Friday, April 06, 2007

Clash of the Titans

Here is the account of the IETL Alumni Meet in Ghaziabad on 18th March, 2007.

'The' PP Shukla(88) Versus 'the' HB Mukherjee(89). PP Shukla came down for the opening. Going strong with the spontaneous ease of a Sehwagand the raw power of a Dhoni. Then suddenly everyone hears the thud thud thud of a tractor rolling to the boundary line. Villagers are interested in cricket thought many spectators-mostly those from the 1984-1988 batch-the first batch. Because they did not know. The 1985-1989 batch knew and were prepared. The tractor Honked PeePee. The crowd respondedHai.. Hai...; Pee Pee.. Haihai; Pee Pee Haihai... Next ball. Bulls eye, middle strewn away!
The next batsman in. Was more dangerous and in recently acquired form, more venomous, Probably Yatish Katheria?. But the silencer-less-bullet rumbling like a canon did him in too.

That Mr. HB Mukherjee- the senior who scared daylight and nightlife out of most I knew - was slapped twice during ragging by his senior of half his height who had to use a bench to access his big round face, Just Imagine. HB Mukherjee, an author now, relating many such stories!

Just imagine, many stories like this unfolding in front of you like a sepia tinted movie... Those who attended the meet do not have to. Because they came, they saw and they conquered.

The conquest was also by the even year-ed batches -the men and boys in blue and white, who decisively won the cricket match against the Grey-red ones. The yellow caps lifted the trophy. Incidentally, all were yellow caps-the caps of IET. The evens were captained by one of the most die-hard and in-fine-touch cricket devotees-Sanjay Yadav-92. The Odds were led by Sanjay Khare-91. Old hands both.

The Odd eleven batted first and went on to score a good 99 in 16 overs against a stingy bowling attack of the evens comprising of Sanjay Yadav, Sandeep Asthana-90 and others. Dhanajay Singh-91, whose stories of passion towards sport are out in the open now thanks to TP3 and who came all the way from Mumbai to play was, the major contributor (made the foundation 20) along with Ajay Katiyar-91(35, was in a fine touch with his flowing shots), Sanjay Khare(10), Bhupendra-97(15). Their partnerships, made people remember the old times. Sandeep Asthana took 3 wickets and Sanjay Yadav 2.

The even batted in full control of the situation. The class of batting was in full display when Sanjay Yadav(51*) was batting. He scored a glorious half century within 10 overs as if heeding to the hunger crys from the crowd who wanted the match to finish fast so that they can congratulate the winning team and proceed for the lavish lunch with the teams. And then relenting to the chants from the stands "auron ko bhi mauka do..unne bhi fielding ki hai..." he gracelfully declared his own innings even as his team was on the verge of victory. The verge was easily crossed a little later. Someone said send him to Indian squad in the carebs. They out there heard that probably and put their act together at last even if against a minnows!

Following were the prizes:
Winning Team: Evens eleven cap Sanjay Yadav
Man of the Match: Sanjay Yadav
Best Batsman: Dhanajay Singh
Best Bowler Sandeep Asthana
Best Fielder: Paresh Sharma-94 (Also made impressive 35).

Did I mention that during and after the match chilled beer kept flowing? People were seen having their generous fills. Despite it being 'off the house'.

In another corner of the ground, children were having a field day-literally. They were enjoying to the hilt the huge bouncies(don't know, somehow this word always distracts my attention) erected for them, candy floss stall, the puppet show, the works. Not for once did any kid made a 'ghar chalo' or 'maal chalo' bid. They were too absorbed in all this to even notice the presence or absence of their parents. The latter were mostly absent as they were somewhere else down the memory lane! In huddles.

But they were back in time with their LOVELY spouses, when the latter were to play the Tug of War. Between the odd and even batches. Not the male batchmates - but the wives thereof and the girls. The rope was a military one, ferried all the way from Sikandara base of Indian Army where LT Col. RS Bhumla-93 is stationed. It was a rotund rope, but a few lovely wives were rotund-er, pleasantly and prosperously. It was going to be a clash of titans...the she-titans. They lifted and pulled the rope to their sides, an art they are masters at. This time it was not their husbands at the other end, only. It was going to be interesting. Just imagine!

