Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Reunion at NIT, Trichy

The NIT, Trichy batch of 1990 (to which I belong) held its reunion in December last year. I decided to go for the reunion since it gave me the chance to meet many friends who I had thought I will never see again. The same contingent that had traveled with me for the IIMA reunion accompanied me this time too - Jaya, Sujit, my brother-in-law and the nurse (but this time it was a different nurse).

We decided to first go to Pudukkottai and stay overnight at the house of Kamala, the person who had been my physiotherapist for 4 years soon after my stroke. She had subsequently got married and settled down in Pudukkottai. We thought we could kill two birds with one stone -  we could meet Kamala and her family and since NIT was only about an hour's drive away, we would reach the campus refreshed after a night's rest.

We reached the campus a little while before the group photo session was to start. It felt good to meet old friends after such a long time. Like at the IIMA reunion, I felt that my lack of speech was a blessing since it gave me time to recognise some people. They will introduce themselves, I will look at their faces...and yes, their faces did resemble the faces I remembered from 25 years ago.

Some folks were well on their way to becoming the sort of men that Ceasar liked to have about him. Remember that he liked men about him that are fat, having a dim opinion of the lean and hungry look of yond Cassius. He would have liked what he saw at the reunion.

After the photo session, there were some formal sessions after which everyone went to visit the hostels where we had stayed. I did not go since it would have taken me a lot of time time to get there. Instead I preferred to stay in the hall where the next program was to be held. I requested a friend to take Sujit and my brother-in-law to see the hostel where I had stayed. I thought of the ragging time when I had stayed in a hostel (this was in a different hostel from the one Sujit had visited).

At the time the common practice among seniors was for North Indians to rag South Indians and vice-versa. I was conversant with a North Indian and a South Indian language so I decided to try out an idea. Whenever North Indian seniors came, I always said that I was from Jamshedpur and spoke only in English/Hindi. At the slightest opportunity, I brought an Amitabh Bacchan movie or song into the conversation and then everything was quite pally.

Whenever South Indian seniors came, I always said that I was from Palakkad and spoke only in English/Malayalam. I also used the smattering of Tamil that I knew at the time. (There were some Tamil Brahmins in my village, Tamil films and songs are popular in the area and there is some similarity between Malayalam and Tamil languages so I knew some Tamil.) The result was that I hardly ever got ragged.

I used to be surprised that my trick was never found out. It helped that I was an unremarkable, low-profile guy who would not have figured in any conversations. There was also the fact that I did not have a readily identifiable accent.

With my batch mates

With my Mech. Engineering classmates

Sujit standing in front of the hostel in which I used to stay

1 comment:

  1. Very clever of you, Uncle. It actually made me laugh out loud!