Saturday, December 22, 2007

"THE" Re-Union : Day Three

20 December 2002:
College Station, TX: We all got up pretty late as we were extremely fatigued following the really long but thoroughly enjoyable drive of about 1100 miles !! Both of the houses had started to get ready for the graduation ceremony while we watched with our near sleepy eyes. It was nearly 1pm by which all of us were ready with a minor breakfast or the like. The graduation was in some huge coliseum kind of a place and reasonably far-off from Nikhil's place. We were about 6 of us stuffed in the Dodge-Neon, a really small segment car. During the next 2 days of our driving it was probably luck that did not get us caught.

The graduation ceremony was packed, the lower tier with all the graduating students, first Doctoral, then Masters, then the Bachelors. The upper tier was filled with family, friends and other near-dear ones of the lower tier. The guest-of-honor was some lady and as usual there was some message from her for the passing out students, which bored everyone to death (like usual). Then one-by-one the students starting collecting their Certificates (look like Batons from a relay race) to loud cheers from their side of friends. We waited and then shouted like crazy, and clicked multiple snaps when Ranade saan was collecting his diploma. (The pathetic zoom and low lighting did not help) . The saddest part of the ceremony is that the cancidates cannot leave the hall till ALL other students have had their turn. We then left the arena for a short time and went for a walk and view of the campus around the coliseum. The gymnasium and the swimming pool and some other sporting complex was awesome. But with December vacations in progress and most of the campus crowd home for Christmas there was hardly any activity around. We returned about 10-15 minutes before the ceremony was about to end and then again went out to see all the students fling their graduation caps high in the air. The next hour or so was spent in first finding Nikhil and his co-graduators and then clicking numerous photos on the lawns outside.

We all then went back to their residence and then had some amazing tea prepared in a pressure-cooker !! The quality and quantity was both of the highest order. For the evening dinner we were treated at a wonderful sandwich place close by. By this time there were another 3-4 new additions to the place with another of our friend driving from Austin, brother-in-law of another roommate from Monroe, LA.

There was to be an even better treat when we reached home in the form of a "maifil" by 3-4 singers, prominent among them being Kotasthane, affectionately called as "Popat" by his buddies from COEP. The stage was set with Voice Boxes, Tuners for all the singers to set the room alight with their beautiful rendering of music. Kotasthane was belting out mostly classical numbers or bhajans/bhavgeete with classical base. Panya/Ranade sang a couple of melodious tunes from old Hindi/Marathi movies or from albums of Sudhir Phadke. There was a one-of-its-kind duet from Udayan and Mami which well appreciated by all those who cannot distinguish a Sa from a Dha ;)

There was another girl who sang a couple of ghazals of Asha Bhosale from Ijaazat while another colleague of Ranade's sang Karnatic music which too was soulful though the words did not pierce through. There was also a song by our own Godya, but it was probably only appreciated truly by our Supply-304 gang.

21st December had arrived and also was quite past us when we called it a day.



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