As promised there was someone to receive me at airport - a good start. Then he told me while in the vehicle, that they were unable to get the guest house they said they have arranged. They have a good hostel room, would that do? Not having much of a choice, I said OK, "hope it is clean". Within 20 min, we reached the campus - a lovely vast campus right on the sea side. Nicely maintained (perhaps due to being just 4 years or so old). There were more hostel buildings than institute buildings. Apparently they can host over 2000 students in the hostel, and they do get students from all over India - met some from Kanpur and Kerala (for a contrast).
The escort student took me to the hostel room and then I realised I am back in my IIT-Chennai days. A small single room, with a bed and a table. Bathrooms, etc are all shared at one end of the corridor. After my IIT days, never had to do that so far. The room is clean enough to stay. No usual support material - no blanket, no towel, no soap, no washbasin, .... It was just 7am (I had taken an early morning flight). Took some rest and then decided to go for breakfast. Got some idli from the campus cafeteria - tolerable. At lunch time, found that only the hostel mess is available. Again, no choice. After many years, got a taste of mess food. Altogether, a walk back to the old hostel days!
The campus does not allow students to use any vehicle including cycle! A way to make students healthy, since it is about half a km from the hostel to the campus buildings on average. And the lack of students on cycle also ensures you can walk along without much fear on the campus road - but for the occassional cars (of institute, faculty, etc). Attendence in the program was very poor, and the conduct very informal.
Altogether a forgettable visit!