A TRIP TO NOSTALGIA, NOW AND THEN
The Reunion of the Class of 2004 was a refresher of the two most intense years in our lives.
To begin with, the reunion was an excuse to reconnect. Our batch conversations on social media were reignited months in advance by frantic preparation. There is something about a 15th year reunion, when you know it in your bones, that you want to go back and reconnect with your batch and dormmates.
At last, we were back at WIMWI! Many of us (as aptly described by one of our batchmates in the Reunion Book) had “A lot less hair, but a lot more perspective. A few more wrinkles, but many more friends. A bit more weight, but a lot less stress”.
The alumni came back from all across the world, in numbers that pleasantly surprised everyone. The reunion was made even more wholesome with families and the young children of many of our batchmates. Life was truly coming full circle.
The plan that the batch had, was to re-immerse ourselves in some of the typical experiences that we had back in 2002-04. This meant, we absolutely had to have a ‘Throwback OM Class’ with Prof Ravichandran (or RaviC as he is known in WIMWI circles). The good professor honoured us with a session that will remain etched in our memories. Just like the old days, we had a case-study to go through. And yes, just like those days, we had those who read the case well in time, and those who got an urgent “Rem Session” ten minutes before the session!
The class itself was nothing short of electric. Many of us remember being mentally frozen and awestruck by Prof Ravichandran. To see the same mind in action, now addressing us with perspectives that were so deep and relevant to the life-stage we are in, was an extraordinary session. It was a proud moment to share this typical IIMA classroom experience with our spouses. Like he said “You can’t optimize everything in life. Family is important and impermanent. When are you going to get that?”
We were also extremely lucky to be able to meet so many of our beloved professors. We are grateful to the Director Prof. Errol D’Souza and Professor Rakesh Basant, Dean (Alumni & External Relations) for the time they spent in sharing the achievements of the institute in the intervening years. Many of us hold fond memories of all the professors who attended the Felicitation Ceremony – Prof Bakul Dholakia, Prof Ravindra Dholakia, Prof G S Gupta, Prof Ajay Pandey, Prof Niharika Vohra and Prof Jayanth R Varma.
Could any campus stay be complete without the Ramp Parties? The Batch of 2004 is proud to declare that we were able to throw not just one, but two nights of massive partying (DESPITE our creaking knees and cranky babies). And just in case anyone wondered, the very next day, we even made it to a more ‘family-friendly’ afternoon of games at the lawn.
The campus has changed indeed, and while it was impressive staying at IMDC, many of us could be found wandering in the old dorms and gathering around good old Ram Bhai. Our children may have found the old campus ‘just like Hogwarts!’ but for us, the old bricks were much dearer. A campus treasure-hunt organised by some of the batchmates turned out to be the exact cerebral and yet nostalgic challenge that many of us missed from the old days.
On one of the evenings, we even managed a traditional ‘tempo-shout’. We are very sorry to see that some traditions like ‘dunking’ are now lost in the haze of time. However, we have to give credit to the girls at D8 who obliged us by throwing a bucket of the coldest water during our ‘dorm raid’. Thank you, and may you build your own traditions of community-building too!
Nostalgia was all around us, including in a very special video that had been recorded 15 years ago by one of the batchmates (‘second-youngest’ in the batch, so he had all the enthusiasm for what was hi-fi tech then…a camcorder). This was the final and immediate immersion to a time when we were young and excited about the years that were to come.
The best takeaway from the reunion has been the gleam of recognition we saw in each other’s eyes. It was like a stamp that IIM Ahmedabad had put on all us, and which we recognised and cherished in each other. We are all extremely happy to have taken this journey and we wish everyone, from our batchmates to the current crop of students and the professors, the very best in the coming years.
Thank you IIM Ahmedabad, for giving us the years that made us who we are today.
And finally, there is no denying that ‘2004 ka tempo high hain, baakiyo ki leli zig-zag zig-zag’.