My arrival at Ahmedabad…sunrise on the 12th morning:
For many years, KM’s class from
has been meeting every year in December, with families. I liked the group immensely, and started the egroup for the alum, too. Our families grew together, and we bonded even more than classes do in the usual way. So I felt very comfortable going for the reunion.
The IIM-A logo of the Bodhi (or Peepal) tree:
The description of the logo, by Annie Paul:
"Siddi Saiyad Jaali, one of the screen windows at the Siddi Saiyad mosque in the centre of the old city. The arched, semicircular window portrays a beautiful Peepal tree with curving, sinuous, intertwined branches, intricately carved out of yellow stone to give the effect of filigree. There is also a palm tree in the centre. It is a stunning example of sixteenth-century stone tracery decorating a mosque built in 1573 by a Siddi General."
It's stylized in the new campus:
The famous architecture by Louis Kahn:
Before writing of the ruby reunion, one must mention a very interesting fact about COSTIIMA (Class Of Seventy Three, IIMA).
Unlike most other batches that have a reunion once in a while, this class is one that's been meeting regularly, with families, for the past twenty years. The result has been that not only have the alum bonded ever more deeply, but also the spouses, and the children have grown up together.
Here are most of us, at the first session:
The ladies at the dinner gathering:
The first initiative to meet was taken by Rajan Sanghi, in the days before the internet. Once started, the annual gathering was so popular that the families met every year.
As various people took on the job of hosting the meets, the class combined fellowship with tourism. Venues like Jaisalmer, Ranthambore, Indore, Kodaikanal, Aurangabad and Naukuchiatal (Gadwhal) enabled the class to meld more and more into one extended family.
The coming of the internet enabled everyone to keep in touch. There was a concentrated effort, for many years, to get everyone on the egroup that had been started,and to locate their various co-ordinates,and create a database that would be regularly updated. It now includes even the children, their spouses, and grandchildren!
Of late, the alum had been using the auspicious occasions of their children's weddings to gather, but there was also a meet at Kumarakom, which was well-attended.
From the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, Shashi Kant Sharma, who lives in Pune with his wife Manju, had been gearing up for the CSB. The venue was self-evident...it would be the alma mater, of course. After all, for landmark events, we all return to the ancestral home!
Shashi drew up a schedule that competently straddled the fine line between too many and too few activities.
Shashi the organizer, on the 12th evening, gearing up:
Several others pitched in to contact friends, and it was a triumph for the class that from 12 to 15 December, no less than 39 alum (including 2 of the 3 women who graduated in the class).... that is, about 33% of the class.... attended, some with their spouses, and one with his son.
At the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Management Development Centre (KLMDC), those who arrived on the 12th exchanged notes, and some went for dinner to Vishaal, an ethnic Gujrati restaurant.
Food on a "stitched-leaf" (dona) plate at Vishaal:
The "Intro Session" on the 13th morning, overflowed with the happiness of meeting old friends...and making some new ones, too.
Shashi starting the session (how alliterative is that!)
Hairlines and waistlines were compared...one receding, and the other advancing! (no photos!)
Those of the class who were no more, were saluted with a minute of respectful silence.
Many alum shared their experiences of the first day at the campus.
Many contributed photos and write-ups for a “then-and-now” exhibition on the board.
At this session,
Soban Khan (PGP 2)
and Himanshu Bhatt of the Alumni Office were both present.
Post-lunch, while the spouses went to see Ahmedabad, the alum gathered for a session labelled IIM...Interaction on Institute Matters. The following people from the Institute were also present:
Prof. Ajay Pandy
Prof. Arvind Sahay
Prof. G. Raghuram
A message from Prof. Ashish Nanda was read out.
Prof. Rekha Jain gave an overview of the changes at the Institute, and asked the alum questions about what the alum had learnt from their two years, and how IIMA could help them at this stage of their lives, when the alum are in their sixties. Prof. Arvind Sahay talked about new initiatives relating to globalization and faculty development.
In the evening, at a sumptuous dinner by Kalpana Raval,
and her son Nikunt and his fiancee Dilbar,
at their sprawling home in Thaltej, the warmth of their hospitality dispelled the chill on the lawns. Also attending were Prof. and Mrs Abhinandan Jain, Prof. Arvind Sahay and his family, and Prof and Mrs Sasi Misra.
Kirit Raval, an alum, was the Solicitor General of India at the time of his untimely passing away.
On the 14th morning, the alums visited the Sun Temple at Modhera:
Our keepsakes were red tees and red caps, and the bus was red, too:
for my detailed post about the ancient, beautiful temple.
Resting at Modhera:
A temple on the way back from Modhera:
Lunch was organized at the Shanku Water Park Resort. Here we are (I took this from the top of one of the water slides)
Age-old transportation methods:
In the evening, there was dinner on the lawns in the "main" (read old) campus
I actually got into my own camera at the dinner:
The gathering, through a gate:
One of the class, Beheruz Sethna, was being honoured with the “Founder’s Award” the highest award conferred by the University of West Georgia. With the help of today’s technology, the group was able to briefly watch him accepting the award, live from the USA.
Post-dinner, at the Ravi Mathai Auditorium, Prof Kalro addressed us:
Various PGP 1 and 2 students entertained the gathering with their delightful talents.
PGP 1's...very talented...entertaining us:
The alum and their spouses also took the stage in turn, providing a feast of music,dance, and humourous verse.
The humorous verse being provided by Vivek Pande:
We enjoyed listening and watching:
All too soon, it was the morning of the 15th, and the alum dispersed, having thoroughly enjoyed their time at the alma mater. The warmth of old friendships was cherished, and further strengthened.
COSTIIMA is now planning the next meet, for 2014….!
The flower of our friendship will never fade…..