Monday, January 9, 2012

Reliving the GREAT old days...

To come back – as alumni - to one of the most beautiful academic campuses anywhere in the world, to sit in the classrooms and walk the hostel corridors that became so much a part of our lives’ fabric not so long back, to meet professors who redefined the direction of our careers, it was a feeling that gave me goose flesh. 

Spartans – the class of 2012 – played the perfect hosts to the alumni. The arrangements, from the reception desk to the allotment of accommodation, were impeccable. Crusaders, junior crusaders, pioneers, junior pioneers, patriots, champions, gladiators, there was representation from every class. 

In a one year program, a class loses out on a crucial aspect of academic life – the bonds that get formed between juniors and seniors on campus. But the bonhomie evident at the alumni meet - in a matter of no time at all, all the batches were interacting with each other and with the Spartans – made for a heart-warming sight.  

Professor Ashok Vasudevan’s session was thought provoking. “Industry trends descend from megatrends. The future seems to determine the present”, the professor said. He went on to dwell on the importance of having a fertile imagination, remarking, “Trend spotting involves imagination and flights of fancy”. He captivated the audience by his brilliance even as he unfurled a colourful future replete with stupendous changes in technology, agriculture and behaviour. 

Professor Venkat R Krishnan addressing the alumni

Uncle Bala spoke next, elaborating on his vision for Great Lakes. As young and passionate as ever, his wit stood out. Professor Sriram admired the quality of the class of 2012 and appealed to the alumni community to support the institution in its future. Professor Venkat Krishnan, in his charming style, singled out appropriate social comparison and concern for others as reasons for happiness in life. 

Lunch saw networking in full swing as it was time for all the alumni to relive shared memories. I remember feeling immensely happy sitting opposite the canteen chatting with Spartans. So many memories clouded my mind – distinct among them was sitting in the very same place a day before the market research assignment and struggling to figure out, how on earth, we were going to complete it! 

Post lunch, Manik and Sitash addressed the gathering at Lake Veeranam. Their journey together post PGPM and success with Jade Magnet would certainly inspire any wannabe entrepreneur. Vivek Joseph spoke next and his passionate address would have left no one in doubt – entrepreneurship can proceed in parallel with corporate life!  

The Spartans took to the stage – a video that took us down the memory lane was followed by a mimicry show by Abhilash. The music talent of the class came to the fore next with a truly incredible performance that left us hungry for more. 

A fruitful session of brainstorming with Uncle Bala, Professors Sriram and TN Swaminathan resulted in actionable points to strengthen the alumni network and leverage it for the institution and its future batches.
The evening was beautiful – at the beachside, with a full moon to behold, it was a perfect finale to the day. The few minutes spent in solitude, taking in the coolness of the gentle breeze, watching the unceasing waves lit by the moon, surrounded by murmuring voices, was blissful. Floating in and out of conversations, I could catch nuggets ranging from ROI to Bharat Matrimony! 

View from the hostels - At the break of dawn
During the drive back to the campus, seated next to George, I had the good fortune to listen to him talk about his school in Trivandrum for pre-school kids. The hostel corridors buzzing with activity made me wish, my great life had been a little longer! 

Wish the Spartans all the very best!