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Report

 

The 50th reunion (Golden Jubilee Reunion or GJRU) of the batch of IITB class of 1965 was held on the 13th through the 15th of Feb 2015 at the IIT Bombay campus in Powai . 

Most of the events were conducted at the VMCC (Victor Menezes Convention Center) and the Gulmohar building on the campus.
 
On Day 0 (the 13th Feb), the attendees with their spouses started arriving at 5 PM at Gulmohar and were given a bag with a memorial mug and program description and name tags for all the attendees.
The program started at 6.30 PM with an excellent music program by the current students of IITB. The program included a lot of variety ....movie songs ,semi classical numbers and also an English song. That was followed by Dinner. Lunches and Dinnerswere all very tasty and with lots of items. 
Some went to Hostel 3 for Bon Fire for interaction with current students.
 
On Day 1 (14th Feb), we met at VMCC for breakfast. We then met in the Seminar room of VMCC, an excellent auditorium . Our Chief Guests, Prof Devang Khakhar, the Director of IITB and Dean ACR (Alumni & Community Relations) lit the traditional Lamp (Diya) as also did the organizers of the reunion.
DP welcomed the chief guests as also the 1965 batch mates and their spouses. Arun Firodia then talked about the great background IIT had given us and suggested that there should be more interaction with Alumni.
Dean Sinha said he was working on getting the alumni involved and it was coming along well though still in inception. He then said he had something common with the batch of '65. People had a chuckle when he said he was born in '65.
Prof Khakhar said he was happy to see so many of us and congratulated us for doing a great job in spreading the good image of IITB that made things easier for people like him. He said a lot had changed since we left IITB and was still changing. There were 15% female students now and a lot of research projects were going on that had funding from the government and also the private sector. He said the involvement of Industry working closely with IITB was still planned for the future. 
Shantaram Kane then proposed vote of thanks and we broke for a Tea break.
After the break, we had a session wherein current students from IITB displayed various projects they were working on. It included such diverse things as making Sanitary Napkins for people in remote areas at a reasonable price, a Mars Rover meant for the Mars trip, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV or submarine) that could scan images from the bottom of the sea, a racing car that was entered in an International competition and got good reviews, and a 750 sq foot home that was powered by solar energy. They had displayed this in Paris, and again got rave reviews. They had brought it back from France. It was very informative of the amazing work being done by IITB students .
After lunch was a group photo session, when we took 3 sets of group photos, viz. alumni only, spouses only, and the entire group of attendees. After group photos, the attendees broke up into several groups. Some went on a tour of their respective departments; some went shopping while some attended Art Workshop organized by students.
We met again in the evening at 7 PM for a very relaxed evening of song and dance followed by Dinner. This program was provided by the Alumni themselves. The singers were Ratan, Keshav, Suneeti Kane and Kedar. We then had some fast Bhangra music that brought out many dancers on the floor.  After that, we had dinner and then called it a day. It was a day of lot of action and fun.
 
Day 2 (15th Feb). 
Subash Shah hosted the " Life after IIT session" event and told us that items that were in line with one's normal job after IIT were not included. 
Swami Krishnanda (Subramaniam Ram in his IIT days) was the first speaker and he was given 30 minutes and the rest were given 10 minutes each. He told us it was not possible to describe what prompted him to become a Swami. He said he had a strange experience in Columbia SA when he was teaching. He said lights on the screen in a movie theater collected to form a circle. The same happened when he was seeing the stars on the beach. He likened that to the opening of the third eye. He then met Swami Yogananda who initiated him into the ashram. That was in 1972. He spends his time doing meditation and community work and has summer camps in Simla.
Arun Firodia said he was involved in studying pollution levels in Pune, mostly Carbon Dioxide levels. He also said that his group had adopted some improvements in 100 villages so they could be helping each other.
Shantaram Kane said he has developed some Auyervadic drugs that has helped some people immensely. 
Sandra Hazra said she has develop a center in Cleveland to help people who needed medical care and did not have access to Insurance. She was in India during the 'tsunami and was insured by seeing the suffering.
Kedarnath Bannerji then spoke of his project called Adopt where he had actually helped many people in dire straights . 
Geetha and Keshav Rao talked about the Montessori method and that their school had an International flavor in Detroit. 
Ashok Patankar said he employs handicapped people to do jobs dealing with electronic component testing .
Ulhas Kamath is part of a group called ICREATE that helps people become entrepreneurs. This is particularly tailored towards Women and the Youth.
Rajendra Singh has built a huge Company called Unicon and developed many techniques with relation to use of and development of Cranes.
Arvind Keskar has done some pioneering work on Titanium extrusions that are used in new Planes.
D.P. Agarwal spoke about his involvement in developing a Million dollar coin. This was for a show and is entered in the Guinness book of world records. He also mentioned his involvement in the e Year Book. Satish displayed pages of the book and showed how he had put it together meticulously and made it easier to read by putting Hypertexts and the ability to jump to the areas of interests easily.
Vismaya Firodia (daughter of Arun) then displayed a cruise liner (Pioneer), she and her husband had helped finalize and get all the necessary approvals. They offer tour packages for Scuba Diving enthusiasts .
After Lunch, Some went to see the 750 sq foot home built by the Shunya group, some went for
Aeromodelling show & competition with the sub marine exhibit in the Swimming pool .
We met at 8 PM for a night of Dance and Music at the Beatle, a 5 star Hotel in Powai. There was a live band and singers that sang mostly Rafi songs under the O.P. Nayyar banner. We then had Dinner and went to our rooms. It was past 10.30 PM.
The reunion was truly a memorable event. Hats off to D.P.Agarwal and all the organizers 
Yusuf Biviji, Arun Firodia , Shantaram Kane and Subash Shah, and  for an outstanding job.
 
On Monday the 16th, while some went home , others went to Fariyas in Lonavala for a couple days of enjoyable flute music and classical singing and Dance by professional artists. Everyone said they had a great relaxed time. 
 
Here are detailed reports:
 
As reported by Keshav S. Rao, class of 65.
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