On Nov 20 and 21 our PGPMAX batch got together for our reunion no. 2. We had met at Goa last year and this year it was at Chennai. That two years after the program ended, we still had 32+ people meeting is awesome. The count would have gone up by another 5 to 7 people but we had some last minute dropouts due to emergency situations, some urgent meetings and some inexplicable reasons that I intend to understand sometime :):).
Vivek G, you have to buy me lunch again because you left without meeting me. Vivek M, you are getting a call soon to find out your inexplicable reason :). Narayanan and Ved – we can’t get the reunion any closer to where you are so as penalty you have to attend the next one and I intend to follow up. Wong, hopefully we will do a reunion in Malaysia sometime or you find yourself back in India. Archita, Sajive – it’s ok this time, but no missing the next one. Akash, you are in trouble and you know why. Antony, your working hard is hardly working as a reason for not being with us … Just so you know, my mother commented saying “Why is Antony not coming for any of your get togethers ? Have you guys fought or something ?”. Anir, what can I say … You were right here and we are partners too !! Hmmm. Arvind, Ranveer can’t be used as a reason anymore :). Lalit, you just had to take another flight and you could have been here. JK, Yashwanth, Punitha, Amit, Ahmed, Vikram, DP, Arup, Raman, Bhat, Sunil, Challa Garu, Venkat, Subbu… Whatever reasons stopped you from coming over, remember you missed meeting the “Dilip SAP”. Will have to find Sandeep and Kamal, before asking them to join :):). Don’t think I have missed anyone who didn’t come but if I have, please pull me up by joining us for reunion No. 3.
Most people reached on the 20th. I missed the dinner on the 20th because we had driven the previous day from Hyderabad to Bangalore and then on the 20th from Bangalore to Chennai, so we were really tired. We thought we could take a nap and then go to the Fisherman’s cove but we woke up at 8 pm when Rajini’s call managed to get through.
On 21st, the day started early. We reached Fish Cove by 9 am and met up with everyone having breakfast. We then went to the Mahabalipuram Shore temple. What amazing temples these are from the Pallava period nearly 1300 years old. We saw just one temple and then went to Rajini’s music school which is a unique school teaching fusion music, both production and performance. The school is called SAM – Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music. We enjoyed a performance by a student band and then our class students, Mehraj and Arun sang a song each. We got so excited that we forgot about Vineet and his singing :). We got to see the sound proof practice rooms and then a recording studio. Feroze got a chance to sit in the music director’s chair and he has picture to prove it.
We enjoyed a tasty lunch before returning to Fish Cove. Vandana and Sanchita had also reached by then and they had enjoyed a great lunch as well. We all then went off to “Strategy” to share :). What an awesome sharing session this was… People have done so many different things and all of us have become close enough friends to openly share about the challenges we face and also personal situations. Again we came away knowing we each had 59 superstars who have our back and to whom we can turn to for advise, feedback and support. Feroze had the last word as always when he said that we all must participate in the startups and ventures that our classmates setup. Like I mentioned during the sharing, my business of giving – ShikshaDaan is wholly dependent on everyone else :):):):).
From Fish Cove we all went to Puneet’s beach house for the gala party. I was forced to do a rain dance when I went out to put a bag inside the car and it poured for exactly 5 minutes !! The party warmed up and became super red hot when our guest for the ending arrived – Mithun Sacheti of Caratlane.com fame. His hour long interaction was like a revision of our MBA classes. Yeah, Feroze said it and yes, he had the last word here too. What was interesting for Krishnan and I was, the best advise for Mithun came from his grandfather who told him three words to be successful “Nazar, Khabar, Jigar”. Loosely translated they mean “insight, market info, courage to take a punt”. His grandfather just summarised a two year MBA program !! Fascinatingly enough, the next morning Krishnan found this article by Vijay Batra, son of Pramod Batra, founder of Think Inc titled “Sabar, Khabar, Nazar, Jigar” – “Sabar” translates to patience. I have been meaning to write a series of blogs on Indian leadership/management practices because we seem to import the Western concepts without giving any credence to some awesome Indian wisdom. Indian economy had a 24% share of the World Income in the 1700s not by fluke … And then the Colonial Brits broke our spine. Ok, that’s for another day.
We enjoyed meeting Mithun and the food at Puneet’s place was outstanding. It was good that Puneet insisted that we dance till we digested all the food we ate :). Hope Manoj ate again after his spirited dancing because he burnt a couple of days of eating on the dance floor. We reached back home with Vandana and Sanchita around 2 am.
What an awesome, fun reunion we had. Looking forward to the next year’s reunion eagerly. Manoj, Colombo ?
Puneet, I think we should induct Howard into our class as he has been outstanding in organising everything. From all of us, a very special thank you to him. Puneet and Rajini – great show and great arrangements. You have set the bar high for Manoj and the Hyd gang. :).
Photo credit – Dhiroj’s Samsung phone …. Samsung isn’t as good as the iPhone but not a bad Pano shot :):) Must be Dhiroj’s skill.