3rd August 2008- Palakkad NSSCE Auditorium
From: Madhu Mohan
Date: 3rd August 2008
subject: [ദര്ശന] Report of Inauguration and First General Body of Darsana held at Palakkad NSSCE Auditorium on 3rd August 2008
INAUGURATION & FIRST GENERAL BODY MEETING
At the outset, let me say something – those of you who could not make it to the meet, you do not know what you missed and the magnitude of your loss !!! Having said that, here is to hoping that we will have an even bigger gathering next year.
Rafique and others – I know you are impatient to know / see what went on during the inauguration / GBM. So without any more suspense, here are the two important parts of this mail :
1. Here are some of the snaps that we took on the occasion. I have temporarily hosted them on the Department’s server at IIT Madras – it will take me too much time to upload them one by one to Darshana’s own website and seeing the impatience with which some of the guys have been calling / mailing me today, I thought I might as well as put them up here and be done with it. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did participating in the GBM.
2. The second is of course, to inform all of you out there that Dharsana now has its own website. Please visit the site and send us your comments on the layout and content. We have not added on much material to the site – Anil is managing that – but we hope to do justice to it in the days to come. We also have a facility for online registration – please note the relevant links on the left hand side of the Home page. Rafique, I hope that will take care of your crib about a soft copy of the form for registration.
Ambu, I am not sure if anybody was recording the speeches – but since it was Niranjan who had promised you the translations, I will leave it to him to explain. In any case, the speeches were of very short duration except for that of V.M.Sunil, which I personally feel was well worth the wait ! And Vijay, yes, I do agree with you – NIranjan seems to have brought some magic to Darsana with his presence. I personally feel that he along with Zachariah brought in that personal touch – ringing up old friends and getting them to join Darsana and what is more, turn up for the meet. Rafique and others of the 86-90 batch will be glad to know that it was Zachariah who managed to bring a dead man back to life – Girish has been found and even managed to make it to the meeting. He still looks the same, except for having lost a bit of weight.
With due apologies to the new Committee members, I will hit the highlights of the Meeting though I am pretty sure that Dinesh must be getting a detailed report ready. So here goes :
All of us started gathering in the porch of the College from 0930hrs itself, even though the function was scheduled to start only from 1030hrs. Most of the guys had turned up the previous night itself staying at various places in town with many of them congregating at Kapliavasthu, the hotel being run by Radhakrishnan (88-92). Quite a few of them had turned up with their families. Saseendran along with Omprasad and Sabu were at the Registration Desk fleecing poor students like myself of money for registration as well as an extra amount for the expenses of the day. All my pleas for a Student Concession fell on deaf ears – I had to finally pay up or face the threat of an ‘action’ against me !! With such formalities taken care of, we set about wandering around the place. The college has not changed much, as some of the snaps will show though some parts of it like the drawing halls and the workshops, look more dilapidated than ever. M.A.Baby was getting late for the function but then no one was complaining !! Who wanted an inaugural function ? All the old comrades were there – Niranjan, Shiju, Hareendranath, Udayan, Vinod, Zachariah, Kabeer, Radhakrishnan, Pramod ( Action), Madhu P., et al. But the biggest surprise of all was of course, the presence of Girish ( of Laadan fame !) who had apparently woken up from the dead and landed for the function. The major representation was from the 84-88 and the 87-91 batches. Of course, they were the ones, I could recognise. The wait for the minister continued but I did not hear any complaints. Finally, he turned up around 1230hrs and we commenced with the programme almost immediately. The function was presided over by Prasad Mathew, the president of the Co-ordination Committee. The invitees on the dais included Mrs.Uma Devi, the Secretary of the Alumni Association, Prof. CKSP (representing the Principal), Prof. K .Vishwanathan and V. M. Sunil, who was if I remember right, the first Unit Secretary of the SFI (1979) *.
