25 Saal Baad: PRM 4 Reunion @ IRMA, Anand.

The IRMA Class of 1985—25 Saal Baad reunion—December 25-26, 2010

25 Alumni from PRM 83-85—the fourth batch at IRMA and the one that was the first to enter the current IRMA campus in 1983 met up for the 25 Saal Baad reunion on Christmas weekend—December 25-26, 2010…. We want to place on record our heartfelt gratitude to the Director IRMA—Dr.Vivek Bhandari, Alumni Coordinator IRMA- Prof. Pratik Modi, Mr.B.C.Patel—General Manager- Estate and the PRM 30 and 31 batches who helped make this happen and helped make our stay at IRMA most pleasant and memorable.

For an event that was planned in less than 25 days, the success in terms of getting 25 batch-mates to come (11 of them with families) at such short notice goes to each and every one of the Class of 1985 (4th Batch)- and the value each of us attaches to the feeling of togetherness of the batch, the need to remain in touch, be available for each other and to contribute to the greater common good.

Those of us who were in the campus by the evening of December 24, were treated to a an excellent Christmas celebration ceremony organized on the Mess lawns by the 30th and 31st batches with carol singing (led by a professional Carol singing group that had been invited) and dancing being part of the festivities.

Over a breakfast meeting on Christmas morning with those of us already in by then, IRMA Director Dr. Vivek Bhandari described the process of the new vision, mission and strategy development that IRMA was in the final stages of and the hope that he and others harbored of this being an instrument of achieving a common understanding about the Institute's purpose amongst its various stakeholders. The fact that IRMA Faculty now has few IRMA Alumni, IRMA's Governing Board has Mr.V.Vivekanandan and Mr. S. Sivakumar as Directors from IRMA Alumni were important mechanisms of ensuring that Alumni had formal opportunities to contribute to the Institution's future. We, the representatives of the Class of 1985 (4th Batch) made the point about using the 2 Board members (former IRMA Alumni) more effectively towards effective communication with and enhancing Alumni contribution towards IRMA's future vision.

Once all of the 25 batch-mates were in by around 11.30 AM, we had an introductory meeting with a few available faculty members including Prof. Debiprasad Misra, Prof. Rakesh Saxena, Prof. Pratik Modi Prof. H.S.Shylendra and Prof. Mukul Kumar. This was followed by group photograph sessions in the IRMA Class of 85- 25 Saal Baad T-Shirts that E.P.Ganesh and Mohan Vudali has brought for us… and lunch with the faculty members at the ETDC dining hall.

Post lunch the group moved to the IRMA Hostels to visit the hostel rooms and the mess premises to revive memories of the good times we had spent as a batch 25 years ago… The 30th and 31st batch students were gracious in allowing us to visit our respective hostel rooms that we had occupied while at IRMA and we spent the afternoon interacting informally with the students about life on campus both academic and extracurricular… over several cups of tea and snacks…

Towards late afternoon, a large group of us did the ceremonial IRMA to Jagnath walk to have a cup of tea there before walking back reminiscing the good old times… At around 6.30 PM the group met with around 40 to 45 students from both the 30th and the 31st batches introducing ourselves to them and providing them with some bits of (both solicited and unsolicited!!!) advice on how to deal with placements, planning of their careers etc… As each of us spoke at length, those listening to the others realized how much of a difference the 25 years of experience had made to each of us....preaching like parents would to their wards about what life has taught us thus far…. What was nice was how each of us tried to supplement, complement or disagree with the others point of view in an attempt that was aimed at providing the essence of the experience of the group…. It was one of the most heartwarming experiences of the entire time together for many of us… this level of understanding as a group and the earnestness with which we wanted to give back to the 2 batches sitting in audience…

This was followed by screening of the IRMA Class of 85 Video the IRMA 83-85 Anthem titled Yunga Yunga Yunga (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52GqEwPmq6E) and a series of videos that the 30th and 31st batches had put together.

In memory of Madhusudan Saha and Pankaj William Carey the two 83-85 batch-mates who are no more with us, the entire group stood in 2 minutes silence…..

After a repeat of the 83-85 song and dance between 8.00 PM and 9.00 PM there was dinner at the ETDC dining hall before we joined students from the two current batches around a bonfire at the semi-circular road patch near the student's mess. This soon transformed into a song and dance session with the Class of 85 mates joining many of the current batch boys and girls to the tunes of good music…. By the time we finished it was well past midnight….

On December 26 after a late breakfast, we lazed in the ETDC lawns chatting and then moving to the Classroom where we had attended classes 25 years ago to participate in an impromptu and very informative "What has one learnt from life so far" session of Philosophy that I think each of us valued immensely…

Prof. Nagabrahmam and Prof.Tushaar Shah had kindly agreed to come over for an informal session with the group at around 11.30 that stretched on till around 1.00 PM… Range of topics discussed ranged from Prof.Tushaar Shah's experiences with water—something that he admitted started with his having been on fieldwork with Paresh Shah and Viren Lobo in 1983 and how that had contributed to his being an Internationally renowned Water Expert today to Prof. Nagabrahmam recounting his experience of having built TAPMI Manipal as a renowned Management Institute as its Director and what lessons that experience held for IRMA and its future….

Prof. Tushaar Shah and Prof. Nagabrahmam joined us for lunch as the group began winding down on it's " a little over 24 hours together" at IRMA…. As one after the other finished our lunch and began leaving back for Ahmedabad enroute to our respective destinations… it was hard to believe that the 25 Saal Baad reunion of the IRMA Class of 85 that had just about begun the earlier day was already coming to an end….

Every moment was cherished, every word of welcome and cheer valued and as Rajubhai—IRMA's official photographer captured us in our various moods, we welcome you take a glimpse of the same at the following Picasa web album links… http://picasaweb.google.com/IRMAClassOf8525SaalBaad/IRMAClassOf19854thBatch25SaalBaadGetTogetherPhotographsDecember25262010#

http://picasaweb.google.com/IRMAClassOf8525SaalBaad/25SaalBaadPhotographsPart2#

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