Blue Skies, Mild Sunny Day Beckon IIT’s Far Flung Alumni for Camaraderie and a Picnic

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The Board and organizing committee of the IIT with some guests at the picnic held on Sunday, November 9 at Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land. From left, Mohit Mehta; former IITian and Chittagong movie director Bedabrata Pain; Trustee Anand Chauhan, President Pratish Kanani, Secretary Aaggrim Sabharwal, past President Witty Bindra and Arjun Sen, President Pan IIT USA from Denver.                  Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

By Jawahar Malhotra

SUGAR LAND: The highly motivated, industrious and multi-talented expatriate alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology must have conceived of a magical dial to turn and tune in perfect weather for their annual picnic, held last Saturday afternoon at Lost Creek Park. With a playground and an inflatable hut to attract the little kids and soccer and cricket play on the adjacent fields, fun and frolic were all around.

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Volunteers (from left) Riken Pandya, Hardik Minocha and Akshay Patel manned the registration booth at the picnic.

Thanks to a slight cold front, even the mosquitoes weren’t biting as about 250 people, little kids included, made a go at the activities and trays full of desi food, prepared and catered by Daawat. The made-to-order dosas kept the long line creeping slowly to the front for the rest of the mix of idlis, biryani, noodles and quesadillas, topped off with fruit and hot gulab jamuns.

“This is all part of the three pillars of our vision statement”, explained the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston President Pratish Kanani as he surveyed the boisterous crowd at the non-alcoholic function, “to connect people together and allow them to network and to foster community activities. We have organized events throughout the year to promote the third pillar: develop our members professionally and in their careers”.

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Participating in the Name That Tune game held after lunch, from right, Beena Mayekar, Sujata and Pradeep Anand and friend correctly sang a song’s lyrics.

Among the crowd was an ex-IITan, Bedabrata Pain, the producer and director of the Indie movie Chittagong, which had just been watched by a capacity crowd at its first Houston private screening the earlier in the afternoon at the Katy Mills AMC 20 theatres. Struck by the overwhelming response to the movie, other IITans were planning for a repeat showing in a few weeks’ time.

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Ram Seetharam (left) and Richa Saxena of Gaana Pehchaana ran the Name That Tune game at the picnic.

After lunch, Kanani and the other event organizers gave a brief slide presentation and descriptions of all the activities the IITAGH has held in the year-to-date, followed by an outline of the activities planned for the next year. This was followed up by the major attraction of several past and this picnic, the Gana Pehchana quiz and program conducted by Ram Seetaram and his team. Several teams competed for the top spot in a competition that required knowledge of Bollywood/Hindi film songs, both old and new.