Sunday, April 10, 2016

15 August 2015 – Bangalore to Hubli – Day 3

The Maples ORH had been the premier rest house in Bangalore for officers when I was working on the Railway till 2005. Since then, I have noticed a palpable neglect of the premises and have been saddened to see it so. Building infrastructure has been only a minor part of the railway’s problem. Maintenance of the infrastructure has always been its major issue.
I left Bangalore early so as to beat the rush that could be anticipated on Independence Day. I did not meet any such rush and made very handsome progress to be at the outskirts of Hubli by 10 am. Ganeshwar Rao, Chief Operations Manager, South Western Railway has been a dear friend and a valued railway colleague for many years.  Initially I had informed him that I would be in Hubli close to lunch time. With the steady progress I had made I kept on revising the arrival time till I reached the rest house at 10.30 am. After I had kept the luggage in the commodious rest house room that used to be the ‘residence’ of the General Manager of SWR in 2005 I was ‘summoned’ by Ganeshwar Rao to his house for a ‘small meal’. I should have anticipated what was in store, going by the short eats he produced as accompaniment to the few bottles of beer that cooled the insides. I could not do justice to the well organised lunch and had to disappoint the host. After lunch Ganeshwar Rao lent the services of an inspector to do a bit of shopping, most importantly to pick up the famous Dharwad Peda.
Later in the evening Rao organised cocktails and dinner in a nearby hotel to meet IRTS Officers of the railway. Over a short talk and anecdotal conversation I met old friends and made some new. It was indeed a memorable evening with A Sreenivas Rao, Amit Kumar, Ramachandran, Rajalingam, Dinesh, Nagiah and Sridhar. It is such friendships that make the railway fraternity the largest family in the world. 

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