January in Kharagpur is traditionally spanned by an assortment of events. This year, the new semester kicked off with warm days, an Inter-IIT hangover, placement worries, and more importantly, the 9th Alumni Meet. Here’s a rundown on the last.
The Inaugural Ceremony
Kharagpur saw the inauguration of the 9th Alumni Meet on 7th January at Kalidas Auditorium. The function drew together over a hundred alumni, from colonels to entrepreneurs and professors. Distinguished Service awards were presented to a few whose sparkling success carved a niche for them in the national and international arena. They attributed their success and profundity to their alma mater IIT, Kharagpur. To quote one of the awardees, Mr YPS Suri – “IIT is like a mother to me. My mother tells me that you are a good son. My life’s ambition has been fulfilled.” Mementos were presented to all the guests, who expressed their felicity of getting back to their roots by Kgp Tempo Shouts; proving that once a Kgpian, always a Kgpian.
The ceremony also witnessed the release of the much awaited book – The Game Changers. Written by Kgpians – Yuvnesh Modi, Rahul Kumar and Alok Kothari, the book presents 20 success stories of Kharagpur alumni who brought to life their big dreams of being entrepreneurs. A few alumni who featured in the book were present at the ceremony and shared their valuable experiences. One of them struck a different note when he elaborated how his personality had been liberated and shaped by ragging. He said, “Ragging deprives you of ego, instills a set of values which makes you a true IITian. I’m happy and proud that I was ragged.” Needless to say, this met with a huge round of applause from the audience.
Hasya Kavi Sammelan
The Hasya Kavi Sammelan held as a part of the meet of IIT Kharagpur was a supremely enjoyable and refreshing programme for all those who attended. The poets, Mr. Surendra Dubey, Dr. Arun Gemini and Mr. Vineet Chauhan, were very well received by the audience, which consisted of students and alumni alike. As expected, the performances had the audience in splits. A dash of patriotism, provided mainly by Mr.Chauhan, added a whole new dimension to the event. Notwithstanding the fact that the language used might have been a tad too difficult for people not too proficient in Hindi, the night on a whole was a memorable one, especially for the alumni who presumably do not get the opportunity to attend such events and let their hair down every once in a while.
A Fine Arts and Photography Sale was also organized during the meet. The stall, splashed with colours of Illu and moods of the various halls, immensely appealed to all the nostalgic alumni present. In all, there were about 5 mind-blowing sketches and paintings, and about 150 vivid photographs, some of which sold like hot cakes. The exhibits were the best-of-the-lot chosen from a competition held previously. The exhibition-cum-sale, widely applauded by the alumni, lent a vibrant touch to the meet.
Of Raagas and Riffs
In addition, our alumni were greeted with a splendid, musical performance by our very own ETMS and WTMS. An impressive fusion of the East and the West filled the atmosphere of the Netaji Auditorium, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.
While the show started with a fashionable 30-minute delay, the next one and a half hours kept the audience glued to their seats. ETMS took to the stage first, with a sequence of 5 popular songs. While some of them were exact renditions of the originals, others were made even better with modulations and instrumental add-ons. The performance started off with Baba Haji Ali, from Fiza, followed by the heart-wrenching Tanhayee from Dil Chahta Hai. Perhaps to calm the hearts that were upsurged with the pangs of love following the previous romantic song, ETMS presented three purely breathtaking instrumentals: a beautiful Carnatic classical piece, Pal Pal Bhari from Swadesh and the soft and moving Lukachupi from Rang de Basanti. Finally, ETMS ended with a jaunty number: Mera naam chin chin choo, which excited the audience into a frenzy. Exiting to a rapturous applause, ETMS cleared the stage, which was then set to be taken over by WTMS.
While the WTMS coordinator first promised to start off with a rendition of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd’s Coming back to life (very apropos for the alumni meet), due to an internal situation, they started off with Highway Star by Deep Purple. A wondrous two and a half minutes guitar solo embellished the song. The delirium that it created can be aptly described by a comment from one alumni in the audience: “Man! The guitarist has gone mad!” Right after this energy-packed performance was a cover of The Beatles, Let it be, sung by two female lead singers. And after this was yet another great song, a piece by Porcupine Tree. Finally, to an appreciative, boisterous audience, WTMS performed their promised Coming back to life.
But the show turned out to be still full of pleasant surprises, as the alumni were invited to take the stage. While hesitant at first, the KGP spirit in them took over as one of the alumni, Mr. Rajesh, did a marvelous job on the drums with Smoke on the Water and one of his friends followed with a beautiful cover of Suno Na Suno Na. Then happened a most auspicious and appropriate ending to the evening: a classic presentation of Vishnu Stuthi “Venkata Chalaya Hridayam” by Mr.Tarun Kumar and Mr.T.K.Ramachandram.
All in all, the show was a splendid success, surely a loss to those who missed it. ETMS and WTMS surely deserve a hearty congratulation on pulling off such a wonderful, fun performance.