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“Sure, We Can Engineer a Picnic Indoors. Leave the Pool Outside!”

Board members of the IITAGH, along with alumni, flank Ft. Bend ISD Board of Trustee President Sonal Bhuchar (center left) and Sugar Land Coucilman Harish Jajoo (center in black shirt). (Right) Picnic organizers with sponsor, David Raj, President-elect of the Indo American Charity Foundation. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

By Jawahar Malhotra

SUGAR LAND: The Indian Institute of Technology graduates thousands of top-notch engineers and technocrats from its multiple campuses throughout India and many go on to work in multinational firms tackling complex projects throughout the world.

So dealing with the awesome heat and burning sunshine of this scorcher summer was no big deal for the annual picnic that the alumni of the IIT Alumnus of Greater Houston hold every year. The solution? Just move it indoors in the roomy clubhouse of the Lakes of Avalon.

“We learnt our lesson last year,” grinned Witty Bindra, who along with his other committee members organized this year’s social and networking gathering of about 60 people and their kids, young and old. “If you want to swim,” he added looking out through the huge bay windows at the pool that edged against the man-made lake, “You can. Just leave the wet clothes and feet outside!”

There was a magic show for the kids and food catered by Moghul restaurant (on Westheimer and Kirkwood) at the event that was sponsored by David Raj on behalf of his association with the Indo American Charity Foundation. And there was lots of time for others to mingle and ask the perennial question, “Which IIT are you from?”

Of course, several people were not from any, notably the chief guests for the picnic, newly elected Sugar Land councilman Harish Jajoo and Ft. Bend ISD President Sonal Bhuchar. Jajoo explained what it took for him to get elected and thanked those in the community who had worked hard for him. Bhuchar described how the education cuts by the state legislature had impacted Ft. Bend schools and the took the occasion to formally announce her candidacy as a Republican for State Representative from District 26 in the primary to be held next March.

(In a follow-up conversation at a private party later that evening, Sugar Land councilman Tom Abraham, who is term limited and has given signals over the past few months that he intended to run for the same position, expressed his disappointment that Bhuchar had not spoken to him earlier. “This will divide the desi community’s vote,” he said, much as the Jajoo-Ahmed election had just weeks ago.”)

Pradeep Annand also introduced another speaker, an IIT alumnus from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Rakesh Vaidyanathan who was visiting family and friends in the Bayou City. He extended an open invitation to his fellow IITans to visit Brazil, “especially during Carnival (in March), which is really worth seeing.”

The IITAGH is already planning a professional networking in September their Fall picnic in October and is open to venues and other ideas. Call IITAGH President Prabhu Murugan at 713-725-3599, Witty Bindra at 281-303-6319 or Pradeep Anand at 281-797-0797.


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