Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The Reunion -- First Day
I've been going over notes that I took on the trip, and I find we actually went to Trichy a few days before the big reunion. The day before, we had a mini reunion with some of Rajan's friends from the mechanical engineering class -- a nice opportunity for old friends to chat before the huge gathering, and time for me to meet more of his friends and another of the wives as well.
The planning committee for the overall reunion did a super job of organizing the three-day reunion.
On the first day, everyone met at Hotel Le Royal Meridien at 3:00 p.m. for a program that went on until 10:00 p.m. Tea was served, and in India, that means tiffin and delicious treats to go with the tea! Each attendee received a gift bags containing photograph books with family news updates, photos, and contact addresses for each graduate, a program of events, a memorial plaque, an artisan handcrafted multi-purpose basket, a calendar/diary with daily quotes from a famous Tamil poet, and several other goodies.
Photos of "then and now" were flashed on a screen over a stage, and several people got up to share anecdotes of their days at the engineering college. Lakshmi Devi Jagadeesan, wife of the President of the organising committee, shared two of her poems in Tamil and I read a translation of them in English. Several people sang. And then to top off the evening, a professional group, the Avigna Dance Troupe, gave an hour-long performance of dances ranging from classical, to South Indian folk, to Bollywood musical. The picture above shows one of the young dancers. Each dancer was presented with a flower to show appreciation. (Again, part of the wonderful planning of the organizers of the whole affair.)
Throughout the evening, people circulated, and I made many new friends that I hope to keep in touch with now that I'm back home. A fantastic dinner topped off the evening. If the reunion had stopped with this one day, it still would have been a wonderful affair indeed. But the wonders kept on coming over the next two days, and I'll blog more about them tomorrow.