The golden jubilee batch of CET celebrate the 20th anniversary of their graduation with a mega alumni meet on July 13.

It’s been 20 years since they graduated. Come Saturday (July 13) more than 150 members of the College of Engineering, Trivandrum’s (CET) ‘golden batch’, spanning all branches, get-together for their very first official alumni meet.

“We call ourselves the golden batch because we enrolled in 1989, the golden jubilee year of CET,” explains San Francisco-based Ravi Soman, a former student of the mechanical engineering branch, and now Senior Business Leader, Visa. “There are some 600 of us in our batch, of which 90 or so live in the United States. Some 28 of us have flown down from the U.S., especially for the event, while others are joining in from various places across the city, India and the world,” adds Ravi.

His batch-mate Surag Menon, who studied civil engineering and who is now Regional Head (South), Cisco Capital, adds: “The time was ripe for a get-together. We held a couple of curtain-raiser events recently and it was a huge success. We all had wanted to meet up for a while now and luckily it turned out to be the 20th year of our graduation [the engineering students graduated in 1993 and the architecture students in 1994]. Besides, it is also a way to encourage networking among graduates.”

No wonder that none of them can seem to quell their excitement – and nostalgia – at the prospect of meeting up with their old buddies.

“We really had the greatest time in college. We are a particularly close-knit batch because in our first year all of us, across branches, studied together – it was only in our second year that we were split into branches. So, even though I studied civil engineering, some of my best friends from college were in electrical and mechanical. We used to hang out and have a cuppa at nearby Lord’s restaurant, which had then just opened it’s doors; we used to bunk class and go for movies, we used to participate in college events; the guys used to show off their bikes… even the fights between opposing student parties was fun, in retrospect!” laugh Manju Nair, of civil engineering branch, now Delivery Head, IBS Software Services.

The alumni will kick off the celebrations with a formal function at CET, where they plan to felicitate 40 of their teachers. As part of the event, there will also be an interactive session on entrepreneurship, led by entrepreneurs in the group.

“There are many in our batch who want to turn entrepreneurs and each of these people who have 15 to 20 years of experience will be sharing their thoughts on best practices,” adds Surag.

Then the party will shift to Isola Di Cocco resort at Poovar, where an evening of fun and frolic has been arranged. Apart from a music show by singer Vivekanandan, they have planned cultural programmes by the members of the group and their families.

“We plan to re-create some of our college shenanigans. I’m particularly looking forward to a dance by James Jacob and Rajesh Nath. They are going to dance to the Mohanlal song ‘Kasturi…’, with which they sizzled the dance floor back in college,” says Manju.

But the meet is not only about fun. The alumni are getting together with an agenda in mind – to form the ‘CET Golden Batch Alumni Trust’. “It is when you are in your 40s that you start getting philosophical about life. While many of us are financially well off, some of us are not.

“We wanted to set up the trust to help the well-being of these individuals and support the education of their children. The response from our batch mates for the trust has been more than enthusiastic,” says Bangalore-based S.S. Jayashankar, of the mechanical engineering branch and now Senior Vice-President, HDFC.

Then and now

“These are the people that shaped us as we transformed from naïve teenagers to men/women of the world. Thanks to social networking sites, we are in touch with a majority of our batch-mates. We even know how most of them look like thanks to the ‘Annum Innum’ series that we ran on our group page, where we invited people to post then and now photos. But it would be great to interact with them face to face the way we used to before the world became device driven,” says Jayashankar.

Check out the event’s specially-created app – iPhone (https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/id602513153?mt=8) and Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cabot.eventorg.app&hl=en)