had a very nice time at the XL Homecoming. I was going there after 12 years. The no. of buildings at XL has mush-roomed, and, it seems quite a grand edifice from the basically 2 buildings we had – Admin block and Hostel. Sadly, the playing field has had to make way for the main Teaching block, however the field has been moved some distance away.
At Howrah station itself for the Steel Express the re-introductions started. There were Mel Pinto (BM 71), D.P. Ghosh (BM 73) who now teaches at XL, Sandeep Ganguly (BM 73), Anand Nayak & wife (IR 73), Harriet Vidyasagar (IR 73), John A. Diaz (BM73), Chintamani Rao (BM74), photographer Vivek Das, Indira Basu (IR 73) and some more seniors of IR some as early as ’66 ! The oldest alumni was of IR ’59, who was felicitated at the concluding function at the Beldih Club.
Everyone was accommodated in the MDP block which has nice guestrooms for staying. In fact Mel Pinto and me were accommodated in the Tisco Guest House for the first night, which we thought was a privilege for seniority, till we discovered that the MDP accommodation was even better !
The next morning 19th was the official presentation on ‘What has changed in XL and what is constant’. The Director is Fr Casimeer Raj, an old Loyola Chennai hand. Fr Mcgrath was there, all of 84 yrs in age. There was an intense debate on whether the XL brand needs to be changed from the BM & IR of yesteryear to ‘XL School of Management’ with many views for and against. Us old timers pitched in with our bit. Madhukar Shukla who is the OB prof and good old Jitu Singh, together with prominent alumini Rana Sinha MD of TELCON, and, Bhushen Raina MD of Tinplate, were the main persons orchestrating the event.
In the evening was a panel discussion at the grand Tata auditorium in XL premises where TISCO MD Muthuraman and Subodh Bhargava were part of the keynote panelists. Muthuraman hosted dinner in his palatial house that night. Next morning was a golf session and breakfast at the Golf course which I missed. Closing session was a lunch at Beldih Club, tho’ Bhushen Raina added a bonus with a grand dinner at his superb house to those who remained, as many had left J’pur by then.
From our batch I met only Manjeet ‘nee Dhanjal’ Kaur (IR 72). Met elder sister of the Kastuar sisters IR 72 (Ranjana is in the US and Anjana is a housewife in Bhopal, Shoeb Ahmed BM 73 is ED Mktg SAIL, Sandeep Ganguly BM 73 is a big gun with Hyatt Hotels, Ajay Kaul BM 89 is CEO Domino’s Pizza, Chintamani Rao is CEO ITV, Bijou Kurien BM 89 is CEO Titan, of course Anad Nayak is HR chiefof ITC Limited. Ajit Roy BM 72 tho’ a localite did not attend as he was not well.
Had a look around the facilities – the lecture halls were out of this world – a/c and everything else. Our classrooms in the old building is the present Director’s office. The Library is as extensive as a football field and well-stocked. There is a huge computer centre with over 50 brand new machines. Every task is done on line on computors and all the students have their own computers in their rooms. The hostel rooms look pretty much the same tho’ !
All in all a very enjoyable occasion. Homecoming ’04 had 42 outstation alumni whereas this year it was over a 100. I believe next year it should be more as they are coordinating with the Washington and Singapore alumni for an international event. Hope we meet there again.