else have arrived. It was a group of 24 people – Family of Nidhi Didi, Poonam Didi, Devendra Bhaiya, Bimal Bhaiya, Anil Bhaiya, Abu Rashid and some pseudo bachelors – Umesh bhaiya, Sandeep Pathania bhaiya, myself, Pankaj and Jitendra. On way to Patna (where I got down on 24th Dec picking my elder sister Sangeeta on way to Barauni), we shared lots of memories, gossips, fun and lots of FOOOOOD! Thanks to all didi’s and bhabhi’s for such a lavish dinner onboard ‘Vikramshilla Express’. ..And a very good tea for all, courtesy TTE, who received instruction thru Subodh Bhiaya’s network to take good care of us.

Later the same evening, along with my sister, nephew and Vinod Singh who flew into Patna from Mumbai, started traveling to Barauni. Believe it or not, we took the Patna –Mokameh DMU- just to relive the old times. We spent more than 3 hrs for the 90km journey. Vinod who always gets some witty thoughts commented during the journey” are yaar aisa lag raha jaise do chote stations ke beech teen-char bade-bade halts ban gaye hain”. Upon reaching Mokameh we were greeted by Rajiv Ranjan Bhaiya coming from Banaras and waiting for us to share the pick up vehicle arranged for us by Pankaj. He made this arrangement for all participants irrespective of from where did they want to be picked-up from – Mokameh Jn, Hatidah Jn, Barauni Jn, Begusarai - irrespective of their time of arrival. It was impressive to board a pick up vehicle at Mokameh station (traveled so many times out of that station in past but never had that kind of experience). However, I missed to re-live the ‘trekker ride’ experience. On way to our Hotel at ‘Zero Mile’ I got a feeling”bahut kuch badal gaya hai…par kuch chije bilkul nahin badli”... wahi Mokameh station ki gali jaisi sadak, wahi Bata ki factory, wahi Hatidah bypass, wahi Rajendra pul, wahi simariya ghat, wahi thermal power, Dupp andhere mein duba fertilizer factory, wahi bihat bazaar, kuch naye petrol stations, Urvarak nagar ke kuch makaon mein battiyan, Jagmagata mandir aur main gate par bahut sare signboards. Finally, I was there….what a nostalgic feeling! We all share special bond with the land call “Urvarak Nagar Barauni” as for many of us it is either a Janmbhumi or Vidyabhumi or both and as I understand that for some Baraunian’s, it is now there Karmbhumi as well . I must say that, for me visiting Urvarak Nagar was a feeling was no less than "Janani Janma-bhoomi-scha Swargadapi Gariyasi" – a sanstrik slok I still remember from the school days.

For all outstation participants the staying arrangement was at Zero Mile in Devi Darbar Hotel and for teachers it was at nearby Samrat Hotel. Hotels being conveniently close to the township, it gave opportunity to many participants to visit township as many times as they wanted. I did my own detour on 25th Dec in whatever time I had –Mandir, Type IIIB (where I spent good years while living in township), Church, Vinod Kendra, type IV B, etc. No doubt the township is not the same what it used to be when it was fully occupied but still few families live there in some quarters and for me it was still above expectations compared to what I was hearing from various sources. Structures are still intact, although infrastructure is a question mark. Even the locals (who never lived in township) are emotional about condition of the township. I recall the quote from the taxi driver who ferried us into the township “Dekhiye saheb kya haal ho gaya hai…kabhi ye township Bihar ka Bombay hua karta tha, aaj uska kya haal ho gaya hai “. 

