Class of 1975
Silver Jubilee Reunion: Class of 1975
The Class of 1975 Reunion was a big success as described in Vijay Anand's report - Dhakad 2000. At the reunion, the 75'ers pledged to raise Rs. 20 crores to build a sports complex on the campus. All batchmates are called upon to get the ball rolling and send in checks or securities so that the class can fulfill the pledge that has been made to IIT Bombay.
The Class of 1975's pledge received broad press coverage in the Indian press and several articles have appeared on their efforts :
- "IIT Bombay aims for an Olympic Gold" ... headline in Indian Express. "After streaking the Silicon Valley with their multi-million dollar success stories, IITians are now out to prove their mettle in a totally different zone -- the Olympics. This sounds hard to believe but the IIT Bombay Class of '75 has raised Rs 20 crore at its silver jubilee reunion on Sunday for this purpose".
- "IIT Mumbai to get Rs.20 Cr from Class of '75" ... BLAME it on Santa. The by-now famous magnanimous alumni of IIT-Mumbai, has succumbed to the Christmas spirit coughing up a large sum for its Alma Mater.
- "There's action for the teching" - article about the Class of '75 and their pledge of Rs. 20 crores towards the construction of a sports complex on the IIT Bombay campus. The complex will have an indoor track, tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, basketball and badminton courts.
- "Support the IITs" - article by IIM Bangalore professor in the Economic Times on January 8, 2001, on how to improve the IITs and engineering education in general in India.
In my mind, the word that best describes the reunion is "Intense". I do not have a count of how many people showed-up for the events, but it was obvious that those who did had a fab time.
The first event was on the evening of Dec 23, Off-shore, near the gateway of India. Don't panic - everyone stayed dry (Above water, that is, alcohol-content notwithstanding). The party was held on a barge about 1.5 km from the shore. The first few problems were - how to find the launch point, where was junta, which launch to catch, was this really the right place, how are we going to spot someone, or be spotted in the relative darkness, with hajjar junta milling around the place. Fortunately, Chairman was easy to spot - the only one with a pony-tail. By the time Randi, Subash and Narya arrived, we had achieved critical mass, and were spottable, although not necessarily recognizable - people do change after 25 years .. mostly +1 KG per year.
We were spared sppech-ifying that day (Would suffer that malady the next day), so we could concentrate on locating & recognizing each other. The essential ingredients - food, daru, and music - were provided in abundance, so junta partied on till around 11pm.
On the missing person's list for the barge party was Abhay Talsania. Here is the story of his heroic effort to join the festivities. Assuming desi time, he arrived at Appolo bundar at about 8pm - obviously, everyone else was already on board the barge. Being a resourceful IIT type, he summoned one of the boat wallahs, and negotiated the price for a trip to the barge, down from Rs. 500 to 450. Just goes to show how your bargaining skills deteriorate, living StateSide. Anyway, after boating around various party parges in the area, and failing to recognize THE important one, he returned home.
Moving on, Dec 24, the day of the big event - Junta arrived to register at the main building on the IIT campus. The most amazing transformation was the trees - the place was practically a lush jungle. Also a number of new buildings - most prominently - the school of Management, and the I.T. center. After a big lunch, we crammed into the LT for a couple of hours of speech-ifying. Notable moments were - Jayant Sabnis's ode to IIT, in his 25 year-old shirt, and Ramesh Gurnani proclaiming, for the first time ever,
that he was "glad" to be there.
Pagal Gym was a crack-up - literally - PK's tricycle broke, so he walked. It was amazing to see middle-aged, normally sedate people crawling in the mud and grass, after some dubious prize. After the Diro's chai, there was still more speech-ifying, to raise money for the new gym facilities. Dominated by Randi, and the bay-area crore-pati's the event was impressive because of the enthu expressed, as well as Pari's ability to chabi unwilling junta into parting with their hard-earned.
The final function - teen-patti at H8 never materialized, although we did gather for some BS in the new air-conditioned alumni room, in H8 - Thanks to Nandan. Only 25 people had signed-on for the Madh-island trip, so that was cancelled.
Overall, it was , like I said, Intense. Although everyone enjoyed the parties, and functions, and nostalgia on returning I IIT, I feel that I missed out the one-on-one time, because of overscheduling and the limited
time. Of course, this is understandable, because of family, time and travel constraints, so I don't think there is a solution, other than smaller, simpler gatherings. So, let's shoot for a mini-reunion - Hawaii 2005, and then Dhamal 2010, in IIT.
Vijay (Chairman) Anand
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