It was a chilly November in the San Francisco Bay Area, There was palpable excitement in the air. It was Nov 28, less than 12hrs removed from saying thanks in proper tradition. Less than 8 hrs removed from the last sip of wine. Less than 4 hrs removed from arguments over the football game. For many, the festivities had ended. But, for some, it was just the beginning. And, they were thankful about one thing, hitting that button on bits80.org and saying “YES”! The 3 day forecast on the BITSometer was loud and clear “ Nov 28- 100% chance of fist pumps, back slaps and hugs. Nov 29- 120% chance of heart thumping, feet tapping and body gyrating thunderstorms. Nov 30 – 150% chance of psenti-feelings”. A storm was indeed brewing..
Storms are not created overnight. They are a culmination of forces of natural elements building momentum with positive re-enforcement to sustain it along the way. There is a perpetrator for every storm and the BITS80 Reunion was no different. Suvashish Ghosh (83) batch – the master mind sowed the seeds which bloomed to this beautiful reunion. Suvashish along with a group of energetic bitsians – Vijay (83), Vikas (83) and Ratnesh (82) Nivi Padhy(85) Anu Murari (86) Rajiv (80) Venu (80) Sriram (87) and Sudha (86) – formed the core committee spanning the batches 80 to 89 , who championed this re union.
Having lived years not knowing one’s own batch mates, the notion of motivating and uniting BITSians several degrees apart was a tall order. And if you thought biking to pahadi was hard … this was a step harder… but, the rewards and the descent after the accomplishment paralleled the same heights and sights that pahadi had injected into the BITSian lives.
The Reunion clocks started ticking fast and the core committee got into the full swing of preparations. Right from scouting for venues, figuring out events to crafting the agenda the engines for the reunion rolled out in great speed. Elaborate thoughts and endless lacha sessions resulting in getting the “where”, “when” and “who” questions of reunion answered. The team decided that the reunion had to be a long weekend and they all settled in on the thanks giving holidays. Thanksgiving would allow families to travel together and also meet the extended BITS family.
Once the “where” and “when” items were finalized, the committee realized the need of an agenda which would keep the incoming bitsians and their extended families on their toes. So they got together and whipped up music, drama and ELAS/HAS for starters. Creative one-off activities with local attractions were thrown in as optional choices. Armed with a decent “agenda” the committee were all ready to jump into action.
Initially the core team did face hiccups in getting more registrations as there were lot of skepticism with enthu meters very low.However it was the exact opposite with music gang, whose enthu caused needle-bending readings. The spotlight was on the music night which was to be the crown jewel of the reunion. With dates and venue locked in… The feverish pitch towards the music night began earnestly in the month of October. Virtual rehearsals, conference calls etc. indicated that music night is going to rock on Reunion. The enthusiasm infused video clips of music night practices acted as a catalyst in turning around the re union registration. It served as the perfect trailer to build momentum. It was further bolstered by another music event, a karaoke night in Los Altos, Bay Area with an open invitation to the larger BITS crowd. This did turn the tide in the right direction.
Finally all the planning paved well and the celebrations kick started from Nov 28th to 30th 2014 in San Francisco.Celebrations and excitement were filled in air. Not to forget that all bitsians eyes were gleaming at those ever yummy panner Maggi, Kashmiri pulao, sweet curd and Jalebi which were served. Also reunions without RAF would be definitely a miss.So RAF night was organized and Amitabh Bachan’s Don was screened which added more excitement. It was extremely enjoyed by bitsians, their spouses and the kids too.
Series of events like fashion show, ELAS/HAS plays, antaskhari, and dumbchardes engaged all the bitsians thoroughly in immense fun and awakened the animated, adrenalin generating hyper tension that was the very hall mark for any event in BITS. This was followed by Photo-shoots which provided a nice break between ELAS/HAS events and the music night. Set in a beautiful location of Presidio in SFO, the customary group and batch photos turned up some interesting nuggets like the “bookends of the reunion: 80 + 89 batch photo” and “The lone guy and the women: 84 batch photo”
As the final evening of the reunion rolled out, the excitement and anticipation towards the Music night continued to climb higher every minute. the melodies started rolling out with “Deewana Hua Baadal” “neele neele ambar par”. Intertwined with the rocking tunes like “Jaane Jaan”, “Piya thu.” the audience got into the groove heading out to the dance floor. The music night went on for 4 plus hours with nonstop hits that kept coming like a juke box set on automatic. It was a nostalgic blast from the past with great song selection and brilliant performances. Challenged by geographies and very little practice time, the music night team simply rocked putting on a stellar show.
All good things come to an end and that applied to BITS80 reunion. This reunionperfectly resonated nostalgic memories, unlimited joys, boundless happiness of good old college days. The BITS80 Reunion is one such reunion which was a journey in itself and truly lived up to the tagline Reconnect, Relive and Renew the Bitsian Bug.
For more details on the event – Check out (https://www.facebook.com/BITS80s)