By Molly Chaudhuri
Mangalore, July 29, 2012: It was a homely homecoming for the eager classmates of Mangalore University’s MBA Class of ’84, when they met after 26 long years on Saturday, 14th July 2012. Mangalore University had introduced MBA in 1981 and we – the batch which studied during 1984-86 – happened to be only the third batch to pass out of the university.
MBA was not as common then as it is today and we were truly of an elite lot. The campus at Konaje was a different world altogether. Well hidden from the city in the remote countryside, it had a rustic charm of its own. So when we mooted the idea of organizing a reunion to relive the good old days, all our classmates were keen for the silver rendezvous.
The number 13, which is said to be notoriously unlucky, proved good for us as that was the exact number of classmates who turned up for the reunion. Our entire class consisted of some 20 students. Though all were ready to pack their bags to meet their (MBA) Maker, seven found it impossible to make it due to reasons as varied as ill health, visa problems etc.
Most of the classmates from Mumbai, Chennai, Goa and Kuwait arrived on the previous day itself (… once again a ‘13’!).
We all gathered at the penthouse at Hotel Maya International on 14th July 2012. After the warm “Hi”s, “Hello”s, “How are you?”s, “You have put on weight!”s and “Where are you working ...”s, we took the bus on this nostalgic journey to Mangalore University, Konaje.
We were warmly welcomed by our former teachers Dr Shridhar and Dr. Mustiary Begum who were as elated as we were to meet each other. Though, 25 batches of students have walked through the corridors of the Dept of Business Administration after us, we were touched when they were able to recognize each one of us individually. They knew all our names.
In an effort to go back into time and relive the good old days, we enacted a short classroom session and our former teachers gladly obliged us by playing their roles to perfection.
Then we had an interactive session with Dr. Shridhar and Dr. Mustiary Begum on how we could contribute to the alma mater
During the interaction with both these lecturers, we offered to mentor rural and poor students of the department and share our skills and experience of 25 years. As we have gained wide exposure in various fields, both academic and corporate, we felt that we could tutor these students in corporate skills on a one-to-one basis and also help them to find good jobs.
After a short classroom session and interaction, we went around the new building and the facilities provided to the present students. We recalled how, during our days, the classrooms were very narrow with only two rows and hardly any extra place to move around!
We visited all our favourite haunts on the campus. There weren’t too many then though. Lots of things have changed and almost every department now has a separate building. The places we visited included the play grounds and the little tea shop at Konaje where we spent so much time.
We wound the day with dinner o the Cruise and Dine along with our families and Dr. Shridhar’s family.
Dr Vijayaprakash, the CEO of the Zilla Panchayat, who was our lecturer during 1984-85, sprung a surprise by taking time to catch up with us.
We now wish to keep in touch with each other through e-mail, mobile, Skype and Facebook . We look forward to have these get-togethers every three years and make meaningful contribution to the department that has brought us together.
Those who made it:
Molly D’souza Chaudhuri (Mangalore), Sanjay Chaudhuri (Goa), Deepak Rupani (Mumbai), Roshan Kumar (Mumbai), Dinesh Karla (Mumbai), Mohanraj (Mumbai), Dr. Raman Kumar (Kancheepuram), Ananth Narayan (Dubai), Muralidar Rao (Mangalore), Dr. Bharath V. (Udupi), Arun Rao (Mangalore), Kadri Navaneeth Shetty (Mangalore) and Khaleel Adoor (Kuwait).
Those who were sorely missed:
Lydia Monteiro (Canada), Poornima (Karkala), Ranjan Bopaiah (Mercara), Gopinath Kini (Bangalore), Hasanabba I. Valpady (Riyadh), N. Ashoka (Mumbai), Rama Chandra (Bangalore).