It was an even day. Literally so. The odd wives lost with a little resistance, despite my lovely and..... wife being on this side. Spirit counts, in the end. (Not beer folks, as I did not see any brave lady even near the dispenser) Winning was not important here. Though it entitled the winners to handsome gifts. But the biggest gift that day was entitled to all those arrived there. They will cherish it for a long long time to come. Or at least till the time the glorious tan acquired during the breezy day remains. At least, that is what they told us.

We, the organizers, sincerely thank all the participants from the bottoms of our hearts for the exertion they did to make it to the event. Getting up before noon on a lazy spring-summer Sunday. Having to circumvent their kids PTM. Or to get up at 5.30 in the morning in Aligarh to reach at eight in the morning. Or leaving a couple of days earlier from Mumbai to reach a day before the event and then braving fever to play. Or driving down 50 odd kilometers from a distant suburb across the town. Saket-95 and Rahul-95, we are proud of you. We thank the lovely spouses of the IETiens for their unstinting support and encouragement for the not so noble cause that included guzzling beer and playing cricket. We again thank them and the IET girls for being and looking so beautiful, effortlessly or otherwise. We thank them for
compromising and living gracefully with the eventuality, known or otherwise, that they will end up with a mighty tan by the time shadows lengthen. I know this from my lovely and .....wife. We thank the kids who behaved so well and let their parents once again be what they used to be back in time then.

Free flowing chocolates and candies were taking care of the developing appetite of kids who were asking for more and more after the flat race and the cute lemon and spoon race. It was a wonderful sight - Kids ambling about with spoons in the mouth, lemons on the spoons and squinted eyes on the lemons. As was the puppet show. The artiste weaved a whole new song: Kagaj kalam 'gawar' la...;-) Apparently he was from an Adult education programme. Not 'that' Adult education ye dirt old minds! I mean what we also know as Adult Literacy or 'Proudh Shiksha' in Hindi and what was practiced by the IETiens of yore in the Village by the Institute tubewell.

Appetite - the gastronomical kind - of the elders was taken care by the incessant rounds of veg and non-veg snacks and latter lavish five course meal. (jyada ho gaya kya? Amita, Ruchi, it wasn't five course?) Ok, settle for Multi course, let us:-)

When Sandeep Asthana sang har pal yahan...all were ears to him, exclusively. Such a beautiful rendition of such a beautiful song mesmerized everyone. When Bhumla sang his old favourite or the dilber mere.., all were enchanted and captivated by the strapping Colonel. Another Armyman Major Dhirendra Singh's-95 lovely wife (yes, only lovely) Savita also from 97 Batch sung Chhookar mere man ko... all the men and boys envied the Major's Luck.

The Na-jaa team was represented by the video director Sabia Khan-06 who also was one of the organising members, and the face of na-jaa Amitesh Singh-06. The alumni from 2006 batch extended their wholehearted support in organising.

All the participants of the meet were generously praising the meet and gave positive feedback. (thank you) They were saying that we should keep holding such events regularly. They said they enjoyed the event irrespective of whether or not they actively participated in any event- cricket, antakshari etc. Even if now many of them are nursing their ligaments weary of playing in an out of practice sport. They said they had a great time meeting people otherwise not possible to meet and talking endlessly about the life during college and after it. From their eyes it was a good show. Thanks all once again!

From our own yardsticks (we are about a septet) we probably know what and where we lacked. We came wiser. We will be back with the promise of even better wares next time round. Those who do or do not regret not being able to join this time can look up to this promise and in the meantime enjoy the snaps/videos we will be shortly uploading at the link. Those who attended can find themselves in the snaps.

We especially thank those alumni who had registered initially, were unable to attend due to some reasons on the new date and informed us in advance of their unavailability. It was indeed a very thoughtful,caring and helpful gesture. In fact we expected from all such registered alumni who were unable to join for whatever reasons, such a kind gesture. A one line e-mail or even SMS in response to our SMSeswould have sufficed.

At the end we (the team) also thank one another for everything we did or tried to do, lest we forget!

We will meet again. Looking forward to see you all and others.

In the end, it goes without saying that, in the melee of hard-soft e-mails to build up the tempo, if someone felt hurt or uncomfortable, to our knowledge or otherwsie, we would like to underline that it was not intended.

Thanks. Shukriya. Dhanyavaad.


link to meet snaps and posts of Tigerpoint:

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