By Sharad Sharma (PGP 1971)
During my last trip to Ahmedabad, I visited the IIMA Campus to refresh my memories of the time I spent here and went to the dorm where I stayed during PGP 1969-71 graduation year. I was looking outside the JHAROKHA (the name given by our batch to the big circular windows in the dorm) with dreamy eyes trying to recollect and recreate my golden days.
Suddenly, I saw a reflection of a person looking at me and smiling. The image looked quite familiar! I was astonished; Oh my GOD, this was me, Sharad Sharma of 1971 with a thick black hair, a moustache and black plastic spectacles. The luminant figure started moving and continued with his routine activity while glancing smilingly in between at me.
I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and ran to the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror. Yes, the face in the mirror was familiar except for some wrinkles, white hair and stylish golden spectacles. I came out and looked around the rooms of my dorm-mates trying to recollect their faces and wondering as to how they must be looking now after 50 years.
This gave me an idea to plan and collect the current pictures of my friends and compare them with how they looked in 1971. I started the ball rolling and my batchmates Kishen and Shekar helped in contacting everyone and collecting the pictures. My younger son Avichal helped me technically in compiling and arranging the photographs together of “then v/s now”. We feel that this album will be a beautiful remembrance preserved by us, our next generation and also in the archives of IIMA. As usual with any project, many difficulties were faced. Many friends sent pictures without caring for its size, sharpness etc. while others did not bother or were too lazy to make any efforts. Many of them were untraceable, while some of our dear friends had left for heavenly abode.
However, with collaborative efforts, we managed to collect 45 latest print-worthy pictures which could be compared with the 1971 pictures available from the JHAROKHA magazine, published by our batch.
Looking at the final output i.e. the comparison between old and new, I wonder if the mirror on the wall would recognize the individuals who were here 50 years ago – will the mirror distinguish THEN AND NOW of the PGP 1969-71 batch.