Back to school around 12.30 PM, the venue of MGT 2010, and the atmosphere was quite different…quite charged. The whole school was decorated, pandals erected in the prayer ground, cars zooming in and getting parked in the main school field. Students were rushing, families joining, friends meeting and greeting each other, participants queuing up for registrations, photography sessions – individual / batch wise / with family, on spot contribution collections….and in midst of all this there starts the MGT 2010 with air show by Abu Rashid. He made to fly a remote-controlled model of aircraft weighing 50 kgs to more than 100 mts up in air. This attracted people living in the township and a lot more from nearby papraul and zero mile areas. The formal stage function started with the school prayer and pledge ceremony…while I was quite ok with my prayer recital but seriously struggled with pledge …too fast that too in English!! This followed the welcoming the guests of honor –Sh Binoy Kumar, IPS, SP, Begusarai who in his welcome message appreciated the formation of the Alumni group and assured support in adressing the Alma matter pertaining to continued functioning of the School. Also Smt. Shanti Tigga, Principal, KV HFC Barauni thanked the Alumni group for hosting their annual meeting in the school campus as she viewed this as an encouragement & motivation for the current students. Sh D.K.Ghosh, Principal DAV School IOC Barauni was also present to grace the occasion. To commemorate the occasion, the guests also did ‘tree plantation’ in the School campus. By this time the gathering was on full capacity and the organizing committee took this opportunity to extend special welcome to all attending ex-teachers of KV HFC by garlanding them on the stage and offering flower bouquet. Seventeen teachers came from different parts of India. The forum witnessed the formal “lightening of the lamp” by our beloved teachers. Umesh Bhaiya addressed the audience with welcome note while the students of KV HFC Barauni recited a welcome song for all attendees….this was quite touchy!

As the forum matured, individual member introduction started in between the “Ranga Rang Karykram” by various groups. The kick –off was with a band called “chemical boys” with mixture of songs. The entire program was no less than a variety show – Various Individual performances by current students and wards of ex-students, group songs, Swiss dance, Laugher show by School students, Lucky Baraunian draw, Lucky MGT participant draw, so on and so forth. The Whole audience got “mantra mugdha’ by Bhajan song by Nirmalendu Bhaiya – jinke hriday shri ram base. It truly felt like we were back into school days when, during assemblies, inter-house competitions we used to witness “Kamayani…RasmiRathi recitals from these very sweet mouths. I did shouted “once more “but consoled myself due to time constraints we had in finishing the event. The organizing committee used the platform to provide the roadmap for Baraunians and proposed vote of thanks to all individuals who contributed in making the event a success…it was a grand grand success. During the entire event refreshments were being served…yummy samosas and paneer pakodas and chow-mien, and fruit chaat…so many things that I lost the count. Over and above, there was the Grand dinner with choices from North Indian to South Indian, Vegetarian to non-vegetarian, Litti-chokha to Sarson ka saag-Makke ki Roti, Rajbhog to Mung daal ka halwa ...what not! 

The sound and light arrangements were superb. The entire school building was decorated and was looking so beautiful. It felt like saying “thank you for giving me this respect” ...I was really feeling proud observing that and it will last long in my memories. The DJ started ramming while the event was still going on…we could understand that the young kids do not have much patience and for them seating n watching a variety show for 6 hrs was more than enough. As the event concluded with blessing from various teacher (some of them were highly emotional), the beats were full on with songs of golden era to Munni n Shiela of this era. Irrespective of the beat and song everybody was on floor showing his / her talent. I did my own freaky contribution.

The entire event was so engrossing that we felt it should never end but then as it is said all good things come to an end so was this…with sad face we all returned back to the Hotel around 9.00 PM. But there was so much momentum that we continued our mini get-together in the Hotel – I offered my room for the same. Once again we got engrossed in sharing what we could see in School, Urvarak Nagar, possibility of re-visiting Barauni again and again, venue for next MGT….thodi gapsap, thoda hasi majak….ek impromptu midnight (birthday) party… continued till 2.00 AM aur phir sab wapas apne apne raaste. People have different plans…many went sight seeing trip to Nalanda / Rajgir / Bodh Gaya. Next day morning I piled on Shiv Chaturvedi Bhaiya’s car to Patna before catching my flight to Dellhi onward to Singapore.

Thanks for such a great meeting. Hope that we all meet again in Barauni…soon!

Rajneesh Prasad