The Minister kept it short and sweet and for those of you, who are interested in history, Sri.M.A.Baby was the person who inaugurated the NSSCE Unit of the SFI, way back in 1975 !! As he put it, a marked difference in the atmosphere in the College Auditorium then and today. The official website of Darsana was launched by Sri. N. N. Krishnadas and he also kept his talk short, wishing Darsana all the best. Felicitations from Prof. CKSP ( you would find it difficult to recognise him – with his white hair and beard !) and Prof. K. Vishwananthan, formerly of the Mechanical Engg. Dept. (if my memory serves me right) and also Mrs. Uma Devi, followed. There were a couple of worries raised as to whether our activities would hinder the growth of the Alumni Association. With the Vote of Thanks by Alex, the inaugural function effectively came to an end. By then, all of us were hungry (it was almost 2pm), having had only some tea/coffee and Vada, anticipating a heavy lunch from Chandran and true to form, he did not disappoint. The rains had stopped by then and we trooped out to our old canteen for a buffet lunch. Don’t ask me what Ihad for lunch – I don’t rightly remember except that it was very tasty (Chandran had excelled himself !) – I was too busy talking to the others to notice what I was eating – and that I had multiple helpings of the palada !!! After all that, I did not feel like getting up – almost felt as if I could give the GBM the go by. Went back to the Auditorium, to be greeted by the strains of “Maari Villin, Then Malare………..”, sung by ,who else ? Our own Ammavan, in his own inimitable style, instantly bringing back memories of the many occasions spent on the road, in front of the main block, singing those same songs. If Ammavan were to lead, can the Ananthiravan be far behind ? It was followed by another KPAC melody by Somarajan. The next item on stage…………..was an old melody (Oru Vattom Koodi, En Ormakal Meyunna….) by Bindu N.P. !! Yes, she was there and incidentally, the sole female representative !!!! Gathering courage from the example set by his seniors and the fact that they were not getting chappals and brickbats, Jayaprakash took the floor for another old film song.
Prasad Mathew quickly called the GBM to order and asked Shiju to present the report of the Co-ordination Committee. That done, the floor was thrown open for discussion. But strangely, whether due to the heavy lunch or otherwise, the response of the crowd was lethargic and it was left to the President to call the individuals by name to come up to present their views. Once Suresh (Kathi) summed up the discussions, it was left to Alex Thomas to present an official panel for election as office bearers. A 23member committee was formed with Sunil V.M. as President, Dinesh R as Secretary and Saseendran K.S. as Treasurer. 2 Sub-Committees were also formed – one to study various aspects of the Endowment to be set up and another to expand the membership drive, which today stands at around a 100, including the official 80odd registrants at the meet. The members were unanimously elected and quickly took charge. One of the first acts on taking over was to hand over an amount of Rs.10,000/- to the family of Mr. Mani, for his treatment. This amount was realised solely through a collection from the registrants. More is expected from other prospective Darsana members here and abroad. incidentally, as the GBM was goin on, Dinesh R. announed that a message had been received from the Gulf, informing him about 30 friends from the Gulf who were eagerly waiting to join Darsana. Ihope all of you out there will make use of the online registration facility to make your presence felt in our deliberations. Your presence was soley missed and hopefully, the next edition of our meeting will have much better particiaption and even greater fun. With that ,the meeting was officially adjourned by the President.
I hope you will be satisfied by thgis short and sweet account of what transpired at the Inaugural function of Darsana on August 5. What is needed now is an ambitious, well-planned and whole-hearted membership drive – we nned to have more people participating and as Suresh very aptly pointed out, we should make use of this unique opportunity, to make a creative and decisive impact on the affairs of the state. Many of our former friends and comrades are in important decision making positions in various levels of the society today. We are in a position to decisively influence decisions on key issues – it is up to us to decide whether we want to play an active role in this task of society – building or whether we are to remain on the side-lines, confining ourselves to the role of spectators and critics. In the coming days, (I am sure Dinesh and others are goingt ocome out with appeals of their own), it is up to us to ensure that we pass on this news – of a society like Darsana being formed -to the maximum number of our friends and get them to join us on this exciting venture.
* SFI unit was inaugurated on 3rd Dec 1979.Originally Dr.R.G.Menon who was the Principal that time granted permission to use the auditorium for the unit inauguration. But when M.A.Baby came for the function he was not allowed to enter and they were forced to conduct the same in the open ground with all the anti SFI crowd gathered around abusing that small group of comrades.The core group of SFI was formed secretly almost an year before that and it had 7 members.If I remember correctly they were Sunil.V.M, Sergei, Sreenath, Thomas Mathew, Gopinath, Rafi Kambissery (s/o Kambissery Karunakaran), and Sukumaran. We were really thrilled when five of them (Gopinath and Rafi could not make it to the GB)came to the auditorium.
As Madhumohan mentioned,highlight of the day was the speech by V.M.Sunil. As Sunil mentioned this was history repeating in the reverse order.The Police crowd was there for stopping M.A.Baby in 1979,but this time they were there to welcome him. And it is quite interesting to note that our meeting was held below the photograph of Mannath Padmanabhan,who lead the Vimochanasamaram, and got this college as a present for NSS from the next ministry.
* VM Sunil was the Secretary of the Organising committee, which worked for 8 months and raised the strength from 7 to 56. The first President was MK Prasad, and Secretary, as mentioned was Gopinath.