Inside BPHC: A Fantastical Journey

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Well, we BITSians are positively blissful, bathed in the Light (read: Lite!), and the institute we are proud to call our own is no less magical than the Hogwarts Institute of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A Muggle engineering college it may be, but here too, the not-so-studious Harry can leave a mark as indelible as Hermione. The witches and wizards who will build the future, share their lives and loves and laughter over four remarkable years. And in every nook and cranny of the campus, you stumble upon yet another tidbit of an enchanting life. Presenting to you, the magic of BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus…

BOARDING THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS

Admittedly, your initial transit to campus will probably be a cab from the airport or railway station, but our faithful off-campus transit had to be mentioned somewhere! It’s often about the journey, not the destination, and the hot, creaky hours on BPHC-dedicated Bus No. 212 are as trying as they are integral to our campus lives. (Alternatively, you can take an auto to/from Thumkunta for the 211, and the rich ones can get a cab all the time, but let’s keep things magical, shall we?)

A MARAUDERS’ MAP TO GUIDE YOU AROUND

Sure, BPHC is a tiny campus in comparison to its IIT counterparts, but that does not make it any easier to find every location! Try finding the Electrical or the Pharma departments, for instance. Or the volleyball court. (Really. Go ahead. I dare you.) Or even our own Chamber of Secrets: Room C311 (it’s inside C310, so nobody finds it. Thank you, acad block planner).

Take some time exploring (and asking a lot of people), though – you’ll discover all the secret ways of our Hogwarts soon enough.

AVOID THE GLARE OF THE AZKABAN JURY

Sure, everything in BITS Pilani seems ‘magical’, and to keep us wizards and witches from giving over to its Dark side, BITS Pilani has its own Azkaban too. Or the jurors to deliver a sentence, anyway.

Headed by a small group of faculty members, the Disciplinary Committee (popularly abbreviated to DisCo) has always been a dreaded venture for the students, with every toe crossing the line putting you under the radar. With cases akin to both Sirius Black and Bartemius Crouch (Jr.), we’ve had instances of occasional uprisings against a few faulty rules and decisions, with the protestors achieving success at times.  Although the ‘take lite’ attitude of the BITSians has managed to keep Dementors at bay, it is still advisable to take the necessary precautions before venturing to the Dark side.

DISCOVER THE ROOM OF REQUIREMENT: KARUTURI

This shop. Is it. Everything to do with your cell phone, stationery, xerox and printing work, or even copies of your books and lab manuals saved in the machine – this is the one-stop shop for getting half your college work done. And for advice on the other half. <Insert sympathetic sounds of the poor Heritage people here>

Our friendly Karuturi uncle is always there to help with every problem, and when in doubt, this is the door you approach with your requirements.

THE QUIDDITCH PITCH – OR AS CLOSE AS WE CAN GET

Well, ever dreamt of playing at that Hogwarts pitch? BPHC doesn’t keep you far from it. Enter the campus, and behold! You gaze at the beautiful green lawns that extend right up to the horizon. Well, not really, but it is close! Add to that the QTs in hostels, and you have lush (sort of) green acreages meant to get you sweaty, dirty, and unleash your wild side.

While Quidditch has been banned from the grounds (until invention), the BITSians have decided to exhilarate themselves with all the Muggle sport they can lay hands on. From the daily matches of cricket and football and hockey (badminton, in some QTs), to the birthday bashes and DJ Nights, right up to the events on Stage 2, all that happens on these turfs is the stuff of (often-painful) legends.

Everyone’s always welcome to join the melee. Work hard, play harder!

THE (NOT-SO-)GREAT HALLS: FOOD SITUATION ON CAMPUS

Now this is one department where you cannot draw parallels to the magical feasts at Hogwarts (lack of efficient little house-elves, maybe?).

Mess food sucks. Period. And this is a universal truth, so you might as well accept it. At least the food may (mostly) be passed as edible. Also note, the Mess 1 vs. Mess 2 debates are pointless and misleading. The caterers often switch, and the food quality is about as predictable as an electron: you know it will be bad, but the precise day to day dip (or rise, if you’re very lucky) of the badness graph cannot be predicted. Try both messes and stick to whatever tastes more tolerable. Or if you’re rich, just subsist on Viceroy and Bakery – or order off campus food through Food2U.

