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Emerald Reunion of PGP 1968 batch: A Time to Remember and Rejoice

By T. N. Ramaswamy, PGP 1968

Alumni of PGP 1968 batch got together at the IIMA Campus for their 55-year (Emerald) Reunion from 5th to 8th December 2023. In all 14 alumni from the batch attended, 12 of them with spouses. The number of attendees was reduced as a result of seven dropping out due to health reasons and due to the impact of cyclone Michaung that hit Chennai precisely on the starting day of the reunion.

The meticulously planned, mostly in-campus 3-day packed schedule began on 5th December afternoon with a thoughtful post-prandial rest period. Very aptly, the first substantive item of the programme was remembering batch-mates who are no longer with us. No reading of names, no elaborate ceremony – just a few moments of quiet contemplation, remembrance and homage. Steadily and inexorably, our batch-mates were completing their life’s mission and moving on.

Moving out of such sombre reflections, we set out on a tour of the New Campus. Accompanied and guided by a small group of very friendly and helpful students, led by Raghav Gaba PGP2 and Kabir Kanha PGP1, we toured and experienced the many interesting places and features such as the new classrooms, the CIIE, the IIMA store and facilities such as the sprawling new sports complex that did not even exist in 2017. These students were with us throughout the reunion, and assisted us in many ways.

The business end of the programme commenced with a talk by Anurag Choudhury of the Alumni Office, during which he updated us on their activities and plans. The highlight of the evening was an address by the Institute Director Dr. Bharat Bhaskar, during which he covered a wide range of topics and issues such as academics, governance, infrastructure, future and so on. This was followed by a very invigorating interaction with Dr. Bhaskar over an open-air dinner.

The next morning we went on the much-anticipated tour of the heritage (“our”) campus. We had the opportunity to see what remains of familiar buildings and hangouts such as the mess of our times, dorm D1 etc., and walk along familiar paths. Although we had been briefed about the condition of, and plans for, the heritage campus the previous day, the actual experience of seeing and being so close to these grand buildings of yore now in complete disuse and boarded up preparatory to eventual demolition and reconstruction gave us a melancholy feeling.

The gloom was largely offset by the visit to the IIMA Archives that followed. Prof. Chinmay Tumbe and his team gave us an excellent tour of the Archives. Inside was a well-arranged treasure trove of various things archival – photographs, books, objects, documents, correspondence and so on, printed, typed and even handwritten. There were things we could relate to, and things we had actually seen during our student days. There was enough to satiate everyone’s nostalgia.

The afternoon session was devoted mostly to business. Kiran Karnik presented a synopsis of the Report of the Independent Evaluation Group of which he was the Chairman. The Report contained information and well-researched recommendations on a number of important issues concerning IIMA. Prof. Praful Anubhai gave an excellent talk covering the history, major events, milestones and the evolution of the Institute. Drawing on his extensive knowledge, experience and very close personal contact with and involvement in many of these events, he gave a riveting talk that was both informative and entertaining. There was also a presentation by Himal Parikh, President of the Ahmedabad Chapter of the IIMA Alumni Association outlining the activities and plans of the Chapter.

The third morning was spent touring Ahmedabad city and relaxing. In the afternoon, Chaavi Moodgal of the IIMA Endowment Fund, gave a detailed presentation of the objectives, performance, activities and future plans of the Fund. In particular she explained the different ways in which alumni could contribute to the Institute through the Fund. We then had a lively and interesting interaction with the students.

What followed was a very enjoyable entertainment session, planned and performed by the students. It was heartening to hear these youngsters sing the popular songs of our times.

In between the few tours and many talks there was enough time for the real reunion – informal gatherings, exchange of news and views, unstructured discussions (“chit chat”), genial banter, amateurish renderings and general “time-pass”. A pleasant time was had by everyone. The reunion concluded with a reaffirmation of intent to stay in touch, meet as often as possible through regional meet-ups and plan the next batch reunion in early 2025.


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