It was 1992, I had written my senior secondary school (12th Standard) exams and was interested to do Engineering for my under-graduation. I was an average student, so the IITs and Government colleges were out of reach for me. Anyways, I wrote a few of the competitive exams for the peer-pressure and to tell my parents and teachers that I did try, but I was unlucky to get through. One such entrance exam I wrote was for “Delhi College of Engineering”. The real reason was that me and a friend had planned this was the only way our parents will allow us to travel to Delhi.
We went to Delhi by train (it was Tamil Nadu Express?) and it was a day+ (28 to 30 hours) trip from Chennai to New Delhi. In Delhi, we stayed with my friend’s uncle and their family. After the exam, his uncle took us around Delhi and then to see Jaipur, Rajasthan. It was my first trip seeing North India, before that the longest I have been outside of South India was to Bombay. I was fascinated to see the colours and the beautiful palaces of Jaipur.
In 1992, it was a two-day trip to Jaipur from Delhi, so we hardly saw a few places. Two decades later in 2008, I got the chance to see Jaipur properly: Amber Fort, Madhvendra Palace in Nahargarh Fort, Chokhi Dhani, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mandir, City Palace and many other places. During that trip, I went to Udaipur and saw Jag Mandir, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranakpur Jain Temple and City Palace of Udaipur. Later in 2016, thanks to a good friend I got to see Udaipur once again and more leisurely. But the first trip in 1992 was always special, thanks to my friend’s uncle Mr Seshasayee, who was super kind to me.