Class of 1974 - Report
Twenty of us from the Class of 74, finally made it to the Ruby Jubilee Reunion on this Alumni Day function, held at Victor Menezes Convention Centre at IITB on the 28th December, 2014. B.Tech ChE 74 class was represented by a group of 6. All of us met at the Special Registration Desk set up for the RJRU alumni and quickly changed into the smart grey T-Shirt. About half of us were coming back to IIT after a gap of 40 years! The number of changes in the Campus landscape, new buildings , hostels and Canteens all around were impressive sights. After a catchup session, we attended the day's programme of Director's Update of IIT B great progress followed by the giving away of Distinguished Service Awards. After a quick Lunch on the Gul Mohur lawns, we all went to our Hostels and walked around the corridors, lounge and relived the times we spent 40 - 45 years ago. The TT room of our times, in H4, had been converted partly into a Cyber Cafe and partly a Gym. The TT table was in the Lounge and sitting space was reduced. Moreover there was no sight of the common TV or Music System that we had in our days. Perhaps, we thought, the internet had changed all that. Students , we guessed, had their own individual choices streamed on their Laptops and group entertainment activity in the Lounge had dwindled. We talked to a few students about their plight on twin sharing of the already small rooms. The redeeming feature was the fact that atleast the final year students had a single room all to themselves.
Although , it was IIT vacation time, the Campus , was over crowded , with colorfully dressed students from all over India, attending Mood Indigo and banners and stalls from multiple sponsors. MI has grown in scale from the time we held the first MI in 1973, when we we in our 5th and final year. The nostalgic memories of Begum Akhtar, Zakir Hussain and Trilok Gurtu performing at the Gymkhana grounds came back to us! We also hear that Sachin Tendulkar had inaugurated the recent inter IIT sports meet and IITB had scored rather well.
The afternoon session at VMCC had a choice of attending the iASCEND meet , an alumni - student collaborative entrepreneurship development programme or the launch of Global Business Forum , a new initiative of IITBAA, to bring together the the accommplished alumni with aspiring alums and students to evolve new Business strategy further growth . The instruments deployed would by Special Interest Groups in vital sectors like Energy, Make in India, Environment etc l who would work through the year and annually have a Conclave in Goa every August. The high point of the day was the evening session with Manohar Parrikar, C78 Met, H4 and now Raksha Mantri . He was felicitated by Prof. Sukhatme, his Guru and then later had an open chat with the Alumni gathered there. It was heartening to see one of us, contributing sincerely and effectively to India's Defence .
After the sumptuous Dinner, with live hot music, by Shri Awalegaonkar aka Shri Ouch and group, some of us , joined , the bonfire , on H4 Lawns along with Manohar Parrikar and other hostelites past and present and walked diown memory lane to those good old days. I have attended many Alumni day events in the past, but this one was one of the best in terms of content and wide participation by alumni right to the end of day.