BLOWING STEAM AT HOGSMEADE

In the world of ‘magic’, we ought to know where the butter‘beers’ are found.  (*wink, wink*) Well, BPHC has its own Hogsmeade too, and so frequently are BITSians found there, that the administration considered renaming the campus to BITS Pilani, Thumkunta Campus. No, not really.

When in dire need to extricate yourself from the abhorrent consumables served by the mess (i.e., mess food), Thumkunta is your escape. (No, do NOT underestimate it by the name.) For the love of lip-smacking Punjabi food, Rajendra Dhaba and Evergreen are the affordable destinations, while Bits and Bites (no, this is not a BITSian startup)  and Ra Cafe are the major junkie terminals. A special treat for yourself (or pocket burn for a friend) can be achieved at the Alankrita resort. The ‘Thumkunta thela/bandi‘ is also available, for a delicious south Indian breakfast.

MEET THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX

Let’s give the parents a moment to rejoice too, eh? Let’s discover that ‘secret’ society armed with the knowledge and caliber to ensure you climb to the pinnacle that does BPHC justice…

Some say it all began with Dr. M.S Radhakrishnan. Legend has it that even earthquakes skirt past him (as Quora readers might know). He has been the go-to guy for Probability and Statistics since ages.

Leaving similar legacies is a plethora of professors, each more talented than the last. From Prof. Ramakrishna Vadrevu’s Biochemistry to Prof. Kannan Ramaswamy’s classes, or be it Prof. N. L Bhanumurthy hilarious presentations, these are the stalwarts that students swear by – and may often attend their classes too! Prof. Chetan Kumar, Dr. N. Rajesh, Prof. Chandu Parimi and Prof. Kartik Chetan are some other noteworthy partisans who have secured the reputation of must-attend lecturers on campus.

You’re in BITS. You will bunk some classes. But in that process, do not miss the spells these accomplished wizards can spin in a classroom.

THE TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT: THIS. IS. IT.

Come October, and behold the spectacle that will mark the beginning of the annual tri-wizard tournament, an event to showcase the prowess of BPHC, that will continue the year around. No, there won’t be just Beauxbatons and Durmstrang to beat at it, but a whole plethora of colleges, aiming to rout us.

The tournament intends to discern on three parameters; the technical know-how, the cultural adept and the recreational dexterity:

ATMOS, the technical carnival of BPHC, acquaints us to the marvels of technology, testing the deftness that gives us the right to be BITSians. You have the choice to serve, to showcase and to win; but remember, choose your dragons well.

Be ready to fall, to fight, to trample and to lead. Arena, the sports fiesta, would be your second task to accomplish. You ought to bite the dust to achieve ultimate glory. There would be (mer)people around you, trying to grab, seize and hinder your progress, but the path was never easy.

All’s well that ends well, and for the grand finale to the tournament, there couldn’t be a better fit than the cultural extravaganza, Pearl. Dance to the tunes, sing to the rhythms, speak your way out and beat the best brains. The maze is leading you to the cup of happiness and joy. And remember always, it will all be back next year. Awesomeness cannot cease to exist.

NON-EVIL HORCRUXES: THE BITS OF BPHC’S SOUL

Quite like the concept of a soul, this is one of the hardest-to-define aspects of our campus: what really makes BPHC tick? What are those quintessentially BPHC things that will haunt you through your years here, and beyond? What, essentially, constitutes the scattered pieces of BPHC’s soul? From hanging out at Amul to late night DotA marathons, the “lite” attitude, climbing the Philosopher’s Stone, DC (DC! DC! DC! <insert cheers here>), that hanging rock, stretching the curfew, exam all-nighters… No, it’s too much for one sub-heading of one little article.

Just know that these Horcruxes’ grip is as tight as the Dark Lord’s, and are just as hard to detach. Only, these are part of a beautiful soul: you love it and you grasp it too, and never really want anyone to turn the tiniest drop of Basilisk venom on that piece of BITSian soul.


Sagar Shah
and
Reeti Sarkar.

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7 thoughts on “Inside BPHC: A Fantastical Journey

  1. I don’t think the mess food sucks. Its just that people get a bit bored of eating there every day. Once the students pass out of BPHC, they realize how good the mess food was considering such a small amount (3000 per month is very cheap for unlimited quality food) they charged.

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