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Mingle, Meet, Assimilate! And Have Fun Too at the IITAGH Picnic

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By Jawahar Malhotra

SUGAR LAND, TX: The weather couldn’t have turned out to be nicer after a soggy and wet Saturday and gloomy Friday. It was crisp, cool and just a little breezy; just the sort of weather you’d expect for a picnic and it looked like the IIT Gods had once again pulled in their technical muscle and financial savvy to make the Sun come out – and bring out their 200 members and followers in droves on Sunday, November 8.

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The picnic emphasized the second leg of the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston mantra – assimilation and socialization between IIT families – to foster greater togetherness. Many couples brought along their young children to play at the slides and swing at Lost Creek Park off Settler’s Way and romp around the grounds, some even playing a bit of soccer.

Meanwhile, their parents mingled with other IITians, both young and old and, from the look of it, many recent arrivals from the Old Country, in loud animated conversations. Shortly after noon, the first in a series of games drew in people from among six randomly formed teams to indulge in a gol gappa and pani eating contest; to see who could swallow fifteen pani filled flour balls the fastest. The winners were chosen over five rounds for the fastest overall team and the fastest individual eaters.

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Food was certainly not in short supply as the samosas and chili paneer appetizers and pav bhaji, chole, aloo tikki, idli-sambar and biriyani lunch catered by Madras Pavilion drew in a long line of picnickers. While they ate their lunch on the wooden benches in the covered pavilion, Pratish Kanani, the outgoing president of IITAGH thanked everyone for attending and introduced the new president for 2016-2017, Shamanth Shankar.

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“It has been great to have been able to focus the organization around the Connect, Develop, and Give Back pillars and execute a lot of these events over the last two years,” said Kanani as he thanked his team members and the picnic sponsors, Upen Varanasi of Riversand Technologies and DC Collins of Greenlight Technologies.

After lunch, and before the picnic wrapped up, Ram Seetharam and Richa Saxena hosted Gaana Pehchaana, a musical game in whichxthe participants identified the melodies and sang along together to selected Bollywood songs in karaoke style, to much loud, good natured ribbing between several randomly formed teams.

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