We, the students who passed out of Regional Engineering College (now known as NIT), Trichy in 1972 had a family get-together (a Mega Meet) at Trichy on 15th and 16th December, 2012 by way of celebrating the 40th year of our graduation. This is a lyrical tribute to the Mega Meet
But never a passionate meet like this.
The 40th anniversary celebrated by the 60’s
The confluence of 80 men for a festive meet.
We studied in a college of this city in the distant past
But always do we carry the memory of our classmates in our hearts
That’s what made many of us make it for the meet
Travelling far and wide using different modes of transport.
Margazhi* is known for its surfeit of festivals
Like the music concerts with a world wide appeal
And the Srirangam temple rituals of 10-days and 10-nights
But who would know of our festival of passion?
We met as individuals in the past and parted after some time
We then went in pursuit of jobs, marriage, money and what not.
We met again for a replay of the past
At the onset of winter in December.
Fantastic arrangements by our Trichy friends
Words I can’t find to convey the feelings of my mind
Even a punctilious person can fault not find
Unless he is a person of unsound mind!
Every participant was amazed
Excellent work of the Trichy heroes
Our experiencing this great event was
But the result of the relentless work of the team.
History mentions a Sangam in Madurai
That worked for promoting Tamil literature
Hotel Sangam at Trichy deepened our friendship
Like the traditional Triveni Sangamam,
We had our Sangamam at Trichy.
Came, saw, conquered - That was Caesar’s story
Came, saw and stood transfixed – This was this day’s cover story
Came, saw. befriended and parted – This happened in the past
Came, saw, felt elated and won’t part again – This happened today.
The spacious hotel had a palatial atmosphere
The thoughtful embellishments added the flavor
A lot of snacks to cherish and relax
A liberal bounty from the benevolent Siva.
Words have no role when the parted meet again, asserts Kamban@
Belied were his words when people meeting after a long gap
Started talking as if having nothing else to do
Driven by the urge to share things with friends.
We got engaged in never ending conversations
Meeting our old friends after a gap all right
But what could our better halves do right?
They built instant friendships so swift!
Men would wait for formal introductions to converse
Women need no such protocols to socialize
After all they have so much to share
From the design of their saris to talking points about their spouses!
Any event needs a compere
Ours had two that were beyond compare
The stentorian Herr IG
And the soft-toned Sairam Thyagu.
IG played songs that were
Popular in our common rooms of yore
Some listened in trance and some danced in ecstasy
As we went down in our memory lanes
Time took a pause from its pace.
And Thyagu for his part
Asked the ladies to speak out
Their minds about their husbands
Thus planting mines to explode.
Shocked as all we were
Fearing the facts to come out stark
With our bitter halves allowed to talk
Awaited the spectre of flying sparks
While the victims awaited the impose
And the friends a good expose
The ladies displayed a noble pose
Sparing for once their own spouse(s)!
The ladies had a reward unintended
For their choosing to be broadminded
A Dhakshinvarti Shank they got
As a special gift for making it to the meet
It was time for the lunch break
What an assortment of delicacies to take!
Care was taken of the oldies’ age
In choosing the menu to our advantage
Great it was to have
The presence of spouses in our meet.
Greater it was to have our
Princie also to participate.
Princie made it to the meeting hall
Long before the function’s call
Reason he had for his early call
To charm the ladies first of all!
Head of a college is a king in a way
Having everything in his way
Holding the students in sway
Is this not the prevalent way?
But our Princie was no King that way
Though ruling us he has been till this day
He is the Prince for us
The way we call him that is.
Prince he is only for his youth
Since he is an emperor otherwise
Never was his authority in dispute
During the half decade of our student days.
The emperor conquered yet another territory
After a gap of years counting forty
The crown he won this time
Was the hearts of the queens of our homes!
He presented the ladies with a precious gift
Of a silver coin enshrined with the Goddess of wealth
Embellishing it with a fresh flower of Rose
No wonder he won over their hearts!
Felicitation program in the evening
Princie and three other professors on stage adorning
With our Trust Auditor also joining
The stage presented quite a gathering.
Who were more apt to pay tributes to the Princie
Than the duo that had ‘fame’ in their names, no fancy
Referring I am to Pugazhendhi, the name meaning ‘the holder of fame’
And Keerthi Suresh, his first name meaning ‘of repute’
The ‘famous’ two made their presentation too good, yet
There was a third man to cast his spell too
And it was Kothandaraman, ‘the master of archery’ in name
And a ‘master of oratory’ indeed!
And of course Rajeswar, the professor
As he was referred to by Gopal Iyer
Dwelt on the freedom we got without fighting for
So it was a foursome tribute, not fulsome a bit.
Professors tend to bore students in their classes
Putting them to sleep while taking them through tortuous passes
But the trio that spoke this day
Gave us something useful in their say.
The Princie had his stamp in his speech
Sparkling with his ready wit as his wont
Averting pious platitudes for good
And charmed us all with his human touch.
Ended the day with a sumptuous meal
Served in tradition on a plantain leaf
As we partook the meal to our hearts’ content
We found our hearts lined with emotional tint.
First day of the meet at Hotel Sangam
Second day was journey to the college
College buses not seen those days
Came to ply us to our abode of yesterdays.
Several changes en route we observed
New buildings and roads that were built
Unmindful were we of these since
Our minds were living in the distant past.
Welcome to the old students was grand
By the present Director and his band
Sundararajan is his name and a
Wonderful person he was to us.
Around the campus the buses plied
Showing us the buildings old and new.
Proud were we in showing to our halves
The hostels that we stayed in our youth.
If they would ask about the classrooms
May be we couldn’t show them today
Visited them only rarely those days
How can we remember them past many days?
Felt relived sure once our studies got over
But about the hostels there’s a hang over
How can we forget those good old days
Of staying together with strangers turned friends?
When we stepped into our old hostel rooms
Tears flowed from eyes both down
‘Can we get back into the past?’
Crave our hearts in earnest quest.
Ended the Mega Meet with a lunch magnificent
In the Mega Mess, the name coincident
As our tongues relished the food
Our hearts chewed the memory cud.
It’s time to thank all my friends
Limited as I am with words that befit
Borrow I would from Vaali, the Tamil film lyricist
‘I thank my eyes for bringing you (all) close to me.’
Margazhi* - The ninth month in the Tamil calendar (Dhanur masaa).
Kamban@ - The Tamil poet, the author of ‘Raama Kaathai,’ popularly known as ‘Kamba Ramayanam.’
Written on 21st December, 2012