Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sorry sir! Life is fun at Railway Staff College, Vadodara

IF YOU thought, babu blogger has made fun out of an esteemed professor who trains railway officers at Vadodara, you are making a mistake. I just picked up the photo from the “Railway humour” section of the official website of the Railway Staff College, Vadodara. The caption is “The Evolution of Professor Railway Staff College”. I feel, life is fun at the college spreading over 55 acres of garden and wooded land brought over from Vadodara’s erstwhile ruler Gaikwads. Calls of peacocks and migratory birds further enliven life out there. If you are a railway officer, and had good time during your campus life there, kindly share your experiences with babu blogger. Please send your mail at


  1. Let's take the photo in good spirit. I feel the railway officers respect their professors a lot, and this at best could be a fun without hurting the sentiments of their teachers.

  2. Your crisp post on RSC Vadodara set the time-machine ticking.My memories race back to that balmy summer afternoon, on 13th Feb,1988, when we set foot on Pratap Vilas palace, Lalbagh.Rajeevan and myself were however, not a pair of greenhorns, but battle-scarred probationers, as it turned out, bankers turned railway bureaucrats!
    The old hostel in the 55- acre compound that housed us during the two subsequent years of centralised training, reminded us of the trappings of colonial grandeur when we stepped in those days.However the hostel caretaker instantly blew away any such misplaced notions or delusions of grandeur. During an informal chat,he disclosed that the "old hostel" housed thoroughbreds from the royal stables,with a disdainful look, which read 'Guys, in place of those horses, you've well and truly arrived.
    Probation, just as life itself, turned out to be a mixed bag of experiences, both sweet n sour. Mr Chaturvedi, our course director during the fledgling days of Indian Railway Personnel Service, was a plainspeak, level-headed person, who encouraged us from day one to take "life as it comes", but to be prepared for it with" careful carelessness", whatever that meant to us during those days! In short, such attitude building did pay off during the probation days when there was a fair balance of business and pleasure,where one had to project an image of neither being an extreme KTP( Keen Type) nor a laggard.
    The grind commenced promptly after two days, following registration in the "subha gruh". Mornings offered the compulsory regimen of PT, which some of us, including yours truly did detest, but there was no choice. Yet the choice to fight on and feel trim or to flee discreetly from the scene did present itself. Our PT instructor, a middle-aged man, while physically demonstrating the "oopar thali bajao" exercise,left enough chinks in the armour, one in which we had to take off from “terra firma”, with legs spreadeagled like an inverted V and simultaneously bring both hands together, well above shoulders and give a resounding clap.
    During such graphic demo acts, momentary lapse of alertness let some of the more enterprising guys standing behind, to perform the "houdini act", from the prying eyes of the PT instructor. They used to disappear in to the woods close by the square, with a few peacocks and stray monkeys who bear stoic witnesses to such" great escapades from PT", only to surface at Labha, a small restaurant outside RSC, for a steaming cup of morning tea!
    The dhobi, a sprightly young man with smiles all around was an angel indeed, and evoked a bit of sympathy as well, with his slight limp, until he was spotted outside, wearing our batchmate Ramana Reddy’s latest Raymonds shirt, a deadly outfit those days!The dhobi’s sartorial tastes and preferences seemed spot-on, as his friend and accomplice in the crime confessed before a fuming Ramana . Indeed, the dhobi used to be the ”best dressed male in town” till he was caught red-handed!
    The rosy pastors, migratory birds who fly all the way from Siberia and make the evenings lively with their own concerts, lion-tailed macaques, peacocks and a stunning variety of flora and fauna did make the RSC campus, a mini bio-diversity hotspot indeed.Sometimes, I do fantasise that the macaques inside RSC campus would have become wiser,constantly listening to "pearls of management wisdom"

  3. Mr Mohan Menon has become emotional and passionate. I am sure many of us have those sweet memories during the training period. Cheers for Mr Menon, and course for babu blogger for initiating the discussion on RSC campus

  4. RSC training now a days has become total bookish nd crappish, I m n IRSME probationer nd undergng my foundation course ovr thr nd the sole motive of each nd every prof ovr thr s jst to make us mugpots, balls 2 all of them